Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

La Chambre s'est ajournée le
26 octobre 2017

HANSARD12-45

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

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

SPEAKER'S RULING: Breach of the Rules of the House in committees
is a breach of the member's privileges. (Pt. of Privilege by Hon. M. Samson »
[Hansard p. 3221, 11/07/12])
3416
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
URB - NSP: General Rate Application - Deny,
3419
TIR: Lewis Cove Rd. - Resurface,
3420
Health & Wellness - Nursing Homes: End of Life Rooms
- Provide, Mr. L. Glavine « »
3420
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1846, Fraser, Carrie: Cdn. Instit. of Public Health
Inspectors - Recognition, Hon. D. Wilson »
3421
Vote - Affirmative
3422
Res. 1847, Anl. Law Enforcement Mem. Serv.: Fallen Officers
- Appreciate, Hon. R. Landry »
3422
Vote - Affirmative
3422
Res. 1848, Bridgetown: Interim Coun./CAO - Thank,
Vote - Affirmative
3423
Res. 1849, Brooks, Dr. Jane: N.S. Family Physician of Yr
- Congrats., Hon. D. Wilson « »
3424
Vote - Affirmative
3424
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 124, Multi-Year Funding Act,
3424
No. 125, War Amps Key Tag Act,
3425
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1850, TIR - Boundaries Changes: Justice Min
- Apology Demand, Hon. M. Samson « »
3425
Res. 1851, Vaughan, Dr. Garth: Death of - Tribute,
Hon. C. Porter
3426
Vote - Affirmative
3426
Res. 1852, Atl. Jewish Coun./Holocaust Wk. Comm.:
Holocaust Reminder - Recognize, Hon. L. Preyra »
3426
Vote - Affirmative
3427
Res. 1853, Opposition Leader: Job Killing - Recognize,
3428
Res. 1854, Opposition Leader - Lower Churchill Deal:
Support - Lack Explain, Mr. C. MacKinnon »
3428
Res. 1855, Opposition Leader: Personal Gain - Interest,
3429
Res. 1856, ERDT - Companies: N.S. Employees - Encourage,
3430
Res. 1857, Opposition Leader - Experience Gain,
3430
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 388, ERDT - Private Data Deal: Privacy Officer
- Consultation, Hon. S. McNeil »
3432
No. 389, Com. Serv.: Seniors - Part-Time Work,
3433
No. 390, ERDT - IBM Deal: Layoffs - Expectations,
3435
No. 391, Prem. - N.S. Home for Colored Children:
Public Inquiry - Call, Hon. S. McNeil « »
3436
No. 392, Prem. - IBM Deal: Tendering - Details,
3437
No. 393, ERDT - Aecon Pictou Shipyard: Vessels
- Repair Stats, Mr. G. MacLellan « »
3439
No. 394, Fish. & Aquaculture - Fisheries Safety Assoc.:
Lobster Fishermen - Protect, Hon. C. d'Entremont »
3441
No. 395, ERDT: Big Bus./Independent Woodlot Owners
- Deals Explain, Mr. A. Younger »
3443
No. 396, Justice: Ankle Bracelets (GPS) - Use,
3445
No. 397, Health & Wellness - Paramedics Act: Proclamation
- Lack Explain, Mr. L. Glavine « »
3446
No. 398, TIR - Rte. 4 (C.B.): Improvement - Status,
3448
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 97, Fairer Power Rates Act
3450
3451
3457
Vote - Affirmative
3458
No. 102, Education Act
3458
3461
3465
3468
3469
3474
Vote - Affirmative
3474
No. 105, Agriculture and Marketing Act
3474
3475
3478
3479
Vote - Affirmative
3480
No. 107, Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act
3480
3482
3483
3484
Vote - Affirmative
3484
No. 109, Bee Industry Act
3484
3486
3487
3488
Vote - Affirmative
3488
No. 111, Fur Industry Act
3489
3490
3492
3492
Vote - Affirmative
3493
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Fin.: SAP Outsourcing - Bad Deal
3494
3497
3499
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Nov. 9th at 9:00 a.m
3503
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1858, Benjamin Heating - Anniv. (40th),
3504
Res. 1859, Brown, Justine - Springhill HS Jr. Girls Athlete of Mo. (09/12),
3504
Res. 1860, Victoria Co. Coun. - Election: Successful Candidates
- Congrats., Mr. K. Bain « »
3505
Res. 1861, Morrison, Warden Bruce/Patterson, Deputy Warden Fraser:
Victoria Co. Coun. - Election Congrats., Mr. K. Bain « »
3505
Res. 1862, Murray, Beth: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3506
Res. 1863, Lynds, Hannah: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3506
Res. 1864, Porter, Hannah: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3507
Res. 1865, MacDonald, Kara Lynn: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3507
Res. 1866, Phillips, Madelyn: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3508
Res. 1867, Putnam, Mallory: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3508
Res. 1868, Miller, Sydney: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3509
Res. 1869, Tompkins, Alicia: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3509
Res. 1870, Dale, Asst. Coach Amanda: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3510
Res. 1871, Faulkner, Bailey: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3510
Res. 1872, Murray, Beth: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3511
Res. 1873, Bowers, Asst. Coach Charles: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3511
Res. 1874, Bowers, Chloe: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3512
Res. 1875, Miller, Coach Dale: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3512
Res. 1876, Toole, Emma: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3513
Res. 1877, Daigle, Haleigh: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3513
Res. 1878, Lynds, Hannah: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3514
Res. 1879, Porter, Haylee: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3514
Res. 1880, Daigle, Mgr. John: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3515
Res. 1881, MacDonald, Kara Lynn: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3515
Res. 1882, Hearn, Kathleen: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3516
Res. 1883, Burgess, Lyndsay: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3516
Res. 1884, Quinn, Madelyn: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3517
Res. 1885, Murphy, Madison: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3517
Res. 1886, Faulkner, Asst. Coach Tony: Female Peewee AA Col. Cyclones
- Contribution, Hon. K. Casey « »
3518
Res. 1887, Deveau, Michelle - Co-op Atl. Song Contest:
Win - Congrats., Mr. A. MacMaster « »
3518
Res. 1888, LeBlanc, Nicole: Teachers Make a Difference
Recognition Prog. - Congrats., Mr. A. MacMaster « »
3519
Res. 1889, Mira Seniors & Pensioners Club
- Anniv. (40th), Mr. A. MacLeod « »
3519
Res. 1890, Peach, Leroy: Tourism Ind. Hall of Fame
- Induction, Mr. A. MacLeod « »
3520
Res. 1891, RCL Br. 005 (Donkin): Members - Salute,
3520
Res. 1892, RCL Br. 55 (Port Morien): Members - Salute,
3521
Res. 1893, RCL Br. 151 (East Bay): Members - Salute,
3521
Res. 1894, RCL Br. 62 (Louisbourg): Members - Salute,
3522
Res. 1895, RCL Br. 08 (Sydney Mines): Members - Salute,
3522
Res. 1896, RCL Br. 19 (N. Sydney): Members - Salute,
3523
Res. 1897, RCL Br. 83 (Florence): Members - Salute,
3523
Res. 1898, RCL Br. 009 (Hants Co.): Members - Salute,
3524
Res. 1899, RCL Br. 66 (W. Pubnico): Members - Salute,
3524
Res. 1900, RCL Br. 155 (Wedgeport): Members - Salute,
3525
Res. 1901, RCL Br. 53 (Baddeck): Members - Salute,
3526
Res. 1902, RCL Br. 105 (Ingonish): Members - Salute,
3526
Res. 1903, RCL Grandona Br. 124 (Iona): Members - Salute,
3527
Res. 1904, RCL Br. 132 (Inverness): Members - Salute,
3527
Res. 1905, RCL Br. 43 (Port Hawkesbury): Members - Salute,
3528
Res. 1906, RCL Br. 53 (Cheticamp): Members - Salute,
3528
Res. 1907, Army Navy & Air Force Veterans: Members
- Salute, Mr. E. Orrell « »
3529

[Page 3415]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2012

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Session

12:00 NOON

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:

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier's reckless outsourcing of jobs from the SAP division of Finance is a bad deal for Nova Scotians.

It was submitted by the honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

Before we start the daily routine, I would like to read a Speaker's Ruling on a point of privilege that was brought to my attention on Tuesday.

SPEAKER'S RULING: Breach of the Rules of the House in committees is a breach of the member's privileges. (Pt. of Privilege by Hon. M. Samson [Hansard p. 3221, 11/07/12]) Not a breach of privilege; a point of order that can be dealt with in that committee.

[Page 3416]

On Tuesday, the honourable member for Richmond rose on a point of privilege. He stated that the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage had participated in a meeting that day of the Law Amendments Committee, and alleged that this was a breach of Rule 60(5A). He asked that I rule that this alleged breach of the rules was a breach of his privileges as a member.

The question of whether a breach of the rules or usages of the House in committees can be a breach of privilege has been dealt with a number of times in recent years, so I am not going to use up the valuable time of the House in revisiting the issue.

This is an issue that has arisen in the House in the past and which has been dealt with consistently by my predecessors in this Chair. I refer the honourable members to the rulings by Speaker Mitchell on March 23, 1972, and by Speaker Russell on December 11, 1979, and again on June 12, 1991. In each of these rulings, those Speakers held that the points of privilege raised should have come to the House as reports and that they were not properly raised by the individual members.

I will draw the House's attention to a thorough ruling by a previous Speaker, dated May 3, 2010, which I'm attaching to my ruling. In short, that ruling makes it clear that the members cannot dress up alleged breaches of the rules in committees as points of privilege to be dealt with by the Speaker. There have been a number of attempts in the last several years to have alleged breaches of the rules or usages of the House in committees dealt with as breaches of privilege and this cannot continue.

I do not propose to quote at any length from the previous ruling, but I want to remind members of the fundamental point made by the authorities the previous Speaker relied upon. He quoted one of the leading authorities on issues of privilege in Canadian parliamentary context, Parliamentary Privilege in Canada, by Joseph Maingot, which deals with this issue quite clearly. Maingot states at Page 223 of his second edition that a breach of the rules or a failure to follow an established practice would invoke a "point of order" rather than a "question of privilege." He goes on to state that, "Allegations of fact amounting to allegations that proper procedures were not followed are by their very nature matters of order, and even if valid will not receive priority in debate as would a prima facie case of privilege."

In raising breaches of the rules or practices in the Law Amendments Committee as alleged breaches of privilege, the member for Richmond has, on more than one occasion, referred to a ruling of former Speaker Scott made on June 21, 2001, with respect to an incident in that same committee. The honourable member has held this ruling up as a precedent that the Speaker can deal with breaches of the rules or practices of a committee as breaches of members' privilege. The authorities are clear that simple failures to follow rules or procedures in committees are not matters to be brought to the Speaker.

[Page 3417]

Only in the most extreme and exceptional cases of a breach of privilege will a Speaker become involved in anything occurring in a committee without a report coming from that committee. This is dealt with in detail in the ruling I have referred to. If members review that ruling, they will see the passage the Speaker quoted from O'Brien and Bosc. It does not say that Speakers will never be able to deal with questions of privilege raised by individual members. It provided, "Speakers have consistently ruled that, except in the most extreme situations, they will only hear questions of privilege arising from committee proceedings upon presentation of a report from the committee which deals directly with the matter and not as a question of privilege raised by an individual member."

Clearly there could be exceptional and extreme circumstances that could warrant consideration of a point of privilege arising from a committee raised by an individual member. The previous Speaker mentioned in delivering that ruling that he attached the passage from an appendix in MacMinn's Parliamentary Practice in British Columbia, which examined a number of Speakers' Rulings on this question. Members will see in that text that the authorities have distinguished in particular the breach of the privilege of freedom of speech by a member from breaches of order, which would not support a finding of a question of privilege. This is an extremely important distinction.

I have reviewed the Hansard of what took place on the date in question, which gave rise to Speaker Scott's ruling. First, it was clear that what occurred on the day was exceptional in the history of this place. According to the allegations made by various members who rose on points of privilege that day, committee members were not permitted to move amendments or were not permitted to speak or were summarily cut off in the middle of speaking by the chairman. In fact, the point of privilege raised by the member for Richmond was framed in the context of a breach of his privilege of freedom of speech, and he quoted Beauchesne in that regard in support of his point of privilege. A breach of a member's privilege of freedom of speech is recognized by the authorities to be quite different than a question of order and an allegation of a breach of freedom of speech was before Speaker Scott on that day.

Second - and this goes to the point made in the previous ruling on May 3, 2010, about following proper procedures, it is clear that the meeting of the Law Amendments Committee in 2001 was ended suddenly and summarily - so suddenly that some members were unsure about what had actually happened. On that day there was no opportunity for the committee members to appeal any ruling of the chairman to the committee or to make a motion that the committee report to the House. It was therefore not possible to follow the established procedure for an appeal of a ruling.

A third point of interest is, there was no argument raised by the government members refuting anything said by any of the several Opposition members or explaining an alternative view of what had transpired. Accordingly, the Speaker was faced with an undisputed allegation by the honourable member that the member's privilege of freedom of speech had been breached. This position was supported by various allegations raised by other members and various points of order raised that day.

[Page 3418]

All of that being said, I have to say that the ruling by Speaker Scott did not set out reasons for the finding of a prima facie cause of breach of privilege, only that it was supported by the facts.

I can only say that upon reviewing Hansard, it seems clear that the exceptional and extreme situation that arose in 2001 could fall into the category of one of those extreme cases contemplated by the authorities, and that the outcome of that exceptional and extreme case does not provide the basis for the Speaker to regularly entertain points about breaches of the rules in a committee as points of privilege.

The basis for the point of privilege by the member for Richmond is an alleged breach of Rule 60(5A). That is a point of order, not a point of privilege and it should be dealt with in the committee. In fact, I understand that the member for Richmond made a motion at the meeting of the Law Amendments Committee to that effect, that the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage should not sit on the committee. I also understand that the committee voted against that motion.

In these circumstances, the rules provide that what a member should have done, rather than raising the issue as an alleged point of privilege, was appeal the decision of the committee to the House. Rule 61(2) provides for an appeal of a decision of a committee to the House. This would be done by the member by proper Notice of Motion, to be dealt with by the House. The House could then determine if the rules were, in fact, broken.

Our rules provide a procedure that could have been followed by the member to bring the matter before the House, without resorting to the very serious allegations of a breach of privilege.

In conclusion, I want to say two things. The first is that the alleged breach of the rules in the Law Amendments Committee raised by the member for Richmond is not a breach of privilege. It is a point of order that can be dealt with in that committee.

The second is that the ruling by former Speaker Scott on June 21, 2001 is not a precedent that the Speaker can entertain breaches of rules in a committee as points of privilege by individual members. It is only an example of the rare and extreme circumstances of a breach of privilege of a member's freedom of speech in a committee having given rise to the extremely unusual finding by the Speaker of a prima facie case of breach of privilege in a committee.

The honourable member for Richmond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate your ruling and would look forward to more information as to how a member of the Opposition, on a committee dominated by the government, could bring a report to this House, from that committee, when there is a majority from the government.

[Page 3419]

The frustration for us in bringing this matter to you is that when you have majority government, as Opposition members, regardless of the breaches that might take place in committee, government can simply vote these motions down, which makes it impossible, in essence, for Opposition members to bring it before the House, through a report. I'll certainly look more into what you recommended under Rule 61(2), as far as bringing it for consideration here in the House but again, it was an attempt to ensure that the Rules of this House are followed in committee, whether it be under this government or any government, because as Opposition members, any matters that we bring forward are clearly voted down by the government of the day.

I certainly respect and appreciate your extensively-researched ruling.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT » : Mr. Speaker, I'll be brief. I thank you for your decision. The reality was you were asked to decide on a point of privilege, and I believe you decided in a wise and fair way. Again, I think you also said it in the body of your decision that this has been moved forward many times and was described to you as a precedent, and I thank you for you enlightening this House on that it was not a precedent. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause is: "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"

There are 90 signatures on this petition, Mr. Speaker, and I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause is:

[Page 3420]

"We, the undersigned residents of Grand River and surrounding communities in Richmond County, and frequent users of the Lewis Cove Road, urge the Department of Transportation in the Province of Nova Scotia, to resurface the Lewis Cove Road, beginning at Grand River and ending at Soldier's Cove on Highway 4, a distance of approximately 10 kilometers."

There are 70-plus signatures on this petition, Mr. Speaker, and I have affixed my signature in agreement.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings West.

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

"We, the undersigned, urge our leaders to act now to mandate that all Nova Scotia Nursing Homes, without private rooms, have a private end of life room for their residents."

There are 1,044 signatures on this petition, Mr. Speaker, and I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : May I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. WILSON « » : With us today in the east gallery is Ms. Carrie Fraser, and she is accompanied by her husband Doug, her daughter Hailey, and her son Matthew. Ms. Fraser has served Nova Scotians for over 20 years as a public health inspector and has recently been recognized by her professional association on a national level. So if members could give them a warm welcome? (Applause)

[Page 3421]

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

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 1846

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

Whereas Ms. Carrie Fraser has served Nova Scotians in her role as a public health inspector for more than 20 years, including her current role as environmental health program officer for the Department of Health and Wellness; and

Whereas Ms. Fraser, in her current role, contributes to protecting the health of Nova Scotians by developing programs that prevent injuries and illness, and has played an instrumental role in the development of the Safe Body Art Act by developing an understanding of the health hazards and risks associated with the body art industry and how to prevent them; and

Whereas Ms. Fraser has received national recognition from her professional association, the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, for her role in advancing public health programs, contributing to the gathering, sharing, interpretation, and implementation of scientific information with her public health colleagues from across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud Ms. Carrie Fraser for being recognized by the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors in her dedication to improving the health and wellness of Nova Scotians, and wish her all the best 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.

[Page 3422]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1847

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

Whereas the Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service celebrated its 30th ceremony on October 28th; and

Whereas the service honours officers who have died in the line of duty during the past year, and remembers those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in prior years; and

Whereas more than 200 officers representing organizations from the Halifax Regional Police, RCMP, other police agencies, and the Canada Border Service Agency took part in the ceremony at the Nova Scotian Fallen Peace Officers Monument at Grand Parade;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House respect, appreciate and recognize the heroic efforts of our fallen officers who were recognized at the Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service, and the good work our police services provides across the province and 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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1848

[Page 3423]

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

Whereas 18 months ago the seniors, families and young people of the Town of Bridgetown faced a challenge the province had never seen before, when the entire town council and mayor resigned; and

Whereas the province took the responsible steps to restore stability and put new controls and oversights in place, to reassure people of a more transparent and accountable future; and

Whereas true leadership was shown by the people and organizations of Bridgetown who demonstrated that when communities come together and sacrifice for the greater good and support one another, there is nothing that can't be accomplished;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly thank interim mayor Bob Fowler, councillors Anna Allen and Jim Thurber, and CAO Darrell Hiltz, for their leadership and commitment over the last 18 months and congratulate the new council and people of Bridgetown for shaping a better future for their families and community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations on an introduction.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : In the gallery opposite, I'd like the members to give a warm welcome to some individuals there. They are Mr. Bob Fowler, who was a former civil servant, former deputy minister for government; his last role was taking the training wheels off the new government as the Deputy Minister for Cabinet. Next to him is Anna Allen, former mayor for the Town of Windsor. Next to Anna is Jim Thurber, former warden for Digby County. Next to Mr. Thurber is Mr. Darrell Hiltz, another former deputy minister for the Province of Nova Scotia, who acted in his capacity as CAO for the Town of Bridgetown, and he has done that on other occasions in other municipalities as well.

[Page 3424]

These people were available and willing to answer the call and they did extremely good work for the people of Bridgetown and for the people of Nova Scotia. I'd like the House to give them the warm welcome they rightly deserve. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1849

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

Whereas Dr. Jane Brooks has been practising family medicine since 1999; and

Whereas since then Dr. Brooks established the Middleton Collaborative Practice that is considered a pioneer for collaborative practices in Nova Scotia, served as president of Doctors Nova Scotia, and was one of the first in the province to adopt the electronic medical records system; and

Whereas in 2007, Dr. Brooks' mentorship, leadership and professionalism were acknowledged with the Preceptor of the Year Award from Dalhousie University;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the outstanding efforts of Dr. Jane Brooks and congratulate her for being named Nova Scotia Family Physician of the 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 124 - Entitled an Act to Develop a Multi-Year Funding Framework. (Ms. Kelly Regan)

Bill No. 125 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act, to Preserve the Key Tag Service of the War Amps. (Hon. John MacDonell)

[Page 3425]

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1850

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

Whereas on Sunday, October 28th, the MLA for Antigonish, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, declared his support for the request that the Law Amendments Committee meet in Havre Boucher when he stated to those gathered: "Write the Premier. Get on the telephone and call people. Let's try to stop this in some way. And the only way that you're going to do that is to make your voices heard"; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice and Attorney General showed his support for the residents of Havre Boucher when he was quoted in the Port Hawkesbury Reporter as saying: "There was the controversy about changing the boundaries of Guysborough County, Pictou and Antigonish before, and if the people in Havre Boucher weren't aware, I don't know what universe they would have been sitting in, because it was very obvious to everybody in that whole region, with the interim report, that people could be affected."; and

Whereas this is but an example of the arrogance of this NDP Government when you have the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General mocking and belittling residents of Havre Boucher for wanting to remain in the riding of Antigonish, where they have been since 1867;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly call upon the MLA for Antigonish, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, who has failed to convince the Premier to send the Law Amendments Committee to his riding, to stand up for his constituents in Havre Boucher and demand an apology from the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1851

[Page 3426]

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

Whereas the Town of Windsor lost a great ambassador yesterday in their cherished claim as "The Birthplace of Hockey," with the death in Cape Breton of Dr. Garth Vaughan; and

Whereas it was through Dr. Vaughan's historic research that vaulted Windsor, Nova Scotia, into a worldwide conversation in the early 1990s as to where hockey was first played; and

Whereas Dr. Vaughan authored two books, his most famous being The Puck Starts Here, which was a comprehensive story about hockey's origin in Windsor and Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the great ambassador that Garth Vaughan was to Windsor and area, and offer our sincerest sympathies to his family at this difficult time.

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 Communities, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1852

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

Whereas the Atlantic Jewish Council is committed to enhancing the quality of Jewish life in Atlantic Canada through community service, the promotion of interfaith dialogue and multiculturalism, and programs to combat anti-Semitism; and

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

[Page 3427]

Whereas on November 8, 2012, the Atlantic Jewish Council will hold its annual Dignity Day ceremony at Halifax's Grand Parade, where community members of all ages and faiths will mark the 74th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, Night of the Broken Glass, through a public commitment to respect the dignity of all persons;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the Atlantic Jewish Council, Jon Goldberg, Edna LeVine, and the Holocaust Education Week Committee for raising our consciousness of the horrors of the Holocaust and reminding us of our moral obligation to treat all persons with dignity and respect.

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 on an introduction.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE » : We have two gentlemen here in our east gallery. I would like to mention that since 2007, the Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities has played an important role in building relationships and helping making life better in Cape Breton. I would like to recognize members of the association who are here today, including the chair and a former member of this House - I know people know this gentleman very well - Mr. John MacEachern, along with Sergeant Tom Ripley from the Cape Breton Regional Police. I would like everybody to welcome these two gentlemen here today. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1853

[Page 3428]

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

Whereas the Leader of the Opposition is better at speaking against jobs for Nova Scotians than he is at encouraging growth and development in our province; and

Whereas when the Leader of the Opposition criticized Cooke Aquaculture's expansion of 400 jobs on the South Shore and in Truro, he showed Nova Scotians that he would most certainly kill more jobs than he would ever create; and

Whereas during this particular instance, the Leader of the Opposition also showed how out of touch he is with the business of this province, when he called for the release of an aquaculture strategy that had already been released;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize that if given the chance, the Leader of the Opposition would kill more jobs than he would ever create.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1854

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

Whereas not long after publicly supporting the Lower Churchill deal with Newfoundland and Labrador, the Leader of the Opposition contradicted his own comments; and

Whereas instead of continuing to support the visionary plan that will create thousands of jobs and provide lower, more stable energy rates in the long-term for Nova Scotians, the Leader of the Opposition would rather raise power rates by 30 to 50 per cent; and

Whereas the Leader of the Opposition believes that increasing power bills 30 to 50 per cent is better than the clean, stable energy prices he once spoke in favour of;

[Page 3429]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House and all Nova Scotians explain to the Leader of the Opposition that thousands of good jobs and clean, stable energy are better than an increase in power rates of 30 to 50 per cent.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1855

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

Whereas the Leader of the Opposition spoke against the awarding of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy to Irving Shipbuilding; and

Whereas the shipbuilding contract will mean thousands of good jobs for Nova Scotians, spread over 30 years; and

Whereas this intense negativity shows Nova Scotians that the Leader of the Opposition would rather speak against progress than cheer for a huge provincial economic boost, simply because he was not part of it;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize that the Leader of the Opposition is more interested in personal gain than in doing what is best for Nova Scotians.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 3430]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 1856

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

Whereas time and time again the Leader of the Opposition displays his ability to criticize and speak against jobs for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas yet another example of how out of touch the Leader of the Opposition is arose this week when he said a company that is operating in Nova Scotia and employing Nova Scotians should not seek new business; and

Whereas keeping Nova Scotians working in Nova Scotia seems to be less important to the Leader of the Opposition than grandstanding and spreading his negative attitude toward progress in all areas of the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House encourage the companies that are employing Nova Scotians to continue to do so despite the opposition of the Leader of the Opposition.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1857

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

Whereas in an impressive display of a lack of experience, the Leader of the Opposition spoke publicly against saving thousands of jobs in the Strait area because he didn't understand that the deal to sell the former NewPage mill was a good deal for taxpayers; and

[Page 3431]

Whereas instead of taking the time to understand all of the items in the comprehensive package that ensures Nova Scotians can continue to live and raise a family in the province, the Leader of the Opposition simply commented that he didn't know what the money was for; and

Whereas in order to keep the Strait area a vibrant hub for small business, entrepreneurship, and success this NDP Government worked in co-operation with the buyers and ensured that the entire loan offered will be returned to the province in addition to $150 million in tax revenue over 12 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature encourage the Leader of the Opposition to work on gaining more experience before he comments on government decisions he simply does not understand.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Government House Leader.

MR. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, it may not be a surprise to the members of the House in that the Premier is making his way back from Dartmouth. (Interruptions) You know what? If they want to ask questions, fill their boots. That's all I'm going to say. If they want to wait until he gets here, fine. If not, we'll go at her.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : Question Period will begin at 12:46 p.m. and end at 1:46 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

ERDT - PRIVATE DATA DEAL: PRIVACY OFFICER - CONSULTATION

[Page 3432]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

This government has made another big deal with another big business. This deal will see mounds of Nova Scotia's private and confidential data being managed by an outside company. The government's latest deal, by the media report, was never presented to the privacy officer in the Province of Nova Scotia.

So my question to the minister is, why is this government preparing to enter into a deal that could put personal and private information at risk, without consulting the privacy officer?

HON. PERCY PARIS » : Mr. Speaker, just for clarity and for transparency, it was reported to the privacy commission. This is a very significant week for the Province of Nova Scotia, as this government has been able to create an additional 1,000 jobs for Nova Scotians.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, what the minister forgot to say was they consulted the privacy officer after they signed the deal.

We are told this deal will create jobs in Nova Scotia - we've heard this before from this government. The government decided to hand over management of Nova Scotia's private and personal information without talking to the privacy officer before agreeing and signing this deal. We've seen this government's big deals go sideways in the past, and Nova Scotians have seen wages slashed and Nova Scotians laid off.

My question to the minister: With so much at stake, why does the government feel Nova Scotians are better off with their personal information under the management of a private company?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, there is a privacy process which this government has adhered to. Again, for 20 years this province has been in last place - for 20 years. We are not satisfied with the status quo; under our watch the status quo is simply just not good enough. We created jobs in the Province of Nova Scotia and we are continuing to do just that.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, what's interesting is this untendered contract was rushed into without any debate, without any consultation with the privacy officer, and without any discussion in this House, and on November 16, 2006, the Premier - then Leader of the Official Opposition - said, "Mr. Speaker, this is a plan to centralize and then outsource important government functions without any discussion on the plan. These kinds of decisions should be discussed publicly . . . The people who will pay the price are being kept in the dark."

[Page 3433]

So my question to the minister: If in 2006 the now-Premier believed such deals should be openly debated and discussed, did he tell the minister what has changed?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, when we came into power, undoubtedly things were in quite a disarray and quite a mess. Under the jobsHere plan we've committed to create jobs, to create opportunities for Nova Scotians so that our youth could stay here in the Province of Nova Scotia, raise families here, do work here.

You know, Mr. Speaker, one of the things that we are concerned about - and I hear one of the members over there grumbling. One of the things we did not want to do and we will not do, much like the Liberal Government is intent on, and that is raise power rates by 30 to 50 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, this is job creation. I know it may be difficult for the Leader of the Official Opposition and for his colleagues to understand that but the status quo, simply put, was not good enough. This is 500 new jobs for Nova Scotians, Mr. Speaker - 500.

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

COM. SERV.: SENIORS - PART-TIME WORK

MR. KEITH BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, families across this province are struggling to get by. With an aging population, more and more people are having to stay home to care for an elderly loved one. The expensive policies of the NDP have made life so unaffordable for seniors. Budgets are stretched so thin. Too many seniors are being forced back into the workforce. This government has made life so expensive that those, who should be enjoying their golden years, are going back to work to make ends meet.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the Minister of Community Services, after working hard and contributing for years, does the minister think seniors deserve to be forced back to work in order to make ends meet?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I find it quite amusing that that comes from that side of the House, with the lack of concern over the years they directed towards seniors. We do know that seniors are a critical part of this province and we desperately care about them and that's why we're taking action. For example, the GIS, now those individuals receiving that do not have to pay provincial income tax. They could have done that. They didn't do anything like that.

Also, we have provided seniors with the Affordable Living Tax Credit and the Poverty Reduction Credit. We also increased the rebate on the land by $200. We took the HST off electricity. There's a long list, Mr. Speaker. Their list equals zero.

[Page 3434]

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, since the minister is providing statistics and facts, I'll provide a few to her as well. Since the NDP formed government, the number of men over 65 who have had to get part-time work has more than doubled - an increase of 112.5 per cent. Also, aside from those seniors who have managed to find work, the number of seniors in the province who are looking for work, and cannot find it, has increased by 200 per cent since this NDP Government formed government.

What does this show? Well not only have the NDP made life so expensive that seniors are back to work, Mr. Speaker, but they don't even have enough jobs to support all the seniors who need it.

My question to the minister is, will she take these shocking statistics seriously and finally tell her colleagues that their expensive policies are hurting our most vulnerable people?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that the member opposite take a look in the mirror and the reflection would be from his federal counterparts who have done so much to create issues for seniors, driving them into poverty, not even allowing them to be able to access unemployment. What about the seniors in Cape Breton and throughout this province who are in dire straits, not because of this government that has actually invested well over $300 million, an unprecedented amount, to help the most vulnerable? The person he should be talking to is the Prime Minister of Canada, not us.

MR. BAIN « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister has been very good to stand in her place and blame others for the tragedies that occur to the residents of this province. These people have worked hard their whole lives and are being forced back to work because they can't afford their bills. Many of these seniors are not only working but are the working poor. The latest HungerCount survey showed that 1,650 seniors in our province had to rely on a food bank last year. These people paid taxes their whole lives. Now this government has forced them back to work and forced many of them to food banks. Our seniors deserve so much better.

My final question to the minister is, will this minister sit down with the Premier and figure out a way to give these people the retirement they've earned and deserve?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I find it very interesting that he keeps reflecting back to the HungerCount information. I don't think he read through it, because one of the things in there that was a recommendation to help seniors was with respect to the GIS, and it was this government that made the decision that seniors who are collecting GIS do not have to pay taxes anymore. We've added the recommendation that this government has done, even before that recommendation came out. So I don't know what he's standing there and talking about. He should obviously read a little bit more about all the things that we're doing in this province.

[Page 3435]

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

ERDT - IBM DEAL: LAYOFFS - EXPECTATIONS

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government announced an untendered deal with IBM today. We've seen the government write big cheques to Irving, Daewoo, Resolute, and Stern - big deals with big business. Now this government hands money to the ninth-largest corporation in the world - so far, $590 million to six large companies. This makes $690 million to seven, and 1,300 Nova Scotia layoffs so far.

My question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, how many Nova Scotians should expect layoffs because of this government's latest big deal with big business?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, all Nova Scotians should be happy that this government was able to broker a partnership with one of the top 10 companies in the world. Do you know what that means to Nova Scotians, to taxpayers? It means that we are going to have more money. We are going to have more money because of jobs, because of the revenue that's going to be generated from those jobs. We are going to have more revenue that we can invest in health, education, all those good things for Nova Scotians. This is a good deal for Nova Scotians.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, if this deal was tendered, maybe the government would have learned a little bit about IBM's past. In 2005, Carlson, an international hospitality giant, decided to enter into a multi-million dollar agreement with IBM. Carlson terminated the deal early and sued IBM for $75.8 million. The suit alleges fraud, breach of contract, and breach of judiciary responsibility. So my question to the minister is, is this government confident entering into business with a company facing these allegations?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, with this partnership, IBM is talking about creating a global centre. Where? In Nova Scotia. Do you know what that means to the Province of Nova Scotia? I am shocked and I am appalled that anybody in this House would speak against such an investment by such a major corporation. This is enormous. This is an enormous benefit for Nova Scotians. This is going to keep young Nova Scotians here in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, court documents in the Carlson case state, "Instead of bringing trust, expertise and capabilities to Carlson, IBM delivered the opposite." The company says IBM failed to provide 30 per cent of the contracted services and was not "minimally competent." And I'll table that article.

[Page 3436]

A Deloitte audit found accounting mishaps after the IBM deal that included restaurants threatened with closure for missed payments, information mistakenly being sent to competitors, IRS fines, and a $1.8 million cheque mistakenly sent to a local lawn service.

My question for the minister is, why has this government entered into an agreement with a company that, according to one of its major customers, cannot be trusted, lacks expertise, and is not even "minimally competent"?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, this partnership includes universities, Nova Scotia Community College, this is a true partnership. I am surprised - no, no - you know what? I'm not surprised because they are job killers.

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

PREM. - N.S. HOME FOR COLORED CHILDREN: PUBLIC INQUIRY - CALL

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, with every passing day we hear of more tragedies and allegations out of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. This is a story that bridges decades, and governments of all political Parties have a responsibility in this matter - this is not a political issue, it is a moral issue.

So my question for the Premier is, will the Premier call for full public inquiry on the allegations raised by former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children?

HON. DARRELL DEXTER » : Mr. Speaker, the question that is asked by the Leader of the Official Opposition is, of course, a very, very serious one, and we have all seen some of the stories that have been described. I would also want to point out that over the years the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children has also been the home to many people who have received assistance and help; the staff who have worked there have been concerned with the welfare and best interest of the people in their charge.

There is no doubt that this is difficult, but there are investigations currently underway by the appropriate authorities looking into allegations of criminality. There are, in the courts, the claims that are being made by individuals who are looking for compensation. It is in the best interest of everyone that those claims, those allegations, be properly investigated and to see whether or not the information that is required comes out through those channels. After that, we would consider what the options are for further inquiry.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, calling for a public inquiry on these allegations is not about laying blame - it's about finding the truth. An inquiry can take place while this case is before the courts. We can be the generation that shows compassion to these Nova Scotians who have been waiting for it. There is only one person, though, who can call for a public inquiry, so my question to the Premier is, will the Premier do the right thing for the former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children and call for a public inquiry?

[Page 3437]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what I can say is that I suppose there are different views of the right thing to do. I think the right thing to do is to have the proper authorities of the province, the policing investigators to go through the job that they have, to look into the allegations that are being made. I think the right thing to do is to ensure that the claimants that are making claims for compensation on their behalf and who are pursuing their appropriate legal remedies have the ability to do that to their fullest extent.

And I'll address another point on this too - it is not that a public inquiry couldn't be called, I'm sure it could. The question of course is, should it? My view is that in these circumstances, where there are ongoing criminal allegations and criminal investigations and there are outstanding claims before the courts, that those should be properly dealt with before further action is taken.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier has given us all kinds of reasons why government can't go ahead with the public inquiry. In my opinion, he has not given us a single good reason yet. None of the reasons put forward by the Premier trump the fact that these Nova Scotians deserve justice and they need this justice to heal. My question for the Premier is, again, will the Premier call for a full public inquiry?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, my previous answer, in fact, was all about justice. It is about having a process that weighs the facts, weighs the evidence, has proper investigatory mechanisms, ensures that both the complaints and any accused are treated fairly and with due process, that claims can be weighed before an impartial arbiter. Those are the very hallmarks of the system of justice that we live in. I believe that we ought to allow that to run its course and then we can decide whether or not it is appropriate that further inquiry is needed.

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

PREM. - IBM DEAL: TENDERING - DETAILS

HON. JAIMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to return to the issue of today, the IBM deal, and ask a question of the Premier. Often in Opposition, we are called upon to oppose the government and what it does, and there are those, of course, who believe that's all there is to the job of Opposition, but sometimes our job rises above that and it is to make sure that the government, when it goes about initiative, does it in the right way and not the wrong way.

Today, Mr. Speaker, I ask a question of the Premier, with our qualified support for the announcement around IBM today, if it truly creates real, new, private-sector jobs in Nova Scotia as they go about outsourcing some of those government jobs. The reason that we have to examine the deal that was announced today is because the government has a pretty poor record when it comes to these kinds of things. For example, just last week they tried to lease some office space in Cornwallis without bothering with the public protection, the taxpayer protection, of an open tender to make sure they got the best deal.

[Page 3438]

My question for the Premier today, with regard to the IBM announcement is, as much as IBM may be the right partner for the province in this outsourcing deal, why did the Premier not put the process through a proper tender, to ensure that taxpayers really are getting the best value for their money?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, in short the answer is simply this: there is no other partner available who could provide the impact in the Province of Nova Scotia. This is about 500 new jobs with a company that is a global leader in information technology. For the employees of the Province of Nova Scotia, they are now in the enviable position, in the best of all possible worlds, they are able to decide whether or not they want to stay with the Province of Nova Scotia, with a government that values their work, or they can choose to have a career with a global leader in information technology that can take them far beyond what the public service could offer.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I just want to make sure the Premier has done his homework here. Perhaps he's not aware of companies like Unisys and Oracle and Cisco Systems, all of whom are competitions of SAP and so I would like him to go back and ensure that he has, in fact, found exactly the right partner on this outsourcing arrangement.

Mr. Speaker, $12 million in tax rebates is a lot of money. As we learned just yesterday, the NDP are prepared to throw that money around even when it is only moving jobs from one part of Nova Scotia, or one company in Nova Scotia, to another company in Nova Scotia. So I would like to ask the Premier, can he assure all members of this House, and also assure all Nova Scotians, that none of that $12 million in rebates will be used simply to pay IBM for moving one existing Nova Scotian job - whether it is with the Government of Nova Scotia or some other Nova Scotia company - to IBM?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the 500 new jobs are in addition to any jobs associated with the work that they will be doing for the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, this is an extraordinary opportunity for the province because the money generated, the $18 million that will be generated in tax revenue, which these jobs will provide directly, means that essentially IBM is paid with their own money. They receive back money that they pay out so the net benefit to the province is $6 million that will go into health care, post-secondary education, go into making better roads in the province. This is a winning situation for the province and it's a winning situation for the economy of the province.

[Page 3439]

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I hope, as you see, I'm trying to be helpful here but I sure wish the Premier's answer had been, yes, I can assure this House that none of that money will go for existing Nova Scotia jobs and if that's what he meant then he'll have an opportunity in a minute to make that clear. At a time like this, when the government is outsourcing jobs, the Premier has a duty to make sure that his own employees in the Government of Nova Scotia are treated fairly.

Reports of this initiative have been in circulation since early this summer. In fact, just two weeks ago the Premier said outside this House, that this is just an idea, it's just a concept. But here we are today, just two weeks later, and the deal is done, so clearly the Premier and his government were in deep negotiations with IBM all along. My question for the Premier is, why wasn't he more upfront with his own employees about what was going on with IBM?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm actually quite glad that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party asked that question because the fact of the matter is that from the time when there was any serious consideration of this deal, in fact the employees were, through their representatives, included in those discussions. They were brought in very early on and in fact were, at every step, involved and this is part of the Public Service Protection Plan that we signed on. I was surprised to see reports that they were coming in yesterday only to hear about it. For months they had been part of the whole discussion and we offered them every bit of information and every bit of support.

We see this, as I've said, as an extraordinary opportunity for our employees. They are the ones who will gain the maximum benefit from this arrangement. They have an opportunity where they can decide to go to work for a global leader in information technology, that they can carve out their own career path for success; or, if they decide, they can stay as a member of the Public Service who we value.

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

ERDT - AECON PICTOU SHIPYARD: VESSELS - REPAIR STATS

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. Aecon Atlantic operates a shipyard in Pictou, just kilometres down the road from the government-subsidized, partially taxpayer-owned DSME Trenton facility. Aecon actually repairs ships and builds barges, direct activities in the Nova Scotia shipbuilding industry. My question to the minster is, how many vessels has Aecon Pictou Shipyard repaired in the last two years and what government assistance have they received?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, nowhere is it predetermined as a prerequisite that the private sector notify me as Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism on what they produce or what they haven't produced.

[Page 3440]

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister's decisions directly interfere with competition in that sector so I think it is an important thing that he pay attention to what's happening in that sector.

Let me help him out. The Pictou Shipyard has repaired 16 vessels and built two barges. It has a workforce of 150 people. The reason why I asked is because it would be nice if the minister has this information. I'm sure the Minister of Health and Wellness has all the answers so maybe he can answer this because we don't get any answers from the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister. (Interruptions) Yeah, you know what's going on, you've got it figured out. The Premier wants me to ask him. I assume that the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister is equipped to answer these questions. I have to ask the Premier questions about economic development? Really?

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

MR. MACLELLAN « » : The workforce at Aecon is 150 employees compared to less than 50 at DSME Trenton. In fact, it has done all of that work without one cent of provincial money, not one cent, but it is now facing competition from the government-subsidized DSME facility even though the Premier and the minister can't seem to figure out that they are interfering with direct competition.

So my question to the minister - or the Premier; whoever wants to answer it - is, what assistance was requested by the Pictou Shipyard in the last few years, and what was the response from ERDT?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, DSTN is a valued client of this government. Like so many other companies, DSTN, the parent company, is a global company. They have diversified. We've got the utmost confidence in DSTN. They have a plan. We have a plan. We are sticking to it. It's as simple as that.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the minister does have confidence. After all, they have 60 million tax dollars as an advantage in their sector. No wonder they're confident.

Over the last two years, Aecon Pictou Shipyard has invested $6 million of their own money, from their own revenues, in repairing the marine slip in Pictou, and has brought the shipyard back to life. This investment has resulted in new work being created in Pictou County to the tune of 150 jobs. Pictou Shipyard has not received a cent from this government. Meanwhile, this government has invested in Irving facilities in Halifax and Shelburne.

So my question to the minister is, what is his justification for ejecting assistance from a taxpaying, job-creating entity in Pictou County while instructing government-subsidized DSME Trenton to diversify into the same market as Aecon?

[Page 3441]

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I haven't been to the Pictou yard recently. I understand that the Premier has been there a couple of times in the last little while. I will say this: we've made good investments. Under the jobsHere strategy we made good investments that are paying off. There was a great announcement today with respect to IBM, and there was an announcement yesterday with respect to PROJEX, for a total of 1,000 jobs. This has been a glorious week for Nova Scotians - a fantastic week for Nova Scotians. We are making things happen in the Province of Nova Scotia - something that the previous two governments didn't do with 20 years of inactivity.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE - FISHERIES SAFETY ASSOC.:

LOBSTER FISHERMEN - PROTECT

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. As members know, most lobster fishermen are small-business people who each create jobs in small numbers and are struggling to get by because of high taxes, high fuel costs, and a depressed market for their product. A couple of years ago, the government - the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Department of Labour and Workforce Development - gave approval to the WCB to move forward on setting up the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia. So to add to their financial burden, small fishing operators pay the same dues to the Nova Scotia Fisheries Safety Association as large seafood-processing plants do.

My question to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is, will the minister act immediately to ensure lobster fishermen are treated fairly by the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia, who do now pay more than their fair share to the government-sanctioned safety association?

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU » : Thank you very much, and to the member opposite, I really appreciate the question regarding safety. I think all members of this Legislature know that the fishery is one of the most dangerous jobs there is in Nova Scotia, and something that we have addressed. I also want to point out that the issue that the member raised has been something close to the industry and something that this government has addressed, and this minister.

I want to table a letter that we put out to the fishing industry, and I'll just read the highlights from it. There's consultation going on, and there will be continuing consultation, and there will be a Fisheries Ministers meeting mid-winter. In the consultation a number of issues were addressed. First of all, the process and use of establishing 50 fishing safety associations; also the amount that will be charged to large and small employers in workers' compensation rates in the fishing industry and the fish-processing sectors; and the most effective ways to improve safety in the fishing industry.

[Page 3442]

This is something important, Mr. Speaker, and I welcome the question. Thank you very much.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. The contract between the WCB and the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia clearly states that the WCB must have over 50 per cent support from the industry in order to proceed. The reality is that the WCB did not get sufficient approval to set up the fishery association in the first place. Fishers have paid close to $700,000 per year to the safety association, and a number of fishers have actually resigned from the association but are still being charged the fee. I have over 97 letters of resignation from fishers to the Fisheries Safety Association. I'd like to table that and maybe get a copy for the minister.

My question to the minister is, why is the minister forcing this expensive association on a small group of businessmen who never agreed to participate in the first place?

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : To the member opposite, I want to be crystal clear on this particular topic. This particular issue has been driven by the fishing industry. It is something that we addressed early on in this mandate and something that we are committed to. We want to reassure that the safety of all fishers is something important to this government. I look forward to the consultation being completed. I also look forward to the minister's conference this particular winter. Unlike the member opposite, when he was the Minister of Fisheries, they had an opportunity to deal with this. We are taking a proactive approach and we are making the workplace safer for all fishers across Nova Scotia. Thank you for the question.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, the situation is such that government actually went out to get a consultant to look at the issue, a consultant by the name of Gilles Thériault. The Thériault report looks into the issues surrounding the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia. Like so many consultants' reports before it, the government did not release it. We can only assume that, like so many other consultants' reports before it, the minister didn't like it so he buried it somewhere.

Through a freedom of information request, I was able to get a copy but, like so many of our FOIPOP requests, it has been heavily redacted. In this case, recommendations from the consultant are hidden. It does underline some concerns that the organization was set up without proper approvals or acceptance by the industry itself.

My question to the minister is, what is the minister hiding from? What is he hiding from fishers who are more affected by the Fisheries Safety Association of Nova Scotia? When will he release an un-redacted copy of the report and shine the light of day on how dollars of hard-working fishers are being used by government?

[Page 3443]

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I really appreciate this question coming to the floor. This is something we are going to address and unlike the member for Argyle, who did not address it when he was the Minister of Fisheries, this is something that is important to the industry. It is industry-driven.

I made reference to the issues that we are addressing with the consultation. I look forward to the minister's conference this winter. Unlike the member opposite, we stood up; this government, this Premier, this minister stood up for the owner-operator policy, which that government tried to force on the independent fishers across Nova Scotia, and I want to say we're going to make it stronger. Thank you for the question.

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

ERDT: BIG BUS./IND. WOODLOT OWNERS - DEALS EXPLAIN

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, the NDP Government's corporate welfare plan is hurting small businesses around the province, so my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism who, incidentally, probably should change his department name to the minister of part-time jobs, but I guess that's another question.

Mr. Speaker, this minister handed Pacific West over $124 million to lay off half their workers, drive down wood prices, and hurt small woodlot owners and operators. We learned some time ago that independent woodlot owners and sawmill operations will now get less money from Pacific West for wood fibre than they did under the previous NewPage. This reduces the economic activity in the province and drives down wood prices and it makes it harder for people to even cover their costs let alone their bills. Will the minister explain why he agreed to a deal that only helps big business and makes life much harder for small, independent woodlot owners and operators?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, unlike the Liberals, this government did not turn its back on the forestry sector. We saved hundreds of jobs with our investment, hundreds of jobs. If anyone was to look at the paper and listen to the news media you will hear that those people are grateful. The first thing that they say is thanks to a Premier that was there for us, thanks to a government that was there for us. Unlike the Liberals, we were there.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, to say everybody is grateful I'm wondering whether the minister has his talking points messed up because the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour appeared at a chamber dinner there recently speaking on behalf of the Premier and he blamed local business owners and municipal politicians for being against the deal. So I guess the NDP just blame everyone for their own failures in their communities. In fact (Interruptions) Check the tape.

[Page 3444]

In fact, I think the NDP must think it's the fault of the people on the South Shore that Resolute packed up and left too. Mr. Speaker, the deal has no guaranteed job targets, it doesn't guarantee continued operation, it hopes for it. We said earlier on in the Bowater situation the government should work to diversify the economy and they did so only after Resolute packed up and left. We've said the same thing here. The minister and the Premier are happy to call the layoff of hundreds of people, cuts in income and benefits for the rest and an attack on small woodlot owners and operators a success. Why did the minister not ensure there were guarantees in place for small woodlots so they wouldn't be forced to pay the price of a poorly handled deal?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, unlike the Liberals we didn't turn our back on 1,400 families. Unlike those job-killers over there we did something for Nova Scotians, we did something for that industry, for the people that live there, for that town and for all Nova Scotians so that they can contribute to Nova Scotia society.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, the only job-killers are the people that handed out $590 million to lay off 1,300 people in Nova Scotia. Now this minister has waged war on small businesses and the small woodlot owners who now can't even afford to put fuel in their chainsaws or put food on their tables. You want job-killers it's that minister right there.

Mr. Speaker, these woodlot owners have been told that if they don't take the price then they'll be the next ones the NDP members will be speaking on behalf of to say it's their fault that the mill closed because they wouldn't accept the price that Stern was willing to pay even though that price doesn't even cover their costs. We have now learned that Stern is trying to arrange a deal with Irving to trade fibre and wants to do this by taking complete control over the marketing of forestry products in Cape Breton and northern Nova Scotia. This goes, actually, against diversifying the forest economy into higher valued products. Will the minister agree to call Ron Stern today, tell him to stop picking on the woodlot owners, give them a fair price that allows them to make ends meet, and stop thwarting efforts to diversify the forest industry in this province and especially in Cape Breton, northern Nova Scotia and Port Hawkesbury?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm going to punt this over to the Premier.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, you know, the ironic thing about this question is that if the Liberals had their way none of those contractors would be working, because the mill would be closed. There would be nobody working in the forest divisions. They would be working probably in the forests of Alberta or in British Columbia - they wouldn't be in Nova Scotia.

That is what the Liberals would have, Mr. Speaker. And I want to make this further point - this morning on CBC there was an interview with Mr. McMillan from the Silviculture Contractors, and what he said was that he realized that this was a difficult time for woodlot owners, but he phoned into New Brunswick and asked what they were getting for their cords of wood, and they were getting anywhere from $5 to $15 less a cord in New Brunswick than they were getting in Nova Scotia. When the host tried to push him and said we realize this is a difficult time, but is there a bright spot in the industry? He said the bright spot in the industry is the government. (Applause)

[Page 3445]

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

JUSTICE: ANKLE BRACELETS (GPS) - USE

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday I asked the Minister of Justice about using ankle bracelets to monitor certain patients at the East Coast Forensic Hospital while on escorted leave. The minister made irrational and unfounded comments about this Party's beliefs. We believe that protecting the public and the patients is paramount. These patients need proper care, which they cannot receive if they do not return to the hospital.

Will the minister explain why he refuses to use ankle bracelets as a practical and effective tool to prevent someone else from getting hurt by someone with a past history of violent behaviour?

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I know it's difficult for the member asking the question to understand that a forensic patient is just that - a patient, and that mental illness is a disease, not a crime. As Minister of Justice, it is my job to ensure that the rights of every citizen are protected and respected, that public safety is foremost of this government, of this minister, and to the people of Nova Scotia. Therefore, whether or not someone needs additional care or security is best put for those who have the medical responsibility in that area. In addition, if the member did some reading and understood, that in many cases putting such an instrument on a person with a mental illness further perpetuates the ability to provide treatment. So this government cares about people and respects people.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the family of Raymond Taavel has a hard time understanding why somebody who has a disease can be left unmonitored on the streets to commit a crime and to hurt somebody.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Taavel's family is asking the minister to explore using ankle bracelets in certain cases. The minister is discounting their concerns by evading this question. The minister's answer is to give patients on leave a cellphone, but we cannot risk another incident because a patient fails to answer the phone, loses the phone, or doesn't provide an accurate itinerary. This government consistently keeps our most vulnerable waiting, whether it's with waiting lists for surgeries, waiting lists for nursing homes, and now this government has created a waiting list for public safety. Can the minister tell the people of this province why?

[Page 3446]

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I have the deepest respect and compassion for the Taavel family and the struggle and journey they must have to endure, with the loss of a loved one. The 18 recommendations that come out of this study, this government, this minister is following and is in the process of implementing that constructive input by experts in the field. It's critical that we have processes in place that people with mental illness are reoriented back into society in a very respectful and humane manner. The very tone and approach, sometimes, by the Third Party seems to imply that anyone that makes a mistake in society should be locked up in a jail.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, that's just not true. We feel just as much for the man who committed the crime, in this case, as well. I'm going to let the family speak with respect to the recommendations and the report that the minister has referenced. They say, ". . . the simplistic rejection of GPS tracking for surveillance of NCR offenders results in a Joint Review falling far short of this necessary and reasonable protection for the public." I'll table that.

This is about making sure no other family, the victims or the patients, has to endure such a tragedy. This is about keeping these patients safe, ensuring they remain in their treatment programs, and it is about protecting the very people we represent. Will the minister finally agree to open his mind and consider taking the necessary steps to protect all Nova Scotians?

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I share the Taavel family's concern for safety of all citizens. I believe, unequivocally, that we need processes and steps in place to protect our citizens and to ensure the protection of those who are incarcerated or those who are in forensic units. Therefore it has always been my position to allow experts to provide in-depth, constructive information, well researched and well founded. The study we had done, the review we had done, had 18 recommendations we are following. Let's implement those processes, our mind is fully open, and we will look at other ways should there be a need. However, we must be cognizant that we act in a very strategic, practical manner and in the best way for all citizens. Thank you.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - PARAMEDICS ACT:

PROCLAMATION - LACK EXPLAIN

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, seven years ago this Legislature passed Bill No. 158. The now Minister of Health and Wellness stated during debate of the bill in 2005, ". . . it's been a long time coming for this type of legislation to finally recognize a profession that is extremely important in the health care system in Nova Scotia." While the minster cannot defend the previous Progressive Conservative Government who did nothing on this bill, could the Minister of Health and Wellness tell us why, after three years in power, this NDP Government has also failed to proclaim the Paramedics Act?

[Page 3447]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member for this important question. No question, I have discussions on a regular basis with my former colleagues within the paramedicine field here in Nova Scotia. That is why we recognize the importance and continue to consult with them, to ensure we bring forward the recommendations and the legislation that was passed in 2007.

I stood in this House, from day one, acknowledging my support for the need for this piece of legislation. I've worked on this way before entering these halls and I can assure the member that I'll be doing my due diligence, as the Minister of Health and Wellness over the last five months, to move this issue forward.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, since the passage of the Paramedics Act in 2005, we have paramedics administering clot-busting medications to heart patients, and this is a good thing. We have paramedics expanding their scope of practice beyond the traditional ambulance setting, in nursing homes, in emergency departments, in Collaborative Emergency Centres, and this is a good thing. However, like every other health care profession in this province, paramedics deserve not only to be recognized but supported with a regulatory body that implements and maintains practice standards. As well, the public needs to be supportive of the process that ensures patient concerns can be heard. Being a paramedic himself, why hasn't the minister seen the Paramedics Act proclaimed - just proclaimed?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, no question, the reason I'm in the Legislature today is because of how paramedics were treated badly in the past. I want to ensure that all paramedics in Nova Scotia ensure that their best interests are at heart. I want to thank the former minister for all of the work she has done in health care to expand the utilization of paramedics. The key in Nova Scotia and in health care is to ensure that we utilize our health care providers to the best scope of their practice. Paramedics, I'm glad to say, have been instrumental in changing the model of care here in Nova Scotia, and as I said to the member opposite in my first answer, he can rest assured that as a former paramedic I'll continue to work extremely hard to move this file forward.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, here we are seven and a half years later, and we are still waiting to proclaim a bill that all Parties agreed was a good piece of legislation - a piece of legislation that the Progressive Conservatives said in 2005 would take up to six months to proclaim. We need to respect the profession of paramedicine. We need to recognize and celebrate the fact that paramedics are doing more and more in our health care system. Finally, when will the Minister of Health and Wellness see fit to proclaim the Paramedics Act?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, no question, in the last five and a half months as the new Minister of Health and Wellness, I'm very proud to be a paramedic and to be in the position that I am in today. I know there have been delays for many years. The member can just turn behind him and ask the former Minister of Health why there were delays. He can turn to the member over here, who is a former Minister of Health. So as the Minister of Health and Wellness and as a proud paramedic, I will take care of the paramedics of this province - something the two of you never did.

[Page 3448]

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

TIR - RTE. 4 (C.B.): IMPROVEMENT - STATUS

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, to his credit, the former Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect, announced a 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan during his time as minister. One of the major elements of that plan for the residents of Richmond County and throughout Cape Breton was the reconstruction of Route 4 from the Cape Breton County line to the community of St. Peter's.

Last year I stood in my place - last Fall, in fact - to raise concerns over the fact that the tender for last year was quite late being issued and paving was actually taking place while snow was flying. This year, for 2012-13, the government's 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan states that on Trunk 4, from 0.2 kilometres west of Campbell's Bridge westerly to 0.2 kilometres west of MacNab's Bridge, 6.1 kilometres were to be completed.

I'm wondering if the current Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal could advise us on its status and whether that project has been completed.

HON. MAURICE SMITH » : Mr. Speaker, I'm very mindful of the member opposite's comments last year, last time he raised this issue in the House. He complained that the tendering was late and as a result the paving was late. This year, when we looked at that project, the initial estimates came in and they were quite high for the piece that he's talking about, so we went back and had that looked at again in terms of redesign. That delayed the work going forward this year, but we wanted to do it right and we wanted to do it on budget.

What we did is we did the redesign, and that would have meant if we had put the tenders out for it this year that he would have had the same complaint again this year. He didn't want us paving late, so we've decided not to do that this year. We're going to pave that next year, and between now and then the plan is to do the sort of preliminary work, the ditching and the culverts and that kind of work. I can assure the member that the tender will go out this Fall and early in the Spring, so that it complies with his request, we're not paving late in the season. Thank you.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, one thing I can say is that the former Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal never stood in his place, as minister, to blame me or any members of the Opposition for issues within his own Party. (Applause)

[Page 3449]

Mr. Speaker, obviously this is a very important route between Richmond County and Cape Breton County and one that we expect to see a tender come out. The tender is yet to be issued, we certainly hope to see . . .

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. CORBETT « » : In the east gallery is a friend of many in this House that they would know and some other very fine people who I would like to introduce. The first person I'd like to introduce is the president of Music Nova Scotia, Brian Doherty; a good friend of mine from Milwaukee, the founder of Milwaukee Irish Fest, Ed Ward; Patrick Boyle, the director of Milwaukee Irish Fest; and Nan Krushinski, who is director of the Pittsburgh Irish Fest. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, they're in this lovely province to help celebrate Music Week that will be taking place in Liverpool. I hope they'll be much better entertained in Liverpool than they were during Question Period here today. A warm welcome, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 97.

Bill No. 97 - Fairer Power Rates Act.

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

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I rise today to talk on Bill No. 97, the Fairer Power Rates Act, a bill that really doesn't do much for Nova Scotians, it doesn't go far enough to make a difference. If we are, as a province, truly serious about doing something for the ratepayers of Nova Scotia and the power that is produced here, what we need to be looking at is using our own resources.

[Page 3450]

In a report called Seizing the Opportunity, Volume 2, from Nova Scotia's Energy Strategy, it talks about things that can be done to make life better for Nova Scotians. On Page 3, and I'm going to read from this and then I'll table it, Mr. Speaker, it says, "Coal will continue to be a primary fuel source for North America and Nova Scotia in the foreseeable future. The current coal-fired thermal plants in Nova Scotia have a remaining economic life of between 5 and 20 years . . ."

It goes on to say, Mr. Speaker, "Nova Scotia still has significant reserves of coal in the ground. Coal mining, when done in an environmentally responsible manner, can provide significant economic benefits to the province and to the communities near the resource."

Mr. Speaker, the very fact that Nova Scotia Power and the Department of Energy say that coal needs to be used in years to come begs the question as to why we are not looking at using Nova Scotia resources. If we have a product here that can be used, be it coal or natural gas, why are we not using that instead of going outside the province? Why aren't we saying to the people who produce power in the Province of Nova Scotia that, indeed, it is important to use Nova Scotia resources? And one would ask, well, what's the benefit of that?

Well, there are a number of benefits, Mr. Speaker. It would put Nova Scotians to work. And I think that is a goal that we all have - we want to see Nova Scotians actually working. We wouldn't have to pay a wage subsidy, because these people are Nova Scotians and they want to go back to work. We would then see higher taxes being paid to the municipalities, and there would be a benefit for that and, of course, Nova Scotia would see a higher income tax being paid by the people who are now gainfully employed.

Then again, on top of all that, Madam Speaker, we would see small businesses thriving in their communities and adding to the economy. So we have a resource in coal. The Department of Energy says that we're going to need it for the next number of years and they say coal can be mined in a safe manner and it will have an economic impact on Nova Scotia.

So I think instead of us looking at pieces of legislation that are talking about putting a cap on this and saying you can't do that, we should be really considering why is it that we're not using the natural resources that we have. Gas would be another example. I've talked to a number of people who talked about the use of natural gas for heating their homes, and people will tell you in different jurisdictions that use natural gas that indeed the savings are quite substantial. And we have natural gas here in the Province of Nova Scotia, and a lot of times we're shipping it through communities to send it off to different areas. Well, why aren't we using it here? Why aren't we using our resources to benefit our people?

[Page 3451]

I think that's a fair question; I don't think it's an unrealistic question. I think it's a question that begs to be answered by the government, by the Department of Energy, and Nova Scotia Power. You have the resources here. You say that one of the challenges for the Department of Energy and for Nova Scotia Power is the high cost of imported coal. Has anybody sat down and actually talked about the coal that could be derived here in Nova Scotia? We've heard about the success story of gas that has been taken into the Town of Oxford, so that, indeed, Oxford Foods can use it in their plants, and now natural gas is being offered to the homeowners there and their savings could be quite substantial.

So, Madam Speaker, when we look at this bill it might be a start, but it's a poor start at the very best. What we should be doing as Nova Scotians is making sure we're utilizing our own natural resources and in that way making sure that this province not only gets cheaper, dependable electricity, but also that the people of this province are the ones who benefit from the activity of producing electricity. Thank you. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Richmond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise to say a few words on Bill No. 97 - I won't repeat the title of the bill because it's so misleading that I wouldn't want anyone to actually be of the belief that this somehow is going to reduce their power rates, because it clearly will not.

Madam Speaker, the issue of power rates in Nova Scotia is becoming almost all-consuming for many Nova Scotians, as it is one issue which touches pretty much every single Nova Scotian and has an impact on households throughout our entire province, and on businesses as well. We've seen power rates increase year after year and there really is no end in sight. Nova Scotians are looking for who is going to show leadership on this issue and is going to tackle this and try to find solutions for the people of Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank our Leader, the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition, for having caused a discussion amongst Nova Scotians regarding Nova Scotia Power - not simply a discussion, but possible solutions.

Now, when you have an issue such as Nova Scotia Power and the impact that it's having on Nova Scotians, you would expect a responsible government would say we agree, there is a problem here, what are some of the solutions? I think the government should be willing to acknowledge, along with the Minister of Energy, that maybe they don't have all the answers; maybe there are other solutions out there that should be explored. That is what a responsible government would do. It would encourage debate. It would encourage ideas and encourage ways of trying to address the skyrocketing price of electricity, here in this province. Rather than simply criticizing the current government for what they are doing, on behalf of the Liberal caucus, our Leader put forward suggestions.

[Page 3452]

Now one would expect a responsible government would say, look we are prepared to sit down and hear your suggestions, examine them, and see if they are appropriate for Nova Scotians or not. And what has been the answer from the government? Deregulation, they are going to increase power rates by 30 or 50 per cent - that's their answer. Madam Speaker, that is not the answer of a responsible government that is looking to find solutions for Nova Scotians, that is looking for a better deal for Nova Scotia families. It is fear mongering. It is somehow trying to tell Nova Scotians to be afraid of change, let's stick with the status quo, but Nova Scotians are not buying it because they realize the status quo is not working. What the government has done to date is simply not working for Nova Scotians and they are not buying into the hysteria that is trying to be created by the government and unfortunately being repeated by members of the Progressive Conservative caucus as well.

Exactly what is it that we suggested? Well first let's start with the reality that we know. Under 10 years of Progressive Conservative rule, power rates continue to increase in this province. So when the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party says that he wants stability, if it's the stability he's referring to while he was chief of staff to the former Premier, when power rates were continuing to increase, I'm not sure Nova Scotians are interested in that stability. Under this current administration, in a mere three years, power rates have increased by 25 per cent. Madam Speaker, that is a rate that is unsustainable in Nova Scotia and clearly has to be reined in.

What exactly have we said? We said that we want to see fairness to electricity prices and we've presented five possible solutions for Nova Scotians to consider. First we've said break Nova Scotia Power's monopoly and allow renewable energy producers to sell directly to you, the consumer. Madam Speaker, I'm not sure if you were there at the time, 2005, but there was a report that was made from the previous Progressive Conservative Government that suggested the exact same thing. It was a report that came - I believe it was a professor from Dalhousie University, Bob Fournier, who wrote the Electricity Marketplace Governance Report, and he made that recommendation.

The previous government was convinced by Nova Scotia Power not to move forward on it, and somehow this government has been convinced by Nova Scotia Power not to move forward on it, but I think Nova Scotians want to see whether that is viable, whether it can be done, and they want to have that discussion take place and we certainly recommend that.

We've also indicated that we don't believe that Nova Scotians, the ratepayers, should have to pay for bonuses at Nova Scotia Power. Madam Speaker, when you have a monopoly that has the URB that sets the rate and a guarantee rate of return, where rates are increasing almost every year, and you want to reward your executive with bonus by the ratepayers? Where have the ratepayers benefited under that scenario? Finally the government has heard the concerns raised by our caucus and is looking to put an end to that.

[Page 3453]

We've also indicated that there needs to be a review of the rate of return. We've seen the Premier in this House defend the rate of return given to Nova Scotia Power saying he thought it was more than reasonable. I don't think many Nova Scotians consider it to be reasonable at all. While Nova Scotians have seen their pensions, while their investments take significant hits on the market, they continue to see Nova Scotia Power enjoy that guarantee rate of return, which is over 9 per cent.

As well, we have asked for a value-for-money audit. Now, Madam Speaker, I was here in the House, you were here in the House, to hear the Premier dismiss that notion, the Minister of Energy dismiss that notion. They said it was ridiculous for the Liberals to suggest, that that was already being done, there is no need to do it again, yet here in the bill that they've proposed, they've changed the language, but basically, in essence, it's the exact same thing, and a responsible government would stand up and say look it was a good idea, and we've adopted it. Yet instead they've done it on so many other bills - I still remember the bicycle lane legislation that our member for Dartmouth East brought in and they turned around and brought theirs in the next day and said, this is our idea.

Regardless, the last one of our recommendations that we've made is regarding the fee for Efficiency Nova Scotia. Currently, under this government the decision was made that that should be paid by all the ratepayers of Nova Scotia, but now we're hearing of some exceptions. So when they get their power bill, at a time when power rates are at an all-time high here in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotians are seeing a new fee on their bills that they didn't see before this government. We've called it the NDP tax, which is the appropriate way of describing it. It is a tax imposed by the NDP.

We've suggested that there's a different way of doing this. We've suggested that Efficiency Nova Scotia should be continued as it is structured but the funding for it should come from Nova Scotia Power shareholders and not from ratepayers. Again, Madam Speaker, a responsible government would say, let's have a discussion about that. It was amusing but sad at the same time when my colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park was speaking on this and made that suggestion, and I heard the Minister of Community Services and other ministers say what a ridiculous idea it was to suggest that Nova Scotia Power should pay for Efficiency Nova Scotia, not ratepayers.

Members of the NDP caucus thought that was ridiculous. How could anyone ever suggest that? I wanted to point to a letter, which I know - and I certainly want to recognize my colleague, the member for Dartmouth East for the leadership he has shown on behalf of our caucus on this file, his work through the rate hearings, his knowledge of the URB, and the process that is gone through at the rate hearings. It's amazing the amount of personal dedication that he has given to this file, his level of interest and his desire to want to bring forward ideas to help Nova Scotians. I know he has raised this on numerous occasions, as has our Leader.

[Page 3454]

I've made extra copies here, because something tells me that members of the government haven't seen this letter. For those who haven't seen it, I'm happy to give them copies here in case they haven't seen it.

What I want to refer to briefly in my remarks is a letter I have here dated June 3, 2009. It is on letterhead here, Madam Speaker, that says, "for today's families," with the NDP logo on it. It is addressed to the Chair of the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. June 3, 2009 - now, why is that a relevant date? Because June 9, 2009, is when the NDP were elected as government in Nova Scotia, so this is a mere six days before their election.

So you ask, how relevant is this letter, and who wrote this letter? (Interruption) I have copies here for the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour. I already said there are copies here. By all means, don't wait for tabling, come get your copy now. In fact, here - bring him a personal copy. Oh yes, just for the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour, bring him a copy. If any of the others chirp over there, come get a copy for them as well so they can see it.

Who is this signed by, and why is this relevant? Well, it's signed by Dan O'Connor. I think that's his name during the daytime; I'm not sure if that's his name all the time, but that's the name that he uses in this letter, at least. It says he's the chief of staff to Darrell Dexter - that's what the letter says, but it's obviously the Premier now - at the time, the Leader of the NDP.

Why is this letter relevant? Why should Nova Scotians care what Dan O'Connor wrote on June 3, 2009? So he writes to the members of the board, and he says, "I am making this representation on behalf of the New Democratic Party, due to the fact that Party Officers are engaged with the current election campaign." So one has to assume - he's the chief of staff and he's saying in the letter that he speaks on behalf of the Party, so one would have to think this is Party policy six days before an election campaign.

Let me jump to the fourth paragraph where it says, "The NDP is of the view that the 'DSM Cost Allocation Approach Agreement' dated April 6, 2009, however, places the burden of DSM-related improvements too heavily on residential users and other rate classes. Distribution of the costs across the rate classes should not be the focus of this hearing, or of the utility's efforts. It should, rather, be based on the notion that the utility will bear the costs for making DSM-related investments in order to stabilize its long-term position in the market and access to power for consumers of all classes." An interesting statement.

Let me read on - and here's the justification for why he believes at the time, and the NDP is supposed to believe, that Nova Scotia Power should pay these costs. He said, "The utility will reap the direct benefits of effective DSM initiatives, in terms of lower input costs, and greater overall reliability of supply. DSM improvements that assist with considerable cost-avoidance (e.g. new generation capacity), or increased cost predictability, will no doubt provide for longer-term profitability for the utility that is proportional [sic] the projected $23 million investment in the short-term." Madam Speaker, he's actually suggesting that Nova Scotia Power would benefit from the Efficiency Nova Scotia programs, and that this would come as a financial benefit to them.

[Page 3455]

He goes on further, "Given that NSPI has indicated it will not apply for increased rates this year, and consumers are breathing a welcome sigh of relief . . ." - and it has been a while since they've been able to breathe that - ". . . to place this surcharge on their power bills at this juncture would add unneeded and counter-productive costs to residential and business users."

Six days before the election, that was the position of the NDP. To hear the Minister of Community Services say it's ridiculous that the Liberals or the member for Halifax Clayton Park would suggest that Nova Scotia Power shareholders should be paying for Efficiency Nova Scotia is just unbelievable. I don't think she's seen the letter, and I have copies here in case she wants a copy for herself. Somehow they've forgotten about this.

Yet at no point in this House have any of them explained to us why it would be a bad thing to ask Nova Scotia Power to pay these costs. One of the arguments I've heard - not from the government, from others - is, what would stop Nova Scotia Power from turning around and saying, when they go to make their rate application, here, we're going to include the extra costs of paying for Efficiency Nova Scotia on our rate claim? There is a solution to that, and our Leader has offered a solution. This House could legislate that Nova Scotia Power cannot include the cost of funding Efficiency Nova Scotia as part of its rate application. There's the solution.

How do the NDP react to this positive suggestion from the Official Opposition? They say the Leader of the Opposition wants to get rid of Efficiency Nova Scotia, that's what he wants to do. At no point have we ever suggested getting rid of Efficiency Nova Scotia. We believe it should remain independent, as it is. What we fundamentally disagree with is that Nova Scotians who have a hard time making ends meet right now and are having a hard time paying for their bills have to pay for Efficiency Nova Scotia. (Applause) Especially in light of the fact that it's Dan O'Connor's belief that Efficiency Nova Scotia provides a financial benefit to Nova Scotia Power. (Interruptions) I already mentioned that he has different aliases.

On this alias that he goes with, he clearly makes that argument on behalf of the NDP. No one has stood in this place to say he was wrong. No one has stood in their place to say Dan O'Connor's been fired because he was so wrong in what he said, he misrepresented the values of the NDP, what he said wasn't part of "for today's families." My understanding is that he's still the chief of staff. So Nova Scotians are confused as to why, at a time when they're looking for leadership, the government, rather than actually saying let's have a discussion, says let's attack the Opposition instead - because they know they can't defend their record. Under this administration Nova Scotia Power rates have gone up by 25 per cent.

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I'm not going to be that much longer. As you can probably see, I have quite a volume of documents here that I could go through. I'm not going to go through all of those, but I'm always happy to help government members who are not clear on some of the comments I'm making. Earlier the Leader of the Official Opposition, in asking a question about the SAP program and sending that out to IBM, quoted the Premier from prior to when he became Premier saying how any such decisions should take public consultation before being done. When the question was put the government forgot about that and there was no interest in any sort of discussion on that decision.

There are quotes and quotes that I could go through, and I'm just going to share one. Ironically, the individual who made this quote now sits in a fairly senior position. If anyone wants to fully understand what the impact is of increased power rates in this province, and the impact that continual increases are having, one simply has to look at just but one excerpt that I will use from November 7, 2006, and it was the member for Halifax Needham who now, ironically, is the Minister of Finance.

On Page 1285 of Hansard, she said, "Mr. Speaker, you know, this is not only a problem for people who are in receipt of income support. This is a problem for people who are working. This is a problem for people who live on fixed incomes. This is a problem for seniors in our communities who have other demands on their incomes, often a growing demand to purchase health care services and pay premiums on their drug plans, and co-pays for prescriptions. Quite often, that's the choice that all too many people are facing - will I be able to pay for my power, my electricity? Will I be able to pay for my car insurance? Will I be able to pay for my drugs? So we do need to ask ourselves, to what extent does this bill address the serious, serious problem of affordable energy for people?"

Madam Speaker, the member for Halifax Needham was right on November 7, 2006, when she said how does this bill address the serious problem of affordable energy for people, and she would be right if she stood in her place again when it comes to Bill No. 97 because how does this bill address the serious problem of affordable energy for the people of Nova Scotia? Merci. (Applause)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : If I could ask the member perhaps to table the letter that he referenced. You did not table it, so thank you.

If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

[Page 3457]

HON. CHARLIE PARKER « » : Madam Speaker, I want to thank all the honourable members for their interventions and support, suggestions and ideas, here on Bill No. 97 - an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Public Utilities Act, to Ensure Fairer Power Rates.

You know, I've heard some good suggestions and some that I guess we agree on, and some others that perhaps we don't agree on, but we all agree though that power rates are an issue in this province and that it's important that we find a way to ease the burden on Nova Scotians. We all have had constituents come into our office and say that they're having troubles making ends meet and part of that - it could be rent, it could be food, it could be other issues, but sometimes it's power bills. We, as MLAs, try to find a solution that will make it more fair and make it easier for that family to pay their bills.

So this bill is outlining a number of suggestions on how to make life easier for Nova Scotians, and that includes - I guess there seems to be general agreement around the idea of doing away with bonuses or incentives to Nova Scotia Power executives. I know I was on the doorsteps in Pictou a few weeks ago and it came up several times that people didn't think it was fair that they had to pay for executive bonuses or executive incentives. I agree with that; I don't think it is fair, and so that's why we've introduced this bill here today to make it more fair for Nova Scotians.

Then, also on executive salaries, some of them have gone up $300,000, $400,000, even over $1 million, so we're suggesting there should be a cap on that. And what should that cap be? It should be at the rate that's equivalent to the average salary of a deputy minister in this province and that's somewhere around - well, I guess deputy ministers earn anywhere from $138,000 to about $191,000, but the average is somewhere around $173,000. So we think that's fair, and if they want to pay their executives more money then that's their choice to do that, but that would have to come from the shareholders and not from the ratepayers. So we think that also is fair.

We're also looking at a review or a savings review process, you know, just to make it between rate hearings, that there would be a way that a savings could be identified to find more dollars that could make more efficiencies in the system and allow it to, in those years when there's not a rate hearing, that we could make that a system that would be automatic, that the URB could then go and look for additional savings, whether it's in maintenance, or operation, or capital improvements, or on salaries that are paid to the people who work for the corporation.

Of course multiple rate hearings is the other one - that at least every two years, three, it could be any length of time, but at least two years for a review of a rate hearing. So I think it's a good bill and again I thank the members who have spoken and have given their input on this. I now look forward to seeing it move along to the Law Amendments Committee. Again, I move second reading of Bill No. 97. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

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MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 97. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 102.

Bill No. 102 - Education Act.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm pleased to move that Bill No. 102 be heard a second time and to stand on behalf of the Minister of Education. I am pleased to rise to speak to this bill called an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96, the Education Act.

Madam Speaker, we know that bullying, in all of its forms, is a heartbreaking and complex problem with no easy answers. Students at Sycamore Lane Elementary School, in Lower Sackville, told the minister that experiencing bullying makes them feel vulnerable and alone. The stories of these students show that bullying has a real impact in our classrooms. They told the minister that when they are bullied, they can't concentrate and don't even want to come to school. They also shared the fact that having an opportunity, through restorative approaches, to talk through their problems, in an open and supportive way at school, gives them the confidence to excel.

Madam Speaker, the message of these students is clear. Support in schools is critical if we're going to make a difference for students dealing with incidents of severely disruptive behaviour, including bullying and cyberbullying. The proposed amendments in this bill help to formalize that support. These changes will ensure that all staff working in schools have a clear understanding of their responsibilities when dealing with bullying and cyberbullying.

The proposed amendments clarify, update and define the role of all school staff in reporting incidents of severely disruptive behaviour and the role of principals in dealing with it. To be specific, Madam Speaker, these amendments create an obligation for all school staff - such as teaching assistants, custodians or bus drivers - to report all incidents of severely disruptive behaviour. I know all employees who work in our schools and with our students want our children to be safe. I think members are aware that I was a teacher for 15 years - not that my experience in the classroom makes me believe this - but like I think all members here, anybody who is a parent, has had their children in the system, would certainly like to know that they are safe in school every day.

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Madam Speaker, these changes formally recognize something that is largely already happening in practice. It's important to formally acknowledge the role of all school staff such as teaching assistants, custodians or bus drivers, in addressing all forms of severely disruptive behavior, including bullying and cyberbullying. Teachers are already required to report instances of severely disruptive behaviour in our Education Act, but these proposed amendments will update the terminology used to describe a teacher's responsibility with respect to student behaviour and consequences to reflect the terminology already used in other sections of the Act as well as the regulations and the school code of conduct. Description of this type of behaviour will change from persistently defiant, or disobedient, to severely disruptive.

Madam Speaker, the minister had heard from students at Halifax West High School that when teachers and principals are positive and supportive when students report an incident of bullying or cyberbullying, it makes all the difference in helping them feel safe and secure in their classroom and at school. I know teachers, principals, and indeed all school staff members have a strong influence in the culture of a school community and their support can bring about change.

Madam Speaker, this bill also clarifies the principal's duty to investigate and respond to reports of severely disruptive behaviour. This response will be constant with the list of possible interventions that are clearly defined in the Provincial Code of Conduct and used in schools across the province. It also provides clear parameters for the principal's duty to notify parents or guardians. This notification will take place for the parents of all students involved in an incident of severely disrupted behaviour, if the principal believes the well-being of students has been endangered.

This bill recognizes that all school staff are working together to promote a safe and positive learning environment by consistently reporting and responding to instances of severely disrupted behaviour such as bullying and cyberbullying. We will ensure these staff members have the appropriate training needed to implement this change. The provisions in the Act that require reporting of all school staff and response by the principal are subject to proclamation.

Madam Speaker, I want to clarify what this means. The Department of Education will establish a plan for training, by the end of November, and ensure all school boards, unions and staff groups involved are aware of these proposed changes to the Education Act, what it means for them, and how school boards and the department will work together to provide training. The proclamation of the Act will happen early in the new year, after the training plan has been implemented. In this way, we will ensure we've got the training in place before the new statutory requirements are effective.

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These proposed amendments are in response to recommendations from the provincial task force and built on previous amendments to the Education Act the minister introduced in the Spring session, which promoted respectful and responsible relationships. The previous legislated changes laid the framework of the adoption of a constant definition of bullying and cyberbullying and we are working now to implement this in regulation. Also in the Spring, in my responsibility as the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, I made amendments to the Consumer Protection Act to require cellphone suppliers to provide each customer, at no additional cost to the customer, educational materials about responsible cellular telephone use including cyberbullying when a contact is made. Together these legislative amendments provide an even stronger foundation for developing the province's action plan.

We are taking a measured, comprehensive approach to dealing with a complex problem. We are developing a provincial action plan to address this serious issue and promote safe, positive learning environments in our schools. As we move forward, Madam Speaker, our focus will be on providing supports for youth to make positive choices in any situation and help them understand the impact of their behaviour on others, as they navigate this ever changing world.

Madam Speaker, I also want to stress that legislation is just one step in the province's action plan to fight bullying and cyberbullying. There are societal issues and if we are going to address the root cause, a community response is needed. As part of our action plan, the province is working on several fronts with students and partners to fight bullying and cyberbullying in school and I'm pleased to share the highlights of some of this work with the House. Kathleen Richard is working as our new anti-bullying coordinator, exploring evidence-based programs for delivery in schools and developing an anti-bullying Web site.

The Web site will offer the opportunity to disseminate information, share resources, and provide on-line learning tools for youth, parents, and school staff. Kathleen will be instrumental in organizing and building a working group to coordinate the government response to all aspects of this issue. This group will include expert perspectives from Community Services, Justice, and Health and Wellness.

She's also working with the Nova Scotia Youth Advisory Council to secure a youth voice and input in governmental policies. This is only one way that we are involving youth in our work, because their voice is the most valuable voice in our efforts to combat bullying and cyberbullying. They know. They live this reality, and it's extremely important that we work with their ideas as we move forward with our action plan. We're also working directly with a group of students from Bayview Community School in Mahone Bay to develop a public awareness campaign based on their theme "People, Not Profiles". These students were here in the Legislature on October 29th when the minister tabled the bill. The vision of this enthusiastic group certainly shows that students know what bullying looks like and how it affects people in the schoolyard, in the community, or on-line. They have great ideas on how to make a difference.

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We're listening and incorporating the ideas of students directly in our action plan. We've also enhanced the behaviour incident tracking form and it is now available across the province through PowerSchool. This will help to streamline the reporting process and provide better data to help us understand what is really happening with severely disruptive behaviours in our schools, but most importantly, better data will help our anti-bullying coordinator determine programming needs. It will also assist principals and teachers in identifying the roots of this issue in their schools and allow targeted responses to limit opportunities for students to engage in bullying and cyberbullying. SchoolsPlus is now supporting children, youth, and families in every region in our province, and young people across Nova Scotia, like those that the minister had mentioned in Sycamore Lane, are learning new ways to manage relationships and conflict through restorative approaches.

Kids and Learning First, the province's plan to help every child succeed, commits to fight against cyberbullying. That's exactly what we are doing. I'm proud of the work underway to fight bullying and cyberbullying and of the proposed amendments to this bill. As we move forward with the provincial action plan, we will continue to take a collaborative approach, working with students, their families, schools, and partners to make real change. I look forward to having these amendments in place to help provide further framework to support the province's action plan and continued efforts to address the problem of bullying and cyberbullying in our schools. Thank you.

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

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Madam Speaker, I would like to say thank you to the member opposite who spoke on behalf of the minister. The member is someone that I know to be a true educator, who cares about kids. So I appreciate those comments coming from you.

I want to speak to Bill No. 102. When you look at the whole issue of bullying and cyberbullying in our schools and in our society, it appears that the minister and the government don't understand the seriousness of the issue. The reason I say that is because the amount of time that has elapsed without any concrete steps to curb that behaviour is alarming, and it's sad, Madam Speaker.

If you look at Bill No. 102, which is the one we're talking about today, the bill still continues to refer to "severely disruptive behaviour," and the member spoke about severely disruptive behaviour. The language is misleading, because any educator will tell you that severely disruptive behaviour is not always an example of bullying or cyberbullying. We know that we have reported to us by principals that 95 per cent of the incidents in their schools are difficult to identify. They're not obvious. Using the Internet and other social media to harass or bully someone is often a very quiet, discreet, silent kind of behaviour. To suggest that it is severely disruptive is misleading. It is misleading to those kinds of behaviours that are cyberbullying, but it is also a bit disrespectful to those children in our system who do exhibit severely disruptive behaviour – not by choice. In many cases, they have some form of behaviour issues that they can't control.

[Page 3462]

To suggest that they could change that, that this legislation will help change that, is quite disrespectful. They don't want to be severely disruptive. Their parents don't want them to be severely disruptive, but it's a condition that they cannot control. To suggest that the silent, discreet kind of on-line bullying and harassment is the same as the severely disruptive behaviour, behaviour perhaps from an autistic child, is quite misleading.

We had asked earlier that that language be changed to better reflect what we're really talking about and unfortunately Bill No. 102 does not do that. When you look at the clauses in Bill No. 102, there are five clauses and three of them - typical of this minister and this kind of legislation - are language terminology changes. Only two of them speak to bullying and cyberbullying and they refer to actions that are already included in the Education Act.

The responsibility of principals to respond, investigate - that's a responsibility that all teachers have in the bill. To suggest that principals don't report this kind of behaviour is suggesting that we don't have much faith in our principals and our school administrators, if they don't follow up on and report. Those two clauses are really, in my opinion, redundant, because those are already responsibilities that are outlined in the Education Act.

So, five clauses, three terminology, two irrelevant to anything that might change behaviour, suggests to me and to others that this piece of legislation will not make one bit of difference in addressing the issue of cyberbullying in our schools.

We saw this in the Spring. We saw a piece of legislation, Bill No. 30, that came through, again, the same approach to a very serious issue. We had – and I commend the government for calling for a task force and that call was made in February of last year, 2011. Some very dedicated, committed and expert people in their field came together. They worked for nine months and they were dedicated to the mandate that they had been given. They each brought their own perspective to that task force committee. After nine months they presented the minister with their report.

That report contained 85 recommendations. As a result of that report, that's when we saw the first piece of legislation, which really did not address anything that the task force had been recommending except to hire an anti-bullying coordinator. The minister came out quickly and said, no, we wouldn't be accepting that. Then, after pressure from parents and media and others, the minister changed her mind, I guess, and said, we will find one, we won't hire anybody new, we will find one. It took until this Fall for that person to be identified and to start doing what an anti-bullying coordinator might be supposed to do.

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When I talk about the delays and the lags in time in getting anything that's going to be addressing the real problem - we started in February 2011 and it's now November 2012. The Law Amendments Committee was a wonderful opportunity for people to come before the committee to express their concerns about the lack of anything in the legislation that would change behaviour. They came before the Law Amendments Committee in a non-partisan way. They came as experts in their own field, or as somebody who had experienced the loss of a child as a result of cyberbullying. They pleaded with the Law Amendments Committee to include some amendments that would put some teeth into that legislation.

Wayne MacKay chaired the task force committee - a very well-recognized, credible, strong person in education and law. He asked the committee to please consider amendments that would strengthen the bill.

One of the other members of the task force who brought another perspective, from the police service perspective, came and spoke to the Law Amendments Committee about the lack of teeth in the legislation that was being introduced and the need to have the amendments accepted.

Thirdly, Pam Murchison, Jenna's mother, came and spoke as somebody who had experienced a loss as a result of cyberbullying that she wanted to make sure would not happen to any other child. She pleaded with the committee to accept the amendments.

No, those amendments were not accepted, and now they see another piece of legislation which does nothing. Madam Speaker, I think we know the issue. We know it exists, we know it's growing, we know it's a social issue, we know it's played out a lot in our schools, and we know that schools have a responsibility - not the only responsibility, but they do have a responsibility. It's parents and teachers and the whole community - law enforcement, everyone has a role to play. What we wanted to see in the legislation, and what we failed to see in the legislation, is anything that would give any one of those groups of people the teeth to make a change in individual behaviours.

If you want to bring about change, you have to clearly identify the behaviours that are unacceptable and you have to communicate that. People need to know whether their behaviour is acceptable or not. Some people can't make that judgment call. Secondly, there need to be some consequences that are clearly identified and you match them up - inappropriate behaviour, here's the consequence; communicate that. That seems like a very simple and not costly action that could have been included in this legislation, but it's not.

You also have the role, as I've mentioned earlier, about the law enforcement officers who are dealing with this in their capacity. They have asked, and our amendments asked, that the Minister of Justice begin immediately have some dialogue with his federal counterparts regarding the Criminal Code. All it was asking was that that dialogue begin, because the police services in this province have identified that nothing in the Criminal Code speaks to this the way it should. All I was asking - wouldn't cost any money, not millions of dollars that we're throwing around this province, but something that wouldn't cost one red cent, but it would begin a dialogue that could bring about some change – not included, dismissed, amendments were not accepted.

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Another amendment that we believe, the people who came before the Law Amendments Committee believe, the people who came together with that task force report believe, was that principals, once they have investigated, once they believe that someone's activities have been inappropriate and inappropriately using some bit of technology, that they have a responsibility to inform the service provider that someone is misusing the account that they have set up. All they have to do is report it. They don't have any responsibility or authority to do anything about that account, but they do have a responsibility to make sure that the service provider is aware of somebody misusing the account that they have set up. It wouldn't cost one red cent.

But no, the Law Amendments Committee, dominated by the members of the government, said no. So we had people like Wayne MacKay and Pam Murchison and others walk away in absolute disgust, and I mean disgust. Madam Speaker, I will table these documents, but I want to conclude by sharing some of the comments that have been made, some of the frustration and anger and disappointment that people have with the lack of legislation that will address a very serious problem. We have, for example, Pam, whose daughter Jenna took her life. Her comment was that she was not satisfied with the province's response. Dr. Wayne MacKay was critical of the government's steps. He said, like Murchison, he doesn't believe data collection is the answer.

Now Pam also goes on to say there need to be consequences for their actions. Those are pretty strong statements. Those were statements that were made when those people realized that the opportunity that this government had, they failed miserably to take advantage of that opportunity.

You also have, in a CBC interview, Wayne MacKay saying cyberbullying should be made a crime. That was one of the recommendations; that was his thought. It's not for me or you to decide, or any member of this House to decide what is a crime, but it is our responsibility to ensure that the dialogue begins with the people responsible for the criminal code to make that decision and to have that discussion.

I will go on. We had the minister herself who said more study is needed before the government comes out with any specific measures. Well how many years does this minister need, and how much more recommendation does she need from experts, to come out and take some action? Wayne MacKay again, the legislation lacked concrete steps after nearly a year and a half of study.

The members of that task force committee felt very disrespected when they worked for nine months, came up with 85 recommendations, and it did not translate into anything that would make a difference. Even the executive director of Bullying Canada said he was not impressed with the government's approach.

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Then we can go on, and an article that was written in the Halifax ChronicleHerald, comments by Marilla Stephenson, and her comment is, "Can Jennex not simply acknowledge the problem is real and get on with doing something about it?" This is the level of dissatisfaction, disappointment that the community has with this particular minister, with this particular piece of legislation, and with this particular government, who is letting every kid in our school down by not giving those in charge some teeth to take some action and to make a difference.

Madam Speaker, I believe that every person in this House has a responsibility and I believe every person in this House should be big enough to put aside their Party politics and sit down together and look at what is in the best interest of kids. The Committee on Law Amendments is controlled by the government, yet they've failed to acknowledge and recognize anything that is not coming from them.

The community is dissatisfied, those on the task force committee are dissatisfied, and kids are crying out for help. The parents of the kids who are being bullied have decided that this government is doing nothing and they will take it into their own hands. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Madam Speaker, I stand today to speak to Bill No. 102, the Education Act. It's good to see the government is attempting to do something about bullying and cyberbullying in this province, but the effects and what they're trying to do - they're not going far enough. It's unfortunate, but incidents of bullying and cyberbullying seem to be on the rise in this province. Time is passing us by, and with each passing day and nothing being done, more tragedies are occurring. The results of this behaviour can be devastating to students, to family, to schools and the general population.

Anyone who has watched the heartbreaking video of Amanda Todd made before her death can see the toll that bullying and cyberbullying can take on our young people. Right here in Nova Scotia we have way too many tragedies because of bullying and cyberbullying. Parents, grandparents, teachers, and everyone else in this province know that bullying is a big problem - a problem that we can't ignore and a problem that can't be glossed over.

Bullying and cyberbullying are problems that need forceful and swift action; our children's lives depend on it. That's why this caucus introduced three pieces of legislation and three would-be bills last Spring, bills that would take swift and forceful action to reduce bullying and cyberbullying in our schools, legislation that provides real consequences for those who initiate bullying behaviour.

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We reached out to the two other caucuses in an attempt to build an all-Party approach to this huge problem; we reached out in a non-partisan way to make sure that we, as a Legislature, dealt with this serious problem, but that didn't work. We offered amendments to the government to their weak legislation, but that was ignored. Unfortunately, our efforts have been unsuccessful. So instead of taking a definite action to stop bullying and cyberbullying, this government pushed through their Promotion of Respectful and Responsible Relationships Act. I think the minister thought she could point to the passage of the bill as proof that she had done something about bullying in Nova Scotia.

What she had actually done was begin the process of counting the number of incidents of bullying in this province. Then the Minister of Education assured parents that an anti-bullying coordinator would be put in place by September, a position she said would come from within the system and not cost the system any more money. The school year came and began, and no coordinator was in place - kids were no safer than they were the year before.

It's not just the Opposition Parties who believe the minister's performance on this file has been disappointing. Wayne MacKay, the chairman of the minister's own Task Force on Cyberbullying, was a guest on CBC Cross Country Checkup a week or so ago. In his interview Professor MacKay said, "To be fairly brutally honest about this - break my heart might be a bit strong - but I'm a bit disappointed that the government has not reached out more forcefully and quickly, specifically, I guess, in Nova Scotia . . ." Professor MacKay said what parents and grandparents and teachers know. Government and others must move quickly to prevent more tragedies due to bullying.

Madam Speaker, a Cape Breton mother recently called my office to tell her story about bullying and her frustration that her daughter's school could not, or would not, do anything to stop it was eminent in her voice. She tried to work with the school, with the school board, and she even went as far as calling the anti-bullying coordinator. All of her efforts came to nothing. At every turn she was told there was nothing they could do, that the anti-bullying coordinator didn't deal directly with the incidents of the bullying behaviour.

Madam Speaker, this mother knows that this government hasn't done enough and she doesn't feel that her child was being protected. Just recently I heard another story of a lady, I think it was in the Truro area, who had to move her family out of that area because of the bullying incidents. That young girl would have to learn a new school, make new friends, and her education is being severely curtailed because of that. And here we are today, the minister introduces this bill in another attempt to be doing something. According to a press release from the minister, this bill is ". . . to help clarify, update and define the role of all school staff in reporting incidents of severely disruptive behaviour, and of principals in dealing with it." What do we get? More counting.

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Madam Speaker, the time for counting is over. It's time for forceful and swift action against bullying, and we don't think this bill does that. With this bill, the minister has blown another opportunity to protect our kids in our classrooms. We think it's a weak bill that doesn't go far enough or fast enough. It doesn't define in law what bullying is. It doesn't provide real and meaningful consequences for those who bully. The measures contained in this bill, and in many more, are already contained in our Progressive Conservative bills that are sitting on our order paper.

This is an occasion, Madam Speaker, where this caucus would welcome the government stealing our ideas. This issue is just too important to let it sit idly by. I urge the minister to carefully consider the Safer Schools Bill. It's a bill that defines bullying and compels the minister to put province-wide standards in place for bullying prevention, reporting and intervention. It requires the minister to consider appropriate disciplinary measures when bullying occurs and ensures school boards establish disciplinary policies for their own schools, consistent with the provincial standards, and report bullying on an annual basis.

Our cyberbullying intervention bill defines cyberbullying in law. It makes it an offence, provides for penalties, or in appropriate cases, for offenders to be redirected to alternative measures programs.

Madam Speaker, last year we tried to sit down with the opposite Party to see if we could even get them to negotiate some of our bills and some of our clauses in our bills so that we could deal with bullying now; so that we could start the school year and have something in place for our educators, for our school boards, for our parents and for our students; so that we could put an end to this situation, or at least curtail it and make sure that our kids were protected.

Our bill empowers judges to order restrictions on use of electronic devices, including confiscation if it's in the public's best interest to do so. We've heard that maybe it was someone else's device or someone else's computer or someone else's telephone, but this is a serious, serious problem. If someone allows them to use their telephone or their computer, than maybe these restrictions should be put in place on them.

Our bills are what swift and forceful action look like. We wanted to take this action to protect society and to protect our children from a situation in society that's been devastating to children, parents, teachers, and all others in society. That is what legislation is designed to do: provide meaningful protection for our children. That's what this minister should be doing. She should be taking swift action to make sure that bullying in our society stops. With those few words, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

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MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I rise in my place today to make a few comments about Bill No. 102. I am very much in favour of this bill. As the MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, where we have had several incidents of bullying and cyberbullying - very, very serious incidents where children have actually taken their own lives, who felt that there was no way out, who suffered from depression, and who, unfortunately, took the path of violence against themselves - I am very close to this issue. I do a lot of work on the ground about this issue with my community and with those directly involved.

I have to say that people in Truro-Bible Hill are thrilled by this bill. The people I have spoken to are thrilled. We all know that this is the beginning of many steps to come, but this is the first government in Nova Scotia that has actually addressed this issue and is actually doing something. In fact, this is our second bill when it comes to bullying, Mr. Speaker, and I think that the Opposition needs to remember that.

Just recently we held a vigil for Amanda Todd, the young girl who committed suicide in British Columbia. Her aunt Leana Todd is a good friend of mine. She lives in Truro and she invited me, as her MLA, to speak at the candlelight vigil and anti-bullying rally that we held in Truro a few weeks ago. I did so, and I brought greetings from the government, from the Minister of Education. I talked about this bill and many of the other things that this government is doing, including having the cyberbullying coordinator who has now been named by the province, who is going to be looking into this issue all the way along now and working with schools and educators.

I have to say, this is a very serious problem and it's not something you can legislate away. It seems to me that the Opposition Parties feel that we can just wave a magic wand and legislate a change in society that is going to automatically get rid of bullying once and for all. Well, I'm sorry, but bullying takes place in this very House. I've heard it with my own ears when people bully each other, where they call each other names. I'm sorry, but I don't think this is an acceptable practice. It doesn't send a good message to our young people. I think that young people today need to see adults acting responsibly and acting with respect to one another. (Applause)

You can't legislate that. That is something that society has to deal with and society has to decide, which is why our government keeps saying this is a community problem. We intend to work with community, with children, with parents, and with teachers, but you cannot legislate it away.

I want to read something which I will table, Mr. Speaker; it is by Heather Harris, the president of Peaceful Schools International. What she says is, "Keeping issues of building and maintaining positive relationships integrated into our curriculum yearlong." - very important. "Teaching, modeling and practicing strategies of resolving conflict, which includes the responsibilities of the by-stander, the victim and offender." - all very important. "This is truly a community concern that cannot be addressed by a few teachers. It will take long-term concerted effort by parents, teachers, students, and social media. We have been successful in establishing that bullying is not acceptable, but we need to bump it up to the next step and talk about the alternatives. There are many different ways to stand up to a bully other than proving that you're bigger or stronger." - a bully yourself. "We need to identify the many ways to stand up to a bully, find the ones that work best for individuals and practice them, talk about them, and stand up as a united team. We also need to realize that there is a function or reason that bullies offend and work to resolve those issues as well. Otherwise, they will just find other sources." Again, that is from Heather Harris, president of Peaceful Schools International.

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This is where I would also like to address the issue that if you scratch the surface of a bully, you are going to find somebody who has obviously been bullied or abused themselves. So as someone who is from a family of educators - one of my family members is a guidance counsellor - I know that they have to work with the bullies as well as the victims, and when you do scratch the surface of a bully, you can find a very sad, scared, frightened, angry little person in there, rather like some of the people probably in the House once in a while. We need to really address those issues of how they feel about themselves and make them feel better about themselves, so they don't have to take out their frustrations on others.

So, Mr. Speaker, with these few words I would like to close. I do want to say that there is a lot of support for Bill No. 102 out there in Nova Scotia, and I think Nova Scotians are pleased that their government is actually standing up, speaking about this problem and encouraging the discussion and encouraging reaching across to all divides, and let's come together to form a solution for the problem of bullying and cyberbullying in our society. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I do want to speak for a few moments to this bill, because the issue of bullying is so important in our society today; in fact, it may well be one of the biggest threats that our young people face.

Before I go any further though, Mr. Speaker, I do just want to say that I appreciate the remarks of the member opposite, the member for Truro-Bible Hill who just spoke, that we all have a duty to set a good example to show in the adult world that bullying is not tolerated in any of its forms or places. I know she raised, as an example, this very Chamber, this House of Assembly, that she sees the activities that go on here, particularly when things get heated, particularly during times like Question Period, and I agree that we need to renew our commitment on all sides of the House to use this Chamber as an example of how adult debate and disagreement can be conducted, and how we can all strive to make better decisions for our province in a respectful and proper manner, and I appreciate that she raised that.

I will say, Mr. Speaker, as the father of two young daughters myself, who watches them as they go off to school every day and come home in the evening, that their experience is not the same as those of us here would have experienced in the run of a day when we were their age, when we were children in our schools. I will say respectfully that I'm not sure it is entirely fair to them to compare the to and fro that goes on in this Chamber to the reality of bullying for our young people today.

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They face a very difficult world, Mr. Speaker, with all due respect. They go to school, they are in conversations with their friends and neighbours and the people who live around them - not only in the real world as we know, not only on the school grounds as we know, but sadly also on the Internet, in texting, on Facebook, Twitter, all the modern ways that people now have conversations with each other. The sad reality for our young people today is even after they're off the school grounds, even after they've made their way home, even at that time when they're in their own homes where we would all like to believe that they are safe, embraced by the loving arms of their mother or father, their guardian, their parents in their own home, that today they're still not safe because of cyberbullying. Indeed, we've seen tragic circumstances where the combination of real bullying and cyberbullying - which is just as real but on the Internet - has driven some of our young Nova Scotians to extremes of despair and depression.

Mr. Speaker, as adults in this Chamber, and indeed around the province, we have a duty, a responsibility to do all we can to protect them, to keep them safe, whether they're on a school ground, whether they're out and about in their hometown, and whether they're home in the comfort of their own home and on a laptop or on a smart cellphone. That's why I say that this issue is so important and so different from what our own experience was. I can tell you that in my own riding, in the Town of Parrsboro, a tragedy has struck because of bullying and cyberbullying, and that was a very dark time for the family directly involved obviously, but a dark time for the whole town. As MLA for the area, I was very proud to sit down with the parents so shortly after such a horrible circumstance and see in them a desire to make sure that the town learned the lessons of that awful circumstance, that all levels of government - municipal, provincial, federal, school boards and others - came together with the community itself to make that Town of Parrsboro a safer place for their children.

I raise this example, Mr. Speaker, because the great lesson of that awful time which has been duplicated in other towns and villages and cities around Nova Scotia far too often is that this is not just a teacher problem, or a principal problem to solve, or a custodian problem, or a school bus driver problem to solve, that will only truly keep our community safe for our children when we all do our bit, when the entire community itself takes up responsibility for keeping our children safe.

That's why I'm so disappointed, Mr. Speaker, with this government bill which truly doesn't go nearly far enough. It requires teachers, principals, school bus drivers and custodians to count the incidences of bullying when they see it in their schools and I guess that's fine. I wish we could stand up here, or somebody could, and say this will actually reduce the amount of bullying that goes on, or will begin to address the cyberbullying that goes on, or begin to address the fact that today bullying happens everywhere, even in our own homes, but it doesn't. In fact, I think one of the great weaknesses of this weak response is that it puts the problem on the shoulders of our teachers, our principals, our custodians, and our school bus drivers and says, count it and let us know how it's going.

[Page 3471]

Well, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians deserve a lot more than that on an issue as important as keeping our kids safe, on an issue as important as stopping cyberbullying and bullying in its tracks, not just counting it. In fact, even when it comes to counting it, the government fails to provide a definition of what bullying is so people will know it when they see it, or cyberbullying. This is one of the areas where the government has taken such a sharp departure from the anti-bullying task force chaired by Mr. Wayne MacKay, which last year involved all Nova Scotians in the gathering of information, in a great provincial discussion and discovery about what we can do, about what we can really do to not just count bullying but actually reduce it, actually wipe it out, knowing our kids will be safe.

One of the things that task force said was that we ought to define bullying and cyberbullying in law. Seems like common sense. It is an offence by any commonsensical definition. Any typical Nova Scotian would agree that it is an offence and should be defined as an offence in law, and yet the government has not taken up that recommendation from the anti-bullying task force.

The government has had two opportunities to do that. Their first action, which the previous speaker spoke of, was to enable the Department of Education to appoint an anti-bullying coordinator. I know that the previous speaker believes that Nova Scotians are thrilled by that action. Quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, the ones I hear from will be thrilled when they see a government that actually takes steps to stop bullying in its place, in their communities.

The second bill, the one that we're talking about today - I've already described it - counts bullying, makes it the teacher's responsibility, and the others in the school's responsibility to count bullying. (Interruption) Hey, the government believes that people will be thrilled to know that they've taken such a bold and decisive step to stop bullying in its tracks, expect it won't stop bullying. It's a weak, tepid, sad step on such an important topic. That's the problem that I know many of us on this side of the House have with this bill that the government claims people are thrilled with.

People will not be thrilled and they will not be satisfied until they see a government that actually takes strong action to stop bullying. Like the anti-bullying task force recommended, define bullying in law. Make it an offence. Spell out the ramifications to the offender, the punishments to the offender for bullying or cyberbullying. That would be a good start down the road of making our communities safer. Give police the tools they need to keep our streets and our schoolyards and our towns and villages safe from bullying. Get tough on bullies. That's what people will be thrilled to see when they see it from their government.

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Mr. Speaker, I understand that there are bullies who also need help. That's exactly why the Progressive Conservative caucus introduced its bullying bill that, alongside of making bullying and cyberbullying an offence in provincial law and spelling out the punishments, also allows for proper restitution of bullies, often young people themselves, so that they are given an opportunity to get off the wrong track and on the right track. At their core, anti-bullying laws should be about freeing the victims from the course that they are on and getting the bullies off of the course that they are on, to save every child.

That's what the PC bill does. It gets right to the root of the problem. This bill does none of that. It counts it; it doesn't get to the root of the problem. No one is going to be safer because of this bill. A lot of people could be safer, a lot of young people could be safer, if the government would reach across the aisle and look at the bills that have been proposed on this side of the House, which go a lot further than this government is willing to go to protect our young people.

Mr. Speaker, cyberbullying in particular - if I could just address that for a moment. The new scourge on our society that attacks so many young people, no matter where they are, also needs to be addressed in a more serious way than this. I have heard people say, well, young people should just turn off their computer, turn off their cellphone if they don't like what they see. That doesn't work. We all have to understand that is actually how young people - not just young people, but particularly young people - communicate with each other today. You might as well tell them to stop talking to their friends and neighbours as to tell them to turn off their cellphone or turn off their laptop.

In my own household, I could ask my children to do many things, as their Dad, some of them they'll even listen to, from time to time. It's kind of like a caucus. But to take away their cellphone, their laptop, that actually makes a greater victim of the victim. No one should propose that. What we should do is make sure that our justice system, our police, our judges, our community leaders have all the tools they need to get those cell phones, those laptops, those computers, that Internet access, out of the hands of cyberbullies, as a preventive measure, rather than tell the victims to turn off their phones.

Let's actually give judges the power, on application, to confiscate an electronic device that's being used for the purpose of bullying another Nova Scotian, particularly a young Nova Scotian. That's not in this bill but that's actually a very progressive piece of law that we could be a leader on right here in Nova Scotia. In the hands of a bully, the Internet, a cellphone, or a laptop becomes a weapon and sadly, too often, an anonymous weapon to harm another person, to harm my child, or yours, or someone that you know.

When we know that to be true, those of us in a position of leadership in this province have a duty to do all we can to stop it in its tracks, not just to count it, not just to tell the bus driver to make a note. We all have a duty to put in place strong laws, with strong penalties, when we know cyberbullying to exist, when we know bullying to exist, when we know the awful tragedies that can occur when it is left un-dealt with.

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That is why, again, on our side of the House, we have proposed bills to empower judges to take away an offensive weapon like a laptop or a cellphone when it is so used. Then we will be sending a strong signal to all communities, to bullies, that that kind of behaviour will not be tolerated. I will say on this theme, that as a parent we all have a duty to protect our young people, we all have a duty to stop bullying and cyberbullying where we see it and that includes parents and guardians, who have children in their homes, who have laptops and who have cellphones, who may be using them unsupervised to perpetrate bullying or cyberbullying. Those parents, too, are guardians, they have a responsibility to make sure that those laptops and those cellphones are not used as weapons against another young Nova Scotian. I call on all the parents and guardians of the province to come together to make sure that is true.

A reality of small town life in Nova Scotia is that often everyone in town knows who the bullies are but feel helpless to do anything about it, or won't do anything about it. We need a bill in this House that goes far beyond this one, that empowers all of those people - parents, community leaders, police, all of them together - to stop bullying when they see it, to give them the tools to stop cyberbullying when they see it. That is what will thrill the people of Nova Scotia who are looking to us to protect their children. This is a great role for government to play. It's not happening today, but it is a great role for government to play if it chooses to.

I call on the government to look at all of the bills before this House and to look around the country at all the other initiatives that are being taken to stop bullying. I call on the government to read again its own anti-bullying task force report and to bring in a better bill, a stronger bill that actually goes beyond this one and protects our kids where they see them. I will tell you why, Mr. Speaker, because there is hope for a safer and better day if we get this right.

In the Town of Parrsboro, in the face of tragedy, that community came together, all of the community leaders, whether they were political leaders or business leaders or volunteer leaders. They found a building and they had material donated and they had labour donated and they built a new youth centre for the Town of Parrsboro and they built it so that there would be a place that they knew in town that young people could be safe, that they could study or play or talk or surf the Internet in safety. That is the ray of light that the people of Parrsboro found in a time of darkness.

Let us all resolve in this House that we're going to do a better job than this bill proposes for our young people, that we're going to lift the darkness of bullying and provide a ray of light not just to Parrsboro, but to all of Nova Scotia, by calling on the government to come back with a better and stronger bill that truly protects our children. Thank you.

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

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The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to close debate on Bill No. 102. I thank the members opposite for their interventions and look forward to this bill going to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 102. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 105.

Bill No. 105 - Agriculture and Marketing Act.

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

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 105 be now read a second time.

I want to say it's a pleasure to rise in the House today to talk about amendments to the Agriculture and Marketing Act that I have introduced. These are housekeeping amendments and are fairly straightforward.

The Agriculture and Marketing Act is the main legislation that governs policies and programs for Nova Scotia's agricultural industry. This bill addresses a wide variety of specific things related to agriculture; for example, it provides for the formation of agriculture, horticulture and commodity organizations; it addresses seed growing, soil improvement, land conservation, pastures, diseases and pests; it covers county and district exhibitions; it covers agricultural education; and it refers to dairy, fur, bees, wine and other natural products.

There is a lot in this bill, but there's something missing that should have been included from the outset. The Act isn't clear about our general authority to address new developments and issues in the agricultural industry. It doesn't clearly spell out my authority, as minister, to develop policies or programs that meet the evolving needs of farmers and others in the industry. As I'm sure my colleagues can appreciate, when a new issue or opportunity crops up, it's helpful to have clear authority to address it.

The amendments we've introduced will give us that clear authority. They will improve our ability to support the agricultural industry. Let me give an example: a number of years ago the need emerged to encourage Nova Scotians to support farmers by buying more local food. This is not something that was anticipated when the Act was originally drafted. However, it emerged as an opportunity to support our farmers by increasing the amount of local food Nova Scotians buy. We believe this is within our mandate, and Select Nova Scotia was launched to meet that need. The members opposite, certainly from the Progressive Conservative Party, would remember that, because they were instrumental in getting that done.

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However, it would have been helpful to have more clarity in the legislation for pursuing this kind of initiative. With amendments to the Act, it will be easier to build on this successful initiative in the future. Mr. Speaker, the authority to create policy and programs that we're adding to this Act are ones that should have been included in the first place. These are basic powers that any minister would need to effectively carry out his or her department's mandate.

I would ask my honourable colleagues to recognize that agriculture is a multi-million dollar industry that contributes to the provincial economy and provides good jobs in rural communities throughout Nova Scotia. These amendments to the Agriculture and Marketing Act will help us to more effectively support farmers and all members of the industry, both now and in the future. That's good for the industry and that's good for all Nova Scotians, so I look forward to the interventions of colleagues across the floor. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise in my place today and speak to Bill No. 105, the Agriculture and Marketing Act. The amendments to this Act essentially give the province, and particularly the minister, clearer authority to respond to emerging issues and opportunities in the industry. There's no question that the minister, prior to his time in the ministerial role, was a long-time Agriculture Critic, and he recognizes and realizes that there's a need to respond on many occasions with an industry that does require that kind of flexibility, sometimes from season to season, year to year, sector to sector.

In some ways it is a housekeeping piece of legislation, but I think it does go beyond that and does warrant some comments today. Policies and programs are constantly evolving. We know that the face of agriculture, just in the last decade and especially as we've talked a lot in this House on many occasions - the need for a stronger local agricultural economy. I say that in the strongest sense, because we know that for so many of our communities, and not too far beyond the city boundaries, there are many communities that have a high degree of their jobs, their interests and so on, with agriculture. In fact, all 18 counties of Nova Scotia have agricultural activity going on.

I think when we see from the beginnings of about a decade ago the emergence of a local food economy, the growth - or first of all, the initiative of Select Nova Scotia, the growth of Select Nova Scotia, again to be able to bring new initiatives to that development. This bill will, again, allow for the minister and the department to provide direction, signing off on policy and programs that can be supportive of a stronger local food economy.

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I think the potential of the buy local movement, after just five years of a directive approach, is making good headway in the province. We know that we still have a long way to go and that is why our caucus proposed the idea of setting the target, that by 2020, 20 per cent of our food production and consumption would be locally produced and in many ways, as we all know in this House, that is a return to something that we did decades ago.

At the turn of the last century, the 20th Century, we know that agriculture was part and parcel of many rural families and we certainly have departed from that to a point where just 13 per cent of our food dollar is spent on locally grown and produced products. So we do have a ways to go and, in fact, as the centralization of our food into just a couple of major chains, in fact, we had a drop-off just around the year 2000 and probably in the previous decade, and so we now have a lot of catch-up to do.

On average, a lot of our food is travelling about 8,000 kilometres to arrive on our plate. I think reversing that and tapping into the great potential of our province, and in particular some areas, the Annapolis Valley, Colchester, Cumberland, Antigonish, also on Cape Breton, the Boularderie area has outstanding agriculture currently being practised, but I think as our local food economy continues to grow, Boularderie Island will play a stronger role in having a seasonal amount of food available.

We have also seen a change, just since I entered the Legislature, with two very important sectors of our agriculture and that was the demise of the hog industry and the near collapse of the beef industry after BSE. So when the minister brings forth this bill, it is about being responsive around policies and programs that can address those kinds of concerns. I believe those are two industries that can have a better day in our province.

The hog industry was built on cheap grains and we now need to have initiatives that will see us growing, producing and drying grains for the hog industry. There is a demand for high-quality pork in the province. At one point we had reached a plateau of around 57 per cent of all of our pork being grown and produced locally and now we're down to 10 producers in the province. Some of those 10 are actually on a relatively small scale, primarily meeting local, smaller markets.

I think with the quality of the genetics of our pork, hopefully we'll see some resurgence through the local markets. We have a commitment from some of our local markets of 100 per cent of their product that goes through their store is grown and produced here in Maritime Canada. If we can get that kind of pickup and support, then the agriculture industry has a tremendous opportunity to see some growth and be on a sustainable path.

I know the beef industry is one, as we heard from the deputy minister yesterday in Public Accounts Committee that is receiving a lot of attention. The commitment there to have what can be done best in our province, looking at our climate, production of a grass-fed beef product and the demand for that. It's made only too clear when we get incidents such as we've had in western Canada, in Brooks, Alberta, around XL Foods, it was amazing in a marketplace near Berwick that is 100 per cent committed to local product and that is at Jim Lamb's outlet, he said every other person during that period was asking, where does your beef come from? I think it highlights the need that is out there, the market potential.

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I can't find, through any research, when there was a problem around contamination in our local, provincially inspected abattoirs and plants. One of the things which distinguishes provincial inspection from federal is that a provincial inspector is on-site every time there are animals in the plant to go through the kill process, whereas with federal inspection the building meets federal requirements but you don't necessarily have to have a federal inspector in place during all of the processes and that's probably where some of the best practices around good cleaning, hygiene, and so forth is sometimes not followed.

I know in the wake of the discussion of the concern and suspicion around what could be, should be a very healthy product, I think it gives us an opportunity to look at the production of local beef. I know as this program moves along, hopefully this bill can be an asset to the minister and to government to make any kinds of quick responses that indeed will be required.

Just to kind of put that in perspective, we know that we only produce a small amount of beef in this province, but to put it on the scale of the requirement, if we produced all the beef we eat in the province, farm cash receipts could increase from $22.5 million to at least $90 million a year and full-year equivalent employment would increase from 448 jobs to about 1,700 jobs. So even if we could move partway along that pathway of the potential before us, once again, and I do agree that farmers have to make a living, farmers have to have margins that provide an income for them and their family, and their reinvestment in the farm.

If we can get Atlantic Canadians to buy into Maritime-produced beef, I think it can go a very, very long way to one of the sectors where we see beef can be produced in every county of Nova Scotia. I just wanted to offer those few comments around two sectors of agriculture that I think we can have some significant rebound in. I do applaud government's initiative around the grass-fed beef industry, and hopefully we'll continue to make progress and we'll see that as a product on the store shelves. As long as we have a choice, I think Nova Scotians will respond very significantly toward what we produce ourselves.

So, Mr. Speaker, we want to see this bill move forward to the Law Amendments Committee, and with those few words, I take my place.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place today and just take a few minutes on this bill, the Agriculture and Marketing Act. I would suggest that not unlike many other bills that went through this House in years past, amendments are needed from time to time to make them better, to add to them as we grow in this case - and pardon the pun - as we grow, and we learn that this was a bill that was very effective over the last five years. We've seen good growth in this with the buy local campaigns and the IncrEDIBLE suppers and dinners and whatever we're calling it now as we go around the province. They have been very successful. Certainly in my area we see good turnouts. We see the agriculture industry involved in that and helping to support that. I know that last year in Brooklyn we had a number of different farmers bringing their products and donating them for this very supper, a very unique thing to see, something we had not seen in the past.

That's all good, and as we continue and we make amendments, as I said, that are required to enhance the bill and make it stronger, if the minister needs more ability to create new policy, then so be it. We should be supporting that and giving that to him or her and to the government.

The minister mentioned jobs and the millions of dollars in jobs that the farming industry puts forward each and every year in this province. That's true, and we need to continue to grow that. So whatever we can do to grow that, but there's a lot in getting there. We've been a long time getting back to where we are now. We heard the member for Kings West talk about a plan to get to 20 per cent by 2020. In my opinion, I'm not looking at 2020; I'm looking at sooner rather than later, and the more local we can do, the better. We need to continue to work on that, and whether that's 20 per cent or 25 per cent and hopefully more than that, there are ways to make it happen.

I spoke yesterday at length in the Public Accounts Committee with regard to the buy local piece, and that was a very good meeting, actually. The deputy minister and others were here. We talked about a number of things, and one of them was the labelling piece, how Nova Scotians are going to the store and seeing on labels "packaged for" said store, but not necessarily where the product is from. As people begin to absorb and get the ability and want and desire to purchase locally, they're now picking up the jar and saying, where did it come from? Well, they don't know. But what's good and what's very interesting is they're calling and asking, why are those products not being labelled?

There are a multitude of reasons, as we heard in the Public Accounts Committee yesterday. There are some complications, but that doesn't mean that that can't be done, can't be worked on, and we can't do better at that. That's one small piece when we really think about it, but people do want to know where their food is coming from. We've got a lot of room to improve that particular area.

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In doing so and to be able to encourage people to buy local, if we can do another 30 per cent in the next five years that would be fabulous as well. That would be A1, actually. We would be much closer to the target. I've said in my place before here about educating our young people in the schools about what that means - instead of when you ask them where do milk and eggs and so on come from, they say Sobeys or Superstore, but we all understand that. We've sort of got away from where we were maybe in the minister's young days, maybe he milked cows and all the - he's quite a bit older than I am, though, Mr. Speaker.

In all seriousness, this is a bill we're supporting, as I've said. We need to have the ability to make this happen. We need to be able to grow our local economy and that means growing jobs. In the farm industry we know that it is a huge economic driver in this province and we need to see it grow even more. The more that we can do to make that happen, as I mentioned briefly about different aspects of the labelling of our local products such of beef and pork, it's much bigger than that. If we need to create more processing opportunities in the province then we should be looking at that if that helps grow the beef and the pork, because we need to process it here; if we can't, then let's look at enlarging that. Perhaps that is an area of concern that we should be addressing and it may not be as hard as some people think, it's a want and a desire to do so.

I always find it interesting, especially in the last number of months here, government decides we're going to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in some but not in all, but when we look at something as secure as what our farming industry has actually been - albeit it has shrunk over the years - it is still a very large industry in the Province of Nova Scotia. We should be looking at programs and investments in that industry that will carry it through the long term.

Mr. Speaker, I won't take much more time than that but I do want to thank the minister for bringing the amendments forward that were needed, and we would certainly be in support of this bill as it goes over to Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to close debate on this bill. I want to just thank the members opposite for their contribution and I just want to make it clear, this is not a "buy local" bill. As much as it might seem like an odd thing - because I think it seemed like an odd thing to me when this was first brought to my attention - you would think that when somebody becomes a minister and member of Cabinet that he actually has certain authority to do some of the things that seem to be indicated in this amendment for this piece of legislation. But people in the department, doing their due diligence, thought that this actual amendment should clarify, that it's not entirely clear that the minister actually has that authority, so we're putting that authority in this piece of legislation. My colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, actually has similar authority in the legislation that he oversees and I guess the fact that so much of the staff work in both departments that they found this and felt this is an amendment that was necessary.

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Anyway, thanks, I want to thank the members opposite for their comments so I close debate on Bill No. 105 and look forward to it going to Law Amendments Committee. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 105. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 107.

Bill No. 107 - Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. (Interruption)

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the Deputy Premier for his comments.

Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 107 be now read a second time. It is a pleasure to begin debate on Bill No. 107, the Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act.

Mr. Speaker, the Debt Collection and Management Reform (2012) Act will protect Nova Scotians who are struggling to pay their debt by restricting aggressive marketing tactics and promises of unrealistic debt reductions. Credit and the ability to take on debt are a reality of life and for the vast majority of Nova Scotians, big purchases like a home or a car or even an education would not be possible without some form of credit. While no one plans to get into debt that they cannot repay, sometimes the unexpected happens and people find themselves struggling to repay creditors.

Over the past several years debt management agencies, which include debt settlement companies, have become very active across Canada and here in Nova Scotia too. The new bill amends the Collection Agencies Act and the Consumer Creditors' Conduct Act, and allows government to improve and update consumer protection around debt management agencies and collection agencies.

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They also allow government to put regulations in place that prohibit debt management agencies from charging upfront fees and cap the fees consumers can be charged by these companies. Debt management agencies will also need to get consumers to sign off on a settlement before they can collect their fees. Other changes specific to debt management include creating separate licences for debt management agencies and the people who work for them, prohibiting unlicensed debt management agencies from operating in Nova Scotia, introducing new restrictions on false and misleading advertising, and renaming the Collections Agencies Act and the collections and debt management agencies Act to better reflect its increased scope and responsibility.

We're also moving forward on the collection agency side of things. Nova Scotia's rules governing debt collection practices aren't as current as those in other provinces. Our restrictions don't protect as many people and they don't adequately address new technology like social media and text messaging. We're doing the right thing by upgrading those rules.

The new legislation prohibits collection agencies from calling the same number when the wrong person is reached or the debt is disputed. It limits collection agencies to three contacts in seven days, when the collector is working for the same creditor. It stops collection agencies from contacting employers except to get a debtor's business address, title, and to confirm employment; and for contacting a debtor's family, or household, relatives, neighbours, friends or acquaintances, except to get a home address or phone number; and prohibits publishing, or threatening to publish, a debtor's failure to pay.

All of these changes bring Nova Scotia's practices concerning collection and debt management agencies in line with those in other provinces, particularly Alberta and Ontario. Consumers have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to repay their debts; creditors have the right to be paid back. The proposed changes strike a balance between the rights of consumers and creditors. There is no doubt that being in debt is stressful and confusing. Often people don't know where or who to turn to for help, especially when they are faced with companies promising to settle their debts for less than what they owe, or calls from overzealous collectors. It often becomes too much to handle.

With these efforts, government is making life better by ensuring Nova Scotians who need help managing their debt are treated respectfully and responsibly, do not pay up front for services they don't receive, and that the rules around debt management agency and collection agency practices are current and consistent, province-wide.

Mr. Speaker, I'll take my place and I look forward to the contribution of the other members of the House. Thank you.

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

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MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, a number of aspects of this bill mirror a bill that we Liberals have brought in on two previous occasions: Bill No. 127 last year; and again this Spring, Bill No. 53. Our Debt Settlement Protection Act was crafted in consultation with the Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada.

We have a few concerns about this bill. Overall it's a good thing but there are a lot of important pieces that have yet to be developed. As we often say, the devil is in the details. There are regulations and we want to underline the government should work very closely with those in reputable consumer protection and counselling service organizations to ensure the regulations are the best they can possibly be.

The genesis of our bill came, not this past summer but the summer before, when we received news that, in fact, some unlicensed agencies were advertising in the province and they weren't supposed to be operating in the province, but they were certainly advertising.

I did notice, you know, after I became sensitized to the issue, I did notice that if you're flicking around the channels and you get channels from other parts of the country, you would see advertisements on television for debt poolers. So if you didn't know that they had to be licensed in this province, you might call them up, for example if you were a consumer and you were desperate. So you might end up with one of these debt poolers without realizing that's where you are going. What was happening, as people were giving debt poolers money for periods of time like six months, thinking that the debt poolers were, in fact, dealing with creditors and paying off bills and they weren't, they were just taking the money. So a number of the provisions in this bill, you know, like not being able to actually get a fee until you've actually performed the work, are very helpful and we do appreciate that.

We do have some concerns around commercial collectors. A lot of the commercial collectors, they're dealing business to business, and so they maintain that they don't engage in unscrupulous practices because business A may be doing business with business B next week again. So they're not going to be harassing or anything like that because they may have a business relationship and do work with them in the future. So they maintain that they would not engage in those kinds of practices and, you know, they're quite upset. There was an article in The ChronicleHerald, I'm sure many people saw it, where they were very clear that they were not happy being lumped in with debt poolers. So I'm hoping that the government will listen to their comments. I expect that they will come to the Law Amendments Committee and actually take their comments to heart and if there are appropriate amendments that should be made, they could do that then.

I think why this kind of a bill is necessary, though is that for the average consumer, or even someone who is just desperate, they may not be able to distinguish between a legitimate debt agency that would help people pay off their debts versus a debt pooler that is going to take their money and not follow through. So we do appreciate that, and as we often say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is and so for a lot of people, just being an educated consumer would be a lot of help.

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I would like to note that there are reputable organizations that we have worked with, that I'm sure the government has worked with as well, that do provide credit counselling to people who have gotten into debt. As has been pointed out by the governor of the Bank of Canada, household debt is a huge problem in this country with many people - well, in fact, Mark Carney told us in a banking committee on Halloween, that the levels of household debt to income are elevated to about 163 per cent. So I think there are a lot of people who are concerned about debt or who ought to be concerned about debt.

We do want to make sure that the government takes enforcement to heart. You know, it's one thing to bring in a bill, but it's another thing to actually enforce it. We need to make sure that what happens here isn't what happened in Manitoba where debt collectors were not being monitored and reported on as well as they could have been. In fact, in Manitoba they're supposed to publish the names and that wasn't being done. They said the reason they weren't publishing the names of debt collectors that were getting into trouble was because all the cases actually were resolved, but I guess having that as a threat over their heads might help.

So I think that one possible improvement that we would be looking for would be to add the differentiation between the commercial, the business-to-business debt collectors versus the consumer-debt collectors, and unless the government has information which I don't, which I wasn't hearing concerns about business-to-business collection, I was hearing concerns about consumer collection.

With those few remarks, I will take my seat. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise on Bill No. 107. This legislation sounds like it's a good idea, to protect people from aggressive debt collectors. I think it will be something that is welcomed by responsible and ethical debt-management agencies because I think the hope here is to rid the industry of unscrupulous debt collectors and some of the practices that they might use to extract payment from Nova Scotians.

We do support the spirit of this legislation and look forward to advancing it to the Law Amendments Committee. Nobody likes to be in debt, I'm sure. People must pay their debts because if nobody paid their debts and took responsibility for them, no one would be able to borrow money because who would want to lend it. I think what this legislation is about is focusing on debt collection that's happening that is too aggressive and that is hurting people. I think that there is a way that, like everything else, things can be done properly, with good effect, without being too aggressive, and I think that's what this legislation is aiming for. So we look forward to hearing comments in the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the interventions of the members opposite. I want to just let members know that this piece of legislation is relatively similar to a piece of legislation that I think was introduced in 2002, but was never proclaimed. So probably with some tweaking - and we did have someone in who was more concerned around the business-to-business relationship in collections. When we actually explained that this was very similar to the bill that had been in in 2002, they seemed to be a little more onside in that regard. I think that whether it is related to consumer debt or business debt, for those companies who are practising good practices, they'll have no issues with where we are going here.

I want to thank the members for their intervention and I move second reading of Bill No. 107.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 107. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 109.

Bill No. 109 - Bee Industry Act.

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

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 109. I have to say, considering the number of bills that I'm involved with here in the House today, moving from Service Nova Scotia back to Agriculture, it has probably been an advantage to be an identical twin, the ability to maintain your identity has been really important growing up so I think that has been helpful in shifting back and forth in my portfolios.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to speak to Bill No. 109, the Bee Industry Act. This amendment is a very straightforward piece of housekeeping to add a basic power into the Act that should have been there from the start. Any Act that provides for the granting of permits and other regulatory measures should also include the ability to recover costs, but that ability is missing from the Bee Industry Act.

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So, Mr. Speaker, it has become an issue for us given recent developments in the industry, and as my colleagues in the House may recall Nova Scotia blueberry growers saw an opportunity this Spring - they wanted to take advantage of good price of blueberries and to increase their yields. So to do that they needed more bees to pollinate their crops. Now I think probably most members in the House, certainly my colleagues who are the Agriculture Critics are probably aware that it takes more than just bees to ensure a good blueberry crop, but certainly they are a major component and I think members in the House should think about pollination and the impact of it, or a lack of it, on the production of food in - well you could say globally, but certainly in Nova Scotia.

Someone had used the number, the other day to me, that about 80 per cent of what is produced requires pollination. Now not all of that is done with honeybees, but certainly the majority is done with insects, and I would say the majority of those insects would be honeybees.

We have a good, healthy honeybee population in Nova Scotia, but not enough to meet the increased demand. We did two things to help both beekeepers and blueberry growers. First we invested $450,000 in a pollination expansion program to help local beekeepers increase their colonies. The goal is that in the future there will be more bees available here to pollinate crops. Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to report that beekeepers have responded very positively to this program and many have begun to expand their operations.

I want to acknowledge the Premier in this regard, because he was someone that I had discussions with and he saw an economic development opportunity here by offering assistance to beekeepers to expand their apiaries and do more for growing economic development in the province. We did a study of the industry and the health status of the bees in the province, and the Premier took that study home and read it and we had a fair discussion about what the potential was to help the industry, both the beekeeping part of the industry and the fruit growers.

However, that expansion will take time and we still have the immediate need, so with my existing authority under the Act I agree to grant permits for importing hives for pollination. We put strict controls around this to minimize any health risks to Nova Scotia bees, and these controls include inspecting the imported hives for pests both before they leave home and when they arrive in Nova Scotia. In the future we anticipate that the demand for importing bees may grow as farmers work at increasing their yields, and that will require us to do inspections on a larger scale.

Mr. Speaker, we will need to recover the costs of those inspections, otherwise providing this service would not be sustainable. However the Bee Industry Act does not currently allow us to charge fees for this service, so therefore I have introduced a bill to add the ability to charge fees into the Bee Industry Act. With this ability we can charge for our inspections and recover the cost of doing them. This will ensure the service is sustainable and help maintain a healthy Nova Scotia bee population, while meeting farmers' needs for pollination.

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Mr. Speaker, I'm sure all members of this House recognize the importance of pollination to the agricultural industry, and I certainly recognize the link between a strong agriculture and good jobs in rural Nova Scotia, millions of dollars in the provincial economy, and fresh local food that we all enjoy.

And, Mr. Speaker, before I sit down I just want to give members a piece of bee trivia . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: The buzz.

MR. MACDONELL « » : I was on a bee operation that has about 1,000 and one of the things I learned there was that the income from 20 hives is equivalent to the income we get from a dairy cow. So 1,000 hives is the equivalent of a 50-milking cow herd. I thought that was quite significant, depending on the possibility of actually growing that sector of the industry, because with beehives, one of the things you don't need is a quota. So if we could get economic development that somehow matched what you can get from a 50-cow dairy herd, that to me was really significant. I had no idea that there was that correlation.

Anyway, with those comments, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to hearing what my colleagues have to offer in regard to this piece of legislation.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased today to say a few words in support of the Bee Industry Act. I thought when the minister was starting his presentation, we were going into Biology 12 and the mysteries and significance of pollination.

We know that the blueberry industry is one - we know many industries are depending on sufficient numbers of bees for strong pollination to at least give particular crops a good start. There are many other variables, as we know, to the outcome of how a particular sector will do, but it seems perhaps none more important than the wild blueberry industry that is spread over literally thousands of acres, so having sufficient bees at the right time of the year is very, very significant to that successful period.

In fact, the Bragg Lumber Company, which is really the Bragg bee operation, have their headquarters in my riding. They separate the queens and work on the whole business of starting new colonies. They've had to work with some challenges. Winterkill in the industry has been fairly significant, and this is what has led to the need for importing bees. The local operation under Jack Hamilton has been a very successful one for the Bragg blueberry industry. I know many of the employees there, and they have been with the company for a number of years. They start very early in the Annapolis Valley with some of the early pollination, then they'll take the hives and ship them into Colchester and Cumberland Counties, primarily.

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When this need arose during the summer for more bees, we all know that small operators were the ones who raised the red flag. There are many small - I guess you would say hobby bee producers. There are also smaller commercial operations. Any time you're going to import bees, the possibility of both disease and mites, in particular, are part of what could be imported into the province. So the inspection process is a very, very critical piece. You do have to make sure that the hives go through inspection, because again, there can be even small geographic areas where a certain disease or insect problem does exist, and as a result, the possibilities of bringing that into the province and wiping out colonies is there.

This piece of legislation is timely, it's one that will allow the sustainable inspection process to go on. Hopefully it will just be kind of a fee-recovery kind of operation. The minister knows that agriculture has enough with economic burdens that they face from season to season so hopefully this will just be a fee that will allow for the inspection when they come in. I'm not 100 per cent sure actually whether they have to be inspected when they're leaving the province as well. The minister is indicating that it is in both, the coming into the province and when they leave inspection does take place.

We certainly favour this bill moving forward and the only precautionary flag is around the fee structure because it's not just the big commercial operators that this will be open to, it'll be smaller ones that can expand what can be another profitable aspect of agriculture in the province. I am pleased to support this measure and with those few words I take my place.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : I'm just going to take a moment, a lot has already been said. We know the importance of the bee industry in the Province of Nova Scotia. In travelling around the province and talking to the berry and fruit growers, they certainly express the need and the desire to be able to not only maintain but to improve what they're doing and we certainly support that.

I'm not going to take a lot of time on it, but I did want to comment to the minister, I know that he has to safely import bees into the province and have them inspected coming in and I hope on the way out that they're safely inspected and all counted to see that they're all there. As a guy who's allergic to bees, I can tell you that's important to me. In all seriousness, we want to ensure that the business continues to grow and in talking to that industry I would say that they would be pleased to have this put forward and to maintain and to grow what they are doing.

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With those very few words, I will take my seat.

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

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the members opposite for their interventions. This would not be entirely cost recovered, we don't expect to get all of our costs back for these inspections but certainly feel that the individual operations that are big enough to need to bring in bees, the taxpayer shouldn't carry the burden of all of that inspection.

We have a fairly good health profile for bees in Nova Scotia, we want to ensure that we maintain that. The people in the industry who have been here for some time and have worked hard to improve their apiaries, they deserve due diligence in this regard. We don't want to be negatively impacting them. It's our hope that some of the smaller operators would probably be less likely to bring bees in from another jurisdiction - I'm thinking of people who have hives, that they will make use of our program that helps them reduce costs. We pay for part of the growth for building hives and to colonize those hives.

I think the member for Hants West who said about bees being inspected when they leave, make sure you have them all, I did teach biology for a number of years, but I don't know if I'm an expert in the bee industry so if we do the bird Act and the bee Act together it might get me closer to my Grade 12 biology that I taught.

The issue for us is to ensure that the people who require additional bees to pollinate their crops can have access to them, but that there's protection for the people who are in the industry here, and have put a fair investment into their bee operations, that they're not negatively impacted by bees coming into the province.

So, Mr. Speaker, it's trying to find that balance and not necessarily make the taxpayer pay the entire costs for those inspections. So I'm pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 109.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 109. Would all those in favour of the motion please say "Buzz". Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

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The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 111.

Bill No. 111 – Fur Industry Act.

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

AN HON. MEMBER: Oh, he's back.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Mr. Speaker, it's not that I'm back, I just didn't go very far.

Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 111 be now read a second time. It's my pleasure to rise in the House today to talk about amendments to the Fur Industry Act, which will ensure the fur industry creates rural jobs while at the same time being an environmentally responsible neighbour.

I just want to say - I'm off script for a second here, Mr. Speaker - I think shortly after I became minister in 2009, I became aware of issues related to the fur industry, in particular the mink industry, and we introduced the Fur Industry Act. My staff indicated that we would probably be three years in getting the regulations written and I told them they had one. Well, we're now at two. So it has taken a fair bit of time, but I want members to know, I can't think of a piece of legislation where the regulations have had so much consultation in their development.

On a couple of occasions I think we thought we had them complete, and we went back and consulted with other organizations. In some cases there were people who were not necessarily in the loop in the sense that they were not engaged, there were no mink operations in their area, but certainly, in one case, where it looked like there was an interest in development of a mink farm, that caused some interest in the community and we went back to that community and educated them on the regulations and also made some tweaks to the regulations. I think the final product that we have, after we get the amendments to the Act, which will allow us to put the regulations alongside, is really a good piece of work that people will see as quite helpful.

These amendments give me the tools to respond to problems on new and established fur farms and, better yet, to prevent them from happening. Those tools include fines and penalties. Mr. Speaker, we heard communities when they said there were concerns associated with mink farming and we responded. We are taking significant steps to address those concerns by amending the Act and implementing new regulations that will enable the industry to grow, while ensuring good environmental management. The proposed fur industry regulations focus on environmental management for fur operations. They concentrate on the storage, treatment and disposal of manure, waste, feed, and carcasses.

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The original Act includes a three-year grandfathering clause for compliance. An amendment to the Act requires the clean-up of waste on any fur farms which cease operations during the grandfathering period. The amended Act also requires any existing farm, which expands during the grandfathering period, to become in compliance within six months and not three years. So I just want members to be clear what that means. The Act and the regulations tell mink operators that if they've been in existence for some years, certainly prior to the Act, prior to the regulation, that they have three years to come into compliance. If, before that three-year period, any operation expands that operation even a little bit, then they have six months to come into compliance. Any new operations have to come into compliance immediately; in other words, as part of that permitting process that allows them to operate, they don't have any grandfathering time, they have to come into compliance immediately.

That's why it says come into compliance in six months, not in three years; three years are for operations that existed prior to the regulation and any operation that has existed prior to the regulation, but makes a change, expands that operation before three years are up, then they have only six months to come into compliance.

Mr. Speaker, fur-farming is a growing, rural-based industry in Nova Scotia worth about $140 million annually to our economy and employs 1,000 Nova Scotians. The amended Act and the new regulations will enable the industry to grow, while ensuring good environmental management. So with those comments, I look forward to interventions on behalf of the members opposite and look forward to the bill moving to Law Amendments Committee.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased today to rise and have a few words on this bill, Bill No. 111. It was introduced here in the House on November 1st, following I guess probably about a two-year period roughly from when the Fur Industry Act was first brought forward.

As the minister knows, the regulations are very, very important, but also I think this amendment has a couple of important features to it as well and I'll reference those as I go along. We know that this is an industry that has grown, in fact, very rapidly in the last number of years. It has always been an industry in southwestern Nova Scotia and now it has expanded to some other counties and it has about 1,000 Nova Scotians employed in the mink industry and its value continues to increase.

We support the initiatives of Bill No. 111 and we know that Nova Scotia being the number one mink fur producer in Canada and one of the highest producers in the world, is certainly being looked at as to how it's going to regulate the industry. We all know that this is in the best interest of the industry as well as, as we say, the neighbour, as well as those that will live close to mink farms or in any way be affected by those in a particular area. So to get the right balance and to make sure that this industry is one that continues to, I guess, not just have a dollar value but one that is very responsible, environmentally conscious and, in fact, allows for best practices in an industry that has had some degrees of difficulty and challenge in how it operates.

[Page 3491]

As we all know, we're waiting for the regulations to come forward. We understand they're before the Registry of Regulations and hopefully we'll be seeing these in the very near future. When I take a look at one of the new mink farmers in my area, he's doing everything that the industry is telling him is likely to be contained in the regulations. However, he really doesn't have that set of regulations and a footprint directly in front of him, so he's hoping that he is doing all the right things. It is imperative that these regulations move forward.

In terms of the assist here to the department and to the minister, this particular bill, Bill No. 111, will see the appointment of an administrator, and this is a good measure to have included in the bill. However, what will the duties of the administrator be? Will it be one person, or will it be a body to help discern issues that do come along? Again, what will be the cost of running an administrator and an office, and will this come out of department budget or the fees collected from the fur farmers? These are all yet to be determined, I guess.

It's a good measure, but again, without the nuts and bolts we don't have all the answers. I think it's important that we take the right steps in this House to give guidance to the industry. Its vitality to our economy and the rural economy of Nova Scotia has been very significant, but when I talk to some of the local mink farmers who have state-of-the-art facilities and are doing the very best - in fact, I hear from their neighbours that they are doing just that, but we need it for the entire industry, so that it doesn't get unfair attacks.

I think it's an area where we need to get that crystal-clear guidance, and we hope that when the regulations do come out there will be an opportunity to hear from the community. Perhaps at some point in the future we'll be back here with an amendment again - amendments that can be helpful to the industry and to the communities where this particular industry is primarily located. I think the modelling that I see now taking place - and as I see it in Kings County, where it is a sector that is living, I guess we would say, close to other agricultural practices - they are trying to do everything in a very seamless way, a very transparent and open way, where people can come on the farm and take a look at what is taking place. I think the new approach is very sound and I think the regulations will be already in place for a good number of the mink farmers by the practices that they started to adhere to in the last three or four years.

[Page 3492]

Mr. Speaker, with those few words, we know that the regulations also will call for proper protocols around the environment. We all know that this is not the first agricultural industry that has had to make sure that it practises sustainable farming, whether it be the dairy industry, cattle industry, hog operations. I live next door - and I mean exactly next door - to a hog operation, and the farmer who I live next door to is also a neighbour. Even when he is going to spread some of the manure from his hog operation, he kindly lets me know so that that's not the barbecue weekend of the season. We live in the farming area, conscious of each other, and I think the fur farming industry is starting down that path and I think we'll see good results in the future. So with those few words, Mr. Speaker, I take my place.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm not going to take too long either; much has already been said. We know that in talking with the industry that they are in favour of this bill. They have expressed their concerns about the regulations. We have met with them on numerous occasions. We've also had briefings from the minister's staff and we know the direction they are heading and this is an important bill for a very, very important industry that does very well in Nova Scotia. We need to make sure that we enhance that, if we are doing anything, and help it to grow and not get in the way, but in doing that, the right way is important, as we've heard. It's not all about slapping fines on people and things like that. It's about telling them and showing them and teaching them how to do it the right way, if things need to be brought in line.

In talking to folks in the industry, they welcome this. They want to do business the right way and they want to continue to be very profitable as they are, and also to grow and see more get in it. I know that there - I forget the number - quite a few applications waiting for new or adjustments to farms and that's a good thing in the Province of Nova Scotia and we look forward to that growth.

So with those few words, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place.

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

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thank the members opposite for their intervention. I want the members to be aware of something and that is that this is the first legislation and regulation on the storage of manure, disposal of manure, water off the farm, and certainly the carcasses. There is no sector of agriculture - dairy, hogs, chickens - any other sector that is actually regulated. Manure storage is in guidelines for the rest of the industry. This is actual regulation.

[Page 3493]

This is a fairly significant step and I want members to think, or to know, that the mink industry has been really quite good to work with around this. As the member for Hants West had indicated, they want to ensure that sustainable practices are followed. They have been helpful and I just want them to be acknowledged for that because this has been kind of a long process and to bring regulation onto a sector of the industry and have them work with you, they deserve some note, I think, in that regard.

Just as another bit of trivia - and I know my colleagues want me to sit down - the dairy industry in Nova Scotia is in the $100 million farm gate range and for many years it was that sector that had the highest farm gate sales. Last year the mink industry did $140 million. They beat the dairy industry on farm gate. So this is a sector that, I think, has indicated that it wants some level of control or regulation on how they grow. Many of the operations have been excellent to deal with, and like everything, there may be a few that really require regulation, but this will bring all of the industry in line with the same practices.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 111 and look forward to it going to the Law Amendments Committee.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 111. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I wish that we do now rise and meet tomorrow from the hour of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. After the daily routine we will be calling Bills Nos. 112, 114, 115, 119 and 125 and, if time permits, Address in Reply. I move the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is to adjourn.

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 3494]

We have reached the moment of interruption. The late debate under Rule No. 5(5) and the topic for tonight's late debate is:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Premier's outsourcing of jobs from the SAP Division of Finance is a bad deal for Nova Scotians."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

FIN.: SAP OUTSOURCING – BAD DEAL

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : "Therefore be it resolved that the Premier's outsourcing of jobs from the SAP Division of Finance is a bad deal for Nova Scotians.", and certainly, we saw the announcement today and, of course, it was a big splash by the Premier, talking about $100 million over the course of 10 years for 500 jobs and that's sort of the number that will be added to the economy, that's what's being used by the government.

I certainly think it's fair and reasonable for the Opposition and for Nova Scotians to want to ask questions and to understand where the guarantees are, where we're going with this? Again, another significant investment on behalf of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia by this NDP Government and if it was that clear that we would invest this money and those jobs would be there, 500 over the duration, 300 over the next few years, then, certainly, if that was an easy answer, we wouldn't have to ask questions about that. Why is that? I think that's pretty apparent, it's because we've seen this before and with the numbers we're talking about with corporate welfare, close to $600 million; this puts us close to $700 million. We give these big dollars to corporations, when, in fact, we've seen, on many occasions, that this is just not working for Nova Scotia, it's not working for the economy. We've seen this by the fact that with all that money invested, right now, we're at a minus 13 in terms of jobs being created.

I think that when you look at what we've done as a province, investing money, I think that the proof is in the pudding and what we've had a taste of, is not something that Nova Scotian taxpayers really appreciate, Mr. Speaker.

DSME, DSTN, this agreement is, for me, very symbolic. It represents $60 million tax dollars and I have a real problem with this; 500 jobs promised, 150 in the first year, by the Premier, again, not dissimilar to what we've seen today. Big announcement, this is the cutting edge, they're going to make wind turbines, green energy, green resources, state-of the-art facility; 500 people, everything's great, the world is happy because we're creating jobs.

[Page 3495]

Well, that was the spin we had with DSME and we've seen the reality of that today, when they've got less than 50 people working there. Most of that money had been allocated and now we're talking about diversification and diversifying to compete against companies in Nova Scotia that are already making similar products, so, very disheartening. It's a worry.

I know what the minister says and the Premier said and again, I'll get into this a little bit, but, fundamentally, we think as a government that the NDP Government is absolutely wrong in how they understand and how they view this investment in DSME. Again, with IBM, I can't see it being any different. We have case studies, we have examples of how this government has spent money and it hasn't worked out the way they promised, with the big flashy announcement. We had $60 million, 49 per cent of this company, we now own as Nova Scotians, to make wind turbines. That was the plan, that was the promise by the government and what do we have now? A minister stating in Question Period that we have the utmost confidence in DSME, and the fact that they're going to create these jobs.

Where are we going with this? So our plan is with the $60 million, that we've already invested, it's a diversification plan. That's fantastic. We don't have a diversification business plan in front of us for DSTN. We don't have a model, we don't know what we're looking for, so, all of a sudden, it's, that's okay, we're going to re-invest and we're going to re-tool and we're going to diversify. Well, how? Exactly how is that going to take place, because we're not seeing it and how do we come to a decision, to put $60 million into a plant and now, a couple of years later, we're at the point where we're, "diversifying". We don't know what we're diversified in, but that's what we're talking about. There is a fundamental error and there's a fundamental problem with economic development in this province, if the minister doesn't know where these dollars are going.

So you sign the cheques, you pose for the pictures, you say congratulations to this "cutting edge company" and then you wait. That's not working for Nova Scotians and it's certainly not working for the people in Trenton and not working for those people who work hard for their tax dollars. Really, I'm not so confident. The government says again - this is the minister - we've advised DSTN to diversify.

Here are the two problems I have with that. First of all, a government is telling a private sector, we've told them to diversify. If, as private sector, we're waiting on the government to tell us how to spend money and how to diversify, we're in trouble. Especially if it's that minister who really, in my honest opinion, doesn't have a grasp for the job he's in. That's being very honest. The reality is he doesn't show in the Legislature in Question Period, during these announcements in these conversations, he doesn't show that he's up to the challenge of understanding these things. I honestly believe that.

Secondly, the point that makes me so upset, that sometimes I have to take a deep breath. I know there are some very capable and bright people on the government side, so I ask those government members and I ask the member for Pictou East who is going to speak on this and I ask all the NDP staffers who are on Twitter who seem to have a lot of the answers for these things, how is it - and this isn't just the minister, this is the Premier, we had this direct confrontation yesterday in the Legislature - that we've given a company $60 million and now their plan is to diversify and directly compete against Nova Scotia businesses that are already in those areas - how is that not an advantage?

[Page 3496]

I don't understand it. I can't imagine that a minister and the Premier of this province are telling us that that is not an advantage. That's an incredible advantage, one that will put Aecon and one that will put the other developers and the other manufacturers of any oil and gas components or fittings or what have you, whatever the case may be - when you invest in your company, when you employ people, when you pay your bills, when you upgrade your equipment, you use it, you do this with revenues. DSTN is now using tax dollars to make those changes - 49 per cent of DSTN's operation is owned by the people of Nova Scotia. We are competing against businesses in the same sector. This has to be understood by the Premier and by the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. (Applause)

Again, the Premier said today, he was talking about the gentleman who was connected to the silviculture industry, the gentleman's quote was that the best thing about the paper industry, the forestry industry is that there's government, that the government is involved. That is the wrong message. We don't want government involved. Government sets the tone, government creates the environment, government holds the tools by way of policies that set the tone for small businesses to compete, for small businesses to grow, for companies to sell their products. We don't want to be the ones who prop up an industry. That is the wrong plan for Nova Scotia, it's the wrong plan for any economy. That's not the idea.

With this lack of understanding on how these fundamental components of competition and investment and revenues work, we've invested $60 million in DSME; $50 million to Bowater, $160 million to Stern, $10 million to Imperial, $5 million to Scanwood. These are significant investments and I'm concerned that we don't have an understanding of how these things are invested enough to the point where we think it's going to be a value for taxpayers.

Now, finally, I'll wrap up with talking about IBM. IBM is a multinational corporation, the ninth largest in the world. If that is the case, they don't need tax money. They don't need it. Every company you look at, every major operation that's successful, that's healthy and vibrant, they don't want interference, so they don't want government money. They want to use their own profits and their own revenues to develop their next phase. They don't need public funds, they do not.

The minister can step up (Interruptions) yeah, this is a whole lot different. I digress.

[Page 3497]

So we have corporate welfare happening again. This deal should have been tendered. As the member of the PC Party said today, there are competitions, we don't know the details because it wasn't tendered but there is Oracle, there is Cisco. IBM has competition; they're not alone. To suggest that they're the only ones in the field, I'm not sure, because we haven't seen that information. But the privacy commissioner should have been consulted in this deal. This is private and sensitive information that we control on behalf of Nova Scotians and now it's in the hands of IBM who have had some difficulties with this thing. We've talked about Carlson and the situation today. So their track record isn't great; it's one that we've got to concern ourselves with, and we're just looking to make sure.

It's not unreasonable for the Opposition to make these statements and ask questions and wonder where this money is going, particularly given the fact that we've got this track record with DSME, with Bowater. So I think that it will be very interesting to hear the government's side, and I know that the member for Pictou East will explain this to us very eloquently.

With that, I take my seat. Thank you.

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

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a great pleasure for me to rise in the House tonight to speak about today's announcement, but I do want to mention DSTN before I begin. I hate to attack the member for Glace Bay, because I think a lot of the member for Glace Bay. We are both the sons of coal miners and I have a lot of respect for what he has said sometimes in the past, but today he is totally off base. The resolution is off base, and I want to talk about another major opportunity this government has helped to bring home.

Like the shipbuilding contract and yesterday's news that PROJEX Technologies would expand here, we have yet another opportunity for good jobs in Nova Scotia. I want to say that I was personally embarrassed yesterday with the comments from both Parties when the senior management of PROJEX were up in the gallery and they were made not to feel welcome in Nova Scotia. (Interruptions) The Parties over there are clearly job killers. They are job killers.

Mr. Speaker, this week has indeed been one of the most significant for Nova Scotia job creation in recent memory - in recent memory. In the past two days this government has announced the potential for close to 1,000 new, good jobs in Nova Scotia - 940 good jobs in Nova Scotia. Now, contrast that to the members opposite, the visionless members opposite - the voices of doom, the voices of despair, the voices of policies of yesterday. (Interruptions)

Today the province, IBM Canada, our universities, and the Nova Scotia Community College announced that we are joining together to help create hundreds of high-paying, long-term jobs and ensure young Nova Scotians have the skills to succeed in them. IBM has chosen Nova Scotia as the location of its only Canadian global delivery centre. Mr. Speaker, IBM is aiming to make Canada the world capital of analytics and Nova Scotians are going to help make that a reality. Companies in Canada and around the world will look to Nova Scotia for expert IT services and advice, and they'll tap into this centre for new tools that help companies of all sizes boost their bottom lines and become more competitive.

[Page 3498]

Now, I want to talk about a great component of today's announcement. IBM will also partner with five of our universities and the Nova Scotia Community College (Interruptions) I know they don't want to hear this. They don't want to hear this, Mr. Speaker, because it's too good for them. (Interruptions) This will establish a centre of analytics, helping to prepare our students for the jobs of the future.

Mr. Speaker, you don't have to take my word for it, they don't have to take my word for it. Listen to this, just ask. . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

MR. MACKINNON « » : Just ask NSCC student Michaela LeBlanc, who is studying IT Web Development in Yarmouth. She says that bringing a partnership with one of the world's biggest names in IT to our region will open doors to new and bigger opportunities for people in her field. Or, Jean-Paul Deveau from Acadian Sea Plants, a person I have known for many, many years from a previous life in the fishing industry - he is already saying that using analytics is a better way of understanding Acadian's customers. Paul says having expertise like this, right here at home, will be a huge advantage for his business. Or for my friend from Cape Breton, Mathew Georghiou from MediaSpark in Cape Breton, who says that any initiative that increases the high knowledge skills and career potential of our people is welcomed news. IBM will now deliver SAP services for the province, maintaining the level of service and security Nova Scotians have come to rely on.

Mr. Speaker, I recognize that this has been a long and difficult process for employees and I know they have a lot to consider in the days ahead. But as a former long-time member of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union and a member of that union's political action committee, I am pleased that there has been ongoing consultation with the unions, because I remember, I can personally contrast that with the dealings with labour of the previous governments, both Liberal and Progressive Conservative, and how we were treated in those days. (Interruptions) Wages rolled back, job cuts, dismissing of nursing staff and so on (Interruptions)

MR.SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

[Page 3499]

MR. MACKINNON « » : Their talent and commitment is part of what attracted IBM to Nova Scotia and the job offer they'll receive from IBM will reflect that. Mr. Speaker, the 500 new employees working at IBM will earn almost $130 million over eight years, money they can spend in their communities and on making life better for their families. The province will gain more than $6 million in revenue from this project, to help pay for better health care for families and seniors, better schools for students to learn in, and better roads for shipping and receiving and products. That's something - better roads in Pictou East and better roads throughout the Province of Nova Scotia.

As I listened to families, small business owners, and young people in Pictou County and all parts of Nova Scotia, I feel their energy and I feel their enthusiasm. There is hope, there is hope coming from this side of the House, not the despair and hopelessness that exists over there. IBM could have picked any place in Canada to bring their expertise, research and jobs. I think they chose the best place to build their future.

Mr. Speaker, we are turning the corner, inviting people to come to our universities and colleges to study, to our companies to work and to our towns and cities to establish businesses so they can hire highly-trained and expertly-skilled workers because by working together and investing in people, Nova Scotia's great future gets even brighter. We have a plan - there is no plan; we have a vision - there is no vision; we have leadership - and there is no leadership (Interruption) I'm sorry, I have one minute. Thank you very much.

I just want to reiterate that this side of the House has real leadership as we go into the future. We are not looking at the Headless Horsemen on the other side of the aisle, Mr. Speaker, and that just came to mind, looking at them. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Excuse me. Before I recognize the honourable member for Hants West, I would suggest that "Headless Horsemen" is probably not parliamentary language. I would ask the member for Pictou East to retract that statement.

MR. MACKINNON « » : Mr. Speaker, I would be delighted to retract the "Headless Horsemen" comment, but I do have other adjectives. Thank you.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, that member stood on his feet and he started his conversation, or whatever you want to call that over there - that rant - with saying how embarrassed he was. He should be embarrassed with that very foolish bit of debate in this House, going on about job-killers - are you kidding me? I'm going to just quote a couple - 135 the other day in Minas Basin in Hantsport; not long before that, 150 at Fundy Gypsum. And what did the government over there do? Zero, zero, that's what they've done, and that's only a couple. That's only a couple. I could quote all kinds from around the province. You know what? I could do that, but what would it matter? It doesn't matter to them.

[Page 3500]

He goes on in this announcement today - you know, I wanted to start off by saying jobs are good for Nova Scotia. If they can make this happen, you know what, that's a good plan. Two weeks' notice, I'll get back to that. I want to comment on a couple of other quotes that this member for Pictou East made, Mr. Speaker. "Job-killers" - ridiculous. We're standing in our places here fighting to secure jobs in our areas, not to kill jobs in our areas, and we all know that. Every member in this House should be doing that. That member stood in his place and he said, making life better for Nova Scotians.

I'd like you to come down, honourable member, to Hants West, Hantsport, Windsor, and I want you to tell those 135 who are losing their jobs last week how you are making life better for those 135 people in this province. You are not. You should be embarrassed to stand in your place and make that quote, after job losses like that occurred in this province. (Interruption) No, no, you had your say. I'm having mine now on behalf of the people of Hants West and the people of this province, Mr. Speaker, that's what I'm doing.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I would ask the honourable member for Hants West to address the Chair.

MR. PORTER « » : I shall address the Chair. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for reminding. Probably a good thing you did.

Look, I wanted to stand here today and talk about the economy and the jobs, because that's important to members on this side of the House and we need to do everything we can to bring jobs here.

Announcements about the SAP program being transferred over to IBM, if that creates hundreds of jobs, that's a wonderful thing, Mr. Speaker, but how do we know? Every other commitment, or so-called commitment, promised potential. We keep hearing that word "potential" - potential jobs. So far, none of that potential - Trenton as an example - none of that potential has added up.

It's funny how they continue to make 10 jobs sound like 110 jobs, Mr. Speaker. Where are the 10? We haven't even seen that.

AN HON. MEMBER: A job is a job.

MR. PORTER « » : Keep going - a job is a job is a job. That's right, we'll take every job we can get, but they're not doing anything to help the jobs. I see no investment in the small businesses in this province, yet they'll stand up and they'll go on about how small business in the Province of Nova Scotia, they're the backbone of Nova Scotia, and do nothing. We'll put hundreds of millions of dollars into projects and we won't even look at small business, yet they will get their picture taken in a small business for the Small Business Day that we had back there on October 20th, celebrating that with CFIB. Good stuff.

[Page 3501]

What have we done for small business in Nova Scotia? I can tell you that just in my town of Windsor alone that I represent - just in Windsor, not including Hantsport and others - there are many, many small businesses, businesses that people don't even realize are there. What are we doing for them? Nothing. They would like to be out hiring people, and if you had $11 million, like you had yesterday, they'd probably come to the gallery too. They'd tell you all about that, and they'd do it happily.

Eleven million bucks, you're right on, the member for Glace Bay said it. Anybody would come to the gallery and smile for $11 million. Nobody was criticizing those people at all. They came here and nobody criticized them, and the member is wrong on that. I think if you looked back in the Hansard you would see that nobody criticized those people who sat in that gallery.

I know that the Leader of this Party, Mr. Speaker, went up and he spoke with those people. They understood clearly what it was we were bringing to the table here, what we were bringing to this Legislature and speaking about: jobs matter in Nova Scotia to us, to this Party, not to the government obviously. A good sale matters to the government, that photo op, that nice picture and that announcement. That matters to the Government of Nova Scotia today, the NDP. That's what they know.

Where's the reality though, Mr. Speaker? The reality is we keep hearing about job losses in this province. (Interruption) You know, yes, another good one. There are a lot of examples. We need to be focused on jobs in this province and not just making fancy announcements. For that member to stand on his feet and talk about making life better for Nova Scotians; when in the last three years has that happened? When?

AN HON. MEMBER: Life is more expensive.

MR. PORTER « » : Every announcement that we have seen has cost Nova Scotia taxpayers a fortune. What are we now at, $1.5 billion more in three years, in provincial debt - $1.5 billion? How many people do you think realize that? Not many but the government continues to go around and write the cheques. Where are the real jobs? If there are jobs to go along with the investment, long-term, sustainable jobs in the Province of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, and they want to invest in something, okay, that probably makes good sense, but so far the announcements we're seeing aren't doing that. We've seen money invested in Cape Breton, in Port Hawkesbury, to keep a mill alive and the government boasts about that, okay, good, we got some jobs back. We haven't got them all. What happened to the pensions of those people?

There's no security there. Are we kidding ourselves in this province thinking that there's job security there? We know that people in the industry, in Hantsport as an example, gave notice, Mr. Speaker, to their people, that there was something coming. They weren't able to continue in the paper industry, but do you know what? They gave notice, unlike the Government of Nova Scotia that decided maybe two weeks ago to give notice that people are going to have to take options, leave the government, go to the private industry, go to IBM. Now, there's nothing wrong with IBM, not a thing wrong, but there are others in the industry.

[Page 3502]

Our Leader stood here today and asked the question of the Premier, Mr. Speaker, about this very deal - and not being critical, supporting jobs in the Province of Nova Scotia - and he asked the question, how come it wasn't tendered out - sole-sourcing. Who says that IBM has the best deal or the best price? Are we just transferring jobs, at a cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayer again and saving nothing? Is that what we're doing here? It will be interesting to see the real details come to light on this particular SAP deal. We don't know enough about it and they continue, and they go on about how we've worked and we've notified and we've spoken with the union. Well, I can tell you we've heard from people in those unions who said, nobody told us a thing. What happened to treating people with some kind of respect?

They stand in this place, that member for Pictou East stands in his place and says a better deal for Nova Scotians - a better deal? Highest taxes, high power rates and, oh, by the way, we're going to let power rates go up again come January and the January after that. We're not going to do anything about that, but that's okay, but we'll put a bill in this House that in 2015 might have some effect - not likely the way that it reads, but unfortunately we have a majority government in this House that is just ramming it through anyway. It doesn't matter what Opposition members stand up here and say.

Well, we're not just dreaming this stuff up; we are standing here on behalf of Nova Scotians that we represent and saying this is not good enough. (Applause) When will it stop? People are waiting for that slogan in the last campaign that they all saw, they're waiting - "A Better Deal for Nova Scotia Families" - and they're still waiting. Taxes, high power bills - not a better deal, a bitter deal - I've said that before, haven't I, Mr. Speaker? - a bitter deal for today's families is what they're doing. They're swallowing the pill that said bite the bullet, that's what they were told, bite the bullet. Well, they've got no choice really. They've got a member who will stand on his feet and talk about how embarrassed he is about some things being said on this side and that people don't support jobs.

He knows, Mr. Speaker, full well, that people on this side of this House support every job that's created in the Province of Nova Scotia. (Applause) We're just waiting for real jobs, big jobs, more jobs that they keep promising to Nova Scotians to see fruition. We're not seeing that. Don't stand up and try to sell us something. People saw, three years ago, what they were selling and they know now - I can't say that word.

AN HON. MEMBER: They ain't buying it.

[Page 3503]

MR. PORTER « » : They're not buying it. Mr. Speaker, I'll take back the thought that I had. Anyway, they know that the NDP have not lived up to their slogan of "A Better Deal for Nova Scotia Families." They know those promises did not come true - will not come true. They will tell you, let's get to the polls because we're going to show you, not just tell you, they're going to show Nova Scotians what they're going to do about it. They're going to stand up and take action is what they're going to do. Why? Because we have a member like the member for Pictou East, and others, who will stand up bravely over there because that's what they're told to do by their Premier: stand up and carry the right message.

Why isn't the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism standing up in his place and speaking about jobs in this province? No, he decides not to do that this evening. He could have. He still can, if he would like - stand up. I would waive the floor for him right now, and allow him to take my last 30 seconds or so that I have and tell Nova Scotians all about the great jobs that he's going to maybe, potentially, have some impact in creating.

I know I'm out of time, Mr. Speaker, and I thank you very much for the opportunity to address the House this evening. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : I want to thank all members for their participation in tonight's debate.

That ends the business of the House today and we will resume at the hour of 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 5:10 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3504]

RESOLUTION NO. 1858

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 Bill Benjamin, founder of Benjamin Heating Products, began the business in the back yard of his home in 1972 and is now celebrating 40 years of business with an open house in Springhill; and

Whereas one of the reasons for business' success is their decision to cater to a niche market inside the heating world rather than taking on the challenge of total market coverage; and

Whereas Benjamin Heating is a leader in the small market where they offer a complete package to their customers focusing on hydronics rather than hot air;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Benjamin Heating on their 40 years in business and wish them many more successful years.

RESOLUTION NO. 1859

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 Justine Brown was named Springhill High School's Junior Girls Athlete of the Month in September; and

Whereas Justine is heralded as a role model both inside and outside of school as she is the captain of her soccer team and leads by example, not only scoring goals but giving her sport 100 per cent both on and off the field; and

Whereas Justine creates an atmosphere on her team where everyone feels important to the team's success;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Justine Brown on being named Springhill High's Junior Girls Athlete of the Month and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1860

[Page 3505]

By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas the 2012 municipal election in Victoria County saw the election of two new councillors, Athol Grant and Wayne Budge; and

Whereas the election also saw the return of incumbent councillors Fraser Patterson, Larry Dauphinee and John Buchanan; and

Whereas councillors Bruce Morrison, Paul MacNeil and Merrill MacInnis were acclaimed to serve on Council;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate the successful candidates to serve on Victoria County Council and thank all those who put their names forward to serve the residents of the county.

RESOLUTION NO. 1861

By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas on Monday, November 5th eight councillors elected to serve Victoria County took their oath of office; and

Whereas incumbent Warden Bruce Morrison was unopposed for another term as Warden; and

Whereas the election of Deputy Warden, contested by Councillors Fraser Patterson and Paul MacNeil resulted in a tie vote and was decided by a draw from a hat with Councillor Patterson being chosen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate Warden Bruce Morrison and Deputy Warden Fraser Patterson on their appointments and wish them the best as they lead Victoria County Council for another term.

RESOLUTION NO. 1862

[Page 3506]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Beth Murray for her valuable contribution to the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, for being named to the tournament all-star team, and for being named the tournament's top defenseman.

RESOLUTION NO. 1863

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Hannah Lynds for her valuable contribution to making her team the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1864

[Page 3507]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Hannah Porter for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1865

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kara Lynn MacDonald for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1866

[Page 3508]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Madelyn Phillips for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1867

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mallory Putnam for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1868

[Page 3509]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sydney Miller for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1869

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate assistant coach Alicia Tompkins for her valuable contribution to making the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1870

[Page 3510]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North in April, 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate assistant coach Amanda Dale for her valuable contribution to making the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1871

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bailey Faulkner for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1872

[Page 3511]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Beth Murray for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1873

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate assistant coach Charles Bowers for his valuable contribution to making the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1874

[Page 3512]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chloe Bowers for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1875

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate head coach Dale Miller for his valuable contribution to making his team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1876

[Page 3513]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emma Toole for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1877

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Haleigh Daigle for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1878

[Page 3514]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey Championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Hannah Lynds for her valuable contribution to the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, and for being named to the tournament all-star team.

RESOLUTION NO. 1879

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Haylee Porter for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1880

[Page 3515]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate manager John Daigle for his valuable contribution to making the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1881

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kara Lynn MacDonald her valuable contribution to the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, and for being named the most sportsmanlike player.

RESOLUTION NO. 1882

[Page 3516]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kathleen Hearn for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1883

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lyndsay Burgess for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1884

[Page 3517]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Madelyn Quinn for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1885

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Madison Murphy for her valuable contribution to making her team, the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones, the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1886

[Page 3518]

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

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Peewee AA Female Hockey championships were held in Debert, Colchester North, in April 2012; and

Whereas the teams competing in these championships are to be commended for setting a high standard of playing excellence; and

Whereas the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones won the Fair Play Banner and the Gold Medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate assistant coach Tony Faulkner for his valuable contribution to making the Female Peewee AA Colchester Cyclones the Nova Scotia champions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1887

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas Cheticamp student Michelle Deveau won the Co-op Atlantic song contest; and

Whereas this year marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of La Coopérative de Cheticamp and the Margaree Co-op; and

Whereas songs that Michelle has written and performed are heard on local radio stations and have gained popularity elsewhere;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the talent of Michelle Deveau, and congratulate her on a well-deserved award.

RESOLUTION NO. 1888

[Page 3519]

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas the Teachers Make a Difference Recognition Program for making an impact in the lives of their students is nominated by students each year for their impact on the lives of the students; and

Whereas there were over 400 teachers nominated, the winners receive a $300 donation toward their home school, or campus' breakfast, or library program; and

Whereas Nicole LeBlanc, a music teacher from École NDA in Cheticamp was selected to receive this award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislative Assembly express our appreciation to Nicole LeBlanc for her dedication and for the positive influence she demonstrates each day with the youth of our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 1889

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

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

Whereas the Mira Seniors and Pensioners Club is celebrating its 40th anniversary on November 21st; and

Whereas the Mira Seniors and Pensioners Club began in 1972 when a group of citizens in Marion Bridge recognized the need for a place to meet the recreational, social and cultural needs of the older adults in the area; and

Whereas the Mira Seniors and Pensioners Club have overcome many obstacles, including losing their Centre to a fire in 2006 but, fortunately, with a lot of hard work the Centre was rebuilt and opened again in 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Mira Seniors and Pensioners Club on their 40th anniversary and recognize all their hardworking members for their many contributions to Marion Bridge and the surrounding area.

RESOLUTION NO. 1890

[Page 3520]

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

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

Whereas Leroy Peach from Port Morien was recently inducted into the Tourism Industry Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Leroy Peach received this recognition for being a longstanding champion of tourism in Cape Breton; and

Whereas Leroy was the driving force behind the formation of the Port Morien Development Association, is an active member of Legion Branch No. 55, an author, a poet and a deeply committed volunteer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Leroy Peach on his induction into the Tourism Industry Hall of Fame and thank him for his tireless work on behalf of his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 1891

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

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 005 in Donkin, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 005 in Donkin, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1892

[Page 3521]

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

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 55 in Port Morien, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 55 in Port Morien, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1893

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

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 151 in East Bay, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 151 in East Bay, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

[Page 3522]

RESOLUTION NO. 1894

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

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 62 in Louisbourg, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 62 in Louisbourg, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1895

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 08 in Sydney Mines, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

[Page 3523]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 08 in Sydney Mines, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1896

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 19 in North Sydney, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 19 in North Sydney, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1897

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 83 in Florence, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

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Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 83 in Florence, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1898

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 009 in Hants County, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 009 in Hants County, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1899

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

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Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 66 in West Pubnico, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 66 in West Pubnico, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1900

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 155 in Wedgeport, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 155 in Wedgeport, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1901

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By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 in Baddeck, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53, in Baddeck, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1902

By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 105 in Ingonish, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 105 in Ingonish, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1903

By: Mr. Keith Bain « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Grandona Legion Branch 124 in Iona, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Grandona Legion Branch 124 in Iona, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1904

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 132 in Inverness, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 132 in Inverness for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1905

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 in Port Hawkesbury, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 43 in Port Hawkesbury for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1906

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

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Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 in Cheticamp, through its Poppy Campaign, provides services to veterans and their families and promotes remembrance to ensure future generations never forget our fallen heroes and returning veterans; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 53 in Cheticamp, for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 1907

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Cape Breton North)

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

Whereas on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians from coast to coast will pause to remember the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country during times of war, conflict, and peace; and

Whereas the Army, Navy, Air Force Veteran Unit 381 in North Sydney advocates on behalf of veterans who have given so much for us; and

Whereas Canada's reputation for freedom was earned on the battlefields of Europe and in places of conflict all around the world by heroes who fought so we might enjoy peace;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the members of the Army, Navy, and Air Force Veterans in Canada for all they do to ensure the sacrifice of our fallen heroes, our veterans, and current members of the Canadian Forces will never be forgotten.