Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD12-49

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 15, 2012

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
3752
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Health & Wellness: N.S. Health Research Fdn. - Anl. Rept. (2011-12),
3752
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2019, Col. Reg. Hosp. Aux.: Dedication - Commend,
3753
Vote - Affirmative
3753
Res. 2020, Pratt & Whitney - Anniv. (25th),
3753
Vote - Affirmative
3754
Res. 2021, Cowie, Paul/Gorman, Kenneth: Courageous Actions
- Recognize, Hon. R. Landry « »
3754
Vote - Affirmative
3755
Res. 2022, Intl. Educ. Wk. (11/12 - 11/16/12) - Recognize,
3755
Vote - Affirmative
3756
Res. 2023, Poirier, Paula - Progress Women of Excellence Award,
3756
Vote - Affirmative
3756
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice: N.S. Human Rights Act - Amend,
3757
URB - NSP: General Rate Application - Deny,
3757
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 131, School Board Members Duties Clarification Act,
3758
No. 132, Income Tax Act,
3758
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2024, Brooks, Dr. Jane - N.S. Fam. Physician of Yr. - Congrats.,
3758
Vote - Affirmative
3759
Res. 2025, Mitchell, Keisha Harris: Drive/Persistence
- Recognize, Mr. E. Orrell »
3759
Vote - Affirmative
3759
Res. 2026, St. FX Women's Rugby Team: Successful Season
- Congrats., Hon. M. Smith »
3759
Vote - Affirmative
3760
Res. 2027, Morse, Shelly - Progress Women of Excellence Award,
3760
Vote - Affirmative
3761
Res. 2028, Club Acadien - Anniv. (50th),
3761
Vote - Affirmative
3762
Res. 2029, N.S. Social Workers: Liberal Leader - Apologize,
3762
Res. 2030, Senn, Anita - P.E.A.C.E. Awards: Founder - Recognize,
3763
Vote - Affirmative
3764
Res. 2031, Graham, Carl: Giant Pumpkin Contest - Congrats.,
3764
Vote - Affirmative
3765
Res. 2032, Foster, Jackie: Lawn Bowling Accomplishments
- Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey »
3765
Vote - Affirmative
3766
Res. 2033, St. John the Baptist Anglican Church - Anniv. (135th),
3766
Vote - Affirmative
3766
Res. 2034, VanMeekeren Farms: Outstanding Exporter of Yr. (2012)
- Congrats., Mr. J. Morton »
3766
Vote - Affirmative
3767
Res. 2035, N.S. MBAs/CMAs: Fin. Min. - Apologize,
3767
Res. 2036, MacAdam, Dr. Katherine - Progress Women of Excellence Award,
3768
Vote - Affirmative
3769
Res. 2037, Country Hbr. Commun. Ctr. & Multipurpose Facility:
Opening - Congrats., Mr. J. Boudreau »
3769
Vote - Affirmative
3769
Res. 2038, Nicholas, Toni: Anti-Bullying Action - Congrats.,
3770
Vote - Affirmative
3770
Res. 2039, Multicultural Fest. - Tri-Co. Multicultural Assoc.:
Organizing - Congrats., Mr. Z. Churchill »
3770
Vote - Affirmative
3771
Res. 2040, IWK: Miracle Workers - Thank,
3771
Vote - Affirmative
3772
Res. 2041, Comeau, Réjean: CD Launch - Congrats.,
3772
Vote - Affirmative
3773
Res. 2042, Poirier, Paula - Progress Women of Excellence Award,
3773
Vote - Affirmative
3773
Res. 2043, Willis, Ivan: Commun./N.S. - Contribution,
3774
Vote - Affirmative
3774
Res. 2044, Rath, Danielle - Cent. Col. Jr. HS Female Athlete of Yr.,
3774
Vote - Affirmative
3775
Res. 2045, Manual, Jennifer: Strength/Determination - Congrats.,
3775
Vote - Affirmative
3776
Res. 2046, Canstruction Hfx. 2012: Participants - Congrats.,
3776
Vote - Affirmative
3777
Res. 2047, Tibbo, Charmaine: Commun. Dedication - Recognize,
3777
Vote - Affirmative
3777
Res. 2048, Saulnier, Raymond: Fire Serv. Exemplary Serv. Medal (20 Yrs.)
- Congrats., Hon. W. Gaudet « »
3777
Vote - Affirmative
3778
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 426, Gov't. (N.S.) - N.S. Economy: Growth - Failure Explain,
3778
No. 427, Prem. - Muskrat Falls: Review - Call,
3780
No. 428, Prem.: China Trade Mission - Airfare,
3782
No. 429, Prem.: Tel Aviv Trade Mission - Airfare,
3784
No. 430, Health & Wellness: ERs - Promises,
3786
No. 431, ERDT: IBM Contract - Table,
3788
No. 432, Prem.: MV Miner - Removal,
3789
No. 433, Com. Serv. - NSP: Rate Increases - Prem. Deny,
3791
No. 434, Justice - N.S. Home for Colored Children: Review - Legality,
3793
No. 435, Nat. Res. - Forestry Organizations: Funding - Confirm,
3794
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 127, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act
3796
3799
3799
3800
3803
3804
Vote - Affirmative
3806
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 129, Liverpool United Baptist Church Cemetery Act
3807
Vote - Affirmative
3807
No. 130, Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches Act
3807
Vote - Affirmative
3807
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 2:29 P.M
3808
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 2:40 P.M
3808
CWH REPORTS
3808
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
NDP Gov't.: Economic Policies - Effectiveness,
3810
3812
3814
3817
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Nov. 16th at 9:00 a.m
3819
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2049, Gamblin, Josh: Cent. Col. Jr. HS Male Athlete of Yr
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
3820
Res. 2050, Movember (11/12) - Recognize,
3820
Res. 2051, Petite Riviere Vol. FD: N.S. Music Wk. Commun
Presenter of Yr. Award - Nomination, Ms. V. Conrad »
3821
Res. 2052, Drummond, Scott: N.S. Music Wk. Vol. of Yr. Award
- Nomination, Ms. V. Conrad « »
3821
Res. 2053, Helmer, Leif: N.S. Music Wk. Vol. of Yr. Award
- Nomination, Ms. V. Conrad « »
3822
Res. 2054, Little River Folk Soc.: N.S. Music Wk. Commun
Presenter of Yr. Award - Nomination, Ms. V. Conrad « »
3822
Res. 2055, Howell, Chef Michael: Commun./Prov. - Contributions,
3823
Res. 2056, Herbin, Peter: Anna. Valley Commun
- Contributions, Hon. R. Jennex « »
3823
Res. 2057, Smith, Lloyd - Commun. Contributions,
3824
Res. 2058, Meerman, Keith: Commun./Cuba
- Contributions, Hon. R. Jennex « »
3824
Res. 2059, Saunders, Judy: Commun./Prov. - Contributions,
3825
Res. 2060, Jain, June: Commun. - Contributions,
3825
Res. 2061, Eaton, Dr. Janet: Anna. Valley Contributions
- Recognize, Hon. R. Jennex « »
3826
Res. 2062, Stutz, Hanspeter: Commun. Contributions
- Recognize, Hon. R. Jennex « »
3826
Res. 2063, Rankin, Reg - HRM Deputy Mayor: Election
- Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen »
3827

[Page 3751]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 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. Before we start the daily routine, the subject matter has been chosen for late debate, and I will read:

Therefore be it resolved that this NDP Government's economic policies are not creating good, full-time jobs and as a result, more Nova Scotians are turning to part-time positions, where wages are lower and benefits are scarce.

It was submitted by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

3751

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

[Page 3752]

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

Bill No. 97 - Fairer Power Rates Act.

Bill No. 125 - War Amps Key Tag Act.

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

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

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would I be permitted to make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Most certainly.

MR. WILSON « » : Today I'd like to draw the attention of members to our east gallery. We have representatives from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation. Joining us today are Dr. Jean Gray, board chair, and Krista Connell, chief executive officer. I'd like the whole House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a report from the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

[Page 3753]

RESOLUTION NO. 2019

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

Whereas the work of hospital volunteers and foundations is incredibly important to the health care system; and

Whereas auxiliaries and auxiliary members make a valuable difference through the millions of dollars raised each year in Nova Scotia for medical equipment, patient care and research, and bursaries; and

Whereas Colchester Regional Hospital Auxiliary, formed in 1920, made an immeasurable contribution to care in the Colchester-East Hants community and contributed $800,000 to the campaign for the new health centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Colchester Regional Hospital Auxiliary on their anniversary and commend them for their dedication to providing better care for their community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

RESOLUTION NO. 2020

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

Whereas Pratt & Whitney Canada established its facility in Nova Scotia 25 years ago, as one of the first companies in Nova Scotia's growing aerospace and defence sector; and

Whereas Pratt & Whitney, with about 340 employees, helps bring economic benefits to Enfield and surrounding communities through hard work, dedication, and commitment; and

[Page 3754]

Whereas aerospace and defence has a bright future in Nova Scotia, and the province is looking forward to helping companies like Pratt & Whitney continue to compete and win in the global economy;

Therefore be it resolved that we congratulate Pratt & Whitney on 25 years of manufacturing excellence in the aerospace and defence sector in Nova Scotia, and wish them success in all their future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2021

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

Whereas in 2007, a young boy swam out too far in Williams Lake in Halifax and began to drown; and

Whereas two courageous Nova Scotians, Paul Cowie and Kenneth Gorman, dove into the water and risked their lives to save the boy; and

Whereas the young boy survived, thanks to the selfless actions of Mr. Cowie and Mr. Gorman;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the courageous actions of Paul Cowie and Kenneth Gorman in saving the life of a fellow Nova Scotian.

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

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

[Page 3755]

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 Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2022

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

Whereas the week of November 12th to November 16th is celebrated as International Education Week in Canada and in more than 100 countries around the world; and

Whereas the theme for 2012 - Canada Engages with the World: Realizing our Potential through International Education - recognizes the value in giving our students opportunities to study abroad and in welcoming international students to our schools; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has developed a reputation as a global education partner, as schools in countries including China and the United Arab Emirates have adopted the province's Public School Program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize International Education Week, and acknowledge the contributions that international students and educators make in Nova Scotia and that Nova Scotian students and educators make in the rest of the world.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3756]

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 2023

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

Whereas the Progress Women of Excellence Awards Gala is one of a kind in Nova Scotia and honours inspirational women who play an important role in our community; and

Whereas the awards recognize women at the pinnacle of their professions in the categories of Arts and Culture, Communications/Public Affairs, Education and Research, Entrepreneur/Innovator, Health Sport and Wellness, and Management and the Professions; and

Whereas Paula Poirier, chief operating officer of Emergency Medical Care Inc., the organization that operates Nova Scotia's ambulance service on behalf of the Department of Health and Wellness, is being recognized for her outstanding leadership in the areas of Health Sport and Wellness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Paula Poirier for being named the recipient of a Progress Women of Excellence Award for her role in providing emergency medical care in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

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.

HON. LEONARD PREYRA « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Presenting and Reading Petitions.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is to revert to the order of business, Presenting and Reading Petitions.

[Page 3757]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

HON. LEONARD PREYRA « » : Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I beg leave to present a petition organized by the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project. There are approximately 1,700 signatures, essentially asking that all individuals be treated equally. The operative clause is:

"THEREFORE WE ASK that the Government of Nova Scotia help end transphobia and trans discrimination by adding 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' as protected grounds under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : 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."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

[Page 3758]

Bill No. 131 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act, Respecting the Clarification of School Board Members Duties. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

Bill No. 132 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Income Tax Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2024

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

Whereas John, Ned, and Eric all have one more reason to be proud as their mom, wife, and partner was recognized as Nova Scotia's Family Physician of the Year by the College of Family Physicians; and

Whereas Dr. Jane Brooks is never idle and has been credited with starting one of the province's first collaborative medical practices with her husband, Dr. Eric Balser, and was in the forefront in adopting a fully functional electronic medical records system; and

Whereas Dr. Brooks seems to find more hours in one day than most with a medical practice, two busy boys, being an active community volunteer, and currently as co-chair of Annapolis Valley Health's Department of Family Medicine;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Dr. Brooks on her recent achievement, and thank her for her hard work and dedication to her profession 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.

[Page 3759]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2025

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

Whereas 15-year-old Keisha Harris Mitchell, a Grade 9 honour student at Dr. T.L. Sullivan Junior High School in Florence, was the second runner-up in the Miss Teen Cape Breton Scholarship Pageant; and

Whereas Keisha went on to the Miss Teen Canada Globe in Toronto where she built her confidence and made new friends at a national level; and

Whereas four days a week Keisha is involved with dance classes, works as a teacher with younger dancers and is a member of the local Air Cadet Squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the remarkable Keisha Harris Mitchell for her drive and persistence that will make her successful on whatever road she chooses to travel.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 2026

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

Whereas on November 4th, after an undefeated season, the St. Francis Xavier women's rugby team wrapped up an undefeated playoff tournament with a 37-0 win over the Guelph Gryphons to win the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Rugby Championship; and

[Page 3760]

Whereas X-Women Coach Mike Cavanagh was the 2012 CIS Coach of the Year, and No.8 Tyson Beukeboom was the Atlantic University Sport MVP; and

Whereas the 2012 championship is the X-Women's third national championship title, and they reached the finals in each of the last five years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House congratulate the St. FX women's rugby team on their successful season and victory in the CIS rugby championship, and wish them 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.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2027

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

Whereas last night, the Canadian Progress Club of Halifax-Cornwallis held its 23rd Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards Dinner at the World Trade and Convention Centre; and

Whereas 19 inspirational women were honoured for their exceptional contribution to their profession and their ability to influence, motivate, inspire, and make our province an ever better place to live; and

Whereas Shelley Morse, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, received an award in the education and research category for her exceptional contributions in education and the impact she has had both in the classroom and, now, in her capacity as president, working on behalf of 10,600 teachers across the province;

[Page 3761]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Shelley Morse on receiving a Progress Women of Excellence Award, and wish her many more years of exceptional contributions to education and public life.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2028

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

Attendu que le samedi 17 novembre, Le Club Acadien à Sainte Anne-du-Ruisseau sera l'hôte d'une journée portes ouvertes à l'occasion de son cinquantième anniversaire; et

Attendu que Le Club Acadien a été formé en 1962 dans ce qui était autrefois la salle communautaire de la paroisse par un groupe d'hommes des communautés avoisinantes qui se sont aidés et a aussi faires des œuvres de bienfaisance; et

Attendu que Le Club Acadien a formé les dames auxiliaires à la fin des années 1960 et en travaillant ensemble a vu deux ajouts à la structure originale qui leur a permis d'utiliser le club comme un lieu de rencontre pour tous les types de groups sociaux, lieux de réceptions de mariage, de danses et à un moment était le site d'une école maternelle;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent le Club Acadien sur la célébration de son cinquantième anniversaire et remercient tout le conseil d'administration et les membres pour tout le travail et leur dévouement envers leur communauté et leur souhaitons beaucoup de succès dans le futur.

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

[Page 3762]

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

Whereas on Saturday November 17th, Le Club Acadien, in Sainte Anne-du-Ruisseau, will host an open house to celebrate its 50th Anniversary; and

Whereas Le Club Acadien was formed in 1962 in what was once the community hall for the parish by a group of men from the surrounding communities who would support each other by doing charitable work; and

Whereas Le Club Acadien formed a women's auxiliary in the late 1960s, and working together saw two additions to the original structure that enabled them to use the club as a meeting place for all kinds of social groups, a venue for wedding receptions, dances and, at one point, a preschool;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Le Club Acadien on celebrating its 50th Anniversary, thank all the directors and members for the hard work and dedication to their community, and wish them continued success in all their endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 2029

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : 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 Liberal Party said in this Legislature that a social worker lacks the qualifications to be Minister of Finance; and

Whereas social workers are caring professionals whose training and skills include setting priorities and securing resources to meet often complex needs in situations that range from the mundane to those of life and death; and

[Page 3763]

Whereas there are and have been many social workers in positions of leadership in public office - for example, Kathy Dunderdale, the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador;

Therefore be it resolved that the Leader of the Liberal Party apologize to the social workers of Nova Scotia for demeaning their capacity to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in matters pertaining to public administration.

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 Leader of the Official Opposition on an introduction.

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery, where we have with us Andrew Clements. Andrew is a former Youth Prime Minister of Canada who has served our country in the military. He is a good Cape Breton boy from the riding of Cape Breton West, and he is also in his first year at Dal Law School. He is here to observe the proceedings, and I'd ask people to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2030

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

Whereas Anita Senn was born in Lunenburg, educated in Dartmouth, and attended King's College, Acadia, Dalhousie, Mount Saint Vincent, and St. Francis Xavier, and now holds a Master's Degree in School Administration Policy and Continuing Adult Education, Educational Foundations, and is currently teaching in the elementary schools in HRM; and

[Page 3764]

Whereas she developed the concept of the P.E.A.C.E. Awards in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a way to respond to issues of bullying and violence in schools, for recipients who as individuals honour their legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by positive attitudes, accepting responsibility, and being respectful; and

Whereas the P.E.A.C.E. Awards have recently celebrated their 12th Anniversary and have been awarded a Professional Development Assistance Fund grant from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, which is a testament to its effectiveness in promoting positive school culture;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the founder of the P.E.A.C.E. Awards and congratulate Anita Senn for her valuable contribution to our youth.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2031

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

Whereas Carl Graham of Donkin recently competed in the annual Giant Pumpkin Contest at the Millville Community Centre; and

Whereas Carl Graham broke his own local record and chased the world record with a 1,811-pound pumpkin; and

Whereas Carl set out this year to set a Nova Scotia record and was just a couple of pounds short of a world record;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carl Graham on his win and for all the hard work that goes into growing his record-breaking pumpkins.

[Page 3765]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2032

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

Whereas the origins of lawn bowling can be traced back to the 13th Century, when the game was played by ancient Romans and Greeks; and

Whereas this sport is currently played in over 40 countries, with the best of each country competing this month at the world championship in Australia; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's own Jackie Foster has earned a spot on Canada's national team and will represent us on the pitch later this month;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jackie Foster and the entire Canadian team as they travel to Australia for the world lawn bowling championship and wish them the best of luck.

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 3766]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2033

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

Whereas St. John the Baptist Anglican Church celebrated its 135th Anniversary this year in the Town of North Sydney; and

Whereas without the people, the church is just a building and the congregation of St. John is constantly involved in branching out and hosting church-based activities; and

Whereas Reverend Carl Fraser has stated the church will continue its 135-year history of reaching out and inviting the community in for the next 135 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate St. John the Baptist Anglican Church on this memorable anniversary.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2034

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 Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce, or AVCC, is the united voice for business, which works to ensure that businesses thrive in the Annapolis Valley; and

[Page 3767]

Whereas the AVCC held its Business Awards Dinner at the Old Orchard Inn on November 8, 2012; and

Whereas Van Meekeren Farms of Lakeville, a family-owned agribusiness, which since 1964 has been renewing and expanding operations to increase its share of the local and global fresh fruit market, has been recognized as AVCC's Outstanding Exporter for 2012;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Van Meekeren Farms for their achievement in being named the Outstanding Exporter of the Year for 2012, and acknowledge its exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 2035

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

Whereas the Minister of Finance, as recorded in Hansard, indicated the member for Halifax Clayton Park was too inexperienced to do her job as Finance Critic; and

Whereas the Finance Minister should know that the member for Halifax Clayton Park holds a Master of Business Administration and is a Certified Management Accountant; and

Whereas Certified Management Accountants and MBA holders are highly qualified professionals;

[Page 3768]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance apologize for diminishing the work and contributions of Nova Scotians with MBAs and CMAs.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2036

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

Whereas on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 the Canadian Progress Club of Halifax Cornwallis held its 23rd Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards Dinner at the World Trade and Convention Centre; and

Whereas 19 inspirational women were honoured for their exceptional contributions to their profession and their ability to influence, motivate, inspire and make our province an even better place to live; and

Whereas Dr. Katherine MacAdam, a chiropractor and mental performance consultant, started a multi-disciplinary health clinic out of her own home in 2009 and has since seen her company grow to 12 staff and relocate to a new location;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Katherine MacAdam on her receipt of a Progress Women of Excellence Award and wish her many more years of exceptional contributions to patient care, academia, teaching, research, mentoring, and volunteering.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3769]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2037

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

Whereas September 30, 2012 marked the day the Country Harbour Community Centre and Multipurpose Facility was officially opened; and

Whereas the new centre and multipurpose facility is on the site of the old school, which has a strong local attachment; and

Whereas the community, along with funding from both local and government partners, erected a new community centre and playground facility for use by its residents and guests;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the residents of Country Harbour on the successful opening of the Country Harbour Community Centre and Multipurpose Facility and wish them every future success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2038

[Page 3770]

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

Whereas Toni Nicholas is a student at Ellenvale Junior High School in Dartmouth; and

Whereas Toni is the founder and organizer of Generation Change, a support group initiative for individuals who are bullied; and

Whereas Toni and Generation Change held a vigil at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth on October 28th, in memory of the more than 200 youth who have taken their own lives as a result of being bullied;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly commend Toni Nicholas of Dartmouth for her courage and positive action to combat bullying.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2039

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

Whereas the Tri-County Multicultural Association formed in 2008 seeks to preserve cultural heritage, promote contribution of all cultures to society, and help with settlement and integration of immigrants into the local environment; and

Whereas the association's annual Multicultural Festival, an immigrant-led initiative which helps newcomers to our communities become better integrated by giving them the opportunity to participate in an event where they can share their cultural food, clothing, crafts, dance, song and other performing arts, took place from July 1st to July 8th, culminating in the very popular International Food Fair; and

[Page 3771]

Whereas Tri-County Multicultural Association executive and committee members - Gurdeep Brar, Tracy Holmes-Carbonell, Fraser Mooney, Nick Jackson and Susan Doucette - along with volunteers, dedicate much of their time and effort to ensure that the Multicultural Festival is a huge success and is infused with the goals and vision of the Multicultural Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize and thank the Tri-County Multicultural Association executive and committee members and volunteers for their very hard work in the organization of the Multicultural Festival, and for the association's commitment to preserving and bolstering all cultures in our community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2040

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

Whereas dear friends of mine, David Morgan and Tania Lussier, are the proud parents of their baby girl, Carlee Brielle Morgan, born on June 16, 2012, at the IWK hospital, 16.5 weeks premature and weighing only one pound, six ounces; and

Whereas Carlee spent three months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the IWK, battling daily to get better while receiving extraordinary care from the doctors, nurses, and staff who are regarded by David and Tania as simply miracle workers; and

Whereas Carlee, now nine pounds and 13 ounces, is getting stronger each day and is poised to leave the Cape Breton Regional Hospital for her first journey into the world and will spend her first night home with her mom and dad in Scotchtown;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join David and Tania in thanking Carlee's miracle workers at the IWK and acknowledge our good fortune of having a world-class children's hospital in our capital city - the IWK staff are saving lives of Nova Scotian children every single day, simply miraculous.

[Page 3772]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2041

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

Whereas on Monday, June 25th, Réjean Comeau, a 13-year-old musician from Clare, launched his first CD, called Moi et mon grand-père, at École Secondaire de Clare; and

Whereas Réjean wanted to record a country bluegrass CD with the help of his grandfather Alcide Comeau; and

Whereas Réjean was nominated for the francophone recording of the year at the Music Nova Scotia Awards this past weekend in Liverpool;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Réjean Comeau on recording his first CD and wish him continued success in the future.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3773]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2042

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

Whereas on Wednesday, November 14, 2012, the Canadian Progress Club of Halifax Cornwallis held its 23rd Annual Progress Women of Excellence award dinner at the World Trade and Convention Centre; and

Whereas 19 inspirational women were honoured for their exceptional contributions to their profession and their ability to influence, motivate, inspire, and make our province an even better place to live; and

Whereas as chief operating officer of Emergency Medical Care, Paula Poirier was honoured for her leadership in the development, operation, and strategic planning of Emergency Medical Care;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Paula Poirier on her receipt of a Progress Women of Excellence Award and extend our appreciation for her contributions to our emergency health care system in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2043

[Page 3774]

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

Whereas Ivan Willis has lived in North Preston all of his life, and he and his wife, Muriel, have been married more than 50 years and have a family of six daughters and four sons; and

Whereas even as a child, Ivan, along with his parents and siblings, would care for the Downey Road Cemetery by cleaning up the graves, planting, and repairing it every year; and

Whereas today Ivan has been responsible for the enlargement of the cemetery as well as many improvements, as he and his crew work there on Saturdays during the summer, making the cemetery one that any community would be proud to claim as their own;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize Ivan Willis' efforts to improve his community and, indeed, contribute to all of Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2044

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

Whereas athletics are an important part of school life and help to develop the well-rounded individuals we wish our students to become; and

Whereas the athletes not only get to develop, challenge, and display their abilities, they learn the meaning of commitment, hard work, co-operation, and organization as they balance academics and sports; and

[Page 3775]

Whereas some students are especially gifted with athletic ability, work particularly hard, and excel as role models by always showing sportsmanship and team spirit;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Danielle Rath for being named Female Athlete of the Year at Central Colchester Junior High School in Onslow, Colchester North.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 2045

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

Whereas Jennifer Manual lost one of her infant twin daughters in 2008 due to complications from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome; and

Whereas after her daughter Jessica's passing, Jennifer Manual began running as an outlet for her grief, and a few years ago began marking Jessica's legacy with the IWK 5K Run, In Memory of Jessica, to raise funds for the IWK Foundation; and

Whereas due to Jennifer Manual's efforts, the 2012 IWK 5K Run, In Memory of Jessica, generated thousands of dollars toward future medical intervention for premature and at-risk infants;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jennifer Manual for her strength and determination and join her in thanking the IWK for the care shown to baby Jessica in her short life and to Alyssa Manual, who is now four years old.

[Page 3776]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2046

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

Whereas since 1992, Canstruction, an international event that combines art, engineering, and awareness under the slogan - "one can make a difference against hunger"; and

Whereas since its inception, Canstruction has contributed over 17.5 million pounds of food to community food banks, and almost 3.5 million pounds in 2012 so far; and

Whereas this year's Halifax Canstruction event took place October 17th to October 20th at Mic Mac Mall and the Halifax Shopping Centre, involving 14 teams in aid of Feed Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate all participants and those who donated in the Canstruction Halifax 2012 event.

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 3777]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2047

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

Whereas Yarmouth resident Charmaine Tibbo has been a tireless and passionate volunteer in her community for many years; and

Whereas Ms. Tibbo has volunteered for several organizations in her community, including Yarmouth Seafest, Nova Scotia Music Week, the Yarmouth Liberal Association, the West Nova Liberal Association, and Yarmouth hockey; and

Whereas Ms. Tibbo's motto is, "I'm here - what can I do?";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Charmaine Tibbo for her positive energy and many years of relentless and enthusiastic dedication to her community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2048

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

Whereas many local volunteer firefighters provide a vital and outstanding service throughout rural Nova Scotia; and

[Page 3778]

Whereas Raymond Saulnier will be recognized for his dedication and service beyond the call of duty in helping preserve the security of our community; and

Whereas Raymond Saulnier will be recognized on November 24, 2012, by the Little Brook Volunteer Fire Department for his 20 years of dedicated service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate firefighter Raymond Saulnier for receiving the Fire Services Exemplary Service Medal for his 20 years of service to his community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : Question Period will begin at 12:47 p.m. and end at 1:47 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

GOV'T. (N.S.) - N.S. ECONOMY: GROWTH - FAILURE EXPLAIN

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, this government likes saying it is time to do things differently; it's time to turn the page; it's time to get Nova Scotia's economy moving in the right direction. After three years of the worst economic growth in Canada, after the loss of 3,400 full-time jobs, the second lowest wages in Canada, with more Nova Scotians unemployed now than during the recession, we couldn't agree more with the government. This government has failed to turn the economy around despite handing out hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate welfare, so my question to the Premier is, why has this government failed to grow Nova Scotia's economy?

HON. DARRELL DEXTER » : Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out yesterday when I tabled numerous headlines around the job growth that has taken place, there are 7,600 more people working today than there were when we came to power in June 2009. We have more companies coming to Nova Scotia, just the example of almost 1,000 jobs committed to last week.

[Page 3779]

I want to table, for the benefit of the Leader of the Official Opposition, an editorial that appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press this morning. This is what it says, "In the span of 24 hours, Nova Scotia's NDP government inked low-cost deals that will add almost 1,000 high-paying, high-tech jobs, enhance technology training and reduce the size of the provincial civil service . . . This is a competition that Manitoba, with its lower cost of living, central geographical location and IT infrastructure, should never lose. Like Nova Scotia, we invest millions in the education of our children, only to see too many of our best and brightest end up contributing to the growth of other jurisdictions' economies." That is what other people in Canada know and understand about what's happening in Nova Scotia.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, it's too bad Nova Scotians weren't boasting about this government at the rate they are in Winnipeg. It is not the people in Winnipeg who are suffering under his 2 per cent increase in the HST; it is not the people of Winnipeg who are suffering under his 1,400 user fees that have increased under this Premier; and it's not the people of Winnipeg who are paying the NDP electricity tax.

For some time we have heard this Premier's line about the government's plan, about things coming to the future, about the needs for Nova Scotians just to wait for prosperity to show up. They like this line so much they've used it quite frequently, on November 23, 2010, the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister said, "It's time to do things differently. JobsHere outlines how we will innovate, compete, and learn our way to a brighter future for all Nova Scotian families."

Two years later, Mr. Speaker, all this government can do is point to a plan because there are more Nova Scotians unemployed now than during the recession. My question to the Premier is, why has this government created an economy that has produced more unemployed Nova Scotians than during the recession?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, one thing is true and that is we have just come through, as the United States has, and indeed as the world has, three of the most difficult recessionary years in our history, but you know what doesn't help? What doesn't help is the kind of insult that is issued by people like the member for Dartmouth East and what I would really like to know is whether or not the Leader of the Liberal Party is going to ask the member for Dartmouth East to apologize for something that shows the manner in which the reckless inexperience of that member would actually drive companies out of this province.

MR. MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, what will drive people to the unemployment line is this government's high taxes, power rates increasing under 30 per cent and if there is anyone who should apologize to the people of Nova Scotia, it's the Premier for misleading them during the last election.

[Page 3780]

Mr. Speaker, this government likes its plans so much it mentioned it again in November 23, 2011, "It is this government that is looking to the future . . . that is what we are doing here, we are creating the right environment to foster economic growth." That same day the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister said, "We have - and I, as minister - not only have faith in the jobsHere strategy, the jobsHere plan, but also have faith and confidence in the good staff that we have who are implementing that plan."

Three years later, 3,400 full-time jobs lost, more people unemployed now than during the recession and this government still can only reference its plan that is a false promise that it can offer to Nova Scotians, and the promises don't take effect until after the next election. The Premier can read newspapers, the Premier can flaunt part-time job gains if he likes but this Premier cannot point to sustained economic growth. Why has his government failed to grow the economy and failed the people of Nova Scotia.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as I pointed out, we just came through three of the most difficult recessionary years in our history but throughout that you only had to look yesterday at Nova Scotia and at Halifax and some 30 cranes over Halifax, the first time in decades that that has happened. We have signed the largest industrial contract in the history of this province, a billion dollars being invested in our offshore after years of decline. All of this is work that results from the jobsHere plan and I would point out that that is a plan that actually came from the private sector, it came from the business community, from community representatives.

What I can take from this and the questions of the Leader of the Opposition is that he endorses the position taken by the member for Dartmouth East and if he stands up again will he also agree and support the comments made by the member for Glace Bay that companies like IBM are minimally competent? More insults to people who are coming here to do work.

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

PREM. - MUSKRAT FALLS: REVIEW - CALL

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, we learned yesterday that the Premier likes to govern by headlines, although I can't help but notice he sets a new record today by having to go all the way to Winnipeg to find a favourable headline for his government.

Mr. Speaker, here's a headline from The ChronicleHerald of today and it is entitled "Take time-out on Muskrat before we go over the falls", and I'll table that for the benefit of the House in a moment. What we know is that the cost of Muskrat Falls has already gone up by 10 per cent, to $7.4 billion. We know the Premier has already said he expects the Nova Scotia portion to go up in cost as well. I will quote from this article: ". . . the major factors impacting costs are yet to come . . . escalating labour cost . . . renewal of collective agreements; inflation which has been in check until now; and most important, interest during construction."

[Page 3781]

So my question to the Premier is, in light of this headline, will he now do the right thing, take a time out, and call for a completely independent review of the Muskrat Falls project before signing on the dotted line?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think only the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party could mistake a letter to the editor with a headline, but I would just point out to him that right next to that letter to the editor was a second letter to the editor talking about the good sense of the Nova Scotia Government with respect to a fully hedged energy portfolio and how that in fact is the right way to go.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, in fact, Mr. Speaker, I do have that second editorial with me, and I will table it for the benefit of the House because it says something very interesting. It says that the cost of building a natural gas-fired electricity plant would leave Nova Scotians with electricity in the area of 5 or 6 cents per kilowatt hour. It also says that, based on the new higher cost of Muskrat Falls, it expects that Nova Scotians will be paying in the area of 14 cents a kilowatt hour - almost three times as much for power under Muskrat Falls as under natural gas.

So my question for the Premier, as I table the editorial that he so kindly pointed out - will he call for a full and independent review of Muskrat Falls, including a comparison to all of the options available to Nova Scotians, including more natural gas?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I suppose that it's the opinion of the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party that you can just build Muskrat Falls at any time - it doesn't matter, just snap your fingers and it would be there. Well, that's simply not reality. The simple fact of the matter is that in Nova Scotia we have already moved up the percentage of our electricity generated by natural gas to - by next year it will be 25 per cent of our portfolio.

The dangers and the foolhardiness of tying ourselves completely to any one fossil fuel has been proven over and over again, Mr. Speaker; we did it with oil and we did it with coal. What we are putting ourselves in a position to do is to take advantage of stable long-term costs associated with hydroelectricity, and to take advantage of natural gas, access to other electricity provided from other jurisdictions. This is about taking control of our own energy destiny and making sure that the things that were caused by the errors made by the former Progressive Conservative Government with respect to energy never happens again.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll tell you what the opinion of the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is when it comes to energy - Nova Scotians deserve the cheapest, most affordable green energy option available, not just the first one that the Premier falls in love with. That is my opinion.

[Page 3782]

Mr. Speaker, this is a 50-year decision. It involves $7.5 billion of money and it is going to result in electricity coming to Nova Scotia at an estimate of 14 cents a kilowatt hour. The CEO of Emera says that our power prices will go up by 2 to 3 per cent a year for the rest of this decade because of Muskrat Falls. While the Premier may want to take the CEO of Emera's word for it, Nova Scotians deserve more. My question to the Premier is, if he's so sure that this is right, why does he refuse to put this project to a full and independent review compared to all the other options like more natural gas?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, a full review is going to take place, it's going to take place before the Utility and Review Board. But we have already seen the mistakes of the past; we have already seen the fantasies propagated by the Progressive Conservative Party, with respect to energy policy.

Just to give you an example, Mr. Speaker, we had, over the past number of years - sorry, I've lost my train of thought, just give me a sec. I was distracted. We had, as an example, the decisions that were made by the former Progressive Conservative Government that resulted in us tying ourselves to the international fossil fuel market. It is clear that that is a mistake. It would be a mistake if we did it again with natural gas or, for that matter, any fossil fuel.

The right energy policy for Nova Scotia is to have a fully-hedged, a fully-flexible portfolio of energy so that we can ramp up or ramp down, as prices for that energy change.

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

PREM.: CHINA TRADE MISSION - AIRFARE

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : My question is for the Premier. In September the Premier travelled to China on a trade mission with a delegation of Canadian business leaders, bureaucrats and other premiers. Trade missions are important, especially in the tough economic times like those the NDP have brought us here in Nova Scotia. There is no disputing that, but there is also no disputing the fact that politicians and public servants must respect taxpayers and their money.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Premier is a simple one: does he feel he respected taxpayers and their money on his trade mission to China?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, of course the answer is, absolutely, but what is more is that that was not just a trade mission. I was there as the Chair of the Council of the Federation with all of the other premiers from across the country and we travelled not just with business leaders from Nova Scotia but with business leaders from across the country. We met with the senior leadership not only of the Chinese government but the business leadership throughout the areas in which we were fortunate enough to be.

[Page 3783]

Mr. Speaker, as you know, China is a huge emerging market for all of Canada and, of course, one that we need to be in.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think people of all Parties would be pleased that Nova Scotia was represented as the Chair on that mission but it really doesn't address the concern, which is that according to the Premier's expense claim - which I will file for that trip - his return air fare for that trade mission cost $7,135.50.

According to aircanada.com, return air fare from Halifax to Beijing can be purchased for as low as $2,422, or about one-third of the Premier's flight. That is an economy class ticket. The interesting thing is that according to that same document, which I will table, return air fare in first class can be purchased for $7,200, basically what the Premier spent.

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier confirm that during this time of austerity - during a time of belt-tightening, during a time of cuts to education and health care - he flew first class to China on the taxpayers' dime?

THE PREMIER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, it is such a shame when you see somebody reduced to these kinds of questions. The simple fact of the matter is that of course we travel so that we are able to get up, go to work, are able, in fact, to do the work that the people of Nova Scotia and, in this case the people of Canada, expect from us. Yes, that's right.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I guess some of the other Nova Scotians who travelled in economy, and some of the other Premiers who travelled in economy, will wonder what makes this Premier so much more important.

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that the neighbouring provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick were also on the same trade mission. Premier Alward of New Brunswick paid $5,389.35 for his air fare - and I'll table that. Premier Ghiz of Prince Edward Island, whom I am sure also would have liked to have slept and been ready for the meetings, his air fare was $3,762.24. In fact, Premier Ghiz's total expenses for the trip, including all food and accommodations, were $6,452 less than the Premier's airfare alone.

Why does the Premier feel entitled to travel first class when his Maritime counterparts and other Premiers and business leaders felt that in this economy, you should be travelling in economy class? I'll table that.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I just consider this to be a continuation of the kind of embarrassing work that is done by the Leader of the Official Opposition and his inexperienced caucus. The simple fact of the matter is, we work hard on these trade missions in order to be able to respond to the demands that are there. We have to be ready and able to do that. I don't question the decisions that are made by other Premiers, and I'm sure they wouldn't question the decisions we make.

[Page 3784]

I was the leader of that mission. I was on every single one of those events. I was the one who had to be standing up, meeting the leadership in China and working - not just on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia but on behalf of all of the other Premiers as well. I can tell you that one of the things that was most gratifying about that is that almost without exception, every single Premier on that trip came to me and thanked me for my leadership on that mission.

I hope that satisfies the inquiry of the member for Dartmouth East.

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

PREM.: TEL AVIV TRADE MISSION - AIRFARE

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that the other Premiers are happy that this Premier thinks he's more important than others. I'm sure that when I go and tell parents who can't get an assistant for their child with special needs in the education system or who are waiting for a hospital bed or who are paying higher tuition when the NDP came to power promising frozen tuition, that will make them feel a lot better.

That wasn't the only time, though. In October 2011 there was another trade mission, this time to Israel. Maybe the Premier would like to explain why he was justified this time. I'll table this: the Premier's return airfare on that trip was $7,506.03 - $400 more, incidentally, than we paid to send him to China. According to Air Canada, there were 20 different return flight options from Halifax to Tel Aviv, each and every one of them cheaper than the Premier's ticket. In fact, the most expensive first-class return flight to Israel available at the moment - business class, rather - is $4,540, which is $3,000 cheaper than the flight the Premier booked, which suggests the Premier actually didn't even book in business class, but booked in first class.

Mr. Speaker, did the Premier fly first class to Israel on the taxpayers' dime while gutting the public education system?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said, I don't know where he thinks it gets him to go down this line, but if it makes him happy, I'm happy to reply.

The simple fact is that when we came in we never said that we would freeze tuition fees. It's something we did not say. Secondly, we've invested more than $90 million in student aid and assistance over the last three years, more than any government in this history except for the advent of the student loan program.

[Page 3785]

When we travel to represent the Province of Nova Scotia, especially when you're talking about trips that take 15 and 20 hours, where you have to be able to get up and then go directly into meetings and to represent the province, of course I think there is an appropriate accommodation there of the travel needs of the leader of the province.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I still don't understand why this Premier feels he needs to be treated and put on a pedestal that is different than other Maritime Premiers. I don't understand, and the Premier hasn't answered that - why other Premiers felt that it was not appropriate to travel business class, first class, yet this Premier did?

Listen, if the Premier wanted to fly first class, that's fine - he could have paid for the upgrade himself. There were other Nova Scotians on many of these trips who also did not feel the need to fly first class. Will the Premier commit to refunding taxpayers of Nova Scotia the first-class ticket to China and to Israel?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know what he is attempting to do except to try to demean the worthwhile nature of trips here, to promote trade for the province. The simple fact of the matter is that we work very hard on behalf of the province and I'm very proud of the work that I did both to promote trade with Israel and to promote trade in China, to represent not only Nova Scotia, but all of the provinces, all of the jurisdictions, all of those premiers. I make no apologies for it.

I believe that the reason is that we don't set airfares. They are what are charged by the airlines. We are essentially price takers on that. We try to make sure that the representation that we have, when we go to jurisdictions, is as effective as possible and that means being able to respond, literally, when you first land.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, in my very first question I acknowledged that the trips can be worthwhile and bring benefits. This isn't really about that. In 2001 the NDP member for Timberlea-Prospect complained about the then-Premier's $620 expense, which incidentally was an economy flight. In 2002 the current Finance Minister complained about a $3,700 flight by a deputy minister, to lead a delegation. In 2000 the then-NDP member for Sackville-Cobequid complained about a minister's $800 expense claim saying, "He's certainly not practising what he preaches. I think the average Nova Scotian will look at it as a bit of an excess."

Mr. Speaker, it's a real simple question. They said one thing in Opposition and now the Premier is living by a whole different standard. What has changed?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure if you go back far enough you can probably dig up just about anything; I think that was 12 years ago he is talking about. The simple fact of the matter is - and I remember when there were members of the Progressive Conservative Government who would fly first class and I understood - I understand when they fly business class on very, very long trips because the simple fact of the matter is they have to be able to get up and they have to be able to work on behalf of the people right after they get there. This is not about vacations. This is about business.

[Page 3786]

I have to say, it just shows more of the kind of inexperience on behalf of the member. I know that he's never had to negotiate a business deal. He's never had to represent people on a trade mission, I understand that. The reality is we work very hard on behalf not only of the people of Nova Scotia, but, of course, on behalf of all of the companies that come along with us, to ensure that they get the best value for the money that we spend.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: ERs - PROMISES

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question today is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Today the Northside General emergency room in North Sydney is closed - and I'll table that release. Last night the emergency room at Fishermen's Memorial Hospital in Lunenburg was closed. Tuesday and last Saturday night, the emergency at Soldier's Memorial Hospital in Middleton was closed and I also believe the hospital in Digby will be closed a whole slate of times over the next number of days.

Mr. Speaker, the Premier made a commitment, before he was elected, to keep emergency rooms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He has broken that promise to Nova Scotians. He said one thing to get elected and, of course, delivered something different. My question to the Premier today is, why did the Premier tell Nova Scotians he would keep the emergency rooms open 24 hours a day, seven days a week?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, it is true. It has taken a long time to clean up the mess that has been created by the former Health Ministers in the Progressive Conservative
Government. But here's the good news, in the Collaborative Emergency Centres where they have been open for comparative periods of time, we have taken emergency room closures from 2,100 hours down to below 50 - and the only reason it's at 50 is because those Collaborative Emergency Centres are actually working through how staffing takes place, and we expect that they will be able to fall even lower than that.

Do you know who made the decisions on emergency care when the member for Argyle was the Minister of Health? Security guards, because they were the ones directing people out of the emergency area over to other hospitals.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Well, I'm glad, Mr. Speaker, that the Premier is able to provide a statistic on how much closure we're having across the province because, to make matters worse, the Premier and the minister are failing on the commitment. In 2009, they made it a law that it would annually table an accountability report with the days that all emergency rooms in the province were closed and, of course, the reasons for those closures. The last Emergency Room Accountability Report was tabled 18 months ago - that's a far cry from an annual report.

[Page 3787]

Mr. Speaker, they know they broke their promise and now they're trying to hide how badly they broke it. So my question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, will the minister table the 2012 Emergency Room Accountability Report before the end of the day?

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the health question. No question, I'm more than willing to stack up our results when it comes to emergency rooms closure compared to their results when they were in government.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you - and he could talk to his own Leader, he could talk to a former Minister of Health in the Liberal Party, he could talk to the Leader of the Liberal Party - the changes we are making are improving access to care, it's keeping emergency rooms open and, just as we said, we want to be accountable to Nova Scotians. We've brought in a law, we're producing the annual report, and as it stated it's an annual report, and to my calendar we're still in November, so we will be producing our annual report this year, like we did last year - something that the Progressive Conservatives didn't do when they were in government.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I always thought that 18 months is a little more than a year, but maybe I'm mistaken as the minister continues to allude that we're mistaken on many occasions.

The Minister of Health and Wellness, Mr. Speaker, while in Opposition said, and I'll table that Hansard, too: "I know, and I don't know if the government realizes, the impact the emergency room closure has on not only the community but an individual and their families in time of need." He also said: "I know that when you have some medical emergencies, like a heart attack, you can't wait an extra 45 minutes to go to the next town, to go to the next ER that is open down the road."

Three, or actually four, emergency rooms were closed this week. My question to the minister: Since he knows all so well how important ERs are to rural communities, why has this government failed to deliver on its promise to keep rural emergency rooms open 24/7?

MR. WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm very proud of the work we've done over the last three years as government when it comes to health care. The member opposite, I think, read a great question from the former Health Critic, and I was serious about it then and we're serious about it now. That's why currently we have paramedics all across this province who can deliver clot-busting medications in the living room of someone's house, in the bedroom of someone's home. We're continuing to ensure that health care providers can provide the emergency care to Nova Scotians. That's why we've opened Collaborative Emergency Centres; that's why we're allowing nurses, paramedics, physicians, to work as a team to address the needs of communities.

[Page 3788]

Mr. Speaker, these are rural communities, and I must add the four CECs that we've opened so far are all in Opposition members' ridings. They can just go and ask their communities how they appreciate the work that this government has done.

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

ERDT: IBM CONTRACT - TABLE

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, our caucus has expressed privacy concerns on behalf of Nova Scotians. In response to these privacy concerns, the Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister read from and tabled a promotional document related to this government's $100 million deal with IBM. This minister should be showing Nova Scotians a contract, not a piece of promotional material from the department.

My question to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism is, why did this minister not table the actual contract signed with IBM and will he do so today?

HON. PERCY PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, it's certainly my pleasure to rise on my feet and talk about the great work that our department has done in securing such great companies as IBM. You know, it does nobody any good and certainly does not do any good for Nova Scotians, for us to stand in this House, as we've already done, and criticize and insult and ridicule companies like IBM.

By building that global centre here, Mr. Speaker, IBM is going to have a huge impact not only on Halifax, not only on Sydney, but on the entire Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government offers assurances about our privacy but it did not consult with our own privacy officer. We know that this government has had run-ins with the officer in the past; she is simply too independent for this government's taste. Instead of going to an officer of the Legislature, this government paid more than $30,000 to a private consultant to examine the contract.

My question to the minister is, did this government hire a private consultant because it knew the privacy officer would take issue with the deal with IBM?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, IBM, 500 jobs, potentially $130 million in payrolls. When this deal is completed, IBM and PROJEX, we made that nice announcement last week with PROJEX and IBM, that we will stand, Nova Scotians will stand, after incentives are paid, a profit, tax revenue, profit, $13 million. Every year that is what we will get and why would we complain about that?

[Page 3789]

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government has not released the contract and it did not consult the government's privacy officer. Instead, the NDP hired a private consultant and bought the opinion they want.

My question, again to the minister, this government tabled legislation that violated privacy law in the past, why should we believe things should be any different with this IBM contact and will this minister table the contract for the House?

MR. PARIS « » : Mr. Speaker, what the member for Glace Bay should do is he should go and consult with his former employer, Cape Breton University, and see what they think about this deal.

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

PREM.: MV MINER - REMOVAL

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the Bennington Group stepped away from the MV Miner salvage operation. I'd like to read into the record, The Halifax ChronicleHerald, Friday, October 7, 2011, "Earlier in the day, Premier . . . said the province was considering towing the Miner because of concerns over its potential impact on sensitive fishing grounds." The Premier said ". . . provincial officials were talking with federal officials about dealing with the vessel. He added that he doesn't want to jump to the end of the process, but it is possible the province could take on the job. 'You can do a proper salvage, you can do a proper tow, you can do all of those things, and none of them are being ruled out.'"

The Premier said after Thursday morning's Cabinet meeting, "It is necessary for us to see that this matter is dealt with in as expeditious a fashion as possible." The Premier also went on to say, Mr. Speaker, "We're doing everything we can at this point . . ."

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton West has the floor.

MR. MACLEOD « » : The Premier went on to say, "We're doing everything we can at this point to make our point to the federal government that let's deal with this now, and if we have to sort out who pays later on, then we need to do it." Mr. Speaker, I'd like to know what has changed in the Premier's thoughts in the one year and 39 days since he said that. That's their problem.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, nothing has changed and that is the unfortunate fact, expect that the wreck is continuing to deteriorate. What I would ask of the member for Cape Breton West is that if he has any influence with his colleagues in the Conservative Party in the federal government to try to exercise that and ask them to live up to their responsibilities with respect to this matter and not ensure that his constituents have to suffer as a result of an erosion of the ability that the provincial government has to be able to provide service. This is their responsibility. It is an obligation that should rest with the federal government. We asked them to recognize that and as I said before, we were not going to rule out any possibilities. We don't today. The simple fact of the matter is the wreck is now a wreck and you can't tow it; that's a simple fact. If the member for Cape Breton West has any helpful advice, I would be pleased to hear it.

[Page 3790]

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, on October 7, 2011, the Premier said - it was reported in The ChronicleHerald - "Meanwhile, the Nova Scotia government has arrested the Greek tug that was towing the vessel. A government spokeswoman confirmed the move several hours after the Premier said he would make sure the stricken vessel is quickly removed if the current salvage operation gets bogged down."

We are 404 days past that statement. The operation has gotten bogged down, what is the Premier going to do for the people of Main-à-Dieu and surrounding areas?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we are going to continue to do what we've been doing, which is exercising due diligence on their behalf. We worked hard, the department worked hard, along with the federal officials to ensure that we provided the absolute best cooperation in getting the Bennington Group the kind of cooperation that they needed. Unfortunately, the company, which incidentally is hired by the actual owner of the vessel (Interruption) the member for Argyle says, how did that work? Well, the fact of the matter is, it didn't work and we are all poorer off as a result of that. We would have liked to have seen them achieve their ends, but it is not the responsibility of the (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER « » : The member for Argyle wants to be argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative. Mr. Speaker, what we want to see is the matter dealt with in an appropriate matter. We also want to see the federal government take its appropriate responsibility for a situation that arose as a result of their inadequate action.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I recall this government announcing they were going to fix some dykes in Truro that were on private land and now we have a private vessel that's on their property and they don't want to do anything about it. Again, on October 7th, the headline reads that the Premier ". . . won't let shipwrecked MV Miner become a permanent fixture off Cape Breton" It goes on later in the story to say - and this is the Premier - "I'm less concerned about who has jurisdiction for it and more concerned about that fact that it gets done because we have both an inherent responsibility to protect the fishing grounds from pollution and an inherent right to protect ourselves in these kinds of circumstances." It also goes on go to say, "I don't want this to get mired in the question of who pays . . . I want to get it done." One year and 39 days later - 404 days - why is this Premier not living up to his commitment to the people in Main-à-Dieu and surrounding area and all of Cape Breton?

[Page 3791]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the member for Cape Breton West can certainly read past press clippings. He doesn't seem to be able to read the ones from today. From today in The ChronicleHerald, I will read what was said by Amanda MacDougall, the coordinator of the Main-à-Dieu Development Association: "We've been saying all along, again and again and again, that this wreck is the moral responsibility of the federal government. . . The province stepped up when it happened and tried to help but now they have to come up with a plan that includes the federal government . . . her group has sent countless letters to the federal government about their concerns without ever getting a response." We're doing our job. Maybe that member over there could do his and help us get through to the federal government.

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

COM. SERV. - NSP: RATE INCREASES - PREM. DENY

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, seniors are finding it more and more difficult to make ends meet under this NDP Government. While their incomes remain fixed, the cost of living continues to climb. It has been reported that one in 13 seniors living in HRM is living in poverty, and I'll table that document. The most recent HungerCount reports that over 7 per cent of all food bank clients are over the age of 65 - and I'll table that. Worst of all, power rates have increased by 30 per cent under the NDP.

Will the Minister of Community Services please tell seniors in Nova Scotia why her government refuses to stand up to Nova Scotia Power and deny future rate increases?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what we saw with the previous governments, both the former one and the former Liberal one, was that the burden that fell on seniors continued to increase. Under our government we took the HST off home electricity - something that was opposed by the Liberal Party - in fact, campaigned against in the last election. With the poorest seniors in Nova Scotia who, under the Liberal Party, were paying income tax on GIS, I suppose you could look at it as a poor tax - this government committed to repaying every cent that those seniors paid in income tax, and you know something? We didn't just say it. We did it.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, during URB rate hearings held over the summer, Nova Scotian seniors looked to this government for leadership in standing up against Nova Scotia Power's future rate increases. Instead, this government remained silent and Nova Scotia Power was given free rein to increase power rates for our most vulnerable citizens by 6 per cent over the next two years. A letter sent to the Premier by the Seniors of Halifax County Zone 15 organizations states, "We [sic] like to request from you that there be no increases allow [sic] for the Nova Scotia Power, we have worked and retired to enjoy our lives but we keep getting all these add [sic] taxes and increases, we just can't afford." I'll table that.

[Page 3792]

Will the Minister of Community Services tell the members of this House why she, as Minister of Seniors, did not represent the concerns of Nova Scotian seniors at this summer's rate hearings?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, many of the seniors in this province are entitled to receive the Affordability Tax Credit. In fact, the Affordability Tax Credit of some $255 per household goes to 240,000 households in this province. The Government of Nova Scotia is paying $70 million to make sure that those people who are in the most difficult circumstances have more real money in their hands.

I wonder if the member, when she next stands up, will confirm that what the Liberal Party intends to do is to shift the energy efficiency demand-side management charge into the rate base of the shareholders, which would mean - and I hear the Leader (Interruptions) I want to respond, but I can't. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Liberal Party says they're going to legislate it out to this - so I wonder if he understands even what the effect of that would be. The effect of that would effectively be to arbitrarily reduce the rate of return to just over 6 per cent. (Interruptions) Finally . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I couldn't hear the answer.

THE PREMIER « » : Finally we have an opportunity for the Liberal Party actually to take a position on energy, because that means that would be done by the Premier and by the Cabinet to legislate that. If that is the policy of the Liberal Party, I'd like to have the member confirm that.

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, this government is pretty quick to hand out power breaks to big corporations, but refuses to stand up for seniors in this province. Last week the Premier decided to give me a history lesson, which of course he was wrong about the facts, but let me just indicate to the House that the member for Halifax West also has a message for the Premier - that he should remember what happened to every single one of those members who cut back in the 1990s. They were all defeated - so you should remember that.

Will the Minister of Community Services tell the 467 members of the Seniors of Halifax County Zone 15 why this government can arrange lower power rates for corporations getting hefty cheques from this government, but can't do it for senior citizens on fixed incomes?

[Page 3793]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd be very proud to speak to the seniors group at their invitation, because the simple fact of the matter is we reduced power rates by 8 per cent, something the Liberals voted against. We put in to some 240,000 households the affordability tax credit, a $70 million commitment to many of those seniors. That is about reducing the cost for the lowest-income people in this province.

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

JUSTICE - N.S. HOME FOR COLORED CHILDREN: REVIEW - LEGALITY

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. This minister has resisted calls for a public process to aid healing and get to the bottom of what happened at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children; the Premier has also resisted those calls. Professor Wayne MacKay, like other experts, has made it clear, there isn't a legal impediment to doing it now. He explained that a public process has a different purpose than criminal and civil court cases and it can happen at the same time.

In light of what legal experts are now saying, why is this minister making these people wait for justice?

HON. ROSS LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. This is a very delicate and sensitive issue for those who were directly affected. The Progressive Conservatives would lead you to believe that having the inquiry is the answer to be-all. What we want to find out is allow the RCMP to do their job, which is obvious by the questions in the House over the last while that that member and the Progressive Conservatives do not support the RCMP. (Interruptions)

We also want to respect that there are a number of lawsuits going forward and that we want to get additional information. This matter has gone over a number of decades and I should clearly point out for anyone that's listening, when the Progressive Conservatives were in power they did absolutely zero on this matter, and this matter is going to address this.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, in an interview on CBC Information Morning today, Professor MacKay referred to cases that show a public process to get to the bottom of what happened, and that they can happen at the same time as court proceedings. He repeated that court cases might not be over until 2020. Sadly, this means many of the people involved may no longer be living when justice is finally served. How can the NDP make people wait to get answers to get healing? We know how important it is. Despite what the Premier says, we know how important it is for people who have been abused as children to have the wrong that was done to them recognized.

[Page 3794]

So, Mr. Speaker, I ask this minister, why is he making people wait to get answers so they can get healing and justice?

MR. LANDRY « » : Mr. Speaker, I know the harm and dangers to children from being abused and violated. I have personally investigated many of those cases and so I am very passionate and concerned and committed. I want there to be no question, no question whatsoever, that I am committed to any child who has been abused. I want to also go back to the CBC interview this morning and Mr. MacKay, and I listened to that this morning. Mr. MacKay was very clear that the Minister of Justice was within his right, within the practical part of this approach, to take the steps, that I had the option to do that, and that practically you could look at that as a sound way to move forward. He was not suggesting for one minute to have the inquiry over everything else that could go on, but to weigh and measure the information and make a sound, constructive decision on how to proceed.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the victims of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children want a government that takes action to help them. My final question is to the Premier, will he take action so those connected with the tragic events of the home can get some answers, some healing and some justice?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we should not confuse the public inquiry exercise with the exercises of justice, we should not do that. An inquiry is exactly that. It looks into broad circumstances. In fact, it can clear reputations but it can also do great damage - as I believe Mr. MacKay pointed out in his interview this morning - it can also do great damage to people's reputations. So in order to allow the actual wheels of justice to turn, allow people who are accused and the accusers to come before an independent arbiter and have their cases decided, in order to allow people to avail themselves to the due process of law in the civil courts, we allow these processes to take precedence, to take place first so in fact people can receive the justice they desire.

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

NAT. RES. - FORESTRY ORGANIZATIONS: FUNDING - CONFIRM

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The NDP Government continues to keep a multi-million dollar deal to buy land from Resolute secret while other important forestry organizations wait for meaningful, long-term commitments. Program funding to organizations like the Nova Forest Alliance, the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and the Tobeatic Research Institute, all wait for an answer from the minister on long-term funding. It seems if you aren't a multi-national company, you don't get anything from the NDP.

So, Mr. Speaker, will the minister tell this House if he's prepared to offer sustainable long-term funding to support these organizations?

[Page 3795]

HON. CHARLIE PARKER » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. Certainly we've been working with Resolute and Bowater, and all those groups that were mentioned, the MTRI, sawmillers, woodlot owners, and various stakeholders along the South Shore, we're all interested in sustainable development, in creating good jobs, in protecting workers and their families, and protecting communities. We have a number of good silviculture programs that are designed to help the woodlot industry and to build a healthy, sustainable, not only forests but also a forest industry.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I don't think any of those organizations will be happy with that answer because they're still waiting for answers on long-term funding commitments. You know, at best, this government provides some short-term funding until the end of the next year, and so it seems that if you represent independent forestry workers, or woodlot owners, your funding is year to year, but if you're IBM, Stern, or DSME, you can have an agreement that lasts a decade.

You know, Mr. Speaker, these organizations generate more for every dollar invested than almost every single deal announced by the NDP - money that stays in the province and supports local communities and isn't shipped off to a corporate headquarters somewhere. Many of these organizations have now waited three years to hear from this government and to respond to their proposals - which are on the minister's desk - to diversify and strengthen the industry, yet they still lack a commitment and, in many cases, an answer.

I will ask again, Mr. Speaker - just today we were talking to a number of them who again pointed out that they are still waiting for an answer after three years - is the minister prepared to offer sustainable, long-term funding to support these forestry organizations?

MR. PARKER « » : Mr. Speaker, we all know that silviculture is a good investment. It's an investment in healthy, productive forests. As a woodlot owner, I know the value of spacing, pre-commercial thinning and replanting where necessary. We have been investing in programs for the woodlot industry; in fact, just last year we had over $2 million in silviculture programs for small and large woodlot owners. This year we have increased that by about $1.2 million so it's up to about $3.2 million now, the amount of silviculture investment in this province.

We've had road programs and we've had certification programs; we're working with all these woodlot organizations to provide a better forest industry and, again, to build a sustainable forest industry as well as a good, strong, healthy forest industry. I believe we are doing the right things to make sustainable development in our forest industries throughout Nova Scotia and we will continue to build on that as we move forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

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The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage on an introduction.

HON. LEONARD PREYRA « » : Mr. Speaker, with your permissions, I'd like to make an introduction. In the east gallery are two of our newest councillors to HRM Council. With the indulgence of the House, I'd like to thank them for their offer to serve the public, congratulate them on their victory, and welcome them to the House. They are Mr. Steve Craig from Sackville and Mr. Waye Mason from Peninsula South. Thank you. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Argyle on an introduction.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to introduce to the Assembly today a visitor from the constituency of Clare, Paul-Émile LeBlanc. He was the CEO/directeur général de la Caisse populaire de Clare. I want him to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

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. 127.

Bill No. 127 - Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act.

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

HON. LEONARD PREYRA « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 127, an Act to Amend Chapter 22 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act, be read a second time.

Mr. Speaker, the changes proposed in this bill are the latest steps the province is taking to support a vibrant arts sector in Nova Scotia. They also speak to this government's commitment to doing things differently, by making changes that reflect the changing world around us and better serve the priorities of Nova Scotia.

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Mr. Speaker, a vibrant arts and culture sector is important to Nova Scotians. They know it adds to the quality of life they enjoy in their communities. Fostering creativity and artistic excellence makes our province a more attractive place for people to live, work and visit, and a destination for businesses looking to invest in new jobs and growth.

Mr. Speaker, we understand how important the arts, culture, and creative economy are to Nova Scotians. We heard the message as we went out to consult with Nova Scotians in the Fall of 2010, and it has been repeated in our ongoing conversations with the arts and culture communities since then. Nova Scotians have told us that growing our creative economy and supporting arts and culture is one of the best ways to build strong communities that contribute to better lives for families across the province. We have heeded the voices that participated in those consultations. They led to the creation of the five-point plan for supporting the arts and culture in our province and a very positive series of initiatives aimed at growing our creative economy. Today we are building on our commitment to supporting the arts by acting on the recommendations from the board of governors of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to ensure that the gallery continues to play its leadership role in the arts for this region.

Acting to amend the legislation that governs the gallery reflects our commitment to modernize government and reduce unnecessary red tape. That increases the efficiency and effectiveness of decision making for the gallery, and that is in the best interest of all Nova Scotians. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is crucial to the arts landscape in our region, and we want it to continue as a leader in promoting art appreciation and education and providing opportunities for visual artists to showcase their work to new audiences. A strong Art Gallery of Nova Scotia contributes to a community that celebrates creative excellence and connects Nova Scotia to the diversity of global culture.

A strong gallery promotes opportunities for Nova Scotia's visual artists and puts arts and culture at the heart of a vibrant community. As we work to build a stronger province, that is a critical way to make Nova Scotia more attractive as a place to live, work, visit, and raise a family.

The changes contained in the amended bill help to streamline decision making by the gallery's board of governors, eliminating the need to seek Cabinet approval for day-to-day operational decisions. They support the efforts of the board to focus on strengthening the gallery's future as a leading arts institution and recognize the evolution of the board and the professionalism of its governance.

Decisions about matters like membership, programming, and art interpretation will now be in the hands of the very capable board of governors at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and that is right where they belong. Other decisions about major acquisitions, funding, and major development of the gallery will continue to rest with Cabinet, in consultation with the board of governors.

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By modernizing the Act, we are ensuring that the gallery will be able to respond to the needs of the arts community and the general public it serves and to plan effectively for a bright future. The ability to plan for effective fundraising to support special projects at the gallery is also enhanced with these changes. The path is cleared for an independent foundation to undertake fundraising activities that support the future directions identified by the board, an important future tool for strengthening the work of the gallery.

For the gallery to be successful in its fundraising, prospective donors need to know that their contributions will stay with the gallery and not go to general government revenues. Creating an independent foundation accomplishes that and gives the gallery greater ability to plan for special projects in the future.

The changes being introduced by this bill build on a strong record of achievement by our government in supporting the arts sector and the province's creative economy. Since the Premier launched our five-point plan for arts and culture in 2011, the province has been taking many steps to bring that plan to life. These have included the new Status of the Artist legislation, the creation of Arts Nova Scotia, and the evolution of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council.

The changes to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act further underline our commitment to enhancing the arts and culture sector in Nova Scotia. We are committed to growth in our creative economy and will continue to work with the sector and ensure their voices help to set government's priorities for supporting creativity and artistic achievement. Just as we are allowing the voices of the arts and culture sector to help set the agenda for growing the creative economy, we must also ensure that the board of governors at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia are able to plan for the future.

Mr. Speaker, by amending the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act, we are giving them the ability to make effective day-to-day decisions and plan for the long-term needs of the gallery with better and more effective fundraising. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is a leading arts institution in this region; the changes being introduced in this bill make sure that it keeps its leadership role and will continue to grow long into the future.

With that, I will take my place and I look forward to the discussion in the House.

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

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I do thank the minister for his comments. The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is a fine organization - and I'm not just saying that because I used to work for them. I was the researcher on the Maud Lewis project, I guess 17 years ago when that first got underway.

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The Liberal caucus is pleased to support these amendments. Nova Scotia has a thriving arts community and indeed is a prosperous centre for arts and culture. Anything that can be done to help streamline funding to projects is a good measure.

The Nova Scotia Liberal caucus has always been a staunch support of the arts in the province. For example, we've introduced the Sound Recording Tax Credit twice in this Legislature - unfortunately, the government has not seen fit to call this bill before the House, but we do support these measures and we look forward to seeing it move on to the Law Amendments Committee.

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

MS. PAM BIRDSALL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand today to talk about Bill No. 127, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act. I would like to say that as, I think the only graduate from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design with a Fine Arts degree in Art Education, the only person in the Legislature to have that degree, I'm very happy to be able to talk about the importance of arts in our community and Nova Scotia.

This bill will make it much easier for the board of governors to be able to take the revenue that they get through donations and use them directly. They're the ones who will decide where the money will go and how it will be used, instead of having it go into general funds for the government. So this makes so much sense and, as the minister spoke, he said that modernizing this Act will make it so much easier for them to run their day-to-day organization.

I would like to say, too, that being a ministerial assistant for Communities, Culture and Heritage, I was very pleased and remain continually pleased to be able to talk to artists across the province about all the things that we're doing to really make the arts relevant in our province. On the weekend I was able to speak to a group in Lunenburg at an art gallery and they asked me to speak about the legislation of the artists, which I was very happy to do. We talked about the various things that as the chairman of the committee that struck the terms of reference for Arts Nova Scotia, we were able to say that now in Nova Scotia we have an arm's-length arts council, which was something that we fought for in Opposition very, very strongly.

There was a representative from Visual Arts Nova Scotia at the opening on Saturday and she had been on leave for a few months, and said she was so pleased that the visual arts community was behind this government and what we're doing. She said that a lot of people in the past, other governments, gave lip service to what they were going to do, but this government has made plans and are putting those plans into action.

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I spoke about the Status of the Artist Act and how that's an umbrella for future work in being able to describe how artists in Nova Scotia can be professionals and the acknowledgement of their status is a very, very important thing and made all of them feel very pleased to see that our government is being effective and coming through with what we're saying.

Respecting the evolution of the board of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, as I said earlier, this now puts them in a really good position to make their day-to-day decisions because they're the closest to the ground and the most informed. Changes reflect the commitment to modernize the way the board acts and it eliminates unnecessary red tape; it also provides a lot of flexibility and innovation for greater ability to respond to changes that are happening. Mr. Speaker, the changes in the Act also help them find larger acquisitions and help funding for the property and continues to rest with the Cabinet.

Mr. Speaker, we're representing the experience and evolution of the Board of Governors and as they modernize the way they're dealing with their day-to-day events, it makes contributors feel that their dollars are going in a much better way. Nova Scotians want their art gallery to remain leaders and help them connect with the vibrant arts community in Nova Scotia and around the world. Strengthening the work of the art gallery's board by supporting them, through effective fundraising, through these changes, make this critical change happen.

I am very pleased to be able to speak about this bill and endorse that Bill No. 127 is certainly helping to make the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia a much more effective, functioning unit. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure today to rise in my seat and to speak on Bill No. 127, An Act to Amend Chapter 22 of the Revised Statutes, 1989, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act. Every great city has at least one major art gallery that a city is renowned for; in fact it's really a sign of civilization to have such a place. I'm proud of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and I consider that to be our special art gallery here, in not only in Halifax, but for the Province of Nova Scotia.

I happen to come from Truro-Bible Hill, as most of you know, and as the MLA for Truro-Bible Hill, I am extremely proud of the growth in the arts that I'm seeing there. We have several new art galleries there that have popped up, which are a perfect example of the creative economy at work. Even the Nova Scotia Community College has taken its own part in this and has the McCarthy Gallery, which houses the Truro Art Society and all of their artists' works, on a rotating basis and a changing basis.

As the MLA, I've been going to their exhibits, to their opening exhibits, and seen a growth in the amount of people coming to these openings. Before I became the MLA, I was told that usually they were lucky if they had 10 or 12 people show up to some of these openings but because the government is showing such an interest in the arts and because, obviously, I'm so proactive for the arts in my community, we've now seen a growth of close to 100, 125 or 150 people coming to the openings of these exhibits.

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The growth of artists showing their work has also grown, so that now, when we have exhibit openings for the Truro Art Society, we have 90 to 100 different local artists exhibiting their works. Many of them have expressed the pleasure and satisfaction that finally they feel they can actually come out of the woodwork. They felt that before this, the arts were not really appreciated or respected very much.

Sports has always been respected in Nova Scotia and in Truro-Bible Hill but the arts, really, they felt like they were getting a second-class-citizen behaviour from people. Now they feel like they can actually come out and proudly say, I am an artist, and show their works. I've met many people at the AGNS, at various exhibits there. The AGNS shows some amazing, unique works, which really make you think.

The best job that art does, really, is it makes you look at life through a different perspective, through a different lens, and it tells stories and the story of our lives now, lives in the past, what life will be in the future. It makes people think about where they are and the importance of life itself. I've seen many wonderful exhibits at the AGNS that do this. As we know, vibrant artistic and culture institutions really are at the heart of many towns and cities right across the world and it's great to see that it's growing here in Nova Scotia.

I'm glad to see this government supporting all of these arts and cultural different types of things, between visual arts, dance, theatre, and music. I know that both our arts and culture department and Economic and Rural Development and Tourism are working together now to come up with a real plan for the creative economy. I was lucky to sit in on a committee meeting recently where they described what the future holds for Nova Scotia in this particular movement. It's extremely exciting, because I don't think that the arts have ever before been really considered an economic driver.

What I've always said is that the arts and culture are actually one of Nova Scotia's hidden treasures, one of our natural resources that are green, lean, mean, and constantly renewable and constantly changing and growing with this province. We bring more and more money into this province. I'd really like to see this future continue, so I think it's great that the board of governors will now be able to have less red tape to deal with. I believe they will now be able to get more sponsors for their financing for the Art Gallery.

I'm going there tonight, actually. There's a beautiful exhibit opening that Dr. Ivar Mendez is going to be providing. Alan Syliboy, a Mi'kmaq artist from Truro, from Millbrook First Nation, is involved with Dr. Mendez, dealing with the brain and Mi'kmaq art and how naturally it reflects. If you take a picture of the brain in a scan, the colours that are exhibited there are very similar to Mi'kmaq art and some of the little designs that were intrinsic in Mi'kmaq art. So Dr. Mendez and Alan Syliboy have been working at taking a picture of the brain and things like this, and then Alan doing beautiful artwork about that. I'm expecting to see some of that there tonight as well, although the majority of the work will be about Dr. Mendez' work in Bolivia and with the poverty-stricken children there and some of the things that he has seen.

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He has also worked a lot with a friend of mine, Joy Laking, who's another wonderful Nova Scotian artist who has had her work shown all across Canada, including at the AGNS. She is one of several artists who are renowned in Nova Scotia for doing realism, but also she has now taken on a new tack which is very similar to Van Gogh. One of her pieces, Starry Night Five Islands, is showing right now at the Halifax Club. Not only is it a piece of artwork - I just saw that last night - but it's a rug hooking. It's a rug hooking that's done very similarly to Vincent Van Gogh's work, and it's called Starry Night Five Islands. That is just showing down the street. I know that Joy Laking is very interested in having more exhibits for Nova Scotian artists being shown at the AGNS.

I also really hope the board of governors takes note that there are so many wonderful indigenous artists here in Nova Scotia, and that we need to see more of our indigenous and diverse cultures represented at the AGNS, because that will reflect the faces of the population of Nova Scotia. So I really hope to see more of that in the future.

I would say that Nova Scotians and members of our arts community have told us through these consultations that we've had, and with an ongoing dialogue, that enhancing our creativity and our creative economy really needs to be a priority, and that the five-point plan and the changes to our Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Act show that we are acting on this priority. Of course, bringing back the re-establishment of an arm's-length arts council was so important, and this is a commitment that Premier Dexter made many years ago and I'm really glad to see our government following through on that, which shows that we are following through on our province's and our commitments to the Province of Nova Scotia.

There are many things such as this that oftentimes get hidden under the rug. They don't necessarily get the media attention that other things do, but I'm a champion of the arts and culture and no matter how long I stay in government, I will remain a champion of arts and culture and I think the day that arts and culture gets the same importance as every part of the economic development will be the day that I will be the happiest, and I'm sure many artists across Nova Scotia feel the same way. All of these different steps that our government is taking show that this government takes arts, culture and heritage extremely seriously and that we believe this is part of a growing, wonderful future for Nova Scotia. With that Mr. Speaker, I take my place. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: I rise very quickly to add my own voice in support of this and to express my real pleasure about the maturity that this shows in the evolution of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. I guess I've been really quite privileged in that I've known the gallery from the days when I was a small child being towed into that dark brick building on Coburg Road where there were a few dingy pieces - well not always dingy - but there were a few not always well-conserved pieces, even back in those days, in the dark recesses of the building, to the really very splendid old Post Office building. Again I was very privileged, in fact, when I think of it, because my former husband was the proprietor there for 14 years. I, and our children, had almost constant access to some of the more technical secrets and got to be really very familiar with the pieces of art as they came. We saw the building of the Lucite boxes, which enclosed some very precious pieces of Nova Scotia's culture and its history.

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Of course, culture is very much the heritage of the future as it's being developed and there has always been a very lively tradition of documentary art in Nova Scotia, in fact from the earliest days when Champlain began his mapping and when DesBarres, whose work is included downstairs in this House as a possession of the province rather than of the gallery, but who made some very beautiful artistic embellishments to the early maps of the province.

Because it has always been important to document the shores of Nova Scotia and the landscape of Nova Scotia for practical purposes, and to illustrate the literature of Nova Scotia, there has also developed a very real culture which says it is important to document personal experiences of this place and it really has come to be time for this constantly growing gallery to be able to have all the space, which it has. It needs to be able to have conservation space, increasingly, and people come to this province; they come to create art and they come to see art. I think that giving the board the independence that it has to manage the affairs, and also establishing a foundation which can receive donations, distinct from donations to the province, give the entire gallery a dignity which it has not had up until now, and it gives it an independent recognition, which I think will serve it very well in the future.

One last thing, which I think is interesting as well, is that this also clarifies an ongoing process. Harry Piers was the person who established the first museum of Nova Scotia, or the Nova Scotia Museum, in the late 19th Century. There are some very interesting collections, which have been quite arbitrarily divided amongst the three institutions: the Museum of Natural History, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the Nova Scotia Archives. I think that this, too, will allow the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to enable works, which may at times have been scattered, and it will allow this to become, finally, officially, the Museum of Art of Nova Scotia, as well as the place in which our contemporary artists can continue to create and to have the really wonderful incentive of a spectacular display place in a place that people come to visit because of its long and vibrant history, and its equally vibrant future in the Province of Nova Scotia.

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

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The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

HON. LEONARD PREYRA « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite, the member for Bedford-Birch Cove, for her remarks and to thank her for summarizing the Liberal position and for indicating that the caucus will be supporting this legislation. I appreciate any suggestions that they will bring forward at the Law Amendments Committee process.

I also want to thank my colleagues on this side of the House, the member for Lunenburg, the member for Truro-Bible Hill, and the member for Halifax Atlantic. We, on this side, also have a great deal of artistic talent and it's really delightful to have so many artists in the caucus itself who can bring their unique insights and skills and experience to bear on much of the legislation that we bring forward. I particularly appreciated the specific suggestions they had, and their comments.

The member for Halifax Atlantic made a point that perhaps I should have made in my opening remarks, and I want to thank her for raising them. Part of the objective and part of the recognition in this bill is the fact that the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has matured significantly over the last few years since its inception, and this bill recognizes and applauds that maturation. I wanted to take this time to compliment Ray Cronin, the director of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the chief executive officer, on the great work they are doing there, but I also want to take a few minutes to give a shout out to members of the board, Mark Bursey, the chairman of the board, and with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I would like to name them: Bonnie Baker, William Barker, David Bezanson, Michael Cormier, Carol Dodds, Jeff Forbes, Malcolm Fraser, Joan Keith, Joy Laking, Wendy Lill, David Postill, Gracey Southwell, Barry Mosher, Islay McGlynn, Robbie Shaw, and Wylie Spicer.

Robbie Shaw, by the way, Mr. Speaker, has done a wonderful job of fundraising and I understand that he is going to be helping the Art Gallery with that work. People will recognize the name as someone who contributed a great deal to the IWK Foundation. He has a great deal of experience there as well, but the point is that Ray Cronin, as director and CEO, and Mark Bursey, the chairman, and members of the board are highly skilled individuals with great reputations. It's a sign of respect that this legislation would say that the board and the gallery have now grown up to the point where they can make decisions by themselves.

The Act as it stands, Mr. Speaker, really requires the Art Gallery to come to the minister to ask for pencils, supplies, and basic things that in most modern institutions would be considered operational. So it reduces the red tape; it modernizes government. It says to the board, it says to the CEO, you know, we have a great deal of respect for the work that you're doing and we think in many cases you know exactly what the organization needs and you have the interests of the organization at heart, and you will do a great job. So this part of the bill, it's important to recognize, and I want to thank the member for Halifax Atlantic for raising that point.

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The member for Truro-Bible Hill and the member for Lunenburg also set the context for this bill, which also perhaps is something I also should have done. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the government has a larger strategy for the arts and culture, it has a larger set of objectives, and they're underpinned by an important set of principles.

Arts Nova Scotia, as pointed out, was a creation by the government, it was a promise that we made during the 2009 campaign, that we would respect the independence of artists, the ability of the arts organizations to make decisions on merit, that decisions really in terms of the allocation or the funding of the arts should be made by artists, for artists, and generally by arm's-length agencies that would remove some of the partisanship and some of the politics from decision making. This bill, in some ways, does that as well; it devolves authority to the Art Gallery board in a way that says those decisions should be made by artists and for artists, by people who are closest to the decision making itself.

The members for Lunenburg and Truro-Bible Hill also talked about Status of the Artist legislation, a piece of legislation that respects artists, that seeks to secure and define the role of artists a little more clearly, creating a vehicle and a framework for future activity in this area where we should be able to create new incentives that would nurture the arts or the development of artists, particularly young and emerging artists and the development of creative spaces for artists as well. That's an important part of this legislation, to affirm the fact that artists are valuable in and of their own rights, not just as great artists, which to me is a value in itself.

Great artists in many parts of the world define those cultures and are revered but arts in the modern world also play a very important role in securing the creative economy. The Status of the Artist legislation underlines that and says that they are working artists who helped build our economy, particularly the export of our art.

I should say, Mr. Speaker, there has been a great deal of coverage of the events this week in Liverpool at White Point and Music Nova Scotia. As you know, the government invited a number of international buyers to come and sample our art. They were just thrilled, they were delighted and many of them are taking back CDs and talking about collaboration. There were a great number of partnerships that were forged in that process.

This legislation recognizes the status of our artists but it also promotes our artists, both within the country and abroad, so we're looking forward to breathing some life in that legislation as well.

Now I should say, Mr. Speaker, that the creation of the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council also sets out an important set of principles on our commitment to the arts. In the past there was not a great deal of legitimate consultation with the artistic community, with the cultural communities. The objective is to consult more widely, to consult more deeply, to help to bring more artists and people in the cultural communities in to help us shape a cultural strategy, to set the pillars for future initiatives in the arts and culture field. So this legislation follows along those lines, as well as to respect the advice and the talents and what we can learn from members of the artistic community itself.

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Overall and more specifically, Mr. Speaker, this bill is about streamlining the operations, streamlining decision making, making it easier for people who volunteer, to serve on our boards, the board at the Art Gallery, so we don't frustrate them by having to make too many applications and jump too many hoops for decisions that are basically very close to home and well within the area of expertise.

The fundraising, the creation of the foundation, Mr. Speaker, allows the Art Gallery to raise revenues. Where there was a concern in the past that those revenues may be used for other purposes or may be consolidated in the general revenues, this legislation clears up any ambiguity that was there. It says that the foundation can be established, can receive funds and other support and use them for the purposes to which the donors intended or to build up resources and revenues from year to year to acquire art or to essentially promote the objectives of the gallery itself.

At the same time, saying that the major initiatives, the major purchases of art, the construction, things that impose an obligation on the taxpayer in the long term, or require long-term revenues, that those decisions will still rest with Cabinet in consultation with the board. The general thrust then, is to say, basically, operations will be dealt with in one way and larger projects will be dealt with in another way. It does modernize and it does create great principles for the future. With that, Mr. Speaker, I am quite happy to take my place, and again, I want to thank the members for participating. With that I move second reading of Bill No. 127.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 127. 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 the order of business Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 129.

Bill No. 129 – Liverpool United Baptist Church Cemetery Act.

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

MR. MAT WHYNOTT « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Queens, I move second reading of Bill No. 129.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 129. 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 Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 130.

Bill No. 130 - Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches Act.

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

MR. MAT WHYNOTT « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Queens, I move second reading of Bill No. 130. I know I could go for an hour on this one (Interruptions) I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 130. 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 Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

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[2:29 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker, Mr. Alfie MacLeod in the Chair.]

[2:40 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Alfie MacLeod in the Chair.]

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

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

Bill No. 105 - Agriculture and Marketing Act.

Bill No. 109 - Bee Industry Act.

Bill No. 112 - Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 114 - Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act.

Bill No. 115 - Interprovincial Investigative Authority Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again from the hours of 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow . . .

HON. MICHEL SAMSON » : Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. As you will recall, last Thursday the hours were from noon to 6:00 as well, and I believe we were done at 4:00. On Friday the hours were from 9:00 to 3:00 and we were done at 10:30. Today the hours were from noon to 6:00, and it's now 2:41 p.m.

I would be remiss if I didn't remind the government that there are over 30 bills that have been presented by the Official Opposition that we'd be more than happy to take time to debate right now, in light of the fact that we've been asked to appear here from noon to 6:00. I would certainly hope that the Government House Leader would consider calling some of that legislation rather than wrapping the House up at this point.

[Page 3809]

MR. SPEAKER « » : I don't believe that that's a point of order. It is a disagreement between two members.

The honourable Government House Leader.

MR. CORBETT « » : Now, that's one thing I will agree with. There is no disagreement there, Mr. Speaker. Apparently they don't want to debate bills. That's fine.

So we will meet tomorrow from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The order of business will be Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill No. 131; Committee of the Whole House on Bills on Bill Nos. 97 and 125; and Public Bills for Third Reading, Bill Nos. 105, 109, 112, 114, and 115. We may also do Private and Local Bills, Bill No. 117.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We have reached the moment of interruption. The adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park:

"Therefore be it resolved this NDP Government's economic policies are not creating good, full-time jobs and as a result, more Nova Scotians are turning to part-time positions, where wages are lower and benefits are scarce."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

NDP GOV'T.: ECONOMIC POLICIES - EFFECTIVENESS

[Page 3810]

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : I'm going to share my time with the member for Glace Bay.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'm sorry, that can't be done.

MR. COLWELL « » : Can't be done? Okay, not a problem.

MR. SPEAKER « » : You'll have to take the 10 minutes or as long as you like, and then we'll move on.

MR. COLWELL « » : I'll take my 10 minutes. Not a problem.

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

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this is a very important topic. This government has indicated over and over again how many jobs they have created, and they've lost over 7,000 jobs in the economy. Some 1,300 or 1,400 of those were attributed to a half a billion dollars that they've given in corporate welfare to businesses that have since closed, gone bankrupt, or whatever the case maybe, so it's a very poor investment.

To make that even worse, the jobs that were lost were full-time jobs. There's been a whole group of part-time jobs that have replaced some of the full-time jobs. In some cases, businesses have changed and laid off people and hired people back on a part-time basis. Now what does that mean? What does that mean, when you say a job is a job, but it isn't a job? When you look at a part-time job in comparison, unless you're retired and want to work part time, that's one thing. But if you're trying to raise a family, look after a family, create a pension plan for yourself and your family down the road, a part-time job is not the way to do it.

A lot of large organizations, because of costs in their operations, particularly retail outlets, make sure that they don't work as many hours as they could to get a full-time position because if they do that, they don't have to pay all the benefits.

Now the benefits, when you're working part time, it doesn't seem too bad if you're young and you're going to school, that's one thing, you go to university and have a part-time job or if you're retired and you just want something to do and you go and work a few hours at the local hardware store, at a store someplace, just to make some extra money and socialize a bit, that's one thing. But if you have a family, you're trying to look after a family and you get a part-time job, it's a difficult situation. It means a long term, and I see many people in my constituency over the years who have worked and don't have a proper pension plan in place, or even contributed to Canada Pension as much as they could have if they had a full-time job. It's a serious problem.

So you tie these things together with the fact that this government has created a situation where businesses don't want to invest in Nova Scotia. It's going to get worse, as time goes on - it is going to get a lot worse. As it gets worse, we see more and more full-time jobs gone and maybe some more part-time jobs or if, indeed, if they continue to grow a little bit. Overall the economy in the province is not good.

[Page 3811]

When you see the money that has been given away to the big corporations, and again away they go, DSME is a particular one. I know we visited some companies in Pictou last summer and they told me at that time, the companies that dealt with DSME, that the only people working there were the security guards. It appears that that may be the case. It's very unfortunate because the 49 per cent share that the province has for some $60 million they invested - it makes you wonder how they ever did the due diligence when they decided to invest $60 million in an operation that indeed, without even turning out hardly any product, has basically closed down and probably will close down and move on. Then the question is, what happens to the $60 million investment that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia have put into this, and that's a serious issue.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I wonder if I could just interrupt the member for a second. If you want to go five minutes, we can then go 10 and then back to you for five at the end.

MR. COLWELL « » : Yes, we'll do that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Okay, thank you. I'm sorry about that mis-ruling.

MR. COLWELL « » : No problem at all. So if you look at things like DSME, you look at the way they've come into the province, the big companies come in and take our money. In the meantime, we don't have money to pay for seniors' programs, we don't have money to put in our schools, $65 million taken out of our education system and the school system, it's a real serious problem.

We've got to start looking after our seniors - give a power rate reduction to a big corporation and yet they charge an efficiency tax on all our power bills that hurts the people who have the least income and makes it very difficult. So when we look at this whole situation of the jobs supposedly being created - supposed to have been created - and you really look at the numbers that Statistics Canada put out, you see this government has a dismal record of improving the economy because if we don't have businesses creating jobs in this province, it's not going to be long before we see our young people leaving in greater numbers than they are now. As the young people leave, there's the hope for our future and that is so important to have the young people here.

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to speak on this.

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

MR. MAT WHYNOTT « » : Mr. Speaker, glad to rise again and speak for a few moments on this resolution before us. Of course as we know, it's a bunch of hogwash but it's there on paper and I think it's something that we do need to debate in this House, this historic Chamber.

[Page 3812]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Honourable member, I believe "hogwash" might be on the line of unparliamentary language. It has a relation to another animal so you have to be very careful.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. WHYNOTT « » : Mr. Speaker, I will exchange that with "lacking merit" and continue to talk about this resolution before us.

As we know, Mr. Speaker, the Opposition has led Nova Scotia through - when they were in government - some of the worst years of economic performance in the country. We are turning the corner, and I think that is what is important to understand - we're starting to see the light, the light that even just last week there were 1,000 jobs that came, that were announced for Nova Scotians, allowing Nova Scotians who are living out West to come home, something that is such an important piece to ensure a bright future for Nova Scotians.

Mind you, Mr. Speaker, we do have some challenges and you just can't turn the ship around overnight. I know that the Opposition would agree, but yet they want to do things and say all things to all people. I think that's something a little bit different. One of the questions I have is - they talk about all of the things that they would do, but the question that remains: How will they pay for it? How will they pay for it? I don't quite necessarily know. Are they saying that they would not invest in PROJEX to come to Nova Scotia - is that what they're saying? Are they saying they wouldn't invest in IBM to come to Nova Scotia – is that what they're suggesting?

Are they also suggesting, Mr. Speaker, that through a list of companies that were used through the Productivity Investment Program, would they not have invested in those companies, a company like ABK Biomedical in Halifax - is that something that they wouldn't have supported? Probably, I think that's what they're suggesting. They wouldn't have supported Port Hawkesbury? The member for Inverness, I haven't necessarily heard his take on this in the House. I know the member for Richmond, I haven't necessarily heard anything from him in this regard. So I think this is the question that Nova Scotians should be asking both of the Parties, would they have left those people of that region, would they have left them out in the cold? Probably.

Mr. Speaker, I think that that is a key contrast here. We're ensuring that every penny through profit-sharing, that we are able to collect that money back to ensure that we put that money back into roads, put that money back into education, put that money back into health care. So we want to make sure that those are the priorities for Nova Scotians.

[Page 3813]

Another company, Mr. Speaker, is Benjamin Bridge vineyards - would they have not supported Benjamin Bridge vineyards in the Valley? Probably not. What about CarbonCure from Halifax? What about ensuring that Air Canada Jazz moves to Nova Scotia, moves some of its operations to Nova Scotia? What about that? What about the Colchester-Cumberland wind field - would they not have supported that? Probably not.

What about Frontier Developments - would they not have developed that? I was actually at the opening of the Pop Explosion, I was there testing a game that a company, they're bringing their headquarters to Nova Scotia from the U.K., coming to Halifax, employing good Nova Scotians, giving them good quality jobs, and what did that company CEO say to me when I was there? The CEO of the company said, you know, the workforce in Nova Scotia, the people of Nova Scotia are good people. They provide a good quality of business and that is exactly why we're moving our business, the first time outside of Europe, to Halifax - the first time outside of Europe to Halifax.

That is something that I think is a good news story, Mr. Speaker, yet we don't hear anything from the Opposition, saying, well, you know, do you know what? We wouldn't do that. That's the question I think we need to ask the Opposition.

What about Eden Valley Poultry, would they have said no to that, an important industry in the Valley? And the member for Kings West, I believe it's in his riding, is he saying that he wouldn't have supported that - is that what he's saying? (Interruption) So he would support it, I think. So I think that's something that we need to have people realize.

What about Engineered Coated Products, a good company that is creating jobs in Nova Scotia through the Productivity Investment Program? What about LED Roadway Lighting? I'll give credit, I'll give credit where it's due. The Progressive Conservative Party, when they were in government, they did help support that and I think that is something that is a stark contrast. The contrast is that when there was something good done, we will give credit to it.

The Opposition, last week when PROJEX was in there, as I said yesterday, I was embarrassed that they laughed - the fact that the CEO was here in the gallery and they laughed. They laughed at the fact of bringing home young Nova Scotians, people who moved out West are coming home. It's because of this government to ensure that is going to happen.

What about Mulgrave Machine Works? Mulgrave - it's in the constituency of the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour, a good quality company. I was speaking to someone who works there. I think some members of this House might know who that individual is - Bert Lewis - he would say he was a good candidate in the by-election, the member for Inverness. I believe he was also elected, recently, to the town council of Port Hawkesbury - is that correct? He's a good community member there, and he was saying to me a couple of months ago, when I saw him, he said that even during the downturn at Port Hawkesbury, they created 80 new jobs and they were going to be expanding, something that is very positive.

[Page 3814]

What about Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Gourmet? Who knew that here in Nova Scotia we are making gluten-free products, something that is becoming a real issue for some of our young people in Nova Scotia. They are seeing that as an issue. That food is being made here, right in our home province, something that's very good.

What about Stark? Would they have said no to helping Stark through the Productivity Investment Program? Probably, probably they would. I can go on and on and on all day with some of these small businesses, small and medium-sized businesses that this government has been able to help, to ensure they expand their workforce, become innovative, ensure they reach out to markets that they'd never been able to reach out to before. That's the reality of where we live. That's the reality of where we live. Is that globalization here? We have to ensure that Nova Scotians can get support to have their product expanded around the world.

Nova Scotians want good jobs. Nova Scotians want a future in our home province. Young people, people my age and younger, want a province that they can live in, that they can own a home, that they can have a family. They want to do it here and that is the difference between this Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Parties opposite who we know, we've tried them, we've tested them and they have failed Nova Scotians, and I'm proud to be standing on this side of the House. Thank you very much.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : I must focus my remarks on some of the comments from the member opposite who is proud to stand on that side of the House. He did mention that we can't expect the ship to be turned around overnight. You would think they could do something of value in the past three years. We talked about the economy here and no, we can't always hold government accountable for every single thing that happens in the economy because there are other factors outside of their control.

One of the things is having balanced budgets and in this province, we don't have some wonderful event on the horizon, we do have positive and negatives all the time but we don't have something like they have in Alberta where they have a thriving oil and gas industry to the extent that it can really change their economy. Over one-quarter of their government revenues come from oil and gas. That's significant. That's a cyclical economy. There have been periods of time throughout history where the economy there has been weak; right now it's very strong. So it's moving back and forth between that. We don't have that here. That's why governments in Nova Scotia need to be responsible about spending tax dollars, to make sure that we're not going into deficit every year, like this government has done.

[Page 3815]

Another comment the member opposite made was, you know, how would they pay for these investments that the government is making? Well, they've paid for it with increases in the HST, taking $1,000 out of the pockets of every Nova Scotian on average. They talk about giving concessions to small business by reducing the small business tax but that extension of goodwill to the small business community pales in comparison to the money that they've handed out, some of the tax money paid for by those very small businesses. They've handed that money out to their competitors, in the case of IBM this past week.

So, Mr. Speaker, that is another example of how this government has failed and how I don't believe they will curry any favour with the small-business community. They can list off all the businesses they like to list off - you know, I spoke yesterday about Irving and I know the Premier was upset about my comments. The member opposite said, how would they pay for that? Well, there was no need to pay Irving $260 million in terms of a forgivable loan. They won the tender to build the ships. They're going to be making an enormous amount of money off that project. It's a tremendously lucrative project for them - $30 billion over 25 years.

Mr. Speaker, taxpayers in Nova Scotia didn't have to spend that money but this government chose to spend it for them.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE » : You don't have the slightest idea what you're talking about.

MR. MACMASTER « » : The former Finance Minister - I think he's no longer the Finance Minister because even he disagrees with what his government has been doing. (Interruption) The member opposite continues to comment but we don't hear him anymore because he's no longer a Cabinet Minister. So I think that speaks volumes about how he feels about his government and how they've been treating the finances of the province. Even he has given up on them.

So, Mr. Speaker, you know, they question if we would invest in IBM. I can tell you one thing we would have done is we would have put that contract to tender so that every Nova Scotian company that wanted to bid on it would have had a fair chance and who can argue with that logic, but perhaps I don't know what I'm talking about. We would have allowed other Nova Scotian business, like the gentleman I spoke to the other day at a luncheon here, at a chamber luncheon, who told me he didn't have a chance to bid on it, and he also told me that he was upset by the money that was given to IBM to essentially compete against him, another Nova Scotian business.

Mr. Speaker, that's picking winners and losers. That's the mistake this government is making and they might think they're currying favour with the winners, but there are a whole lot of losers out there, a whole lot of businesses that aren't getting handouts from this government, and those people are going to remember that. Those people in the business community want fairness. They will often want government to stay out of the way of their business activity. Instead, this government is stepping in and picking winners and leaving losers.

[Page 3816]

Mr. Speaker, the people in the business community are sophisticated, they understand what's going on here. You know, it seems so obvious I think to many people out there that this government is just trying to have a chance to - like the Premier's hand was raised the day of the announcement of the Irving contract by Jim Irving. I mean the Premier wanted to be a part of that announcement. The federal government chose not to have politics as part of that announcement. They chose to ensure that that contract was tendered and that it was done in such a way that other shipyards had a fair chance to bid on it, but politics was completely removed from that. The decision was purely based on the business cases put forward by each shipyard, but this government has chosen to hand out $260 million so they could be down at that wharf on the day of the announcement and look like they brought it home for Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I made this point already, but I must point out that, you know, we hear about how the government has given small business a concession on their taxes, the small business tax rate, and they've lowered it very marginally, but, Mr. Speaker, think about the money those small businesses are paying into our treasury, each year, when they run profitable operations, when they make payroll, when they create jobs for people. That money is being handed out to their peers who have won the favour of this government, for whatever the reason may be. That, to me, is unfair.

I know the member opposite mentioned Mulgrave Machine Works. I remember when the owner of Mulgrave Machine Works was across the hall in the Red Room, and we were at the Law Amendments Committee that day. There were a number of companies coming in, looking at the labour legislation this government has passed to allow for first contract arbitration. The owner of Mulgrave Machine Works said to me that he did not want this legislation. I know he talked to his local MLA, who voted for the legislation.

That's a company that's doing well in this province right now. They didn't want that legislation. They told the government it would not be good for their company; the government passed it anyway. So, Mr. Speaker, what is that doing? To me that is a sign of a government that is not working with Nova Scotia small business.

Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have left?

MR. SPEAKER « » : About two and a half minutes.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Okay. We also have to look at Michelin. They weren't asking to be put on the dole, like we've seen some other companies here in the province of late, Mr. Speaker. They ran profitable operations in a globally competitive industry right here out of Nova Scotia. They didn't want the first contract arbitration bill passed. The government did it anyway.

[Page 3817]

Why isn't the government working with these employers who are not coming with their hand out, to be on the dole? That's the question I ask. Why not work with those people who are creating jobs, who aren't asking anything back for those jobs? To me, that would make sense, but maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.

We could have pleased Michelin for nothing. It would not have cost taxpayers a cent and I think the question that remains is, would they have expanded here? I know there was an announcement that seemed to be scheduled and it was pulled back, a few months back, with Michelin. No doubt they may be choosing other areas of the world to invest in further expansion of their company, Mr. Speaker, so that's something Nova Scotians have to remember.

Mr. Speaker, in short, to close up, we believe that this government should be building a competitive economy, let the jobs take care of themselves. They will, if we provide a good economy for the jobs to exist in. With that, I will close my remarks.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you. I'd like to now, if I could, recognize the honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove on an introduction.

MS. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to direct the members' attention to the west gallery, to Juliette Kim, who is a first year Dalhousie law student from Toronto. Juliette, would you like to stand up, please, and Emily Seare - Emily, would you like to stand up, please. She is the constituency assistant to the member for Halifax Clayton Park. Juliette and the member have been matched in a mentoring program by the Dalhousie Feminist Legal Association. We're glad to have them here today and I'm just wondering if the remaining members in the House would give them a warm welcome.

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

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, it is certainly my pleasure to close off here with our mid-afternoon debate. It's usually called late debate but with the government's agenda, it looks like it is mid-afternoon. I want to touch on this theme and the theme, from my perspective, is that the government, when they talk about the job numbers and the prosperity and the joy of the young people in Nova Scotia, do they really believe what they say?

The reality is, if you look at the job numbers - and I'm holding here the Labour Force Survey for Nova Scotia for October 2012, which I will table - the reality is that full-time jobs are going down and part-time jobs are going up. I'll read this and then table the document for the House's pleasure:

[Page 3818]

"During periods of employment volatility, Nova Scotia has experienced a pattern of shifts between full time and part time employment. . . October had a slight gain in part time employment with full time employment falling by over 1,300 over September."

Again, I'll table that. That paints a pretty clear picture that we are losing full-time employment to the tune of over 3,000 since this government took office in 2009. That's a fact, and another fact that Nova Scotians see every day is that we've given hundreds of millions to corporations with promises of jobs in the 15,000 or 16,000 range and climbing, with the reality of none of those actually producing full-time employment as of right now. They are facts, and that is what Nova Scotians are dealing with.

Again, the thing that I'd like to remind the House and remind the members here who are interested in this topic - and I certainly would like to address this and make sure that the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, who doesn't seem to understand what we're talking about here, when he's using his numbers and explaining the joy of small businesses and businesses in this province. We haven't done a whole lot for small businesses, and we haven't done a whole lot for entrepreneurship. I'll use the example that the member used with the Productivity and Innovation Voucher, the PIP. Some of the members and the recipients of the PIP vouchers for this year were in the gallery last week, and the minister probably got up and talked about the investment and the impact this will have.

Certainly the investment is worthwhile. Certainly the impact will be great - as I've said before, entrepreneurs, small businesses whose lives and livelihood and families' comfort depend on whether or not they make a profit. Entrepreneurs are based and built to make profit. They are thinkers. They are innovators. They want to hire people, they want to expand their businesses, and they want to make money. There is no harm in that, and there is no shame in that. That kind of growth is what we want to foster.

With the Productivity and Innovation Voucher, 32 businesses received $15,000 vouchers and 14 businesses received $25,000 vouchers. The first one, the $15,000 voucher, is Tier 1, as it's referred to, so it's the first time a business applies. The $25,000 would be a repeat recipient. That's $830,000, Mr. Speaker. That's a pretty far cry from the $600 million we've given to corporations. When we talk about the investment and what Productivity and Innovation has meant to this province, it's less than a million dollars so far.

The members can use the bullets from the researchers and they can read off, well, this is what we've invested, and this is the great impact. Well, the economic impact has been less than a million dollars of investment from this government, where $600 million has changed hands with big corporations. Imagine if we took one-tenth of that $600 million and invested in those small businesses through PIP. We'd have a much better performance and we wouldn't be losing jobs and hemorrhaging full-time jobs.

[Page 3819]

The reality is that we're talking about part-time work. Let's not make the same comparison with full-time jobs in terms of the benefits. We all know what part-time jobs mean for Nova Scotians. There are no benefits. The minister talks about the Stream call centre - the Stream call centre is important in Glace Bay because of the wages, yes, but more importantly, because the families get access to dental, medical, and health insurance, and coverage that way. Without that kind of coverage for your family, a part-time job is only a paycheque. That's what it is: a paycheque that isn't stable, because you don't know what your hours are going to be, you don't know when you work next, you don't know what the future looks like, and there is just no security at all.

So what does that mean? The very first chance a person has to go out West and go to Ontario, they are gone. The time spent away from their families, away from their communities - they've got to do it, because they need full-time employment. They need those benefits and they need a consistent paycheque for their families.

I know my time is short, Mr. Speaker, but what I want to say and reiterate as much as I can is that our job is not to participate in industry. Our job is not to participate in economics. We've got to foster growth and support the business environment in this province. We've got to help entrepreneurs, not big corporations. With that I'll take my place. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you, and I want to thank all members for their participation in tonight's debate. That closes the late debate. We are now adjourned until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 3:14 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3820]

RESOLUTION NO. 2049

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 athletics are an important part of school life, and help to develop the well-rounded individual we wish our students to become; and

Whereas the athletes not only get to develop, challenge and display their abilities, they learn the meaning of commitment, hard work, co-operation, and organization as they learn to balance academics and sports; and

Whereas some students are especially gifted with athletic ability, work particularly hard, and excel as role models by always showing their sportsmanship and team spirit;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Josh Gamblin for being named the Male Athlete of the Year at the Central Colchester Junior High School Awards Banquet in Onslow, Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2050

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 in the month of November, men across Canada become hairy, walking billboards to bring awareness to an important men's health initiative; and

Whereas during this month many men will take this time to grow moustaches in support of prostate cancer awareness and men's mental health initiatives; and

Whereas the moustaches serve as a reminder and ice-breaker to start conversations about lesser known issues surrounding men's health;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize this month as Movember and encourage more people to take part in raising awareness and having these vital conversations with loved ones.

RESOLUTION NO. 2051

[Page 3821]

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was held in Liverpool, and culminated in the presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas the Petite Rivière Volunteer Fire Department was nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Community Presenter of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the Petite Rivière Volunteer Fire Department on having been nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Community Presenter of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2052

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was held in Liverpool, and culminated in the presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas Scott Drummond of Petite Rivière was nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Volunteer of the Year Award;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2053

[Page 3822]

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was held in Liverpool, and culminated in the presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas Leif Helmer of Petite Rivière was nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Volunteer of the Year Award;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2054

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad « » (Queens)

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Music Week was held in Liverpool, and culminated in the presentation of awards to honour and publicly recognize our music industry; and

Whereas the Little River Folk Society of Petite Rivière was nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Community Presenter of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the Little River Folk Society on having been nominated for Nova Scotia Music Week's Community Presenter of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2055

[Page 3823]

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Chef Michael Howell was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Chef Howell has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, serving as leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, chair for Taste of Nova Scotia and president of the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Chef Howell has shown a constant commitment to the art and craft of food, as well as being an invaluable asset to the hospitality and food service industry in our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Chef Michael Howell to his local community and to this province.

RESOLUTION NO. 2056

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Peter Herbin of Wolfville was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Peter Herbin has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, both as proprietor of Herbin's Jewellers, as well as an individual volunteer and citizen; and

Whereas Peter Herbin was further instrumental as a member of the Nomination Grand Pre Advisory Board, which assisted in securing the UNESCO World Heritage Site bid for Grand Pre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Peter Herbin to his local community in the Annapolis Valley

RESOLUTION NO. 2057

[Page 3824]

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Lloyd Smith was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Mr. Smith has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, serving as the official Town Crier for the Town of Windsor and as de facto Town Crier for the entire Annapolis Valley; and

Whereas Mr. Smith has been providing charismatic and dramatic entertainment to the people of the Annapolis Valley since his early portrayal of Sam Slick in 1971;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Lloyd Smith to his local community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2058

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Keith Meerman was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Mr. Meerman has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, serving simultaneously with the Wolfville Lions Club, as well as the fire department; and

Whereas Mr. Meerman has been collecting recyclables for over a decade, using the proceeds to purchase food and medical supplies to deliver to Cuba each year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Keith Meerman to his local community and to those facing hardship abroad.

RESOLUTION NO. 2059

[Page 3825]

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Judy Saunders was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Judy has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, serving on the Nova Scotia Innkeepers Guild, the Evangeline Trail Tourism Association, Destination Southwest Nova and the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Judy has shown dedication and commitment to this province and to the hospitality and tourism industry in particular, working to create positive experiences and a desire to return to beautiful Nova Scotia for those who might travel here;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Judy Saunders to her local community and to this province.

RESOLUTION NO. 2060

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas June Jain was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas June has shown a lifelong commitment to the arts and to students who would pursue them with passion and imagination;

Whereas June has further served her community through her volunteerism with the Valley Regional Hospital;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by June Jain to her local community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2061

[Page 3826]

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Dr. Janet Eaton was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Dr. Eaton has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, both as a volunteer with the Sierra Club of Canada, as well as an individual volunteer and citizen; and

Whereas Dr. Eaton has been a tireless campaigner for ecological and environmental concerns, as well as for the international peace movement;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Dr. Janet Eaton to her local community and here in the Annapolis Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2062

By: Hon. Ramona Jennex « » (Education)

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

Whereas Hanspeter Stutz was most recently named a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of the Queen's commitment to public service; and

Whereas Mr. Stutz has been a long-standing and much valued member of our local community, bringing us the first operational winery in the province with the opening of Domaine de Grand Pre in 2000; and

Whereas Mr. Stutz has shown a true passion for the art and culture of wine and hospitality, bringing a fresh perspective to the industry and continually working to strengthen the local agricultural and agritourism business;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions made by Hanspeter Stutz to his local community and to this province.

RESOLUTION NO. 2063

[Page 3827]

By: Ms. Diana Whalen « » (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas after a hard fought campaign, Reg Rankin was re-elected to Halifax Regional Council in October 2012 representing the new District 12, Timberlea-Beechville-Clayton Park West; and

Whereas Reg has been a municipal politician for 21 years, beginning with the former Halifax County Council and he will now represent a diverse area encompassing both city and suburban neighbourhoods; and

Whereas Councillor Rankin has followed up his electoral win by being elected Deputy Mayor for the new council and will serve in this position for the next year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Councillor Reg Rankin on assuming the duties of Deputy Mayor for HRM while continuing to represent the people of Timberlea-Beechville-Clayton Park West.