Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD13-10

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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/



First Session

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2013

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
ERDT - Productivity & Innovation Voucher Prog.,
632
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 343, Creative N.S. Leadership Coun. Awards
- Recipients Congrats., Hon. T. Ince »
636
Vote - Affirmative
637
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 27, "St. Andrew's Society of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia." Incorporation Act,
637
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 344, MacGillivray, Allister - Order of Can.,
637
Vote - Affirmative
638
Res. 345, Senate Abolition: Gov't. (Can.)/Provinces - Negotiations,
638
Res. 346, Kawalski, Anthony: Hfx. Stanfield Intl. Airport
- Welcome Chair, Ms. M. Miller »
639
Vote - Affirmative
639
Res. 347, Judique Celtic Music Interpretive Ctr. - Official Celtic
Music Ctr. (N.S.), Mr. A. MacMaster »
640
Vote - Affirmative
640
Res. 348, Jessome, Bill: Journalism - Dedication,
640
Vote - Affirmative
641
Res. 349, Holly Tree Bazaar: Dart. Gen. Hosp. Aux. - Success Congrats.,
641
Vote - Affirmative
642
Res. 350, Clifford St. Youth Ctr. Students: Democracy
- Interest Commend, Mr. E. Orrell »
642
Vote - Affirmative
643
Res. 351, Stutely, Ms. Taylor - IAAF World Youth Championships,
643
Vote - Affirmative
643
Res. 352, Smith, Stephanie: Sambro Island Lighthouse - Protection Efforts,
644
Vote - Affirmative
644
Res. 353, Corbin, Karen - CD Release,
644
Vote - Affirmative
645
Res. 354, Lavery, Fred - Mar. Commun. Contributions,
645
Vote - Affirmative
646
Res. 355, Steadman, Cmdr. Mervin - Leadership/Commun. Serv.,
646
Vote - Affirmative
646
Res. 356, Detheridge, Jarrad - Athletic Achievement,
647
Vote - Affirmative
647
Res. 357, Wentzell, Jim: Career - Congrats.,
647
Vote - Affirmative
648
Res. 358, McInnes, Donald P. - Birthday (80th),
648
Vote - Affirmative
649
Res. 359, Hfx. Explosion - Support Remember,
649
Vote - Affirmative
649
Res. 360, Johnston, Elsie - Vol. Awards,
650
Vote - Affirmative
650
Res. 361, Fraser, Brittany - CIBC Team Next,
650
Vote - Affirmative
651
Res. 362, Allan, David/Mosher, Heather: Tantallon Vet. Hosp
651
Vote - Affirmative
652
Res. 363, Regan, Walter/Sackville Rivers Assoc. - Preservation Efforts,
652
Vote - Affirmative
653
Res. 364, Port Hastings Vol. FD - Anniv. (50th),
653
Vote - Affirmative
653
Res. 365, McNeil, Michael Robert: Death of - Tribute,
654
Vote - Affirmative
654
Res. 366, Manthorne, Rev. Gary: Serv. - Recognize,
654
Vote - Affirmative
655
Res. 367, Phoenix Prog. - Salute,
655
Vote - Affirmative
656
Res. 368, Intl. Human Rights Day (12/10/13) - Recognize,
656
Vote - Affirmative
656
Res. 369, St. Mary's Bay Acad. Stingrays Sr. Girls Volleyball Team
- West. Reg. Championship, Mr. Gordon Wilson »
657
Vote - Affirmative
657
Res. 370, Forbes, Stephen/Stellarton A&W - Pictou Co
Solid Waste Award, Hon. P. Dunn « »
657
Vote - Affirmative
658
Res. 371, Harnish, Rhys/Fam.: Shore Club - Success Congrats.,
658
Vote - Affirmative
659
Res. 372, Huynh, Rosalyn - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
659
Vote - Affirmative
659
Res. 373, Kentville FD - Anniv. (125 Yrs.),
660
Vote - Affirmative
660
Res. 374, Castle, Angela/NSCC Students - Out of the Cold Vols.,
660
Vote - Affirmative
661
Res. 375, Porter, David - Commun. Dedication,
661
Vote - Affirmative
662
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 46, Lbr. & Advanced Educ.: Lbr. Mgt. Review Comm. - Changes,
662
No. 47, Lbr. & Advanced Educ.: Holiday - Sm. Bus. Consultation,
663
No. 48, Dep. Prem.: Economic Plan - Release,
664
No. 49, ERDT: STM Quest - Payment Info,
666
No. 50, Senate Abolition - Gov't. (N.S.) Stance,
668
No. 51, Health & Wellness: EIBI Prog. - Wait Times,
670
No. 52, Dep. Prem.: Senate - Value,
671
No. 53, Com. Serv.: Children & Fam. Services Act - Changes,
672
No. 54, Cavanagh, Danny: Atl. Premiers Panel - Removal Explain,
673
No. 55, Health & Wellness: Trans Fats Ban - Details,
675
No. 56, ERDT: Mar. Steel - Situation,
676
No. 57, Environ.: Emission Limits - Monitoring,
677
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PRIVATE & LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 27, "St. Andrew's Society of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia." Incorporation Act
680
Vote - Affirmative
680
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY TO THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE:
681
686
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Private & Local Bills Committee,
704
Law Amendments Committee,
705
Law Amendments Committee,
705
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY TO THE SPEECH FROM THE THRONE:
706
Adjourned debate
711
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Mar. Lobster Panel Rept. - Timely Response,
712
714
717
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Dec. 11th at 10:00 a.m
720
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 376, Wishart, Brant: Death of - Tribute,
721
Res. 377, Hfx. West HS Model Parliament - Participants,
721
Res. 378, Jessome, Bill: Death of - Tribute,
722
Res. 379, UN Declaration of Human Rights - Anniv. (65th),
722
Res. 380, Sienna's Ink - Opening,
723
Res. 381, Meadowfields Sch.: Gr. 5 Students -
Typhoon Haiyan Fundraising, Hon. Z. Churchill »
723
Res. 382, Avon Valley Golf & Country Club: Exec./Shareholders/Staff
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
724
Res. 383, Hantsport Minor Baseball Assoc.: Exec. - Congrats.,
724
Res. 384, Phillips, Roley & Beulah - Anniv. (74th),
725
Res. 385, Matheson, Coun. Randy et al: UNSM - Long-Serv
Certificates, Mr. C. Porter « »
725
Res. 386, West Hants Thunder Fastpitch Softball Team
(2013 Season) - Applaud, Mr. C. Porter « »
726
Res. 387, NSSAF Baseball Championship: Organizers - Congrats.,
727

[Page 631]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2013

Sixty-second General Assembly

First Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we proceed with the daily routine, the topic for late debate tonight is:

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature call on the government to provide a timely response to the Maritime Lobster Panel Report.

The late debate topic was submitted by the honourable member for Inverness.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

631

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

[Page 632]

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to acknowledge and congratulate the many small businesses in our province that are focused on being innovative and creating jobs in their communities to move our province forward. Our government is committed to creating a competitive economic environment where entrepreneurs can succeed and businesses can grow. Our government will refocus its attention on small business. We need to give these business leaders the tools to grow and create jobs, and then get out of the way and allow them to prosper.

We are committed to doing this. We know Nova Scotians have the skillset, the drive and the entrepreneurial spirit to succeed, not only at home but internationally. We will be there to support them, not get in their way. We want to build on the success of our small businesses.

Today I am pleased to announce that 51 small and medium-sized businesses from communities throughout Nova Scotia will benefit from the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program this year. Both Opposition Parties will know that this program helps small businesses get to the next level in their growth by helping them develop new, innovative products and services, or get a new product or service to the next stage, or even to market.

We are lucky to have the broad depth of talent in our post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia. This great program helps to build and strengthen the link between small business and Nova Scotia's universities and colleges - a relationship that benefits both sides.

M. le Président, c'est avec plaisir que j'annonce aujourd'hui que 51 petites et moyennes entreprises de partout en Nouvelle-Écosse profiteront du Programme de bons pour la productivité et l'innovation. Les deux partis de l'opposition savent que ce programme facilite le passage des petites entreprises à un autre niveau de croissance en les aidant à concevoir de nouveaux produits et services novateurs, ou à amener un nouveau produit ou service à l'étape suivante, ou même à le mettre sur le marché.

M. le Président, nous sommes chanceux de pouvoir compter sur le vaste réservoir de talents dans nos établissements postsecondaires. Cet excellent programme aide à bâtir et à renforcer le lien entre les petites entreprises et les collèges et universités de la Nouvelle-Écosse, une relation qui profite aux deux milieux.

Our academic institutions have people with a lot of know-how and expertise that small businesses can use to grow their operations. I want to acknowledge and thank them for their vital role in this program and their hard work and dedication to helping small businesses grow and flourish.

[Page 633]

This program offers two tiers of vouchers or credit notes. The first tier provides businesses with vouchers or credit notes of $15,000 for professional services and advice from academic institutions in areas such as applied research, engineering services, field testing, prototyping, product design and feasibility studies to help move a new product or service to market. This year, 41 companies are receiving these vouchers.

The second tier provides vouchers of up to $25,000 to businesses that have previously received a Tier 1 voucher so that they can build on the work they did with the first project. These vouchers are being provided to 10 businesses this year.

The 51 businesses are located throughout the province in communities such as Yarmouth, Saulnierville, Mahone Bay, Canning, Bible Hill, Antigonish, Dominion, Cap Le Moine and many, many more. They do work in a wide range of economic sectors in our province, from agriculture, agri-food manufacturing and fisheries to clean technology, consumer manufacturing, ICT and life sciences.

These businesses are great examples of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists within our province. Earlier today, I had the great pleasure of meeting representatives of many of these businesses and hearing about the exciting projects that they will work on with our universities and colleges. I also met many representatives of the nine universities and colleges in Nova Scotia that participate in this program as well.

Small businesses aren't simply a part of the economy; they are the backbone of our community and our economy. It's the entrepreneurial spirit that creates jobs in every community across Nova Scotia, and it's that spirit that we have to unlock to support economic growth in our province.

M. le Président, les petites entreprises ne font pas simplement partie de notre économie ; elles sont la base de notre économie. C'est leur esprit d'entreprise qui crée des emplois dans chaque localité de la Nouvelle-Écosse, et c'est cet esprit que nous devons laisser libre pour appuyer la croissance économique dans la province.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to be able to introduce representatives of many of the businesses receiving vouchers and the post-secondary institutions that are partnering with them who are in the gallery today. Many of them are in the east gallery, and since we did not keep track of each one, I will run through the list of the 51 recipients.

For the Tier 1 voucher recipients, in Cape Breton, we have: Health Outcomes Worldwide, New Waterford; Kearns International Ltd., North Sydney; Premium Choice Shrimp Ltd., Arichat; SkySquirrel Technologies Inc., Cap Le Moine.

Northern Nova Scotia: AgriBioFuels Ltd., Bible Hill; and this one, this company, which doesn't mean the same thing apparently that it does back in Cape Breton, ALL SAUCED UP, in Truro. (Laughter) Blue Water Sales and Service Ltd., Valley; Cornect Family Farm, New Glasgow; FiddleHop Farms, Truro; Grapell Bioenergy Ltd., Truro; Nature's Natural Solutions Skin Care, Antigonish; NRG Sports Inc., Antigonish; Spicy Cravings, Harmony; TruLeaf Sustainable Agriculture Ltd., Bible Hill.

[Page 634]

In the Halifax Regional Municipality: Clear Picture Corp., Halifax; Creative Kids Education Centre Inc., Hammonds Plains; Design On Polymers Inc., Halifax; Dyagen Technologies Inc., Dartmouth; GeoSpectrum Technologies Inc., Dartmouth; Ion Biomedical, Halifax; JCN Performance Consulting Ltd., Halifax; Reno Sub-Systems Canada Inc., Halifax; Scotia Weather Services Inc., Dartmouth; Seaforth Engineering/Seaforth Geosurveys, Dartmouth; Stromline Technologies, Halifax; Turbulent Research Inc., Dartmouth.

Annapolis Valley, Digby, we have: BIKE Scientific Inc., Digby; Charles Keddy Farms Ltd., Kentville; D & M Lightfoot Farms Ltd., Wolfville; Farm Girl Preserves, Canning; Fiske's Horse Care Products Ltd., Windsor; Frostbyte Interactive Inc., Wolfville; IEP - Integrated Energy Products, Annapolis Royal; Meander River Farm, Newport; Soluna Energy, Bridgetown; Sustainable Blue, Burlington.

In southwestern Nova Scotia, we have: C.S. Elliot Trading Company Ltd., Yarmouth; Joenickelle Aqua-culture Farms, Saulnierville; Nova West Laboratory Ltd., Saulnierville; Ocean Pride Fisheries Ltd., Wedgeport; Sister Ann Fisheries, Yarmouth.

And for the Tier 2 voucher recipients, in Cape Breton: Bioenergy, Dominion; J&K Scientific, Sydney; Lobsters R Us, St. Peter's; Stomp Labs, Sydney.

Halifax Regional Municipality: CBWES, Hammonds Plains; Chelation Partners, Halifax; Lightsail Energy, Halifax; Murphy's Sailing Tours, Halifax.

Annapolis Valley and Digby: Pie R Squared, Wolfville.

In southwestern Nova Scotia: Schoolhouse Gluten-free Gourmet, Mahone Bay.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask all of the recipients that are here today to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, as you can see from the list I've just provided, these are businesses and entrepreneurs from all sectors of our province. We're extremely proud of the work they do, and as a department, we're extremely proud to have been able to support them through this investment today. With that, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank them for joining us here today to help and celebrate their success. Merci.

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

[Page 635]

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I first would like to thank the minister for a copy of his remarks in advance. I was thrilled and honoured to be able to attend the reception this morning, and I was also pleased to see that a New Glasgow-based family business was on this list, known as the Cornect Family Farm, who are bee farmers and produce quite a large amount of honey as they supply their product throughout the whole province.

It was also interesting to mingle with a number of people. I met a lovely young couple who provide hops to Garrison Brewery, as well as two gentlemen from the Antigonish area who told me that they measure the pressure of your golf swing. I found that really interesting and I just want to say that I wish them the best of luck. I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in that.

Businesses with less than 50 employees make up a remarkable 97.4 per cent of the total businesses in our province. Small businesses are the backbone of the Nova Scotia economy, which is why I believe it's so important to create the best possible environment for them to thrive.

One of the things our Party campaigned on, as you probably all know, was eliminating the tax on small businesses for the first $500,000. I heard first-hand how much this would help those businesses struggling to get their feet on the ground - and I also look very much forward to a PC Government introducing that legislation after the next election.

On a serious note, though, our economy is dangerously weak. We need to help small businesses create jobs, not chase away business with unfair and expensive labour laws. Too many people in Nova Scotia are struggling to find meaningful work, and this law does not do anything to help create jobs. Nova Scotia lost 8,700 full-time jobs in the last four years; unemployment currently sits at 8.8 per cent in Nova Scotia, but it is much higher in rural areas. We need small businesses to do what they do best - and that is create jobs for families.

Another step the government could take to help small business is with energy rates - they are still 30 per cent higher than they were four years ago. In January rates will increase another 3 per cent, further hurting small businesses and people struggling to make ends meet. This government has no plan for balanced budgets, tax relief, or debt repayment - but they do have a plan for a new February statutory holiday. While our economy is struggling to recover from the recession, struggling to create meaningful work for Nova Scotia families, a holiday is not what we need. I look forward to seeing a job creation plan from this government in the near future. Thank you very much.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I'd like to thank the minister for his advance copy and, probably just as important, thank these entrepreneurs who are here today.

[Page 636]

Today I'll stand here to congratulate the government. There will be plenty of time for me toast you up, but I mean today is not really even celebrating the government, as it is celebrating these entrepreneurs. This is what today is about, Mr. Speaker. The Productivity Investment Program, or PIP as it is known, began a couple of years ago. Its real purpose is to help small and medium-size businesses to compete not only here at home, but globally.

Sometimes we use the words "global economy" out of context and it kind of loses its meaning but when we look at today's business world, it is not just what is happening here in Nova Scotia, in our province, but right across the country. Nova Scotians and businesses need to compete on a larger sale. Our province is not large, but I would use an old boxing term - this province has traditionally "punched above its weight."

In addition to helping business to be competitive, this program not only focuses on the physical tools needed to do the job, it also invests, most importantly, in people - improving their skills and advancing their careers.

Mr. Speaker, our caucus is pleased to see this program continue, because we believe it is a tremendous tool for small and medium-size business to grow and has true potential to stimulate the economy of this province in all regions. Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 343

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

Whereas the 8th annual Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council Awards was held on October 25th at the Museum of Natural History; and

Whereas co-hosted by Arts Nova Scotia, the event celebrates our diverse artists and their artistic excellence, and provides an opportunity for Nova Scotians to experience their work; and

Whereas the Town of New Glasgow and the County of Pictou were recognized with the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award, Jay LeBlanc received the Prix Grand-Pré Award, and Carole Langille, Christy Ann Conlin, Janice Jackson, Jeremy Webb, and Sara MacCulloch were awarded the Established Artist Recognition Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly join me in congratulating these winners, thanking them for their contribution to the art and culture of this province, and wish them much success in their future endeavours.

[Page 637]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 27 - An Act to Amend Chapter 192 of the Acts of 1921. An Act to Incorporate "St. Andrew's Society of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia." (Mr. Tim Houston)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg.

RESOLUTION NO. 344

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

Whereas Allister MacGillivray, a Canadian singer and songwriter from Albert Bridge, was recently named to the Order of Canada; and

Whereas Allister MacGillivray began performing at the age of seven, became a boy chorister, and then as a teen sang in local folk bands; and

Whereas Allister is a well-respected author and composer with his most popular being Song for the Mira, which provided the theme as well as the soundtrack for the Atlantic-Canadian film Marion Bridge;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Allister MacGillivray for being named to the Order of Canada and thank him for his many songs that bring smiles to all who listen to them.

[Page 638]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 345

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

Whereas an almost daily barrage of negative press involving Canadian senators has led a majority of Nova Scotians to conclude that the Senate no longer serves any practical purpose other than as a tool for political patronage; and

Whereas it is the Liberal Government's view that unanimous consent of all provinces is required to abolish the Senate; and

Whereas in the last two months the Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan have both passed motions in their Houses of Assembly calling for the abolition of the Senate because the institution no longer has the confidence of Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia urge the federal government to immediately begin negotiations with the provinces on Senate abolition, and that if given this opportunity this House will support the abolition of the Senate.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : A recorded vote has been called for.

We'll ring the bells until the Whips are satisfied, or for one hour.

[12:26 p.m.]

[Page 639]

[The Division bells were rung.]

[12:31 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

I heard several Noes before the call for the vote; therefore, there is no waiver.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 346

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

Whereas Halifax Stanfield International Airport has selected Anthony Kawalski of Selma to paint an Adirondack chair that will welcome national and international visitors to Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Anthony has been acknowledged for his artistic abilities, expressed through exhibits and art lessons; and

Whereas Anthony is using his talents in the fine arts for the enjoyment of all visitors to Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Anthony Kawalski for this honour and express our support for the celebration of Nova Scotia artists.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

[Page 640]

RESOLUTION NO. 347

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

Whereas the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique seeks to preserve and promote the Celtic music of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the centre is the only Celtic music interpretive centre in the province, and indeed, in the country; and

Whereas Celtic music is an important part of our living culture, generating millions of dollars in economic activity each year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the centre on the excellent work it is doing and acknowledge that the Judique Celtic Music Interpretive Centre is the official Celtic Music Centre 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 Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 348

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

Whereas Bill Jessome was born and raised in Whitney Pier, and was a staple of Cape Breton journalism for many years following his service to his country in World War II; and

Whereas Bill's passion for journalism, stories, and history gave him and all his fans much enjoyment; and

[Page 641]

Whereas his presence in the homes of Cape Bretoners as anchor of the Christmas Daddies telethon, CJCB, ATV/CTV, and his Maritime Mysteries is cherished even more so today on the news of his passing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House pay tribute to Bill Jessome for his dedication to journalism, and extend our condolences to his family and many friends at his passing.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 349

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

Whereas the Dartmouth General Hospital Auxiliary's Holly Tree Bazaar is a holiday-themed fundraising event put on every year for nearly 25 years, selling donated and homemade baked goods, crafts, plants, books, and other gift items; and

Whereas the Dartmouth General Hospital Auxiliary began in 1972 and has approximately 200 members who have donated in the order of $1.5 million over their years of successful fundraising efforts, including their recent Holly Tree Bazaar; and

Whereas this year's bazaar was again as successful as always, with proceeds going to the Dartmouth General Hospital toward funding medical equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and commend the Dartmouth General Hospital Auxiliary for their success and hard work on their annual Holly Tree Bazaar, as well as all of their fundraising efforts to date, and wish them continued success in the future.

[Page 642]

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 Northside-Westmount.

RESOLUTION NO. 350

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

Whereas last August, students from the Clifford Street Youth Centre, along with Constable Paul Ratchford and Rebecca Walker, paid a visit to the office of their local MLA; and

Whereas Aimie Dalton, Emily Billiard, Jade MacLean, and Johnna Dermody came armed with 14 questions about our system of democracy in Nova Scotia and the pluses and minuses of being an MLA; and

Whereas while at the office they met local author Ron MacDonald, who told the children about his book, In and Out of Order: North Sydney's Persons of Parliaments;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend these young Nova Scotians from the Clifford Street Youth Centre for their interest in the democracy that is the cornerstone of our province.

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 643]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 351

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

Whereas Taylor Stutely is a 17-year-old resident of Lower Sackville who attends Sackville High School; and

Whereas Taylor got involved in track and field in Grade 7, where she developed her skills in discus and shot put, grew to join the Chebucto Athletics and Valley Launchers teams, and has competed in events throughout Canada; and

Whereas in July 2013 Taylor represented Canada at the 8th IAAF World Youth Championships, held in Donetsk, Ukraine, and continues to train with aspirations of competing in the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, and ultimately the Olympics;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Lower Sackville's 17-year-old Taylor Stutely on her success in discus and shot put and for representing Canada at the 8th IAAF World Youth Championship in Ukraine and extend best wishes for her success in pursuing her dreams of competing in the 2014 World Junior Championships and the Olympics.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 352

[Page 644]

MR. ALLAN ROWE « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Halifax Atlantic, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Stephanie Smith and Sue Paul Jamie Canton, residents of Sambro and Herring Cove, and all residents of Halifax Atlantic, recognize the historical significance of the Sambro Island Lighthouse; and

Whereas Stephanie Smith and Sue Paul Jamie Canton have dedicated their time to raising awareness of the importance of maintaining the oldest lighthouse in the Americas; and

Whereas Stephanie Smith, along with Sue Paul Jamie Canton, was instrumental in preparing and acquiring signatures on a petition to save the lighthouse and presenting the petition to the Honourable Geoff Regan, MP, to put forth in Parliament;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly commend Stephanie Smith and Sue Paul Canton on their efforts to protect the Sambro Island Lighthouse and raise awareness of its historical value to our Nova Scotia heritage.

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 Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 353

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

Whereas Karen Corbin, who grew up in Lyons Brook and presently lives in Trenton, had several dance music hits in the 1990s; and

Whereas after taking a break from the music industry Karen now finds herself working for a country singing star, George Canyon, as an executive assistant; and

[Page 645]

Whereas Karen Corbin is once again recording music and is presently working on a major project, a Celtic folk CD, that she recorded in June on Canyon's ranch in Alberta;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Karen Corbin for returning to the recording studio and producing a CD including nine of her favorite tunes, along with a song she co-wrote with her mother and Canyon.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 354

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

Whereas Fred Lavery of Point Aconi has been involved in the organization of the Christmas Daddies Telethon in Sydney, Nova Scotia, for 30 years; and

Whereas Mr. Lavery has been involved behind the scenes in lining up musical guests, coaching vocalists, and playing in the band; and

Whereas Mr. Lavery has been recognized for his contributions to the Maritime community as the Maritimer of the Week by CTV News;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly extend their congratulations to Fred Lavery for his continued contributions to the Maritime community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 646]

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. 355

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Nunavut Command of the Royal Canadian Legion began in mid-1920s; and

Whereas Merv Steadman is the commander of District D, which includes Zones 8, 9, and 11, and the chair of the Berwick Royal Canadian Legion Ortona Branch No. 69 Poppy Fund chair, and

Whereas the each year the zone collects money through the Poppy Fund for veterans services, cadet corps, track and field, leadership training camp, Call to Remembrance, bursaries, crisis funding for veterans' families, and many other community service projects;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the leadership and community service provided by Commander Mervin Steadman.

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 Sydney-Whitney Pier.

RESOLUTION NO. 356

[Page 647]

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

Whereas Sydney Academy Wildcats recently completed their inaugural season in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League held its year-end division awards; and

Whereas the Sydney Academy Wildcats' own Jarrad Detheridge was named a Second Team All-Star;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Jarrad Detheridge on his outstanding athletic achievement, and wish him continued success in his future exploits.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 357

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

Whereas Jim Wentzell has served seven years as a public servant with the South Shore Regional School Board and he has also served 33 years with the three municipalities: the towns of Bridgewater, Lunenburg and Mahone Bay; and

Whereas Jim has served a combined 40 years as a public servant in the Province of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jim Wentzell on a proud and honourable career serving the people of Lunenburg County and the Province of Nova Scotia.

[Page 648]

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 Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 358

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

Whereas Donald P. McInnes of Scotch Hill, Pictou County will be celebrating his 80th birthday on December 19, 2013; and

Whereas Mr. McInnes is a well-respected former MLA who represented Pictou West from 1978 until 1998, serving on the province's Executive Council as Minister of Environment, Minister of Fisheries, Minister of Transportation and Communications, Minister of Consumer Affairs, and Minister of Agriculture and Marketing; and

Whereas Mr. McInnes is a former dairy farmer who was very involved with various agricultural organizations and associations, eventually being inducted into the Atlantic Agricultural Hall of Fame;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly wish Mr. Donald McInnes a very happy 80th birthday and thank him for his many years of service to his community and province.

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 649]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 359

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

Whereas December 6th marks the 96th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion caused by the collision between the French munitions ship SS Mont Blanc and the Norwegian vessel SS Imo, which triggered a massive explosion; and

Whereas approximately 2,000 people were killed and some 9,000 more were injured and left homeless throughout the Halifax and Dartmouth area, as a result of the explosion; and

Whereas when news of the explosion and devastation spread, much-needed aid and relief poured in from all over Atlantic Canada and the New England states;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly remember and recognize the outpouring of support that was offered to the people of Halifax and area at a time of great need, in the days following the Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 360

[Page 650]

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

Whereas Elsie (Stronich) Johnston was born on April 26, 1929 in Kingston, Nova Scotia and graduated from a provincial college earning her licence to become a teacher; she also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary's University in 1972; and

Whereas she moved to Eastern Passage with her family in 1957 where she lived, taught, and retired from teaching after 35 years; and

Whereas she is an avid volunteer within our community and received numerous awards for her total dedication and support over the past 56 years along with receiving the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, as well as on October 17, 2013 she was honoured as this year's recipient of the annual Wall of Recognition Award at Tallahassee Community School, the most prestigious award presented within our community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Elsie Johnston for receiving such high recognition as a community volunteer and wish her all the best in health and happiness 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.

RESOLUTION NO. 361

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

Whereas Brittany Fraser is a young lady from Plymouth who began riding horses when she was only 5 years old; and

Whereas Brittany was recently one of just 67 amateur athletes from across Canada named to the CIBC Team Next from which she will receive funding as well as invaluable life skills and sport mentorship from eight of our nation's finest high-performance athletes; and

[Page 651]

Whereas this is a significant achievement and important accomplishment for Brittany as she continues to near her goals of representing Canada at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France, the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and eventually qualify for the next Summer Olympics;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brittany on being named to Team Next and wish her continued success on her journey toward representing Canada at the next Summer Olympics.

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 Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 362

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

Whereas for the second time in three years, Tantallon Veterinary Hospital is expanding their facility located on St. Margaret's Bay Road, Upper Tantallon; and

Whereas Tantallon Veterinary Hospital has and will continue to provide employment for residents of Tantallon and the surrounding communities, as well as consistently contribute to the economy of the area while providing excellent animal care in a state-of-the-art facility; and

Whereas the new expanded facility is now open for business;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate David Allan and Heather Mosher, co-owners of Tantallon Veterinary Hospital, on the opening of their expanded and improved facility as well as their continued success and contribution to the economy of Nova Scotia.

[Page 652]

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 Sackville-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 363

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

Whereas Walter Regan is a totally committed Sackville, Nova Scotia volunteer - Walter first became involved with the Sackville Rivers Association in 1988 and has been one of their most active members since that time, he was appointed executive director four years later and now serves as president of the association; and

Whereas over the years the cleanup and restoration of the Sackville Rivers system has been Walter's passion, he has applied his leadership skills and vision to improvements to the surrounding areas such as the completion of the Bedford/Sackville Greenway Connector - a walking/biking trail enjoyed by many; and

Whereas Walter lives in Lower Sackville with his wife Anne, and continues to give freely of his time to protect the interests of the community of Sackville and ensure that many valid concerns are heard;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Walter Regan of the Sackville Rivers Association for his tireless efforts and dedication to the preservation of the Sackville Rivers system and surrounding area.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 653]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 364

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

Whereas the Port Hastings Volunteer Fire Department has been recognized for 50 years of service to the community; and

Whereas the volunteers of this department have been putting the protection of their fellow citizens first, to help them in their time of need; and

Whereas it is these volunteers who make a difference in all of our lives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge with appreciation the efforts of those who have been involved with the Port Hastings Volunteer Fire Department during its 50-year history.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

RESOLUTION NO. 365

[Page 654]

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

Whereas Michael Robert McNeil, 39 years old, was a warrant officer for the Recce Platoon, 3rd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment, a parachutist and leader in M Company with the Canadian Armed Forces and a past resident of Truro, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Michael Robert McNeil completed two tours to Afghanistan, one to Croatia, and another to Bosnia prior to his death on November 27, 2013, at the Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ontario; and

Whereas Michael's death is one of three recent deaths of Canadian soldiers by apparent suicide, which should remind us of the need for more government support for our Canadian vets when they come home after a tour of duty;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature send their sincere condolences to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of this honourable young soldier, a husband and father of four children.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 366

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

Whereas the Reverend Gary Manthorne has served the people as pastor for four decades and is one of the most beloved ministers in the Annapolis Valley; and

Whereas Heather Ann Card has published a biography of the life and ministry of Pastor Manthorne, entitled Sharing His Great Love; and

[Page 655]

Whereas the Reverend Gary Manthorne and Heather Ann Card continue to share in the work of ministry at the Forest Hill Baptist Church in Kings County;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the long and continuing service of Reverend Gary Manthorne to the people of Kings County and congratulate Heather Ann Card for the publication of this important biography.

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 Northside-Westmount.

RESOLUTION NO. 367

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

Whereas recently a Night of Champions in support of Phoenix Youth Programs, which supports programs for at-risk and homeless youth, was attended by 14 Stanley Cup champions, including Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby, and a Cape Breton dad, Joe Anthony, and his two daughters, Megan and Taylor; and

Whereas Joe, who has always supported community fundraisers and is a new donor to Phoenix, was thrilled to sit with Crosby for supper and had private time with him after the event; and

Whereas the director of development for Phoenix, Kim Morvan, recognizes this event allows the organization to help Nova Scotia youth, and with donors like Sidney Crosby and Joe Anthony their good work will continue;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in saluting all those involved in Phoenix programs.

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

[Page 656]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 368

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

Whereas December 10th was declared as International Human Rights Day by the United Nations General Assembly in 1950; and

Whereas today marks the 20th Anniversary of the Office of the High Commission for Human Rights; and

Whereas numerous events are being held today around the world to commemorate the adoption of the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly recognize December 10th as International Human Rights Day, and work together to ensure the rights of all people are always recognized.

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-Digby.

[Page 657]

RESOLUTION NO. 369

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

Whereas St. Mary's Bay Academy senior girls volleyball team hosted the 2013-14 Western Regional Division 4 Girls Championship; and

Whereas this tournament involved teams from Drumlin Heights, North Queens, École Rose-des-Vents, Rive-Sud, and St. Mary's Bay Academy; and

Whereas the host team successfully defended their title for the fourth year in a row, winning the Western Region Volleyball Banner;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the St. Mary's Bay Academy Stingray senior girls volleyball team, and their coach, Danny LeBlanc, for winning the 2013-14 Western Regional Division 4 Girls Volleyball Championship, and wish them all the best at the upcoming provincials at St. Mary's Education Centre/Academy in Sherbrooke.

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 Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 370

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

Whereas the A&W Restaurant in Stellarton has drastically increased the amount of organics being composted, and reduced the amount of garbage they send to the landfill; and

Whereas the staff of A&W have been serving meals at this popular Pictou County location for decades and are very conscious of their environment and the proper separation of waste; and

[Page 658]

Whereas the Stellarton A&W recently received the Pictou County Solid Waste Business of the Month Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate manager Stephen Forbes and staff for being chosen as Pictou County Solid Waste recipient of the Business of the Month Award.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's

RESOLUTION NO. 371

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

Whereas the Shore Club in Hubbards, Nova Scotia, was built in 1946 by Roy Harnish and is operated today by his son Rhys Harnish; and

Whereas the Shore Club is home of the original lobster supper and has served over 1 million lobsters; and

Whereas the Shore Club was opened 60 years ago, with its first lobster supper cooked in a copper pot from the U.S. frigate USS Chesapeake, and that pot is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Rhys Harnish and his family on the continued success of the Shore Club, and hope that they continue the long tradition of dinner and dancing in the community of Hubbards.

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

[Page 659]

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 Fairview-Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 372

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

Whereas Rosalyn Huynh is the recipient of the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award; and

Whereas Rosalyn participates in volunteer activities and strives for excellence; and

Whereas she has contributed her time and energy to give back to her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rosalyn on her hard work and dedication with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Program.

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. 373

[Page 660]

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

Whereas 2013 marks the 125th Anniversary of the Kentville Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas the members of the fire service have been providing residents with fire protection and first responder services for 125 years; and

Whereas over the past few months the department has been having events to commemorate this milestone;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Kentville Fire Department on its 125 years of service to Kentville and surrounding communities.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River.

RESOLUTION NO. 374

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

Whereas Career Explorations, a component of the Human Services course taught at the Nova Scotia Community College, Truro campus, is made up of three parts: volunteering, classroom discussion, and reflections; and

Whereas approximately 16 students of the 2013 Career Explorations class have decided to volunteer with Truro's Out of the Cold shelter program; and

Whereas these student volunteers have raised funds for Out of the Cold through a bake sale and a very successful music night, which featured local talent as well as volunteering to do shifts at the shelter;

[Page 661]

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate these students, under the direction of student Angela Castle, for their part in making it possible for Out of the Cold to be open seven nights a week providing shelter, safety, and hot, nutritious meals to homeless people in the Truro area.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 375

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

Whereas Mr. David Porter, of Pictou, was instrumental in the reopening of the Pictou Youth Centre, after a three-year hiatus, in August 2013; and

Whereas Mr. Porter recognized the need for a safe environment where youth could gather and not be on the streets; and

Whereas Mr. Porter continues to freely donate his time chaperoning the youth centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Porter for his dedication to his community, for providing the youth of Pictou with a safe environment, and for being a positive role model.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 662]

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 1:10 p.m. and end at 2:10 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

LBR. & ADVANCED EDUC.: LBR. MGT. REVIEW COMM. - CHANGES

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, in 2010 the NDP Government established a Labour Management Review Committee to review the state of our province's labour laws and to make recommendations to the government on any changes. My question, by the way, is to the Acting Premier - I should have mentioned that.

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Liberal Party at the time said that if he was ever given the chance, he would strike or get rid of that committee. I'll table that report for the benefit of the House.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Acting Premier, why did the new government's labour law changes leave the Labour Management Review Committee untouched?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I welcome the question from the honourable member. We are making changes currently to a number of different labour bills. In fact, we have consulted with the Labour Management Review Committee on one of those particular changes, and we appreciate their input. Thank you.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that answer. One of the big problems with the Labour Management Review Committee, the powerful committee that the previous government set up to recommend changes to labour laws, is that it excluded non-unionized employers which, by the way, is about 70 per cent of the employers of our province - the vast majority. Perhaps that's why, when he was in Opposition, the Leader of the Liberal Party said that this is the biggest problem he has with the NDP's labour laws. In fact, he said in this House, one of the things I think is the biggest problem with this piece of legislation, quite frankly, is the Labour Management Review Committee.

So I understand the government is new and is taking its time, but since this is one of the now Premier's biggest problems, I'd like to ask the Acting Premier, now that they are in government, why didn't they do what they said they would do and at least add non-unionized employers to the all-powerful Labour Management Review Committee?

[Page 663]

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. As the member can well appreciate, having been chief of staff to a new government, we've come into the House after about a month of being ministers. We have put forward three bills. They are important bills. They will not be the end of the labour legislation that this government will look at, but certainly we felt that these were our three priorities right now. Thank you.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that answer. I will say that we would see those three bills as three opportunities missed to actually make this correction, a correction that the Liberal Leader and our now-Premier said was the biggest problem he had with our labour laws.

Mr. Speaker, in their Speech from the Throne, the new government said they wanted to focus on the needs of small business. Small businesses like Egg Studios, for example, who are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending themselves in the wake of the first contract arbitration that they face. They did not have a say in the design of these laws in the first place because, as a previously non-unionized employer, they were excluded from any review or recommendations about changes to the province's labour laws by the previous government. This is something that the new government could have done at least three times, by the minister's admission in this session, to address an obvious unfairness that exists in the labour laws.

I will ask the minister, when does the government intend to address this problem that the Premier said was the biggest problem in labour laws in Nova Scotia?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would note for the member opposite that the LMRC did not achieve consensus on first contract arbitration, so to suggest that the entire membership of that particular committee approved of the government's handling of first contract arbitration would be misleading. It would also be misleading, as the member has done, to suggest that the case in question was solely about first contract arbitration. In fact, the issues before the courts are about certification and not about arbitration.

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

LBR. & ADVANCED EDUC.: HOLIDAY - SM. BUS. CONSULTATION

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is also to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

Mr. Speaker, for the last number of months and probably the last number of years, we have been hearing from the Liberal Party telling us that small and medium-size businesses were the backbone of the economy in the province but recently, with actions in this House, we see give with one hand and take away with the other. So I would like to ask the minister, would she kindly table the documents and consultation with small-business owners about the effect of paying for a new staff holiday?

[Page 664]

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I do thank the member opposite for the question. Of course, recently there was a very extensive consultation carried out here in Nova Scotia. (Interruption) Thank you for that question. That particular consultation was called an election campaign and we all went door to door and we talked to people about what issues they were concerned about. I have to say that most of the feedback that I received about the February holiday was that people wanted it.

MR. CORBETT « » : So I guess, Mr. Speaker, she didn't consult and she has nothing to table. That's fine but, you know, in these issues, some of the folks they are going to hurt are small businesses, particularly in the service industry, because as I've stated in speeches in this House before, that time of year is a particularly slow time. So my question to that minister, will she assure workers and their families that governments will not freeze the minimum wage order in an effort to make nice with business and hurt the people who need this the most?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, as the former minister knows, there is a process in place for increasing the minimum wage. It has been in place since, I think, 2011, when there were changes introduced, and at this time there are no changes contemplated.

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, in my final supplementary I would like to ask the Acting Premier, who has been a large proponent of increasing statutory holidays - and we all know that there is no free lunch. I want to ask the Acting Premier very directly, why will she not say in this House today, definitively, that this government will protect the minimum wage order and will not freeze or entertain any kind of wage exemption on minimum wage?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not quite sure how the Deputy Premier could have refused to answer when she hadn't been asked a question yet. I don't really understand that particular part of the question but I will say that there are no plans at this time to take the action that the former minister, the current member, had discussed.

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

DEP. PREM.: ECONOMIC PLAN - RELEASE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : My question is for the Deputy Premier. Nova Scotia's economy lost 2,600 full-time jobs over the past year from November 2012 to November 2013, according to the most recent reports - and I'll table that for the benefit of the House. In Opposition, the Liberal Party was very critical of the NDP record on jobs. I'd like to ask the Deputy Premier when this government will release its own plan to get our economy going again and create jobs for unemployed Nova Scotians?

[Page 665]

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : I appreciate the question from the Opposition. Mr. Speaker, this is an issue that is of great concern to us on the government side of the House. We are certainly, and did in Opposition, and continue to watch the numbers and to see the impact on unemployment, to see the impact on our economy, and as Finance Minister as well seeing the impact on our budget.

What I'd like to do, Mr. Speaker, is turn the question over to our Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism because we have many plans to address the problems.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : I think today was a great example of what our government has been doing, with announcing 51 companies that are receiving funding under the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, these were companies from communities throughout Nova Scotia, small, medium size companies, and those are the types of investments that Nova Scotians are looking to see from the government. As well, on top of that, we've already indicated a review is taking place of the economic development tools that we use, and as well changes are coming to the Credit Union Small Business Program, which we have seen great success from and hope to see much more success in the future. Merci.

MR. BAILLIE « » : I appreciate the answer. I will say if creating jobs for Nova Scotians was a priority for the government, we'd actually see a plan to create jobs - an all-encompassing plan to create jobs - and not an attempt to take credit for programs that have been in place long before this government came into power.

We have a number of bills on the order paper; none of them represents a specific plan to get Nova Scotians working again. Clearly, it's not a priority for the government. Creating a February holiday might be a priority, because that's on the order paper; even appointing a Chief of Protocol appears to be a priority for the government, Mr. Speaker. But 2,600 Nova Scotians lost their jobs in the last 12 months. We're here in this House and there is no plan to create new jobs - the biggest issue that Nova Scotians are facing. My question to the Acting Premier, why isn't creating jobs for Nova Scotians a higher priority for this government?

MR. SAMSON « » : Well Mr. Speaker, again, when you look today at the 51 companies that were here in the legislature, I'm at a loss to understand why the Leader of the Official Opposition would not want to stand and recognize the important investment that the government has made in these companies. At the same time, the people of Nova Scotia clearly said that they want to see accountability, accountability in how monies were being invested by our department, by the government, which is why we've undertaken that much-needed review to ensure we have the proper economic development tools. And we're also waiting for the results of the Ray Ivany commission on the rural economy, which will certainly as well give us a sense of exactly where we should be focussing our efforts to grow the economy of Nova Scotia.

[Page 666]

MR. BAILLIE « » : As I mentioned, 2,600 Nova Scotians lost their job in the last 12 months, Mr. Speaker. They are not looking forward to more studies and more research and more consultations. They need a plan today. They saw a Party in Opposition that was so critical of the NDP for all the jobs that were lost under their administration. They correctly, or assumedly, thought a Party that was so critical of another would have some plans of its own and would be addressing their needs in this, their first session, of a new government. But there is nothing here that represents a jobs plan for those 2,600 Nova Scotian families, or the tens of thousands of others that are unemployed.

This is the great issue that we all hoped we'd be dealing with in this session, and now we see that we're not. So if 2,600 jobs are not enough of a reason for the government to come forward with a plan to get our economy going, my question to the Deputy Premier is, how many more jobs have to be lost before we see a plan from this government to turn our economy around?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to answer this question as well. The honourable member began his question by saying there are too many plans and people don't want to wait for more plans, and then he demanded a job creation plan. I think that's important to note. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I have every confidence in the approach we are taking on this side of the House, that our government understands the issue, that we understand the economic pressures that Nova Scotia is under, and that we are doing everything possible to mitigate it under those circumstances.

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

ERDT: STM QUEST - PAYMENT INFO

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The absence of an international ferry in Yarmouth cost the region dearly in jobs, in businesses, and in human terms. The announcement in mid-November that a deal had been made for a new ferry restored hope to many, many people, but recent media stories have many people confused in the southwestern area.

My question to the minister is, can the minister explain why the government did not make the first payment to the company responsible for bringing the ferry service back to Yarmouth?

[Page 667]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I can certainly say that I agree with the member opposite on the devastating impact that the cancellation of the Yarmouth ferry has had, not only to the people of Yarmouth but certainly throughout our entire province. In fact, we even saw that tour bus traffic on Cape Breton Island was reduced after the loss of the ferry service, so this truly had an impact throughout our entire province.

The deal we were able to negotiate back in November with our partners to restore the ferry service set out a number of conditions which had to be met prior to taxpayers' money being released. At this point, we continue to work with the company STM Quest, in the hope that they will continue to meet those deadlines and those requirements so we can make those investments and see that ferry service running again in 2014. Merci.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer, but as he also knows, the joint venture company STM Quest is scheduled to be operating that ferry service between Portland, Maine, and Yarmouth in May. That's just a few very short months away.

As we speak, many of the key marketing deadlines have been missed or are about to be missed - bus tour schedules, other important tourism initiatives. My next question to the minister is, what is the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism doing to ensure that all conditions of the ferry deal are being met and that the people of southwestern Nova Scotia are not disappointed yet again?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, in this case, when we looked at the initial letter of offer, some of the changes that were made to that letter of offer - which I think is what Nova Scotians have asked for - is that as part of this agreement, the company needs to meet certain expectations before they receive government money.

I think we saw too many times in the past where that was the exact opposite, where the government money was what went first and then hopefully things were going to happen afterward. In this case, we've obviously done our best to protect taxpayers and ensure that the company is going to meet those standards first. We continue to work with them and become very hopeful of that.

I had the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia as well, and during that time I was happy to announce that our department had granted an additional $1 million to the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency to do marketing and promotion in the eastern United States, which will assist the ferry service as well, no question.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Obviously it is very important for the whole economy of southwestern Nova Scotia, especially the tourism economy, that this ferry be up and running in May. Media reports have indicated that the minister has been writing the company about how the government will respond should the partners miss deadlines.

[Page 668]

Really, my question is more of a comment to the minister: Let's get on with it. Let's get everything signed, let's get the announcements done, let's get the advertising done so we make sure that Nova Scotians will see that tourism traffic come across the Yarmouth ferry as soon as possible.

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. I can tell you there is no greater champion in our government to see this ferry service restored than the honourable Minister of Natural Resources. (Applause)

What I would like to say to the honourable member is that, at this point, the Province of Nova Scotia has met all of its obligations. At this point, for the ferry service to be resumed, the obligation now rests with STM Quest for them to meet their obligations. From our perspective, the people of Nova Scotia have done everything possible to make this ferry service become a reality in 2014. Merci.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

SENATE ABOLITION - GOV'T. (N.S.) STANCE

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Acting Premier. With an RCMP investigation underway into Senate expenses and possible misuse of taxpayers' money, polls show the majority of Canadians want the Senate abolished - something the NDP has long advocated for.

In Nova Scotia's recent presentation to the Supreme Court referenced that the Harper Government has initiated, we spoke to the process saying that Nova Scotia feels the abolition of the Senate would require agreement of 10 provinces. However, we did not speak to what the province's position is with respect to the future of the Senate. My question to the Acting Premier is what is the government's position on abolishing the Senate?

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I had the opportunity to address this very issue just briefly with the media earlier and I'm sure that the Premier would be happy to address this further for the Leader of the NDP. The Premier has made it very clear in previous statements that we continue to see the Senate as an institution, an important body for the people of Nova Scotia. When we look at the growth in representation from Members of Parliament in Ontario and the western provinces that continues to dilute the influence of our members on the federal stage, the Senate gives us a guaranteed level of representation.

The Premier has also indicated that he is supportive of an elected Senate but the costs of those elections should be borne by the federal government, not the people of Nova Scotia.

[Page 669]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question again is for the Acting Premier. In recent weeks the Legislatures of both Manitoba and Saskatchewan have passed motions calling for the abolition of the Senate. To quote the Premier of Saskatchewan, ". . . when a building is falling down, sometimes you can't save it, sometimes you've got to knock it down completely and rebuild."

My question for the Deputy Premier is, aside from rewarding long-time Liberal supporters with expensive trips and lucrative paycheques, can the Deputy Premier provide a sound explanation for why Nova Scotians should not join with other provinces in calling for an end to the Senate?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I do appreciate the question again from the Opposition about the Senate. There is no question that having a greater representation for Nova Scotia in the Senate is a benefit to us in terms of our influence in the country. Further to that, although there has obviously been a lot of trouble and scandal in the Senate, we have some very hard-working senators and I think it's worth noting. We've had senators who have led some very important studies.

We also don't believe that you make these kinds of decisions based on a resolution in the House or that sort of way. You don't amend history.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the members in Saskatchewan and Manitoba would be very surprised that they shouldn't have passed that resolution in their Houses.

Mr. Speaker, in 2012 Nova Scotian senators cost taxpayers - the 10 senators from Nova Scotia cost taxpayers $2.3 million for their expenses alone and $1.4 million in salaries; in fact, Canada's third and fourth most expensive senators were from Nova Scotia - Liberal Senator Terry Mercer and Liberal Senator James Cowan respectively. So my question again is for the Deputy Premier, does she really think $3.7 million for 10 senators was taxpayer money well spent?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, although we're here to talk about the Senate at the moment in this question, I think there are a lot of things that you could question about spending - and I would go back to the expenditure that was made to political staffers by the NDP after the election was over, increasing the amount of money spent to political staffers.

Mr. Speaker, those are very difficult decisions, you know, to bring that up. While we're talking about the Senate, and I mentioned we have very good senators who are doing hard work, I think it's a good time to recognize Senator Don Oliver, Senator Gerald Comeau, who both are retiring, I think, this year and, in addition to that, Kelvin Ogilvie who is one of our Nova Scotia senators who was just recognized with a scientific award.

[Page 670]

We have some very illustrious and hard-working people in the Senate and I think that the cost of democracy is just that, just as the cost of an election, when we run elections in this province, you cannot complain about the fact that we have a democracy.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: EIBI PROG. - WAIT TIMES

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness.

Mr. Speaker, a family in my constituency has been waiting since 2011, March 2011 to be exact, for their son to access the services provided by the province's Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention program - their son is now 4 years old and still no end in sight.

My question to the minister through you, Mr. Speaker, will the minister make changes to address the wait times for the EIBI program?

HON. LEO GLAVINE » : Mr. Speaker, I certainly concur with the Health Critic opposite that the EIBI program is extremely valuable to all Nova Scotians. At the present time we do have inconsistencies of wait times across Nova Scotia, and some of these are being addressed every year, but the timeliness of this program for young children is absolutely critical. We committed to doing a review of all of the recommendations for the autism strategy and, as part of reviewing those 51 recommendations, reviewing as well wait times for EIBI is part of that consideration.

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. This family has two choices unfortunately - either send their son to school next year and become ineligible for the program, or to keep him home another year and wait for the services. This is an impossible choice for this family and one they should not be forced to make. The EIBI program was expanded so all eligible children will be offered the treatment.

My question is, this is obviously not the case, what can the minister say to ease the anxiety of families who have been unfairly put in this very difficult position?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I know in some of the districts across Nova Scotia there are training programs for parents that will assist them in supporting and helping the child until they actually get to meet a therapist. It's obvious in this district perhaps that wait-list and perhaps even for parental instruction is still very limited, but again this program is one that is very, very important to both the minister and this Party, who have advocated long and hard and moved autism from zero dollars to $4 million to $8 million. And doing what we can to support parents and children is, in fact, critical to that child's future.

[Page 671]

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the minister for that answer and I know that he is very familiar with this file. There are serious differences in wait times for the EIBI program between district health authorities. This program is to be based on the age of the child, but if the family in my constituency were to move to a different health authority, mere miles away, they may not have this problem.

My question to the minister is, what will the minister do to address the wait time disparity between health authorities, and how can he ensure that children are seen based on their age?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, we know that this is going to continue to be an enormous challenge for our government, as now we're discovering that about one in 76 children do have some degree of autism along the spectrum, and trying to level out the wait times across Nova Scotia is indeed one of our challenges.

I would certainly encourage the Health Critic for the Opposition to, in fact, give me this particular case and see if, in fact, the Capital District Health Authority and the department can find some solution.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

DEP. PREM.: SENATE - VALUE

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, again my question is to the Deputy Premier. An unelected, unaccountable Senate is not useful to Nova Scotians. It only sits (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I hear members saying that this is boring. Well, to the majority of Nova Scotians, watching the Senate and the excesses and the abuses in the Senate is not boring - and they expect answers from that government.

Mr. Speaker, an unelected, unaccountable Senate is not useful to Nova Scotians. That Senate sits, on average, just 90 days a year. It costs the taxpayers over $90 million annually to run. So if it makes sense for Nova Scotia to have done away with its Upper Chamber in 1928, can the Deputy Premier honestly say that its federal counterpart is not past its "best before" date?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said in my answer to the previous question, I think that we have to look at the value of the Senate, especially to a small province like Nova Scotia. Having the representation that we do at the Senate is very important.

I would add, Mr. Speaker, if this issue is so pressing to the NDP, why did that caucus not raise it when they were in government? (Applause)

[Page 672]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, unelected and unaccountable Senators represent the Parties that appoint them, not their regions or the Canadian people. Canadians and Nova Scotians know that only too well.

Mr. Speaker, does the Deputy Premier really think that appointed Senators are actually democracy at work?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member for the question. Again, the members that I've mentioned, the retiring members of the Senate and the members who are there today, represent all Nova Scotians. Their work is on behalf of the Acadian community, like Gerald Comeau, and each one of them represent their communities.

I think the member opposite is missing the point in trying to get on a bandwagon that she should have been on when she was a minister in the government.

MS. MACDONALD « » : I don't know where the member was when the former government was in place. We have been in support of the abolition of the Senate for many, many years, and that has been the position of the New Democratic Party, and it will continue to be. Mr. Speaker, mature parliamentary democracies around the world either have already or are moving away from undemocratic, unelected, unrepresentative Houses of privilege and patronage. So my question to the Deputy Premier, what makes our Senate, in her mind, a special case where we can continue to put up with these undemocratic institutions?

MS. WHALEN « » : Again, Nova Scotia is a very small province in Canada. Our population is declining. If the NDP wanted to reinvent the Senate, I can guarantee you we would not be able to get the representation that we have today in any kind of new body. So blowing up the Senate is not going to in any way enhance the strength of Nova Scotia within the Dominion of Canada. And for that reason, I think it's far better to work with the system we have and try to improve it rather than lose our position as a province and the strength and the voice that it gives us as a province.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

COM. SERV.: CHILDREN & FAM. SERVICES ACT - CHANGES

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services. An issue long overlooked by the former government was the service gap for children between 16 and 18 years of age, under the Children and Family Services Act. The Auditor General concluded the Act was out of date. The all-Party Standing Committee on Community Services voted in favour of having the Act updated, and the former Liberal Critic for Community Services has voiced her support. My question for the Minister of Community Services is, has the minister had consultation in her department about making changes to the Act?

[Page 673]

HON. JOANNE BERNARD » : Yes.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, in Opposition, the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education said, "Continuing to ignore the needs of children between the ages of 16-18 is completely unacceptable," and I'll table that document. Again my question, does the minister agree with her Cabinet colleague that this is not acceptable?

MS. BERNARD « » : Part of my mandate is to actually open up the Act and to look at many different variables of the Act, which in the past 15 years have had eight reports from different committees that have all been turned down. The time will be now, within the next four years, when that Act will be opened. That part of the Act will be reviewed, as well as other areas, such as the definition of neglect. My background warrants that. I have always advocated for the Act to be reopened and to be looked at so that we can bring it up to date with the issues that are prevalent to families in crisis now.

MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you, minister, I appreciate that. We need to do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable people. The youth in this province have slipped through the cracks for far too long because they're not able to receive the services they need. This change is long overdue. Mr. Speaker, the Auditor General commented on his department's response to his recommendation and said it's clear that the department does not intend to initiate a revision of the legislation. So my final question is, will the minister stand up for children and commit to introducing amendments to the Children and Family Services Act in this session?

MS. BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, it will be a proud day when I bring the amendments forward in this House. It is something that I as a community member certainly advocated long for, and I have stood and built a career in my professional life on advocating for children in crisis and in care. (Applause)

That lens has not changed now that I am the Minister of Community Services. It will be amended, it will be changed. I'm looking at legislation within the next year and a half.

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

CAVANAGH, DANNY: ATL. PREMIERS PANEL - REMOVAL EXPLAIN

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Deputy Premier. In June of this year the four Atlantic Premiers initiated a pan-Atlantic initiative, aiming at determining the impact of recent changes by the federal government in the EI Program, or Employment Insurance Program. Last week we learned that the new Liberal Government ordered CUPE's Danny Cavanagh removed from his position on the EI panel.

[Page 674]

Mr. Speaker, if Mr. Cavanagh is representative of a large portion of Nova Scotia workers, which we know he is, and he has the professional background and expertise to speak on EI issues, I want to ask the Deputy Premier what is it about Mr. Cavanagh that made his participation on this panel so egregious to that government?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. The EI review that's going on - the panel that's looking at this - had several phases and we really want to thank Mr. Cavanagh for his help in Phase I because he had a great deal to do with what the consultation is going to look like.

Mr. Speaker, the reason for the change in the composition of the panel really has to do with our reliance on seasonal industries and the impact of these EI changes on seasonal industries and that was why the current representative, who is going around the province on that panel, is somebody from the tourism industry.

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, in correspondence to Mr. Cavanagh, it was stated that Nova Scotia will be identifying a new Nova Scotia representative, as the Deputy Premier said, for the panel for the next phase of this initiative, and she just said it was from tourism.

Mr. Speaker, I want to give you a little background on Mr. Cavanagh. He represents seasonal workers: the people who drive our school buses, the men and women who work in our nursing homes, the women and men who clear our winter roads. Mr. Cavanagh himself is a small business operator so all of these people will be affected by the use of this EI program.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Deputy Premier, given his background, why was he removed?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it is important to note that there were several phases in this consultation and this is something that was started at the Council of Premiers. As we know, the Atlantic Premiers set out and determined that we would look at the impact across the Maritimes. So this is a very important exercise.

We wouldn't be at this juncture if it weren't for the punitive changes brought forth by the Harper Government, which I think we all agree were wrong for this province. I think that is where we can all agree. However, Mr. Speaker, we believe that it's best to engage more Nova Scotians and that by having a representative of the tourism industry, somebody who is actually the president now of the Tourism Industry Association, who really reaches out to so many of the seasonal workers who are engaged in tourism and in our rural areas of the province as well.

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, you know that somebody from the tourism industry speaks for that industry, but it is that lone industry, where I would contend that Mr. Cavanagh spoke for many people across the spectrum. This really gets to the point of who this Premier hires and fires, so to be blunt, I'm confused on what this government considers the proper credentials.

[Page 675]

I want to ask the Acting Premier, I think what all Nova Scotians are wondering is, how is Glennie Langille qualified for her job but Mr. Cavanagh is not for his?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again I think it's important to say that Mr. Cavanagh has been thanked for his participation and that CUPE will be invited to continue to make representations as well throughout this process. That's the important part in this question. Thank you very much.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: TRANS FATS BAN - DETAILS

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, this is a question for the honourable Minister of Health and Wellness. Just last month the United States FDA took preliminary steps to ban trans fat, artery-clogging chemicals that result in 20,000 heart attacks as well as 7,000 deaths of heart disease each year in the United States.

Mr. Speaker, will the Minister of Health and Wellness inform the House on what is being done in this province to limit and ultimately ban trans fat? It is important that this province follow the lead of the United States and lead Canada on this front. Thank you.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the question. I want to first of all commend one of my colleagues opposite, the member for Sydney-Whitney Pier. I keep getting to new names down here, but I know a number of years ago he was involved with a petition urging the government of the day to look at, if not a ban of trans fat, perhaps a reduction. So I want to acknowledge that.

I know that in the department this is an important issue. It's one that I know in regard to the Nova Scotia school policy - the nutrition policy - that to make a reduction in all foods purchased that have no or limited amounts of trans fat, and the same way in the early childhood years, in our preschool, to have a dramatic reduction of trans fat. This is very much in the Thrive! program as well, regarding our schools, our universities, and our colleges, to be able to have reduced trans fat in our food. To finish off, I know that the more Nova Scotians want less trans fat in their food, this will impact on food processors as well.

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

ERDT: MAR. STEEL - SITUATION

[Page 676]

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. My question is about a Pictou County company named Maritime Steel. I know that the minister is familiar with Maritime Steel, because he referenced it in his comments to me last week. So my question today is quite simple, has the minister had a chance to familiarize himself with the situation at Maritime Steel?

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Obviously, our government is open to talking with all businesses that want to do business in this province and grow in this province. My staff have had various conversations with the proprietor of Maritime Steel and have clearly indicated what requirements they would have to have prior to being able to have any further discussions. So at this time we continue to wait for the proprietor to be able to supply us with the requested information and commitments.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answer. I'm happy to hear that the department staff is reaching out to Maritime Steel, because it has been over a year now that the workers have been strung along in many ways for political reasons. The NDP Government effectively slammed the door on Maritime Steel by requesting information and then requesting more information, and then, only after a year of doing this, deciding to ask for a business plan, only to use it to request more information.

My point is that while all this takes place, the workers are losing hope. They are running out of EI and are facing the prospects of moving away. So we're losing jobs in rural Nova Scotia, and it's beyond the point of desperation for these Maritime Steel workers. These are good jobs in rural Nova Scotia, and so my question today for the minister is, will he commit to meeting with the owners and workers of Maritime Steel and outlining the process that he expects to be followed?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, again, we're certainly open to hearing suggestions on how to move Maritime Steel forward. But at the end of the day we need to ensure that if we are going to be asked to make investments, we are protecting taxpayers - something which I know the Leader of the honourable member's Party has been very vocal about. Therefore, the department has already clearly communicated to the proprietor what information they would require before being able to properly assess any requests for public funds to assist with that business. I can tell you that we would certainly be more than happy to receive that information and to be able to work and see what ways we could possibly see the reopening of that company and jobs in rural Nova Scotia.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I again thank the minister for his answer. The workers are suffering tremendous hardship. The workers that Maritime Steel would employ are skilled labour and they are good jobs, filled by the type of residents that Nova Scotia needs. The NDP Government seemed quite content to keep asking for information and then sitting back and waiting, and that may have been fine for them at that time, but it is not a reasonable expectation for the workers to just continue to wait. The workers are facing real deadlines and they can't just wait. The workers face bill payments and other types of deadlines, so I would ask the minister if he would be willing to commit to book a couple of hours in his busy schedule and sit down in a timely fashion and meet with the workers and the owner of Maritime Steel, possibly within the month?

[Page 677]

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, there is nothing more unfortunate than when workers are left in a situation where they don't know who to believe anymore. I think Maritime Steel is an unfortunate example of that. The member referenced the political realities of Pictou County at the time and as such, unfortunately, it is the workers who have been left to wait.

We have made it very clear, in communications with the owner of Maritime Steel, as to what exact information is required, what financial commitments have to be provided to the department before we are prepared to look at making an investment on behalf of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia - an approach which I believe the Leader of the Official Opposition should certainly support. Certainly I am more than happy to meet with the owner and representatives and certainly welcome the members of the Official Opposition from that area to be a part of those meetings as well.

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

ENVIRON.: EMISSION LIMITS - MONITORING

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, on November 6th, the Department of Environment issued a directive to Northern Pulp to allow the department to closely monitor the company's progress on meeting the emission limits outlined in its operating approval, because the company was exceeding the operating permit levels 15 per cent of the time. This directive specifically requires monthly reporting on total reduced-sulphur emissions and detailed descriptions of the work being done on the equipment to further reduce emissions.

My question through you to the Minister of Environment is, has the department received the monthly report for November and if you have, what did the November data reveal? Will the minister make those monthly reports public as well?

HON. RANDY DELOREY » : Mr. Speaker, thank you for the question. That directive was one of the first initiatives that took place after I became Minister of Environment, representing the riding of Antigonish, neighbouring riding to Pictou region. I certainly am familiar with the challenges that the residents of that area face with respect to the ongoing concerns that they have in this regard.

To answer the member's question specifically, we did recently receive the first set of test results. I don't have the detailed data right here but generally speaking the results were good, indicating there was a significant reduction in total reduced-sulphur emissions. I don't have the specific data here. I will certainly look into getting the detailed results and making those available.

[Page 678]

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the minister for those answers. The people of Pictou West are concerned about the effects of air pollution from Northern Pulp on their health, given that this facility is a major contributor of fine particulate matter of air pollution. As I am sure you are aware, particulate matter is now officially recognized as a carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organization's specialized cancer agency, the international agency for research on Canada.

In addition, the U.S. EPA cites scientific studies that attribute fine particulate matter, PM 2.5 to a variety of negative health outcomes, including but not limited to, heart attacks, asthma, decreased lung function, and increased respiratory symptoms. Children are particularly sensitive to this fine particulate matter pollution. Fine particulate matter settles on the soil and water, causing environmental damage.

My question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable Minister of Environment, is the minister confident that his department is doing all it can to protect the citizens and the environment from the harmful effects of PM2.5? Does the department have a universal standard for particulate matter, specifically once again the PM2.5, that may be emitted by any one industrial facility?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, with respect to the ongoing concerns of the residents of Pictou - and I don't believe it is limited to the residents of Pictou West, Pictou East and all of Pictou County share those concerns - what I can say is that with respect to this particular operation, they are currently operating with a temporary approval that is up for consideration in April of the new year.

As we continue to put the environment and the concerns and the health of the citizens of Nova Scotia first, with respect to the review of the approval situation, approval granted to this organization, we certainly look at all aspects of the operation as it relates to the environment, and they will be considered as part of the approval process leading up to any action taken on that April renewal.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Thank you, minister, for your answers.

The second directive issued to Northern Pulp by NSE on March 8, 2013, required the mill to address the issue of particulate matter emissions. To do so, Northern Pulp identified that it would need to install a new piece of equipment, an electrostatic precipitator - the anticipated date of installation of this equipment is sometime in 2015.

Since directives are issued by NSE for non-compliance to operating permit conditions of a facility, it would appear that this second directive was in response to Northern Pulp exceeding its permitted values of particulate matter emissions. Since the World Health Organization has declared particulate matter as carcinogenic to humans, it's a deep concern of mine, not just for Pictou West but for all of Pictou County and beyond.

[Page 679]

During the election campaign the Premier signed a declaration that said a Liberal Government will ". . . insist on aggressive monitoring of the emissions from the plant." and that ". . . a system for reporting this information be put in place." and any further assistance to the plant will be based on cleaning up the air emissions. I will table that document.

My question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Environment is, will the minister commit, today, delivery on the Premier's election promise to aggressively monitor the amounts of a known carcinogen into the air, land, and water, and not make Pictou residents and beyond to wait two years for action?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member opposite for raising these concerns in the House on behalf of her constituents.

The issue here, as mentioned we've already initiated and started taking action with respect to the Premier's stated commitments, as was indicated by our third directive to this particular operation, I think demonstrating our concern and our interest in monitoring and ensuring that the qualities and the standards are being met.

With respect to where we go from here, as already indicated this particular operation is up for renewal of their environmental approvals, industrial approval, and that is scheduled to take place in April 2014, and we are going through that process right now.

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, with the concurrence of the House, under Government Business today we had a Private Member's Bill which was introduced by the honourable member for Pictou East; it's Bill No. 27. With the consent of the House I would ask that this bill be added to today's order paper for consideration in Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 680]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 27.

Bill No. 27 - St. Andrew's Society of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia Incorporation Act.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 27.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 27. 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. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House may I ask that Bill No. 27, which has just been referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills, be referred to the committee, which is going to be meeting sometime this afternoon, and be added to the agenda of the Committee on Private and Local Bills today? (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, allow me to withdraw that request. There are some issues around advertising of that piece of legislation and I trust that we will be able to deal with that later on this week.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

[Page 681]

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, it's an honour for me to stand here in Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. Just a short time ago - two and a half years ago, for example - I was elected in a by-election to represent the people of Cape Breton North. With the changing of the boundaries during the last election, I took on a new role to represent the people of Northside-Westmount. With that boundary change I took on approximately 2,500 new electors and approximately 1,600 new households.

Mr. Speaker, it was a real honour for me to go around during election time to meet the people of Westmount, Point Edward, and part of Coxheath and Balls Creek area, to see their concerns, to listen to their concerns, and to find out what mattered most in that part of the constituency. I found out that jobs, the economy, certain recreational facilities, and numerous other things in this part of the constituency are of the utmost importance to that area. Roads was a big part of the area. Infrastructure on recreational facilities, Legions, fire halls, all seem to be a big part of the concerns of that area. I'm hoping that through my time here, this next four years, we will be able to address a lot of those concerns and make sure the people of that area are happy with the representation that I may provide them.

Mr. Speaker, going through the rest of the constituency, I found out the same thing. A lot of the things were jobs, the economy, and infrastructure. Legions play a big part in all of the constituency in my area. I have four separate Legions and an Army Navy Club that have a hard time keeping their doors open due to the high cost of power, the high cost of heating, and the dwindling numbers of members that are part of those organizations. I've been quite successful so far in obtaining some funding for different parts of infrastructure to some of those areas, and I look forward to making sure we continue those good working agreements.

Mr. Speaker, before I was elected first, I went home one day and I mentioned to my dad that I was going to look into running for politics, because the member in that area was looking at retiring and running federally. Of course, I got the results a lot of people got in here: was it something I was really serious about? The conversation that day was kind of colourful, if I could say the least, but the final advice I got was if I was going to do this, to do it well. I would like to think that because of this past election, being re-elected, the people of our constituency think that's actually the case.

Mr. Speaker, during that election, or before I was elected the first time, my dad passed away. My mom, who was a big part of my election the last two times, came to a lot of functions that I went to, and in this election she actually sat back and said this one here was a lot more fun because we were going around to different events and different circumstances, they were in the office doing things, and the circumstances in the air around the election were a lot more fun. So I would like to thank her for everything she has done during this election. (Applause)

[Page 682]

There are a couple of other real special people during this election, Mr. Speaker, whom I have to mention - that being my beautiful wife, Jane. We've been married for 23 years now, and the last two and a half to three years were times that we spent real close together, because around election time she was there almost every day. The talk at home, of course, was all election campaign stuff. My two children, who are now 20 and 18, really took on the role of children of a politician. They were there every day. They were knocking on doors. They were handing out pamphlets. They attended functions where I could go and really took advantage of the time to help out and help us be re-elected. I have two sisters who live here in the city and both came home as much as they possibly could, donating meals and other time and effort to the campaign.

Mr. Speaker, my CA, who has been with me since I was elected and has stayed on with me, is a vital part to my office running smoothly at home, and I want to thank him for that and for all that he did during the election. I had a great campaign team. We tried something a little different during this election, where we would try to save a little bit of money on the meals that we provided to our staff, our campaign team and members. So my wife and a couple of others in the campaign decided that they would try to get a commitment from six different people to make meals, or 12 different people to make meals for the six days and bring them in to try to save some money that way.

Although a lot of people probably lost a lot of weight at election time walking from door to door, it seems like most people in my campaign either stayed the same or maybe gained a little bit. So I want to thank everybody who did prepare meals. We had turkeys, we had hams, we had spaghetti. One of the members actually said that if he saw another Italian meal after this election, he was going to probably have to try to turn it down, but I know he at that time would never turn a meal down.

My campaign manager, my official agent, and numerous, numerous other people, I don't want to name them all, Mr. Speaker, because if I miss anybody, I don't want to offend anyone. I just want to say that I had the best campaign team in this province, I think, and to thank them from the bottom of my heart for what they've been able to do. It's an honour for us to stay, and to represent the great people of the Northside-Westmount area.

I had two opponents during that campaign. Both ran good, clean campaigns. Both are good friends of mine, which made it more difficult, because usually with a friendship you try not to be nasty to them, but I figure I count nasty as having to beat them, so I did my best with that. But they did run a good campaign. But the thing I did find during this campaign was the awareness of the election process. I found a lot of people were - I don't want to say ignorant to the process or ignorant to what was going on, but the awareness of an election and what democracy means to the people in the Province of Nova Scotia and Canada just seemed like it needs to be a little more polished, I guess.

[Page 683]

Some people were damaging signs. Some people were taking signs and throwing them away. The work and effort for people to put those signs up and the cost of those signs seemed to be something that didn't seem to bother a lot of people. So we have to do something over the next four years to try and increase the awareness of what democracy means in the province and what it means for the people who put their name on a ballot to be able to go from door to door and put signs up in areas that they think are going to be beneficial for them to be re-elected and to make sure that people respect that, respect the financial cost, respect the process that we have to go through.

I do want to thank all current and past MLAs for the service they provided to this province. When you sit back and think of it, to be one of now 51 members in this province of 940,000-some, to represent the people in the province is a real honour. It's an honour for me and it's not an honour I take lightly. I will do my best over the next four years to represent the people in my constituency, but not only that - all the people in the Province of Nova Scotia.

As you know, Mr. Speaker, for the first almost 25 years of my working career, I was a physiotherapist in Harbourview Hospital in Sydney Mines, which is a rehab hospital for the community and also a veterans' hospital. I will say that those 25 years didn't seem long to go by, and I realized at that time, during those 25 years, the challenges some people face. I want to commend you, Mr. Speaker, on your appointment to the chair as Speaker. Knowing what obstacles you've overcome in your lifetime to get to this stage of the game, and again I want to thank you and congratulate you on getting to that position. (Applause)

As I said before, I'm the last MLA for Cape Breton North, which is kind of historic because there were a lot of good MLAs that came before me. Cecil Clarke, who held many Cabinet positions; Brian Young; a gentleman by the name of Len Arsenault. We've had good, good representation from Cape Breton, and I hope I can carry on that tradition and make sure we pick up that for the new people in the new part of the constituency that were represented by a member in this House who was here almost 20 years.

If you look at the constituency itself, it contains the communities of North Sydney, Sydney Mines, Florence, Bras d'Or, all along the beautiful ocean. It runs right around to Westmount, Coxheath, Point Edward, and runs along Highway No. 125 towards Sydney. If I get into the Westmount-Coxheath area, it has one beautiful provincial park, Petersfield Park. If you have the chance, or anybody in the Legislature has the chance, on Canada Day to visit Petersfield Park where there are thousands of people with entertainment, and food booths, and advertising booths where people give things away - the atmosphere there is a party atmosphere and it's a beautiful spot to spend your Canada Day and it's something I would recommend everybody get to see.

[Page 684]

We also have in our constituency - the new part of our constituency - the Canadian Coast Guard College. I know they find that getting people locally to go there is a challenge because it's not really well known. It's a real hidden gem in our province. It provides great employment to the area. The recreation facilities they have there are great. What we would like to see eventually is a new Coast Guard vessel come into Sydney and report there. What that would bring to our economy would be amazing. I was talking to one of the skippers on CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and says it would bring approximately $1 million to the economy of Cape Breton if we could do that. But we have to take small steps first. We have to hopefully get a training vessel there, and a little extra work done in the harbour.

We also have the new greenfield site that has great potential to bring our island back into the limelight again. If we can develop that into a great port terminal, we can look at boosting our economy and increasing the employment levels in our economy.

Mr. Speaker, we have two yacht clubs in our area. One of them is in Point Edward, and one is in North Sydney. Both are beautiful facilities. They house some beautiful vessels. To watch the Wednesday night sailing in the harbour around Sydney from some of the people who have their boats here - it's just amazing to see. People come from all over just to watch the beautiful sails in the harbour and watch the racing that is going on.

North Sydney has a great fishing history. At one time we had three fish plants in our area; at that time, North Sydney had about 8,000 people, or 8,000 residents, and three fish plants. The processing that went on there was amazing. The activity that was going on was absolutely incredible.

We have a ship repair plant that we're hoping will be resurrected in that area with the new shipbuilding contract here in Halifax, and that we can see that plant become vibrant again and that repair industry become vibrant, either providing material to the shipyards plants here or repair to the ships that these can't get because of the size of the contract.

We had a vibrant railway at one time. We don't have a passenger train anymore. There's a lot of people who can tell you stories about the passenger train from North Sydney to Halifax in their college days. It would be interesting to see if that would ever be something that could be brought back to life again.

Mr. Speaker, we have a little town called Sydney Mines, which has a great mining history. I took part in the Santa Claus Parade there a couple of weeks ago, and it's one of the largest parades they've had in years and years. It's good to see the people come out to support areas. I was one of the elves - I had the Grinch with me . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: And who was that?

[Page 685]

MR. ORRELL « » : The member for Cape Breton Centre stayed for a little while and left.

There's a well-known area in Sydney Mines where they have a new fossil museum. Most of the fossils have come from areas in Cape Breton, from our long coal history and from the history of the ocean. It's just amazing to go through that museum and look at some of the fossils that are there and the date of the fossils that are around. They have a real challenge with funding to keep the doors open and the heat on. It is always a challenge. They run three museums, and they get funding for just one. That's something we're looking into for the future, to see if we can't make sure that these museums stay open and that they do provide our youth and our adults with insight into the history that we have in our communities.

Mr. Speaker, one of the big challenges in our area, as it is in the rest of Nova Scotia - especially rural Nova Scotia - is jobs and the economy. People have to move away for work, since the closing of the coal mines and the steel plant and the fishing industry. When those people move away, families suffer, communities suffer. Because of that, we lose our best and our brightest people to other areas of the country.

We know that people in our area are proud descendants of steel-making families, coal-mining families, people who used to work very rich in the forest. Not only do we lose our best and our brightest but we also lose a lot of valuable volunteers - people who volunteer as coaches, mentors, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Girl Guides. When we lose those volunteers, we lose part of our community. We all know that in rural areas community is huge. People in our area know each of the volunteers. They go above and beyond everything that we can ask of them, and to lose them is just a real shame.

We have two very important festivals in our area. One of them is the Johnny Miles Festival. It is named after a two-time Boston Marathon winner from Sydney Mines - they ran in Sydney Mines. The story goes that he ran in a pair of sneakers that he bought at one of the local bargain stores for 20-some cents. He was up against a bunch of people who were running in the best of gear, in the best of clothing, and had the best of training. The rumour is that he ran that race wearing nothing but a pair of old shorts and an old pair of sneakers, so that is a tribute to how good a runner he was. That's why the festival was named after him. It's a great celebration of our coal history, and over the years this festival has grown.

We also have what they call a Bartown Days Festival, which celebrates the incorporation of North Sydney as a bar town. Funding is always a challenge; we're finding more and more people becoming interested in these festivals and it's always a challenge to try to increase the awareness and make sure the funding is there.

We know the challenges facing Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker. They didn't wait while we were having an election - we heard the same thing before the election; we're hearing the same thing after the election. We want to see the government get on with their business; we want to make sure the government holds true to account to what they've promised Nova Scotians in the election campaign. We know that when the government succeeds, we - as individuals in this province - all succeed. We know that when the capital city of Halifax is booming, rural Nova Scotia will be booming. So we're hoping that Nova Scotia will rise up and be the province that it once was.

[Page 686]

Mr. Speaker, I want to again thank all the people who were instrumental in my election and in the election of everybody here in this House of Assembly. I know I'm excited about representing the new constituency of Northside-Westmount, and I want to let the people in my constituency know that my door is always open, my phone is always on, and we will do our best to address the concerns of every constituent, no matter where they're from or what colour Party they represent.

In summary, Mr. Speaker, if I could, on the weekend while I was home I had the opportunity to confirm that on Boxing Day - last year I started hopefully that which will be a tradition for the next number of years, putting on a community meal in my community for people in the constituency, and people beyond, so that people can get together and enjoy a hot meal over the Christmas season. Again, I want to tell everybody that's going to be on again this year on Boxing Day, at the North Sydney Fire Hall.

Last year we had hundreds of volunteers. The two local grocery chains in the area, Sobeys and SuperValu, donated a lot of the food. The people in the area came out to volunteer and enjoy a hot meal. It's good to see the smiles on people's faces. It's a time of year when people forget all the problems that are in the province, and the world, and get together and unite as one and enjoy the company of each other. I hope that during this holiday season everybody here gets to enjoy some family and friends and have a happy holiday. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

MR. GORDIE GOSSE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's always a pleasure to get up on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne, to talk about your election and your riding.

Before the election we had 52 seats in the provincial Legislature - we went from 52 to 51. The one seat that was eliminated was the riding of Cape Breton Nova. That riding was held by three members of this Legislature since 1956. From 1956 to 1970 was, I say, the illustrious Percy "Pinky" Gaum for the Progressive Conservative Party, who was a World War II veteran and a prisoner of war, who represented it very diligently for all those years.

From 1970 to 2002 we had the Honourable Paul MacEwan who represented the riding for 32 years. Madam Speaker, Mr. MacEwan represented that riding for 32 years and he is the longest-serving member in the history of the Nova Scotia Legislature, with nine elections in 32 years. He retired back in 2002, and is still a good adviser for any Speaker or any MLA who sits here in the Legislature. I don't know if anybody will ever break that record of nine consecutive elections and 32 years in this Legislature.

[Page 687]

Then it was myself going forward, representing Cape Breton Nova until the riding was eliminated by the Electoral Boundaries Commission in 2013 - but not before the community of Whitney Pier had its say. I think it was in August 2012 that we had a little meeting down at the Ukrainian Hall in Whitney Pier where the community showed up in great numbers to say that you cannot divide this most ethnically diverse community in Atlantic Canada in two when it has been a part of the riding for many, many years. So the Electoral Boundaries Commission had a change of heart and included the whole riding of Whitney Pier, which eliminated the top part of the old City of Sydney.

The riding now encompasses the six wards of the City of Sydney, which is Ward 5 right up to Ward 6, but on the upper part of the old riding in Cape Breton Nova, the commission at that time decided to go up Reeves Street, eliminating the seniors' home at Reeves Street where I have lots of friends and seniors who live there. They went down Upper Prince Street into the ward and up Centennial Drive, down Ranna Drive and up Carlton, and eliminated about 150 people out of the riding when they did that. The people up in that end of the riding, who live in the City of Sydney, are now represented by the member for Louisbourg-Sydney River-Mira - I think that's the new name of that riding over there. I might have missed a part of it there somewhere. (Interruption) So I was close enough, I guess.

It's always an honour and a privilege - it's my fifth election - to come back to sit in this House. You always remember one thing as an elected official: people may always doubt what you say, but they'll always believe what you do.

Madam Speaker, I think it's important that we realize that the seats in this Legislature are owned by the people of the Province of Nova Scotia. They're not owned by the members of the Legislature, and who sits in these chairs will always be determined by an election.

Now I will get on to thanking some of the people. I know members stand in here and say, and I have such a list of people that I don't want to thank, but I'm going to name each and every one of them. I'm going to stand here with my time and say that, first, I would like to start with my campaign manager for the new riding of Sydney-Whitney Pier. I think somebody had asked, well, how did they change the names of that riding?

Well, many years ago, we had a bus that would come into the community. We only had one road into the community of Whitney Pier, and it was an underpass. In 1967 they decided they would build an overpass into that community - a beautiful community, Madam Speaker, with lots of people there of ethnic backgrounds from all over the world. You know, that place was once the industrial immigration capital of Canada during the coal mines and the operation of Sydney Steel, but again, my campaign manager, Nelina McGuigan Seymour, a little ball of fire - I think that was her fourth campaign where she was campaign manager, and realized the challenge that we had in front of us, realized what we had to do to get myself back into the Legislature, and realizing also that we were running against very, very capable candidates: the former councillor for the City of Sydney, young Derek Mombourquette, a very fine young man. I think someday he'll be sitting in this Legislature, when his time comes. He's a very fine young man. (Applause)

[Page 688]

It was a pleasure. The candidate for the Progressive Conservative Party, Leslie MacPhee, a very nice young lady. You know, I had a lot of respect for Leslie. I guess it's not public knowledge that something that affects the human being in life is that Leslie was once living here in Halifax as a university student, but Leslie's sister died with cancer and left her nephew, an autistic child, who Leslie is now bringing up. She moved back to Cape Breton and put her career on hold to help her mother raise that child. It takes a very special kind of person to do that. So I had a lot of admiration for both candidates, Leslie being one and Derek Mombourquette being the other. They're both young people.

Someday this old fellow will step down and walk aside. I don't know if it will be in the next election - I'll make that decision with my family - but at the end of it, I think you have close to 15 years. So it's something that I'll think about, you know, unless I decide I'm going to run for the Leadership of the NDP and stay around long enough, but I would have to be hit over the head with something, Madam Speaker, for me to stay along long enough for that to happen, I guess.

Do you know what, I always remember when we first interviewed my constituency assistant a long time ago, Albert Crawley, who was a retired clerk in the military. Actually, he was Roméo Dallaire's clerk in Ottawa before he retired and moved back to Cape Breton. I remember them saying that one of the questions you always ask your constituency assistant - and I think they devised 10 questions when you interview people for a job as a constituency assistant - and the only person who ever answered in that question was one of the questions that I asked to put in it, which was, what is the main focus of your constituency assistant? I think the main focus of your constituency assistant is to get you re-elected. I think that's what his job is, to answer constituents, so I'm fortunate to have a good, hard-working guy like Albert Crawley, who retired from the military, moved back to Cape Breton, bought a home in Whitney Pier, and is now settled in and looking after his sisters and anybody in his family.

Then I go to my other constituency assistant. I have always had a part-time constituency assistant, which many MLAs - I have Keith Neville. Keith Neville recently was just here in Halifax for some medical attention, but Keith is back at the phones and back at his desk. Keith is quite a hard-working young man who does a lot of work on DVA. Keith does a lot of DVA for my office. We're probably one of the few offices in Nova Scotia that does Department of Veterans Affairs. We appeal them; we do them right to the end.

[Page 689]

Keith is very upset about the recent announcement of the closure of the Department of Veterans Affairs in downtown Sydney. He feels that the services provided to those veterans - the one-on-one, hands-on services - will no longer be there, and travelling to Halifax or other areas to receive those services - Keith has a passion for DVA. My office has been fortunate enough - we even solve cases - the DVA in Miramichi, New Brunswick, Thunder Bay, Ontario for veterans - we've been very fortunate. Keith is. That's his forte.

Keith's father, Abby Neville, was the service officer for the Pier Legion for 55 years, and recently, when the Queen was here, his father was given an award because Keith's mom is a war bride from England. Keith's dad was given an award for his dedicated service to the veterans of Nova Scotia when Queen Elizabeth was here.

Then again, I guess I might as well go to thanking some family members. The better half, and probably the most important part, is my wife, Susan King. You have to realize that when you get into politics, the person you rely on the most is always your partner - your wife or the person you live with. I remember when I met Susan in Holland College, when I went back to school at age 35 to become a youth worker. I fell in love with Susan shortly afterward, and moved her back to Cape Breton. I'm always teasing her. My wife is a Miramichi girl, so I tell her that I moved her out of the Miramichi to take her back to Cape Breton to domesticate her, Madam Speaker.

AN HON. MEMBER: Gordie, you're getting yourself deep.

MR. GOSSE « » : I hear you.

I have two sons, my son Gordie, who is 37 years of age, and my son Daniel, who is 19. Quite a gap in between them, so it's two stages of my life, raising the two boys. My son Gordie currently lives here in Halifax, in Fairview. I don't know what riding he'd be in now, since the boundary changed. He lives on Rufus Avenue there in Fairview.

Then again, Madam Speaker, going back to - I have a great story in the campaign, and I think I'll drop that on today. I'm going to tell that story today about how there was a function on a Sunday afternoon. I think it was the member for Cape Breton West at that time - oh, no, his riding had changed to Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg - and he had a function out there because Sheila Dermody - who is a good friend of mine - and her daughter Shelly, and Sheila's granddaughter Mallory were out to this function, because the member's son is married to Sheila's granddaughter Amber, and they have three beautiful children together. I don't know if it was the christening or something of one of the children that day, but there was a function out at the member's on a Sunday.

That evening when I came back to the campaign office there was a muffin for me on my desk. It was a beautiful chocolate muffin, but on that muffin in blue icing was "Vote Alfie." I really looked at it, and being a diabetic, I knew I couldn't eat that muffin, but I decided to have some fun with it. I'm not a Facebook guy and I'm not a Twitter guy, but I decided to take that picture with myself and young Mallory. We posted it on the Internet, and it said myself and young Mallory "Vote Alfie" with the muffin. A lot of people said - and I'm not a Facebook guy - but they said that picture got more hits than anything else in the campaign, to have that "Vote Alfie" muffin on my Facebook page. I also had a phone call the next day from the member thinking it was pretty funny.

[Page 690]

We had lots of laughs over that. It's always good to have friends in the Legislature even though we're on opposite sides of our policies we believe in. But friendships go a long way in life when it comes to family. (Applause)

I have to tell the honourable member I didn't eat his chocolate chip muffin; it would have driven up my sugar that day and I was trying to keep my sugar down for the campaign. Also in there, I look at Bob Beaton, my next-door neighbour, who just shortly after the election had a mild heart attack and who came here to Halifax and had a stent put in. Bob is recuperating now. I saw him on the weekend putting up his Christmas lights - guys like Bob, walking with you every day and doing those things - talking and that. I also had lots of young people, Mallory Axworthy and Steven Campbell; that little Steven Campbell is in Grade 12 at Sydney Academy High School.

That was another thing about the election, it was the biggest debate outside the Leaders' debate that we had at Centre 200. CBC had put on a debate at Centre 200 and I think there were over 300 people who showed up at that debate between the three candidates. The honourable member for Northside-Westmount was there; the former member for Cape Breton South was there, there were all kinds of members there. It was a big crowd. Someone said it was almost as good as the Leaders' debate on that night. It was moderated by the then host for Information Morning, Steve Sutherland - great job debating that.

Again, it was a very civil debate. I must say that through the whole campaign, everything that was done there was very pleasant, civil. It was a pleasure to go out there and knock on doors and listen to people's views. It's a pleasure when you're running in a campaign knowing that your candidates are above-board, honest, and trustworthy, and I can honestly say that of all three people who ran in that campaign in Sydney-Whitney Pier.

Young Steven Campbell, again, a high school student involved - a great person. I thought that he learned a lot in Grade 12. He is in the political science class at Sydney Academy with Anita Kumar. There were some college students who were involved, a young lad by the name of Brandon Ells. I think Brandon actually went campaigning in my campaign and also campaigned with the member for Glace Bay in that campaign. He's one of Tom Urbaniak's students at CBU and I remember someone in the campaign said, this guy is out canvassing for you and out canvassing for the Liberal candidate. I said, you know the young fellow is just trying to find his way. He's trying to find his way in life and his professor, Tom Urbaniak, had looked at him to get involved in a campaign, so why not canvass with myself, and canvass with the honourable member for Glace Bay to get a different view. I respect young people in university going out and not putting all their eggs in one basket, getting out to see what everybody's points of view are. That's what makes a good society - when we have people like that, who do things like that.

[Page 691]

There were lots of family members involved. My brother Harold took time out of his busy Texas hold 'em schedule to work on my campaign as my official agent. Who better to have than the guy with numbers like that? The guy has been to ESPN World's three times, been to the Canadian championship three times. When your brother has that kind of gift with numbers, it is good to have him as your official agent. My brother Bill is another guy who took some time out of his busy schedule at betting on the ponies to help his brother out. I'm kind of fortunate I didn't get that bug on gambling so it was good that my brothers were there. I had lots of fun. A campaign should be fun; it really should be fun when you're out there campaigning, you should have fun.

I had lots of laughs every day, took a couple of spills. I remember falling over one step about six feet and near broke my neck, but I got back up and dusted myself off. I think it was Kelly Lockton that was with me that day and said, are you okay? I said, that's just a part of canvassing. It's either you get bit by a dog or fall over a step. Some of the times you have the funniest moments in life when you're canvassing. I remember back early when I first ran, I think my young lad was seven years old, and I was knocking on doors and he was just hounding me to death that he wanted to go canvassing with me. And that he did and I was knocking on a door and I turned around and the woman was giving me this awful look and I wondered - what have I done? I said I just wanted to see if you would support me and here was my seven-year-old peeing on her hedges. I always wondered if I ever got her vote, thinking about that time when he had done that. I'll never be sure if I did or not, but campaigns are supposed to be fun.

I think of all the guys who went walking with me, I think most of them are probably wearing hearing aids now after canvassing with me, after having being deaf in one ear. I said to Todd Smith and John Maruschak - now there's a good guy. He was my ball coach when I was a kid, but still stood around. He's old enough to be retired from Devco and is a great guy - still involved in the CNIB curling team, he coaches them. John was a great fellow, he was great to walk with, and Todd Smith. You know, one of the better guys who came with me every day was a guy by the name of Wayne Hardy. It was just great to talk to Wayne and walk every day. I made it a policy over the last five elections that I ran in that I always had somebody with me. I would never suggest that anybody canvass alone - it's always good to have somebody there, you never know what can happen.

But having these guys like Todd Smith - Joey Jacobs was another guy. I had Joey on the campaign right up until October 1st, until duck season started. Joey was working with me every day on the campaign, but as soon as the duck season started I never saw Joey. He was out hunting ducks all day and I lost Joe. We had a lot of fun talking about that and different species - I don't shoot animals, I photograph animals, but we had lots of fun talking about it.

[Page 692]

Joe sent me an e-mail when he was out duck hunting and he said that he saw an all-white, large bird like a Great Blue Heron on Dominion Beach, out at Number 9 Dam in Glace Bay. He wanted to know what it was, so he sent me a picture. I said, Joey, that's what they call a Great Egret. It was a large white bird, the same as a Blue Heron but it's called a Great Egret - two different species, the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret. I told Joe that and said for heaven's sake, Joe, don't shoot that Great Egret. Shoot all the ducks you want, Joe, I know that you love duck hunting.

Bernie Jessome is another guy who canvassed with me. Bernie is a retired insurance salesman. Bernie has been canvassing with me since 1999, a great guy to have with you because he knows everybody in all of the riding. You wouldn't get a better guy than Bernie Jessome. Recently Bernie was at my little Christmas function on Sunday - it was great to see him. There's nobody better - he was the treasurer for my riding association.

Bernie Mason, Regina Mason, great people. I don't know if you remember the story that their son had a stroke in Japan and was in Japan and had no family or anything and they had to airlift him back to Canada from Japan; the young lad now is doing fine. I'll tell the Legislature that after being medically lifted back to Canada and back to Cape Breton, he is now in the NSCC, Marconi Campus, in school and doing fine. He is hanging in there, God bless him. I think the world of him. I mean we think that we're all handed different things in life but to overcome that, that devastation of having a stroke and being in a foreign country with those types of medical problems, to come back and go to school and to see him at NSCC - we should be very proud of a young lad like that who lives in our community.

Bradley Ross and Debbie Ross - good people. Many people would know, like the honourable member for Northside-Westmount, Brad is the coach of the Sydney Boxing Club, and his wife Debbie, put on many boxing cards over the last four or five years. Brad just fought two years ago - I think this is his last fight, he says that according to Debbie it's his last fight down in the United States where he won the middleweight championship. It was great to see Brad and Debbie out helping, doing those things that are important for you in the campaign.

Susan Christie, another lady who is - actually there's another good story. Susan Christie was 39 years of age, went back to school, the mother of three children - Shara, Amanda, and the young lad Tyler - went back to school and became a nurse. She graduated as a nurse at the age of 40 years old - went back to school with three children and now she works at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in the infants' ward, in pediatrics. So there's a good story - you're never too late to go back to school.

[Page 693]

I always told Susan that I was 35 years of age when I went back to school, to Holland College, to become a youth worker. I went to the school (Interruption) Somebody said, where did you graduate? I said HK, and they said, what school is that? I said "hard knocks" to somebody.

Kenny Long was another guy who showed up every day, and I think of my good friend Russell Fitzgerald who came canvassing with me. Actually Russell is probably the longest-serving employee at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. I remember when we graduated from high school we had this debate - I'm going to the steel plant; he's going to the hospital. This year he celebrates his 40th year working at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital - I don't know how the people up there ever put up with him for all those years, I really don't. Russell is a great guy. He has been a friend all my life and played ball and hockey.

Another good friend, Larry Hawranik, Larry showed up every day in the jeep. Larry has a young lad who's autistic, William. Bill is in junior high this year, young Bill, named after his grandfather, a World War II veteran, Bill Hawranik. It was a pleasure to have Larry with me every day, you know, to do all those things.

Kelly Lockton was just a pleasure. I think Kelly's niece works in the Protocol Office, Mallory, she's been there for a number of years now. That's Kelly's niece. She may be off on pregnancy leave, or parental leave now as we call it I guess. Another lady who has been with me from day one is Alice Swan and her husband, John Swan. John worked at the Marine Atlantic. He retired recently. John has been diagnosed with cancer and has been receiving treatment for that and we all wish him the best. Alice is just a sweetheart. John showed up on my campaign but Alice was there each and every day. You could count on her to do the things that were asked of her and John.

Old-time New Democrats like Heather Patterson who was the former EA for the then MP Peter Mancini from 1997 to 2000. Heather is a school teacher at the adult school in Sydney. Heather is just a great person. It was great to have her there. My good friend from high school, Janet Bickerton, Janet is a Public Health nurse now. We hear her sometimes on CBC. I remember doing a study with Janet back when I was the executive director of the Whitney Pier Youth Club. It was a sexuality program for teenagers using a mental health approach and could have found that on the Web site in Ottawa. Janet was there from the day that I built that youth centre, when I had nothing, I had a rat-infested old building that I took and made into probably one of the best youth centres in the Province of Nova Scotia to this day.

Madam Speaker, Chester Borden is now the executive director of the Whitney Pier Youth Club. Chester was probably the first African Nova Scotian MVP in the Nova Scotia senior ball league back in the day. Chester was a great shortstop, good glove hands and was on the Canada Games team, a great ball player. I think that my colleague, the member for Northside-Westmount, played with Chester back in the day. A great guy to have running the youth centre. I'll talk about the youth centre again along the lines of some of that.

[Page 694]

Well, here's a lady I'll talk about, Suzanne MacNeil was another lady who came with me. I think Suzanne is on the Cape Breton Federation of Labour and the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour. I think I drove that poor young girl insane with some of the foolishness. As a matter of fact, I wore her out. I was wondering why she was taking all the Advil afterwards. I wore her out but she said since the campaign was over and she had her hearing checked, she seems to be getting a little better from all the talk going on there.

Joanna Farrell was another person from up on Fisher Street. Greg Thomas, a cab driver, works in Alberta. Greg's brother is the president of the Operating Engineers in Alberta. He has been there for a long time. Kevin Thomas; Kenny Long, a driver; Elsie Deleski whom you will know recently I read a resolution last week about her husband, Don Deleski, where the Government of Nova Scotia and the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency just renamed the bicycle park there for her husband, Don, and her brother-in-law Ron. So it's now called Don and Ron Deleski Bicycle Park which is an honour for that. I actually received a picture, I think I have it in my office now, of Don Deleski and Ron with a 45-gallon drum shovelling the tar pond sludge into that, and I can't repeat the phrase that Don used that day in public, but he made sure he got his point across and got them started on the cleanup of that, you know.

Mary Sheppard, who recently just lost her husband, Earl, who was a World War II veteran, volunteered for years at the Whitney Pier Legion. Harold MacDonald, my brother, I mentioned. Kelly Brown O'Rourke each and every day was on the canvassing phone team. She was there each and every day. I think of Bob Dwyer, a good friend of mine who I was just at the hockey with on the weekend, canvassed with me a few nights here and there. Joanne Crezner volunteering in there, coming in. Diane Delaney, a lady who recently lost her husband a few years ago, Pat, two beautiful children, Amanda and Lisa, always worked on every campaign that I ran in. Diane has had many obstacles in her life but never let any of those bother her. She has risen above and beyond. Now she has the love of her life, her grandchild, with her on the weekend and I think that keeps her happy.

Old-time New Democrats like Nina Kirby in there each and every day, working on raising money for the campaign. Brenda Steele was somebody who wasn't in my riding but showed up each and every day to work the phones.

It was important to work the phones because in Cape Breton and all the campaigns that I run, I don't use a call centre. I have all volunteers and people who are there. I've never let a call centre call into my riding during a campaign. It's strictly all volunteer, all campaign members who help out. Never decided to ever go that way. Brenda Steele was there each and every time.

Probably two of the best canvassers during the campaign were Carter and Paulette Hayes. I'll tell you, some day that guy should be a politician, because if anybody could talk people into voting for you, that Carter could do that. I'll tell you, he was a great canvasser, a great friend, I was glad to have him with me and it was an honour and a privilege. Paulette, whose dad died about three days after the campaign - my condolences to her and her family and her mother.

[Page 695]

Then again, signs are an important part of an election. It's probably my pet peeve, signs in an election. I'd like to someday run an election where we never had to have a sign because it becomes quite a competition. (Applause) My pet peeve is signs, I say give each member who is running in the election 10 signs and put them on the 10 busiest intersections in the riding and that's it because you get into this sign war and it's such a costly event. I think they were like $4 or $5 a sign.

I had a new riding that expanded from 12,000 to 18,000, I had 6,000 more voters. In the first six days of the campaign I ran out of signs, and then we had to order 400 more, so it's a cost. I think that maybe someday we could use that, but if we did that, I guess a fellow like me would have to step aside. Because without signs, you would have to use social media, whether it be Facebook or Twitter, those things that I'm not accustomed to - although my 19-year-old could tell you when you get all these abbreviated, LOL and you've got to ask your wife what does that mean, laugh out loud, you know. So you've got all these things.

I'd love to someday not have signs in an election. I remember when I was EPC and the sign chair for Sydney-Victoria back in the 1990s and I remember the brain child in Ottawa at that time decided to come up with two-sided signs. I remember working for six weeks trying to put them together. I had to buy two-by-fours, split them, cut them to one-third, bang - I'll never forget that. Without that sign crew, the Bob Barringtons and the Tom Jones, each and every day doing that, Tony DiFlavio, Derrick Legg, Kenny Evans, people like that who went out and did those things for you, they're an important part of a campaign.

Again I say today I would like to thank - and if I've forgotten anybody - I may say my mother Enid, she is listening today. For those of you who don't know, she's blind but she sure can hear me, I'll tell you that. Her senses are pretty good. I don't know if she knows I'm speaking today, but no doubt somebody will tell her in the seniors' because they know everything that goes on in the seniors' unit there. They keep an eye on each other.

It's funny, when you talk about seniors and keeping them in their own home or keeping them in seniors' units, I think of the riding of Cape Breton Nova, when we put in 32 seniors' units in what they called Jim Mac Court. These are barrier-free seniors' units with in-floor heating, concrete driveways - probably the best seniors' units I've ever seen in the Province of Nova Scotia. There's such a waiting list to get into those seniors' units. They are for low-income seniors, but the way that the accord worked at that time between the federal government and the provincial government, it was based on Canada Mortgage and Housing income. At that time they decided in the Department of Housing that those would be $650 - heat and lights included in that - which is quite good for seniors, but their income had to be between $19,000 and $24,000 for them to qualify.

[Page 696]

That itself up there on Terrace Street in that riding has become its own community. It's its own community within itself; they all look after each other. I was fortunate enough also to have duplexes and single units for low-income single mothers. I thought that in the community of Whitney Pier, we have the highest per capita public housing in the Province of Nova Scotia. So when they decided back - and I remember meeting with the former government and the former minister and I talked about ghettoization of public units and I thought about the slang names of the "chicken coops", they called them, and how the kids that I grew up with and the kids in my neighbourhood were ghettoized because all the units were put together. They had 104 units in one neighbourhood and 104 in the other. When we had an opportunity this time - and I had an opportunity to speak with the former minister from the Progressive Conservative Government to talk about a strategy around housing, we decided we would look at building these units in neighbourhoods.

This is what we did in the community of Whitney Pier, so I look at the Minister of Community Services, if she would look at the way these units were built. They are recipients of housing units paid for by the Province of Nova Scotia under the Community Services Department of Housing. What we did this time was took those housing units and put them in neighbourhoods and they're all occupied by single mothers, but they are occupied by single mothers who are working. That was the strategy here. They are single mothers in those units in that housing who are actually working - so it's a beautiful part.

To talk about going on to the different parts of the new riding, Cape Breton Nova no longer exists - my salute to Cape Breton Nova. As the newly-elected member for Sydney-Whitney Pier, I'm honoured and privileged to be here to represent those people. I think with expansion, the riding has now gone to 18,000-some voters. The first thing I did, as I was chairman of the House of Assembly Management Commission, back in August when we had a meeting to make sure that we would have barrier-free offices for all MLAs elected and barrier-free offices for MLAs who were elected, as chairman of that committee, I knew the debate. I remember the James McGregor Stewart Society was advocating on behalf of wheelchair accessible offices for MLAs.

The first time I met that committee was April 22, 2013. I met a gentleman by the name of Kevin - whom you would all know - a gentleman by the name of Gus and a lady by the name of Kelly. I met them on April 22, 2013 and it was a pleasure to meet with them. It wasn't until I had actually an eye-opener to talk about not only barrier-free offices, but it was about employing somebody with a disability who was in a wheelchair. Now - you couldn't do that, Gordie, because your office isn't barrier-free. I would like to report to the Legislature today that I made it a point, after the election - and I was fortunate enough to come back - that I now am in a barrier-free office as of November 1st.

I didn't want to wait the three years. I said I'll lead by example. I understood the issues as I have a son who had many, many issues, and one of them is not being in a wheelchair, but lately he has been in and out of a wheelchair with some of his epileptic problems and I realized that, you know what, I'm going to set an example here. I am going to move.

[Page 697]

I am now in a new, barrier-free office at 731 Victoria Road. If anybody wants to come down to the multicultural community of Whitney Pier, they are more than welcome. The bathroom is barrier-free as well. I think it was important as the chairman of the House of Assembly Management Commission and the former Speaker, that I lead by example, to make sure that we include these people not only in our offices but in our daily lives.

I remember a year ago I spent a day in a wheelchair and used the Handi Trans system. I, myself, as a human being didn't realize that, so I would ask all members of the Legislature if they would like to spend a day in a wheelchair one day, actually go in a wheelchair like I did and try to navigate the sidewalks, try to navigate the buildings and then you will realize. You wonder what people - I always thought when people got older they could go to the Department of Community Services Housing Division to get a grant for a wheelchair ramp. I always had this idea and I always thought - the federal government's DVA has wheelchair ramps made out of aluminum and metal so if that person's life expectancy is a couple of years, instead of building a very expensive wheelchair ramp on the home, if we had a mobile wheelchair ramp, when that person unfortunately passed away that ramp could go on to somebody else - to recycle that ramp each and every time so there wouldn't be such a waiting list for wheelchair ramps.

The new riding now includes the area of Membertou First Nation. I canvassed in the area of Membertou during the election. That reserve is named after the Grand Chief Membertou from 1510 to 1611. The community of Membertou belongs to the greater tribal group of Mi'kmaq Nation. Membertou is situated three kilometres from the heart of the City of Sydney, Nova Scotia, within its tribal district of Unama'ki. It is one of the five Mi'kmaq communities in Cape Breton and one of 13 in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Membertou is an urban First Nation community consisting of over 1,260 people and one of five communities that make up Cape Breton Regional Municipality, with a total population of over 115,000 in Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Membertou was not always situated at its present location. Many years ago Membertou, formally known as the Kings Road Reserve, was located just off Kings Road along the Sydney Harbour. In 1916 the Exchequer Court of Canada ordered the relocation of 125 Mi'kmaq, the first time an Aboriginal community had been legally forced through the courts to relocate in Canadian history. In 1926, the Mi'kmaq Membertou community was officially moved to its present-day location.

Membertou operates under the Indian Act of Canada, federal legislation enacted by the Parliament of Canada. It is governed by one chief and 12 councillors that are elected every two years by the Membertou community members. Chief Terrance Paul, a good friend of mine, has been elected chief of Membertou, I think it's 29 years now he has been the chief of Membertou - 29 consecutive years, a long time to be in politics and a long time to be in any type of politics.

[Page 698]

Membertou Chief Terry Paul has had that position since 1984, a long time to be in public life for the chief, but it is one of the most open and efficient Native communities in the country. Hard to believe it's one of the most efficient Native communities in the Country of Canada. Chief Paul has served on many boards and is one of the original founders of the National Capital Corporation. Where do you have a reserve in Canada that's ISO-rated? Membertou is something that all Mi'kmaq should be proud of from all over the country.

Their councillors work hard. Some of the people who helped me in the campaign - Alex Paul, Alex works in the education field for the Membertou. Jeff Ward, Jeff is not originally from Membertou, Jeff comes from a band up in Red Bank, in the Miramichi. Red Bank is located just on the other side of Sunny Corner. Beautiful place to go fishing; I have a camp up there so I know all about that beautiful fishing territory in the Miramichi - happened to marry a girl from up there so I'm well aware of Jeff Ward who helped out in the campaign.

Bill Bonnar of Membertou, Terry Paul, Alex - those 12 councillors in Membertou and their chief - you know, it's a success story, the story of Membertou. In 1995 the Membertou band had 37 employees, it was operating on a $4 million budget while dealing with a $1 million annual operating deficit in Membertou. The community was poor with low morale and high unemployment rates. It was then that Chief Terry Paul decided it was time for a major change.

With great determination he and council recruited band members who had left the reserve prior to pursuing their education and were employed throughout the country by various companies such as Lang Michener Barrister and Solicitors, the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, and other corporate and government organizations. Terry knew he could bring these young, well-educated people back to Membertou, so what he did is the newly formed leadership decided an unprecedented approach for Membertou would be needed.

While the task required sacrifice, it also generated a renewed sense of accomplishment and discipline for the band. They quickly earned the respect of external parties in government and industry. With its financial house in order and vastly improved capacity in management and administration, Membertou is now positioned to play a greater part in the mainstream economy.

With a goal of generating new revenue streams to diminish dependence on government transfers, Membertou made three strategic decisions - the first was to actively forge a new economic frontier, one that built on the innovations of today while at the same time incorporated indigenous knowledge-based principles of conservation, sustainability of resources, and reverence for the land and the waters where we live.

[Page 699]

With the principles of conservation, sustainability and innovation and success firmly in place, Membertou then strategically increased its profile with major private sector companies by launching the Membertou Corporate Office in downtown Halifax. This provided lucrative partnerships with private industry sectors in oil and gas, engineering, mining, GIS, IT, aerospace, business management and consulting services.

The third strategic decision was to initiate proactive education and career-related training programs for residents of Membertou in order to maximize employment opportunities that arose as a result of the newly forged business partnerships and initiatives. The present and future development opportunities flowing from these strategic decisions continue to build momentum for Membertou's aspirations of financial independence and self-determination.

Over the past 10 past years, I'm proud to say, Membertou's budget has gone from $4 million to a current $65 million operating budget. The number of employees has jumped from 37 to 531 to this day. There are many new internal departments and businesses such as Membertou Market, Membertou Advanced Solutions, Membertou Mapping Service, Membertou Quality Management Services and, most recently, the prestigious Membertou Trade and Convention Centre.

Now if that's not a success story for Nova Scotia and all of Canada - we all can learn from the success of Membertou and what they've done, from being removed from a piece of land where there was traditional hunting and fishing on Kings Road to this piece of land, in almost 100 years, the success is known all over Canada for Membertou and what they have done for their people and their community.

Madam Speaker, I think other Band Councils around the Province of Nova Scotia, the 13 that are here, could learn very much from Membertou and what they do. We graduate more Mi'kmaq at the University College of Cape Breton than anywhere else in the country. Our Mi'kmaq are very well educated, along with keeping their traditional sense of the land and the water and what they stand for.

That's just the new part of my riding, which I'm very fortunate to represent. Off Membertou is Alexandra Street, Brown Street, Albion Street, Topshee Drive - my good friends Scott Black and Milt MacDonald live on Alexandra Street, good people who come out for me in the campaign because I was never their MLA before, I never represented that part of the riding so you can understand. I think the way the riding broke down was 51 per cent of the riding was Cape Breton Nova and 49 per cent of the riding was Cape Breton South, which was represented - I'll say his name now that he has retired, I know that you don't say somebody's name in the Legislature - the Honourable Manning MacDonald, who represented the riding of Cape Breton South from 1993 until his retirement in 2013.

Mr. MacDonald represented his riding, a man proud of his riding which was very loyal to Manning over the years. That riding was a Liberal riding from 1974 to 1993, which was held by a former Speaker, Mr. Vincent MacLean. He was a former Leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia from 1974 to 1993. All told, the riding of Cape Breton South was a Liberal riding for 39 consecutive years. So, Madam Speaker, you can understand the challenge I had. I think on election night, as soon as you turned the television on, it said riding to watch - Sydney-Whitney Pier - riding to watch - Global, CBC; I don't know who else - the Cape Breton Post, the Halifax ChronicleHerald, all of those - the riding to watch, Sydney-Whitney Pier.

[Page 700]

I said maybe they knew something that I didn't. I guess because it was a new riding, had a young Liberal candidate. Maybe it's because they brought Justin Trudeau into the Pier Legion, maybe that was the factor they were saying. They brought Justin Trudeau into the Pier Legion. I kind of said, well you know, Justin Trudeau in the Pier.

We had Tommy Douglas there back in December 1982. I was a young lad when I went to listen to Tommy Douglas at the Ukrainian Hall in December 1982. So I'm bringing Tommy Douglas, Justin Trudeau. I remember saying Jeez, and all these billboards popped up and there was a picture of the young candidate, the now Premier, and Justin Trudeau. In my old ballfield where I played all my life there's this big poster and there's another one - I don't know, thousands of dollars to put these billboards up. So then you had Justin Trudeau in Whitney Pier; you had the former MLA for 19 years, Manning MacDonald; you had the now-Premier four times into the riding giving out pop and chips at Ashby Corner. There were pop and chips that I think were left over from the barbeque they had at the Pier that they didn't get rid of, so they were going to give them to people during the campaign on Ashby Corner. I mean, you think about that now, so some of my friends said, you ran against Justin Trudeau, the honourable Premier, the former member Manning MacDonald, and Derek Mombourquette. That was quite an accomplishment, to think you ran against all four of them.

Like I said, Justin Trudeau seemed like a nice young lad in the Pier, but he should have come back on October 8th and come to the Pier Legion. That's when we had a hoedown at that Legion that night, and I extended him an offer to come back on October 8th. We could have had a real good party with him that night. The crew that was there that night would have really wanted to party with him.

I remember CBC saying the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia won every riding that Justin Trudeau was in and visited - they won every riding. I said, Jeez, that's strange, I thought he was in Whitney Pier at the Pier Legion. He was, I know he was. You can bring in all the resources you can to a campaign, but I thought, if you work hard . . .

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : You're a hero, Gordie.

MR. GOSSE « » : I'm not a hero. You're never a hero sitting in here. Who said that?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : I did.

[Page 701]

MR. GOSSE « » : Stand up. You want to stand up and talk? You want to stand up?

You want to recognize the honourable Minister of Natural Resources if he'd like to say a few words? (Interruptions) Does he want to stand up and talk, or is he just going to sit there?

ANOTHER HON. MEMBER: You'd be quiet when you were the Speaker.

MR. GOSSE « » : No, I wasn't, not to him. In Question Period . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'd remind the member to please address the Chair.

MR. GOSSE « » : I am addressing the Chair. I asked you if you'd like to recognize him to stand up. Would you like to? (Interruption)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I recognize the member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

MR. GOSSE « » : There is no such thing as heroes in this business. You just get elected in this business to try to do the best you can as a human being. Nobody is perfect in this. You wake up each and every day and you try to learn something new. That's what you do in this business: you wake up every day and you try to do something good for the people that you represent. You try to learn from your mistakes, and that's what you do. (Interruptions)

Now the Government House Leader is chirping. Maybe he'd like to get up and say something? That's what you do, you learn something new each and every day. Well, stand up, Michel, on your feet and say something. Stand up. (Interruptions)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. (Interruptions) Thank you. The honourable member (Interruptions) Order, please. The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

MR. GOSSE « » : Thank you. I'm not finished yet. I have an hour like every other member.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I would remind the member to please address the Chair.

MR. GOSSE « » : Not a problem. Can I finish now? Thank you.

So you wake up each and every day as a human being and you try to learn from your mistakes, and you try to learn from things that you did. There are no heroes in politics, there never are, and when I die there will be no "honourable" written on my headstone. I'm just an ordinary human being who's trying to do the best he can for people that he represents. I think the people that made that judgment about me and put me back here again, they've made that decision to come back here, Madam Speaker.

[Page 702]

You talk about the riding - and I'll try to finish the riding, try to finish what I was talking about, saying that in politics, sometimes you overcome obstacles that are greater than you. That's what you do. It's not up to you. The people of the Province of Nova Scotia own each and every seat in this Legislature. They'll determine who sits in this seat. They'll determine it - not anybody else, the people. When they have an election like they did on October 8th, they decided where you'll sit in here.

I've sat in every chair in this Legislature - Opposition, government, that chair, and this chair. I know what it's like. There is not another chair that I can sit in in here. I know what it's like to get in here. I know what it's like to do your job, to get up and represent the constituents that you represent. There is not another chair, there is not a taste of anything in government I haven't had, and I will continue to learn each and every day, as I get out of bed, what life is all about.

Madam Speaker, the north end of Sydney, the Holy Angels High School - I remember before the campaign I visited that Holy Angels High School. Actually, I think I took the former Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism there; the former Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage; the former Premier there, because I thought it was a worthwhile endeavour for Holy Angels to be purchased by New Dawn. They have some great ideas there whether it be IT, whether it be an English preparation program, or whether low-income housing units go in there.

I think it was important for the new part of the riding in the north end of Sydney. I think the former government gave them $80,000 along with $20,000 from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to come up with a feasibility study to look at best uses for the former Holy Angels High School to see what was best for them, to see what they can use to best describe the use for that facility, a long tradition of a girls school but now we're going to move forward and look at that.

Madam Speaker, the opening of the Open Hearth Park - it was a pleasure to be there to see that. I actually marched on that day with all my former colleagues and steelworkers, guys that I haven't seen - I put on my helmet and my heat clothes for the first time in over 23 years, and it was an honour. I remember they were saying, well, what's the difference between being in the Legislature and being on top of the coke ovens batteries, you know, wearing wooden shoes and a jackhammer in 2,100 degrees? There was no difference.

I always said that what I missed the most about Sydney Steel and being a former steelworker was the camaraderie among men, the places that you worked in from the blast furnace to the open-hearth of the blooming mill pits, to the rail mill, to the coke oven batteries. To see the transformation of that property to what it is today is just amazing. I know there are people out there who are probably still skeptical about the technology that was used to solidify and stabilize that.

[Page 703]

The very first football game was played there recently where the Sydney Academy High School Wildcats played their first inaugural football game. There had to be upwards of almost 1,000 people at that football game with an artificial turf football field lighted for the kids in our community. Now with the Open Hearth Park being completed, we have a peewee, an atom peewee, bantam and now a high school football league.

So for many, many years now we'll be able to make sure that that place is used. We have a bicycle park. If you drive by the Open Hearth Park nowadays - and as a young man who went down there through No. 5 Gate as a kid and remembers the open hearth, the blast furnace, the blooming mills, all the different parts and it's all gone. They have a soccer field. It's used so much when you go by at night. There's a basketball court. There's a tennis court lit up until 11 o'clock at night; a soccer field, natural, and the football field used for both.

A piece of land has now been given by the government to Horizon Achievement Centre. Horizon Achievement Centre would be somewhat like the Prescott Group that's here in Halifax. Horizon Achievement Centre is a program where the people with disabilities go to work each and every day and become an important part of our community. There's a piece of land, I think it's about 5.3 acres, set aside for Horizon Achievement Centre to build a new multi-use facility for their clients and it would really enhance that Nova Scotia land and the business park in there. So after losing the Sydney Steel and 4,000 workers we must be able to attract business to Sydney.

Some will argue - is Sydney on the rebound or is it not on the rebound? If you think about it, the new opening of the Old Triangle in Sydney - Danny Ellis has opened the new Old Triangle in downtown Sydney at Charlotte Street. That's a very important part of the downtown core, now, to have that open up. New stores are now coming in. We just opened a new Target on Prince Street, welcoming new stores. Also, Giant Tiger is supposed to be coming sometime in the new year.

I don't know if we are turning the corner in Cape Breton but why are these large box stores now locating in Cape Breton, setting up business there - Target? Now we have competition between Sobeys, President's Choice, Target, Walmart, Giant Tiger. Who benefits from competition but the consumer? The consumer always benefits from competition. By having that competition, I think it will be there.

The other important thing is that for many years we've always had untreated sewer water and untreated water going into Sydney Harbour. Presently, and over the last two years, the Province of Nova Scotia with $5.1 million; the federal government with $5.1 million; and the CBRM with $5.1 million - $15.3 million to take that untreated raw sewage from going into the Sydney Harbour.

[Page 704]

Right now Phases I, II, and III are underway, so what that meant is the raw sewage coming off of the former radar base site will now be redirected into Battery Point going into the treatment facility. Untreated water and sewage from South Bar, MacLeod Street now that sewer pipe that runs in Ward 6 will be redirected, and the other line coming in along King's Road.

I remember my constituent Tom McCabe, who's a retired major in the military, said that when those are all completed he's willing to go for a swim in that part of the harbour. I said to him, we could never swim there when we were kids with all that untreated raw sewage, but I told Tom he's more than welcome to do that once we get that untreated raw sewage out of there.

That part of the harbour has been closed since 1980. Nobody has been in there, and again, it's an honour and a privilege to come back to this Legislature to speak on behalf of the constituents of the new riding of Sydney-Whitney Pier. Thanks to all my campaign workers, and thank you to my family. The sacrifices of your family because you're away from Monday to Friday - you come home Friday night and you spend some time with your constituents on Saturday doing events, stuff again on Sunday, you see your family, and then drive back either Sunday night or Monday. I think as politicians we should all read the book The Dark Side: the Personal Price of a Political Life by Steve Paikin or The House is not a Home by Eric Nielsen - very good literature for us to live by as politicians.

My time is up, and I will now have my seat.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, with the consent of the House, could we revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees?

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank.

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Madam Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 13 - Ladies of the Sacred Heart at Halifax Act.

[Page 705]

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 14 - Justices of the Peace Act and Provincial Court Act.

Bill No. 15 - February Holiday Act.

Bill No. 20 - House of Assembly Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 12 - Occupational Health and Safety Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, would you revert to the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

[Page 706]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Madam Speaker, it's a pleasure and an honour to be here today. I'm honoured and, at the same time, humbled by being here before my honourable colleagues and all Parties in the historic Chamber of the Nova Scotia Legislature. Never in my thoughts did I think that I would be in this position. I'm proud, privileged, and honoured to represent the riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and all its citizens of the Province of Nova Scotia. In this hallowed hall, I have to pinch myself every day when I get up - and I hope that continues for a long time.

Madam Speaker, congratulations to you in your position as Deputy Speaker and to our Speaker, the MLA for Eastern Shore.

My life journey began to change in 2009, when I received a call from no other than Stephen McNeil. I had never given any thought to running in the political world of provincial politics. At that time he requested me to run in the upcoming election, being a Halifax County councillor in the 1980s and 1990s and being very comfortable at the municipal level of government, I had not considered provincial politics until that call.

I indicated to the Premier, Stephen McNeil, my wife and I were leaving shortly for a trip to the British and American Virgin Islands for two weeks of sailing, 10 days and some travelling, and would give my answer when I returned - I thought this was a better situation than walking in the park in the dead of winter in order to decide my future. My answer is obvious.

From a retired Environment Canada employee in 2007 after 37 years, to the aspiration of a Liberal candidate in 2009, I came second to the Honourable Percy Paris. I re-offered in 2013 and was successfully elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly. An MLA was a life-altering moment, not just for me, but for my family. I have to take this opportunity to thank my opponents at the time: Brian Wong for the PCs and the NDP candidate, the Honourable Percy Paris, for their credible, clean, and well-run election campaigns.

In the last four and a half years and with a lot of effort I worked tirelessly, but enjoyed attending more than 1,000 meetings in the community, out five nights a week and a member of a dozen organizations, chair of four, past president of one, vice-president of another. I attended many other meetings and functions in the Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank area. Some of these will be found in resolutions to come in the future.

[Page 707]

Before I go too far in my Reply to the Speech from the Throne, I want to recognize the tremendous support from my wife, Pam, home alone most evenings and many days, and my two daughters, Tracey and Kelly, who stood beside me over the four years to accomplish this endeavour and who recognized and understood the importance to me of becoming an MLA for the Liberal Party. Thanks to my gals, Pam, Tracey, and Kelly. I have to say that Tracey provided the expertise for my brochure, which proved to be instrumental in my election campaign. Thanks to my brother Bob - who has been a Liberal all his life, probably more so than I am, more dedicated to signs and more dedicated to getting around talking to people and a resident of Eastern Passage, living on the original grant of land given to the Hornes in the 1750s - for his campaigning throughout most of the election during the day.

Thanks to my sister Julie for the many calls from Cochrane, west of Calgary, making sure I was okay and wondering how it was going; and to my two grandchildren, Jensen, 10 and Reid, 8, calling on Skype every night asking Grampie how the election is going. They all seemed to understand what was going on and were willing and wanting to come to Wellington and go out on day-to-day campaigning with me.

Also I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my parents, Horace Horne and Emma Horne, who are not with us today. They would have been so proud of me. I am, as far as I know, the only elected politician in the family.

I recognize the diversity that exists in this House and have listened to most of the members' life experiences in reaching their goals. Immigrants today are really not much different. Our family were immigrants in the 1750s and today, still, we are families who live in Nova Scotia not far from where I stand today.

Madam Speaker, here's a quick history of the Hornes. In 1751 they were immigrants from the British North America 263 years ago. Two brothers, Jacob, my immediate relative back in those days, and Johanne, his brother, were young Germans who probably could speak French, from the community of Strasburg in the Alsace-Lorraine area, presently part of France. At that time it was part of Germany but it is part of France now. It changed back and forth, depending on the country that won the next battle in the 1700s.

At any rate, the British were looking for young, able, hard-working immigrants to come to Nova Scotia, to North America, and populate this country called Nova Scotia. In 1751 they left Strasburg for Rotterdam where they embarked on a sailing vessel called The Gale, along with over 200 other eager immigrants from countries such as Holland, Denmark, and Sweden.

The trip was long and arduous with many hardships, and after more than three weeks they arrived in Halifax on August 21, 1751. The ship anchored in Halifax Harbour and while all the able-bodied men worked to build the fortress around Halifax, returning at night to the ship, the women and children stayed on board the ship.

[Page 708]

These passengers were to go to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, to grants of land and start their new lives. However, this group stayed in Halifax and I'm not sure why, other than that they worked on the fort for most of the summer and the Fall. Jacob and Jean worked and stayed in Halifax but when opportunity knocked, the brothers would travel by vessel up the St. Lawrence River to what is known as P.E.I. today. They both married Acadian gals in 1756, the Savary sisters, who were expelled off their family farms in Grand-Pré in Nova Scotia in 1755. Today the family's name is on the plaque in Grand-Pré.

Madam Speaker, they left P.E.I. for Quebec due to a chicken pox outbreak and were given grants of lands in Bellechasse in Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River.

In 1759 both boys fought with General Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City and were navigators for his ships up the St. Lawrence. Jacob returned to Halifax from Quebec after the war with his wife and young family of three. As lore tells us, the family snow-shoed from Quebec to Halifax and was given a grant of land on McNabs Island in Halifax Harbour. They built their home from the wood of wrecked ships on the shoreline of McNabs Island, fished, worked in the woods, and gardened, taking firewood and produce to the Halifax market by boat.

Jacob moved to another grant of land after a short time, to the mainland at Eastern Passage, where the family has thrived for over seven generations. Most Hornes in Nova Scotia are probably related. Also, I have not moved far from the area, to Dartmouth and Wellington in 1970. I lived in Eastern Passage until I was 12, when our family moved to Dartmouth; graduated from Saint Mary's University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science; and worked as a chemist for 25 years at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography for Environment Canada, supervising a chemistry lab engaged in water, air, and sediment studies and research for Atlantic Canada.

In 1995 the labs at BIO were closed, as well as those in Newfoundland, and moved to Moncton. However, I was able to get a position with Environment Canada as an Environmental Assessment officer and Environmental Emergencies officer responding to assessments of major projects, such as offshore oil and gas projects and major pipeline projects and responding to environmental spills, and as a chemist on the HAZMAT team and conducting environmental audits on the drilling platforms near Sable Island.

In 1973 my wife and I moved with two children to Wellington, to our new home on Lake Fletcher. I have been there for the last 40 years, and am still married after 44 years.

Madam Speaker, I'd like to change the subject a little bit now, after you know a little bit about my ancestry and genealogy. I truly believe in volunteerism. I think volunteerism is probably the finest thing you can do for your community and yourself. The state of community well-being can be judged by the strength and passion of volunteers. Volunteers are the heart and soul of our community. Their passion to succeed or to accomplish their goals is important to all communities. It is my belief that they are the indicators of a thriving community. The riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank is one of these communities.

[Page 709]

Our Liberal Government should support volunteer groups and non-profit groups that are registered under the Societies Act by providing funding to MLAs for these groups so they can complete projects and can realize their goals. There are over 120 volunteer groups in our community, and every year more than 80 volunteers and their sponsors are recognized with certificates and a banquet. I have been a member of the Volunteer Awards association for seven years and chair for two years of this riding. The volunteer group is the Volunteer Recognition Awards team. It has been gratifying to be part of such a like-minded volunteer group.

I now would like to recognize a few volunteers who helped me get elected. Without having such a group of 50 dedicated and passionate Liberals, I would not have been elected. I do truly thank each and every one. We called the team Bill's Liberal Team. Slogans on the red shirts were "WE BILLIEVE." Over 100 T-shirts could be seen all over our riding at functions, sports events and barbeques, July 1st days and all the time campaigning. Our team once challenged the PCs to a baseball game and our team happened to win 17-6. The PCs had their candidate, Brian Wong, he used one of those Segways, running around the bases on a Segway. He has had an operation on his hips, so he's much better now.

My co-chairs, our councillor for the HRM was one of those, Barry Dalrymple, who works tirelessly and has a work ethic unlike any other and Bill Munden, who can convince at the door, while canvassing nearly everyone to place a sign on their lawn. He probably had an 80 per cent to 90 per cent success rate; nobody else could manage to do that.

It takes a special person to be your OA and that was, Randy Snow, one of the most important positions as far as I'm concerned; he was unbelievable. He was such a well-organized, calm and unflappable person, a stickler for details and paperwork and reports, I never had to worry at all. I must admit that last night I got home and had to sign the final paper that he had to send to the CA, and it was kind of nice.

My fundraising chair was Wayne McRae, and his team was more than successful in raising the needed funds. We accomplished every planned PR event and signage that was needed. We had a youth group and it was led by Mark Joycey and Kirk Pinkney and they promoted an evening with youth to discuss the issues and had a wonderful evening.

My sign team, Fred Wyatt, an 80-year-old, Kirk Stephen, Tim Rand, Dale Schrimpt, Paul Dalrymple, Shawn Dube, David Reid, Jez Thorpe, John Bona, Barry Dalrymple, Leo Meagher, and Brandan MacGillvary. All my signs went up the first weekend after the writ was dropped and keeping them up was a bit of a problem, but we managed to keep things going.

[Page 710]

We had many canvassers, Sandra Carr, Bob Horne, Pam Horne, Sandy Burgess, Joyce Munden, Tanya Tattrie, Helen and Scott Young, June Wyatt, Emily Dalrymple, Stephanie Dube, Jen Reid, Joanne Dalrymple, Wayne McRae and Paula Beck.

I just wanted to mention something that I found I was doing quite a bit. One of my goals was to see a lot of homes in a day and I'm a jogger, so I used to jog to the doors. If I talked any more than 10 minutes to any of the residents I would have to jog to the next three houses and I found out I was jogging all of the time. One of those times and the very last day of the campaign I was jogging up a hill as fast as I could to go to the next house, I had to get to the last 500 homes. Anyway, I didn't do that, but as I was jogging up I was passed by my competitor, the PC candidate, Brian Wong. He was on his Segway and he passed me; he stopped about 50 feet past and he turned around and laughed and he got off and talked for the next half hour. That closed out the campaign. At that time he said he went to 6,327 homes, but he started in May, I didn't start until October, until the writ was down. It didn't seem to matter, but at the time I was quite worried that maybe he had done something I didn't do. At any rate the turnout was for me.

My office manager, Joyce Munden and her team, Sandy Burgess, June Wyatt, Emily Dalrymple, Pam Horne and Tattrie, and Helen Young. I had a Web site group, Greame Van Leer and Patrick Smith, and a sign-maker, Victor Cobb of Beaver Bank. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't thank all the workers who worked the day of the election. We had 34 working at the different polls.

Our communities are very progressive, with many new subdivisions. We have many bedroom communities considered suburban and rural in nature, and most building lots are an acre or larger with their own water and septic systems. Most people commute to Halifax and Dartmouth, resulting in many traffic tie-ups in the morning and evening, and as a result, safety issues with Highway No. 118 and Highway No. 102, which have been talked about with TIR.

Also, Madam Speaker « » :Interruption) Finish on Thursday? (Interruption) Okay, I'll be back on Thursday.

Madam Speaker, in light of the hour, I move that we adjourn debate at this time.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is to adjourn debate. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 711]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, and thank you to the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. We'll look forward to hearing the rest of his remarks on Thursday. That does conclude the government's business for today.

In light of the fact that it is Opposition Day tomorrow, I would now call upon the House Leader for the NDP caucus to give us the hours and business for tomorrow, and then move that the House do now rise.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, we wish to call the hours tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The business will be simple. After Question Period, we would ask the House to rise because of an important event. I think we are all honoured to be invited to the Speaker's reception, and I think it would give people adequate time to get there and the staff to arrange the Red Room. So we will not be calling business after Question Period. With that, I turn it back to the Government House Leader.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, with that I would move that the House do now rise to meet again from the hours of 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again on Wednesday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The subject for late debate is:

"Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature call on the government to provide a timely response to the Maritime Lobster Panel Report."

ADJOURNMENT

[Page 712]

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

MAR. LOBSTER PANEL REPT. - TIMELY RESPONSE

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand in late debate to speak for a few moments in regard to this resolution.

As many of you know, southwestern Nova Scotia, especially the Municipality of the District of Barrington, would be known as the lobster capital of Canada. The majority of the industry there revolves in and around the fishery. The fishery is one that I think every year at the start of the season, if not at the end of the season, that people will start to question the price, question the validity of the industry, will re-question exactly what they should be doing to make that fishery better. Many times lots of ideas are flown around and I'm sure if you asked the 800 to 900 licence holders in the districts, you would probably have 800 to 900 different ideas of how to fix the industry.

I can say in southwestern Nova Scotia the last number of weeks have been an interesting start to the lobster fishery in Districts 34, 33, 32, I had been away a few weeks prior to that, and one that has had its weather events - some storms and a late start to the season. As far as we understand at this point, as we talk to the buyers, talk to individuals in the industry, we're looking at about a $4 lobster, a $4 plus 25 cents in some cases. Depending on what happens over the next number of days will hopefully increase that price. The catches are relatively good in District 34 - great to report that - not so good in District 33 as you go around past the Baccaro line going to the east.

Really, Madam Speaker, the point of the discussion here today is maybe to question the minister and see what is going to be happening over the next number of weeks. We have the Maritime Lobster Panel, which reported back a number of months ago, one that has a whole bunch of good recommendations, all of them very, very difficult and I would say "hot potatoes" for this government to try to manage. Some of them actually require, I believe, decisions by this summer, so we're looking at August 2014 in some cases to come up with an action item on behalf of this government.

Let me go through maybe some of the recommendations, the ones that I find interesting and ones I find that might be a challenge - and that I know we would like to hear from the minister or the government of the day of how they are going to react to these ones. All of them I think will make a stronger industry, but all of them again will be a very difficult thing to do and definitely a hot potato.

The first one is the challenge that I find the most difficult, which is the organization itself - the organization of the fisheries which is the number-one recommendation in the report. It talks about that fishermen should come together and "where not already in place, establish and participate in well-organized, representative fishermen's organizations. These organizations should come together under a provincial organization structure (similar to the way fishermen do in PEI). These provincial organizations should have the capacity to work together from an East Coast perspective and engage US counterparts to jointly address issues related to the entire lobster industry."

[Page 713]

It really doesn't say within that recommendation who should be responsible for it, but at the same time if we're talking about Nova Scotia, then we're talking about maybe a Nova Scotia responsibility. As you may know, the fishery is split up by a number of LFAs, Lobster Fishing Associations, that speak on behalf - so we've got management boards and advisory boards and different groups right across the province, all of them speaking sometimes in different ways, but all of them working very hard for their respective industries and trying to find a solution to their problems.

Exactly how are we going to be organizing these groups into one coherent voice? I see it quite often, especially in southwestern Nova Scotia, the strength of our fishery is the independence. At the same time, probably one of the biggest problems we have is the independence itself, because there is a lot of - jealously might not be the right word, but everybody is sort of wondering how the next person is going to do and making sure that people don't get ahead and to try to manage that. But the recommendation is very clear within the report that we need to find a way to organize the fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia all across the province in order to do that. It's going to take a lot of work on behalf of this government to get that done, so how is that going to get done?

The second recommendation is definitely one that fits in the discussion with the minister and DFO because a lot of the recommendations have a cross-governmental problem where they have to petition the DFO - the Department of Fisheries and Oceans - on how to manage the fishery. Of course, the management of the fishery, when it comes to the true management plan, is the responsibility of the federal government. One that I'm not really supportive of, but it is an interesting one, is Recommendation 3, the rationalization to work with the government on the rationalization, which means a fewer number of fishermen, fisher people, licences within the system - definitely a challenge, I think, for the minister to work with that one.

There are a number of recommendations in there that are based with DFO but one that the minister has to work towards. The consensus approach of our organizations has always been difficult where they always have to have 60 per cent to 70 per cent acceptance on any change that happens to the industry, which is one they've never been able to get. The best example is the work done prior to this fishing season, where there were a number of ideas floated out, I believe, by the advisory board. Once the balloting happened and the vote happened, they were rejected by the fishermen themselves. So how do we get beyond that one?

[Page 714]

There are the more specific issues for the province in how we work with the Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act, which is an Act that was brought forward by the previous government, one that is underlined within this report, to try to strengthen. Is it the intention of the government to do that or not? Is it going to be bringing in its own similar bill in order to do this? We're never too sure.

I know I'm running out of time really quickly. It's an extremely large and complicated industry and one that, I believe, needs this government's support and attention. I think it is one that the minister has been sincere in saying that he is willing to work with all sides of this House of Assembly to come up with the best possible solutions to it, and it is one that I hope he really means and I'm sure we'll hear in a few moments about that. I can say that I would be more than happy to work with him on this issue, as well as with the member for Queens-Shelburne, the previous minister, because many of these issues are much larger than we who sit in this Legislature. They are of the utmost importance to the issues of southwestern Nova Scotia.

One last pitch that I'll send across - I have only one minute left - is the issue of the lobster cannery in southwestern Nova Scotia. I hope that he had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Erica Smith and Buzzy Smith, or Alton Smith and the group of volunteers in that organization who are trying to put something together for a better value chain in lobster, one that is going to be difficult and a big question for the minister to address.

Finally, it is just simply what are you going to do with these recommendations? How are they going to roll out and what can we expect to be pulled together in having this great discussion? Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Thank you very much. I'm pleased to see that this was placed on the late debate this evening. It's a very important topic for all Nova Scotians. The fishing industry in the province represents an almost $1 billion-a-year industry. As all my colleagues in the Legislature know, this industry has been paid very little attention by the Province of Nova Scotia by repetitive governments. All governments actually, including my government in the past, the Opposition Party's Government and the Third Party's Government - none of us have really done the job properly, I believe, to address this issue. As a former Fisheries Minister, I think I have the right to say that.

The Maritime Lobster Panel Report is a very important report for our communities and rural communities of Nova Scotia, and the lobster industry indeed, but it's only one of many reports. There is a huge stack of reports that have been done on the lobster industry over the last number of years with little results. This time it is a little bit different because Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island jointly funded this project, as this industry affects most of those provinces. Also Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and actually into Maine because the Maine lobster fishery has an effect on our industry here.

[Page 715]

There were many recommendations made in the panel. Some are going to be relatively easy to do, some are going to be very difficult to do, and some will be almost impossible. But I can assure you, I can assure the members of the House here, that I will do everything I possibly can to implement as many of those recommendations as possible. Some of the recommendations require interprovincial recognition of other areas, and we're already in a process of talking with the other ministers and I plan to meet with them regarding this very shortly.

One thing that we have to keep in mind is this report belongs to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. It doesn't belong to the authors of the program, it belongs to us and the people of each one of those provinces.

There have been all kinds of issues brought forward on things we have to address. There is a quality issue, an organizational issue, processing issues, and the list goes on. There are 30-some recommendations in this report. We've had detailed briefings from the people that wrote the report and I must say it's a very thorough report and I would like to commend them for the fine job they did. I would like to also commend the former minister for initiating this report, I think it's very positive and it gives us a benchmark to move forward with and it also verifies all those other reports. I remember meeting with the Lobster Council of Canada and the first thing they did is set all these reports on the table and said, well, this was reported on before so we don't need any more reports. Well, I can tell you we're not going to do any more reports; that's it. We're going to move forward.

I was glad that my honourable colleague said that I expressed an interest in dealing with all Parties. This is an all-Party solution - I'm committed to that and I intend to do that and work very closely with the other two Parties in the Legislature here, because this is for the betterment of Nova Scotia and it's critical we all work together. We have to have a united voice on this. If we're ever going to get the organizations put together, we're going to need all of us working on it jointly. That is going to be our biggest challenge.

I know before I tried to get the - I initiated the minister's panel on the fishery. It was something I initiated when I was minister and it still goes on today. It has been changed slightly from what I initiated but that's fine. I'm going to continue that process and try to get more emphasis on organizational abilities. Since the time I was minister a couple of areas have organized and done very well. Lo and behold when I met with them they offered their time, free of charge to us, to help organize the other areas - to go forward and talk about how it has helped them in their areas and how it can help other areas. I think that's very positive and that's something that wasn't in place many years ago.

Everyone I've talked to in the industry is very supportive on how we're going to move forward. We're going to have to take one thing at a time and work on it. The key to this whole operation that I can see is the value of our product, and there are many reasons to value the product. A fisheries organization or an independent fisherman, who is fiercely independent and competitive - I think "competitive" is the word for it - has to see the benefit to their enterprise themselves because they're small private businesses in the purest kind of way and the way you want to look at business in Nova Scotia.

[Page 716]

We've committed to helping small business, we're committed to helping the fishing enterprise. We've got to convince them there is a benefit to belonging to an organization that will help them make a better living for their families, a better community to live in, and all those important things that all Nova Scotians feel are so important. But that organization is very difficult. I've already met with some of the LFA 34 representatives now. They're very anxious to do this and move forward, but they're not quite sure how to do it. I do have my staff presently working on a presentation, a completely different presentation we are going to take to the fishermen this January and February and talk to them about it. It's going to be around more about what it means to have a higher price for your lobster and how we propose to get there.

Our economy, the whole economy in the free world as we know it, is based on small enterprise and making a profit because if you can make a profit, everything flows properly and the way it should. We've seen people invest back in their community, they're making money to spend and I think that's important. I think we've lost sight of that. We have to make sure that these enterprises make money. For instance, it may be better to land $750,000 worth of lobster in a year rather than $1 million, if you can take $2 million home instead of $50,000. So we have to look at that kind of structure. Those things have to be discussed with the fishermen and realize how that works. The fishing enterprise itself is one part of this. We also have to look at the processing sector.

There has to be an integrated system between the processing sector and the fishing enterprise itself because each one needs the other. Those also have to be coordinated. I've already met with some of the processors and it's the same response from everybody - absolutely everybody is in favour of doing this, moving this forward and have offered any help they can do to make that happen. Finally people are realizing that if we don't work together on this - even though it's still important to maintain the independence of the fishermen and the fishing enterprise, but if we don't work together at some level, we're going to be in the same boat we've always been in, with $3 a pound for lobster. Nobody makes any money, the quality is not where it should be and we don't get the full benefit of it.

I can tell you that I'm committed to bringing rural Nova Scotia full circle. Instead of people leaving rural Nova Scotia and moving to the city, I would like to see people from the city who have traditionally been in the fishing industry, move home, or people from outside the province.

I think we can accomplish that but it's going to take every one of us in this House, every one of us, to really have a concerted effort to do that. I haven't had an opportunity to talk to the former minister yet - I just haven't had time to do that - but I'm going to approach him like I have some other members of the community in the fishing industry, who are respected in the industry, to work with me and see if we can get this.

[Page 717]

There's a promise I'm going to make, if any other member in this House helps us with this solution, I'm going to give you credit for it. I don't care if you're in the Opposition or if you're a federal MP, whatever it is, I don't care, I've got to get this fixed. We have to get this fixed for the betterment of all Nova Scotians. We will do that and we will work forward as we move forward implementing this process.

The issue, as my colleague has already indicated, is very, very complex. We have to pick off one item at a time. We've already had some discussions around quality because I'm a big believer in quality, living through a military contracting process that I used to live in, quality pays off, it does pay off. We have to work on that and we're going to put a program together to enhance the quality of the lobster that we have and hopefully convince the buyers that they're going to pay a premium for a quality lobster. That will be the start of the process of marketing a Canadian-branded, top quality, number one lobster that you pay a premium for, not just the lowest price that you can buy it for.

I think that's part of the process of making everybody join in the solution, become part of the solution and make sure that rural Nova Scotia can finally have the income and the financial resources to do the thing they have, to keep our young people home, in our community. Thank you very much.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Madam Speaker, it's certainly an honour and a privilege to talk about this timely topic here tonight. The resolution reads a timely response by the sitting government on the Maritime Lobster Panel Report. I can say that I'm also privileged and honoured to initiate part of the recommendations to the industry. I remember very distinctly being in Antigonish when that recommendation, when I was on the podium with a packed house - I'll get into that later.

This particular recommendation came out last Spring, or late Spring, I believe, if my timing is right, into May or early June, when we had 1,500 vessels tied up in northern New Brunswick and in P.E.I. regarding low prices. We worked with the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development from P.E.I. and the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries from New Brunswick on this particular topic, and we appointed a panel. I want to recognize them first of all, before I get into some of my remarks, but first of all, Ministers Olscamp from New Brunswick and MacKinley from P.E.I., and the authors of this particular report, the Lobster Panel Report: Gilles Thériault, from New Brunswick; John Hanlon, from Nova Scotia; and Lewis Creed, representing P.E.I. I had the opportunity to read this mid-November, and there are 33 recommendations.

[Page 718]

I can tell you what I said that night in Antigonish. As a fisherman, my background, Madam Speaker, I spent 38 years on the water. I have literally gone through what they're feeling and what they were doing in that particular time then. I know very well the feeling of low prices. When fishermen, the fishers' industry, make the decision to tie their vessels at the wharf, they are making that a statement, and to me, there are a number of great recommendations that have been set aside.

I can also tell you that I can speak with confidence in saying that all will not be endorsed. What needs to be done now - and I have taken the time to speak with a number of my colleagues across P.E.I., New Brunswick, and in my hometown to digest these recommendations. I think that the industry, the stakeholders are going through this as we speak. They need to come forward, and nothing to me - that I hope the government and the industry partners will gain a consensus of where they want to go. I heard this from both speakers earlier, that we all want to work together on this and we should adopt - the industry needs to give a clear message to stakeholders on what the industry and all involved want to adopt and endorse, and we need to move forward.

Under no circumstances, Madam Speaker, is that we put any regulations in place unless we have the inshore fishers' consent. I know them, I've been involved with them, and this is a crucial part - and to me, the number one priority. This is one of the reasons why I wanted this job, is that the first priority with all of us is to protect the independence of the inshore fisheries.

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington stated very eloquently that this was a benefit to the tax base of Barrington. I know that area very well - I spent nine years as warden - but I just want to correct him on one point. He made reference to the lobster capital of Canada and I understand that immensely. (Interruption) I want to point out to the member who just brought that comment. What is important to all the Atlantic Provinces, including the New England States, from Rhode Island right across the Atlantic Provinces, up through Maine, all five Atlantic Provinces to Newfoundland and Labrador - the lobster industry is the economic engine that drives all rural communities, and there is the point right there. (Applause)

What we need is this consensus of working together and bringing those ideas forward, because when I go home, I find it interesting when I drive by marinas and I see that the seasonal boats, the pleasure boats, are drawn up on the bank. They took a lot of time to seasonalize those recreational boats, but that's the time in many areas across Atlantic Nova Scotia, including southwestern Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy, that the fishers actually start to go out on the water in their winter fishery. That's an important point. This is why it's important that we get this right.

Some of the questions that I raised early in Question Period today - or not today, but over this earlier session, and the sessions that may go on in the next while - is the support. I've asked for support. These are important questions about support for MSC - Marine Stewardship Council - certification for lobsters that are competing in the European market. Maine has introduced that; P.E.I. is in that process. We need to have that certification to be in that marketplace because we are dealing with bountiful harvests in our lobster industry, where we are dealing with larger volumes, and now we need to get out and find new homes for these lobsters and make sure that we are competing in these new markets in China and Asia and so on.

[Page 719]

The other important part is that the minister talked about marketing and quality and my interest is - are we committed? Are we committed as a government? Are we going to finance to find those new markets? They are there; we just have to be aggressive and go out and do that. I really believe the industry is going to be demanding some of those requests.

My final point tonight is that I've seen this industry - in a lot of places in rural Nova Scotia we are literally down to one main industry and that is the lobster industry. When you come to those boats or to the wharves across Nova Scotia, other than in the lobster season, 90 per cent, or a higher number, are literally tied to the wharf. That needs to change. That needs to change and I'll table - not to get into it - but I went to Ottawa in February 2013 and I'll table the presentation that I made there.

To me, this is about diversifying the industry and while we sit as a government we'll commit to finding, or paying for the science, to develop two new species. The fishermen know that these undeveloped species are out there. I can show that in the presentation to the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, we talked about stone crab, whelks, and I'll just make reference to stone crabs.

The fishermen know these species are out there and we need to diversify this industry to give people other opportunities. I heard it from the minister in his remarks that he wants to keep people in these coastal communities. We all want to do the same thing. If you have a commitment from the sitting government, regardless of what Atlantic Province you're in, to develop two new species, just do the multiplication, and the federal government needs to match that.

What I said in my presentation is that your science is out of date. Your science is obsolete because it is based on 30-year-old science. I can tell you right now as a fisherman, my background, my observation strictly from a fisherman's point of view - you talk to any fisherman on the wharf, they see temperature rising, climate change and since the cod moratorium was introduced in the early 1990s, they see a difference of predator relationship between lobsters and fin fish. They have experienced an explosion in shellfish so therefore they see the crabs, shrimp, and all the shellfish species literally exploding and saying, we want to go after that. We want to stay in these communities. We want to have jobs for our people and we need to diversify and give these communities these opportunities.

[Page 720]

Getting back to the report, there are opportunities there to solve this. The report has given 33 recommendations. The industry needs to come together, get a consensus on where you want to go and as elected officials we need to work with stakeholders to achieve that and we will keep people in rural Nova Scotia. Thank you for the time.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Thank you, I would like to thank all members who participated in the Adjournment debate this afternoon.

We are adjourned.

[The House rose at 4:29 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 721]

RESOLUTION NO. 376

By: Hon. Kelly Regan « » (Labour and Advanced Education)

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

Whereas Brant Wishart had a long and distinguished career as a dedicated civil servant and talented educator; and

Whereas Brant Wishart served for many years as Director of Strategy and Sector Relations, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, and was an adjunct professor in the School of Planning at Dalhousie University ; and

Whereas Brant Wishart was a beloved husband and father and proud Ringette Dad, a man with a wonderful spirit and sense of humour who enjoyed colleagues and friends across all levels of government, inspiring students with his knowledge and expertise, who passed away October 11, 2013;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly send condolences to Brant Wishart's family, his wife Gaye, and daughters Jessica and Alexandra (Allie), on the passing of this gentleman, who will be greatly missed.

RESOLUTION NO. 377

By: Hon. Diana Whalen « » (Finance)

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

Whereas Halifax West High School held its annual Model Parliament on December 5th and 6th, 2013 with Principal Tim Simony reading the Speech from the Throne to the more than 60 students parliamentarians present; and

Whereas this year the school-wide elections resulted in the Hearty Party forming government, with the All Night Party as the Official Opposition, and the X Party and Route 333 Party also winning seats; and

Whereas the session featured bold, creative, and enthusiastic debate on issues of tolerance, crime, and health living, presided over by the Speaker of the Model Parliament, Keith Lehwald, who is a former student at Halifax West;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House congratulate Halifax West High School on their Model Parliament and recognize Prime Minster Amira Kadray, Leader of the Official Opposition Chris Abraham, and leaders Ahmad Qureshi and Olivia LeBlanc, whose efforts lead to a spirited debate and a great learning experience for all those involved.

[Page 722]

RESOLUTION NO. 378

By: Mr. Alfie MacLeod « » (Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg)

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

Whereas Bill Jessome was well known as a successful journalist in Nova Scotia, launching an extraordinary career after proudly serving his country in the Second World War; and

Whereas Mr. Jessome dedicated his life to thoughtfully and accurately delivering news to Nova Scotia, becoming a staple in thousands of homes as a trusted television news reporter, anchor, and author ; and

Whereas Bill Jessome was the recipient of the prestigious RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award and is not only recognized as an accomplished journalist, but will be remembered as a teacher of his trade, a father, and a husband;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the loss to the community by the passing of Bill Jessome and honour his life and significant contributions to our province; may our thoughts and prayers be with his family during this difficult time.

RESOLUTION NO. 379

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

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

Whereas as the world celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela and flags fly at half-mast around the world for his sacrifice and determination to bring equality and true democracy to South Africa, we also celebrate the 65th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights; and

Whereas on December 10, 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and

Whereas today is traditionally marked by cultural events and exhibitions dealing with human rights issues, as well as the awarding of the five yearly United Nations Prizes in the Field of Human Rights and the Nobel Peace Prize;

[Page 723]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this legislature acknowledge and remember those who have fought against and given their lives in the struggle to end torture, cruelty, and inhumane treatment of people around the world.

RESOLUTION NO. 380

By: Hon. David Wilson « » (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas Sackville residents have more options closer to home with the opening of many new businesses in the area; and

Whereas Sienna's Ink opened at 73 Sackville Drive in May 2013 and is owned by Cassie MacDonald and tattoo artist Tatu JJ, who has been tattooing for 18 years; and

Whereas in addition to tattooing and piercing, the shop also produces custom paintings and will also feature art by Tatu JJ and promote local artists;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Sienna's Ink on their new business at 73 Sackville Drive and extend best wishes for future success

RESOLUTION NO. 381

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas a group of six Grade 5 students at Yarmouth's Meadowfields Elementary School, with the approval of Principal Linda Gallagher, have undertaken a fundraiser to assist the Royal Cross Philippines relief aid effort for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan; and

Whereas that group of students, consisting of Jasmine Schaus, Rebekka Smith, Rachel Kini, Emilie Barro, Alexis Russell, and Allison Randall, had earlier formed a social club that was touched by the sufferings of the people of the Philippines; and

Whereas the students raised a total of $236.35 through a number of fundraisers, including the sale of bracelets made by themselves;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank these students for their unselfish willingness to assist others who are in distress and encourage them to continue their good work in the community and in their school.

[Page 724]

RESOLUTION NO. 382

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Avon Valley Golf and Country Club officially closed for the 2013 season in mid-November after another spectacular season of golf, which happened despite the early Spring wind and rain; and

Whereas the 2013 season featured a wide range of events, including Dean Woodman winning the club championship once again; Bill Chipman and Chris McCarthy tying for third in the Nova Scotia Golf Association Sr. Men's 4 Ball Championship; Jake Lloy and Natalie Rippey winning the Jr. Men's and Ladies Club Championship; and Connor Shute, Dawson Wood, and Ryan Martin winning the Juvenile, Bantam, and Pee Wee Boys Championships at Avon Valley; and

Whereas Avon Valley consistently has exceptional employees who keep the greens in tip-top shape for all golfing events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly acknowledge the dynamic efforts by the executive, shareholders, and staff of the Avon Valley Golf and Country Club for making Avon Valley a must-stop on the annual Nova Scotia golfing circuit.

RESOLUTION NO. 383

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas during the winter of 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression, a group of gentlemen gathered in a Hantsport barbershop and decided to form a baseball team so the town could play in the Valley League in the upcoming season; and

Whereas the name "Shamrocks" is synonymous with Hantsport baseball, as the name was formed after a picture of a shamrock was found in a magazine and crests were cut out of old felt from a pool hall in the barbershop to be placed on the uniforms for the upcoming 1932 season; and

[Page 725]

Whereas baseball is stronger than ever in the community more than 81 years later, as Hantsport hosted the Nova Scotia AA Pee Wee and Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League Championship tournaments on the same weekend this past August;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the current executive members of the Hantsport Minor Baseball Association, Peter Johnston, Sue Brownrigg, Wanda Smith, Dan Morrison, and Chris Cuvilier, along with the executive body of the Intermediate Shamrocks, for keeping a proud tradition of the town alive and well going into the 2014 baseball season when parents and fans will once again be packing the ballparks in historic Hantsport.

RESOLUTION NO. 384

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Diamond Wedding Anniversary is symbolic of 75 years of treasured memories and love; and

Whereas Roley and Beulah Phillips of Gypsum Mines are less than one year away from that special occasion, after celebrating 74 years of wedding memories on November 11, 2013; and

Whereas Roley and Beulah were married in 1939 and have been blessed with a large family of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, with cherished love and support;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Roley and Beulah Phillips on 74 years of wedding memories, and wish them many more memories to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 385

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas municipal politics, as many in these hallowed Chambers will agree, is the grassroots of politics in this country; and

[Page 726]

Whereas municipal politicians over the years have moved on to the provincial and federal levels while others have stayed put, enjoying many special moments with constituents; and

Whereas the grassroots of politics runs deep in the Municipality of West Hants with Warden Richard Dauphinee presenting, on behalf of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, long-serving certificates of 25 years to Newport-Brooklyn and area Councillor Randy Matheson, Summerville-Cheverie and area Councillor Reed Allen, and one of 16 years to Ellershouse and area Councillor Tom Brown;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Councillors Matheson, Allen, and Brown, on many years of outstanding service in municipal politics, and wish them every continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 386

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the West Hants Thunder Pee-Wee team, under the direction of Head Coach Shane Rogers, advanced this summer to the championship game of the Eastern Canadian Fast Pitch Softball Tournament in Fredericton, New Brunswick; and

Whereas the Thunder played seven games over three days and finished with a 5-2 record, their only two losses including the championship game coming against a southern Ontario- based team; and

Whereas the Thunder received remarkable defensive play from Sam Nunn, Dylan Hennigar, and Nathan Lake, while Brenden Walker, Nunn, and Craig Comeau delivered critical clutch hits to assist the Thunder in bringing home a silver medal from the New Brunswick capital city;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the athletic accomplishments of the entire West Hants Thunder Fast Pitch Softball team on a great 2013 season, and wish them every success with their athletic pursuits in 2014.

RESOLUTION NO. 387

[Page 727]

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas until this season the Avonview Avalanche had not fielded a baseball team for competition since 2004; and

Whereas a group of students who had played baseball all summer approached Principal Peter Johnston in early September asking permission to field a competitive team, and from that point they never looked back; and

Whereas under the capable direction of Head Coach Kelvin Wallace and his assistants, Alex Sabean and Steve Caldwell, and tournament director, Shelley Bibby, Avonview hosted the NSSAF Division 1 Provincial Baseball Championship in Windsor the third weekend of October and placed second, losing 12 -10 to Cole Harbour in the provincial championship game - this after the Avalanche won the Western Zone Championship in Yarmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the dedication of all organizers of this championship tournament which was held up by rain late Saturday, forcing a Sunday championship final, while commending the Avalanche's strong starting staff and players Devan Dunfield, Evan Frank, Wes Kehoe, Austin Sabean, Adam Ferguson, Cory Whitney, Ben Caldwell, Brett Wallace, Tristen Horner, Joe Beaton, Reuben Hebb, Gabriel Bibby, William Earley, Tyler Comeau, and Spencer Davis, in placing second in the 2013 NSSAF Division 1 Baseball Championship.