Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD14-24

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

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
LAE: Fair Registration Practices Review Officer
- Anl. Rept. (2012-2013), Hon. K. Regan »
1621
MLA Remuneration Review Panel Rept.,
1622
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 936, Vimy Ridge Battle: Anniv. (97th),
1622
Vote - Affirmative
1623
Res. 937, Vimy Ridge Battle - Anniv. (97th),
1623
Vote - Affirmative
1623
Res. 938, Vimy Ridge Battle - Anniv. (97th),
1623
Vote - Affirmative
1624
Res. 939, Lyme Disease: Nova Scotians - Educ. Efforts,
1624
Vote - Affirmative
1625
Res. 940, Justice: Crime Prevention Commun. Groups - Thank,
1625
Vote - Affirmative
1626
Res. 941, Natl. Vol. Wk. (04/06 - 04/14/14): Vols. - Recognize,
1626
Vote - Affirmative
1627
Res. 942, MacDonald, Frank - Pub. Serv. (25 Yrs.),
1627
Vote - Affirmative
1627
Res. 943, Diabetes Charter (Can.)/Diabetes Care Prog. (N.S.):
Partnership - Recognize, Hon. L. Glavine « »
1628
Vote - Affirmative
1628
Res. 944, Doolittle, Dr. Ford: NSERC Gold Medal Award
- Congrats., Hon. K. Regan « »
1628
Vote - Affirmative
1629
Res. 945, Justice - Crime Prevention Award (2014): Recipients
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
1629
Vote - Affirmative
1630
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 44, Public Trustee Act,
1630
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 946, Barkhouse, Hon. Ronald T.: Death of - Tribute,
1630
Vote - Affirmative
1631
Res. 947, Barkhouse, Hon. Ronald: Death of - Tribute,
1631
Vote - Affirmative
1632
Res. 948, Brennan, Ryan - Vol. Rep. Award,
1632
Vote - Affirmative
1633
Res. 949, Citizens on Patrol: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen »
1633
Vote - Affirmative
1633
Res. 950, Regan, Garth - Wolfville Town: Pub. Serv. - Thank,
1634
Vote - Affirmative
1634
Res. 951, Lucas, Fernando: Fundraising - Congrats.,
1634
Vote - Affirmative
1635
Res. 952, Lewis Mouldings - Lt.-Gov.'s Persons with Disabilities
Employer Partnership Award, Mr. Gordon Wilson »
1635
Vote - Affirmative
1636
Res. 953, Antigonish Town Vol. FD - Anniv. (150th),
1636
Vote - Affirmative
1636
Res. 954, Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team: N.S. Provincials
- Congrats., Ms. P. Arab »
1637
Vote - Affirmative
1637
Res. 955, Mercer, Jeremy: Sustainable East. Shore Communities
- Development, Hon. K. Murphy « » (by Mr. L. Hines » )
1637
Vote - Affirmative
1638
Res. 956, Chasse, Marc: Skiing Gold Medals - Congrats.,
1638
Vote - Affirmative
1639
Res. 957, Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers/Kitchen Door Catering:
Bryony House Donations - Congrats., Hon. K. Regan « »
1639
Vote - Affirmative
1640
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 163, Prem. - Efficiency N.S.: NSP - Payment,
1640
No. 164, Prem.: Health Superboard - Cost,
1642
No. 165, Energy - Efficiency N.S. Progs.: NSP - Payment,
1643
No. 166, Fin. & Treasury Bd.: Dept. Spending - Reduction,
1645
No. 167, Health & Wellness: Health Superboard - Cost,
1647
No. 168, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Grad. Retention Rebate:
Elimination - Job Creation Plans, Hon. P. Dunn »
1648
No. 169, Prem. - Persons with Disabilities: Job Training - Funding,
1649
No. 170, LAE: Job Creation Plan - Release,
1652
No. 171, Prem. - Efficiency N.S.: NSP - Meetings,
1653
No. 172, ERDT: Rural N.S. - Dev. Plans,
1654
No. 173, LAE: Ivany Commn. - Legislation,
1655
No. 174, ERDT: Bus. Incentive Scheme - Details,
1656
No. 175, Environ. - Huntington (C.B.): Quarry - Details,
1658
No. 176, Health & Wellness: Long-Term Care - Wait-List,
1659
No. 177, Nat. Res. - Mining Ind.: Support - Min. Stance,
1661
No. 178, Environ. - Climate Change: Budget Omission - Explain,
1662
No. 179, Nat. Res.: Ship Hbr.-Long Lake Wilderness Area
- Access, Mr. L. Harrison »
1664
No. 180, Fish. & Aquaculture - Fish. & Aquaculture Loan Bd.:
Funding - Confirm, Mr. J. Lohr »
1665
No. 181, Fish. & Aquaculture: Lobster Ind. Levy - Consultations,
1666
No. 182, TIR - Kempt Head Rd. (C.B.): Rd. Plan -
Exclusion Explain, Mr. E. Orrell »
1667
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 16, Chief of Protocol Appointment Act
1670
1673
1674
1677
1681
No. 39, Building Our New Economy Act
1682
1685
1688
1689
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Apr. 10th at 2:00 p.m
1693
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 958, Eldridge, Peter & Mary: Yar. Area Commun. Fund
- Efforts Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill »
1694
Res. 959, Apold, Liam/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1694
Res. 960, Clothier, Jacob/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1695
Res. 961, DiMattia, Gio/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1695
Res. 962, Gillham, Peter/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1696
Res. 963, Goss, Gregory/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1696
Res. 964, Henneberry, Joey/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1697
Res. 965, Iatrou, Theo/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1697
Res. 966, Keith, Kaden/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1698
Res. 967, Kraitzek, Robert/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1698
Res. 968, Laaouan, Gabbi/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1699
Res. 969, Lorette, Zach/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1699
Res. 970, MacDonald, Will/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1700
Res. 971, MacGregor, Peter/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1700
Res. 972, Mercer, Ben/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1701
Res. 973, Needler, Alex/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1701
Res. 974, O'Connor, Josh/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1702
Res. 975, Welsh, Zach/Hfx. Hawks Hockey Team:
N.S. Provincials - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
1702
Res. 976, Leslie, Brian: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1703
Res. 977, MacPherson, David: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1703
Res. 978, McLean, Debbie: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1704
Res. 979, Landry, Donald: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1704
Res. 980, Mitchell, Donna: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1705
Res. 981, Penney, James: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1705
Res. 982, Clayton, Jim: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1706
Res. 983, Taylor, Ken: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1706
Res. 984, Hillier, Lewis: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1707
Res. 985, Glibbery, Lois: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1707
Res. 986, Baker, Merlin: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1708
Res. 987, Smith, Mike: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1708
Res. 988, Watson, Paul: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1709
Res. 989, MacLean, Ralph: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1709
Res. 990, Mitchell, Robert: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1710
Res. 991, Bhathena, Shapur: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1710
Res. 992, McLean, Ted: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1711
Res. 993, William, Tom: Crime Prevention Award (2014)
- Congrats., Ms. J. Treen « »
1711
Res. 994, Donaldson, Cody - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1712
Res. 995, d'Eon, Rosanne - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1712
Res. 996, d'Eon, Claire - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1713
Res. 997, MacIsaac, Joyce - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1713
Res. 998, d'Entremont, Terry - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1714
Res. 999, Belliveau, Judy - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1714
Res. 1000, Boudreau, Leah - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1715
Res. 1001, Joseph, Jonathan - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1715
Res. 1002, Foster, Jason - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1716
Res. 1003, Bourque, Gilles - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1716
Res. 1004, Landry, Frances - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1717
Res. 1005, Pothier, Eileen - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1718
Res. 1006, Babin, Denise - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1718
Res. 1007, Amirault, Charmaine - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1719
Res. 1008, d'Entremont, Cecilia - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1719
Res. 1009, Pothier, Barbara - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1720
Res. 1010, d'Eon, Barbara - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1720
Res. 1011, Surette, Albert - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1721
Res. 1012, Doucet, Adeline - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1721
Res. 1013, Doucette, Brandon - Argyle Mun. Vol. Recognition,
1722

[Page 1621]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014

Sixty-second General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. We'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, pursuant to Section 15(2) of the Fair Registration Practices Act, I beg leave to table the 2012-2013 Annual Report of the Review Officer.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

The Speaker's Office would like to table the MLA Remuneration Review Panel Report. And for the members' information, hard copies of this report are available from the Clerk's Office downstairs or online at the Legislature website.

[Page 1622]

The report is tabled.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 936

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Premier, I wish to present the following motion, and following similar motions from the Leaders of both Opposition Parties, I will ask for a moment of silence.

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

Whereas 97 years ago today, in constantly changing conditions of wind, sleet and snow, our Canadian soldiers attacked the German stronghold at Vimy Ridge; and

Whereas in the face of heavily armoured and battle-hardened German forces, and despite the 10,602 Canadian casualties, Canadian troops swept across a 6.4-kilometre front on April 9, 1917, to gain a decisive victory where others had failed; and

Whereas Vimy Ridge was a momentous victory for an army of citizen-soldiers in a war that eventually claimed over 68,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders, and moved Brigadier General Alexander Ross to declare, "It was Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific on parade. I thought then . . . that in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly mark this 97th Anniversary, and remember the courage and sacrifice of all our soldiers past and honour those who serve our country today.

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 1623]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 937

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

Whereas today marks the 97th Anniversary of the First World War's Battle of Vimy Ridge, a battle that raged from April 9 to 12, 1917; and

Whereas the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for our country, when Canada emerged from under the shadow of Britain and felt capable of greatness; and

Whereas the victory at Vimy Ridge came at a terrible cost, with more than 10,000 Canadians killed or wounded;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House remember the sacrifice and bravery of those Canadians who fought at Vimy Ridge, and give thanks for the many freedoms that victory brought our young country.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

RESOLUTION NO. 938

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

Whereas today, April 9, 2014, is the 97th Anniversary of one of the most famous battles fought by Canadians in the First World War, Vimy Ridge, will be commemorated; and

[Page 1624]

Whereas the Nova Scotia Highlanders from the mainland and their Cape Breton counterparts of the 85th Battalion played an instrumental role in this famous battle with the capture of Hill 145, a pivotal enemy stronghold; and

Whereas the 85th Battalion was not without casualties as 58 men died and several hundred others were wounded while gaining the stronghold of Vimy Ridge, which is considered to be the turning point of the First World War;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge the sacrifices of these brave men and women of the Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Highlanders, and may they remain in our hearts for now and years to come.

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.

Would all members of this House please rise for a moment of silence in honour of those great Canadians who lost their lives at Vimy Ridge.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 939

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

Whereas every Spring the Department of Health and Wellness takes steps including advertising, posters, and pamphlets to raise awareness about ticks and Lyme disease in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas we aim to ensure that Nova Scotians know how to protect themselves from tick bites and that our health professionals keep Lyme disease top of mind when patients present with any of the symptoms; and

[Page 1625]

Whereas this year we are stepping up our efforts by working more closely with our federal and provincial partners to raise awareness and by proclaiming May as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join us in our efforts to help educate Nova Scotians in their communities about enjoying the outdoors safely and protecting themselves against Lyme disease.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 940

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

Whereas crime in our community affects everyone and to prevent crime takes the concerted effort of individuals, organizations, police, and government working together to address the root causes of crime; and

Whereas it's important to prevent crime before it occurs by working with community organizations that are involved in creating safer and stronger communities by taking a proactive and preventive approach to crime; and

Whereas 36 organizations across Nova Scotia have received one-time grants to develop community activities, projects, and programs that address root causes of crime in their community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in thanking these crime prevention community groups for their hard work and for helping make our province a better place to live.

[Page 1626]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 941

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

Whereas individuals and communities across Canada are celebrating National Volunteer Week, April 6th to April 14th; and

Whereas Recreation Nova Scotia hosted the 40th Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards on Monday where approximately 70 of Nova Scotia's most dedicated volunteers captured an award; and

Whereas more than half of our citizens spend roughly 79 million hours volunteering each year, and on a per capita basis we lead the country in volunteering and the numbers have increased over the past 20 years;

Therefore be it resolved that we recognize the thousands of volunteers throughout our province who generously give their time and energy to causes close to their heart, each and every year.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 1627]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 942

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

Whereas Frank MacDonald began his career as a seasonal hatchery technician of the Fraser's Mills Hatchery before becoming a permanent employee and progressing through his career to the position he presently holds as senior hatchery technician at the Fraser's Mills Hatchery; and

Whereas throughout his career, Frank has demonstrated his commitment to the hatchery and to the promotion and development of sport fishing in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas as an avid photographer, Frank has frequently used his skills to gather images for use in the department's sport fishing promotional efforts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Frank MacDonald from Antigonish for his 25 years of public service to Nova Scotia and congratulate him on this milestone in his career.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

RESOLUTION NO. 943

[Page 1628]

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has one of the highest rates of chronic disease and disability, and we all care about someone who is living with diabetes; and

Whereas the Canadian Diabetes Association has worked with hundreds of partners across the country to create a charter that puts us all on the same page for what we would like to see for anyone living with chronic disease, such as timely diagnosis, emotional and mental health support, supportive workplaces, and access to care, education, and medications; and

Whereas by setting down our shared responsibility by voicing our shared agreement, we can confirm our shared commitment to diabetes prevention, self-management, support, and care;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly do hereby recognize the Diabetes Charter of Canada and the Diabetes Care Program of Nova Scotia for partnership work to prevent and manage diabetes.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 944

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

Whereas Dalhousie University's Dr. Ford Doolittle, recognized as one of the world's top molecular evolutionists, was recently awarded the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's (NSERC) highest honour, the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal for Science and Engineering; and

[Page 1629]

Whereas this medal is awarded annually to an individual who has demonstrated sustained excellence and influence in research for a body of work conducted in Canada that has substantially advanced the natural sciences or engineering fields; and

Whereas Dr. Doolittle, as a professor in Dalhousie Medical School's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has spent his career helping to rewrite our understanding of DNA and evolutionary biology;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Ford Doolittle for his four decades as a distinguished professor, researcher, and mentor, and now for winning NSERC's Gold Medal 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 Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 945

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

Whereas everyone is impacted by crime in our communities, and to help make our communities safer we all must work together to find creative solutions; and

Whereas the Justice Minister's Awards for Leadership in Crime Prevention were presented today during the 6th Annual Crime Prevention Symposium to four individuals and six groups who are taking proactive approaches to crime prevention in communities across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas those recognized for their crime prevention efforts were the C100 Breakfast Club; Callie Sinclair Lathem; the Lunenburg County Youth Advisory Committee; Teens Now Talk; Save Our Sons, Save Our Sisters; Nova Scotia Citizens on Patrol; Silent Witness Nova Scotia; Constable Deepak Prasad; Sergeant Thomas Ripley; and Sobaz Benjamin;

[Page 1630]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize these recipients for their commitment to their communities and for being leaders in crime prevention.

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. 44 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 379 of the Revised Statues of 1989. The Public Trustee Act. (Hon. Lena Diab)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 946

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I do intend to seek a moment of silence at the conclusion of either this resolution or any others that follow the same theme, which I understand the member for Lunenburg may well have a similar one.

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

Whereas former MLA Ronald T. Barkhouse passed away on Monday, April 7th at the age of 87; and

Whereas Mr. Barkhouse had a lifelong interest in the betterment of his community, serving as a municipal councillor for New Ross for 20 years and contributing to community groups such as the New Ross Consolidated School and the Ross Farm Museum; and

[Page 1631]

Whereas Mr. Barkhouse was first elected as a member of the Legislature for Lunenburg East in 1974, and again in 1978 and 1981, and served his province as Minister of Mines and Energy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Mr. Barkhouse's significant contributions to the governance of Nova Scotia, and send our sincere condolences to Mr. Barkhouse's family and friends.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice and passage without debate, and in a moment, a moment of silence.

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. 947

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 Ron Barkhouse dedicated his life to his community, beginning with his humble roots operating Barkhouse's General Store and Lumber; and

Whereas Ron was a leader in his community, serving as a councillor on the Chester Municipal Council for 20 years and as MLA for Lunenburg East for 10 years, where he also served as the Minister of Mines and Energy; and

Whereas Ron continued to work in his community after his career as an MLA came to an end, serving as the chairman of the New Ross Centennial Committee, president of the New Ross Historical Society, and being a 60-year member of the Norwood Masonic Lodge;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ron Barkhouse and the community he dedicated his life to.

[Page 1632]

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.

We'll now have a moment of silence to commemorate the Honourable Ronald Barkhouse.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 948

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

Whereas the 40th Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony was held April 7, 2014, to honour volunteers for their tremendous contributions made to their communities and province; and

Whereas National Volunteer Week is April 6-7, 2014; and

Whereas Ryan Brennan of Halifax Atlantic is a recipient of the 2014 Volunteer Representative Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ryan Brennan for being chosen as this year's recipient of the Volunteer Representative Award, and thank him for his outstanding contributions 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?

[Page 1633]

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. 949

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

Whereas the Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage Citizens on Patrol (COP) group has 20 volunteer members who are committed to reducing crime in our communities; and

Whereas they work closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partner with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with all community events; and

Whereas they were honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking the Citizens on Patrol group for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish them continued success in their future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings South.

RESOLUTION NO. 950

[Page 1634]

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

Whereas Mr. Garth Regan has served as a driver and operator for the Wolfville Fire Department for 43 years, as a wellspring of guidance and support for those he served with; and

Whereas Garth has been awarded the Lifelong Achievement Award by the Town of Wolfville, as well as recently being recognized by the Province of Nova Scotia with a Provincial Volunteer Award; and

Whereas Garth, 43 years on, shows no signs of slowing down and continues to be engaged in the day-to-day activities of the department;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Garth on his years of dedicated public service to the Town of Wolfville and the surrounding area.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 951

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

Whereas Fernando Lucas of Dartmouth-Cole Harbour is a successful entrepreneur and owner of the Palladium Family Restaurant in Cole Harbour; and

Whereas Fernando is a member of the Association for Business in Cole Harbour and has a strong passion and involvement with the local community; and

Whereas Fernando participated in multiple fundraising events, including Feed Nova Scotia during their annual holiday event, donating 50 per cent of all the sales to Feed Nova Scotia and, more recently, successfully fundraising an event in support of the U12 Squirts Comets local team;

[Page 1635]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Fernando on his generous heart, and wish him continued success as a business owner as well as a fundraiser.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 952

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

Whereas Lewis Mouldings has championed the cause of persons with disabilities in the workplace; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Persons with Disabilities Employer Partnership Award acknowledges and honours employers who promote best practices towards the employment, independence, and service to persons with disabilities; and

Whereas Lewis Mouldings, of Weymouth, has received one of 10 regional awards at the 6th Annual Symposium on Inclusive Employment and Education in Halifax on December 2, 2013;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lewis Mouldings on receiving this prestigious honour, and wish them well in the future.

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

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

[Page 1636]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 953

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

Whereas 2014 marks the 150th Anniversary of the Antigonish Town Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas there have been hundreds of volunteers over the past 150 years who have dedicated their time, energy, and resources to ensure the safety of the residents of Antigonish; and

Whereas if it wasn't for the bravery and dedication of these volunteers, residents of Antigonish would not have had the level of service it has had in fire services for the past 150 years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Antigonish Town Volunteer Fire Department on celebrating 150 years, and thank them for providing incredible and reliable fire services to the people of Antigonish.

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 Fairview-Clayton Park.

[Page 1637]

RESOLUTION NO. 954

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the nine to ten year olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament:

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Liam Apold, Jacob Clothier, Gio DiMattia, Peter Gillham, Gregory Goss, Joey Henneberry, Theo Iatrou, Kaden Keith, Robert Kraitzek, Gabbi Laaouan, Zach Lorette, Will MacDonald, Peter MacGregor, Ben Mercer, Alex Needler, Josh O'Connor, and Zach Welsh, and wish them luck in the rest of this season and in the ones to follow.

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 Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie.

RESOLUTION NO.955

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Eastern Shore, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Jeremy Mercer, a resident of Porters Lake, is a devoted husband, father, and owner of Mercer's Best Built Structures; and

[Page 1638]

Whereas Mercer's Best Built Structures was ranked the number one fastest growing company in Atlantic Canada by Atlantic Business Magazine for 2013; and

Whereas Mercer's Best Built Structures was ranked the 22nd fastest growing company in Canada for 2013 by Profit 500; and

Whereas Mercer's Best Built Structures is one of the builders at Seven Lakes Developments, in Porters Lake, employing many local tradespeople and adding to the local economy;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Jeremy Mercer for taking the leadership in the development of sustainable Eastern Shore 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 Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 956

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

Whereas Marc Chasse, 18, of Fall River won two gold medals in Snowboard Cross at Ski Wentworth and Parallel Giant Slalom at Ski Martock; and

Whereas these results, coupled with how he fares on the International Ski Federation and North America tours, may lead him to a second appearance as a member of Team Nova Scotia for the 2015 Canada Winter Games next February in B.C., and help him earn enough points to make the jump to the Junior World Cup; and

Whereas Marc has a full schedule, training four nights a week, competing on the weekends, and attending Armbrae Academy;

[Page 1639]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Marc Chasse on his two gold medals and wish him continued success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 957

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

Whereas Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers is a Canada-wide charity founded in 2009, which, through the making of soup, aims to provide comfort to women and children escaping intimate partner violence; and

Whereas Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers Halifax, launched on February 4th out of Kitchen Door Catering in Bedford, with 30 participants paying a fee to cover the cost of the ingredients, the equipment, and the venue; and

Whereas this first event produced 200 servings of nourishing soup, which was delivered fresh to Bryony House, a transition home for women and children escaping intimate partner violence;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Soup Sisters, Broth Brothers and Kitchen Door Catering, which have all contributed to the monthly donation of both soup and comfort to clients of Bryony House.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1640]

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 « » : We'll now move to Oral Question Period. The time is now 2:40 p.m., we will conclude at 4:10 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - EFFICIENCY N.S.: NSP - PAYMENT

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : In 2010 the Premier said of the previous government, and I quote directly from Hansard, "Nova Scotians took the New Democratic Party at their word. As in so many other instances since that election campaign, I think they may have regretted that. They've been concerned as they've hidden behind report after report to back away from commitments that they have made." I'll table that, Mr. Speaker. Well Nova Scotians can now say the same thing about the new government - his government.

The Premier clearly said in a CBC televised debate, "I can guarantee that we'll be taking $46 million off our power rates" and making Nova Scotia Power pay for it "through their profits."

My question to the Premier is, why is Nova Scotia Power not paying for Efficiency Nova Scotia out of their profits, as he guaranteed?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. What has happened is that we removed the efficiency tax off every power bill in the Province of Nova Scotia. That means that Nova Scotians will save $46 million. At the same time, shareholders of Nova Scotia Power are setting aside $40 million out of shareholders' pockets to ensure that low-income Nova Scotians get an opportunity to provide retrofits and ensure that they get the efficiency programs that low-income Nova Scotians in this province deserve.

We didn't stop there. We created an entity around efficiencies that will continue to drive savings, which will further improve the bottom line of Nova Scotia families.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the only bottom line that is being improved here is the bottom line of Nova Scotia Power, because the Premier was going to take $46 million out of their profits - at least that's what he guaranteed the people of Nova Scotia - and now he is not. That's the only bottom line - Nova Scotia Power's - that is better off today than they would have been if he had kept his guarantee.

[Page 1641]

Two days into the last election the Premier said in a CBC video: it's time that the government did its job, which is to protect ratepayers. The fact of the matter is that Nova Scotia Power is going to keep those profits. They're not going to pay for it out of their profits. There is still an Efficiency Nova Scotia, and the charge for it is still going to be paid for by Nova Scotia ratepayers.

I'd like to ask the Premier, why did he decide to let Nova Scotia Power off the hook and charge their costs, including Efficiency Nova Scotia, right back on the bills of Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, this is about the sixth time that I had to remind the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party that the efficiency tax will be going off, power rates will be going down, and that efficiency programs will not be charged on power bills.

Mr. Speaker, I'll let the Minister of Energy clear it up for him.

HON. ANDREW YOUNGER » : Mr. Speaker, I guess the Leader of the Official Opposition is having a bit of difficulty understanding the fact that under his plan rates were going to be going up by 1 per cent to 2 per cent on January 1, 2015, plus being added to propane and fuel oil bills, so everybody would pay even more. Instead, in our plan they'll be going down by 4 to 5 per cent. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on his final supplementary.

I do apologize. I probably shouldn't have allowed that.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, whatever you rule, Mr. Speaker, I understand. In a way I'm kind of glad that we got two answers to that last question, one from the Premier and one from the Minister of Energy, because it is important to know what electricity is going to cost under the Liberal Government. They guaranteed one thing and now they're doing another.

I find it very interesting in this defence that our costs are going to go down, even though they show up somewhere else on our power bill, that the Minister of Energy's own report, when talking about low-income Nova Scotians, says, and I will quote it directly, "As energy prices increase these savings will become larger."

The Minister of Energy admits in his own report, in writing - and I'll table it - that energy costs are assumed to continue to go up. So I'll ask the Premier, who is right - him or his Minister of Energy?

[Page 1642]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, under the leadership of the Minister of Energy, Nova Scotians are going to recognize a $46 million savings in their power bill come January 1st. I'm sure any chartered accountant could tell you that that's a $46 million saving in the pockets of Nova Scotians. On top of that, he didn't stop there. He created a separate entity, which will continue to drive savings for Nova Scotian ratepayers. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is afraid to leave more money in the pockets of Nova Scotians.

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

PREM.: HEALTH SUPERBOARD - COST

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. One of the central campaign promises of the Premier and his government was to amalgamate Nova Scotia's nine district health authorities into a health superboard. The Premier has been talking about his idea for years, and apparently his government is now laying the groundwork for that plan. The only problem is, no one knows what the cost of that plan is going to be. My question to the Premier is this: how much are Nova Scotians being asked to pay for the Liberal superboard in the health care system?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to first of all congratulate the Minister of Health and Wellness who is doing a tremendous job going around this province consulting with health care providers, ensuring that communities recognize they have a role to play in the delivery of the health care system in this province. As he laid out very clearly, we will move from an administrative-focused health care function that was under the previous government to one that is patient focused. This Fall, the Minister of Health and Wellness will deliver a bill that will restructure health care in this province to ensure that the dollars we spend in health care will be directed toward the patients.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I agree the Minister of Health and Wellness is doing a great job concealing the cost of what the Liberal plan will be. However, we've also heard the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board say that there will be a cost to having a superboard. Just today at the Public Accounts Committee, the Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness said there will be a cost associated with creating a superboard. But no one seems to be willing to even ballpark what that cost might be.

It's been six months since this Premier has had time to do the math and at least some preliminary planning. So my question to the Premier is this: why is the Premier hiding from Nova Scotians the cost of the new health superboard?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I know this might be difficult for the New Democratic Party to understand, but we have nine district health authorities in this province, nine CEOs, 30-some vice-presidents, the list goes on. We are combining those into one health authority across this province. We are providing communities with more say in their local hospitals. We're giving a greater voice to the community health authorities. I don't know how the New Democratic Party thinks that could be more expensive or unfair, by reducing nine administrations into one and allowing communities to have a little more say in the delivery of their health care.

[Page 1643]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, au contraire, there are people here who do know very well what the cost of administration is in the health care system, because it was the former government that took health care administration from above the national average in Canada to below the national average, reducing it by over 2 per cent and saving millions of dollars that went back into frontline health care - something that we will not apologize for. We did this without creating any chaos in the health care system or taking away the essential bargaining rights of workers in that system.

Nova Scotians elected a Premier who vowed to be open and transparent, yet he appears unwilling or perhaps unable to provide answers to this very important question. My question is, why won't the Premier simply tell Nova Scotians what the superboard is going to cost our province?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the only chaos in the health care system was when a strike was forced upon Nova Scotian patients because the New Democratic Party was answering the tune - because the New Democratic Party valued its relationship with the NSGEU over patients.

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

ENERGY - EFFICIENCY N.S. PROGS.: NSP - PAYMENT

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, according to the briefing notes on Efficiency Nova Scotia prepared by the Premier's own Department of Energy, the organization Efficiency Nova Scotia is doing a good job. In fact, their audited results show that energy savings were 28 per cent above the targets set by the URB last year, a saving that already is passed on to every Nova Scotian.

I'll ask the Premier, since his own department says Efficiency Nova Scotia is doing a good job of passing on savings to Nova Scotians already, why didn't he keep them and make Nova Scotia Power pay for the programs out of their profits, as he guaranteed Nova Scotians he would do in the election?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the Minister of Energy to respond.

HON. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, we committed that Efficiency Nova Scotia would remain and that it would remain an independent organization. However, that the Leader of the Official Opposition fails to point out is the Utility and Review Board audit in January, which pointed to structural and governance issues with the organization, which we've also resolved in this bill and worked with them to solve.

[Page 1644]

Mr. Speaker, I understand that the Official Opposition, who would like to continue to see that tax increase every single year, is finding it uncomfortable that now, instead of the tax going up by one to two per cent next year, it will now be eliminated and on their bills, people will save four to five per cent on their electrical bills.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, this whole thing has been described as a shell game, and now we have a shell game between ministers on who is going to answer the question. The Premier clearly said on CBC: I guarantee that $46 million will come off our power bills and it will be charged against the profits of Nova Scotia Power. No matter how you try and describe it, that is simply not what is going to happen. It is going to go right back on our power bills somewhere else.

Mr. Speaker, we are glad to see that Nova Scotia Power, or Emera, or someone, is going to contribute some money to help low-income Nova Scotians. But surely the best thing that could be done for low-income Nova Scotians is to have an operating Efficiency Nova Scotia that saves them money and have Nova Scotia Power pay for it out of their profits, as was promised.

I'll ask the Premier, why didn't he just keep his promise, which was the best thing that could happen to low-income Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the Minister of Energy to respond.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm having a lot of difficulty with the Leader of the Official Opposition, who made such a big deal about being a chartered accountant in the election and yet can't understand the fact that when you talk about low-income families, every single low-income home in this province will be fully upgraded free of charge, plus they will see these savings on their bill of 4 to 5 per cent. My goodness, Mr. Speaker.

If you compare that to the previous government, who added a tax to bills of low-income families and changed the date for social assistance in this province, hurting families - Mr. Speaker, it's us who are helping low-income families.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what the government is missing is that you do not need to be a chartered accountant to know that, in life, it pays to read the fine print when someone tells you something that can't possibly be true. That is exactly why we see this shell game going on today.

If the government truly wanted to help low-income Nova Scotians, they would not only be requiring that the power company contribute to upgrades to their homes. They would do what they guaranteed that they would do in the election, which is have all those programs and charge the bill to the shareholders of Nova Scotia Power. But they are not. They are charging the bill right back to Nova Scotians in another place on their bill, including low-income Nova Scotians.

[Page 1645]

You know what, Mr. Speaker? It is a shame because this is an important issue. The price of power to that maxed-out Nova Scotia home is a big deal. I'll ask the Premier, why is he going into such an elaborate shell game on such an important issue to Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : It surprises me that the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party is so against Nova Scotians saving money. We removed the efficiency tax off every power bill in this province and then we did even better than that. We created an entity that will actually drive competition into Nova Scotia Power so that year after year Nova Scotians will be able to buy a cheaper source of fuel, which in turn will drive savings in the bottom line of their power bill.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD.: DEPT. SPENDING - REDUCTION

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. The Liberal platform indicated that their goal would be to reduce departmental spending by 1 per cent across the board, excepting of course Education and Early Childhood Development, and Health and Wellness. This is something that was heavily referenced before and after the election by the Liberal Party, and it certainly seems that this was a goal that the Liberal Party wanted Nova Scotians to be aware of. I think it is probably fair to say that it was a goal that the Liberal Party was proud of.

My question today for the minister is, did you achieve your goal of a 1 per cent reduction departmental spending?

HON. DIANA WHALEN » : Mr. Speaker, I have no hesitation in saying that we did achieve that and, in fact, achieved much more than that.

MR. HOUSTON « » : I think Nova Scotians will be surprised to hear that the government feels that it achieved its goal. I don't think Nova Scotians expected their goal to manifest itself in that way and I think the average Nova Scotian would expect, as by way of example, if expenses are $100 and you say you're going to reduce them by 1 per cent, Nova Scotians would expect that you're going to come in at $99 - not that they'd go from $100 to some higher number and you'd bring them somewhere in between. I don't think that's the expectation of Nova Scotians.

My question today for the minister is quite simple. Do you think Nova Scotians had the right to interpret your goal in the same way that you did?

[Page 1646]

MS. WHALEN « » : Absolutely, Nova Scotians voted for us and they've gotten the change that they were looking for. In answer to the member's question, one thing that all of our Party and our Leader promised was that we would give a frank and honest view of the budget and the financial situation of this province; that is what was missing in last year's budget. So to begin with, we had a $35 million extra charge to show the university payments that had been hidden in the previous year. We reversed the $17.5 million charge that came from using a manipulated date for Community Services cheques going out. We corrected that. We showed 12 months payments (Interruption) 12 years.

Right off the bat, you see $35 million, $7.5 million, and at the same time, there are $150 million in increased costs relating to wage settlements made in the last number of years. Those things are contractual obligations and obviously the budget would rise.

MR. HOUSTON « » : I think it's fair to say that the only thing Nova Scotians are seeing, right off the bat, is an almost $300 million deficit and a billion more in spending, an increase in our debt over the next four years. I think that's completely unfair to Nova Scotians and I'm disappointed to say, I believe the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board was Finance Critic for almost eight years - she probably should have known the operations of the government and the finances of the departments. I think it was completely disingenuous. It's a bit of a shell game to say that you are going to reduce expenses and make Nova Scotians believe that expenses will actually go down in the case that they went up.

I would just ask a very simple question to the minister today. Do you regret framing your promise the way you framed it to Nova Scotians and would you, given the choice today, frame it slightly differently and let them understand that expenses will go up, just maybe not as much as they might have, could have, should have - however you want to frame it? I think it's unfair to Nova Scotians. I'd like to hear the minister's comments on that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'll just remind the member to refer to the minister as the minister and not you.

The honourable Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to tell the members of this House and all members and all Nova Scotians that we're proud of this budget. This budget is an honest and frank representation of where we are in this province, and we're proud of the promises that were kept in this budget. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: HEALTH SUPERBOARD - COST

[Page 1647]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Health and Wellness.

For years now the Liberals have been telling Nova Scotians and talking about their plan for amalgamating Nova Scotia's 10 district health authorities into a health super board. They plan to have this amalgamation implemented by April of next year. We're less than a year away from the implementation of this super board, so I would like to ask the Minister of Health and Wellness, what planning has the minister done with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to pay for the creation of the health super board that we'll see here in Nova Scotia?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, to the member for Sackville-Cobequid. I want to, first of all, remind him or to point out that I think it's going to be one strong, effective board that we'll finally have in this province. In terms of cost, we have a transition team that will be announced in April and they will be doing the actual work in terms of the CEO and VP plan for the one board, and also the management zones that will be put in place. That work is ongoing, and I can assure the member opposite that it's going to be considerably, in fact far less than they would like to see the bill add up to.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I don't want to see any bill, I would rather see money go towards front-line health care services than amalgamation of the health care authorities.

We know jurisdictions like Alberta have put aside over $100 million, and $42 million of that went for severance. Today, it's not apples and oranges from the member across the way, that's a lot of money that can help Nova Scotians in health care services. Last week on CTV, in an interview with Steve Murphy, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board acknowledged there will be a cost to this; the Minister of Health and Wellness has acknowledged there will be a cost to this; and today in Public Accounts the Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness indicated there will be a cost.

We're less than a year away from this plan. I ask again, there must be some figure that the government is anticipating what the cost would be to implement this plan. What we're asking - and I hope the minister is frank and open - how much is that cost going to be for taxpayers to see this amalgamation of the health care boards?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, what I will assure the member opposite, and all members of this House, is that when the CEOs possibly may play other roles and there may be some severance - but this is a member opposite who knows in spades how much severance does cost because they went through it as they went out the door.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, one of the first things that this new government did was fire three deputy ministers and that's costing taxpayers over half a million dollars. There are 46 CEOs and VPs in this province who are all under contract with the district health authorities. What we're asking is for the government to be open and transparent; they said they would be. The Premier said he would be open and transparent. There has to be a plan in place. We heard today from the deputy minister that no plan was given to her when the government came into office. I would hope - they talked about it for over two years - they have something written down on paper to implement.

[Page 1648]

Again, since the minister hasn't answered it yet, I ask him again, will he be open and transparent with Nova Scotians - how much will the amalgamation of health boards cost Nova Scotians?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite. Unlike the previous version of restructuring the province, we decided to go out and listen to the existing health authorities and we now have great information to act on. As the transition team goes into place, and we bring in legislation in the Fall, all members of this House and all Nova Scotians will see how many CEOs remain and how many VPs are put in place. It's a work in progress. The four management zones are of different sizes, and we will have our construct reflect population, regional hospitals, and the demands that are in those areas. We have put in stone, unlike a previous version that went on in this province.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD. - GRAD. RETENTION REBATE:

ELIMINATION - JOB CREATION PLANS

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. In recent media reports, the minister apologized to the graduates who depend upon the recently axed Graduate Retention Rebate. The Premier stated the government will add programs to help students and create jobs when the government has the money. My question to the minister is, does the minister agree with the Premier that Nova Scotia must wait for a job creation plan?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : I appreciate the question from the member. Mr. Speaker, all members of the House were present yesterday when I answered the questions that were asked here, and I did not apologize for taking away the rebate that was in the tax budget.

AN HON. MEMBER: It was in the media.

MS. WHALEN « » : Well certainly it did, and we all believe the media, exactly. I think anybody can look at Hansard. I'd be very happy to table what was said yesterday in Hansard or to read it to the people here in the House and it said that, "I do understand that some Nova Scotians benefited from this rebate and that they are disappointed. For that, I am sorry, but the fact is seven years of experience shows it wasn't working." Mr. Speaker, that's in Hansard anyway. We all have record of that, and I think that answers the member quite well. Thank you.

[Page 1649]

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would be happy to table that report also here, with regard to the media report. Social media sites are flooded with stories about the young families affected by the graduate tax cut. The minister continues to maintain her position that graduates are still leaving the province, but she continues to ignore the graduates who do choose to stay at home here in Nova Scotia. In a recent media interview, the minister said, "This has certainly helped us on the revenue side because it was a big cost. But we have to remember how deep in debt we are." I'll table that. My question to the minister is, does the minister think it's fair to try to balance the books on the backs of graduates who choose to stay in Nova Scotia?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I feel it's very important to, again, let the members of the House know, and the honourable member across the way, that when a program is proven not to work and when all of the evidence is there, and when independent voices also say that the program isn't working, we have an obligation to Nova Scotians to look at that program and make the right choice. And we made the right choice, absolutely. It wasn't working. Thank you.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Government announced a tax review just weeks before they decided to axe the Graduate Retention Rebate. My question to the minister is, why did the minister decide to cut the graduate tax credit before waiting for the final tax review report?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, the very Party that is asking this question is the one that hollers for debt management, for the elimination of a deficit. I am really quite shocked that with seven years of evidence that this program isn't working, and independent voices - like, and I'll just name a few, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Canadian Federation of Students, Students Nova Scotia, and others - with all of that evidence, it would have been irresponsible not to take some steps prior to the tax review finishing their work, because a single year of this tax credit was very expensive. It would have been irresponsible, in the face of all of the evidence, that you would let that stay in place for another year, and I would expect that the other members of this House would open their eyes to that fact as well.

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

PREM. - PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES: JOB TRAINING - FUNDING

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. In January, the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education wrote a letter to approximately 60 organizations that provide job training and skills development for persons with disabilities here in Nova Scotia, warning that their funding was about to be cut off because of a funding decision in Ottawa.

[Page 1650]

Mr. Speaker, it looks as though this came as news to Ottawa. Last month the federal Minister of Employment and Social Development, Jason Kenney, wrote to the Premier expressing some concern with how the Premier had been handling labour market agreement negotiations. I'll table a copy of that letter.

According to Mr. Kenney, he was perplexed by the media reports indicating that Nova Scotia's service providers had been told that the government here in Nova Scotia had told organizations that the government in Ottawa would no longer fund programs, so they could be cancelled.

My question is, while our government continues to fight with the federal government, these worthy organizations are caught in the crossfire, so I wonder who is going to be the bigger person here and settle this problem, reassuring these groups that their programs will continue?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all let me begin by responding to the first part of her question. We have an obligation to provide notice, and an employer has an obligation under law in this province to provide notice. If we had knowledge that funding was going to run out, not coming in from the federal government, we had to give that notice. There was nothing to it other than we were responding to the laws of the Province of Nova Scotia when we sent those letters.

As far as the LMA, we continue to work with the federal government. The minister has been working on behalf of this province. We have now moved into bilateral talks because we had some concerns around the Canada Jobs Grant. It doesn't respond to the employers in this province, and quite frankly, it undermines the funding that we're providing to the most marginalized employees in this province, people who need the jobs and skills training.

What the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education is doing, Mr. Speaker, is fighting for that funding, but in the meantime, this government has provided bridge funding so we can hope to work out an agreement with the federal government to continue long-term funding for these programs.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the bridge funding that has been provided as well. I know the organizations do.

Let's be clear, Mr. Speaker « » : the federal government transfers $100 million a year to the Province of Nova Scotia for four skills development programs. In this case, 98 per cent of the funding for one of these particular programs from which these funds flow remains available for the Province of Nova Scotia to allocate to these groups. I will table from Hansard the debate in the House of Commons on this very point laying out some of those matters.

[Page 1651]

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier, can he provide an explanation as to why these organizations have been told their funding may be in jeopardy when $100 million continues to flow to the Province of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to tell why they received the notice. It was because we were abiding by the laws of the Province of Nova Scotia, to be responsible.

Let me respond, if I may, Mr. Speaker. The Canada Jobs Grant, that now has a new champion in the Province of Nova Scotia, has been told by every employer in this province that it will not work for their companies. We've tried to relay that to the federal government, that as it is structured today it will not work.

What she is not telling this House is that part of the agreement that she is asking us to sign on is that in two years the federal government will come and claw back all of the money that is associated with it. If they believe so strongly in the Canada Jobs Grant, this government will do everything in our power to deliver that money to every entrepreneur in this province. All we ask them to do is back away from the clawback.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, what I'm asking the Premier to do is to provide some reassurance to these groups that are caught in the middle of this fight between the federal government and the provincial government, to provide them with some assurance and some security that they will continue to be able to provide these very important programs. If it requires the Premier swallowing his pride and picking up the phone and talking to Minister Kenney, if that's what it takes, then I would ask the Premier, why won't he do that?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, let me reassure the member, I've done that. I've relayed the concerns that Nova Scotia businesses have told me. This may come as a surprise to the member opposite who doesn't believe in the private sector in this province but the private sector has clearly told us this funding will not drive job growth in Nova Scotia, and what the federal government has also told us is if we do not implement that program, they will claw it back in two years, which in turn will undermine the very good work that is being done across this province by organizations, the very organizations that we just put money in place to ensure that they're there.

I would hope that every member of this House would join this government and relay a message to the federal government that it is time they support the organizations in this province that are doing good work on behalf of the people of this province.

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

LAE: JOB CREATION PLAN - RELEASE

[Page 1652]

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. Nova Scotia's economy shed about 3,400 mostly full-time jobs, according to figures released Friday by Statistics Canada. That employment rate went up 9.3 per cent for March from 8.9 per cent in February. I'll table that document. In March Michelin Canada announced it would reduce manufacturing at its plant in Granton by eliminating 500 jobs. Rural Nova Scotia is facing a job crisis.

Six months since being elected, why has the government not released a plan to help create good paying jobs in Nova Scotia?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, in fact we have done a number of things that will help create jobs in this province and we are continuing to do things. For example, we are announcing more support for apprentices and I expect to have an announcement in a couple of days. We are increasing funding for the START program. ERDT will announce the Graduate to Opportunities program. We have more support for co-op placements. The Premier and I announced the sandboxes program and we'll have another, which I will be announcing the details of in very short order, which is the Graduate Scholarship program. Those are all things that will help drive our economy. Thank you.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you so much for that response, however, I do agree we need support but we need jobs more. On a year-to-year basis Nova Scotia's labour force declined about 9,000 people since March 2013. In Opposition the Liberals complained and complained but now since elected are not doing anything to rein in spending or kickstart our economy. The Ivany commission released its report this winter with some bold and aggressive goals to turn our economy around. Will the minister commit to putting the Ivany commission's goals in law?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. As we've indicated on previous occasions, we support the Ivany commission. We have a number of initiatives that I have just articulated that we will be moving forward on, which we believe will support the goals and aspirations articulated in the Ivany commission report and I would note that for the workers at Michelin, for workers who have been laid off, we have a suite of programs. If there is a concern in an area where jobs have been eliminated because there has been a shutdown, we have a whole division that is devoted to helping those workers find new positions. They may need some minor help. They may need some help with simply tweaking a resumé. They may need more help with funding. If they go to their local Employment Nova Scotia Centre, we have people who are there who are ready to assist them at any time. Thank you.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, we need bold leadership from the government. It's now or never. Almost 20 per cent of Nova Scotians are 65 or older. The economy's annual growth rate is the lowest in the country, and the GDP per capita is second lowest, 20 per cent below the national average - and I will table that. This is the terrible cost of doing nothing, and Nova Scotia's reality. So I ask the minister once again about putting the Ivany commission goals into law, and perhaps some of those goals you intend to put towards making sure that they can help see the Ivany commission's recommendations go forward.

[Page 1653]

MS. REGAN « » : You know, I do recall, when I was elected back in 2009, there was a law on the books that there had to be a balanced budget. Then another government came in, and that law was gone. The problem with just saying something has to be put in law is that another government can come in and change it. The thing is, the proof will be in the pudding. The proof will be in the suite of programs you're seeing rolled out now. Those are just the beginning. Those are just the beginning, Mr. Speaker. I guess all I can say to the member opposite is she's going to have to watch and see what happens. Thank you.

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

PREM. - EFFICIENCY N.S.: NSP - MEETINGS

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, through you, my question is to the Premier. Yesterday, the Premier defended breaking his election promise to force Nova Scotia Power to pay for Efficiency Nova Scotia out of its own profits. Nova Scotia Power will be able to bill ratepayers directly for the cost of energy conservation programs. This is directly opposite to what the now Premier was saying during the election. As a result, many, such as the consumer advocate John Merrick, are doubtful the new Liberal energy scheme will have any positive impact on power rates in the long run. So my question, to the Premier is, yesterday he said his government did not consult with the consumer advocate during the creation of the Liberal energy scheme. Can he tell this House how many meetings his government had with Nova Scotia Power on this subject?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I didn't meet with either. I want to tell you how much confidence I have in the Minister of Energy and the work that he has been doing. Not only did he deliver on our commitment to remove the efficiency tax off every power bill in the Province of Nova Scotia to save $46 million, he actually created a program that will take $40 million out of the pockets of shareholders of Nova Scotia Power to set aside to create programs that low-income Nova Scotians will be able to avail themselves of based on income. Furthermore, he didn't stop there; he actually created a competition for Nova Scotia Power through the efficiency side. Every time they can provide a cheaper fuel source, it will drive down the cost of delivering power to Nova Scotians, which means power rates will continue to drop and improve the bottom lines of every Nova Scotian family.

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, through you again, this week, we also learned that the Liberal Government has reached an agreement with NSP over its annual contribution to the energy efficiency programs. Now, instead of being forced to provide the $46 million annual contribution that the government had promised during the election, NSP now only has to make a $3.7 million charitable contribution. That works out to a $42.3 million profit for the energy utility. So my question to the Premier is, what offer did Nova Scotia Power executives make him that he could not refuse?

[Page 1654]

THE PREMIER « » : He's confusing me, Mr. Speaker, with the former Premier. They haven't bought me lunch. I haven't been on their corporate jet. Let me tell you, this Premier is standing up for Nova Scotia ratepayers.

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, it's going to be a long four years on those benches. It's going to be a long four years.

Mr. Speaker, my question again, through you, is to our esteemed Premier. In the last six weeks, first home care workers, then nurses, learned that this Premier can't get what he wants through negotiations, he does it through legislation. While he hasn't been willing to compromise with nurses over their requests for improved patient safety or home care workers over their desire to receive fair benefits, the Premier is more than happy to reach a $43 million compromise with NSP.

My question to the Premier, through you Mr. Speaker, why did he not use the same "pass legislation first, ask questions later" approach with Nova Scotia Power that he used on workers of this province?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what this government has done is put patients first. We passed essential services legislation, which absolutely protected the right for health care workers. At the same time, the Minister of Health and Wellness has told health care providers across this province that he will take and go and look at whether or not there are issues around safety, what are the things around timing and scheduling, but no Nova Scotian believed that should have been put into a collective bargaining agreement.

I can tell you what I'm hearing across this province. It's the fact that that member and that Party stood beside the NSGEU over patients' safety in this province, Mr. Speaker.

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

ERDT: RURAL N.S. - DEV. PLANS

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, this question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. The Ivany commission raised concerns about rural Nova Scotia and the need for us to act now when it comes to rural economic development. Can the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism tell members of this House what initiatives his department is working on to enhance economic development in rural Nova Scotia?

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, obviously a topic that's on the minds of many members here in the House. While we are working on several initiatives, some that we can announce today is that our department will be extending the credit union small business loan guarantee program by increasing term loan guarantees to 90 per cent from the previous 75 per cent.

[Page 1655]

We're going to help new graduates start their careers by defraying the costs employers incur in the first year of hiring through the new Graduate to Opportunities program. As well, we'll be expanding the Strategic Cooperative Education Incentive program to fund a total of 425 positions for students and new graduates in private and non-private positions each year.

As well, Mr. Speaker, a program that's near and dear to my heart, and to many members of this House, is that our government will be expanding the funding for the Student Career Skills Development Program for 250 new positions, for a total of 750 positions in this province.

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

LAE: IVANY COMMN. - LEGISLATION

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much. I'm really glad to follow a question like that. I kind of question whether the members on the back benches are allowed to ask ministers any questions during caucus; nor are they allowed to make a statement during Statements by Ministers in this House of Assembly. So why don't we ask some real questions here rather than, I would say, lob balls at ministers? Maybe I'll stand on a point of order later on that one too.

My question today is to the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. The South Shore has lost 1,200 full-time jobs in the last year. Since that time last year, every region of this province has lost full-time employment. The Liberals are forcing young graduates now to leave as the labour force continues to dwindle. Many of the goals of the Ivany commission report relate directly to the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. I know maybe from the previous answer that the minister doesn't believe in making laws in this province because they all can be repealed, but I'm going to ask her again. Does she feel that she should be making a law to enshrine the recommendations of the Ivany commission, and has she discussed this with her Premier?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't believe that you can legislate prosperity. Thank you.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, it's funny because one of the recommendations within that Ivany commission is to actually do just that - to give yourselves a set of rules that this is how we're going to progress to make sure that we become a strong Nova Scotia. It recommends putting the goals in law to ensure government accountability as well. Goals like "Nova Scotia will have a labour force participation rate at least as high as the Canadian rate", and "Nova Scotia's youth employment rate . . . will be at or better than the national rate . . ."

[Page 1656]

My question to the minister is, will the minister commit to using her influence in Cabinet to put the Ivany commission goals into law?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Ivany report was a seminal report. We agree with much of what was in there, but we have made it very clear that we don't believe you can legislate prosperity. We are taking actions, and I listed a number of them earlier when it came to things like increasing the amount of support for apprentices; increased funding for the START program; the ERDT will be announcing the Graduate to Opportunity program; and we've talked about the Graduate Scholarship program. There are a number of things that we are doing and those things will improve life in rural parts of Nova Scotia, as well as in our cities.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, 5,700 jobs have been lost in my region since 2009. The status quo is obviously not the option in much of rural Nova Scotia, and neither is blaming a previous government. (Interruption) It's hard not to, I have to admit, but I'll tell you it's time for this government to take action. How many more jobs will be lost before the minister will commit to enshrining the goals in law?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the member opposite appears to think that if you put something in law, it would magically appear. The fact of the matter is, you have to have the programs in place to actually have things happen.

What is very clear is that under the previous government, people were leaving Nova Scotia and it's going to take a little time to turn things around, and that's going to happen, but the number-one thing that we are going to do to turn things around in southwestern Nova Scotia is restore the Yarmouth ferry and get it back in the water. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

ERDT: BUS. INCENTIVE SCHEME - DETAILS

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I am on the list today. My question through you is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

We have heard many excuses from this Liberal Government about why they felt justified cutting the $50 million from the Graduate Retention Rebate program. One justification is that they are replacing that $50 million with a $1.6 million business and incentive scheme; however we have heard very few details about it. My question is, what evidence did the minister base his business incentive scheme on?

[Page 1657]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, we heard from graduates who told us one of the biggest impediments for them staying in Nova Scotia was for them to actually have a job; that's one of the first things we listened to. One of the other groups that we listened to are the employers, the people who put people to work in Nova Scotia, and they told us loud and clear that it's very difficult to hire new graduates knowing that they don't have experience, their productivity in the first few months of work is not what's expected from someone who is an experienced employee. As a result of that we put together a program that is going to work with businesses who should be the ones growing our economy and putting people to work and that is at the same time going to open doors for new graduates in Nova Scotia.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, having a new program for $1.6 million, that type of program is good and I congratulate the minister on it, but if they do the math, $1.6 million doesn't equate to $50 million taken away from our students. How can the government be at all sure their business incentive scheme will be successful when they have no idea right now how it's going to work? Yesterday the minister couldn't even tell us if both university student graduates were going to be included, or college graduates - who would be eligible? What types of businesses would qualify? Or when would the program even be up and running?

My question, Mr. Speaker, is how is it good public policy to cut a $50 million program and replace it with a $1.6 million program, a scheme that essentially has been written on the back of a napkin and they're scrambling to put it together - can he explain?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I can tell you that we're looking forward to this program, because it's one that's going to recognize the needs of employers in our province and at the same time provide opportunities for students.

While the member for Chester-St. Margaret's might feel that the $1.6 million is not enough of an investment, I can tell you that I wish I could take the added money that we had to put in the Jobs Fund and put it in that program instead of paying for the deals that the previous government did that they've saddled our government and saddled Nova Scotians with.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Well, I said that the $1.6 million is good, but do the math. Maybe the minister would like to give up his monthly car allowance, and every one of those ministers, like we did when we were in Cabinet, in order to help Nova Scotians. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order please. The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's has the floor.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This government is allowing our graduates to fall through the cracks by not having any kind of plan in place before cutting a multi-million dollar support program for graduates, and at the same time driving around in their fancy-pants vehicles, being paid by hard-working Nova Scotians.

[Page 1658]

Mr. Speaker, why won't the minister tell the Premier to restore the $50 million in funding for students and recent grads now, before it's too late?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the member for Chester-St. Margaret's asked me to answer to Nova Scotians. I can tell you that I answered to Nova Scotians on October 8th, and the people of Cape Breton-Richmond spoke loud and clear.

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

ENVIRON. - HUNTINGTON (C.B.): QUARRY - DETAILS

MR. GORDIE GOSSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Environment. On March 20th the Cape Breton Post reported that Dexter Construction had asked the Department of Environment for approval to operate a quarry in the Huntington area of Cape Breton. News of this was met with concern from several residents, including William O'Regan, Carlton Lunn, and many others. I also understand that the local municipal councillor contacted the Department of Environment on March 18th to set up a meeting with the minister to discuss these concerns.

My first question through you to the minister is, in the three weeks since the request, has the minister met with the Municipal Council for District 7 of the CBRM?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the member opposite for the question. To answer the question, I have not met in the three weeks. As you can understand, the schedule has been quite busy, but I can assure you that to my knowledge, I've not turned down any meeting requests. It's just a matter of scheduling and getting the time. I'm certainly willing to meet, as long as there's no active application, if it is a decision that has been made or prior to a decision being made or an application coming into my office, I'm happy to meet with either proponents or concerned residents or council members.

MR. GOSSE « » : Mr. Speaker, in addition to the concerns about the wear and tear on local roads and the potential environmental impacts to local waterways, many people are expressing concern about the short time frames that were given to ask questions about the proposed quarry in their community.

Could the minister please tell this House how many questions his department received or whether or not Dexter Construction has offered public consultation sessions for the nearby home and landowners?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you for the question again. I look forward to this opportunity - or I'll take this opportunity, I guess, to inform the member opposite and perhaps all members of the House, because this isn't the only region being looked at that quarries get implemented in. I guess the long and the short of it is, the process that is followed for quarries under four hectares in size is that it allows proponents to submit the application. It gets the information that comes in, as well as a requirement for them to post and invite comments from the public. I believe it's a 30-day period for the public to provide input through that process.

[Page 1659]

That's a process that's been in place for many years, certainly prior to my coming into this office. That information is consolidated with the information provided by the proponent, all public consultation that comes in, and that feeds into the information that the staff looks at and evaluates as part of the decision-making process. Again, as far as whether it's the right or wrong amount of time, it is the time that has been in place in the long-standing for all quarry developments under four hectares in this province.

MR. GOSSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I received a number of calls about this issue at my office, even though the proposed site is in the constituency of Cape Breton-Richmond. I'm sure the member for that area has also received many calls. My final question through you, Mr. Speaker, is, could the minister provide advice when the member for Cape Breton-Richmond went to discuss the constituent's concern about this quarry and what was the outcome of that meeting?

MR. DELOREY « » : I apologize, and I mean no disrespect, Mr. Speaker, I guess I just missed the question portion of that about the meeting that took place. Could you clarify that, just repeat that?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Can the member for Sydney-Whitney Pier restate the question succinctly?

MR. GOSSE « » : My final question through you, Mr. Speaker « » : could the minister please advise us when the member for Cape Breton-Richmond met with the minister to discuss constituency concerns about this quarry, and what was the outcome of that meeting?

MR. DELOREY « » : Thank you for repeating. I guess in that context we had correspondence, as opposed to an actual sit-down meeting.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: LONG-TERM CARE - WAIT-LIST

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you today is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. As the minister would know, the wait-list for long-term care has grown in the last number of years, and continues to grow. In December the wait-list hit an all-time high with 2,639 Nova Scotians on that wait-list, and I'll table that in a few minutes. That's 2,639 families struggling to provide care in some other way for their loved ones.

[Page 1660]

Could the minister tell us today, does he have a plan to address the growing wait-list, recognizing the needs for those seniors who can no longer remain in their own homes?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, to the member for Hants West, it is one of those statistics that when you come into the department and you have an opportunity to change the course of that wait-list - it's one that as we review the Continuing Care Strategy, as we work on a dementia plan for the province, we know that we will be able to take some of the people from that list and give them the supports that will enable them to stay in their home. In regard to that list, we will see some improvement in a very, very short time.

MR. PORTER « » : I thank the minister for the answer. Can he also tell us today when that review will be completed that is now underway, and what the priorities of this government will be upon its completion?

MR. GLAVINE « » : In terms of supporting people in their homes - which is really a redirection from the way in which we have been looking after our seniors, and we have built a lot of nursing home capacity in the province. We will continue with the replacement bed plan, but in order to meet the demands of 1,000 Nova Scotians becoming seniors every month, we have to have a very significant home care program. The Continuing Care Strategy should be available in early Fall, with the Dementia Strategy falling shortly after that. In the meantime, we have put an additional $18 million in the budget to make sure people can stay in their home longer and chart a new course for looking after our seniors in their home.

MR. PORTER « » : The minister knows that all too often elderly family members are called upon to look after loved ones who wait. When the stress gets to be too much, often they will end up with health issues themselves. We all have some experience with that, and it leaves them in a bit of a precarious situation and we know that time is certainly of the essence. It has been talked about in this House, probably long before I was here and all the eight years since I have been here - we talked about this issue.

You mentioned as well that you are continuing with the strategy to replace long-term care facilities, but are there plans that you and your government have to issue RFPs to build more long-term care facilities for those who cannot stay in their own homes, given that that number is unfortunately growing?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, currently we are first or second in the country in terms of nursing home capacity. We will strategically now look at a few places across Nova Scotia where there are geographic gaps and gaps in relation to the demographic. We will see a few new nursing homes, but very few, over the course of the next while.

[Page 1661]

We know that home care with proper supports is the way that many countries have looked at solving their nursing home problem, making sure that people can stay not only in their homes, but they can stay there with a very high degree of medical care and home support, and that is the course that we have embarked on.

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

NAT. RES. - MINING IND.: SUPPORT - MIN. STANCE

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question will be to the Minister of Natural Resources. Nova Scotia's mining industry is a key creator of jobs and prosperity here in Nova Scotia. It provides thousands of jobs, mostly in rural areas, and contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the province's economy each year. Mining is the highest paying natural resource industry and one of the highest paying of all industries in the province.

My question to the minister is, does the minister agree that the mining industry is an important employer in rural Nova Scotia that deserves to be supported?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : I have the privilege of working with numerous people in the mining sector. I have full confidence in that sector and, as the member mentioned, it is one of those sectors that is going to be key to growing our rural economy.

We have recently seen, under the leadership of our government, a new gold mine beginning in the Province of Nova Scotia. We have some interest in re-establishing some coal mines, and I have full faith that this sector will be a growth sector for rural communities across this province and our government will be there to support them.

MR. MACLEOD « » : In September prior to the election, the Liberal Party made a commitment to the Mining Association of Nova Scotia. In an election questionnaire the Liberal Party said, "The Nova Scotia Liberal Party will extend the fuel tax rebate to the mining . . . industry." I have a copy of that to table.

Despite that promise, the recent Liberal budget contained no tax relief for those in the mining industry. My question for the minister is, why didn't the Minister of Natural Resources fight for that tax relief for the good jobs that are created in the mining industry?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : The member correctly referenced an election platform commitment that this government made. I will inform the member that our government intends to fulfill that commitment.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Well I intend to go on a diet too. (Laughter) But until that happens, this industry is providing jobs for the Province of Nova Scotia. It's more an example of this government saying, do as I say, don't do as I do. (Interruption)

[Page 1662]

The provincial fuel tax is supposed to help pay for public roads and highways by charging the vehicle owners who use them. Other natural resource industries get a tax rebate for fuel used in vehicles that do not go on public roads, such as farm tractors and forestry harvesters. The cost of doing business for the mining company is higher because they are not entitled to the same rebate. The Mining Association of Nova Scotia says this costs jobs and discourages investment in rural Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, my question is, why won't this Liberal Government keep their promise and put mining companies on the same footing as other natural resource industries so they can provide good jobs in rural Nova Scotia?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish the member opposite all the best of luck with his diet. But perhaps instead of pursuing that initiative right now, he should clean his ears out, because as I stated very specifically a moment ago, our government made a commitment and we plan on maintaining that commitment.

Just for clarification for the member, I meet with representatives from that mining industry often. That has been an industry that has transformed itself over recent years. The number one concern that that industry has expressed to government is more around regulatory certainty, not funding or anything else from government money-wise.

Currently in the Department of Natural Resources, we are undergoing a review of our Mineral Resources Act to ensure that that critical industry, which I believe has the potential to grow our rural economy in this province, has the regulatory certainty that it needs.

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

ENVIRON. - CLIMATE CHANGE: BUDGET OMISSION - EXPLAIN

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you today is to the Minister of Environment. Climate change and the effects of greenhouse gas emissions have been impacting our planet for far too long now. Many scientists are actually saying that we're almost reaching a point where it's too late to change, but we've become even more aware of the consequences of rising tides, of super-storms, and the like. The need to act to stop the devastation is real, and governments, industries, communities and individuals all really need to take this seriously. We all have a role to play.

My first question, through you, to the minister is, why was there no mention of the environment or climate change in his government's recent budget?

[Page 1663]

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Thank you for the question. I guess an earlier colleague made a comment that the proof is in the pudding. The reality is that my department - within the Department of Environment, the sustainability group is very, very active in regard to this. The work that we do as a province and the work that I do as the minister, reaching out to ensure that we have standards and regulations in this province that are second to none, to ensure we take climate change seriously and take the appropriate actions, as a government. So the proof is in the pudding, whether it is in the Budget Speech or in the actions that my department takes.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to hear that the department is active. However, I would very much think it would be important to put that in the Budget Speech and, in fact, make sure that this is something that is outlined as a priority for this government going forward.

One of the impacts of climate change, Mr. Speaker, is flooding. This is an issue with which we are all too familiar in my constituency. I was actually very proud to be part of a government that, after a century of consecutive Liberal and Progressive Conservative Governments, our government finally stood up for the people of the Truro area and worked with municipalities to make sure that our flooding problems were addressed, by working hard on eight different problem locations, to mitigate and prevent future flooding.

Could the minister please reassure us today that his department will continue to monitor flooding in the Truro and Colchester County area and update and improve those projects undertaken by the previous NDP Government, when necessary, to prevent future flooding in Truro, Bible Hill, Millbrook and Salmon River? Thank you.

AN HON. MEMBER: No.

MR. DELOREY « » : Close. I want to highlight that the Department of Environment is actually a regulatory body. This is not a body that actually takes on infrastructure projects at all. That's not within our mandate, nor in our funding, nor has it ever been. So to that end, I can say that no, this department does not take into account nor fund infrastructure-related projects and initiatives.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, actually last year we did announce $2 million in help for the Truro and Colchester County area, as well as $15 million for the whole province to help prevent and mitigate flooding issues right across the province, and I would imagine that many people in Nova Scotia are concerned every time we have a heavy rain like we did last night where I noticed the streets looked like lakes here in Halifax. I would suggest to the minster that in fact his department does have a role to play in looking after and protecting our environment for the future.

There are many groups in Nova Scotia that have become more aware and therefore more concerned about climate change over the years. It's not just the traditional environmentalists, it also includes our farmers. We all know the importance of farming and the safety of farmlands for our provincial economy as well as the overall well-being of our rural communities, and this includes maintaining the integrity of our dikes and keeping an eye out for rising sea levels.

[Page 1664]

My question, Mr. Speaker, is what steps is this minister taking, or will commit to take in the future, to address the concerns that farmers have about the effects of climate change to their industry?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for the question, through you. I guess the first part of the preamble to the question made reference to the funding that was allocated previously in budgets relating to concerns and infrastructure around climate change, and addressing some of those concerns particularly with respect to the flooding issues that result as a part of climate change. I want to assure that member opposite that there was no funding for actually performing infrastructure work, as I stated earlier that came through this department. That funding that was previously announced as existed does not come through my department for infrastructure-related types of initiatives.

I do assure the member opposite, all members of the House and everybody else, that in fact this department, and myself, we do take climate change and the effects of climate change, including flooding, very seriously.

To the actual question relating to the dikes and infrastructure that came from the member opposite, again I'd like to reiterate that the dikes and the infrastructure management around dikes, while recognizing and acknowledging the concern that it does have for the agriculture industry and farmers as well as households that are protected by that infrastructure, again is not infrastructure that is maintained or falls under the responsibility of the Department of Environment.

With respect to the interests and the concerns of the farmers of Nova Scotia, I assure you that my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture, certainly takes those concerns very seriously and has the programs in place for those concerns.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

NAT. RES.: SHIP HBR.-LONG LAKE WILDERNESS AREA - ACCESS

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources.

We are all aware that the province is one beautiful province (Applause) and I know there are a lot of people out there who really want to go back and enjoy all the benefits of the province. In my own constituency a few individuals have called asking about access to the Ship Harbour-Long Lake Wilderness Area.

[Page 1665]

Apparently these individuals were told a while ago that ATVs would still be allowed on the existing trails, and there are numerous lakes and camping areas in this wilderness that have been used for generations, but now they don't have access to them.

My question to the minister is, would you be willing to meet with the residents to look at this situation in that area?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, always happy, if we're able to fit into the schedule, to meet with local residents to discuss any issues pertaining to parks, protected areas, and the trails and roads that lead to those areas.

MR. HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't think so. One of the roads that is now off- limits was once a road that a logging company put in near Portapique Lake. Well, I call it a road - it's probably just a trail, but it does have shale on it, and it is ditched with culverts, and also a steel bridge.

I guess my question is, is it acceptable that this be closed off to the residents who have access to the lake itself?

MR. CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, just to provide some clarification to the House around these particular areas, the previous government, the NDP Government, sought to protect up to 13 per cent of lands in the Province of Nova Scotia. Under their regime, a lot of rules around access points changed. However, I am willing to sit down with the member opposite and his constituents to look at the specific trail in question and to answer any questions that they have.

MR. HARRISON « » : No question, I just appreciate the answer. Thank you.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE - FISH. & AQUACULTURE LOAN BD.:

FUNDING - CONFIRM

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. In the Ivany report, obviously fisheries and aquaculture are going to be an important part of revitalizing the economy in rural Nova Scotia. Where the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board plays an important part in the future growth of this industry, will the minister confirm his department's support for and continued funding for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Yes, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 1666]

MR. LOHR « » : I thank the minister for that response. Mr. Speaker, where Nova Scotia has an excellent location for responsible aquaculture because of its extensive coastline, and whereas there's a policy of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board that they will not allow a current aquaculture operator any extension of new loans to them to purchase a second aquaculture operation already in business, the question is, will the minister explain why that policy is in place for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, which limits the growth of aquaculture in Nova Scotia?

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for the question. It is a very good question. The reality is that it is a policy put in place by previous governments and we presently have it under review. We're hoping to be able to do something to move that forward in the near future. We will continue to work on this until we find a solution to that problem.

MR. LOHR « » : I would like to thank the minister for that answer. My final question is, when will this review be done, and when will this policy be changed?

MR. COLWELL « » : We are presently reviewing all the policies around the loan boards, both for the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board and the Farm Loan Board. We will be doing that as soon as time permits to properly do the review.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: LOBSTER IND. LEVY - CONSULTATIONS

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, my question also is to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Recently, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture announced that a 2 cent per pound levy would be imposed on lobster sales, to be used to help promote the sale of lobsters locally, nationally and internationally. As of March 27th, a government release stated, "Fishermen, buyers, shippers and processors all endorsed a levy to support the marketing of Canadian lobster during the Canadian Lobster Value Recovery Summit."

Subsequently to that, Mr. Speaker, the minister said in this House that fishermen would be consulted on the levy in the coming weeks and months. My question to the minister is, can he provide the House with a schedule of upcoming consultations with the lobster industry on the implementation of this levy?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the honourable member. As we discussed in estimates the other day, we are in the process of putting that together. Through this summer and into the Fall, we will be doing just that.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, in this House the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture indicated that to impose the levy the government would not require new legislation, only changes to current regulations. My question to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is, given that not all industries, associations and fishers had an opportunity to vote on the proposed levy, as of yet, if particular organizations such as LFAs decide not to support the levy, will they have the opportunity to adhere to it?

[Page 1667]

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite is fully aware, there is a lack of organization in this province of fisheries organizations and it is causing a great deal of difficulty. The other two provinces in this whole process - we're going to come across with a unified approach to lobster marketing and lobster quality, and have those tools in place. We do not have those in place. You were unable to get that in place when you were minister. We're going to work very diligently to try to get that accomplished. I understand how important the independence of fishermen are in this province, and I respect that, but at the same time we need a united voice so we can bring issues forward to the federal government that need change, not only on this issue but many more issues.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, as a former lobster fisher myself, I know nothing is more sacred to the industry than its independence. While the government has announced its intention to impose a levy, they have not stated who will manage this levy and who will collect it. My question to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is, will he commit to ensuring it is the lobster industry that has the control over all, I repeat all, revenues generated from the levy and not the government, if the industry decides the levy is not working, and will they have the ability to cancel it?

MR. COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, as the member is well aware, this is an inter-provincial agreement that is being worked on between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. We are going to work with those other provinces to ensure we have a united front on the levy system, how it's administered, and how it will be administered. We will ensure that we will have input from the industry at all levels, not just the fishermen, but the processors and buyers, as we move forward to market this top quality product around the world. I can assure the member that we will do everything we can for accountability, which I demand in everything we do in our departments, and that will be in place and that's going to be the key to this thing working properly.

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

TIR - KEMPT HEAD RD. (C.B.): RD. PLAN - EXCLUSION EXPLAIN

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this question is to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The Kemp Head Road in Victoria County is in very poor condition. Its condition has stopped people from purchasing cottages and homes along the road. The Ross Ferry Volunteer Fire Department and EHS responders have expressed serious concern over the condition of the road when responding to emergency calls. My question to the minister, will the minister tell the House why the Kempt Head Road is not on the government's five-year road plan?

[Page 1668]

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. He's a little bit touchy because I used to strike him out in a previous life, but that's okay, I'll answer the question anyway.

In all seriousness, I do want to say the Kemp Head Road is one that I've heard of many times, certainly from the constituents and the residents in that area. I can say for sure that the member for Victoria-The Lakes has brought it to my attention on many occasions. We had a look out in the Boulardie Center area earlier this week, the member and I. I also talked to Gerard Jessome who is the eastern director for TIR. His thought on the road was that certainly there's a volume capacity there; it does meet the volumes that are required for some surface paving.

There are some good spots on the Kempt Head Road, some pretty solid sections of that road and there certainly are some problem areas so we've committed this year to put some RIM money, which is our maintenance fund, into some of the worse sections. The reality is we're going to do our best to get all the roads that need work up there but I can tell you the member for Victoria-The Lakes has done a fantastic job and she should be congratulated for the work she has put in to her riding.

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

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm going to stand on a point of order and it really has to do with questions from the Liberal Party, or from the government as they go along.

When the agreement was originally struck it was to ask important questions for constituencies of the members, more specifically in the backbench of the government side. What we're finding is that as the questions are going along they are really nothing but manufactured bunts or pitches or lob balls across the benches. There is an opportunity for the members of the Liberal Party to ask questions of their ministers in caucus, and the ministers have opportunities during Statements by Ministers to make statements, which is exactly what we had here today.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to ask you to look at our schedule, maybe put a couple of rules around what those questions should be, because we're finding them to be very, very light and it takes up the time of this House.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'll take that point of order under advisement, as well as the point of order that was raised yesterday by the honourable member for Queens-Shelburne, and I'll provide a ruling.

[Page 1669]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, this is a matter that has been dealt with previously by you, and the Opposition continues to raise it. To suggest that as Speaker that you should be in a democracy determining which questions are appropriate and which are not appropriate, which are valid and which are not valid - when we talk about the celebration of Vimy Ridge, it's a bit sad to hear that kind of suggestion being made in the House today.

Mr. Speaker, the members of the government caucus have every right to ask questions during Question Period. One question a day on Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays, is certainly nowhere near excessive - and to suggest that our members should be silenced again on the same day that we celebrate Vimy Ridge, I think it's certainly in poor taste.

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : To that, I think you are the final arbiter in this House of what is appropriate and what is not appropriate so, Mr. Speaker, I support the Official Opposition's request of you. I believe it's fitting, we have seen the last two days extraordinary long and not so penetrating type questions. (Interruption) Maybe some are from the Opposition but such is our lot, such is our lot. We will obviously abide by your ruling, but we would hope that you would take a dutiful look at this - and it is our position to agree with the Conservative Party.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you for those comments and I will come back with a ruling as soon as possible.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

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

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, with that little bit of frivolity out of the way, we'll call Bill No. 16, but we'll ask (Interruption) Well if somebody shortens up we'll be finished on time and then we'll move on to Bill 39.

[Page 1670]

Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 16.

Bill No. 16 - Chief of Protocol Appointment Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to stand here today and speak about Bill No. 16, the Chief of Protocol Appointment Act.

Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Premier gave a close friend the Chief Protocol Officer job just days after the election in October. This is not the trust or the transparency that Nova Scotians voted for, and they will certainly remember that.

The Premier and the Liberal Government members for some reason feel that they are entitled to be above the law in this province, because we do have a law that is under human rights legislation. Yesterday morning I had the opportunity at our standing committee meeting of Community Services to have the pleasure of listening to the Human Rights Commission director, Tracey Williams. They gave us a presentation, and there were questions during that presentation. It was very clear when I was able to ask Ms. Williams a question about political affiliation and the human rights legislation, she said that it is a characteristic of the human rights legislation - and when I say "legislation", that is law. We come together in this House of Assembly to work towards law, and that law is to be fair and balanced law on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia.

It is very distasteful that in our province we would have a government that would not even follow law in this House of law. We know that through the human rights legislation, there are opportunities for people to come forward when they feel that a job has been politically appointed.

We know that the position of the Chief of Protocol was a position that was competed for in the history of this province. The only last time it wasn't competed for was actually in 1994 and, once again, that was under a Liberal Government that a position was given rather than a competition. It's incredible that we are seeing that happening again, and not under a different political Party, but once again under the Liberal Government. When that took place, it did go to the Human Rights Commission, and the government of the day lost to that complaint. There was an award of something like $67,000.

So that was legal precedent that was set back in 1994. I guess the Liberal Government does not learn from their mistakes of the past and the fact that now we have legal precedent in the Province of Nova Scotia that actually states that you cannot do this. During our discussions yesterday, we also heard about the importance of precedent in law and what that means in our province.

[Page 1671]

It's very interesting, too, that what I continually hear, and what Nova Scotians continually hear, from the Liberal Government is that the person, Glennie Langille, who received that job - a free pass, a free go to her position without competing - is highly qualified for that position. Well, I would say that there could be dozens of people in this province who are highly qualified for that position and would want to compete for that type of job in our province.

To continually try to pass the buck and not stand in this House or stand before Nova Scotians and explain the real reason why a close friend gets a job without competition, when the fact is - and to keep saying that she was qualified - she even questioned herself, and I will table this. This is from Glennie Langille herself on Thursday, October 24, 2013, at 6:57 p.m. It's an e-mail to Kirby McVicar, the Premier's chief of staff. Her subject line, she says, "three years later", and she has an attachment of her resumé.

This is her own words, "After almost three years in Pictou County . . . IT finally told me there is someone in Pictou County that can address my computer issues. For the sweet love of God. On the plus side . . . the guy is great and fixed everything in under 40 minutes in Pictou. So . . . Here is a resume. I really don't think it works for the purpose you requested." Let me read that again - this is from Glennie Langille: "I really don't think it works for the purpose you requested. I am trying to get it re-gigged [sic]. In the meantime, here is something."

Those aren't my words. They're not words of other people in here. Those are the words from the very person who was given a job, did not think that she herself was even qualified for it. Mr. Speaker, that is the public relations line that this Liberal Government is saying over and over. Well, they can say it over a million times to convince themselves, but it's not going to convince the people of Nova Scotia, because patronage is something that the people of Nova Scotia did not think they were voting for back in October. They were told trust and transparency. Well, that's not my definition of trust and transparency. Maybe it is of these new government members.

The fact is that the person herself actually questioned her own capacity, her own capabilities for that particular job. So how anybody can stand in this House and talk about and say that she was qualified for the job is absolutely mind-boggling, that they can repeat that line with a straight look on their face, Mr. Speaker.

It is no wonder that we hear over and over, as politicians, that people are cynical about the political world. Well, it is governments like that and people like that who give jobs . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's has the floor.

[Page 1672]

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Can you imagine giving a job that has, for years, been a competition? We sat in here during a Human Resources meeting and even Laura Lee Langley, the Deputy Minister of the Public Service Commission, actually talked about the importance of fairness in the hiring practice in this province and how hard she and the Public Service Commission are working towards that direction to make sure. Everybody else has to follow a particular standard, except for the Premier of Nova Scotia. Doesn't he think he should follow that standard?

It's actually not even a standard, Mr. Speaker - it's law. We have a Human Rights Commission, we have legislation that has gone through this House, and it's not being respected even by our Premier or the members of his government. They can repeat and repeat that she was qualified. Well, as we said, there are many, many people in this province who are qualified for that position. What about the individual or individuals who have worked for years for the Province of Nova Scotia - and many people work towards professional development and they have their eye on a particular position they want to reach in their career, the same as any one of us - and that is quickly swept away by the fact that a Liberal Government comes in and disregards the Human Rights Commission.

The question that would be for Nova Scotians is, how can you trust a government that has totally different standards, does not follow actual laws in the province, does not even look at the fact that a precedent was set in 1994 when they got their wrists slapped at that time for the very same thing, by giving a person a position? That is big "P" patronage, something that people have talked about and something that people, Nova Scotians in particular, truly, truly dislike. I can tell you that that's going to sting at the doorsteps during the next election. There's going to be many things that are going to sting the Liberals at the next election, with all the things they said on this side which were totally opposite once they got in as government.

For sure, to go forward and disregard our own laws in our province, it's very sad that we have a Premier - you are supposed to have leadership. Part of leadership is following law. We arrest people for not following law, but yet our Premier can turn around and give a close friend, somebody who lost during the election, and give them a job. It does not make sense. If she was as qualified as they say, wouldn't she win the competition? If you are that qualified for a job, Mr. Speaker, you would win the competition.

So where was the fear factor? The fear factor must have been that she was not qualified enough, so we had better give her the position, because if she was qualified for that position, she would have won the competition and it would have all been fair and square.

Unfortunately for Nova Scotians, they thought they voted for a change, for transparency and trust. They didn't get any change. It's no different than when they were in in 1994 and they did the same thing. That has to show Nova Scotians that this Premier and those government members think they are entitled and above the law. Thank you.

[Page 1673]

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my place to speak on this bill today. The role of the Protocol Office is an important one for the Province of Nova Scotia. It impacts the traditions of responsible government that we hold so dear by ensuring that the role and function of the monarchy and its representative in Nova Scotia are respected and honoured.

I remind all members of this House that responsible government began here in Nova Scotia. Its function ensures that government continues at all times, so that the interests of the voters can always be respected and acted upon.

Mr. Speaker, ensuring the protocol function implemented helps to protect responsible government. It is part of government's responsibility in respecting our constitutional commitments. Just as appointing deputy ministers to lead departments, it's part of our responsibility with respect to responsible government. This government has fulfilled its responsibility by appointing a Chief of Protocol, as is the prerogative of the Executive Council. Indeed, we see the same in many other provinces.

We are fortunate as members of this Assembly to be able to rely on the staff support of the Protocol Office and the Chief of Protocol to support us in the work we do. With their help and guidance we can be assured that we have the information and resources to be able to represent Nova Scotians effectively. The Protocol Office also makes sure Nova Scotia puts its best foot forward when welcoming official diplomatic representatives from other jurisdictions.

In our efforts to build relationships with other parts of the world, so we can grow opportunities for jobs and investments here in Nova Scotia, it is very important that we are able to extend the hand of friendship to our partners on the global stage. With the help of the Protocol Office, we are able to do that. For example, we recently were visited by the High Commissioner from Britain. It was a very high-profile visit that focused on strengthening the connections between Nova Scotia and the United Kingdom, including our links through trade and investment. This visit generated positive attention for Nova Scotia, and would not have been possible without the work of the Protocol Office and the Chief of Protocol.

Mr. Speaker, in the coming month we will see more high-level ambassadors coming to Nova Scotia. In fact, Her Excellency Micheline Abi-Samra, Ambassador of Lebanon to Canada, will be visiting our great province at the end of the month - an extremely important visit, and one that my community completely entrusts to the care of the Protocol Office.

[Page 1674]

Our government has ensured that the work of the Protocol Office is able to continue by exercising the authority of the Executive Council to appoint the position to fill a vacancy, just as happened before in Nova Scotia. The benefits of the work of the Protocol Office extend beyond the assistance it offers to members of this House. Through the provincial Gift Bank, local artists, including Aboriginal artists and fine craftspeople, are able to increase their visibility through the fine work that is used. That provides a tremendous benefit to our creative community and contributes to their economic success.

Through the efforts of the Protocol Office, we are also able to celebrate the achievements of Nova Scotians who make our communities better places to live in, work in, and raise families in. The Order of Nova Scotia provides us with the opportunity to honour Nova Scotians who have made important contributions through their professional and volunteer activities.

This year, thanks to the work of the Protocol Office in coordinating the nominating process, we received a record number of nominations for the Order of Nova Scotia. We look forward to recognizing the successful nominees in the near future at a ceremony which will be coordinated by the Protocol Office.

Our government recognizes the important role played by the Protocol Office under the leadership of the Chief of Protocol. It helps to preserve our traditions, promotes the work of our artists and craftspeople, assists in welcoming the world to our province, and provides an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the successes of our fellow Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, by exercising the authority of the Executive Council to appoint a Chief of Protocol, we can be assured that the good work of the office will continue. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand for a few moments and speak to Bill No. 16. I want to comment just a little bit about the previous speech and talk about the importance of protocol.

Yes, it is an important function of government, and I can also say that I, like many members of this House, have availed myself of the services of the Protocol Office. We know that many times we are called upon as MLAs to do certificates for individuals that require a booking through the Protocol Office. We have gone in a number of times to pick up gifts from the Gift Bank, and I've also had the opportunity as a minister in government to utilize the services of the Protocol Office to welcome dignitaries to this province as Minister of Health and Minister of Community Services and Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

[Page 1675]

So I can say that it is an important office. I can tell you, Madam Speaker, that that's exactly why we're concerned about this appointment. Quite honestly, we look at this as being a simple political payback for some service that was done at either a previous date or what have you. It's a sad state of affairs that a bill such as this one has to come before us. It's when a law has to be passed to force a government to act fairly and transparently when hiring non-political staff, when a government doesn't feel constrained by the government's fair hiring policy, one that should be utilized in all instances.

It's kind of funny - even earlier today in Question Period, the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education was telling us that sometimes bills don't matter, that other governments will come in and move them off, but I can tell you that the fair hiring policy is one that - all sides of this House, especially on this side, feel it's extremely important when hiring individuals in this government to make sure we have the highest, top-quality individuals to fill the positions of deputy ministers, executive directors, administrative assistants - you name it, we should be using the fair hiring policy for all of those.

In the first 48 hours of being sworn in, the government moved to dole out a big job to one of their own: a former staffer and failed candidate. Less than two weeks later, the failed candidate was emailing the Premier's office asking about benefits and transition. It was clear that she had already snagged the job of Chief of Protocol. A month later, the government announced her appointment.

In Question Period on December 4th, the Premier conceded that Ms. Langille's appointment was a patronage appointment. That we know, but there's not a lot more that we know about the situation. When was that job promised to Ms. Langille? Was it when she moved out of the caucus office a number of years ago to work as a field operator in Pictou County? And then to run again and run for the Liberal Party in the last election? Did it happen as long ago as that, that, hey, by the way, go and do that, and we'll take care of you, don't worry about it, we'll bring you back as Chief Protocol Officer. Did it happen that long ago? How many other candidates were considered? Were other Liberal candidates considered? If not, why not, and what set this candidate apart?

I'm sure there were many other candidates across this province who didn't win, who have similar, if not better, qualifications than Ms. Langille. But we wouldn't know, because we have never been provided a list or been told what the qualifications will be, should be, or could be. We don't know against which standard Ms. Langille's qualifications were judged, or even if it was enough just to be a government Liberal or a prominent Liberal.

This bill will force Parties that campaign on being open and accountable to keep that promise of being open and accountable and follow the fair hiring practice. This bill will provide Nova Scotians with confidence that their hard-earned dollars are paying salaries of people who earned their jobs through qualifications in open competitions, and most importantly it means the questions so many have about the appointment of the current Chief of Protocol will never have to be asked again.

[Page 1676]

Mr. Speaker, the government has had ample opportunity to answer questions on this hire, many opportunities to set the minds of Nova Scotians at ease, and many opportunities to reduce the public cynicism about politicians. There were 20 questions asked of the Premier, in Question Period, on the subject, but unfortunately there was only one real answer and it really didn't tell us anything. During estimates many questions were asked on the subject but the Premier refused to shed any light on how and why Ms. Langille was hired.

The topic of the Chief of Protocol was placed on the agenda of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts but the Liberal MLAs used their majority, of course, to veto that suggestion, to continue to avoid the topic completely. And really, what the member for Fairview-Clayton Park did was actually avoid the issue and just talk about protocol and the importance of protocol that of course we all agree with.

Madam Speaker, they choose to say nothing about it. There are plenty of mechanisms to force governments to hire fairly and transparently. We'll continue to use or push the government's fair hiring policy; we'll continue to ask questions in Question Period; we'll continue to push the issue in standing committees and estimates.

Madam Speaker, as I said before, a law should not be necessary for something like this. That we are even contemplating or discussing a law, when so many other checks and balances have already been in place, says a lot about this government.

Madam Speaker, I hope that we've all made a point on this one. I mean it has been flowing along for what seems to be an eternity, at this point. I still hope to see fair representation from the Protocol Officer for all Parties because all Parties do call upon the services of that office. Thankfully there are a number of people who still work there who will provide the continuity to that office. They will be receiving dignitaries to this province. They will be helping us with our congratulatory notes and certificates, and they will continue to support the good work of craftsmen in Nova Scotia with the Gift Bank itself.

I just hope that those who are here today, the Premier, the members of the Executive Council, will take this issue seriously, that we should be using the fair hiring policy to hire our most important employees, our most important civil servants, and not leaving it to a decision of the Premier or what seems to be at this point and what I'll continue to feel or know that it was just simply a payoff for a friend, of going out and doing some work and running as a Liberal candidate. Maybe it's just that easy sometimes and I hope it's not going to be that way in the future.

With those few comments, again, I'll thank the member for bringing it forward and look forward to further debate during today's Opposition Members' Business. Thank you very much, Madam Speaker.

[Page 1677]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook- Salmon River.

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Madam Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to speak to Bill No. 16, the Chief of Protocol Appointment Act. You know, when I joined government four and a half years ago, one of the very first meetings that we had as a caucus was to talk about how we were going to transition as government, as a new NDP Government, the first-ever NDP Government in Nova Scotia. I remember our Premier at the time saying we don't want to do business as usual, as the other Liberal Governments have done and other Tory Governments have done, by just cleaning house and getting rid of well-meaning and very hard-working people who are already there in government and just putting in our own people in patronage positions, because we, as the NDP, do not believe in that kind of thing. We believe in a clean playing field. That's what we believe in.

So it is with great disappointment for me, as a still-new MLA, four and a half years, to see the Liberal Party in action. Within two days of them actually coming in power, the new Premier is busy writing emails and having his people writing emails back and forth to a failed candidate who had worked for him at one point in time, as director of communications, and trying to find a job for her that she didn't even fit, that her qualifications did not fit, and she herself admitted that she was not qualified for the job and that she would have to actually rejig her resumé.

Now in the real world, Madam Speaker, I would have to say that that is inexcusable. In any business I have ever seen, I have never seen that kind of thing happen, unless it is something that is, well, things that I would say would be unparliamentary language, like cheating to get the job, or somebody using their influence unfairly to get somebody a job who does not deserve the job. I would have to say that from my observations, this is what has been going on and I am extremely disappointed.

Just two days after the Liberal Government was sworn into office, staffers were working hard to find a new job for their failed candidate, Glennie Langille, according to documents which this NDP caucus obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. In one of her emails she says, "Here is a resume. I really don't think it works for the purpose you requested. I am trying to get it re-gigged [sic]."

Again, how are they getting away with this, Madam Speaker? This sounds to me like Stephen Harper's politics, where people call him Teflon Harper. Nothing sticks to him. He can send people off to be tortured and get away with it. Well, I would say that the same sort of thing is happening here, where people are receiving jobs and plum positions clearly when they are not ready to be given those jobs.

On November 4th, Langille sent a reminder that McVicar had agreed to send a job description and a salary for the Chief Protocol Officer, also the salary for the Deputy Chief Protocol Officer and the date of the transition from Deputy to Chief. She also asked for a contact in government to whom she could direct questions about benefits and other transition issues.

[Page 1678]

Now, in fact, most of her questions are involving finances, so I would say that her chief objective here was to find out how much money she was going to make, how much she was going to make in the transition, how much money she was going to make when she retired and things like this.

Our very own Acting Leader, the MLA for Halifax Needham, was quoted in The Chronicle Herald as saying:

"It makes it very obvious that it was a patronage appointment.
It's inappropriate for Stephen McNeil to have, two days after being sworn in, started to look for places where he could put failed Liberal candidates and friends. He said he was going to run a different kind of government and he said he was going to put Nova Scotia first. And this flies in the face of that whole campaign.
The other thing is that not even she was sure she was qualified for the position, based on her resume. She had to go through a process . . . to find out what the job was even all about."

She also questioned why Langille was requesting a job description for the Deputy Protocol Officer when, in fact, that deputy job was already filled by a public servant.

I'd also like to talk about Glennie Langille's time when she was the chief working here on the staff for communications. That was when I first met Ms. Langille. In fact, I was a brand-new candidate. The day that it was announced that I was going to be running for the NDP, three hours later, we received a message saying that the Liberal Party had in fact sent out a picture of me topless to the CBC six o'clock news questioning why I was good enough for a job as MLA after being a well-known and respected actress for 35 years in film, television, theatre, all around the world and receiving awards for such work. And yet here is this same woman now applying for a job - well not even applying for a job, but just being given a job that she's not really at all qualified for.

In fact what happened in that particular case, my initial birth by fire, was that the CTV grabbed a hold of the news and asked, why are you using this against this young woman? Are you trying to cut off her legs before she even gets a chance to have a run? And Ms. Glennie Langille replied on television, on CBC, well it's relative because that was the riding, Truro-Bible Hill is the riding where they had the gay flag incident.

Now you would wonder, what does that have to do with my appearance on The L Word? Well, when you question that, you have to reach the conclusion that The L Word, which she kept pushing as being a show about lesbians living in Los Angeles, was in fact an attempt to stir up homophobic fears in Truro-Bible Hill, in a place where the mayor had gotten into some hot water about not wanting to raise the gay flag in Truro. I have to say, Madam Speaker, that is despicable.

[Page 1679]

Within 24 hours of my being announced as being a candidate, the then-Leader of the Third Party had to phone me and apologize for the behaviour of his staff. I said to him at that time, I appreciate you calling me, but I have to say that if Pierre Elliott Trudeau were alive today, he would be rolling over in his grave. This is not the Liberal Party of the Trudeau era, and I'm afraid I'm extremely disappointed with this type of behaviour. He also offered to make an apology to me in person and I said, that's okay, you can do it when I see you on the floor of the House once I get in.

And in fact, that's exactly what happened. I did win that election in a landslide and the whole plan backfired on the Liberals at that time. Many letters, 200 or so, were written to the CBC and the different newspapers complaining about this tactic. I have to say, I find it extremely insulting that it was a woman who was in charge of directions of communications at the time. That a woman would allow that to happen to another woman is very, very sad and very frightening. This is the woman whom we now have as our Chief Protocol Officer for the province, so I find that rather disturbing.

Within a few days, the Liberals had backtracked and said, oh no, they didn't know anything about who had done it. In fact, it was a faceless, nameless, volunteer, and they completely took their hands off it and said they had nothing to do with it. But in fact, Madam Speaker, I was there, I received the phone call from the now-Premier and I also saw on television the words of Glennie Langille when she said, oh it was relative because this is the riding where they had that gay flag incident.

I'd like to see that there are no further patronage positions given out under this government's reign. There are several that are up for consideration right now. There is going to be a new Auditor General. There is going to be a new Freedom of Information Review Officer, who I believe has just been announced. There is a new Ombudsman and a new executive director for the Human Rights Commission.

Now, Madam Speaker, I would say that all of these jobs are extremely highly sensitive positions that should go, in fact, to the very best candidate and not be simply given out as patronage plums.

This job of Protocol Officer is also very important and responsible for ensuring that Nova Scotians artisans are profiled through the government Gift Bank by displaying and selling their items to go to government departments and presenting gifts by Nova Scotian artisans to dignitaries during official visits. Annually, they visit artisans throughout the province to discuss the Gift Bank and to provide them with the opportunity to display their wares.

[Page 1680]

Now again, Madam Speaker, at the time of my baptism by fire, the artists of this province were up in arms, including the president of our union, which is ACTRA, in Toronto. They wrote several letters to the newspapers and to the CBC at the time, very angry letters saying, what kind of message does this type of behaviour send to artists who may want to run for government some time? So are you going to just pick and choose different parts that they played in some movie or television show and say oh look, they did this, they don't deserve to run?

Are we going to do the same thing to lawyers? I would say, if you're going to treat people like that, why don't you go through all the lawyers and say, well now, what cases have you defended? Have you defended murderers and people who have killed their whole families and you found ways to get them off? Are we going to go through lawyers' resumés and do the same thing for them?

Again, the artists of this province deserve better. I know that the artists of this province are watching very carefully what this government does and I also noticed that the artists were not mentioned, either, in the budget, or very much recently at all. I haven't heard anything. Partly that's because they're very happy with the changes that our government made while we were in power because we brought back the Arts Council, which had been gotten rid of by the Progressive Conservative Government.

We made Status of the Artist legislation. We doubled the budget into the Arts Council from $1 million - well actually there had been nothing but before that, 10 years ago, it was $1 million - we doubled it to $2.1 million. We changed the film and television tax credits and improved them. I am yet to see the sound recording tax credit. It was talked about in the last election by this Liberal Government but I'd like to see the proof in the pudding, as they like to say. So where is the proof in the pudding there?

Also, I would say that the artists of this province felt very comfortable with the NDP Government standing up for them, especially with several artists here - myself and the member for Lunenburg, as a potter, standing up for artists' rights and for artists' interests. I would like to see that further in this next mandate by the government.

This coming summer I intend to take a tour around the province, as Critic of Arts, Culture and Heritage, to visit all the heritage sites in the rural districts, as well as any little artisans and any little arts places where they sell their arts and their wares and, as well, to see as many shows and concerts and art galleries as possible, so that our artists do know that they are represented in government by people who care about the arts and aren't going to try to set them up for failure or make fun of them for, in fact, having the audacity to run for government.

With that, Madam Speaker, I would like to take my place. Again, I say to the government on the other side, please be careful who you choose from now on for these plum positions because it's very, very important to the people of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

[Page 1681]

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

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : It's not the first time I've spoken in the House, thank you though. Madam Speaker, it's my pleasure to rise today and speak in regard to this bill and also speak in regard to some of the things being floated around this House. One thing that's very evident is that both sides of this House like to spin a lot of propaganda and I've seen a lot spun from the other side.

I would like to talk about appointments. The NDP are sitting here and talking about what they are calling an appointment. What they're not talking about is their failed candidate, who they appointed, Mike MacSween. Why don't they talk about that candidate? He lost to one of the members represented in this House in Cape Breton South and he went on to a development job, pretty cushy it sounds, Cape Breton Island Economic Development. There's no talk about him so it sounds to me like it's a lot of sour grapes coming from the other side.

In light of that, let's go on to a few other things. This is all just a bit of a smoke show. We're not talking about the real issues here. They can go on about appointments here, appointments there, they are talking about the Ivany report but yet I see no co-operation coming from the other side at all. What I do see is an Opposition which is actually trying to spin things to make Nova Scotians very angry with government. I will talk about a few of those things.

We had the Official Opposition talk about how the Liberal Government added 500 full-time equivalent positions to the Province of Nova Scotia. That is not true. There are only two ways they could have come to this conclusion, either they do not know how to read a financial statement, which judging by what they've told us that they have two CAs in their caucus and we should be very pleased about that, I doubt that's true. Or, perhaps they just twisted the numbers to actually infuriate Nova Scotians.

I will now talk about the actual facts of the FTs that were added. There were 104 FTs that were added in the Province of Nova Scotia in this budget. Out of those 104 let's talk about the 78 that were added in Justice - 78 positions created in Justice for a correctional facility, which was approved by the Progressive Conservative Government and also further brought along by the NDP Government, which is now opening under our mandate, which, of course, we have to staff. If we want to talk about the FT count, they need to look no further than themselves.

What I would like to talk about, as we're talking about funding issues and other things and the pressures on the budget, we have a deficit now of about $269 million in this province. What we're not talking about is what the main reason is we got to this deficit and that is the debt that has been piled on, in this province, from both of these Parties combined - over $4 billion in the last five years. Let's have a chat about that.

[Page 1682]

I'm not going to talk about the debt, which is calculated when you have offsetting assets, because that is misleading to Nova Scotians. We're going to talk about the real debt, which is what we pay interest on, which in 2009 was at $12.18 billion. Do you know where that stands today? Over $15.35 billion. (Interruption) No, that is not after the budget. I advise the other member across the floor to actually go read the Form 18K, which I have, which is our filings to the FCC commission and you can see all that. That is not after our budget; it's actually to the fiscal end of last year.

So in 2009 we had a debt of $12.18 billion. By the time 2010 came around we added $1.3 billion of debt. I do say yes, the NDP did a great job on moving $300 million back onto our Progressive Conservative Opposition here but the Progressive Conservatives added $1 billion of debt, yet they call us reckless because we're going to add $500 million of debt over a four-year mandate. I think that's called spinning things.

Let's go through the debt. In 2009, $12.18 billion; by 2010, $13.3 billion worth of debt; by 2011 we were paying interest on $14. . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please, the time has lapsed for the debate.

The honourable House Leader of the New Democratic Party.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 39.

Bill No. 39 - Building Our New Economy Act.

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Madam Speaker, it's my pleasure to have an opportunity to speak to Bill No. 39, a bill with respect to the Ivany report and it is entitled the Building Our New Economy Act.

Members of the Assembly will know that the Ivany Commission was given a mandate by the NDP government to go around the province and do a public consultation as well as work with officials within government and industry and academia. They had a very distinguished range of people with expertise, who they acknowledge at the beginning of their report, to draw on with respect to how we move Nova Scotia forward. The genesis for this commission essentially was a concern, particularly for the rural parts of our province.

Our province has struggled with slow economic growth for a number of decades. In fact, the Province of Nova Scotia has had the slowest rate of economic growth of any of the Canadian provinces for more than 20 years. This has meant there has been both a lack of new job creation and economic development in our province, and then that creates a lot of other difficulties, including the fact that we don't have the kind of revenue being generated to support all those really important programs and services that we all want to see delivered.

[Page 1683]

Additionally, it has led to an out-migration, a continued out-migration and maybe an increased out-migration of skilled workers from our province to other parts of the country, and people who seek a better way of life across the province.

Madam Speaker, I have the great privilege of representing an urban constituency, Halifax Needham, but I do not hail from Halifax Needham, as a Nova Scotian. I grew up in rural Nova Scotia, near the Strait of Canso, in Antigonish County, where my mother continues to reside, and I go there quite often to visit. All around the small rural community that I grew up in, and my Mom currently lives in, I see the impact of declining rural populations and the kind of not just out-migration but now we also have this very peculiar, in some ways, situation where many, many of the residents of our province in rural communities essentially are like migrant workers. They migrate, they go and they work in the northern territories or they work in the oil sands in Alberta, and certainly in parts of British Columbia, maybe in logging communities and mining communities, and they live for periods of time in these other communities and then they come back home. This is a situation that we see throughout Cape Breton; this is something that people have seen for many years now.

We know that if this tendency continues, as our population ages, as the proportion of our population changes so that more and more of our population are in the older cohort of people who are retired and not active in the labour force, and more and more of our younger people are leaving or are part of this kind of migration, almost like a migratory workforce, then our province will face a decline in its prosperity. This is really what the Ivany commission was all about. It is a very interesting report with some interesting not only information, but goals. I think one of the things that we should take heart from, in terms of the Ivany report, is that while the pressures and the challenges may sometimes seem almost overwhelming, impossible, they say this certainly is not the case. We can turn things around; we can address these problems. And they've laid out in their report a number of goals.

So what Bill No. 39 does is it essentially says that we, as a province, will adopt these goals, and we will use these goals as a way to measure our progress. They are something that we look to achieve and something that we think is achievable and is worth striving for.

I want to speak a bit about the goals and help people understand what the goals actually contain, because the more I think about these goals, the more convinced I am that they are, in fact, very achievable. I know when Ray Ivany released the commission's report, he talked about them as being kind of stretch goals. I initially had this idea of, well, maybe they're going to be impossible to achieve, but when I look at them, they're actually very reasonable. They're not goals that I think are unreasonable in any way.

[Page 1684]

The commission has organized them into three different kinds of goals. The first goals are with respect to population. The commission is saying that Nova Scotia should attempt to have a net gain of 1,000 working-age people a year over a 10- or 15-year period, and that if we were to achieve that - and really, that's a fairly modest thing to do. In the past 10 years, we've lost, on average, 800, so the net outflow has been about 800 people a year.

We could turn that around. Think about, for example, the fact that we have all of these amazing universities here in Nova Scotia that bring students to our province to study from across the country, that bring international students into the province. If we were able to retain - I think they have a goal in here - an annual average of 10 per cent of the foreign students graduating from Nova Scotia universities, then this would go a long way toward helping us realize those goals.

One of the things that does concern me is the loss of the Graduate Retention Rebate. Here is a practical program that will contribute to keeping students here in Nova Scotia at the end of their program. Madam Speaker, I'm sure you've heard from students. I've certainly heard from students. I know that members on the other side, my colleague in the Official Opposition from Pictou Centre has heard from graduates from our universities who have utilized the Graduate Retention Rebate program. It has been something that has provided them with an incentive to stay in the province.

I can't believe that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board continues to say, given that she's getting these emails as well, that this particular tax rebate does not work, that it hasn't contributed to keeping young people in our province, and that it's not one of the tools that we need in our toolbox to meet these population goals.

If there is any group that we need to encourage to make their home in Nova Scotia, to stay here, it is people who come out of our university and community college system. If we can reduce their tax burden, if we can reduce their debt load, if we can offer more than what's being offered to them, that will make a terrific difference. I would encourage members to keep an open mind and to pay attention to what these young people are telling us, our best and our brightest. This very much is the group. And it's part of the solution to the problems that have been identified by Mr. Ivany and members of the commission, who really did quite a good job in looking at what the problems are and then finding a variety of approaches and goals that, if we were to be able to accomplish these things, would make a very big difference in the situation.

So the goals have goals around interprovincial migration, so that would be getting people to move to Nova Scotia from other provinces. The idea is that we can increase by 1,000 people annually of working age. They also talk about the international immigration goals. Our government, the former government, had an immigration strategy predicated on the Manitoba strategy, which is talked about in the report and I think, as it is built on by the Minister of Immigration - where did she go? Oh, there she is - will make a significant difference, as I said, if we can look to retain more of the students who come here internationally.

[Page 1685]

In addition, there are a number of economic goals. There are two economic goals I want to speak to which I think are really important - and I know my time is limited - that is increasing the participation in the labour force of people who are already here, and increasing the participation in the labour force of people from the First Nations communities and from African Nova Scotian communities. We know that historically, due to racism, due to a failure of a culturally appropriate education system, we have a lower level of educational attainment for people in these groups. We need to remove those barriers, Madam Speaker. The Ivany commission has rightly identified them as goals and I would very much love to see this bill become law and entrench those goals as objectives that we will all work toward. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker, I am honoured to speak to this proposed legislation here today. This bill is an attempt to legislate the findings and recommendations of the Commission on Building Our New Economy. I am glad that the Opposition is taking this report to heart.

This government agrees that the Ivany report is full of practical information that can be used right away and I assure you, Madam Speaker, that it will not gather dust. The Ivany Report represents 15 months of hard work that articulates many of the challenges and opportunities that are facing us as a province. Nova Scotians from all areas of the province took the time to present to the commission, attend public meetings and engage in a dialogue about the future of Nova Scotia. This report represents their views and aspirations in our economy.

However, Mr. Speaker, the Ivany report was not written to create new laws or increase government's role in the economy. It is a report to Nova Scotians, not to government. It is a call to action for everyone - to the private sector, to community leaders, educators, labour, universities, colleges and all levels of government for us to work together. We will use the Ivany report as a blueprint for this province's future, and this government will lead a cultural shift in Nova Scotia. Government is one partner in turning our economy around and we will play our part by making it easier for business to start, grow and prosper. The Ivany report, in fact, contains many ambitious goals.

Government is not the solution to all of our problems. Government cannot be the answer to all of our challenges. There's a very important sentence in this report on Page 47, and it says "To set the process in motion the Commission is proposing the following goals to guide the development of a ten-year action plan for economic transformation and renewal in Nova Scotia. It is assumed that more in-depth analysis, consultation and refinement will be required before they are formally adopted."

[Page 1686]

Madam Speaker, it is clear from that statement that this legislation is not needed and at the very least is premature. Clearly, even Mr. Ivany would agree that this is not the time for legislation. I have followed Mr. Ivany over the last year and attended many of his presentations and, most recently, spent two and a half hours in my constituency office talking with Mr. Ivany about this report. He's both very engaging, knowledgeable, and enjoys a good debate. Mr. Ivany made it very clear to me that this report is not the final word on what or how we take action. As an example, in fact he pointed out that Goal 18, on municipal governance reform, that the processes of this recommendation may already need modifications based on recent developments in Springhill - and since that time now Bridgetown, and perhaps after a meeting tonight in Hantsport, Goal 18 and how we work through the work of that goal may now have to change.

I would like to point out three concerns I have with the bill presented, and I think it will demonstrate that this bill is not required or premature. This bill really is only symbolic in nature, the wording of this bill is focused around the words "government will endeavour." I believe bills need to be more than symbolic, so that our Opposition Parties can hold us to account.

Secondly, as the member opposite talked about, the report talks about stretch goals. Stretch goals are far-reaching and in no way did Mr. Ivany and his commission intend that as a final goal or what is actually achievable. So it is difficult to hold any government - this or future governments - to account on stretch goals which are so dependent upon many other Parties in terms of their co-operation, both labour and business, Opposition Parties and, really, the impacts of a global economy will all affect how far we can go in reaching those goals.

In the Budget Address, we struck the One Nova Scotia coalition to get down to work. In another part of the report: This report will guide our next steps, this government will now consider options and timelines for the types of programming changes we can make to gain the full benefit of the report. As Ray Ivany has urged us, it is "now or never." We know we have an aging and shrinking workforce, our population is declining, our economy isn't growing quickly enough, and our young people are moving away. The status quo is not an option; we have to do things differently and we have to work together.

Fighting with our own province for a bigger piece of the pie is simply a waste of energy. Fortunately, we are not starting from zero, Madam Speaker, we already have what it takes to reverse these trends. I know first-hand there are many Nova Scotians who are clearly doing great things from one end of this province to the other. We need more of that kind of enthusiasm, optimism, and hard work. We need a culture that celebrates regional and business success rather than a culture that questions the motivations behind those decisions. We have the infrastructure, but we need to use it more efficiently and effectively.

[Page 1687]

We know that immigrants are big contributors to the economy and the diversity of our province. The Ivany report made it clear that increasing immigration is part of improving our economy, and we agree. We need more immigrants to come, work, and stay in Nova Scotia. This government will continue to work collaboratively with the federal government to grow the Nova Scotia Nominee Program and we will continue to work with all our partners to help Nova Scotia attract, employ, and retain immigrants.

We need to support all of the province's universities, as they make connections between research and development and the private sector. Madam Speaker, we agree with Mr. Ivany; it's time to move to action but we want to be sure that these actions are the best approach. We need to be strategic as we review school curriculums - and that's a tough word for me - review our tax system and regulations, and review our business and sector development tools. Fishing, agriculture, forestry, mining, and manufacturing will still be part of our economy in 100 years. We need to celebrate the strength of these sectors. We are good at these things and there is an opportunity there.

Ultimately, Madam Speaker, the private sector must lead the way in driving the economy and creating jobs. The province will be your partner but we can't be your banker or the lead. Government will help business access capital and supports that they need to grow, prosper, and become more productive and competitive. As with the new accountability Act, we will be the most open and transparent province in this country about assistance provided to business. With streamlined programs, clear objectives, and arm's length decision making, business will know how to access support and taxpayers will better understand how their money is being spent.

Changes are coming and this government will be in a better position to tell Nova Scotians about what that looks like, in a few weeks. There will be more arm's length decision making as the Traves report recommends. There are no easy answers. As government, business, and community leaders, we have an unprecedented opportunity to work together to do better for Nova Scotia. I look forward to the challenge.

Madam Speaker, in summary, as our Premier has stated, we cannot legislate prosperity, and I will also add to that, we cannot legislate attitudes nor can we legislate who chooses to live in Nova Scotia. Instead, in this House we can choose to create policy and programs to create an environment for change. We look forward to working with all members of this House and all Nova Scotians on the challenges so clearly presented in the Ivany report.

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

[Page 1688]

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : I am pleased to rise in my place and speak on Bill No. 39. Nova Scotia is at an urgent crossroad. We face either a long and slow decline or a renewed and more prosperous future. With the Ivany commission we now have a plan to stop that decline. That is why I am so pleased to support this bill. Our caucus firmly believes that the Ivany commission's recommendations, including population, economic development, governance and fiscal law need to be enacted into law. The question is why the Liberal Government is sitting on their hands and are the only Party not willing to enshrine these important recommendations into law. They are too vitally important to let them fall victim to politics as usual. The Ivany report cannot be allowed to gather dust on the Premier's bookshelf.

The Ivany commission calls for new leadership from government, community, and businesses. The time for debating our population and economic goals has past. If they are not self-evident now, they never will be. This is no time to be timid. The cost of doing nothing is too high. Our population is aging; Nova Scotia has the highest average of centenarians of any province in Canada. For Canada the average is 14.6 people 100 years of age or older per 100,000; while in Nova Scotia the average is 21 per 100,000.

We have to become serious about immigration and working with the federal government. We should be averaging a net gain of 1,000 working-aged persons per year. By working with Ottawa in order to increase our population and ensure the province is receiving its proportionate share, 2.7 per cent of all new international immigrants to Canada, that equals approximately 7,000 residents per year.

If we have an annual average of 10 per cent of foreign students graduating from Nova Scotia universities, our community colleges and other learning institutions remaining as permanent residents of the province, it would mean the economy will be generating 42 new business start-ups per year, a dramatic 50 per cent increase over the current 10-year average.

If we can attain these immigration levels, the opportunities for Nova Scotia are unlimited. For example, we will have increased the total annual value of international and interprovincial exports by 50 per cent to exceed $20 billion. The province would also have a labour force participation rate at least as high as the Canadian rate. Madam Speaker, the opportunities are almost endless.

In summary, Mr. Ivany said the commission looked at other jurisdictions around the world, and the ones that have been most successful have a social cohesion factor and an ability to come together and unite in efforts. It is important that we do that now in Nova Scotia. Divide and conquer is not the answer. Thank you.

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

[Page 1689]

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. It certainly is a pleasure for myself to rise tonight and say a few words on Bill No. 39, entitled the Building Our New Economy Act. I know it's certainly a pleasure to know that my background is certainly from rural Nova Scotia, so I know the Ivany report talks to a great length about that.

Madam Speaker, their title was Now or Never, which I feel is a very fitting title, particularly for the Ivany report. Again, I want to thank the people who commissioned this report, the people who worked on it - Irene d'Entremont, Dan Christmas, Susanna Fuller and John Bragg. It's something I'm proud of, as a previous government, and a member of that government, that we mandated for that report to be commissioned. To me, it's a simple answer that this commission was trying to convey to the numbers of Nova Scotians. It was an urgent call of actions for all Nova Scotians.

The commission has shaped the report around three core messages. One that I want to highlight, as I mentioned earlier, is from rural Nova Scotia. The report suggests, Madam Speaker, that there is a crisis and it does threaten the basic economic and demographic viability of our province, most dramatically in rural regions.

The report speaks of a need to significantly change attitudes. I want to repeat that, changes of attitudes. That's actually the theme throughout my speaking notes here tonight.

It takes the approach of a firm conviction: the economic and the population challenges facing our province call for a sharp change of direction or course. As a former fisherman, I can tell you, Madam Speaker, that a change of course or direction is, first of all, as many people in my industry refer to, is a phrase called dead reckoning. You have to know where you're at at all times in order to know where you are going in the future. It's an interesting term that they have used.

Nova Scotia has a good reason today to pursue trade growth and to embrace the free trade agreement, particularly policies that give us an opportunity to have free trade with our international markets. An example of this growth and these opportunities was just last Christmas. I noticed that because of the inclement weather that we had around Christmas time. In particular, I want to draw your attention to Halifax, our International Airport, with the expansion of that runway for large, I repeat, large cargo containers, large aircraft that could certainly get live lobster products out to the Europe and Asia markets on time.

I am pleased to say that I am very privileged to have been part of the government that actually contributed to the funding of that expansion of that runway. I'm certainly proud of that, and to me, that was a wise investment. We saw that played out this Christmas and how important those thousands of pounds of lobsters to get there on time to this important market.

The Ivany report also highlighted a change of course. What I really picked up on was the term called a change of political attitudes. I want to repeat: a change in political attitudes. Last evening, during the budget process, I had the pleasure of telling a personal story of political attitudes that we endure on a daily basis. I asked, through you Madam Speaker, I asked all Nova Scotians, all politicians, to visit Hansard and read the full story of April 4th as we sat in the Red Room and I was involved in that speech.

[Page 1690]

Tonight, the members of this House are only going to receive the shortened version of that speech, the Reader's Digest version, of a story which I called Political Attitudes Must Change. Excuse me, Madam Speaker, as I get my notes here.

In February 2013, I presented a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries - I repeat, the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries - in Ottawa, and I will table that particular report for all members if they want to read that. My presentation was on the development of underutilized species that we have off the coasts of Nova Scotia. I'll mention a few just to get people's attention. These are undeveloped species that are not commercially being processed at this time, such as stone crabs, green crabs, glass eels, whelks, hagfish and the list goes on. A number of these species, I can go into great detail - but the punch line here, the end value is that over 1,000 jobs can be created by creating these new species and giving fishermen in rural Nova Scotia an opportunity to go after them - 1,000 new jobs.

Just before I was to make this presentation in Ottawa, I was approached - this is the story - I was approached by a senator from Nova Scotia. He politely came up to me before the microphone was powered up, as we see here tonight, and he basically said to me, in these short, few words: my job here tonight, or in the future, is to make sure that yourself and your government does not get re-elected. Without hearing one word, not one word of the presentation - I tabled the presentation, you may want to see if it's worth value of reading. He did not hear one word.

These are the attitudes that the Ivany report talked about. To me, this is unfitting for any senator and is a good reason why many people on this side of the House, including this Party and myself, suggest why we should not have a Senate. To me, all senators simply are not willing and not interested in rebuilding Nova Scotia or Canada.

The Ivany report speaks of resource-based industries that are in decline, and the decline that has its greatest impact is in the areas where the industries are located, mainly, again, in rural Nova Scotia. I want to point out, in my presentation, I talked about how in 1991, there was a cod moratorium that was introduced by our federal government. I want to make a quick point here: when you remove a predator from the food chain, it allows other species - mainly shellfish - to explode. That's a valuable point, because I think the senators there in that standing committee and all Nova Scotians need to understand this concept. Because these opportunities are literally on our coast as I speak and that is why new species, these new opportunities, which I mentioned earlier - our fisheries has been a cornerstone, I repeat a cornerstone, the backbone of rural Nova Scotia for hundreds of years. I can assure you I can banish my notes right now and I know that the fishermen across this province know that these species are out there, they know the numbers, they know the biomass and there are opportunities, but yet what we see are continuous roadblocks by our federal government preventing people an opportunity to go after these new species. That has to change.

[Page 1691]

Now the Ivany report clearly shows that a municipal government in rural Nova Scotia is under attack. There is out-migration, people want jobs. It's a simple equation that when young people get up in the morning, if they do not have a household income they are attracted like a moth to a light to that western economy that is producing the economy that gives those people an opportunity to feed their families. It's a simple solution and we need to do better.

My background, Madam Speaker, I spent a number of years in the fishing industry; I also spent nine years at the municipal units. I also know the struggle that we see some of our municipal units across Nova Scotia are dealing with as we speak. I have an editorial here from the local paper dated Saturday, April 5th, and I'm going to quote the Minister of Service Nova Scotia, and Municipal Affairs. I just want to repeat, I spent nine years at the municipal level. I know how these rural communities are dealing with the out-migration. I'll quote the minister, "Our towns, regional municipalities and counties are trying to deliver services against a backdrop of increasing costs, shrinking populations and declining tax revenues. Several municipal councils face the unenviable choice between slashing programs and services, or raising taxes."

Now, when you have someone who stands up in the political forum and says here is an opportunity to create over 1,000 jobs in Nova Scotia, I believe that we should have the attention of all Parties and we should be working together to make sure that that red tape is taken away and vanished. Not to put roadblocks in the face of rural Nova Scotia, not to create more red tape, this is what this speech is about tonight; this is why we are bogged down and we continue to see people moving away from our communities. When you have political attitudes, our people are standing in their political power and they say I'm here to put you out of a job, I'm here to make sure you don't get elected. Now is that concern about that community or Nova Scotians? I think not. I think their concern has a political motive to it and that is what needs to stop and this is what the Ivany report was talking about.

I just want to clarify a few things. Again, I repeat, these species that I talked about - and there are a good number of them, I encourage you to read the report. They are under developed. Over 1,000 jobs in rural Nova Scotia can be created. If I were to come in on that plane in the Halifax airport, from any other country, and say I have 1,000 jobs for Nova Scotians, I would have front page news tomorrow morning - front page news.

If I were to say I went to Ottawa and said that a senator tried to block me from getting this through, it doesn't get any media coverage. That is the attitude that we have cultured in this province, it's not right and we need to correct it. However we are dealing with federal DFO policies, and I repeat, I asked the question during the process that we have to have provincial money for science because the federal science is out of date. We have a federal government that has put roadblocks in front of us and created more red tape and we have to change that.

[Page 1692]

Before I get into my closing remarks, Madam Speaker, in one minute, last evening I heard our provincial minister say he had three invitations from the federal minister to go to Ottawa. Well, I encourage him to take one. Instead of building a relationship with the federal minister, take the invitation and go and build relationships for Nova Scotians and talk with the Fisheries Standing Committee.

In closing, Madam Speaker, I think Nova Scotians deserve better. Political attitudes must change. The Ivany report reported this. I have witnessed it. Thank you very much for your time.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable NDP House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker, and thank you to everybody who participated in the debate today. That ends our Party's business for today, so I hand it over to the Deputy Government House Leader.

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL » : Madam Speaker, the hours tomorrow will be from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The order of business will be Government Motions, followed by Supply unto Her Majesty. If time permits, we will call second reading of Bill Nos. 35, 40, 43, and 44.

I move that the House do now rise to sit again from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 1693]

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 5:42 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 1694]

RESOLUTION NO. 958

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 Peter and Mary Eldridge of Yarmouth have worked diligently since 2008 toward creating and building a reserve for the Yarmouth Area Community Fund to distribute fund to local charities; and

Whereas Peter and Mary Eldridge serve as co-chairs of the Yarmouth Area Community Fund, and this fund has benefited many groups and individuals; and

Whereas this year, the fund, which has total assets of approximately $70,000, will distribute about $3,000 to community groups in need and has established an education/scholarship fund;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank Peter and Mary Eldridge for their selfless and tireless efforts on behalf of the Yarmouth Area Community Fund and encourage them to continue their good work on behalf of the Yarmouth community.

RESOLUTION NO. 959

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Liam Apold, and wish him luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 960

[Page 1695]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jacob Clothier, and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 961

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gio DiMattia and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 962

[Page 1696]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Peter Gillham and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 963

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gregory Goss and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 964

[Page 1697]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joey Henneberry and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 965

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Theo Iatrou and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 966

[Page 1698]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kaden Keith and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 967

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Robert Kraitzek and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 968

[Page 1699]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gabbi Laaouan and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 969

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Zach Lorette and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 970

[Page 1700]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Will MacDonald and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 971

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Peter MacGregor and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 972

[Page 1701]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ben Mercer and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 973

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alex Needler and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 974

[Page 1702]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Josh O'Connor and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 975

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Halifax Hawks Atom AA hockey team hosted the Nova Scotia Provincials, consisting of 11 games that were played over the course of a three-day tournament; and

Whereas four other teams representing minor hockey associations from across the province came to play at the Centennial Arena the weekend of February 21, 2014; and

Whereas all the 9- to 10-year-olds got to show off their talents and skills, and in the end it was the Halifax Hawks who won gold in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Zach Welsh and all his teammates and wish them luck in the rest of this season and the ones to follow.

RESOLUTION NO. 976

[Page 1703]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Brian Leslie is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Brian Leslie for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 977

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas David MacPherson is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking David MacPherson for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 978

[Page 1704]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Debbie McLean is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas she works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas she was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Debbie McLean for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish her continued success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 979

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Donald Landry is co-ordinator and one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Donald Landry for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 980

[Page 1705]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Donna Mitchell is secretary and one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas she works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas she was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Donna Mitchell for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish her continued success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 981

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas James Penney is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking James Penney for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 982

[Page 1706]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Jim Clayton is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Jim Clayton for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 983

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Ken Taylor is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Ken Taylor for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 984

[Page 1707]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Lewis Hillier is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Lewis Hillier for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 985

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Lois Glibbery is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas she works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas she was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Lois Glibbery for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish her continued success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 986

[Page 1708]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Merlin Baker is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Merlin Baker for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 987

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Mike Smith is vice-chair and one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Mike Smith for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 988

[Page 1709]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Paul Watson is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Paul Watson for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 989

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Ralph MacLean is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Ralph MacLean for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 990

[Page 1710]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Robert Mitchell is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Robert Mitchell for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 991

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Shapur Bhathena is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Shapur Bhathena for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 992

[Page 1711]

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Ted MacLean is one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Ted MacLean for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 993

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Tom William is co-ordinator and one of 20 volunteers with the Citizens on Patrol group in Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage who are committed to reducing crime within our communities; and

Whereas he works closely with the RCMP Community Liaison Officer and often partners with the RCMP to educate the public on how to keep their homes and vehicles safe from crime, along with assisting with numerous community events; and

Whereas he was honoured in receiving an award from the Minister of Justice for Leadership in Crime Prevention in 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Tom William for making our communities feel safe and secure, and wish him continued success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 994

[Page 1712]

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Cody Donaldson of Lower Argyle, a youth volunteer representing Drumlin Heights Consolidated School, for his devotion of time and tireless effort to his school and many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cody Donaldson for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 995

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Rosanne d'Eon of Pubnico for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rosanne d'Eon for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

[Page 1713]

RESOLUTION NO. 996

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Claire d'Eon of West Pubnico for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Claire d'Eon for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 997

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Joyce MacIsaac of Wedgeport for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

[Page 1714]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joyce MacIsaac for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 998

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Terry d'Entremont of Lower West Pubnico for his devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Terry d'Entremont for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 999

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

[Page 1715]

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Judy Belliveau of Amiraults Hill for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Judy Belliveau for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1000

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Leah Boudreau of Lower Wedgeport for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Leah Boudreau for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1001

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

[Page 1716]

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Jonathan Joseph of Argyle for his devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jonathan Joseph for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1002

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Jason Foster of Wedgeport for his devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jason Foster for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1009

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

[Page 1717]

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Gilles Bourque of East Pubnico for his devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gilles Bourque for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1004

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Frances Landry of Amirault's Hill for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Frances Landry for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1005

[Page 1718]

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Eileen Pothier of Wedgeport for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Eileen Pothier for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1006

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Denise Babin of Ste. Anne du Ruisseau for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Denise Babin for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

[Page 1719]

RESOLUTION NO. 1007

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Charmaine Amirault of East Pubnico for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Charmaine Amirault for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1008

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Cecilia d'Entremont of Lower West Pubnico for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

[Page 1720]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cecilia d'Entremont for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1009

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Barbara Pothier of Tusket for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Barbara Pothier for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1010

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

[Page 1721]

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Barbara d'Eon of Middle West Pubnico for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Barbara d'Eon for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1011

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Albert Surette of Abram's River for his devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Albert Surette for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1012

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

[Page 1722]

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Adeline Doucet of Quinan for her devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around her community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Adeline Doucet for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank her for making Nova Scotia stronger.

RESOLUTION NO. 1013

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont « » (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of Nova Scotia's communities, who generously give their time and talents while expecting nothing in return; and

Whereas on Friday, April 11th, volunteers will be recognized for the valuable contributions they make to their communities and our province at the Annual Volunteer Banquet for the Municipality of Argyle, hosted by the East Side Community Centre in East Pubnico; and

Whereas among the 21 volunteers to be honoured is Brandon Doucette of Wedgeport for his devotion of time and tireless effort to so many organizations in and around his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brandon Doucette for being honoured by the Municipality of Argyle, and thank him for making Nova Scotia stronger.