Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD14-30

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/



Second Session

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Com. Serv.: N.S. Disability Support Prog. - Implementation Plan,
2493
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Com. Serv.: Accessibility Comm. - Public Consultation,
2494
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Pitts, Rebecca: Pictou Bus. & Marketing Soc. - Sink or Swim Comp.,
2498
Firewood Shortage,
2498
Local Food Banks,
2498
LeBlanc, Hubert Austin: Death of - Tribute,
2499
Firewood Shortage,
2499
Theriault, Junior,
2500
Gloade, Chief Bob/Millbrook First Nation - Wind Energy,
2500
Webb, Christopher/Foulger, Victoria: Hfx. Library - Coffee Shops,
2501
Anna. Valley C of C - Workplace Educ. Award,
2501
Climate Change,
2501
Balsam Fir Christmas Tree Business,
2502
MacLean, Meghan & Heather - Golf Accomplishments,
2502
Hfx. Public Library,
2503
Sawmill River - Daylighting,
2503
TIR: CBRM - Arterial Rds. Rehab. Proj.,
2504
Gallagher, Titus/Amherst Reg. HS Students - Remembrance Day Ceremony,
2504
MacPherson, John & Ethel Ann: Boston Christmas Tree - Donation,
2505
Dickie, Vaughn - CTV Maritimer of the Wk. Award,
2505
Antigonish People's Place Library,
2506
Elms, Foster & Vera - Vols.,
2506
Digby-Clare MLA - Birthday Wishes,
2506
Edible Art Café (Greenwich),
2506
S. Shore Players: The Wizard of Oz - Production,
2507
At Home in Pictou County,
2507
Melanson, Pat - Music N.S. Award,
2508
McBay, Ronald & Donald,
2508
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON BILLS AT 10:51 A.M
2509
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 10:59 A.M
2509
CW REPORTS
2509
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 338, Prem.: Flavoured Tobacco - Legislation Loophole,
2509
No. 339, Prem. - Seniors: Home Care - Well-Being Improvement,
2511
No. 340, Prem: N.S. Power - Rate Increase,
2512
No. 341, Health & Wellness: Home Care Wait-List - Increases,
2513
No. 342, ERDT - Nova Star Ferry: Off-Season Contract,
2514
No. 343, Prem. - Flavoured Tobacco: Sale - Ban,
2515
No. 344, LAE: Workplace Health & Safety Regs. - Formula,
2516
No. 345, Environ.: Third Party Repts. - Pilot Prog.,
2517
No. 346, PSC: Paid Public Holiday/Economy Boom - Correlation,
2519
No. 347, Mun. Affs.: N.S. Villages - Abolition,
2520
No. 348, TIR - Torquil MacLean Ferry: Serv. - Return Date,
2521
No. 349, TIR - Tancook Island Ferry: Serv. - Return Date,
2522
No. 350, TIR: Tancook Replacement Ferry - Inadequacy Explain,
2523
No. 351, Justice - Serious Crime: Citizens - Protection Details,
2524
No. 352, Justice - Feb. Holiday: Dept. - Costs Absorb,
2526
No. 353, Prem. - Fiscal Review Comm.: Villages - Representation,
2527
No. 354, Fin.: Income-Splitting - Beneficiaries,
2528
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:]
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON BILLS AT 11:50 A.M
2529
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:38 P.M
2529
CW REPORTS
2529
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:]
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 6, Petroleum Resources Act
2529
2537
2544
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Nov. 14th at 9:00 a.m
2549
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 874, Gilbert, Rick - Cdn. Parks & Rec. Assoc. Award,
2550
Res. 875, Grant, Jenn - The Coast Award/ECMA Award,
2550
Res. 876, Ledwell, Daniel - The Coast Award/ECMA Award,
2551
Res. 877, Sparling, Allison - The Coast Award,
2551
Res. 878, The Heavy Blinkers - The Coast Award,
2552
Res. 879, Beeler, Ms. Dana - The Coast Award,
2552
Res. 880, Dark for Dark - The Coast Award,
2553
Res. 881, Wallace, A.A. - The Coast Award,
2553
Res. 882, Team Kerr Group/Frontier Technologies -
Plywood Cup (2014), Mr. A. Rowe « »
2554
Res. 883, Dart. United Golden Goal Men's Soccer Team:
Successful Season - Congrats., Mr. A. Rowe « »
2554
Res. 884, Dart. Choral Soc. - Commun. Contributions/Anniv. (60th),
2555
Res. 885, MacIsaac, Ryan: G20 Young Entrepreneur's Alliance Summit
- Congrats., Mr. A. Rowe « »
2555
Res. 886, Kinesis Health Assoc.: New Clinic (Ochterloney St.)
- Congrats., Mr. A. Rowe « »
2556
Res. 887, Cdn. Sch. Counselling Wk. (02/02 - 02/06/15):
Goal - Commend, Mr. I. Rankin »
2556
Res. 888, Wall, Darryl: Creativity - Congrats.,
2557
Res. 889, Turner, Tracey: Baubles & Glitz - Commun. Contribution,
2557
Res. 890, O'Brien, Liam - Canoe/Kayak Gold Medal,
2558
Res. 891, Andriani, Lena - Pengrowth-N.S. Energy Scholarship,
2558
Res. 892, Daniels-Drummond, Angela - P.M. Award for Excellence,
2559
Res. 893, Bosom Buddies (N.S.): Dragon Boat Fest. - Congrats.,
2559
Res. 894, Currie, Claudia - Water Skiing Accomplishment,
2560
Res. 895, Bowie, Paul: Waterskiing - Dedication,
2560
Res. 896, LaHave Forest Inc.: Innovations - Congrats.,
2561
Res. 897, Riverport & Area Commun. Choir - Anniv. (25th),
2561
Res. 898, Hobson, Ted: Vol. Serv. - Recognize,
2562
Res. 899, Duckworth, Ms. Alex - RICOH Female Athlete of Yr. (2014),
2562
Res. 900, Sutherland, Thorne - RICOH Official of Yr.,
2563
Res. 901, Zinck, Zach: N.S. Natl. U-15 Baseball Team - Congrats.,
2563
Res. 902, Carver, Jessica: Cdn. Transplant Games - Congrats.,
2564
Res. 903, Carver, Hiram & Ernest - Prov./West. Reg. Woodland
Owner of Yr., Ms. S. Lohnes-Croft « »
2564
Res. 904, Parks, Bruce - Paramedic Long-Serv. Award (20 Yrs.),
2565
Res. 905, MacPherson, Peter - Paramedic Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
2565

[Page 2491]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2014

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

10:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order, one that in my view is of significance to all members of this House. According to Rule 24(1) of the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly, October 2014, such points of order may be raised at any time except during Oral Question Period.

It pertains to the rights of all members of this place to be heard and to make such speeches and ask they deem appropriate, and are within usages and precedents of this House, of this place, or within the standing and sessional orders or forms of other esteemed places in accordance with Rule 2 of the Rules and Forms of Procedure of the House of Assembly, October 2014.

All members of this House of Assembly enjoy the same - no more, no less - rights, privileges and immunities as set out, beginning on Page 89 of O'Brien and Bosc's House of Commons Procedure and Practice, 2009. We should all hold these as sacred and central to our abilities to do our jobs in this place.

My concern, Mr. Speaker, surrounds comments made yesterday by the Deputy Speaker, chairman of the Committee of the Whole, comments directed firstly toward unnamed members of this House. I'd like to read from yesterday's Hansard to highlight my first such point. I'm quoting the member and I'll table this. I'll focus on these particular remarks:

[Page 2492]

"I have also seen members stand with simple thought on a topic and little more substance than repetitive rant.

I would ask all our members of this House to please consider that our words become part of the record of this esteemed House and ask them to choose their discourse wisely."

Mr. Speaker, in this statement the chairman makes an inappropriate assessment on the thoughtfulness of certain members and likens comments to "repetitive rant." She casts further doubt on these members' wisdom, underlying her negative assessment. While I believe those members of the House who were present and heard such a statement were taken by surprise, I would like to highlight that such comments are also now on permanent record here in this House.

I ask you to note these concerns, Mr. Speaker, as I continue to bring your attention to matters arising in Committee of the Whole last night. During debate, in fact, during a speech being delivered by a government member in support of government legislation, the chairman interrupted proceedings to make another such judgment on the conduct of certain members of the House. In this case her comments were levelled directly at the Opposition members. Paraphrased, the chairman stated: I find it very ironic that the members on this side of the House - referring to the government - have been quiet all night long listening to the Opposition, and now that they are speaking . . .

Now, Mr. Speaker, I would ask that you consult Hansard, for, while she did not continue, it is apparent that the chairman was not applying the rule of debate or a rule found in our traditions, or a rule found in the sessional orders and forms of other places.

Mr. Speaker, in rising today, I seek to draw your attention to the proper and consistent application of the rules of this place and to ask that you take these concerns under advisement. It is not for me to tell your deputy chairman how to apply the rule or to carry out her functions, but I do appeal to you to review the statement as well as the audio of the statement made by the chairman of the Committee of the Whole, and should you agree, provide some direction to her and to this House around the judicious use of words and statement when sitting as chairman. I believe it will be of benefit to the current members, the chairman herself, and to future chairmen. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you. I'll take that point of order under advisement and we'll report back to the House.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

[Page 2493]

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, may I take this opportunity to address the point of order?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. FARRELL « » : I'd like to put before you, in considering your ruling in this matter, Mr. Speaker, the rules as they apply to the jurisdiction of the Speaker. In her place as the chairman of Committee of the Whole, the Deputy Speaker is clearly exercising that role.

Rule 7 indicates, "The Speaker shall have jurisdiction over all matters concerning Province House . . ." I'm sure you're familiar with that.

Rule 8 says, "The Speaker shall exercise all the powers and privileges necessary for the performance of his duties . . ." or her duties as the case may be, and I'm sure you're familiar with that, Mr. Speaker.

Under Rule 9, I want to particularly draw your attention to Rule 9(2), "The Speaker's ruling shall not be subject to appeal or question except by substantive motion upon proper notice having been given." I would submit that in this case, this is not a proper matter for a point of order, and that the member has not proceeded appropriately in bringing that before the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : We'll review the circumstances and provide the House with a report at a future date.

We'll now move on with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to table Shaping the future of Nova Scotia's Disability Support Program, Choice and Inclusion: Implementation Plan.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

[Page 2494]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, last week I, along with Anne MacRae, CEO of the Disabled Persons Commission, formally launched a public consultation process that will set us on a path that will help make Nova Scotia a more accessible and inclusive province for everyone to live and work. Actually today is the first day of 11 consultations where this committee will go out to communities throughout the province and consult with Nova Scotians on what they would like to see in the province's first accessibility legislation in the history of Nova Scotia.

This is both exciting and ground-breaking, but it's not the only good-news story. Our province is also taking a major step forward in transforming the services we provide persons with disabilities. This was a promise made by the former government and it is a commitment of this government to see it through.

I want to give credit to the former government and to the many advocates and stakeholders who together crafted a road map document which laid out a new direction and an agenda for transformation. The direction was simple: provide a more person-directed approach to service, offer more choice and more flexibility, and reduce reliance on residential facilities by supporting more people with disabilities to live and work in the community.

Today, Mr. Speaker, one in five Nova Scotians is living with some form of disability. Many of those individuals live in large residential settings. About one-third of the 5,200 Nova Scotians we support through the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program live in large residential facilities. As a percentage, that is among the highest in the country and that has to change.

We also have a rapidly aging population and these two factors are coming together to force us to rethink how we serve Nova Scotians with disabilities. Nova Scotians with disabilities have the same rights as everyone else; we all deserve to live our lives as independently as possible. Each one of us has the right to be full participants in society; that means full social and economic inclusion and the opportunity to live with dignity and choice.

As you can imagine, overhauling and transforming this decades-old system so it better serves these individuals and families we support is a significant undertaking. It will take time; we are looking at a decade of change. It is so important that we get it right; it will be careful planning.

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that we are making progress. It's not as fast as I and many others would want, but we're moving forward in the first year of transformation. I would like to provide just a few examples of our progress so far. We have appointed a new leadership team, Nancy MacLellan and Joe Rudderham, to lead SPD transformation. There has been an increased investment in expanding the Independent Living and Alternative Family Support Programs. So far we have successfully supported 30 individuals from residential facilities into community, through the Independent Living Support Program who are off the waiting list. Our goal is 70 this year.

[Page 2495]

In keeping with the road map, DCS decided not to proceed with a facility renovation at an adult residential centre. This demonstrated government's commitment to reducing reliance on large-scale residential facilities.

Discussions are underway with families in two regions interested in an individualized funding demonstration project. These projects will support the families to develop their own living arrangements for their sons and daughters in their home communities and culture. Care coordinators, casework supervisors, district managers, and other SPD staff across the province have been trained on four key principles of the SPD transformation: person-directed support, supported decision-making, living with risk, and choice.

Mr. Speaker, we have also developed our implementation plan, Shaping the future of Nova Scotia's Disability Support Program, Choice and Inclusion, which will map out for the public our plan of action for the next five to 10 years. I'm pleased to table this document today and to share it with members of the House.

In short, our plan is person-directed, accessible, and flexible. It will focus on three key areas of action: increasing community-based living that supports social and economic inclusion, modernizing services, and reducing reliance on long-term residential facilities. What this all means is a new and better disability support program, employment and training opportunities for persons with disabilities, and updated legislation to replace the Homes for Special Care Act. In consultation with community partners and First Voice advocates, we will develop a more personalized and responsive disability support program.

A society is judged by how it supports its most vulnerable citizens. I believe Nova Scotia is taking important steps to demonstrate that. I look forward to sharing more on our progress in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to begin by thanking the minister for a copy of her statement prior to this morning. As you can imagine, life can be difficult at times for all of us, but for someone struggling with a disability on a daily basis, it can be even more difficult. That's why I'm pleased to see this program get the attention it deserves.

As someone who has a family member who works with people with disabilities on a daily basis, this is especially important to me. I have seen families struggle as they try to provide support for their loved ones. I have seen parents struggle as they try to care for their disabled children. On the other hand, I have personally seen people's lives transformed when they are given the proper support and structure to succeed. By providing more flexibility and support for disabled people and by allowing them to be more fully integrated in their communities, we all benefit.

[Page 2496]

I agree with the minister that the proposed board represents a diverse group of individuals, as we see members from different backgrounds and fields who have already greatly contributed to our province. Without a doubt, this has been a long time coming.

I also applaud the efforts of the previous government to lay the groundwork. As you have seen from the unsettling recent statistics, residential care facilities continue to suffer, and resources are stretched beyond their capacity. This is not good for the residents, nor is it good for the staff.

As the minister mentioned, with the rapidly-aging population it is imperative that steps are now taken to address this situation. I understand that implementing a comprehensive strategy like this will take a concentrated effort on all our parts. I admire the cautious approach, but I also hope the government will not drag its feet in moving ahead with this initiative. I do hope it takes the time to listen to all stakeholders in their consultation process. I am hopeful the minister will provide updates as this is rolled out.

I would be interested in further information regarding the two regions that have shown interest in the individualized funding demonstration projects. I look forward to reading the document that was tabled by the minister today, and I thank the members of the board for their time and commitment to improving this province. Thank you.

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for a previous copy of her statement today. I would also like to thank the minister for continuing the path that I had the privilege and the NDP Government had the dedication and commitment to start and be very focused on those with disabilities in terms of creating the disability strategy, the 10-year transformation project in the province, and also looking at the SPD delivery within Community Services and recognizing that changes needed to be made in those areas, along with working with the disabled commission and coming forth with a provincial plan that would be looking at putting a disabled lens over everything that we see. That's one of the parts that we did discover, that there was quite a gap.

We need to start within ourselves and government to do that, and then encourage people throughout the province to take on that project, that when decisions are being made, they're made based on looking through that lens of what it's like to live with a disability.

I do know that the minister truly has her commitment for those with disabilities. I've seen it to date and I've seen what she is doing and fighting for, and I would like to say thank you very much for that because that is what this is all about. This is not about politics; this is about political Parties and leadership to continue the process that we must take.

[Page 2497]

There are many challenges that I do know that the minister is going to face. Our disabled community is growing older, we have many challenges in terms of aging in place and the design and the places that people with disabilities, where they live. Some of the biggest challenges will be to be able to coordinate the strategy with the commitment of financial dollars. That's a little bit of the area that I'm concerned with as you go forward and I hope that the minister's colleagues around the Cabinet will see that, too, when it comes time to make her presentation, to have some dollars to invest.

One of the biggest roadblocks that we face in the province is the fact we do not have enough community living options available. That's a real roadblock. It's very difficult for the minister to go forward with a lot of these initiatives within the strategy if the dollars aren't there to start investing in organizations like L'Arche and also into the community living options.

The other area that I think there is an importance to look at is through the ESIA redesign and the fact that now those who have a disability have to go within that income assistance program. As we know, those having disabilities have many specialized needs and they're not getting that particular support through the income assistance program we have today in Nova Scotia. I'm not sure if that is one area the minister is looking at, but I would encourage her to do so.

In closing, as I said today, this is a very critical strategy, all the strategies surrounding those with disabilities, and I commend the minister's hard work and her dedication to move that forward. I do hope the government supports her, especially in one of those areas that are very difficult and that's in the financial area, but things will not change if we do not do that. We can talk as much as we want and we can have as many groups as we want, we can have a vision, but none of that will turn into reality for those with disabilities unless the financial parallel is matched up to support the minister. I certainly hope that the government will do that for her. Thank you very much.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

[Page 2498]

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

PITTS, REBECCA: PICTOU BUS. & MARKETING SOC.

- SINK OR SWIM COMP.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : The Pictou Business and Marketing Society's Sink or Swim business start-up competition was a success. Rebecca Pitts, co-owner of Fat Tony's Bar and Grill, was the winning entrant. More than 20 business partners who joined the Marketing Society offered products and services valued at $10,000 to the winner. Fat Tony's Bar and Grill is slated to open March 14, 2015. Peter Sykes' Rumblefish Technologies was the runner-up, winning a prize of $2,000.

Not only did this initiative succeed by assisting two entrepreneurs and two businesses, but it unified the existing Pictou business community with a common goal. Creating jobs one small business at a time is what will move Nova Scotia forward.

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

FIREWOOD SHORTAGE

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, it is true that I have raised the issue of firewood shortage many times in this session and for Nova Scotians to have access to Crown lands. It appears that the member for Hants East is somewhat concerned to my continuous repeating of this statement in this House. It is my duty to raise the lack of interest by the Minister of Natural Resources in regard to firewood supply to Nova Scotians and wood suppliers.

Therefore, let me repeat what the former Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Don Downe, has said: we have "an acute issue." Mr. Speaker, to be continued.

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

LOCAL FOOD BANKS

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, last week I spoke on the Brunswick Street Mission. Today I would like to remind members that the holiday season is on our doorstep. For many of us this means the excitement of Christmas, it means warm winter fires, and it means foods - lots and lots of healthy food.

For many more the holiday season means the beginning of the cold, harsh winter months, it means scrambling to stay warm and scrambling to stay fed. It is during this time that those of us, who are able, can make a difference. It's during this time I ask you to remember your local food bank, I ask you to remember those places and organizations in your community that accept gently-used clothing, and remember those who are less fortunate and who could use a helping hand in winter. We do not all have to give a lot but those of us who can give a little can make a big difference in someone else's winter not being so harsh. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 2499]

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

LEBLANC, HUBERT AUSTIN: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, Hubert Austin LeBlanc joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1943, travelling to Quebec for basic training. He was hurt at this time and had to be hospitalized for two weeks. While his division was sent overseas, there remained needs at home to support the war effort. Hubert had mining experience from the St. Rose mine in Inverness County, so he was stationed to work the mines in New Waterford, and he worked there for the duration of the war.

Hubert was a proud Royal Canadian Legion member all his life, until he passed away this year. While he never saw active duty, his heart was with his comrades fighting in Europe. Fate may have saved him from the horrors of war.

Let us remember Hubert LeBlanc and all who served Canada to support the war effort needed to restore peace and freedom at that time in our history. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

FIREWOOD SHORTAGE

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I am thankful to have the opportunity to rise in my place again and to advocate for a policy change. Again I will raise awareness in regard to the firewood shortage in Nova Scotia and the lack of access to Crown land. Once again, just last week, the former Liberal Minister of Natural Resources, Don Downe, stated that it was "an acute issue."

I would like to point out, again, that Mr. Don Downe was a former Minister of Natural Resources. Mr. Speaker, compare that to the current Liberal Minister of Natural Resources who refuses to return phone calls or have meetings with firewood suppliers.

Mr. Speaker, I am thankful for these 60 seconds to bring the firewood shortage forward. To be continued.

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

THERIAULT, JUNIOR

[Page 2500]

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe we're all here today, and we all have somebody we can look back to who has mentored us and brought us forward and given us some value. In saying that, I want to mention a member I have followed for a long time - and I think all the people in this House have heard his name - that would be Junior Theriault.

One thing that Junior Theriault brought to this House was respect, and he brought credibility. There are a few words I think I'd like to echo that reflect what he would tell me and what we spoke about on Bill No. 60. There's a quote that he always used: "quality over quantity." That's the way that he campaigned and that's the way he dealt with people.

I'm proud to say that today we have a bill that shows quality over quantity. Not only that, but it's going to be a bill that eventually will not only have quality but it will have quantity also, down the road when consultation happens and we listen to the people. I'm very proud of our government and the resolve that we have. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we proceed to the next member, I want to remind the member for Clare-Digby, and all the members in the House, that we're teetering, the last day or so, on making Statements by Members about the bills that are currently before the House. I would encourage you to take a look at your Statements by Members coming up, and if that's the direction they're going, you have time to change the direction.

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

GLOADE, CHIEF BOB/MILLBROOK FIRST NATION - WIND ENERGY

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, every year the Canadian wind industry celebrates clean energy. It celebrates clean energy leaders and pioneers at its annual conference and exhibition. This year Millbrook First Nation Chief Bob Gloade accepted the Canadian Wind Energy Association Group Leadership Award in Montreal. Construction began last year on 12 wind turbines, which will bring around 24 megawatts of electrical power to the Nova Scotia provincial grid. I was very pleased that our government was able to approve this project.

Each megawatt will be able to power approximately 3,000 Nova Scotian homes and I would like to congratulate Chief Gloade and Millbrook First Nation for their significant contribution to the advancement of wind energy in Nova Scotia.

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

WEBB, CHRISTOPHER/FOULGER, VICTORIA:

[Page 2501]

HFX. LIBRARY - COFFEE SHOPS

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to take a moment to congratulate Christopher Webb and Victoria Foulger, the owners of Pavia at 995 Herring Cove Road. About a year or two ago Chris and Victoria took a risk and they opened up a café and arts space in Herring Cove in a spot that was not known for successful businesses. Not only did they flourish, they actually won the contract to the Halifax Central Library and it was just announced yesterday that the library will be opening December 13th with Chris and Victoria having a spot on not only the first floor but the fifth floor. I want to thank both of them for all their hard work and I look forward to having a coffee.

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

ANNA. VALLEY C OF C - WORKPLACE EDUC. AWARD

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce has been awarded the provincial Workplace Education Ambassador Award for Workplace Champion. The award is presented to an individual, project, team or group that through promotion of partnerships and lifelong learning and workplace education has made a significant contribution to the overall Nova Scotia Workplace Education Initiative.

Over the past two years the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce has held six Workplace Education programs and has two more currently underway. "AVCC is pleased to be able to offer high quality professional development sessions to businesses in the Annapolis Valley at little or no financial cost. . ." says chamber president Sue Hayes.

The awards will be presented in a special ceremony on November 19th. I trust this House will join me in congratulating the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce.

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

CLIMATE CHANGE

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, on November 2nd the UN Panel on Climate Change released their concluding assessment. The report warns that emissions need to drop dramatically by the end of this century, for the world to have a chance of keeping the temperature below a level that many consider dangerous. According to the report, failure to do so could lock the world on a trajectory with irreversible impacts on people and the environment.

The impacts of climate change are already being observed: rising sea levels, melting glaciers and Arctic sea ice. In my constituency of Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River, we are particularly concerned about flooding. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the report's launch in Copenhagen, "Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity . . . Leaders must act. Time is not on our side."

[Page 2502]

I implore all members of this House and especially our Minister of Environment to heed this message. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie.

BALSAM FIR CHRISTMAS TREE BUSINESS

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring a flavour of the festive season to these esteemed proceedings, particularly in view of the fact that members may be spending Christmas together this year. (Laughter)

Today, as we enjoy the privilege of this House, thousands of hardworking Nova Scotians are deeply involved in the harvest of one of Nova Scotia's most important exports, the balsam fir Christmas tree. Hundreds of thousands of children across North America and the world gather around our province's balsam fir each year to celebrate with great excitement the spirit of Christmas. Not only does this industry bring joy to so many but it brings significant income to many Nova Scotia families. This year our growers are enjoying some badly needed relief from what has been a very high Canadian dollar, which has prevailed for many years.

In the spirit of shopping local, I would urge all members and all Nova Scotians to purchase a real Nova Scotia balsam Christmas tree this year and celebrate our great tradition while helping our local farmers. Thank you.

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

MACLEAN, MEGHAN & HEATHER - GOLF ACCOMPLISHMENTS

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, two sisters, Meghan and Heather McLean of Port Williams have had a special year playing golf. Meghan recently won the provincial junior ladies championship at age 15. She was the Ken-Wo junior girls' club champion, as well as the overall champion of Ken-Wo ladies division. She won both the Maple Leaf Junior Tour events and she entered and tied for 6th at the provincial Women's Amateur Championship. Meghan went on to represent Nova Scotia at both the Canadian Junior and Women's Amateur Championships.

Her sister, Heather, meanwhile was selected the Nova Scotia Golf Association 2014 Valley Zone Player of the Year; she won the girl's division at the Subway Junior tournament at Ken-Wo; won the Ken-Wo Bantam club championship; was the low net winner at the ladies club championship; and came second at the bantam girls provincials.

[Page 2503]

Please join me in congratulating Heather and Meghan McLean.

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

HFX. PUBLIC LIBRARY

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, we're so pleased to hear that the new Halifax Public Library will be opening its doors December 13th. The structure is beautiful and will accommodate many new services, art displays, studio spaces, and cafés. American news and CNN included this project in the list of 10 eye-popping new buildings of 2014. CNN's website describes the downtown building as blending ". . . the distinctive atmosphere of local landscape with northern European design heritage."

The library is expecting to double the number of daily visitors to the new building compared to the old Spring Garden Road Memorial Public Library. To accommodate them, 51 new staff have been hired to work the floors. The library will feature a local authors section and includes educational programming for all ages. We are fortunate to live in a province that values such an important addition to our cultural, social, and educational landscapes.

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

SAWMILL RIVER - DAYLIGHTING

MR. ALLAN ROWE « » : Mr. Speaker, many members of this House are certainly familiar with the Shubenacadie Canal and, as well, a campaign in our community to daylight what is known as the Sawmill River in downtown Dartmouth. At one time the Sawmill River was an open river and it led all the way from Sullivan's Pond right down to Halifax Harbour, but after severe flooding, due to a hurricane back in 1971, the city decided to enclose the river and reroute it into a steel pipe which was then buried.

Mr. Speaker, I believe that daylighting the river could have some very positive effects in our downtown local community, and I look forward to learning more about what this process could mean for the residents of downtown Dartmouth and, as well, admirers and visitors to the Shubenacadie Canal waterway system.

Tonight, Mr. Speaker, the Halifax Harbour East Marine Drive Community Council is meeting in Dartmouth and the issue of daylighting the Sawmill River is on the agenda. I encourage all members of this House to learn more about the impact which this could have on our community and the Halifax area, and I look forward to learning more of their discussions this evening. Thanks very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

[Page 2504]

TIR: CBRM - ARTERIAL RDS. REHAB. PROJ.

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal joined the federal government and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to announce the Government of Canada has conditionally set aside funding under the new Build Canada plan for Phase I of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Arterial Roads Rehabilitation project in Nova Scotia. The project involves rehabilitation of seven different arterial roads into four different communities of the CBRM that are part of the CBRM's Arterial Roads Rehabilitation program.

This strategic partnership will make close to $3 million available for eligible projects cost. The initiative will improve road safety and will restore distressed arterial road surfaces to extend their service life and to restore the efficient movement and safe routing of local and commercial traffic.

This project exemplifies how we are working to maximize federal infrastructure spending throughout this province.

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

GALLAGHER, TITUS/AMHERST REG. HS STUDENTS

- REMEMBRANCE DAY CEREMONY

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, this week I was privileged to attend Remembrance Day activities in three communities throughout my constituency. Each of them was very moving and their importance cannot be overstated, but I think that one deserves special mention here today.

The students at ARHS - Amherst Regional High School - led by Titus Gallagher, came together to conceive and organize an hour-long ceremony like none I have ever witnessed before. It was executed with extreme precision and with respect. It served to highlight the sacrifices made by those who served our country in the Afghanistan conflict. I think sometimes this is something that is overlooked in some of our Remembrance Day ceremonies today which tend to focus on the two Great Wars of the 20th Century.

Mr. Speaker, I want to rise in the House today to thank Titus Gallagher and the students of Amherst Regional High for the special attention they paid to their Remembrance Day ceremony this year.

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

MACPHERSON, JOHN & ETHEL ANN:

[Page 2505]

BOSTON CHRISTMAS TREE - DONATION

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : On Sunday John and Ethel Ann MacPherson were standing in their Purlbrook, Antigonish County, yard looking up at a 13-metre white spruce. They were wondering how the private contractor sent by the Department of Natural Resources had managed to climb the giant tree and bundle it, while still standing, for transport to Boston.

Nova Scotia has been sending a Christmas tree to Boston since 1971 to thank the city for its help after the Halifax Explosion in 1917. The Halifax Explosion claimed approximately 2,000 lives and left hundreds injured and homeless. Boston was quick to provide medical personnel and supplies.

Staff and students from the environmental technologies program at the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus will cut the tree during a public ceremony on November 17th. We are proud to continue this tradition and friendship with our southern neighbours.

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

DICKIE, VAUGHN - CTV MARITIMER OF THE WK. AWARD

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : In more than 70 years, Vaughn Dickie, now 82, has never missed one year at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition. He began his involvement by showing cattle when he was just a young boy, and as a well-known dairy farmer, he continued his support at the exhibition by serving on the board of directors and on various committees. Vaughn also played a major role on the construction of the Agridome on the NSPE grounds, from assisting with drawing up the plans to actually working on the construction of the building. He has also been involved with organizing events in the Agridome during exhibition week and throughout the year.

Vaughn is one of the longest-serving members of the Exhibition Commission. After the 2014 exhibition, Vaughn announced his retirement, saying he was slowing down and needed to take a step back, yet he was on the grounds every day during the week of the exhibition in his unofficial capacity as supervisor. Vaughn is a charter member of the Onslow-Belmont Fire Brigade in Colchester North. He may be retired, but he continues to work and to be an important part of both organizations.

On October 21, 2014, Vaughn's tireless dedication to the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition earned him the distinction of being presented with the CTV Maritimer of the Week award, a well-deserved honour.

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

ANTIGONISH PEOPLE'S PLACE LIBRARY

[Page 2506]

MR. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, first I'd like to thank my colleague from Fairview-Clayton Park for bringing to the attention of this House the great honour that came to Antigonish County and the Boston tree ceremony.

I'd also like to draw attention to the House - the members here from the Halifax area have been talking about the Halifax library. I'd like to draw attention to the Antigonish People's Place Library, which recently was identified and recognized as one of the Great Canadian Places - Public Spaces. It's a great facility and I'm glad that Halifax is going to have the opportunity to experience what we've had for a few years now in Antigonish.

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

ELMS, FOSTER & VERA - VOLS.

HON. PAT DUNN « » : I would like to say a few words about a wonderful couple that live on the Vale Road in New Glasgow. Foster and Verna Elms are well respected in their community. Although they have been retired for several years, they continue to volunteer at their church and community events. Foster and Verna are great role models for our community and are very proud of their grandchildren. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

DIGBY-CLARE MLA - BIRTHDAY WISHES

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, over the past year, I've gotten to know all of my colleagues in the House on both sides. Even though at times it seems like we don't like each other very much, in fact we do like each other and we have a lot of respect for one another.

That being said, and although I know that saying this is probably going to incur a lot of ire from this particular member, I would be remiss to not wish my very honourable colleague, the member for Clare-Digby, a happy, happy birthday.

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

EDIBLE ART CAFÉ (GREENWICH)

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker and honourable members, I am sure you all know the importance of the local coffee shop to a community. It is the hub for local news and events, a place to feel at home and meet neighbours, and of course a place to get your morning fair trade caffeine fix. There is a new café in Greenwich and it's already an award-winning business in its first year.

The Edible Art Café was recently named the 2014 Outstanding New Business of the Year by the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce, perhaps because it is much more than its name suggests. It's a café, yes, but it is also a hub for local art and music and a place to screen a new film, a community market, and even a dance studio for salsa dancers.

[Page 2507]

Ariell and Jesse Vincent are two young entrepreneurs who have taken a risk and created a business that has answered a need in their community for a space to gather, to create, to share, to learn, and to eat and drink fine food together.

Congratulations to Ariell and Jesse. The Province of Nova Scotia thanks you both for your hard work and creativity as the Outstanding New Business in the Annapolis Valley for 2014.

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

S. SHORE PLAYERS: THE WIZARD OF OZ - PRODUCTION

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : For more than 20 years, the South Shore Players have provided much entertainment to the people of Lunenburg County and beyond. One of their staples has been a play played each holiday season, and for many, it marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday season. Beginning on November 28th and running at various dates through December 14th, the South Shore Players will perform L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the classic novel.

Incorporating actors from the very young to the very experienced, the South Shore Players truly are a community group. Opportunities are afforded to any and all who wish to try their luck in the world of amateur acting. Mind you, this is no amateur organization. The Players are always well-directed, well-run and well-acted. If you happen to find yourself in the Lunenburg area sometime during the aforementioned dates, I urge you to buy a ticket and come enjoy the show. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'd just like to remind the honourable member for Lunenburg that we're bordering on advertising a specific event during a member's statement, which is not allowed.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

AT HOME IN PICTOU COUNTY

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Advocate Media Inc. has added another publication to its extensive repertoire, At Home in Pictou County. It is a full, glossy magazine that is published twice a year and focuses on the lifestyles and interests of families in Pictou County and across Nova Scotia. The publication features a variety of topics ranging from household advice and recipes to fitness tips.

The first publication under the Advocate umbrella was released November 13, 2014. This issue contains recipes from local chefs Gilles Godin and Thomas Carey, a craft project and many more interesting articles and columns. The Advocate hopes to see the publication grow with contributions from its readers. Thank you.

[Page 2508]

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

MELANSON, PAT - MUSIC N.S. AWARD

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Pat Melanson is an Amherst native who currently lives in Shelburne. In spite of his Acadian name, Pat was raised in a unilingual English environment. But through his hard work, Pat has polished his French language skills to the point where he was able to write and produce the French-language album, Collideco!.

Pat, along with his band, Killick, was recently nominated for French-language Artist of the Year at the Music Nova Scotia Awards. While another artist was successful in winning that award, I'm sure for all of the Killick fans across the province and beyond, they will see Pat as a winner for this accomplishment, along with his bandmates. I rise in the House today to congratulate them on that great achievement.

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

MCBAY, RONALD & DONALD

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend two brothers, the McBay twins, Ronald and Donald of Grand-Pré, for their tremendous contribution to their communities. For half a century, the twins have served the communities of Wolfville, Grand-Pré and Hortonville in countless organizations, including minor sport, community choirs, the Horton Community Hall, the Horton United Sunday school, nursing homes and with the Wolfville Lions Club. The list goes on beyond the 60 seconds I'm allotted here today.

Ronald and Donald have recently been named Maritimers of the Week by CTV News in recognition of their lifelong and continuing service to their communities. I would like to, on behalf of all the citizens of Kings South, congratulate and thank the McBays for their combined century of service to their communities. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Barring more members' statements, with the unanimous consent of the House, we'll recess until 11:00 a.m. Is it agreed?

There has been a request for a recorded vote.

We will ring the bells for one hour. The House will resume at 11:50 a.m.

[10:50 a.m.]

[Page 2509]

[The Division bells were rung.]

[10:51 a.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. We've changed gears here a little bit. There was a call for unanimous consent of the House, which was not agreed to, so therefore we'll move on to Government Business. It was not a motion.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : In the absence of the Deputy Speaker, we'll ask the honourable member for Fairview-Clayton Park to assume the role of Deputy Speaker as Chair of the Committee of the Whole on Bills.

[10:51 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Bills with Acting Deputy Speaker Ms. Patricia Arab in the Chair.]

[10:59 a.m. CW on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Speaker Mr. Kevin Murphy in the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK » : That the Committee of the Whole on Bills has met, has made some progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Thank you.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM.: FLAVOURED TOBACCO - LEGISLATION LOOPHOLE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Yesterday in Question Period, when discussing a ban on flavoured tobacco, the Premier said, and I quote from Hansard, we want to ". . . ensure that legislation will prevent any tobacco company from finding a way around it." And ". . . when we bring in flavoured-tobacco legislation, there will be no loophole . . ." I would just like to ask the Premier a simple question, what loophole was in the existing legislation that caused him to drop the ban on flavoured tobacco altogether?

[Page 2510]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, we want to first of all thank the honourable member for the question. We believe the piece of legislation that is before this House was put together by so many Nova Scotians; it stands by itself. We want to make sure though that unlike at the federal Conservative level, there is no way for Big Tobacco to find their way around this piece of legislation. We have the time to do so and we are looking forward to making sure that by May 31st we have passed that.

MR. BAILLIE « » : The Minister of Health and Wellness said that the bill is flawed. The Premier said yesterday he wants to make sure there is no loophole. I asked a simple question, what loophole was in the bill that caused him to pull the ban on flavoured tobacco, which by the way has been described as tasting like warm pancakes but still kills like cancer? I would like to ask the Premier, what caused the change of heart in the middle of the process here of passing this bill, or in other words, who convinced the Premier to pull the ban on flavoured tobacco?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to again thank the honourable member for the question. Mr. Speaker, what we have before us is the ability to pass legislation around e-cigarettes that will keep it out of the hands of young Nova Scotians; we will treat it just like tobacco. Business owners, small business owners, need an opportunity to prepare for the fact that they have to conceal that product. They also have to prepare for the fact that advertising is no longer allowed at their premises of work.

We believe giving them that window to May 31st is the appropriate window. On top of that we also have heard from Nova Scotians, we've heard from members of the Opposition who were in some cases unhappy with the piece of legislation that came forward. We want to listen to what they have said. We want to engage Nova Scotians in what they've said. We will bring in a piece of legislation on flavoured tobacco, Mr. Speaker, that will deal with the issue and we will do it on a timeline that is presented before this House on May 31st.

MR. BAILLIE « » : I just want to be clear, Mr. Speaker - the Premier is the king of if you can't have it both ways. Well, he can't have it both ways. We are very much in support of the rules as they are proposed on e-cigarettes, no one is disputing that, but the question wasn't even about that. It was about flavoured tobacco where we actually believe there should be a ban and the government has withdrawn that ban.

We are not the only ones that believe there should be a ban now. The Canadian Cancer Society thinks that, Doctors Nova Scotia thinks that, Smoke-Free Nova Scotia thinks there should be a ban now, and so do many of our community health boards, but the government wants to take more time. Well, we think this is something to be fixed now. We put a very reasonable amendment forward to actually put that ban back in place. The Premier wants to consult more people but beyond all of those groups, it just leads to the question of who else does the Premier possibly need to talk to before he does the right thing and puts the ban back on flavoured tobacco?

[Page 2511]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to remind all members of this House that we have a piece of legislation that will deal with e-cigarettes. We have an opportunity to ensure that we close all of the loopholes in and around flavoured tobacco, that we listen to the concerns that were brought forward by the Opposition members, that we go out and listen to Nova Scotians so we can ensure that we bring in an airtight piece of legislation that will ensure we protect young Nova Scotians from flavoured tobacco, and that is exactly what we're going to do.

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

PREM. - SENIORS: HOME CARE - WELL-BEING IMPROVEMENT

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. Yesterday the president of the College of Family Physicians of Canada called for action on homecare. Dr. Garey Mazowita, president of the college, said he had seen first-hand the health of older patients decline in hospital on waiting lists and he said, "Their function and mental well-being would have been better maintained, and often even improved, had adequate home care been available . . ."

My question to the Premier is, does the Premier agree that home care is a good way to improve the well-being of our seniors who are waiting in hospital beds?

THE PREMIER « » : Yes, that's why we put an extra $30 million in the budget.

MS. MACDONALD « » : I think the actual numbers are smaller than that - it's about $22 million.

During last year's election the Premier said he had a plan to put patients first. The election platform on health care said, "And when patients end up in hospitals, we need to make sure they return home as quickly as possible." We have now learned that in the last six months of this Liberal Government the home care list has increased by 80 per cent.

Will the Premier please explain how growing wait times for home care and growing numbers of people in hospital beds is keeping their campaign promise to put Nova Scotians first?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for this question. We have the Minister of Health of Wellness and the Department of Health and Wellness working with our partners across this province, working to move Nova Scotians out of hospitals to home. She's seeing some of that growth in lists around looking for home care support. We've recognized there needs to be an investment in home care across this province, and we're very pleased with our partners who are working in regions across Nova Scotia to ensure that our parents and loved ones get an opportunity to be home as quickly as possible, to provide that support.

[Page 2512]

We know there's more work to do, we've invested in that and we're going to continue to ensure that we invest in home care support.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, seven of Nova Scotia's former nine district health authorities have experienced a significant increase in the number of people waiting for home care since April. As a former Health and Wellness Minister, I know that it requires daily attention of the Health and Wellness Department to ensure people are moved out of hospital and into home care.

So my question is, will the Premier now admit that the focus on DHA amalgamation has taken valuable time and energy away from improving front-line patient care?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, no, I wouldn't. As a matter of fact, I want to thank the Minister of Health and Wellness for not only doing the largest restructuring in the health care system in this province to put patients first, I want to also congratulate him for while he has been doing the hard work that that government wouldn't do, he ensured that we're getting more people from hospitals to home, and we will provide support in the home care system.

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

PREM.: N.S. POWER - RATE INCREASE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it appears another Liberal election promise is about to go down the tubes. Nova Scotia Power now wants to raise our rates starting in April 2015. We know that the Liberals are over at the URB desperately trying to delay that increase even if it means costing ratepayers another $8 million in interest payable to Nova Scotia Power. The consumer advocate says this is buying customers a present with their own money. I'll table that.

My question for the Premier is, why is he trying to buy ratepayers a present with their own money instead of actually lowering rates?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me congratulate the Minister of Energy on the tremendous work he has been doing on behalf of all Nova Scotians in this province. I want to thank the Minister of Energy for sending a message to the Utility and Review Board to ensure that the savings when we removed the NDP electricity tax off power bills ends up in the pockets of Nova Scotians.

[Page 2513]

Instead of spending eight hours in this House ringing bells, it might have been more useful for the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party to go down there and add his voice to the fact that he believes that money should stay in the pockets of Nova Scotians as well and not in the pockets of Nova Scotia Power. (Applause)

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Premier should congratulate the ratepayers of Nova Scotia for their patience while his government flip-flops trying to twist themselves into pretzels to keep an election promise that they obviously can't keep because our rates are going to go up in 2015 after all, and he knows it. So does the chairman of the Utility and Review Board who said: ". . . the party who benefits most from the delay is the shareholder of NS Power . . ." - in other words Emera - ". . . because they will collect carrying costs at 7.8 %." What Nova Scotian would not want to earn 7.8 per cent? But the Liberals are okay with that happening for Nova Scotia Power. That's a pretty good return.

So I'll ask the Premier, why would he ever agree to a new policy that allows Nova Scotia Power to be the biggest beneficiary?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party to periodically stop and listen. Just every once in a while, someone else might have an idea that he doesn't have. The fact of the matter is that we are going to take off the NDP electricity tax; we're going to drive power rates down. It would be helpful if they would go to the Utility and Review Board and add their voice to supporting ratepayers and not shareholders.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: HOME CARE WAIT-LIST - INCREASES

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Yesterday, in trying to explain the 80 per cent increase in the home care wait-list, the Minister of Health and Wellness indicated that he increased the home care budget by over $30 million this year.

Reviewing the supplementary budget information, which I'll table, the increase from the 2013-14 forecast to the 2014-15 estimate is only $22.6 million. That's nearly one-quarter short.

Would the Minister of Health and Wellness agree that the 80 per cent increase in the home care wait-list is due to a one-quarter shortfall in what they had agreed to support home care services this year with?

[Page 2514]

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the honourable member will know that besides the amount going directly to assist in terms of home care, there is an array of other programs that do support home first, for example, and that there are other programs within the budget that allow for greater care in the home.

In fact, one of the areas as we transition from more nursing home beds to care in the home is we have reduced the nursing home wait-list. Now we need, as well, to get more providers for home care to make sure that we meet that growing demand.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, in the supplementary budget information that I tabled, it shows that the home care budget for the former Annapolis Valley DHA received a 1.2 per cent increase more for home care, but they saw their increase in the wait-list go up 52 per cent. The South Shore district home care budget increased by 1.8 per cent, but they saw their home care wait-list increase by over 800 per cent.

In The Chronicle Herald on the home care wait-list, the minister yesterday indicated that he doesn't see it as a dramatic increase. Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Health and Wellness, if an 80 per cent increase in the home care wait-list isn't dramatic, what is?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, we all know that we can use statistics in terms of percentages versus actual numbers. We know the list for home care is a very dynamic one, one that in fact is constantly changing, in flux. We know that right now, we can do better in terms of utilizing all of the dollars provided for home care and that's where refreshing the Continuing Care Strategy will help us realize that.

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

ERDT - NOVA STAR FERRY: OFF-SEASON CONTRACT

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. Recently, the minister told The Chronicle Herald that there is no hard deadline for when it would be too late for the Nova Star to find an off-season contract. In that same article, a company spokesperson indicated they were hopeful in having an update this week.

Can the minister please tell the House whether the Nova Star ferry has found winter work?

HON. MICHEL SAMSON » : Mr. Speaker, the company is who bears responsibility for finding work for the vessel during the winter months. It is our understanding that they are continuing to pursue leads as to potential work for the winter months. As soon as that is secured, they will advise us and in turn, as we've done since the beginning with this ferry, we will advise Nova Scotians.

[Page 2515]

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for his answers. As lobster season approaches in District 34, there are a lot of concerns that the Nova Star is in the way. If there is no plan for winter work, is there a better solution than having a phone number for the fishers to call to remove the lines when they have to go to work and return?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe it was almost a week ago when I advised Nova Scotians that the company had acknowledged a concern that the mooring lines for the vessel may interfere with the local lobster boats and, as a result of that, that the company was seeking an alternate site for the vessel. I commend the company for recognizing that issue in wanting to continue to have a very good relationship with local fishermen as they prepare for lobster season. I would expect that within the next few days the vessel will be leaving the port of Yarmouth for another location while it continues to try to secure winter work.

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

PREM. - FLAVOURED TOBACCO: SALE - BAN

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Contrary to the Premier's talking points when it comes to the sale of flavoured tobacco, his Liberal Government policy is anything but progressive. In fact, a jurisdictional review published by the Canadian Cancer Society in April 2014 shows that Alberta has passed a bill banning flavoured tobacco, and Manitoba and Ontario have introduced similar legislation. At a time when much of the country is working towards banning flavoured tobacco, Nova Scotia is heading in the wrong direction.

My question for the Premier is, if the Premier of Alberta can place a ban on the sale of flavoured tobacco, why can't the Premier of Nova Scotia do the same thing?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would encourage the member to actually check to see if any of that legislation has actually been proclaimed. What we have laid out before this House is a piece of legislation that we will move forward and remove e-cigarettes to make sure that we protect young Nova Scotians from those.

Mr. Speaker, the honourable member himself brought forward an amendment across at Law Amendments. We believe that amendment should be considered and consulted and we believe that we should talk to Nova Scotians about that. We can do that very consultation, looking at his own amendment, we can do that and we can also meet the timeline of May 31st. What more does he want? We are actually listening to them.

[Page 2516]

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : I hope the Premier is listening now. By no means did any of us on this side ask him to pull back the ban on flavoured tobacco in the legislation - not one person on this side, Mr. Speaker.

According to the Canadian Youth Smoking Survey published in October 2013, 49 per cent of youth under the age of 19 who use tobacco in Atlantic Canada prefer flavoured tobacco. The survey found that one in seven males in high school has used flavoured tobacco in the last 30 days, so to my question for the Premier. Right now the Premier has a chance to take flavoured-tobacco products out of the hands of our high school students across Nova Scotia. Why won't he amend the legislation and ban flavoured tobacco now?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable member knows that the piece of legislation that talked about flavoured tobacco was talking about May 31st. He didn't even actually want to change that date, what he was talking about was the menthol flavour. We believe we should listen to him. The unfortunate part is it is one more piece of business left undone by the former government that we're going to make sure that by May 31st we deal with.

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

LAE: WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY REGS. - FORMULA

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, red tape is a job killer. I presume that's why this government intends to release its tax and regulatory review at some future date. My question is about the proposed amendments to the Workplace Health and Safety Regulations.

On page 6, Mr. Speaker, of the draft proposal, there is a formula designed to guide employers regarding hazardous conditions:

Mr. Speaker, I'll table that formula. My question to the minister, most employers care about the safety of their employees and want to cooperate within the rules. Will the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education please explain how imposing such a complicated formula, like the one I just tabled, keeps workers safer?

HON. KELLY REGAN » : I thank the honourable member for the question, in fact that is out for consultation right now and that's exactly the kind of feedback we want to hear. I know that sometimes the Opposition doesn't actually want us to consult but in fact, in this place, it's a perfect example of why it's so important to consult, thank you.

[Page 2517]

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I had a chance to consult with some of the employers and they looked at that formula and threw their hands up in the air. However, many small and medium sized businesses in Nova Scotia are already struggling under the weight of the highest taxes and power rates in the country and the complicated regulatory regime. Changes to regulations that include a difficult formula will not ease that burden.

My question to the minister, will the minister help job creators create safer workplaces by consulting and working with them rather than imposing expensive and confusing new regulations?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, in fact, just the other day one of my colleagues came back to me after meeting with a businessman and he said that the attitude in the Department of Labour and Advanced Education in our Safety Branch has done a complete 360, that the people who are working in that branch are so committed to safety and so committed to helping businesses make sure their workers are safe. He said he wanted to pass along the message to me that it has been a huge turnaround and I do want to thank those workers for the work they are doing. Thank you.

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

ENVIRON.: THIRD PARTY REPTS. - PILOT PROG.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Environment. Yesterday I asked the Minister of Environment about a pilot program that is taking place in the western region of the province. I have emails here from staff in his department regarding it. Unfortunately the minister wasn't aware of the program and couldn't answer my question at that time, so I'll try again.

Can the Minister of Environment please explain the pilot program that has been going on for three months and prohibits MLAs from filing complaints on behalf of their constituents?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for raising this question. I guess first and foremost, this particular initiative is not about preventing MLAs from doing their job at all - quite the contrary.

What we are intending to do here, if you look at it in terms of affecting our constituency offices, as the member seems to be most concerned with, is actually the way - I may be a rookie, maybe I don't understand my job fully in my constituency office. The member opposite has more experience but I know that in my job when environment issues come to my constituency office, I direct them down the hall so that we can have the individuals bring the information first-hand to our staff.

[Page 2518]

If people are having issues with how our office is handling those complaints or issues or information being brought forward, that's something that needs to be escalated, certainly, and that's something I would look forward to hearing from all members in this House on behalf of their constituents. But for actual reported incidences, we want to get that information firsthand so we can make better decisions.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you for the answer, but the minister is missing the point that many people are fearful to come forward, especially in rural Nova Scotia and to refuse an MLA to bring that information is just wrong.

This pilot program also means that anonymous tips from people of the province will no longer be worthy of investigation. Many people, especially in close-knit rural communities, are hesitant to have their name included when reporting incidents involving their neighbours, co-workers or employers. I've been told by staff in his department - I have the emails here if the minister would like to see them - that inspectors are keeping track of how many times they are informed of an issue but are unable to investigate it because of these new rules.

My question to the minister is, in the months since these new rules have been in place, how many reported infractions have gone uninvestigated?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member for bringing this issue forward. What I'd like to advise the member and all members of the public in the western region, I think first and foremost is the importance of why this initiative has taken place on a pilot process.

Rather than rolling out bad policy and bad initiatives across the Province of Nova Scotia, under this government, under this department, we are engaging in a pilot initiative so that we can identify where there may be some challenges in what we are proposing and moving forward as enhancements as to how we do business so we can do a better job protecting our environment.

I have heard frequently from people from one end of this province to the other that they think we can do a better job. This is an initiative that we're working on doing that and we are tracking the data so we can make informed decisions as to the effectiveness of this pilot project. If it needs to make adjustments to make it better, then we'll be doing that before we look at moving it forward across the province.

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

PSC: PAID PUBLIC HOLIDAY/ECONOMY BOOM - CORRELATION

[Page 2519]

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Public Service Commission. Last week I asked the minister about the cost of a new February holiday with regard to civil servants. I'll quote from Hansard his answer, "Nova Scotia has the least amount of holidays in Canada, and the provinces that have the most, Alberta and Saskatchewan, actually have the most booming economies in Canada."

Mr. Speaker, that is not even logical. The minister is ignoring our deficit and saying that if we had more holidays, we could have a better economy.

My question to the minister is, can the minister explain how legislating a paid public holiday, forcing small businesses to delve deeper into their pockets for wages, will give us a booming economy?

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS » : Mr. Speaker, I stand by what I said. Those provinces do have more holidays than we have, and they have much more booming economies. When people are working, we can increase their productivity by giving them breaks, and this is what it is. It's a break. It will increase the productivity of Nova Scotians, and I truly believe that it will move Nova Scotia in a positive direction. Thank you.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister should try creating jobs instead of creating holidays from the few jobs that we do have.

Mr. Speaker, when I asked about a hiring freeze in the Civil Service, the minister said there is no hiring freeze, I don't know why the Opposition keeps going there. On Page 4 of the Finance and Treasury Board Minister's briefing book, it says there is a 1 to 2 ratio hiring freeze, and I'll table that. The minister obviously did not have the information included in his own briefing book.

My question to the minister is, can the minister confirm whether or not there is a hiring freeze within his own department?

MR. KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, filling half of our positions is not a hiring freeze. A hiring freeze is filling none of our vacant positions.

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to add that as an entrepreneur in Nova Scotia, having owned various companies, I have hired Nova Scotians and I have created jobs. Thank you.

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

MUN. AFFS.: N.S. VILLAGES - ABOLITION

[Page 2520]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Minister of Municipal Affairs. In a recent provincial-municipal fiscal report, Recommendations 13 and 14 suggest that the minister should abolish all 22 villages in Nova Scotia. This came as a shock to those villages, as they were the only ones left out of the consultation for creating this report.

I'd like to ask the acting minister, do the acting minister and her government think it's fair that the harshest recommendation in that report is targeted at the only group that were not consulted?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I think it's an important question. It's important that every member of this province recognizes that that piece of paper that was brought out was a piece of paper for consultation.

I have said to villages across this province, the same as I have said to towns and municipalities, that this government will not force anyone to amalgamate, but we will work with communities that want to amalgamate.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure there's some comfort in those words and that commitment from the Premier, but the question is, why were they not allowed to be part of creating that report? The Lawrencetown Village Commission said in a recent article that the government move is a "narrow-minded, ill-conceived approach," and I'll table that. The New Minas Village Commission said that "these two recommendations around villages come completely out of left field . . . It's almost as if they had a blank page and said 'well, we've got to put something here.'" I'll table that, or I just did.

I would like to ask the Premier, why wouldn't the Premier now indicate to those villages that that recommendation will not even be considered in future endeavours on the fiscal management review that was done?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to correct something that the member said. This was a document put together by municipalities. It was chaired by the Chair of the UNSM, Mayor Corkum. They laid out these recommendations. They weren't accepted or endorsed by the government at all. They were put out for a consultation piece.

I want to remind all members of this House that it has been this government that has made it that very clear we will not be forcing municipalities to amalgamate in any part of this province, but we will work with municipalities across the province that want to do so, and that includes villages.

I don't know why the honourable member is afraid to take to the fact that we've given him an answer. The fact of the matter is that villages will not be forced to amalgamate.

[Page 2521]

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

TIR - TORQUIL MACLEAN FERRY: SERV. - RETURN DATE

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be to the Minister of TIR. The Torquil MacLean ferry was taken to dry dock for scheduled repairs in mid-July. It was supposed to be there for 10 weeks and be back in service by the end of September. That date came and passed, and then it was said that it would be the end of October. Now last week our minister said it was hopeful it would be by mid-November.

My question is, on what date can the people of Victoria County expect the Torquil MacLean to be back in service?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : I'd like to thank the member for the question. The Torquil MacLean is undergoing dry dock inspection and dry dock enhancements being performed by Aecon, which is a great Nova Scotia success story in terms of industry and sector building here. They are great shipbuilders and great ship contractors, so we're happy to have them doing the work.

The reality is, on the project, safety is number one, first and foremost, no questions asked. So when we take a vessel like the Torquil MacLean out of service, we do a full inspection and make sure everything is perfect. It's our busiest ferry. It's our most active ferry in the province in terms of vehicle passengers and overall traffic, so for us, we've got to get it right.

We have the Scotian in place. There's absolutely zero interruption in service. The Scotian is doing a good job. When the Torquil MacLean is ready, it will be back in the water, but only when it's safe to do so. Thank you very much.

MR. MACLEOD « » : I want to thank the minister for that response, but the closer we get to winter, the more dangerous it becomes to tow the ferry back to its location. On October 2nd the minister said that unexpected repairs have cost the project an extra $280,000 over the original tender price of $776,000.

Now it's more than six weeks behind schedule, and there's still no service date in sight. I wonder if the minister could tell us what unexpected repairs are causing the ongoing delays and the cost overruns.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : I'm certainly not an expert in shipbuilding or ship repair, but I have access to people who are. John Majchrowicz in our department is an expert in ferry services, in ferry maintenance, and in know-how. He's the lead on this. I trust him wholeheartedly. He does a good job and he gets accurate information, and does what he can to support the services of our ferries.

[Page 2522]

At the end of the day, the Torquil MacLean will be back in the water when it's safe. No question about it. The tug from Aecon's shipyard down to the Englishtown ferry certainly can be a tough one. Weather plays a factor, no question. When we can get the vessel there, it will be there, but I want to assure all Nova Scotians - particularly those living in the Englishtown area who rely on that vessel - that the Scotian is doing a great job. There are no service interruptions and there will not be any service interruptions. Thank you very much.

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

TIR - TANCOOK ISLAND FERRY: SERV. - RETURN DATE

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : My question again will be to the Minister of TIR. It's the people of the Tancook Islands who are essentially stuck as they wait for repairs on the William G. Ernst ferry. Residents on that island have expressed frustration as the ferry's disrepair may negatively impact on the lobster season, which is to start shortly.

Here we have another ferry problem in Nova Scotia. It seems that with this government, if it floats, it's in doubt. What assurances can the minister provide the people on the Tancook Islands that this ferry will be operational in time for the lobster season?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : The officials in our department are working on the Ernst to see what the timeline looks like. I want to mention that the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's and the MLA for Lunenburg have worked together on this issue, Mr. Speaker. I want to be very clear that this is a significant issue. The people of the Tancooks rely on this service. It's their mode of transportation back from the mainland. There's nothing more important with respect to our ferry services than to make sure there is a vessel in the water.

Currently, we have a charter vessel that's looking after the passenger traffic. My understanding is that their capacity is over and above what the average traffic is for those runs, so that's important to know, that the service is covered. Also, with respect to the lobster fishery, there are issues with fuel and issues getting bait over to the islands.

My understanding, Mr. Speaker, is that we have that covered from the logistical point. I'm certainly open to any information that suggests the contrary. We've got to get those materials to the islands as soon as possible. For us, it's about passenger traffic. We understand the frustrations, but we're going to keep that service and we're going to do what we can. Thank you.

MR. MACLEOD « » : I want to thank the minister for that response - that long response. Mr. Speaker, the people of the Tancook Islands have received assurances that the Scotian ferry would be on standby to provide services, and I'll table that document. Yet the Scotian is still needed to service Englishtown, as that ferry goes under the repairs that are needed for the Torquil MacLean. Some of the island people have expressed concerns that even when the William J. Ernst ferry's engine is repaired, it may not pass Transport Canada's stability test that it failed earlier this year.

[Page 2523]

So my final question to the minister is, will the minister inform the House what the long-term plan is for providing ferry services to the people of the Tancook Islands?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the member, I want to assure the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's and the MLA for Lunenburg, that this is an important service. This is their mode of transportation - it is how those folks get to the mainland, so obviously it's a priority. We have seven ferry runs in this province that are mandatory, obviously, for transportation. We have to look after those needs.

We have nine vessels - currently the Scotian is replacing the Torquil MacLean, Mr. Speaker. At the end of the day we're going to find a way to get service to the people of the Tancooks. We have to look after Nova Scotians; we'll certainly do that. We're going to participate in a committee that is going to be formed by the MLAs here in the Legislature that are impacted by the Tancook ferry service and we're going to do the right thing. We're going to be honest, we're going to give the people of the area all the information we have, and we'll allow them to give input and we'll make the best decision that has their interests in mind. Thank you very much.

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

TIR: TANCOOK REPLACEMENT FERRY - INADEQUACY EXPLAIN

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is also to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. As the minister knows and has said, the Tancook ferry is a vital transportation link for the people who live in my constituency on the island. He also knows that the ferry has been tied up for repairs. The Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has hired a temporary ferry called the Eastern Points, but residents of Tancook Island are telling the minister that it is an insufficient bandage. There are businesses that rely on proper ferry service to transport their goods on a daily basis, something that can't be facilitated by that boat.

Given that this is one of the most important times of the year for businesses on Tancook Island, why did the minister hire a boat that can't support the business needs and also the personal needs of Tancook residents?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly for the member opposite, I would appreciate any update on information that supports what she just said. From my department officials who are on the ground there, John Majchrowicz in particular, he says there are three issues that have been brought forward by the residents - there's an issue of fuel, there's an issue of bait and, first and foremost, there's an issue of passenger traffic.

[Page 2524]

What I'm being informed through our officials is that there's adequate service to get the bait over, there's adequate service to get the fuel over, and the average number of passengers per trip is certainly being able to be accommodated by that current charter vessel.

Mr. Speaker, the information I have is that that service is adequate. If that's not the case then, by all means, I would invite the member to bring forward the new information to my attention and we'll look after it. Thank you.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you to the minister for his answer. One of the parts the minister is missing is the fact that people who live there need oil and other items for them to be able to exist on the island, and the whaler does not have the capacity to take those items over. There are small businesses that are really being affected now, like during the lobster season.

If the decision to hire the Eastern Points as the temporary ferry service leads to revenue losses for businesses on Tancook Island, how will the minister help those business residents recoup their losses retroactively?

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, other than the three areas mentioned with the fuel, the bait, and the passenger capacity, I haven't heard of any other issues and interruptions with providing goods and services to Tancook. So that's something that certainly I haven't been briefed on, and if the member can provide specifics on that I'd certainly appreciate that. If there's something that is not getting to the island, then we've got to get it there. It's our duty on behalf of Nova Scotians, so we'll make sure that's done.

Mr. Speaker, there is a committee established. We will certainly participate with respect to these issues, with respect to where we go in the future with this vessel. We're wide open, we want to help people of Nova Scotia, so we'll listen to their input and we'll make out best path to get there. Thank you very much.

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

JUSTICE - SERIOUS CRIME: CITIZENS - PROTECTION DETAILS

HON. FRANK CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Justice. I'm wondering today what this government is doing to protect citizens against crime. We've seen this government work around getting drunk drivers back on the road, we've seen the minister refusing to address concerns with sexual assault. (Interruptions) The truth hurts, I guess.

[Page 2525]

With that said, crime statistics are going up, so a simple question to the minister. What is her government doing to protect citizens of Nova Scotia against serious crime?

HON. LENA DIAB » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. It's a very, very excellent question and I'm very happy to respond to you and tell you what we are doing in the Province of Nova Scotia.

I will list a few things for you until Mr. Speaker tells me to stop. The Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act has been very effective in this province. It's been effective in shutting down properties that adversely affect the surrounding neighbourhood through drugs, illegal activity and so on. We have the Civil Forfeiture Act, which you may or may not be aware of, it's very effective in this . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would just like to remind the honourable minister not to refer to the member opposite directly, put your comments through the Chair, and to work towards wrapping it up.

MS. DIAB « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It's very difficult to wrap it up because really there are quite a few things we're doing in this province and I think we should know. Maybe a statement.

We have the Civil Forfeiture Act also. It's been very effective in the province and it's there to seize proceeds and goods like cars or other things from crimes. We have the CeaseFire that we launched back in the Spring; it's been very effective in Halifax to combat crime, which I think is what the honourable member has been talking about. It's the release of the stats that were received today. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. CORBETT « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll probably then give another piece of legislation that the minister should talk about and that is the Mental Health Court. That's the group in the justice system that is sadly hurt. Despite proof that the Mental Health Court is working, this minister has instead decided to side with the Premier and the Minister of Health and Wellness in not expanding it.

I want to ask this minister, why is she siding with her political bosses instead of the mental health issues that face the people of Nova Scotia?

MS. DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, the Mental Health Court is one that is very dear to my heart. It's one that I very much believe in, quite frankly, when it first started years and years ago.

We have various specialty courts in this province, as we all know. Mental Health Court is a specialty court. It is set up in Dartmouth and it serves all Halifax Regional Municipality residents, but we do have various initiatives throughout the Province of Nova Scotia that also serve the residents of Nova Scotia throughout the province. We have the monitored drug treatment program in Kentville; we also have another program, a pilot that's been talked about in a couple of other areas in the Province of Nova Scotia. I would be happy to give the honourable member or anyone else any information they would like on that.

[Page 2526]

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

JUSTICE - FEB. HOLIDAY: DEPT. - COSTS ABSORB

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. There is no doubt there will be costs for the February holiday to the Department of Justice. Recently, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board said that health authorities will absorb the cost of the holiday for that department. Can the Minister of Justice explain how the department will absorb the cost of the new February holiday?

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, the issue of the February holiday has been discussed in this House by the honourable members around here for about a decade. In fact, one of the members happens to be our current Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. This certainly has not been a surprise to any Nova Scotians. It was a commitment in the platform and I'm very pleased that we brought it forward. (Applause)

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the government members can clap all they want, but we know about the safety issues that have been happening at facilities like Burnside and this could end up compromising the safety of people working at Burnside. Earlier in the week, the minister told us that safety of offenders and personnel at provincial jails is a priority. Of course, that means having the appropriate number of staff in these institutions at all times.

Will the minister assure the House that safety of offenders and staff at provincial jails will not be jeopardized to pay for the February holiday?

MS. DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the honorable member, thank you to everybody in this House. Absolutely we will assure that. That's what we're here to do. Thank you.

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

PREM. - FISCAL REVIEW COMM.: VILLAGES - REPRESENTATION

[Page 2527]

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Recently, the Minister of Municipal Affairs released the draft recommendations in the Provincial Municipal Fiscal Review report. The recommendations were drafted by the Fiscal Review Committee, which I understand is made up of civil servants and municipal officials.

If adopted, the recommendations mean some big changes for Nova Scotia's 22 villages. Will the Premier please explain why the villages are not represented on the Fiscal Review Committee?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As he knows, the document that was put out was put out for a consultation piece. He also knows we've been very clear that we will not force municipalities to amalgamate - even they could draw the conclusion we will not force villages to amalgamate. If there are communities though that want to find co-operations and amalgamate, we will support them. I happen to live in one of them, the Town of Bridgetown, which I represent, I grew up in; it's an important part of my life. It has decided that it wants to dissolve and become part of the county. We're doing all we can to usher that transition in for the residents who live in that town.

MR. LOHR « » : I'd like to thank the Premier for that answer. I have in my hand, which I will table - from the Village of Lawrencetown, another village which the Premier may be familiar with in the Annapolis County - which was signed by seven village commissioners. In this response to the UNSM fiscal review, the villages are upset that it was suggested that they are low-hanging fruit available for amalgamation, which the Village of Lawrencetown believes ". . . is an insult to Nova Scotia's long-standing roots in the principles of democracy."

No villages were included in the fiscal review process. I will ask the Premier, will Nova Scotia's 22 villages have a seat at the table in the discussion of their future?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the honourable member that all Nova Scotians can engage and provide feedback on the document that has gone on consultation. I do know the Village of Lawrencetown well; I also represent that village. As a matter of fact, I spent Remembrance Day there laying a wreath on behalf of the citizens of Nova Scotia. One of the things that the citizens of Nova Scotia know is they may not have been consulted by municipal leaders across this province, but they know that their MLA and the Premier of this province will represent them extremely well in this House.

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

FIN.: INCOME-SPLITTING - BENEFICIARIES

[Page 2528]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. The federal government recently announced that it's going to introduce income splitting for Canadians in 2015, and there have been quite a few studies done on income splitting and who will benefit. My question to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board is, has she had an opportunity to examine which Nova Scotia families will benefit from the federal government's plan to income split.

HON. DIANA WHALEN » : I appreciate the question. In fact, I haven't had a breakdown of that. I've been here listening to bells ringing and working with others here; talking about important bills as well. The income splitting that's coming in federally was a concern to us in case it would affect the tax base that we also have. I'm not endorsing their plan by any means, but I'm glad to say it doesn't affect our revenue base because it's coming in as a credit against the federal tax owing. That was relief to us because we could have stood to lose millions of dollars in revenue if it had been brought in a different way.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the Broadbent Institute has done a study on income splitting and it shows that over 90 per cent of Nova Scotia families will not benefit from this policy, which I'll table. I know the minister has been very enthusiastic about other federal government initiatives, like the pooled pension plans, and she hasn't been an advocate for improving the Canada Pension Plan.

I want to ask the minister if at some time in the future, when she has been briefed, will she inform the House of what this government's position is with respect to income splitting?

MS. WHALEN « » : As I said in my first answer, this won't affect the revenue of our province, so it's really a decision of the federal government. It will affect some Nova Scotians, and as the member opposite has just said, it will be a small segment of the Canadian population, so I would assume it's only a small section or segment of our Nova Scotia population.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers has expired.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

[11:50 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[Page 2529]

[9:38 p.m. CW on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole on Bills reports:

THE CLERK « » : Reports that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 60 - Smoke-free Places Act and Tobacco Access Act.

which was reported with certain amendments by the Committee on Law Amendments to the Committee of the Whole without further amendments and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 6.

Bill No. 6 - Petroleum Resources Act.

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : I'm pleased to rise in my place tonight and say a few words. Actually for a few minutes, Madam Speaker, it may be somewhat difficult to make the transition from the bill we have been debating. However, I realize that giving advice is sometimes a thankless business and I assure you that I'll try to veer away from that as much as I can. I also remember reading about a Greek philosopher by the same of Socrates. He was the guy who spent most of his life walking around giving advice, and you know what they did to him? They poisoned him, so I'll try to stay away from that.

Anyway, Madam Speaker, Bill No. 6, the Petroleum Resources Act, is an important piece of legislation that's in the House in front of us and I think it's a piece of legislation that can be improved. There is lots of good legislation around, lots of good ideas, lots of experts in this field that we can turn to for more advice.

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Madam Speaker, it's something that we should have a very serious look at. We certainly need a lot more collaboration with this, a lot more discussion with regard to this particular legislation, this particular bill, and get a chance to review and examine a lot of ideas, including the ideas on this side of the House, review all the avenues of thought that are out there with regard to this particular piece of legislation, because I believe the business world is wondering about this particular piece of legislation. Are we closing the door on future onshore development? What kind of a message are we sending with regard to onshore development?

Madam Speaker, we probably should be saying a lot of things about this particular piece of legislation. This may be the opportunity to acquire a lot of jobs in this Province of Nova Scotia. There is perhaps a potential for obtaining a lot of revenue, if we have the opportunity to create the proper regulations, the opportunity to see if this could be feasible, could it work in our Province of Nova Scotia?

I think that a lot of members in the House, including the members on the Opposition side, have a lot of good ideas that probably should be listened to and given more attention. One thing we shouldn't be doing, Madam Speaker, is we shouldn't be giving the message that we're not really interested in onshore exploration. That's something that might come back to bite us.

What we are suggesting, Madam Speaker, is simply to examine the possibilities of onshore gas exploration. What are the benefits? Well, the benefits of natural gas are enormous. In the meantime we have numerous Nova Scotians leaving the province, relatives, and friends working in that very industry out West. These workers prefer to be in Nova Scotia. They would like to be home in Nova Scotia working. They miss their home environment, their family, their friends, and they miss their neighbours.

Some of them have recently married and I'm afraid the longer they stay out West working, the less chance we'll have for them to return to their home province. I know all of us have friends, neighbours, and relatives that are out there working. I certainly have a lot of nieces and nephews who are out there working. At least most of them would certainly like to return back to our province here and raise their families and be closer to their parents and grandparents.

Probably the wisest and smart thing to do is to perhaps take this bill and delay it and place it on the shelf for a period of time, whatever period of time that might be - six months, 12 months - and take the time to reconsider what parameters should be in place to find that right balance between the development and the environment protection, receiving the input from communities, First Nation communities, and give business the opportunity to help us, to assist us in this legislation.

Creating a legislative ban restricts dialogue on shale gas development. I am sure the Wheeler report would agree with this approach. Delay this bill and speak to the communities, speak to the experts, speak to the industry, take the necessary time to establish regulations that would allow for safe hydraulic fracturing operations. We have a great opportunity to improve the legislation for reintroduction later.

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So, Madam Speaker, let's move slowly and examine this legislation, examine this particular operation. Why the great rush? Why the great urgency? There is no urgent need to move ahead with Bill No. 6 at this time. Allow for a thorough examination, find the answers to numerous questions - we have the time.

We have the luxury recently of natural gas being used in Pictou County. It's certainly making great advances - Michelin, Northern Pulp, there will be areas like the Aberdeen Hospital and homes and other industries that will be using natural gas in the very near future. We're hoping that it will eventually slide into the Town of Trenton and be used at Daewoo, the windmill plant.

There are so many questions. How large is our onshore resources? Can we meet the needs of the future? We have so many things to find out - will natural gas resources decrease electricity bill costs, or if natural gas can be collected in a safe way. Imagine the direct and indirect jobs this would create. That reason alone - more jobs - is good enough reason to delay this bill. We have to create the time to find out how much gas is actually available; I'm not sure if anyone has an accurate answer.

The implications of hydraulic fracturing are debateable, but the impact is undeniable. Natural gas production is growing rapidly in the United States. Countries around the world including China, United Kingdom, and South Africa are looking at shale gas development as a potential key to secure large amounts of home-grown energy. It is helping to improve the competitive position of the United States in the global economy. If natural gas is plentiful and we can find out it can be acquired in a safe and environmentally friendly manner, this would buy us time to develop new technologies that would eventually replace fossil transportation fuels.

By delaying this bill we'll give engineers, geologists, and environmental scientists the time to find the answers to many questions we have, and give these experts who are dedicated to the procedure of extracting energy the time we need to power 21st Century needs. At the same time, delaying this bill will give us the time to determine if any negative consequences of fracking can be completely prevented through strict policies and very effective management strategies. Let's take the time to find out as much as we possibly can about acquiring this natural resource. That's why it is so important to delay the bill and make intelligent decisions based on proven scientific data.

Our economy continues to face enormous challenges. Many businesses have closed or are simply struggling to stay afloat. All we have to do is look into our respective constituencies and look at some of the small businesses that are having a difficult time staying open, or that have already closed.

[Page 2532]

More and more workers head westward for employment. We have to create policies that create entrepreneurial environments that will provide good-paying jobs here in Nova Scotia. We have to provide the tools and opportunities Nova Scotians need to unlock their potential. If we improve our economy, our quality of life improves.

Fracking for natural gas has become a lively debated topic across North America. Experts in the industry continue to highlight the benefits. On the other hand, the health environmental groups are concerned about its safety. We know that economic growth occurs in areas where we have natural gas industries exploring and obtaining this resource. Some scientists and environmentalists are not sure if it is worth the risk. They feel we need more long-term research into this industry. That's another reason why we want the bill delayed. With a ban on fracking, it is not likely we will obtain the necessary information we are looking for.

What are the long-term results? Let's find out. Let's be responsible. If people think too many unknowns exist, then let's find out. We also want our province to continue their focus on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and biomass. However, we should at least pursue the benefits and risks of hydraulic fracturing.

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned earlier, advances in this industry appear to be transforming America's energy landscape. Perhaps this is a reasonable solution to transform our energy landscape - a reason why we should delay and push this bill ahead, perhaps six months or more. This way we can gain more information, more insight, and accurate data. Let's find out about the future of natural gas in this province. The environmental impacts of shale development will be challenging, but let's find out if it is manageable.

If proper research takes place and proper regulation is in place, it should narrow or minimize the environmental problems. We need the appropriate checks and balances. There's only one way to get this right: take the time, whatever that time might be. Do the proper research. Obtain the best possible answers to all the questions we have.

It appears that Bill No. 6 sends the message that we're not exactly interested in onshore development. The bill discourages exploration. It discourages companies coming to Nova Scotia to explore. Will this bill result in the loss of millions of dollars to Nova Scotia in service providers - loss of taxes, loss of employment, loss of product sales, loss of hope for potentially very good-paying jobs? Will this decrease confidence in Nova Scotia energy projects?

Once again, these are questions that we're not sure of the exact answers to. Should companies involved in offshore development worry or be concerned? If onshore development is discouraged through Bill No. 6, perhaps companies and investors involved in offshore development will be nervous and hesitant to invest in this province. The message is that we're not really interested. Companies will quickly go elsewhere to invest billions in infrastructure, improving the economy elsewhere and supporting employment elsewhere.

[Page 2533]

We need time to study this legislation. What kind of province are we going to be? We are debating about the uncertainty. Let's find out. What if it can work?

The Ivany report suggests that we should go forth carefully and examine new ways of creating jobs. If we take the time to look at this topic, let's do the following: let's consult more experts. Let's look for opportunities. Let's find out how to develop the industry in a very safe way. By delaying Bill No. 6, we will have the time to study the best industry practices that will ensure safe, sustainable clean energy developments, and not curtail them.

We cannot afford to lose this opportunity. This may be a very great opportunity for our province, developing our resources in our province, near our homes. Creating jobs here at home. Keeping Nova Scotia workers here. Keeping families here. Improving the economy of Nova Scotia.

Look at the provinces that are flourishing like Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador. How can we say no to exploring this in Nova Scotia? We have a responsibility to investigate this. We want to do this in a very environmentally safe and responsible way. No significant issues in Saskatchewan, Madam Speaker, after drilling approximately 35,000 wells. Look at the message we are sending across the country and the world, and most importantly of all, to the companies willing to invest in onshore gas development.

Other areas have benefited greatly. Natural gas is a cleaner resource that we should look at. The price of electricity is hurting the pocketbooks of many Nova Scotians. Let's encourage new ways to reduce the cost of electricity in a clean and sustainable method.

Again, as I mentioned earlier, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador went the opposite way, and there's a lot of information out there that we could use. We have geology and rock formations similar to other provinces. We have the Ivany report, Now or Never. Nineteen goals, and again, Goal 1 - discussing the out-migration of Nova Scotians. I know every member in the House wants to reverse this out-migration. We want to find ways we can reverse this. So could onshore gas development play a part in this? Can we bring back Nova Scotians like John Wilson, Curtis Purdy, Jeremy Murray, and Dave MacKay? Again, I'm sure every member in this House could go on and on with family members, relatives, neighbours, and friends.

Madam Speaker, Goal 4: business start-ups. Just imagine an onshore gas industry and the jobs that it could possibly create, supplying a new industry, not to mention bringing Nova Scotians back home.

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Madam Speaker, Goal 9: dealing with youth employment, increasing youth participation in the workforce. With this type of employment possibilities in our province, this certainly would take back a lot of our youth from out West. Certainly we have lost too many of them so we can't say no to this particular goal. We can't place a ban on this type of development; we have to explore and examine and get the proper answers.

The majority of Nova Scotia Community College grads and other post-secondary students want to stay here in Nova Scotia and work. Will they have this opportunity? It doesn't appear that this will happen, not in the near future.

Madam Speaker, Goal 19: getting our financial house in order. If that is the case, let's grow our economy by developing our natural resources. We are certainly at a crossroads in this province and it's going to be very difficult getting our financial house in order because of the circumstances. This could possibly be the beginning of trying to do that.

Madam Speaker, we have the Wheeler report, the Ivany report, telling us to take our time and move along carefully but move along. This is the real reason we should delay this and explore the opportunities that may exist, take the opportunity to improve existing regulations, or create stronger regulations to make this possible exploration safe and environmentally friendly.

We have industries that are confused about the position of this government because of this bill but no sign speaks volumes, it's very visible. It's a loud message to industry, Madam Speaker.

The government is facing serious budget deficits and more job losses. Placing a ban on this new way of creating jobs is not the way this province should be heading. The government should welcome the opportunity to have additional time to study the possibilities of onshore gas development. What an opportunity this could be to talk to experts from other provinces in Canada and across the world to discuss the pros and cons of this type of work.

Madam Speaker, we have provinces in Canada currently benefiting from this particular industry. We do not hear about too many incidents. Strong regulations are guiding this industry in these provinces, so let's go and take the time to get this right. The importance of this resource development has the potential to create jobs and, at the same time, protect our environment.

Our number-one priority should be to improve the economy in this province. This is the number-one issue in this province. We have to do everything within our power to keep bright, talented Nova Scotians working here in our province. We cannot afford to lose highly competent, experienced tradespeople like John Wilson from New Glasgow, or Curtis Purdy, or Jeremy Murray. Many of these experienced tradespeople now are working out West, and I know we all would like to see them working back here, being mentors for young tradespeople.

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Madam Speaker, four weeks ago John Wilson made a very difficult decision. He closed his plumbing business, which he started in 1979, and left with one of his employees for Cambridge Bay. He's actually due back home for a two-week period in the middle of December, and when he returns out West he's taking back a second employee from his former company. Basically there are no indicators that the economy is going to improve in the immediate future, so perhaps we can't blame them for making that move.

If we were the government of the day we would be taking a serious look at shale gas development, Madam Speaker. There is a possibility for good-paying jobs in our province if we make the right decisions, and we owe that to Nova Scotians. We have numerous young people working out West, separated from their families, and many of these families are young. One particular young person who is working out there, I had the opportunity to talk to him a week ago, and he's certainly having a difficult time being away from his young family, with a young child born just a few weeks ago. He just can't find employment around here in his particular trade and he is working now in a camp in Fort McMurray and coming home every six weeks for a week. He would prefer to be staying home but feels he has no choice, he needs steady employment.

The government must demonstrate leadership. The province needs change, and without this change more and more friends, relatives, and family members will continue to leave. Unfortunately many will create a new home environment out West and will not return. Madam Speaker, we can't give the resounding message that we're not interested in this particular industry, onshore shale gas development. What we should be doing is letting the industry know that we're open for business under the right circumstances, that we're not closed for business.

The door is closed right now for future exploration. We have our province crying for jobs, Madam Speaker, we should be open for business and find out if our resources can be tapped into, we should find out for sure if we can create jobs in a safe, environmentally friendly climate.

Madam Speaker, our province's unemployment rate is embarrassing - it's now the third highest in the country. Nova Scotia's deficit continues to rise so we can't close the door to securing answers and export information; it's not what we should be doing. Saying no now and postponing the difficult decisions to later is one thing that we can't be doing; we need the jobs now, not in a few years' time. We cannot afford to lose any more Nova Scotians; the out-migration must be stopped.

[Page 2536]

Madam Speaker, our younger generation will need a strong, vibrant province with opportunities for good-paying jobs. We cannot afford any more delays in rebuilding this province. The province is facing a lot of different problems and legislators here on both sides of the House are responsible to turn the province around. We want to see a balanced budget; we want to see hopes of a tax relief; we want to see a plan for jobs; we want to see lower power rates.

I know my colleagues in the PC caucus believe in lower taxes, preventing wasteful spending and creating more jobs. We want to rebuild this economy and we want to rebuild it now. We have too many people struggling in this province to make ends meet at the end of each month. We want to start improving the economy for the seniors who live in the province and ensure they have the best possible care.

I want to see the students who attend our high schools, like North Nova Education Centre or Northumberland Regional High School in Pictou County, attend post-secondary institutions and build their lives and families here in Nova Scotia. I would like to see small businesses like Wilson's Plumbing & Heating, Hawboldt's machine shop, WearWell Garments, McLean's Flooring, Strive and others that would want to invest in our communities. What I'm afraid of is, without action and a plan in place, we'll be in this same position one year from now.

Exploring and studying the positive and/or negative effects of gas exploration is probably the sensible thing for this province to undertake. The government's quick decision to ban fracking may be a move we live to regret. We have certainly reached a crossroads in Nova Scotia with the large out-migration of a lot of our people, our youth, experienced tradespeople heading out West to work in an industry that perhaps we have closed the doors on future exploration.

The government doesn't appear to be looking in that direction right now and I sure hope that they will open the door to get the answers we are desperately looking for. It is a plain, simple, no thanks right now. We are looking for leadership. We want people to listen to Nova Scotians, listen to the thousands who are out West working. We have to look at concrete ways to improve our economy and if this trend continues, the province will have a very difficult time providing major investments for our hospitals, schools, universities, roads and bridges.

Thousands of Nova Scotians who are unemployed are seeking opportunities outside the province. The die has been cast. They realized the opportunity they hoped for might keep them home; however, the door may be shut tight. The message may be loud and clear: investors take your money elsewhere; we aren't interested. Why should we investigate the possibility of developing natural gas? Why should we gather the most up-to-date scientific information available? Why shouldn't we talk to the experts? This would appear to be the most logical step to take.

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We have to move forward collectively and improve the economy of this province. We must share ideas and possibilities. Banning potential jobs is not the answer to prosperity. Without examining the possibility of gaining revenue from our natural resources and creating good paying jobs, we will continue to watch the out-migration of Nova Scotians. I realize there are no easy answers. We need up-to-date stats with regard to the amount or possible volume of available gas. We have to eliminate the red tape. We need less bureaucracy.

I've heard many members stand in the House and quote that we have 8,000 or 9,000 fewer jobs in the province. I'm not exactly sure of the right number but whatever the number is, it's too many; it's staggering.

Madam Speaker, our country is growing steadily while it seems that our Province of Nova Scotia is sliding backwards. Nova Scotia finally has a new way to create jobs and we have the opportunity to perhaps turn things around. We don't want to say no to a potentially viable project. We would like to see the government take the opportunity to explore the potential of onshore gas exploration. There is a potential for many jobs and again, I've heard the quote thrown around, an opportunity perhaps for around 1,500 jobs.

Nevertheless, Madam Speaker, we would like to see more research into this here. We would like to see more scientific stats. This ban will never give us the opportunity to find out the answers we need to make an informed decision. If these companies believe we are closed for business, where do we go from here?

In my opinion this particular piece of legislation could be improved, could be strengthened. Again, as I mentioned earlier, I am sure every member in this particular situation, every member in this House would like to see our economy turned around, would like to see good-paying jobs, would like to see people coming home from out West to be reunited with their families and working with good-paying jobs in our province.

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned when I started off, I was just going to say a short few words so having said that, I'll take my place.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira- Louisbourg and he will be remaining in his chair.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Madam Speaker, I want to thank the House for the opportunity to say a few words on Bill No. 6, amendments to the Petroleum Resources Act. You know it's quite interesting what goes on in this House of Assembly when we sit and talk and debate different bills and how things are moving forward in this House.

We just spent 20 hours on Bill No. 60, the Smoke-free Places Act and Tobacco Access Act. The reason we spent so much time on that was because the government had decided in that bill that they indeed wanted to remove a ban from the sale of flavoured tobacco and say that we need more time to talk about it. We need to go out and see the public. We need to hear what the public has to say.

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Now in Bill No. 6, what are they saying? No, we don't need any time to talk, we're going to put a ban on it. That's it, it's over, it's done, we shouldn't do it. Well I've got to say, Madam Speaker, if that isn't going from one side of the coin to the other, I don't know what is.

We had a report put forward by a very, very reputable bunch of individuals, known as the Wheeler report. (Interruption) Now I hear the member for Cumberland North over there and he's got something to say and that's good. It's good because it's about time he had something good to say.

AN HON. MEMBER: That's mean, Alfie.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Oh well you know, now I'm hearing that that's mean. Well do you know what?

AN HON. MEMBER: You wouldn't say it if you were standing up.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Now I'm told I wouldn't say those kinds of things if I was standing. Do you know what, Madam Speaker? They're probably right, they're probably right. But do you know what? People say some really funny things when you're talking about something that makes absolutely no sense for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, we talk about wanting to do what is right for this province. I had mentioned that we had this report, the Wheeler report, done by a group of people who are very knowledgeable, who understand these types of things. They were asked by this government - which I thought was a good move when they did it - to go out and find out what was going on with hydraulic fracking.

Then when it was returned, when this report came back to our government, the minister received it and he said, we're going to look at this and it's going to take us some time to figure out what's the right move, how we go from here. And what happens, Madam Speaker? Three days later, the report comes from the minister, we're going to ban this, we're going to make it so it can't happen in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Now, some would say that's the right decision, but I wonder if it really is. I know that the people I've had the opportunity to talk to, the people who are going to the airport in Sydney and loading up their loved ones on a plane that goes out to western Canada so that they can find work - they don't believe it's the right thing to do. They think that we need to take and explore every opportunity that we have to create jobs here in the Province of Nova Scotia.

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There was another report that was done, a report called the Ivany report, and one of the mainstays in that report was that we need to think outside the box. What we've been doing as a province has not been working. Madam Speaker, do you know what they called that report? Now Or Never. Well, it depends on what day you're talking and it depends on what bill you're talking about, but that government decided in this case, never are we going to do fracking in the Province of Nova Scotia; never are we going to give an opportunity for Nova Scotians to stay home and raise their families and earn their living; and never that they're going to allow people to be here and create an economy that makes this province so great to live in.

The other thing that the Ivany report says to us is indeed you have to think outside the box, and you have to make the best use you can of our natural resources. And what does this bill say? Nope, not going to use our natural resources - ain't gonna happen. Well, Madam Speaker, that's not appropriate and that's not a good answer for the people of Nova Scotia.

Now, when the Minister of Energy was in Opposition, he had a different way of thinking about it. He thought it was a good idea to go ahead with fracking. He even introduced a Private Member's Bill so that, indeed, fracking could take place in a controlled way in the Province of Nova Scotia. And you know, he was probably right. But then, Madam Speaker, he introduced this bill, a bill that says there'll be no fracking. And then last week he says, well yeah, I think there might be fracking, but we're not sure.

Well, I think that tells us as a province that, indeed, this was too hasty. This bill that came forward, this Bill No. 6, is not in the best interests of the people of Nova Scotia. Now, that's not to say we should rush out there and start fracking tomorrow. What we should do is, do it in a way that we're making sure that it's done right, but not send the message out to the investors of this world that we're not open for business in the Province of Nova Scotia, we don't want anything to do with anything that might create jobs in a province that lost 8,700 jobs in this province, Madam Speaker. We have lost those jobs.

They're hard-working people who have to weigh their options, who have to decide, what are they going to do? Well, most of them are going to get on a plane and fly out West to work in oil fields that incorporate fracking to get the product that they are going to make their money on.

Now, when we talk about the Wheeler committee and the people who are involved with the Wheeler committee, it's interesting. When the government came up with their ban, what did these people have to say? Ray Ritcey, who was a member of the panel said: "The decision taken by government to ban 'high volume' hydraulic fracturing on Sept. 3 is not what the panel recommended nor what I personally believe to be in the best interests of Nova Scotians." So now, on one hand, this individual was good enough to be named to the panel, but his opinion isn't being considered by the same government that asked him to put forward some ideas.

[Page 2540]

Another panel member, Brad Hayes, said in the media that he doesn't understand why there was such a quick move to ban the practice. It shows, he says, that the province and the government don't understand the report or the subject. Another individual who this province saw fit to make a member of this committee, but then ignored what that individual had to say.

A third panel member, Graham Gagnon, said he was disappointed with the government's ban "with such a short reaction time. It just doesn't seem like it was given a thorough consideration." Again, an individual who was good enough to be put on the committee, but his opinion is not being heeded.

Now they say that they're following the report that was put out by the Wheeler committee. Well, the Wheeler committee, on Page 5 of that report, said explicitly that the commission did not support an outright ban. However, that is exactly what the government is proposing with Bill No. 6. It says, we are not proposing a moratorium or any other political device - no other political device - so no banning. Allow the process to be moved forward, but move forward slowly and move forward in a way that people can understand what's taking place and we get the right information to do the right thing, to make the right decision for the people in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Madam Speaker, this province is broke. It's not a big surprise to anybody, certainly not to the other 50 members of this House of Assembly. So what do we do? Well, we think of what the Ivany report has asked us to do and look outside the box, think about trying to take what we have at our disposal in our control and use it to the best of our abilities.

Let's be clear, Madam Speaker. No one is suggesting that our province should rush into shale gas development without doing the proper homework, without education and careful regulation. Like the Wheeler report says, we should go slowly, we should go carefully, but most importantly, we should go forward.

At a time when our government should be focused on bringing families back together by creating good jobs, it looks like this Liberal Government has slammed the door on a potential way to create good-paying jobs and keep people within the province. That's not how we build a stronger and more prosperous future for our province, for our people, and for our children.

We need to be reasonable when it comes to moving forward. We need to do it carefully, as I've already said, but we do need to move forward. This isn't just the opinion of the members of the PC caucus in the House of Assembly. This is what we've heard from members of the Wheeler commission themselves, who believe that this is what we have to do. The Wheeler report itself said this is what we have to do, we have to move forward. There are other people who have said that we are indeed closing the door on an opportunity if we don't look at this.

[Page 2541]

Very prominent individuals from across Atlantic Canada have said we should be looking at what we're talking about here. Frank McKenna, the former Premier of the Province of New Brunswick, has said that by banning fracking we're doing a disservice to the province of Nova Scotia and to the people of Nova Scotia. That's a little bit of a paraphrase, but that was the message that he delivered, that fracking is one of the only opportunities that we have to get the type of money we need to help straighten out the economy in the Province of Nova Scotia.

Of course, along with him we've heard from John Bragg, who has said we need to look at how things are done in the Province of Nova Scotia. He hasn't come right out and said we should be doing fracking but he says we have to look at things differently; we need to move forward; we need to be progressive in our thoughts and how we raise money and develop our economy. This bill is not allowing that to happen.

I don't think that's what the government wants. I think the government wants a way to increase the prosperity of the Province of Nova Scotia. I know the members of the Opposition want to see the prosperity of Nova Scotia grow. I liken this to a trip to Yarmouth: some of us are going down Highway No. 103 and some of us are going down Highway No. 102 but we all want to get to the same place and that place in this case is a prosperous Nova Scotia, a good Nova Scotia where people can live, raise their families and have pride in the communities they live in. This legislation will not let that happen.

There are other people, people in industry, the people who have made a living here in Nova Scotia, who employ Nova Scotians, who are business owners, similar to some of the ministers on the other side who have told us earlier today that they are business owners and they have created jobs, and they are telling us that we have to be careful.

I will table this letter that came from Bruce Strum. (Interruption) I can read letters; I went to school in St. Peter's. The member for Cape Breton-Richmond should know that. I want to read into the record this letter that was sent to not only our caucus but to the Premier and the minister and many people who were involved with the House of Assembly here. It says concerning Bill No. 6:

"I am forwarding to you a letter of concern regarding the planned legislation Bill 6. I am the owner of a Professional Consulting firm, Strum Consulting of Bedford, Nova Scotia. Strum employs 45 professional engineers, hydrogeologists and environmental scientists along with technical staff on a wide range of commercial and industrial projects across Nova Scotia. Our clients include commercial land developers, manufacturers, builders, mining entities, waste handlers and industrial processors to name a few.

[Page 2542]

Among other restrictive covenants, Bill 6 proposes a moratorium on High Volume Fracturing associated with On Shore Shale Gas Development. My personal view and that of most if not all of my clients is that this legislation will result in loss of local business opportunities as well as discourage outside investors from coming here to explore and develop our clean energy resources."

This is from somebody who works in the industry. This is from somebody who employs people in the Province of Nova Scotia. This is someone who helps keep the economy going in the Province of Nova Scotia.

He goes on to say, "Bill 6 Sends Message That We Don't Want On Shore Energy Investment . . ." I don't think that to be true. I don't think that's the intent of what the government is saying. Of course, it depends on what day you talk to them whether or not that's what they're saying. "Currently, the potential for production of Shale Gas in Nova Scotia is largely unexplored." But if you put a ban in place, then it would be explored. From the letter:

"Exploration is needed to ultimately determine whether commercially viable resources exist here. Bill 6 sends the message from the Nova Scotia political arena that discourages exploration companies from coming to Nova Scotia. The loss of this exploration activity in and of itself, likely to be caused by Bill 6 will result in the loss of millions of dollars to local service providers, such as Strum and other [sic] in addition to taxes, employment and lost product sales."

Madam Speaker, those are words from a business person in the Province of Nova Scotia who should be listened to and should be heeded.

Bill No. 6 suggests that Nova Scotia hasn't done her homework. I don't believe that to be true. Around the globe, development of shale gas resources has been very successfully implemented through industry-driven protocols and best management projects. The role of resource development rests with that of industry, through development of safe, environmentally-sustainable industry practices.

The best use of legislation should be to place the mantle of that responsibility on a willing and safely-driven development industry, not to stand in its way by closing the doors to the arrival of that investment. Without the support of a government that encourages safe development practices, sustainable investment, rural employment and the resulting benefits we see and enjoy elsewhere through existing industry best management practices, Nova Scotia sends the message that we have ignored scientific and fact-based decision-making processes - from someone who provides jobs in this province and these are some of his concerns.

[Page 2543]

Bill No. 6 will undermine investment confidence in Nova Scotia energy projects. Bill No. 6 ignores sustainable development recommendations from the Wheeler report, the report that was commissioned by this Government of the Province of Nova Scotia. The Wheeler report is a lengthy and complex document but it has clearly stated that shale gas development can be undertaken in a clean, safe, sustainable and economically-rewarding fashion.

In Alberta, tens of thousands of wells drilled and fractured and few, if any, cases of well damage have been shown to have occurred. Through responsible exploration and development, well-constructed practices, the people of Alberta and Saskatchewan have benefited greatly. Those wells have since been connected to pipelines, ensuring safe and sustainable delivery to markets.

The placement of that infrastructure has benefited the people of western Canada tremendously and Nova Scotia has an opportunity to share in that prosperity by developing initiatives that ensure responsible and sustainable practices are implemented. Those benefits will take place in rural Nova Scotia where drill sites might exist, where pipelines might transport gas safely, and where our sons and our daughters, the pipefitters, truckers, welders, and government inspectors currently can only dream about being able to live near their parents and where they grew up.

You know the other thing about Bill No. 6, according to this individual who employs many Nova Scotians, is it flies in the face of the Ivany report; even the Ivany report challenged Nova Scotians to action. Ivany tells us to stand up, look for opportunities, develop them sustainably and challenge government to assist, if not lead, in these initiatives, and not stand in the way and act as an impediment. Here lies a tremendous opportunity for development of best industry practices that will ensure safe, sustainable, clean energy development, not curtail them. We can't afford to lose this opportunity.

Madam Speaker, he closes his letter by saying that we don't need legislation that discourages and acts as a disincentive to energy development, but rather a committed effort by our political leaders to take those steps that support economic development in a clean, sustainable manner that will make us all proud to be Nova Scotians.

Madam Speaker, that is how a business person in this province feels. He is one who put it to paper but there are many business people across this province that are telling us that we need to take this opportunity. We don't need a ban that Bill No. 6 brings into place, we need to be more open to making sure that we move forward in a sustainable way, a safe way and a way that will allow investment to take place in this province.

So we're here at this late hour discussing what we can do. Should this Bill No. 6 stay in place? Well, you know what? (Interruption) If it was only that easy, if it was only that easy - but you know what? It isn't that easy, Madam Speaker. It really isn't that easy. And I just fell into a trap that I always tell people to watch out for. I'm off on the rabbit tracks, people taking me away from where I should be, and I think the only way to correct that is to speak for another hour. (Interruptions)

[Page 2544]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The member for Sydney River-Mira- Louisburg has the floor.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Madam Speaker, thank you very much for that, and it's good to know that the members opposite are really listening and paying attention and want to hear what needs to be said. Now whether they want to agree with it, that's another story for another day. But the reality is that this province needs to find ways to move forward. We have to get outside that box. We have to do what the Ivany report said and we have to be more proactive.

I'm very lucky, Madam Speaker. I have three grown children and they all live here in the Province of Nova Scotia and they're close to home. But very few of my friends are able to say that their children are still here. Most of them are out West working in fields of the oil patch where they use hydraulic fracturing to make dollars to help the economy of Nova Scotia. Wouldn't it make more sense if those people were able to stay home and create employment here and work here in the Province of Nova Scotia?

The purpose that this will give is to have us move forward in a controlled manner. Like the minister said about Bill No. 60, on tobacco, he wanted a chance to make sure that it's done right. We're saying here that we want a chance to see Bill No. 6 done right. We want an opportunity for the people to be able to move forward slowly, carefully, in consultation with the government of the day to make sure that the rules that are put in place, when it comes to hydraulic fracturing, are the right rules, but still allow investors to come to our province to invest in this province, to make sure that we have the quality of life here for our children, our grandchildren and certainly the residents of the Province of Nova Scotia. With those few words, I will take my seat.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to get up tonight and maybe say a few words. I know that I do want to spend some time talking about the Wheeler report and the bill that is before us. The bill before us is one that should enact the information that was gathered and put together, then recommended by the Wheeler report. I think it would be important to actually try to lay out some of the recommendations that were held within that report in a more structured way.

I think, by putting it in that structured way, we also try to underline why government is going in this direction when I think the Wheeler report is trying to go in the other, and why I think there has been such opposition to this from different groups across the province, most of them from business groups, of course, community groups that are interested in this, but more specifically by people in our communities who are looking at this as a possibility for a job, a hope for a job, because what has happened in Nova Scotia over the last few years is that the job opportunities in the province have continued to erode.

[Page 2545]

As much as successive governments have really tried to expand economic development, I think the successful areas of the province have been here in Halifax, it's been the metro area and the metro area tends to suck in all the other constituents from around the province, so that we see places like Argyle-Barrington or Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, or even the Pictous, we see those people moving from those areas looking for new opportunities. You know, God bless that they come here to Halifax because those families won't necessarily get split up, or at least will be able to see one another on a decently regular basis.

What we are seeing, Madam Speaker, are people looking for opportunities in different parts of the country. We see them travelling away as many times as much as we hear this continue to happen. I mean years ago, where did people go? Back in the 1950s, or even before the 1950s, I know of many of my constituents' parents who travelled to the Boston States to find opportunity and jobs. Most of those things were in manufacturing at the time, many families were displaced, some families came home - and I can tell you many didn't.

Go to the 1960s and 1970s, a lot of communities were split up by people travelling away to Ontario - manufacturing jobs again, working in the auto trades. That's where people were going to find those opportunities. So we go to today, you know the 1990s and today, we see people travelling to Alberta and Saskatchewan for the oil and gas industry. That's the hot job today, the greatest opportunity for our folks, for our citizens, and that's where they're going for those jobs specifically.

Now I would like to see a day when it's our turn, where it's Nova Scotia's turn to be that economic beacon that many other parts of the country have had over the last 100 years. They tell us before Confederation, Nova Scotia was a have province. It's a long time ago, Madam Speaker, it's a long time ago. I think it's our turn and I think what we see today and what was clearly stated with the Ivany commission was that there has to be a greater look, a great emphasis on our natural resources. Those natural resources, we talk about them quite often in this House, whether we're talking about the fishing industry, whether we're talking about the agricultural industry, or whether we're talking about the mining sector - and a part of that mining sector really is oil and gas exploration.

Do we have that opportunity here in Nova Scotia? Is there a possibility that some of this expertise that has been learned in other parts of the country can be brought here to Nova Scotia and that people can actually find a job in something that they've actually been trained for? You know, Madam Speaker, what's happening is people are being trained, companies are spending lots of money on these individuals to get them trained to work on rigs, to be heavy equipment operators, to be technicians and engineers and all those great jobs, and what we're finding is they can only work in certain areas, they can only work in Alberta, and they can only work in Saskatchewan right now.

[Page 2546]

If that opportunity ever was to be brought here, if there was a possibility I know many of those individuals who come from our communities would absolutely come back home, come back home to be able to work, to be able to come home at suppertime or to work your 12-hour shift and come home and work in a cycle - that would be phenomenal for many of our communities to be able to do that.

The member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg talked about his friends and the families of his friends, and it's not a story that we haven't heard in all of our communities, of families that have been displaced because of the job situation. I'm lucky my kids are pretty young right now, they're 16 and 12, but I know that as we're trying to mould and point our 16-year-old in the right direction, there's going to be a time where he's going to be heading off to university. I hope the choice of which university or what job he is going to be taking will be important. It could be Saint Mary's, it could be a business, it could be the Mount, it could be whatever - I hope he picks a Nova Scotia university and picks a career that he can stay here in Nova Scotia, but I know that might not happen. I see it happen to many of our friends who have gotten professional designations, have moved away.

So I'm hoping for my kids that they have the opportunity to stay here, because I want to continue to be part of their lives, as they are part of my life. I want to be able to say to them that Nanny and Grampy are going to come up and take care of the grandchildren. I want to be able to say that they can come home on the weekend and I'd be happy to wash their clothes. Those kinds of things that we might take for granted - I do wash the clothes at home, believe that or not. I know how to turn on the machine, and I'll do the best job.

AN HON. MEMBER: Any good at ironing?

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : No, I don't iron a darn thing. The point is that we want to be able to not just pick up a phone, check on FaceTime, make a phone call to see our loved ones. It would be really nice to see them face-to-face, to give them those hugs and kisses that we want to be able to give them as our loved ones.

I know there's a number of members that I've talked to on the government side who have loved ones in Alberta, and they talk about - I'm not going to say how tough it is, but about the challenges to see their grandchildren, to see their sons and daughters, because they're involved in a business that could be done here that is being done elsewhere.

I don't think anywhere through this process have we said that we should be drilling tomorrow and that we should be taking that first drill and fracking. I think what we have tried to maintain, or to try to provide in opposition to the government's bill, is to simply not ban it. That negates the go-forward. That stops it in its place. That tells the rest of the country that we're okay with doing it in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and we're okay sending our people there and taking our transfer payments, but we're not okay to do it here - even though we're not going to do it tomorrow, we're not going to do it next week, and we're probably not going to do it next year.

[Page 2547]

I think the Wheeler commission was specific in a lot of work that has to go forward. Now the minister stands a lot in the House and says, well, we're going to be doing those things, we're going to be doing some of this research, we're going to be getting universities and other groups and communities. He goes on and on about these things. I certainly hope he's right, because what we're hearing is opposite to the information I think that he's providing. I think when you say ban or moratorium - whatever you do want to call it, it's a "no, we're not interested." I think we need to be more than just not interested.

We need to be open to ways to create jobs in our very troubled economy. There are a number of recommendations that I didn't want to start covering in the Wheeler commission that we really haven't done. I mean, we haven't heard from the minister about the recommendations. We haven't necessarily brought them forward to talk about them even on our own account.

There are a number of good recommendations within the document. I believe it's about 30 - yes, it's 30 recommendations within the Wheeler commission, and they revolve around a number of headings, a lot of them having to do with - some are general, of course. Some of them are health and environmental impacts, some of them are environmental risk reduction, some of them are emergency preparedness, water resource management, industry best practices, government best practices, liabilities of developers, participation in benefits, Aboriginal engagement, and finally, the last category is defining community and community permission to proceed.

I can tell you, Madam Speaker, nowhere in there does it say that government should be banning unconventional - that's what they call it - unconventional oil and gas exploration in the province. Maybe the minister extrapolated a number of them when it talks about community acceptance and then taking the polling numbers they had on it to say that communities don't want to have fracking done. I can see how maybe those things got lined up but I think what challenges us in the ban that is before us, or the bill that is before us that bans high volume hydraulic fracturing in the province, is that it seems like it was cooked up pretty quickly.

There is a lot of detail in there. The document itself is 387 pages long or 400 pages by the time you add the reference pages and all those things to it. It was done over time, quite to what the minister has said on a number of occasions, we already had a lot of parts of the report because of the way Dr. Wheeler was rolling this out. They would do one component, write a document, get the report out there for further discussion so that they had more to discuss as they were going to more meetings. They would build on that discussion as they rolled along.

[Page 2548]

But still, to be able to come up with a bill - it's not a very big bill by the way - it's a one-pager really that just says that we are going to be banning on-land, high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the province. I think it is two or three clauses. Then they're going to be doing some work - this was part of the announcement as well - they're going to be doing some work to create a definition of what high-volume hydraulic fracturing is going to be.

Of course, there will be some work that's going to have to happen even before the bill that is before us really goes into play, truly goes into effect. Even through the admission of the department, even though I know I've seen the minister present a number of different definitions from different jurisdictions from around the country and in the U.S., he still can't say, we're going to take the definition that's in Pennsylvania or in Saskatchewan or in Alberta. I think quite rightly, having Nova Scotia come up with what its definition is, it's really important.

When it comes to the definition too - and we've asked this question of a number of oil and gas companies - when you're trying to come up with what a definition for a Nova Scotia term is, number one: there is no true definition that is accepted by the industry of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The amount of water, or the amount of what that volume of liquid is going to be, is totally dependent upon the resource or the shale formation or the formation which is being fracked.

Do we have deep shale or not deep shale? There are a whole bunch of things that actually influence what that definition could be here in Nova Scotia. We hear from the report, it does identify a size of that resource in different parts of the province. Some of it dates back to 2003; some of it has been updated to 2011 but it's not necessarily what we know today. I think we need to be doing a lot more research on what exactly is the size of the resource in Nova Scotia when it comes to natural gas.

I think it will be important for us. I've said it before, we had a bill before this House a number of weeks ago that talked about natural gas distribution in the province and where is that going to be coming from? Right now we take it from Sable or Deep Panuke, that gets shipped down through the Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline and we're able to grab a couple of pieces off of it. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have another opportunity to be able to take some more gas and put it into that pipe? Wouldn't it be nice if that pipe could be expanded to different parts of the province that don't have natural gas capabilities now?

Antigonish is of course going to be getting a great opportunity to be able to access gas for its community. These are all questions that we wonder why they're not taken into this bill or why they're not identified in this bill. Pictou County is going to get it, Michelin is going to get it, but wouldn't it be neat if we had our own resource to be able to use.

[Page 2549]

Anyway, listen, I think there is a lot more information that I would like to present, I think I would like to be able to present it tomorrow, maybe in a little bit of daylight, maybe after a little night's sleep, so I will take this opportunity to adjourn debate on Bill No. 6 for this evening.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is to adjourn debate on Bill No. 6. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Madam Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. The House will meet again tomorrow, Friday, November 14th from the hours of 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. at which time we will continue with third reading on Bill Nos. 6, 51, 60, and 64.

With that I move that the House do now rise to meet again at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House rise to meet again on November 14th from the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 11:01 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 2550]

RESOLUTION NO. 874

By: Hon. Leo Glavine « » (Health and Wellness)

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

Whereas Rick Gilbert has served the people of Nova Scotia well for over 40 years by helping to develop the provincial child and youth committee, leading the City of Dartmouth's first comprehensive Recreation Master Plan, planning the National Recreation Summit that's taking place later this month, and making many more significant contributions; and

Whereas Rick's work has made amazing impacts on the recreational world and continues to help Nova Scotian children and youth to this day; and

Whereas the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association Award of Merit has been awarded to Rick for his outstanding achievements in Nova Scotia that have translated into a national contribution;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Rick Gilbert on this award and thank him for his many contributions to our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 875

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Acting Leader of the NDP)

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

Whereas Jenn Grant is a world-renowned and immensely talented songwriter and singer who lives in the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas the people of Halifax voted Jenn Grant the Best Songwriter and Best Female Solo Artist in The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Awards; and

Whereas Jenn Grant's "I've Got Your Fire" won the 2014 East Coast Music Award for Song of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Jenn Grant on receiving The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Music Award for Best Songwriter and Best Female Solo Artist and the East Coast Music Award for Song of the Year, and express its appreciation for her contribution and commitment to Halifax and its music scene.

[Page 2551]

RESOLUTION NO. 876

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Acting Leader of the NDP)

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

Whereas Daniel Ledwell is a talented music producer who has produced records by Halifax-based artists like Jenn Grant, Soho Ghetto, and Gabrielle Papillon; and

Whereas the people of Halifax voted Daniel Ledwell the Best Producer in The Coast's Best of Halifax 2014 Music Awards; and

Whereas Daniel Ledwell also received the 2014 East Coast Music Award for Producer of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Daniel Ledwell on receiving The Coast's Best of Halifax 2014 Music Award for Best Producer and the East Coast Music Award for Producer of the Year and express its appreciation for his contribution and commitment to Halifax and its music scene.

RESOLUTION NO. 877

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Acting Leader of the NDP)

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

Whereas Allison Sparling is an activist who has been working for change on a variety of social justice issues in Halifax for quite some time; and

Whereas Allison Sparling has been the driving force behind important campaigns to bring awareness to women's and reproductive rights, including the prolove and yourchoicehalifax.com initiatives; and

Whereas the people of Halifax voted Allison Sparling one of the Best Activists in The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Allison Sparling on receiving The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Silver Award for Best Activist and express its appreciation for her contribution and commitment to social justice and equality in our community.

[Page 2552]

RESOLUTION NO. 878

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Halifax-Needham)

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

Whereas the Heavy Blinkers is a world-renowned and immensely talented music group in the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas the Heavy Blinkers have been an important part of Halifax's music scene for over 18 years; and

Whereas the people of Halifax voted the Heavy Blinkers' album Heath Best Album in The Coast Magazine's 2014 Best of Halifax Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the Heavy Blinkers on receiving The Coast's award and express its appreciation for their contribution and commitment to Halifax and its music scene.

RESOLUTION NO. 879

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Acting Leader of the NDP)

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

Whereas Dana Beeler is a singer/songwriter from Lantz, Nova Scotia, now living in the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas Dana Beeler's The Long Goodbye was nominated for Country Album of the Year at the 2014 Nova Scotia Music Week; and

Whereas the people of Halifax voted Dana Beeler Best Country Artist in The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Awards

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Dana Beeler on receiving The Coast's award and express its appreciation for her commitment and her contribution to Halifax and its music scene.

RESOLUTION NO. 880

[Page 2553]

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Acting Leader of the NDP)

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

Whereas Dark for Dark is a talented and original folk trio based in the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas Dark for Dark has made a significant impact on the Halifax music scene in the short time it has been performing; and

Whereas the people of Halifax voted Dark for Dark the Best Folk Band in The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Dark for Dark on receiving The Coast's award and express its appreciation for its commitment and its contribution to Halifax and its music scene.

RESOLUTION NO. 881

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Acting Leader of the NDP)

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

Whereas A.A. Wallace is a talented and original electronic music artist in the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas Wallace is the co-host of Shake It Out, a monthly electric disco dance night in Halifax;

Whereas the people of Halifax voted Wallace the Best Electronic Artist in The Coast's 2014 Best of Halifax Awards

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate A.A. Wallace on receiving The Coast's award and express its appreciation for his commitment and his contribution to Halifax and its music scene.

RESOLUTION NO. 882

[Page 2554]

By: Mr. Allan Rowe « » (Dartmouth South)

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

Whereas Atlantic Division CanoeKayak Canada hosts the annual Playwood Cup as part of Natal Day Knockout on Lake Banook in Dartmouth since 2013, to raise money for local charitable organizations; and

Whereas the Plywood Cup consists of teams of five, racing to the finish on the watercourse, after building a boat in 90 minutes out of a limited resource of materials; and

Whereas despite failing to finish their race in 2013, Team Kerr Group/Frontier Technologies of Dartmouth remarkably came back this year to win first place in the Plywood Cup on Natal Day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly offer congratulations to Team Kerr Group/Frontier Technologies on their victorious comeback at the 2014 Plywood Cup and commend their showcase of teamwork and creativity that brought them success in this fun and rewarding event.

RESOLUTION NO. 883

By: Mr. Allan Rowe « » (Dartmouth South)

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

Whereas the Dartmouth United Golden Goal men's soccer team won the provincial championship in the 2014 summer season for the first time in 24 years; and

Whereas the team represented Nova Scotia at the Canadian National Club Championship in Vaughan, Ontario from October 8 to 13; and

Whereas many of the players give of their time to coach youth teams and thereby have strong links to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Dartmouth United Golden Goal men's team on its successful season and strong result at the national championship in October.

RESOLUTION NO. 884

[Page 2555]

By: Mr. Allan Rowe « » (Dartmouth South)

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

Whereas Dartmouth Choral Society is the longest continuously preforming community choir in Nova Scotia and currently has 65 members under the direction of Malcom Bradley and accompanist Pamela Burton; and

Whereas since the choir's first sold-out performance in the Fall of 1954 the choir has performed over 130 concerts, representing over 4,000 hours of rehearsal under the direction of 14 directors and 18 accompanists; and

Whereas on December 7, 2014, the choir expects another sold-out performance at Grace United Church, Dartmouth, celebrating the 60th Annual Christmas Concert presented to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Dartmouth Choral Society on their longstanding contributions to our community in Dartmouth, and wish the choir all the best for their 60th Anniversary performance on December 7th.

RESOLUTION NO. 885

By: Mr. Allan Rowe « » (Dartmouth South)

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

Whereas Ryan MacIsaac first opened The Battered Fish on Bedford Highway in 2009; and

Whereas new locations in Woodside and across the Halifax region demonstrate the growing success of The Battered Fish, employing nearly 100 in addition to Mr. MacIsaac's win of the 2014 Small Business of the Year Award from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas Mr. MacIsaac traveled to Australia this past summer to represent Canada at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance Summit;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislative Assembly congratulate Ryan MacIsaac on his delegation to the G20 Young Entrepreneur's Alliance Summit in Australia and wish The Battered Fish continued success.

[Page 2556]

RESOLUTION NO. 886

By: Mr. Allan Rowe « » (Dartmouth South)

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

Whereas Kinesis Health Associates, a wellness clinic specializing in chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy, moved to a new home on Ochterloney Street in Dartmouth this past summer; and

Whereas in August Kinesis Health Associates hosted a family-focused event promoting a campaign to address proper fitting and sizing of children's school backpacks called Pack it Light, Wear it Right; and

Whereas in addition to teaching parents and students how to pack their backpacks to avoid muscle and nerve damage, Kinesis also orchestrated a donation drive of backpacks for Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank to help families prepare for the current school year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Kinesis Health Associates on their new clinic on Ochterloney Street and applaud them for their work to promote healthy practices for parents and students in our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 887

By: Mr. Iain Rankin « » (Timberlea-Prospect)

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

Whereas Canadian School Counselling Week will be held February 2 to 6, 2015; and

Whereas this week is to recognize the contributions of the school counselling profession to the personal, social, educational and career development, and the mental health and well-being of all students in Canada; and

Whereas Canadian School Counselling Week is organized by the School Counsellors Chapter of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and supported by the Nova Scotia School Counsellors Association;

[Page 2557]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House laud and commend the goal of Canadian School Counselling Week in its attempt to increase the public's awareness of the scope of programs and services that characterize the School Counselling profession in Canada and highlight the role of School Counsellors in supporting student success.

RESOLUTION NO. 888

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Darryl Wall, owner of Giant Robot Comics in the riding of Dartmouth East, created a specialized collector's cover for IDW Comics, the company that publishes the ongoing Transformers comic book series; and

Whereas Giant Robot Comics is a comic book and collectibles store, located in Woodlawn Mall, which devotes a large portion of space to Transformers products; and

Whereas Darryl Wall designed the exclusive cover for Transformers: Robots in Disguise #33, depicting the Autobots defending the MacDonald Bridge from the Decepticons;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Darryl Wall for his creativity in promoting local landmarks and wish him every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 889

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Tracey Turner, a small business owner in the riding of Dartmouth East, has successfully established an innovative business, Baubles & Glitz; and

Whereas Baubles & Glitz retails unique, affordable jewellery created from recycled products; and

Whereas Tracey Turner has been creating elegant and bohemian chic necklaces, earrings and bracelets for over nine years and displays her wares at local farmers' markets and private hostess parties;

[Page 2558]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Tracey Turner for her contribution to the local economy and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 890

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Liam O'Brien, a Nova Scotia paddler and a resident of the Dartmouth East riding, finished in first place in the Under-19 Men's K-2 200 at the 115th Canadian Sprint Canoe/Kayak Championships, held in Regina; and

Whereas the Canadian Sprint Canoe/Kayak Championships were created with the goal of keeping competitors in the sport after reaching their peak, bringing former competitors back to the sport and new paddlers into the sport; and

Whereas Liam O'Brien was one of over 1,000 athletes who competed on Wascana Lake in Regina, bringing home a gold medal;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Liam O'Brien for winning a gold medal, and wish him every success in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 891

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Lena Andriani, a Prince Andrew High School student and a resident of the Dartmouth East riding, was one of 16 Nova Scotian students to receive a Pengrowth Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship; and

Whereas the Pengrowth Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship Program has been in effect for 10 years and awards scholarships to high school students who will study in an energy-related fired during their post-secondary education; and

Whereas Lena Andriani was selected to receive her scholarship based on her academic standing and community involvement and will be attending Nova Scotia Community College in the Environmental Engineering Technology program;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Lena Andriani for successfully winning this $2,500 scholarship, and wish her every success in her future studies.

RESOLUTION NO. 892

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Angela Daniels-Drummond, Inclusion Coordinator at Dartmouth Day Centre, located in the riding of Dartmouth East, was recently awarded the Prime Minister's Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education; and

Whereas the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Education is considered to be the top honour for teachers, is a national-level award, is given to only five recipients across Canada annually, and carries a cash prize of $5,000; and

Whereas Angela Daniels-Drummond, an early childhood educator, plays a vital role in the lives of our children and communities by working with special needs children, integrating them into the daycare setting and providing each of these children with a successful beginning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Angela Daniels-Drummond on winning this prestigious award and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 893

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia, a breast cancer survivor dragon boat team hosted on Lake Banook by the Austenville Owls Club, participated in the International Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Festival held in Sarasota, Florida, in October 2014; and

Whereas Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia is a group of women living with breast cancer who support and care for each other while building physical and emotional health paddling as a dragon boat team; and

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Whereas Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia, supported by Scotiabank and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Atlantic Division, placed in the top 25 out of 104 teams from around the world and were the top finishing team from Atlantic Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Bosom Buddies of Nova Scotia on their significant accomplishment in this international competition and wish them success and good health in the years ahead.

RESOLUTION NO. 894

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Claudia Currie, a competitive water skier representing Nova Scotia and a resident of the Dartmouth East riding, won gold at the Canadian Water Ski Championships held in Ontario in August 2014; and

Whereas the annual Canadian Water Ski Championships are hosted by Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada, a non-profit organization which is the sole national sport-governing body and recognized water skiing/wakeboard authority in Canada; and

Whereas Claudia Currie, part of a nine-member provincial team, won gold medals in women's five trick, slalom and jump events and a gold medal for the overall combined;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Claudia Currie for her dedication to the sport of water skiing and her gold medal wins, and wish her every success in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 895

By: Hon. Andrew Younger « » (Energy)

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

Whereas Paul Bowie, a competitive water skier representing Nova Scotia and a resident of the Dartmouth East riding, won gold at the Canadian Water Ski Championships held in Ontario in August 2014; and

Whereas the annual Canadian Water Ski Championships are hosted by Water Ski & Wakeboard Canada, a non-profit organization which is the sole national sport-governing body and recognized water skiing/wakeboard authority in Canada; and

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Whereas Paul Bowie, part of a nine-member provincial team, won a gold medal in the men's six figures;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Paul Bowie for his dedication to the sport of water skiing and his gold medal win, and wish him every success in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 896

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the World Congress of Food Science & Technology is the leading international event for food technologists; and

Whereas LaHave Forests Inc., producers of Haskapa products and multi-award-winning business has piqued the attention of many juice and berry aficionados; and

Whereas LaHave Forests Inc. Haskapa Haska Juice was recently awarded the Product Innovation Award for their Haskapa brand of haskap juice at the 2014 World Congress of Food Science & Technology in Montreal, Quebec;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the owners and staff of LaHave Forest Inc. for their innovations and for enhancing Nova Scotia's reputation as a place to do business.

RESOLUTION NO. 897

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Riverport and Area Community Choir was founded by the late Ken Matheson as a collection of sketches and songs; and

Whereas under Mr. Matheson's direction the choir grew into what it is today, ranging in members from age 8 to 80, while performing a mix of folk, traditional and local songs in and around the Riverport area; and

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Whereas the choir celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the anniversary of the Riverport and Area Community Choir and acknowledge its contributions to the community at large.

RESOLUTION NO. 898

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award recognizes individuals who volunteer their time to help others and to build a smarter and more caring nation; and

Whereas the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, was in Mahone Bay on May 14 to hand out the awards; and

Whereas Mahone Bay resident Ted Hobson was one of many recognized for his numerous contributions to volunteerism;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many years of volunteer service Mr. Hobson has devoted to bettering our province and the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 899

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Kingsburg resident Alex Duckworth had a banner year in 2014; and

Whereas the snowboarder was named to the Canadian Winter Olympic team; competed in Sochi, Russia; and also won her first Canadian National halfpipe title; and

Whereas Ms. Duckworth, as a result of her success, was named RICOH Female Athlete of the Year for Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Ms. Duckworth for her accomplishments and wish her continued success in her amateur career.

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RESOLUTION NO. 900

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Lunenburg resident Thorne Sutherland is a respected and professional official in the sport of trampoline; and

Whereas Mr. Sutherland represented this province as a judge at the World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, in November; and

Whereas Mr. Sutherland, as a result of his success, was named RICOH Official of the Year for Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Mr. Sutherland for his accomplishments and wish him continued success in his career as an official.

RESOLUTION NO. 901

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas annually the Province of Nova Scotia sends a team to the under-15 baseball nationals; and

Whereas the best players of Nova Scotia are selected to represent the province on the national stage; and

Whereas Mahone Bay area resident Zach Zinck was selected as a member of the provincial team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Mr. Zinck for the dedication and skill that earned him a place on Nova Scotia's national under-15 team.

RESOLUTION NO. 902

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By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas the Canadian Transplant Games offer a national stage for persons who have received organ transplants to compete in the games they love at a national level; and

Whereas Jessica Carver of New Germany, a double lung transplant patient and runner, competed in the 2014 national games in Moncton; and

Whereas Jessica finished in third place in the 3km women's race;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Jessica's courage and congratulate her for her perseverance and wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 903

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas for the last 25 years, the Department of Natural Resources has annually recognized woodlot owners across the province in the western, central, and eastern regions, respectively; and

Whereas the winners are selected from a panel of their peers; and

Whereas Hiram and Ernest Carver, a father and son team from New Germany, have been recognized as the Provincial and Western Region Woodland Owners of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize the Carvers and their contribution to managing and maintaining their woodland for the betterment of the present and future of Nova Scotia's forests.

RESOLUTION NO. 904

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By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas 50 paramedics, each with 20 or more years of experience, received Long Service Awards on May 27, 2014; and

Whereas combined, these Emergency Health Services paramedics have 1,282 years of experience caring for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Bruce Parks of Lunenburg was honoured for his service of 20 years as a paramedic;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Mr. Parks and his dedication to servicing the people of Lunenburg County and the Province of Nova Scotia as a health care professional.

RESOLUTION NO. 905

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas 50 paramedics, each with 20 or more years of experience, received Long Service Awards on May 27, 2014; and

Whereas combined, these Emergency Health Services paramedics have 1,282 years of experience caring for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Peter MacPherson of Mahone Bay was honoured for his service of 25 years as a paramedic;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Mr. MacPherson and his dedication to servicing the people of Lunenburg County and the Province of Nova Scotia as a health care professional.