Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD14-12

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

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Human Resources Committee - Anl. Rept. (01/14 - 08/14),
705
Community Services Committee - Anl. Rept. (01/14 - 06/14),
706
[TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:]
Health & Wellness: ER Depts. - Anl. Accountability Rept
(2013-2014), Hon. L. Glavine »
706
Justice - Law Fdn. N.S.: Anl. Rept. (2013-2014),
706
Justice - Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal (Yr. End 04/31/14),
706
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 155, Status of Women - Young Women: Resources - Share,
706
Vote - Affirmative
707
Res. 156, MacRury, Judge Dan: Appt. - Congrats.,
707
Vote - Affirmative
708
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 30, Workers' Compensation Act,
708
No. 31, Workers' Compensation Act,
708
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 157, Simons, Jack & Sharon - Woodlot Owners of Yr
(Central Reg.), Hon. J. Baillie »
708
Vote - Affirmative
709
Res. 158, Nat. Res.: Firewood Suppliers - Meet,
709
Res. 159, Walton, Doug - East. Passage Vol. Award,
710
Vote - Affirmative
710
Res. 160, LeBlanc, Père Maurice: Ordination - anniversaire (65e),
710
Vote - Affirmative
711
Res. 161, Peterson, Betty - Social Activism: Dedication - Recognize,
712
Vote - Affirmative
712
Res. 162, Beechville - Anniv. (200th),
712
Vote - Affirmative
713
Res. 163, Wilson, Judge James: Retirement - Congrats.,
713
Vote - Affirmative
714
Res. 164, World Mental Health Day (10/10/14): Organizations/Advocates
- Recognize, Hon. David Wilson »
714
Vote - Affirmative
714
Res. 165, Beechville Baptist Church - Anniv. (170th),
715
Vote - Affirmative
715
Res. 166, Crawford, Jack: Ambassador Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes
(2014) - Congrats., Mr. L. Harrison »
715
Vote - Affirmative
716
Res. 167, Hubbards Radio Soc.: Cove FM - Approval Congrats.,
716
Vote - Affirmative
717
Res. 168, MacEachern, Jim (Rico)/Sydney Sooners -
NSSBL Championship, Hon. G. MacLellan »
717
Vote - Affirmative
717
Res. 169, Team N.S.: 55 Plus Female Hockey Team Silver Medals
- Congrats., Mr. T. Houston »
718
Vote - Affirmative
718
Res. 170, Cobequid Salmon Association - Col. Waterways:
Maintenance - Congrats., Ms. L. Zann »
718
Vote - Affirmative
719
Res. 171, Seaview Poultry Ltd.: Poultry Venture - Congrats.,
719
Vote - Affirmative
720
Res. 172, Continuing Care Assoc. (N.S.) - Anniv. (50th),
720
Vote - Affirmative
720
Res. 173, Scott, Harry: Northside Gen. Hosp. - Donation,
720
Vote - Affirmative
721
Res. 174, Hudson, Darren: Log Rolling - World Championship,
721
Vote - Affirmative
722
Res. 175, Timmons, Lola: Fundraising - Congrats.,
722
Vote - Affirmative
722
Res. 176, Cobequid Wildlife Rehab. Ctr. - Funding,
723
Vote - Affirmative
723
Res. 177, Nat. Res. - Firewood Suppliers: Meeting - Energy Min. Urge,
723
Res. 178, Coady, Ms. Lynn - Giller Prize,
724
Vote - Affirmative
725
Res. 179, Pictou Co. - Mental Health Groups: Fundraising
- Organizers Congrats., Mr. T. Houston « »
725
Vote - Affirmative
725
Res. 180, Sharon's Place Rest. (Pictou) - TripAdvisor Award,
725
Vote - Affirmative
726
Res. 181, Cormier, Maxim: Musical Accomplisments - Congrats.,
726
Vote - Affirmative
727
Res. 182, John D. Steele & Sons - Anniv. (118th),
727
Vote - Affirmative
727
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 6, Petroleum Resources Act
728
738
Adjourned debate
746
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 1, House of Assembly: Rules - Amend, Hon. M. Samson »
746
746
746
760
Amendment moved
767
Motion to Adjourn Debate on Amendment
Motion defeated
776
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 14th at 12:00 noon
777
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 183, LeBlanc, Nicole: Commun. Serv. - Congrats.,
778
Res. 184, Dunn, Tim: Drag Racing Win - Congrats.,
778
Res. 185, Ferguson, Blane - Jitney Trail Brush: Trimming - Congrats.,
779
Res. 186, Children's Sports: Vols. - Thank,
779
Res. 187, Wawer, Elizbieta: Speak Out Comp. -
Achievements Recognize, Mr. E. Orrell « »
780
Res. 188, Mitchell, Keisha: Miss Teen N.S. - Congrats.,
780
Res. 189, Ramsey, Sherry: Writing Career - Congrats.,
781
Res. 190, Sakalauskas, Amy - Canadian Lawyer Recognition,
781
Res. 191, Bahr-Gedalia, Ulrike et al - Progress Women of Excellence Awards,
782
Res. 192, Porter, Alex & Kyle: Son - Birth Congrats.,
782
Res. 193, Baker, Amber/Muise,, Joshua: Daughter - Birth Congrats.,
783
Res. 194, Jacquard, Cindy/Nickerson, Darrell: Son - Birth Congrats.,
783
Res. 195, Surette, Rose-Marie - Birthday (80th),
784
Res. 196, Bourque, Roland - Birthday (90th),
784
Res. 197, Doucette, Anselm - Birthday (100th),
785
Res. 198, Cottreau, William & Blanche - Anniv. (60th),
785
Res. 199, Cottreau, Louis & Phyllis - Anniv. (60th),
786
Res. 200, d'Entremont, Medric & Joyce - Anniv. (50th),
786
Res. 201, Boudreau, Rubin & Leah - Anniv. (50th),
787
Res. 202, Boudreau, Delbert & Sally - Anniv. (50th),
787
Res. 203, Egg Farmers N.S./Breakfast Clubs Can./Nourish N.S
- Breakfast Progs., Hon. K. Colwell »
788

[Page 705]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2014

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

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

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the Standing Committee on Human Resources, and I am pleased to table the annual report of the committee for the period of January 2014 to August 2014 of the 62nd General Assembly. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

The honourable member for Fairview-Clayton Park.

[Page 706]

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today on behalf of the Standing Committee on Community Services. I'm pleased to submit the annual report of the committee for the period of January 2014 to June 2014 of the 62nd General Assembly.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

[TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:]

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to present the Annual Accountability Report on Emergency Departments.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as Attorney General, I beg leave to table the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia Annual Report 2013-2014.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, again in my capacity as Attorney General, I hereby beg leave to table the Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal Annual Report for the Year Ending March 31, 2014.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 155

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

Whereas the United Nations has declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child, and this year's theme is Empowering Adolescent Girls: Ending the Cycle of Violence; and

[Page 707]

Whereas this day is intended to recognize girls' rights and the unique challenges that face girls around the world; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women has many resources, including a Guide for Girls and Cyber Safe Girl in English and French, and they are partnering with the YWCA to host a girl's round table next year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge the unique challenges faced by girls in our province and around the world, and that we commit to sharing the resources provided by the Status of Women with the young women in our lives.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 156

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

Whereas in July, Judge Dan MacRury was appointed to the bench as a Provincial and Family Court Judge and is being sworn in today at a ceremony to be held in Sydney, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Judge MacRury has almost three decades of legal experience and, as a lawyer, has helped move provincial and national legal issues, like cyberbullying and others, forward; and

Whereas in this important role, Judge MacRury will continue to contribute to Nova Scotia's justice system by presiding over both Provincial and Family Court matters;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Judge MacRury on his appointment to the bench and wish him well in this new role.

[Page 708]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 30 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 10 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Workers' Compensation Act, Respecting First Responders. (Hon. Frank Corbett)

Bill No. 31 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 10 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Workers' Compensation Act. (Hon. Frank Corbett)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 157

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

Whereas Jack and Sharon Simons of Springhill were named regional Woodlot Owners of the Year for the central region of Nova Scotia by the Department of Natural Resources; and

Whereas after Jack's 26-year career in the military, Jack and his wife Sharon moved home and purchased property from Sharon's father and began to work on the lot, which includes a sugar woods; and

Whereas protection and planning for the future has been one of Jack's management principles since taking stewardship of the land;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jack and Sharon Simons on being the regional Woodlot Owners of the Year, and wish them continued success in the future.

[Page 709]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 158

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

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources stated on October 9, 2014, that firewood used by Nova Scotians does not qualify as an energy source; and

Whereas the Liberal Government promised in their election campaign to keep energy costs down; and

Whereas many Nova Scotians, especially in rural Nova Scotia, use wood to heat their homes to reduce their power bills;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Natural Resources should meet with firewood suppliers to get a better understanding of how the use of firewood can be used to heat a home and reduce power bills.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

[Page 710]

RESOLUTION NO. 159

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

Whereas Doug Walton, a long-time resident of Eastern Passage, has been an avid volunteer within our community for the past 50-plus years, assisting with youth programs, Summer Carnival and treasurer of the Athletic Association; and

Whereas his support has been second to none in assisting with St. Peter's Church, the local newspaper, The Beacon, and our local Eastern Passage Food Bank; and

Whereas on Thursday, October 16, 2014, he will be honoured as this year's recipient of the annual Wall of Recognition Award at the Tallahassee Community School, the most prestigious award presented within our community;

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

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

RESOLUTION NO. 160

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

Attendu que le 4 mai 2014, les paroisses de l'Église Sainte-Famille des Buttes Amirault et l'Église Saint-Joseph de l'Île Surette ont tenu une messe spéciale pour célébrer le 65e anniversaire de l'ordination sacerdotale du Père Maurice LeBlanc; et

Attendu que Père Maurice a célébré la messe régulièrement dans les deux paroisses pour les dernières 19 années; et

[Page 711]

Attendu que Père Maurice LeBlanc a été ordonné comme prêtre le 24 avril 1949, ayant passé de nombreuses années au Nouveau-Brunswick ainsi qu'à l'Université Sainte-Anne, prenant sa retraite en 1991 pour suivre son amour de la musique, l'art, voyager et le service de sa communauté religieuse;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette Assemblée se joignent à moi pour féliciter le Père Maurice LeBlanc sur son 65e anniversaire d'ordination sacerdotale, le remercier pour son dévouement à sa foi et les gens qu'il sert et lui souhaiter encore beaucoup d'années heureuses et bonne santé continue.

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

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

Whereas on May 4, 2014, the parishes of Holy Family Church in Amirault's Hill and Saint Joseph's Church in Surette's Island held a special mass celebrating the 65th anniversary of Father Maurice LeBlanc; and

Whereas Father Maurice LeBlanc has celebrated mass regularly in both parishes for the past 17 years; and

Whereas Father Maurice LeBlanc was ordained on April 24, 1949, having spent many years in New Brunswick as well as Université Sainte-Anne, and retired in 1991 to pursue his love of music, travelling and serving his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Father Maurice LeBlanc on his 65th Anniversary, thank him for his devotion to his faith and the people he serves and wish him many more happy and healthy years.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Interim Leader of the New Democratic Party.

[Page 712]

RESOLUTION NO. 161

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

Whereas Betty Peterson has been an activist for social change for several decades both here in Halifax and internationally; and

Whereas Betty Peterson has been honoured over the years with several awards and accolades, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the YMCA Peace Medallion and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Mount Saint Vincent University; and

Whereas Betty Peterson's activism will be recognized and honoured this month in a special exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize Betty Peterson's dedication to social activism and express its gratitude to her for continuing to act as a positive role model and community leader.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timerlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 162

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

Whereas the community of Beechville was originally settled in 1814 by men and women of African descent who had escaped from the United States in slavery during the War of 1812; and

Whereas Beechville is one of Nova Scotia's 45 African Nova Scotian communities and many of the descendants of the original settlers still reside in the area today; and

[Page 713]

Whereas in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Beechville, residents and friends of the community gathered to have it proclaimed that Saturday, August 9th be marked as Beechville Day by all levels of government.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating the residents of Beachville, past and present, on their 200th Anniversary and on the proclamation of Beechville Day, as well as for their outstanding sense of community pride.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

Would all those in favour please say Aye? Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 163

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

Whereas New Glasgow native James Wilson has recently retired after a very successful career as a lawyer and judge; and

Whereas Mr. Wilson was called to the bar in 1972, appointed as judge in Family Court in 1988, and the Provincial Court in 1989; and

Whereas Mr. Wilson has been a very valuable member of his community, both as a professional and long-time supporter of many worthy causes and organizations;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Judge Wilson on his retirement and wish him many years of happiness as he enters into a new chapter of his life.

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

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

[Page 714]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 164

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

Whereas World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health; and

Whereas the day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about the work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide; and

Whereas the focus of the World Health Organization this year is living a healthy life with schizophrenia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly recognize the work of the mental health organizations and advocates like the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia and commit to supporting them in their endeavours to improve support for people suffering from mental illness.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

[Page 715]

RESOLUTION NO. 165

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

Whereas from October 3-5, 2014 there was a celebration of the Beechville Baptist Church's 170th Anniversary; and

Whereas the Baptist Church played an important role in the development of the community and in 1868 a baptism was recorded as the Great Baptism - it was an exciting time where 47 people were baptized in Lovett Lake while over 1,000 stood in attendance; and

Whereas many guests participated with Pastor Grant, including Pastor Fredrick Lynch from Dallas, Texas, and the Beechville community;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly give special recognition to the Beechville Baptist Church for their unique contribution to the rich history of Beechville and congratulations on their 170th Anniversary.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 166

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

Whereas Jack Crawford, age six, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just over a year ago; and

Whereas Jack's spirit and determination afforded him the position of ambassador for the 2014 TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes in Truro in September; and

[Page 716]

Whereas Jack's enthusiasm and dedication enabled his team, Jack's Pack, to raise and contribute $6,105 to the event's overall fundraising efforts of $12,063;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jack Crawford on the excellent job he did as ambassador for the 2014 TELUS Walk to Cure Diabetes.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 167

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

Whereas the Hubbards Radio Society applied to the CRTC in September 2013 and was approved on May 28, 2014; and

Whereas Cove FM is a project to launch and operate a non-profit society community radio station to serve the greater St. Margarets Bay, Hubbards, and Chester area; and

Whereas through the generosity of members, local businesses, and fundraising, Cove FM will soon be up and running full time;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Hubbards Radio Society on all their hard work and efforts in getting Cove FM on the radio dial.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 717]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 168

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League has been providing high-calibre amateur baseball in our province since the league's inception in 1977; and

Whereas the Sydney Sooners have been crowned the 2014 NSSBL champions after sweeping the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry in round one, followed by a series win in six games over the Halifax Pelham Molson Canadians, marking back-to-back league titles for the Sydney squad; and

Whereas as a result of their title, the Sooners will represent our province at the 2015 Canadian Senior Nationals in the great baseball community of Chatham, New Brunswick, in late August of next summer;

Therefore be it resolved that the House join me in congratulating the Sooners' manager, Jim (Rico) McEachern, and all of my former teammates on their banner, and our hope for the Sooners is a national title in Chatham in 2015.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 169

[Page 718]

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

Whereas Jayne Murphy and Sue Henderson were the two Pictou County residents who were part of the first-ever 55-plus female hockey team from Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Team Nova Scotia was the underdog going into the competition, coming from all over the province with only a couple of practice sessions; and

Whereas team members played with heart and determination, and Team Nova Scotia came home from Alberta with silver medals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Team Nova Scotia on their silver medals and note that next year our province will host the 55-plus Games.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 170

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

Whereas members of the Cobequid Salmon Association are working to improve, maintain, and revitalize rivers and streams throughout Colchester County; and

Whereas funding comes through grants, local fundraisers, and the Truro Scotiabank branch; and

Whereas all proceeds go directly to the cleanup of rivers, streams, brooks, tree removal, and bank stabilization;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Cobequid Salmon Association for the wonderful work that their members do to keep the waterways in Colchester County clean and viable, and wish them great success in the future.

[Page 719]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 171

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

Whereas Seaview Poultry Ltd. has been a poultry producer for four generations; and

Whereas Chris, Susan, Warren and Tim Cox, the owners of Seaview Poultry, have just completed a new layer facility that features enriched colony housing; and

Whereas enriched colony housing uses the latest technology for raising hens in the best conditions in terms of light, ventilation, feed, perches, and a scratching carpet;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Seaview Poultry Ltd. for their latest venture and wish them continued success as an exemplary poultry producer in Kings North.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 720]

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 172

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

Whereas the Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia is celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2014; and

Whereas the Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia is a provincial not-for-profit society that serves individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities, the elderly, and those with mental health difficulties; and

Whereas the mission of the Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia is to provide leadership through education and advocacy, and will be launching its new website that will assist Nova Scotians in looking for information about continuing care and promote better services;

Therefore be it resolved that all Members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate the Continuing Care Association of Nova Scotia on its 50th Anniversary and thank its members for their dedication to those in need.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

RESOLUTION NO. 173

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

Whereas Harry Scott made a donation to the Northside General Hospital so Room 417, designated for palliative care patients, could be renovated in memory of his wife of 62 years, Laura; and

[Page 721]

Whereas the room will now provide families of palliative care patients with peace and dignity, and will allow them to feel more comfortable - like home; and

Whereas Harry feels this is his way of giving back for the dignified, caring way Laura was treated in the final stages of her life;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Harry Scott for his generosity and thoughtfulness.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

RESOLUTION NO. 174

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

Whereas Darren Hudson of Barrington won the world championship for logrolling at the 2014 Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisconsin, in July; and

Whereas since the Lumberjack World Championships began in 1995, Mr. Hudson has captured seven world championship titles and 18 Canadian titles; and

Whereas Mr. Hudson is a multi-talented competitor who also placed fourth in the men's boom run;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Darren Hudson on becoming the world champion logroller and wish him continued success in the future, and look forward to seeing him on the Rick Mercer Report very soon this Fall.

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

[Page 722]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 175

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

Whereas Lola Timmons, five-year-old daughter of Constables Harry and Claire Timmons, is an exemplary role model for her peers; and

Whereas at her young age Lola has already made it her goal to raise and donate money to causes that will benefit those in need; and

Whereas Lola has taken the opportunity to ask for donations to SPCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or the local food bank in lieu of gifts at her birthday celebration;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Lola Timmons, and wish her great luck as she continues to impact her community and peers with her desire to make things better for those in need.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 176

[Page 723]

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

Whereas the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre (CWRC) is an organization dedicated to providing veterinary care and rehabilitation to sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife; and

Whereas this local centre was the only competitor selected east of Quebec to compete for upwards of $100,000 in the 5th Annual Jamieson Call for the Wild competition; and

Whereas the amount won was dependent on the number of votes received and CWRC was awarded $33,000 with 7,461 votes cast, the second highest overall;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre on their creative efforts to rally their community whereby winning this much-needed funding.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 177

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

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources stated on October 9, 2014, that firewood used by Nova Scotians does not qualify as an energy source; and

Whereas the Liberal Government promised in their election campaign to keep energy costs down; and

Whereas many Nova Scotians, especially in rural Nova Scotia, use wood to heat their homes to reduce their power bills;

[Page 724]

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Energy encourage the Minister of Natural Resources to meet with the firewood suppliers to get a better understanding of how the use of firewood can heat a home and reduce power bills.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 178

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

Whereas Lynn Coady was born in Cape Breton and began writing casually at an early age; and

Whereas Ms. Coady has transformed her talents into a successful career as an editor, teacher, and writer; and

Whereas Ms. Coady was recently awarded the prestigious Giller Prize, Canada's most prestigious prize for literature, for her recently published collection of short stories entitled Hellgoing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Lynn Coady on her success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 725]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 179

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

Whereas organizers Lee Johnson, Maureen Jones, Elaine Garland, Cecilia McRae, and Jean Milner teamed up with Clara's Big Ride to raise money for mental health services; and

Whereas the over $22,000 raised will be shared equally between the organizers of the Pictou County Family Support Group and the Pictou County Health Authority Mental Health Service to support the Meriden Families Matter Program, with all proceeds remaining in Pictou County; and

Whereas the monies will be used exclusively to help the families affected by mental illness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate these organizers for a job well done, and wish them well in their future endeavors.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 180

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

Whereas this year Sharon's Place Family Restaurant on Front Street, Pictou, received a national award from TripAdvisor Canada for the third year in a row; and

[Page 726]

Whereas Sharon's Place received a certificate recognizing the quality dining experience of the restaurant; and

Whereas Sharon's Place opened in 2001 and is known for hot homemade meals and dessert, all-day breakfast, and fast, friendly service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Sharon and her staff on their award, and wish her many more years of success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 181

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

Whereas Maxim Cormier has been captivating the attention of fellow musicians and audiences since before he was a teenager; and

Whereas the Cheticamp guitarist is only several short years out of high school and has already established himself as one of the next up-and-coming music talents from Eastern Canada; and

Whereas Maxim has been accumulating awards like the recent International Music Award's Best Instrumental Composition for his track Le Grand Boulanger de L'est;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Maxim on his accomplishments and on his recent graduation from Dalhousie's music program.

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

[Page 727]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

RESOLUTION NO. 182

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

Whereas John D. Steele's Sons in North Sydney has been manufacturing memorials and monuments for 118 years; and

Whereas this business has been operated during all those years by the same family in the same town; and

Whereas Donnie and Leo Steele employ a staff of seven and embrace technology in their plant;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Steele's on their 118 years of business and wish them the best for the next 118 years.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

[Page 728]

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

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

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

Bill No. 6 - Petroleum Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : We'll resume debate with the honourable member for Pictou East - 47 minutes remaining.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise this morning and again talk about Bill No. 6.

We talked a little bit yesterday about how, at a minimum, governments should be presenting legislation that provides certainty to industry. That's really what industry is looking for - they want to know the playing field and they want to know the rules, and Bill No. 6 kind of falls down on that right where it starts. Again, I'll read the opening sentence in the Explanatory Note. It says this bill ". . . prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale unless exempted by regulation for the purpose of testing or research."

Mr. Speaker, I've been speaking to the people in industry and I've been asking, what does "high-volume hydraulic fracturing" mean? That's not a term that the people in the industry are familiar with - nobody really knows what that means. It's a very subjective term to the people who are in the industry, working in the industry every day.

Then we say that the bill prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale. Mr. Speaker, it turns out that the "in shale" part adds another layer of subjectivity because geologists can have a discussion about what is shale and what is not shale. I don't know if there are any members in this House who could participate in that discussion - maybe one, maybe the Minister of Environment, I'm not sure.

Certainly I'm not qualified for that, but what I'm hearing is that it's subjective, it's open for discussion. When you have a piece of legislation that comes before the House and it's open for discussion as to what it actually means, it's only going to create problems. Industry is looking for guidance on what it means, and we're just setting the province up for a bunch of lawyering, people looking for loopholes and people looking for ways around it. Industry doesn't want to be lawyering. Industry wants to be building their business, building their industry. So they just won't do it. They just won't come here.

[Page 729]

That's a frightening thing when you have a bill that's going into law. We all know, we accept the realities of what's going to happen here: a majority government will push this through, and no one will know what the playing field is, what the rules are. That's not the message we want to be sending, and that's the message that's being received. People are looking at Nova Scotia and they're wondering, what's going on there? Do they want industry? Do they not want industry? What are the rules? It's putting us in a very negative light.

I know I referred to the Minister of Energy not sensing that, maybe? Not accepting that? I'm not sure. He referred to various discussions he has had and how he thinks industry is just delighted that he has put this ban forward, they're just so excited that he took that step to do that. Everyone in this House knows there's no way that industry can be delighted by this type of a bill.

You have to ask yourself, why would he be thinking that? What could possibly be giving the Minister of Energy the impression that industry is so happy? I think there are probably a few reasons that he might have that perception. He might be a bit in fairy-tale land - I think a member in here referred to that before - but the reality is, when you're the Minister of Energy and you're talking to energy companies, they have to carry a certain respect for you. They have to acknowledge that this is a person who's in a position of power, who can destroy their company with the swipe of a pen.

I don't know what you would say to a person like that. You would probably shake their hand and smile and have all kinds of niceties in their presence, but what's really important is what's happening out of their presence, and what's happening is that industry is in a state of shock, really. They're very confused by how this might play out.

The sad part about it is that the minister could be using his position of power to create good. The minister talked a lot about the social licence, and he made reference to the fact that the social licence doesn't exist right now in Nova Scotia, that Nova Scotians aren't accepting hydraulic fracturing, and they need a social licence before they will accept it.

I believe that is all true. The real sadness of it is, when Nova Scotians want more information, it's incumbent upon the government to go and get it. That might take some work, it might not always be fun, but what the government should be doing is rolling up their sleeves and going and getting the information that Nova Scotians want, and going and getting the information that Nova Scotians deserve. That's what we should be doing here. We don't just get a situation like this and say, no, we're not going to do that.

So the minister could be using his position of power to facilitate the creation of a social licence. He's not doing that. In fact, what he's doing is saying that the social licence doesn't exist, so therefore under my reign it will never exist, because I don't want to do the work to try and create it.

[Page 730]

I know the comments from the Minister of Energy - and I wish the Minister of Energy was listening to this debate today - unfortunately he's not listening, he's not listening to this debate. Madam Speaker, what he could be doing. . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. It's not permissible to recognize whether somebody is in the Chamber or out of the Chamber.

MR. HOUSTON « » : I hadn't noticed that the minister wasn't here; I just knew that he wasn't listening. I didn't mean to reference whether he was present or not but since he's not here I will withdraw the statement. I apologize for that.

The Minister of Energy could be using his position of power to facilitate a social licence, and he's not doing it. The part that is really upsetting to Nova Scotians - and Nova Scotians are very upset about the fact that the Wheeler commission and the colleagues on that commission invested a great deal of time and energy in travelling around, speaking to Nova Scotians, producing a report. We should be thanking them for their efforts and thanking them for doing that on behalf of Nova Scotians. Instead, what has happened, Madam Speaker, is they went through all this time and effort, produced a report, handed it over to the government, who three days later said no thank you, we're not interested in this report, and they threw it in the garbage.

That is unfair to the people on the commission who invested all their time and energy in going around the province speaking to Nova Scotians. It is unfair to all those Nova Scotians who turned up at the public meetings - and I attended some of those meetings, Madam Speaker - and it's unfair to the people who invested time in providing written submissions to the commission. Some of the written submissions were very detailed because I can assure you that the companies in the industry took this very seriously and they invested a lot of time in preparing their written submissions. They chose their words very carefully, no doubt Madam Speaker, and all of that went into a final report that the government received and three days later said - it's over. That is an insult.

That's an insult to the people on the commission and it's an insult to Nova Scotians because what Nova Scotians want is a government that listens. They want a government that takes what they hear, evaluates it, and then responds to it. But instead they got a government that got the report and threw it out and that's not fair.

Nova Scotians do have a lot of questions about fracking and they deserve the answers to them, and what the report said, the report acknowledged that. The report said we need more information, but the report said we should investigate and we should go. We should go slowly, but we should go. That is kind of the gist of it and the government just said no, we're not going to go; we're not going to do that, and it's a hasty decision - three days after receiving the report.

Could that decision have been made before the final report? I think maybe it must have been made before the first draft of the report, Madam Speaker, but no doubt there were drafts of the report as we went along, everyone knows that, but the respectful thing to do is get a final report and give it the proper respect that it deserves.

[Page 731]

I don't know - I heard some comments from the members opposite about having the report before and I think maybe we heard that the minister does have lots of things that he maybe should or shouldn't have before people have them. We heard a little bit about that yesterday with FOIPOPs.

Fortunately we didn't have to FOIPOP the final report but what you do is get the final report and you read it and you consider it. You don't make a hasty decision. To make a hasty decision is a slap in the face to the commission - some pretty well-respected Nova Scotians on that commission - slapped them in the face. It's a slap in the face to Nova Scotians and it absolutely sends the wrong message to industry.

Somebody will say, well why do you say it sends a wrong message to industry? Well, what it has done at a very minimum - and I think perhaps some clever wording with the high volume and some subjective wording, I think maybe trying to play both sides of it here and open some loopholes - but at a minimum, what it has done is taken a tool out of the toolbox of industry. It's not really the job of the government to be meddling in the toolboxes of industry. That is what happened here.

Industry will always try to evolve and find ways to improve. They are always investing in new technologies, looking for safer, better ways to do things. Here we have a government that comes along and says we're going to take a few things out of your toolbox there. You know, we are not experts on exploration here, on the floor of this Chamber, but we still feel like we're going to take a few tools out of your toolbox. That is not what a government should be doing.

Who are we, sitting in here, to tell the people working in this industry what they should be doing and when they should be doing it? The sentiment toward our province right now is not good. When I pick up The Globe and Mail, I read editorials and columnists talking about our attitude toward things and the attitude toward the rest of Canada, specifically with respect to the fact that we rely, unfortunately, quite heavily on transfer payments from other provinces. People across Canada are wondering, how dare you, how dare you accept transfer payments from Alberta, where they do a lot of energy exploration and stuff.

It's not good enough for Nova Scotians to even think about it to evaluate it, but please send us your money. Is that how we want to be seen? We can't even be bothered, in this province, to do the work, to figure out the answers, to give Nova Scotians the information they need. We can't even be bothered to do that. That's the wrong message to be sending.

So here in Nova Scotia we are going to prohibit "high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale unless exempted by regulation for the purpose of testing or research". How many times do you think that exemption for testing and research is going to be granted? I find it hard to believe that there is going to be a steady stream of people banging on the door of the Minister of Energy saying please can I have an exemption to do testing and research so can I evaluate whether or not there is a commercial resource there that you are not going to let me commercialize.

[Page 732]

Let's think about that for a second. What's he trying to accomplish by adding a statement like that in there? Are we playing it both sides? Are we trying to confuse industry? I did hear the minister say, time and time again, that he believes that the commercialization of any industry here in this respect in the Province of Nova Scotia is years away. I think he said 10, 15, 20 years away - and who am I to dispute that, Madam Speaker?

What I do know is that however many years away it was, it's much further away now. That argument doesn't hold a lot of water with me, Madam Speaker. We shouldn't be pushing things further and further away, and we especially shouldn't be doing it under the guise of saying we're actually bringing it closer, which is the type of message that this government is trying to send - well we're banning it, but we're banning it because that's going to make it happen quicker.

Madam Speaker, you can't have it both ways. To quote my 12-year-old: "That's just silly." That doesn't work - who is going to come here to test or explore or research if they can't commercialize? There's a huge cost involved in testing, exploring, and researching.

If nothing else, another problem with this bill is that all other things being equal, this government just made it much more expensive to test and research and explore in this province. They took a very expensive activity and made it even more expensive.

I hope the members opposite are listening to this because this is a key point on what they've done to change the economics of a potential industry. In the business of exploring and testing and researching, Madam Speaker, you employ service companies. These service companies provide rigs, provide services, and they're in pretty high demand. It's a specialized activity that a lot of these service companies provide and that's why it's so capital-intensive.

Let's just think about this now. If you want to move a rig to Nova Scotia to do some testing or researching or exploring, a significant part of that is the cost of mobilizing that rig and getting it here, because it's not here now - it's probably out West in Alberta somewhere and they've got to move that rig here. Madam Speaker, to move a rig here is very expensive, it's a great number of tractor-trailer loads of parts and stuff. They take it apart and move it and reassemble it here, and it's very expensive.

So what do companies do when they see that cost and know they want to do some exploration? They get together and they share the costs. They might say, well, I'll put the rig here in this area and then after they're done with me they'll go over to you, and then they'll go to another party. Now you have three or four different companies using the same rig and guess what? They share the cost of the mobilization effort.

[Page 733]

Madam Speaker, under this bill there's not going to be a number of companies to share the cost. We'd be lucky to have one. So if you don't have companies to share the cost with, you have to absorb it yourself, and that makes it so much more expensive. It puts everyone trying to do that work in this province at a huge commercial disadvantage.

The members opposite might care very little about companies in this province being at commercial disadvantage, but to operate in this province you are already behind the eight ball. You've got the highest taxes, you've got the high operating costs, high energy costs to begin with, and now you're saying that your operating costs, because of this bill, are going to be much more expensive. So, Madam Speaker, the exemption is worthless. This bill is not going to advance industry. You are not going to have people stepping up, saying, I am going to spend more to do testing and research here than I would elsewhere, because if I'm successful in my testing and research, I can't commercialize it.

Companies don't make decisions like, let me spend more here than I would spend in this jurisdiction. They go where they get the most bang for the buck. The bang for the buck is not very loud in this province and the bang for the buck just got diminished even more in this province. So when companies are looking at where they're going to allocate their capital, we ain't at the top of their list, and that's a shame.

I talked to some friends and some constituents about this, and one of them broke it down pretty simply for me. He said, well, who is going to come here and research if they can't commercialize? If I'm in the business of selling alcohol and that's my job, and I go around and I try to get my product listed at certain stores, well, I'm not going to invest a bunch of my time talking to store owners in dry areas, or in areas where it's illegal to sell alcohol. I'm just not going to invest my time there. I'm not going to talk to those people and say, please stock my product on your shelves, because you can never sell it. That is what's happening here. Why would they come here and explore?

I thank my friend, Paul, for that very succinct analogy because I think that is something that people, should they choose to listen to it, would be able to understand. But the minister believes they will come. They will come and explore and, in fact, they are very excited about coming and investing millions of dollars - tens, hundreds of millions of dollars sometimes - very excited to come here and spend that kind of money in this province where they can't commercialize it.

Well, Madam Speaker, I think we know the reality of those types of statements. So to stand in this Chamber and say that industry is excited about this, he is either not listening to them, or he's feeding us something else. Nova Scotians want a government that looks for information. They want to know right now, what is the plan to get that information? How are we ever going to make an informed decision?

[Page 734]

This bill doesn't help advance the generation of information. It doesn't help advance the gathering of that information. Why wouldn't the government consider a little test area? Wouldn't it have been prudent to work with Nova Scotians to find an area where they could test, test the geology and all these types of things? I think that would have been the way to go, not to say . . .

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Common sense.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Common sense, thank you to the member for Pictou Centre for that.

This bill is not helping industry go forward. It is setting the province back. It's setting the province back, at a time when we should be focused on bringing families back together. We should be focused on creating good jobs. At a time when we should be doing those things, this Liberal Government has slammed the door on a potential avenue to create good-paying jobs. They slammed the door on an opportunity to keep people in this province, that's what they've done - and they can spin it a thousand different ways, but that's the reality. When you boil it down, that's what they've done.

Now why did they do that, do you suppose, Madam Speaker? Why would they say, well, let's just not do this, we're just quite happy with where we are, we don't need to go and seek out any progress? The Minister of Energy talked about all of the projects happening and stuff and he kind of said, that's enough folks. That's what he said: we don't need any more of that stuff.

Madam Speaker, just look around the province, travel around and talk to Nova Scotians. If you think Nova Scotians are quite happy, then I'd encourage you to come with me around my constituency because people are struggling in this province, people are struggling, and then we'll go around and we sit here and say to them, well, we don't need to find any new avenues, we're going to close the doors on new avenues and, for heaven's sake, we don't want you growing your own food either - we don't want you doing that. We just like to slam doors on stuff here, that's what we do.

Why would we do that? Why would we slam the door? The only reason, Madam Speaker - and I thought long and hard about this and I say maybe it's a path of least resistance, maybe they'll just listen to the path of least resistance. I heard it said that they stuck their finger up in the air to see which way the wind was blowing, and watch the polls in New Brunswick and all of this type of stuff and said, well, that's what we're going to do too, we're just going to slam it; we got lots of stuff here, we don't need anything else.

Well, Madam Speaker, that's taking the easy way out, that's taking the easy way out. And I'm sure it's not easy to govern, and I know I'll get my chance soon enough to see what that feels like, but I would say that it's not easy to govern and I accept that, but that doesn't mean that you take the easy way out. What that means is you work a little harder; that's what that means.

[Page 735]

This is a country that's built on hard work, people recognizing challenges and overcoming them. They expect at least that from their government. So maybe it's not easy to govern, but hopefully that's not what you signed up for - I think we do see some examples where maybe it is what some members signed up for but it's certainly, on this side, not what we signed up for. I'm not interested in taking the easy way out; that's not my style, Madam Speaker, and that's not the style of Nova Scotians, and it's a darn shame that it seems to be the style of the government. What have we done here with this, taking the easy way out? Well taking the easy way out has thrown the industry into a bit of turmoil here.

You know, Madam Speaker, I don't think an outright ban was what should have been done here, and if you listen to the Minister of Energy when he speaks it's hard to say - is it a temporary ban, is it a real ban, has he felt the need to legislate something? He said, by golly we'll legislate something and we'll figure out what it is we've legislated later on, and that's unfortunate. That's unfortunate, Nova Scotians didn't deserve that.

We hear amongst the wordsmithing of what has been said and what the bill does and why it has been done, we listen to that wordsmithing, and the excuse we hear quite often from the government is that, in fact, they're doing what the Wheeler report told them to do - they say we're just doing what we're told to do. Madam Speaker, that's simply not accurate. That's not accurate - what the Wheeler report told them to do was to go slowly, go carefully, but go.

I hope we get a chance to hear from Mr. Wheeler officially. I'd love to hear what he says, because I know there are a lot of people in industry who are quite surprised that they just banned this after three days, without careful consideration.

I wonder, did the minister receive the final report, do you think, and sit down with the commission? There's so much confusion about what the report actually says. I'm going to speak a little bit about what one of the panel members has said. On one hand, we have some of them who have been very public, saying that they're disappointed in the government for this, and then maybe on the other hand you have some who are saying well, okay, fair enough.

It's a hard thing to speak out against the government, and people should put that in perspective. If you are in industry, speaking out against the government is a hard thing to do, so let's put that little bit of perspective on it. I wonder, did the minister get the report and sit down with the panel and say, okay, guys, you did a lot of work here, you went around the province and you heard lots of stuff and you got written submissions. What do you think? Boil it down for me here, folks.

Did that happen in those three days, do you think, Madam Speaker? I just wonder. Maybe the Minister of Energy will get a chance to answer that for us. He's going to get his chance to come back up and refute statements that we're making on this side. We're just raising questions. Nova Scotians have a lot of questions about how this unfolded, and they're disappointed.

[Page 736]

We're raising it up, and I know the minister is listening intently to what we're saying, so he will have his chance to refute it. What I think they said is go slowly, go carefully, but go. In fact, what Page 5 of the report that the panel produced explicitly said that they do not support an outright ban, and I'm going to quote here. It says: "We are not" - not - they didn't say it twice, Madam Speaker. I just did that for effect. What it says is: "We are not proposing a moratorium or any other political device."

Now, I'm not sure what that might mean to you, Madam Speaker, or what that might have meant to the Minister of Energy. What they said is they are not proposing a moratorium or any other political device. That's what they said. That's what they propose, but what did they get? What they got was a bill that prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale. So, on the one hand you have a panel saying they are not proposing a moratorium or any other political device - that's not what they propose - but what they got was a bill that prohibits high-volume hydraulic fracturing in shale.

Now I don't know if you can connect the dots between those two things. I don't know if one of those statements leads to the other, to the members of this House, but the Minister of Energy has said that yes, those two statements are the same, that they mean the same thing.

I think that's what has Nova Scotians so offended, and they are offended. I think maybe if you are sitting in a majority government and you are listening to your core supporters, maybe you're not hearing that they are offended. I will tell you that Nova Scotians are offended.

I would like to put that in a little bit of perspective. I was reading some of Graham Steele's musings lately. He had in a column - I might have the numbers a smidgen off - but basically it goes like this: this government got 40 per cent of the votes. Well 60 per cent out there didn't vote for them and that's a pretty large per cent of the population. They got 40 per cent of the votes, 60 per cent of the seats and 100 per cent of the power. I think what we should be doing - I'll digress. I'll leave that one alone.

What Nova Scotians are saying, what Nova Scotians are asking for, what we're kind of getting is - it's kind of the opposite of do as I say not as I do. It's pretty much the opposite of that.

I don't know if you have a time check for me? I just drew a very crooked, broken line from the theme of the panel report, which was that they are not proposing a moratorium, to what they have actually done. Quite a few of the panelists are not really happy about that crooked, broken line, in fact panel member Ray Ritcey said, "The decision taken by government to ban 'high volume' hydraulic fracturing on September 3 is not what the panel recommended nor what I personally believe to be in the best interests of Nova Scotians."

[Page 737]

It's not what he thinks. He sat on the panel, he went around, he was in all the meetings when they did these draft reports and final reports and no doubt had quite animated discussions and laboured over certain words. I don't know Mr. Speaker, if you've ever been on groups like that preparing reports, there is always a lot of discussion. If you're sitting at that table and you are privy to those discussions, you probably have a pretty good sense of what the group is trying to say. What he is saying is the government is doing the opposite of what he wanted them to do as a panelist. It's doing the opposite of what he wanted them to do as a citizen and he doesn't think it's in the best interests of Nova Scotians.

No need to stop there. Another panel member, Brad Hayes, said in the media that the minister's comments and the minister's quick move to ban the practice showed that he doesn't understand the report or the subject. This panel member travelled around, he talked to Nova Scotians, signed his name on the report. He looked at what the government has done and he is saying, gee whiz, the minister doesn't even understand. That's quite a telling statement. I'm sure he would be equally surprised to sit in this Chamber and see some of the ministers' body language and theatrics about how he does understand; in fact, there's not much he doesn't understand if you have the minister at his word. But this panellist thinks, gee, no, he doesn't get it.

A third panel member, Graham Gagnon, said he's disappointed with the government's ban and particularly disappointed with the short reaction time. He went on to say that it doesn't seem like it was given thorough consideration.

Now, Mr. Speaker, just imagine for a second. You're doing a service for this province, you're travelling around, giving up your free time, your family time, things you could probably otherwise be doing, no doubt - travelling around, making an investment in the province, trying to get this information and producing this report. And after three days the government says, throw that out.

You know what the panellist said: it doesn't seem like it was given a thorough consideration. Now, Mr. Speaker, what do you think he really felt about it? It's a slap in the face to the people of the panel, the well-respected professionals who produced this report. It's a complete slap in the face.

This was an opportunity for the government to show that they're interested in the concerns of Nova Scotians. It was an opportunity for this government to show that they're interested in discussing every option to move the province forward. If you have an idea, bring it forward to us. We want to talk about it. That's the message they could have sent. They could have sent that message, Mr. Speaker. They could have said, we're listening, folks. What do you want to talk about? Let's do this.

[Page 738]

But they didn't. In fact, they went a little step further and they said, invest your time and energy travelling around, spend all your time listening to people - waste all your time, because it matters not what you will say. We won't even consider it for more than three days. Well, three days in this context is saying, we won't even consider it for one millisecond. If you are an average Nova Scotian and you come forward with an idea - done. We're not going to talk about that because we have enough going on in the province. We have lots of exploration. We don't need to open up any other doors. Let's close a few doors here. We're too busy working on stuff.

So, you know, if we're going to choose to close doors, if we're going to choose to drive talented Nova Scotians to other provinces, well, I think we know the path we're headed on. Mr. Speaker, as I think about what path we might be headed on as a province, I just had this flash in my mind of that great literary work Alice in Wonderland, where Alice is going along and she comes to a fork in the road and she says to the Cheshire Cat there, which path should I take? And the Cat says to her, well, where do you want to go? And Alice says, well, I don't much know. And the Cat says, well then, it doesn't matter. Well, Mr. Speaker, it matters. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I have more, but I don't know if I'll be able to get through it. Let me close with this. It matters to Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians do care about the path we are on, and this government has sent the wrong message to them about how much they care. I urge the government, when we go to Law Amendments Committee - I hope we go to Law Amendments Committee - I hope we don't have statements before Law Amendments Committee starts that it doesn't matter what Nova Scotians say, or halfway through or anything. Let's listen, because this bill can certainly be made better. I hope the government will listen to Nova Scotians, and I hope they will use their power to make it better. Thank you.

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, it has been really interesting sitting here and listening to our colleagues' different takes on Bill No. 6, an Act to Amend Chapter 342 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Petroleum Resources Act. It's a long title. I just call it the "No-Fracking Act."

It was with great interest that I received a briefing of this bill the day it was introduced, and then afterward had the opportunity to take a closer look at the contents. When it comes to the question of hydraulic fracturing and whether the province should allow this type of energy extraction to take place in Nova Scotia, it became very clear to me - and I think to all of us, really - last summer when many Nova Scotians showed up at the meetings across the province to show that they care very deeply about this issue.

During the Wheeler commission's public consultation process, close to 2,000 people attended meetings at various locations across the province to hear what they felt Dr. Wheeler was going to recommend. Would Nova Scotia proceed along a path to allow companies to first do seismic testing and then actually drill for shale and other unconventional oil and gas? Would we follow the actions of other provinces, states, and countries to ban fracking entirely? Or would Dr. Wheeler and his panel recommend an extension of the NDP Government's existing moratorium on hydraulic fracturing?

[Page 739]

In the meantime, I heard from hundreds of people who told me they were afraid of what would happen if, indeed, the NDP moratorium was lifted. It was already well-known in my community that I've long been a champion for environmental concerns, but many wanted to know what our Party policy was. I told them that there are a couple of interesting and relevant direct quotes from the Nova Scotia NDP handbook regarding the principles of the Nova Scotia NDP when it comes to decisions such as this, as it recommends that we adhere to the precautionary principle when it comes to our economy and the environment. It states that the following approach should be taken, namely: "The production and distribution of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a framework that sustains the environment."

Mr. Speaker, I attended two of the public consultations - an early one in Truro, and then the very last one, in the Mi'kmaq community of Whycocomagh. Both meetings were packed, and it was obvious that many attendees had already done their homework and were very knowledgeable about this particular method of energy extraction, and most were extremely concerned. Some people called for Dr. Wheeler to recommend an official extension of the NDP moratorium; some called for an outright ban. Dr. Wheeler explained that the mandate of his job was not to recommend anything to government but simply to research and present evidence on the pros and cons of fracking. He said the politicians will then decide.

An overwhelming majority of people were in favour of keeping the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in place since, in the words of the Minister of Energy himself just yesterday in the House, that moratorium could, in fact, stay in place for 5, 10, or 15 years.

People's main concerns were impacts on drinking water. They had heard of wells in Alberta turning from sources of drinking water to being toxic, an issue that has been reported in the media again this week in California, in fact, where nine different aquifers have been poisoned and their drinking water and farm irrigation water has been contaminated.

They were concerned about impacts on air. Air pollutants associated with shale gas in particular can contribute to the increase in the risk of cancer and other diseases for those living in close proximity to drilling wells, largely due to cumulative and long-term ambient exposure to chemicals.

Impacts on health. The Wheeler report on environmental impacts states that the most commonly cited health issues associated with shale gas include sinus problems, throat irritation, allergies, fatigue, eye and nasal irritation, joint pain, hair loss, difficulty breathing and vision impairment.

[Page 740]

Property values and insurance. Now, many people were concerned about the value of their properties and businesses - that they would decrease if they live in areas near fracking operations. Still others were concerned about the price of their home insurance going up if they live in an area where fracking takes place.

There was also a discussion about the rural versus urban divide. People who live in the rural areas of the province expressed concern that they would be the ones most negatively affected by fracking activities since, in their opinion, city people can sit up there in Halifax and say frack, baby, frack, and collect the dividends, but they won't have to worry about all those chemicals in their backyards.

Fugitive emissions of methane was another concern. That is a highly concentrated greenhouse gas that negatively impacts our climate by increasing global warming, which is the main culprit, of course, for the melting of our ice caps, which in turn creates rising sea levels that threaten coastal regions like ours here in Nova Scotia.

Finally, global warming itself. Many, many people have mentioned that climate change is now affecting them personally due to rising home insurance costs, thanks to unprecedented flooding, and larger, fiercer, and more frequent storms. They are scared of what's to come.

I also attended the annual First Nations Assembly in Halifax last summer, where I took the opportunity to speak with as many chiefs from the province and Atlantic region as I could about this issue. Every chief that I met said unequivocally they do not support hydraulic fracturing. Their biggest concern is, once again, the effects on our water. They expressed the desire not to risk tampering with our water in Nova Scotia since our province has many important watershed areas right across the province with interconnecting rivers and streams.

One such watershed area is, in fact, the region I represent, Colchester County. This is also one of the regions that could be a contender as a site for fracking, we are told, so the Colchester County council and mayor have major concerns.

I asked Dr. Wheeler, as MLA for the region, if he considered the process of fracking to be safe. He contended that hydraulic fracturing has not been proven to be a completely flawless practice and that the possibility of spills or leaks is real.

So I was relieved that Dr. Wheeler and his expert panel eventually reported that in their opinion, now is not the time to allow hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia, because I agree with them. From everything I've heard, most Nova Scotians simply don't want it.

Personally, I feel that Bill No. 6 is a step in the right direction, and I want to commend the Minister of Energy for making this decision. (Applause) I think it was a brave decision in spite of opposition from a number of quarters, including the Official Opposition.

[Page 741]

In my opinion as Critic for Environment, keeping our water supply safe - meaning clean and potable - should be the priority for any government. As most climate experts will tell you, fresh, clean drinking water is going to become our most valuable natural resource in the years to come.

Just ask the people in British Columbia who recently experienced the huge mine tailings pond failure, which created an environmental disaster resulting in a toxic sludge spilling into their waterways in an area spanning over 600 kilometres, ruining the once pristine lakes and rivers and killing wildlife and fish populations and preventing the people from being able to drink or bathe in the water.

About 10 years ago I watched a documentary that Al Gore produced about climate change. It was called An Inconvenient Truth, and it was narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio - and it was the first time that I had ever heard anyone say that global warming, left unchecked, would lead to unprecedented temperature swings and huge mega-storms. Well-respected scientists continued to warn us, including Canada's own David Suzuki, but no one listened and now we're seeing the results, even here at home.

Last summer, wearing another hat as the Agriculture Critic, I visited several orchards in the Annapolis Valley along with the MLA for Kings North - who had the pleasure of showing me around his beautiful Valley. It was a gorgeous, hot summer day, and we heard directly from apple farmers that they too are experiencing climate change - partly due to changing temperatures, but also due to extreme weather events like tropical storm Arthur, which came unseasonably early this year, spreading the dreaded fire blight disease far and wide.

This disease will affect the harvest and their incomes, their revenue for several years. Let's hope we don't get any more storms like Arthur early in the next number of years.

As the Environment Critic this past year, I also attended numerous official meetings and grassroots protests. I've listened to the people and I've heard what they had to say about their desire to live in a pristine province where they can breathe fresh air and drink and swim in clean water - and my colleagues to the right of me would understand that when we have to look at things like Northern Pulp in Pictou. The people there are crying for this type of action to protect them from the pollution in the air and water.

I've also heard from many people who are desperately looking for a job. At the final public session on fracking in Whycocomagh, Cape Breton, Dr. Wheeler pointed out that for an income-strapped province like Nova Scotia, which is woefully in debt, with many rural communities in need of jobs, if fracking is allowed many jobs may be created and revenue pumped into provincial coffers. However, at that point a young man spoke up at the microphone for the first time. He told the room that although he works in the oil and gas industry out West, and commutes home to Cape Breton, he would never want to see the environmental conditions existing here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 742]

He said that he's telling all of his friends, you may have a job for a while but if you can't swim in the rivers anymore or drink the water, what's the point? It reminded me of something that a wise Cree Chief once said of the early European settlers: " Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten."

I hope that that is a message that our Progressive Conservative colleagues can take to heart, because for those who say that not allowing fracking is saying no to jobs, I say, not only do we need to factor in quality of life and people's health in this decision, but we also need to consider the myriad of smaller rural businesses right across this province which would be negatively affected if fracking activities are allowed.

I suggest that instead we need to examine ways that we can provide the same number of jobs, or more, and increase the provincial revenue by renewable, sustainable forms of energy because even with the most restrictive regulations, all of the study in the world on risks and benefits cannot override the certainty that many Nova Scotians feel that allowing fracking to take place in our province would devalue Nova Scotia as a good place to live.

Even some of the major corporations in the energy industry today are already looking towards a time when we will no longer rely on fossil fuels. Shell and BP, for instance, are already investing in sustainable forms of energy and in fact Shell Oil's recent guidance report stated that by the year 2040 we will only be using fossil fuels to generate 17 per cent of global electricity and heating needs, while wind and solar will dominate, and almost all transportation will be powered by battery or hydrogen fuel cells. That means that this is also where shareholders' money will be invested, not in fossil fuels.

However, it seems that many commentators who plead for a courageous response to the Ivany Now or Never report are blind to the compelling fact of climate change. Many of them recognize only half of the problem, that our economy is struggling and many Nova Scotians must leave home to find work. They agonize over the idea of government debt bequeathed to our children but they fail to show the same concern for the serious consequences for those same children if we continue the escalation of fossil fuel use.

Some people have asked, how can Nova Scotia accept transfer payments from Alberta that were earned with fossil fuel revenue if we are to ban fossil fuel extraction in our own province? Why should we be NIMBYs they say? Well, aside from historical and constitutional reasons, I believe it is in everyone's interest to support a move away from risky methods and forms of energy, including fossil fuels. Many Nova Scotians want to help create a thriving economy based on renewables and efficiency. Now is the time to reinvigorate our search for a new post-fossil fuel economy based on ecologically sound principles.

[Page 743]

In fact, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels should really be part of a national energy plan based on long-term, ecology-minded thinking since whatever happens in one region will ultimately affect the whole. I think that's what the Wheeler report is also trying to say. Although they are not making recommendations to government, they are telling government all of the things they have gathered so that government can make the proper decision on this, which Bill No. 6 is doing.

One doesn't have to look far for proof. It has recently been discovered that toxic waste water from Fort McMurray's tar sands tailings ponds has leached into the Athabasca River, which is located miles away. The Athabasca is the main water artery in Alberta, with many streams and tributaries connected to it like veins, which carry the lifeblood of clean, potable drinking water to thousands of people and wildlife. It's very interesting to note that it also just takes three weeks for air in one region, geographically in the world, to travel all the way around the Earth - just three weeks. So it's becoming more and more obvious to thinking people that what goes around really does come around, as the old saying goes.

The good news is that we have already begun to build the foundation for an environmental economy in our province. In 2007 the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, called EGSPA, was passed with 100 per cent, all-Party support in this House, exactly the kind of cross-Party consensus for which the Ivany report also called. Since that time Nova Scotia has made significant shifts from fossil fuel-generated electricity towards renewables and efficiency measures that create good local jobs.

For instance, our former NDP Government was a leader in this new direction. In just four years we introduced the hardest caps on greenhouse gas emissions and most aggressive renewable energy targets of any other jurisdiction in North America. We also signed the Maritime Link agreement with Newfoundland and Labrador to supply our province with hydroelectricity - something I'm pleased that the current Premier and Minister of Energy have embraced.

All these efforts brought Nova Scotia to the forefront as a renewable energy leader. For his efforts, our former Premier, Darrell Dexter, received an award in Copenhagen at an international renewable energy summit, an achievement for which, in my opinion, he was never really given the due that he ought to have received here at home in Nova Scotia. I would like to acknowledge that today, Mr. Speaker, because I remember, and I am extremely grateful that Premier Dexter stuck to his guns in spite of constant attacks on his efforts.

If we look at the facts, the NDP Government actually set the bar for future governments when it comes to a renewable energy plan for the province, including placing the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. With regard to the Wheeler commission report, the fact is that it was the NDP who established the commission in the first place.

[Page 744]

The reason this was done was to undertake a comprehensive environmental and technological review of the practice of hydraulic fracturing, as well as to engage the public and get their input on this important issue. This makes good sense, because sound, evidence-based reasoning characterizes both good science and good public policy. In fact, in my view, this entire exercise has been a credit to the NDP, because when it comes to important economic and environmental issues such as this one, we owe it to the people of Nova Scotia to gather the evidence and take action accordingly, which the current government is now doing.

The results of the Wheeler report and our reaction to it show, I believe, that the New Democratic Party talked the talk and are now walking the walk on this issue. That's why I'm so pleased to be able to support this bill.

Now, the current Liberal Government appears to be following in the steps of our former government, which pleases me, but I do have a few concerns about the bill, including some of the wording of the legislation. For instance, the bill only refers to the banning of "high-volume hydraulic fracturing," not just "hydraulic fracturing," which gives us pause to wonder what is meant by that. Does banning high-volume fracturing mean that low-volume or medium-volume fracturing would be okay?

Defining the term "high-volume hydraulic fracturing" would require many details relating to amounts of water used, how much pressure is used, or whether directional drilling is used. In fact, the definition of "hydraulic fracturing" is not included in the bill at all, which means that the proposed legislation leaves the definition open for the minister to adopt only in regulations. Since the definition of "hydraulic fracturing" covered by the bill determines the extent of the ban, then the definition could, in fact, be changed by the minister without public consultation or legislative debate. Since the Wheeler report signified the public's lack of faith in regulations, surely the definition should be included in the bill itself.

When it comes to community consent, I believe the bill needs to acknowledge the need to acquire community consent before hydraulic fracturing can occur in any area - a key finding in the Wheeler review. I suggest additional wording in the bill to especially acknowledge that municipalities have the right to ban or restrict hydraulic fracturing.

Public consultation - Bill No. 6 states that the Energy Minister may review the prohibition and evaluate the net benefit to Nova Scotians, taking into account social issues, economic issues, health issues, environmental issues, and scientific and technical issues, as well as regulatory effectiveness and efficiency issues, plus "any other matter or thing that the Minister considers necessary or advisable."

In the case that the minister does review the prohibition, I suggest that such a review should, once again, include broad public consultation. The bill includes an exemption for testing and research. However, the bill does not define the meaning of this - "testing and research" - which begs the question, is this some kind of loophole for industry? I'd like to see the bill specify that no research or testing using hydraulic fracturing will be permitted if there is similar data and research from any other jurisdictions, barring of course the fact of Nova Scotia's own specific geological makeup.

[Page 745]

Finally, the bill does not address hydraulic fracturing for all unconventional oil and gas but only to shale formations. Hydraulic fracturing in tight sands and coal bed methane are excluded, so I'd like to point out that the Wheeler review did not differentiate between these formation, when looking at potential problems and risks of hydraulic fracturing. In fact, the risks arising from fracking in these other formations are similar, if not identical, to fracking shale, so that's an issue, Mr. Speaker.

If this bill applies only to hydraulic fracturing in shale formations, how is the government going to address the wide range of risks identified by the Wheeler review relating to fracking for other types of unconventional oil and gas? Mr. Speaker, it is becoming abundantly clear that there is a growing desire by millions of people around the world, as well as right here at home, for governments to get on board the renewable energy train, to take us to a better, cleaner, and safer future. It is coming.

It is coming and Nova Scotia should be poised to join those who lead the way because as the old song says, "you don't need no ticket, you just get on board". It's my firm belief that what our province needs is genuine progress based on sustainable resources instead of the shallow, short-lived progress that comes from exploiting our forests and increasingly dirty, risky, and finite fossil fuels.

We need clean energy and responsible forestry practices as well. I'm a big believer in community forests as well, Mr. Speaker, because who has more of a long-term interest in responsible forestry than the communities that surround these forests, those for whom the resource is their very life blood? And I believe we can do this together.

The bold future path that we need to take for Nova Scotia, for the province we all love, must be ecologically sound, which means that the health and well-being of our citizens and our natural environment must be at the heart of any major decision we make, such as this one. We need to be courageous as well as bold, Mr. Speaker, and sometimes being brave means just saying no to short-term gain at the expense of our environment and our health, since without either we don't really have an economy.

As Dr. Martin Luther King once said, "In a real sense, all life is interrelated. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly." This is the interrelated structure of reality.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I believe we have everything it takes right here at home to show the rest of the world how it's done. We have all the natural ingredients: the sun, the wind, the water, the waves, and the energy and creativity of our people. So let's harness them. Let's engage and empower our youth. Let's give them a reason to stay here in Nova Scotia and create that train that will take us to a bright future for generations to come.

[Page 746]

Saying no to hydraulic fracturing and yes to renewable energy projects in Nova Scotia is a really good way to start. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL » : Thank you Mr. Speaker, I move we adjourn debate on Bill No. 6 to resume again next week.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1.

Res. No. 1, House of Assembly Rules - Amend - notice given Sept. 26/14 - (Hon. M. Samson)

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I move Resolution No. 1.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, as much as I was all ready for the Bill No. 6 debate, I think this debate shall probably be an interesting one as well over the next while.

Rules of this House are such that some of them you can actually date back to a time when we had trains travelling from one end of this province to another. Some of those rules, I think, are such that they do require some updating and, of course, some sincere thought. I was happy with the Government House Leader's move and the Premier's move to look at these rules and to truly try to effect some change.

[Page 747]

Throughout the summer, through a number of meetings with myself, the Government House Leader, the Deputy Government House Leader, and the House Leader for the New Democratic Party, I thought there were some things truly being debated and I thought we were coming to an agreement on what those rule changes should be. We came to the end of it because it sort of got all of a sudden bunched up on September 25th, when we had to come and sit in the House of Assembly to deal with Bill No. 1.

It seems in the last week or so, there was a lot of going back and forth on what were acceptable changes and what were not acceptable changes. I know the NDP had an opportunity to bring it to their caucus on a couple of occasions and we, of course, also brought this over to our caucus when we finally came to the final agreement on what changes we could live with, we thought were important to this House of Assembly, and the ones we would probably ask for a little more research on, a little more thought, maybe sending it off to the Committee on Assembly Matters.

Why not send it to the committee that is actually designed for looking at House Rules, the one that's actually there to continually look at our rules and update them as they are needed? As a matter of fact, I was talking to Art Donahoe not so long ago - I think it was at Bishop Mancini's dinner - and I asked him, how often did you call that committee meeting? How often did you discuss House Rules? He said, on a regular basis that committee was called and they would continue to update things as time went on.

I've been here for 11 years now, and I don't recall the last time that committee was actually called. Quite honestly, the correct mechanism in which to change Rules of this House would be to call that committee meeting, bring the rule changes that everybody was agreeing to or not agreeing to and, of course, to vote. The Liberals on that committee are actually the majority of that committee, and you would actually bring them forward to this House and they would probably be accepted by it, because of course that committee would have the opportunity at that time to debate it. That's not the mechanism which the government decided to use, for one reason or another - whatever.

There were a number of great changes that we brought forward that I thought we all agreed upon. The issue of shorter Question Periods to make them more punchy, the idea of trying to change the Opposition Question Period from the hour and a half to something else other than that - because we all know at the end of the day, the questions actually probably start to degrade, the answers degrade, and at the end of the day, when that last half-hour rolls around, I think all of us would agree that last half-hour of that Opposition Day is kind of a waste of everybody's time, including our people's times, because we can be busy working on other issues that are important, like a fracking bill, a health care bill, or a transportation bill. There are a lot of things that I think we can deal with in this House on a daily basis that are important to our constituents. So let's tighten all those rules up. You know, we're full whole-hearted on those ones.

[Page 748]

But there was one rule that we could not get agreement on, and that was the idea of cutting off Monday nights. Some of us who have been here a while would say, well, in our time here, maybe we didn't get a lot done on Monday nights. Yet it's an institution of this House to sit on a Monday night. It's an institution to have an opportunity to bring information forward to debate bills, and that's why it's here.

If we actually brought that idea to our communities - because ultimately, when we go to our communities, I get it on a regular basis and I know many other MLAs do. They ask, when are you going back to work? And what they mean by going back to work is, when are you going to Halifax? When are you going to go to the House of Assembly to speak on our behalf?

I know the work that I do as an MLA every day. I know the people that I work with and help, try to help - sometimes I don't win, but I know I try my best and I know most MLAs in this House try their best to help their constituents and the time that it takes in that constituency office.

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Can you say, especially the member for Fairview-Clayton Park?

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Especially the member for Fairview-Clayton Park - she's going to get it in every time.

So if we go to our constituents - I tried this a couple of times. I went to my coffee shops and I said, well, what do you think of us taking a Monday night off? Or just calling our Monday nights - trying to explain to them, saying, Monday night is our constituency day. I'm going to be here for you on Monday, and then on Tuesday we'll start off in the Legislature.

AN. HON. MEMBER: We work every day.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Exactly. I know we work every day. And I know, as a minister, that you work even more. I spent longer in Cabinet than you have, at this point, and I know . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I want to remind the honourable House Leader for the Official Opposition to direct his comments through the Chair, and I would ask that the rest of the members respectfully listen to the honourable member who has the floor.

The honourable House Leader for the Official Opposition has the floor.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Maybe I should talk closer to the microphone so everybody can hear me.

[Page 749]

So quite honestly, I know how hard we work, but try to convince your constituents exactly how much you work. You can try as hard as you can, and you can convince maybe 20 per cent or 25 per cent how hard you work as an MLA. But you'll find that 75-or-more per cent will say, well, you work when you come to Halifax.

It doesn't matter. You can show the card that says, this is the time that my constituency office is open, that I have a constituency assistant to answer your phone calls, that some of us have two constituency offices with two assistants and that we're available by phone at all times - and I know that I take phone calls late at night and I take phone calls early in the morning. But continually you'll get the question, when are you going to work?

I've accepted it, because it's just part of the way people view this kind of public service, whether right or wrong. You know, it doesn't matter if I try to convince them. Actually, Perry will probably get mad at me if I use his name, but I'm going to use his name anyway - a friend of mine, Perry Amirault. I sit and have coffee with him on - I wouldn't say every morning when I'm in my constituency, but I pop over to the coffee shop that's just on the end of my building. He will accuse me of not working every time. Every time. And it doesn't matter if I talk to him and try to convince him, bring him along, try to hire him as an assistant. I've tried everything to convince this guy that we all work hard for our constituents. Never in a million years will we convince him otherwise.

I will get his phone number, I will get every Liberal member to call him and try to explain it to him - you'll understand what I mean. I should probably share this - I will actually share this Hansard with him to explain to him that I used his name, and he'll be really mad at me, but it will be all right, he probably doesn't vote in the end. A great fisherman, a great community member - but try to convince him of that.

Going back to the issue of trying to find improvements to the House of Assembly Rules, I thought we had a good list of things that could be updated. The issue of resolutions was one that had a little bit of consternation of trying to figure out the true schedule, what we'd be replacing them with, and the idea of Members' Statements is one that came up to truly change the flow in the House.

A resolution is a pretty prescriptive thing - whereas, whereas, whereas, therefore be it resolved, try to keep it short - you really can't say the things you want to say but for those of us who use them as things to send off to our constituents, a lot of us put them in frames and we send them to birthday parties and anniversaries and all this stuff, so to look at the idea of changing that resolution, which does have a function in this House, by the way, I mean we are talking to a resolution right now, so they do have a function for debate in this House of Assembly. They also have a function to appoint Officers of the House; they also have a function to call business on Opposition Day.

It's not like we would throw them out completely, but to maybe come up with a new category of Members' Statements. A little more free flow, basically looking at the way the federal Parliament does it. The federal Parliament has a very prescriptive time that members can get up and speak for a couple of minutes on a topic that is important to their constituency - or to their riding. It's federal Parliament, so it's ridings, Mr. Speaker, where in Nova Scotia they're the constituencies. The member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg would talk about that quite honestly and often in this House of Assembly of what we represent.

[Page 750]

So the idea of Members' Statements was to flow the issue through, to be a little more conversational in this House of Assembly, yet we would probably leave it to the same amount of time that we normally give to resolutions because the following idea that came to a change in the way Question Period is done would be the idea of having a set time for Question Period. We know sometimes the games that happen in this House to try to force a Question Period later, or trying to get it beyond the filing time for the media, we would fill it with resolutions; the government would bring in Ministerial Statements. We and they - I mean everybody is probably attached to this issue - would do what they can to move Question Period on.

Who does that serve, Mr. Speaker? It really serves nobody; all it serves was maybe a political interest. Quite honestly, if we had more structure to it, i.e., a set time for Question Period, we know that the Leaders, the Premier, could show up on time and be ready for Question Period that would start an hour after the start of the procedure of the House - i.e., if you start at 2:00 p.m., Question Period starts at 3:00 p.m.; if you start at 1:00 p.m., Question Period starts at 2:00 p.m. I thought that was a really good change of the House Rules - a really good change.

The other idea was to shorten it up, like I said, and whether you agree with a 45-minute Question Period, which I think most Houses in the country have, versus 50 minutes - I mean whatever the number is that you pick as a number - and not only to change the amount of time but to actually change the question/supplementary issue. Right now we have everybody doing a question, a supplementary, another supplementary. Some of us have trouble talking on our feet or thinking on our feet. (Interruption)

Actually I have to thank the Minister of Energy. I've got to talk to the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Energy came over after he had made that comment and apologized. I need to thank the Minister of Energy for apologizing for that the other day. (Applause) The minister says he didn't need applause, but I thought he did. That's why I mentioned it.

So, Mr. Speaker, the idea of changing the flow of Question Period was one that made sense too. The Leaders would have their question/supp/supp to get the bigger issue of the day out of the way, and then the rest of us . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: The rest of the flunkies.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : . . . the rest of the funkies, thank you, would be able to go question/supp, question - so you would have a question, and we would actually ask the Speaker to limit the time, and then you would answer, and that would be limited time, and we would know that each member would have an opportunity to ask a question in the House.

[Page 751]

I know the Minister of Environment would have trouble with that because I've seen him - he's still trying to teach a course, and as much as I appreciate his answers, which are very, very, very detailed, they wouldn't fit here very well, because we would try to have an in and an out. Which is exactly what they do in the federal Parliament; what they do, regardless of how you're speaking, the audio system is actually set on a timer. You have a minute for the question and you have a minute for the answer, regardless of how much more you have on it.

We didn't talk about that one specifically, but we would know that we would try to keep that in check by having a snappier Question Period; 45 minutes to 50 minutes would go by and we would be able to move back on to Government Business. I thought those were laudable changes, changes that we could agree upon.

There are a bunch of other changes that, you know, if we could ever bring the Committee on Assembly Matters together. What about a start date for the House sitting? What about a finish date for the House sitting - so that we could actually spread out the time that we sit in this House. If I knew that we started on the first Thursday of October and that we ended on the - I don't know, pick a date; normally it's about a two-month process - last Friday of November, whatever the date you could agree upon.

That would be better service to everybody, that you could actually plan, this is your House sitting and you're done - instead of what happened this time, of course, which is we all got called in for the 25th of September, which - I mean, I have sat a little earlier in the year, but, you know, we could all plan. It would be valuable to all members to be able to spend time in their constituencies doing that kind of work.

The other option I think that came forward during the discussion, that wasn't accepted, was the idea of a constituency week. Instead of this Monday night thing, you could say, all right, listen, we're going to sit for a month, then there's going to be a week that we can catch up on our work, then we come back and work another month. Then you would have your two-month process, the work would come in, we wouldn't have to extend hours a whole lot because there would be plenty of time booked in to deal with the business of this House. That would be a wonderful rule that we could discuss in committee.

What I would really like to see, quite honestly, is that we could bring forward a resolution that everybody agreed upon with an agreement with the House Leader, with the government, that would say, listen, we're going to take some of these other things that we sort of have agreement, but we're not sure, that we want to be able to discuss further, that we would forward it to the committee and we would have that debate there and call the committee as soon as we can. I know, Mr. Speaker, you're the Chair of that committee, but normally it's at the whim of government to call it when we do have business to discuss.

[Page 752]

I thought that would be a better process, and it's something, again, that we would use over a long period of time as a part of our schedule. That would be a part of the schedule of the House Leaders and the members of that committee, to debate and discuss rule changes rather than having to come here to the floor of the Legislature to finally give the airing of what really happened, what did happen during those meetings.

I'll talk to the four-day week for a bit, because that's kind of where we're stuck. I mean, the stuck part is that four-day week again. I know I mentioned it for a few moments, but, you know, that's where we got stuck. I knew the NDP on a couple of occasions said no. I can't say that I came out right off and said no. I have to admit that if there were other things in there that I found were beneficial to the operation of this House as a full package, then we could look at it.

But we bring it to caucus, as I know the government does. They bring things to caucus before they ever show up here, and have an agreement upon them, as they do. There were a number of questions around how would you do it, what would you do with that day, how would you sell it?

Here's why we think Monday night doesn't work. Here's why we think taking a Monday night off or calling it a Monday night off or calling it a constituency day or calling it a committee day - the fact that the Assembly sat a total of 45 days all year last year - 45 days. (Interruption) Well, these ones were the Government House Leader's numbers. (Interruptions)

Let me deviate from that for a second, because it brings up a really good point. This is what I get from the Government House Leader on a regular basis: you guys did it, they did it, people 100 years ago did it, so we're going to do it - so it must be right. That's wrong, Mr. Speaker. That is absolutely wrong. Why don't we just take it all up and actually work together and do the right thing? That's the point.

I'll take the example of the other day when we were looking at putting people on the APF, the francophone Parliamentary association. I'm not saying we had the wrong president. It was done in a democratic way, and that's the way it goes. I congratulate the member for the work he's doing there. But I did something different for a change when I was minister, because at that time I felt that would be better served by someone else. I thought it was better served by the Opposition. Knowing the interest of, at the time, the member for Clare, and the interests of the Acadian community and francophone community, of the member for Richmond, we gave the presidency to them. We said, you guys do it. It would be much more important for you guys to do. (Interruption)

Let me finish my story. So as that went along, I know the member for Richmond had an opportunity to do a lot of very interesting things, things that have advanced things in this House of Assembly, like the translation of the website. There were a number of other things he was able to bring forward, and I thank him for that good work. That was good work on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia, on behalf of the francophone and Acadian community. (Interruption) Nope, wasn't Graham at all. It was the member for Richmond who helped out on that one.

[Page 753]

Of course, everything changes. I could bring up boundaries on this one too, but we'll maybe hold that one for another day. After somewhere close to 10 years between the member for Clare and the member for Richmond having the presidency - I'm using this as an example of how things should work in this House, and how in this case it didn't work - after 10 years of them having that, things changed. They became government. Maybe I naively thought that at least a good turn would be returned. And it wasn't. Do you know what the reason was that I got from the Government House Leader? That when Neil LeBlanc and them were government, they didn't do this. He went back 10 years and blamed it on someone else.

That's kind of what we're hearing in these kinds of rule changes, is that someone else did it. And that's not right. That's not how these things are supposed to work.

Rule changes are important to every MLA in this House. The Rules of this House govern the way we do things, like talk to bills or talk to the resolution, which I am talking to today, which is this resolution. But we could come up with an agreement or a trade-off or - I don't know. There should have been a better discussion on this but really what this came down to was "take all or nothing." I think that's where things went really haywire here. They went really off the rails.

I don't know whether that comes from the Government House Leader, from the Premier or from caucus, I don't know. Quite honestly it really doesn't matter because we are here today debating the resolution that we shouldn't be debating. We should have all said, alright, we agree on these four items. Let's do them. We'll talk about it, send it off to that committee and we'll debate the other ones and we'll come to an agreement. We could have even given ourselves timelines and say by the end of the House that we would actually have had our committee meeting, decided on a few other items, and we could have gone forward.

That didn't happen and I think that's the part that upsets us and upsets Nova Scotians, to see this kind of debate happening in the House.

I know the media, at this point, has said well, here they are talking about their own things, when they are not talking about bills. Quite honestly, Mr. Speaker, I'd rather be talking about Bill No. 6. I was ready this morning to talk about fracking, to talk about the ban on fracking, to not only bring our view as Official Opposition but I had a whole bunch of other things to talk about. Now I find myself talking about this one because right now - I'm not saying who is here or not in this House - but I think the Government House Leader was looking around and counting some seats. He knows that he would be able to get his two-thirds, should he be able to get a vote.

[Page 754]

I think that's wrong. We all get our vote. They need to have their two-thirds. I would love to give them the two-thirds. I would love to give them that on an agreed-upon number of rule changes, but they don't have that and I think that's frustrating. I've tried to be as consultative on this one, as open-minded as I can on this one, but it came down to one item - one item. Well I know the minister doesn't make all his decisions on his own, and I hear the Minister of Energy talking again. I know he has to go to Cabinet and then there has to be an OIC or an R&R drawn up and signed off by a majority or whatever number of Cabinet members.

The same thing happens here. As much as I wanted to be open to changes, good or bad, so that we could start to get moving ahead, we of course bring in the caucus and there were some questions and some worry and that's where I have to be. I have to bring forward the thoughts and the feelings of my caucus. My caucus said this is not a winner. This one is not going to work very well. We need to do more work on it. I offered to the Government House Leader that we could find other ways to discuss that particular issue, as long as we could go on and bring those other items forward.

As we talk about this one a little bit, too, there is a simple amendment that could be brought forward. I'm not going to amend it right now but one of us will amend it as we debate this along here. Just simply take that Monday night and move it off and have an assurance from the government, again, that we're going to debate it on another day or send it off to that committee.

Guess what - two-thirds would happen in a minute. We'd have that out of the way and the Government House Leader could go to the Premier and say listen, I got it done. But I haven't got that assurance. If I could get that assurance, like I said, it could happen today.

Let's go to things, again - I still think a start date and an end date would be a good rule change that we could add in at another time, that we could debate in the committee, the idea of start dates and end dates. As much as I can't agree with all the government, the NDP during their time, the one thing that I could always count on is that the Thursday in March, that last Thursday in March, the House was going to get called. It frustrated me to no end when I was in government that we would hold off and wait and - you know, and that's a criticism of our government. We would hold off and wait - well, the budget's not done yet, we have to wait, you know. We would come in - I don't know, what's the latest we came in this House? It sometimes was at the end of April.

Well, end of April? There's already a month gone by in the budget year. That was wrong. I mean, the Minister of Health and Wellness remembers those days. At least you could trust that the NDP would call the House at least ahead of April. That last Thursday, we'd come in and we'd debate it. Why not make that a rule? That would be a great rule. Let's add that to the rule list. Maybe we'll throw that into an amendment later on. Let's have an end date, again, so that we know that we're here on this date and we're here until that date, just like the feds do.

[Page 755]

The feds know that they sit - I mean, of course, they sit for far, far longer than we would ever dream of sitting because of the debate that they have to take on, the bills that they have to take on, the size of their budgets. But Ontario, which is much larger than us - but I mean, they are a provincial government - sit for well over a hundred days. And you know what? At the end of their - even though they have an end date, if they're not done their legislation by the end of that date, tough. We're coming back on the date in March, and then they continue on from there.

The other thing that I'm going to - as we're debating this, I mean, something that we'll make fun of, I'm sure, when we come to the end of this session, is - I know the government will come out and say, well, look at all the bills we passed and look at all the days that we - well, they're not going to say days, how many days we sat. They're going to say we sat over three months. We sat a little bit in September, we sat a little bit in October, we sat a little bit in November - which other governments have done, so I'm not saying it's just them. But it's one of those things again. I really don't care what other governments did. Let's change the way we do it here. Let's change the mechanisms which will allow future governments to do this. Make the change that makes sense today, and then slow down some of the things that we're doing here.

You know, last week was, I think, an example of trying to rush everything. I know why the government rushed it, but they shouldn't have that opportunity as they did. I don't know how many other jurisdictions have that, where the Government House Leader simply can call extended hours or call hours in the middle of the night. I don't know how many. Maybe I'll do some research on that and bring it back on another day.

But to take a bill as important as Bill No. 1 was, with the flaws that we felt were in it - because we had said before, you know, take the bill, split it in two, because the whole idea of health merger amalgamation versus the labour issue are - I won't say two completely different issues, but two issues that could be separated and discussed in a different way. That way, the unrest outside wouldn't have happened, because you would have been dealing with things differently.

But no, you've got to ram it on in. Get it done as quickly as possible. Tire everybody out so they're not paying attention and so that we're not going to speak. I mean, that's kind of what happens. Everybody gets a little tired, everybody is not doing their research, everybody is not on their game, and therefore you sort of run into that problem.

It's not that I want to take that away from the Government House Leader, but maybe put a couple more restrictions on how things are done. Because not only do we have to worry about what happens to us and being on our game, but it's also the staff of the House of Assembly. You know, to call them at all hours of the night and do all the work - and I thank our Clerks for the hard work that they do, but they put in a lot of time. (Applause) They put in a lot of time and I wish we could find rules that would help us with that too.

[Page 756]

So let me just go back quickly to the my-way-or-the-highway, which is kind of where this debate got. I find that unfortunate, because it's not the way I do things. Maybe it's because I spent six years in a minority government so you didn't have the opportunity to just sort of say never mind what you think, we're going to do it this way.

AN HON. MEMBER: Who did you work with in those six years?

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Well I think it was the red team. I'm trying to ignore that one. I'm sorry.

You know, you try to find - it's not necessary to find where everybody agrees because you know darn well that's not going to happen, but you do try to find a compromise in how you do things. All I'm saying is that this resolution should have a compromise in what all our caucuses feel, because we all represent the same kind of people. As I've said before in many of my debates in this House of Assembly - we all represent the same kind of constituents with the same kinds of needs and, regardless of which side of this House we sit on, what our political ideals are, at the end of the day we've got to have our eye on that ball and that ball, of course, is our constituent. We need to pay attention to what they're doing.

Listen, I would like the Government House Leader to come back and offer something. You know, come back and say listen, all right, we've thought about this a little bit, we don't necessarily agree with you - they don't have to agree with us but they have to at least see where there could be a possibility of a compromise. Let me throw another thing on the table - if they said every second Monday night off, I don't know, and they would say one Monday is for committees and one Monday we're here, and next Monday - alternate it.

You know what I mean? A compromise, something in between where we are and where they are or, like I said, there are other things that could be offered here as a balance to Monday nights off. Again, I get into that debate of Monday nights off and I don't know where everybody thinks on that one. (Interruption) I can get here; I've never had a problem getting here for Monday nights. I know the ones that are the furthest out, Cape Breton Centre, Northside-Westmount - I need to look around the ones that I know - Glace Bay . . .

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Queens-Shelburne.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : No not Queens-Shelburne, I'm not going to count him in that. But I know they're five hours away. I completely understand that they are five hours away and they can't get a full day in their constituency office. I understand that, but I'm probably in that next tier, let me take that next tier of three hours, like the member for Queens-Shelburne is - who, as a matter of fact, is my constituent so I really have to watch what I say to him.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did he vote for you? Did you get his vote?

[Page 757]

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I don't think he votes for me, either, I don't think.

So there's that level of three hours, and I know the member for Cape Breton-Richmond and I know the member for Inverness, so we sort of take that tier of distance, so three hours, okay, well I need to leave home, at the latest, between two and three o'clock and I know I'm going to get here six-ish and have time to throw a suit on and get down to the Legislature.

Glace Bay and Northside-Westmount, I mean they have to leave at 12:00 noon kind of thing to get on the road . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Actually leave the night before.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I don't think they need to leave the night before, they can get a morning in, or do like John Hamm used to do, have Saturday hours. I don' t know how many people have Saturday hours, but you know when the House sits we can call Saturday hours and we can get out and do our thing in the afternoon on Saturdays and Sundays, because I know we all work on the weekends. We all do, I do.

AN HON. MEMBER: We work over here.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : But I know that, I know the hours we put in. So if I can get here in three hours and be here on time, the member for Clare-Digby can be here on time, the member for Queens-Shelburne - so I'm just working my way around here.

AN HON. MEMBER: Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Sackville-Cobequid, well he can be here in about 10 minutes if he's hitting traffic.

Then there's that other group that is here within an hour. You know, really, I'd love to be able to live within an hour of the city and fly back and forth to be with my family, I would love nothing better. You know what I mean? I could be there for my kids to be at the soccer game, to help them get to the Y for their swim meets, I could be there to help my wife when she's earning her master's, I would love that, within the hour and I know most of you can do that. That hour away you don't realize (Interruption) Well I ask the Minister of Justice, you can come out and live with us for a while and see what it's like to be a three-hour drive - or to the member for Glace Bay, you can go out and hang out with him - and see how far away it is. It's a long way to go.

AN HON. MEMBER: I'm sure your wife and I will get along great.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I know that. She'd love you.

There's a big group of MLAs here that can be here within an hour. Regardless of, you know, you have to work the traffic, the timing is kind of weird, but I think by the time 6:00 p.m. rolls around in this city, traffic is pretty much done. Don't try to go anywhere between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.; that's when it's all bonkers.

[Page 758]

It doesn't fly. We can still put a decent day's work in in our constituencies and get here to debate the business of the House. There's important business to the House. Business like some of the bills we put in, some of the business that the NDP put in, some of the business that - I know there's a lot that the backbench put in that probably never will get debated in this House of Assembly, because what they'll be told, what we're all told, there's not enough time. Not enough time, because we've got this agenda to fill and we're not going to fill any more of that agenda.

If we sit Monday nights, well, why don't we try to deal with that business? What about an offer from the government saying, we'll give you two bills a session - because there are some good bills that are created by Opposition. I've seen them by the Liberal Party when they were in Opposition; I've seen them when they were in Third Party position, that they brought forward and were accepted, voted on, the whole gamut. The NDP weren't great at that, but they had a few.

We've had no mention of that at this point by this government. No mention. We've been through a whole two sessions now - this is our third session here - and there has been no talk about bills that are important on our side that we would like to have further debated. I thought the bill we brought in yesterday about the FOIPOP officer was an interesting one, one that we could hear about and talk about and making that person an officer of this House of Assembly.

Those are the kinds of bills, I think, that should be brought. And then say, Monday nights? Let's use that time to talk about Opposition bills. Then Wednesdays, because we now conceded to give away that half-hour or that 45 minutes really from our Question Period, let's make some adjustments there. Those are some of the trade-offs that I kind of expected to have in this debate. We didn't get that in the debate.

Again, there can be more modern things done in this House of Assembly, not only on the rules of how we talk or how we move through the daily routine, but there was an interesting debate that we started in this rule change issue that talked about committee structures. That did get left off because we had to flesh it out a little further, but how is it in this House of Assembly that we have a Department of Health and Wellness that spends what, 43 per cent of the budget, 50 per cent of the budget? I don't know what the number is on the last budget, but whatever it was, it was humungous.

We don't have a health committee. We have no real mechanism to bring health issues outside of Question Period or maybe a resolution or two during Opposition Day, to debate questions that we as an Opposition would have or as the backbench would have to debate. We don't have a health committee; we have a Community Services Committee which sort of encompasses all these things. I would rather the Community Services Committee debate things of community services and housing, because that's an important topic and an important discussion to continue on as members of this Legislature. We need a health, absolutely. I'm all for that. I can't remember the other ones, but there's another bunch in there.

[Page 759]

There was also the thought of looking at the way that we do estimates. Now, we were less warm on that idea, but the 80 hours that we spend debating bills, is it really necessary, not necessary? I think it's necessary, because the Opposition asks broad questions and the ministers give broad answers. In a lot of the debate in Estimates we had during this last session, and maybe some sessions before, there were no questions and there were no answers, for hours on end.

So why not look at changes to rules that make that more effective? We broached it a little bit but all we got was well, let's cut that in half. Well, that's not enough. Let's put a mechanism in that makes a true examination of the budget, before the budget vote happens.

We're spending $9 billion, almost $10 billion of taxpayers' dollars. If people would see the debate that happens during estimates, they would probably be a tad upset. Not that I'm going to quote things from Graham Steele's book, really I'm not going to do it and I apologize to Graham already, but true debate in this House doesn't have an opportunity.

I'm having a great time here because I'm looking over and I'm seeing people actually listening to what I'm saying and it doesn't happen that often in this House of Assembly. So why don't we find rule changes? I can't say we can force people to listen but at least have a congenial debate on an item that is important to all of us. So that was the estimates issue. I think the proposal, if I remember correctly, was the idea of an Estimates Committee that would meet all year long, maybe similar to Public Accounts Committee on Wednesday morning, something more on that kind of structure.

Okay, well I think that would be worth looking at. I'm just saying that we weren't opposed to the debate. We weren't opposed to the idea of changes in the House of Assembly. I think what we were opposed to is that all of a sudden it got bunched up against the House sitting and it was my way or else, or it was going to be this or nothing. I don't think the debate was such that it should have been nothing. I think Nova Scotians would accept that it shouldn't be nothing - there should be some changes to the House of Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, I know there are a few other people who would probably like to speak for a little bit. I do have a number of changes. What I'll do is I will get another member of our caucus to provide those changes and again, to speak to the changes just quickly is the fact of just put Monday night back in. Say that we'll send this off to the Committee on Assembly Matters and set the time for that first meeting. Set the time for the first meeting that we're going to sit and have that meeting and you know what? We'll agree. It's that simple, not a difficult thing. It's a compromise between our position and your position. (Interruption) I'll address that.

[Page 760]

While the member for Halifax Chebucto is talking about it, let me bring it up. This is something that (Interruption) I'm sorry about that. Again, it goes to my debate. He is a good member, too, I just want to mention that because I know the member for Fairview-Clayton Park gets mentioned a lot by me but in this case I'll mention the member for Halifax Chebucto - a good member as well. I'm sorry. But he brings up the issue that we're the only Assembly that sits for five days. (Interruption) All right, there's actually one territory that sits the same as we do, for five days, one of the territories.

It goes to my point: that's blaming - not blaming someone else or doing something because someone else does it. Listen, how many times did your mother or father say to you if your friend jumps off the bridge are you going to jump off the bridge? How many times did your parents say that to you? My parents said that to me a bunch of times. It was their way to say, don't fall to peer pressure. It was the 1970s, what can you say? It was the 1970s. I didn't listen to my mom and dad in the 1980s. It was mostly the 1970s when they said that. I listened to them again in the 1990s.

I hear what he says, that we are one of the only Legislatures that sit on a Monday night, but we can't do it just because everyone else is doing it. Why don't we find out other things that other Legislatures are doing, like set times, set dates, 45-minute Question Periods - all those other things that all make sense that they are doing that I'm okay with, but we just disagree with that Monday night.

I asked the Government House Leader, let us make those changes, the amendments that we're going to bring forward. Say we're going to send it off to the Committee on Assembly Matters, set the date, and we'll give you the two-thirds. Simple. It's not a difficult issue. But to come and try to run it when they have the numbers in the House - again, I can't say who is here or not here - I think that's kind of wrong, especially with who is missing.

That pretty much comes to the end of what I have to say. I know the member for Queens-Shelburne has a few words to say on this one as well, and I know we have those changes that we do want to bring forward. One of my members will bring those forward.

So thank you for the opportunity to speak to this resolution. I just want to find a compromise. That's really all I'm trying to do, is find that compromise.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I anticipated this scenario that we're sitting for today . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

[Page 761]

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Thank you. I certainly look forward to the debate on Resolution No. 1. Actually, I anticipated the scenario that we see playing out before us today. I have a few notes prepared, and before I actually get into my notes, I want to make reference - I find this ironic. I find it interesting that I want to make reference to my notes of yesterday, at the end of Question Period, because my whole theme is going to be about less time in Question Period. The whole theme of my speech is based around the lack or loss of time.

Our House Leader rose after the session and called a point of order because yesterday during Question Period there were only 11 questions - 11 questions could not even get completed, and Mr. Speaker, you are going to rule on that, so I just want to bring that to your attention. If anybody wants that, I would be more than delighted to table it, and you can exclude some of the notes that I talked about on my question regarding Natural Resources. I'm sure everybody is familiar with that issue.

We'll move on. The word "democracy" describes a political system in a democratic country where all eligible citizens have the right to participate. Today, this debate, we talk about House changes, and I want to point out that there are two issues that I have some sensitivity around. First is a four-day week. I want to tell you that I'm going to leave that particular section up to my colleagues from all the members of the House, because as anybody can appreciate, with my background, I worked seven days a week in the fishing industry. So I'm going to leave that particular scenario for my other colleagues to talk about a four-day work week.

What I want to talk about is the word "time." To me, that is - you may hear that, you may get tired of it for the next few minutes, but my theme today is about the loss of time in Question Period. Coming from my industry, again, I have one particular saying that is very true in the fishing industry: "time and tide wait for no man."

In my opening remarks today on Resolution No. 1, first I want to take the time to wish the members of this House and the members of the Official Opposition, the PC Party, the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg and my good friend, my colleague from Sydney-Whitney Pier, I want to wish them well, and I want them to take the time that they need for their bodies to heal. I just simply want to recognize that. Mr. Speaker, I'll make reference to these individuals later on at the end of my speech, so I want to wish them well and I know that they actually need some time for their bodies to mend.

Today, Mr. Speaker, we're talking about rule changes, and yes, I said about a four-day work week. I know that many people here represent Nova Scotians and people do not have the luxury to even think about that, so I'm going to leave that particular sector or that particular portion of the changes to my other colleagues.

I want to talk about the loss of 30 minutes - 30 minutes a week during Question Period. I pointed out earlier that we actually got a point of order and the Speaker is going to rule on that.

[Page 762]

This is why we're here. To me, we talk about Question Period, and I've noticed and I've observed this for a number of years now, and I have observed the members of the public looking at us, and the one that brings their attention and everybody's focus is on Question Period. For us to put a resolution forward in this House, the Liberal Party suggests that we are going to diminish that or dilute that Question Period to 30 minutes less a week is going in the wrong direction. It is less time, it weakens democracy. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I'm glad I got the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism's attention, because I think I'm going to drive this point home because I want him to take the time to listen to me today.

This is about democracy and what the public is interested in hearing and why we go out. A year ago, we went out on the doorsteps and we told residents across Nova Scotia that we wanted the opportunity to take their voice to this Chamber. To this Chamber. During my speech, I'm going to show you where any reduction in time, especially in Question Period, is a step backwards in democracy.

As when I go home, I'm a political-holic. I listen to politics, I watch politics, I read politics. I know that this process that we have - it may have some weaknesses, but it's one of the best systems that we have in the world. When I look on the newscasts, we see other countries, individuals that want to take their form of democracy into a much different system that is - it's actually disgusting what we see on television, how some people want to terrorize people and get their point across. This is what our forefathers fought for - to give us our freedoms that we have here today - and we're going to try to diminish that and weaken democracy.

What we also have, for the first time since I've been here in eight years, we have a Party, a governing Party, who is now starting to ask questions by the backbenchers of their own ministers. For the first time in eight years - and Mr. Speaker, you know the rules and I know that's within the rules, but that again is taking time from the Opposition Parties to ask important questions on behalf of Nova Scotians in this Camber. That is diminishing that. And we have a resolution in here that is actually saying that we're taking 30 minutes away each week in that exercise. To me that is crucial, it is important, and everyone needs to understand that.

We have seen, to me, by the Opposition asking their own members, their own government, questions, it weakens it. They're asking soft questions, they're lobbing lob balls over for their ministers to probably hit one out of the park. That weakens democracy.

Mr. Speaker, as we have gone through this last week or two I have seen, observed, higher, heavier police presence. Is that a free democracy when I can't have the opportunity to stand here and speak freely? I see our Premier and our members sitting in tinted vehicles, not going out and engaging with the public. Is that what democracy is about? I don't think it is. I think it's about what we're doing right here, standing in this Chamber, bringing issues to the floor of this House, whether its firewood, the roads, whatever there is, health care; it's an opportunity to debate these.

[Page 763]

We are taking that right away, 30 minutes a week - and I'll get into that later, Mr. Speaker - but that, I can assure you, is the wrong direction. You ask them, whether it's health care workers or lobster fishermen who want to talk about a lobster levy and be consulted, you ask them to have those 10 minutes with their minister and I'm sure they'll say by all means; I'd love to have that and we're about ready. I know how this was going to play out. These documents were prepared two or three days ago, because I figured out and understood there was going to be a scenario when this would be called forward but you are not fooling this side of the House and you're not going to fool Nova Scotians; I can assure you of that.

Mr. Speaker, what we need is additional time, not less time. We at least need the status quo. We have just witnessed the most dramatic changes in health care in the province in more than a generation. The question like why does the Premier put an open letter in our local papers and tell health care workers they promised to protect their rights and now we have Bill No. 1? We need more questions, more time, not less time in this Chamber in Question Period.

Mr. Speaker, during the 2013 election we saw the Liberal Premier claim he could save us, the taxpayers of Nova Scotia, $43 million a year by making Nova Scotia Power pay for energy conservation agency. We need more questions in this Chamber, not less - on those questions.

Mr. Speaker, the Liberals suggested the mergers of health care authorities and during the election campaign of 2013 there was talk about saving $13 million. Now, all of a sudden, we're told it's more like $5 million-ish. We need more questions in this Chamber, not less.

Mr. Speaker, we watched and listened in the last few days to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He stated in this House, and he promised - not only to me but to the members of the critic area of fisheries in the Progressive Conservatives on March and April of this year regarding a 5-cent levy or a 1-cent/2-cent levy - that there would be more consultations, that we would hear and we would understand where this mystery group belongs. We need more questions. We need more time, not less time.

Mr. Speaker, the former government purchased the lands from Bowater, again, for recreational and commercial use. What do we see today? We see the gates still closed for recreational use and we see wood suppliers - we brought this issue up - the wood suppliers still need access to that Crown land. We need more questions in Question Period, not less.

[Page 764]

Mr. Speaker, time and time again the Liberal Party has broken these promises. We're asking to diminish democracy, to take away Question Period, from what actually are the fundamental values of what people tune into, the most interesting part of this whole system that we're in.

It's about people being elected. We have a great system of democracy where you elect a sitting government, and I appreciate that. But there's also a counterpoint. There's a correction, there's a balance, there's an opportunity for this side, the Opposition members, to hold those Parties accountable. To me, that is fundamental in democracy, where you have ample opportunity to ask the important questions. It's key.

We could ask questions and promise. Well, the Liberals promised to break the power monopoly, but the monopoly is still alive and well. The Liberals have promised to save ratepayers $13 million annually by merging district health authorities; today, they can't really say if they're ever going to see any savings. The Liberals promised a family doctor for every Nova Scotian within a year, and that certainly hasn't happened - and I can tell you from a personal point of view that I am looking for a family doctor, and also a number of other Nova Scotians. So we need more questions on that.

The Liberals promised to extend the film tax credit; now the program is under review. The Liberals promised to cap Grade 4 class sizes in September, but still no cap. The Liberals promised to reduce spending in departments by 1 per cent; instead, the spending has increased. The Liberals promised to reduce surgery times and wait times, and the times remain unchanged. So again, we need more questions on this floor, not less.

For the first time in over eight years, I have seen this heavy police presence around this particular historic building. I described earlier that we have seen the tinted windshields of heavily armoured police vehicles. I suggest that that is a step backwards in democracy. My freedoms, my freedoms that I enjoy, and I'm not always - I can assure you that I have sat on that side and I have had some files that some Nova Scotians may not agree with. But I have the courage to stand and defend my government's decision on that particular file. I have the courage to go outside of that gate, and I don't need it barricaded or police tape around it. I would go out and talk with the residents of Nova Scotia. We have seen a diminishment of democracy. That's my observation.

We have seen tighter security in the Red Chamber, in the Law Amendments Committee, Commissionaires - for the first time, for the very first time in eight years, three months and some-odd days as the member for Queens-Shelburne, as I entered Law Amendments Committee on Bill No. 1, I was asked for a pass - a sitting member of this House. I want to inform you, Mr. Speaker, that the people of Queens-Shelburne gave me a pass on October 8, 2013. I see that as a step backwards in democracy. What we're doing here is taking less time away from Question Period - it's actually diluting that and encouraging that, so we need that to continue on. I hope the theme is starting to sink in here with the members of this House.

[Page 765]

Mr. Speaker, I just want to take you in a different direction now. I'm sure Mr. Speaker or many of my colleagues in this Chamber enjoy listening to music, which I certainly enjoy anytime I have some personal time to myself. Jim Croce talked about putting time in a bottle. They're beautiful lyrics and I think most of us here know that particular song.

The song Yesterday When I Was Young: "I ran so fast that time and youth at last ran out, I never stopped to think what life was all about." Those are beautiful lyrics and they all talk about time.

I know my colleague, the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, I'm sure that he can correct me if I'm wrong, but the Bible makes reference to time. To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to harvest; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.

Now is the time to build democracy. Instead of taking 10 minutes away a week, we should be adding to that. That's the time that we should be building on this democracy.

People sent us here to bring their voice, and to me, this is one of the issues that really amazes me. We should all be supporting this amendment on making sure that we at least have the status quo, if not encouraging more time in Question Period, because this is why we're brought here - to bring people's issues to this Chamber and get those resolved.

I want to point out that the English language is certainly an interesting language. Many times, it makes reference to the values of time in the English language. I know that time can be used in a different variety of ways. As a child - if a child misbehaves, we may suggest a "time-out." If I was to have the fortune to go on a vacation, some of the members opposite of me want to attend a ballgame, Boston, wherever, it may be referred to as "time well spent." I think a number of us in this Chamber can remember some of our marriage vows: in the good times and in the bad times. As workers, we can actually work overtime - but the favorite overtime phrase that I like is in sports; when we have overtime, it has a totally different meaning.

However, all of these are a measure of time. We all value, as we look forward to this weekend, our own personal time. In our society, if we do not behave, we will certainly have to do some hard time.

AN HON. MEMBER: Well, we're not going to shoot him now.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : That's right. I don't care for shooters.

I feel I have your attention and the members opposite here have their interest now regarding the 30 minutes of loss of time during Question Period per week. I'm not an accountant. I understand that we have several accountants in this Chamber, and I kind of encourage you to take down these particular numbers here in the next few minutes. I'll leave that counting up to the experts, but I think I do a rough job at this and I think I'll make a point at the end of it.

[Page 766]

We have 30 minutes less recommended in Resolution No. 1 in Question Periods per week. We will do at least an average of five or six weeks. We have two sessions in this Legislature, Fall and Spring, so that's 30 minutes multiplied by 12. That's roughly 360 minutes per year, six hours per year. And we have a sitting government with a majority which has a four-year term.

However, Mr. Speaker, there is a little side note I have documented here. I noticed during the previous session that the Liberal backbenchers are asking questions of their own members. I have this interesting habit - some people call it taking notes. (Applause)

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Numerous times the member opposite has referred to the term "back bunchers," which we know is unparliamentary.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I want to thank the minister. I'll take that under advisement and get back to you.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the members opposite for that round of applause, because I'm just getting into the interesting numbers here now. We have the Liberal backbenchers for the first time, in the previous session, asking their own members questions. So this is all part of the equation. You take those numbers that I just described earlier. The backbenchers asked questions in the previous session, and they roughly took out 20 minutes, I suggest, in each session. They have done this, and I have come up with 40 minutes per year that the backbenchers . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I have their attention, and I am sure that they are paying attention. I'll do this again. We have the backbenchers taking time from Question Period, and I suggest 40 minutes per year. We have a majority government that is going to sit at least for four years, so that's 160 - that's two hours and 40 minutes from the backbenchers, for a grand total of 26 hours and 40 minutes less time in Question Period in a four-year term. I'm glad everybody took the time to understand that point.

Democracy is a form of government in which all eligible citizens are meant to participate and to participate equally. Even as we see this Resolution No. 1 progress through this House, I want to point out again that the members for Sydney River- Mira-Louisbourg and Sydney-Whitney Pier are fighting a personal battle - and a winning combination. Do not be fooled. I am not fooled by what is being pulled here today, and I know how this two-thirds is going to work.

[Page 767]

I want to point out that those two individuals, their health conditions - and the government to be successful must have a two-thirds majority of this House of elected members. I see it as simply a numbers game. I can assure you that the public will be reviewing this exercise, and I'll leave it up to the public to determine how they see it.

Mr. Speaker, these members are absent because of illness. This government needs to have the courage to recommend that time be added - at least 30 minutes - or additional time. I really, strongly believe that this is a step backward.

Before I read my final quote and end, I want to read this statement, Mr. Speaker « » :

I move that Resolution No. 1 be amended by deleting all the words after "that" and substituting the following therefor: "The Rules and Forms of Procedure of this House of Assembly be referred to the Committee on Assembly Matters for its consideration, and the preparation of a report to this House on its recommendations for amendments to those Rules and Forms."

I just want to end with this quote . . .

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise today and speak a little bit to this resolution. We have been talking this through as a caucus and reviewing the resolution and it's not lost on me that it is the responsibility that comes with having an opportunity to sit in this Chamber, having the opportunity to stand up and discuss things in this Chamber. The only thing we are trying to do here, when we come here, is give a voice to Nova Scotians, trying to pass things in here that make the lives of Nova Scotians better. That's our singular goal.

There's always a lot of talk, I hear sometimes a little bit of debate as to which part of the job is more important: is it the constituency business that's more important or is it the stuff when we're in Halifax that's more important? Some people would say that the time in Halifax is a waste of time. I don't like going to the time in the session - and stuff like that. When you have a job like this, the two parts are equally important. You can't divide the two segments and say one is more important than the other. The simple fact of the matter is, the work that we do here has a direct impact on the lives of our constituents. Everything that we do here ties back to our constituents and it does impact their lives.

We can't sit here and say that it's no fun to be here or it's a waste of time here. I heard one of the members opposite last night, outside, maybe rushing off to a meeting or something - for the benefit of the doubt - say to one of the Pages on the way out, oh, what a snooze fest - what a snooze fest, Mr. Speaker? Here we are in this House talking about things that have an impact on the lives of Nova Scotians - it's not a snooze fest in here. The work that's done in this Chamber is important because it impacts Nova Scotians.

[Page 768]

We should all be taking the things that are discussed in this Chamber very seriously and we should be listening to what is being said. Maybe we don't agree with what is being said; maybe we think something is less important or something is more important, that's just human nature. But the people who stand up in this Chamber represent entire constituencies, so when I stand up and talk it's not just the member for Pictou East standing up and talking, but I'm relaying the concerns of 15,000 people. I think it's important to give voice to all those people. What's on their minds is important to me, and every member in this Chamber is in the same situation. They're coming here, armed with the concerns of their constituents. They should be coming here and talking about things that are important to their constituents. I think what we'll find across Nova Scotia is that what's important in one constituency is also important in another constituency.

Nova Scotians have the same struggles. There's a bit of a divergence: people live in urban areas and people live in rural areas, and their lives are a little different on certain aspects but they all want the same thing and they all have the same concerns. We need to be giving voice to those Nova Scotians. It's important in this Chamber that we realize that we're giving voice to the people who don't have the opportunity to come here and raise their own voice, and we even see that sometimes, unfortunately, in the Law Amendments Committee when Nova Scotians do want to come and give their voice on certain things - well there's not enough time for that, you only have five minutes, or no the list is full.

There are times when Nova Scotians are so moved by something, are so concerned by something that they travel here and sit before our committee. Now imagine, Mr. Speaker, how nerve-racking that is to sit in the Red Room, full of spectators, committee members, and people of apparent importance, and raise your voice - that sounds like something is really important to do that. And to come here and be told there is no time to hear your voice or what you say matters not because sometimes, unfortunately, we see with majority governments that they're blatant enough to say that we're not going to listen to what you have to say, we're not going to amend anything. We'll go through the little song and dance a little bit, but we all know the outcome - and that's not fair to Nova Scotians.

If Nova Scotians don't have the opportunity to have their own voice heard, even through a mechanism like the Law Amendments Committee then they expect that their representative will be their voice for them and that is what's on our shoulders folks, that's what we're here to do - to give voice to Nova Scotians, and that means all Nova Scotians. That means giving voice to maybe some people who didn't vote for the Liberals, or didn't vote for the Tories, or whatever. Those people are still entitled to their voice and that's what we do - we bring their voice here.

Mr. Speaker, I'm sure every member in this House gets it - sometimes now when I'm out door-knocking or talking to constituents, people might kind of sheepishly say, oh, I didn't vote for you, or, I'm not really a Tory or something, and I always say that's a discussion for another day because today I am your MLA and what concerns you does concern me. So I bring that voice here and I'm always thinking of those people in my constituency as we're talking about things in here.

[Page 769]

I think that as we talk about the hours, every member in here - perhaps not every member in here but the majority of members in here - would feel that they are the hardest- working MLA. People would think that they work harder in their constituency than everyone else and they would think that they invest more in their questions or their debate speeches, or whatever the case may be. We all think we work hard, Mr. Speaker, and I'm certainly no exception to that; in fact, I may actually be the hardest-working MLA in here, but we won't call for a vote on that one right now. (Laughter)

The fact of the matter is we all think we're hard workers. (Interruptions) I'm not going to ring the bells on that vote, Mr. Speaker.

But people ask what's it like to be an MLA and I always say that being an MLA is one of those things you could probably work as hard as you want. There are some people who maybe don't work as hard and there are some people who work harder and that's just always the way it is. But I'd say, for the most part, that people in this Chamber are hard workers.

This is not about working, who works more, who works less, or any of those types of arguments that we kind of like to get caught up in and have a bit of a giggle from time to time - what this is about is giving the proper time for Nova Scotians to have their voices heard.

I talked a little bit about the numbers before, about how majority governments can get in just the way it works - you get to 40 per cent or whatever of the common vote but you end up with 60 per cent of the seats and 100 per cent of the power. Well guess what? There are still a lot of people who aren't maybe in that core voting segment of the Liberal Party, of the majority government, but they're entitled to a voice and the Opposition Party members, and perhaps you know some of the people who sit in the back rows, sit on the back benches, they are bringing the voices of their constituents here as well and all those voices are important.

What I would say, Mr. Speaker, I think I speak for all the members on this side when I say that if the government doesn't want to conduct business on a Monday evening, we'd be really happy to take that as Opposition time, because there is business to be conducted in this Chamber. It's not about saying – well, I do lots of work when I'm not here so therefore I need to go there less, it's not about that. Nobody is saying they want to work less. What I'm saying is the stuff that happens in this Chamber is important and the stuff that happens in this Chamber can only be done in this Chamber. We should be here listening to things that matter to Nova Scotians.

[Page 770]

If we wanted to have a discussion where the government said, we don't have government business to conduct on Mondays, then let's refocus that and have a discussion about those Opposition members, maybe they want to discuss some of their business. When you think about the process that happens here, when you put a bill in from Opposition - and there are lots of good ones. I'm sure that the members who are now sitting in a majority government, who had the great privilege to sit on this side at one time in their career, they would have put bills forward when they were in Opposition, against the majority government, and they would know the feeling of having those bills be DOA - dead on arrival - they're not going to go anywhere just because it comes from this side of the House.

Why is it going nowhere just because it's from this side of the House? Because there's no time; it doesn't fit into their agenda. Why do we have a system that happens - and I'll go through some of the things that I would like to see time in this Chamber devoted to discussing; I'll take my bill calling for a strategy on Lyme disease as a perfect example. Most of the members in this House have constituents who have been impacted by Lyme disease. That's a bill that was introduced from Opposition. It got to second reading because we called it on Opposition Day, and then it's done. It's gone now. It's not even on this order paper, Mr. Speaker; it's wiped away.

Why wouldn't a bill like that go to the Law Amendments Committee so the government could hear from people? Why wouldn't it go to the Law Amendments Committee? No time, that's not the way things work. Things don't work like that, it never happened, it doesn't happen like that. We're not open to new ideas; we don't want to talk about progress, right? We don't want to talk about . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: What are the rule changes that you are opposing?

MR. HOUSTON « » : Well, we'll talk about those. We don't need to talk about fracking because we have enough exploration. We don't need to talk about any of these things that can move Nova Scotia forward.

We talk about agenda because we have time. New ideas, we need time to discuss new ideas; we don't get time to discuss. So let's just carry on here for a little bit with my little example on that bill. If that would go to the Law Amendments Committee, Nova Scotians would have a chance to talk about it, and then it could come back for a third reading and everyone in this House would have an opportunity to stand up and talk about it.

Then, Mr. Speaker, wouldn't the government be armed with a little more information, if they let it go through the process, if they let it go through second reading, let it go through the Law Amendments Committee, let it go through third reading. Then once you have the information, you make the decision. You don't make the decision before you have the information because somebody in a select little power group has decided it's not important.

[Page 771]

No, you let the voices of Nova Scotians decide what is important to them. You could go through that process, Mr. Speaker, and then everyone in this House could have a vote on that bill. It gets rejected, it gets rejected. I'm a big boy, I can live with that. Nova Scotians could maybe feel a little better that people listened to them. They don't feel like people listen to them. Instead we have a process where they just say, ah, I don't like that idea, we're not going to do that (Interruption) or yes. Thank you to my colleague, the member for Inverness, or even worse, not that I don't like it, but the idea wasn't mine - that the idea wasn't mine.

So it matters not about the thousands of Nova Scotians, hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians who didn't vote for this majority government, if the idea doesn't come from those few that did, then it's no good. That's not the way, that's not the way society is supposed to work.

The real world doesn't work like that. Why should this Chamber operate like that? When you consider the impact that the decisions made in here have on Nova Scotians, when you think about the impact of the work we do here, how that impacts Nova Scotians, it's just not right that it doesn't get the proper time and due process - properly vetted.

We had a spirited after-hours debate last night, late debate, a moment of interruption, on the impacts on rural Nova Scotia of some of the decisions the government is making, some of the decisions the government is supporting, condoning, whatever, if you want to use the words.

Why are we doing that after hours? Why don't we give that a proper - every member in this House should have an opportunity to stand up in their place for one hour and talk about that important issue to Nova Scotians? Instead, do you know how much time I got to speak about that? I got three minutes to talk about that. My colleague got seven. My colleague, the member for Queens-Shelburne, he got nothing. Why is that? No time, not important to the front row, not important to Nova Scotians and that's not fair.

What we should be doing is - why don't we set Monday aside then? Say, let's leave that for discussions about those types of things. Now, I know there are members in this House who say, ah, turkeys, who cares about turkeys? And maybe that's true if you're sitting in a metro riding, maybe you don't have a lot of people who have animals or livestock, but there are members over there who sit in rural Nova Scotia and they have constituents that this issue is a concern to.

These are the types of issues that actually have an impact on Nova Scotians and we should be finding ways to talk more about those, not finding ways to talk less about them. I think it's just - it's pretty insulting to me, as it is to Nova Scotians, to think that we're trying to find ways to focus less on the issues that matter to Nova Scotians.

I know I introduced a bill last session calling to exempt fire trucks and emergency vehicles from the Spring weight restrictions. Do you know how much time that bill was debated for in this Legislature? It was only referred to when I read that "I beg leave to introduce a bill entitled" - that's how much time that bill got in this Legislature. Why did I introduce that bill? Was I bored? Was I lying around dreaming of things that I could stand up and beg for leave to introduce?

[Page 772]

I wasn't looking for things to come and beg to do. I introduced that bill because I spend a lot of time talking to my constituents and finding out what matters to them. As I was travelling around to the fire departments - and I have 10 of them; I have 10 rural fire departments in my constituency - and I was travelling around talking to the folks, the men and women that keep our properties safe, that volunteer their time to practise, that volunteer their time to raise money, that volunteer their time to help everyone in their communities with everything going on.

And then, after they make all that sacrifice, spend all that time away from their families, invest all that time and training and stuff, you know what they do after they do all that? They put their lives on the line. They're there in a second if there is an accident, if there is a fire.

So I go and I talk to those people, and I try to show them that I care about what they do and that I am thankful. Mr. Speaker, when I'm doing that, I'm representing every member in this House, because every member in this House is thankful for those people. Every member in this House cares about what they do.

Do you know what I started hearing, Mr. Speaker? One fellow says, hey, did you hear this about the fire truck that pulled over and got ticketed? Because the way it's written - and this is a benefit to the House - I hope everyone is listening to this. The way it is, if you're going to a call, Mr. Speaker, your truck's heavy, you're full of water and stuff, you are exempted from the Spring weight restrictions as you are responding to a call. If you get there and it's a false alarm or something like this, you're not allowed to return to the station full, because you are overweight, because you are not responding to a call.

The guy started hearing about this, and they were telling me about this truck that got pulled over and got ticketed, I don't know, a fine of a few hundred dollars. Well, a few hundred dollars - you've got to sell a lot of cookies at your bake sale or at your fundraiser. You've got to hold your boot out a lot to get that. So why are we making these people waste their time to do that to pay a silly fine like that, right?

I was hearing this over and over, so I said, you know what I'll do, folks? We're going to try to change that. I'm going to take a bill forward and I'm going to try to exempt emergency response vehicles from Spring weight restrictions. You guys shouldn't have to worry about that. With all the things that you have to worry about, everything you do for our community, we're going to fix that up for you.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I got that bill ready, and I think that might have been - I don't know if that was the first one I introduced, but I remember I put on a nice jacket and tie, got a haircut, and came to this House. I stood up in my place and I begged you for leave to introduce that bill, and that's the end of it. It's gone. That bill never got called for second reading. Nobody could talk about that. Lots of members in here would be interested in talking about that.

[Page 773]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I'm sure the member for Pictou East isn't looking to intentionally mislead this House, but he should know very well that under our current parliamentary procedure he can have that bill called on Opposition Day when the Tory caucus controls the business of this House.

So let me make this suggestion in the spirit of Thanksgiving. I'll actually ask his House Leader to call his bill, since apparently he can't do so himself. Happy Thanksgiving.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I don't consider that a point of order. The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

MR. HOUSTON « » : I thank the House Leader for making my point, because here is my point, Mr. Speaker. We have a couple of hours to call multiple bills. We have to scourge through and rate them and prioritize them, and that's unfair. That's inherently unfair.

What I would rather see is the time used in this House would be better used for the government to call those bills - to say, that's a good idea, I'll call that and we'll debate that. It's an abuse of the system to do otherwise. I'll get these bills called and get them to Law Amendments Committee and have a third reading and they would go to a vote and let every member in this House talk about it.

I said earlier we could go to a vote, but let's ask ourselves why that doesn't happen - because there's no time, Mr. Speaker. I'm looking through the order paper now, today, and it's not just my bills, there are a great number of bills on here that should be of interest to this House to discuss. There are a lot of issues that are important to Nova Scotians to discuss on the floor of this House and have their representatives have a word, have their say on these bills - but there's not enough time for that.

Now we want to turn the time we have, we want to reduce it, we want less time. So what I think we should be doing, what we should be focusing on is we should be finding ways to discuss more things in here. We should be acknowledging that the things that come to this floor were brought to this floor by a member who feels they're worthy of discussion, and the reason that member feels they're worthy of discussion is because it came from the grassroots, it came from their constituents. Any time something comes up from the grassroots, we should be paying attention and we should be discussing it in this House.

Now the irony was not lost on me, Mr. Speaker. We introduced a bill from this caucus yesterday to make the FOIPOP officer an officer of this House. I think that's a great bill and I think that's something that should be done. Now the thing is, according to the media reports, certain members of the majority government said, FOIPOP officer, I don't have time to talk about a FOIPOP officer, I'm dealing with important business and I'm dealing with important issues - no time to talk about that.

[Page 774]

Well let's try and find the time instead of finding less time. Shouldn't we be doing that? Shouldn't we be trying to find more time to talk about more things, instead of trying to find ways to make less time?

Mr. Speaker, I'm young and naive - not as young as I was when I came here before, I'm a much-aged man now since then, but I'm still naïve. I do get that. But I do find it so difficult when you see somebody say something on one hand and do something on the other. We have somebody saying I'm too busy to talk about that issue, but over here, I'm not busy enough, I should spend less time? No, no, that doesn't make sense to me.

We get the Wheeler report that says prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing - that's what the bill that the government introduced says. But what the Wheeler report said was that they don't support any kind of moratorium or other political (Interruption) it's one thing over here and another thing over there. When you see that happening, it's in the interest of Nova Scotians to have every member in here have the opportunity to stand up and talk about it on behalf of their constituents, to have every member in here give voice to their constituents, to have every member in here to give voice to the minority.

I would also invite the people who sit on the backbench to have that same opportunity. I don't think they have it now because there's no time for that. They might be a little bit afraid of what they might say, too, I don't know, maybe there are multiple things in there. Everyone should have the opportunity to talk so let's not make changes that give less opportunity to talk.

I would love to see Monday nights devoted to Private Members' Bills. They don't get much time. Why don't we do that? Make it Private Members' Bills on Monday nights. We'll come in here and let everyone have a chance to talk about things that matter to Nova Scotians.

It's not about who works more or who works less, it's about working effectively; it's about effective use of time and for everything in this Chamber, effective use of time can only be described as talking about things that matter to Nova Scotians. Effective use of time in this Chamber is not limited to discussing issues that are on the agenda before we start sitting. Issues that are important to Nova Scotians come up all the time. We should have an opportunity to talk about them.

Mr. Speaker, when I think about some of the bills that I've seen get introduced - and you are very generous, Mr. Speaker, when people come and beg you for leave, you usually grant that, I will give you that - but I think about the bills that I see that just stop there. They deserve to be talked about. We had a bill from over here on red tape reduction, which got to second reading because we used some of our Opposition time for that. Wouldn't it be nice to send that to Law Amendments Committee and then it would come up for a third reading, spend more time talking about that? I think that's one in particular - I'm sure that's a bill that resonated with members of this House who have been in business, who have seen it from that side of the table. A lot of those members - and we did have certain members who would stand up and would have you believe that there is no red tape in Nova Scotia. There's no need for red tape reduction because there's no red tape.

[Page 775]

Mr. Speaker, as naive as I am, the person who made that statement trumps me. If you have ever spent any time in business, you understand the amount of red tape. So wouldn't it be nice, it would be informative for members who need a little bit of education on that type of thing and don't quite understand: why did this bill come forward? Who brought this bill forward? Why did they bring this forward? It doesn't make any sense. Wouldn't it be nice if that person could sit in Law Amendments Committee and hear Nova Scotians talk about why it's important to them and then hear it on third debate and really talk about things that matter to Nova Scotians?

Today we learned we lost another 700 jobs in this province. Now, it's up to 9,700 jobs. The 700 jobs, Mr. Speaker - that's a lot of jobs. Shouldn't we be talking about that in here? Shouldn't we be devoting some time and energy to having a little chat amongst members about how we can fix that? Listening to our constituents, bringing those concerns forward, and talking about that? That's the type of thing, Mr. Speaker - 700 jobs, 700 families. If you think that's not important to Nova Scotians, that that's not worthy of discussing on the floor of this House, well, I don't know where the people who might think that - what world they're living in. We should be talking about that here.

Then we come on and we have Bill No. 1. We all remember Bill No. 1. Do you remember some of the times this House sat? Didn't we have some Question Periods at two o'clock in the morning and stuff, Mr. Speaker? Was there not enough time? Could we not have done that more orderly? These are the types of things. We can use our time better in here. We don't need less of it.

We need to be in here standing up talking about things that are important to Nova Scotians. That's what I want to do. That's what I want to do - I want to talk about what matters to the people I represent, and I want them to have an opportunity to have their voice heard. I don't want to listen to those people and come up with a plan and try and get that for discussion on this floor and have somebody say, we don't have time for that; that's not something that we want to talk about. That's just wrong. That's just wrong, Mr. Speaker.

It's wrong when you go to Law Amendments Committee and people travel here or they call - on the weekend, I saw a few people. I said, well, did you come down to Law Amendments Committee to talk about Bill No. 1? Well, we wanted to. We were told no, we couldn't. The list was full. We couldn't come down. There wasn't enough time.

Now just think about that, Mr. Speaker. If you're a nurse and you've been there for 19 years, you have some experience and you know what matters to you. You want to make your way down to Halifax and have your moment, and by golly, they're going to listen to me. No, sir. No, sir, we will not listen to you, and those of you that we listen to, well, it matters not. And that's not fair.

[Page 776]

What we need to do is find ways for the House to operate more efficiently. That's good. That's a good goal. And there are lots of things - lots of agreement amongst the three Parties as to how we can make this House operate more efficiently.

I think I have more time, Mr. Speaker? I do have much more to say on this, and I look forward to having my opportunity to finish, and when we come back, we're going to reel through some of these - do I have to adjourn debate?

So what we're going to do, Mr. Speaker, is we're going to find ways to operate more efficiently, but find ways to operate more effectively. I have much more to say on this topic and I look forward to using the rest of my time at the appropriate time, but for today, I'd like to adjourn debate on this resolution for now, to come back another time.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is to adjourn debate on the amendment to Resolution No. 1. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[The motion is defeated.]

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : We're talking about use of time in the House, Mr. Speaker. How ironic.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes our business for today. The House will sit again on Tuesday, October 14th, from the hours of 12:00 noon until 10 p.m. at which time the order of business, following daily routine, will be second reading of Bill Nos. 6, 18, 22, 25, 26, along with Address in Reply, and if time permits, as well as Notices of Motion if time permits.

I move that the House do now rise, to meet again on Tuesday, October 14th at 12:00 noon.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : I just thought of a Thanksgiving irony here, that we're here talking about getting rid of a Monday night because we don't have enough time to deal with the things and he extends the hours in order to get in all these other things. I fail to understand where he's going - he's not getting his way is the unfortunate part and this is what ends up happening. Thank you.

[Page 777]

MR. SPEAKER « » : I don't consider that a point of order.

The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again on Tuesday, October 14th, between the hours of 12:00 noon and 10:00 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 1:01 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 778]

RESOLUTION NO. 183

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas Nicole LeBlanc was born into a life of music, dancing at the age of five, and playing the piano at age six, soon to be followed by other instruments; and

Whereas LeBlanc can most often be found involved with the local music scene in or around Cheticamp, where she is now raising her family; and

Whereas LeBlanc plays a key role in the continuation of traditional music, not only in her role of music teacher at the local school, but through her own personal success and album releases that continue to motivate the up and coming generation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Nicole LeBlanc on her personal success and thank her for her service to her community through music.

RESOLUTION NO. 184

By: Ms. Karla MacFarlane « » (Pictou West)

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

Whereas Tim Dunn, of Sylvester, competed and won in a full field drag race called the called the Fall Brawl at the Miramichi Drag Way; and

Whereas Tim has been racing for six years in a type of drag racing known as heads up racing, where the fastest car ultimately wins; and

Whereas Tim's racing is a family affair, with his father maintaining the 1978 Malibu race car and his mother and sister looking after the statistics;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Tim Dunn on his racing win and wish him luck in future races.

RESOLUTION NO. 185

[Page 779]

By: Ms. Karla MacFarlane « » (Pictou West)

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

Whereas Blane Ferguson, of Pictou, trimmed the brush along the Jitney Trail in his spare time this summer; and

Whereas the brush trimming has dramatically improved the appearance of the five kilometer trail; and

Whereas Blane did the entire job with his own shears, taking his time with each piece of brush;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the legislative Assembly thank Blane Ferguson for his hard work in improving the Jitney Trail for his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 186

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of the Sydney Mines Little League and Dave Martin has been front and centre for more than 30 years; and

Whereas one of Cape Breton's best baseball facilities came about because of the dedicated executive and loyal volunteers of Sydney Mines Little League, who created the facility with toil, sweat, and tears; and

Whereas volunteers like Dave Martin enjoy coaching children and watching them progress through the years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the army of volunteers that give of themselves so that Nova Scotia children can benefit from their expertise in various sports around the province.

RESOLUTION NO. 187

[Page 780]

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas earlier this year Elizbieta Wawer took part in the Speak Out competition at the annual Lions Club convention in Truro and finished first; and

Whereas Elizbieta would then represent Nova Scotia at the Lions Club's multi-district Speak Out competition in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador; and

Whereas participants use this public-speaking venue to talk about issues that are important to them and their community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Elizbieta Wawer for her achievements at the Speak Out competition and wish this future leader of our community every success.

RESOLUTION NO. 188

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas 17-year-old Keisha Mitchell of Florence was crowned Miss Teen Nova Scotia earlier this year at the Atlantic Canada finals of the National Canadian Girl Pageant; and

Whereas Keisha is an honours student at Memorial High School in Sydney Mines, and she feels the best part of the pageant is that everyone is so friendly and supportive of one another; and

Whereas Keisha enjoys working on her public speaking and looks forward to using her new title to contribute to community events and charities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Keisha Mitchell on becoming Miss Teen Nova Scotia and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 189

[Page 781]

By: Mr. Eddie Orrell « » (Northside-Westmount)

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

Whereas Sherry Ramsey, a resident of Sydney Mines, has written as her debut novel One's Aspect to the Sun and it has been short-listed for an Alberta Book Publishing Award; and

Whereas Sherry's book is one of three titles nominated for Book of the Year in the speculative fiction category and her publisher is requesting a sequel; and

Whereas Sherry is one of the three founders of the Cape Breton-based Third Person Press, a company with a mission to nurture, publish, and pay local authors of speculative fiction;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sherry Ramsey on her success in her writing career.

RESOLUTION NO. 190

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas on August 4th, Canadian Lawyer announced the 2014 Top 25 Most Influential figures in the Canadian justice system and legal profession; and

Whereas Amy Sakalauskas, a child protection lawyer with the Department of Justice, was selected for her strong advocacy on inclusion and diversity; and

Whereas Amy has played an instrumental role within our province and country in championing a resolution for non-discrimination in legal education and urging law societies and The Federation of Law Societies to require all legal educational programs to offer equal opportunity to everyone without discrimination;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Amy Sakalauskas on her award and acknowledge the significant contribution she has made in Nova Scotia and across Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 191

[Page 782]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Justice)

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

Whereas for the past 25 years the Canadian Progress Club, Halifax-Cornwallis, has sponsored The Progress Women of Excellence Award Gala to honour 19 inspirational women who play an important role in our community and to raise funds for Phoenix House; and

Whereas Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, president and CEO of Digital Nova Scotia, a highly successful immigrant to our country, has been honoured as one of these inspirational women under the category of Entrepreneur/Innovator; and

Whereas Ulrike is a multilingual senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in the private and public sectors as well as academic institutions all over the world who has brought her diverse experience to Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia and the 18 other inspirational women who will be honoured as 2014 Progress Women of Excellence Award recipients.

RESOLUTION NO. 192

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont, MLA (Argyle-Barrington)

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," according to author Eda J. LeShan; and

Whereas on August 5, 2014, Alex and Kyle Porter welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alex and Kyle on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 193

[Page 783]

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," according to author Eda J. LeShan; and

Whereas on July 7, 2014, Amber Baker and Joshua Muise welcomed their daughter into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Amber and Joshua on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 194

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

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

Whereas the birth of a child is a momentous event and marks the beginning of a very satisfying journey down a long road, where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas "A new baby is like the beginning of all things - wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities," according to author Eda J. LeShan; and

Whereas on June 12, 2014, Cindy Jacquard and Darrell Nickerson welcomed their son into the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cindy and Darrell on this miraculous event in their lives and wish them many more happy years as parents.

RESOLUTION NO. 195

[Page 784]

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

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

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on September 10, 2014, Rose-Marie Surette of Surette's Island celebrated her 80th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 80 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rose-Marie on reaching this milestone in her life and wish her many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 196

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

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

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on September 4, 2014, Roland Bourque of Tusket celebrated his 90th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 90 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Roland on reaching this milestone in his life and wish him many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 197

[Page 785]

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

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

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on July 22, 2014, Anselm Doucette of Lower Wedgeport celebrated his 100th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 100 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Anselm on reaching this milestone in his life and wish him many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

RESOLUTION NO. 198

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on September 13, 2014, a very special occasion took place when William and Blanche Cottreau of Upper Wedgeport celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate William and Blanche on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

RESOLUTION NO. 199

[Page 786]

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on August 8, 2014, a very special occasion took place when Louis and Phyllis Cottreau of Lower Wedgeport celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Louis and Phyllis on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

RESOLUTION NO. 200

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on August 17, 2014, a very special occasion took place when Medric and Joyce d'Entremont of West Pubnico celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Medric and Joyce on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

RESOLUTION NO. 201

[Page 787]

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on August 22, 2014, a very special occasion took place when Rubin and Leah Boudreau of Lower Wedgeport celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rubin and Leah on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

RESOLUTION NO. 202

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

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

Whereas anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas it was once said that a marriage anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on July 25, 2014, a very special occasion took place when Delbert and Sally Boudreau of Bellneck celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and Delbert and Sally on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

RESOLUTION NO. 203

[Page 788]

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Egg Farmers of Nova Scotia and Breakfast Club of Canada have joined forces in giving students a healthy start to their day through a new partnership agreement; and

Whereas Nourish Nova Scotia is the provincial partner for breakfast programs and the largest funder of breakfast programs in the province; and

Whereas World Egg Day celebrations at Bell Park Academic Centre on Friday, October 10th, served up delicious Nova Scotia eggs to students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Egg Farmers of Nova Scotia, Breakfast Clubs of Canada and Nourish Nova Scotia on their efforts to ensure students get the best possible start to their day.