Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD14-20

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 24, 2014

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
SNS - Birth Cert.: Change of Sex - Facilitate,
1444
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
SNS: Birth Cert. - Change of Sex,
1445
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 57, Elections Act,
1447
No. 58, Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act,
1447
No. 59, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter,
1447
No. 60, Smoke-free Places Act and Tobacco Access Act,
1447
No. 61, Onslow Cemetery Company Trustees Incorporation Act,
1448
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 411, Covert, Michael: QEII Recognition - Commend,
1448
Vote - Affirmative
1448
Res. 412, Brennan, Tamsyn - Veith House: Ex. Dir. - Appt.,
1449
Vote - Affirmative
1449
Res. 413, Javorek, Roman: RCL Literary Award - Congrats.,
1449
Vote - Affirmative
1450
Res. 414, Gomery Rept. - Fed. Election (2006): Liberal Party - Effect,
1450
Res. 415, Sandluck, Caitlyn/Bourque, Madelyn: Hockey Success
- Congrats., Mr. T. Houston »
1451
Vote - Affirmative
1451
Res. 416, Nat. Res. - Firewood Suppliers: Min. - Meet,
1452
Res. 417, Clean the Mill Group: Pollution Awareness Concert
- Congrats., Ms. K. MacFarlane »
1452
Vote - Affirmative
1453
Res. 418, Johnstone, Wayne & Donalda - Anniv. (50th),
1453
Vote - Affirmative
1454
Res. 419, Yellow Dog Yoga Studio: Commun. Spirit - Salute,
1454
Vote - Affirmative
1454
Res. 420, Davis, Wanda - Poverty Stigma: Removal Efforts,
1455
Vote - Affirmative
1455
Res. 421, Youth & Philanthropy Init. - Students: Achievements
- Congrats., Hon. L. Kousoulis « »
1455
Vote - Affirmative
1456
Res. 422, Mainville, Fleur - New Glasgow Farmers Market:
Successful Season - Congrats., Hon. P. Dunn »
1456
Vote - Affirmative
1457
Res. 423, Cornwallis Dist. New Horizons Soc.: Seniors
- Commitment, Mr. J. Lohr « »
1457
Vote - Affirmative
1457
Res. 424, Hunter Cancer Research Training Prog.: Bydoun, Moamen
- Congrats., Hon. L. Kousoulis « »
1458
Vote - Affirmative
1458
Res. 425, MacLane, Tyler/Crossroads Country Market:
RBC Sm. Bus. Award - Congrats., Mr. T. Houston « »
1458
Vote - Affirmative
1459
Res. 426, Jessome, Matthew: Dedication/Success - Congrats.,
1459
Vote - Affirmative
1460
Res. 427, Hubbard-LeBlanc, Sandra: Pearson Caregiver Award
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont »
1460
Vote - Affirmative
1461
Res. 428, Resolutions: End - Acknowledge,
1461
Vote - Affirmative
1462
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 51, Motor Vehicle Act
1462
1466
1467
1469
1472
1475
1478
1482
1485
1487
1489
Vote - Affirmative
1492
No. 52, Consumer Protection Act and
Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act
1492
1493
1494
1495
1498
Vote - Affirmative
1499
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Oct. 28th at 1:00 p.m
1499
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 429, Daley, Siloën: Atl. Film Fest. Award - Congrats.,
1500
Res. 430, MacDonald, Ryan: Quebec Cycling Event - Congrats.,
1500
Res. 431, Medaglia, Tyler: Motocross Success - Congrats.,
1501
Res. 432, Fraser, Jim: Art Exhibit - Congrats.,
1501
Res. 433, Organ, Phil: Bk. Publication - Congrats.,
1501
Res. 434, Northside Artists Assoc. Art Show: Organizers
- Thank, Mr. E. Orrell « »
1502
Res. 435, Make-A-Wish Fdn.: Miracles - Provision Thank,
1502
Res. 436, MacLean, Stirling/Wear Well Garments: Mobius Award
- Congrats., Hon. P. Dunn « »
1503
Res. 437, Tondino, Lisa: Lt.-Gov.'s Architecture Award - Congrats.,
1503
Res. 438, Dobson, Greg: Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge
- Congrats., Hon. K. Regan « »
1504
Res. 439, Gillis, Meghan: Hockey Coaching - Congrats.,
1504
Res. 440, Graves, Tyler - Cdn. Canoe/Kayak Marathon Championship:
Team - Selection, Mr. B. Horne »
1505
Res. 441, Humphreys, Sam & Max: Young Artist Award
Nomination - Congrats., Mr. B. Horne « »
1505
Res. 442, Lawrence, Juliana & Sophia: Hair Donations - Congrats.,
1506
Res. 443, Miller, Lauren: O'Flaherty Award - Congrats.,
1506
Res. 444, Boutilier, Timothy Ross - N.S. Dedication & Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1507
Res. 445, Burns, Donald - N.S. Dedication & Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1507
Res. 446, Fall River Wellness Ctr.: Opening - Congrats.,
1508
Res. 447, Wendy's Neverland: Fundraiser - Congrats.,
1508
Res. 448, Windsor Jct. Commun. Ctr.: Reopening - Congrats.,
1509
Res. 449, Murphy, Sheila - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1509
Res. 450, Morash, Susan Sheila - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1510
Res. 451, Mills, Terry - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1510
Res. 452, MacDonald, Clyde - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1511
Res. 453, Lively, Sandra - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1511
Res. 454, Kidson, Susan - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1512
Res. 455, Jones, Allison - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1512
Res. 456, Gray, Bonnie - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1513
Res. 457, Durling, Helen Marie - N.S.: Dedication/Commitment
- Thank, Mr. B. Horne « »
1513
Res. 458, Stewart, Alicia/Boutilier, Anthony: Daughter
- Birth Congrats., Mr. L. Harrison « »
1514
Res. 459, Henderson, Matthew & Veronica: Son
- Birth Congrats., Mr. L. Harrison « »
1514
Res. 460, Wright, Channing: Scholarships/Vol. Work
- Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell »
1515
Res. 461, Thomas Bernard, Dr. Wanda: Contributions
- Recognize, Hon. K. Colwell « »
1515
Res. 462, Thomas, Candace - Law: Dedication - Congrats.,
1516
Res. 463, Thomas, Terry: Basketball Contribution - Recognize,
1516
Res. 464, Williams, Stewart - Commun./N.S.: Contributions
1517
Res. 465, Tynes, Raymond - N.S. Prov. Exhibition: Manager
- Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1517
Res. 466, Slaunwhite, Gordon - Birthday (94th),
1518
Res. 467, Redden, Miss Sydney - 4-H Prog.: Dedication - Congrats.,
1518
Res. 468, Atl. Wine Instit. - Anna. Valley C of C Awards:
Finalist - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1519
Res. 469, Stewart's Organic Farms - Anna. Valley C of C Awards:
Finalist - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1519
Res. 470, Randsland Farms - Anna. Valley C of C Awards:
Finalist - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1520
Res. 471, Hillcreek Fam. Farm: Anna. Valley C of C Awards
- Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1521
Res. 472, Frostbyte Interactive Inc. - Anna. Valley C of C Awards:
Finalist - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1521
Res. 473, Colibri Software Inc. - Anna. Valley C of C Awards:
Finalist - Congrats., Hon. K. Colwell « »
1522

[Page 1443]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2014

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : I stand humbly in my place today to raise a point of order. Every person in this place, every MLA, including yourself, Mr. Speaker, was elected to represent people in Nova Scotia. We take that on honourably and we strive to meet the expectations of the people who elected us. I do that too; I regularly speak with my constituents, all of them. I follow up on their behalf in this House, which is my right, my privilege, and my obligation.

Yesterday in response to a question I asked, the Premier told the House that "Time after time, members from Pictou stand up in this House asking us to cut this tax, cut that tax, fix that classroom, clean up Boat Harbour, fix the mill. They can't have it both ways."

Mr. Speaker, I would like, through you, to make something very clear to the Premier - the people of Pictou County absolutely do have the right to expect lower taxes, decent classrooms for their children, and for the government to ensure a balance between economic development and a safe environment. They have the right to expect good government and I will stand in my place every chance I get to stand up for them, even when my questions make the government uncomfortable.

Today, Mr. Speaker, I stand in my place and ask that the Premier's remarks be withdrawn and that the people of Pictou County be treated with the respect they are owed in the 21st Century Nova Scotian democracy. Thank you.

[Page 1444]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Unfortunately that's not a point of order; it is a disagreement of facts.

The honourable Premier.

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for again rising in his place and identifying the fact that he continually stands up in this House, tells this Party to cut that tax, cut this tax, to balance the budget on the backs of every member across communities, and then continues to ask us to spend money in his riding.

We are working hand in hand, side by side with the people of Pictou County. He has a choice to make. He can join us to work with them or he can continue to do the kind of behaviour he's been showing.

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

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, may I please make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. STROINK « » : I'd like to address your attention to the west gallery, and I'd like to introduce Jessica Durling from the University of King's College PRIDE society. Her partner in crime on this issue is Caitlin Meiklejohn. I hope I got that right. Please rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : We'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING OF PETITIONS

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the University of King's College PRIDE society. The operative clause is, "This petition is to make it easier for transgender citizens of Nova Scotia to change their legal sex designation on birth certificates."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my name to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I will tentatively accept the petition, and upon review make a ruling whether it meets the criteria. I didn't detect a specific ask of government there. I'll report back.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

[Page 1445]

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : I will present a ruling on the petition. Upon further review, the petition is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I read this statement on behalf of the Minister of Service Nova Scotia.

First, I would like to thank the member for Halifax Chebucto for bringing forward this petition. We have now heard from over 600 Nova Scotians who want to see a change to the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics Act, which currently requires one to confirm that they have had sex reassignment surgery in order to change their sex on their birth certificate.

Transgender Nova Scotians have expressed concern about presenting their government-issued IDs in public out of fear of discrimination. Any time they travel, rent a movie, or even go to a bar, they fear and feel discrimination. Gender identity has nothing to do with biology and has everything to do with life experiences. Some people do not identify with any or all of the aspects of gender that are assigned to their biological sex.

The Nova Scotia Vital Statistics Office has done considerable research to prepare for a recommendation to amend the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics Act to eliminate this discriminatory requirement. We are closely following the legislation surrounding this issue across Canada, and continue to consult with our provincial and territorial colleagues.

This government is committed to taking action on this issue. Our plan is to change this legislation next Spring. (Applause)

We look forward to bringing in that bill and to the support of the House when it comes time. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the Minister of Service Nova Scotia for providing a copy of his remarks in advance. This proposed legislative change may more accurately reflect the identification of the people it is designed to recognize. That may serve a twofold purpose: it may make people who want this change feel properly recognized, and it may assist people who are working in positions where they are required to identify persons to provide services.

I know it falls under Vital Statistics, and we wonder, what is the purpose of identification in Vital Statistics? We know that has many important forms, whether it's public safety, financial security, or to give people an ability to travel, as some examples. That must be based on something. We know there are factors like height, weight, eyes, hair - those are things that traditionally have been included on identification. We also know that in the past, before there were photo IDs, people were required to identify their race and even, in fact, their religion. We know there have been changes made in Australia, and I expect that is what the government is looking at here with their proposed changes.

[Page 1446]

To conclude, as the minister moves toward legislation this Spring, I hope he is mindful that the changes made for identification in Nova Scotia correlate to federal documents such as passports and that any changes made here do not impede Nova Scotians from obtaining important travel documents. Our caucus looks forward to seeing the research compiled by the minister's department around the issue of eliminating the requirement that Nova Scotians provide confirmation of sex reassignment surgery in order to change their sex designation on their birth certificate. With that, Mr. Speaker, thank you.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the government for bringing this statement forward and showing a commitment to the community and the province as a whole to ensure that all our residents feel safe and have opportunities not to be discriminated against. I know the changes to the Nova Scotia Vital Statistics Act is something that is important; it really follows on the heels of a number of changes over the last number of years that I think are important and the need to continue to recognize those changes.

I was very proud to be part of a caucus that made changes to the Human Rights Act and that was changed to ensure that those Nova Scotians could seek some support if they felt they had been discriminated against and we know that has been the fact and I think within the statement from the minister on why these changes are needed to the Vital Statistics Act.

Also some changes recently over the last number of years - of course, as former Minister of Health and Wellness - was one very important component to support a transgender individual in our province. That was to eliminate Section 4.8 under the MSI Physician's Manual that prohibited funding for surgeries for transgender Nova Scotians who make that decision to have reassignment surgery. I think it's important to recognize that not all transgender individuals here in our province want to take that step but I was glad to be part of a government to eliminate the refusal to do that. I know the support of the transgender community is important to government and I would hope that they recognized that. I feel that there doesn't need to be a lot of study on this.

There is a lot of information out there about discrimination against transgender individuals and I would have hoped that maybe the government could have acted a little quicker on bringing the changes forward. I look forward to the Spring session when those changes come forward and seek the support of the MLAs in the House. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 1447]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 57 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 5 of the Acts of 2011. The Elections Act. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

Bill No. 58 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 2003. The Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act. (Hon. Kelly Regan)

Bill No. 59 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 39 of the Acts of 2008. The Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. (Hon. Mark Furey)

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

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, if I could do a few introductions first?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Thank you. First of all, we have Kelly Cull from the Canadian Cancer Society here today and Krista McMullan from Smoke Free Nova Scotia, here for the bill's introduction.

Also we have in the east gallery Dr. King Holmes, who is a professor and chair of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Public Health and a world-renowned expert in AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. Last year, he won the 2013 Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, and I'll do a little further introduction when we do the bill a little later on. If he, along with no stranger to Province House, Dr. Ron Stewart, if they could both rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

Bill No. 60 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 12 of the Acts of 2002. The Smoke-free Places Act, and Chapter 14 of the Acts of 1993. The Tobacco Access Act. (Hon. Leo Glavine)

Bill No. 61 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 197 of the Acts of 1901. An Act to Incorporate the Trustees of the Onslow Cemetery Company. (Hon. Karen Casey as a private member)

[Page 1448]

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 411

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

Whereas after life-saving surgery at the QEII Health Sciences Centre, Bedford resident Michael Covert decided to show his appreciation in a substantial way, donating 422 memorial sums of $100 totalling over $42,000 in honour of friends, colleagues and loved ones since 1999; and

Whereas Mr. Covert is a dedicated and admired volunteer and philanthropist, supporting students with disabilities through his Mary Jane Covert Bursary in memory of his sister who died at two months of age, and serving on many boards including Bridgeway Academy, and Callow Wheelchair Bus; and

Whereas Mr. Covert was recently recognized by the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Foundation for his notable generosity;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly commend Michael Covert for his well-deserved honours and his leadership as a volunteer and committed, generous donor.

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 1449]

RESOLUTION NO. 412

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

Whereas Tamsyn Brennan is a social worker at Veith House, a north-end Halifax organization whose mission is to meet the needs of children, families and individuals affected by poverty, with empowerment as an ever-present goal; and

Whereas Tamsyn Brennan was one of the founders of the Friends of Gilda Society of Nova Scotia, a cancer support group in Halifax; and

Whereas Tamsyn Brennan has been named the new executive director of Veith House;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Tamsyn Brennan on her new position as executive director of Veith House, and express its gratitude for her continued compassion and commitment to the Halifax community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 413

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

Whereas Roman Javorek, a Grade 6 student at Northeast Kings Education Centre, honoured Canadian veterans by writing a poem; and

Whereas Roman's work was awarded first place in the Royal Canadian Legion National Literary Competition; and

[Page 1450]

Whereas Roman's pride in all Canadian veterans resulted in his generous donation of his $250 prize to the veterans' unit of Soldiers' Memorial Hospital in Middleton;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Roman Javorek for honouring our veterans with an award-winning poem, and thank him for his generous donation to the Canadian veterans.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 414

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

Whereas the sponsorship scandal came as a result of the Canadian federal government's sponsorship program in the Province of Quebec and involved the Liberal Party of Canada, which was in power from 1993 to 2006; and

Whereas the program ran from 1996 until 2004 when broad corruption was discovered in its operations and the program was discontinued; and

Whereas the activities by the Liberal Party of Canada involved misuse and misdirection of public funds intended for government advertising in Quebec;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the Premier that it was the findings of Justice Gomery that lost the election for the Liberal Party of Canada during the 2006 election.

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

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

[Page 1451]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 415

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

Whereas Caitlyn Sandluck and Madelyn Bourque both love female hockey and playing the game has given them a desire to also take up whistles and red armbands and take advantage of opportunities in officiating; and

Whereas both girls had been invited to officiate at the Atlantic Challenge Cup in Moncton, where they saw the game from a different perspective and gained valuable experience; and

Whereas Madelyn received the Most Improved Official Award from the Pictou County Minor Hockey Association for 2013-2014 season and Caitlyn was recognized by Hockey Nova Scotia with the Female Officiating Distinction Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Caitlyn and Madelyn on their success and wish them both the best in their future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 416

[Page 1452]

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 Justice and the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, the Minister of the Public Service Commission and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal encourage the Minister of Natural Resources to meet with 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 Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 417

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 Clean the Mill group organized a free concert on the Pictou waterfront on September 9th to raise awareness to the ongoing pollution from the pulp mill; and

Whereas an estimated 3,000 people attended throughout the evening, with 2,000 people on the concert grounds at any given time; and

Whereas many musicians performed for free at the concert including Dave Gunning, Matt Andersen, Thom Swift, Joel Plaskett, Bruce Guthro and many, many more;

[Page 1453]

Therefore be it resolved that all Members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate the Clean the Mill Group for holding a well-organized and peaceful concert to raise awareness to the ongoing pollution from the pulp mill.

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. 418

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 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 wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity, but the order varies for any given year; and

Whereas on October 24, 2014, Wayne and Donalda Johnstone of Boutiliers Point, Nova Scotia, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Johnston on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy 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.

[Page 1454]

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. 419

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

Whereas Buddy, a 12-year-old Yellow Lab who was rescued, became the inspiration behind the Yellow Dog Yoga Studio on Commercial Street in North Sydney; and

Whereas studio owner Sherry Finney believes almost everything you need to know about living, you can learn from watching dogs; and

Whereas with this philosophy, the studio has become a huge success and the staff believe in giving back to the community and have already had an event for Feed Nova Scotia and are planning an event to support health care;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly salute the owners and staff of Yellow Dog Yoga Studio for their community spirit and a big thank-you to Buddy the dog for his inspiration.

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. 420

[Page 1455]

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

Whereas 44-year-old Truro resident Wanda Davis is working towards eliminating the stigma associated with poverty and social assistance; and

Whereas Wanda lives on social assistance and struggles with an intellectual disability and depression, but she maintains a positive and optimistic outlook; and

Whereas last year Wanda received her Grade 12 diploma and is now enrolled in the Hospitality/Food Services program at Futureworx in Truro;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Wanda Davis for her attempt to put a face to people's struggles with poverty, and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 421

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

Whereas the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative is a one-of-a-kind experience that engages young people in social change and empowers them to participate in the growing of compassionate communities; and

Whereas Phoenix Youth is a non-profit, community-based organization that supports at-risk homeless youth in Halifax; and

Whereas as part of the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, Sacred Heart School of Halifax students Jade MacDonald, Mia Ferguson, Julia Foote and Alissa Tupper won $5,000 for Phoenix Youth;

[Page 1456]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate these exceptional youth for their outstanding achievement and dedication to their community.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 422

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

Whereas the New Glasgow Farmers Market continues to grow and offer more local produce - meat, eggs, baked goods, crafts, and much more; and

Whereas people across our province and country are being encouraged to buy local and support their local community; and

Whereas the New Glasgow Farmers Market will be holding their annual Harvest Time event on October 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at their New Glasgow location;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Fleur Mainville, manager of the New Glasgow Farmers Market, and her team as they get ready to celebrate another successful season of the Christmas celebration on November 29th.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1457]

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. 423

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

Whereas the Cornwallis District New Horizons Society, formed in 1974, remains committed to encouraging seniors to participate in their communities and promotes physical and mental well-being; and

Whereas in carrying out their activities, the New Horizons Society encourages seniors to come out of their homes, thereby reducing loneliness and isolation among seniors while promoting an active lifestyle; and

Whereas the New Horizons Society is expanding into various communities in Kings County in a demonstration of a commitment to meet the needs of the senior population;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Cornwallis District New Horizons Society for their commitment to improve the lives of Nova Scotia's senior citizens.

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 the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 424

[Page 1458]

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

Whereas Halifax has hosted a Terry Fox Run every year since the original run in 1981, raising over $30,000 this year for cancer research; and

Whereas this run would not be possible without the outstanding dedication of the Halifax Terry Fox Committee, consisting of Moamen Bydoun, Logan Lawrence, Allison Knickle, Steve Hall, Dr. Estelle Marchal, Stephanie Forget, Krysta Coyle, and Meg Thomas; and

Whereas every single one of these exceptional volunteers has been a trainee at the Beatrice Hunter Cancer Research Institute's cancer research training program and are all researchers engaged in the fight for cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the outstanding dedication of these exceptional volunteers and thank them for their continuing efforts in the fight against cancer.

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. 425

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

Whereas Crossroads Country Market recently won the Small Business of the Year Award sponsored by RBC; and

Whereas Tyler MacLane has been expanding this family business to meet the current needs of the community it serves; and

[Page 1459]

Whereas forward thinking and innovative ideas have made Tyler's market full service, keeping his customers satisfied and shopping in his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tyler and his staff on this prestigious award and wish him well in his future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

RESOLUTION NO. 426

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

Whereas three years ago Matthew Jessome was a skinny Grade 8 student and this year the 16-year-old Memorial High School student went on to the International Power Lifting Federation's World Championship in Johannesburg, South Africa, to compete; and

Whereas Matthew has fallen in love with the sport and in three short years he has trained, maintained a 93 average in school and works part-time; and

Whereas Matthew took first place in the Eastern Canadian Championships and went on to place first at the Canadian Power Lifting Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the dedication and success of Matthew Jessome and wish him well in his future endeavours.

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

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

[Page 1460]

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 Cumberland North.

MR. TERRY FARRELL » : Mr. Speaker, I'm standing in my capacity as the Deputy Government House Leader. It appears all the resolutions are completed.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Hold on now, do you have a resolution? Okay, I'll get to you.

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

RESOLUTION NO. 427

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 Sandra Hubbard-LeBlanc of Belleville, Yarmouth County, was recently honoured by VON Canada with the Katherine Pearson Caregiver Award; and

Whereas Sandra Hubbard-LeBlanc has been a caregiver for her daughter Cheryl, now in her 20s, who was diagnosed with Alström Syndrome as a child and in the 1990s helped to launch what is now known as the Alström Syndrome International, currently serving as chair of the organization's Canadian branch; and

Whereas Sandra Hubbard-LeBlanc continues her work with others as VON Tri-County Coordinator of Community Support and Volunteer Services, navigating with caregivers locally and co-facilitating caregiver groups;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sandra Hubbard-LeBlanc on receiving this award and thank her for her hard work and dedication to others, and wish her continued success in all her endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 1461]

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. 428

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

Whereas this form of resolution has been an important part of the history of this House for many years; and

Whereas we have learned about many great things that have happened in our constituencies . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'm reminded that the honourable member for Kings North has already done his two resolutions for today. Does he want to pass it on?

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to move a resolution on behalf of the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg.

MR. SPEAKER « » : There you go

RESOLUTION NO. 428

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas this form of resolution has been an important part of the history of this House for many years; and

Whereas through this form of resolution we've learned about many great things that have happened in various constituencies, including fourth place finishes and many other things; and

Whereas we've also learned about many great things that have happened in our constituencies;

[Page 1462]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate all things possible and all events everywhere, and also note the demise of this form of resolution.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Well, that's an auspicious way to do away with resolutions.

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. (Applause)

Barring no more notices of motion, ever, we'll move on.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it's appropriate the honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg would have the last resolution, given his recent struggles and what he has ahead of him, so I'm pleased for that.

Would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 51.

Bill No. 51 – Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, good morning. I move that Bill No. 51 be now read a second time.

[Page 1463]

Mr. Speaker I was very proud to introduce this bill yesterday alongside the MLA for Hants East and Andrew Murie, chief executive officer for MADD Canada. Yesterday was all about road safety; it was about updating the province's Graduated Driver's Licensing program. This program has not been updated since it was first introduced 20 years ago, in 1994, and it was in dire need of changes, significant legislative changes, based on current best practices.

The amendments tabled yesterday are based on evidence; they are based on best practices to help reduce crashes and injury risk for new drivers. There are about 15,000 road tests a year. The GDL program gradually moves new drivers from low-risk driving situations to higher-risk driver situations after gaining valuable experience. This includes night curfews, knowledge testing, and driving courses.

Suffice it to say, the changes we're introducing will impact many. They will help instill good driving habits and behaviour early, with our ultimate goal to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on our roads and highways. Yesterday at the bill briefing I highlighted a few statistics to help validate the importance of what we are doing. In the last six years we lost 61 Nova Scotia teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 in car crashes - that's equivalent to three high school classrooms; and in the last six years we've lost 171 Nova Scotian youth between the ages of 16 to 30.

If car crashes were a disease, this would be considered an outbreak. The changes we are bringing in are meaningful; they align us with the best practices of other provinces; and they are supported by society's champion for road safety, MADD Canada.

Here are the changes: Effective April 1, 2016, the learner beginner phase of the GDL will be 12 months - currently the learner beginner phase is six months; a three-month discount will continued to be applied if an approved driver training program is taken and completed. We currently have the shortest learner beginner phase in Canada and research shows extending this phase of learning will give a new driver critical experience in different driving situations.

In a 2013 study, the journal of Accident Analysis & Prevention researchers found clear evidence that a minimum learner permit holding for nine to twelve months, associated with the largest reductions in 16- to 17-year-olds fatal driving crash involvements. Specifically, learner permit lengths of nine to twelve months were associated with 26 per cent lower incidents for 16-year-olds - that's 26 per cent, Mr. Speaker - 17 per cent lower incidents for 17-year-olds and 21 per cent lower incidents for 16- and 17-year-old age group combined.

Mr. Speaker, we are also strengthening requirements for the supervisory driver. Right now the only requirement is for the supervisory driver to be fully licensed. The length of time they have been fully licensed is not taken into consideration. Effective April 1, 2015, a supervisory driver will be defined as someone who is fully licensed for at least two years after exiting our current GDL program.

[Page 1464]

This amendment recognizes that the supervisory driver's role is critical. They must have solid experience and confidence as a driver to be able to provide proper instruction and guidance to a new driver, particularly in different driving situations or if the new driver is nervous.

Mr. Speaker, we are also addressing drinking and driving with the introduction of a requirement for zero blood alcohol content. Currently there are no blood alcohol content requirements in Nova Scotia, specific to drivers after they have completed the GDL program. This will all change on April 1, 2015. Drivers will be required to maintain zero blood alcohol content for two years after exiting the learner, beginner and newly-licensed phase of the program for GDL.

This is an important change and a significant improvement to our current GDL program. It recognizes and supports the importance of instilling good and responsible driving behaviour. It separates drinking from driving for a longer period of time. This is our chance to try and reduce the number of fatalities and injury caused by drinking and driving. Too many of our youth fall victim to the thought that they are invincible and nothing can harm them.

Mr. Speaker, we are working to reduce the risk of drinking and driving among new drivers and to reduce the culture and peer pressure to drink and drive. Both the Atlantic Collaborative on Injury Prevention and the Traffic Injury Research Foundation lists zero blood alcohol content as the best practice for GDL programs. MADD Canada reports that even with a relatively low BAC, drivers aged 16 to 19 showed a marked increase in relative risk of fatal crash, compared to non-drinking drivers of the same age. When the BAC range was increased from .05 percent to .079 per cent, drivers in this age group were nine times more likely to have a fatal crash than their sober counterparts - very stark statistics.

I very much appreciate and respect MADD's support. In response to our amendment establishing a zero BAC requirement for young and new drivers, MADD Canada's Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Murie, said; "It is a proven effective way of reducing impaired driving and improving road safety. This new legislation will help reduce the incidence of impaired driving, and will help new and young drivers establish good driving practices that will separate drinking from driving."

Do we have more work to do to reduce crashes and injury risks on our roads, Mr. Speaker? Of course we do. Are we heading in the right direction with these amendments here today? Yes, we are. I would suggest that with MADD Canada's support, we know we are on the right track.

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Also from Andrew yesterday: We applaud Premier Stephen McNeil ". . . and the Government of Nova Scotia for their leadership on this and we look forward to this important measure being passed and enacted. We believe it will have a real and positive impact on the safety of new drivers and improve overall safety on the province's road."

Mr. Speaker, we are also making changes related to those who have permanently lost their licence related to charges of impairment by drugs or alcohol while driving, stunting, or driving while disqualified. Many have been calling this the faint hope clause. The reality is that many people are in a situation where they are driving uninsured; they are unregistered and unlicensed, putting themselves and others at risk. Effective April 1, 2015, the province will be in a better position to monitor these high-risk drivers. The mandatory requirement to permanently revoke a driver's licence will be removed. This individual will be allowed to apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for reinstatement.

It is important to emphasize that people who have committed serious Criminal Code offences would not be considered for this reinstatement. Mr. Speaker, those who have earned the chance to be reinstated will have an opportunity; those who haven't, will never drive in this province again. We want to be clear on that point.

Mr. Murray was very articulate and effective when he responded yesterday to questions about this amendment during the bill briefing. He said that many find it surprising that MADD Canada is supportive of this amendment, but he said it's good policy and we have their support.

Our government recognizes and supports the importance of road safety in this province. It's in all we do with our Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, from ensuring our roads and highways are safe through design and ongoing maintenance to making legislative changes that will result in safer drivers on our roads.

The changes we're introducing to the GDL program today is just a start. I want to stress that point with the members of the House and all Nova Scotians. Yesterday, concerns were expressed that more changes weren't made to the GDL program. Mr. Speaker, all Parties in this Legislature have had the opportunity to make significant changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. Today, our government is acting on those legislative changes. I do want to say that we are committed to more changes, but we want to make changes that can be introduced effectively and to positively influence driving behaviour based on good, sound evidence.

As I said yesterday during the bill briefing, staff will continue to work with our road safety partners, talk to youth, research successes in other jurisdictions and learn more about what we can do and should be doing here in Nova Scotia to further strengthen our important programs. We are heading in the right direction as validated by MADD Canada, who yesterday in a news release said, "Nova Scotia's proposed legislation will improve safety for new and young drivers". Mr. Speaker, that's what these laws are all about.

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I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to remind you we are increasing the fines for cellphone use while driving effective February 1, 2015. (Applause) We are also introducing four demerit points. This means we'll soon have some of the strongest fines in the country for using handheld cellphones or texting while driving.

Keeping people safe on the road is a job we share with Nova Scotians. We can put the rules in place, design and maintain safe roads and highways, but we need everyone who gets behind the wheel of a car to be alert, responsible and respect other road users. Speeding, distracted driving, driving while impaired and not using seatbelts continue to be the leading cause of car crashes and fatalities. The majority of our collisions are predictable and preventable. The legislative changes we are introducing today will go a long way to strengthen the GDL program and help reduce the number of serious and fatal injuries on our province's highways.

In closing, I look forward to hearing from the Opposition on where they are with these significant changes. I know that we all agree on the importance of road safety and that this bill is the beginning of a series of changes that will make our roadways safer. I am also eager to learn the public's views during Law Amendments Committee.

But for me, today is a reflection of the work and commitment of the member for Hants East. (Applause) She has been a driving force behind these initial changes and will continue to be a voice for enhanced road safety for all Nova Scotians. After the unimaginable loss of her son, Bruce, to an impaired driver, she has picked up the pieces and focused her efforts on saving the lives of others. As the president of MADD Canada, she advanced that organization through sound leadership and hard work. As a member of our caucus, she has worked tirelessly to bring about the changes that will get drivers home safely in this province. As a friend, she has taught me the importance of fighting for what we believe in, and together we will continue that fight.

Bill No. 51 will bring significant changes to our motor vehicle laws and they will save lives. I know that Bruce would be proud of his mom's efforts here today. Thank you very much. (Applause)

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to debate Bill No. 51. Strengthening the Graduated Driver Licensing program will protect young drivers and other motorists. Our caucus supports wholeheartedly the change that requires drivers to maintain a zero blood alcohol content for two years after they complete the learner, beginner and the newly licensed phases of the program. We also agree with the changes that require supervisory drivers to be fully licensed for at least two years after they complete the learner, beginner program and newly licensed phase of the program. We believe that a supervisory driver should be just that: a person armed with experience and knowledge and the ability to supervise a new driver, to keep the new driver and all motorists safe.

[Page 1467]

We do have questions about what blood alcohol level the government proposes that a supervisory driver should be able to have. We believe that a supervisory driver should be legally able to drive, and that a supervisory driver is not exactly the same as a passenger. In media reports, the minister has said that monitoring the blood alcohol level of passengers presents legal problems. We think having a supervisory driver whose judgment and reaction times are impaired presents safety problems.

Finally, the provisions to give new drivers more experience behind the wheel by extending the learner-beginner phase of the program is a good idea. It is disheartening that this bill is being amended because many drivers who have lost their licences for impaired driving continued to drive uninsured, unregistered, and unlicensed, putting themselves and others at risk.

As others have said, it seems counterintuitive to remove a permanent driving prohibition from those who have been convicted of driving drunk on three or four occasions. Statistics tell us that a person who is caught drunk driving likely has driven 22 times already, so if you think about that, someone caught on the fourth time has probably driven impaired 88 times. I hope the minister will explain how his department intends to monitor these drivers, and if the use of interlock devices is part of the plan.

Our caucus stands on the side of public safety. We'll be very interested to hear the presentations from law enforcement and other groups as this bill moves through Law Amendments. On behalf of our caucus, I too wish to thank the member for Hants East and her personal commitment to this cause. Thank you.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand here today and have a few words on Bill No. 51, the Motor Vehicle Act and the amendments, and to be engaged in this discussion and debate.

When I first got my licence, it certainly was a few years ago, but Nova Scotians didn't have a graduated licence program. I can assure you that I appreciate the opportunity to be a driver on Nova Scotian roads. I think this program is a great idea. It has three steps that give new drivers the opportunity to get more and more experience and become comfortable behind the wheel before they are allowed to drive on their own. I hope that this extension of these steps, as mentioned in this bill, will help new drivers get even more experience to be confident on our roads and highways.

I also agree with the extended time frame on zero tolerance for impaired driving. Under this bill, a new driver must have a blood alcohol level of zero for two years after they finish the graduated licence program. I hope this will help new drivers develop habits. This is what this is all about: developing habits that mean they won't even consider driving if they've had a drink.

[Page 1468]

We all know the dangers of drinking and driving. It can ruin lives. I bet you each and every one of us here today has seen something personally and has been affected by this, or has a constituent that has been affected by impaired driving. But I have to wonder how widely the minister consulted on this piece of legislation. Certainly I have questions, like our police officers, who are in charge of keeping our roads and highways safe, concerned that people with four drunk driving convictions will be able to get their licence back. That is a great question, and I'm sure it will be asked many times over the course of the next few days.

There are questions like our police officers' concern that new drivers can have a supervisory driver in the passenger seat who need not be sober. I want to repeat that, because that is a very important question: our police officers' concern that new drivers can have a supervisory driver in the passenger seat who need not be sober.

What does the Insurance Bureau of Canada think about these changes? I'd like to know more about the consultations before this bill moves forward. I'm also concerned that the fact that there's no provision requiring supervisory drivers to be sober is a major hole that should be addressed before this bill passes, Mr. Speaker. That individual should be qualified to make split-second decisions, and it's crucial when you have a junior or inexperienced driver at the wheel. They need to be able to take over or take the wheel. That's the whole point. That's certainly the point of having an experienced driver in the passenger seat. When something goes wrong, they need to be able to take over, as I said. They cannot do that when they have been drinking.

The minister said that the government received legal advice that this could be problematic - I repeat, problematic - to get blood alcohol readings from a passenger, but other jurisdictions do that - again, other jurisdictions do that. Now, the minister may be worried about a court challenge in another province on this issue, but they've rammed through legislation without proper consultations very often. I've seen this in the past. They rammed through their three pieces of labour legislation that took away the right of collective bargaining, despite concerns - I repeat, despite concerns - of legal challenges, so I simply don't buy that argument.

This is a matter of life and death. New drivers need someone in the passenger seat, teaching them the rules of the road - someone sober, someone who can take over when the inexperienced driver gets in trouble. This bill needs to be amended.

I want to just kind of depart from my speaking notes, because I was lectured for my very first time when I came to this House by a former teacher of mine, Mr. Sylvester Atkinson. He gave me a phone call and congratulated me on coming to this Chamber. I remember the discussion. I said, I hope I bring some common sense to this Chamber. He stopped me and gave me a lecture on common sense. He said, it's not common sense. It is rare sense.

[Page 1469]

Here is an opportunity to impose some rare sense in the Chamber. It is self-defeating if we're asking new licence holders, new drivers in this province to accept a zero tolerance for alcohol and to expect that the supervising driver sitting next to them can be intoxicated. I think that is a classic example of using some common sense - corrected, some rare sense. Thank you for the time, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise for just a few moments today to talk to Bill No. 51. We have seen numerous changes over the years with regard to this particular issue, and I can speak from a couple of different fronts and some experience myself, as others in this House also have, working in emergency services, who have seen first-hand what can happen with impaired drivers. As a former speaker mentioned, likely everyone in this House has been affected in some way, shape, or form, regardless of the work they do or families or friends they have. We've all heard it.

The numbers the minister presented this morning are astounding. It's hard to believe that in this day and age we still have numbers like that in this province, and even greater across the country, I would assume, as in bigger provinces the numbers are probably much higher. Percentages are an issue for us. We must continue, regardless of who is in government and year after year, to try to strengthen the rules around this very issue.

There's a few pieces to this bill, one being the time frame for new drivers to get their licence. I'm not opposed to that. I have four children. Three of them, hard to believe, are now driving, and next year there will be one more reaching that age of 16 and anxiously awaiting to write her exam and so I can tell you that that is concerning to me.

I think back to a few years ago, when I first got my licence - it is hard to believe it has been as long as it has. At that time, we would have considered ourselves probably quite experienced, getting behind the wheel at 16. Some of us had the good fortune of working on farms where you could drive vehicles if you were 14, I think, at the time. You could drive vehicles on the farm - tractors, trucks and so on - and that is where I learned to drive, and in the yard. My father would be at work all day and his car would be home and I would drive it up and down the driveway as practice, long before I had my licence. We used to think that was kind of fun in those days.

As a father today, I probably wouldn't agree that that is a whole lot of fun. I probably wouldn't think that was great, but we need to continue to work with our young drivers and do all we can to make them good drivers, smart drivers, attentive drivers.

[Page 1470]

We know the issues of cellphones. I am glad to hear the minister also talk about the increase in fines. That bill went in some time ago. We have also, personally, some of us, have seen the results of what cellphone discussion and texting can do on our major highways. We know the end result of that. Will it stop? No, probably not. We have seen that fines have gone up; penalties have gone up for impaired driving. Has it stopped? No, it has actually gotten worse. I know that the member for Hants East will probably rise and speak to her experience with MADD and MADD Canada - about the numbers - and where Nova Scotia once stood as a leader on some of these things, and where our numbers have dropped to over the years, across the country, and where we fit in.

We know that these issues continue. We have to do everything we can to encourage drivers of all ages - our new drivers especially - of the importance around this. I know that when they are young, they think that nothing will ever happen to them, but we have the proof. We have the numbers that say, yes, it will, it can happen to you. It does happen to you. When I say you in that circumstance, Mr. Speaker, I use you to represent youth, many, many ages, not just youth, all of us.

As I have said, I have been there on more than one occasion. I have witnessed this. Families have been torn apart over such things, young and old. New, young drivers, some who have only been driving for weeks have been involved in serious, serious incidents - maybe where they have not been lost, but others have, and vice versa.

It doesn't appear to be a certain gender or a certain age group, when it comes to having a drink and getting behind the wheel. The more that we can strengthen this - instill in the minds of our drivers, especially our young drivers, the importance of not having any kind of substance in your system when you are behind the wheel. I will use my own children as an example. As much as they are smart kids, I don't think they fully understand, and how could they? They have never been there. How could they? They have not been there.

It is our responsibility as parents, as legislators in this historic Chamber, to put these rules in place to protect them, even though you don't think you need that protection when you are young. We know everything when we are 16 years old. We have all been there. We have told our parents, I'll be back at such-and-such a time. I'll be okay. Unfortunately, sometimes that doesn't happen. We know that, firsthand. So strengthening this legislation, I certainly favour.

I have heard some discussion around the issues of supervisory drivers. At the same time I would like to think those of us who are experienced as drivers - do we know that there is still an issue of adults that are of legal age, some more experienced than others, and different ages, will have a drink and still drive? We know, currently, you can have a beer and you can get in your car and drive home. One beer or roughly one drink of alcohol will keep you under that limit. Two, today, will put you over, according to the law. Some clarity, perhaps, around that? I know the minister is writing notes, as the different speakers get up; I am sure he is going to speak on some different points that have been raised and maybe clarify a few things.

[Page 1471]

It is interesting when you talk about that penalty of four, and I'm sure we are going to hear other speakers on this. How do we pick a number? We know that those numbers - two, three, four, five - how many is truly the right number? I am not sure what that is. Some of us may agree that it is one. If you were a parent of a child, or a family member who lost a loved one based on an impaired-driving incident, you may fight strongly for a one-drink limit. That person should never be allowed to drive again. I have heard that. I am sure we've all heard that. And you can understand that pain that they must be going through. And unless you have lived it, you certainly don't know it, but you can appreciate and understand what they must be going through, and you have to take that into consideration.

When we think about someone who has four impaired driving charges and suspended for life, and now the opportunity to get them back, I know that raises some concerns. We look forward to the clarity around that - or I do. I shouldn't say "we." I look forward to the clarity around, what does it mean to be a supervised driver? Does it mean that I can have a beer maybe tonight at the Legion, and I have someone there who is of legal age and has a driver's licence, who has passed the qualifications, who has the right to drive but must be supervised? Does it mean that that person can't drive? Shouldn't drive?

We've heard a little bit. I'm sure we're going to hear more. I look forward to what that really does mean. There are laws today that do allow for drivers to have a beer or a drink of something, a glass of wine at dinner, and get behind the wheel of their car and drive home. That is deemed to be legally safe. Does that mean that there is something different in that if they are supervising a young driver? Maybe it does.

It will be interesting to hear different ones come in. I would be surprised if there won't be presenters at the Law Amendments Committee, Mr. Speaker, who come forward to speak, probably both in favour and against, and even look for stronger rules around this, perhaps. Whenever we talk about bills like this and legislation being changed, this affects many, many people. This is a serious bill, a serious piece of legislation to be amended in this House.

I think the majority of people that I have talked to and represent would feel strongly about strengthening the laws and protecting our young drivers and all drivers with this piece around the licensing. It was always considered, and I think it still is, that to hold a driver's licence in the Province of Nova Scotia and in this country was a privilege. I believe that that remains a privilege. Obviously it can be taken from you for certain infractions.

The majority of people, I believe, are law-abiding citizens. We see that every day. We still see incidents. We've got experience from members in this House who have worked on the front lines of health care and emergency services who have seen the results, so again I want to repeat that it is important to strengthen these laws.

[Page 1472]

I do look forward to other speakers' comments on this, Mr. Speaker. Some will be more passionate than others. I'm certain of that, based on their experience, based on the fact that they've had families, based on the fact that they may have had friends and family close to them involved in such incidents. I can appreciate all of those.

With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I will take my seat. I do look forward to some clarity around some points that I'm sure will come, and I look forward to the Law Amendments Committee to see just exactly where this does sit on a couple of very important pieces in the bill. But overall, this is a good bill, and I'm glad to see it before us today. Thank you very much.

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

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : I can't imagine, Mr. Speaker, that anybody would think that I might speak about this issue, but it is very near and dear to my heart. As the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said, we have been talking an awful lot about what we can do to improve road safety in Nova Scotia and make our highways safer for our young people and all our families.

I think the main reason is that most of us realize that except for circumstance it could be any of us in the same position. We all could lose children. We all could lose loved ones, and you never know when that's going to happen. That's why we have to make sure we're doing the best job, because when we talk about the numbers, as he mentioned, I think 61 young people have been killed in the last six years.

That's not just 61 people that that's affecting. When I think about my son and how many people's lives he affected in his death, think about the families that are beyond that. The member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley deals with this as a United Church minister. He deals with families with loss, so he knows that one death doesn't affect one person. It affects a whole community.

That's why I think it's our job to make sure that this legislation is the best it can be, because the sooner we can get this on the books and start implementing it, the sooner we're going to be able to save more lives in Nova Scotia. (Applause)

The minister mentioned the GDL program yesterday, and he was in the initial class in the GDL program. It gave me pause for a minute, because I had to realize that my children actually were too old to be in the GDL program, and how I wished that - our rule at home was, you know, you don't have to be home by midnight, but the car does, and since we lived three miles from anywhere, they made sure that they were home or they were going to be walking. So we were really happy when the GDL program came in. Even though it didn't affect them, we knew that parents across the province were thanking us, because all of a sudden they weren't the bad guy - the government was. The rules were the rules and they had to be applied, so that was a really good thing at that time.

[Page 1473]

But there are changes that need to be made. It's a good program, but we can make it a lot better. One of things that MADD was advocating for many years was a zero BAC for the first five years of driving, which basically this is - not quite five but almost, adding that extra two years.

What we were seeing happen is that you had young drivers coming out of the system with a full licence at 19 years old in a lot of cases. In a lot of cases, they were also new drinkers at that time. Now they were learning to judge how much they could drink and still be under the legal limits and still driving. It was a recipe for disaster. Many, many people were dying in that gap, in that little two-year gap, and I think that bringing this to zero BAC will save lives in Nova Scotia.

We've talked a lot about the supervisory drivers, and I absolutely agree. It's one of the things that I believe in too: supervisory drivers should be sober and should drive. But if that's going to hold up this legislation and make us wait, let's not do it. Let's wait and pass it on for the next time. This is only the start. These are the things that could be implemented from legislation that was passed in, I believe, 2007. We're taking these measures that we can do right now, getting them on the books now so they can be effective right now.

That was one there was a little bit of concern with, because supervisory drivers having a zero - as the member opposite said, there's a question as to whether you can ask a supervisory driver, who's obviously a passenger, for a breath sample. Let's make sure that that law can be enforced before we put it in place instead of holding up the whole process.

It was funny - I often talk about what's going on in the House to my family. I was at my daughter's house one night and it was a birthday party. I think it was my grandson's birthday, actually. He was turning 16. He was going to go get his beginner's. He was really excited. I said, oh, but you should know, this is going to be in the legislation: you might have to - the new drivers will have to go from six months to one year. And he said you're doing what? He was thoroughly shocked, but then when I told him it was going to be a while to be in effect, he was happier with that. So he actually took a driver's ed program and got his licence within three months. He's under GDL, but he has his licence.

Where I'm concerned with that - Austin is a great kid. He's a teenager who has never given us a moment's problem. He's an athlete. He's very responsible. I don't know how he is when he's out of eyesight, but he's just all over a really good kid. His birthday was in May. Three months later, he had his licence. He has never driven in the rain. He has never driven in the snow. He has never driven in the ice. He has never driven at night. He has never driven in the city. And he has a licence. Extending that to one year - and even taking off the three months puts it down to nine months. Those six months of extra practice would have made him a better driver coming out of the system.

[Page 1474]

I have concerns. My daughter was with him one night just a little while ago when he went through an intersection. He wasn't sure when he was supposed to go or when he wasn't supposed to go, and he went and he almost caused a crash. Maybe that extra six months of practice would have served him well. That could have been a fatality that night. Somebody could have been hurt. I just think that this is going to be a really good move going forward.

Our teenagers live in a different world than we did. For some of these younger members, they are also living in a different world than I did, I guess I should say. Video games weren't a part of our lives. Oftentimes in MADD, we talk about the mindset of young people. I think oftentimes when they're getting behind the wheel, it's the same thing. There used to playing video games where when you have a crash, you have five lives left and off you go again.

There are no retakes. A crash could mean a life. It could mean somebody else's life. There are no do-overs. I think we have to instill that and extending that to a year will help with that.

I would like to talk a little bit about the new faint hope clause. If anybody is going to be against this, it's going to be me - I mean me and MADD Canada, of course. You're going to think we don't want drunk drivers on the road. But statistically, the numbers that I had from MADD when I was the national president show that 75 per cent of drivers who were suspended from driving were driving anyway. They were driving with no licence and no insurance and they were a hazard, because you know that if the police are following someone who is suspended, all of a sudden their actions are not going to be normal either. They don't want to be caught. They, in turn, cause more crashes because of it.

By bringing these drivers into a program where they can drive with absolutely no risk to the public, with an interlock on their vehicle, it only makes sense. They're not going to be taking the chances, and plus we're going to be able to control them a little bit more. Having an interlock on the vehicle would be a requirement of anybody who had been convicted of impaired driving crashes. Of course, that's not going to mean stunting. It's not going to be any different from what they've done, but certainly the impaired driving crashes.

Some people said to me, does that mean that Terry Naugle, who has 22 or 23 impaired driving convictions, can get his licence back? Absolutely not. That's not going to apply to those kinds of people, because that person who wants to get their licence back is going to be very, very restricted. He's going to have to apply to the registrar and he's going to have to show that he's not a risk to the public again, that we can actually count on him. With the interlock on his vehicle, there's absolutely no question that he'll be able to drive that vehicle impaired. It's just not going to happen.

[Page 1475]

I've had a couple of letters from people who have been very, very - that have touched me very much. One of them was a young man; I believe he was from Cape Breton. He said that in his teens, he was very stupid - got caught for impaired driving, got caught a couple of times driving while suspended, whatever, and he had a lifetime driving ban. But now he is 40 years old and he has children and they're playing hockey and they're playing soccer, and he has never been able to drive his son to his hockey game. He was really happy to hear about this proposed legislation. He doesn't mind the fact that it's going to cost him $1,700 a year for his interlock or that his insurance rates are going to be high. He doesn't mind that. He wants to be able to be all he can be to his son and he wants to prove to society that he is a reasonable risk and that we can trust him again.

This legislation, I'm tremendously proud of and the minister has done a fabulous job with this, but it's only the first step. There is a lot more to go. There are a lot of things we can do. The zero BAC, or whatever the BAC limit would be, for supervisory drivers certainly is one thing.

What about random breath testing? We should be able to stop people everywhere and ask for a sample. I've been asking that from the federal government since 2010; it still hasn't happened - random drug testing. Fifty per cent of impaired drivers these days are impaired by drugs yet we haven't handled that one yet.

Vehicle forfeiture programs. It's a proven fact that if you're going to lose your car when you are caught impaired and you think that's going to happen, you are not going to drive impaired. That will stop people as well.

Mandatory interlock. Right now, it's for drivers who are deemed to be a risk. They are evaluated by Addiction Services and then the interlock is imposed, or it has to be a second offence. But in reality, maybe it should be for all impaired drivers.

I have a wish list. There's lots going, and the minister is going to hear from me a lot on all these things because every one of them has the possibility of saving lives and making Nova Scotia the safest and best place to drive in Nova Scotia. Thank you.

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to be able to stand here in my place and talk about Bill No. 51. I certainly enjoyed listening to the comments from both sides of the House. Improving the Graduated Driver Licensing program will certainly help protect young drivers and other motorists.

It's sort of a coincidence that, just at this moment as I stand talking, the daughter of the member for Pictou West is presently out on the road right now taking her driver's test - Chloe. I certainly wish her the best. I'm sure she will be a safe and good driver.

[Page 1476]

Mr. Speaker, I'm a former driver's ed instructor of 12-plus years and I spent thousands of hours in the classroom on the theory part of it, and I certainly spent hundreds of hours out on the road with many young drivers around the age of 16, and the odd one a little older - I think the oldest was 92.

I heard someone in the back saying that was the age of the instructor. Mr. Speaker, you can throw that person out then. I'll back you up. I'll go get my hockey stick.

However, when you think of it - I often thought of it when teaching Driver Ed. - the important day, it's one of the greatest days for a youngster and I taught my three sons and my three daughters to drive and what a day it is the day they get their licence. It's just like independence day - I finally achieved one of the greatest milestones as far as one of the things that most people like to achieve. It's a great feeling when they get their licence.

However therein lies the problem, once they have their licence. Our caucus definitely supports the change that requires drivers to maintain a zero blood alcohol content for two years. That's something I wanted to see for many, many years, after they complete their learner-beginner and newly licensed phase of their programs. As far as I'm concerned they can't have enough driver training.

I listened to the words from the member for Hants East with the lack of experience of young drivers as far as driving in the snow, driving in the rain, hydroplaning, what's the reaction if the car slides off the shoulder of the road. I can recall talking to a parent on a Monday morning after their son received his licence and giving advice to the father of this son saying, if that were my son, I would not give him the keys to my car unless I was going with him.

However, that was Monday morning, and on Friday evening I received a call where this particular son was being cut out of the car with the jaws of life. Actually the engine of the car was up on the edge of the road and the car was in the woods up against a tree. He survived that particular crash, but his attitude was that he was invincible. He had a heavy foot and received his licence on a Monday and Friday he was in the hospital for several weeks, broken legs and so on.

Just a quick second story - I can recall telling another parent that their daughter had an awful tendency to be inattentive with what's going on in front of her. If there's one thing I told my class it is never, never take your eyes off the road in the direction you're heading. Well, I was out driving with her many hours and she would see a friend off on the sidewalk somewhere and she'd be looking, waving, and not realizing what was happening in front of her. So I told the parents in this particular case I would be very selective as far as having this youngster drive by herself. I believe it was two weeks, no more than three, she was in the Town of New Glasgow and I know she was being inattentive and she ran into the back of a car in front of McDonald's on the East River Road. Those types of things certainly continue to happen and I think with more supervision, more training, more driving, a lot of those things would cease to exist.

[Page 1477]

With regard to the definition of a supervisory driver - a person with experience, knowledge and ability to supervise a new driver, to keep the new driver and all motorists on the road safe is certainly a good one, and I agree with the minister with that.

Do we have some concerns about the blood alcohol level with regard to the supervisory driver? I guess I want to be more familiar with the legislation in the bill, because all this legislation is good legislation and I applaud the minister for bringing it forward - and I look forward to many years sitting here listening to more legislation coming through that will improve the safety of our highways and roads.

I guess one question that does come to mind is will the blood alcohol level of passengers present legal problems? I'm not sure what the answer is there. Having a supervisory driver whose judgment and reaction times are impaired creates safety problems and that's something that we'll work around and talk to the appropriate people and find the answer to that.

The provision to give new drivers more experience behind the wheel by increasing the learner-beginner phase of the program is an excellent idea, in my opinion. The additional time will or should improve the driving skills of new drivers. I've had the experience on the road with many, many drivers, hundreds of drivers, and it's remarkable how some can get in and sit behind the wheel and you would think they've been driving for six or eight months, where others will sit behind the wheel and it's like they're in a foreign object.

I'll tell you a story and you won't believe this, Mr. Speaker. I dropped by a person's house one night to take their daughter out for her first driving lesson - we're looking at someone who is 16 years of age. She got into the car, on the driver's side, we had some preliminary talk and so on, she adjusted her seat, outside mirrors, all that type of thing and we were ready to go. I had backed the car in the yard, which was obviously a good habit - it's a lot easier to drive out of the driveway, it's a lot easier to see left and right and so on.

When I asked the person to put the car into drive and to gradually slide out of the driveway, she asked me, where is the accelerator? Well, that's why my hair turned white and I lost some of it. But here's a girl, 16 years of age, family had a car, and she wasn't sure which one was the accelerator. It was an automatic, of course. So you can imagine all the various things that can happen with people behind the wheel.

The lack of attention by drivers continues to be a major concern. I applaud the minister with regard to these changes such as cellphones and blood alcohol being zero for two years. Another concern I have is with regard to the possible removal of a lost licence, someone who had lost their licence due to a previous conviction or several convictions having the opportunity to get their licence reinstated. I lost a grandmother and a few close friends due to repeat drunk drivers during my lifetime, so I'm very interested in the methods that will be used to monitor these drivers - will the interlock device be used and to what extent?

[Page 1478]

Our caucus stands for improving safety on our roads and highways and we are interested in listening to what police officers, judges, people who are in this field, what they have to say, and what happens at Law Amendments Committee. What about drivers under the influence of another drug? I think that's something that should be seriously looked at, and I'm sure it is.

Finally, I want to thank the minister for bringing this proposed legislation forward because this legislation is going to improve our roads and highways and, I think, make better drivers out of these young people who are getting their licence for the first time. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to stand and speak on Bill No. 51, and I do that with a number of hats on. As the MLA for Sackville-Cobequid, of course, trying to ensure that I speak on pieces of legislation that will affect the community I represent, but also as the former Minister of Health and Wellness, knowing the changes and some of the impacts that drinking and driving have on our health care system, but also as a father of two young children.

My son is 13 and my daughter, who turned 16 in August, has her beginner's permit right now and is out taking her driver's course, which she has completed and now is doing the driving component of it. She is happy with the legislation because it won't affect her; she'll be able to get her licence in three months. My son, on the other hand - really, at 13, he doesn't care what happens, but I'm sure that when he turns 16, he will complain to me about this change.

I also look and speak upon this issue, as my colleague and former work partner, as a medic. I've seen first-hand the devastation of the results of someone choosing to get behind the wheel of a vehicle who's been impaired. I know there are colleagues here who have been touched deeply by that. I have to say, on first glance at the piece of legislation, there are a great number of initiatives that I think all would say are positive, positive changes that will hopefully limit and make it more safe for our young people when they get their licence. But at first glance, when I heard the piece that dealt with the potential of someone who has been convicted of drinking and driving on a number of occasions getting their licence back, I've had some alarm bells go off. I'm trying to be well-educated in why this change would be a positive change to the rules and the law that we have now.

[Page 1479]

I've spoken to both the minister and the Minister of Service Nova Scotia, who I know worked in law enforcement, around my concern and the concern of an individual being able to get their licence back after four or five convictions of drinking and driving. I'm well aware of the case that was referred to by the member for Hants East. I think we all have received correspondence over the last little while on some particular cases of individuals who feel that they've rehabilitated, they're showing to society that they can be trusted and that they should be allowed to receive their licence back but have a ban.

But it's still one that I'm conflicted by. In those cases, for example, I know in reading through both those cases, it was indicated that no one was injured, no one was killed during the cases they brought forward, but they're just lucky that no one was hurt and no one was killed when they were charged for the third and fourth time.

I was really shown the implications of drinking and driving early on in my career. I went through the paramedic course here at the VG school in 1995. It was within a year of me working that I had the unfortunate call to attend to a motor vehicle accident that hit two young people on Beaver Bank Road. We were the second unit in and there were two young adults, teenagers - and out of respect of the family I won't mention the names - but there were a boyfriend/girlfriend, I believe they were 14 or 15 or 16 years old. The unfortunate thing is the 16-year-old girl passed away from her injuries. I, as the second unit in, treated the young man, who had some serious injuries. That really opened my eyes to the impact and the result of drinking and driving. The individual who was eventually caught and convicted had multiple convictions under his belt.

I find it difficult to see the difference between someone who has taken a life behind the wheel of a car if they were drinking and driving and being lucky to not. I've been to accidents where the sole occupant of the vehicle was intoxicated, put their car in the ditch, flipped it end on end, took power lines out - nobody else injured. I don't see any difference because there's not a body lying next to that vehicle. That's the difficulty I have with it. But saying that, I understand that people can be rehabilitated. I understand that especially when you're young, you feel invincible, people do crazy things - I think we've all done things that maybe you look back now, 10, 15 or 20 years later, that you regret. So I understand the need potentially to look at those individuals.

I heard when this legislation was introduced that MADD Canada had given its support. I was perplexed a bit, because I know the history of MADD, who have been really strong advocates to move provincial governments like ours across the country, throughout the United States and around the world to try to increase the legislation to protect the citizens. Going through some of their wishes, I realized that they actually don't call for the removal of a lifetime driving ban.

If you look at some of the data that they have, and I'll table this after I refer to it, they indicate after a fourth conviction that a lifetime ban should be imposed, but maybe after a five-year probation, you could look at, if there were no infractions, that potentially they could get their licence back. Also, on individuals who have five impaired driving convictions - of course, they talk about jail time, but it says for five convictions, ". . . a life-time driving ban with an option for licence re-instatement after 10 years, provided the individual has no violations for driving while prohibited/suspended." We heard those were some of the reasons why this is coming forward.

[Page 1480]

So I would hope that the government recognizes that when they bring legislation forward, I think there's an opportunity for input from the Opposition Parties. I know the minister, in his opening statement, mentioned that all Parties in the past have brought changes forward that had a positive impact. I know in the 11-plus years that I've been here, every Party now has brought forward changes to the Motor Vehicle Act to improve safety and address drinking and driving. I know it will continue on. It's not an issue for one Party. There's no one Party that can say they're the best at it, I think. I'm encouraged that the government has continued that on to improve the conditions.

I heard a comment from the member for Hants East after my colleague mentioned the possibility of looking at the supervisory driver of someone with a conditional licence not having any alcohol. I think as history has shown, and practice in the House, bills can be amended. I don't believe there's any reason why we could not amend this legislation. It could be from our caucus, or the Progressive Conservatives, or government could bring forward an amendment themselves to address that. I think we would all agree that they should have a supervisory driver who has no alcohol in their system.

That's something I think is an easy fix. We've seen changes with the 24-hour suspension, for example, when someone blows 0.07 - I think it's 0.07 now - that they can immediately have their licence revoked. I don't think there would be any courts in the province or in Canada that would say you cannot have that requirement in there. I think as legislators, we have the right to make sure that laws we bring forward are followed. I don't think we'll have any police force around the province say, no, no, no, you can't do that, that infringes on someone's rights. So I really hope that the government is open to this. It has happened in the past where we've amended pieces of legislation. We could look at this throughout the process. We're not going to hold up the bill, but there's no need not to address this issue at this time as this process goes forward.

Also, I'm going to ask the government if they would look at the recommendations from MADD to not eliminate the clause of permanent suspension of convicted drinking and driving individuals here in Nova Scotia. I believe that that should be the case and that we should be looking at those exceptions, that if someone can prove after a timeline, and I'm not an expert in this field, I don't know if five years is the right number or 10 years or 20 years, but I believe there should be a limit set there that nobody could even be looked at getting their licence reinstated if they've had any infractions within a 10-year period.

We've heard that some of the reasons for this is that suspended drivers are driving, and I know that, I've attended accidents where there is a suspended driver. Usually we get to the accident scene and they're running away, and as a medic I couldn't understand why someone is running away from an accident and later I find out that in fact they had no licence, no insurance. So I know that it happens, but that's no reason, I think, to get rid of the lifetime ban. I think if there are options there that people can show that they have rehabilitated themselves, that they're infraction-free for a period of time and, you know, my first thought is 15 years or 10 years or even look at MADD's recommendations that they have on their commitments of changes that they'd like to see, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 1481]

I know the minister said he will look at this. I don't feel it needs to be in regulations; I think it needs to be in the legislation, well spelled out, because we know and I've had cases over the last number of years, some of the issues. The two that I referred to earlier, in both those cases the driver didn't know by pleading guilty that this was a lifetime ban and there was, I don't think, enough knowledge known on exactly what happens after each infraction. If it's in the legislation it's very clear, you know, there is no room for interpretation by the registrar, for example, who right now oversees this component of the Act, and if it's written in legislation then it's known - you get caught three, four, five times for drinking and driving you lose your licence for life. That's a strong statement.

But if you're an individual who recognizes your mistakes and you take the steps over a period of time, 10 years or more, to show society that you have changed, that you are a different person, that you made mistakes, that you could possibly look at getting reinstated for your driver's licence, but by no means I think, Mr. Speaker, we should see a removal of that lifetime ban. I think that it says a lot about the drinking and driving offence that we have here in the province, you know to young people it is you'll never drive again, and I think it can work to the advantage of not having someone get behind the wheel.

I remember the member previous speaking, he talked about the number of times potentially they've driven before they've gotten caught - I think you said around 20. I don't dispute that, I believe it's probably that and maybe even more because we know that there are a number of Nova Scotians who get caught for drinking and driving and it's their 10th, 11th , 12th time and it's just crazy that that happens in our society these days.

I do see a change, I think, having young children, their attitude around it is not like I think the attitude of my parents who, I'm sure at times, went to parties, got in the car and drove home with us in the back seat. I'm not saying anything that probably never happened to many of us here who are maybe over 40, Mr. Speaker, but there is a difference in that attitude, I think, today. I know I talk with my kids and their friends that drinking and driving is something we just don't do. The threat now for the new generation is the cellphone and texting. I think it is far beyond what we've seen in drinking and driving in young people years ago. That's really where we need to focus a lot of attention, I know it's addressed in here on the increase of fines for texting and driving and it's a challenge - it's a challenge for me, I'm working extremely hard not to do that, not to look at it, but you see that blinking red light on your BlackBerry and it's tempting.

[Page 1482]

The rule for my daughter now is her phone is in her purse - I said in the trunk and she has me convinced to leave it in the backseat. I'm still working on that one, and I don't know what my rules are going to be for her but I'm more fearful of that and the warnings I've given my daughter in the last two months have been on texting and cellphone use. If I see her or her friends, I'm fearful of that. That's where I've concentrated a lot of my time in the dialogue between my daughter and myself.

I hope the government sincerely looks at the recommendations and the concerns we're bringing up with this piece of legislation. It's a good piece of legislation, but it can be better. There's no reason, no reason at all, to delay any changes in this session with this bill the way it is right now. I think MADD Canada would applaud making it even better. They're not unreasonable asks. I think it's one that, as I said, we can bring the amendments forward, or the government can do it themselves at Law Amendments Committee or at Committee of the Whole House. I think it would really strengthen Bill No. 51. It will really send a message to not only Nova Scotians, but Canadians and people around the world that here we have a government, here we have MLAs in the House of Assembly in Nova Scotia who want to make sure that this piece of legislation passes, that it's the best piece of legislation that we can have.

There are no partisan politics, I believe, in this Bill No. 51. At times, there are bills that definitely we have differences of opinions on, but with this one, I think we all agree that we need to strengthen the laws in our province to ensure that our young people and older people are safe behind the wheel, that we deter people from making that wrong choice of getting behind the wheel if they're drinking. Ensuring that our young people who are learning how to drive have more exposure and learn how to make sure that they can respond to different conditions of driving that we see in the province. I hope that the government will move on that.

We won't block this from going to Law Amendments Committee. We want to hear - and I'm hoping that people come forward and that there are submissions made. I know I'll hopefully be hearing from constituents of mine on Bill No. 51. I'll be making sure that I bring some awareness around it to try to get some dialogue, because often what happens is we pass legislation in the session in the Legislature and people aren't really aware of it. It's our role as MLAs, as elected officials, to make sure our constituents know about this and that we seek their input on how to make legislation better.

With those comments, I sincerely, sincerely hope that the government responds to some of the concerns we have, that we see amendments come forward that strengthen this bill, make it even better, and I look forward to that happening as the process goes through the House. Thank you.

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

[Page 1483]

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before I begin, I beg permission to do an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : In the east gallery, I'd like to just do an introduction for my esteemed colleague to my left's father, Reg Rankin, District 12 councillor for the Municipality of Halifax for 23 years, and I'm sure a very proud father of this fellow whom I have to my left. (Applause)

Just to start off with, I'd like to maybe note that I - although maybe with the colour of my hair - can say that 1972 started my career with driving, I was involved in the Graduated Drivers Licence program at that time also, believe it or not. In 1972, the GDR that I had was my parents. I was forced immediately to start my driving career taking driver education. That was not the only requirement that they put on me; I had to be home every night by midnight. I had also a loving father who was the assistant manager of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation at that time in the town. He was a very good monitor of every single person that came into that small establishment, and I will say that maybe we were not the start of the Graduated Driver Licensing, we had it.

That point's one that I want to reflect that maybe we missed - it hasn't been noted here - parents taking a big responsibility in their children. Sometimes we have to put laws in place that act as parents, but I think we should all pause and reflect and think for one minute that a lot of these laws wouldn't be needed if parents took more responsibility for their children.

In saying that, I'd also like to reflect that not only as a child I was involved in a graduated driver program of my parents - I then went on and had three children that I watch very carefully, and now I'm sitting ready and waiting for my grandchildren. I have one who's four years away, believe it or not, from getting his driver's licence and it scares the daylights out of me.

I know that this legislation is a comfort blanket and that's what I see it as. I'm very proud to stand here today and talk about it. Motor vehicle collisions are one of the leading causes of death in this province. One-third of our youth are taken every year in that age group by motor vehicle accidents, and it sometimes is hard to imagine that we waited 20 years to do something with this legislation.

I think that I can stand here today very, very proud not only of our Premier and our minister, but I also would like to note my colleague from Hants East. This whole caucus at times has individuals within it, depending on the nature of the bill that is there - it's simply amazing how we bring the human factor to a bill to the floor of the House. I'd like to commend each and every one of my colleagues who has done that and particularly our colleague, the member for Hants East and the passion. I'm sure that this bill will continue to be a focus for our government down the road because of it.

[Page 1484]

There are certain aspects of this bill that I'm not going to go over - they've already been touched on by lots of members - but certainly extending the time limit from six months to 12 months is huge. I don't know of anybody who in six months, when you think of how much - well, maybe how much my parents let me have my car - how many opportunities you actually got to drive, let alone drive in those different situations. So 12 months is a big step. It certainly isn't going to infringe on any of the young people's opportunities and it is going to make a big difference. The blood alcohol for two years is certainly something I can't for one minute understand why we wouldn't be doing something like that.

The more contentious areas that I know have been brought up are around the - we've heard lots of discussion back and forth on the part of permit revocation of a driver's licence. I think sometimes we take bills and legislation a little bit too far and think that we can write in every single practical solution to our problems that we have in society into these bills. We should never eliminate the fact that common sense and human decisions are probably the strongest things we have in this world.

There are people, I'm sure, out there today who, in their youth, were a little bit crazy - I think there are probably a few of them in this Legislature today - and made mistakes. I don't think any one of us has the right to say that because you made a mistake back then, you can't be a good person today. (Applause) Giving the ability with the registrar to again use common sense, to use good guidelines and to make decisions that make sense, that aren't just simply black and white that do lose people in the middle of those decisions, I think that's important.

So removing the permanent revocation of a driver's licence I think is an important step. I think it allows us to be humans and it allows us to have a little bit of discretion in bills that sometimes we don't have. The Terry Naugles of this world will not get their driver's licences back; we know that and we feel comfortable about that.

Another thing that was raised that I'd like to note, which sometimes upsets me, is the mention that we as government do not do enough consulting with the general public on this. I've heard it on different bills and I've heard it on this bill, and I just would like to point out some facts for the members on the other side of the House. Ongoing consultation has taken place with the Road Safety Advisory Committee in regard to this bill, and that was comprised of members of government departments, NGOs, and enforcement committees, as well as the private sector.

The mandate of the Road Safety Advisory Committee is to provide strategic advice based on evidence and best practices surrounding road safety issues. They engaged with the Insurance Bureau of Canada, Communications, TIR, the Department of Seniors, Safety Services Nova Scotia, Service Nova Scotia, Motor Carrier Division TIR, Child Safety Link, Dalhousie University - Community Health and Epidemiology, the Nova Scotia Road Safety Youth Committee, the Department of Health and Wellness, the Department of Justice, RCMP Traffic Services, Nova Scotia Police Chiefs, Injury Free Nova Scotia, and the Workers' Compensation Board, and in May 2004, the committee also met with the safety youth camp held in Cape Breton.

[Page 1485]

I think that's consultation, and I can't understand why we always get criticized that we're not consulting. I'd just like to point that out for everybody. I think, if anything, this is a government that stands over the last year and will continue to stand for the next three years as one that truly does consult and listen and talk. (Applause)

One comment that was made that I must say I really did appreciate from the member for Sackville-Cobequid was in regard to cellphones. We don't speak enough about that. I stand on the road today, every day, and I wish I could write a ticket for every single person that I've seen with a cellphone in their hand. To me, it is one of the biggest growing threats that we have. I'm glad to see, and I'm very proud to see, that our minister has increased the fines in that area. We will hopefully be getting more convictions in that area to cut that down.

Mr. Speaker, I think everything that needs to be said about this bill has been said. I'm very proud to be part of a government that has finally started to bring some of these things forward, these safety issues that take our youth. We talk about our youth going out west. There is one thing that is even worse than that, and that's losing them at a young age. With those few words, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

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

MR. ALLAN ROWE « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to rise for a few moments to speak to Bill No. 51, perhaps from a very slightly different perspective. Certainly, as my colleague has just mentioned, there are many people in this Legislature who are perhaps far more qualified and far more able than I to speak to this matter, but I did think there were some things that are worth mentioning.

Anyone who knows me knows that I consider this House such a privilege and an honour to be able to stand and to work in. The jobs that we do here each and every day are paramount - setting the laws, the legislation, and the acts that guide our citizens and help our constituents. As far as I'm concerned, there can be no greater Act, no greater legislation or amendment, than one that might actually prevent an injury or save a life. (Applause) That's the legislation that we're all discussing here today, and we're all trying to improve and move forward.

I think Bill No. 51 is an extremely important step. It's a step forward in the right direction. All we are ever trying to do is protect ourselves, our children, and our children's children, and anything we can do to improve upon that is something that is worth doing.

[Page 1486]

Like my colleague for Clare-Digby, I got my licence in 1972, and my graduation - it was my mom who taught me how to drive, actually, and she did a fairly good job. I grew up in southern Ontario, and that's where I learned to drive, so it was between Hamilton and Toronto. You got very quickly how to negotiate many multi-lanes of traffic and all sorts of weather conditions at any point in time. But having said that, as good as I thought I was at 16 and 17 and 18, I certainly ran into my share of very close calls. Quite frankly, it was because of things that I didn't know how to do properly, or because I lacked the experience to really deal with properly. So I think extending the period of time when people are under the learner's permit is something that is extremely beneficial.

My colleague, the member for Clare-Digby and I, we share another hobby. It's a passion of ours and it's motorcycling. I've been a motorcycle enthusiast for over 40 years as well. We're both proud Harley-Davidson owners and I know there are a couple of other colleagues in the House as well. That brings a rather unique perspective as well, and my colleague and I have talked about this many times. As a motorcycle driver you are so always aware of the potential to not just be harmed, but to lose your life at any second. Every single other vehicle on the road has the potential to end your life and perhaps the passenger or the other riders who are going with you.

So you become ever-vigilant to every other driver and it's constantly in your head, and I'm sure my colleague will attest - I see him kind of nodding in agreement - it's constantly in your mind, is that driver approaching me impaired in any way, be it by drugs, be it by liquor, be it by their lack of experience? That's constantly in your mind, and it should be in the minds of every single person who's driving a vehicle on the road, not just those who are on motorcycles. This kind of legislation moves things forward and tries to help us improve upon those kinds of things, but I think it's important that all of us are aware of that.

My colleague mentioned his grandchildren. I too have grandchildren. I think back to seatbelts, actually. In 1972 in southern Ontario, seatbelts weren't even mandatory back then. Many cars didn't even have them. The seatbelt law came in and there was such an uproar. People were buckling them behind their backs and behind the seats. I'm not wearing that; you can't make me wear seatbelts. Now our grandchildren at the age of 4 and 5 and 6 years old get in the back seat of the car and remind everybody, seatbelts.

That's what this legislation is intending and trying to achieve when it comes to zero BAC for our younger drivers: instilling in them right from the beginning the importance of zero tolerance for drinking and driving so that that becomes not just something they're thinking about - it becomes the norm, the way of life and something they'll carry through the rest of their lives behind the wheel and hopefully pass on to their children as well. (Applause)

[Page 1487]

Our colleagues across the floor, a couple of our colleagues, are certainly involved directly, or have been, with the health care system as paramedics and I applaud them at every opportunity for the fine and outstanding work they do in that field. I was a journalist for over 30 years and as a reporter, we too would unfortunately come across scenes of injury, destruction and death all too often. We would film those and unfortunately have to watch those, very often, over and over again. It reminds you so dramatically of how important it is to do anything and everything we can at every opportunity to try and prevent injury and save lives.

The last thing I do want to address is the fact that over my life, what I have learned is that it's best to leave what I don't know to those who do know and let them handle it. When it comes to this legislation, I think there is no person certainly in this Legislature and certainly no person that I know - I personally have never been directly impacted by an impaired driving incident. I'm very fortunate to be able to say that, myself and my immediate family. But my very good colleague to my left for Hants East is probably the most qualified person, certainly in this room and certainly that I know, to be able to speak to this legislation, to be able to speak to our minister and to be able to address the issues that she feels needs to be made that can move us forward.

I assure you that I am confident enough to know that I can stand in this House and know that when my colleague has spoken to our minister, the two of them are doing what is absolutely necessary and what is absolutely best under the current situations that we have to move our province forward and to help save lives and prevent injury. I applaud both of them in every aspect. We have to move forward prudently and wisely. We have to know that what we are doing is not only going to achieve the goals, i.e. reducing injuries and loss of life, but also is going to allow our police officers to enforce it, but also enforce knowing they have the court's support behind them. That's why sometimes things have to be taken slowly and have to be moved forward. I can assure everyone that we are all together on all sides trying to move this forward.

I know our minister has been taking notes. I know he listens. I know certainly my colleague to my left is one of the most valuable pieces of information on this particular bill. I just want to assure everyone that I am confident we are moving in the right direction. We can do more and we will do more to save and protect all Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to stand and say a few words. I listened attentively to the member for Digby-Clare, and talking about the consultative side of bill making. A lot of times, I guess you would call bill making a bit of sausage making at times where you take a whole bunch of ideas and you try to mash it all together in order to come up with a comprehensive piece of legislation that we can all stand behind and support.

[Page 1488]

This bill is one of those incidences where all sides of this House would like to come together and say yes, this is the right thing to do, and I think any time we can talk about drinking and driving, or we can talk about making sure that our youth have an opportunity to learn correctly, to instill those habits to be better drivers through their driving careers, then we should all be for it. But what I came down to when I was listening to the member for Digby-Clare (Interruption) Clare-Digby, thank you. The consultative side of things is where I think governments, not just this one, but other governments have made the same mistake.

When we want something, of course, for everybody to stand behind, why not consult with the Opposition Parties a little ahead of time? What normally happens in this House, and maybe it's by design, is that we find out about a bill an hour before it's introduced in the House of Assembly. We get a briefing, sometimes by the minister's staff, a lot of times that we run out of time and that doesn't actually happen. So all I'm asking, we do support the bill, we have a question I think around the issue of the four strikes issue, but that's something we can talk about and learn about as this process goes through the House of Assembly.

What I'm asking of the ministers here today, of the departments that are here today, is if you've got a bill that's as good as this one, why not talk to us a little ahead of time to make sure that when we do stand in this House that there is no negativity when it comes towards it? It's not us taking opposition to anything that's in the bill because it has already been discussed and fought through and understood. We don't have to come here and be accused that we were not part of a consultation process, that we don't have to say hey, we were left out of a consultation process, that we are here as legislators, because we're all legislators, we're not just government, this is government, this is Opposition.

When a bill like this comes forward we should all be proud of it coming forward. My plea is simply this, and this is to the minister, the staff, to everybody who is listening: if we have something like this that's important to all of our constituents that is a common- sense piece and common sense would dictate that we all know about it, that we all help it come along, not just at the last minute that we have an opportunity to say a few words on it and then hope that it is the right thing to do.

With those few words I can say that I generally support what I see in this bill because I know only what I see in front of me. Of course we'll have to see as it goes through the rest of the process of the House. We'll see, as the Law Amendments Committee comes along, the comments of the community as it flows along. If there are some edits I hope the government is open to amendments if there needs to be. It would have been nice to do maybe some amendments before we got here, but hopefully there will be that feeling of making this the best piece of legislation that it can possibly be.

With those short few words, I thank you for the opportunity to stand and speak to this important bill.

[Page 1489]

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

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would be happy to do that. I would just like to react to a few comments with respect to Bill No. 51 from members from all sides of the House. First and foremost I think we generally get the feeling that Bill No. 51 is supported, which is a good thing. I, again, am very proud of the member for Hants East and arriving here today is a significant thing. We're certainly happy as a government and I know the members of our caucus and all sides of the House are proud of where we are with Bill No. 51, and again, we keep repeating there's more work to be done. We also are certainly looking forward to the Law Amendments Committee.

This is about engagement and it really is about consultation. We take our lead from RSAC, which is the Road Safety Advisory Committee. The member for Digby-Clare mentioned the list . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Clare-Digby.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : Clare-Digby, sorry - a little sensitive this morning, member. We take the experts in the field, and I've said many times on many issues with respect to Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, our department and our functions - I'm not an expert in a lot of these areas, so the process allows the people who are experts to have input and have their say and democratically create a bill that does real things for real people. It's certainly a good process, and again the member has been part of that.

The Opposition House Leader mentioned consultation. Now, one of the pieces obviously - he would know very well about the process of the Act and legislation versus the regulations. A lot of the meat will be developed in the regulations in terms of some of the rules around faint hope, some of the rules around the BAC for supervisory drivers and other pieces of it. Certainly, we would enjoy the opportunity for a representative from each caucus - I know that we have our representative, without question - but if the other two Parties wanted to have a member take a look at the regulations as they're developed, provide feedback, bring it back to their respective caucuses, we're okay with that. We're wide open here, so I think that's a deal. (Applause)

I'll take this opportunity before we close debate just to address two specific issues that have been commonplace with the Opposition comments. The first one is with respect to the supervisory driver. I want to make it very clear that we don't disagree with the notion that a supervisory driver would have a blood alcohol content. There truly is an issue of enforceability and the consultation - we're talking about consultation - we would like the opportunity to have a real specific consultation with peace officers, with those who enforce these rules.

[Page 1490]

There is a challenge before the courts of B.C. on this very topic - what rights do the police officers have, what rights do our governments have, to check a driver who is not operating the vehicle? Now there are other jurisdictions that have this in play, and they are watching very closely for the same determination, based on the court process. It's somewhat futile to bring in legislation that isn't enforceable, that we'd have to overturn anyway.

In fairness, when we developed these recommendations through RSAC, it's a long process. There are a number of phases. Again, we keep repeating, these are pieces that we could do quickly and have a direct impact on, but this isn't the end. This was part of the process that we would continue to look at something like the BAC for supervisory drivers and make those changes should they be enforceable. That's part of the process and certainly there is a consultation there.

This is only the beginning on that piece, and I know that it's one that we'll hear from the Opposition. We'll certainly hear it from Law Amendments Committee. But again, this is a legality issue; it isn't a disagreement. We don't think that this doesn't make sense. It's about how we put it in our laws and put it in the regulations so it's enforceable.

With respect to the faint hope clause, Mr. Speaker, as the members can imagine and as Nova Scotians can imagine, when you talk about reinstating licences that were not subject to reinstatement before, we know what the issues become. It becomes about the monsters of society who choose to break these laws continually. We have no place for them. That's what the Criminal Code is for. They shouldn't be driving. Those privileges shouldn't be there for those individuals who make those decisions, but this isn't about them.

The concern for us - and obviously it's living and breathing today - is that we define the faint hope clause by these folks who make a decision consciously to drive without a licence, and drive and put other people's lives in jeopardy. This is what the faint hope clause is about. As the member for Hants East indicated, 75 per cent of drivers who lose their licence forever with no chance of reinstatement, they drive. So we have uninsured, unregistered drivers who are out there on the same roads that we are, those of us who follow the laws. That is a problem. If anyone had the benefit of listening to Andrew Murie yesterday from MADD Canada, he was very clear and very articulate on this point. MADD Canada supports the idea that people will never get these licences back. These repeat offenders will go through the process through the registrar and they will never get their licence back. It will not happen, without question. (Applause)

This is the part of it. Certainly, this is about people who have been rehabilitated with respect to the law. We all get correspondence from those who made mistakes early who want to get their licence back. This is something that they would have to apply to get into the program, complete the program and then have the question before the registrar to be reinstated.

[Page 1491]

There are a number of stages that they would have to go through once they're accepted. There would be an interlock program, obviously. When we talked about the regulations for this type of bill, interlock is something that our government supports for the duration of their driving career. So these folks who would be reinstated are subject to interlock.

The fortunate thing about the situation is that science has caught up to what we need in terms of legislation, so we have an interlock program. It is impossible to operate a vehicle without utilizing that system. That's important. That's the science that supports what we're trying to do here. So when you're talking about those who have been rehabilitated, it's good that they have this opportunity.

There will be a long way to go, and I want to be clear that it won't be an inexpensive way to go for those folks, but this is the process that we have. They will go through this process, and should they get their licence back by the decisions of the registrar, they will have travelled a number of hurdles to get there. Those who will never see that process are the criminals that don't deserve it, quite frankly. The process is very, very rigid, and this is about those uninsured, unregistered drivers.

We don't want to lose sight of the fact that this is about other people. I know the high-profile stories frighten people, but when you look at the science, when you look at the data, when you look at what MADD Canada is telling us, they don't want drivers that are criminals behind the wheel. But there is room for rehabilitation, and we want these people under our control via interlock, via medical reports, via their addiction counsellors saying that they're okay to complete these programs and participate. So there are a lot of steps there, for sure.

So those are the two issues. I know that they will come up again. Certainly, the member and I will sit in on the Law Amendments Committee. We want to hear directly from Nova Scotians, what they have to say. Again, we believe this is good legislation, and we're proud of it.

I just want to make reference - and this is not going to get political. This isn't a political sabre-rattling day, but I really hope that if we're going to do this, as suggested by the members opposite, then we do it in earnest and take the politics and the story and the message from the media, and what gets portrayed - who's the winner and who's the loser - coming from the message in the Legislature.

There has been significant legislation on the books that has never been enacted. This is not an attack on the Opposition. This is just the way it is. We cleaned up that legislation that was never enacted so we could tailor it and implement it here with Bill No. 51. The rules around GDL have been on our books, never enacted, since 2007. There have been rules brought in by the previous government in 2010 with respect to cellphone usage with the demerit points and the fines. They were never brought into legislation. It's not my place, it's not my judgment, to say why they were or weren't brought in, but this is what we're doing as our government. This was a decision we made.

[Page 1492]

Mr. Speaker, one of the members talked about common sense, and how this is a matter of life and death. It certainly is. These rules that would have made a difference and will make a difference were on the books, and we're now enacting them into law. That's what this is about.

I appreciate the comments from the members opposite. If we're going to do this together, let's do this together. This will save lives. It will keep Nova Scotians safer on our roadways. There's no reason that we can't do this together. The comments and the concerns that the Opposition brought forward will be addressed by our government and by the processes that we have. This is a good day for Nova Scotians. It will keep drivers safer, and again, this is only the beginning. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 51. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 52.

Bill No. 52 - Consumer Protection Act and Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the opportunity to stand and speak on second reading. I move that Bill No. 52, an Act to Amend Chapter 92 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Consumer Protection Act, and Chapter 6 of the Acts of 2006, the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act, be now read for a second time.

It's my pleasure to rise in the House today to speak to this repeal and amendment. Mr. Speaker, in May 2012, government passed Fairness in Cellular Telephone Contracts provisions under the Consumer Protection Act to protect consumers in the absence of federal action. Today I'm introducing amendments that will allow government to repeal that legislation and amend the Consumer Protection Act and Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act to preserve protections against cyberbullying. Nova Scotia cellphone users are currently protected by provincial cellphone legislation under the Consumer Protection Act and federal Wireless Code recently released by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. The provincial legislation only applies to contracts made on or after the effective date of May 1, 2013.

[Page 1493]

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians want strong, reliable, and transparent cellphone contracts - we understand their concerns and their needs and we're meeting them. As of June 3, 2015, the new federal Wireless Code will apply to all cellphone contracts, no matter when they began; therefore the provincial provisions will no longer be necessary.

Under the new code consumers will have strong protections and streamlined regulations will make it easier for businesses to operate in Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, the code covers areas addressed in the provincial legislation, except for the cyberbullying provision, with a few updates. They include: allowing customers to have a 15-day trial period to ensure the service meets their needs; providing caps on monthly charges - $100 for roaming and $50 for overage use or charges; putting rules in place to govern prepaid service contracts; and companies must give customers the ability to unlock their phone at a specified price.

Mr. Speaker, this is a national code, so consumers will receive the same protections if they move from province to province. As a cellphone user, it is important to be a responsible digital citizen and know what to do if you experience cyberbullying. An important part of this amendment will see the cyberbullying provision move to the Consumer Protection Act and Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act. Moving a section of this Act is the only change made to the cyber safety initiatives; all the current regulations and practices will remain in place.

Mr. Speaker, this amendment requires cellphone companies to continue to distribute educational materials on responsible cellphone use, most importantly, cyberbullying. This change will assist the Department of Justice in their cyber safety initiatives. Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians will continue to be protected under provincial cell phone rules until the federal Wireless Code applies to all Nova Scotia cellphone contracts this coming June. Having one set of cellphone rules nationally will improve transparency and accountability and will bring greater clarity to consumers and cellphone companies.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks and look forward to comments from my colleagues.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I recall when the previous government put forth legislation in this Legislature around these rules that are being brought forth, certainly at the time the minister stated there was federal inaction, but I do recall hearing from industry at the time who was wanting to ensure that rules would be uniform across the country and was cautioning against the action of the government at the time in their efforts certainly to help consumers - they cautioned, why not wait until the rules are uniform across the country and there's an opportunity for the federal government to make that happen through that level of government?

[Page 1494]

So, Mr. Speaker, I know the government of the day, there's certainly nothing wrong with rushing to do a good thing and I know this legislation is largely about harmonizing with the new federal laws, but I think to say that there was federal inaction, I don't think that is really fair.

In short, we do certainly agree with this legislation; we will be supporting it. I think it's a good thing for Nova Scotians and it will help clarify issues around cellphone contracts. Many people, as you know, Mr. Speaker, have cellphones - that's why recently we have a change in area code and we have to dial an extra three digits when we make calls in this province. Because there are so many people using cellphones, over time there's a need to put in protections for them. More and more seniors are starting to have cellphones and it's important to make consumer options more well-known so we can put people's minds at ease, to ensure they're being treated fairly.

Allowing a 15-day trial period to make sure services meet someone's needs is helpful, as oftentimes people are wary about signing a multi-year contract only to find out they have spotty service where they live. Certainly, there are rural areas in the province. I know in the area I represent, we have a very beautiful area, but it also makes it very challenging in terms of being able to provide and for people to be able to appreciate good cell service.

More people are making the transition from having a landline to relying solely on cellphones. As this trend continues, it will important to protect Nova Scotians from policies and fees that may not be fair to them. Our caucus is in full support of this bill and we look forward to seeing the changes come into effect in June. Thank you.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, as a caucus, we do recognize the need to ensure that our legislation that we have on the books reflects what is happening on a more national level. I too want to associate myself with the minister's comments on the need for the legislation that was enacted back in 2013, because we felt at that time, as a caucus, as government, that the federal government wasn't acting quickly enough to address a serious issue that we heard from many, many Nova Scotians, and that was the fact that some of these cellphone contracts really shackled individuals to that one provider. That's what we heard time and time again, that there needed to be some protection for consumers in Nova Scotia.

I could be corrected on this, but I believe we were one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to bring this type of legislation forward, and it was well received. I know I received a number of correspondence, phone calls and thanks for bringing something like a protection for contracts that individuals have entered into to try to make sure that they're protected and that they weren't being taken advantage of.

[Page 1495]

Cellphones, as indicated earlier, are probably one of the fastest-growing areas of consumer buying. I know my kids all - there are four cellphones in my house now. It's important to make sure that the legislation that we have reflects protection for consumers. We just need to watch some of the media and W5 and other stories about roaming charges and excessive bills that people have received and weren't aware of some of the details in the contract, because you enter an establishment, you sign up for a cellphone, you get it, now most of the time you don't even have to put any money out - you can receive the latest phone, it's billed to you and away you go. There was a need.

One of my concerns was that why are we seeing the repeal of this now prior to June 2015, because I want to make sure that we're continuing to be protected. I know the minister commented on that, saying that nothing will happen with this legislation until the federal piece of legislation comes into effect in June, which I appreciate. I want to ensure that there is no loss of protection here in Nova Scotia. We'll be able to tell over the next number of months exactly if the federal provisions really protect the consumers in Nova Scotia like the current piece of legislation that we have.

The cyber-safety initiative is, I know, at the top of mind of many members in the House. It's important that we continue to ensure that especially our young people are protected around the Internet and the use of the Internet. It's not just, of course, computers at home - of course, now all our phones are really mini-computers.

I look forward to continuing to support initiatives that protect our residents here in Nova Scotia, both on the consumer side and around the cyber-safety side of things. I look forward to this piece of legislation moving through the process. Thank you.

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

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I stand today to say a few words on Bill No. 52. This may be the first time that I stand up, and it is, actually, Mr. Speaker, so that won't throw me off this time.

I want to talk about the cellphone side of this. Those who know me know that I actually worked in the cellphone industry for over 10 years. I actually started working in the cellphone industry when the only thing that was around was pagers, and I watched it transform from pagers to what we used to call the brick phones, and from there to digital services. I've seen first-hand a lot of the changes that have happened over the last decade, decade and a half, when it comes to cellphones. I've seen it first-hand and I've seen and heard why the decisions were made.

[Page 1496]

I want to say why I support this bill. There are numerous reasons why I actually support this bill, but one of the reasons I want to speak about is around cancellation fees. For someone who probably took thousands and thousands of calls over the years working at MT&T and then later on Aliant, one of the biggest concerns you would hear is around the cancellation fees and the lack of understanding of how they are actually calculated and why they're calculated.

This bill gives a lot of clarity to what you can expect with regard to cancellation fees. We've gone from a 36-month amortization down to a 24 month. After 24 months the bill will not allow for any more charges when it comes to cancellation fees. What this bill is actually doing is it's putting us in line - the Nova Scotia regulations will no longer exist, we'll be in line - with the federal regulations so there will be some continuity right across Canada we hope. If you have a cellphone in Nova Scotia it will be no different than cellphones in Ontario.

One of the complaints that when I worked in the industry we heard a lot of was the different "benefits and perks" that people were seeing in different parts of Canada. This will actually add a lot of clarity with regard to cancellation fees.

One of the big things that I actually like about this bill, once this bill is implemented, one of the federal regulations that I really enjoy is the limit on data and roaming charges. This is actually quite big, I've actually seen cellphone bills in the thousands and tens of thousands because people had no understanding of the roaming fees and how they work, and the data fees.

Once phones went from something that you used to call your friend to something that you used to call, text, e-mail, surf the Internet, pay your bills, a lot of different charges were put out there and a lot of different charges went on your cellphone bill. One of the biggest concerns was the data charges. As of right now, the federal government, with their legislation, there's a limit of $100 for data charges and a limit of $50 for roaming charges.

What this actually does is it allows people to budget for their cellphones, not be surprised or scared when their cellphone bill comes in. They know what the maximum will now be. I'm not joking when I say that I've seen cellphone bills like thousands, and over $10,000, because people don't understand and they don't read the contracts. The reason why I mentioned the contract is I think we all have signed a cellphone contract in our life - has anyone read it? Has anyone actually read a cellphone contract?

That was part of what my job was, to know these contracts back and forth. I can tell you that my colleague, the member for Dartmouth South - one of the things he's very passionate about is plain language. I can tell you that this is something that is being brought in under this legislation. The federal legislation now will call for plain language when it comes to these contracts so you can understand what you're signing, so you know what you're signing so there are no surprises.

[Page 1497]

That is a big thing, because one of the more common complaints or concerns that we had gotten over the years when I had the privilege to work for MT&T, and later on Aliant, was, I didn't know that was in my contract, or I didn't understand that. I didn't see that in my contract. Have you seen the size of this contract? Now, people will be able to understand what is in that contract and they'll know what they're getting into.

Some of the other benefits of using the federal legislation is the 15-day trial period. Now, most of us when we purchase something - and a cellphone is a large purchase. I think the upfront cost of a cellphone, we see a lot of these $0 or $49 cellphones, but make no mistake about it, it is a large purchase, it is a large commitment. I think when I left the industry, the average cellphone bill in Nova Scotia was somewhere close to $100 a month. That's $1,200 a year and upwards, so it is a large purchase.

I just recently purchased a new car, they let me take it for a test drive. There is some time to take it back if you're not satisfied with the product. That was never the way with cellphones. For some reason, cellphones were exempt from this. The moment you signed that contract, the moment you put that cellphone in your hand, it was yours, for better or for worse. I have seen people fight and fight and fight because the cellphone they purchased did not work, or the cellphone they purchased was not what they were expecting, or you walk out the door and you drop your cellphone - cellphone's damaged. What do you do? You go back to the store and you say, my cellphone's damaged. It used to be, well, you bought it, it's yours. Now what we have is a 15-day return policy, which, to be quite honest with you, is something that should have been put in from day one.

That is one of the things that is also coming in. Now this, for the technology junkie in me, is actually one of the things that I really love about falling under the federal guidelines - it is the unlocking of a cellphone after 90 days. So for those of you who may not fully understand the effect or what this will actually do, there are only two major providers in Canada; it's Rogers and - or actually there are three, sorry, because Telus actually is out West now. That's going back 10 years when there were only two. So there are just a handful of providers.

There are contracts between cellphone companies. For example, here in Nova Scotia, you can buy a Telus phone, but it actually runs off of a different system. You can buy a Fido phone, but that actually does not run off a Fido system; it runs off a different provider's system.

One of the things that we used to get, one of the concerns we used to get, was somebody would go on Kijiji or they'd go on - I don't know if people still use eBay - but Kijiji or eBay or the local newspaper ads - you can tell I don't buy things very often. I'm pretty cheap. They would buy a Telus phone and they would say, well, I know it runs off of this system here. I want to use it on that system. Well, you can't. Why? Because it's locked.

[Page 1498]

For some people, they would go in and they would figure out a way to unlock it themselves. Sometimes that caused potential damage, so there goes your warranty. Your phone, if they found out that this phone was a Telus, Aliant or Rogers phone and it wasn't on the proper system, they would not give you any type of service at all because for some reason, under their policies, it was deemed wrongful to be able to - I guess the word that we used to say is - tamper with their merchandise. But like I said, you purchased that phone. You should be able to put it on any system that it's capable of being under. Under this federal legislation, these phones, after 90 days and being fully paid off, you can now have these phones unlocked and be able to use it on any system that it is capable of being used on.

This can also work for - we'll use the iPhones for example, we all know that when an iPhone comes out they are quickly snapped up and some people have a hard time finding iPhones, so this could work in that way where you could purchase an iPhone for a certain cellular provider, have it unlocked and use it for a different cellular provider. So it actually allows for some flexibility for the consumer and I think in the end this bill is about flexibility, it's about understanding, and it is about knowing that there are fair policies straight across Canada, and that because we're Nova Scotian we are no different than any other province and we get the same treatment as everyone else.

Mr. Speaker, as I said, I've worked in the industry for quite a long time, and I could tell you a million stories on how this would benefit the consumer and all Nova Scotians, but I will take my seat here and I'd just like to say that I think this is an outstanding bill and it's one that should have been in place a long time ago. With that, I thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to make a couple of very brief comments in response to the comments of my colleagues. I believe, as the member for Inverness identified, the harmonization of this legislation truly is the best model and, we believe, appropriate to protect consumers, and consistency across multiple governments.

There was also some discussion from my colleague for Sackville-Cobequid with regard to consumer protection and previous legislation that was brought in. The legislation that the previous government brought in was an appropriate first step and I think my colleagues in the House would agree that to retain that type of legislation would simply provide duplication and confusion for consumers. The objective here is to provide harmonization, to recognize the appropriate consumer protection components, and to ensure that future use of cellphones is recognized as an important communication tool in today's society, how important it is that we support that, and we believe this legislation is in the best interests of those involved, both industry and consumer protection.

[Page 1499]

Mr. Speaker, with that I close debate on Bill No. 52. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 52. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Law Amendments.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I do just want to remind the members present that there is a brief ceremony planned at the cenotaph that all members are urged to attend. The Premier and the Leaders of the two Opposition Parties will be in attendance, it is my understanding. We are aiming to have that happen at 12:15 p.m.

I'd also remind all members that next week begins the rest of our lives with respect to the new House Rules and the meeting of the Law Amendments Committee at a fairly fixed time on Monday, and new House hours beginning on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise, to meet again on Tuesday, October 28th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. At that time we will call Government Business, Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 58, 59 and 60. We will call Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 24 and 61, as well as Public Bills for Third Reading, Bill Nos. 5, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again on Tuesday, October 28th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 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.

We stand adjourned until Tuesday, October 28th, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 11:56 a.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 1500]

RESOLUTION NO. 429

By: Hon. Maureen MacDonald « » (Interim Leader of the New Democratic Party)

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

Whereas Siloën Daley has worked on a number of successful television shows, movies, and animated shorts, and lives in the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas Siloën Daley received the Best Atlantic Animation Award for her work on Sun Tower at the 2014 Atlantic Film Festival; and

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Siloën Daley on being chosen as the 2014 winner of the Best Atlantic Animation Award and express its appreciation for her contribution and commitment to Halifax and its arts community.

RESOLUTION NO. 430

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 Ryan MacDonald, a Pictou County cyclist, represented Team Canada and finished in the quarter final at the Challenge Sprint Pro Cycling Event in Quebec; and

Whereas the cycling event consists of two 200-kilometre races, one in Montreal and one in Quebec City, with contestants from 18 world tour teams; and

Whereas Ryan practises 15 to 20 hours per week, and races about 50 days out of the year in Canada and the United States;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Ryan MacDonald on his strong finish at the Quebec cycling event and wish him well as he considers his goal of turning pro.

RESOLUTION NO. 431

[Page 1501]

By: Mr. Larry Harrison « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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

Whereas Tyler Medaglia of Brookfield finished in third place in the Rockstar Energy Drink Motocross National Series in August; and

Whereas Mr. Medaglia, with two teammates, represented Team Canada in the 2014 Motocross of Nations in Latvia; and

Whereas Team Canada accomplished a 17th overall finish;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Tyler Medaglia on his successes in these two events and wish him further success.

RESOLUTION NO. 432

By: Mr. Tim Houston « » (Pictou East)

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

Whereas Jim Fraser of Sunnybrae finds inspiration when he sees a life story of hard work and hard times on the face of a stranger; and

Whereas in these faces Jim sees their struggles and is inspired to put pencil to paper, a hobby that he hopes will turn into an occupation; and

Whereas this self-taught artist currently has an exhibit at Eventide Art Hub;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jim Fraser for pursuing his passion and striving every day to be the best he can be while following his dream.

RESOLUTION NO. 433

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

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

Whereas 86-year-old writer Phil Organ released his book Little One at a book signing in Sydney recently; and

[Page 1502]

Whereas the book is about an ant's adventures in her colony and her discovery of the wider world; and

Whereas Phil left North Sydney years ago, served in Korea and travelled the work working on construction jobs and a lot of his life experiences have been transformed into this book;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Phil Organ on this book Little One and wish him success with future books.

RESOLUTION NO. 434

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

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

Whereas this year marks the 30th Anniversary of the annual Northside Artists' Association Art Show; and

Whereas dedicated individuals such as this year's organizers Erma Carmichael and Cassie MacLeod have kept the show afloat in St. John's Anglican Church for the past 30 years; and

Whereas Linda Fougere and an army of volunteers through the years have shown hundreds of pieces of art from local artists that are enjoyed by the greater community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank all the organizers of this art show for their community service over 30 years.

RESOLUTION NO. 435

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

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

Whereas the Newman family from North Sydney will be taking their two daughters to Orlando, Florida thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Atlantic Provinces; and

Whereas Ava Newman was born with a rare congenital heart defect and has had four surgeries at the IWK in her six year life; and

[Page 1503]

Whereas the Make-A-Wish Foundation is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, with a wish granted globally every 38 minutes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the miracles they provide and wish the Newmans a wonderful Florida trip.

RESOLUTION NO. 436

By: Hon. Pat Dunn « » (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas Pictou County native Stirling MacLean, President and Chief Operation Officer of WearWell Garments in Stellarton, continues with the business founded by his father in 1970; and

Whereas WearWell Garments is a manufacturer and supplier of work apparel, shipping to all points across Canada; and

Whereas Stirling and his workforce were recently honoured by the Resource Recovery Fund Board for helping make Nova Scotia a leader in waste reduction, recycling and composting;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stirling and his staff at Wear Well Garments in Stellarton as this year's Small Business of the Year for the 16th annual Mobius Awards of Environmental Excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 437

By: Mr. John Lohr « » (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Association of Architects held the annual architectural design awards competition to recognize outstanding architectural design by its members; and

Whereas Canning architect Lisa Tondino won a Lieutenant Governor's 2013 Citation in Architectural Design Award for her adaption of a barnlike structure transformed into a richly textured two- storey dwelling; and

[Page 1504]

Whereas Ms. Tondino's company, Houdinidesign, focuses on well-crafted, sustainable and small, community based architecture;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Lisa Tondino for this award.

RESOLUTION NO. 438

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

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

Whereas Greg Dobson, having undergone two heart surgeries, created and executed the inaugural Jordan Boyd Celebrity Hockey Challenge in memory of his brother, a rising hockey star from Bedford who passed away suddenly due to cardiac arrest at the age of 16; and

Whereas , having secured professional hockey players Brad Marchand, James Sheppard, Shawn O'Donnell, Zach Sill, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Darren Rumble, and Nathan MacKinnon, as well as donated ice time from the Bedford BMO Centre, Greg partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, signed major corporate sponsors, engaged a host of volunteers, and publicized the fundraiser; and

Whereas this event, held on August 2nd, 2014, raised $108,000, with proceeds shared by the foundation and the Jordan Boyd Leadership Award Fund, which supports recipients' post-secondary education;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Greg Dobson on an outstanding event and on plans for continued fundraising to make a difference in cardiovascular health and in memory of his younger brother.

RESOLUTION NO. 439

By: Mr. Allan MacMaster « » (Inverness)

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

Whereas Meghan Gillis left Nova Scotia to complete high school at a U.S. prep school, with her eye on a career playing hockey at an American University , almost 15 years ago; and

[Page 1505]

Whereas Gillis achieved that goal, being named conference Rookie of the Y ear, three-time conference All-Star, and even being honoured as an All-American along the way; and

Whereas Gillis appears to have translated her ice hockey success into a successful coaching career, recently guiding her Williams College women's hockey team to a conference championship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly celebrate the hard work and dedication Meghan Gillis showed in her playing days, and continues to show now as she has refocused her efforts on coaching hockey.

RESOLUTION NO. 440

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Tyler Graves is a student at Lockview High and a member of Cheema Aquatic Club; and

Whereas Tyler, a member of the national team, received notice that he was named to the Canadian squad for the upcoming Canadian Canoe/Kayak Marathon Championships in Oklahoma; and

Whereas Tyler is successfully balancing the training required of a highly-skilled athlete, school, and work;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Tyler on achieving this honour and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 441

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas brothers Sam and Max Humphreys of Fall River, two young actors, were each nominated for a prestigious Young Artist Award, which recognizes the contribution of performers under the age of 21 in the field of film, television, theatre, and music; and

[Page 1506]

Whereas Sam and Max were nominated ahead of hundreds of other young actors across Canada and the United States; and

Whereas Sam, 13, and Max, 15, are successfully juggling their schoolwork and acting projects;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sam and Max Humphreys on this nomination and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 442

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Juliana and Sophia Lawrence, sisters, participated in the first "Super Hair-oes" event held at Ash Lee Jefferson Elementary School in Fall River; and

Whereas Juliana and Sophia came up with the idea to donate their hair to Wigs for Cancer after hearing about the plight of their teacher, who had just purchased a wig for her mother, who is fighting cancer; and

Whereas Juliana and Sophia were happy to donate the eight inches of beautiful hair during what is hoped to be the first of many "Super Hair-oes" events at Ash Lee Jefferson;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Juliana and Sophia for their act of kindness and for becoming role models for the other students.

RESOLUTION NO. 443

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Lauren Miller is an Academic and Athletic honour graduate from Lockview High; and

Whereas Lauren has achieved great success in sport, academics, music, and student government at Lockview High; and

[Page 1507]

Whereas the NSSAF presented Lauren with the Ron O'Flaherty Award, which recognizes an outstanding ability to combine excellence in academics with excellence in athletics;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Lauren on this well-deserved award.

RESOLUTION NO. 444

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Fall River resident Timothy Ross Boutilier, with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, chose the Public Service as his career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Timothy has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Timothy Ross Boutilier for his dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 445

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Windsor Junction resident Donald Burns, with the Department of Environment, chose the Public Service as his career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Donald has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

[Page 1508]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Donald Burns for his dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 446

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas new businesses are vital to the growth and sustainability of our communities; and

Whereas Astrid Herron, Stephanie Brown, and Angela-Rae Sollows have partnered together to form the Fall River Wellness Centre; and

Whereas the centre offers the community a holistic approach to restoring and maintaining health;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Fall River Wellness Centre on its opening and wish it a prosperous future.

RESOLUTION NO. 447

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas a Waverley preschool, Wendy's Neverland, came up with a unique way of showing children how to give back to the community and how to look after their pet; and

Whereas the children were sponsored by friends and families to hug a stuffy pet for the day and have a bake sale and a movie night, and they raised $1,040 for the SPCA; and

Whereas some of the children and their families, as well as the preschool owner, Wendy James, are now volunteers at the SPCA;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Wendy's Neverland on a successful fundraiser as well as teaching the importance of volunteering.

RESOLUTION NO. 448

[Page 1509]

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas the Windsor Junction Community Centre, established in 1947, has grown to include two ball fields, a waterfront with lifeguards, a day camp, and a swim team; and

Whereas many dedicated community volunteers, suppliers, and government representatives were able to work together to complete a significant expansion; and

Whereas the expansion allows the centre to accommodate the growing registrants and allows the centre to become a year-round facility;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Windsor Junction Community Centre on the re-opening of its expanded facilities and programs.

RESOLUTION NO. 449

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Wellington resident Sheila Murphy, with the Department of Community Services, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Sheila has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Sheila Murphy for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 450

[Page 1510]

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Grand Lake resident Susan Morash, with the Department of Internal Services, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Susan has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Susan Morash for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 451

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Lakeview resident Terry Mills, with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, chose the Public Service as his career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Terry has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Terry Mills for his dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 452

[Page 1511]

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Fall River resident Clyde MacDonald, with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, chose the Public Service as his career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Clyde has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Clyde MacDonald for his dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 453

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Beaver Bank resident Sandra Lively, with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Sandra has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Sandra Lively for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 454

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By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Wellington resident Susan Elizabeth Kidson, with the Department of Justice, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Susan has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Susan Kidson for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 455

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Fall River resident Allison Jones, with the Department of Community Services, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Allison has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Allison Jones for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 456

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By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Wellington resident Bonnie Gray, with the Office of Service Nova Scotia, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Bonnie has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Bonnie Gray for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 457

By: Mr. Bill Horne « » (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Wellington resident Helen Marie Durling, with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, chose the Public Service as her career; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to recognizing employees for their achievements made in support of business objectives, high-quality client service, and dedication to public service; and

Whereas Helen has been employed by the Government of Nova Scotia and has been awarded the Long-Term Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Helen Marie Durling for her dedication and commitment to the people of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 458

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By: Mr. Larry Harrison « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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 life altering event that marks the beginning of a wondrous journey of discovery and joy where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas author Elizabeth Stone says, "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body"; and

Whereas on October 7, 2014, Alicia Stewart and Anthony Boutilier welcomed their daughter into the world;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 459

By: Mr. Larry Harrison « » (Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley)

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 life altering event that marks the beginning of a wondrous journey of discovery and joy where the rewards far outnumber the challenges; and

Whereas author Elizabeth Stone says, "Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body"; and

Whereas on October 4, 2014 Matthew and Veronica Henderson welcomed their son into the world;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 460

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By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Channing Wright is a resident of Cole Harbour who attended Auburn Drive High School and graduated with an 84 per cent average; and

Whereas Channing Wright received the $6,000 Dr. P. Anthony (Tony) Johnstone Memorial Entrance Scholarship at his graduation ceremony and as well he received the Africville Heritage Trust Scholarship of $1,500; and

Whereas Mr. Wright works part-time and still manages to volunteer with community groups such as the Little Dribblers basketball program, Global Tours, the New Beginnings Ministry youth group and church and Youth on the Move;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge and congratulate Mr. Channing Wright on his scholarships and his volunteer work with our Nova Scotia youth.

RESOLUTION NO. 461

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard, social worker, educator, researcher and community activist was born and raised in East Preston, one of 13 children her parents raised and was one of the first three young people from East Preston to attend university where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree and went on to receive her Masters of Social Work from Dalhousie and her PhD from the University of Sheffield in England; and

Whereas she worked in mental health until 1990 at which time she became a professor at the Dalhousie School of Social Work until 2001 when she became a director; and

Whereas Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard has won numerous awards over the years, some of which include the W.P. Oliver Wall of Fame Award, the Order of Canada, Community Leadership Award, Community Mentoring Award, Women of Distinction Award, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Award and the Canada 125 medal for outstanding contributions to Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the many contributions Dr. Wanda Thomas Bernard made, not only to Nova Scotia, but to all of Canada.

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RESOLUTION NO. 462

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Candace Thomas was brought up in the community of East Preston and after completing public school then attended Saint Mary's University where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree and then attended Dalhousie University where she received her Bachelor of Laws degree; and

Whereas Candice Thomas then became a partner in the law firm of Stewart McKelvey and has practised there since 1999 and as well she, with three partners, purchased Mills Department Store located on Spring Garden Road in Halifax; and

Whereas Ms. Thomas has a varied practise that includes mergers, acquisition, et cetera and she also is vice-chair of the board of directors of the Black Business Initiative Society as well and contributes a regular business law column to Black Business, a quarterly magazine published by the Black Business Initiative Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Ms. Thomas on her dedication to law in Nova Scotia and her many successes.

RESOLUTION NO. 463

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Terry Thomas, a resident of East Preston, attended Auburn Drive High School and then moved on to St. F.X., where he excelled in basketball for the St. Francis Xavier X-Men before transferring to Ottawa; and

Whereas while attending the University of Ottawa, he played for the Gee-Gees and became a record-breaker, earning a place in the Gee-Gees history books, and finished fourth in the country in scoring with 22.4 points per game; and

Whereas Terry Thomas has now signed to play for the expansion Hamburg Towers of the German Pro A League;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in recognizing the excellent contribution that Terry Thomas has made in basketball for Canada and his home province of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 464

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Stewart Williams has lived his entire life in the community of East Preston and it is in East Preston where he married and raised his two children; and

Whereas Mr. Williams and his friend started Cousins Contracting in 1975 and operated as such until he went on his own and formed Lincoln Excavating Limited in 1988, and is now the owner of Lincoln Construction Inc. and employs some 7 to 18 persons; and

Whereas Mr. Williams became a fully ordained Baptist minister in 2000 and has been pastor at the Lucasville United Baptist Church for the last 13 years as well as being a community leader in his own community of East Preston by participating in numerous organizations such as the Lions Club, East Preston United Baptist Church, the Board of Trade and the East Preston Ratepayers Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the member of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Stewart Williams for his many contributions to his community and to Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 465

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Raymond Tynes served in the past as interim manager of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition in Truro, an important annual provincial event that highlights the importance of agriculture to our province; and

Whereas as interim manager, Mr. Tynes worked diligently to build connections between the exhibition and the local community in Truro and Colchester County and the agricultural industry in Nova Scotia; and

[Page 1518]

Whereas Mr. Tynes's efforts as interim manager of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition helped to maintain a signature event for the visitors and residents of Nova Scotia that profiles the importance of agriculture to our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Tynes on his achievements in the past as manager of the exhibition and wish him success in his future endeavors.

RESOLUTION NO. 466

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Gordon Slaunwhite of Lower Sackville is an avid fan of harness racing and a respected former photographer at Sackville Downs Raceway and Truro Raceway who helped to capture the excitement of the sport in his photography; and

Whereas Mr. Slaunwhite is also a noted equine and wildlife photographer with a passion for nature exhibited in his impressive gallery; and

Whereas on October 9, 2014, Truro Raceway celebrated Mr. Slaunwhite's achievements with a special tribute for his 94th birthday;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Slaunwhite on the occasion of his 94th birthday and thank him for his dedication to the sport of harness racing and for capturing horses and wildlife in his photography.

RESOLUTION NO. 467

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Sydney Redden, a 13-year-old junior member of the Western Kings 4-H Club, has been involved for four years in her club's sheep project and this year was involved in the market lamb project; and

Whereas Ms. Redden has been very active in a number of other 4-H activities, including waterfowl, dog and goat projects, scrapbooking, recycling, community cleanup and cheese sales; and

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Whereas Ms. Redden participated for the first time this year in the market lamb sale at the 4-H Provincial Show on September 26, 2014 at the Exhibition Grounds in Truro with her 100-pound Suffolk/Dorset cross sheep, born on April 23, 2014;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Redden on her dedication to the 4-H program in Nova Scotia and her success in the market lamb project.

RESOLUTION NO. 468

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas on September 23, 2014, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce held the second annual Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award Ceremony at the Berwick Lions Hall, recognizing exceptional innovation in the agriculture industry with an award that provided over $35,000 in money and services to the winner; and

Whereas the Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award recognizes farmers, processors, suppliers and organizations for innovative ideas and projects that advance their business or the industry as a whole; and

Whereas the Atlantic Wine Institute was one of six finalists for this year's award because of their wine analysis laboratory that the industry can use to ensure Nova Scotia wine is of the highest quality;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Atlantic Wine Institute on being a finalist, and thank the Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award for supporting innovation that can lead to growth in the agriculture industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 469

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas on September 23, 2014, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce handed out its second annual Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award, a prize worth over $35,000 in money and services for the winner; and

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Whereas the award encourages innovation by farmers, processors, suppliers and organizations who pursue ideas or projects that can lead to growth in the agriculture industry; and

Whereas Stewart's Organic Farms was a finalist this year for their malt house that encourages the use of locally-grown organic grains in their local craft beer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stewart's Organic Farms on being a finalist, and thank the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for continuing to support and recognize the innovators in our agriculture industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 470

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas on September 23, 2014, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized innovators in the agriculture industry with their second annual Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award that provided over $35,000 in money and services to the winner; and

Whereas the award recognizes a farmer, processor, supplier or organization that brings forward an exceptional innovative idea or product that contributes to the strength of the agriculture industry; and

Whereas Randsland Farms Incorporated was a finalist for the award because of their raised bed plasticulture and dual-trickle irrigation system for southern greens like kale, collards, turnips and mustard, an emerging market for Nova Scotia growers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Randsland Farms Incorporated for being a finalist at this year's award, and thank the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for once again encouraging innovation that opens up new opportunities for agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 471

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By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas on September 23, 2014, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce held the second annual Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award Ceremony where the winner received a prize valued at over $35,000 in money and services; and

Whereas the award encourages farmers, processors, suppliers and organizations to pursue ideas or projects that contribute to innovation and growth in the agriculture industry; and

Whereas Hillcreek Family Farm was this year's winner for their pumpkin seeds produced for the snack food market, and pumpkin oil produced for the high-end food market;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Hillcreek Family Farm for winning this year's Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce, and thank the chamber for supporting innovation in our agriculture industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 472

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas on September 23, 2014, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce held its second annual award night that recognizes innovative ideas and projects that support the growth of the agriculture industry; and

Whereas the chamber handed out the Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award, worth over $35,000 in money and services, to recognize farmers, processors, suppliers and organizations that pursue exceptional ideas that contribute to innovation and growth in the agriculture industry; and

Whereas Frostbyte Interactive Incorporated was a finalist this year for the use of unmanned aerial devices to capture high-quality video and photographs that can support agricultural marketing activities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Frostbyte Interactive Incorporated on being a finalist, and thank the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for continuing to encourage innovation that strengthens the agriculture industry.

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RESOLUTION NO. 473

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas on September 23, 2014, the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce recognized exceptional innovation in the agriculture industry at the second annual Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award Ceremony; and

Whereas the award recognizes the projects and ideas that can benefit a specific aspect of the agriculture industry, or the sector as a whole, with a prize valued at over $35,000 in money and services for the winner; and

Whereas Colibri Software Incorporated was a finalist this year for their geo-located data system that allows growers to collect better information that can lead to improved crop management decisions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Colibri Software Incorporated on being a finalist, and thank the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce on a successful event that supports innovation in our agriculture industry.