Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD15-45

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

TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1437, Testicular Cancer Awareness Mo. (04/15)
- Recognize, Hon. L. Glavine »
3640
Vote - Affirmative
3640
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 86, Income Tax Act,
3641
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Rural N.S. - Gov't. (N.S.): Attack - Halt,
3641
Film & Creative Industries (N.S.): Bd. of Directors - Thank,
3641
TASA PeeWee AA Ducks Hockey Team - Season Achievements,
3642
Health & Wellness - OB/GYNs: Stability - Provide,
3642
Film & TV Production: Ind. Attack - Explain,
3643
Heritage Day: Cole Hbr. Assoc. for Bus. - Commun. Skate,
3643
Bezanson, Ken - Film Tax Credit: Cut - Gov't. (N.S.) Rethink,
3643
Film & Creative Industries (N.S.): Experience - Loss,
3644
Syed, Talha/Gao, Victor: N.S. Spelling Bee - Congrats.,
3644
Guy, Sonny - CTV Maritimer of the Wk.,
3645
Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Tuition Cap: Removal - Effects,
3645
Shankle, Angelina - Neighbours Helping Neighbours,
3646
Orrell, Jane - Wiltshire Award of Excellence,
3646
Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit: Min. - Stance,
3647
Walsh, Fred: Commun. Serv. - Thank,
3647
Cloverfield Animal Behaviour Serv./Little Moe's K9 Acad
- Efforts Commend, Mr. L. Harrison »
3648
Gov't. (N.S.) - Rural N.S.: Jobs/Services - Cuts,
3648
The Ark - Anniv. (50th),
3649
Anderson, Sandy: Commun. Serv. - Thank,
3649
Bread and Roses: Nova Scotians - Essentials,
3649
Brinkhurst, Mary: Norrie Heritage Ctr. - Contributions,
3650
Gaelic Affairs Office - Cuts,
3650
Film Tax Credit - Cuts: Food Trucks - Effects,
3651
Wallace, Lisa/Vols.: Hants Co. Seniors Safety Prog. - Thank,
3651
Grohmann Knives - Cdn. Wild Turkey Fed. Award,
3652
Prem. - Budget: Free Vote - Allow,
3652
Elizabeth Sutherland Sch. Science Fair Projects: Students
- Congrats., Mr. B. Maguire »
3653
Film Tax Credit: Elimination - Gov't. (N.S.) Reconsider,
3653
North of Smokey Safer Communities: Seniors Support - Thank,
3653
Mem. Composite HS: Skills Can. N.S. Comp. - Hosting Congrats.,
3654
Ocean View Continuing Care Centre - Purses and Pumps
Fundraiser: Organizers Thank, Ms. J. Treen »
3654
McKenzie, Ashley,
3655
Fraser, Victor: MLA Office - Photographic Contribution,
3655
Rovers, Tina Porter - American Morgan Horse Assoc. Intl. Award,
3655
U.N. "He for She" Campaign - Support,
3656
DeGruchy, Sandra: Trenton Vol. of Yr. - Salute,
3656
Bambrick, David - Athletic Achievements,
3657
RCL Br. 16 (Pictou) - Women's Aux.: New Exec. - Congrats.,
3657
Reid, Doug: Scouts Can. Natl. Commissioner Appt.,
3657
École Wedgeport Team: Brent Brannen Mem. Bonspiel - Congrats.,
3658
Pettipas, John: Terry Fox Fdn. - Fundraising,
3658
Arab, Phil - KOC Mem. Presentation (Posthumous),
3659
Snapd Dartmouth - Success Wish,
3659
Milbury Fam.: Ritchie Milbury Mem. 5K - Organizers Congrats.,
3660
MacDonald, Debbie/Beamish, Don: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
3660
Trappenberg, Dr. Thomas: Prof. Achievement/Commun. Serv
- Congrats., Mr. I. Rankin « »
3661
HOUSE RECESSED AT 1:58 P.M
3661
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 2:00 P.M
3661
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 579, Prem. - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Agreement Confirm,
3661
No. 580, Prem. - Savage, Mayor Mike: Film Tax Credit Cuts
- Understanding, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
3663
No. 581, Prem. - Obstetric Serv.: Patients - Comments,
3664
No. 582, Health & Wellness - Obstetricians: Malpractice Insurance
Fees Changes - Effects, Hon. David Wilson « »
3665
No. 583, Health & Wellness - Professionals: Treatment - Explain,
3666
No. 584, EECD - River John Sch.: Continuing - Min. Stance,
3667
No. 585, Prem. - Film & Television Tax Credit: Cuts - Effects,
3668
No. 586, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Dept. Website: Statistics Section
- Removal, Mr. T. Houston « »
3669
No. 587, Bus.: Youth Unemployment - Address,
3670
No. 588, Prem. - Film Tax Credit: Cuts - Effects,
3671
No. 589, Health & Wellness - OB/GYNs: Resignations - Effects,
3672
No. 590, Justice - Mental Health Court: Rural N.S. - Availability,
3673
No. 591, Justice - Courthouse Closure (Baddeck):
Victoria-The Lakes MLA - Response, Mr. A. MacMaster « »
3674
No. 592, Prem.: Film Ind. - Disinformation Campaign,
3675
No. 593, Bus. - Sm. Bus.: Taxes - Effects,
3676
No. 594, Prem. - Film Ind.: Food Trucks - Reliance,
3677
No. 595, Health & Wellness - Rural OB/GYNs: Pressure - Explain,
3678
No. 596, LAE - Physician Recruitment: Tuition Cap Removal - Impact,
3679
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
3680
3684
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 3:15 P.M
3687
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:27 P.M
3687
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 7:28 P.M
3688
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:31 P.M
3688
CWH REPORTS
3688
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Apr. 15th at 1:00 p.m
3689
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1438, Rumley, Dora: Commun./Can. - Contributions,
3690
Res. 1439, Sparkes, Carl & Donna/Devonian Coast Wineries
- Food in Canada Award, Hon. K. Colwell « »
3690
Res. 1440, Adams, Corey - ANSMA Award,
3691
Res. 1441, Neves, Patricia - Hfx. Dev. Ctr. For Early Learning:
Dir. - Appt., Hon. M. MacDonald « »
3691
Res. 1442, Beaver Bank Station: Opening - Congrats.,
3692
Res. 1443, Uncle's Café & Deli: Lower Sackville - Welcome,
3692
Res. 1444, Purdy's Pub & Grill: Opening - Congrats.,
3693
Res. 1445, Cullen, Nick - Team N.S.: Can. Winter Games
- Participation, Hon. David Wilson « »
3693
Res. 1446, Stadnyk, Kevin - Team N.S.: Can. Winter Games
- Participation, Hon. David Wilson « »
3694
Res. 1447, Newman, Sarah - Team N.S.: Can. Winter Games
- Participation, Hon. David Wilson « »
3694
Res. 1448, Faulkner, Maddy - Team N.S.: Can. Winter Games
- Participation, Hon. David Wilson « »
3695
Res. 1449, Robichaud, Kyle - Team N.S.: Can. Winter Games
- Participation, Hon. David Wilson « »
3695
Res. 1450, Brinkhurst, Shirley - Norrie Heritage Ctr.: Volunteerism
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey « »
3696

[Page 3639]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, just before I get to the first item, I think it's only fitting that by way of getting it into Hansard we want to officially welcome our new Assistant Clerk, Nicole Arsenault, to the Table. (Applause)

We look forward to having her amongst us and we officially introduced her yesterday. (Interruption) I'll check Hansard for that; I missed that.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, may I first make an introduction?

[Page 3640]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, in the gallery today we have Thomas Cantley, a testicular cancer survivor, originally from Nova Scotia, who has been travelling the world to raise awareness of the need for regular screening. He is here today because April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month and because testicular cancer is one of the most treatable and survivable cancers, if detected early.

If Mr. Cantley would rise, I would ask all members of the House to give Mr. Cantley our warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1437

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

Whereas testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35, and has a high survival rate if detected early; and

Whereas the signs of testicular cancer include swelling, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, pain or discomfort, all signs that are easy to ignore; and

Whereas after surviving testicular cancer, Halifax native Thomas Cantley quit his job, sold his house, and began travelling around the world to promote awareness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House recognize April as Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, congratulate Mr. Cantley for his work to raise awareness, and encourage Nova Scotians to be aware of the signs and symptoms of testicular 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

[Page 3641]

Bill No. 86 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Income Tax Act. (Hon. Maureen MacDonald)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

Rural N.S. - Gov't. (N.S.): Attack - Halt

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, unfortunately it is becoming clearer and clearer that this government has no vision for rural Nova Scotia. People who live in rural Nova Scotia already pay high taxes and power rates, yet this government is asking them to pay for even more by hiking fees for services like ferries, and while paying more, the government is telling them they will have less access to services such as health care, community services, and justice.

The Ivany report is clear when it says that rural communities and industries are crucial for Nova Scotia's economic development. Unfortunately, Nova Scotians have a government which has said no to policies which would benefit rural Nova Scotia and no to responsible natural resource development. Today I call on this government to halt its attack on rural Nova Scotia.

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

FILM & CREATIVE INDUSTRIES (N.S.): BD. OF DIRECTORS - THANK

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who served on the board of directors of Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia. Cheryl Hodder, Susan Dodd, Akivah Starkman, David Nurse, Gary Walsh, Gerald Weseen, Laura Emery, Sharon Johnson-Legere, and Marie Comeau were volunteers who gave their time and experience to support our creative industries. Their involvement on the board of directors was cut short last week when the McNeil Government abruptly dismantled their organization.

I know they all remain dedicated to promoting our province's talented film, digital media craft, performing arts, and literary industries - industries that need our support now more than ever. Thank you.

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

[Page 3642]

TASA PEEWEE AA DUCKS HOCKEY TEAM - SEASON ACHIEVEMENTS

MR. BEN JESSOME « » : Mr. Speaker, on an introduction. I would like all members of the House of Assembly to direct their attention to the east gallery, where we are visited by the TASA PeeWee AA Ducks Hockey team. TASA is an organization comprised of residents from the Hammonds Plains-Lucasville, Timberlea-Prospect, and Chester-St. Margaret's ridings, and today I'll ask, as I introduce each member of the team, that they stand.

Today we have with us Connor Young, Parker Wells, Jake Stevens, Davis Pollock, Nathan Daye, Brian Dempster, Rory Sullivan, Alec Howie, Calem Bennett, TJ Norris, Theron Hughes, Jeremy LeBlanc, Josh McKenna, Braden Aucoin, Nathan Ashton, Seth Wright - sorry, apparently I've missed somebody - their coaches, Thane Hughes, Andrew Brown, Shane McKenna; and their manager, Kelly Nicholson. One more - Sam.

Mr. Speaker, this TASA team finished their 2014-15 regular season with a record of 20 wins, 3 losses, and 5 ties. In the playoffs, they had 7 wins, 0 losses, and 1 tie. The team proceeded to capture the provincial title, defeating Western Valley. The team earned the North Conference title, the Central Minor Hockey title, and the PeeWee AA tournament champions, defeating Cole Harbour. They also participated in an international tournament in Montreal, where they placed third.

I would invite all members of the House to extend their welcome and congratulations to the team. (Standing Ovation)

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, on an introduction. I wanted to bring your attention to the west gallery, where we have joining us today Dr. Robin MacQuarrie. She's a part-time obstetrician and gynecologist at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre and I just wanted her to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House, as I'm sure she's interested in what's going on today.

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

Health & Wellness – OB/GYNs: Stability - Provide

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, because the Minister of Health and Wellness walked away from a commitment to reimburse obstetricians and gynecologists for huge malpractice fees, rural OB/GYNs feel they have no choice - to stay in Nova Scotia and go bankrupt or leave the province. Even with the late-night half measure offered by the minister, many of these physicians will follow Nova Scotians involved in the film industry as they cross the border.

[Page 3643]

The minister has characterized the issue as a negotiation ploy, but that is not fair to the physicians involved and certainly not to the women who rely on their services. Today I urge the minister to provide stability to OB/GYNs and stop using the health of rural women as a negotiating chip.

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

Film & TV Production: Ind. Attack - Explain

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the film and television production in Nova Scotia doesn't just benefit the writers, directors, and actors, it also benefits the small local businesses in the communities where filming is taking place. In my community Haven has been a major supporter of local businesses - our gas stations, restaurants, inns, and crafts shops all benefit from this production.

According to a CBC article this past Fall, Chester sees about $1 million annually in spinoffs as the production company rents storefronts, schools, and hotels. With other rural industries struggling, why would this government attack an industry that is thriving and supporting our small towns?

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Portland Valley.

HERITAGE DAY: COLE HBR. ASSOC. FOR BUS. - COMMUN. SKATE

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, this year our province celebrated its first-ever Heritage Day, and communities across the province engaged in different activities. I wish to extend a big thank you to the Association for Business in Cole Harbour, which hosted a free community skate to mark our first Heritage Day in Nova Scotia.

The event was held at Cole Harbour Place and was well-attended by community members who also enjoyed a free hot chocolate that was provided. I am proud to be part of such a great group of individuals who not only do business in the Cole Harbour-Portland Valley community but are individuals who are committed to promoting community ties.

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

Bezanson, Ken - Film Tax Credit: Cut - Gov't. (N.S.) Rethink

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, the McNeil Government's decision to cut the Film Tax Credit will have a negative effect on many Nova Scotians, not just the 2,000 directly associated with the industry. Ken Bezanson is one of them. Ken is the owner of Country Barn Antiques in Port Williams and the Borden House Antiques in Upper Canard, and does a steady rental business with the film industry.

[Page 3644]

Ken says the changes to the Film Tax Credit will have an invisible but very real impact on the Annapolis Valley economy. The film industry rents props and furniture - and actually Ken rents props and furniture from the antiques shops, wagons and farm machinery from local farmers. It also rents building space from local museums, homes for cast and crew members, local restaurants, farm markets, and gas stations thrive when a production comes to down.

Ken is urging the government to rethink the devastating decision killing the film industry.

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

Film & Creative Industries (N.S.): Experience - Loss

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the elimination of Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia didn't just mean that jobs were lost, it meant that 30 years of accumulated experience has been lost. These dedicated employees were experienced in navigating the nuances of our creative industries, which include the film industry but also the digital media, crafts, book publishing, and performing arts. This government has not just attacked the 2,000 people working in the film industry, they have taken away an important resource and voice for the entire creative industry in our province.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

Syed, Talha/Gao, Victor: N.S. Spelling Bee - Congrats.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Talha Syed of Halifax Grammar School, and Victor Gao from Gorsebrook Junior High on coming second and third, respectively, in the Nova Scotia Spelling Bee.

The Nova Scotia Spelling Bee is an annual event for students from across the province, and a local sponsor of Scripps National Spelling Bee. These exceptional young students competed with 48 students from across Nova Scotia to earn their place on the podium. I am proud to have Talha and Victor as members of our community, and would like to congratulate them on their achievements.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next Member's Statement, I want to remind all members, particularly those on the government side that it is unparliamentarily to cross the floor in between the Speaker and other fellow MLA's. Three times in the last 30 seconds, this has happened. We will keep our eye on that as we move forward.

The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

[Page 3645]

Guy, Sonny - CTV Maritimer of the Wk.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Thank you Mr. Speaker. I was getting nervous thinking someone was crossing the floor to us. I'm glad you clarified that. (Laughter)

I rise today to congratulate Sonny Guy who was CTV's Maritimer of the Week last week. Working at the local food bank, the 83-year-old not only helps packing up the groceries but he also delivers to older people who can't leave their homes. Sonny also volunteers to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Knights of Columbus. He's a key member of his church where he's an altar server and delivers communion to those home bound or in hospital.

Sonny's work in the community is so well respected that he was also presented with a plaque from the local police force. His generosity, his love of people, and his dedication to North Sydney are unsurpassed. If you ask Sonny, he will tell you he's simply doing what he loves. It's a true honour to have this opportunity to thank Sonny for his community service. Thank you.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Tuition Cap: Removal - Effects

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the students who had a study-in/sit-in at the Finance and Treasury Board Minister's office yesterday may get an A for activism but they're giving the McNeil Government an F for what they're doing to post-secondary education. By deregulating tuition for a year for what Liberal MLAs call a market adjustment, they are undoing the work of the tuition cap that prevented that very thing. Their decision to punish people from other provinces - how will those young people feel knowing that there's another barrier for them to attend university on the East Coast? How will universities feel when they lose students whose tuition they rely on? Students need to study but they would prefer not to have to study while staging a sit-in at the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board's office. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. KOUSOULIS « » : I would like to draw the attention of the House to the east gallery where we have students and teachers from the Halifax ESL School and give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

[Page 3646]

Shankle, Angelina - Neighbours Helping Neighbours

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House to recognize the actions of neighbours helping neighbours in my community of Clare-Digby. Nova Scotians are known for their generosity and the actions of Angelina Shankle's neighbours exemplify this.

On December 4th, Angelina Shankle and her daughter escaped from their burning home with little more than their lives. That night, they lost everything and had no tenants insurance. Also, they both had to be hospitalized with some serious injuries. The Shankle's tragedy mobilized the community. Over the next four weeks they sold pieces of rappie pie and bowls of seafood chowder, held a Chinese auction, a bake sale, and a lobster raffle. They collected donations via crowdfunding, and older tried-and-true methods: bottle stores and restaurant checkouts.

On December 30th, Ms. Shankle was presented with a cheque for $25,618. Someone gave her a car and someone else a place to stay for a while. I thank them for knowing the true definition of being a neighbour.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, may I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In the west gallery, I would like to point out to our colleagues in the House, a very good friend of mine who has also been active in the EmployAbility Partnership in Sydney, who has just recently achieved a national award. We know she's a good person because she also happens to be the wife of the member for Northside-Westmount, so we know that she has a lot of patience and qualities. I would ask Jane Orrell to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

Orrell, Jane - Wiltshire Award of Excellence

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Jane Orrell, executive director of the Sydney-based EmployAbility Partnership, who will receive the Canadian Association for Supported Employment's Wiltshire Award of Excellence in Supported Employment for her work with the partnership. The award recognizes individuals, agencies, or businesses that have made significant contributions to the promotion of full citizenship and personal capacity for persons with disabilities, through employment in Canada.

[Page 3647]

Jane is the executive director of the Sydney-based organization and she shares the honour with her 13 colleagues at the EmployAbility Partnership. The EmployAbility Partnership strives to improve the quality of life for clients and provides employment programs and services for people with disabilities facing employment barriers in industrial Cape Breton and Victoria County.

It is a true honour to have this opportunity to congratulate EmployAbility on receiving this richly-deserved national award. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit: Min. - Stance

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, in November 2012 the member for Fairview-Clayton Park was the Liberal Finance Critic. She stood in this House and told us, "The Film Tax Credit is an essential part of this industry's success here in Nova Scotia."

Mr. Speaker, she even went so far as to ask that the Department of Finance streamline the application process so filmmakers would be able to access the credit sooner.

Fast forward, Mr. Speaker, to 2015 and that member is no longer the Finance Critic, she is the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. She is no longer advocating that filmmakers get this credit sooner, she is now ensuring that fewer, if any, will get the credit at all. Shame, this is a great shame. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

WALSH, FRED: COMMUN. SERV. - THANK

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, on a more positive note, I would like to recognize Mr. Fred Walsh of Prospect Bay. Fred is always happy and willing to lend a hand. As a professional plumber at Dalhousie University for many years, he earned an honours degree in geology and is now working on his Masters in Earth Sciences.

Fred has been an active and contributing member of the Nova Scotia Prospectors Association for close to 20 years. In his spare time Fred and his wife, Stacey, enjoy tae kwon do and they both volunteer to support tae kwon do training at the Prospect Road Community Centre.

Fred also puts his knowledge of all things related to plumbing to great use as CBC Radio's resident call-in plumber. I would like the members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Fred for all that he does to make this world a better place. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 3648]

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

Cloverfield Animal Behaviour Serv./Little Moe's K9 Acad.

- Efforts Commend

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to draw attention to a very important partnership between Cloverfield Animal Behaviour Services in Otterbrook, Little Moe's K9 Academy in Bible Hill, and many dogs and, of course, their human partners.

Heather Logan, owner of Cloverfield's and Yan Mowatt, owner of Little Moe's, are canine specialists working together to produce certified service dogs. Ms. Logan focuses on theory and classroom work for the dog trainers while Ms. Mowatt's focus is on skills development and practice, once trainers are paired with their dogs.

Currently awaiting approval on the association name Maritime Specialist Service Dogs, their goal is to help a group of people, including veterans with PTSD, children with autism, cerebral palsy, seizure alert, and diabetes.

I commend Heather Logan and Yan Mowatt on their efforts to address such pressing needs.

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

Gov't. (N.S.) - Rural N.S.: Jobs/Services - Cuts

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, if I didn't think that you would rule this out of order I would quote a few lines from Old Man Luedecke, the one that goes: I quit my job/I'm free today - but I'm not going to do that because nowadays, with the McNeil Government announcing job losses in rural Nova Scotia every day, people just want to hang on to their jobs in case they are the next target of the McNeil Government.

There's no room for rural development, Mr. Speaker. Courtrooms are closed and child protection workers have been cut. Machines are now our ambassadors at our provincial parks. Ferry fees are isolating islanders. It appears to me that the McNeil Government is cutting jobs and services that people count on, in order to hollow out rural Nova Scotia, and that is wrong.

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

THE ARK - ANNIV. (50TH)

[Page 3649]

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, my riding is fortunate to have a wonderful organization called The Ark. This is an adult centre that enables many community members who have varying degrees of intellectual disabilities a place to contribute to the business community. In the heart of Bridgewater, you can walk into The Ark and be amazed with the creations in the store - everything from furniture to rugs and pillows, all made by members of The Ark. Other services such as paper shredding are available, and several businesses in the area have ongoing contracts with The Ark for services they are able to provide.

The Ark is a place for people who have varying levels of ability to feel and experience their contribution to society. To give them purpose, to feel accomplishment and independence, is an empowering gift. The Ark recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary, and I wish them many more years in our community. Thank you.

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

Anderson, Sandy: Commun. Serv. - Thank

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to say a few words about a wonderful, kind, and friendly woman: Sandy Anderson of New Glasgow. Sandy was chosen Volunteer of the Year for the Town of New Glasgow. She is well known in her community as a great volunteer. She's a role model for everyone in the town.

Sandy is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of her church, is on the board of Christian Education, helps with the Shepherd's Lunch Room, is a valuable member of both the Pictou County Women's Centre and the Tearmann Society, and belongs to the Pictou County Mental Health Board. These are a few of the groups she has been involved with. Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your time and talents.

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

Bread and Roses: Nova Scotians - Essentials

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, civilizations are known for the wealth of their arts and culture. Nova Scotians are proud and grateful for the art produced by the sons and daughters of this province. So how can a government be so totally unconnected to what matters to the vast majority of Nova Scotians? How can a government fail so abysmally to understand that Nova Scotians care about more than money alone?

They don't hear the heartbeat or feel the soul of Nova Scotians, but they can hear the anger and feel the heat of Nova Scotians when they rise up as one and say, get your hands off the things that we cherish more than your precious bottom line or your $6 million envelope.

[Page 3650]

Though I'm sure this reference may be lost on the Premier, I know that it will resonate in the creative heart of Nova Scotians, many of whom are women: Bread and roses, bread and roses. Yes, it's bread we want, but we want roses, too, as they are both essential to Nova Scotians.

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

BRINKHURST, MARY: NORRIE HERITAGE CTR. - CONTRIBUTIONS

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, each year at Heritage Night the Colchester Historical Society celebrates contributions to the preservation and promotion of history in Colchester County.

On Heritage Night this year, 81-year-old Mary Brinkhurst of Tatamagouche, Colchester North, was presented with a 2015 silver maple leaf coin from the Royal Canadian Mint. She was recognized for her volunteerism with the Margaret Fawcett Norrie Heritage Centre in Tatamagouche, where she has been instrumental in developing educational activities, implementing a student volunteer program, assisting fundraising and special events, and completing online exhibits.

Mary's work to ensure our heritage is not lost is of great value to our history, but it is also a source of great pleasure to her. We thank her for her dedication to the community.

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

Gaelic Affairs Office - Cuts

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Fhir-labhairt, tha sinn uile a' tuigsinn gu bheil luach anns gach cànan agus dualchas 's a' mhor-roinn seo agus gu bheil iad gu buanndachd nan Ur-Albannach uile.

Mr. Speaker, we understand that all languages and cultures in this province have value and greatly benefit Nova Scotians. Last week the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development recognized that Gaelic was omitted in two areas of the recent report on Nova Scotia education. That was good, but now people in the Gaelic community are upset to hear that the Gaelic Affairs Office has been cut by 40 per cent and that the office in Mabou, a Gaelic heartland, will be closed.

What identifies Gaels as an ethnic group is their language. We are seen as British. The uproar over the proposed royal designation of the Gaelic College proved that such a designation was completely out of touch with who we are.

We are not British. We are Gaels. Our provincial education system played a strong role in the decline of Gaelic 100 years ago. Things were improving with the creation of the Gaelic Affairs Office.

[Page 3651]

This government has made those whose hope was growing to once again feel undervalued, despite contributing over $10 million each year through the Celtic Colours Festival alone.

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

Film Tax Credit - Cuts: Food Trucks - Effects

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Natalie Chavarie owns the Food Wolf, a trail-blazing food truck in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which she runs with her partner, Virgil Muir. Natalie spoke out publicly when the Nova Scotia government increased fees for food trucks a few weeks ago and this week Natalie has spoken out again, on behalf of the film industry, as the subject of a short film criticizing the McNeil Government's cut to the Film Tax Credit.

There are a lot of righteous, proud and engaged Nova Scotians who are opposed to the Film Tax Credit being cut. They are caterers, like Natalie, they are carpenters, they are electricians, they are plumbers. They are all affected by this cut, Mr. Speaker. They recognize that the cut was a mistake and it's time the Premier recognizes his mistake as well. Thank you.

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

WALLACE, LISA/VOLS.: HANTS CO. SENIORS SAFETY PROG. - THANK

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, the Hants County Senior Safety Program is a community-based program operated by a non-profit, charitable organization and it is governed by a volunteer board of directors. They partner with towns, municipalities, local businesses, provincial and federal government agencies, community health boards and the RCMP to promote health and safety services free of charge to the seniors in Hants County.

They offer presentations on personal and home security, consumer fraud and scams, legal issues, housing options, home care, senior abuse awareness and prevention, just to name a few. They also support the seniors' café in the Rawdon area, the seniors' card game in Enfield and the Seniors Expo being held this year on May 29th at the Windsor Legion.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank senior safety coordinator Lisa Wallace and all volunteers who generously donate their time to help seniors feel safe and secure in their home and in our communities. Thank you.

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

[Page 3652]

GROHMANN KNIVES - CDN. WILD TURKEY FED. AWARD

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Grohmann Knives for being named the Manufacturer of the 2015 Knife of the Year by the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation. Grohmann's Xtra resinwood guthook knife was selected for its high quality and will be featured in several events held by the CWTF throughout the year.

Grohmann Knives is a Pictou manufacturer employing a steady workforce for over 50 years. Their products are recognized world-wide for their high quality materials and workmanship. Grohmann Knives has been the recipient of more than 25 international honours.

It is my pleasure to have this opportunity to congratulate Grohmann Knives, a landmark Pictou business, for their latest recognition from the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation. Thank you.

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

Prem. - Budget: Free Vote - Allow

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, the backbenchers in the McNeil Government don't need no education. The backbenchers in the Liberal caucus don't need no thought control. I call on the Premier to allow a free vote on this budget this year, to allow his backbenchers to be something more than just another brick in the wall.

The MLA for Lunenburg is losing Haven, the MLA for Kings South is losing Call Me Fritz. Despite being a former student leader, the MLA for Hammonds Plains-Lucasville is expected to vote in favour of tuition deregulation this year. Is the MLA for Sackville-Beaver Bank in favour of freezing social services for the second year in a row? I'd like to know that.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to know that the Premier could make history for something other than just killing jobs in rural Nova Scotia and allow a free vote on this budget. Thank you.

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

Elizabeth Sutherland Sch. Science Fair Projects:

[Page 3653]

Students - Congrats.

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, on March 11th I had the pleasure of judging the Elizabeth Sutherland School's science fair project. The school gym was filled with students displaying their projects. Not only did the students have to prepare a display of their topic but they also had to be prepared to answer questions about the particular subject.

The fair engages the students to learn essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through a hands-on, mind-on process. I was impressed with the wide range of topics covered and the knowledge demonstrated by the students. I was so proud of the work done by the students and the efforts put into the individual projects.

I'd like to congratulate all the students of Elizabeth Sutherland School for their hard work and I look forward to judging the fair again next year.

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

Film Tax Credit: Elimination - Gov't. (N.S.) Reconsider

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, Sam Coleman-Aulenbach who grew up in Kings South, graduated from the Nova Scotia Community College screen arts program in 2013. Since graduating, Sam has been able to find an opportunity related to his field here in Nova Scotia. Despite this, Sam is very concerned about the future of the film industry in the province. With the elimination of the Film Tax Credit, he fears that many of his former classmates will be forced to leave this province. This also threatens Sam's own ability to stay in the province.

Sam is like thousands of others who work in the film industry who have the expertise to foster this $140 million-a-year industry. I urge the government to reconsider the elimination of this tax credit that supports our film industry.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

North of Smokey Safer Communities: Seniors Support - Thank

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia, with our aging population, needs to be age-friendly, and the work that many groups in my constituency are doing to encourage and support seniors as they stay independent and active are fostering that age-friendly atmosphere.

The North of Smokey Safer Communities group is one example, offering monthly coffee and conversation, events where healthy eating classes, fitness classes, youth and senior interaction, and local talent sessions, take place. This program, and others similar to it in other regions of Victoria-The Lakes, promotes community spirit and are an indication of how age-friendly our community truly is.

[Page 3654]

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

Mem. Composite HS: Skills Can. N.S. Comp. - Hosting Congrats.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I rise today to congratulate the team at Memorial Composite High School who hosted the Skills Canada Nova Scotia competition in March. High school students from across Nova Scotia competed in four areas - carpentry, electrical installations, welding, and workplace safety. Bronze, silver, and gold medals were awarded in each area, and most gold medalists would advance to the Canadian National Competition in Saskatoon in May.

The skills competition not only promotes skills trades and technologies to visiting students in a fun and interactive way, it also puts competing students in the spotlight as they strive for excellence in a skills area they are passionate about. It is my pleasure to thank the Memorial team for hosting this event, and wish everyone success in Saskatoon in May.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

Ocean View Continuing Care Centre

- Purses and Pumps Fundraiser: Organizers Thank

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Ocean View Continuing Care Centre hosted a fundraiser in February called Purses and Pumps. This clever annual event is one that gives women a chance to win purses and pumps. Along with the main event, Purses and Pumps, there is a silent auction, spin to win, photo booth, DJ, and dance. This was the third year for the Purses and Pumps, and each year it has outgrown its previous venue. This year there were over 200 women who attended the event and each attendee received a swag bag full of items donated by the businesses of the community and the community members. This is one of Ocean View's continuing care main fundraisers and provides funding for various programs offered to seniors.

So hats off to the organizers for creating such a unique event that has continued to grow and be successful.

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

MCKENZIE, ASHLEY

[Page 3655]

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, Ashley McKenzie is a 30-year-old Cape Breton-based filmmaker who operates grassfire films. Two years ago Ashley was named one of the top 20 Twentysomethings in Nova Scotia. Her film, When You Sleep, appeared at the Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals, and at the Atlantic Film Festival she was named the Best Atlantic Emerging Director. Her 2011 film, Rhonda's Party, won the 2011 CBC Short Film Faceoff and was named one of Canada's Top 10 Short Films.

Ashley wants to shoot her film in Cape Breton and build the industry infrastructure on the Island. The gutting of the Film Tax Credit is forcing Ashely to reconsider her future in Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, I urge the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to rethink the cut before she drives talented young people like Ashley away.

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

Fraser, Victor: MLA Office - Photographic Contribution

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize one of my constituents, Victor Fraser. Mr. Fraser volunteers his time and photographic expertise to various groups and organizations throughout Sackville-Beaver Bank. Vic is a volunteer member of the Sackville Rivers Association and is their official photographer. Many of his pictures have been published in Saltscapes Magazine and on the Sackville Rivers trail information boards. His photos can also be seen on my website, in my newsletter and even on my assistant's wall. When I attended Millwood Elementary with Sergeant-at-Arms Ken Greenham, Vic was there and later presented CDs of the photos of the day to the Grades 2 and 4 classes, and to Sergeant-at-Arms Greenham.

Mr. Fraser loves photography and is happy to share his photographs with those who appreciate them. I'd like to thank Victor for his photographic contribution to my office and other groups in and around the Sackville-Beaver Bank area. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

ROVERS, TINA PORTER

- AMERICAN MORGAN HORSE ASSOC. INT. AWARD

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, Tina Porter Rovers, an operator of the Porter's Equine Centre in Stewiacke, recently received international recognition for her work with the Morgan horse breed. Ms. Porter Rovers was presented with the American Morgan Horse Association's International Award. Tina does a little bit of everything in this field: she boards horses, teaches riding lessons, and she also enjoys competing and hopes to partake in the Morgan World Championships in Oklahoma later this year. Tina is also the Eastern Vice President with the Canadian Morgan Horse Association. I would like to congratulate Ms. Porter Rovers for winning this international award and wish her all the best in future endeavours in this field.

[Page 3656]

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

U.N. "He for She" Campaign - Support

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, last year the United Nations launched the HeForShe campaign, a solidarity movement for gender equality. The campaign encourages men to join the fight for gender equality. I've been encouraging Nova Scotians to take the HeForShe pledge, a commitment to take real action to eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence.

Today is, in many jurisdictions, also Pay Equity Day. Currently, women in Canada earn about 80 per cent of what their male counterparts earn. As we work together in the fight for gender equality we must acknowledge the progress that has been made but we must also remember there is still lots of work to be done. Every Canadian province has some form of pay equity legislation but women still earn 20 per cent less than men.

Today I would like to encourage men to take the HeForShe Pledge and follow up with a real commitment to make change. Today I would like to join the HeForShe campaign and ask Nova Scotia men, starting right here in this House, to donate 20 per cent of today's earnings to the campaign. Our contributions will support the ongoing efforts of the UN Women, the United Nations organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women globally. This issue is critical and important for Nova Scotians whether a father, a mother, a husband, or a wife, male or female, we are all responsible for ensuring fairness, equality, and safety for women and girls of Nova Scotia.

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

DeGruchy, Sandra: Trenton Vol. of Yr. - Salute

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker I'm pleased to have the opportunity to salute a wonderful volunteer, Sandra DeGruchy. She was chosen Volunteer of the Year for the Town of Trenton. You will often hear Sandra say, volunteering is in my blood. Sandra's time and talents have been shared with many groups in Pictou County. She was a founding member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Trenton Fire Department, founding member of Trenton FunFest, and active member of the Kinette Club of New Glasgow, and has been involved with Pictou County MADD for 15 years. The compassion that Sandra has shown to people in her community is an inspiration for us all. Thank you.

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

Bambrick, David - Athletic Achievements

[Page 3657]

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate a talented athlete from Kings South, Mr. David Bambrick, who was recently named by Athletics Nova Scotia as Para Male Athlete of the Year for 2014. Mr. Bambrick was the national champion in Para F 37 Shot Put in 2014. His personal best throw of 11.91 metres was only .03 metres off the current national record in the event. Mr. Bambrick is ranked 12th in the world in Para F3 Shot Put and also competes in discus. He is to be commended for his active lifestyle and excellence in sports as a member of a dedicated community of competitive para athletes in Nova Scotia.

On behalf of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, I would like to congratulate Mr. Bambrick on his impressive achievements and encourage him in his athletic career. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

RCL. Br. 16 (Pictou) - Women's Aux.: New Exec. - Congrats.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise today to congratulate the new executive of the Women's Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 16 Pictou. The new executive members are Marie Graham, treasurer; Shirley Winters, secretary; Sarah Bronson, sergeant at arms; Marylou Swantee, 2nd vice-president; Sheila McLellan, 1st vice-president; Agnes MacNeill, president; and Reverend Todd MacDonald, chaplain. The auxiliary is very active and hard-working. Over the years I have been honoured to attend many events held at the Pictou Legion that the auxiliary members have catered to. The meal is always hot and delicious.

I'm pleased to recognize the new executive in the Legislature. I wish them well as they serve their term. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Reid, Doug: Scouts Can. Natl. Commissioner Appt.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, congratulations to Doug Reid of Windsor Junction, who has been involved with Scouts Canada since 1971. He spent 26 years with Scouting in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, and since 2004, Doug has been involved with the 1st Riverlake Scouts in the Fall River area, where both his son and daughter are members.

In November, Doug will begin his official role as National Commissioner for Scouting, a three-year term which ends in Fall 2017. As National Commissioner, Doug will work with 25,000 other volunteers who run Scouts Canada troops from west to east. Doug said that being from a small town community and overseeing all the Scouts Canada troops across Canada as Commissioner is pretty neat. We are proud to have Doug represent our community.

[Page 3658]

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

École Wedgeport Team:

Brent Brannen Mem. Bonspiel - Congrats.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, six teams from three elementary schools - Wedgeport, Belleville, and Port Maitland - participated in the Brent Brannen Memorial Bonspiel, held in the Yarmouth curling rink on March 27, 2015.

The winning team was from École Wedgeport and consisted of Chase DeViller, Kylie DeViller, Tristan Cottreau, and Ashton Doucette. This is the third year the bonspiel has been held in the memory of Brent Brannen, a former junior curler who died of cystic fibrosis a few years ago. Donna and Fraser Brannen, Brent's parents, presented the trophy to the winning team.

Mr. Speaker, I want to congratulate Chase DeViller, Kylie DeViller, Tristan Cottreau, and Ashton Doucette from École Wedgeport on receiving this trophy, and encourage them and all students to stay active.

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

Pettipas, John: Terry Fox Fdn. - Fundraising

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, we all know the courageous story of Terry Fox and his journey, the Marathon of Hope, to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Terry's dream of raising $1 for every Canadian was realized in 1981, just before his tragic passing, with a total of $24.17 million.

The Terry Fox Foundation is responsible for supporting close to $20 million in discovery-based research each year in Canada. To date, over $650 million has been raised worldwide for cancer research in Terry's name.

John Pettipas of Aulds Cove shares the same vision, and single-handedly raised $24,340.79 last year for the Terry Fox Foundation. His grand total to date, Mr. Speaker, is $215,118.06. John has been actively fundraising for the Terry Fox Foundation for 21 years.

I am proud to have John Pettipas as a member of our community. I would like to express my sincere appreciation for his generosity and dedication to humanity. One dollar at a time, we are changing the face of cancer. Thank you.

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

[Page 3659]

Arab, Phil - KOC Mem. Presentation (Posthumous)

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, March 22, 2015, the Knights of Columbus honoured my late father Phil Arab and 14 other Knights in a memorial presentation and Mass held at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta parish.

My father came to Canada at age 19 and shortly afterward joined the Knights of Columbus, marking the start of 60 years in the Brotherhood and a remarkable journey as a Knight. He earned every degree and distinction there was to earn, including the prestigious fourth degree.

It was a beautiful Mass, and I was so honoured that my father's contributions to the community and his church live on today.

The other Knights honoured were Duncan Hugh MacLellan, Edward Wheeler, David O'Brien, James Duncan, John Dunphy, William Davey, Past State Deputy Pious Burke, Leo During, Hugh MacPhee, Cecil Oakley, Raymond Slaunwhite, Francis Christian, Dr. Myles Tompkins, and Past State Deputy Clarence Phillips.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, am I permitted to do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : I'd like to draw the members' attention to the west gallery, where we have a group of home-schooled students from Sackville. There are nine children here with their parents. They are here learning about civics and democracy, so if you could all stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Portland Valley.

Snapd Dartmouth - Success Wish

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate snapd Dartmouth for bringing to our community five incredible years of news and events. Ken Thompson, who is the owner and publisher, and his team have worked consistently over the past five years, telling stories that matter and celebrating both our highs and lows.

A personal thanks to Ken Thompson for making himself available to be present at events and sharing the stories that many community members may not have otherwise known about. I wish snapd Dartmouth great success for the coming years, and look forward to reading about the community stories and events that help keep us connected.

[Page 3660]

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

Milbury Fam.: Ritchie Milbury Mem. 5K - Organizers Congrats.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the Milbury family and their friends for organizing the second Ritchie Milbury Memorial 5K run on March 28th. After experiencing a devastating event - the sudden death of a husband and a father - this family chose to do something positive: to raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

In it, the memory and personality of Ritchie Milbury continue to play a prominent role. The entrance fee is set at a dime, and the family places donate-a-dime jars at local businesses, a reminder of Ritchie's habit of picking up change he spotted on his walks around town. The first prize of the event raffle was 10 pounds of lobster, in recognition of Ritchie's time as a lobster fisherman.

Despite this year's inclement weather, this year's event is expected to raise over $7,500, a nice increase from last year's $5,000. Congratulations to the Milbury family and the people of Digby for making this event such a success.

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

MacDonald, Debbie/Beamish, Don:

Accomplishments - Congrats.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, Debbie MacDonald of Port Hood was recently a finalist on MasterChef Canada, where she won praise from the judges for her traditional maritime approach to her seafood dishes. We are proud of Debbie's accomplishment and proud to see Larch Wood cutting boards at every cook station on the TV show.

Don Beamish, Larch Wood's general manager, sent some sample boards last season, and the producers liked them so much that they decided to equip each station with this product, which is made in Margaree. The producers had originally planned to use cutting boards from the United States, but changed to Larch Wood boards once they saw their high quality. Let us congratulate Debbie MacDonald and Don Beamish for making Nova Scotia proud.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

Trappenberg, Dr. Thomas:

[Page 3661]

Prof. Achievement/Commun. Serv. - Congrats.

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : I would like to recognize Dr. Thomas Trappenberg, who lives in Hatchet Lake with his wife and two children. Dr. Trappenberg holds a Ph.D. in physics and has held research positions in Canada, Japan, and Oxford, England. His main research areas are computational neuroscience, machine learning, and robotics. He is the author of a well-known textbook on computational neuroscience published by Oxford University Press. Dr. Thomas Trappenberg is a professor of Computer Science at Dalhousie University, and is also on the executive of the Dalhousie Faculty Association.

Thomas is active in the local community. He teaches karate to all age groups at the Prospect Road Community Centre, instilling discipline and a love for the sport in all of his students. I would like the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in congratulating Dr. Trappenberg for all of his professional achievements and thank him for his service to the community.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Barring more members' statements, the House will now recess until 2:00 p.m.

[1:58 p.m. The House recessed.]

[2:00 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. We'll now move on to Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

Prem. - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Agreement Confirm

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Despite overwhelming evidence that the Film Tax Credit changes will wipe out an entire industry employing 2,000 of our young, bright Nova Scotians, we're all waiting to hear from the Premier on whether changes will be made. The industry itself says that the Film Tax Credit changes are not workable and, based on reports coming out of the meeting with the Finance and Treasury Board Minister this morning, they say the Finance and Treasury Board Department agrees. Marc Almon of Screen Nova Scotia is quoted as saying that they have agreed that the changes they made are not workable.

I'd like to ask the Premier, in light of all this evidence and the fact he spent the last week defending the changes in this House, does he now agree with everybody else that the changes in the budget on the Film Tax Credit are not workable?

[Page 3662]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, I want to make it clear to all members of this House what this government believes is the program that is in place today at 50 per cent and 65 per cent is not sustainable in this province. Let me be clear, we laid out a plan that works for our government and we believe works for the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. What we said today was though if they have another option, if they have another way to move this forward that fits in the fiscal envelope that this province has to offer, we're more than prepared to listen. Everyone in this House knows how reasonable I am.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it would have been awfully nice if they had actually consulted with the industry and listened to what they had to say before all of this mess was created. The fact of the matter is real projects are being lost, real jobs have been lost, and that all could have been avoided if the Premier had just followed his own law. Just a few months ago they passed they Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia Act which calls for independent reviews before change to the Film Tax Credit.

Why did the Premier ignore his own law in the first place - was he hoping no one would notice?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the Film Tax Credit exists in this province, it still exists on the changes that were made before. All the criteria that was in last month is still in today and the only difference is the way that money is distributed out to the producers.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it appears everybody but the Premier agrees that the changes that he made in his budget are not workable. Real jobs are being lost; real projects are being cancelled and it could have all been avoided. In fact, in the government's own bill in the last session they enacted a law that there should be a review of the tax credit that looks at the cost, and the benefits, to our province by March 1, 2015.

I will ask the Premier, did that review take place and, if so, did he follow it when he put together this budget?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to tell all members of this House and all Nova Scotians who are listening, there's $6 million set aside for digital media in this province. There's a tremendous investment. We also have an investment so the musicians actually can take advantage of some of the tax credits that are in this province. How proud we are - we're known around the world for the musicians that come out of this province. Why shouldn't we invest in them? As well, we have invested in the music industry - the same criteria that existed last month exists this month. How the money is distributed is the only difference.

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

[Page 3663]

Prem. - Savage, Mayor Mike:

Film Tax Credit Cuts - Understanding

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, we've had some time now the last few days to really assess the impact of last week's budget and understand what it means for the screen industry. What we're hearing more and more is concern being voiced not only from the industry but from outside the industry. Yesterday the mayor of Halifax said: "The changes that have been made are quite dramatic and will have a disproportionate impact on film production in the Halifax region."

I would like to ask the Premier to explain how Mayor Mike Savage understands the terrible impact this will have on our community and province but his government doesn't.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would say to you that Mayor Savage does not have the good fortune that the members of this government has. We know the mess the former NDP Government left us with. We know the status quo was unacceptable. We made a decision, we made an investment in the creative economy and we're moving forward. If they have a better way for us to spend inside of that envelope we're more than prepared to listen to them.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, this is the government who in less than two years has picked fights with nurses, home care and other workers in the health care sector. But that wasn't good enough for them - they are now creating chaos in another important sector, the screen industry.

My question to the Premier is why hasn't your government learned that having a majority government doesn't give carte blanche to govern without meaningful consultation and respect for people's livelihoods?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would say to you that on October 13th, Nova Scotians asked us to provide a government that showed leadership and changed the direction of this province, and that's exactly what we're doing. Time and time again, what we hear from the other side of the House is the status quo. The status quo has provided us with the worst performing economy in Canada and has held us behind. We're moving forward.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I dare say they voted for a government that made a promise to expand the tax credit, not break that promise. The film industry has built up over several decades. We can argue until the cows come home about the actual dollar value, but what is indisputable is that the industry has grown and it has made a significant difference to the recruitment and the retention of the very group of people that our province desperately needs: the young, the well-educated, the innovative, the creative, the hard-working women and men who want to call Nova Scotia home.

[Page 3664]

My question to the Premier, why won't you suspend your decision until the industry is properly consulted and a reasonable plan is in place that will ensure that the industry isn't damaged beyond repair?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, let me correct the Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party. As the tax credit has been going up, the percentage of the Canadian film industry that has been happening in Nova Scotia is going down. Let me be clear on that. Second of all, we have laid out to the industry a fiscal envelope. We've laid out a way to move forward with it. If they see a better way that works, we'd be more than prepared to listen.

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

Prem. - Obstetric Serv.: Patients - Comments

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it turns out the film industry isn't the only area where the government has made a mess this week. Health care, and specifically obstetric services for women, is now in turmoil across the province. Once again, the government has blindly made changes, in this case to the malpractice fees that our obstetricians pay, without regard of the consequences of the delivery of health care, particularly in rural areas. As Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie so eloquently pointed out here in this building this morning, people are leaving. That's the reality. For example, Antigonish will have no obstetrical health service as of May 15th unless the government changes course.

I would like to ask the Premier, what does he have to say to the expectant mothers in Antigonish and across rural Nova Scotia who are losing their obstetric services?

THE PREMIER « » : I thank the honourable member for the question, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank Doctors Nova Scotia, who have worked on behalf of doctors across this province. They worked with the Minister of Health and Wellness and the Department of Health and Wellness. They've come to a successful conclusion of that. If there are doctors across this province who are not happy, I suggest they call Doctors Nova Scotia.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, Doctors Nova Scotia is not responsible or accountable for delivery of health services to women in Nova Scotia, rural or urban. The Premier and the Minister of Health and Wellness are. To pass off responsibility for the lack of obstetric service is not acceptable.

It's not the first time. They messed up the film industry, they messed up the Limitation of Actions Bill, they messed up the flavoured tobacco bill, and now real women in rural areas are going to go without obstetric services. So I'll ask the Premier, will he assure the women of Nova Scotia today who rely on this important health service, regardless of where they live in the province, that not another obstetrician will be lost while they consider what to do?

[Page 3665]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for his question. I want to first of all thank the Minister of Health and Wellness for the tremendous job he has been doing to break down walls inside of health care and ensure that the money we're spending is being focused on patients.

I want to remind the honourable member, it's Doctors Nova Scotia who negotiated on behalf of doctors. It's Doctors Nova Scotia who negotiated with the Minister of Health and Wellness and the Department of Health and Wellness to come up with this agreement and settled it. I would suggest to you that the members of Doctors Nova Scotia who are not happy should call Doctors Nova Scotia.

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

Health & Wellness - Obstetricians:

Malpractice Insurance Fees Changes - Effects

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, six obstetricians have now tendered their resignations in communities across the province as a result of the government's refusal to uphold an existing agreement it had with these specialists. These obstetricians were near retirement, but willing to continue to work until suitable replacements could be found. Now, women in Sydney could find themselves travelling all the way to New Glasgow to give birth.

I'd like to ask the minister, will the minister acknowledge the serious problems his government has created by failing to uphold the agreement it had with obstetricians respecting malpractice insurance fees?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. This is a very, very important area to make sure that women's health and the delivery of babies across the province is, in fact, in place in as full a measure as we can.

There has been an offer, of course, that Doctors Nova Scotia accepted. We know this is a dramatic increase and I'm not going to say CMPA is fully the problem here. You know negotiations are going on and I know that we will reach a fair agreement - nobody will be disadvantaged, and we have the ability for retroactivity if that is required.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, these specialists recognize the need to negotiate into the future. We're talking about going back with an agreement that was signed and breaking that agreement.

Obstetricians rely on locum physicians to help provide coverage, especially in rural Nova Scotia. Two of Nova Scotia's locum obstetricians now say they will no longer accept new patients as a result of the treatment by the McNeil Government. Amherst obstetrician, Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, who is with us today, fears the McNeil Government's plan is ultimately to have Halifax be the only other region that you can go to to give birth.

[Page 3666]

Are these cuts to obstetric services in rural communities what Nova Scotians should expect from their new centralized health care system?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I have spoken personally with several of the obstetrician/gynecologists across the province. They know we are looking at a provincial plan to make sure that from Amherst to Sydney, Bridgewater through to Yarmouth, we will have a plan in place into the future that will make sure that in our regional hospitals there will be obstetricians and gynecologists in place.

This dramatic CMPA fee increase has caught everybody off guard; every province is working through it and we will here, as well, in Nova Scotia.

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

Health & Wellness - Professionals: Treatment - Explain

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, because of what I have been listening to here, the minister is walking away from a commitment to reimburse obstetrician/gynecologists for huge malpractice fees. Rural OB/GYNs feel they have two choices - stay here in Nova Scotia and go bankrupt, or leave the province. I guess they will be following all those Nova Scotians involved in the film industry as they leave this province as well.

Why is the minister going out of his way to drive professionals who deliver important health services to women out of the province?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I know that in dealing with Doctors Nova Scotia they are pleased with that current level that is on the table at 80 per cent of the fees, and it still remains one of the issues that is part of the ongoing negotiations.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : These specialists felt they had a binding contract with government and were shocked to receive the letter that said sorry, we don't have the money so we're not going to fulfill that contract.

The minister has characterized this issue as a negotiation ploy, but that's not fair to the physicians involved and certainly not to the women who rely on those services. The only one using this as a negotiation ploy is the minister himself and that is actually . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: A good point.

[Page 3667]

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I don't even know where to go with that - so why is the government and the minister using the health of rural women as a bargaining chip in physician master agreement negotiations?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. When we hear back from Doctors Nova Scotia, and they are the voice of doctors in the province whether it is a specialist or a GP, they are satisfied at this stage - and we will continue to deal with Doctors Nova Scotia.

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

EECD - River John Sch.: Continuing - Min. Stance

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. As the minister knows, the River John Consolidated School has been on our radar since the last election, as it is slated for potential closing. Last year during estimates, the minister stated to me that she felt the school had a very good chance of staying open with the Support Our School Committee following the criteria in developing a proposal for a hub-model school.

Does the minister still believe this, and can she perhaps give us an update?

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : I know River John is important to her, as it is to all members of the community and other communities around the province. River John, Maitland, and Wentworth were schools that Chignecto-Central Regional School Board had asked to put together something of a hub-model approach to the sustainability of those schools. I had an opportunity to meet with one representative from each of the three groups. I was encouraged by the work the communities have done, and I wish them well as they make their presentation.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : I thank the minister for her interest and the answer to my question. I'm just wondering - as we know, this coming Wednesday will be the Support Our School Committee's last opportunity to present in Truro. I'm wondering if the minister has actually watched the presentation - it has been on a PowerPoint presentation for some time - and if she will be present Wednesday night for us to give that presentation.

MS. CASEY « » : When I met with one representative from each of those three school communities, they were pretty clear in expressing and explaining to me the proposal that they had put forward. All three communities were different - it was very obvious that they were - and the River John group certainly had an excellent presentation that is going before the school board.

I will not be attending. That is a school board initiative.

[Page 3668]

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

Prem. - Film & Television Tax Credit: Cuts - Effects

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I can't believe that after 18 months the Premier is still blaming the former government for the many mistakes and broken promises that he and his government have made. Today I heard the Premier, in an earlier response, trying to blame the NDP for his decision to gut the Film Tax Credit - a credit that the NDP actually improved and strengthened.

There are several different people working in the industry that I know - for instance, Jonathan Torrens, Jason Eisner, and Josh MacDonald, all wonderful and talented people, young men, who live in Colchester Country and the Halifax region. They have put down roots here . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Does the member have a question?

MS. ZANN « » : So my question is, will the Premier please explain to Jonathan, Jason, and Josh why he now expects them to have to move on down the road like so many before them?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to correct the honourable member. What I said was the financial mess that the former government left us in takes drastic measures. We've had to make decisions. Last week there were men and women who worked for this government on Friday morning for the people of this province who were told that day that they no longer had a job. Think that's easy? Of course it isn't. Those decisions weigh heavily on all members of government when you're making decisions that affect lives of all Nova Scotians. What we're trying to do is strike a balance to get this government, get this province back to a fiscal reality that it can live with, and one that allows us to move forward.

MS. ZANN « » : Well, I'm sure it will provide cold comfort for those people who have lost their jobs and the people who are about to lose all their jobs in the film, television, and animation industry, as well as all of the little country towns where all these shows have been performed and played for many years.

In the past two summers, for instance, Trailer Park Boys has rented dozens of hotels for months on end. They've bought building materials and costumes and purchased food for the crew, who on nights and weekends frequent Jimolly's, Frank and Gino's, the Nook and Cranny, and the Horsemen's Club in Truro. They buy gas and groceries and necessities.

So my question for the Premier is, what solutions does he have to offer Colchester County in order to replace this vital industry that is now going to be lost?

[Page 3669]

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to thank the members who are working in the film industry in this province for the tremendous work they've done. I want to thank them for the collaborative approach they brought to the meeting with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board today. Very clearly, both of us laid out our sides of this issue. We've had a conversation, and we'll meet again next week - sorry, Mr. Speaker. We'll meet again on Friday, hopefully with a solution that will fit within the financial challenges facing this province. We're doing what Nova Scotians have asked us to do, which is listen.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Dept. Website:

Statistics Section - Removal

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. Following the release of the provincial budget, the Liberal Government decided to cut the Community Counts page from the Department of Finance and Treasury Board's website. This page displayed a large amount of information on statistics related to our province. This information was invaluable to groups working in the community.

Closing down a website that was of assistance to non-profit groups is a perfect illustration, I'm afraid, of the Liberal Government's misplaced priorities and aversion to actually being open and transparent.

My question is, why did the government decide to hide this important information about the province from community groups and Nova Scotians?

HON. DIANA WHALEN » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate having the opportunity to answer the question from the member opposite. This was a program that rests in the Department of Finance and Treasury Board. It had three people associated with the delivery of that program.

It was not well utilized. Every department of government was asked to find savings within their envelopes to be able to come forward and help us move this province forward to a better place fiscally. The Community Counts website was not used as often as it might have been.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I am hearing from Nova Scotians, particularly rural Nova Scotians, who did use this website and rely on this information. Helping Nova Scotians stay informed and providing an accessible database of information is vital. This is a government that promised to be the most open and transparent government in Canada - I believe maybe it was even in history - yet they decide to cut a resource that provided essential information about our province's services, demographics, health statistics, and economy.

[Page 3670]

My question is, what is the government's rationale for hiding this information? Is it simply just a cost-cutter?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, it was certainly done within the fiscal envelope we have to operate in and because every single department had to show that they were also looking for ways to tighten their belts and show restraint. As the Premier said just a few moments ago, none of the decisions made in this year's budget were taken lightly. They weigh heavily on our hearts when there are people involved and job losses. It's just a big part of moving forward to a place where we are balanced, where we have a surplus, where the honourable members who are calling for tax cuts can actually see some movement on those fronts and many other important social fronts as well.

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

Bus.: Youth Unemployment - Address

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Business. People who live in rural Nova Scotia are feeling they've been forgotten by this government only to be remembered when fees are being increased.

Prospects for a good-paying job close to home are not improving. Mr. Speaker, the unemployment rate for youth in rural Nova Scotia was 21 per cent in 2014, and the national average is 12.2 per cent. I will table that.

My question for the Minister of Business is, for the sake of young people who want good jobs and a clear vision for rural Nova Scotia, would the minister inform this House of the government's specific plans to address youth unemployment in rural Nova Scotia?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. As the member knows, we are presently in the process of transitioning with the presence of the new Department of Business. We've heard loud and clear from the private sector how important it is for government to get out of the way and allow them the opportunity to drive the economy of Nova Scotia and, inherently, employment.

Mr. Speaker, we look forward to the outcomes of that working relationship with the private sector. In the future, we'll continue to have discussions and dialogue with the member opposite.

MR. LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the minister for that answer. Hard-working rural Nova Scotians want to be able to pursue new opportunities in the private sector in rural Nova Scotia, new opportunities which could come from tax relief for small businesses and families, employment opportunities that could come from the film industry, responsible resource development, and other emerging sectors.

[Page 3671]

Rural communities are partners, not obstacles, for economic growth. Will this government recognize that a thriving rural economy will benefit all Nova Scotians?

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member opposite for the question. The member has obviously read the contents of the Ivany report - some of the objectives, economic development recommendations that have been made in the report the member referenced. We'll continue to work with the private sector to ensure that we can maximize those opportunities for youth in rural Nova Scotia.

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

Prem. - Film Tax Credit: Cuts - Effects

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Cailin O'Neil has worked on every season of Haven as a daily assistant director. While the Premier is trying to win over the public to his cut of the Film Tax Credit by pretending it's a tax shelter for L.A. movie stars, it is actually Nova Scotians like Cailin who will feel the brunt of the cut.

Cailin O'Neil is here in the gallery with us today. Does the Premier have any advice to give her now that his changes to the Film Tax Credit have cost Cailin her job in another season of Haven?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank Cailin for the tremendous work that she has been doing on that series. (Applause) I want to tell Cailin that the Film Tax Credit still exists; our criteria still exists that was here last month is here today. What we're talking about is how we distribute that money out to the production. There's still 25 per cent of it, the other 75 per cent is against taxes.

I also want to tell Cailin that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board has met with representatives from the industry. We've given them our fiscal envelope and encourage them if they have a way that works better for the industry, which allows the government to achieve its fiscal outcome, we're more than prepared to listen to them.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier just does not get it. The warden of Lunenburg has received a letter from Haven's producers advising him they are pulling up stakes, costing the municipality tax revenue and Lunenburg County businesses a lot of spinoff economic activity.

What will the Premier do to give Lunenburg County a shot in the arm now that he has cut the legs out from under local film production?

[Page 3672]

THE PREMIER « » : I completely disagree with the honourable member's question. What we have done - the Film Tax Credit is still in place - what we changed is how we distribute it. I'm very proud of the work that we've been doing across this province in the investment, very encouraged about the work that we've been doing with all sectors to drive economic growth. We've seen an increase in our population, I'm very encouraged by that. I'm encouraged by the new ventures that we're seeing outside. I'm encouraged by the way the private sector has come forward to help drive that job growth in economic development, and I'm very encouraged by the way the Department of Labour and Advanced Education (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, they're still wanting me to answer so I'm going to continue to respond.

I'm very encouraged by the way Labour and Advanced Education is laying out steps to support workers and employers to be able to create jobs. I'm very encouraged by the fact that the film industry has come and sat down with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board looking at the fiscal envelope and providing us with an alternative that fits within the financial challenges left behind by that government.

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

Health & Wellness - OB/GYNs: Resignations - Effects

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Today we heard that six obstetricians have resigned - two in Sydney, two in Antigonish and, contrary to what the Premier says, this is not about Doctors Nova Scotia, this is not about obstetricians losing their jobs - it's about young women being put in jeopardy. It's about people outside of Halifax having to drive miles to get services that are crucial to their unborn children's health and to their own health.

What does the minister have to say to these young expectant mothers who need these obstetricians?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I know over the last few weeks there has been a strong concern expressed by the obstetricians and gynecologists in the province. We've reached out and have worked with Doctors Nova Scotia. They have agreed to the current level of settlement and we'll move from there over the next few weeks during negotiations.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, this morning Dr. MacQuarrie was very clear. She said her concern is that women in labour are going to have to drive up to five or six hours. That's not good health care, Mr. Speaker. Imagine a loved one that has to drive four to six hours to receive services of an obstetrician. Imagine a mother has a troubled pregnancy who needs to travel in order for her to get the kind of quality care she needs.

Can the minister tell expecting mothers how their services do not meet the financial goals of his department?

[Page 3673]

MR. GLAVINE « » : Thank you very much to the honourable member for the question. In terms of services, it is the department's understanding that all of our regional hospitals have service in place at this time and perhaps when I get an update this afternoon there may be some additional information. Thank you very much.

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

Justice - Mental Health Court: Rural N.S. - Availability

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. As the minister knows, many individuals charged with crimes have underlying mental health issues and would benefit from having their charges heard in Mental Health Court. But Mental Health Court is not available throughout the province, only in HRM.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Minister of Justice is, can the minister inform this House of her plans to make Mental Health Court available throughout rural Nova Scotia?

HON. LENA DIAB » : Thank you very much to my colleague to that very important question. Providing access to justice for all Nova Scotians is our priority. We do have the Mental Health Court in Dartmouth, the one that you're referring to, but we do have other services available throughout Nova Scotia. In fact, last year we launched a drug treatment plan with the hospital in the Valley as well, and we do have other services throughout the province and other initiatives that are currently going on that will actually address the question, and I will respond more. Thank you.

MR. LOHR « » : I thank the minister for the answer and do recognize her comments about the drug services available in the Annapolis Valley. I'm wondering, Mr. Speaker, if in the meanwhile can the minister inform this House if a person is seeking to be heard in the Mental Health Court in rural Nova Scotia would have the option of having that heard in the HRM Mental Health Court?

MS. DIAB « » : Thank you again for that very important question. It's very difficult to speak about specific cases because each case depends on the specific facts of that case. If you have any that you would like us to look into we'd be happy to do that. There certainly, definitely are services available throughout the province for people that have mental health conditions that are facing our court system and have challenges there.

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

Justice - Courthouse Closure (Baddeck):

[Page 3674]

Victoria-The Lakes MLA - Response

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. The minister and the Liberal Government announced in the budget they were closing seven courthouses across the province. One of those closures was in Baddeck. What points did the member for Victoria-The Lakes raise with the minister to oppose the closure of her local courthouse?

HON. LENA DIAB « » : This is a very, very important question - I really do thank my colleague for raising that. Providing timely access to justice for all Nova Scotians is a priority in the Department of Justice.

I do acknowledge that for some it will be inconvenient to travel a bit longer. But, Mr. Speaker, balance that with the fact that we're going to have safer, more secure facilities; balance that with the fact that we're going to have faster services; and balance that with the fact that people will have faster arraignment, people will have faster trial dates, and judges and staff, instead of travelling on the roads, will now be sitting in the courtrooms hearing cases.

Specifically for Baddeck, it's a satellite court, it sits three times on three Tuesdays in one month, and the caseloads have been decreasing; there are no staff losses. Thank you very much.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's comments but I didn't hear an answer to the question. People in Victoria-The Lakes are already reeling from the huge increases in the ferry fees at Englishtown. They are no doubt shocked to hear their courthouse was also targeted by the government.

What points did the member for Victoria-The Lakes raise with the minister to oppose closure of the courthouse?

MS. DIAB « » : Thank you very much. Very, very importantly - and one thing I did not mention - we've got safety and security concerns in the satellite courts. The specific one in Baddeck - my colleague may or may not know it's not wheelchair accessible either. That was another consideration.

Again, balance everything that you're speaking about with the fact that we are looking at access to justice issues here, with the fact that it's sitting three times a month, our caseloads are decreasing, and our justice and our court staff are having difficulties getting to these courtrooms. This is the best for the people of Nova Scotia and for the people in that area. Thank you.

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

Prem.: Film Ind. - Disinformation Campaign

[Page 3675]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday, the Finance and Treasury Board Minister defended the McNeil Government's slashing of the Film Tax Credit by saying that there is no tax credit or subsidy available to any other industry of this nature that is this generous.

That is technically accurate, but somewhat misleading, because the Finance and Treasury Board Minister fully knows that there are tax credits to other sectors that aren't available to the film industry. For example, right now, the government is offering a manufacturing tax credit valued at $33 million, and let's not forget the more than $40 million the government has given to the Yarmouth ferry in the past year.

My question to the Premier is, why has the Premier launched a campaign of disinformation regarding the film industry, attempting to make them look unreasonable?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As the honourable member may or may not know, this tax credit is a labour-based tax credit. It is the only industry where we pay 50 to 65 per cent of the labour costs associated with it. The reality is the honourable member knows that.

I want to tell her again - I want to tell all members of this House - we have a fiscal reality in this province that we're dealing with. We're going to continue to move forward. I'm very encouraged by the film industry coming forward, sitting down with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, talking about the financial challenges facing this province, talking about the challenges facing their industry, and looking to find a way that works for both sides.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm very aware of how this tax credit works. In the Liberal platform, the Premier promises, "A Liberal government will end the practice of picking winners and losers and will focus on sector development."

I think the Premier has not kept his commitment in regard to Nova Scotia's creative sector. He's slashing the Film Tax Credit, he's eliminating the sector's primary promotional body, Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, and he has fired all the staff at ERDT who were responsible for growing the industry.

My question for the Premier is, why is developing Nova Scotia's film, television, and digital media sector not a priority for his government?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank the honourable member and remind her that not only was the Film Tax Credit in place last month, it's in place this month. In the budget, we announced a Creative Economy Fund at $6 million. There's $6 million in the fund for digital media where it's actually looking at the creative economy in a broad sense. We're very encouraged by that.

[Page 3676]

I also want to remind all members of this House that under the leadership of that member, we settled collective agreements that were 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent, and 3 per cent. There was a $700 million wage embedded in the cost of running government. Just imagine, if we had kept that at the growth of the economy, we would have an additional $200 million today to spend. That would make a $100 million surplus. Just imagine what we could have invested in this province.

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

Bus. - Sm. Bus.: Taxes - Effects

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Business. Last week, Nova Scotia received a budget that showed how much importance this government places on small business. In fact, the Finance and Treasury Board Minister's Budget Address did not even mention small businesses. Yet before the last election, the Premier said, "It is time for Nova Scotia to have a provincial government that recognizes that hard working Nova Scotians and small businesses are the backbone of our economy."

My question for the minister is, does the minister agree that maintaining high taxes and finding new ways to tax small business owners hurts small business and hurts all Nova Scotians?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. With the shift in direction - it's very clear through the Ivany report that we can't continue to do things the way we've done them. The new Department of Business is intended to address that. It includes all businesses - small businesses and large businesses.

I want to remind the member across the floor that the CFIB - the Canadian Federation of Independent Business - has endorsed this budget and the components in there for small business.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I wasn't aware there had been a shift in direction since the Premier said small business was so important, so I'm happy to know that. While there is no tax relief offered to small businesses, we know that the government will collect an extra $30 million from small businesses by lowering the non-eligible dividend tax credit.

Small businesses in this province need a government that understands that high taxes hurt job creation. This government wants the private sector to lead, with government helping to create the conditions for growth. High taxes do not help small businesses grow. My question for the minister is, does the minister feel that high taxes are the road to job creation?

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the member across the floor obviously, with his background, understands the probabilities of balance and the need for fairness in our economic system.

[Page 3677]

The position is quite simply this, Mr. Speaker « » : the province is broke, and everybody will have to contribute to right the ship. That includes all members of the business community that have recognized that and the components in this budget, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business - the largest single representative of small business in this province - supports our budget. Thank you.

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

Prem. - Film Ind.: Food Trucks - Reliance

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The McNeil Government's "fight first and talk later" attitude has many small businesses in our province worried, especially those who rely on the creative sector as a source of income.

Yesterday we heard from Natalie Chavarie, owner of the Food Wolf food truck, whose livelihood depends on work from the film industry. Ms. Chavarie is now afraid her business and income will disappear because this government gutted the Film Tax Credit. She said that the cut to the Film Tax Credit is going to hurt businesses . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Does the member have a question?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Yes, I do - and it's going to be hard to see people leave. What does the Premier have to say to Ms. Chavarie about where their next job will come from when the film industry disappears in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Ms. Chavarie for her work in believing in our province, creating her own niche in her respective community, creating jobs across the province. I am always encouraged by the ingenuity of Nova Scotians and the entrepreneurial spirit that I see as I travel in this province.

I also want to say to her that I am grateful that the film industry has come together with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. We've laid out our financial challenges, the financial envelope that is available, and they're working with us to see if there's a solution we can find that will allow them to go forward in a way that they see fit and allow the province to get our province back to fiscal health.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, I hope the film industry has one more movie to do, called Hollow Words.

It's clear that this government has no idea of the real impact of gutting the Film Tax Credit. In fact, on Budget Day the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board admitted that she and her department have no idea what the impact will be. I'll table that.

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Well, we know, Mr. Speaker. It's about dozens and dozens of businesses that are going to be going under. Will the Premier commit today to finally do a full analysis of the impact this move will have on Nova Scotia's economy, especially the impact on our smaller businesses?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board for the tremendous job she has been doing to right this ship. I want to thank all those Nova Scotians who responded to this budget in such a positive way, recognizing that all of us are going to have a role to play in getting this province back to fiscal health.

I want to remind the honourable member across the way that it was her government - she was a member of a Cabinet that voted for 2 per cent, 2.5 per cent, and 3 per cent pay raises. We embedded $700 million in the cost of doing government in this province, and if they had kept pace with the growth in the economy we'd have $200 million to invest in so many other things - $200 million.

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

Health & Wellness - Rural OB/GYNS: Pressure - Explain

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, physicians in rural areas are doing a tremendous job delivering babies when OB/GYNs are not available, and as we know six of those resigned today. It takes two deliveries each month for these family doctors just to pay their insurance costs. These physicians care and want to help people, they work hard around the clock, yet this government expects them to do work for which they will not get paid.

Why is the government putting pressure on these physicians at a time when we need more of them in rural Nova Scotia?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I thank the member opposite for the question. What I do know is that Doctors Nova Scotia expressed relief and also are pleased to cover the 80 per cent immediately, and we know that there will be a continuation of talks and moving to a place where we will all agree.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, from my investigation young rural physicians are encouraged by the expectation that there is lots of work for them in rural Nova Scotia, and when they get there they discover all the challenges that go with rural health care, like the real example I just mentioned. I am told there is no active effort by the government or health authority to check in with these doctors to better understand what they facing. Can the minister explain why?

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MR. GLAVINE « » : Over the past year and a half I've met with probably about 15 to 20 per cent of the doctors across the province. I know a number of their concerns and we're at a point now through the new master agreement where in fact I think we will find common agreement over the next number of weeks.

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

LAE - Physician Recruitment: Tuition Cap Removal - Impact

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we're hearing a lot about physicians and physician recruitment here today.

The Liberal Government has changed their stance and removed the tuition cap for universities. The new change allows universities to increase tuition fees for international students and graduate programs with no limit.

Last week I reminded the minister of her past statements where she said removing the cap would price Nova Scotia out of the game - and I can table that report. The Physician Resource Plan states that the location of a medical school of graduation is the single biggest factor in determining where physicians decide to practise - and I'll table that as well.

If Dalhousie Medical School increases tuition, our shortage of doctors may increase. Did the minister, in her decision, consider that could have an impact on physician recruitment?

HON. KELLY REGAN » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the honourable member for the question. As the honourable member would know, the tuitions for professional programs have not been capped in the past and we have continued with that particular policy.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, tuition for graduate programs in other provinces has already put Nova Scotia at a disadvantage. If universities increase these costs any further we will be losing young professionals and jobs in this province that we're in desperate need of filling. The minister did not consider the impact of removing the cap could have in our province, nor did she consider the mounting debt already faced by students and their parents.

My question to the minister is, did the minister consult her Cabinet colleagues about this decision and, if so, why did she not consider the widespread impact this choice could have on all Nova Scotians?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Any time any government makes a decision to increase tuitions it is a very difficult decision. I understand the impact on the students - and probably better than most because my son-in-law is in fact in medical school. But what I do want to say is I think the member is maybe in fact referring to the fact, maybe allowing universities to look at possibility charging . . .

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : The House will now recess while we get set up for Committee of the Whole on Supply.

[2:50 p.m. The House recessed.]

[2:51 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I do apologize - I did not see the honourable member for Pictou West. We will go into the debate on the Supply motion.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate that.

When I read this budget, it became quite evident to me that it was bittersweet. I spoke Sunday evening at the annual Pictou West PC AGM and I stated to the crowd the number of good things in the budget and the number of things that are not so good. I think it's really important to recognize good where good has been achieved. It is equally important to recognize items that raise a red flag to see if we can improve upon them.

I do want to express to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board that I truly appreciate her role and responsibilities involved in developing (Interruptions)

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MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Pictou West has the floor.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I do want to express to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board that I do truly appreciate her role and responsibilities involved in developing a budget. It is no easy task in the work that it takes to prepare the budget, and certainly no easy days afterwards. As we all know, we cannot please everyone.

I first will speak about the sweet parts of the budget. As the Critic for the Status of Women who has been calling on the Liberal Government to ensure there are more SANE nurses - Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners - in rural areas, I'm very pleased that this government listened and now has invested over $700,000 to ensure there are nurses more available in rural areas. As you all know, we had a local young lady wait three days without being able to shower before a SANE nurse was able to examine her. That's simply unacceptable. It is rare, but it should never happen to anyone.

Another victory, in my opinion: after calling on the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board not to add more tax on books, I was very happy and pleased to hear that the additional 10 per cent would not be going on books. The minister did indicate to me personally, face-to-face, that this could have taken in an additional $10 million in revenue, but she listened clearly to Nova Scotians on this issue, she met with stakeholders, and I'm grateful for this decision, as are many other Nova Scotians. We all know that literacy is extremely important and we need to do everything possible to encourage our youth to read more.

Mental health was another success story out of this budget. As we will see, an additional $1.1 million is being invested in our schools to address student mental illness. This was absolutely the right move. Although I would have liked to have seen a little bit more of a financial investment put into mental illness within our institutions, we're at least moving in the right direction.

To witness that the province will be going forward with HPV vaccination is fantastic news. This issue was a big concern of mine. I was very happy to speak with the honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier before he introduced the bill. I had a great interest in introducing a bill basically from the time I had become an MLA. This year, my son is in Grade 7. Although I'm not certain if he will be covered this year, I will certainly be able to invest in ensuring he gets the vaccination. It brings me great pleasure to know that the males who follow him will be able to have this vaccination. As I said before, we love our sons and daughters equally and we should be able to protect them equally.

I know there are lots of other great parts of the budget. Those were just some of the things that were highlighted and that I was hyperaware of. I guess, now on to the bitter part. There's absolutely not a single Nova Scotian who is not going to be paying more to get less.

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Facts from the budget - we know that there's a 6 per cent increase in senior administration. I remember last year in the budget we saw the Premier's Office alone go up 9 per cent, and it seems like we're cutting at the bottom but we're not cutting anything at the top. This is a great disappointment - more than an $80 million increase in departmental spending.

One of the other big concerns I see is the $30 million hidden tax for small businesses. Once again we see small business owners being hit, and we all know that small business is the backbone of the rural economy and, once again, they will be making the sacrifices within this budget. The other one that was really disheartening to see was the $30 million increase in income tax through bracket creep. Just the words alone, "bracket creep," I wish we would change that terminology because it's something that sneaks up on us, and to see a $30 million increase certainly has not made many Nova Scotians very happy.

One thing that I know doesn't affect all Nova Scotians, but I was surprised at how many families did contact me in the last couple of days when we learned of the elimination of the family Healthy Living Tax Credit of $500. I think we can be quite grateful and thankful for our federal counterparts, because we've seen this tax credit go from $500 to $1,000 at least federally, although a lot of people depended on the provincial portion of $500 that will be completely wiped out.

A 3 per cent increase in over 1,400 service fees is a big shocker, but especially I believe I recall that the NDP made two increases of 3 per cent in a number of three to five years, so Nova Scotians are once again seeing a large increase in service fees. Obviously in this budget, the Liberal Government is relying on tax increases to solve financial challenges.

Well, the $30 million increase in income tax and the bracket creep, but anyway, where's the jobs plan? That's what I want to know, because right now we have no plan to increase our population, there's no jobs plan - we're not only losing our young, what I'm witnessing is we're losing our seniors. In fact, I have a number of friends who are not quite seniors, some are, but they're ready to be retired and they're selling their homes and moving out West or to the States to be with their children because they're having grandchildren and they want to be with their family - and there's no potential hope that they will be moving back to Nova Scotia.

We're always concerned about losing our young, but we're also losing our seniors. Lastly, and personally, there's no way I can stand here and not speak about the nefarious changes to the FTC, the Film Tax Credit. These changes to the credit basically will wipe out our creative industry in Nova Scotia.

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This is an industry that is constant bloom. They're always bringing bright, young, creative people to Nova Scotia and it's an industry that provides so much feedback to the economy is so many ways. And I know when I owned a retail store I had an acquaintance - I used to buy his products, an artist on the South Shore who made unique bowls from trees. He lived a very modest life, but I remember when the movie Scarlet Letter was being filmed in Shelburne he indicated to me that Demi Moore had bought a half a dozen of his bowls and, basically, with those purchases it was his livelihood for four to five months.

So we can't underestimate this industry. It does mean a lot to our young creative people and to all of us, because it really is a trickle-down effect. Even in my own local area I have spoken to Steve Brazil, who is the owner of Bruised Productions, and within 18 hours of this announcement being made he lost two out of five films that he would be filming this summer. He was scheduled to film at Pictou Lodge this season and at this point he is hanging on a cliff to see if this will happen or not.

I really hope that we will reverse this decision. We all know that this industry attains a lot of investors from all over the globe and has a direct link to the tourism industry; in fact, the word on the street is that bus tours are up, reservations are up, and it's credited to the amazing film The Book of Negros. We know that much of the film was shot here in Nova Scotia - part of it was in Africa - but this is a good story and it's nice to hear that bus tours and accommodation reservations are up.

You know, we've all been talking about the film industry, but I have not heard anyone mention the fact - and this is what has always impressed me about this industry - that this is an industry that actually does not harm our environment. I have not heard one person mention this. I look at it as, this is a new industry with young blood - people who are coming here with creative minds wanting to settle here, have babies, increase our population, and, once again, not leave a carbon footprint.

I hope we - everyone in this Chamber - will try to do everything to convince the Liberal Government to reverse this colossal mistake they made in their budget. If you don't see it reversed or somewhat restructured, you will see thousands and thousands of people leaving the province.

We can do better with what we have. The Liberal Government truly needs to restructure the FTC so that it becomes a compromise that will include voices from the film industry. This will allow this industry to continue flourishing in our beautiful province. On that note, Mr. Speaker, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to speak on sort of a confusing moment. Thank you.

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I think to sum up the budget that was presented by the Liberal Government would be to call it Farewell to Nova Scotia, because most of the budget items in there are actually a farewell to this province.

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Let's take our youth, our youth who we talk about over and over again, how that generation is the critical generation to get us through the hard times that we are facing and the demographics of an aging population, which we need to pay attention to and not just talk about. There needs to be actual, solid action around that. This budget does not show any type of strategic plan towards that. It does not show consultation.

For those members who are new to this House, they did not see or hear from their own Party when they were on the Opposition side. Maybe what they should do as an exercise someday is go through Hansard and see what was said from this side when they were in Opposition, how they talked about this province being one of the highest-taxed provinces in all of Canada. That was their line going on and on and on. What did they do in their first year of their budget? They basically raised taxes. They raised fees well beyond the cost of living. When we raised those fees, we did it within the brackets of cost of living. We even explained that and they fought back on how awful that was, the highest-taxed province.

This government had the opportunity to reduce the HST and chose to not do that and appeal that legislation. They had that ability to do that. The whole story in respect to the pain of the budget and the costs and how they have to be the heroes coming through because the province is in such a disastrous state - that was created by them, not created by the NDP. They had choices. It's about priorities.

We all know the fact is that there was a $600 million budget line in respect of the Public Service and their pension plan. Unfortunately, previous governments did not account for the fact - because of the political cycle - that our population is aging and that the true story would be that our workers in the Public Service would be aging out of their jobs, so it would put more pressure on the pension plan. That was not calculated in any business plan over the years, so when we came in government, we were faced with that. There was a choice. Our choice was that we would amortize that over a 12-year period so people wouldn't have to take the hard hit.

That's a manufactured deficit. We all know in the House here the political games - that's to be able to tell the people of Nova Scotia that there was this huge deficit and we're going to be the heroes swooping in, and everybody has to bite the bullet and take the pain of it, and we have to share that pain. But that, in fact, was not the actual, true reflection of this situation when this government came into power.

They had the choice to continue that dollar amount in an amortization manner, and that's what most of us do in our lives with our homes. If we do not have the cash in hand, we do not decide to purchase our home and pay it off in one lump sum - the effect of that being, okay, I cannot send my child to university because I put it all in my house, I cannot provide furniture for my house. I've got an empty house because I don't have the money for it. I put it all down on my house. I cannot actually afford to heat my house.

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Those are not the normal, realistic decisions that we make in our lives. We make the decision that, well, we must go to the bank and we'll have to amortize our mortgage over a number of years, so we can make sure that we have a balanced life. We still need to be able to watch our budgets, but we make a choice that we're going to have a balanced life. We cannot really have a life with our family if we decide we're going to put all the little resources we have in our home. That's what happened with this government, when they came in, to create what looked like this deficit that did not need to be there and could have been amortized over the 12 years.

Now what are they doing? What's happening now is the people of Nova Scotia are the ones who are suffering and will suffer. We have youth who counted on this government - and check the Hansard notes, because on this side there were many members that stood up in this House and talked about the importance of our youth and the importance that university costs be kept at a reasonable level, and do what you could to keep that. So we capped that for our youth, so that they did have an opportunity, because they came to us over and over and over again.

Unfortunately, with the now-government in power, it was all about image. It was all about perception - putting ads in newspapers about how they want to comfy up with the unions, telling students that they were here for them, telling the film and television industry - in fact, you can just Google it, and you'll see an October 2012 story from CBC that talks about the Premier saying how important the Film Tax Credit was to this province and how much it generated. The minister herself said that publicly.

That part truly, truly baffles me - how you could have been saying those things less than two years ago. It wasn't just like one, oops, we made a mistake, maybe we shouldn't have said that. There are many, many "oops," in the sense of we've got youth who were told that they were going to be supported, and now what is happening? That cap is being taken off, and they're all very nervous. They're very nervous because the universities have a free-for-all for the first year of that cap being taken off to raise the tuition to whatever level they want. That's going to be devastating. That's not encouraging our youth to stay in this province. They're going to look at other places to go.

You also have the youth who want to gain an education - not only in our province but to go outside our province. Typically, those youth will come back, because home is where the heart is, but now we're penalizing those youth that decide that maybe they will take two years here in Nova Scotia and then decide to go to another university to get more experience. What it also does is it encourages those youth to see other parts of our nation, if they go to another university. Now we're going to penalize them for trying to broaden their horizons.

The sad, sad fact is that this was the Party in Opposition that talked about transparency and consultation. Mr. Speaker, I don't know what dictionary they were looking at when they said those words, because certainly the dictionary I have does not reflect that "transparency" and "consultation" mean you make a decision without involving people, without involving the film and television industry. It's so opposite to what they stood in this House and said. How difficult it must be sometimes to even go out and look at people who you said that to. You said it publicly, and it was in public. It wasn't just in the confines of this House - it was advertised. It was advertised publicly. People know that. It was advertised. They advertised with your own money, out of their own Party, to tell people one thing, and bango - as soon as they get in here, it's the complete opposite. It's kind of sad. No wonder people have a very poor vision of the political world and politicians, because this is a prime example.

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I'm sure that we could go through a whole month. Every day of the month, I am sure there is a promise that was totally broken by this Party. There's no question in my mind that we could fill a calendar with those broken promises.

We're chasing our youth out of the province. What area of excitement do the youth have in our province? Our youth in our province (Interruptions)

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

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. You know, one industry that really captures the attention of our youth is certainly the film and television industry. It's so exciting. We're Hollywood North and we're going to lose that - Farewell to Nova Scotia. That will be the theme song for sure as our youth are leaving and as our industry packs up and leaves.

I truly cannot understand how a government and members of the Cabinet can stand in this House and talk about economic development, talk about creating a winning environment for businesses, that suddenly it is businesses' and corporations' responsibility to take on the task of making this province vibrant.

What is the government's task to do? Their task is to create the winning conditions; I've heard that over and over. Well, are the winning conditions getting rid of an industry that has brought $130 million? They can say their political messages as much as they want to say. You can say that the tax still exists. You can say that it's international companies that get the money.

The fact is that those international companies provide the opportunities to the Nova Scotian companies to have those film productions. Most Nova Scotia companies would not have the means and the ability to be able to do a production like Haven or a Jim Henson production. They come here, they bring their money here, and that's what we're talking about. Whether they pay taxes or not, when we look at the investment that it brings to our province, that's what I just can't understand.

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I mean, I realize that there are challenges and it's very difficult in the job of Cabinet Ministers and Finance and Treasury Board Minister, but you can't look on one side of an issue. You can't look at the fact that because you are writing a cheque at the end of the year for $24 million for an industry, that means that there's no other domino effect of dollars. It's called investment. That's what it is called.

It's the same as investing $22 million into the Royal Bank for increased employment in our province. I would argue that would not even have the economic spinoff in our rural communities such as the film and television industry. The Royal Bank investment - as they should be known, because the definitions are the same. If you're giving them $22 million because it's to create jobs to one of the largest corporations in the world, what is the spinoff? Did you do an economic analysis of that spinoff? Did you do an economic analysis of the film and television industry?

You what is very sad? We know the answer is no. There are a few people making a decision for many, many people's lives in this province based on no information. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

[3:15 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CW on Supply with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

[7:27 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole on Supply reports:

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

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

[7:28 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

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[7:31 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Ms. Margaret Miller in the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK « » : That the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 76 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 80 - House of Assembly Act.

without amendments, and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : I move that the bill be read a third time on a future day. (Interruption) Ordered, sorry.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Move is so much nicer than order anyway, Madam Speaker. Much better choice of language.

Madam Speaker, that does conclude the government's business for today. Tomorrow being Opposition Day, I'll now ask the House Leader for the New Democratic Party to give us the House hours tomorrow and the business to be called.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Madam Speaker, for tomorrow's business we'll be calling Bill No. 86 and Bill No. 78, and the House hours will be from 1:00 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. So again, Bill No. 78 and Bill No. 86.

I move that the House do now rise to meet again until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House rise to meet again on April 15th between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

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We stand adjourned until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:33 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

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RESOLUTION NO. 1438

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Dora Rumley was born in Sibford Gower, England, and during the war years was employed in the office of a factory making parts for machinery used in the war effort; and

Whereas she met George Rumley, a young Canadian man who was serving in the Canadian Army who she married in 1945, came to Canada in 1946 on the ship Aquitania, and settled in Dartmouth, where they raised their son Robert; and

Whereas Dora has always been active in her community and volunteered for the Canadian Heart Fund and the Canadian Cancer Society as well as for her church and her son's schools;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in thanking Dora Rumley for her many contributions to her community and to her adopted country of Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 1439

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Devonian Coast Wineries, which operates Jost Vineyards in Malagash and Gaspereau Vineyards in the Annapolis Valley, was named as the 2015 winner of Food in Canada's Community & Industry Leadership Award; and

Whereas this award recognizes outstanding Canadian food and beverage processors that demonstrate achievement in growth, innovation, stewardship, community and industry leadership, and health and wellness; and

Whereas Devonian Coast Wineries, Nova Scotia's biggest winery that produces more than 200 acres of grapes and up to 70 per cent of the grapes from the province, was showcased in the April edition of Food in Canada magazine;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carl and Donna Sparkes of Devonian Coast Wineries for winning this year's award and thank them for supporting and encouraging growth and leadership in the agriculture industry.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1440

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

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

Whereas Corey Adams is a talented jazz and blues vocalist and musician from the North End of Halifax; and

Whereas Corey Adams has been active in the African-Nova Scotian music scene, performing and promoting music for many years; and

Whereas Corey Adams won the ALI Music Pioneer Award at the 2015 African Nova Scotian Music Association Award Show;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Corey Adams on receiving the 2015 ANSMA ALI Music Pioneer Award and thank him for his commitment to music in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1441

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

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

Whereas Patricia Neves has worked in early childhood education and administration in Halifax for almost 30 years; and

Whereas Patricia Neves has had a particular focus on ensuring that early childhood programming is inclusive for children of all needs levels; and

Whereas Patricia Neves has recently been named the new director of the Halifax Developmental Centre for Early Learning, a grassroots organization serving children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Patricia Neves on her new position as director of the Halifax Developmental Centre for Early Learning and thank her for her dedication to inclusion and early childhood education in Nova Scotia.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1442

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

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

Whereas Beaver Bank Station is located in the historical Hallisey House at 991 Windgate Drive in Beaver Bank; and

Whereas since its construction in 1856, this heritage building has served as a train station, an inn, a tavern, a private residence, a mini golf course, and a restaurant; and

Whereas current owners Joyce McCully, Alan Whitlam, and David Smith opened Beaver Bank Station in the summer of 2014, offering patrons family-friendly dining and entertainment;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Beaver Bank Station on their opening and extend wishes for continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1443

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

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

Whereas Sackville was served by Satellite Taxi cab driver Derek Bezanson, known as "Uncle", for over 30 years; and

Whereas Derek's sisters Nikki Bezanson and Tami Cleveland have paid tribute to their late brother by opening Uncle's Cafe and Deli, featuring hearty, home-cooked food; and

Whereas Uncle's Cafe is located at 400 Sackville Drive and opened for business on February 26, 2015;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature welcome Uncle's Cafe and Deli to the Lower Sackville community and wish Nikki Bezanson and Tami Cleveland future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1444

[Page 3693]

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

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

Whereas Sackville once again has a family-friendly pub in the community; and

Whereas Purdy's Pub and Grill is owned by Sackville native Jackie Purdy, who returned home after 15 years in Moncton; and

Whereas Purdy's Pub and Grill opened at 552 Sackville Drive on January 8, 2015, offering family dining, live entertainment, and catering;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Jackie Purdy on the opening of Purdy's Pub and Grill with best wishes for future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1445

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a proud history of hosting the first Canada Summer Games in 1969, and most recently, the Canada Winter Games in 2011; and

Whereas the 2015 Canada Winter Games were held in Prince George, British Columbia, from February 13th to March 1st; and

Whereas five Lower Sackville residents were among the participants representing Nova Scotia, including 15-year-old Nick Cullen as a member of the Team Nova Scotia hockey team;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge Lower Sackville's Nick Cullen for his participation on Team Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and wish him future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1446

[Page 3694]

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a proud history of hosting the first Canada Summer Games in 1969, and most recently, the Canada Winter Games in 2011; and

Whereas the 2015 Canada Winter Games were held in Prince George, British Columbia, from February 13th to March 1st; and

Whereas five Lower Sackville residents were among the participants representing Nova Scotia, including 20-year-old Kevin Stadnyk as a member of the Team Nova Scotia badminton team;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge Lower Sackville's Kevin Stadnyk for his participation on Team Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and wish him future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1447

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a proud history of hosting the first Canada Summer Games in 1969, and most recently, the Canada Winter Games in 2011; and

Whereas the 2015 Canada Winter Games were held in Prince George, British Columbia, from February 13th to March 1st; and

Whereas five Lower Sackville residents were among the participants representing Nova Scotia, including 18-year-old Sarah Newman as a member of the Team Nova Scotia badminton team;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge Lower Sackville's Sarah Newman for her participation on Team Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and wish her future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1448

[Page 3695]

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a proud history of hosting the first Canada Summer Games in 1969, and most recently, the Canada Winter Games in 2011; and

Whereas the 2015 Canada Winter Games were held in Prince George, British Columbia, from February 13th to March 1st; and

Whereas five Lower Sackville residents were among the participants representing Nova Scotia, including 18-year-old Maddy Faulkner as a member of the Team Nova Scotia gymnastics team;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge Lower Sackville's Maddy Faulkner for her participation on Team Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and wish her future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1449

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

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has a proud history of hosting the first Canada Summer Games in 1969, and most recently, the Canada Winter Games in 2011; and

Whereas the 2015 Canada Winter Games were held in Prince George, British Columbia, from February 13th to March 1st; and

Whereas five Lower Sackville residents were among the participants representing Nova Scotia, including17-year-old Kyle Robichaud as a member of the Team Nova Scotia archery team;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge Lower Sackville's Kyle Robichaud for his participation on Team Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Winter Games and wish him future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1450

[Page 3696]

By: Hon. Karen Casey « » (Education and Early Childhood Development)

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

Whereas each year on Heritage Night, the Colchester Historical Society celebrates contributions to the preservation and promotion of the history of Colchester County; and

Whereas this year 81-year-old Shirley Brinkhurst of Tatamagouche was presented with a 2015 silver maple leaf coin from the Royal Canadian Mint; and

Whereas Shirley was recognized for her volunteerism with the Margaret Fawcett Norrie Heritage Centre in Tatamagouche, where she has been instrumental in developing educational activities, implementing a student volunteer program, assisting fundraising and special events, and completing online exhibits;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Shirley Brinkhurst for her commitment to the community and for promoting Colchester County history.