Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD15-46

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

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
3698
Law Amendments Committee,
3698
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1451, EECD - Early Intervention: Prog. - Task Team,
3699
Vote - Affirmative
3700
Res. 1452, Intl. Adult Learners' Wk. (04/11 - 04/19/15)
- Recognize, Hon. K. Regan »
3700
Vote - Affirmative
3700
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 87, Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Act,
3701
No. 88, Dental Act,
3701
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Film Tax Credit: Cuts - Human Cost,
3702
Horton, Aaron - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Effects,
3702
Lun. Co. Lifestyle Ctr.: Sold Out Crowd (03/06/15) - Milestone,
3703
Fiske Fam. - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Future Prospects,
3703
Flemming, Bill - Film Ind. Destruction: Ripple Effect,
3704
Armdale Yacht Club: Soc./Cultural Fabric - Contributions,
3704
L'Esperance, Tim: Gov't. (N.S.) Film Tax Credit - Cuts Postpone,
3704
Film Tax Credit - Liberal Gov't.: Ind. - Five-Yr. Plan,
3705
King, Adam - Cartoon Conrad Productions: Film Tax Credit,
- Investment Success, Mr. E. Orrell »
3705
Broten Review: Film TV Ind. - Submission,
3706
TIR - Snow Clearing: Efforts - Thank,
3706
Zwicker, Bruce - Liberal Gov't.: Tax Credit Cut - Reconsider,
3707
Smith, Kristi - Liberal Gov't.: Changes - Effect,
3707
Caines, Maria & Chris: Choice Check Home Services - Congrats.,
3707
Critch, Mark: Job Prod. (22 Yrs.) - Consider,
3708
Prem./Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Film Ind. Proposal: Consultation
- Outcome, Hon. David Wilson « »
3708
MammoWarriors: The Night at the Nunnery - Fundraiser,
3709
Harty, Jeremy - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Effect,
3709
Film - Tax Credit Cuts: Families - Effects,
3709
Shearwater Skating Club - Recognize,
3710
Kingston, Chara - Gov't. (N.S.): Film Tax Credit - Cut Rethink,
3710
Jennings, Erin: Work/Fundraising - Recognize,
3711
Webber, Timothy: Film Ind. Closure - Effect,
3712
Film Tax Credit - Changes: Review - Appoint,
3712
Brain Wars (2015): Horton HS Teams - Congrats.,
3713
Roy, Sarah Haydon - Film Tax Credit: Decision - Min. Reconsider,
3713
Christmas, Savanah & Miranda: Amazon Conservation Proj
- Fundraising, Mr. B. Horne »
3714
Mahoney, Nancy & Michael - Economy: Film Ind
- Contributions Consider, Hon. J. Baillie « »
3714
Films: N.S. - Retain,
3714
Spoenlein, Michael (Mini) - Extreme Cage Combat
Bantamweight Champion, Hon. G. MacLellan »
3715
Chollet, Matthieu - N.S. Dream: Liberal Budget - End,
3715
Whitehead Commun. Assoc.: Vols. - Dedication,
3716
MacLellan, Caley: Liberal Budget - Effect,
3716
Layton-Malone, Amanda - Progress Women of Excellence Award,
3716
Bubbles' Kitties: Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Save,
3717
Antigonish Farmers Winter Market: Organizers - Thank,
3717
Likely, Matt - McNeil Liberals: Short-Sightedness - Victims,
3718
RMS Titanic: Sinking - Anniv. (103rd),
3718
Film Tax Cuts: Families - Displacement,
3719
Burns, Craig/Van Tassell, Jamie - Gov.-Gen.'s Medal of Bravery,
3719
Film Tax Credit Cuts: Redmond Fam. - Casualties,
3719
Kent, Susan: Tax Credit Cuts - Effects,
3720
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 597, Prem.: Film Ind. - Analysis,
3720
No. 598, Prem. - Film Tax Credit: Extension - Promise Breach,
3722
No. 599, Prem. - Film Tax Credit Cut: Decision - Evidence Provide,
3723
No. 600, Doyle, Aisling - Film Tax Credit: Cuts - Effects,
3725
No. 601, CCH - Film Tax Credit: Min. - Stance,
3726
No. 602, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit Cuts:
Min. Consultation - Lack Explain, Mr. T. Houston « »
3726
No. 603, Prem.: Broten Rept. - Recommendations,
3727
No. 604, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Effects
- Consideration, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
3728
No. 605, Fin. & Treasury Bd.: Kings South & Kings West MLAs
- Min. Consultation, Mr. J. Lohr « »
3730
No. 606, LAE: Grads - Opportunities,
3730
No. 607, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - MacKenzie, Ashley:
Film Tax Credit Cuts - Effects, Hon. A. MacLeod « »
3732
No. 608, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Kingston, Chara:
Film Tax Credit Cuts - Effects, Mr. T. Houston « »
3733
No. 609, Prem./Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Film Ind.: Consultation
- Lack Explain, Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
3734
No. 610, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Families
- Effects, Mr. A. MacMaster « »
3735
No. 611, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit: Value -
Analysis Table, Mr. T. Houston « »
3736
No. 612, Prem. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Mistake - Admit,
3737
No. 613, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Employees: Income Tax Returns
- Numbers, Mr. E. Orrell « »
3737
No. 614, Bus. - Film Ind. Tax Credit: NSBI - Consultation,
3738
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 86, Income Tax Act
3740
3743
3744
3748
No. 78, Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act
3751
3754
3755
3757
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
EECD - N.S. Educ. System: Budget Investment - Support,
3760
3762
3764
3766
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Apr. 16th at 1:00 p.m
3769
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1453, The Town Heroes (Windsor): Music Video - Congrats.,
3770
Res. 1454, Shore Lodge 134 (Windsor) - Anniv. (50th),
3770
Res. 1455, Davison, Garnett - Brooklyn FD: Exemplary Serv
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
3771
Res. 1456, Barker, Phillip - Brooklyn FD: Exemplary Serv
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
3771
Res. 1457, Tetanish, Bill & Brett - Brooklyn FD: Exemplary Serv
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter « »
3771
Res. 1458, Brooklyn FD Aux.: Fundraising - Congrats.,
3772
Res. 1459, Murray, Anthony: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
(15 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3772
Res. 1460, Hiltz, Darrell C.: Uniacke & Dist. Vol. FD - Serv
(32 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3773
Res. 1461, Ross, Raymond M.: Walton Shore FD - Serv. (38 Yrs.),
3773
Res. 1462, Nunn, Lawrence: Walton Shore FD - Serv. (49 Yrs.),
3774
Res. 1463, Williams, Morris A.: Uniacke & Dist. Vol. FD
- Serv. (59 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3774
Res. 1464, Kingston, John: Uniacke & Dist. Vol. FD - Serv
(39 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3775
Res. 1465, Raymakers, Henry A.: Uniacke & Dist. Vol. FD - Serv
(38 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3775
Res. 1466, Moore, Ernest J.: Uniacke & Dist. Vol. FD - Serv
(45 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3775
Res. 1467, Ledwidge, Francis James: Enfield Vol. FD - Serv
(45 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3776
Res. 1468, MacDonald, Francis Kevin: Shubenacadie & Dist
Fire Brigade - Serv. (41 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3776
Res. 1469, Custance, Frederick A.: Rawdon Dist. Vol. FD - Serv
(42 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3777
Res. 1470, Myers, Christopher Josph: Enfield Vol. FD - Serv
(30 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3777
Res. 1471, Telder, Brian: Nine Mile River Vol. FD - Serv. (30 Yrs.),
3778
Res. 1472, MacLellan, Kevin F.: Milford & Dist. Vol. FD
- Serv. (30 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3778
Res. 1473, Romkey, Herbert C.: Milford & Dist. Vol. FD
- Serv. (30 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3778
Res. 1474, Hanrahan, Ron: Hants Vol. FD - Serv. (44 Yrs.),
3779
Res. 1475, Burns, Leroy William: Kennetcook Dist. FD
- Serv. (40 Yrs.) Ms. M. Miller « »
3779
Res. 1476, Dixon, Cecil Patrick: Enfield Vol. FD - Serv. (35 Yrs.),
3780
Res. 1477, Oakley, Borden Albert: Enfield Vol. FD
- Serv. (56 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3780
Res. 1478, Brown, Shawn: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (5 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3781
Res. 1479, Mitchell, Norval Edward: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (35 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3781
Res. 1480, Hustins, George: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (45 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3781
Res. 1481, Crowell, Dale Irwin: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (25 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3782
Res. 1482, Fillmore, Arden Grant: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (40 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3782
Res. 1483, Gould, Allison Watson: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (35 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3783
Res. 1484, Isenor, Earl W.: Lantz Vol. FD - Serv. (44 Yrs.),
3783
Res. 1485, Murphy, Donald: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (5 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3784
Res. 1486, Hussey, Gregory: Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Serv
- Serv. (5 Yrs.), Ms. M. Miller « »
3784

[Page 3697]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15, 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, the topic for late debate tonight, as submitted by the honourable member for Fairview-Clayton Park, is:

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support the significant investment made in the Nova Scotia education system in the 2015-16 provincial budget, primary among them the over $20 million reinvested into classrooms to improve student outcomes and to better prepare our next generation for career opportunities.

This is for late debate at 5:30 p.m.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

[Page 3698]

Bill No. 79 - Civil Service Act.

Bill No. 84 - Statute Law Repeal (2015) Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am also directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 83 - Elections Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, if I have your permission, I would like to do an introduction prior to reading the resolution.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. CASEY « » : I would like to draw the attention of the members in the House to the gallery opposite where we are joined today by members of the Early Intervention Program new governance task team. They were given a task to do and they've come back with recommendations, which I will be prepared to accept.

[Page 3699]

I would ask the members if they would stand as I introduce you and remain standing until I have finished the resolution. So if I could ask Dr. Gerard Kysela, Leah Doiron, Patti Monaghan, Suzanne Saulnier, Henrick Strait-Hinnerichsen, Shirley Shot, Erin Jolly, Tracey DesChamp, Jonathan Ducarme, Bill Chisholm, Bea Buckland, Rachel Ross Mantley, Sandra Margettie, and from the department, Nathalie Blanchet, Shelley Thompson, Nicholas Phillips and Janice Foote.

I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome and ask them to remain standing. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 1451

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

Whereas young children who are diagnosed with or at risk of developmental delay receive services and supports from early intervention programs in Nova Scotia from the time they are born to when they are old enough to enter school; and

Whereas in January, a task team comprised of representatives from early intervention programs, the department, and community partners was challenged with developing a recommendation on a new governance structure for early intervention to support a strong future for the sector; and

Whereas the task team rose to the challenge and has recommended a structure with one board and eight regions to improve accessibility, quality of programs, and consistency in delivery across the province, and I have accepted that recommendation;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate the task team on their hard work and wish them well as they move forward implementing the structure, and that the House thank those working in the early intervention sector for their dedicated service to the families in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3700]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1452

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

Whereas Nova Scotians are joining together at events across the province to recognize the remarkable achievements of adult learners during Adult Learners' Week, April 11th to April 19th; and

Whereas learning is the foundation for growth in all aspects of our lives, and Adult Learners' Week raises awareness of the value of lifelong learning and the supports and services available to Nova Scotians who want to enhance their knowledge and skills; and

Whereas lifelong learning has a significant impact on individuals, their families, and communities by providing personal empowerment, admirable examples for children and others to follow, and skills for jobs and further learning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize International Adult Learners' Week in the province and the value and importance of lifetime learning in achieving one's full potential.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare-Digby on an introduction.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to make an introduction of my wife in the east gallery, Deidre. It's a little bit of a surprise for me to see her today. I think everybody in this House can certainly reflect on how important our spouses and our families are to support us in the job we do. I'll tell you I have one of the biggest supporters in this caucus and in this room. I thank her very much and would ask her to rise and receive the applause of the House. (Applause)

[Page 3701]

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to make an introduction before I introduce my bill.

I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the east gallery to introduce members of the Speech and Hearing Association of Nova Scotia. If they could rise as I introduce them - Julie St. Pierre, Pat Cleave, Joy Armson, Heather Maessen, and Greg Noel - we would give them a warm welcome here to the Legislature today. (Applause)

Bill No. 87 - Entitled An Act Respecting the Practice of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology. (Hon. Leo Glavine)

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and if again I could make an introduction - in the east gallery today we have Dr. Martin Gillis who is Registrar of the Provincial Dental Board and also we have Dr. Tom Raddall, President and, I think, one of their assistants. Jennifer. If all three would rise before I introduce my bill and we will give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

Bill No. 88 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1992. The Dental Act. (Hon. Leo Glavine)

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

The honourable member for Cumberland North on an introduction.

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Just leaving the east gallery is Bev Cooke of Amherst, Nova Scotia. I was hoping I could catch her before she left but, regardless, Bev is here with the members of the Early Intervention Task Team and she is a tireless volunteer with the Cumberland County Early Intervention Society. I would ask that the House bid her a fond farewell and safe travel home. (Applause)

NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 3702]

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

FILM TAX CREDIT: CUTS - HUMAN COST

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the short-sighted action of the McNeil Liberals is putting in jeopardy 2,700 jobs and an entire young industry. The Premier and Minister of Finance and Treasury Board want to talk about their decision to wipe out the film industry only in terms of tax formulas. They should know there is a human cost to their actions.

The industry told the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board yesterday that this plan is not workable. Today we will tell the stories of the producers, directors, caterers, costume designers, and makeup artists, who feel let down by a broken Liberal promise and abandoned by a government that doesn't see the value of their work. These are real people who are angry and frustrated at the thought of leaving an industry they have built to find work in another province. Thank you.

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

HORTON, AARON - FILM TAX CREDIT: CHANGES - EFFECTS

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, in the hundreds of emails and letters I have received regarding the Liberal budget, one sentiment keeps getting repeated - people feel betrayed.

Aaron Horton is one of those people. A resident of Cole Harbour, Aaron and his wife spent the last number of years in Toronto where he was very successful in working in the film industry. They recently made the decision to move back home to Nova Scotia with their children. The industry had grown since they had left and Aaron has been able to find work here, but now they are questioning that decision.

In his letter, Aaron wrote me and he said: I need to add my voice as somebody who is directly affected by the changes to the Film Tax Credit, and as a person who feels confused, betrayed, and shocked.

Mr. Speaker, I want to make sure Aaron's voice and the voices of thousands of others affected by this change are heard. I hope the Premier is listening, and I would like to table Aaron's letter from this pile of correspondence that I have here.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The item on our agenda, Statements by Members, is not a mechanism for tabling documents, so the document is rejected.

[Page 3703]

The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

Lun. Co. Lifestyle Ctr.: Sold Out Crowd (03/06/15) - Milestone

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre reached a significant milestone on March 6th. For the first time since it opened in September 2013, the LCLC hosted a sold-out crowd. A recorded 1,550 people came out to support the South Shore Lumberjacks Junior A hockey team in their last home game of the season. It was an awesome sight to see and experience, seeing all of the seats filled and the building abuzz. What an amazing atmosphere.

For all who have served on the various planning committees, boards of directors, and supporters of the facility, this was a very gratifying moment. With Joel Plaskett and Loverboy scheduled for summer dates, the future looks good at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.

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

Fiske Fam. - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Future Prospects

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Andre Fisk's work in the film industry of Nova Scotia. Mr. Fisk, of Lockeport, Nova Scotia, was the head carpenter on the set of Haven, season five, and assistant head carpenter in the previous four seasons.

Mr. Fisk started his career in Nova Scotia's film industry in 1994 on the set of The Scarlet Letter, shot in Shelburne. Since then he has trained in Toronto and worked on 24 productions in Nova Scotia. Mr. Fisk, his wife, two sons, and a daughter have all worked on films on the South Shore. His daughter wants to go into the creative arts when she graduates from high school.

Mr. Fisk sees the film industry as a family trade, and I am now concerned about the future job prospects for young people here. The Liberal changes to the Film Tax Credit put at risk the bright future of our creative industries and the cultural and economic contributions of citizens like the Fisk family. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

Flemming, Bill - Film Ind. Destruction: Ripple Effect

[Page 3704]

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Bill Fleming is a set director from Wolfville who works in film and television. A set director is responsible for providing the décor for film sets. One set director pointed out that his job was to spend money renting and purchasing from diverse suppliers: furniture stores, lighting stores, hardware suppliers, art galleries, and many more. Think of the benefit to local business. Stop and think about that, because it's clear the McNeil Government hasn't.

Destroying this industry will have a ripple effect across the province. Small businesses across Nova Scotia are putting "I Support Nova Scotia Film Jobs" signs in their windows. So when members of the Liberal caucus enter one of these establishments this week, I hope they do give some thought to what this cut means to those businesses. Thank you.

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

Armdale Yacht Club: Soc./Cultural Fabric - Contributions

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate the Armdale Yacht Club for giving residents of Armdale and surrounding communities a place for social and cultural engagement. The club hosts seasonal events, bringing people in the community together with local talent.

This last New Year's Eve, guests enjoyed a dinner and dance with music by the George Carter Junior Band. The following day the club was opened up to the public for their annual New Year's Day levee, where members and community guests exchanged greetings with the committee of management, welcoming everyone to moose milk and fish chowder.

In February the club held a dance called Beat the Winter Blues, featuring music by Metro. Members invited guests to join the fun, and one of these guests was lucky to win the draw for an honorary social membership. In March they hosted a St. Patrick's Day matinee with entertainment by Miles Gallagher and Danny Sullivan.

Mr. Speaker, I want to extend a special thank you to the Armdale Yacht Club for contributing to our social and cultural fabric. Thank you very much.

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

L'Esperance, Tim: Gov't. (N.S.) Film Tax Credit - Cuts Postpone

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, Tim L'Esperance is chief pilot at Vision Air Services in Oakfield, Nova Scotia. He believes that Nova Scotia's helicopter business is one of the unforeseen, uncalculated, and overlooked sectors that benefit from a healthy film industry here. Tim and his coworkers have experienced the benefits first-hand. Some of the best examples of their work are with Haven and Arcadia Content, which started their highly successful series, Canada Over the Edge, right here, and is now exporting this program in Nova Scotia and around the world. Year over year, Tim's business could expect anywhere from 15 to 25 per cent of its annual revenues to be associated with film production aerial filming services.

[Page 3705]

Tim implores the government to postpone its approach and engage in further consultation.

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

Film Tax Credit - Liberal Gov't.: Ind. - Five-Yr. Plan

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, the NDP Government improved and strengthened the Film Tax Credit and we created Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. If the Liberal Government thought the NDP had made the tax credit too generous, they could have taken a softer approach. They could have sat down and worked with the industry on a five-year plan. There could have still been concerns from the industry and complaints from me, but nothing like the rally we're seeing here today.

If the Premier feels he needs to burn down the film house, perhaps he could consider the plight of his backbenchers. The NDP has concerns about - the MLA for Halifax Chebucto's seat is at stake, the MLA for Fairview-Clayton Park's seat is at stake, and the MLA for Halifax Atlantic's seat is at stake. What about those three jobs, Mr. Speaker? If he doesn't think about the 2,000 film and TV jobs, what about those three jobs?

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

KING, ADAM - CARTOON CONRAD PRODUCTIONS:

FILM TAX CREDIT - INVESTMENT SUCCESS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, Adam King is a director at Cartoon Conrad Productions, a 2D animation studio that employs 60 digital media professionals. He says the Film Tax Credit has allowed Cartoon Conrad to be globally competitive. It has opened up opportunities to work with companies such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Fox, Teletoon, and more.

These world-class television programs are being produced from a converted farmhouse in Beaver Bank, Nova Scotia. It is owned by a Nova Scotian, employing Nova Scotians, and looking to hire more Nova Scotians. It's a pretty unique and awesome opportunity that Adam is very proud of. The company is supportive of the studio and the province should be looking at companies like Adam's as to why the Film Tax Credit is a successful investment.

[Page 3706]

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

Broten Review: Film TV Ind. - Submission

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, during Laurel Broten's review of taxes and regulations in Nova Scotia, the film and television industry produced a well-researched position paper. They submitted it to Ms. Broten and the Department of Finance and Treasury Board almost a year ago. The industry told government that they needed stable support to maintain investor confidence and increase capacity.

As the paper points out, competition is greater than ever. They also explain that all signs point to continued growth, with Nova Scotia's competitive labour tax credit being integral to that growth. Unfortunately, Ms. Broten, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, and the Premier have all ignored this analysis when they unilaterally made the decision to gut the Film Tax Credit.

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

TIR - Snow Clearing: Efforts - Thank

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, my member's statement is a little dated. With the reflection of the weather today, certainly we're thinking back to the past. Today, it's my pleasure to speak on the efforts of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal's staff and their commitment to keeping our roads clear and safe for Nova Scotians. They are there for us as MLAs to address our constituency concerns, especially in our rural areas.

In recent weeks, unfortunately, Nova Scotia was bombarded with snow fall that we had not seen in many years. Throughout it all, members of this department have gone above and beyond to perform their duties. These men and women brave the streets in the worst weather and in conditions that would be unthinkable for the average person. They are relentless in their duties and continue to work long hours day after day.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the department, plow operators, dispatchers, mechanics, staff, and department managers for all they do. Oftentimes it's a thankless job, and I wanted to make them aware that their efforts are appreciated.

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

ZWICKER, BRUCE - LIBERAL GOV'T.: TAX CREDIT CUT - RECONSIDER

[Page 3707]

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, Bruce Zwicker is an assistant director and has been a professional filmmaker for the last 24 years. Bruce was looking forward to the year ahead because he had one of the busiest years on record booked - that is, until the Liberal budget gutted the Film Tax Credit.

Since then, he has lost all the work he had booked. Bruce is weighing his options about where to live. He believes he has two choices: one, to sell his home and move; or try changing his career. It's not an easy decision. Bruce is angry and frustrated that the broken Liberal promise to extend the tax credit until 2020 is killing his job and that of so many others. Bruce joins hundreds of other Nova Scotians in asking the Liberal Government to reconsider its short-sighted decision to gut the tax credit.

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

Smith, Kristi - Liberal Gov't.: Changes - Effect

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, there are many videos circulating online today in reaction to the McNeil Government's gutting of the Film Industry Tax Credit and the elimination of Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia. In fact, I myself was asked to do one and I was very happy to comply. One of these videos was uploaded by Andrew McCormick and tells the story of Kristi Smith. Ms. Smith owns RCHMND, a menswear shop just down the road from Hollis Street here. Ms. Smith moved to Halifax from Toronto and the majority of her clients work in the creative industries including film and television. She's worried that this government has pulled the rug out from under the film industry which will in turn impact her business.

Ms. Smith - a young, passionate entrepreneur - is the type of person we should be supporting in our province. When will this Liberal Government see that their arbitrary changes are having a ripple effect and causing anxiety in almost every industry in this province?

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

Caines, Maria & Chris: Choice Check Home Services - Congrats.

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, last September, an office building on Portland Place in Halifax was completely destroyed by fire. This building was home to several local businesses, one of which was National Art. Maria and Chris Caines, a married couple from Harrietsfield, were both employed by National Art. When National Art decided not to reopen, this could have been devastating to the couple as both of them lost their jobs.

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Though this was a bit of bad luck, the Caines looked on this as an opportunity to open their own small business, Choice Check Home Services. The company looks after people's homes when they are away, providing peace of mind to homeowners knowing that their home is in good hands with Choice Check Home Services. I'd like to congratulate Maria and Chris Caines on their resilience and wish them success in their new business.

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

Critch, Mark: Job Prod. (22 Yrs.) - Consider

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, Mark Critch is a Newfoundlander who appears on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a show that has always been filmed in Halifax. It was created by Newfoundlanders and starred Newfoundlanders and even today the cast all hails from Newfoundland but it's shot in Halifax. Whenever Mark was home people ask, why isn't 22 shot in Newfoundland? And his reply is, the Nova Scotia Film Industry Tax Credit. He doesn't mention that the availability of the credit has resulted in the creation of studio space, production facilities and an unparalleled crew with which to work.

This little show created by and starring Newfoundlanders has been shot in Nova Scotia for 22 years. Mark urges members to think of 22 years' worth of career-building jobs - you won't get that from many other incentives.

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

Prem./Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Film Ind. Proposal: Consultation - Outcome

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier continues to say that he will review another proposal from the film industry as long as it fits within the same fiscal envelope. By attacking this industry, just like he attacked health care workers, the Premier is asking the industry to open this envelope with boxing gloves. It's time to sit down with the industry and consult properly.

Yesterday while leaving a meeting with the Finance and Treasury Board Minister, Screen Nova Scotia's Marc Almon said the minister agreed that what the government has put forward was unworkable. But when the Finance and Treasury Board Minister left that same meeting she indicated that it works for government, it works for us. That's not consultation when you pretend to listen, that's just not consultation. Thank you.

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

MammoWarriors: The Night at the Nunnery - Fundraiser

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MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, this weekend on April 18th there is a wonderful, women only evening of music, hilarity and fabulous hors d'oeuvres at the beautiful Black Spoon Bed & Breakfast, formerly the Sisters of Charity Convent. Hosted by the Boularderie MammoWarriors, A Night at the Nunnery will raise money for the Cape Breton Cancer Patient Care Fund and will go directly to help Cape Breton patients who are facing financial hardship due to their illness. The MammoWarriors are tirelessly committed to Cape Breton cancer care and this is only one of their numerous fundraisers they take on throughout the year. They truly are a group of Nova Scotians who represent the best of us. Thank you.

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

Harty, Jeremy - Film Tax Credit: Changes - Effect

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Jeremy Harty is a full-time and television editor and the owner of Digiboyz Inc., a post-production facility located in Burnside, where the company currently has five employees. This company has been around since 2002. Jeremy has been able to buy a home in Halifax and send his daughter to Lancers for horse-riding lessons; his son goes to soccer lessons; they purchased a family car.

Jeremy's company has donated many hours to helping grow film in Nova Scotia. He generally works more than 60 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. He pays corporate and personal taxes and Jeremy has made this city his home.

Today, Mr. Speaker, Jeremy is pleading with the government to not force him to leave this province.

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

Film - Tax Credit Cuts: Families - Effects

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, I've been getting dozens of emails every single day about the McNeil Government's cut to the Film Tax Credit. While most of those come from people who work in the industry, many come from people who don't, including people who are parents of people working in the industry.

One letter I got is from a constituent, Genevieve Doyle, whose son Sean works in the industry. Now Genevieve is a senior and she lives alone. She says she's incredibly proud of the work her son does and she is thankful that he has been able to make a living here at home. But she's very concerned about this government's gutting of the Film Tax Credit. She says, you know, he may be a screen worker to some people, but to her, he is her son. He's a big source of comfort and support in her life. He's a loving son. I would miss having him here in Nova Scotia.

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Mr. Speaker, I've heard from many other parents as well expressing the very same concern, that they don't want to see their families ripped apart by this senseless tax cut.

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

HON. KELLY REGAN; Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. REGAN « » : I would direct the members' attention to the east gallery, where one of my constituents is here today: Mr. Mike Volpe, who is the president of Topsail Productions. If he would please stand up and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause) Also with him is Mr. John Dunsworth, who has worked with him on Trailer Park Boys. I'd like to thank him for coming out here today as well. Thank you. (Applause)

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

Shearwater Skating Club - Recognize

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, the Shearwater Skating Club recently competed in the STARskate Provincials. Young girls from the skating club practised all season and are very dedicated to their sport of figure skating. Four members from the Shearwater Skating Club qualified to go to Skate Atlantica at the end of March.

This club is run by community residents who have been involved in the skating sport for years. The club has high enrolment each year and gets children of all ages out on the ice to enjoy the sport of skating.

The communities of Eastern Passage, Cow Bay, and Shearwater recognize the Shearwater Skating Club on their involvement in keeping our children and youth active.

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

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Chara Kingston and her husband have put down roots in Dartmouth. They have children in school. Chara is doing museum collections management work and her husband is working in animation. They are startled to realize that their love affair with this province may very well come to an end with the changes made to the Film Tax Credit.

Chara would like to say that they will make do and stay in the hope that things will change, but she knows they can't. They can't afford to stay with her husband losing his employment.

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Mr. Speaker, Chara is adding her voice to the thousands of others urging the government to rethink the cut to the Film Tax Credit.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday, I thought I heard the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board say, yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they're here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday.

Suddenly, I'm not half the minister I used to be. There's a protest hanging over me. Oh, yesterday came suddenly. Why'd the Film Tax Credit have to go? I don't know; the Premier wouldn't say. I did something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

Yesterday, the Trailer Park Boys . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order please. The members' statements are not supposed to incorporate poetry or quotes, songs . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: How can you call that poetry? (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER « » : It is bad poetry, but I call it poetry.

The honourable member for Halifax Armdale

Jennings, Erin: Work/Fundraising - Recognize

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would like to recognize the owner and managing director of J. Albert Walker Funeral Home, Ms. Erin Jennings. Erin has overcome many obstacles in a male-run industry to become the first female funeral home owner and manager in Nova Scotia who did not inherit a family business but built it up by hard work. Her business builds on the founder's legacy serving the families of Armdale, Spryfield, and the Greater Halifax communities for more than 50 years.

Ms. Jennings says that the career picked her; it was a calling. It's significant to note that Erin served on the board of registration for Funeral Directors and Embalmers Nova Scotia and is also a past provincial president of the Funeral Service Association of Nova Scotia. Her commitment to serving every family with the dignified and respectful burial, coupled with her proud support for local community organizations such as church fundraisers and the Spryfield Santa Claus Parade, make Ms. Jennings a model of excellence for hard work, dedication, and charity. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

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WEBBER, TIMOTHY: FILM IND. CLOSURE - EFFECT

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, Timothy Webber is a caterer for the film industry who operates Reel Catering. He lives in Hubbards with his wife and their two small children. Business was so good that Timothy recently purchased a second mobile food truck to keep up with demand.

He and his three employees fed the cast and crew of Haven, the Trailer Park Boys, Mr. D, and Call Me Fitz, just to name a few. The announcement that the McNeil Liberals were slashing the Film Tax Credit was devastating to Timothy and his young family. They worry about how they will pay for the truck and the rest of their bills. If the film industry dies in Nova Scotia, Timothy will have to sell the trucks and find another line of work.

Timothy Webber is just one of the 2,000 Nova Scotians the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board says will have to adapt.

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

Film Tax Credit - Changes: Review - Appoint

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the McNeil Government promised to listen to Nova Scotians; they promised to consult Nova Scotians - well, the creative industry in Nova Scotia may have believed that promise before the election, but they certainly don't now.

They were told last week that their industry would face huge cuts, but government didn't consult and isn't listening to the creative sector's warnings of what will happen if these cuts go through. When an industry in Nova Scotia is facing radical change or there is a threat of job losses, of businesses closing, government's job is to step in and help them to adjust and adapt through the transition, but for the creative sector there has been zero help. They were told to adapt. Industry officials found out last week their sector was facing huge losses and this will all come into effect in July - not a lot of time to adapt.

I call on the government to hit the pause button. Take time to consult industry officials; take time to listen to the people affected. Appoint an independent individual who can review all of the factors…

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for the member's statement has expired.

The honourable member for Kings South.

Brain Wars (2015): Horton HS Teams - Congrats.

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MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate two teams from Horton High School in Greenwich for their impressive results at the 2015 Brain War event in Halifax.

The team, Darwin's Natural Selections with team members, Liam Colman-Aulenbach, Ena Brennan, Margaret Hopkins, and Mira Tan placed third overall and the only high school team to place in the top five. The second Horton team, Math Not Meth - with team members Mezbah Alam, Jessica Bennett, Rebecca Bertrand, and Chris Hooegg-Phelps - placed 13th out of 40 teams. As finalist, Darwin's Natural Selections were paired with a special guest, the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

On behalf of the House of Assembly, I would like to congratulate and commend these young people of Kings County on their intelligence, ingenuity and teamwork, and wish them success in their very promising academic careers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Roy, Sarah Haydon - Film Tax Credit:

Decision - Min. Reconsider

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, Sarah Haydon Roy is a costume designer, originally from Alberta. She voted Liberal in 2013 based on the Premier's promise to extend the Film Tax Credit. Sarah points out that the Liberal promise was not in fine print or buried. It was a clear promise that was made and has now been broken.

Halifax-based Sarah has dressed actors on Heartbeat, Trailer Park Boys, and CBC kids' show You & Me. The actions of the McNeil Liberals in the last week have left Sarah shocked, dismayed, and angry. She doesn't want to leave the province, but she knows other places will value creative professionals like her.

Sarah worries about the future of Nova Scotia because of this government's lack of inspiring governance and insistence on pitting sectors against each other. She is one of thousands of Nova Scotians who want the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to reconsider her short-sighted decision. Mr. Speaker, many of those thousands are outside right now.

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

Christmas, Savanah & Miranda:

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Amazon Conservation Proj. - Fundraising

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today with pride to recognize a young Waverley girl and her mother for selling cookbooks to raise money toward a volunteer experience excursion to the Amazon Conservation centre in the Peruvian rainforest. Savanah Christmas and her mom Miranda - better known as Chef Miranda from the Sobeys in Fall River - wrote and produced a cookbook that is receiving tremendous support from our community. During this five-week volunteer project, they will be helping to preserve South America's Amazon from deforestation.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Savanah and Miranda on their original fundraising idea, and thank them for their desire to donate to a cause that helps animals and our environment.

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

Mahoney, Nancy & Michael - Economy:

Film Ind. - Contributions Consider

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, Nancy Mahoney and her husband Michael met 42 years ago at the National Film Board of Canada. Michael began his work there rewinding films. After 27 years, Michael set out on his own and established Magic Rock Productions. For years the Mahoneys struggled to bring work back to Nova Scotia, and they have been successful, having brought productions like The Lizzie Borden Chronicles here.

Nancy and Michael have two children and five grandchildren, and they feel as though the rug has been pulled out from under their feet. They are shocked by the arrogance of a government that has acted without thinking of the contributions the growing film industry makes to our province's economy.

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

FILMS: N.S. - RETAIN

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : It's called action. Mr. Speaker, Screen Nova Scotia's Position Paper points out a little-known fact: that Nova Scotia is the birthplace of Canadian cinema. Over 100 years ago, in 1913, the silent film Evangeline was filmed here, making it the first feature film in Canada. Our film industry has grown exceptionally since then, from one film to a $150 million industry that we should all be proud of, but this rich and storied history is now at risk.

As I've said over and over since my election in 2009, this creative economy is essential to a bright future for Nova Scotia. I add my voice to the ones outside today, and the ones across the province, as we remind the Premier that films started here and we need to keep them here.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Glace Bay.

Spoenlein, Michael (Mini)

- Extreme Cage Combat Bantamweight Champion

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate a young leader in my community of Glace Bay: 20-year-old Michael "Mini" Spoenlein is a mixed martial arts athlete who has caught the attention of many in the MMA world with a series of impressive performances. Combining his tremendous work ethic with natural ability, Mini reached a career milestone on February 28th of this year, becoming the Extreme Cage Combat Bantamweight Champion with a submission win over Rick Pfeifer here in Halifax.

In addition to continuing a heavy training regimen at the ZombieProof Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym, Michael volunteers at BullyProof, a program aimed at giving confidence and self-defence skills to youth at risk. Mini is both a fighting and community champion, Mr. Speaker. I wish him the very best in the future, and I hope to see him in the UFC someday, or perhaps here in the Legislature. Congratulations on your title, champ.

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

Chollet, Matthieu - N.S. Dream: Liberal Budget - End

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, Matthieu Chollet is a 22-year-old 3-D artist. He grew up in and studies animation in Lyon, France. Copernicus Studio gave Matthieu the opportunity to come to Halifax for what was supposed to be a three-month internship, but Matthieu has been here for a year and half, working as a full-time 3-D artist, and he's about to get his permanent work visa.

Canada is known all over the world for its great animation studios. Matthieu still wants to believe that provinces like Nova Scotia are the best place to fulfill a motivated artist's dream, but he's afraid that the Liberal budget may put an end to that Nova Scotia dream. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Whitehead Commun. Assoc.: Vols. - Dedication

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MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, each second week in August the Whitehead Community Association holds an annual event, which is titled Whitehead Days, at the fire hall, as well as other numerous events throughout the year. The association first started in 1975 when people in the community started Whitehead Days, and it was created as an event for community members and a fundraiser for the Whitehead Community Association.

The association is a non-profit organization which is operated by the association members of the community. Volunteers maintain the hall and fitness centre for the residents of Whitehead and surrounding areas. The goal is to enhance and improve lifestyles within the community with various community-based events.

There are many dedicated volunteers involved in the association. They were responsible for raising enough money to start a fitness centre in their community and making Whitehead Days the astounding event that it is today. I am honoured to have these volunteers and such an admirable association in my constituency. I admire their determination and dedication toward their events and creating new experiences for the people of the community to enjoy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MacLellan, Caley: Liberal Budget - Effect

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, Caley MacLellan is a 40-year-old father of two and a filmmaker. Over the past four year Caley has produced some projects that have benefited from the Film Tax Credit and some that haven't. He has worked hard to strengthen the film industry in Nova Scotia.

Caley has seen first-hand how the film industry has defined Nova Scotia's provincial identity and told our stories. He believes that cutting the funding for the tax credit and closing Film Nova Scotia is not just a budget concern, it cuts one of the few ways left of funding the creative and cultural landscape of this province. For Caley the Liberal budget is eroding the province's cultural product and, more important, destroying the fabric of our rich provincial identity. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Layton-Malone, Amanda

- Progress Women of Excellence Award

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring attention to a remarkable woman, Amanda Layton-Malone. Amanda is the head coach of the diving club at the Canada Games Centre. She focuses her training on building confidence, self-worth and overall well-being in each of her athletes, and all athletes of the sport at the Canada Games Centre.

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Through her hard work, dedication, and volunteer hours, Amanda has established a growing diving program encompassing everything from learn to dive to a competitive diving program. Amanda has recently been awarded the Progress Women of Excellence Award in Health, Sport and Wellness for her contributions to sport and coaching, and for exemplifying excellence in the health profession.

Congratulations Amanda, we are so fortunate to have such a remarkable woman in our community.

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

Bubbles' Kitties: Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Save

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board is an avid animal lover, but I thought she should know what gutting the Film Tax Credit is doing to over 100 Nova Scotia kitties.

Bubbles is afraid he will have to pack up his 116 kitties and move away from Sunnyvale because the cameraman won't be able to put him and his friends, Ricky and Julian, on TV without the credit. Poor Bubbles is trying to find a deal on 116 cat carriers.

If the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board won't reconsider cutting the Film Tax Credit for over 2,000 jobs and a vibrant growing industry, will she do it for the kitties?

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

Antigonish Farmers Winter Market: Organizers - Thank

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, today I want to share news with members of the House of Assembly on a new initiative in Antigonish. Antigonish has always had a strong Farmers Market where every Saturday from May to December hundreds of people visit the exhibition grounds to purchase local produce, meat, baked goods, crafts, jewellery, and so much more.

The success and popularity of the Farmers Market has now extended to a brand new winter market that just started in January past. Now every Saturday until the end of April, local vendors with various items such as honey, soap, beeswax, candles, baked goods, photography, knitting, et cetera, can sell their goods. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Antigonish Mall is a buzz of activity by those who sell at the market, visit it, and enjoy it year-round. From its first weekend on January 30th it has continued to grow and be successful. I'm proud to be from this community that supports small local business with so much care and enthusiasm.

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I'd like to say thank you to the organizers, as well as the Antigonish Mall for partnering together and creating such a great initiative. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Likely, Matt - McNeil Liberals: Short-Sightedness - Victims

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, Matt Likely moved to Nova Scotia from Saint John, New Brunswick, at the age of 18 to attend school. After graduation he got involved in the film industry, starting in the art department of many productions. He is now an art director. Over the years Matt spent three seasons working on Haven, he worked two seasons on Seed and on movies such as Hobo With a Shotgun. He made a living doing what he loves and bought a house in Dartmouth.

The Liberal Government's slashing of the Film Industry Tax Credit has Matt thinking about leaving Nova Scotia. He has already looked at real estate in another province. Matt doesn't want to go but he worries he will be forced to leave to find steady work. Matt likely is just one of 2,000 Nova Scotians who are victims of the short-sighted thinking of the McNeil Liberals. Thank you.

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

RMS Titanic: Sinking - Anniv. (103rd)

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to commemorate the solemn anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. One hundred and three years ago today the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg while making its maiden voyage across the Atlantic Ocean from Southampton to New York City. It sank off the coast of Newfoundland and claimed more than 1,500 lives. Vessels from our province were dispatched to aid in the recovery efforts and 150 of the victims were laid to rest here in Halifax.

Today the Province of Nova Scotia retains many reminders of the way in which the tragedy of the Titanic touched the lives of those who lived here. From the gravestones of victims to memorial monuments, stories passed down through generations to new insights and discoveries, Nova Scotians have remained respectful keepers of the vessel's memory. I would like the members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in remembering those who lost their lives in this tragic event.

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

Film Tax Cuts: Families - Displacement

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MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, Elizabeth Hagen works as a production accountant and her sister Joanne works as a script supervisor. Their brother Robert works as an assistant accountant in the film industry also. As you can imagine with three members of the family all working in film, the gutting of the Film Industry Tax Credit is devastating. Their option is to move out of Nova Scotia and work elsewhere but there's another aspect that makes this especially difficult for Elizabeth and her siblings - their dad passed away three years ago and their mom suffers from Alzheimer's disease. If they all have to leave the province for work, they worry about what will happen to their mother.

Elizabeth wants the government to know that not only are they driving an industry from this province but also displacing Nova Scotian families.

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

Burns, Craig/Van Tassell, Jamie - Gov.-Gen.'s Medal of Bravery

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Craig Burns of Weymouth and Jamie Van Tassell of Digby for recently being awarded the Governor General's Medal of Bravery. On a rainy afternoon of May 2012 Mr. Van Tassell, a firefighter and paramedic, witnessed a two-vehicle crash on Highway No. 101 near Little Brook. Mr. Burns stopped at the accident shortly thereafter and the two men risked their lives to get the occupants out of the car, both cars catching fire.

Unfortunately the two occupants from one of the cars would not survive the accident but the driver of the second car was rescued by Mr. Burns and Mr. Van Tassell and would survive the accident. The bravery medal recognizes acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances and these two men, by their actions on that rainy day, definitely merit this award. On such a very bad day we all hope that such brave people happen to be close by.

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

Film Tax Credit Cuts: Redmond Fam. - Casualties

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Diana Redmond and her partner have been members of IATSE Local 849 for the past 20 years. They've worked long hours and during harsh weather and have persevered through slow years to finally put this industry on the map, attracting many shoots and tourists to the East Coast.

Diana's daughter is a NSCAD grad who has had her dreams shattered by the recent announcement. She was just starting to work in the industry and their family will have lost three careers. They are Nova Scotians and they pay taxes. They are three more casualties of the gutting of the Film Industry Tax Credit. Thank you.

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

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Kent, Susan: Tax Credit Cuts - Effects

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker 10 years ago, actor Susan Kent left Newfoundland to find work in Toronto. She didn't make it past Nova Scotia; she got hired at This Hour Has 22 Minutes, a show with an incredible 22-year legacy.

Twenty-two years is a long and successful run for any business. The backbone of the show is right here in this province, the spirit of the live audience and the tone of the region's humour.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Time allotted for members' statements has expired.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just a reminder that I'll strictly enforce the 45-second rule as we go forth.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

Prem.: Film Ind. - Analysis

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : My question is to the Premier. We learned today that the government did no meaningful analysis about the value of the film industry before moving to wipe it out. In fact, it turns out that the last time a comprehensive review of the value of the film industry was done was in 2004. This is no way to run a government. My question to the Premier is, and I will ask him, how can he wipe out the livelihoods of 2,700 people without even looking into the benefits that they bring to the province?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Like all Nova Scotians, we value the contributions made by those in the creative economy, Mr. Speaker. We have a Film Tax Credit that is the richest in the country, one that as the credit has gone up our percentage of the overall productions in Canada has actually either stayed stable or slightly decreased. What we presented is a proposal that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board has tabled in this House. I'm very encouraged by the fact that industry is now engaged with us in a conversation with the idea that they will bring a proposal that works for them. We've said all along this proposal works for us and they have told us it does not work for them; we're listening to them.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, Timothy Webber certainly doesn't feel valued by the government and those words will be cold comfort for him. He is a caterer in Hubbards, he and his family business, his three employees, serve the cast of Haven, the Trailer Park Boys, Mr. D, Call Me Fitz, to name just a few. He's now worried about how he's going to pay his bills and thinks he's going to have to sell his food truck in order to get by. How can the Premier tell Timothy Webber that he is going to wipe out his livelihood without even having analyzed the benefit that his job brings to the province?

[Page 3721]

THE PREMIER « » : I appreciate the fact that the honourable member does not want to hear the fact that government is in conversation with Screen Nova Scotia and the industry. We laid a proposal on the table that works for us, they have told us it doesn't work for them, so we've asked them to bring us a proposal. We'll look at it but we have to live within the fiscal means that this province has.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, look, the government made a mistake. I refuse to believe that they deliberately set out to wipe out the livelihoods of 2,700 people. They made a mistake, but it is not too late to fix it. We know that there's a meeting with the industry tomorrow - it's not too late. (Applause)

We know there's a meeting with the industry tomorrow. Will the Premier assure this House that that meeting will result in real changes that save those jobs and be more than just lip service?

THE PREMIER « » : First of all the meeting is not tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, the industry has requested it to be Friday. Furthermore, I want to assure all members of this House that there have been conversations happening today, yesterday, and I'm sure they'll happen tomorrow, to continue to find something that works for the industry and something that allows us to live within our means.

Time after time after time that side of the House continues to complain about the fact that we're in deficit. We're trying to move this province back to a balanced budget in a way that is sustainable and affordable. We have the worst performing economy in Canada, and we cannot continue to offer the most generous packages.

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

Order, please. I'll ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to - I just have to remind the members of our gallery that it is unparliamentary and we will be dealing with outbursts from the gallery accordingly.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

Prem. - Film Tax Credit: Extension - Promise Breach

[Page 3722]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier likes to say he was elected to govern and he intends to do so. This doesn't mean the Premier has earned the right to use his majority government to do whatever he pleases. One would hope the Premier would start by keeping promises he made to get elected in the first place. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, the Premier personally made a promise to the film industry to extend the Film Tax Credit for five years. My question is, where in the small print did it say that the credit would be cut and left less than useless?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As you know, we extended that program last year, the 20/20. The entire tax credit is on the table. What we're talking about is the same criteria that is being used around this whole credit is still in place, what we've changed is the delivery model.

Mr. Speaker, the industry has told us that change will not work for them. We said to the industry, bring us back something that will work for you. We'll look at it and then we'll say does it work for us in the financial envelope that we have.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Once the Premier realized he wasn't going to keep his election promise, he neglected to sit down to consult with the industry. Instead the Premier has been waging a considerable disinformation campaign against the tax credit and the industry. The Premier has implied that the industry has been getting overly-generous handouts unavailable to anyone else and not doing their fair share to build our economy. This is scandalous, Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is, will he provide this House with all options and every shred of analysis that his Cabinet and Treasury Board had before them when they chose to gut the Film Tax Credit?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what is scandalous is to stand here and listen to the Leader of the New Democratic Party who, after four years in government, embedded into the cost of this province $700 million in wages. If you had just simply gone to the growth of the economy we would have $200 million more in the Treasury of this province, which means we'd be $100 million in surplus. Not only could we invest in the creative economy, we could invest in every classroom, we could invest in every hospital room and we could invest in the private sector to grow jobs in this province.

Mr. Speaker, you failed to show leadership. We will show leadership, we will work with the industry to ensure that there's a future in this province. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind the honourable Premier not to refer to members opposite as "you".

[Page 3723]

The honourable Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party on her final supplementary.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, Laurel Broten understood the deficit that this province was in when she wrote her report. She recommended to the government that they give . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'll ask the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove the gallery. I'll just remind members of the gallery that that's two strikes. The third one, we'll have to clear the gallery with the exception of the media.

The honourable Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party on her final supplementary, and you can start over.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, when Laurel Broten did her tax review she knew that the province faced some financial difficulties. That was a theme throughout her entire report, yet she recommended a five-year transition period for the film industry.

I want to ask the Premier, why will he not commit today to hit the pause button on these cuts and order an independent review of the Film Tax Credit before any changes are made and further damage is done to this important industry, Mr. Speaker?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I disagree with the honourable member's question. I believe we have a role to support this industry beyond five years. We've laid out a proposal that works for government. Industry has clearly told us it doesn't work for them.

We are sitting down to talk to industry. They will bring us a proposal. We'll look at it, whether it works in the fiscal envelope of this province, Mr. Speaker, but we have to live within the financial means that we have. Industry knows that, industry will bring us a proposal. We'll work together with them to ensure that not only will this industry be here for the next five years, it will be here for years beyond that.

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

Prem. - Film Tax Credit Cut: Decision - Evidence Provide

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what a way to run a government. You move blindly to wipe out an entire industry and then turn to them and say, hey, if you've got a better idea, let us know.

The fact of the matter is that when the Yarmouth ferry was up for debate a few years ago in this House, the Liberal member for Yarmouth said, "This was done without public consultation and without providing evidence to the public . . . Where is the evidence, where is the homework supporting this government's reckless decision . . . ?"

[Page 3724]

That was no way to run a government then, and it's no way to run a government now. I'll ask this Premier the same question, where is the evidence, where is the homework supporting this reckless decision?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, as I said to the honourable member earlier, we have the most lucrative arrangements in the entire country. We have the most lucrative arrangements in the entire country, and during that period of time, our percentage of the industry has been going down.

We said to the industry that we believe it should go forward. The industry has told us it will not work for them, so we've engaged the industry to find a solution. Is the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party against the fact that we're asking the industry to bring a proposal that works for them? We'll let them know whether it works for us.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Well, it's also no way to run a government to wipe them out first and then ask questions later.

The Premier can twist the numbers around all he wants. They've made a mistake. They made a mistake that could cost this province the jobs of 2,700 young, dynamic, creative Nova Scotians. The NDP made a mistake with the Yarmouth ferry, and I saw their Acting Leader last night admit that it was a mistake. She had the courage to say they had made a mistake. (Applause)

Well, here we are again. Here we are again, and this time it is not too late to fix it. Will the Premier agree to at least postpone his arbitrary July 1st deadline and make sure that a solution is worked out that is fair to all those jobs and to the taxpayers?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to tell all members of this House that there's $24 million available in the Film Tax Credit this year - the same amount that was available last year. What we're talking about is a change to this program going forward.

The industry has told us that it will not work for them. We have listened to them. We've also told them the financial challenges this province is facing, and the fact that we have to live within our means and get back to balance. They've understood that. We're working on a common solution as we go forward, and I'm looking forward to having that day come.

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

[Page 3725]

Doyle, Aisling - Film Tax Credit: Cuts - Effects

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, in response to an earlier question, I heard the Premier say that we will show leadership in this case of gutting the Film Tax Credit, and his entire caucus gave him a standing ovation.

The Film Tax Credit is an important tool for attracting young people, motivated people, to Nova Scotia - including immigrants that this province desperately needs. Aisling Doyle is an animator who recently moved here from Dublin, and when Copernicus Studios offered her work in Halifax, she jumped at the opportunity. She says she loves her job, she wants to stay here . . .

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

MS. ZANN « » : What does the Premier have to say to Aisling Doyle and others like her, who are eager to build a life in Nova Scotia but will now likely have to leave as a result of the cut to the Film Tax Credit?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to say to her, thank you for choosing Nova Scotia. We've laid a proposal on the table that industry has told us will not work. It works for government. We have said that we will listen to industry - bring us a proposal that works for you, that fits inside the financial envelope that this province has to operate on. We're going to listen. We're going to continue to provide leadership, not only on this file but on other files, and we're looking forward to continuing to see the film industry in this province.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, three years ago, 27-year-old Daniel Luke Smits made the decision to move more than 17,000 kilometres from his original home, Australia, to Nova Scotia, to work in our growing creative economy as an animator. He's now in the process of applying for permanent residency. Daniel says: It terrifies me to consider that Nova Scotia may not be my home for much longer.

Why won't the Premier reconsider his decision to gut the Film Tax Credit so that people like Daniel Smits can build a life here and help grow our province?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure what more that member would like, other than for us to completely go back to the way it was. It's simply not sustainable, and the industry has acknowledged that. We're going to find a common ground that works with industry and works with the financial and fiscal envelope that we have as a government to continue to see this government grow.

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

[Page 3726]

CCH - Film Tax Credit: Min. - Stance

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. The film and television industry is an important job creator in Nova Scotia's cultural sector. It also brings excitement and vibrancy to the province's cultural landscape, and I might add that it's very gentle on our environment.

During the examination of the estimates, the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage was asked four separate times if he fought to save the Film Tax Credit and this important industry. On all four occasions, he refused to provide an answer. Will the minister explain today if he fought to save over 2,000 jobs associated with his department?

HON. TONY INCE » : Mr. Speaker, as the Premier has mentioned, the industry is going to have communications and continue communications with the department. We will then be able to talk to you and tell you the results of that meeting. Thank you.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I was asking if he had fought for these jobs. But like all MLAs in this Chamber, I'm sure the minister has heard from our province's creative film and television professionals that gutting the tax credit will drive people out of the province and completely kill the industry.

Will the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage admit that the Liberal budget will destroy an industry that is crucial to the cultural future of our province?

MR. INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, as I've said earlier, the industry is meeting with the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. We will sit down with them to work out a common ground and hopefully the industry will stay here. Thank you.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit Cuts:

Min. Consultation - Lack Explain

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. The McNeil Liberals gutted the Film Tax Credit without consultation with industry. Charles McLearen, who works with a local film equipment company, described the Liberal plan as "scorched earth".

My question is, why did the minister not listen to the thousands of hard-working individuals like Charles McLearen in the film industry before she gutted the tax credit?

HON. DIANA WHALEN » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this. As the member opposite knows, we met just this week - immediately, three or four working days after the budget came out. We have an appointment to meet again on Friday and we're going to look for common ground.

[Page 3727]

I think we have an understanding that the industry is important. It's important to us, it's important to all of the people who participate in it, and we will find some common ground. Thank you.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Respecting industries before you try to destroy them might be a good way to proceed. The minister told reporters that gutting the Film Tax Credit works for her government. The Premier said today that it works for his government.

Today, we can hear and see thousands of real people. Slashing the tax credit doesn't work for them. We're lucky that we have a film industry that has been vocal about the negative impacts of this government.

My question again is, why did the minister write off these real jobs and write off these real Nova Scotians to make the tax credit work for her without asking them how it might impact them?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, the industry, through Screen Nova Scotia, has been very respectful and very open, very much willing to discuss with us what the future of the industry will be.

They are anxious to find common ground and so are we. Mr. Speaker, the kind of rhetoric I'm hearing from the member opposite doesn't help this situation one bit. It's a bunch of theatre across the way. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Prem.: Broten Rept. - Recommendations

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, look, let's be honest. We all know that every member of this House is concerned about the finances of the province and the fiscal situations. I know the Premier is concerned about that. But people outside this House are not the problem to our economy's slow growth - they are the solution to our province's slow economic growth. Laurel Broten knew that as well when she wrote her report and recommended a five-year transition period to work with the industry so we could grow that creative sector.

My question to the Premier is, how can the Premier ignore the recommendation of the Broten report to take a considered period of time before making drastic changes to the tax incentives for this industry?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, Ms. Broten's report actually talked about doing away with the Film Tax Credit. That is not what's happening in this province. That's not what's happening in the province.

[Page 3728]

We've laid out something that works for our government. The industry says it does not work for them. We're listening to them. We're talking with them. As the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board said, how fortunate we are that the industry has come to the table to find a solution recognizing the challenges that the province is faced with. But they're looking for a solution that works for them and we're prepared to sit down with them to find that solution.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, we're starting to see a pattern out of the McNeil Government. This is a government that acts first, consults later. This is a government that went out and picked fights with hundreds and thousands of health care workers and then had to retreat when they realized that the path they were going down was creating chaos in the health care system.

My question to the Premier is, how far is he really prepared to go in creating chaos in the film industry before he's prepared to admit he's wrong?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for reminding all members of this House how fortunate we are now to have essential services legislation in place to ensure that health care will be there for Nova Scotians.

I want to remind her, Mr. Speaker, that we reduced 50 bargaining units down to four to bring sense to the collective bargaining agreement. I want to remind the honourable member, well over a year ago, we asked her friends in the labour movement to give us the lead at the bargaining table. They refused. We are there now.

I want to again remind the honourable member we value the creative economy in this province. The industry said our proposal doesn't work for them. We are going to work with them to find a solution that works for them and that allows us to live within our financial means.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit Cuts:

Effects - Consideration

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : My question is to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. Matthieu Chollet recently moved to Nova Scotia from his home in France for an opportunity to work as a 3D artist at Copernicus Studios. After making the move for what he thought was a three-month internship, a year and a half later, he is still working here in Nova Scotia as a 3D artist and loves the work and the company so much he is about to receive his permanent work visa.

[Page 3729]

The gutting of the Film Tax Credit by this Liberal Government threatens not only families and our economy, but, in this case, immigration at a time when we're trying to attract young people to move to Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, when the minister made the decision to cut the Film Tax Credit, did she consider people like Matthieu?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I would like to assure the member opposite that I too have read many of the emails. I've read as many as I can get through. I have spoken to people in the industry and we appreciate the people who are here and the job that they are doing and the creativity of the sector.

Mr. Speaker, the reality is that the credit, as it stood at 65 per cent - between 50 and 65 per cent of all the labour costs being covered by Nova Scotian taxpayers - was too rich. It's too rich for our province. It has to be looked at, and that's where we are today. As has been mentioned, had we had a different situation when we came into government, that would be a different matter. But we will find common ground with this industry.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, in such a competitive business, we're lucky to have so many talented young people working in the creative industry and that they call Nova Scotia home. This will change with that cut as companies decide to go to a more competitive province or country.

The minister made a mistake with this cut, one that will have negative ripple effects across our province. My question to the minister is, how does the minister justify destroying the livelihoods of so many people like Matthieu?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I think it's important that the member opposite and all Nova Scotians know that we value the creative sector in this province and we want to see a vibrant creative sector. Film, digital animation, all of the arts - our new Creative Economy Fund will provide funding that was never seen before for publishing, music, and sound recording. We're looking at all of the arts.

The Province of Nova Scotia needed to rebalance. We need to look at how we support which industries. This is not a tax credit; it is an incentive. It is a different mechanism. We're going to sit with the industry and we're going to find the right level of support within our envelope and within the industry so we can work together. Thank you.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd.: Kings South & Kings West MLAs

[Page 3730]

- Min. Consultation

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board also. Ken Bezanson is the owner of Country Barn Antiques in Port Williams and Borden House Antiques in Upper Canard, Kings County. By renting his antiques, he services the film industry in the Annapolis Valley. Mr. Bezanson believes the cut to the Film Tax Credit by the Liberal Government would have a devastating effect on the Annapolis Valley economy. My question for the minister is, has the minister been approached by the honourable members for Kings South and Kings West regarding the negative effect the cut to the Film Tax Credit will have on the economy of Kings County in the Annapolis Valley?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think really what the member opposite wants to know is whether or not we considered the impact across the province and we certainly have. We represent and have to look after the tax dollars for all Nova Scotians. I think it's well understood that we've gone from a deficit of $278 million to one that's now less than $100 million. We're trying to bring this province to a place where we have the opportunities to invest further in education, health, the arts, and all the other important things, so maybe I'll just wait for the member's next question. Thank you.

MR. LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the minister for that answer and yes, what I am asking is, what is the impact of the Film Tax Credit on Annapolis Valley? Many businesses have benefited from the film industry and individuals, including personal friends of mine who have rented cars to Call Me Fitz. My question to the minister is, what analysis did the minister do to estimate the impact that gutting the Film Tax Credit would have on the Valley economy?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it's clear there was an impact analysis done for all of the industry, for all of the spinoffs, for all of the taxes paid. But the important point to remember is that this is a subsidy unlike any other industry subsidy in our province. We have the richest tax credit in the country and we have the slowest growing economy in the country.

Those two facts just don't line up. That's something that we are going to sit down with the industry and find the common ground that's necessary for moving forward. Again, that's where we need to be.

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

LAE: Grads - Opportunities

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia is about to graduate students from NSCC, NSCAD, and the da Vinci College who have dreamed about having jobs in the film industry whether it be a director, a writer, an actor, producer, or a set designer. They have invested their time, money, and passion into their dreams of working in the film industry here in Nova Scotia. The average student in the creative sector, post-secondary education programs spend over $5,200 a year to work towards the job that they've dreamed about working in their whole lives. Can the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education explain to these students who are about to graduate why their $5,200 a year investment could be worth nothing due to the gutting of the Film Tax Credit?

[Page 3731]

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the honourable member for the question and I do want to let those students know that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board is meeting with the creative sector this week. She met with them on Tuesday and will meet again with them on Friday, and I have faith in her that we will be able to come up with a solution so those students will be able to get jobs here when they graduate. Thank you.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I hope that invitation is to the graduates. I hope the government will recognize the need to consult with them. It is very clear that this government has taken an anti-student, anti-youth approach to its decision making over the last year and a half. Last year they cancelled the Graduate Retention Rebate, a $50 million investment in students. This year they've dashed the dreams of students working towards a degree in the creative sector when they gutted the Film Tax Credit. Can the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education explain why the McNeil Government has decided that retaining youth and students from the creative sector is not a priority for this government?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the honourable member for the question. I would like to remind him of a number of programs that are available to new graduates in this province no matter what sector they're in. For example, in February my colleague, the former Minister of ERDT, announced Graduate to Opportunity which helps new graduates get that all-important first job after graduation. We have the START program which also assists not just young people but people who need experience in the workforce, and there's also an apprenticeship part of that.

We also have a loan forgiveness program, not just the one that has existed in the past, but in fact we have enhanced that for students, for graduates with disabilities, so they can take 10 years to complete their degree.

I have a lot of other ones, but the Speaker is telling me I have to sit down. Thank you.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - MacKenzie, Ashley:

[Page 3732]

Film Tax Credit Cuts - Effects

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and my question through you will be to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

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 she was named one of Canada's Top 10 Short Filmmakers.

My question to the minister is, what does the minister have to say to an accomplished young filmmaker like Ashley McKenzie who now finds that she has to leave and take her talents elsewhere due to the actions of the McNeil Government?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again I'd like assure the member opposite that I do hear from many people. I've spoken to many people in the industry and I understand that there's a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, and it's not necessary to say their names individually because I know that they are there, that they are feeling that pain.

I think you are feeling it, too, so let's work together with the industry, let's find common ground, let's find something affordable so that Nova Scotia doesn't have the richest tax credit of 50 to 65 per cent of salaries being paid for by taxpayers. Let's find a better way. Thank you.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, it's amazing how the answers from the government who are tearing the guts out of the film industry in this province have actually come up with a new idea for a new series in the Province of Nova Scotia. It's a McNeil Government Believe It or Not.

Ashley wants to shoot her next film in Cape Breton and she wants to build the industry infrastructure on the Island. The gutting of the Film Tax Credit is forcing Ashley to reconsider her future here in Nova Scotia, and as a province we should be attracting more people like Ashley instead of driving them away.

Will the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board rethink the cuts which are to start on July 1st, which happens to be the anniversary of this great country, before she drives talented young people like Ashley away and others like her?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the important part for Ashley and all Nova Scotians to know is that we care about the industry for film, we care about digital animation, creative industries of all sorts, and we know we have a vibrant group of artists in this province and the way to go forward is not to threaten, it's not to use rhetoric as the member opposite is using, it's to try to find common ground (Interruptions) Common ground, and the meeting, we will meet with the industry on Friday. Thank you.

[Page 3733]

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

Order, please. The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Kingston, CharA:

Film Tax Credit Cuts - Effects

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

Chara Kingston and her husband put down roots in Dartmouth. Their kids are enrolled in school and Chara is in museum collections management work and her husband is working in animation. They were startled to learn last week that the Nova Scotia budget could destroy their love affair with this province and very well force them away.

My question for the minister is, how does the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board suggest that Chara and her family adapt to living in Nova Scotia without a job?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : I actually heard the member opposite read a member's statement about that very family, and I appreciate hearing about them again today. Mr. Speaker, the tax credit, as it exists, is too rich for this province. It costs taxpayer dollars, a great deal of taxpayer dollars that people who don't have subsidies are paying for this Film Tax Credit.

That being said, there's a rule for government and there's a rule for us to support industry in film and creative industries as well. There is definitely room for common ground and I would think everybody in the industry should wait and see how their representatives and the government can come to that common place. Thank you.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I do hear the members opposite saying that the tax credit is too rich, and I'm left to wonder how they know that. Chara and her family want to stay here and hope that things can change, but she knows that that isn't possible.

Does the minister realize that once talented professionals like Chara and her husband leave our province, they are likely gone for good? Does the minister truly understand the long-lasting ramifications of this action on the Province of Nova Scotia?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, 55 per cent to 65 per cent support for labour cost is very, very rich. No other industry in our province comes close, and it's the highest in the country. Other provinces have film tax credits or provide grants for films, but this is the highest in the country.

[Page 3734]

The member opposite can look at the jurisdictional review and can see that the industry players themselves understand that. Thank you.

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

Prem./Fin. & Treasury Bd. Min. - Film Ind.:

Consultation - Lack Explain

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier says over and over that he wants to get out of the way and create an environment for business to operate. Well, isn't providing a thriving industry a competitive edge creating an environment? Isn't consultation creating an environment?

Why didn't the Premier and his Minister of Finance and Treasury Board consult before the budget was brought forward, not afterward?

THE PREMIER « » : I thank the honourable member for the question, Mr. Speaker. I want to remind her that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board travelled this province, not only talking to Nova Scotians about what was in the Broten report but talking about what mattered to municipal governments, what mattered to individual Nova Scotians who came out to those meetings.

That information was part of formulating the direction we went in as a province. We're encouraged by the fact that industry is willing to sit down and have a conversation with us about something that works for them.

We have a program that works for taxpayers. Now industry says it doesn't work for them, so we've asked them to bring us back something that fits within the financial challenges this province is facing so they can continue to move forward.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, it's unfortunate that both the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board and the Premier do not understand investments. This morning we learned that on April 9th the Premier fired the very employees who the Department of Finance and Treasury Board relied on to gain an understanding of the creative industry.

My question to the Premier is, if the evidence that the Premier used to gut the creative industry is incomplete, will the Premier please hit the pause button? Because once the industry is gone, he won't be able to hit the replay button.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to remind all members of this House that we've budgeted $24 million, the exact amount that was made available last year, to ensure that this industry moves forward. What we are talking about is a change which takes place in future years.

[Page 3735]

Industry has told us that it doesn't work for them. We've said to them that we are prepared to sit down and bring back something that works for them, that lives within the envelope that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia can afford to pay.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Families - Effects

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, we often talk in this Chamber about how decisions made here affect families. One family whose father passed away three years ago worries about who will care for their mother, who has Alzheimer's disease, should they be forced to leave the province.

Elizabeth Hagen, her sister Joanne, and her brother Robert all work in the Nova Scotia film industry. The government's mishandling of this tax credit issue has created pressure on these siblings to leave the province.

Did the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board consider what families would face by slashing the Film Tax Credit for an industry that is creating jobs and wealth?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, the industry is important to us. We've said that. We know there's a role to play for government, for the people of Nova Scotia, to support creative industries of all types. I've mentioned film, digital, animation, sound recording, publishing, and acting - all of it. We appreciate that.

I would say that it's very important that we look at what is affordable, what we can do as a government here, and how we can work with the industry, who are very reasonable, very considerate, very thoughtful people. I know we can find common ground. Thank you.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, the government keeps talking about what is affordable, but people need to be able to afford to live in the province. If they can't, they can't pay taxes, and those taxes can't be used for things like education and health care.

Real families will be displaced by the slashing of this Film Tax Credit. No family knows that better than the Hagens. Would the minister acknowledge the tremendous hardship the Hagen family will face and fix this mess?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think in this Question Period, we've had many opportunities to say that this government is working to find common ground with the industry through Screen Nova Scotia, that we've had a meeting immediately post-budget, another meeting is scheduled for the same week, that every effort is being made to work together and be collaborative and find a solution that is within the envelope that we've had (Applause)

[Page 3736]

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit: Value - Analysis Table

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I've got to be honest with this. I was hoping that by this stage, we would get something from the government side that indicated they understood the cost and the value. We're hearing a lot of things from the minister. The minister knows the cost of the credit, but there's a big discrepancy as to what value that credit may generate for the economy of Nova Scotia.

I will ask a simple question today. Can the minister table her analysis about the economic value of the tax credit to Nova Scotia as the tax credit stood before her budget last week?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : I think the important thing to note is that efforts were done, certainly research was done. I assured others before the budget even came out that we were double-checking, checking again, and being very sure that the research was done. Mr. Speaker, it has been done.

By starting to put the numbers out now, it can actually be destabilizing to talking to the industry on Friday. Clearly, we want to find common ground. I think that all of this rhetoric does nothing to help us get to that place. I appreciate the opportunism that has been shown, but it helps if we could work together and if members and people who are affected would understand that they have good people representing them at the table.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know what to say other than this certainly does not play into the open and transparent theory, but that's for another day. I have my reservations as to whether or not there was a complete analysis of the value of this tax credit to the province.

My next question was going to be, if the analysis had been done - which I don't think - as to the value of the old credit, was there any consideration given to what the impact on the industry and the value to the province of these changes will be? I don't think that analysis was done. I don't think anyone looked at what happened to the industry. But if there was, I ask the minister to please table that analysis for the benefit of the House.

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, as I've said earlier, the meeting will take place on Friday. At that time, we'll be talking to the industry representatives and we will be looking for that common ground where we have something that's affordable for the people of Nova Scotia, that fits better within the framework of Canada, and that we can know is affordable and stable.

I think what some people are missing is that stability is necessary for the industry. The idea of putting this on pause doesn't work for the industry because they need to come to a resolution sooner rather than later. We understand that from listening to them.

[Page 3737]

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

Prem. - Film Tax Credit Cuts: Mistake - Admit

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, today outside our Legislature, we have Members of Parliament. I saw Robert Chisholm, the MP for Dartmouth, and Megan Leslie from Halifax. Peter MacKay from Central Nova sent a message. We've been hearing from the Mayor of the HRM. In fact, I saw the former Liberal candidate who was my unsuccessful opponent in the last election out there in a #NSFilmJobs t-shirt.

It's obvious that the concern about what the government is doing crosses Party lines and it goes far beyond this small Legislature . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for the member's question has expired. We will move on to our supplementary time. Please continue.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is, what is it going to take for this Premier to admit that he has made a wrong decision and that he's prepared to meet with the industry and develop a meaningful plan - a meaningful plan?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to tell her again that we met with the industry shortly after the budget was tabled. There have been continuing conversations ongoing with members of the industry, and there is another meeting set, coming on Friday. I'm glad to see that Members of the Parliament are here; I'm glad to see that the mayor is here - maybe potentially next time they'll come with money.

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

Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Employees:

Income Tax Returns - Numbers

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, we're hearing a lot of numbers being thrown around the Legislature today and what the value of the film industry has meant to the Province of Nova Scotia, and that it wasn't a good use of the province's tax dollars to the investments of Nova Scotia.

I want to ask the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, how many people in the Province of Nova Scotia file an income tax return who made a living directly off the film industry in Nova Scotia?

[Page 3738]

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : That's very impossible to say, but I could get a list of the names that were submitted who worked on film. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Minister of Finance and Treasury Board has the floor.

MS. WHALEN « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. One of the troubles with this Film Tax Credit is that that is a complete misnomer. It is treated like it has something to do with tax, but it doesn't. But on the accountability side, to go back to an earlier question, we're not able to be open and accountable about what monies are spent this way because it's all tax-related and, therefore, it's all protected information. That's absolutely true, members opposite. It's not like the other ones that get grants through economic development or the Department of Business or others. There is a confidentially aspect to all tax information and all Canadians have that right.

MR. ORRELL « » : I'm not asking to breach a confidentially issue, Mr. Speaker. I'm asking, what are the numbers of people who filed a tax return that related to the film industry in Nova Scotia, and what was the value of these taxes?

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, there have been a number of numbers thrown around but I think the number of about 2,000 people working in the film industry would be about right - that's what I heard.

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

Bus. - Film Ind. Tax Credit: NSBI - Consultation

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is for the Minister of Business. Given the mandate of Nova Scotia Business Inc. in the creative industries and to promote the creative industries, and given their mandate to attracting foreign direct investment, my question for the Minister of Business is, was Nova Scotia Business Inc. consulted in this decision to cut the Film Tax Credit?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. The very same question was asked of me yesterday in Budget Estimates by the member and no, Nova Scotia Business Inc. was not consulted in the cut of the Film Tax Credit, as the member has asked.

MR. LOHR « » : I thank the minister for that answer. My question for the minister is, are there plans to involve Nova Scotia Business Inc. in this Film Tax Credit cut and bring some analysis and some of their expertise to this issue?

[Page 3739]

MR. FUREY « » : As I responded yesterday to the opposite member - the Film Tax Credit has not been cut, the non-refundable tax component remains at 25 per cent and the 75 per cent remaining is available based on taxes paid in Nova Scotia. The discussion and the responsibility that Nova Scotia Business Inc. will be tasked with is engaging the industry over the next year and implementing the creative economy fund to the amount of $6 million, and we will consult with industry to ensure that it meets the objectives of the film sector.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to give you advance warning there will be no poetry in this question, and my question is for the Premier of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, Mike Allison has been a writer on This Hour Has 22 Minutes frequently in the past 15 years. He settled down here, he bought a house, and he and his wife have started a family. Because of the McNeil Government's changes to the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit, he will likely have to move out West.

M question to the Premier is, after so much work has been done to build up the creative economy and to attract people to this province, why is the Premier telling Mike Allison to go west, young man, go west?

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I stand on a point of order today. There were two interruptions during Question Period. I want to bring this to your attention because there is valuable time that has been lost, and for someone who takes the questions very seriously, I tell you that there certainly has been a very low question amount that has been taking place during Question Periods.

I ask you to review this, and I think there should have been some additional time allotted because of the disruptions. I just want to bring that to your attention. I hope you will review it.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I will certainly look at that and come back to the House tomorrow morning with a ruling.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

[Page 3740]

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

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you call Bill No. 86.

Bill No. 86 - Income Tax Act.

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have an opportunity to rise in my place and speak on this particular bill. It is a bill to amend the Income Tax Act in a way that would require consultation with the industry prior to changing any of the tax provisions, or specifically, the tax provision with respect to the Film Tax Credit.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the reason for this bill is really quite obvious. We have a government that has embarked on a plan to quite radically restructure the existing tax - I don't want to call it a scheme - the existing tax provisions for the film and screen industry. This plan that the government has has occurred without consultation, and the window of time they are providing to the industry to adjust to what the government would like is very narrow - so narrow as to put the industry in jeopardy. This is why we have so many people outside today. We all have been hearing from a very large number of people in this industry.

We had the Public Accounts Committee this morning. That is the committee of our Legislature that reviews the way government spends money. It is an opportunity to members of the House who sit on that committee, from all Parties, to ask public officials in various departments - this morning it was the Department of Finance and Treasury Board - we asked them to provide us with some information, because it seemed to us that no government would do what this government has done with respect to the Film Tax Credit without having had some analysis, some body of information on which to base their decision.

What we found out this morning was very troubling with respect to what the government had in front of them and the lack of consultation. I'm getting a clearer picture now on what occurred. This situation that we have in front of us right now with respect to the film and screen industry is not a thoughtful, considered approach that will lead to an expanded, strengthened industry. That thoughtful approach could only occur with a lot of detailed work and analysis - expert analysis, economic analysis as well as tax analysis - and a lot of discussion with the industry, the people who are on the front lines and the people with the great depth of experience that has built up over more than 20 years - probably 30 years. What an opportunity this government has missed.

[Page 3741]

I want to be really clear. We had quite an extensive tax review by Laurel Broten. The government appointed this former Ontario Cabinet Minister from the Liberal Government of Dalton McGuinty. She did this report on "Charting a Path for Growth". She in fact looked at this particular tax credit, and a lot of the information she was working with was information that came from the Department of Finance and Treasury Board. She recognized that the province has a fiscal challenge, but she wasn't recommending what this government has done - quite the contrary.

What Ms. Broten says in her report is that in the five-year period between now and 2020 - that five-year extension of the tax credit that the Premier promised in the election - the government should take that five-year period to work with the industry to identify what the most effective tools would be to help grow the creative economy. Not only the film, TV, and screen economy, but to in fact grow the entire cultural economy. During that period of time - five years - that would allow Nova Scotia to develop a new set of tools and transition the set of tools that have come together over a period of time. We know we live in a rapidly changing business and other kinds of environments. It would allow the department to develop new tools with the industry and programs that are more transparent and more accountable, and would strengthen the industry, help it expand and grow, and lead to economic growth in the province.

As I said during Question Period, if this province has a financial problem - and I accept that we do - and if this province has suffered from slow or low economic growth - and the facts to substantiate that are clear - the problem is not the people out there. The people out there are the solution. That is what's wrong with this government's approach.

What I heard during Question Period - I heard the minister, over and over, talking about how this tax credit is too rich for the province's tastes. But this sector offers enormous possibilities for the province's future. It already is an unbelievable contributor to prosperity in this province. I was outside earlier, before we came into this Chamber, and I was struck by the number of young people who were out there. I would say that 80 per cent of the people who are out here at our Legislature today are under the age of 40. It's really stark when you see people all together.

I have a very large volume of correspondence from people who tell me their stories. The vast majority of these people - probably 80 per cent - are, in fact, young people. I am struck when I read through - and I've read every single solitary piece of correspondence that I've gotten electronically or otherwise. The stories that people are recounting are really very enlightening. In some cases, they are very gut-wrenching. But above all, what they tell us and what they tell me is that we have one very large group of people who have been able to find gainful employment that they love in our province.

[Page 3742]

These are people who, by and large, have put down roots here because they want to put down roots here. They are Nova Scotians who grew up here who have never left. They are Nova Scotians who have left, but who have come back because the industry is strong. And they are people who are not native Nova Scotians, but who moved here quite often to go to school in our fabulous film studies programs. They've gone to school at NSCAD. They've gone to school at Dalhousie. They've been involved in music and costume design. They've gone to school at some of the private community career colleges and they've gone to school at the Nova Scotia Community College.

The thing that unifies them is their love for the province and their love for the industry and their commitment to the industry. But there is an old cliché: you can't live on love. You've got to have gainful employment and opportunities for people to work to be able to grow our economy and keep people here.

The thing that I find most incredulous, really, about what the government is doing is that, as much as many of the people in this industry are employed by somebody else, this is an industry of who do a lot of self-employment, who are the very group that the Premier talks about needing to nurture and grow to have our province prosper.

We're very concerned about the lack of consultation around the impact. We're concerned about the lack of hard information and evidence about this tax credit. It's very interesting; I've said that the Premier and other members of the government, with their talking points - we've all heard them - have engaged in a kind of program of disinformation to the public. They have used very selective information and they have not actually come clean with the public that they don't have the economic impact assessments that should accompany this kind of dramatic change that's going to affect an entire sector.

You know, the last time any kind of economic impact assessment was done with respect to this sector is 2004. That's over 10 years ago. Just think about how much things have changed in the past 10 years. You know, it's not that long ago that we practically had two channels on our television sets. It's practically 10 years ago that television and going to a theatre was the way to look at moving pictures.

Well, all that's changed now. This is an industry that is just exploding. We have an opportunity because we have so many skilled, dedicated, capable people to be the makers of all the content for all of the sites now on the Internet and on your phone.

I know my time is short, but I plead with the government to hit the pause button, to look at the recommendations in the Broten report. I'm shocked to hear the Minister of Business say that Laurel Broten and NSBI were not consulted on the changes that the government made. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

[Page 3743]

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise here today to assure all members of the House and the members of the public that the government supports the creative sector, and this government includes the film industry in that sector. We all want the same thing. We want a strong film industry with maximum benefit for all Nova Scotians.

The industry does make a contribution to our province and we acknowledge that, but we can't look at the tax credit in isolation. We have to consider it along with all the other tools that government uses to stimulate the economy and to help all of the industries which we hope Nova Scotians will benefit from, not just the film industry.

We also have to be continually mindful of the fiscal context for our province. Nova Scotia has dramatic and serious fiscal issues that need to be addressed if we're going to protect the things that matter - things like health care, education, and support for seniors and low-income Nova Scotians. The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board introduced the 2015-16 budget, and in this budget it's estimated that we will experience a deficit of around $97.6 million. To put this into context, that amount is larger than the annual budgets of Natural Resources or Communities, Culture and Heritage or Agriculture. Government has made steady progress since 2013 to reduce the deficit and to rein in spending.

Being in a deficit limits us as a province. It prevents us from being able to explore options and consider improvements to social programs and to supports to promote job growth and a fairer tax system for all Nova Scotians. The only way to do that, given our challenges, is to reduce spending and to let the private sector grow the economy, to exercise common sense, and not to react to every measure that the government takes by saying you shouldn't spend this, or you should spend that, or you've got to cut this, or you've got to make that. That's not how government works. This government works through a comprehensive well-thought-out system of structural change that's going to move Nova Scotia ahead. Not just for the benefit of the people who are listening at any given moment, but for the benefit of all Nova Scotians into the future.

Our budget follows a very deliberate plan to respect taxpayers' dollars, and the approach is disciplined and responsible. I want to reiterate that the Film Tax Credit remains in place as part of government's support of the industry. Government has also, as part of the 2015-16 budget, established a new $6 million Creative Economy Fund; it has been designed in consultation with the industry. The fund will make grants to the film and the sound and music recording sectors, and publishing. The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, the Minister of Business, and the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage met with representatives of the industry this week. The Minister of Finance and Treasury Board met with these representatives before the budget. The industry met with Ms. Laurel Broten, the creator of the tax review, during the creation of her tax and regulatory review.

The industry submitted a position paper during Minister Whalen's public consultation earlier this year. Everyone in the province who took the time to look at the tax and regulatory review knew the issues were on the table. Everyone in the province who took the time to listen to the Premier knew that there were no sacred cows in Nova Scotia in the creation of this budget, that everything was on the table. That's when the minister took those things out into the public. She consulted with Nova Scotians all across this province, in communities that are represented by every member of this House, and she listened (Interruptions)

[Page 3744]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Cumberland North has the floor. And I'll remind him not to refer to the minister by her proper name.

MR. FARRELL « » : I had forgotten that I had done that. Sorry, Mr. Speaker.

The honourable Minister of Finance and Treasury Board went around this province. She appeared in the constituencies of every member of this House, and the members of this House had the opportunity to bring forward their concerns. The members of every industry in this province had their opportunity to bring forward their concerns about the tax review or about any other matter that affects the fiscal future of this province. That's what I call consultation.

I understand that the meeting that was held this week between various ministers of our government and representatives of the film industry was very productive and that future meetings are planned around that, Mr. Speaker, but the simple fact remains, as has been stated by the Premier and has been stated by the minister over and over, the Film Tax Credit cannot continue in its current form. It is not sustainable for the people of Nova Scotia.

We need to maximize return on this investment and recognize that the credit is not bringing us the rate of return that we should rightly expect from an investment of this magnitude. It is not in line with other forms of economic development measures that are taken throughout the province. The industry also says the proposed tax credit does not work for them. Government has heard that, Mr. Speaker, we can hear that right now, they're in the streets, they're telling us how they feel about this and I believe that we as a government understand their concerns and I think that they are beginning to understand ours.

This is the reason why government will continue to meet with the industry and to talk with them and to see if there is common ground where we can move forward together. Mr. Speaker, with that I conclude my remarks and I will take my place.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : It's a pleasure to rise today and speak to this very important issue. We have heard the member from the government and we heard ministers during the Question Period today hanging their hats on the meetings that are happening now, and that's a good thing, meetings are a good thing. The even better thing - when you do them beforehand but it's interesting to hear the member talking about the plan that this government has for the province. Well I haven't seen a plan, I see a lot of reactions and a lot of short-sighted decisions but I don't see a lot of a plan.

[Page 3745]

When the Leader of the NDP said she was very concerned about the lack of information, well I certainly share that concern, Mr. Speaker. I certainly share that concern. The plain reality is, as that narrative is developing, the people have trust issues with the McNeil Government - and why shouldn't they? Think about health care, think about tobacco, think about the limitation of actions. All these situations where this government tried to slam legislation through this House without talking to Nova Scotians and every time they got their fingers slapped and they had to go back to the drawing board and try to talk to Nova Scotians and listen to Nova Scotians.

We will see if it's too little too late, Mr. Speaker, but for the benefit of the people outside this House today and for the benefit of the people who are part of the rally on the streets today I hope, I sincerely hope, it is not too little too late because their jobs are important to me, important enough to me to ask them how they feel before I cut them off and put them on the ground. We have to talk to people before.

Being a majority government comes with a great responsibility, tremendous responsibility and the people of Nova Scotia are feeling that this majority government is abusing its power by not consulting with Nova Scotians. We learned this week, we already knew the people of Nova Scotia are developing trust issues, we learned this week that the Premier, that the government even has trust issues with itself. We have a government that can't even trust itself, Mr. Speaker. The Premier said this week that he wouldn't introduce fixed election date legislation because he doesn't trust himself to abide by it, that's what he said. He said if I put it in I probably won't abide by it anyway so why bother.

So we have a government, the people have trust issues, the government has trust issues with itself and we have to start to respect the people of the province. People have been given no reason to believe in this government because they're seeing the government has trouble believing in itself.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I imagine that people in the film industry were quite interested just five short months ago when this government introduced and passed Bill No. 49. Now, for the benefit of the members in the House today, Bill No. 49 - I don't want to get this quote wrong, because it was a pretty significant thing - Bill No. 49 extended the application of the Film Tax Credit as is until 2021. It extended it as is until 2021. That's what this government passed five months ago.

Where is that today, Mr. Speaker? Where is that "as is" part? And you want to question whether or not the people have a reason to believe in this government, to trust this government? Bill No. 49 - probably heralded through with great speeches of support from the members opposite - also created a process for Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia to look at how they can improve the tax credit.

[Page 3746]

Mr. Speaker, you can't make this stuff up. It's so hard to believe that you would think I'm making something up. It's their own bill - it's not even five months old - gone, ripped to shreds.

My, how times can change, Mr. Speaker. In just five short months, where are we now? Well, we're going to talk about that because the Film Tax Credit didn't get extended as is until 2021. No, the Film Tax Credit was gutted. It was not extended as is; it was gutted. We all know what happened to the Film Tax Credit and the people outside walking around and speaking on the stage know. The government broke the spirit of its own legislation. The government broke the back of its own Bill No. 49.

Now think back to what I said about the fixed election dates. The Premier said, if I put it in, I don't know if I'll stick to it. I wonder if he was thinking about Bill No. 49 at the time, because Bill No. 49 had everything necessary to help and support this industry.

We wouldn't be here if they would have just stuck and followed their own law. If they followed their own law, we wouldn't have thousands of Nova Scotians protesting outside right now. If they would have followed their own law, Bubbles could have focused on looking after his kitties as opposed to having to be standing up on the stage over there and trying to save the livelihood of this industry.

If they would have respected their own law, we would have thousands of Nova Scotians, young and old, feeling great about their prospects in this province. Instead, we have thousands of Nova Scotians, young and old, feeling like they have been kicked in the stomach by this government. All this government had to do was follow its own law. Instead, they are breaking the spirit of their own law, Bill No. 49. Maybe I should reintroduce Bill No. 49 and see if we can get it to second reading.

The worst thing is they are doing this without even thinking about the ramifications of their decisions. We went to Public Accounts Committee this morning and we asked about the types of analysis that had been done, the economic impact to the province, and what types of analysis we had. We were assured that the analysis on tax credits is ongoing. It's just a part of everyday life, Mr. Speaker.

But when you are going to change something like this that has the ability to be as dramatic a change, you spend a little bit of extra time. You do the analysis to try to understand because then you can make decisions from an informed place.

Here we have this government, the McNeil Liberals, dismantling Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia who helped administer the Film Tax Credit. No tax credit change, Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia gone. Those are the people who are supposed to be helping to build this industry. Just six months, five months after Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia was given a clear mandate by Bill No. 49 - I think that's what you call having the rug ripped out from underneath you - dismantled by this government. By dismantling Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, this government is rejecting their own consultation and review mechanism for the Film Tax Credit. They're saying we don't want to consult with them; we don't need them.

[Page 3747]

Mr. Speaker, in this House we pass legislation that impacts all Nova Scotians. What right do we have to make decisions that impact all Nova Scotians, impact everyday Nova Scotians, impact the film industry without even asking them? Even the Broten report had some ideas on the Film Tax Credit. Where are they today? Government took a completely different path.

Not understanding the ramifications of the decisions is one thing. It's one thing to not fully understand the ramifications; it's quite another to not care. If you do your analysis up front, it helps you understand the ramifications. You don't do the analysis afterwards. It's almost like you play with the emotions of Nova Scotians - you say I'm going to change this and if nobody says anything, well isn't that great. But if somebody says something, well then we'll go and talk to them, then we'll have some meetings. It's too late, it's not fair, and in this process it's very clear that nobody spoke to the industry.

The bill proposed by the NDP, I support the essence and the principle of that bill. The issue I have is you can't legislate common sense - common sense is either present or it's not. I support the principle of this bill, but where will it take us in light of what happened with Bill No. 49, in light of the Premier's own admission that he doesn't trust himself with the fixed election date?

This legislation is one thing, but it's my sincere hope, Mr. Speaker - there's a message being sent today out on the streets; there is a message being sent today on the streets that surround Province House - it's my hope that message is received. I hope in some way, shape, or form the government is receiving that message. You can't legislate them to receive the message; you can't legislate them to care what Nova Scotians think - you have to just hope that eventually they will learn to respect the opinions of Nova Scotians because, if not, there is no piece of legislation that we can put in this House that will help.

They are going to have to find the desire to listen to Nova Scotians beforehand; to value the input of Nova Scotians beforehand. It's not act now, hope nobody notices and hope you get away with what you wanted to do. If you want a real plan for the province, if you want to really use your mandate from the people of the province to the benefit of the people of the province, you will listen to them.

No legislation can help this government understand that. They either get it or they don't. Mr. Speaker, so far they don't. I hope tomorrow they do. Thank you.

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

[Page 3748]

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : I want to thank my colleague for his remarks before this. Again, I stand to my feet today, this time to talk about Bill No. 86, the Film, Television and Digital Media Protection Act, which our NDP caucus has introduced because we feel that something needs to be done in order to help save our creative industries, to help save our film and television industries - who I believe the viewers at home will probably be able to hear outside this House right now calling for our help.

I received a note earlier today from John Dunsworth, who is a dear friend, an old friend, who is on Trailer Park Boys as Mr. Lahey. We were in one of my first plays together, actually - The Apple Cart, which John Neville produced and directed at the Neptune Theatre when I was just a young girl.

John says that what frustrates him in listening to this Liberal Government is that many people just don't understand that the money that is returned to producers is spent by the producers. It's not from government coffers.

It's very misleading for the public to think that the money is just coming straight from the public's pockets. It's not. The money that the film and television and animation industry creates is money that is brought in from many different investments - from local investments, and also from co-productions, from people outside the country.

If a film or TV production or animation wants to get done here, many times they can't afford to do it themselves. They need to get investments from outside. For instance, one show that was planning on shooting here this summer is from Ireland. They were going to co-produce an on-camera series for $13 million. They were going to pump $13 million into Nova Scotia's economy, and that doesn't even include the spinoffs and the ripple effect.

What the government is trying to explain is that it cost them $24 million. It doesn't cost them $24 million, Mr. Speaker. In fact, if there were no film, television, and animation production, it wouldn't cost them anything, because they wouldn't be getting any money.

Again, my argument is, what's 50 per cent of nothing? Nothing. You don't even have to be an economist to understand that. I just don't understand why, sadly, the Finance and Treasury Board Minister has listened to the bean-counters in the department who keep saying the Film Tax Credit is too rich, it's too high, it's higher than anybody else. It sounds like jealousy.

I know that a lot of private enterprise is after the government to try to pump up their coffers and put money into their pockets. But my God, the problem is that here in Nova Scotia we have so little to offer the world, and it has been getting tougher and tougher with our fish stocks depleting, with our pulp and paper mills closing. We don't have shipbuilding anymore.

[Page 3749]

What do we have, Mr. Speaker? Well, we have the beautiful, creative, and talented people of this province, who - I swear, on a per-capita basis, I bet you anything we would rival England. We would rival England. Why? Because a lot of us came from there. We came from Ireland, and we came from Scotland, and we came from Wales; we came from Africa, we came from France, and now there are a lot of people in the Persian community as well. Farsi is a very quickly-growing language here, and I believe that there is so much talent there.

We need to harness the energy and the stories of our creative economy. We need to harness our Lebanese community, we need to harness our Chinese community; we need to harness the talent and creativity of every single person in this province. We need to get into the education system and teach children, what is your talent, what do you like to do, what interests you the most? Then we need to funnel them in a direction where they will thrive.

I'll tell you, children are a perfect example. They get it. Every time I go into a school and I'm introduced, and they say, "Well, do you know who this lady is? This is your MLA," a ton of hands go up and they say, "I know who she is, I know who she is." Then oftentimes what they will say is she is a superhero, she's a superhero. That's what the kids understand.

They know that I'm Wendy Waters in the Rescue Heroes; they know that I'm Rogue on the X-Men; they know that I'm Tigra in the Avengers; they know that I play Master Cyclonis, a wicked, horrible woman who is trying to take over the world in Storm Hawks; and they also know that I'm Star Catcher in My Little Pony.

These kids grew up on this stuff; they are still growing up on it. These shows just hit Netflix recently and are becoming more known worldwide. The other show that has just hit Netflix is The Trailer Park Boys. So, hence, all the interest.

I noticed, by the way, that the petition that went around that was given to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board has now hit 30,000 signatures. It has gone from 24,000 to 30,000 signatures. So I think it's time that we get with the times and that this government or any government that is going to take after this government - because I can promise you that this government is not going to last very long if it continues down this path - we need to look at a new way of doing things in Nova Scotia and that is to harness the energy of our young people and our talented, creative economy in every aspect. That is not happening here, which is why we have introduced Bill No. 86, the Film, Television and Digital Animation Protection Act because we believe that the community needs to be consulted. They need to be consulted before anything happens to their industry.

We know that government needs to put a pause on this ill-thought-out, short-sighted decision. And I have another thing to say, Mr. Speaker, which is that under the NDP Government not only did we improve the film and television tax credit to make us a much more viable province in Canada, but we also passed the legislation called Status of the Artists legislation which is all about respect for the artist, and in that legislation it talks about how artists are supposed to be consulted before anything is done that would affect their livelihoods and their industry in this province.

[Page 3750]

When I first started out in this industry we didn't have one - we had none. I was 17, I was a professional actress from my theatre at Neptune Theatre and I left on a train for Toronto from Truro, Nova Scotia, and I did not come back for many, many years because I couldn't make a living here.

Well I am back, and I am not going to be silent because I moved back here in order to help grow our creative industries, to help inspire young people to stay here in Nova Scotia and not go down the road like so many had to do - and my friend Don Shebib, who is a Lebanese man from Cape Breton, he made his wonderful, famous film called Goin' Down the Road about these two young Cape Breton men looking for gold, the streets paved with gold of Toronto and being sadly disappointed and having to come home empty-handed.

Well let's not do this to our generation of youth. Let's encourage them to stay here; let's give them something to look forward to instead of cutting the legs out from under them, including taking the caps off post-secondary education. What is this government thinking? Please, somebody explain to me. They don't get the economics; they don't get the heart and soul of Nova Scotians. In fact they don't even understand how important this stuff is to the majority of Nova Scotians.

Our government made mistakes, I will admit that, but guess what? You can change them, you can revert, you can take back, you can say I'm sorry, I made a mistake and we are going to do it differently. That's what I would do, Mr. Speaker, and I would hope that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board and the Premier will do the same here.

I know that my time is getting short, so in the last few minutes I'm just going to talk about some of the wonderful people who are out here, walking around, placarding around the Legislature with their children on their shoulders. I just ran into Julian from The Trailer Park Boys, he has his little daughter and his wife there with him.

We have Jonathan Torrens there from Mr. D, and The Trailer Park Boys. He just lives outside my riding - actually in the riding of the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. He is not happy. His wife and he bought a house, they put down roots, and they have a business in Truro. They are happy here, they don't want to have to go to Ontario - who would? I lived there for years; I called it the sweat camp. I used to come home and wish that I could afford to live here, but I couldn't.

Well, I want to change that. My caucus wants to change that. Every single one of us in this NDP caucus is behind the film, television, and digital animation industry, and we intend to keep fighting as long as they will let us. We will not stop. We intend to keep talking. I would really hope that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board - who's now sitting here - I would really appreciate it if she would consider what we are saying. Consider this plea, and please, please - I beg of you, through the Speaker - consider what the film industry is going to talk to you about on Friday. This is a disastrous trajectory that I foresee if things are not changed very quickly, before more film and television decide not to come to Nova Scotia this year. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 3751]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Before we move on to the next bill, I want to remind the honourable member it is unparliamentary to draw attention to members who are or are not in the Chamber at any current time.

The honourable House Leader for the New Democratic Party.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Would you now call Bill No. 78.

Bill No. 78 - Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I definitely would have loved to continue on with the topic and the bill we had before us, but I understand we changed some rules. We can only speak on an Opposition bill for about an hour and we need to go on to the next bill. Maybe I'll check with the Clerk, and maybe next time we'll be able to speak a little longer on it. Not sure. (Interruption) No.

Bill No. 78 is a piece of legislation, I think, that is extremely, extremely important, not only to the province but to the people who work within the agencies and the commissions and the boards that are associated with delivering service to Nova Scotians.

This bill actually coincides or goes along with what is included in the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act. That Act oversees the Public Service. That would allow an employee or individual who works within government - if they for some reason come across any wrongdoing - to speak up and not be disciplined, not be worried about their job security. I think that's important. That piece of legislation was introduced, I believe, in 2010, and there was an intention to continue to move towards ensuring the boards, the agencies, and the commissions in the province fall under that piece of legislation or introduce additional information to encompass more of those that I just mentioned.

Wrongdoing can include breaking the law, misusing or grossly mismanaging public funds and/or assets, and also committing an act or omission that puts the life, health, or safety of people or the environment at risk. It's quite broad, but it's important. I think for too long in our province, those people who work within government and work for these agencies, boards, and commissions felt that they could not come forward when they witnessed wrongdoing when, potentially, something could be done, or something was done that had an impact on someone's life, or, as I said earlier, they broke the law.

[Page 3752]

This piece of legislation would encompass, as I said, the agencies, boards, and commissions. We're talking about organizations and services like school boards for example. They are not currently covered under the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act. Under this piece of legislation, they would be. If someone working within the school boards across our province comes across wrongdoing, here is some protection, really, for them to speak up, to make sure that they can come forward and hopefully have the matter dealt with in the appropriate way.

Another area that is, I think, more important - I mention that it's not just someone who might be breaking the law or mismanaging public funds, but someone who is putting the life, health, or safety of people at risk. At the time when we introduced this legislation, this included the district health authorities and the IWK across the province. Of course, with the recent amalgamation, this would include the new single district health authority and the IWK.

If someone within that organization witnesses someone putting someone's life at risk, and they wanted to speak up on it and they wanted to come forward, often they're reluctant. We know that. We've heard from people over the years who give us a call, who tell us - I had the opportunity to be in Opposition for a number of years, prior to being in government - who would often give Opposition Parties or caucuses a call and let them know what was going on in that department or in that board or on that commission.

I think in health care it's extremely important that government recognize the need to allow for these people to come forward so that they're not targeted afterward, maybe by the person who they witness doing something wrong or committing some act that they shouldn't be or, God forbid, upper management. We're talking about people's livelihoods, and people are concerned if they come forward, if there's not proper protection. Really, that's what this piece of legislation is. It gives that reassurance and protection to those who work for these boards, commissions, and agencies - the health boards, the school boards - that they can come forward, and they know the government would want them to come forward if they see misuse of public funds or if they see someone being put at risk, especially if it's someone's life.

That's really what's behind this piece of legislation. We have so many boards, agencies, and commissions that utilize public money, that I think need to be held accountable. They should be treated just like any of the Public Service is now, and that's the fact that there is protection for workers under Public Service currently. That needs to be extended outward into these agencies.

Many of these agencies, commissions, and boards play an important role and have a huge responsibility dealing with, for example, taxpayers' money. We have the Securities Commission of Nova Scotia dealing with trade and sensitive information, that if someone chooses to break the law it could either benefit someone personally - financially, maybe, or a potential misuse of public funds.

[Page 3753]

Currently there is no protection if someone witnesses that. They come forward and then they feel there is no protection for them to return to that work after they've brought these concerns forward - the Securities Commission, for example. We have Innovacorp, which deals with trying to ensure that investment is done appropriately across the province for innovative companies or individuals. They're receiving taxpayers' money to do this.

I would think the government would welcome a piece of legislation like this, that they would welcome the opportunity to expand the protection of workers who work for these agencies and these boards and commissions. As I said, we have that now for the Public Service; they have that protection. So I would think this piece of legislation would be welcome by government. We haven't heard yet from the government. Maybe they will have an indication, when they have an opportunity to speak on this legislation, that potentially they'll look at it.

I know it's rare. It does happen, though, that the government adopts legislation from Opposition. It tends to happen more when you have a minority government. The first six years that I was in the Legislature, we had that situation and that minority government with the Progressive Conservative Government. I know John Hamm worked closely with Opposition Parties to ensure that pieces of legislation that the Parties brought forward were vetted through the government. Often they were passed.

I think this one definitely is a piece of legislation that government could say, you know what? This is a right one. It's not spending any money, which is important to - I know the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board and the Premier and the government, it's not a piece of legislation that requires Treasury Board to approve millions of dollars to implement. This is just extending what's available now to the public service. It's just allowing a protection, through legislation, for those workers who work for the agencies, boards, and commissions to have the same protection.

Maybe with the government's response they will say they would at least entertain it and look at it. I would encourage them to seriously look at it, Mr. Speaker, and I hope they go through it and realize that this is something that could be a win for all those who work within government and the services that they provide.

Thank you for allowing me to have those few comments, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the member for Sackville-Cobequid for introducing these amendments. I want to start by saying that I really like the spirit of these amendments. They are extremely important; the whole Act itself is extremely important.

[Page 3754]

I know the member touched on a few of the Act's initial reasonings and rationale for being in place, but I want to talk more specifically about three of the mechanisms that we already have in place through Bill No. 78 - we have the Code of Conduct, we have the Conflict of Interest Policy, and we have the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act.

Our Code of Conduct contains our Public Service values of respect, integrity, diversity, accountability in the public good. These are guidelines that we work on each and every day within the Public Service.

The booklet they have for the Code of Conduct is widely available. I know we talk about going to the websites but all these documentations, all these rules, all these codes are available to each of the public, the employees of the Public Service, and available to the general public.

Our Conflict of Interest Policy complements the Code of Conduct and it ensures that transparency and accountability for public servants is there and is in place. The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act, under that Act, ensures that employees are able to submit a confidential disclosure form to their supervisors, and the confidentiality being key because you want to make sure that you are working within a safe environment, and if you feel that some wrongdoing has taken place or you feel that you've been affected by discrimination of any kind that you can go to supervisors, that you can go to authority and do so without personal ramifications. It's extremely important.

The general issue as I see it within these amendments is the broadness of them and the lack of clarity when it comes to the wording. I appreciate what the member for Sackville-Cobequid laid out for us in his remarks, but I do question whether there is actually an existing gap that needs to be addressed.

We have other mechanisms already in place that could address similar concerns. For example, a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that require regulated health care professionals to bring forward concerns if they feel a patient is at risk, which is in the Protection of Persons in Care Act, which provides a mechanism for reporting and investigating allegations of abuse in the health care setting.

The lack of clarity in the proposed changes within the wording, as it is drafted, I think that what is happening is that instead of closing a gap we are actually broadening the Act. So we will continue to take a look at this, but we'd also ask that possibly we could have some dialogue or discussion on seeing if that wording could be tightened up a bit and we could have a more clear understanding of who the groups are that are going to be impacted and be covered under these amendments.

[Page 3755]

With that, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my seat and I look forward to hearing the Opposition's remarks.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to stand and speak for a few moments on Bill No. 78, an Act to Amend Chapter 42 of the Acts of 2010, the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act.

As a basic tenet of law, we should be able to identify illegal acts and bring it to our supervisors or whomever we should bring it to without fear of repression. That's the basic tenet of the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act. You know, a lot of times there seem to be repercussions when someone comes forward - whether legally or just personally, things seem to get pushed away.

It reminds me of the larger story behind the Lance Armstrong cases. When Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven times, of course, there were a number of allegations over the years of whether or not he had been doping. Regardless of those allegations, there really was no proof that it actually happened until one of his teammates, Floyd Landis, decided he would be the whistleblower. Well, Mr. Landis was ostracized, not only by Mr. Armstrong but by the sport that he loved. Floyd, for his own reasons, ended up being a doper during his time and during his win of the Tour de France, and had his own issues, but he was the whistleblower, the final whistleblower before people really started to look closely at Mr. Armstrong. Again, he was most definitely ostracized by his industry.

That's kind of the issue. When the bill originally was brought in, the Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act, many people within the PSC felt that if they saw something happen, they were worried that if they brought it to a supervisor, or even worse, if the person they were supposed to report to was the person doing the wrongdoing, they were the person doing the illegal act - where was a person to go? That's what the bill was to provide: a clearer process in which individuals can bring their grievances forward - not necessarily grievances as in unions, but a grievance - that this is happening, I've been witnessing this, here is the proof in which it happens - and without having to be identified when they do that.

Can you imagine? You see something happen - and you might be right or wrong, but should you be wrong, to be the one that accused your direct supervisor, one of your co-workers? You can only imagine what kind of relationship you would have with that person going into the future.

The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act is one of those bills of the previous NDP Government that I can say I supported, and I think I can stand here today and say that I support the further expansion of that bill.

[Page 3756]

The member for Sackville-Cobequid is correct when he says that this is one of those bills that really can be moved forward, because it is one of those bills that is a little more based on common sense - not that different from the other bill - so therefore can be expanded, and really at no cost, relatively. I can't say it's no cost, but I would say it is relatively no cost to expand it. So it's one that I hope the government does look at seriously as we continue to debate these kinds of bills in the House of Assembly.

The expansion into health care is the one that I think the member for Sackville- Cobequid talks about the most, because there is, and there has been, a perceived gag order on health workers for many years. I don't know if it's real. I'm not a health care worker, so I can't speak specifically to it, but it's something that I have heard in my time in this Legislature. I've heard it from a number of friends who are health care workers. They say that there really is a culture within that industry, within that care model, that you can't bring a grievance of this type forward without that fear of being ostracized.

If we can give the kind of guidelines and regulations that allow it to happen, I think our health care system will be a better one to identify wrongdoing, to identify waste, to identify, like the song goes, "Things that make you go hmmm." And to expand that to the other boards that belong to the province or work under the auspices of different Acts of this Legislature, whether it's a school board, whether it's one of the ABCs - there's a whole bunch of agencies, boards, and commissions that are enacted by the work of this House. If we can extend that to those employees, as well, I think it is a valuable item.

The think I want to talk about too, we talk about illegal things and of course this is what this is really trying to identify but I wish we also had a day that we had an opportunity to talk to people in our Public Service, and I'm talking about the broader Public Service, those school boards and those health boards as well, that they would have an opportunity to identify waste. That they would have a capability in a structure in which to identify ways that the province can save money. That we can make sure that we can do care better. Sometimes, because of the structures that are created over time, what we would call these ivory towers, the person at the bottom or the person that affects, I would say the service to the patient, the service to the public; they feel they don't have the opportunity to say hey, listen, why don't we do this differently?

We need to be able to provide that kind of culture as well, that every person within our public service is important and has the opportunity to identify changes and ways to make our province work better, to make their jobs better. It reminds me a little of a story - and I don't recall who told it to me and I apologize to that person if it was just recently but one of the best ways that we could actually end up saving money in this province and identify some of those things that we as politicians, or even people in administration cannot identify is really to take all those executive directors and deputy ministers and bring them on a golf game. Let's all head down to the Pines, bring them all down to the Pines, you can go too. We can bring them golfing and then when everybody is busy golfing we can go, or the person designated can go into those departments and talk to those people, the ones that actually offer the service and say, how do you think we can make your job better or how do you think you can actually save this province some money and I bet you you would be surprised on the great answers that you would receive from our good public servants.

[Page 3757]

Back to the tenets of the bill. I think Bill No. 78 is one that the government should be looking closer at. I think there's an opportunity here to truly effect a difference in how that culture works to be able to give a rule and regulation that should someone see something going wrong, being done illegally, that they would have the opportunity to report that in a safe manner where there are no reprisals or any way of being ostracized by those employees. With those short words I hope that someone's ready, there we go, that we have the opportunity to hear from the NDP as well. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased that I can also rise and speak on Bill No. 78, an Act to Amend Chapter 42 of the Acts of 2010 The Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act. What I would like to bring attention to in talking about this important bill is the reality of the workplace. The reality of life. We can have a code of conduct within our government departments and within our boards and our agencies, we can have that; however, as many of us know through our own personal work histories, that doesn't work most of the time and that's why it's so important with these very critical positions, nursing positions especially, that there is legislation that provides them with the freedom and the opportunity to feel that they are safe in reporting something that could put another person in grave danger and they deal with this each and every day in that work setting.

For a nurse practitioner, for a nurse to feel that he or she has to try to decide between bringing that forward to perhaps a supervisor or a higher authority and feel that there may be ramifications for them with respect to their job or with respect to the work they are given in their job, and if there is a sense of punishment around that, then they are not going to be as willing or feel that they have that freedom. It would be a very terrible position to be in.

The nurses and our health care workers in this province give their all. They are there for us, for our families and when we get sick. It is just going to be part of human nature that something will happen. If they do not feel they have that avenue to go and be protected and report an incident, I think that what is going to happen is that there will be incidents or situations that are not being prevented, and they may continue, and continue in that particular hospital setting or in that health care setting.

So it is important. We know that. We've experienced that ourselves. If you have a supervisor who does not take a collaborative or a restorative approach to how they manage their part of their sector or whatever part it is of the workplace - if they do not have that type of individual, then it can be a very scary situation when you feel that you are being muzzled. You know, it must be really awful, especially, like I said, in the health care sector because of the fact that our health care workers are so dedicated to the people they look after. To be put in that situation would be very uncomfortable.

[Page 3758]

I think that this is a very important piece of legislation that all Parties should be supporting. This should be passed during this sitting of the Legislature. There's no reason - if there are any issues in clarity, all it comes down to is a conversation between the political Parties to come to some kind of consensus on what that is, to communicate to us what changes they think would work with regard to this piece of legislation, and rather not hold that legislation up because, as I know - the members in the government are probably learning very quickly - there are hundreds of pieces of potential legislation and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of regulations and pieces of legislation that have never been addressed and need to be tweaked.

It doesn't matter; whatever government is in, they have work to always do in terms of tweaking and changing legislation. I often hear in the House where the finger is pointed - oh well, you could have done that. Well, they're going to hear the same thing someday, because there are so many pieces of legislation. It doesn't matter what you look at that you want to change. It could have been changed before, but it needs to be changed now, and there's a long list. I think it's our job as politicians to bring those forward and to encourage that kind of change.

I do not think that this legislation should wait. There's not a lot of work that needs to be done. It's very good legislation because it will give people a comfort zone to know that they are protected by law. That says a lot more than a code of conduct or anything else that is written on a piece of paper that you are given, or an employee book that you are provided when you are hired in the public sector or if you are working for a board, agency or commission, which this extends to.

It is a very important piece of legislation. Although it's a small piece, it is one that will give comfort to those who are in this situation. I'm sure that everyone in this House, sometime in their employment years, has worked under the conditions where they would have a supervisor or manager or senior management level and there was a great fear to bring up an issue of great concern because of the fact they might come forward and be reprimanded for that. There are all sorts of ways that those punishments can take place that are not even up front. There are little things, as we know, that can be done and add more pressure on you as an employee in the workplace. That is not good for anyone. We have to strive to have restorative, collaborative workplaces, and that's what this piece of legislation allows for.

As we talked about, the fact is that this will cover government agencies, boards, and commissions that were not covered previously, so I think it's a next step towards good legislation that we already brought in while we had the privilege of being the government in this province. The unfortunate part, now we do know that we lost Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia - that's one that would have been covered under this new legislation.

[Page 3759]

I do encourage the government to work with us to make sure, because this is good for our employees and for the people who are working hard in the Province of Nova Scotia. I will take my seat, but in closing, I would like to thank my colleague opposite for her opinions, but I would suggest to her and the government that this is a piece of legislation on which we can easily work together in a collaborative, co-operative manner and have it pass this Spring. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, that concludes the NDP's business for today. Now, I'd like to turn it over to the Government House Leader.

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON » : Mr. Speaker, tomorrow the House will sit from the hours of 1:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, we will have the House go into Committee of the Whole on Supply. Following Estimates, we will be doing second reading of Bill Nos. 87 and 88; we will be doing Committee of the Whole House on Bill Nos. 79, 83, and 84; and we'll be doing third reading on Bill Nos. 76 and 80, if time permits.

With that, I move the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow from the hour of 1:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise until tomorrow, April 16th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We have now reached the moment of interruption. The Adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable member for Fairview-Clayton Park:

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support the significant investment made in the Nova Scotia education system in the 2015-16 provincial budget, primary among them the over $20 million reinvested into classrooms to improve student outcomes and better prepare our next generation for career opportunities."

[Page 3760]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

EECD – N.S. EDUC. SYSTEM: BUDGET INVESTMENT - SUPPORT

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to start off by saying how important it is for us to sustain our education system. We need to invest in education. We need to invest in early childhood interventions.

These investments that we've presented in this budget are good investments. Sometimes we have partisan politics take a play in this Chamber - I know, every once in a while - but in an ideal world, it would be really nice if we could put that aside from all aspects, from both sides. I know that the members opposite will get up and they will probably, with all due respect, give a bit of a backhanded compliment towards this investment in education. I get that. That's okay. There's nothing wrong with that.

The fact of the matter is that when you present a budget, there will always be people who benefit and any changes that are made are going to be harmful to the people whose lives are changed.

The previous administration cut $65 million from their education system. I am not here to say that to lay blame on that administration, but I am here to say that I was part of that industry when that happened and that decision, those decisions, impacted me directly.

I've actually been paying attention to the provincial budget for close to 20 years, and in those 20 years I have noticed that every government in some capacity has cut from education. So education is supposed to be one of our forefronts. The same arguments that we are hearing today about an investment in youth, about creating a strong culture for our young people to grow up in, a way to create jobs, not wanting youth to leave, these arguments can apply directly, and did apply directly, to education over the years when the education budgets were cut.

The bottom line, though, is that teachers make do with what we have. We're asked to do more and more while getting less and less, and we do it painstakingly but do it just the same. I know that on all sides of the House we have a number of members who have teachers in their lives or who were teachers themselves. We see this, we've talked about it - we've talked about it within the Chamber.

[Page 3761]

I think, though, that for my time what I would like to do is talk about the benefits that this investment is going to make for our school system. I am going to herald them - not because I am told to herald them, I'm going to herald them because I am genuinely happy with them. I am so excited for them, and I think that we're currently taking our education system in the right direction.

In our first budget we embarked upon our commitment to rebuild our education system. So again, after the $65 million cut, we invested $20.4 million in this year's budget, which will make a total of $37.9 million reinvested up to this point since we've taken office.

It's not just about throwing money into the system, it's about making sure that the supports are in place, that we are putting it towards the right things. It's not just writing a cheque and sending it off.

Under our minister's leadership we completed the first education review in 25 years. That's remarkable; it's remarkable that a review hadn't been done on our curriculum in a generation. Our $20.4 million that we invested this year is going to towards our renew, our refocus, and the rebuilding of our education system.

So $6.5 million of this is for the Nova Scotia Action Plan on Education. This is going to include the continued investment of class caps for Primary to Grade 2. Anyone who is a teacher, or anyone who is a parent who had kids at these ages, they know how vital it is to have the one-on-one time with their teachers, to not have overburdened classrooms, so you can have that direct teaching with your kids at those ages.

In addition to the Primary to Grade 2 caps, we're going to put caps on Grades 3 and 4 because those are just as important. We're going to invest a further $3 million into a provincial math strategy - we are so falling behind the national standard when it comes to our math skills and our basic math. It is going to impact our young people all the way up to high school.

And something that, as a language arts teacher, the fact that we are investing $2.4 million in language arts for Primary to Grade 3 is remarkable - it is important that we focus on math, but it's important that we focus on literacy. There is absolutely no area in our child's early education that shouldn't be addressed, that shouldn't be supported. Our teachers are the baseline for our kids - they are the ones who are on the front line; they are the ones who are providing; and we need to make sure that we are giving them supports that help them do that. I'm so proud that within this budget we have those means starting to take place for our classrooms across the province.

Another important aspect is early intervention. Research clearly indicates that the early years of a young child's life set the stage for their success. We all know this; we all see this; we all agree with this. In order to help our children get the best possible start in life, we're going to invest another $1.3 million in early intervention programs - $700,000 for new Early Years Centres and $500,000 to increase the support for four new SchoolsPlus sites.

[Page 3762]

As somebody who worked within a school that piloted SchoolsPlus, I can tell you the absolute necessity for them to be within our schools, and the absolute support that they give, not only to our kids but to our parents and to our teachers and to our whole school community. (Applause)

Something that is extremely important to me, extremely close to my heart, is the fact that we are investing $1.1 million to fund school mental health clinicians. Our kids at all ages are facing remarkable pressures and remarkable strains. They are existing in a world that we didn't know growing up, where you can be dealing with the most serious mental health issues from all aspects. There is no hiding. There is no going home to a safe place. It comes at you wherever you are, and we need to make sure that we have engaged professionals in the schools, that our kids have access to them and that they get the supports they need.

Again, I can't tell you enough how proud I am of this investment in education, how happy I am to be working with the minister. I think we're really on the right track when it comes to education in this province, and I hope that we're able to move forward. With that, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my seat.

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

HON. PAT DUNN « » : I'm going to take just a few minutes here, because I think starting tomorrow I'll have a better opportunity to have a great discussion with the minister over in the Red Room. However, Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to say a few words about the education system in Nova Scotia.

I think that we can all agree that improving the education system in Nova Scotia is important to everyone. It's important to the government, it's important to all MLAs in the House, and it's important to the entire province. It's something that is critical and something that we must make sure that what we're doing - we're doing a good job.

The quality of education received by Nova Scotia students will have impacts far beyond the classroom. It helps to shape their future, including choices for higher education and careers, employment prospects, and so on. Increased investment by the province in the education system is important, and as noted in the motion tonight, the $20-plus million that is invested into education, which I think is great - I'd love to see $200 million invested into it, but the reality is we can't do that.

However, what must be paramount is ensuring that the investment is put to good use and is paired with measurable targets and outcomes. The results in education cannot be left to chance. Our students are behind in measures of math and literacy, and it is of critical importance that increased funding in new programs improves our student outcomes. Again, Mr. Speaker, looking at the budget, there is emphasis placed on that, certainly coming from the minister's panel on education and the action plan delivered in January.

[Page 3763]

Increased funding alone cannot solve the problems facing the delivery of education in this province. There needs to be adequate oversight and accountability in place to know how the money is being spent and how it is meeting outcomes. It is also critically important that the quality of education delivery is consistent throughout the province, and that alone is a very difficult job, to make sure that the delivery of that is consistent. This is what all students and parents deserve in all parts of Nova Scotia.

I would like to emphasize some of the wording of the motion put forward about improving student outcomes to better prepare our next generation for career opportunities. Preparing our next generation for career opportunities is very important, Mr. Speaker, but we must ask ourselves, what new opportunities are these? Through our education system, we should be preparing young people for careers right here in this province.

Today all we have to do is look and listen to what is happening outside. Careers at home are becoming scarce here because of the actions of this government. We have many talented, artistic students in our schools in Nova Scotia. Career opportunities for them in the film industry have taken a dive since this government altered the Film Tax Credit.

Mr. Speaker, the minister's Education Action Plan states that from 2016 to 2019 the department will provide more hands-on learning activities for students in Grade 4 to Grade 8 in areas like creative arts. This is certainly a worthwhile endeavour but for those students who find their passion in the creative arts, particularly film, this government has made the chances of pursuing a career in this area much harder for future generations.

Mr. Speaker, the action plan also discusses providing our students with more programming geared toward entrepreneurship. With the current high power rates and taxes for small businesses, our Nova Scotia students equipped with the knowledge of entrepreneurship may quickly leave the province to start their businesses.

Mr. Speaker, it is also important to provide an excellent education foundation for our students who wish to pursue post-secondary school, university, or college; however, now it is apparent with rising tuition and the slashing of programs like the Graduate Retention Rebate they may not be able to afford to go. We want to be able to attract students as well as retain our students when they graduate from high school - tuition hikes will not achieve this.

Mr. Speaker, we cannot look at our education system in isolation. We want to improve the education of our students, but we must match that with the real career prospects here at home. Offering our students a bright future with career opportunities requires a government-wide commitment.

[Page 3764]

Mr. Speaker, on the current path shown by this government it seems that we may be providing excellent quality education for our students for future careers and opportunities outside of this province. Thank you.

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I stand on my feet today to speak to the motion: "Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support the significant investment made in the Nova Scotia education system in the 2015-16 provincial budget, primary among them the over $20 million reinvested into classrooms to improve student outcomes and better prepare our next generation for career opportunities."

So I rise with mixed feelings here about this, Mr. Speaker, because I am a proud supporter of education. My parents are both educators; my dad taught at the Teachers College in Truro and actually trained most of the teachers who are in Nova Scotia's education system today. Right across the province, no matter where I go and I mention my Dad's name, Paul Zann, they come to me and say he was their favourite teacher and he changed their lives. Teachers are so important in the way they present their ideas, the way they inspire, the hard work they do, and they need to be commended.

My mother is also a teacher; she taught at the Truro Junior High School for many years, over 30 years. She is retired now. My sister is also still an educator in the system at South Colchester Academy and is a guidance counsellor there. So I understand the education system from a very early age, and I also know that there have been very many different ideas floating around about what is the best way to educate our young. I've always believed in small classroom sizes, my mom and dad have always believed in that, so I'm glad to see that you are continuing on with what the previous government did, which was to lower class sizes and the caps as well.

I noticed that lower class sizes do allow teachers to teach and ensure students get the attention they need. In his 2014 Speech from the Throne, the Premier said: "Our first step is to ensure small class sizes for our youngest students in grades primary to 2." Well the government is in its second year and Nova Scotians are still waiting for the Premier to take that first step.

Class sizes in Primary to Grade 2 were to be capped at 20 students, beginning this Fall, but yet 85 classes in Primary, Grade 1, and Grade 2 are actually above the class cap according to the in-school data from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, October 8, 2014. So many schools have multiple classes above the class cap; Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Junior Elementary has three classes above the cap, New Minas Elementary has three classes above the cap, Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford has four classes above the cap, Kings County Academy in Kentville has four classes above the class cap, Spring Street Academy in Amherst has four classes above the cap, Ash Lee Jefferson Elementary in Fall River has five classes above the cap, and Grosvenor Wentworth Park Elementary in Halifax has five classes above the cap. I would say that they're not living up to what their promises were and I will look forward to seeing how this is addressed as time goes on.

[Page 3765]

Some of the investments to education that were made by the government are good, but we have to also remember that they have made cuts to education. The Liberal Government betrayed the trust of students in Nova Scotia by cutting the Graduate Retention Rebate and not reinvesting close to $40 million back into post-secondary education. I have always been a believer in lifelong learning and, I'm sorry, but post-secondary education is just as important as our early grades as well.

I also believe in early childhood development. I'm very glad to see that the government is continuing on with the program that our previous government started. I have to say that my dad, Paul Zann, began a program in Truro that was early childhood development 40 years ago. Over 40 years ago he started talking about this very issue, and it had taken until our government - the NDP Government - got in power last term to actually start to do something about that. But again, I'm glad to see this government continuing on in the vein that we started.

Life is getting more expensive for students and the Liberal Government has done nothing to make post-secondary education more affordable. To make matters worse, the Premier shuts students out of the MOU negotiations with universities and he refuses to commit to keeping Nova Scotia's tuition fees below the national average. During the election, the Liberals assured students that their participation would be welcomed in decision making, but now they're being told that they are not needed. I can understand why these young people would feel betrayed. Also, they were subject to a huge tax increase as a result of the Graduate Retention Rebate being eliminated with no stopgap - and now this. Our post-secondary students, I think, deserve better.

Getting back to the Primary to 12 education system, I think that it is very important as well to talk about the small schools that are now in jeopardy of being closed. One thing that I want to put on the record is that as a new MLA, when I first got into government, I was taken by a meeting by my school board, the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board. One of the very first things that they asked me to do was to take a message back to my government, which was, please let us close all these schools that need closing, because you have to put a moratorium on it and we want to save money, we want to close these rural schools, and it's not fair. We want you to take that message, take it back to your government, and tell them, let us close these schools.

I've been in touch with many different people, parents and people in the different communities across the regional areas, who are very concerned about their small schools. One of them, of course, is in River John, the other one is in Wentworth, and the other one is in Maitland.

[Page 3766]

I know that these people have done a lot of work to try to set up hub models for their schools, in particular River John. I know Sheree Fitch has been very active with that with a number of local people. They're hoping against hope that this government will allow them to keep their hub model and keep that school open, because they say that if you take away their school, it is going to take the heart and soul out of their community.

I agree with that. I know River John quite well. My mom and dad have had a cottage in Seafoam there for 20 years - outside of River John, but close by. It is a beautiful little village and it would be a real shame for these people to not have this opportunity. They want to turn it into an art gallery. They want to have Sheree Fitch - they do Read by the Sea every summer and it's a very popular place for people to come. They feel that there is all kinds of opportunity for that building to be used when it's not being used for classes.

The other thing is, in Wentworth, there are a lot more students there than they thought there were going to be there. Part of the department's numbers have been wrong, actually. They thought there were going to be declining numbers in these places, and they've actually gone up. I was also told recently that in Tatamagouche, where there's a new school being built, at a recent meeting there people were told that that school was built to a certain size in order to enable the students from the River John School to attend. That would lead me to believe that the writing was already on the wall and this decision had already been made before the consultations with the local people had even been completed.

Again, consultation is the key here. I think that instead of just doing the numbers and saying we are listening to the people but not listening to the people, we need to actually consult with them and ask them what is best for their communities. With that, I will take my seat.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand today and speak to education in the Province of Nova Scotia and try to correct some of the inaccurate, incomplete information that has been shared in this House today. I'm not surprised to hear it, because it supports a decision that we've lived with for the last four years, which is no consideration, no respect, and no value for public education in this province.

We had a Minister of Finance of the previous government who went around the province and told everybody that because there was declining enrolment, there needed to be fewer dollars put into education. That is absolutely recognizing that you have no idea what's going on in the public schools. You have no idea of the important programs that we've added, you have no idea the cost of those programs, and so used that and misled Nova Scotians that declining enrolment would support a cut in funding to public education. We came in as a government and we recognize the importance of education. We said in our platform that we would set it up as a priority. We value it and we've made a commitment to it, and we will follow through with that commitment.

[Page 3767]

The previous government, in their careless, reckless disregard for education, took $65 million - $65 million - out of the classrooms, out of the schools. They balanced the books on the backs of the kids in this province, and that was so wrong. (Interruption)

I heard one of the members saying, are you going to put it back? Well, if the member was paying attention to what was going on, he would know that last year $17.5 million of that was put back into the system, and this year another $20.4 million. We have made a commitment to the full $65 million over the course of our mandate, and we will keep that commitment.

I think it's important that I correct some additional information that was shared here by a member. One of those was that there was a commitment to class cap and wondering when it was going to start. Well, I'd like to share with that member that it started last year. We did the class cap for Primary to Grade 2. This year we extended it into Grades 3 and 4. We made a commitment to take it to Grade 6, and as we can afford it, we will take it to Grade 6, but I would like to go back to some of the information that that member was sharing.

Yes, there were classes that could not be capped at 20 or a soft cap of 22, but the member failed to tell the true story about why. For example, if you have a school that has no more capacity, no more room to make an extra class, we work with that school board, we work with that school, to see how we could put supports in for a class that may have had 25 or 26. We recognize that those classes - it was impossible to put another class of kids in a building that was bulging at the seams.

So I would ask the member, before she goes on with any more criticisms of class cap not being met, that she get the details, because there's a story behind every one of those.

We acknowledge that (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development has the floor.

MS. CASEY « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Another bit of information that needs to be corrected was the decision about small schools. If the member understood the role of school boards, the member would understand that it is the school boards that make decisions about which schools close and which schools do not close.

[Page 3768]

I will go back to the previous administration when the word "hub" started floating around and they were using hub without any definition. As a critic, I called the department and asked what hub meant and nobody knew. I called the school board - what does hub mean? Nobody knew. But the previous government, the government that was in power was using that to give communities some hope, but they had no idea what they were talking about, so how in the world could a community know what to do to build a hub model?

The criteria for a hub model was something that our government put out because we recognized the turmoil and chaos in communities that were trying to build a hub and had no idea what it was.

Mr. Speaker, we have communities that are working hard now that they have a definition and they have a criteria, and they are working hard to put together a proposal. But that proposal goes to the school board, the decision about closing schools - I will repeat it for the member - the decision about closing schools is a decision of the school board. It is not a decision of the minister, the department, or the government. So those proposals will be going - in fact they are going this week to the school board, a proposal that the communities of Wentworth, Maitland, and River John put together and I commend those communities for the hard work they did to try to work with the school board, try to put something in their community where the school could be sustained, it could remain, and it would be vibrant in the community.

The decision is the communities come together with the school board to put together a proposal. Those three communities did that. I look forward to the outcome of that. They will be presenting them. I have met with a representative from each one of those communities - their proposals are very different, but they are all designed to meet the needs of that community. They have to be designed for that community, it can't be something that another community does for them or that a school board does for them, because each community is different.

You can take the Community of Wentworth that has maybe 23 kids in the school and you have the Community of River John which has 80-plus. So the proposal that comes from those communities reflects the needs in that community, it reflects the resources that are there, and I do believe that the communities have worked hard, they will present and I believe that the school board has a responsibility to consider seriously the proposals that are put before them.

And I will repeat, Mr. Speaker, it is the school board that makes the decision to close a school.

The last thing I would like to say is that the declining enrolment in our schools - I can't see it, what you are saying?

[Page 3769]

MR. SPEAKER « » : One minute.

MS. CASEY « » : One minute.

I would just like to close off by saying that I am proud of a government that has recognized the importance of education. We have it as a priority, and we are reinvesting money into the education system that was gutted for the last four years, and I am proud to be the minister to stand up and be able to do that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Barring no more speakers, with 20 seconds left, that concludes the time allotted for late debate.

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

[The House rose at 4:38 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 3770]

RESOLUTION NO. 1453

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Windsor is known as the Little Town of Big Firsts and now we can add another event to our growing list of firsts; and

Whereas on March 31, 2015 a music video called Take on the World, performed by a Nova Scotia band, The Town Heroes, was shot on location at the Birthplace of Hockey site, Long Pond here in Windsor; and

Whereas the song was commissioned by Hockey Nova Scotia to be used in promoting the game of hockey and the video features our local West Hants Atom AA Warriors hockey team;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud The Town Heroes on creating a spectacular music video and congratulate the West Hants Warriors and the Town of Windsor on being chosen to be a part of it.

RESOLUTION NO. 1454

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas Freemasonry is the world's oldest and most respected fraternity, which encourages good men to become better men by promoting a life devoted to community service, having been established in Nova Scotia in 1750; and

Whereas the Shore Lodge #134 has celebrated their 50th anniversary, meeting the third Monday evening of each month since 1964; and

Whereas the duties of the Masonic Fraternity are to reinforce the practice of Masonic principles including benevolence and charity;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Shore Lodge #134 on their 50 years of Freemasonry and wish them many more years of continued success, so mote it be.

RESOLUTION NO. 1455

[Page 3771]

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Brooklyn Fire Department recently celebrated for their commitment and dedication at their annual banquet; and

Whereas there were several specific moments for members who have served an extraordinary number of years; and

Whereas Garnett Davison has served 45 years, during which time he has seen many changes including the building of a new fire station and civic centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Garnett Davison for his exemplary service to the Brooklyn Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1456

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Brooklyn Fire Department recently celebrated for their commitment and dedication at their annual banquet; and

Whereas there were several specific moments for members who have served an extraordinary amount of years; and

Whereas one member, Phillip Barker, has served 30 years, during which time he has seen many changes including the building of a new fire station and civic centre;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Phillip Barker for his exemplary service to the Brooklyn Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1457

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Brooklyn Fire Department recently celebrated for their commitment and dedication at their annual banquet; and

[Page 3772]

Whereas this being a very special evening including a father and a son being acknowledged with individual awards; and

Whereas Bill Tetanish received the auxiliary's Volunteer of the Year Award, and his son Brett received the Gervaise "Chook" McKay Firefighter of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bill and Brett Tetanish for their exemplary service to the Brooklyn Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1458

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Brooklyn Fire Department has been providing exceptional fire and emergency service to their community and surrounding communities; and

Whereas the fire department's auxiliary has raised the majority of the funds needed to replace the aging truck and piece of rescue apparatus; and

Whereas through community support for a variety of events such as dances and dinners, the auxiliary continues to be a driving force;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Brooklyn Fire Department Auxiliary for going above and beyond in their exemplary fundraising efforts.

RESOLUTION NO. 1459

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Service held their Annual Service Award Banquet on Saturday, April 18, 2015; and

[Page 3773]

Whereas Anthony Murray received an award for 15 years of service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Murray for his 15 years of service to Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1460

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Darrell C. Hiltz is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Hiltz for his 32 years of service to Uniacke & District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1461

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Raymond M. Ross is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Ross for his 38 years of service to Walton Shore Fire Department.

[Page 3774]

RESOLUTION NO. 1462

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Lawrence Nunn is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Nunn for his 49 years of service to Walton Shore Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1463

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Morris A. Williams is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Williams for his 59 years of service to Uniacke & District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1464

[Page 3775]

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas John. S. Kingston is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Kingston for his 39 years of service to Uniacke and District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1465

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Henry A. Raymakers is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Raymakers for his 38 years of service to Uniacke and District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1466

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

[Page 3776]

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Ernest J. Moore is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Moore for his 45 years of service to Uniacke and District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1467

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Francis James Ledwidge is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Ledwidge for his 45 years of service to Enfield Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1468

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Francis Kevin McDonald is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

[Page 3777]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. McDonald for his 41 years of service to Shubenacadie and District Fire Brigade.

RESOLUTION NO. 1469

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Fredrick A. Custance is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Custance for his 42 years of service to Rawdon District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1470

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Christopher Joseph Myers is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Myers for his 30 years of service to Enfield Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1471

[Page 3778]

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Brian Telder is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Telder for his 30 years of service to Nine Mile River Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1472

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Kevin F. MacLellan is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. MacLellan for his 30 years of service to Milford and District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1473

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

[Page 3779]

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Herbert C. Romkey is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Romkey for his 30 years of service to Milford and District Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1474

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Ron Hanrahan is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Hanrahan for his 44 years of service to Lantz Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1475

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

[Page 3780]

Whereas Leroy William Burns is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Burns for his 40 years of service to Kennetcook District Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1476

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Cecil Patrick Dixon is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Dixon for his 35 years of service to Enfield Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1477

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Borden Albert Oakley is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Oakley for his 56 years of service to Enfield Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1478

[Page 3781]

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Service held their Annual Service Award Banquet on Saturday, April 18, 2015; and

Whereas Shawn Brown received an award for five years of service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Brown for his five years of service to Elmsdale Volunteer Fire and Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1479

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work, skills, frequently risking their lives and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Norval Edward Mitchell received a bar for 35 years of service and is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Mitchell for his 35 years of service to Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1480

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work, skills, frequently risking their lives and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

[Page 3782]

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas George Hustins received a bar for 35 years of service and is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Hustins for his 45 years of service to Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1481

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work, skills, frequently risking their lives and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas Elmsdale fire & Emergency Service held their Annual Service Award Banquet on Saturday, April 18, 2015; and

Whereas Dale Irwin Crowell received a medal for 25 years of service and is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Crowell for his many years of service to Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1482

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work, skills, frequently risking their lives and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Arden Grant Fillmore received a bar for 35 years of service and is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

[Page 3783]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Fillmore for his 35 years of service to Elmsdale Fire & Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1483

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Allison Watson Gould received a bar for 35 years of service and is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Gould for his many years of service to Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1484

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas long-serving volunteers are the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas Earl W. Isenor is a recipient of the 2015 CVFSA Municipal Long Service Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Isenor for his 44 years of service to Lantz Volunteer Fire Department.

RESOLUTION NO. 1485

[Page 3784]

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Service held their Annual Service Award Banquet on Saturday, April 18, 2015; and

Whereas Donald Murphy received an award for five years of service.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Murphy for his years of service to Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Service.

RESOLUTION NO. 1486

By: Ms. Margaret Miller « » (Hants East)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's volunteer fire departments are made up of individuals who show their dedication by contributing hard work and skills, frequently risking their lives, and dealing with incidents of great emotional stress; and

Whereas Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Service held their Annual Service Award Banquet on Saturday, April 18, 2015; and

Whereas Gregory Hussey received an award for five years of service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Mr. Hussey for his years of service to Elmsdale Fire and Emergency Services.