Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

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21 septembre 2017

HANSARD15-52

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/



Second Session

THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Nat. Res.: Mt. Uniacke Quarry Proposal - Concerns Address,
4105
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
4106
Law Amendments Committee,
4106
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 101, Private Career Colleges Regulation Act,
4107
No. 102, University Pension Plan Transfer Act,
4107
No. 103, Municipal Government Act,
4107
No. 104, Milford Haven Fire Protection Commissioners Act,
4107
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Riverview Rural HS - Interact Club,
4107
Health & Wellness - Home Care Privatization,
4108
Riverside Educ. Ctr.: We Day Team - Fundraising,
4108
Fairview Jr. HS - Gr. 9 Trip: Vols./Supporters - Thank,
4108
Chebucto PeeWee B Hockey Team: Birthplace of Hockey Tournament
- Gold Medal, Mr. B. Maguire »
4109
Peggy's Cove: Accident - Rescuers,
4109
McNeil Gov't.: Budget - Passage,
4110
Victoria-The Lakes - Snowmobile Events,
4110
Nakile Home for Special Care: New Wing - Opening,
4110
Film & Creative Ind.: Concerns - Listen,
4111
South Shore Surf: Basketball N.S. U-14 Prov. Championships
- Gold Medal, Ms. S. Lohnes-Croft »
4111
Noel, Karri Ann - Educ. Wk. Award,
4112
Film & Creative Ind.: Cut - Effects,
4112
McLare, Ms. Beverly/Tangled Garden: The Gardener's Garden
- Inclusion, Mr. K. Irving »
4113
Autism Awareness Mo. (04/15) - Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon,
4113
Hunt, Mariah/Ryan, Maegan - N.S. Skills Comp.,
4114
NSCAD Film Grads: Film & Creative Industries - Pitch,
4114
McNeil Gov't. - Post-Secondary Educ. Progs.,
4115
Austin, Jim & Fern: Retirement - Congrats.,
4115
Film & Creative Ind.: Elimination - Transition Plan,
4116
Stone Hearth Bakery - Commun. Support,
4116
Pictou Co. - Liberal Gov't.: Job Creations - Assist,
4116
McNeil Gov't.: Rural Obstetricians - Lack,
4117
East. Strait Reg. Enterprise Network: Bd. Of Directors
- Formation, Hon. R. Delorey »
4117
Dellorusso Fam./Napoli Pizzeria: 2nd Location - Opening,
4118
McNeil Gov't. - Political Amnesia,
4118
Olsen-White, Marcia - Bodybuilding Competition,
4118
Snell, Nathan - Westville Youth Vol. Award,
4119
Film & Creative Ind.: Locations - Effects,
4119
McNeil Gov't.: Health Care Strategy - Implementation,
4120
Ally Ctr. (C.B.) - Funding Cuts,
4120
Blue Dot Movement - Endorse,
4121
Pictou Co. Wellness Ctr. - 55+ Games (2015),
4121
Anthony, Ken - Dragons' Den Success,
4121
Art Zone Gallery - Debut Exhibition,
4122
McDorman, Ruby - Col. North Vol. Award,
4122
Lake Echo Food Bank - Applaud,
4123
Morrissey, Pamela: Me to We Prog. - Commitment,
4123
Lun. Acad. - Commun. Hub: Success Wish,
4124
Kentville Commun. Garden Soc. - Adopt a Planter Box Prog.,
4124
Guysborough Mem. Hosp. - Health Care Mission,
4124
Brown, Natalie - Fairview Fam. Ctr.,
4125
Cabot Trail Relay - Vol. Organizers,
4125
Sampson, Matthew: Strait Reg. Science Fair - Congrats.,
4126
Moore, Olivia et al/Guides Natl. Serv. Proj. -
Literacy Backpacks, Mr. Gordon Wilson « »
4126
Truro-North River 4-H Club - Activities,
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 686, Prem. - Film & Digital Growth: Promise Breach - Explain,
4127
No. 687, Health & Wellness: Surgery Cancellations - Backup Plan,
4129
No. 688, DIS: Boat Hbr. - Cleanup Plan,
4130
No. 689, Prem. - Screen Ind.: Socio-economic Impact Assessment
- Awareness Confirm, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
4131
No. 690, Justice - Burnside Jail: Assaults - Seriousness,
4132
No. 691, Health & Wellness - Hosp. Patient: Missing - Update,
4133
No. 692, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Ind. Funding: Min. -
Understanding Explain, Ms. L. Zann « »
4134
No. 693, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Ind.: Targeting - Explain,
4135
No. 694, Bus.: Film & Creative Ind. - Five-Year Strategic Plan,
4136
No. 695, Prem. - Econ. Dev.: Bus. Dept. - Inclusion Explain,
4137
No. 696, Fin. & Treasury Bd. - Film Tax Credit: Consultation - Timing,
4138
No. 697, EECD - East. Passage Sch. Proposal: Min. - Stance,
4139
No. 698, Prem. - Rural N.S.: Fam. Unemployment - Response,
4140
No. 699, Health & Wellness: RFPs - Effects,
4141
No. 700, Fish. & Aquaculture: Alton Gas Proj. - Fish Effect,
4142
No. 701, Prem. - Guysborough: Front-Line Serv. - Priority,
4143
No. 702, Health & Wellness: Barrington Passage - Dialysis Comm.,
4144
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON SUPPLY MOTION:
4145
4148
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 3:15 P.M
4151
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:22 P.M
4151
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 91, Fisheries & Coastal Resources Act
4152
4153
4157
4160
4161
4164
4167
4169
4172
4175
Vote - Affirmative
4176
No. 95, Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act
4177
4178
4181
4185
4187
Vote - Affirmative
4189
No. 98, Chartered Professional Accountants Act
4189
4190
4190
Vote - Affirmative
4190
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Apr. 24th at 9:00 a.m
4191
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Tabled 04/22/15:
Res. 1514, Admin. Prof. Day (4/22/15) - Acknowledge,
4192
Res. 1515, Integrity Cheer Elite (ICE) All Stars: Cheer for a Cure
- Congrats., Mr. C. Porter »
4192
Res. 1516, Ferguson, Karen: Errands by Karen - Anniv. (1st),
4193
Res. 1517, McNeille, Donald - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4193
Res. 1518, Lyon, Ralph - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4194
Res. 1519, Martin, Ed - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4194
Res. 1520, Mailman, Lt. David - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4195
Res. 1521, Boyd, Allison - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4195
Res. 1522, O'Leary, Joanne - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4196
Res. 1523, Hiscock, Juanita - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4196
Res. 1524, Richards, Betty/Crilly, Jim - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4197
Res. 1525, Ward, Karen & Art - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4198
Res. 1526, Oickle, Gary - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4198
Res. 1527, Thomas, Laine - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4199
Res. 1528, Wiegers, Kim - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4199
Res. 1529, Harvey, Kameryn - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4200
Res. 1530, Harvey, Kathy - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4200
Res. 1531, Campbell, Tanner - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4201
Res. 1532, Wright, Spencer - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4201
Res. 1533, King, Brenda: Lake Echo - Commun. Contributions,
4202
Res. 1534, Theriault, Dianne - Environmental Stewardship,
4202
Res. 1535, Gray, Patrick: N.S. Fishing Ind. - Dedication/Contributions,
4203
Res. 1536, Heighton, Ron: Atl. Can. Ind. Hall of Fame - Induction,
4203
Res. 1537, Kennedy, Jim: Fish. & Seafood Ind. - Commitment,
4204
Res. 1538, LeBlanc, Phil: Fish. Ind./Commun. - Impact,
4204
Res. 1539, Maxwell, Judith: Fish. Ind. - Leadership/Commitment,
4205
Res. 1540, Egilsson, Greg: Fish. Ind. - Strengthening,
4206
Res. 1541, d'Entremont, Jeffrey: Fish. & Seafood Ind. - Leadership,
4206
Res. 1542, Nickerson, Cory - Sea Safety Awareness,
4207
Res. 1543, Martell, Blair - Achievements/Bus. Savvy,
4207
Res. 1544, Cameron, Dennis - Fish. Ind.: Quality/Marketing
- Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
4208
Res. 1545, MacDonald, Colin: Fish. & Seafood - Ind. Leadership/Impact,
4208
Res. 1546, Spinney, Ashton: N.S. Fish. & Seafood Ind
- Achievements/Contributions, Hon. K. Colwell « »
4209
Res. 1547, Fraser, Jim (Deceased)/Fam.: Contributions - Acknowledge,
4210
Tabled 04/23/15:
Res. 1548, 1st Timberlea Pathfinders and Rangers -
Commun. Involvement, Mr. I. Rankin »
4211
Res. 1549, TASA Ducks Minor Jr. Hockey - Metro
Minor Hockey Championship, Mr. I. Rankin « »
4211
Res. 1550, Jones, Gary: Prostate & Thyroid Cancer Awareness
- Fundraising, Mr. I. Rankin « »
4212
Res. 1551, Herritt, Jasmine - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
4212
Res. 1552, Yom HaShoah - Recognize,
4213
Res. 1553, Daaboul, Dominic Boutros - Holy Communion (1st),
4213
Res. 1554, Bou Nassif, Miguel Toni - Holy Communion (1st),
4214
Res. 1555, Kattar, Elias Sarkis/Salah, Michelle Rose
- Engagement Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
4214
Res. 1556, Chambers, Ms. Courtney - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4215
Res. 1557, Macumber, Jordan - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4215
Res. 1558, Macumber, Aidan - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4216
Res. 1559, Forrest, Walter - Commun. Vol. Award (2015),
4216

[Page 4105]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition, the operating clause which reads:

"We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to require the Nova Scotia Department of Environment to clearly address our concerns (in writing) and provide us the opportunity to provide a rebuttal to that response prior to the approval of the NCC quarry proposal. Should NSDOE choose to reject the NCC proposal a response will not be required."

This petition has 31 signatures, and I have affixed my own. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

[Page 4106]

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 bill:

Bill No. 87 - Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists 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.

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:

Bill No. 82 - Change of Name Act and Vital Statistics Act.

Bill No. 88 - Dental Act.

Bill No. 90 - Tobacco Access 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.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

[Page 4107]

MS. REGAN « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would direct the members' attention to the east gallery where Mr. Jeffrey Reid, who is the acting director of Private Career Colleges at Labour and Advanced Education, is joining us here today. Please give him the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 101 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 23 of the Acts of 1998. The Private Career Colleges Regulation Act. (Hon. Kelly Regan)

Bill No. 102 - Entitled an Act to Facilitate the Transfer of University Pension Plans to the Public Service Superannuation Plan. (Hon. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 103 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Hon. Mark Furey)

Bill No. 104 - Entitled an Act to Amalgamate the Fire Protection Commissioners of the Fire Department of the Fire District of Guysborough and the Fire Protection Commissioners for the Fire District of Manchester-Boylston. (Mr. Lloyd Hines)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

RIVERVIEW RURAL HS - INTERACT CLUB

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to tell you about the Interact Club of Riverview Rural High School in Coxheath. The Interact Club is helping to eradicate polio by making a financial contribution that will be used to buy vaccines for children in developing countries. The Riverview club is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Sydney. They have approximately 40 Interact Club members who donate their time weekly to assist a variety of community organizations and not-for-profit groups and events. Each year the Interact Club also contributes towards an international project and this year it is supporting polio immunization programs undertaken by Rotary International. Recently the club presented a $500 cheque to the Rotary Club. At this time let us congratulate and thank these young people for all their dedication to help the less fortunate. Thank you.

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

[Page 4108]

HEALTH & WELLNESS - HOME CARE PRIVATIZATION

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday when my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid asked the Minister of Health and Wellness about his plans to privatize home care, he was accused of fear-mongering. All he said was that the people are concerned. We have seen what has happened when for-profit companies were given exclusive access to provincial home care contracts in other provinces. The wages of workers suffer and patients lose the home care workers they develop relationships with over months, and in some cases, years.

We don't want that to happen here in Nova Scotia. I hope we will all hold the minister accountable to his promise yesterday that "the RNs, the LPNs, and the CNAs that provide home care in the province will all be employed after the restructuring." Thank you.

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

RIVERSIDE EDUC. CTR.: WE DAY TEAM - FUNDRAISING

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, a group of students from Riverside Education Centre, which we call REC in Milford, and their guidance counsellor, Lee Anne Arsenault, attended the first WE Day Atlantic Canada on November 27, 2013, at the Halifax Metro Centre.

On the bus on the way home from this event, the students started to set in motion what would become the REC WE Day team. The students, who are between 11 and 14 years old, wanted to support education for children of their own age, so they set their goal at raising funds to build a school in Haiti. Free the Children is an organization behind WE Day, and they set the amount of $10,000 to build a school.

I was honoured to be invited again to WE Day at REC on April 9, 2015, and help them celebrate the surpassing of their goal by raising $11,004.29 over a two-year period for the children of Haiti. They are a great example of today's youth in action.

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

FAIRVIEW JR. HS - GR. 9 TRIP: VOLS./SUPPORTERS - THANK

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, Grade 9 students from Fairview Junior High will be travelling to Toronto as part of their annual cultural education trip. My daughter Marena is among this Grade 9 group encouraged to fundraise for the trip's travel expenses. Students were busy selling poinsettias during the holiday season, and I can say that many people enjoyed these festive flowers due to her savvy selling skills.

Currently students are selling tickets for the adult auction and dance being held this Saturday night, on April 25th. This fundraiser provides the school with an opportunity to help offset the cost of the trip to the students. Students are working hard to sell tickets to parents and others in the community, who will enjoy refreshments, music, and a silent auction furnished with many great items donated and certificates that Marena helped to get from many local restaurants.

[Page 4109]

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the volunteers and supporters who donated their time and resources to help lessen the financial burden on these students, making the trip more accessible to them. Thank you very much.

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

CHEBUCTO PEEWEE B HOCKEY TEAM:

BIRTHPLACE OF HOCKEY TOURNAMENT – GOLD MEDAL

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak of the outstanding performance of the Chebucto PeeWee B hockey team this season. On March 8th, Chebucto won the Bomber Cup tournament in Pictou, after defeating New Glasgow 8-1. On March 22nd they went on to defeat the Bedford Blues 11-1 to win the gold at the Birthplace of Hockey Tournament in Windsor. Team member Alex Johnston won most valuable player in the gold medal game, scoring the first goals of the game. His teammate Cameron Slaunwhite was named the most sportsmanlike of the tournament.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Chebucto PeeWee B hockey team on their outstanding performance. I'd also like to thank the coaches and parents who spent so many hours at the rink and travelling to tournaments, making it possible for our children and youth to participate in sport.

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

PEGGY'S COVE: ACCIDENT - RESCUERS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, tragically, yesterday a 25-year-old Ontario man was swept out into the Atlantic Ocean from the rocky edges of Peggy's Cove. Our thoughts and prayers are with the young man's family and friends during this very difficult and emotional time.

While I know that recovery efforts are ongoing, I do want to take a moment to thank the Search and Rescue officials, the Coast Guard, the RCMP, the fishermen, the staff of the Sou'Wester Restaurant, and all emergency crews involved in their heroic efforts. We hope and pray that everyone will be safe as the search continues.

Yesterday's tragedy serves as a very important and sobering reminder of how powerful the seas and waves are out there at this time of year.

[Page 4110]

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

MCNEIL GOV'T.: BUDGET - PASSAGE

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the McNeil Government appears to be in a rush. They are using extended hours to push their controversial budget through this House. Is it because they are worried about the continued backlash now that they have gutted supports for the film and creative industries? Perhaps they are rushing the budget through because every single day the Opposition Parties and the media find yet another cut or another program eliminated and another community negatively impacted by their budget.

Instead of responding to criticism and questions about these cuts in the Legislature, the McNeil Government would rather use their majority government to ram the budget through and avoid having to answer the tough questions.

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

VICTORIA-THE LAKES - SNOWMOBILE EVENTS

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, despite some complaints about snowfall this winter there's one group in particular who have been enjoying Mother Nature's snow, and that is the snowmobilers. This season in Victoria-The Lakes we saw the Gary Ross Memorial Snowmobile Races, in Middle River, and the Ride for Dad Snowmobile Rally in Big Baddeck combine a love of snowmobiling and outdoor fun with a worthy cause.

Snowmobiling provides an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors with friends and it is also an economic development and tourism opportunity for our region. I'm grateful that we have responsible snowmobilers in Victoria-The Lakes and hard-working club members who maintain the trails. It is my hope that the success of these types of events will encourage snowmobilers from away to come and enjoy our winter playground. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

NAKILE HOME FOR SPECIAL CARE: NEW WING - OPENING

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, Nakile Home for Special Care, in Argyle, opened in late 1989 and by March 1990 all 36 beds were filled and have remained filled ever since. On the 29th of January, residents and staff celebrated the opening of a new wing with the addition of 12 new beds, plus an expansion of the laundry and the kitchen facilities along with new and up-to-date equipment to assist in the daily care of those residents. It is with pleasure that I offer my congratulations to management, staff, and residents of Nakile Home for special care, and wish them continued success.

[Page 4111]

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

FILM & CREATIVE IND.: CONCERNS - LISTEN

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, in my almost 12 years in this Legislature I've seen many organizations debate and try to bring awareness around changes the government may be bringing, especially during budget times. I must admit, the Film Tax Credit cut that was in the recent budget from the government has, I think, shown and taught me more about the film and creative industry than I knew prior to that potential cut.

These individuals whom these cuts will affect have been very respectful and they have taken a professional approach to try to get their message out on the impact of this cut not only on the direct jobs, for myself and my community, I've heard from parents of kids who are working in the industry who are going to be affected. I hope that all members, especially those in the Liberal caucus meet with those who are going to be affected by it. Listen and respond to the concerns of those within the film and creative industry. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : I'd like to rise on an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. ARAB « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to raise the attention of the members to the east gallery where a constituent from Fairview-Clayton Park, Marcel Boulet, is visiting us here today. Marcel is the President of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 849, and I'm happy to see him rise and I would ask you to give him the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

SOUTH SHORE SURF: BASKETBALL N.S.

U-14 PROV CHAMPIONSHIPS - GOLD MEDAL

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take this time to congratulate the South Shore Surf on its recent gold medal at the Basketball Nova Scotia Under 14 Provincial Championships.

The Surf, led by coaches Chad Frittenburg and Eric Dolliver enjoyed a very competitive weekend at Park View Education Centre, hosting teams from all over the province. It wasn't an easy weekend by any means - the final game went to the last second with the Surf pulling out a two-point win. Minor basketball is undergoing somewhat of a revival in Lunenburg County and the Surf program is at the forefront of that.

[Page 4112]

I ask that all members join me in congratulating the South Shore Surf on its recent provincial championship.

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

NOEL, KARRI ANN - EDUC. WK. AWARD

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Ms. Karri Ann Noel, a resource teacher at West Pictou Consolidated, who was a recipient of the Education Week Award from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. This year's awards recognized educators known for supporting student development through service learning, community projects, co-operative education, and for encouraging students to be active in their schools and communities.

Karri Ann has made a difference in her students' lives. She secured a grant from the Aberdeen Health Foundation that allows students access to technology to assist them with the development of life skills and relationships. She has also founded a girls club to assist girls who may have difficulty with social interaction. She continually looks for ways to engage her students and school in the learning process. It is an honour to congratulate Karri Ann on her award.

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

FILM & CREATIVE IND.: CUT - EFFECTS

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, like most MLAs, I have been receiving dozens of letters about the McNeil Government's elimination of Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia and their gutting of the Film Tax Credit. One of those letters came from Sarah Kate Marsh, a resident of Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

Sarah works as an actor and recently moved from Los Angeles back home to Nova Scotia because our film industry here was thriving. Sarah Kate doesn't understand the government's recent decisions regarding the film industry here or why the McNeil Government doesn't seem to understand the far-reaching impact the industry has. As she writes in her letter, the Nova Scotians hired using the Film Tax Credit pay taxes on their income and purchases; they buy houses and enroll their kids in schools and sports and extracurricular activities. Every purchase made by production has sales tax applied.

Sarah Kate understands. Mr. Speaker, why doesn't the McNeil Government understand?

[Page 4113]

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

MCLARE, MS. BEVERLY/TANGLED GARDEN:

THE GARDENER'S GARDEN - INCLUSION

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to congratulate Ms. Beverly McClare, owner and chief gardener of the Tangled Garden in Grand Pré. Recently her garden was included in the prestigious British publication The Gardener's Garden, a compendium of the 250 finest gardens in the world. Only six gardens from Canada were selected for this book. Last year Ms. McClare's lush, beautiful and unique garden was also featured in Martha Stewart magazine. For almost 30 years the Tangled Garden's blooming and productive landscape has overlooked the beautiful Minas Basin and the historic Grand Pré dykelands. On behalf of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly I would like to congratulate Beverley McClare and her team on the international recognition of their creative and productive efforts and thank them for their wonderful gardens enjoyed by so many visitors and Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

AUTISM AWARENESS MO. (04/15) - AUTISM AWARENESS PUZZLE RIBBON

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, April represents the 2015 National Autism Awareness Month. National Autism Awareness Month represents an excellent opportunity to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year. Nearly a quarter of a century ago the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all and assure that each person with ASD is provided with the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.

This year we want to go beyond simply promoting autism awareness to encouraging friends and collaborators and become partners in the movement towards acceptance and appreciation. For 50 years they have worked in communities both large and small, to ensure their actions for their service and programming supported all individuals living with autism. Now they are expanding their work to focus on the rest of us, ensuring acceptance and inclusion in schools and communities that result in true appreciation of the unique aspects of all people. We want to get one step closer to society where those with ASD are truly valued for their unique talents and gifts.

The Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is the most recognized symbol of the autism community in the world. I hope you will all join me in changing your Facebook profile picture to help educate our communities and Province on the potential of people with autism. Thank you.

[Page 4114]

MR. SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind all members, members' statements are one minute.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

HUNT, MARIAH/RYAN, MAEGAN - N.S. SKILLS COMP.

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to shine the spotlight on two South Colchester Academy students. They recently proved their skills by bringing home hardware from the Nova Scotia Skills Competition held in Halifax. Mariah Hunt won the bronze medal in the job search category for her research, preparation and interview performance for a hypothetical landscape technician position. Maegan Ryan participated in a two-day skills competition in March for a baking category, bringing home a silver medal for baking treats such as breads, cookies, cream puffs and red velvet cake.

I would like to congratulate both Mariah Hunt and Maegan Ryan on their outstanding performances during the Nova Scotia Skills Competition.

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

NSCAD FILM GRADS: FILM & CREATIVE INDUSTRIES - PITCH

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Earlier this week half a dozen fourth year film students at NSCAD screened their thesis short films. These soon to be grads say it is a bittersweet time because of the McNeil's Government proposed changes to the Film Tax Credit which, according to one student, butchers the industry.

Some of us are leaving, they say, some of us are staying, but knowing that it is not even perhaps an option is very sad, said student Megan Pike. To complete their films this year, the fourth year students were required to create a pitch, if that pitch is successful five films get a $2,400 budget from Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, except, Mr. Speaker, that organization doesn't exist anymore.

I'm calling on the McNeil Government to ensure that Nova Scotia film students don't lose this important opportunity to hone their filmmaking skills.

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

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : I beg leave for an introduction, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

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MR. DELOREY « » : I would just like to direct members' attention to the west gallery where Barbara Sutherland-Foote, the president of Gaelic Council Nova Scotia, and member Patricia Varley are in attendance. If you could give them the warm welcome of the house for the work they're doing.

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

MCNEIL GOV'T. - POST-SECONDARY EDUC. PROGS.

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : After perilous cuts to post-secondary education by the previous administration, our government is focusing scarce resources on Nova Scotia students for maximum impact. The last government cut $100 million from post-secondary education; we have increased funding every year since coming to office. Our government is committed to making university and post-secondary education more assessible, more affordable, and that's why we've eliminated interest on the provincial portion of student loans. It is also why we created the Nova Scotia Student Loan Forgiveness Program. Now when a Nova Scotia student graduates from Nova Scotia universities, in four years the provincial portion of their student loan is eliminated.

Our government is moving Nova Scotia forward and making the tough choices that Parties across this aisle aren't capable of.

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

AUSTIN, JIM & FERN: RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, Jim and Fern Austin started the Farmer's Daughter in 1992 to diversify their family income from dairy farming and to provide employment for their five children in the broader community. They began with a 1,000-square-foot space that included a bakery and local vegetables. Twenty-three years later that space has been expanded to 6,000 feet to support expanded sales. Customers can now purchase ice cream and preserves; they can visit the lunch counter, a deli, and a gift shop.

Jim and Fern have made the decision to retire but they leave behind a thriving business along the Trans-Canada Highway that employs 30 people in Whycocomagh. May we in this Legislature recognize this success story in rural Nova Scotia. Jim and Fern took a risk to open their business but their hard work and positive attitude resulted in job creation and kept millions of dollars in their local economy. Their decision and their determination to follow through on it was good for Whycocomagh and it was good for our province.

Let us wish Jim and Fern a happy and healthy retirement and continued success for the family business.

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

FILM & CREATIVE IND.: ELIMINATION - TRANSITION PLAN

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : When asked who was carrying out the work previously done by experienced staff at Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia, the Minister of Business told this House that staff within NSBI presently are responding to the needs of the industry and will continue to do so. But, Mr. Speaker, we have heard from the Directors Guild of Canada that their members' emails and voices mails left at NSBI aren't being returned. How is this responding to the needs of the industry?

Earlier this week we heard from young filmmakers, part of the Film 5 program through the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative. Their films are now in limbo and may not be made at all because NSBI has yet to confirm that the promised funding is still available. Mr. Speaker, it's obvious that Film & Creative Industries Nova Scotia was eliminated with no transition plan and that the McNeil Government still doesn't appreciate or understand how to respond to the needs of this important industry.

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

STONE HEARTH BAKERY - COMMUN. SUPPORT

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, the Stone Hearth Bakery, located at 7071 Bayers Road, is a Kosher commercial bakery that works with people to provide a work adjustment stills training program. This local business works with people who have barriers to employment. Through this business individuals are provided with the opportunity to develop good work habits, gain employment experience, and build self-confidence.

The Stone Hearth Bakery provides the finest quality European-style breads, bagels, and speciality baked goods without using any animal fats, preservatives, or dairy products. They produce delicious products while also supporting people in our community, helping them get a chance to gain valuable work experience. Through you, I'd like to congratulate the Stone Hearth Bakery and encourage them to keep up the good work. Thank you.

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

PICTOU CO. - LIBERAL GOV'T.: JOB CREATIONS - ASSIST

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to raise awareness of the alarming rise in unemployment in Pictou County. The news that Convergys will be closing its doors earlier than expected is of great concern to me. There are currently 194 full-time employees at Convergys. Layoffs will begin in May with a final closure date slated for August.

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Pictou County has not yet recovered from Convergys' first round of layoffs in June 2014 and the Michelin layoffs. Unemployment is high, with good-paying full-time jobs scarce. I call on the Liberal Government to assist in any way possible with job creation opportunities in Pictou County to combat the devastating effects the latest job losses are sure to have.

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

MCNEIL GOV'T.: RURAL OBSTETRICIANS - LACK

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the McNeil Government is causing some rural obstetricians to retire early and deterring new doctors from practising in Nova Scotia. None of the five graduating obstetric students at Dalhousie University in Halifax have plans to practise in Nova Scotia, but the McNeil Government doesn't seem to be concerned that women in rural Nova Scotia may not have access to obstetricians.

Is the McNeil Government's plan for expecting mothers on Cape Breton Island to come to the mainland to give birth? Will all future birth certificates in Nova Scotia state the place of birth as Halifax? I hope not, Mr. Speaker. We are one province, not one city.

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

EAST. STRAIT REG. ENTERPRISE NETWORK:

BD. OF DIRECTORS - FORMATION

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm proud to announce that the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network is well on its way to being fully established. On April 8th, representatives from five municipalities signed an inter-municipal agreement formally establishing the ESREN.

The five municipalities that have come together in this venture are the Town of Antigonish, the Municipality of the County of Antigonish, the Municipality of the District of St. Mary's, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, and the Town of Port Hawkesbury. This is great news for the business community, these five municipalities, and our province. It shows co-operation and partnership on a regional level. We all know that what is good for one community is good for its neighbours.

With this agreement in place, the municipalities will now be looking for business leaders in our community to sit on a board of directors. I look forward to seeing who shows interest in joining this board and seeing the work and results of the Eastern Strait Regional Enterprise Network. Thank you.

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

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DELLORUSSO FAM./NAPOLI PIZZERIA: 2ND LOCATION - OPENING

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Napoli Pizzeria of Sydney, who recently opened their second location in Sydney River. Napoli Pizzeria has been in business for more than 50 years on Charlotte Street. This is a family-owned business with the slogan, "The Best Pizza in Sydney".

I would like to thank the Dellorusso family for its many years of dedication and their commitment to the economy of CBRM and congratulate them for opening their new store in Sydney River. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MCNEIL GOV'T. - POLITICAL AMNESIA

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I want all members of the McNeil Government to get a checkup for a condition known by doctors of political science as political amnesia. The McNeil Government has forgotten their history. Discarded ideas are reused, but the government's expectation for ideas remains the same. It's as if they have forgotten their previous Liberal Government's mistake.

Their political amnesia is causing them to use their majority government to ram legislation through the House with little regard for democracy or the families hurt by their actions. The last time the Liberals were in power, rural job losses skyrocketed. Did they forget? I believe so. The last time they were in power, ERs closed. Do they have amnesia? I believe so. Thank you.

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

OLSEN-WHITE, MARCIA - BODYBUILDING COMPETITION

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, Marcia Olsen-White of Cole Harbour is having an extraordinary year as an amateur bodybuilder. Marcia travelled to Columbus, Ohio, this past March, where she competed against amateur bodybuilders from around North America in the 2015 Arnold Amateur international championships.

The Cole Harbour resident ranked second in the Figure Masters competition and fifth in the open Figure competition. These rankings ensure that she qualifies for the North American Championships, which will be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in July.

Marcia has been competing for a number of years and has seen success in Nova Scotia Amateur Body Building Association competitions. In 2013, she placed first in the Women's Figure Tall and Women's Figure Masters competitions. In 2014-15, Marcia placed first in the Women's Figure Masters and the Women's Figure C competitions. Her ranking at the 2015 competition will bring her to the Canadian Championship, which will take place this July in Halifax.

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Marcia, Marcia, Marcia, I wish you all the best.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'd like to remind all members to keep their members' statements in the third person and through the Chair, not to speak to the subject directly.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

SNELL, NATHAN - WESTVILLE YOUTH VOL. AWARD

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, for the first time the Town of Westfall has selected Youth Volunteers as an annual award category, and I am proud to say that the choice this year was Nathan Snell. I know Nathan, and he's a very worthy candidate for this honour. He volunteers with Westfall minor ball, and no task is too large or too small for him to tackle. He helps guide the young players, and if there's a job to be done, Nathan takes care of it. In the winter you will find Nathan at the rink competing or helping out in the exact same way.

He tops all of this by being an excellent student, and through it all he still finds time to play in a remarkable band, The 3rd Step, which played on my July 1st float. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

FILM & CREATIVE IND.: LOCATIONS - EFFECTS

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The elimination of Film & Creative Industries and the gutting of the Film Tax Credit does not just impact the film industry. As Sarah Kate Marsh, a constituent of the Minister of Internal Services, points out in a recent letter, tourism - the backbone of many rural economies - is also impacted. Sarah Kate writes that Haven's filming on the South Shore equates to "a 26-hour commercial for this province that runs in countries all over the world."

She goes on to say that she knows the owners of the inn where the cast of The Book of Negros stayed while filming in Nova Scotia, and I quote: "This year, after the series aired, they have already had multiple calls asking specifically to stay in the room where Aunjanue Ellis stayed during the filming."

Why hasn't the Premier listened to people like Sarah Kate, who obviously know much more about the impact of the industry than he does?

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

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MCNEIL GOV'T.: HEALTH CARE STRATEGY - IMPLEMENTATION

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, our government is implementing a health care strategy that will clean up the mess left behind by the Dexter Government. We've done what no other government in our province's history could do. We protected patients by introducing essential services legislation. We have established a new health structure to be patient focused and to provide the health care services Nova Scotians deserve. Our changes will help reduce wait times for important surgeries and reduce ER closures. Previous governments failed to address the structural issues in the health system. They were unwilling, or incapable of making tough decisions. In stark contrast (Interruptions)

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

MR. FARRELL « » : In stark contrast, we know that the status quo is not acceptable. We know that there are tough decisions that need to be made in order to put our province's finances back on track. We know there are scarce resources that need to be used carefully to ensure that we get the best value for every tax dollar. We are moving Nova Scotia forward beyond the status quo . . .

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

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

ALLY CTR. (C.B.) - FUNDING CUTS

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For 22 years the AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton, now known as the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, has provided education and support for people on the Island. Their services include a safe needle exchange, anonymous testing, an LGBT resource centre, financial support for people with HIV who have dietary restrictions, and the list goes on and on. Earlier this month, when describing the work of their organization, executive director Christine Porter told The Chronicle Herald, "It's the heart of the community for some very marginalized individuals."

Now the McNeil Government has slashed the funding for organizations like the Ally Centre of Cape Breton. Why are they trying to find savings on the backs of groups of people who are marginalized and are the most vulnerable people in our communities?

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

BLUE DOT MOVEMENT - ENDORSE

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MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise personally to endorse the statement made by the Blue Dot movement, a term which was coined for a photo of Earth taken by Voyager 1 in 1990.

This movement included the participants in my own community who gathered to call on all levels of government to create a declaration of the right to a healthy environment in our communities. This is a grassroots movement asking all levels of government to recognize our right to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, and eat healthy food. Started in 2014 by David Suzuki, a well-known and respected environmentalist and Canadian, it is a project of the David Suzuki Foundation.

In its first year, some 40 people, including myself, gathered on the Digby Harbour waterfront at 12:00 noon on April 19th with a blue dot in their hand. We were joined by tens of thousands of people across Canada in hopes that a blue dot could be a healthy place to live for all of its inhabitants.

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

PICTOU CO. WELLNESS CTR. - 55+ GAMES (2015)

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, from September 17th to September 19th, the Pictou County Wellness Centre and various other venues in the area will be alive with activity during the 55+ Games for 2015. Event coordinator Jan Keefe says there is something for everyone and if you don't participate in the games, of course volunteers are welcome.

There are over 20 categories of events, ranging from 45s to washer toss and pretty much everything in between. Whatever your skill level, you are encouraged to take part. Registration is underway and will continue until June 30th.

I congratulate the committee for their effort in coordinating these games, and extend my thanks and best wishes for a successful event.

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

ANTHONY, KEN - DRAGONS' DEN SUCCESS

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize a South Shore entrepreneur, Ken Anthony. Recently, Ken braved the Dragons' Den on CBC with his RackDri Sports Bag. As part of the show's ninth season, Ken made a successful pitch to the Dragons' Den panel, securing the funds to enable him to further develop his product.

Ken has been an avid sports enthusiast for many years. It's fitting that he would focus his energies on developing a product for athletes such as Nathan MacKinnon, who owned the original RackDri prototype as a young hockey player just 10 years ago.

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I'd like to congratulate Ken on his successful pitch to the Dragons' Den and send him best wishes for success with his RackDri initiative. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

ART ZONE GALLERY - DEBUT EXHIBITION

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, it's with great pleasure that I rise to recognize the Art Zone Gallery located in Halifax. This gallery was opened by retired businessman Mr. Mohamed Ahmed, who has a passion for the arts. Mr. Ahmed immigrated to Halifax from Egypt two years ago and wanted to give back to his new home by positively contributing to the unique artistic community found within Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, I had the pleasure to attend the Art Zone Gallery's first official exhibition, Endless Possibilities, on April 9, 2015. Numerous artists from all over the province exhibited outstanding works of art, including paintings and sculptures. Four finalists were awarded for their remarkable creations: Calder Kibyuk, Brendon Currie, Will Cooper, and Melanie Morrissey.

Art Zone provides a space for community involvement and education in art, but also works as a new and dynamic platform for emerging artists to showcase their work. Art Zone's mission is to make art more accessible and affordable for all Nova Scotians, empowering artists and audiences along the way. It was a great pleasure to attend the Art Zone Gallery's debut exhibition, and I wish its founder and staff the best of luck and continued success. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

MCDORMAN, RUBY - COL. NORTH VOL. AWARD

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, volunteers throughout Nova Scotia generously dedicate their time and talents to enhance the lives of others. Ruby McDorman of Debert, Colchester North, was honoured at the County Wide Volunteer Awards ceremony held in April 2015 for her extensive volunteer contributions. Her involvement extends to many organizations, such as her church, the Provincial Aging Well Coalition, Colchester-East Hants Library Foundation, Community Links, the Along the Shore Community Health Board, and the after-school youth program in Debert.

McDorman is particularly interested in assisting seniors and youth. She believes that keeping seniors active keeps them healthy and happy, and in engaging youth to become volunteers ensures a bright future for all. Ruby McDorman sets an excellent example for young and old alike.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Preston-Dartmouth.

LAKE ECHO FOOD BANK - APPLAUD

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate the Lake Echo Food Bank for their ongoing efforts to ensure that families and individuals in the community have access to nutritious food.

The Lake Echo Food Bank was formed in 1996 and had its origins in the Benevolent Committee of the St. David's United Church. Members of the committee met with Diane Swinamer of Feed Nova Scotia and formalized arrangements for a regular supply of food. The food bank originally operated out of the church basement and later moved to the location that serves it now, the Lake Echo Community Centre.

The Lake Echo Food Bank formed as a result of Brenda King and others in the church recognizing the need existed for individuals to have access to food in the community. This vision and commitment to help others in the community is supported by Feed Nova Scotia, local churches, and individuals through food and monetary donations.

I applaud and encourage the Lake Echo Food Bank for ensuring that families in our community do not go hungry.

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

MORRISSEY, PAMELA: ME TO WE PROG. - COMMITMENT

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to talk about Pamela Morrissey, a resident of Spryfield who just returned from a trip to Ecuador where she participated in the Me to We program. Pam chaperoned about 20 students from the Tri-County area on this goodwill trip. In previous years the students have travelled to Africa to help build a school; this year the group went to Ecuador and South America to help with sustainable development.

Pam has spent the past year raising money to help make it possible for the students to travel to Ecuador. She not only volunteered her time to raise money for the students, but she also volunteered to chaperone them on the trip. She unselfishly gave 10 days of her hard-earned vacation to accompany the students to Ecuador and assist in their goodwill activities.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to commend Pamela Morrissey on her commitment to the Me to We program and helping make it possible for students to participate in this learning experience.

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

LUN. ACAD. - COMMUN. HUB: SUCCESS WISH

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, Lunenburg's most iconic building is finding a new purpose. The famed Lunenburg Academy is also known as the "Castle on the Hill." It closed its doors when the new Bluenose Academy was opened several years back. Eventually tenants were found for the building, including the Lunenburg Academy Music Performance and the Class Afloat. To be fair, these two identities have never left. Now the South Shore Public Library is moving its Lunenburg branch to the former elementary school. It gives new purpose to the academy and it once again becomes the centre of the community.

There are more plans for the castle on the hill and, like the former Mahone Bay Centre, now the former old school, it once again became an indispensable part of the community. I ask members to join me in wishing the Lunenburg Academy a successful rebirth as a community hub, and many more years of service to the community.

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

KENTVILLE COMMUN. GARDEN SOC. - ADOPT A PLANTER BOX PROG.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to share my admiration for the work of the Kentville Community Garden Society. They have established an Adopt a Planter Box program where the residents can grow vegetables, herbs, or pollinator-friendly flowers. The many benefits of community gardens are reducing food expense, a chance to meet new people, an opportunity to share gardening knowledge, and overall strengthening of community.

Congratulations for spearheading this community initiative which builds and strengthens our community. Thank you.

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

GUYSBOROUGH MEM. HOSP. - HEALTH CARE MISSION

MR. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, we have endured a long, hard winter, with what seemed to be accompanied with endless shovelling. Lots of folks decided to escape with an all-inclusive trip to warmer climates, but this year a group of health care professionals, Dr. Anita Foley, RN Loretta Pettipas, and RN Pamela Morrow, from Guysborough Memorial Hospital went to that warmer climate, the Dominican Republic, on a medical mission to help the impoverished people of the small nation.

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The group from Guysborough set on their week-long mission with charity Health Teams International as part of the bigger team based in Ottawa. The team consisting of two dentists, a dental hygienist, a couple who provided eyeglasses and examinations, a paediatrician, Dr. Anita Foley, and the two nurses from Guysborough Memorial Hospital.

Foley is a world traveller as well as a long-time GP in Guysborough. This is her third medical mission trip. Her previous missions have taken her to the mountains of Peru, the Southeast Asian nation of Cambodia, and this was Loretta's and Pam's first mission. I am truly moved by the dedication of these women. Their desire to help others is absolutely remarkable. Throughout their careers they have touched the lives of so many and truly make a difference every day.

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

BROWN, NATALIE - FAIRVIEW FAM. CTR.

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize the Fairview United Family Resource Centre, known as the Fairview Family Centre, for their years of community support and service. The Fairview Family Centre has been offering free community-based programs since 1986 and is a leader in our community.

Under the direction of Natalie Brown they have recently moved to a larger location at 6 Titus Street, allowing them to continue to support the growing community of Fairview.

I would like to wish them all the best in their new home and thank Natalie and her team for all they do.

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

CABOT TRAIL RELAY - VOL. ORGANIZERS

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, on the weekend of May 23rd, 70 teams of 17 runners from all over North America will come to Cape Breton to run almost 300 kilometres around the entire Cabot Trail. This is a 24-hour relay race on some of the most challenging and spectacular terrain in North America. The race takes place in the shoulder tourist season and has done much to boost the economy of the area.

Additionally, the race participants make contributions to the three hospitals along the race route and have set up bursaries for each of the high schools on the trail. The race is organized by a dedicated group of volunteers who work hard to ensure that this event is truly memorable for all the runners and spectators. The event is truly one of sportsmanship, culminating with cheering, camaraderie, and fanfare at the finish line in Baddeck. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SAMPSON, MATTHEW: STRAIT REG. SCIENCE FAIR - CONGRATS.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, today I ask the members in the House to join me in congratulating Matthew Sampson on coming second overall in the 17th Annual Strait Regional Science Fair. Matthew is a Grade 12 student at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School and his project, The Portable Printer, won one of four grand prizes. All four winners from the Strait region will attend the Nova Scotia Science Fair Showcase in Halifax on April 30th, as well as the Canada-Wide Science Fair that is being held in Fredericton, May 11th to May 16th.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to join the Strait Regional School Board in thanking all members of the 2015 Science Fair Planning Committee, as well as the parents, guardians, staff, award sponsors, and local businesses for their ongoing support.

Mr. Speaker, I want to wish Matthew the best of luck in the upcoming science fair. Thank you.

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

MOORE, OLIVIA ET AL/GUIDES NATL. SERV. PROJ.

- LITERACY BACKPACKS

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, we often recognize large donations made by individuals but today I would like to recognize a smaller, but as significant, donation of four backpacks full of literacy supplies to the Digby Elementary School by Guides Olivia Moore, Lauren Kaiser, Helena Smeltzer, Alyssa Westcott, and Jadyn Samson.

This year's Guides' National Service Project, Words in Action, focuses on the UN's Millennium Development Goal to achieve universal primary education through the theme of literacy. The literacy backpack drive, which provides backpacks to others with the tools to succeed in life, was the avenue chosen by the Digby Guides to fulfill this challenge.

I would also like to recognize the Guide leaders for the time and guidance they are giving to these young girls, and the Girl Guide organization for emphasizing public service. These four backpacks are part of a much larger campaign with Girl Guides from across the country, donating backpacks and books and volunteering their time, promoting the importance of reading.

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

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TRURO-NORTH RIVER 4-H CLUB - ACTIVITIES

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, the 4-H motto, "Learn to do by Doing" is exemplified by the Truro-North River club. They never miss an opportunity to help the community as they recently showed by serving food at the North River firefighters' annual banquet.

At their recent annual club rally on March 5th, guests enjoyed speeches and demonstrations on a wide variety of interesting topics. The members of the Beef Project received a $500 donation from the Farm Canada Credit to help with their project. The first-year Woodsmen will compete in the 4-H rally in Brookfield in April, and three of the senior members will represent Colchester County in Nova Scotia at the national 4-H Citizenship Congress to be held in Ottawa in April. Many other exciting activities are planned for the coming months for this very active club and its energetic members.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for members' statements has expired. We will now move on to the order of business, Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM. - FILM & DIGITAL GROWTH: PROMISE BREACH - EXPLAIN

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. In 2011 the now-Premier criticized former Premier Dexter for having gone "to the doorsteps of families across this province, looked Nova Scotians in the eyes and told them, no tax increases." I will table that quote.

In the last election, this Premier went to Longtail Studios in Halifax, spoke to members of the film industry, and told them that he would "spawn further growth in the Film and Digital Media industries" if elected. Instead, the opposite happened, and the whole industry is now at risk.

I'd like to ask the Premier, why did he look the film industry in the eye and promise to grow their business and then do the opposite after he was elected?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't agree with the premise of the question at all. This budget has $18 million in the creative economy. There's $6 million set aside for the Digital Media Tax Credit, which not only Longtail Studios but other digital media people in this province could capitalize on. We've invested in recording artists. We've invested in publishers. As well, we have a tremendous amount of money on the table for the Film Tax Credit and for the film industry.

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We're very encouraged by the conversations that we're having with representatives of Screen Nova Scotia. We're going to continue to move forward to ensure that we will grow not only certain aspects of the creative economy but the entire creative economy.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier may well be the only Nova Scotian left who actually believes that. Three thousand people were here at the House just a week ago telling the government that their plan with the Film Tax Credit would be the end of the film industry. They are the experts. They are also the ones that saw, in the Liberal platform in the last election, a promise made to strengthen "Nova Scotia's heart and soul," the film and creative industry, by "extending the Film Tax Credit."

My question to the Premier is pretty simple, do his discussions with the industry now include an apology for having broken his campaign promise?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we have extended the Film Tax Credit to 2020. We broadened the creative economy in this province. We're distributing the financial dollars that the people of this province have to ensure that we grow the entire creative economy, and yes, the film industry is part of that. They disagreed with the delivery model that we presented to them. We asked them to come back to us with one that works for them.

We're very encouraged by the signs that we've received from them. We're very encouraged by the co-operative nature in which they are moving forward, and the only person in this province who believes that the film industry is going to die is the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, because it plays better for him.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the compliment from the Premier that I somehow managed to bring 3,000 people to the Legislature last Wednesday to make the very point that we're trying to make to the government - that their industry and the 2,700 jobs that go with it are at risk. They know full well what the Premier promised them at Longtail Studios a week before election day. They know full well what was written into the Liberal platform and they know that this is the opposite. The Premier in Opposition once said to Premier Dexter, "When will the Premier own up to his broken promises?"

I'll ask this Premier the same question, when will he own up to his broken promises to the film industry?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, when I break one, I'll be sure to tell all Nova Scotians.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: SURGERY CANCELLATIONS - BACKUP PLAN

[Page 4129]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, it's now the fourth day that surgeries have had to be cancelled at the province's only tertiary hospital due to problems with the sterilization of surgical equipment. People who have waited months for needed surgeries, from open heart surgery to hip and knee replacements, are now having their surgeries cancelled. There's no indication when surgeries will be resumed.

So my question to the Premier is, why is there no backup plan to ensure that surgery cancellations do not accumulate for days at the region's only tertiary hospital?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the Minister of Health and Wellness to respond.

HON. LEO GLAVINE » : In speaking with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, there's every indication that this was a small problem that has occurred with sterilization equipment in other hospitals across Canada. We're now realizing that the problem may be more extensive, and as a result we're in the process today of contacting sources in the U.S. to get mobilizing sterilizing equipment on-site as quickly as possible.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, a small problem has become an extensive problem and now the government is scrambling. More than 300 surgeries have now been cancelled and the number is growing every day. Today is day four of cancelled surgeries at our largest hospital. The surgeries will need to be rescheduled putting more strain on the health care system that is stretched to the limit under normal circumstances.

My question to the Premier is, would the Premier outline what steps will be taken to ensure there is a backup plan in place in future so this situation does not occur again?

THE PREMIER « » : I think the Minister of Health and Wellness has responded to that. He is doing a tremendous job of delivering health care services across the province.

He is continuing to ensure that not only do we have the human resources in place, he is moving forward to ensure that we have the equipment that needs to be replaced in an appropriate time. If only the former government had done the appropriate thing with making sure that not only did we have the human resource in place but we also had the equipment that was being replaced in a timely fashion, this issue wouldn't be here today.

MS. MACDONALD « » : I don't need to be lectured from a Premier whose budget has no money for capital equipment in this particular budget. Mr. Speaker, there are 320 surgeries that will all have to be rescheduled when the surgical sterilization system is properly functioning.

My final question to the Premier is, how will these surgeries be rescheduled without creating longer wait times in our health care system?

[Page 4130]

THE PREMIER « » : There is one thing this government doesn't need is being lectured by a former Minister of Health and Wellness when she had an opportunity and did nothing in the health care system but ensure that she embedded $700 million in the cost of doing business in this province, when in actual fact, if she kept growth with the economy we would have an additional $200 million today to spend on all of the things that she continues to complain about and the things she ignored as the Minister of Health and Wellness.

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

DIS: BOAT HBR. - CLEANUP PLAN

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Internal Services. The forestry industry generates over $575 million for the province's GDP, and I will table a document to that effect. Northern Pulp works in co-operation with most Nova Scotia sawmills supplying them with over 30 per cent of their wood requirements. This is an industry that provides over 10,000 jobs in our province and this is why the plan to clean up Boat Harbour requires a plan to maintain operations at Northern Pulp. So my question to the minister is, why does the minister insist that Boat Harbour can be viewed in isolation, when an entire industry hangs in the balance?

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS » : Mr. Speaker, currently we are looking at alternatives for Northern Pulp for an effluent treatment facility and from discussions with my department, any sort of solution we come to, and if the mill is in agreement, would require a one- to two-year construction period. The close down of Boat Harbour is January 2020, which gives us a five-year runway so we have plenty of time to ensure the effluent can flow somewhere else, as long as the mill is in agreement.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, by the minister's own admission, they didn't even sit down and tell Northern Pulp about what was going on until the day before. The Minister of Internal Services is moving to close the Boat Harbour treatment plant, and that's a good thing; nobody would dispute that. But a plan is needed to ensure the jobs of Northern Pulp are not lost. The benefit that is this plant expands far beyond Pictou. For example, according to Roger Pike of Northern Pulp, 65 per cent of the containerized traffic exported from the Port of Halifax is Northern Pulp products.

These are jobs, Mr. Speaker, which are in the minister's own constituency, so my question to the minister is, does the minister recognize the provincial importance of ensuring that the Northern Pulp facility remains open?

MR. KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, just some clarification on that: Northern Pulp exports approximately 17,000 TEUs out of approximately half a million that we are exporting out of the Port of Halifax. The TEU exports are very important to the Port of Halifax because it counterbalances our imports - and the more we can export, the more we can import.

[Page 4131]

I would like to add that we are in a very strategic location in the world in terms of importing, because we can actually import a container into Chicago or Toronto six days faster out of China than you can on the West Coast, and that's what we've been promoting. We're not promoting just for Northern Pulp, we're promoting for the whole Port of Halifax around the world. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

PREM. - SCREEN IND.: SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT ASSESSMENT

- AWARENESS CONFIRM

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I have obtained a copy of what is probably the last socio-economic impact assessment that was done on the screen industry in Nova Scotia. This report, which I'll table, is from 2008. The report states that the industry created 2,700 jobs and contributed $150 million to the GDP of the province back in 2008.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Premier is, is he aware of this report and has he read the information in the report?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As she knows, that information would have been part of the discussions that would have taken place. As a government moving forward we said that the level of the tax credit in this province, at 50 to 65 cents, was too much.

We've laid a proposal as part of the solution going forward and the industry has responded, said yes, we know changes have to be made. They're bringing back a solution that hopefully will work for them as well as work for taxpayers.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the socio-economic assessment conducted by a well-respected group of economists shows us that in 2008 the sector contributed $150 million to the province's GDP . . .

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Did you table that?

MS. MACDONALD « » : I did table it, yes, to the member for Clare-Digby.

Clearly the industry has grown in size since 2008, Mr. Speaker, so my question to the Premier is, why would he want to harm a growing, vibrant industry documented as an important contributor to our GDP by making such drastic cuts to the Film Tax Credit?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member, and I want to thank those members of the film industry who recognized that changes had to be made. We have, in this budget, committed a substantial amount of public dollars to the creative economy.

[Page 4132]

We've broadened it, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that recording artists are part of that and to ensure that publishers are part of that. As referenced in my first question around the Digital Media Tax Credit, there is a substantial amount of money on the table for the film industry. What they have told us is they don't believe the delivery model of that money to them works for them. We've said okay, tell us about something that works for you.

Mr. Speaker, I have been very encouraged by the conversations that we've been having with members of the industry; it's very different than what's happening on the floor of this House. They are being constructive looking for a solution to ensure that we can continue to grow the economy of this province.

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

JUSTICE - BURNSIDE JAIL: ASSAULTS - SERIOUSNESS

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Justice. We learned today that the Burnside jail was in lockdown after three separate assaults involving three officers on Tuesday, but none of those were reported on the Justice Department's major incident website.

During Estimates Debate the minister emphasized that there is a zero-tolerance policy and that all staff at the facility must report every kind of assault, no matter how minor or serious. Will the minister explain to the House why the incidents that happened at Burnside on Tuesday were not serious enough to be posted on the department's website, but were serious enough to lock down the facility?

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the honourable member for the question. I didn't say what you have just said. I said that all major incidents are reported on our website. A major incident would include a case where there's hospitalization. I can confirm that there was an assault yesterday by an offender, and I can confirm that the facility is on lockdown but there has been no hospitalization.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I apologize if I've misquoted the minister; I certainly didn't intend to do that.

A spokesperson at the Department of Justice is quoted as saying that the incidents that occurred Tuesday were currently with the police. As I mentioned, they were not included on the update on the website. Several other incidents that have involved the police are posted on that list. Will the minister explain the criteria used to determine which incidents are handed over to the police and which incidents are considered serious enough to be posted on the website?

[Page 4133]

MS. DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, the facility is on lockdown and staff is conducting their own search. With respect to the incident you're speaking about, police are investigating it, and any information with respect to that incident you would have to consult the police.

With respect to which incidents are reported, we have a clear policy and I would be happy to provide that to you. It is in black and white, it's documented, and it is on the website, but I would be happy to give you that information. The policy is in writing and I can give you a copy of that. Thank you.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - HOSP. PATIENT: MISSING - UPDATE

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Merci beaucoup, M. le président. My question is to the Minister of Health and Wellness.

We recently have become aware of another patient who has gone missing from hospital while out on a pass. The health authority says the longer he's away without treatment "the greater risk he poses to himself"- and I will table that quote. Police and hospital staff are working together to try to locate him, but time is of the essence.

My question to the minister is, can he provide an update on the situation and what failures in protocol result in this man's failure to return?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for that question. I reviewed this case this morning and any time we have such an incident it is of great concern to all those affected and impacted by a patient, in this case a voluntary patient at this particular site. All protocols were initiated. The crisis team started the process of going through the most likely locations where he could be. We have an ongoing search at this time.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that answer. The safety of all individuals is our top priority and getting this man back into a treatment facility is paramount. These instances are happening more frequently and must be addressed. Health professionals and the police are fully engaged when a situation like this arises, but safeguards must be put in place prior so that most importantly patients are not put in harm's way. Secondly, precious resources can be used where they're needed the most, which is with treatment of these patients.

Has the minister reviewed policy to see why issues like this keep happening, and will he alert the House as to whether he will be making any changes to those policies?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for not just the question but good suggestions and ideas that could be acted upon. To my knowledge, this is the very first such incident that has been reported to the new Nova Scotia Health Authority. They will now look at protocols that can be strong and robust right across the province as opposed to just looking at each site individually. We will take best practices and make sure they are in place.

[Page 4134]

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD. - FILM IND. FUNDING: MIN.

- UNDERSTANDING EXPLAIN

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I have to say that the Premier made a statement about the Film Tax Credit and he said the film community recognizes that changes needed to be made, but I have to say they're being forced to make these changes. They did not say that these changes needed to be made.

For weeks the Finance and Treasury Board Minister has been stating that in spite of her decision to gut the tax credit, the film industry would still continue to be successful in Nova Scotia. However, Valerie Creighton, president and CEO of Canadian Media Fund, challenged the minister yesterday on understanding how productions are actually funded. She stated clearly, no tax credit, no TV shows.

My question, can the minister please explain how she now understands that the film industry funds projects?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question from the honourable member. I think the honourable member may also have heard Ms. Creighton when she was interviewed on CBC yesterday, and one of her quotes said it doesn't have to be a tax credit, it could be some other form of provincial investment.

There's more to this and we all know in this House that it's a complex issue and that is the question that we're having, how best to support the industry with the available dollars that we have, keeping in mind the difficulty we have to look after the taxpayers and the people of Nova Scotia.

MS. ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, well, I didn't exactly hear an explanation of how she feels that films are funded. However, Valerie Creighton warns that nearly $39.2 million in funding that had previously been committed to projects in Nova Scotia will disappear. These are important dollars that help leverage projects like my friend Hank White's $13 million co-production that was scheduled to be shot in Nova Scotia this summer with money from Ireland, but has now decided to relocate in Toronto, taking millions of dollars with them and hundreds of jobs and giving them to Ontarians.

My next question is, does the minister not agree that it is in her interest and that of Nova Scotia's economy to ensure that productions like these that can use the Film Tax Credit to bring new money into the province must be saved?

[Page 4135]

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think it's very clear that from the onset, we've expected and hoped that there would be a continuing industry in this province. That's exactly what the discussions are about with the industry. There's a lot less rhetoric there; there's a willingness to work together to find common ground. I would hope that every member in the House would also hope for the same outcome, that there could be a good middle ground found, a common position where the industry will thrive in this province. Thank you.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD. - FILM IND.: TARGETING - EXPLAIN

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. After weeks of chaos and uncertainty among Nova Scotia's film industry, the government still has not admitted that they made a mistake, admitted that they broke a promise, or accurately assessed the revenue generated by the industry. It begs the question of whether or not the government actually believes that the film and TV industry contributes positively to Nova Scotia's economy by generating jobs and income for all Nova Scotians.

Why has the government been working to undermine and limit the growth of this industry by proposing damaging alternatives without advance consultations?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I think the honourable member opposite is going a bit beyond the facts here in this case, because the industry has not been harmed in the way she is suggesting. The credit exists. There is $24 million in this year's budget. Everybody knows that. We're discussing the parameters for the future years and how that will affect the out-years. We're looking for the mechanism - the way to unlock the dollars so that they have the best use for Nova Scotians and the best benefit to Nova Scotia and also continue to support an industry that requires that level of support.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister for her answers, but I do know that in my constituency, it has been damaging. We possibly have just lost five films. In Opposition, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board lauded the film industry and the tax credit, saying, "We introduced the film tax credit when the Liberals were in government. It has been strengthened over time, with the support of all Parties." I'll table that.

The minister was aware then that this credit, created 20 years ago, has generated significant benefits for the Province of Nova Scotia and helped to grow this industry. Why did the government target the film industry in their budget after supporting the tax credit while in Opposition and formalizing the support in their platform?

[Page 4136]

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I can assure all members of the House that there was a great deal of research done, as I've said here previously. Research was done and it was checked and double-checked.

But what's very important, and I think all of us should remember - and I said it here in estimates at some length - there are different measures of economic impact or fiscal impact or taxes returned to the Province of Nova Scotia for our investment. We agree with Screen Nova Scotia and members of the industry that we've got two valid measures; they simply are not lined up. They're both valid. That's very important.

I'd like to just, before I finish the answer to my question, remind all members that when the credit was introduced in 1994, it covered 30 per cent of the industry's labour costs for any production and it had a cap. In 2010, the cap came off. Thank you.

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

BUS.: FILM & CREATIVE IND. - FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Business. On November 4th, the Liberal Government passed Bill No. 49, an Act to Improve Economic Development in Nova Scotia. That bill required that Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia prepare and submit to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism a five-year strategic plan about the industry. That was due March 1, 2015. So it was required by this bill. I'm sure that five-year strategic plan would be very helpful in light of the discussions that are now taking place, so I ask the minister, does he have that report and if not, why?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the report itself is in draft format but more importantly, to my colleague's question, we recognize the importance of the industry and the people and talent that represents that industry.

We also realize that there are other opportunities and options to allow that industry to grow, Mr. Speaker. The discussions that continue as we speak are facilitating and demonstrating tremendous co-operation and we believe, optimistically, a solution.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, as part of that bill the Liberal Government, just five months ago, promised that they would extend the Film Industry Tax Credit as is, until December 31, 2020. That was five months ago. A lot can change in five months. Maybe I'll table their own bill, for their benefit.

My question for the minister is, why did they change their mind and go ahead and make significant changes to the tax credit?

[Page 4137]

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, to my colleague's point, in fact that bill did not indicate what my colleague is stating. The present situation we find ourselves in is there is continued support for the industry in this province and by this government. We are continuing with open dialogue with industry leaders, a very cordial, very respectful discussion about how collectively we can move the industry forward.

My colleague knows full well the work that is being undertaken as we speak and that we all have the same objectives in providing security and sustainability for the industry in this province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

PREM. - ECON. DEV.: BUS. DEPT. - INCLUSION EXPLAIN

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. When the Premier and the MLA for Cape Breton-Richmond dismantled Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, they showed their contempt for communities outside of Halifax. Many Nova Scotians who live in rural areas see many of their services disappearing with little to no information about where to go.

Their young people are leaving in droves and unemployment continues to climb. The Premier hasn't only cut services but the good-paying jobs that went along with those services: Visitor Information Centres, provincial parks, land registry offices, courthouses and on and on. My question to the Premier, why would he take away focus from rural economic development by putting it into the disorganized Department of Business?

THE PREMER: I want to thank the honourable member for her question. I'm very proud of the fact that I have been able to live in rural Nova Scotia. I'm very proud of the fact that I've been able to create my own job in rural Nova Scotia. I'm very proud of the fact that my two children have been able to be born and raised and grew up in rural Nova Scotia. One of them continues to work in it, Mr. Speaker.

They've invested in rural Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker. I want to also remind the honourable member that in rural Nova Scotia, when you look at the best opportunity for rural Nova Scotia it is resource development. I am very encouraged by the things I'm hearing around the mining sector, very encouraged by the things I'm hearing from the agricultural sector, from aquaculture. These are all positive signs.

The reality is that unlike the honourable member across the way, rural Nova Scotians know that the status quo will not get us to where we need to go. They recognize change has to come and they are embracing it like never before.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier can spout all the talking points and platitudes he likes but the numbers and the facts tell a different story. Since the McNeil Government has been elected, rural Nova Scotia has lost nearly 22,000 jobs. I will table that. Also, that number includes almost 5,500 jobs in the Cape Breton area alone.

[Page 4138]

In the paper this morning we hear that communities are pulling out of regional development organizations in droves, and I will table that. How dire does the situation need to get before this Premier realizes the do-nothing approach is destroying rural Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for her question. I want to tell her that this is the difference between that Party and this Party, Mr. Speaker. They believe that the only ones who can solve the economic challenges of rural Nova Scotia is the government. The fact of the matter is that this Party is empowering rural Nova Scotians to control their own destiny and they are happy to do it.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD. - FILM TAX CREDIT: CONSULTATION - TIMING

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. A few minutes ago the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board said there had been a lot of reports done, a lot of research done into the value of the tax credit and what it does for the people in the Province of Nova Scotia. The Minister of Business has said that good talks are going on.

My question is, if they had all this information, why didn't the talks take place before they created all this turmoil?

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the important thing to note is that when you bring in a budget there are a lot of items - in fact, thousands of items - and many changes in this budget. A lot of that is important. It has huge impact. The industry and I met before the budget was brought in, and we agreed to meet immediately after. We did just that, and as the members know, there have been at least three meetings. I think this is the fourth meeting since. Hopefully, we'll have a very good solution to this issue. We certainly have better understanding, and we're looking for a good solution.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that the job ahead of the Finance and Treasury Board Minister was tough. However, in order for a business such as the film industry to be successful, they need the support of a government - a government and a Premier who promised that he wasn't going to affect the tax credit. The next thing we heard in a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the minister says we're looking at the tax credit and we might be doing something there.

My question is, if people on the government side of the House are really serious about the economy of the Province of Nova Scotia, why is it they create havoc instead of talking to the people that are going to be mostly affected by this change?

[Page 4139]

MS. WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I think all members know that I had a pre-budget tour. I met with countless different organizations. I travelled to eight communities and had public meetings, as well as meeting with the chambers of commerce, municipalities, municipal leaders, and business leaders. I've been available to meet with all industries and all people in the province.

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

EECD - EAST. PASSAGE SCH. PROPOSAL: MIN. - STANCE

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minster of Education and Early Childhood Development. In 2012 the former Premier announced that a new school would be built in Eastern Passage. Last week the government announced that the site for the new school had been selected. We are now learning that the Halifax Regional School Board members will debate a motion to ask the province to cancel the building of this school, arguing that there are other areas of HRM in greater need.

My question to the minister is, will the minister comply with the wishes of the board when it comes to the new high school in Eastern Passage?

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member for the question and for a little bit of a history lesson - but really not the complete history lesson. The member talked about the school being announced in 2012, but neglected to talk about the process that is used in order for boards to bring forward their priorities for new school construction. I wish to share with all members of the House that the Halifax Regional School Board never did bring forward a request for that school. It was totally a political decision.

MR. DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, there are other concerns regarding the future of Cole Harbour District High School. It has been indicated by the board that as many as 50 per cent of students would be going to the new school in Eastern Passage. Cole Harbour High is currently only operating at 81 per cent, and received an investment of $10 million in 2012 for renovations and the construction of a skilled trades centre.

My question to the minister is, has the minister discussed the future of Cole Harbour District High School with the board in which she ensured the $10 million investment by the taxpayers of Nova Scotia will not go to waste?

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to say to all members of the House that any investment in any of our schools to make learning environments better for our kids is not money that goes to waste.

[Page 4140]

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

PREM. - RURAL N.S.: FAM. UNEMPLOYMENT - RESPONSE

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The cuts the McNeil Government has made to provincial parks and visitor information centres were devastating to those families; 58 seasonal positions in seven parks across the province were eliminated along with the closure of two visitor information centres. The plan is to replace park staff with machines.

These were good jobs in rural Nova Scotia. It seems to me that rural development strategies have been replaced with strategies to force people out of rural Nova Scotia. My question is, what advice does the Premier have for families thrown out of work in rural Nova Scotia? Should they stay or should they go?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, finally. After 17 days, they finally ask a question about hard-working Nova Scotians who have been affected by very tough times being left behind by that government. Finally, they've asked a question about (Interruptions)

Of course I would tell those Nova Scotians to stay because I think we have the best province in the entire federation. Of course I would tell those Nova Scotians to stay and work with the government to create their own opportunities in rural Nova Scotia. The ingenuity of rural Nova Scotians has been here for decades. It was stymied by the last government, but they finally have a government that is prepared to work with them. Unlike the other government, the only jobs in rural Nova Scotia don't have to be government jobs. They can be driven by the private sector.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, but I sense a little bit of anger in the air. I can tell you that under this government, under this minister, we actually bought - brought jobs to rural Nova Scotia. We brought them. We brought them. (Interruptions)

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

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Since October 2013, 3,200 jobs have been lost - I repeat, lost - in southwestern Nova Scotia and on the South Shore according to Statistics Canada's numbers. That's a change in employment of minus 6.31 per cent. But those aren't just numbers; those are families. Each job cut by this Premier means rural Nova Scotia has one less person spending their paycheque at a local business - I'm getting there, Mr. Speaker.

I ask the Premier, who talks about creating the right environment for business, how is cutting jobs in rural Nova Scotia improving the environment for business?

[Page 4141]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think we sense a Freudian slip in the air. I would say that was their economic development plan - to try to buy jobs and move them around this province. We've recognized - and Nova Scotians recognize - that was failed public policy.

The fact of the matter is that everyday, hard-working Nova Scotians in rural Nova Scotia and urban Nova Scotia are putting their own money on the line. They are investing in their own businesses. What they have asked their government to do is get their financial house in order, ensure that they provide (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Every day in this province, hard- working Nova Scotians are putting their own money on the line in rural Nova Scotia and in urban Nova Scotia. What they have asked their government to do is get their financial house in order, ensure that we can provide health care, and ensure that we can provide education, making sure the most vulnerable citizens in this province can be looked after.

I believe in Nova Scotians. Nova Scotians don't look to their government to create them a job. All they've asked of the government is to ensure that the environment is healthy. Finally, they have a government that is prepared to work with them, not one that is prepared to hold them back.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: RFPs - EFFECTS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, last night, there was another meeting about the status of home care in Nova Scotia. A full house was concerned about the proposed RFP and the effect it may have on the ability to provide quality home care. My question to the Minister of Health and Wellness is, can the minister assure workers and patients that the standards of care and the amount of care needed will remain in place or be a part of this RFP?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, the member opposite put those exact words into place already for me. We will not be changing the quality. In fact, we want to improve the service in Nova Scotia.

We currently have some areas that are underserviced. We have some areas that are very inefficient in terms of the delivery of service and all those who are providing good care, bringing care to our seniors and disabled in their homes, all those people will have jobs as long into the future as they so wish.

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MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister for that answer. With the changes in the admission requirements for nursing homes, there is a fear that more people will need home care, especially if they refuse admission. It is felt that more care will be needed and the wait-list will grow.

Can the minister assure patients and families that if more resources are needed, they will be available for their loved ones?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I know the member opposite is very concerned and passionate about this issue for his riding. I want to assure him that we have hundreds of thousands of dollars now spent inefficiently across Nova Scotia. This is about sharpening the pencil. This is about a new way of delivering high-quality care and this is why the tendering process will be part of the future. In 1998, in 2002, in 2008, the Auditor General said this is the way the province should go.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: ALTON GAS PROJ. - FISH EFFECT

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. I met with the Nova Scotia Striped Bass Association a couple of weeks ago at their annual meeting. One of the main items of business was the concern for the fish in the Shubenacadie River. The concern arises from the possible effect the Alton gas project will have on the fish.

My question is, has the department completed their studies on what the effect on fish might be with respect to the salt content created by the salt caverns?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : I would like to refer that question to the minister responsible for that.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON » : Mr. Speaker, for the member's information, the KMK has just recently closed and there has been an RFP request for a third-party review of the scientific evidence that has been gathered to date regarding the Alton project. This review will be underway very soon. Once the findings have been concluded, we will continue our discussions and our negotiations with the Mi'kmaq chiefs in Nova Scotia and all Mi'kmaq people to ensure that they are confident that the science shows that this project is sustainable and that it will protect the environment.

MR. HARRISON « » : My final question is, will the minister afford the opportunity for the association to review the data once it is finished?

MR. SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, this is an open process of this project. We want to ensure that all Nova Scotians are confident in this. This represents a tremendous opportunity. It has been identified that it could provide savings of approximately $17 million a year for natural gas users in our province. It would bring stability to that market, as well as having a reserve supply.

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At the same time the whole intent here is to ensure that there is confidence that there will not be any impact on the Shubenacadie River with the salt water that will be put back into a salt water basin. Obviously, we want to share all that information and address any concerns that there are.

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

PREM. - GUYSBOROUGH: FRONT-LINE SERV. - PRIORITY

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. Back in 2012, the current Premier said, "The government does not have a financial problem, it has a priority problem."

Well, Mr. Speaker, today people living in rural Nova Scotia are saying the McNeil Government has a priority problem. One community in particular that is questioning this government's priority is Guysborough, which last month lost the land registration offices, their satellite court, and several child welfare workers.

My question to the Premier is, why is providing quality, front-line services to seniors, families, and small business in Guysborough not a priority with this government?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I couldn't disagree with the question from the honourable member any more vehemently. I do want to remind him that it's quite interesting, he talks about us having our priorities wrong and yesterday, or two days ago, the Leader of that Party stood up and criticized us for settling a longstanding dispute with the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. (Interruptions) It's an embarrassment.

Let me tell you, the people of Guysborough aren't looking to their government to solve their problems. Goldboro is moving forward because of the ingenuity of the people of Guysborough. We're looking forward to Vulcan investing in that community, not because of government but because of the good people of Guysborough County. They recognize their future is in their own hands and they are moving forward.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, it seems like I hit a nerve, but I know when I don't get an answer.

There's another community that has seen jobs and services disappear at the hands of the McNeil Government - it is Liverpool. It has lost the land registry office and also a satellite court. (Interruptions) During the last election this Premier told . . .

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

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : I'll start over again, Mr. Speaker. Another community that has seen jobs and services disappear at the hands of the McNeil Government is Liverpool. It has lost its land registration office and its satellite court office. During the last election the Premier told the Canadian press that one of his priorities was to expand rural economics.

So, my question to the Premier is, how is eliminating jobs and services expanding rural communities?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I again want to remind the honourable member that the people who live in rural Nova Scotia aren't looking for the government to solve all the challenges facing their communities; they're looking directly to the government to get their fiscal health in order. I can tell you I made a living in rural Nova Scotia, my wife has made a living in rural Nova Scotia and never once did we ask the government to help solve our economic challenges; we stood up and did it ourselves. Let me tell you, that member and that Party doesn't have faith in people who live in rural Nova Scotia - this Premier and this government does. (Interruptions)

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

Order please. (Interruptions) Order please. (Interruptions) Are you ready?

The honourable member for Argyle-Barrington.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: BARRINGTON PASSAGE - DIALYSIS COMM.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, I was going to ask a really good question about surgical wait times, but I think I'll save it and I'll ask a question about dialysis in rural areas.

I do want to thank the minister from meeting with a group of concerned citizens in Barrington Passage who are concerned about those individuals in southwestern Nova Scotia - more specifically, Cape Island, the Shelburne County side of things - who are having a hard time getting to their dialysis appointments in Yarmouth, specifically during the winter season when we had lots of trouble with the roads and being able to get there - no problems because of the roads with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, but just simply we've had some terrible weather.

My question to the minister would be: Is there anything else we can tell the members of that dialysis committee on whether the information will be coming forward, on whether or not this is a good idea for this area?

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HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, yes, I was pleased to meet with those citizens; they obviously have a very real concern. We are gathering information at the department. The member is quite aware that we are involved with a provincial renal program and that's where we will take our guidance from. One of the areas that I want to see expanded in our province is home dialysis. We're currently at the 17 per cent level, and B.C. is at 30 per cent. I think that's where we can eventually move dialysis, more and more in the home - once again, that's where residents want to get the care that can be provided there.

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

The honourable member for Pictou West on an introduction.

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, if I can draw the Chamber's attention to the west gallery, I'm really thrilled and honoured to be able to introduce the warden of Pictou County, Mr. Ron Baillie, as well as the mayor of New Glasgow, Barry MacMillan. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

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

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

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to stand and offer my thoughts on the budget. I know it's a very difficult task to prepare a budget and have that budget meet the needs of all Nova Scotians. The needs are varied, and the needs are complex, not only with industries and organizations and bureaucracy but with the lives of each individual within the province.

My experience is with individuals. I have spent my whole working career helping individuals sort out certain aspects of their life, such as their faith base, their family and community relationships, their dying process. I have been asked to advocate on behalf of seniors. I have been with folks going through health care difficulties, education, community service difficulties.

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When I look at the budget, I don't look at it from the point of view of a balanced budget or money being saved here or there. I look at it from the point of view of how it affects the lives of individuals. I look at it from the point of view of how the different departments will provide monies to make the lives of Nova Scotians better.

Let me take a moment to illustrate. I take for granted that schools will be built, teachers will be hired, and a curriculum will be taught. So what are my concerns? I'm concerned about the safety of the children in school. I am concerned for how the teachers interact with students. I am concerned with the student who has behavioural issues and learning issues - how will they manoeuvre through the system? I am an advocate for the school facility being an asset for community activity, and I was pleased to see this year's theme for Education Week: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors. This, to me, says a lot about how the education process should proceed.

When I learned that a member of my community was going to sit on the workgroup to help at the education process, I said to him, please consult those who are on the front line. They will be the ones to know where the strong points are and where the holes are.

I know that nothing will satisfy everyone. I know that nothing is perfect, but I am pleased with the direction the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is going in. The investment is certainly warranted, and it's a great start for the education of Nova Scotians. It takes openness to be successful, and again, the theme of Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors, speaks volumes to me as a road map.

I want to say a few words about Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. I think that half of my constituency calls are road concerns, and they're valid concerns. My constituency is a rural one, and the reality is that roads in rural areas suffer more than urban areas - the reason being that there is more traffic in urban areas and on 100-series roads. Again, I look at the budget from the perspective of, how does it affect rural communities?

I in no way criticize the Minister of TIR or the department. I accept this approach to transportation. But let us make the roads as safe as possible for Nova Scotians. And as much as I know that the minister is concerned, and as much as I know there are only so many dollars, I am concerned for the constituents who live on dirt roads or remote paved roads, because they have a case for the horrible condition they're in. These roads have been neglected for so long that it will take a lot to bring them back to reasonable form. I'm a little disappointed about the amount of dollars that could be put into the rural roads, especially the dirt roads. They need gravel, they need ditching, and they need brushes cut. I wonder what the possibility would be to even hire private folk in rural areas to do some of this work, assuming the task is too great for the local department to handle.

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Community Services is another area where I invest my energy. Again, I have many constituency calls that have to do with maneuvering through the bureaucracy. I want to say upfront that I am supportive of where the minister and her department are going. The bureaucracy of Community Services needs to evaluate their system of handling the difficult needs that Nova Scotians find themselves in. It is a huge task and I know the philosophy needs to come first. Once the philosophy is in place, how that gets played out comes next.

But again, I am concerned about one person at a time. In this House and in this budget, we lump all folks together and we try to come up with something reasonable. But when in the constituency, the people we are trying to help don't care about a new direction. They just want help.

I'm concerned about some of the changes, such as the number and mobility of front-line workers. I know that rural areas are harder to manage and harder to service with respect to community services. The communities are strung out over many kilometres and some communities are small in number, but it does not alter the fact that these people still need the services. They need one-on-one consultation and assessment in many cases. I'm a little apprehensive about the consultation of some of the services, because more people may fall through the cracks through no fault of their own.

Health care is another example of what I'm concerned about. We know in here that changes need to be made in order to save money. None of us are going to question that. But the person who is sick, the person going into an emergency room, the person entering treatment at a hospital - they want the care in a prompt, caring, and respectful manner. I do understand the budget dilemma; I also understand the need for front-line care. So, what now?

I know the government has put a lot of good things in the budget. I know the government needs to be careful with all the programs that are in place. I know these things and I try to be understanding of them, but the bottom line for me is how the people who live in Nova Scotia are going to be cared for. Some are poor, and some through no fault of their own, so how do we make sure that their basic needs are going to be met? Some are sick. How do we make sure that sick people get the medication, the surgery, or whatever is necessary to make them well? Some are living in areas where there is little infrastructure, and if it there, it is not in good shape. How do we make sure that the citizens of this province have the means to get from one point to another?

I will applaud the government for what is good in this budget. I will always be vigilant about how Nova Scotians are surviving in a tough economic climate. This is a task we should all be working at, never losing sight of just one step at a time. I will look for the individual who is struggling. I hope we all will be conscious of someone's job, health, education, and survival, because no one is expendable in the eyes of God and should not be in the eyes of us who are entrusted with the care of the citizens of Nova Scotia. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, it is certainly a pleasure to have the opportunity to speak during Address in Reply. In a recent editorial this winter, which certainly painted a bleak future for rural communities throughout Nova Scotia, they pointed to the latest census showing the loss of population and yes, many agree, and I quote, "The rural life, unless something somehow big changes, is going. And that is a hell of a thing." I'll table that along with a number of other documents. The editorial was by John Demont, February 4, 2011, through The Chronicle Herald.

At this time, Mr. Speaker, I will table a number of documents that I'll refer to later on in my speech. One of the Ivany report's recommendations for our province was that of doubling of fish exports. However, I feel a key excerpt that was identified in the Ivany report was, and "Almost as daunting as our economic and population challenges, Nova Scotians need to understand and embrace the significant opportunities we now have to build a better future - 'daunting' in the sense that to succeed in this effort we will need to do things differently and to change old attitudes that limit our capacities to come together in common cause. We have valuable assets and significant new capacities to change and grow as a province, . . . but we will not overcome our economic and population challenges through business as usual or, for that matter, through politics as usual."

Mr. Speaker, the Ivany report has made headlines across the province ever since its release in February 2014, over a year ago. The Ivany report did not beat around the bush. It challenged us to discard old thinking and added the feel of urgency if we are to reverse the economic and social decline. It said it was now or never and that all Nova Scotians, including politicians, need to get on with this immediately.

Mr. Speaker, it is with these few words as a backdrop that I start my speech today to lay out the ground or the goal of doubling fish exports in the next 10 years in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, the Ivany report challenged us. Today, I, the member for Queens-Shelburne, also with the total support of this Party, want to challenge the Liberal Party, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Official Opposition PC Party, a challenge to work together to work towards the goal of doubling fish exports in Nova Scotia by 2025.

Mr. Speaker, many new opportunities exist in our fisheries and as I move into this speech, I will clearly show where Canada once was and how we can collectively counteract the trend of out-migration of our youth and also help feed the increase in the world's population over the next three decades, specifically for rural Nova Scotia.

First I just need to set the climate for such an idea. Mr. Speaker. Doubling fish exports, for which a lot of increased landings could come from underdeveloped or new species not presently harvested in our waters, plus to target fishing zones, which are not today being exploited. I have a number of presentations which I will table, one of which I introduced in Ottawa before the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, in February 2012, on the creation of new species and opportunities in Atlantic Canada's fisheries. What is most important is the story I told that took place before the presentation. The Senator for Nova Scotia, Eastern Shore, Tom McInnis, shook my hand and politely told me he was there to make sure I don't get elected or that our government is not elected in the next election.

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Mr. Speaker, the Senator for Nova Scotia Eastern Shore, without hearing one word of my presentation, has formed his opinion. Now, Mr. Speaker, this is the attitude, or the old attitude, that the Ivany report is talking about, and limits our capacity to come together in a common cause or for the common good.

Today's fishery can easily be compared to the present restored Bluenose II. Let me just say, this is a proud ship. The Bluenose represents our culture and our fishing industry, and is a true ambassador of Nova Scotia. The Bluenose II, like Nova Scotia today, the traditional fisheries, needs a fix. Both need a fix to set our direction, to set our course into the future. Captain Angus Walters was a proud Nova Scotian who understood his surroundings and understood the direction he needed to go in order to be a winner.

Roughly 10 years ago, before the cod moratorium on Canada's East Coast, Canada was the leader in fish exports in the world from 1980 to 1984. By 2009, Canada had slipped to eighth place. Today, 51 per cent of the Maritime region's landed fish exports value is from lobsters - at an historical level, I may add, for many lobster districts across Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Canada's fishing industry has witnessed a transformation from the mighty codfish to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp, leading the way of Canada's exports. This transformation from codfish to lobsters and shellfish was led by the fishing industry. Fishers, processors who have licences, allowed for this transformation to take place.

Canada has slipped to eighth place, which I have tabled. However, as the Ivany report points out, we have an opportunity. We have an opportunity to double our fish exports, and this would be a very positive turnaround, especially in rural Nova Scotia and the out-migration of our youth. The Food Institute of the University of Guelph in Ontario predicted the overall food prices for fish and seafood to rise between 3 and 5 per cent this year. The CETA, or the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, is in its final stages, and both parties, countries, are to increase growth in this time of economic uncertainty. Canadian fisheries will benefit because of tariff reductions on our seafood resources shipped abroad.

As the world's population approaches 7 billion, with another 3 billion to join us in the next 30 years, the challenges facing humanity have never been greater. The challenges of out-migration of our youth from rural Nova Scotia, our aging population, the creation of jobs, and providing food will require many people working together. The fishing industry in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada has been called the economic engine of rural communities for many years, so when the Ivany report mentioned doubling fish exports to address the problems in rural Nova Scotia, naturally it received my attention. That is why if we are to face the problem of out-migration in rural Nova Scotia, the doubling of the economic engine should collectively have all political Parties' attention if we are to haul ourselves - rural Nova Scotia - over such an uphill climb and return Canada's fish exports and Atlantic Canada to the top of the world's seafood export lists - which we can.

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In order to chart the course, Nova Scotia's Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister must work with the other three Atlantic Provinces by collectively endorsing these guiding principles: adding value to fish exports, growth to the aquaculture industry, both on the land and the ocean, new and undeveloped species, to review the existing quota allotments from provincial cod in Newfoundland and Labrador and halibut in Nova Scotia, and develop - I repeat - develop lobster zones not presently being exploited and the lobster zones presently east of LaHave Bank. I have a map indicating that which I tabled earlier.

This is one of the most important points that will be made today. If we are to be successful and return to first place in the world's seafood exports, old attitudes - I repeat, old attitudes - with the federal DFO and provincial politics must change. Our four Atlantic Provinces must work together. Our united voices will be stronger. Community leaders from municipalities, provincial and federal politicians, and the Mi'kmaq communities' leaders must work together to have a united voice. Because of our constitution, Ottawa has all the say in regard to licences and quotas, et cetera.

What I am about to say next will be the cornerstone or the first steps towards closing the gap to become world leaders in fish exports by 2025. Fishers have observed and witnessed the rising ocean temperatures. Fishermen have witnessed shifts in traditional species and observed, on a daily basis, new opportunities and new emerging species, only to become more frustrated with federal DFO rejections and procedures surrounding new, emerging fishing policies. Atlantic Canada's fishing voice must be made stronger. By working together, we can be heard.

Fishermen, for years, have felt their observations and their knowledge of their surroundings are left out. Let's just call this the Rodney Dangerfield feeling - they don't get no respect. This attitude also must change. The federal DFO must understand local knowledge. Politicians of all Parties must work together. Regulators must have their eyes open.

The Gulf of Maine waters are warming faster than any ocean waters on Earth, and yes, fish and shellfish are voting with their fins for cooler places to live. I myself like to call this the Goldilocks zone, where everything is just right for the species. In decades past, the Gulf of Maine has warmed an average of about one degree every 21 years. In the last decade, the average has been one degree every two years.

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I was taught as a young man by a good number of senior fishermen in the industry that in regard to the fishing industry, especially the lobster industry, the more we learn about the fishery, the less we realize we actually know or understand. One of the biggest problems we have today with fishing management is it assumes the future will look like the past. Again, these attitudes must change. This is not my grandfather's fishery. This is not my father's fishery. The ocean is changing literally as I am speaking.

I truly believe that Nova Scotia is truly in a position to capitalize on the opportunities of Atlantic Canada being in the Goldilocks zone marine ecosystem or just the right zone. Fishermen have always requested more science. However, the federal DFO, because of federal budget cuts, is now at risk of losing trust and confidence among the public and the fishing communities. By working together across all Party lines in Atlantic Canada, we can correct our course and begin to address the problem of out-migration of our youth in rural Canada.

The economic benefit of doubling fish exports would boost and attract investment and create thousands of jobs. This regional approach would spawn additional jobs also in the boatbuilding industry. Tradespeople will return to our home in Nova Scotia. We will restore our place at the top of the world's exports, double the size of the economic engine in rural Nova Scotia, assist in feeding 3 billion people in this planet in the next 30 years, begin to restore the much-needed tax base of municipalities in Atlantic Canada, and take pride in an industry which we are so famous for.

Like the Bluenose of the day, we in rural Canada need to fix our direction, or we can collectively sit on the dock of the bay, wastin' time.

This attitude is wrong. Our political system is off-course. I'm asking everyone in this House to work together. I'm certainly getting the time to stop here, but I think that this is going to have a great benefit to rural Nova Scotia. I ask for your support and thank you for your time.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried. The House will now recess for a few minutes while we resolve ourselves into a Committee of the Whole on Supply.

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

[7:22 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

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MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 91.

Bill No. 91 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 91 be now read for a second time.

I am pleased to stand here today before my colleagues in this House and ask them to support amendments to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. As Nova Scotia's Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, I am bringing forward amendments that will allow the collection of financial contributions on the sale of lobster. The idea of financial contributions was recommended by the Maritime Lobster Panel. Those members of industry who attended the lobster summit in 2014 also supported the idea. Today, we are taking another step and keeping our commitment to act on the panel's recommendations by amending our legislation. When industry reaches a consensus, we will be able to enact through regulation to allow them to go forward.

The lobster industry is an important driver in Nova Scotia's rural economy and is the strongest fishery in the province. If the lobster industry chooses to implement a financial contribution in any form, we need first to amend our legislation to allow the province to collect it for them. Any money collected would be supported by industry and promote and strengthen the lobster industry.

Under the current legislation, there is no authority to make regulations for financial contributions. Amending the legislation will allow the creation of regulations relating to contribution. No decision about the how the funds will be collected and used has yet been made. Consultations were held across Nova Scotia between January 20th and March 3rd of this year so that members of the lobster industry could share their views on an industry-led contribution and discuss what it could be used for.

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Government found there was no consensus - a sense of distrust of government. Many wanted a vote held on proposed contributions, and there are concerns about the role of the Lobster Council of Canada, which many felt should not be involved. A report is available on our department's website for anyone to read.

We will continue to work with the industry to come up with a solution that works for everyone. Mr. Speaker, the solution will be industry-driven. Government will enable them to act on the solution through regulation, and this amendment would make it possible. An industry contribution could be used to promote and develop the lobster fishery or other activities to ensure that the export is a strong one for the industry and for the province and regional economy. The industry will decide what will happen with the funds, where they will be spent, and how that will be done.

It is important, Mr. Speaker, for Nova Scotia to continue to work with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to ensure that regulations for collecting the financial contribution are consistent across the Maritimes. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, absolutely not at this point can I say that I support this bill. It is far too vague. It is far too open. It's a shell, and I know the minister has admitted that it is a lobster shell of a bill.

What the minister and government are really doing here, number one, is just basically saying, well, we introduced a bill like we said we were going to do. Okay, I can accept that. They can put a little check mark on the board and say, look, that's one of the promises that we stuck to. But things go to hell after that, because quite honestly, there's a lot of (Interruption) Well, it does. It goes off the rails, because there's no consensus, number one, in the industry on what (Interruption) That's a whole other bill - that's a whole other bill to debate.

There's no consensus in the industry right now on what a levy or a fee should look like. Come to southwestern Nova Scotia, very spotty support for this. I think if you would quote the work that was done by the meetings that were held in the different communities - I think they were saying there were over 200 fishermen and licences that are against the levy - I think it was 246 or 276, whatever that number was. And if you weight that balance on the value of the industry, the landed value of that industry, southwestern Nova Scotia, of course, has a higher landed value than many other jurisdictions in the province. I think the department at this point has said, well, there are more "no" voices than there are "yes" voices right now for the levy.

Within this bill, even though it gives the authority to the minister and the Governor in Council to take money, to be able to basically tax fishermen and buyers, it doesn't prescribe what that amount is going to be. The report had said 2 cents - 1 cent and 1 cent, I think, is what it originally said, so 1 cent from the fishermen and 1 cent from the buyers. We already know that there was a bit of a challenge with the buyers, and I think there's going to be an even bigger chance with the fishermen. The Act basically gives the authority to the minister to do that.

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What the bill doesn't give - so firstly, it doesn't give us the amount; and secondly, it doesn't give us what you're going to do with it. There's no prescribed issue there. The report said marketing, to work with an organization like the Lobster Council of Canada, or another organization that could do the same thing to market Atlantic Canadian Lobster - the best lobster in the world - to new markets. I'm not going to get into the debate over Cape Breton lobster versus Southwest lobster, versus Bay of Fundy lobster, versus Eastern Shore - Atlantic Canadian lobster, so we'll stick right there with it. Regardless of what part of the province we represent, we have the best lobster in Atlantic Canada; I would say we have the best lobster here in Nova Scotia, so let's leave that one where it is.

It talks about putting money into marketing, yet I have heard the minister on a couple of occasions outside these doors and in the media reports, and debate on this floor in Question Period, say that it might not necessarily just go for marketing, that it could go for lobster quality demonstrations or tests. It could maybe go for some science. It could go for a bunch of other things, which are all valuable things but the report said marketing. And who decides where that money is going to go? It's a big hole that has yet to be filled or the crate that has yet to be filled by some lobster here.

Will Executive Council or the minister or member for Clare-Digby - I don't know - who will be making the decision on where the money is going to be going? Well, if it was the member for Clare-Digby then I would feel a little better about it but quite honestly, if we just let the bureaucracy take care of it, I'm not too good about that. Sorry for the bureaucracy that's here but, quite honestly, that's not what the industry is going to want. It doesn't matter what you do. If bureaucracy is going to go left, the industry is going to want you to go right. You go right, bureaucracy - it's one of those things.

Without that prescription within the bill to truly (a) explain how much you're taking and (b) how you're going to pass out those dollars, you have a bill that does nothing more than worry the industry into thinking that you're going to be taking more money out of their pocket for nothing. You're going to be taxing them more for nothing. They don't see the value of that amount of money, of how it's going to be used across the province.

You have other jurisdictions in this province, other fishing organizations that are very supportive of the idea of a levee or a fee, whatever you want to call it, who not only believe in the fee but also believe in the Lobster Council of Canada and which we heard on a number of occasions that I don't think the minister is very sold on. There's a lot of quandaries within this bill and a lot of things that I would have hoped would have been thought out, well designed and been able to put in place here on the floor of the Legislature, that at least I could feel comfortable, that maybe the member for Queens-Shelburne could feel comfortable and the member for Clare-Digby could be comfortable. He will probably speak and he'll say how comfortable he really is. (Interruption) There's lots of lobster around this place. I think everybody here represents lobster of some kind. The Sambro lobster's pretty good too.

[Page 4155]

The point is, I challenge each one of those members here in this House to go do their own survey of fishermen and come back to this House and tell me what you found out. I will tell you, and I will bet - I guess I can't tell you because it's not my place to tell, but I would bet that they are going to get mixed reviews. They are going to have some for and some against, especially the more you go to the southwest quadrant, basically from Lunenburg on down. (Interruption) Oh well the further you get down, they don't like it and that's the problem. They don't like it a lot. As a matter of fact, I would think the more you look at this, the more you put uncertainty into this, the more fishermen do not like it.

I think that's a shame because the opportunity the minister had when he became minister was one to set a true policy of how we're going through this. I think the minister missed that opportunity over a year ago when they took power.

That's when it had to happen, not a year later and not after a couple of statements and comments that made people worry that it was going to go to five cents and not two, or that it could be an open-ended amount of money coming from one district or another. That's what is worrying fishermen who feel that government takes too much money out of their pockets already. That's too much uncertainty for Nova Scotians who feel that all governments take out too much money from their pockets.

We pay too much taxes. We're one of the highest-taxed provinces in Canada - I think number two. We weren't number one in most cases. We're saying to fishermen now - who do make some good money, don't get me wrong. The fishery right now in southwestern Nova Scotia is probably making the most money it's ever made, which is probably the worst thing that could have happened to the minister when it comes to actually asking for some kind of levy. What they're saying right now is, listen, we're doing fine; leave us alone.

The problem is that in five years' time, maybe they're not going to be doing quite as well and this kind of thing would have been a good idea, but we missed it. We missed the opportunity and we have a shell of a bill that gives no direction to what you actually want to do. I haven't seen a thing come from this government right now that prescribes exactly what government wants to do with this. We've heard a whole bunch of ideas; some make sense, some don't. But you're telling the fishing industry, trust me. Trust me. I'm here to take care of you. Trust me.

AN HON. MEMBER: They're going to consult after it's passed.

[Page 4156]

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : The worst part is that they did consult and they got mixed results. They got hugely mixed results on this one. So why are we here with a shell if they've already consulted and they tell us we don't have consensus already? So where are you going with it? I'm hoping, with the minister's closing remarks, that he does provide us with a little more of an idea of where he wants to go with this, but I'm going to guess that we're not going to get a whole lot out of it either. I'm hoping he does.

I can only go with what the fishermen in my area have told me, and I can tell you that the fishermen in my area are not for a levy or a fee. They represent the largest landed value of lobster in all of Nova Scotia. I represent the lobster capital of Canada in the Municipality of Barrington. There's a big sign on the highway that says exactly that, so I have to trust that's what it is. But if we do look at the landed lobster values by wharf, southwestern Nova Scotia, and more specifically Argyle-Barrington, is probably very high on that list, if not the highest on that list.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : No.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Yes, it is. Pubnico has the highest landed value of fish products of all of Atlantic Canada. I know the member for Clare-Digby has been there and seen it and he knows it too. Meteghan might be number two and Digby is pretty high too, but Pubnico still beats it by a whole long shot.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Combine the two, and we're number one.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : I'm just saying one. I just have one to do that. If I add up all the other ones, I think I got it one-two.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Do your homework.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : The point is that I have done my homework. I had the opportunity to be a Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in this province and I do remember what my stats were back then too. It hasn't shifted much at all.

I'm falling down into the trap here. I'm taking the bait. At this point, it's a little bit of salt bait that's a little rotten, because it's an empty shell of a plan. I know we have a number of members in our caucus that represent different lobster districts in Nova Scotia who have other concerns about this bill as well. Again, the thing is it provides us with absolutely no clarity and I hope maybe the minister can explain it a little better when he has the opportunity to stand as well.

At this point I can't say I'm for it. I can't say I'm against it, but I can say I'm pretty disappointed that it's not more than what it already is. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

[Page 4157]

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I notice there were a number of puns flying across the floor and I certainly am not going to engage in that, because this is too serious an issue. I'm going to stay away from it as best I can, but I welcome the opportunity to engage.

I notice the PC critic talked about a shell game and actually I thought he was reading my notes at times because with this legislation - Bill No. 91, the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act - I tried to find terminology that I would kind of pin on this legislation. Actually I looked at the definition of what was in the bill and the explanation that was actually going to take place was 26 words or less. I looked at that explanation and I said, there's not much in there and I wanted to compare it - so how can I compare it and try to get everybody's attention?

What I came up with - if everybody is familiar with the hull of a boat, what everybody starts with when they enter a boat shop is a bare hull. To me, this is what this legislation, Bill No. 91, is, simply a bare hull. I know in the fishing industry there can be great potential in a hull, but to me the bare hull simply is not seaworthy as it is. This is what the Opposition is going to point out here tonight, that this bill is not seaworthy and it's not going to pass - just one pun - the smell test. It's not going to pass it.

It's not going to endure the rigours of the North Atlantic, and I want to tell you some of the reasons why. I can safely say that I've spent some time in this industry and I know what this industry, I believe, wants. They want to know that there's some structure. They want to know who is manning this hull, what is the gear, what is the structure inside this hull - is this going to be capable of going on and carrying out in the North Atlantic?

To me, when you build something, you put all those specs, you put all that structure in place beforehand, and anybody who is going to buy into it is going to look at that through the industry's lens and they're going to say yes, that's seaworthy or it's not. Some of the things that should be in there - and I'm disappointed that the regulations didn't match or come out and show to marry this legislation, because what I've observed in this whole process is that there was a suggestion from the lobster panel suggesting that yes, the industry recommended for a lobster levy.

Also there was a key factor in there - it talked about consultation. The minister made an effort back in March 2014 and I can assure you that there was some inclement weather and everybody throughout Nova Scotia could not get to this lobster summit, but what came out of that lobster summit, there was one key element and one key direction - it's for more consultation.

The minister thought he had the authority to go out, we're going to introduce legislation - this was back in 2014. Eight months have elapsed, more than that, and it was this side of the House, Mr. Speaker, that said there has to be thorough consultation with the industry.

[Page 4158]

Now we fast-forward to this winter and there was a consultation process. I can assure you that it was through this side, the Opposition, encouraging the member to engage in that - and I compliment the minister for doing that. What I noticed, I actually documented each one of those consultations, took the time, with my assistant, and we went down and we followed the news articles and we put together the comments that came out of those consultations. We also noted that there was inclement weather and several of them were postponed or cancelled, but what came out of them were questions from the industry, and this is what I'm saying needs to be captured in these regulations. Some of the questions were: what will the levy be used for? How much will the levy cost? It's interesting - I'm going to stop here on this one because not only the question that the lobster panel suggested, a cent, a cent from the processors, that's 2 cents, but in the whole time frame the minister confused the industry and talked about a mystery group and possibly 5 cents. That's where things started going off the rails. (Interruption)

The red lights came on, the alarm bells started sounding, and people said we need to be consulted and this is what we heard, those two things that we heard.

Then the industry asked will the revenue be going to an independent body or will that go to the government coffers? That is a very good question and it hasn't been addressed. Then they asked, during the consultation, who will administrate this fund and how will it be conducted? Will there be an auditing fee? Will the public have access to an audit on an annual basis, and will the government allow the industry to have a vote?

I'm going to stop there and pause because I know, with all due respect to the minister, I know that there have been votes carried out in certain parts of northern Nova Scotia and on the Eastern Shore, and I respect that. But I also want to point out that probably the most active fishing industry in Atlantic Canada is from Halifax west - not one vote. Not one vote, and we're asking the Nova Scotia industry just on the 1 cent, 1 cent from the industry and the processors, that's 2 cents, that's going to accumulate somewhere between $1.6 million and $1.8 million on an annual basis and we're asking those people who have never had an opportunity to even vote on it - just trust me. Just trust me. There is a certain portion over here that has voted but we've never had the opportunity. That is not right and that should be in the regulations.

To me this could make it an easier, smoother ride for the minister. If he would just table some regulations similar to what I'm describing here in the last few minutes, we could have a lot less stress talking about this, and it's not going to be easy. I can tell you the rough water is coming and the minister needs to be prepared because the fishing industry has these questions and they're going to demand answers.

An interesting part that came out of that whole consultation process that took two or three months is that if this goes off the rails, is there a mechanism in there that will allow it to be stopped? A simple question - if we are not satisfied with the results of a levy that is being collected over a period of time, can it be stopped? Is there a mechanism there to do that? That is fair and to me this could have all been avoided if these answers had been addressed in regulations because it comes down to one point. In the explanation of this bill is a paragraph that is 26 words or less. To me the conclusion is that the industry is going to ask this minister to just trust us. Just trust us, we'll go out and collect the money, don't worry about it and everything will be okay. Well that causes a lot more problems because what I've heard, when you go to the wharves, they are not in any mood to create a cash cow for any government. They are not going to do it.

[Page 4159]

The other question that comes up is that now we have not one mystery group but we have two mystery groups. Are we going to allow the mystery groups to manage this income? That's a fair question. It hasn't been addressed, but in the regulations it will clearly set out how this is going to be managed.

To me, all I have to do is look at our neighbouring communities. What I look at is the neighbour called P.E.I. They didn't have one vote, Mr. Speaker. They had two votes. I can assure you that my understanding is that not one penny is going to leave that province until they are satisfied with a structure that is basically going to cover New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They're going to be satisfied with it, or else they're going to manage their own money. That's what I got out of their way forward, and they've had two votes on it.

So to me, there is an opportunity here, and the minister missed it. He should have introduced the regulations and how this is going to be spent, because we're going to spend a lot of time over in that room hearing just what I have been trying to say here tonight. The lobster panel said very clearly that you consult with the industry. This is the recommendation, this is what should be done for the industry. They emphasized the word "consultation."

There was a lobster summit in 2014, and the industry was not entirely there. Out of that, they concluded, more consultation. Out of the consultation that happened over these winter months, they said, we want to have answers to these questions. So to me, this is what needs to be done here. These are the checks and balances of our process. It's an opportunity to correct this.

I can assure you that this bill is simply a hull. Now I can tell you, anybody in this room, if you are familiar with the boat industry, and if you look at a fibreglass hull when it's in its very primitive state, I would think that you're not going to be too encouraged about going out in the North Atlantic when it's at its early state of how a hull is built. You would have much more confidence if you have the regulations in place, the structure in place, and the mechanisms in place of who is going to actually drive that hull, who is going to be aboard that hull, and how that is going to be managed. It's going to be a lot better.

I'm going to finish here in a few minutes, Mr. Speaker. I think this is key right here, if we are expecting this to go - and one of the theories out there is that the minister can just walk away from this and simply put out legislation that has very little structure to it. Maybe that's one of their strategies, I don't know, but with 26 words or less, I think it fails. Again, it fails the smell test.

[Page 4160]

If we're going to move forward as a fishing industry and have a mechanism of collecting a levy, we have got to get not only southwestern Nova Scotia, not only Nova Scotia, but a comfort zone with our neighbouring provinces, including New Brunswick and P.E.I. And this bill fails this miserably.

I can assure you, and I encourage you all to go out to your respective constituencies - and I actually did this. I think there may be one or two of our constituencies that do not touch the Atlantic Ocean. So every one of us in here - and possibly the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, I think, is one of them who actually physically does not touch, whose constituency does not border on the Atlantic Ocean.

Now, I'm just using that as some homework. There may be one or two, but the point I'm trying to make is that we're all affected. I encourage you to go out to your constituency this weekend and try to find that comfort zone. That comfort zone, Mr. Speaker, is the point that I tried to make, that the legislation has to be copied and followed by these regulations. These are the questions that this industry has been asking, and they've asked to be consulted. They were consulted, and now they are requesting some confidence or comfort zone as they move forward with this levy.

I look forward to my other colleagues commenting on it tonight and I also look forward to Law Amendments Committee. I thank you for the time. Thank you very much.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't envy the minister's positon in doing what he's trying to do. I must share a quote from the late, great Cyril Reddy, who was a good friend of mine. Cyril used to say, be careful - you might be the proud owner of both pieces. I would say, what are you talking about? And he said, well, you know, when you come home from the auction and you bought something and soon you discover that it's actually broken, but now you own it.

I have fear in supporting this bill because there is not a lot of detail in it in terms of what it's going to do. I know from talking with some of the other members in the Legislature that there's a lot of lobster harvested in this province, but it's different depending on where you are. I know you can find - and I'm not saying this to put down lobster in any particular area - but I just know that the percentage of soft shell is higher in certain parts of the province. If a levy is collected, lobster is branded as Canadian lobster, it's going out into the international marketplace, and if there's a lot of soft shell going out with it, that's going to undermine marketing efforts. That's a fear that has been raised by fishermen in my area.

[Page 4161]

That is a real challenge that we have in the province. I don't know if it can be solved, because we have a couple of different markets there. If one of the chief goals of this fund is to market lobster and we have people who are only following their own business interest - which I have no problem with, people are making a living - but if you have lobster that's coming onto the market that is perhaps undermining what you're trying to market, that's something that's not going to work. That's one of my fears.

The other thing around this - I don't know if there was a press release on this bill or not, but oftentimes we will see stakeholders being supportive of it. I don't think there's enough information in the bill to make me comfortable with it. I've heard concerns from fishermen in my own area about questioning what is going to happen with this levy. If they're not comfortable, it's hard for me to stand here and be supportive of it. As my colleague from Argyle-Barrington has said, maybe this will work, so I don't want to be condemning of it by any means, but I have concerns about it.

With that, because I am cautious of being the proud owner of both pieces, I'm going to take my place. I have said my piece.

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

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak in favour, obviously, of this bill - Bill No. 91, the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. Just to give a quick little history of my understanding of the industry, I was born and raised and have lived in the Digby area all my life. I've seen some major changes in the lobster industry and the fishing industry. I've see the migration of the lobster industry - I guess that's the best word I could use - into my area.

Back in the day, when I was a young fellow, there were maybe four or five boats that fished out of Digby. They were just small boats, maybe about 30 feet long. Now we have one of the largest fleets tied up that there is and it rivals now - or is actually bigger than - the scallop industry that was huge back then. The wharf used to attract all the scallopers and now it's all lobster boats.

As a matter of fact the actual numbers are - the Port of Digby has been studied quite a bit lately mainly because of opportunities in the tidal sector and different things but we have the second largest landings of seafood in the Maritimes right now. And when you throw Meteghan into that, in Nova Scotia we have the largest. I understand the importance of this industry to not only my community but to the province. A lot of good friends of mine are lobster fishermen - I certainly have heard and listened to a lot of comments from the industry, especially in the last couple of years since I've been involved in politics.

I will agree with the member for Argyle-Barrington when he does use the words "no consensus." He's right there, but I will say there is some consensus on a few different things - one is everybody in the industry wants to know what's in it for them, and the other one is there is a consensus out there that really right now nobody trusts anybody. Those are two very important points.

[Page 4162]

This piece of legislation is just the first step. I know they're concerned about not having a lot of information, but I was always taught a long time ago that the only real rule you use in consulting is you don't come in with a decision and then consult. This is enabling legislation. They're very concerned, the people across, that they don't have all the particulars on this but yet they want the industry to be part of it.

They're very concerned that they don't have all the answers, but yet they want government to lead it, but yet they don't want the industry to be part of it. I'll tell you right now that I'm very proud of the way this is set up as a first step to allow us to start simply having the discussions. This is enabling; this is a piece of legislation that I've been assured by the minister is going to be industry-led - the decisions are going to be one that the industry is going to be part of the discussions and we're not going to be coming in with decisions on how this is going to happen. This is going to be the industry. Maybe that's a hard thing for the members on the other side to understand, but it's a good way.

I also want to correct a couple of comments. I read the legislation, I don't know how much it was read by other members, but the actual comments from the member for Queens-Shelburne that this is a levy - I didn't see the word "levy" used anywhere in any of this legislation. (Interruptions)

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Tell him to sit down, he's embarrassing himself.

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I want to give a couple of examples of the importance of this. (Interruptions)

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

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and for the member for Argyle-Barrington, no, I'm not embarrassing myself. I am standing here representing my community with my views, and I am far from embarrassed to stand here and talk about something that is going to not only move our industry into the future, but build and protect it from what it experienced a few years ago when the market crashed. If anybody here does not think that marketing lobsters is an important thing to do, then they really shouldn't be in the business of talking about the lobster industry.

I want to give a few examples. There are a couple of industries that have learned an awful lot, and one of them is the coldwater shrimp industry that we see out of Newfoundland and Labrador. Years ago they put together a financial contribution plan and they put together a marketing plan, and if you speak to anybody in the coldwater shrimp industry right now they will say that was the best money that was ever spent to protect their industry and brand their industry. Another one is the salmon industry, salmon aquaculture has done a very good job in marketing - and how did they do it? They have money from the industry that helps support it. Blueberries are another one, but that's a different sector altogether and I don't use that one there.

[Page 4163]

A couple of other comments that were made about the 2014 lobster summit and what came out of that. What came out of that summit was actually a recommendation for a financial contribution plan to help with marketing within the industry. Read the report; nobody said levy. Nobody has used the word "levy" on this side yet. (Interruptions)

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

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I thought I was going to stand up here today and just simply present the facts as I see them. Obviously those facts are touching a note on the other side of the floor.

I'm very proud of this. This is the first step. This is enabling legislation that is going to allow us to lay the foundation to start discussions to move this industry forward. The lobster industry is an important driver of the province's rural economy, probably one of the largest. If anybody thinks that we're not taking this seriously and doing the right thing, I wouldn't be standing here talking. I want everybody to know that this is a necessary first step and I can't emphasize that enough. This must happen in order for a financial contribution to be collected from the industry if the industry chooses to implement a financial contribution. I didn't use the word "levy". Please listen to that. In any form, to do it, first we need to amend our legislation and allow the province to collect that money.

I know several other people would like to speak, but just one other quick thing that I'd like to refute before I close is there was some discussion by the member for Queens-Shelburne. He insinuated the fact that maybe some meetings were cancelled. Yes, they were - snow. You know, we had some real bad weather, and there were meetings that were cancelled. They were rescheduled, by the way. He failed to mention that and I'd like to mention that. All those meetings were rescheduled.

In closing, I would like to say that this is intended as an industry-led initiative and any decision made will need to work for the industry. What we're doing here today is taking a step to enable a contribution to be collected once the industry reaches a consensus. This is about the future, everybody. This is about putting our industry in a position where it can protect itself and market itself. I'm very proud of the work that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture has done to bring this forward today. Thank you very much.

[Page 4164]

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm glad I have an opportunity to speak this evening and talk about the lobster tax, the lobster fee, the levy, the charge, the lobster duty, the lobster tariff, the lobster contribution, the money being collected - there are many things that we can call it. I know one thing that we can't call it. We can't call it a business plan and we can't call it a strategy, because there's nothing with it.

First, before I go on to that, I want to talk about the lobster industry and talk about the hard work and dedication of the lobster fishers. It is an interesting, very hard-working career and there are women who are involved too. As you know, my background is from Tancook Island - there are women lobster fishers in our province. I can tell you, coming from a family where lobster fishing was part of my family and my husband's family, I know how hard it is when you're getting up at 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on a very cold day and risking your life to go out to make a living for your family. I hope that people truly understand that people's lives are put at risk in this industry because they're out on the ocean and it's not an easy job. It is not easy to bait those traps, prepare the traps, and put them overboard and then come back and get them. It's a lot of work.

Unfortunately, the government has not put the amount of work into this piece of legislation - Bill No. 91 - that should be before you bring it to the floor of this House.

We know that many people love lobster and the taste of lobster. There's an interesting history behind the fact that at one time in our society, lobster was actually looked at as a poor man's meal. I can remember that my dad used to be embarrassed to go to school and somebody would see that he might have a lobster sandwich. You had to eat that sandwich before anybody noticed what you were eating.

I also recall my grandfather, who used to lobster fish to get the lobsters to put on his garden and use them as fertilizer as they died on the garden. So you know, it's interesting, over the period of history, how things can change, and how it's a very viable industry for Nova Scotia, and the importance of the industry.

I know many, many lobster fishers. I know how independent this industry is, and I know how competitive it is, and I know how important it is to have their participation in something that is going to affect their lives.

Once again, we're seeing a theme with this particular Liberal Government. The theme is to take action and consult later or to develop your business plan later. It's interesting to me that the Department of Business was created, yet this government does not follow any type of business strategy whatsoever. It seems foreign to the government. If you're developing a business, what you do is you create the first thing that a bank will ask you for: a business plan. That's the first thing. Within that business plan, there is a framework. The framework looks at what the business is about, what the revenues may be, what the expenses will be, and all the criteria to go around that particular business - how you are going to market your new business, et cetera.

[Page 4165]

It seems to me that we're in a position that we're making decisions for people's lives, but we're not taking the time to develop a true business plan around this particular piece of legislation. I think that it's a mismanagement - the same mismanagement that we saw with the film and television industry - make a decision that has devastating effects on people. Create worry. It also has damages that will never be repaired from the last several weeks of that, and this is the same thing here.

We do know that there's different opinions from the industry, in terms of this levy. But that's basically all we know. There's nothing else there. As I said, Mr. Speaker, to be in a position of power to make decisions just arbitrarily, without having a framework, is mind-boggling. This government has taken the steps of saying that they are creating a business, because they want to have a winning condition in this province to encourage business. Well, you're not going to have any winning condition in the province if you don't even know how to do a business plan yourself. And you are supposed to be advising the people of Nova Scotia? You are making decisions for them?

I don't think the fishers will be very pleased with this. They should have an opportunity to know exactly, point by point, what this legislation means to them. It shouldn't be "they will." It should be "they already know." It's ridiculous to think that they will know. That means taking the attitude that, oh, we're government, we know what's best for you, so we're going to do what's best for you and then we're going to - if you don't agree with it, well, that's too bad.

This is just another attack on rural Nova Scotia. It really is. Rural Nova Scotia is made up of hard-working people who utilize the ocean, utilize the land. They are solid and they work hard. For them, family is important. To them, they don't get involved in the political world because they're out working so hard to make a living, so they should be a part of that process. It's only fair. There's not any one of us in this House of Assembly who would like to have others telling us exactly what to do and say, well, we'll work it out later. Here's what the law is, but we're going to work it out later. That absolutely does not make sense, especially with a government who's created a Business Department.

If you've created a Business Department, start following the actions and the plans and the strategies of a business. If that is what this government has done - they're telling people that we have to have a Business Department - therefore, we have to know what the framework is.

This is where there are many, many questions. There should never be that many questions surrounding a piece of legislation. Who's going to administer this? Who's going to do that? What is that framework? What are the plans? How are you going to communicate to the industry? Is there a communication strategy? How is the public going to know what's going on? What is the money being used for?

[Page 4166]

Where's the evaluation process? Because an evaluation process is supposed to be - when you do a business plan, the evaluation process is a process that's ongoing. You don't just do it at the end; you evaluate as you go along. But the information is critical. You need to know. You have go in with your eyes open knowing what the steps are. What's the business going to be like? How much will this levy or fee cost to the industry and the fishers? Once again, there's the revenue going? What's the auditing process? Is there an auditing process here?

I think it doesn't matter what political Party is in government. We all know that, unfortunately, the public does not trust government. They do not trust politicians - we always hear that. We're working very hard to make people understand what we do, but these kinds of actions just create that atmosphere because of the fact that we do a little bit of consultation and then turn around and rush this legislation through, but we have no framework. We don't know what it's about. Any business that would try to do that would never get any kind of financial backing or would ever succeed.

Why is government following this route? It absolutely makes no sense. I know that the fishers in my constituency will have all these questions and I will say, I'm sorry, I don't have the answer, and unfortunately your government doesn't have the answer because they are doing it as they go along. There's no structure here. There's going to be a fee or a levy, a tax, a charge - whatever you want to define it as - but it's going to come out of the pockets of hard-working Nova Scotians. This government expects them to take that out of their pocket, hand it over to government, and say, do what you want to do with it. You think that's how the fishers are going react, that they're going to support this?

Therefore, something that's so important to our rural economy as the lobster industry needs to have much, much more work. It's very unfortunate that this government doesn't see that and that it's all about the money. It's a tax, another way to bring in some more money. We don't even know where it's going or how it's going to support the industry. Nobody knows that. So blindly we're giving our dollars away. The hard-working rural Nova Scotian fishers are giving more money away.

It's bad enough, as I mentioned before, even in my area where you have the Tancook lobster fishers. They have to pay 60 per cent more just to get on the ferry to where they have to take out their oil and gas to run their boats and their bait too. Everything has to go by that ferry system. They're going to have to pay extra money there, and now they're turning around and you're telling them that they need to pay this fee, this tax, this levy, and you should be happy about it because it's going to help the industry - but I'm sorry, we cannot tell you how it's going to help the industry. We don't have any of those things figured out. We have none of those figured out. That's a real, true business plan, is it?

[Page 4167]

No, it's not, and I would ask the minister to reconsider this legislation and come forward to this House when it is good and ready, like a business plan. Why should we expect any less from our government than we expect from the people of Nova Scotia? That's my question. Thank you.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : I just wanted to add a few words to this conversation that's going on. It's not my intention tonight to stir a pot.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : That means you're going to stir the pot.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Aw, now, Geoff.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I am obligated to remind the honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg not to refer to the members opposite with their given names.

The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg has the floor.

MR. MACLEOD « » : I do apologize for that, Mr. Speaker, but I just have this kindred spirit with him, and I can't help myself.

We are talking tonight about one of the biggest industries in our province, an industry that puts millions and millions of dollars into the economy, not just of rural Nova Scotia but of all Nova Scotia. It is something that people around the world point to and say, that's a Nova Scotian lobster, best lobsters in the world. We are talking about how we are going to move forward to make sure that the people, all of those small, independent businessmen and businesswomen who are out there in this industry - how do we support them, and how do we make sure they get the best value for the work that they put into our economy?

Mr. Speaker, when this discussion took place last year, that they had this conference - and I actually went to the conference and I talked to many of the fishers who were there from different communities. They were all concerned as to how we move forward. So there was a lot of talk that went on, and the talk was, how do we make this happen?

Earlier today, several times in Question Period, the Premier of this province talked about how his government was looking to the private sector to drive the economy of the Province of Nova Scotia. That's not a bad concept, because we need the private sector to drive our economy, but we also need to listen to that very private sector to make sure that we get it right. We're not talking small potatoes here. Everyone in this House can look at somebody and say, I have family that had to move away because they can't find work.

[Page 4168]

We have an industry here that has been a solid part of our foundation for many, many years, and we want to be sure that that industry survives and thrives, and that we in the Province of Nova Scotia get the biggest benefit from our natural resource.

Now, there were some problems at the beginning of this. You will recall that when the meetings were called, Cape Breton Island and Guysborough and Antigonish were forgotten about when it came to having a meeting. That was fixed. But it was forgotten about how much this has an impact on our economy.

Our colleague, the member for Queens-Shelburne mentioned that pretty well everybody here touches on the ocean. Well, that's the great thing about Nova Scotia. But the other great thing is that we have a bunch of these independent fishermen who have figured out how to get along and make this industry work for hundreds of years. I know in an area that's in the constituency of the member for Cape Breton-Richmond, in Forchu, many, many years ago, that community decided amongst the fishermen themselves, we're no longer going to take canners, or shack lobsters. We're going to throw them back so that we can help make sure and ensure that our industry survives. I'm sure that the minister can tell you that when you go there, they have one of the most thriving fisheries along the shores of Nova Scotia, because they help to self-regulate.

I believe that one of the things we need to be looking at, and what fishers have told me, is that it's important that the Lobster Council of Canada is part of the solution. We're told by the fishers that some people see the Lobster Council of Canada as part of the problem, and that's why this legislation isn't more specific.

I don't know if that's right, but I do know it's worth investigating. I do know that this province needs to do the right thing for the people of the Province of Nova Scotia and for the fishers and the independent businessmen we're talking about.

Mr. Speaker, right now, when we're talking about this piece of legislation, there are going to be regulations coming out all over the place, and we're going to be wondering, why is that regulation in place? That's why we would like to see more specifics in the bill itself. I truly hope that when the time comes to send this to Law Amendments Committee - a place that only this province does such a thing, to allow the public to have a say in what is going on in their legislation - I truly hope that we give it lots of notice, so that when it goes to the Law Amendments Committee, the people we are talking for and the people who are in the industry have the time to come and make their presentations at Law Amendments Committee. I truly hope that we don't advertise it overnight somewhere where we would know that the people who are going to be affected by this, whose economy of the Province of Nova Scotia is going to be affected by this, are given the short end of the straw.

With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my place.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise tonight and speak to this important bill. The concept behind this bill has been discussed for quite some time. The members talked about over - well, I remember two years ago when the boats were tied up and the fishermen were on strike because of the price of the product. I remember the stress that went through the community at that time. So I want to echo the members' comments, when they do thank the fishermen for what they do for our communities and how important they are to our communities in so many ways.

I appreciate what the minister is working toward with this piece of legislation. On a personal level, I asked the minister to come to Pictou East and speak with some of my fishers, and he came. I appreciated that tremendously, and I know my fishermen were quite impressed by that, so I do thank him for that. That meant a lot.

I'm looking at this piece of legislation. I appreciate that the minister is trying to move forward with this. This is something that I want to move forward, and I do appreciate that this piece of legislation, this bill, is an effort to move things forward. I get that and I appreciate that, because in my area, the fishermen want this. We can talk about whether it's a financial contribution or whether it's a fee or whether it's a levy; that's just a word. What they want is, they are willing to contribute to a fund to help with the marketing of the product.

I know that the fishermen in my area want that. They are willing to contribute to such a fund under the condition that the funds collected are used to market the product. I've had fishermen say to me, I don't mind paying, I don't mind paying into that, but what will the money be used for? I would ask, what do you mean? Well we don't want to pay into a fund to find out that it went on some research project done by some firm or somewhere else. I understand that, I get that. People don't want to pay into something and think that they're not getting the value that they want. In this case the value the fishermen want is a marketing value, it's a marketing strategy. As I've said, in my area, we agree.

In the piece of legislation it talks about financial contributions by the lobster industry for use in the promotion and development of that industry - promotion and development. That expression gives people some angst - what might fall into that bucket? When people think about the things that happen in government and the things that the government does, it's not always obvious to the everyday citizen why something happens, so they are concerned when they hear promotion and development. If it said marketing, straight up marketing, maybe that's something.

We have good lobsters in this province. We have the ability to fish good lobsters. We don't need to create a new lobster. We don't need to figure out how to make lobsters grow faster or anything like that; we have good lobsters. What the fishermen want is to be able to sell what they catch.

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When it comes to my constituency, sometimes in the middle of the fishing season my friends might be getting $3 a pound or $4 a pound. They will hear that there is a glut of lobsters on the market; something happened in another region. When they are sitting through the winter and seeing fishermen in other areas getting $10, $11 a pound, they are pretty envious of that because they feel that when they get into their lobster season, maybe $4 will sound good to them at some point, so I understand. I understand when they say gee, we wish that when we're in our season the demand would be through the roof and they would be crawling on the wharves waiting to pay us a top dollar for our catch.

They are not getting that and they deserve that. They want that and we all want that for them. I know the minister wants that for them as well and that's what they're saying, help us with the marketing. That's what we want. And they're willing to pay for that. There is no question they're willing to pay for that - in my area. I know with other members it's not so cut and dried, but in mine it is.

I know the minister has thought of that and I hope he might respond to that in a way that could alleviate some of the angst because there is angst over hearing the government is going to do something like this.

Now the minister said that this will just set the stage for the collection of the cash. This is something that is being done so that we're ready to collect the cash when the amount is agreed. Setting that - I just wonder, the amount is not agreed, clearly that has not been agreed, we're not there yet. I'm not privy to that if we are, but I know a lot of my fishers aren't either. We're setting something up to collect money when it's agreed, but I think the minister, I hope, will appreciate, with all due respect - these words on this paper give the minister the power to set the amount and that is a cause for concern to the fishers.

I absolutely take the minister at his word and I know from many conversations that we've had, he says this will be industry-driven and the fishermen will agree on the amount. I absolutely believe that's the case. I just would caution that there is a disconnect between that intent and the words on this page. It's a cause for concern.

When I think about where we're trying to go - and I believe we're trying to go to the same place; I honestly believe we are trying to go to the same place - I wonder what message this bill sends to the industry. It seems to be that there's a message sent to the fishers here. When they're receiving that message and they're looking at it through that lens of being on the receiving end of that message - they're thinking, what might go wrong here for us? I think the member for Clare-Digby said the fishermen want to know what's in it for them. Absolutely everyone who's spending money should always ask that question. They're no different and I agreed with the member when he said that.

If you think about people who are wondering what's in it for them and they're looking at this bill through the lens of how this could go wrong, I think the minister will appreciate that this bill gives him some power over this situation that would make people a little bit nervous.

[Page 4171]

The other thing that I'm thinking about with this bill - and maybe this goes to the message that's being sent - is, why now? Instead of specifying where it says, ". . . the determination of the amount of the contributions . . ." the bill could have said two cents a pound there. It could have said that. I guess it doesn't say that because the industry will decide, but I guess there's a message being sent to the industry that maybe you should decide, because it's coming. I don't have an issue with that. I understand that. But what I would say is, let's tell them that in plain language. Maybe that's being done.

The big thing is, where's the money going to go? There are many successful examples and the member for Clare-Digby did mention a few of the ones he has seen. For the sake of argument here, I'll call it a levy because in the blueberry industry, it is a levy, and the blueberry levy has been incredibly successful. I've had a chance to sit through a presentation given by my friend John Cameron, who is on the blueberry board about this, and it has been very successful.

I think, for the benefit of the members, blueberries might be 55 cents a pound and I think they pay five cents a pound. They do it because it has been successful. In the lobster industry, we're talking about anywhere from $4 a pound to $3 a pound to $12 a pound and a couple of cents a pound. For me, when I think about it in those terms, it's hard for me to get my head around how much the people in the blueberry industry are willing to pay because they see the benefit.

The question then becomes, how do we convince a diverse group of fishermen covering a big geography to see the value in this? I assume that this piece of legislation is part of the plan to convince a diverse group of fishermen to get going, but I would just say that for what it is, if that's the intention, this might light a fire under an industry to get going. I hope it does. For my fishermen, I would like to see a marketing fund that helps them sell their product. That's something I would like to see.

I wish the minister well on his path. I understand his goal and I agree with his goal, but the issue with this, the sticking point for me on this bill, is the sweeping powers that it gives the minister to then say I've had enough; I'm going to impose this. I don't believe that as we sit here today that is the minister's intention, I don't believe that. But it does give him that power and I don't know what tomorrow might bring in these negotiations.

In fairness, there is a chance that the current minister might not always be the minister so I agree with his intentions. It gives powers here to an office that are more than I'm comfortable with at this stage. So for those reasons I can't support this bill as it is but I understand where the minister is going, and he has my sincere support in that process, just not in the form of this bill today. With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my seat. Thank you.

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise to say a few words about this bill, too. I would like to echo my colleague's sentiments about the value of the industry. I certainly recognize the importance of the industry to the province and how hard the fishermen, the lobstermen, the fishers work, and the importance of this discussion in the House on this bill, so I would like to echo all those sentiments.

I would like to address a couple of the comments made by the member for Clare-Digby. One thing was the difference between a financial contribution and a levy and I think it's a fair statement that the document says financial contribution. Certainly the conversation in the last year has been about a levy.

What I know from the agricultural world is that a levy is something that is put on a product on a per unit basis and that unit can be anything. It can be pounds, it can be kilograms, it could be boxes. For instance, in Ontario a number of years ago the vegetable industry in Ontario struggled with a levy. How do you make a fair levy across about 50 or 60 different commodities? Their solution was to put a levy on cardboard cartons. They had three or four manufacturers of cartons. They were big companies and very trusted companies. That levy actually worked. The companies collected the levy per carton, that went to fund the Ontario vegetable industry.

The characteristics of a levy are that it is fair. If you are a small producer, you are only paying a very small amount; if you are a large producer, you are paying a larger amount. That's one of the reasons why a levy works and that's one of the reasons why the industry will support a levy. In the agricultural context, a very key element to a levy is that there is a certain fairness to it.

A financial contribution is a bit of a vague word. We'd like to point out that if you are simply looking for a financial contribution, the province has many means of collecting financial contributions from us: you have the Income Tax Act, HST, there are all kinds of ways that financial contributions are collected. In fact, those financial contributions that are collected from all Nova Scotians go to fund the health care for lobster fishermen. They are funding the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. They are funding Agriculture. They are funding Health and Wellness. In fact, if it's simply a financial contribution, then we don't really need this bill, I believe.

I do think it's important that we consider this in terms of levy. I think that if there's not a levy aspect to it, the fishermen will not see it as fair and will not want to have it.

I did notice, too, that the member for Clare-Digby specified in his comments that the province would collect that. Actually I want to point out that that isn't in the bill. In fact what is in the bill is an organization to receive and disburse the contributions. So it is unspecified in the bill who is going to receive and disburse the contributions. It's not stated in the bill that it is the province, as I believe the member I assume inadvertently made that comment. I'm sure he's not establishing policy in his statements right here and now.

[Page 4173]

The point that it's so vague is a big issue. Clearly, being that vague - it could be the province in terms of the bill, but I would like to say that I think it's highly important that these funds, when collected from the industry, be considered industry money and be managed by the industry. Even though my colleague from Pictou has stated that he believes it should be used for marketing, I know from my experience in the agricultural world that commodity groups - of which I belong to a few - over time change purposes. At one point, marketing might be the big issue; maybe three of four years from now, it will be some disease affecting lobster and the lobster industry will want all of that money to go to research. It can change.

I do think that it should be industry money managed by industry in the way that industry wants. I believe the minister has made some comments to that effect, that it will be. I think that's a critical element to this. I realize that the industry, at this moment, does not have that cohesiveness that there's one body that is doing that, but I believe the industry is slowly moving in that direction. Certainly there are a number of - I believe that it will eventually get there. That's an important element in this, that the industry gets there.

I realize that all of this was triggered by very, very, low prices a couple of years ago. It's interesting; in my own agricultural world, I had the privilege of working with another group of farmers. When I started, my father said, John, as long as prices are low, you'll all be able to get along; but when prices go high, you won't get along anymore. It was partially true. In fact, we all got along afterwards, too, but the company did fly apart in better times. Often, it's adversity that will cause us to work together.

This whole process was born in adversity, but now at this moment we have higher prices. We had some guests from Tasmania in our home earlier this year. They talked about the crab industry they have down there. Actually, the prices are about double what they get for their crab than what we're getting for our lobster in this market, or double or triple - close to $30 or $40 a pound.

There's a lot of room for the marketing of lobster and for the price to go up. I think we can all agree it's just a fabulous product and the world wants it. One of the other interesting things to me is that one of the changes we see in the lobster industry is that there's an increasing move towards being able to store that lobster. There are a lot of lobster operations down in the South Shore that will have a cold storage. They will be able to put these lobsters in a little tube - and I don't know all the correct terms for that, but I've seen it. The consequence of that is that the lobster can be held there for quite some time.

To my mind, that is a key element in actually being able to implement a marketing plan. If you have a product that you always have to sell before it goes bad in a very quick fashion, marketing becomes more difficult. But once you have this capacity to store and hold for a period of time, I think marketing becomes much more orderly and much more possible and much more critical in the whole operation, so they kind of go together. This capacity to guarantee supply is a key function in the marketing plan. When they have this cold storage capacity, they're no longer depending on the weather. If there are three or four weeks of very poor weather and all of a sudden there's no lobster - but that's not the case. They can store this lobster, so they have it.

[Page 4174]

I would suggest to you that as time goes on, the industry, even in that capacity being built up, is more needing to have this type of structure. I would suggest to you that what I really don't like about this bill is that it's so vague. I am disappointed that we waited nearly a year for a bill like this. It's a half-page. I know that I'm just new at the Legislature, really still relatively new, but I can tell you that in my opinion, the length of a bill does indicate the amount of effort that went into it. Lots of things can be defined and specified and spelled out and are not here. It's all very, very vague. I have a problem with that.

In terms of looking at the bill, the second major clause states that there may be different regulations with respect to different classes of persons, matters, or things. That makes me immediately wonder if that is in reference to a different zone with a different pricing. I would like to suggest to you that the concept goes against the concept of a levy. If you have a levy, then everybody is paying the same amount, and it's on a per-unit basis. If one industry - if one part of the one sector, one area, is paying at two and a half times the rate, then you've kind of defeated the concept of a levy. A levy fundamentally is based on we all pay the same amount, and if my neighbour is doing twice the volume, he's paying twice the money in. That is a really critical element to that, and a super-critical part of getting the industry buy-in, normally.

I realize that one of the problems with that, which the industry has to get over, is that everybody knows exactly what your production is, right? In a farm setting, sometimes that's confidential information - how many lobster did you sell? - in a farm, but I'm sure for the lobster fishermen, they're not that keen. But in another sense, everybody always sort of knows. We all watch our neighbours. The industry will have to get over that type of thing to accept a levy, I think.

My issues with the bill are that there are just too many unspecified things, and I think for a levy to work it needs to be managed and run by the industry. I think what the money is spent on needs to be pretty broad, what it could be spent on. Whatever the industry priorities are at the time, those are what that money should be used for, and those priorities change over time. Maybe when prices are high, the priorities will be who knows what. The priorities can change. My experience in the agricultural industry is that whatever the current crisis is, that's always the priority. So if the current crisis is low prices, the current priority is marketing. If the current crisis is a disease or a pest, then that becomes the priority. It changes, and the industry needs to be able to adapt with that.

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I think that if you look at agriculture - and my colleague referenced blueberries. There are many other examples of that in the agricultural world. I think it is a critical element to an industry really achieving all that can be achieved in a marketing sense. Clearly, with most products nowadays, you have your barcode on it, you have your logo on it, your name, and your ingredient list. But a lobster is a generic item, and that type of identification so far hasn't been put on it. The industry needs to work together and co-operate to market these lobsters more effectively.

While this enabling legislation will allow that to begin to happen, it's just so wide open and so vague that it's difficult for me to support it as written. I think there could have been a lot more put into this legislation to challenge the industry to get organized - this legislation is for you. If the industry wants to see that happen, I believe that it fundamentally needs to be industry led. That should be in this document, and it isn't. I think fundamentally it needs to be a levy, and that should be in the document, and it isn't.

For those reasons, I think that this legislation is lacking. It's lacking in its brevity and lacking in its focus. It's so wide open that it could be enacted in many different versions, and I have a problem with that.

So with those few words, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to sit down.

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

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all the speakers on the opposite side of the table, to thank them for their insight and their suggestions around this financial contribution. The idea of this legislation is to set the initial framework so that the industry can take this idea, this concept that is already in place in a lot of the agriculture industry, and put together whatever they need to increase the value of a lobster.

I just asked one of my colleagues to look up what a hamburger costs today, and the number we got was $5.49 a pound. Now, that's one of the lower grades of hamburger. Yet lobster, typically in the last few years, has been selling for less than $5 a pound. It's a premium product. That tells us where we have to go.

My honourable colleague, the member for Queens-Shelburne, who I listened to intently earlier today when he talked about doubling the value of seafood products in the Province of Nova Scotia - I totally agree. We can do that almost totally without catching one more lobster, by improving quality, doing better marketing, doing better science, and all of those things we have to do to get that value up there. That's the idea of this bill. But it has to be from the industry. We don't have the ability to set anything up without this legislation. We're going to go back; we're going to talk to the industry about this. We're going to set a structure up that they will receive all the funds; they will manage all the funds, and they will decide where that money is going to be spent because it has to be industry-driven if it's ever going to work.

[Page 4176]

We talk about all the effects on the fishing industry. I can remember the codfish crisis, the groundfish crisis, and today there is no cod fishing in Nova Scotia. That was an economic generator for generations in this province. If we would have had the proper management practices, maybe a fee to look after marketing and quality and value added, maybe that industry would still be alive today.

It's alive in Iceland and it's one of the main products they have. They reduced the catch by 30 per cent and doubled their profits. We can do the same thing with lobster in Nova Scotia. Imagine that - if we could double our profits. That means the fishermen would make more money, the buyers would make more money, the wholesalers, the processors would make more money; everybody would make money along the line. That's where we have to go, and the sooner we can get there the better.

I think we need to work together; I know we all have to work together. This is a main part of Nova Scotia's economy. Let's get more value out of this very top-quality product we have. If we can get that value, we're going to grow Nova Scotia's economy. We are going to have our young people stay in the province and work at this excellent job - it's not really a job, it's a career. Indeed, they will be able to do it and their great-great- grandchildren will be able to do it.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to more debate as we move forward with this bill, and with those few words I'm going to move second reading of Bill No. 91, the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 91. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 95.

Bill No. 95 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, with your permission I would like to do an introduction before I start discussion.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. COLWELL « » : In the east gallery I would like to introduce Bruce Hancock, director of Aquaculture for the Province of Nova Scotia, and also with him this evening is Vicki Swan, manager of Aquaculture Development in the province. I also would like to note that Mr. Hancock's son was here with him earlier - Murray had to leave, Murray Hancock. So I welcome you to the House today and I want to thank you for the fine work you've done on this bill. I also want to thank all the other fine staff we have who have done a tremendous job in a very short time.

Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 95 now be read for a second time. Yesterday I introduced an amendment to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act that signals a more transparent, rigorous approach to regulating aquaculture in Nova Scotia. We are beginning the process to implement the advice we received in the recent Doelle-Lahey report. We are very pleased with the report we received from Professors Doelle and Lahey. This has provided the foundation for amendments contained in this Act.

Mr. Speaker, that we need stronger oversight and more proactive releases of information when it comes to aquaculture in Nova Scotia was clear from the advice that we received in the Doelle-Lahey report. This is the first step to make that reality and build trust between the public, government, and industry. It will take time to have the system totally in place, but this is an important step in establishing a world-class regulatory framework for aquaculture development in Nova Scotia, one that can give every Nova Scotian confidence that our decision making is being based on sound information, and one that gives the public input on every stage of the decision-making process.

There are several key changes included in this amendment. The purpose of aquaculture will be defined, and the government's commitment to stronger regulation on the industry and improved transparency will be clear. We will create an independent three-member Nova Scotia Aquaculture Review Board - a step that exceeds the recommendation of the Doelle-Lahey report. Following public hearings, the review board will make application decisions on leases and licences.

New rules and procedures around public consultation, tenures of leases, environmental protection, and fish health will follow later this Spring in regulations authorized by the Act. These regulations will emphasize stronger oversight and enhance public access to information. The key recommendation of the Doelle-Lahey report has increased transparency in clarifying what information is to be considered as "business confidential." Because veterinarians swear an oath of confidentiality similar to doctor-patient relationships, vet records will be exempt from FOIPOP.

Requirements for transparency that emphasize a strong commitment to broadly-released information such as fish health data will be included in regulations that will come later this Spring. I cannot stress enough that we're signalling our commitment to more stringent oversight of the aquaculture industry and a broad commitment to transparency.

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Communities and stakeholders will know up front what the intentions of applicants are toward new processes. Current and new aquaculture businesses will know exactly what to expect of them. Will this be tough on business? Yes, it will, but it will also be fair. Businesses will very clearly understand what they have to do, making Nova Scotia a better place for them to do business, and the public will know exactly what is happening every step of the process.

These changes are long overdue in Nova Scotia if we want Nova Scotia to be a leader in the management and development of this industry in an environmentally sustainable and accountable way. The amendments put forward in this bill start us on the road to making that a reality. As minister I look forward to seeing them pass and to bringing forth regulations that will put this bill into action. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all I want to thank the minister for this bill. I want to thank the department for their consideration and work on this bill. I want to thank Bill Lahey and Meinhard Doelle for doing a phenomenal job of consultation and taking a very difficult issue in this province and giving it some clear guidelines and recommendations that the department could follow.

Contrasts on the bill we just did - this one has a lot of detail in it, stuff that we can be truly comfortable that we're moving in the right direction. This is a bill that we've been waiting a long time for. It's always been extremely difficult for the department, where it was the regulator, where it was the promoter, whether it was the inspector. A department can't be all those things and try to maintain a vibrant industry in aquaculture.

Aquaculture technology has changed dramatically over the years. How we grow seafood - I'll say "seafood" because it varies on the number of species that are grown in Nova Scotia. All of them have different benefits and/or difficulties. I think the Doelle-Lahey report took all of those considerations in their recommendations.

It looks good as far as creating the review board. I hope that when the minister appoints those commissioners they are broad-based in science and economics and have very little to do with aquaculture, so they can look at it from a fresh set of eyes on what that economic and environmental impact will be to the communities that will be receiving a site. Finfish, mussels, oysters - you name it, we grow it here in Nova Scotia.

The minister names all members, one as a chairman and one as a clerk and then all reviews of those applications will be going through them, so it takes the politics out of it. Not that there was a lot of politics in it, but there's a lot of bureaucracy in how aquaculture leases were done in the past. So I do think that's a good move forward. I do hope, though, that when you are appointing those that you do a rigorous search on that, that you make sure they are the best possible candidates for that board because they're going to be doing a very important thing.

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The board, of course, replaces the minister to issue those licences. The creation of an administrator, chosen by the minister to be empowered to issue licences that are considered to be easier to deal with - redos, areas that had already been identified as aquaculture sites, those kinds of things - I think it's a good move forward. Basically it's taking a process that could be a year or two years long, and turning it into a 90-day process, if that work has already been done. So giving some power to that administrator, I think, is a good move forward.

I do have to say, though, I wish I could see some of the regulations. I know regulations will be completed quite quickly but, again, the bill is prescriptive enough that I can have a level of comfort that how those regulations will be written will be in the right direction. Again, those regulations that revolve around fish health, revolve around the environment - so they have an opportunity to adapt those regulations as time goes on and as technologies and issues change.

This is going and doing it, I think, the right way. I hope the department, the minister learns from this process on how to truly do a consultation and come up with the true direction for an industry as important as aquaculture. I forget all my numbers on this one, but there are very few businesses where you can convert protein the way that fish can convert it - you feed it a kg of feed and you get a kg of usable protein, where I think is a cow is like 12 to 1, or 9 to 1, or whatever that conversion rate is.

We know there are parts in Nova Scotia that can have finfish development and there are other parts that can't, and anything that helps the department identify those areas and have them ready for future work is great.

The other thing I like in here is that a lot of communities would always complain that they would only find out that there's an aquaculture site coming to their bay or area sort of in the last part of the process, when prescriptive in those regulations basically was that you've got to have your public consultation by that point. All the work has been done, you've gone and had your approvals from Transport Canada and Fisheries Canada. You've gone and all that work you've done, all the mapping, you've done the water tests and then finally you go and talk to the community. Well I think the process that is being designed here is one we put that in the front, that a proponent basically says listen, this area is interesting to me, and you automatically advertise that so the community has an opportunity to input throughout that process.

What we've seen in the past is maybe the community doesn't feel you can have it in this area but maybe a few hundred metres over that way, or a kilometre down in the water, that's a perfectly acceptable spot. But the communities didn't have the opportunity to do that in the past because it was extremely prescriptive and extremely rigid in the way that the aquaculture regulations are.

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The best example is a question I asked the minister during his estimates just a few days ago. In Antigonish Harbour there is a site that was given to an individual that happened to be right on top of a bed of oysters that the wild fishery had been using for a long period of time. As a matter of fact, regardless of what you want to use as an identification of aquaculture, the wild fishermen were really doing some aquaculture is what they were doing because they were basically taking the smaller product that they were finding, that needed a few more years of growth, that they were going and dumping it in that area.

What we ended up doing is, the proponent who knew that went and said, I need these bearings and this square, this triangle of water space that basically encompasses and covered up that whole bed of oysters and without really doing any aquaculture at all. He could just go and dive and grab those oysters from the bottom of the ocean that had been taken care of by the wild fishery. Had the wild fishery been able to input in that process from the beginning, they might have been able to tell the department, listen, part of our wild fishery depends of having this little cove. I think that's a valuable lesson to learn that that wasn't fair to the wild fishery now and now to take that away from that proponent, that person who did all that work to identify that piece of water, how do you take that licence away from him?

The final point, too, is the issue of enforcement, where enforcement was a big part of the department's work. There's not a lot in there in this year's budget that I would say lots of good stuff, but a piece of good news is the transfer of those inspectors to the Department of Environment. Looking at it from an enforcement method, I think, is really good to have them separated from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

Finally is the consultation itself - again, to thank Meinhard Doelle and, of course, Bill Lahey. I had the opportunity to speak quickly with Bill Lahey earlier today and he felt in some cases the department went a little further than he had recommended, which he thought was a good thing. He felt that maybe in some cases they didn't go exactly with those recommendations, especially when it comes to the pre-identification of areas, the red area, the green areas and those kinds of things, totally understanding the manpower or the actual staffing that would be required to do that kind of work is out of the reach of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. It does allow that department, when they do have some time and availability, that they can go out and do some of that work, maybe in a little bit of a different manner, but all in a positive direction.

This industry has been in a bit of limbo for almost two years now as the previous government put some holds on some things they were doing, and the Doelle-Lahey panel went out and started doing its work, so not a whole lot of expansion in the aquaculture industry has happened since that time. I hope that quickly after this bill passes during this session of the House that the regulations are put together pretty quickly - and anything I can do to help you with that, Mr. Minister, I would be willing to offer. But also if you'd like to share them with us we'd be more than happy to maybe put our stamp of approval on them as well to get them through to the industry.

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This is a good step forward and, like I said, in contrast to the last bill we debated, I think this is a good move and one that, of course, we can support. Thank you for this opportunity, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I think that the PC critic is actually reading my notes because the contrast between the previous bill and the bill that we're talking about now, Bill No. 95, is something that I publicly want to say that I endorse and I am here to support the minister in his endeavours as we move this bill forward. I can tell you, I don't see this atmosphere very often and I really want to, first of all, recognize that. And I'm here to assist the minister in any way, and I want to get that on the public record.

First of all I want to back up and just point out that this was initiated by the previous government. I've heard this a number of times - sometimes we don't get the recognition, but I do want to point out that this was initiated by the previous government. I want to see the minister bring this forward. I do want to also thank Mr. Doelle and Mr. Lahey for bringing this much-needed direction for the aquaculture industry.

I was reading this several months ago. I know that this is a sensitive issue among Nova Scotians. I know that communities have looked forward to new guidelines and new rules dealing with aquaculture and the process that I was encouraged with. I know that we live in a world where we are politicians. Anytime you can remove the concept of - you're taking politics out of something, I think that's a good thing. I understand what they were trying to do when they talked about a new board, of trying to screen and approve applications. That's something that I am encouraged by and I know the public will see some value in that.

I also made a note here: my understanding is that the monitoring of fish farms is going to be under the provincial Environment Department. I know that in my time there, there was some controversy about - how can you do that? How can you manage fisheries? How can you promote the fishery, the wild fisheries? How can you promote aquaculture and actually be out and regulate that and monitor it? It was a fair question. To me, these are all good things that can move this industry forward.

I can tell you, as a fisherman of - some people made a reference to it - the wild fishery, I have actually lived that and I've seen aquaculture co-exist with the wild fisheries. I had the opportunity while I was sitting on that side of the House to be in the minister's position and it was a privilege. I had an opportunity to go and meet with some Dalhousie University science and marine aquaculture students. I did that for each time I was in the House. Each year, I went there and I did my little speech at the university. This was during the Fall of the year.

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I always said, with all due respect to your professor - and I said this going in - you are probably not going to get all your education in this classroom. I meant that with all sincerity. I said, probably you should go out and visit some fishing communities. I always invited them - and I always gave the professor a heads-up. He knew I was going to do this and he was actually encouraging me to do it, because we actually brought those students to somewhere in southwestern Nova Scotia, my general area, at the opening of the lobster season.

The reason why I wanted to do that was to give them an insight and to ask the questions about aquaculture - not to come from some bureaucrat or some politician or to have some speaking notes. I wanted them to go out in the wharf setting at the first of the lobster season when everybody is busy. When you are in that setting, whether you're going into the general store or the local gas station or the fishing boat, when you ask a question about an industry, you are going to get true, unedited feelings or comments. That is what those students need to learn.

When I asked them to go, I said, there's one interesting thing that I want you to point out about aquaculture in my area. You can sit down in my - everybody probably knows where I live in my community in southwestern Nova Scotia - and within a 60-mile or kilometre radius, there are a number of things going on. There is the wild fishery - if you want to refer to it as the wild fishery; I refer to it as the commercial fisheries - one of the strongest in Atlantic Canada. I've heard everybody make reference to that tonight. It is the strongest and probably 60 per cent of the landed value comes from that particular area - in Canada - the commercial fishery.

The point that I asked the students to pay attention to is that there's also aquaculture going on within that radius of 60 miles.

It's interesting to note that there's an Acadian seafood plant that is pumping water in and they're growing Irish moss on a yearly basis. I'm sure the member for Argyle-Barrington could help me out but they have been recognized worldwide with a successful recognition in the awards they have won by raising and growing Irish moss on land.

We have the salmon farms in Shelburne and different areas around that have been located there, all within the 60-mile radius - and in Digby. I heard the member for Clare-Digby stand up and talk about it and I can tell you that the importance to that industry in places like Digby and Meteghan is something that is appreciated in those communities.

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We have oyster farms in the Argyle area, Eel Lake. I'm very familiar with that and I know from my experience that you actually had mussel farms and I actually did that for about 20 years. On Cape Sable Island and in my home town also, you have a halibut hatchery. And all these things are taking place within that 60-mile radius.

I want to point out another thing, this may sound a little bit off subject here, but it's an interesting point. Within that 60-mile radius there are a number of municipalities which have sewer treatment facilities with an outlet that goes into the ocean. Now, that all has to be monitored and people have to pay attention to what's going on with that. What I'm trying to paint here, within that whole area of 60 kilometers, there's also one of the strongest commercial fisheries in Canada that's co-existing.

When you go and the bus comes for those college and university students, I think they have a better appreciation of aquaculture. I also pointed out in one of the speeches today - I talked about the potential for this province to double their fish exports. I also, if everybody was paying attention, I made note in there that one of the sectors that could help achieve that is through aquaculture, through land-based and ocean. In that speech I talked about 7 billion people on this planet, as I speak - 7 billion. In the next 30 years there's going to be an additional 3 billion. I can tell you that there are some fish companies on Nova Scotia soil today with a simple business plan, and I heard earlier speakers talking about a business plan. They're here in this province for one reason. It's to get protein to feed the residents of their jurisdiction - simplistic answer, simple as that.

What is interesting to note in the job since I've been here in this House, and I've watched and I've looked at statistics about our commercial fisheries and I also just talked about our commercial fishery contributes roughly 60 per cent of the landed value in Canada from our commercial fisheries - there's an interesting statistic that I learned about three years ago. Aquaculture has surpassed the commercial wild fishery, through the contribution that aquaculture has done worldwide. That is something that you have to take into consideration and appreciate the value of aquaculture.

Now, coming back, this is where I'm saying, publicly, that I understand and I appreciate the minister for what he's doing and I want to encourage him. I want to say that he has the support of myself, this caucus, to pursue and move this bill forward because this is not an easy file. I will publicly recognize that but the opportunity here is to understand and to know that this industry can co-exist and it can be done right and I think that Mr. Doelle and Mr. Lahey have laid out the ground work to achieve this. We have to build the confidence of our communities and we have to have their support in order to move this forward. There is no question in my mind.

What's interesting is, I also think that there is a lot of misinformation out there. I know that you may be challenged, but to me, when we have over 13,000 kilometres of coastline around our beautiful province, there is room for this industry. When I took a boat and when I steam out and I know that the lobster industry in 34 and around our coastline has a 50-mile limit, that they can go from the local dock 50 miles off - basically if you move out of the Bay of Fundy you can do that - on all the inshore lobster fleets, you've got 50 miles of distance. So I'm starting to calculate, if you do the math of over 13,000 kilometres around this province, you're going to have a large mass of water.

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Now, what I'm trying to paint with, and do it in a very diplomatic way, is that if you take all the total wild salmon leases that are presently approved in Nova Scotia, you can put all those salmon leases 10 times over in the head of the Bedford Basin - 10 times over. Now, to me there is a lot of ocean left to do all of the above, and what's interesting is - and I know the pressure the minister is under, and I know that you're going to get challenged by communities or certain interest groups. One of the things I was confronted with, one of the interesting scenarios, was that Minister of the Crown, you are going to put lobster fishermen out of a job and you're going to turn away 65 lobster licences - this is a scenario I'm painting - in my community, and you're going to kill that industry.

That's what I heard, and from a fisherman's point of view, I can tell you that I'd love to understand that. I want to know these individuals, because as a fisherman I literally fished by these sites, and I didn't observe any of the above. In fact, it was the opposite. It was the opposite. I saw higher landings, and I have observed lobster landings in the last 30 years. I can recite them from Rhode Island right to Newfoundland and Labrador.

In the last 30 years, since aquaculture has been on this soil in Nova Scotia, we have seen the lobster landings go up. In the last five years, when that statement was said, that you're going to drive people out of the lobster industry with the approval of aquaculture sites, you're going to drive 65 people out of my community who have lobster licences - that's not the way it was. In fact, in the last five years we have seen broken records and historical landings, and the landings are still going up in the lobster industry.

My point here is that I think they can coexist. The numbers speak for themselves, and the number of aquaculture around the world have surpassed the landed value of our commercial wild fishery. To me that is something that has to be recognized, but I also recognize the pressure that the minister is under. There has to be confidence from the public to endorse these particular regulations in legislation as we move forward.

One of that, in their discussions or their report, talks about zones. You cannot have aquaculture everywhere, so there are going to be certain areas that are going to be green, red, whatever colour you want to paint it, but they're not going to be everywhere. That's something that I think the involvement from municipal leaders would enjoy sitting down and having that discussion. I know I point out Meteghan and Digby. Basically the benefits they have received from aquaculture along with Shelburne. Again, I point out in my area, one of the largest ones on land and sea is Shelburne County, which has benefited directly from aquaculture.

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The potential is there, but I also recognize there's a lot of misinformation. I think this is one of the issues that the minister is trying to address, and I encourage him through this panel to help prevent that or to address that as we move forward. The panel would help get some of that information out to the public and we need to work on that.

Before I finish, earlier today I had an opportunity to talk about doubling of fish exports. I've stood here and I've heard everyone talk about loss of jobs, loss of services, and I truly believe that if you're going to have these, you have to have a source of revenue in order to maintain them. To me it's so simplistic, you have to create economic growth and one of those potentially is to double our fish exports. I repeat this and I tie it into this bill, one of the opportunities is through aquaculture. I truly believe we can do that within 10 years and I refer to the economic engine that we call the fishing industry as the economic engine in many rural communities.

The Ivany report talks about doubling that. We have an opportunity as elected officials to double the economic engine in rural Nova Scotia in the next 10 years - I think that should get our attention. We should be paying attention to it and I know the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, when I talked about creating over $1 billion of revenue extra for Nova Scotia in the next 10 years, I think I should have her attention - and I've got her attention. To me that is so simplistic, and by working together, we can achieve this. Aquaculture is one of the first steps in doing that. Believe me, I've heard it repeatedly here in the last three weeks, we all talked about and were here to defend rural Nova Scotia. We're here to talk about the out-migration of our youth.

When I say that we can create $1 billion worth of economic growth in the next 10 years, I think that's good news. I think we should be communicating that to each constituency. Here's one of the pieces of the puzzle - through aquaculture. I can assure you I understand the burden that the minister is faced with, this portfolio and this file has a lot of sensitivity around it, but I think through public education and through the work of the minister in creating this new board and taking and monitoring and putting them in a Nova Scotia environment, it gives a new fresh start towards encouraging an industry that many Nova Scotians can benefit from.

With those few remarks, I will take my seat and I look forward to my colleagues addressing some of my comments, and the minister. Thank you.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to be here tonight and speak to Bill No. 95. This is an important bill and I'm happy to see this bill here.

I know that aquaculture can work in this province. I know there's a place for aquaculture here and we just need to find the ways to make it work and to move forward with it. This is a good step in that direction, so I do support this bill and I do applaud the minister for bringing it forward.

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I don't know if it would be known to all members of this House, but there's an aquaculture program at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus in Truro. That program is producing excellent graduates in the field of aquaculture, and they're all going out West and they're all getting good jobs out West.

We need those people here and this legislation is a step in that direction, where we can build an industry here and those graduates can stay here and build a career. The only disappointment about this bill is that it has taken a year and we've lost an investment cycle. We've lost a year.

But we can't cry over that spilled milk. We need to move forward now. This is here. We have great potential for aquaculture in this province, so I am happy this bill is here. We need to get our existing aquaculture sites producing so that the communities can see the value of it.

The member for Queens-Shelburne talked about a possible $1 billion industry and I don't dispute that. I know the member for Queens-Shelburne was the former Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister - quite a well-liked Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister, I might add, in his time - so he understands this file. When you talk about a $1 billion industry, that's pretty serious. As my friend the aquaculturist Chris Strickland says, he says - his words - I don't think there is another industry out there that can help rural Nova Scotia like aquaculture can. I believe him. If we do it right, this province can see tremendous benefits from this.

I look forward to seeing this bill go forward to Law Amendments Committee, seeing the comments from the community. I know in my area, we had some public consultations around the oyster fishery. They were very well attended. The minister introduced earlier Mr. Bruce Hancock; he was at those meetings, as was I. The community had concern. I think you can alleviate those concerns with information and moving forward with solid legislation.

In reviewing this bill, I noticed one of the concerns in my area specifically around the oyster fishery was that people who lived on or near the water wanted to make sure that they had the ability to paddle out from their shore in their canoe or their kayak or walk on the beach - enjoy the waterfront as they have enjoyed it in some cases for generations. They wanted to make sure that they would still be able to enjoy the things that they like about living close to the ocean and living on the ocean without interference from the aquaculture industry. We need some coexistence.

It's good legislation. It's good regulation that will show those people that there can be a mutually beneficial coexistence. People really don't want to stop their neighbours from working, but they want to make sure that it's not going to harm them. That's the concern of the community.

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I notice in the bill here there's some language I'll be interested to talk to the minister about, about aquaculture leases having the exclusive right for aquaculture purposes to possession of a column of water and subaquatic land. There's just a concern I have about the possession of the water column and how everyone can get what they need. What Nova Scotia needs is industries that are growing, industries that are thriving. I think aquaculture has the potential to fit into that category. It can be a very good industry for this province if it's done well and if it's done right.

That's what I would like to see. I would like to see it move forward. I think this piece of legislation helps to move that forward, so I will be supporting this bill. I will be listening at Law Amendments Committee, and I will be chatting with the minister and his staff to make sure that I understand how to address the concerns of the community.

With those few words, I'll take my seat. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues across the floor. This is a significant move forward in developing Nova Scotia's economy in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way.

I totally share the views that were expressed across the floor. This is a very important industry for the Province of Nova Scotia. In the past - I was a former Fisheries Minister as well, as two of my colleagues were, and dealt with aquaculture - at that time, it was a whole different story than it is today.

I can't express my gratitude enough to the Doelle-Lahey report. It took them 18 months. They got extensions from us to get this finished. They did a great job, and there are few things I will commend the last government on, but that's one of the smartest things they did the whole time they were in government. I want to thank my staff, too, because in a short four months, just four months, they've come up with this bill. We're a long way down the road on the regulations that will make this bill even stronger and address the issues that have been mentioned here tonight by both Parties, which we agree with.

We already have in excess of five municipalities that have written us, called us, interested in developing aquaculture in their area. We're very interested in talking to them and looking at the possibilities of how that may work for the municipalities. This is a great employment opportunity for the Province of Nova Scotia, and it's a great food source for the Province of Nova Scotia.

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My colleague in the NDP indicated the population growth in this province is estimated in the next - according to the United Nations report - 20 to 40 years, 65 per cent of the middle class in this world will be in Asia. We will not have enough food in 20 to 40 years to feed the middle class. If we don't move forward on projects like this in an environmentally-sound way, we're not going to be able to feed the people in the world in the middle class, never mind the Third World. These are very important decisions we're making for our great-grandchildren as we move forward. We absolutely have to do it right.

It has been exciting to talk - I met with some of the people in the salmon fishing industry. I'm an avid sports fisherman; I love fishing. I spent many years salmon fishing and loved every moment of it. I think it's important to get a buy-in from them and help them grow that industry as we grow this industry, to make sure we can have a vibrant salmon fishery in the province, which we do not have today. We've got to work toward those goals. They seem to be very excited about that, and I know I am. We want to make sure these things happen.

We've got a fantastic opportunity to grow Nova Scotia's economy. An average job in the aquaculture industry is $32,000 a year in today's dollars. That is very good pay in rural Nova Scotia, where you can buy a home at a very reasonable price and live a lifestyle that most people just dream about.

I'm looking forward to this. I'm very pleased with the former minister of the NDP indicating that the lobster catches have gone up around finfish sites and around that area. It is a myth that they don't do that. We're going to do some actual science around that very shortly, and we're starting that process now. We actually started a couple of months ago to dismiss those misbeliefs and rumours and all the other things with science. If it proves that it causes a problem for whatever the situation is, whatever the concern is, we'll make sure that that isn't done anymore. If it's a myth and it's just a myth and there is no scientific fact for it, we'll dismiss it from then on, and we'll move forward to develop the industry. We're going to proceed with science, we're going to proceed with care, and we're going to proceed with the environment as a first priority, and also consultation openness.

You will notice not too long ago I made an announcement about a super chill that killed some fish. This is the first time that has happened in the history of this province - that that kind of information was put out quickly. We're very shortly going to come out with another report, I believe we will be able to do that tomorrow, but the scientific proof is there that indeed it was a super chill that killed these fish - nothing else.

Those are the things we're starting to do. We've launched a new website, and it will have all this information on it, practically live as it happens, so people have confidence in the information we're providing. It's an exciting time for Nova Scotia.

With those few words, I would like to move second reading of Bill No. 95.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 95. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 98.

Bill No. 98 - Chartered Professional Accountants Act.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that Bill No. 98 now be read a second time.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of introducing legislation allowing professional accountants the authority to use the new designation of Chartered Professional Accountant. Currently, in Canada, there are three principal professional account bodies: certified management accountants, certified general accountants, and chartered accountants.

Work has been underway for several years at the national level to unite these three bodies under a new professional designation - Chartered Professional Accountant, or CPA. Although the merger is a national initiative, professional accounting bodies are organized and regulated provincially.

The accounting profession is one that has a long history in our province. As a certified management accountant myself, it meant a lot to me to introduce this legislation yesterday with representatives in the gallery from all three existing professional bodies present to offer their full support. Legislation has been proceeding at various paces in other provinces across Canada. Similar to a model being used in British Columbia, Nova Scotia will approach the unification in two legislative stages.

This legislation is the first step designed to do a number of things: grant authority for professional accountants who are members of the three legacy governing bodies to use the CPA designation; establish Chartered Professional Accountants of Nova Scotia as a body corporate and permit them to hire staff and commence operations; create a governing board of directors; define the board's powers and responsibilities and provide authority to the board to make by-laws; and protect the CPA designation from any unauthorized use.

Later a second piece of legislation will complete the merger of the three accounting bodies and update the regulatory framework. Merging the three accounting bodies will reduce the complexity and cost of regulating multiple entities. It will also create one strong voice and strengthen the recognition of Canada's accounting profession and its brand globally.

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I'm honoured to have the privilege to use the new chartered professional accounting designation as soon as we pass this legislation, and I'm looking forward to the prospect of working together as one unified body and the opportunities that lay ahead for our profession. I know some of my colleagues here in the Legislature are also professional accountants and are impacted by this legislation as well, and I look forward to hearing their comments. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to take a lot of time, but I did want to stand up and make a few remarks on this particular bill.

Really what I want to say is I want to congratulate the three groups for having gotten to this stage, because I know that it wasn't always a smooth road and the path to legislation like this is probably never a smooth road. It requires a lot of discussion and reflection and co-operation and collaboration and give and take from the different parties that are engaged.

I'm very pleased to see this legislation come forward with the three organizations that have represented chartered accountants very well over a long period of time. Now, on a go-forward, there will be a single designation, which I think is very much in the public interest and in the interests of people who rely on the professionalism of this particular group.

With those remarks, Mr. Speaker, I take my seat.

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

The honourable Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, with that, I would like to move to close second reading of Bill No. 98. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 98. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

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The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : That concludes the government's business for today, Mr. Speaker. We will meet again tomorrow, Friday, April 24th, from the hour of 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, we will resume the remaining four hours of Estimates Debate and then the final vote on the budget. At that point, that will conclude the government's business for the day.

During the debate on bills, there was a question asked of when the bills that have cleared second reading tonight would be considered at Law Amendments Committee. I can advise the House that will take place on Monday. What we have tried to do during the session is to have Law Amendments Committee on Monday, so hopefully that gives sufficient notice to anyone who has interest in the three bills which have cleared tonight to appear for Law Amendments Committee.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise, to meet again tomorrow from the hour of 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for adjournment until tomorrow between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until tomorrow, April 24th, at 9:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 9:53 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

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Tabled April 22, 2015

RESOLUTION NO. 1514

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil « » (The Premier)

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

Whereas Wednesday, April 22nd, marks Administrative Professional Day for 2015; and

Whereas the hundreds of administrative professionals across government exhibit a wide variety of skills, from communications to accounting to project management, and more; and

Whereas these professionals apply their skills and experiences daily in supporting the delivery of essential programs and services to Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge and thank these highly skilled and dedicated employees for their valuable contributions to the province, and wish them every success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1515

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's own Integrity Cheer Elite (ICE) All Stars spend many hours training or at competitive cheerleading performances; and

Whereas on April 12th the group decided to host the Cheer for a Cure, raising funds for cancer research while putting on an amazing show; and

Whereas cheerleading is a fairly new sport in our area, the ICE family wanted to raise awareness in the community for their sport and raise monies for a great charitable event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Integrity Cheer Elite (ICE) All Stars for making the Cheer for a Cure triumphant, and hope they make it an annual event.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1516

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 Karen Ferguson, the owner and operator of Errands by Karen, is celebrating her 1st Anniversary in business; and

Whereas Karen offers a personalized service committed to helping seniors, shut-ins, disabled, or the sick; and

Whereas she carries out many everyday activities such as grocery shopping, cooking meals, transportation to and from appointments, along with providing blood collection services and staying in communication with family members about their loved ones;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Karen Ferguson on her 1st Anniversary with Errands By Karen, and wish her many more years of success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1517

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others, or a particular cause, without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Donald McNeille has been nominated by the Ellershouse Community Hall Association where he has been an active volunteer for over 15 years, helping with fundraising projects including the 11 months of the year that there is a breakfast held at the hall; and

Whereas Donnie has worked tirelessly sorting out a survey issue with the hall boundaries so they could have clear title to the property; he has also been a volunteer with the St. Louise Union Church as an elder and secretary; he also serves on the board of stewards for the church and is the clerk of session for the St. Croix Pastoral Charge; and he is responsible for maintaining the plot records for the Oakhill Cemetery;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Donald McNeille on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award, and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1518

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others, or a particular cause, without payment for their time and service; and

Whereas Ralph Lyon has been nominated by the St. John the Baptist Anglican Church, Poplar Grove, where he has been an active member for 42 years; and in addition to being a lifetime member he has been a hall trustee with the Avondale Community Hall for 39 years; and

Whereas Ralph has volunteered with a number of other organizations including the Mermaid Imperial Performing Arts Centre, Windsor Elms Village, Windsor People First Society, Seniors Safety Program of Hants County, Avon River Heritage Society, West Hants Branch of the Arthritis Society, West Hants Historical Society, Matthew 25 Good Neighbours Organizations, Dial-A-Ride, a past canvasser for the Canadian Red Cross, and he has also given blood on 100 occasions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ralph Lyon on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award, and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1519

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Ed Martin has been nominated by the Windsor Hockey Heritage Society where he has been active in many roles including vice president of the board, museum manager and site management; and

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Whereas Ed is also on the organizing committee of the Long Pond Heritage Classic and the Golf Committee, one of the organization's major fundraisers, and he has volunteered at the Birthplace of Hockey Tournament and the Canadian Inner College Hockey Championships where Ed promotes "Windsor, the Birthplace of Hockey";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ed Martin on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1520

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas David Mailman has been nominated by the Windsor Fire Department where he has been a member for almost 5 years; and

Whereas David participates in the Partners for Life with Canadian Blood Services and many Windsor Fire Department Committees, has chaired the Windsor Fire Department Recreation and Entertainment Committee, participates in the fire prevention activities to educate citizens of Hants West and is committed to furthering his training and the firefighters he leads;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lieutenant David Mailman on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1521

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

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Whereas Allison Boyd has been nominated by the Town of Windsor where she had a busy year representing our region at community events as Princess Windsor and 1st Lady in Waiting to Queen Annapolis; and

Whereas Allison continues to be a great ambassador for our community, providing support to this year's Princess, and plans to volunteer with the Princess Windsor Tea Committee in the upcoming years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Allison Boyd on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1522

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Joanne O'Leary has been nominated by the Windsor Forks District Home & School Association where she has been a valued and active member for nine years; and

Whereas Joanne has volunteered for many school events such as suppers and the annual Spring fling and her family is also a supporter of her volunteer efforts and assists with the bottle return fundraiser, which is an additional source of income for the home and school;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joanne O'Leary on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1523

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

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Whereas Juanita Hiscock has been nominated by the Windsor Forks School where she has been an active member, even after her children graduated from elementary school; and

Whereas Juanita manages the school website; keeps the school foyer looking nice by maintaining the large planters; in past years has helped with suppers, Spring flings and noon duty; has served as a Girl Guide Leader and 4-H Leader; has also created and managed the websites for 106 Air Cadets in Windsor and Windsor Curling Club of which she has been the membership chair for the past seven years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Juanita Hiscock on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1514

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Betty Richards and Jim Crilly have been nominated by the Friends of Ferals, where they have been active members in this great organization for a number of years; and

Whereas Betty and Jim can often be found building cat shelters, providing shelter and socializing cats until they are adopted, and assisting with the trapping of cats for the trap, neuter, and release program of Hants County, and they often transport animals in need for Hope for Wildlife, which is a society that has helped give thousands of injured and orphaned wild animals a second chance at life;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Betty Richards and Jim Crilly on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank them for their ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1525

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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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Karen and Art Ward have been nominated by the Friends of Ferals, where they have been active members in this program for a number of years; and

Whereas Karen and Art can often be found building cat shelters, providing shelters and socializing cats until they are adopted, volunteering with local fundraisers, and transporting food for distribution to cat colonies, and Karen has also volunteered with the SPCA and Art is a volunteer with the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Karen and Art Ward on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank them for their ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1526

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Gary Oickle has been nominated by the Glooscap Heritage Archers Association, where he has been an active volunteer and executive member for over 25 years and currently holds the position of president; and

Whereas Gary was a committee member helping to organize the 2010 Canadian National 3-D Championships, where he was the recipient of one gold Canadian National 3-D title and two silvers, and he has also been involved with the CKF Emergency Response Team for 16 years and captain for three years, and he also sits on the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee and is a past member of the Employee Assistance program for Nova Scotia, and continues to give of his time to many local events throughout Hants West;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gary Oickle on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his dedication and commitment.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1527

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Laine Thomas has been nominated by the Glooscap Heritage Archers Association, where she is a member who dedicated over 135 hours in 2014; and

Whereas Laine has assisted with the renovations to the club house in preparation for youth courses, helping set up targets for 3-D shooting events, attending weekly events and setting up equipment, and she has also volunteered to be on the 3-D committee.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Laine Thomas on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 1528

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Kim Wiegers has been nominated by the Ardoise Community Hall Association, where she has been a member of this very active organization for over seven years, holding the executive position of secretary; and

Whereas she was also instrumental in organizing and cooking for the annual Family Fun Day Pancake Breakfast, where she, along with her family, took on the behind-the-scenes job of setting up the tables for many regular events, and she also participated in many hall fundraisers, which included auctions, senior suppers, special events, and delivery of meals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kim Wiegers on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her ongoing dedication and commitment.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1529

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Kameryn Harvey has been nominated by the Ardoise Community Hall Association, where she has been a member of this very active organization for the past two years; and

Whereas Kameryn can often be found volunteering with the children's events held at the hall, has chaperoned the monthly pre-teen dances, and volunteers with the seasonal children's events, helping with the games;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kameryn Harvey on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1530

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Kathy Harvey has been nominated by the Ardoise Community Hall Association, where she has been a dedicated volunteer for over four years; and

Whereas Karen has been a regular volunteer at the monthly pre-teen dance, chaperoning the youth and working in the canteen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kathy Harvey on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her ongoing dedication and commitment.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1531

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Tanner Campbell has been nominated by the Ardoise Community Hall Association, where he has been a youth volunteer for two years; and

Whereas Tanner volunteers his time with the children's events and pre-teen dances, helping with the games and cleanup;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tanner Campbell on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1532

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Spencer Wright has been nominated by the Ardoise Community Hall Association, having been an active volunteer with many organizations and events since the age of nine; and

Whereas Spencer has been a volunteer with the Ardoise Community Hall for over eight years, assisting with the monthly pre-teen dances, hall bingos, and the annual Easter and Halloween events that are held, and he has volunteered with the West Hants Middle School for five years as a percussion mentor at the fall beginner band clinic and helping with the Remembrance Day ceremonies, and he has been an active volunteer with the Avon View West Hants Band Parents Association for three years, assisting with the annual craft fair and the Brunch with the Bands events, and most recently he has participated in performing at local seniors' homes and community jamborees;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Spencer Wright on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1533

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Brenda King was born in Eastern Passage, moved to Lake Echo with her parents at the age of three years, and remained in Lake Echo to the present day, and later married and, with her husband, brought up a daughter and two sons; and

Whereas she joined St. David's United Church and became an active member and served in many key positions in the church; and

Whereas she also found time to continue her volunteer work and provided the leadership for the formation of the Lake Echo Food Bank, and was also a charter member of the Lake Echo Lioness Club, of which she was a member for 13 years with perfect attendance, and has organized many special events to help others in their time of need;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Brenda for the many contributions she has made to the community of Lake Echo.

RESOLUTION NO. 1534

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Dianne Theriault, Chair of the East Ferry Harbour Authority, organized a massive cleanup of the debris spread along the beach for three quarters of a kilometre after an abandoned fish plant in East Ferry was destroyed in a storm in 2013; and

Whereas Ms. Theriault received a Small Crafts and Harbours distinction award for her environmental stewardship at a ceremony on March 25th in Moncton, which recognized her dedication and leadership for organizing the cleanup effort;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Dianne Theriault for her commitment to the environment and setting a positive example for community stewardship and leadership and congratulate her on her award.

RESOLUTION NO. 1535

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Patrick (Paddy) Gray, a full-time sword fisher who has fished from the port of Sambro for the past 40 years is an active participant in the industry whose efforts have helped to make many positive improvements in the industry; and

Whereas Mr. Gray's involvement in the industry includes work as a tour boat operator, harbour master, head of the Sambro Harbour Authority, co-chair of the LFA 33 Advisory Board Committee, President of the Swordfish Harpoon Association and with the Fishermen and Science Research Society.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Patrick Gray for his dedication and valuable contributions to the Nova Scotia fishing industry and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1536

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Ron (Ronnie) Heighton has been the long-time president of the Northumberland Fishermen's Association, as well as the President of the Gulf Nova Scotia Fleet Planning Board, and is also involved in the Gulf Herring Federation, the Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters, the Seafood Sector Council and the Fisheries Safety Council; and

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Whereas Mr. Heighton, who continues to fish from his homeport of Cape John, has recently been inducted to the Atlantic Canada Industries Hall of Fame for his volunteer work on behalf of the fishing industry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ron Heighton on this accomplishment, and thank him for his leadership and commitment to growing the value of the fishing industry in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1537

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Jimmy Kennedy, one of the largest employers in Louisbourg, began his career offloading groundfish boats with a boom truck and a few employees now processes crab, shrimp, mussels, whelk and groundfish in plants located in Glace Bay, North Sydney and Louisbourg; and

Whereas Mr. Kennedy's companies have won a number of awards for their products and he continues to push towards new and innovative ideas, including the plan to build a large lobster holding facility in Louisbourg to better accommodate his fishermen;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jim Kennedy for his commitment to innovation and strong entrepreneurial ambition that has helped grow and strengthen the fishing industry in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1538

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

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Whereas Phil LeBlanc is the president of IMO foods, a 47-year-old Yarmouth business that exports products to many countries around the world and employs approximately 65 people locally; and

Whereas Mr. LeBlanc has a long history of community and industry involvement, which includes work as the past president of the National Seafood Sector Council and board member of the Food Processing Human Resource Sector Council, N.S. Fish Packers Association, Fisheries Sector Council and Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Phil LeBlanc for his leadership and the positive impact he has had on the fishing industry and his community over many years of faithful service and hard work.

RESOLUTION NO. 1539

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Judith Maxwell, long-serving head of the Scotia Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association, has diligently worked to represent her organization on issues in the groundfish industry, advocating for the interests of fishermen; and

Whereas under Ms. Maxwell's leadership, the Scotia Fundy Inshore Fishermen's Association has embraced innovation by using information technology to make the licensing process for members of the fishing industry more efficient and easier to access;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Judith Maxwell for her leadership and commitment working with fish harvesters to help grow and strengthen the fishing industry in Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1540

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By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Greg Egilsson, a multi-species fisherman in Carbou, Nova Scotia who has fished in the Northumberland Strait for many years, has shown leadership by advocating for issues important to his community and to the fishing industry; and

Whereas Mr. Egilsson has worked on behalf of the federation and his fellow fish harvesters on many management issues related to the 16F Herring Fishery and helped it reach the goal of being Marine Stewardship Council certified, demonstrating a commitment to best practices in fisheries management and respect for the environment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Greg Egilsson for diligently looking for ways to strengthen the fishing industry in Nova Scotia and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1541

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Jeffrey d'Entremont has volunteered hundreds of hours in the fishery industry as captain for man overboard drills, participating in industry consultations on personal floatation devices and providing school mentoring for a quality lobster program; and

Whereas Mr. d'Entremont, a fisherman and active leader in the fishing industry was the port representative for West Pubnico for more than a decade, president of the LFA 34 Management Board and is currently the vice president of LFA 33 & 34 Tags and Licencing Association;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jeffrey d'Entremont for his leadership and willingness to share his knowledge and experience, and for the positive impact he has had on the Nova Scotia fish and seafood industry.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1542

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Cory Nickerson, a fisherman and safety leader in this industry is a member of the Safe at Sea Alliance who seeks ways to promote safety awareness and conducts pre-session safety drills annually with his crew; and

Whereas Mr. Nickerson continuously dedicates himself to strengthen his community and the fishing industry as a board member for the Wedgeport Tuna Museum, board member for the Wedgeport Tuna Tournament, and has served for over a decade as a port representative for Wedgeport and Board member with the LFA 34 Management Board;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cory Nickerson for his contribution to sea safety awareness and for the positive impact he has had on the Nova Scotia fish and seafood industry and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1543

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Blair Martell, a fisherman since he was a child, is an important leader in this industry who is responsible for spearheading the meetings and negotiations with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to set up and maintain the Harbour Authority in Little Harbour; and

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Whereas Blair Martell is an entrepreneurial leader responsible for buying and selling over a million pounds of crab every season, began buying lobster and crab in Little Harbour and developed that business into a lobster storage facility that now has a holding capacity of a million pounds;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Blair Martell on his achievements and for demonstrating a business savvy that is imperative to the growth of the Nova Scotia fish and seafood industry and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1544

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Dennis Cameron, a third generation fisher who grew up alongside his late father on a fishing boat, is a key player in several tuna tagging programs for science stocks and resource for the migration, tracing and returning of bluefin tuna; and

Whereas Mr. Cameron, as part of a documentary titled "The Year in the Life of" by documentary maker Kelly Lipscomb, followed his tuna from fishing grounds off Cape Breton to Japan where he watched his fish be sold at auction and later tasted it in a sushi restaurant in Tokyo;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dennis Cameron for his contributions in better understanding of quality and marketability in the fishing industry and for the positive impact he has had on the Nova Scotia fish and seafood industry, and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1545

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

[Page 4209]

Whereas Colin MacDonald, manager of Lismore Seafoods Inc. is an innovative contributor to this industry who has been a buyer and manager of many operations in the industry and seeks ways to increase the value of fishery resources in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Colin MacDonald, an entrepreneurial leader, works hard to maintain jobs in rural Pictou and Antigonish County, helping Nova Scotians thrive in their home communities, contributing to a better quality of life in our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Colin MacDonald for his leadership and for the positive impact he has had on the Nova Scotia fish and seafood industry, and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1546

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Ashton Spinney, fisherman, former Chair of LFA 34 Management Board and Co-Chair LFA Advisory Committee and industry leader for the past 30 years, has demonstrated his commitment through his work in this industry and has earned the reputation of always being willing to help out in any way possible; and

Whereas Mr. Spinney is a tremendous example of an active leader in this integral industry, who has been a member of the Lobster Council of Canada, the Fishermen Scientist Research Society, the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council, the Fisheries Safety Association, and the Scotia Fundy Professional Fishermen's Registration and Training Association;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ashton Spinney for his achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia fish and seafood industry and thank him for the positive impact he has indisputably had in his community, and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1547

[Page 4210]

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Fisheries and Aquaculture)

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

Whereas the fish and seafood industry, which is the largest commodity group in Nova Scotia with exports totalling $1.26 billion last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent and foresight of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Jim Fraser, a beef farmer from Tatamagouche, managed the Northumberland Fish Co-op in Toney River, and worked diligently to get the fishermen the best deal for their catch; and

Whereas Mr. Fraser, who sadly passed away last Fall was known for putting in long hours to support his neighbours and grow the industry so that future generations can carry on the proud tradition of fishing and continue to build vibrant communities around the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend their sincere condolences to the family of Jim Fraser and acknowledge the tremendous contributions he made to the agriculture and fishing sectors, a legacy that will live on through those who benefited from his knowledge and generosity.

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

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Tabled April 23, 2015

RESOLUTION NO. 1548

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

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

Whereas the 1st Timberlea Pathfinders and Rangers, Timberlea-Prospect District, exemplify the mission of the guiding movement "to enable girls to be confident, resourceful, and courageous, and to make a difference in the world"; and

Whereas for the past five years the 1st Timberlea Pathfinders and Rangers have regularly volunteered at the Prospect Road Community Centre, in our local schools, and by visiting seniors' homes; and

Whereas the dedicated leaders of the 1st Timberlea Pathfinders and Rangers, Timberlea-Prospect District, Peggy Hennessy, Kim Cormier, and Jessica Morrissey all lead by example and inspire their charges to make a positive difference in their own community and beyond;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the leaders and members of the 1st Timberlea Pathfinders and Rangers, Timberlea-Prospect District, on their exceptional community involvement and wish them all well in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 1549

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

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

Whereas I rise to congratulate the TASA Ducks-Minor Junior Hockey team on their recent success; and

Whereas at the end of March this year, the TASA Ducks-Minor Junior Team won the Metro Minor Hockey League Gold Division championship; and

Whereas the team is a shining example of the joint accomplishments of players, parents, and coaches, and is made up of the following players: Craig Moss, Daniel Hubley, Nick Almolky, Jacob Archibald, Brett Campbell, Justin Corriveau, Robert Dickson, Jordan Dunsworth, Ken Finlay, Jason Godin, Nicholas Graham, Mathew Hogue, Luke Laing, Mathew Long, Mathew Lucy, James McCann, Thomas MacDonald, Spencer Profit, Robbie Riley, and Mitchell Travis;

[Page 4212]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the TASA Ducks-Minor Junior Hockey team and wish them well in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1550

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

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

Whereas Gary Jones, a resident of Timberlea, is a survivor of both prostate cancer and thyroid cancer; and

Whereas Gary will be cycling across Canada, starting from Newfoundland and Labrador on June 11, 2015, a journey on two wheels across the second-largest country in the world in support of prostate cancer and thyroid cancer awareness; and

Whereas the funds he raises will be divided equally between Prostate Cancer Canada Atlantic and the QE II Health Sciences Foundation in Halifax, and in celebration of his 70th birthday, Gary's goal is to raise $70,000;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in wishing Gary a safe and enjoyable journey and much success in raising awareness and funds for prostate and thyroid cancer.

RESOLUTION NO. 1551

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

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's Award is an exciting personal challenge for young Canadians, encouraging personal growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility, and service to the community; and

Whereas more than eight million young people from 143 countries have taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program, including 44,000 Canadian youth since 1963; and

[Page 4213]

Whereas Jasmine Herritt of Upper Tantallon, through her exceptional efforts in the areas of service, skills, physical recreation, adventurous journey, and a residential project, has been awarded the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Herritt on her exceptional achievement.

RESOLUTION NO. 1552

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Halifax Armdale)

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

Whereas Yom HaShoah is marked as a day to remember the lives and heroism of the more than six million Jewish people who died at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust; and

Whereas the Atlantic Jewish Council held a commemorative Yom HaShoah ceremony titled "The Anguish of Liberation and the Return to Life: Seventy Years Since the End of WWII" at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic on April 16, 2015; and

Whereas honoured guest and Holocaust survivor Steven Markus spoke to guests about his incredible experiences and signed copies of his book, Miracle Postcards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize Yom HaShoah and pay tribute to the innocent lives lost, raise awareness of the atrocities that occurred, and never let these crimes be forgotten or repeated.

RESOLUTION NO. 1553

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Halifax Armdale)

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

Whereas Dominic Boutros Daaboul celebrates his First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish; and

Whereas Dominic has dedicated long hours, with the help of his parents and teachers, to attend religious classes every Saturday morning; and

[Page 4214]

Whereas Dominic will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ and continue in the tradition of spreading love and compassion;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dominic Boutros Daaboul on his First Holy Communion and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1554

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Halifax Armdale)

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

Whereas Miguel Toni Bou Nassif celebrates his First Holy Communion on Saturday, May 2, 2015, at Our Lady of Lebanon Parish; and

Whereas Miguel has dedicated long hours, with the help of his parents and teachers, to attend religious classes every Saturday morning; and

Whereas Miguel will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ and continue in the tradition of spreading love and compassion;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Miguel Toni Bou Nassif on his First Holy Communion and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1555

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Halifax Armdale)

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

Whereas Elias Sarkis Khattar and Michelle Rose Salah will celebrate their marriage on July 4, 2015; and

Whereas their family and friends look forward to seeing them commit their relationship publicly, officially, and permanently at Saint Benedict Church in Halifax; and

Whereas Elias and Michelle are beginning a new chapter in their lives together;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the couple on their engagement and with them a marriage marked by many healthy and happy years.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1556

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Courtney Chambers has been nominated by the Windsor Volleyball Association, where she has been involved since she was in Grade 4; and

Whereas Courtney has run the mini volleyball program in Brooklyn, where she works with students in Grades 4 to 6, teaching them fundamental movement and volleyball skills, for the past two years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Courtney Chambers on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank her for her ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1557

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 volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Jordan Macumber has been nominated by the Piziquid Canoe Club, where he spent last summer completing daily repairs to canoes and kayaks; and

Whereas when Jordan would drop off his children at the club, he would tackle any equipment needing to be fixed, donating his time and most materials;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jordan Macumber on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1558

[Page 4216]

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Aiden Macumber has been nominated by the Piziquid Canoe Club where he has volunteered countless hours in 2014; and

Whereas Aiden has assisted the coaching staff with young athletes aged 8-11 by carrying equipment for the paddlers, helping teach and coach others, as well as cleaning up around the club when he is not raining himself;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Aiden Macumber on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 1559

By: Mr. Chuck Porter « » (Hants West)

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

Whereas volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services; and

Whereas Walter Forrest has been nominated by Dykeland Lodge where he has been very active with the residents; and

Whereas Walter comes to Dykeland Lodge and visits with the residents as a friend telling them news of the community, escorts them to various activities and remembers the residents birthdays making each and everyone feel special;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Walter Forrest on receiving the 2015 Community Volunteer Award and thank him for his ongoing dedication and commitment.