Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD15-66

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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

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



Second Session

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2015

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2438, Craig's Cause Pancreatic Cancer Soc. - Efforts Commend,
5618
Vote - Affirmative
5618
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 118, Heritage Property Act,
5618
No. 119, Mental Health System Public Inquiry (2015) Act,
5618
No. 120, Discontinuance of The Pictou County Farmers' Mutual
Fire Insurance Company Act, Ms. K. MacFarlane »
5618
No. 121, Fighting Hunger with Local Food Act,
5619
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Ratcliffe, Peter & Debbie - Merigomish Commun. Ctr. Proj.,
5619
Screen N.S. - Film Incentive,
5619
Mantley, Breanna - Anti-Bullying Efforts,
5620
Bannerman, Nova - Barney's River Sta. Schoolhouse Museum,
5620
McNeil Gov't.: Debate Stifling - Attempts,
5621
Fountain, Margaret/Black, Bill - Order of Nova Scotia,
5621
Évangéline: Comédie Musicale - Équipe Félicitations,
5622
Justice - Nova Instit.: Inquiry - Launch,
5622
Bridgewater Barracudas Swim Club - Accomplishments,
5623
Paris, Elizabeth - Blackman Award,
5623
Gov't. (N.S.) - 12 Mo. Overview,
5624
Margaret Norrie McCain Ctr. - Tour,
5624
N.S. 4-H: Anl. Show - Congrats.,
5625
Fuel Shortage - Summer 2015,
5625
North Preston: Early Midwives - Recognize,
5625
River John: Save Our Sch. Comm. - Recognize,
5626
Com. Serv.: Dept. Review - Min. Justify,
5626
Meredith, Andrew: Ryl. Cdn. Mint - Design Comp.,
5627
MacEachern, Rankin: NSCC Strait Campus - Graduation,
5627
Leslie, Megan - Election Loss,
5627
Dunphy, Bobby: Athletics/Academics - Well Wishes,
5628
Kennedy, Tom & Linda: Beggar's Banquet - Best Dining Award,
5628
Gov't. (N.S.): Climate Change - Plan,
5629
Kelly, Terry: Honorary Colonel - 14 Wing Greenwood,
5629
MacNeil, Kenneth - N.S. Medal of Bravery,
5630
Johnson, Dirkje: Death of - Tribute,
5630
VGH: Flooding - Nurses Commend,
5630
Dooks, Brenda & Emily - Diabetes Management,
5631
Langille, Ken: Commun. Efforts - Salute,
5631
Sagar, Lt Cdr Rev. Alan: Service - Thank,
5632
Barnes, Edwina "Win": Death of - Tribute,
5632
Liberal MPs (Atl. Can.): Election - Recognize,
5633
Jewells, Jamey - Basketball N.S. Award,
5633
Pick, Nancy - Cent. Nova Tourist Assoc. Award (2014),
5634
MacDonald, Flora: Death of - Tribute,
5634
Rock the Vote/Mi'kma'ki Rock the Vote: Organizers - Congrats.,
5634
Bruhm, Bill - Bridgewater Lion of Yr.,
5635
MacMillan, Fr. Allan: Ordination - Anniv. (50th),
5635
Flu Season - Vaccination,
5636
Ehler, Hannah: Commun. Serv. - Commend,
5636
Girl Guides (Mid. Sackville, Lwr. Sackville, Beaver Bank) - Tree Planting,
5636
Cowan, Darlene et al: Mental Health Fdn. - Fundraising,
5637
Raynor, Ellie-Mae: Camper Trailer - Children's Wish N.S.,
5637
Digby Pier Lighthouse: Preservation Group - Thank,
5638
MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT (RULE 43(2))
5639
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 876, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Meeting - Organizer,
5640
No. 877, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Meeting: Prem
- Knowledge, Hon. M. MacDonald »
5642
No. 878, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Meeting - Details,
5644
No. 879, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Discussion: Prem
- Notification, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
5645
No. 880, Dart. East MLA: Trial - Outcome,
5645
No. 881, Dart. East MLA - Parliamentary Privilege: Prem. - Awareness,
5647
No. 882, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Meeting -
Discussion Details, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
5647
No. 883, EECD: Newport Sta. Dist. Elem. Sch. - Divestiture,
5648
No. 884, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Conversation -
Missing Segment, Hon. J. Baillie « »
5649
No. 885, Dart. East MLA: Incident - Prem. Investigation,
5651
No. 886, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Meeting -
Cabinet Enticements, Hon. J. Baillie « »
5651
No. 887, Dart. East MLA: Cabinet Return - Timeline,
5652
No. 888, Dart. East MLA/Prem.'s Chief of Staff Meeting -
Prem.'s Awareness, Hon. M. MacDonald « »
5654
No. 889, TIR: Hwy. No. 101 (Garlands Cross to Falmouth) -
Long-Term Plan, Mr. C. Porter « »
5654
No. 890, Prem. - Chief of Staff: Text Message - Details,
5655
No. 891, Prem.: Cabinet Vetting - Details,
5656
No. 892, Prem. - Dart. East MLA: Blackberry Files - Retrieval,
5657
No. 893, Prem. - Dart. East MLA: Cabinet Return - Conditions,
5658
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 117, Public Inquiries Act
5660
5660
5662
5662
Vote - Affirmative
5663
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 43(2):
Gov't. (N.S.): Registries - Privatization,
5664
5668
5670
5674
5678
5682
5685
5689
5693
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 17th at 1:00 p.m
5694
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Tabled 11/12/15:
Res. 2358, Gilby, Jacob - RCL Poster & Literary Contest,
5695
Res. 2359, Gallant, Mark - RCL Poster & Literary Contest,
5695
Res. 2360, Chisholm, Natalie - RCL Poster & Literary Contest,
5696
Res. 2361, Ferguson, Brad: Pan Am Games (2015) - Medical Staff,
5696
Res. 2362, Payne, Megan Vanessa - Lt.-Gov.'s Medal,
5697
Res. 2363, Balzan, Nicholas Anthony - Lt.-Gov.'s Medal,
5697
Res. 2364, Smith, MacGillivray Monica - Lt.-Gov.'s Medal,
5698
Res. 2365, MacPhee, Brandon Eric - Lt.-Gov.'s Medal,
5699
Res. 2366, Isenor, Myrna: Cdn. Cancer Soc. - Recognition,
5699
Res. 2367, Ferguson, Holly: Cdn. Cancer Soc. - Recognition,
5700
Res. 2368, Moxsom, George: Cdn. Cancer Soc. - Recognition,
5700
Res. 2369, Aitken, Dorothy: Cdn. Cancer Soc. - Recognition,
5701
Res. 2370, Grant, Donna: Cdn. Cancer Soc. - Recognition,
5701
Res. 2371, Bond, Delores: Cdn. Cancer Soc. - Recognition,
5702
Res. 2372, Trainor, Emily - U-14 Girls Basketball Dev. Team,
5702
Res. 2373, MacIntyre, Gracie - U-14 Girls Basketball Dev. Team,
5703
Res. 2374, Miller, Ireland - U-14 Girls Basketball Dev. Team,
5703
Res. 2375, Delorey, Sarah - U-14 Girls Basketball Dev. Team,
5704
Res. 2376, Bianchi, Mikayla - U-14 Girls Basketball Dev. Team,
5704
Res. 2377, Singer, Megan - U-14 Girls Basketball Dev. Team,
5705
Res. 2378, Thompson, MCpl Scott - Wing Commanders Commendation,
5705
Res. 2379, Enfield KOC: Coats for Kids Init. - Thank,
5706
Res. 2380, MacAskill, Christine: Veterans - Dedication,
5706
Res. 2381, Janssen, Paige - Cadet Accomplishments,
5707
Res. 2382, Robinson, James - Cadet of Yr. Award,
5707
Res. 2383, Currie, Robyn: RCACS - Success Congrats.,
5708
Res. 2384, Crossley, Brad - Inspire Leadership Award,
5708
Res. 2385, Bardua, Darrell - Paramedic Long Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
5709
Res. 2386, Johnston, Frank: Vol. Commitments - Comment,
5709
Res. 2387, Prospect Rd.: Citizens on Patrol Unit - Congrats.,
5710
Res. 2388, Prospect Rd. & Area Rec. Assoc. - Commun. Contribution,
5710
Res. 2389, Caughey, Cst. John Robert - N.S. Police Long Serv. Award
(15 Yrs.), Hon. R. Delorey « »
5711
Res. 2390, LeBlanc, Derek - Paramedic Long Serv. Award
(25 Yrs.), Hon. R. Delorey « »
5711
Res. 2391, MacFarlane, Ellen - Registered Nurses (N.S.)
Honorary Life Membership, Hon. R. Delorey « »
5712
Res. 2392, Antigonish Farmers' Mutual Insurance Co
- Ian Spencer Award, Hon. R. Delorey « »
5712
Res. 2393, Brown, Martha, Woodlot Owner of Yr. (East. Reg.),
5713
Res. 2394, Keizer, Tera - Young Entrepreneur Award,
5713
Res. 2395, McGraw, Tim - Outstanding Customer Serv. Award,
5714
Res. 2396, Murphy, Rosemary/Piercey, Terry - Emerging Bus. Award
5714
Res. 2397, Classic Car Show (Yar.): Organizers - Congrats.,
5715
Res. 2398, Mooney, Ashley: 1st Lady-in-Waiting - Seafest (2015),
5715
Res. 2399, Rhodenizer, Mikaela - Young Athlete of Day (11/02/15),
5715
Res. 2400, Hamm-Roy, Cecil: Quilt of Valour - Congrats.,
5716
Res. 2401, Roy, Cecil/Sollows, Stephen - Yar. Mun. Prov. Vol. Awards,
5716
Res. 2402, Gorman, David - Artistic Achievements,
5717
Res. 2403, Port Maitland Sch. - Students/Teachers: Student Vote Init
- Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5717
Res. 2404, Robichaud, Ellie: Concours d'art Oratoire Essay
- Gold Medal, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5718
Res. 2405, Doucet, Shayleigh et al - Figure Skating Accomplishments,
5718
Res. 2406, YCMHS: Girls Rugby - Championship Congrats.,
5718
Res. 2407, Gorman, Mike/Hatfield, Fred (Deceased) - Photography
5719
Res. 2408, Kiraly, Imrich - Cdn. Masters Track & Field Accomplishments,
5719
Res. 2409, LeBlanc, Kennedy: Seafest 2015 Queen - Congrats.,
5720
Res. 2410, First Nations Artists: Art Gallery of N.S. Western Branch
- Showing, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5720
Res. 2411, Goodwin, Lyle: Movie Production - Congrats.,
5721
Res. 2412, Doucette, Lynn - Yar. Lions Club Award,
5721
Res. 2413, Kim, Sujeong/Schilling, Tomke - Artistic Achievement,
5721
Res. 2414, Ferguson, Mike: Rudder's Brewmaster - Congrats.,
5722
Res. 2415, Tate, Natalia - Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon,
5722
Res. 2416, Muise, Nicholas - Gov.-Gen's. Medal,
5723
Res. 2417, Watson, Trilby/Ward, Shane: Determination - Congrats.,
5723
Res. 2418, Doucette, Tim: Observatory Const. - Congrats.,
5724
Res. 2419, Emin, Tootsie - Artistic Achievement,
5724
Res. 2420, Yar. PetValu Clippers U-14 Girls Soccer Team
- Gold Medal, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5725
Res. 2421, Yar. PetValu Clippers U-14 Girls Soccer Team
- Bronze Medal, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5725
Res. 2422, DeViller, Amaris/Fiander, Kate/U-14 Yar. Volleyball Squad
- Gold Medal, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5725
Res. 2423, Middleton, Whitney: NSCC Burridge Graduation
- President's Medal, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5726
Res. 2424, Muise, Renette/Garron, Melissa - Powerlifting
Championship, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5726
Res. 2425, Cottreau, Alec et al: Prov. Volleyball Teams
- Selection, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5727
Res. 2426, City Drug Yar. Midget AA Mariners Female Hockey Team
- Tournament Silver Medal, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5727
Res. 2427, Yar. Refugee Support Group: Endeavour - Congrats.,
5728
Res. 2428, LeBlanc, Charli - Swimming Award,
5728
Res. 2429, Shay, Ryan - Yar. Rec. Assoc. Passport Award,
5729
Res. 2430, Landry, Kylie - Yar. Rec. Assoc. Female Youth
Athlete of Yr., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5729
Res. 2431, Hubbard, Mark - Yar. Rec. Assoc. Fair Play
Male Athlete, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5730
Res. 2432, Long, Megan - Yar. Rec. Assoc. Female
Coach of Yr., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5730
Res. 2433, Frotten, Chris - Yar. Rec. Assoc. Male Sport
Vol. of Yr., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5731
Res. 2434, Boudreau, Donnie - Yar. Rec. Assoc
Official of Yr., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5731
Res. 2435, Yar. Consolidated Mem. HS Vikings Boys Soccer Team
- Div. 2 Prov. Title, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5731
Res. 2436, McLaughlin Donaldson, Shauna: Radio CJLS
- Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
5732
Res. 2437, Kenny, Heidi: 2016 Contessas Comp. - Congrats.,
5732
Tabled 11/13/15:
Res. 2439, Wilson, Sara - Progress Women of Excellence Award,
5733
Res. 2440, Haase, Martin Rudy - Order of Nova Scotia,
5733
Res. 2441, Estabrooks, Bill: Estabrooks Community Hall
- Naming Congrats., Hon. David Wilson « »
5734
Res. 2442, van Leeuwen, Marius: "#got it done" - Congrats.,
5735
Res. 2443, Rockwell, Robert: Parent-Child Guide - Anniv. (20th),
5735
Res. 2444, Black, Ellie - Gymnastics Gold Medal,
5736
Res. 2445, Brigadoon Village: Organizers/Staff - Congrats.,
5736
Res. 2446, Hfx. Stanfield Intl. Airport: Vol. Host Prog
- Grads. Congrats., Mr. J. Stroink « »
5737

[Page 5617]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2015

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Ms. Margaret Miller

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2438

[Page 5618]

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

Whereas in 2015, 4,700 Canadians, including 150 Nova Scotians, will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; and

Whereas pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of all cancers, with few research developments made in the last 40 years; and

Whereas Craig's Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society provides support to affected families, educates Canadians, and raises funds to improve treatment options and quality of life;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend Craig's Cause Pancreatic Cancer Society on their efforts and work together to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 118 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 199 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Heritage Property Act. (Hon. Tony Ince)

Bill No. 119 - Entitled an Act to Require a Public Inquiry into the Mental Health System in Nova Scotia. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

Bill No. 120 - Entitled an Act to Provide for the Continuance of The Pictou County Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company under the Laws of Another Jurisdiction and its Discontinuance under the Laws of Nova Scotia. (Ms. Karla MacFarlane)

Bill No. 121 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Income Tax Act, to Provide a Food Bank Donation Tax Credit for Farmers. (Mr. Allan MacMaster)

[Page 5619]

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 Pictou East.

RATCLIFFE, PETER & DEBBIE - MERIGOMISH COMMUN. CTR. PROJ.

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, eight years ago Peter and Debbie Ratcliffe took on a project to turn an 1890's schoolhouse into the Merigomish Community Centre. Peter, the president, oversaw the organization and kept it on track. There were many obstacles, much fundraising, countless volunteer hours, and funding from ACOA and the Municipality of Pictou County to bring this restoration to fruition. Although Peter did not survive to see the completion of this project, his contribution to this labour of love was acknowledged at the official opening, where his presence was certainly felt.

I'm truly proud of the residents of this small community, but particularly proud of the Ratcliffes for this transformation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

SCREEN N.S. - FILM INCENTIVE

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, after a meeting with Screen Nova Scotia on August 31st, the Minister of Business was quoted as saying that while the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit won't come back, there is a possibility to continue to "work within specific components" of the new capped film incentive. But on October 27th, when asked by the CBC if there would be any changes to the film incentive, the Premier said no. He said we are where we need to be. Are we back to where the McNeil Government had indicated the line, it may not work for them but it works for us? Which is it? Is the government meeting with the industry in good faith to discuss their concerns and try to improve on the film industry here in Nova Scotia?

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage.

HON. TONY INCE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Before I read my statement, may I do an introduction please?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

[Page 5620]

MR. INCE « » : Up in the gallery I have Mr. Ken Langille who is the Chair of the Heritage Advisory Committee of Nova Scotia. Ken Langille, thank you and welcome. (Applause)

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

MANTLEY, BREANNA - ANTI-BULLYING EFFORTS

HON. TONY INCE « » : Mr. Speaker, this past summer I had the chance to meet an extraordinary young woman from my riding. Breanna Mantley is a 16-year-old student from Auburn Drive High School, she is also Ms. Teenage Dartmouth in 2015, and a passionate anti-bullying and mental health advocate.

This past August, Breanna has become one of the top 21 finalists in the nation - sorry, I lost my spot.

Breanna has put herself ahead of all of her colleagues and is a staunch advocate of anti-bullying. In an interview she said she wanted to teach children that they can stop bullying, stop feeling bad about themselves, and stop closing themselves off to learn to teach the new generation about this.

I would like to applaud Breanna for her great work on anti-bullying. Thank you.

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

BANNERMAN, NOVA - BARNEY'S RIVER STA. SCHOOLHOUSE MUSEUM

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge Nova Bannerman, founder and curator of the Barney's River Station School House Museum.

For the past 19 years the museum has been open during the summer months and, although there is no admission fee, monetary donations are often received and always appreciated. A visit to the museum is a step back in time to an era when all students, regardless of grade, shared one room. That's a difficult concept for the students of today who, in many cases, attend super schools.

I want to express my deep thanks to Nova for making this museum a must-visit destination in Pictou East. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MCNEIL GOV'T.: DEBATE STIFLING - ATTEMPTS

[Page 5621]

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, as an Opposition member it gives me no pleasure to report that since the McNeil Government took office I have witnessed attempts to block Legislature committee meetings on mental health, hub schools, rural Internet service, NSBI's destruction of the film industry, access to the former Bowater land, and Shell's 21-day blowout plan.

Mr. Speaker, it is truly sad and unfortunate that this McNeil majority has quickly forgotten how important these topics are to the people that all members of this Legislature are supposed to work for.

The Liberal MLAs undoubtedly have constituents in their ridings affected by these issues. By attempting to stifle debate, the McNeil Government has silenced the concerns of the very people they are supposed to represent. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next member's statement, I'm compelled to bring it to the members' attention that, particularly to the member for Queens-Shelburne, the use of the term "McNeil Government" is unparliamentarily. There was a previous ruling - and I'll clarify the use of the name of the current Premier (Interruptions) Order, please. There are previous rulings in this House where the name of a Premier is allowed to be attached to the government, but it's used only for purposes in clarifying previous governments, so to distinguish, for example, the Dexter Government from the Hamm Government.

When referring to the current government it is unparliamentarily to use the current Premier's name attached to the current government. So feel free to use "current government," "the government," and "the current Liberal Government." Any questions, come and see me afterwards.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

FOUNTAIN, MARGARET/BLACK, BILL - ORDER OF NOVA SCOTIA

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, it is my great honour to recognize two individuals in my community who were appointed the Order of Canada this past summer, Margaret Fountain and Bill Black.

Margaret Fountain is a long-time community leader and philanthropist who has passionately supported local arts organizations. A selfless volunteer, she has been on NSCAD University's Board of Governors for 15 years, among other boards and committees. A generous benefactor in 2014, her family donated $3 million to the university's initiative to improve the downtown campus and help preserve students' interests in the arts at NSCAD.

Bill Black is an outstanding community businessman whose contributions and corporate leadership in our province are remarkable. He has served on Dalhousie's Board of Governors; was President and CEO of Maritime Life; Chairman of the IWK, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, and Symphony Nova Scotia; and was Lead Director of the Bank of Canada. A Dal alumnus, Bill Black was also appointed Chair-Designate of the Capital Market's Regulatory Authority in July.

[Page 5622]

I'm proud to have these two upstanding individuals as integral parts of my community, and congratulate them on being appointed to the Order of Canada. Thank you.

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

ÉVANGÉLINE: COMÉDIE MUSICALE - ÉQUIPE FÉLICITATIONS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'll be doing this one in French and submitting the English version with it.

M. le Président, l'histoire émouvant d'Évangeline et Gabriel est bien connu par les Néo Écossais et Acadiens d'ici et ailleurs. Le Conseil des arts de Par-en-Bas a présenté cette comédie musicale Évangeline à la salle Père-Maurice-LeBlanc à Tusket. L'équipe des comédiens est composé de trente habitants de la région, avec Noé Bourque en rôle de directeur, Joanne Surette Muise comme directeur musicale et Jacinthe Adams comme metteur en scène. La pièce a été présentée entièrement en français.

J'offre mes sincères remerciements et félicitations à tous les acteurs et l'équipe pour leur temps et leur engagement à mettre cette histoire à la vie encore un fois.

I have 16 seconds, so please join me in offering sincere thanks and congratulations to the cast of Evangeline for their time and commitment in bringing this story to life once again. Thank you.

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

JUSTICE - NOVA INSTIT.: INQUIRY - LAUNCH

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, following the tragic deaths of two inmates at the federal Nova Institution for Women in Truro, the Minister of Justice has stated that her department will not be carrying out an inquiry because it is outside of her jurisdiction. The executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies said, "It's highly irregular not to have these kinds of investigations done," and urged the Nova Scotia Government to take action.

The Ontario Liberal Government launched an inquiry into a death in a federal correctional facility in 2011, so why can't we here in Nova Scotia? The Minister of Justice must be a leader in the province on matters of justice. We cannot wait for other levels of government to act. Thank you.

[Page 5623]

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

BRIDGEWATER BARRACUDAS SWIM CLUB - ACCOMPLISHMENTS

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the Bridgewater Barracudas Swim Club is an amazing and talented group of young competitive swimmers. As a former 'Cuda parent, I know how much the coaches and athletes put into their training, how exciting the meets are, and how enduring the friendships formed at the pool are. That is why it was so exciting for the group when they managed their fifth consecutive provincial championship at the provincial swim meet August 14th to August 16th.

I was able to attend part of the swim meet, held at the Waegwoltic Swim Club in Halifax, and you could feel the excitement in the air. All the swimmers from all clubs should be proud of their accomplishments for having reached the provincial level.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to congratulate the coaches, swimmers, families, and volunteers of the Bridgewater Barracudas Swim Club for their amazing accomplishment of five consecutive provincial championships. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

PARIS, ELIZABETH - BLACKMAN AWARD

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, this year is the first year for the Ed Blackman Award for anti-racism activism. Elizabeth Paris of New Glasgow was presented with the inaugural award from the Canadian Union of Public Employees in front of a large crowd at their national convention. She was very proud to represent Nova Scotia on the national stage as the first-ever recipient of the award.

As the current equity vice-president of the local CUPE chapter, Paris travels around the province for her work and shares some of her projects in different regions of Nova Scotia. Paris' biggest accomplishments include anti-racism work and arranging the African Heritage Month events every year.

Congratulations for winning this prestigious award. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.) - 12 MO. OVERVIEW

[Page 5624]

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, over a year ago, we gathered here to begin the Second Session of the Sixty-second General Assembly. Yesterday we continued that session, and it's a good time to remind Nova Scotians what has happened in the last year.

In the last 12 months, we have seen a Minister of Health and Wellness who let patient care and important infrastructure plans continue to sit on his desk while he fiddled with health authorities. We have seen the Premier make multi-million dollar decisions without any consultation; the elimination of the Film Tax Credit is a prime example of that. We have seen this government cut, slash, and threaten funding to community organizations, only to backtrack on some decisions after we, the Opposition, brought those cuts to the light of day.

Sadly, I expect more of the same from this government during this sitting, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

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

MARGARET NORRIE MCCAIN CTR. - TOUR

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend a warm thank you to Brian Jessop, Vice-President at Mount Saint Vincent University, for hosting the Premier and myself on August 7th for a fantastic tour of the new Margaret Norrie McCain Centre for Teaching, Learning and Research.

The first building on a Canadian university campus dedicated to the accomplishments of women, the McCain Centre celebrates women's contributions to business, public policy, family life, academia, the arts, sciences, and community.

The McCain Centre is a student-oriented building that is technologically advanced, environmentally conscious, accessible, and boasts incredible Basin views. Named for the lead donor, the Honourable Margaret Norrie McCain, the centre celebrates women throughout, including 18 inspiring women whose stories are featured in the atrium within the new building - and my mother, Patricia Joseph Arab, who has a classroom named after her. Thank you.

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

N.S. 4-H: ANL. SHOW - CONGRATS.

[Page 5625]

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, over the years thousands of young Nova Scotians have benefited from the 4-H movement. Presently there are about 2,400 4-H members, 900 leaders, and 100 clubs in the province.

Recently Nova Scotia 4-H held their annual show at the Hants County Exhibition Grounds in Windsor. It remains the largest independent provincial 4-H show in Canada and is coordinated by 4-H staff and volunteers. Members from across the province compete in a variety of livestock, homemaking, and other competitions.

Before the 4-H show, and in conjunction with Scotiabank, Nova Scotia 4-H held the Scotiabank Classic Heritage Beef Show, the largest beef show in Atlantic Canada. It saw 238 head of beef sold from as far away as Quebec.

Congratulations to the Nova Scotia 4-H.

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

FUEL SHORTAGE - SUMMER 2015

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, this summer marked the first time in Nova Scotia's history that we had a fuel supply shortage - not a cloud in the sky, not a storm anywhere on the weather map, the current Liberal Government never gave the public any notice, only suggested a review after the fact. Now the Minister responsible for the Emergency Management Office in the current government, under which the province has experienced a firewood shortage, is in charge of this review.

Mr. Speaker, with the colder weather on its way, many Nova Scotians are left wondering if their fuel tanks will run out this winter, and sectors like the lobster industry are concerned that there could be a fuel shortage during the winter/Fall fishing season.

Nova Scotians need to be assured and properly informed before we enter into the clutches of winter. Thank you very much.

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

NORTH PRESTON: EARLY MIDWIVES - RECOGNIZE

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the past midwives of North Preston for their active support of women and families in the very early days of the settlement of this historic community. Midwives in North Preston provided a vital service to the women of the community through the birth of their children. This service was vital as there was little or no medical care in the community in the 1700s. The work of the midwives is a testament to the self-reliance of the community.

[Page 5626]

The early midwives of Preston included Mary West, Bertha Downey, Elizabeth Downey, Margaretta Willis, Lucy Deals, Olive Simmonds, Sophie Wilson, Barbara Provo, Lydia Willis, Isabel Simmonds, Blanche Deals, Fannie Grouse, Ethel Downey-Grouse, and Agnes Downey. They carried on helping deliver the babies in North Preston until the early 1900s. I applaud and recognize the vital, important service that the midwives of North Preston provided to the women of this very historic community.

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

RIVER JOHN: SAVE OUR SCH. COMM. - RECOGNIZE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today to recognize the good people of River John who united together in a Herculean effort to save their local school. Unfortunately, the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board went ahead and closed River John Consolidated despite being presented with an innovative hub school model by members of the SOS - Save Our School - committee.

Furthermore, the SOS committee organized several well-attended community events over the summer to keep awareness of this issue in the spotlight. The perseverance, commitment, strength, resourcefulness, and creativity of the people of the small village of River John is truly inspirational. They certainly set a fine example of how a community can pull together for a common goal.

I am pleased to recognize the constituents of River John here in the Legislature. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

COM. SERV.: DEPT. REVIEW - MIN. JUSTIFY

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I hope the Minister of Community Services can justify paying $1.5 million to consulting firms to review her department after cutting $446,000 from nine charities that support our most vulnerable, and freezing assistance rates for two years. What are the minister's priorities?

Nova Scotians who rely on organizations like Canadian Mental Health for support and people who have had their bus passes taken away by the minister deserve an explanation for this apparent double standard. The minister has been in charge of Community Services for two years, but she's just embarking on this review now. If the minister were truly committed to bringing substantive change to her department, then this work should have been finished by now.

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

[Page 5627]

MEREDITH, ANDREW: RYL. CDN. MINT - DESIGN COMP.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, in 2015, the Royal Canadian Mint launched a nation-wide coin design competition called My Canada, My Inspiration. Nearly 10,000 designs were submitted, with only 25 being selected as finalists in five categories.

Andrew Meredith of Great Village, Colchester North, is one of the finalists. His drawing of a child making a snow angel is titled Winter Fun, and it could be on a Canadian coin in 2017 to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

Meredith said he was inspired by memories of being a kid and playing in the snow with his three sisters on their farm in Great Village. His artwork is for sale at the Farm Gate, a little shop that his grandparents own in Great Village, where his work first went on sale.

Hopefully we will see Meredith's design on a 2017 Canadian coin.

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

MACEACHERN, RANKIN: NSCC STRAIT CAMPUS - GRADUATION

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, Mabou native and Nova Scotia Community College Strait Campus valedictorian Rankin MacEachern recently graduated from the Steamfitting/Pipefitting Program. MacEachern, a father of two small children, had been out of school for a decade before he decided to go back.

Ever humble, when nominated to be the valedictorian, he remarked that he had the good looks and charm but still didn't feel quite qualified for the job. MacEachern's touching address had the audience both in laughter and in tears. None present will forget his sincere and moving speech.

Congratulations on a job well done, and all the best to Rankin and each of this year's NSCC graduates.

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

LESLIE, MEGAN - ELECTION LOSS

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to quote from a great voice from my generation. It is from the magazine Americas Quarterly and their 2010 issue "Voices from a New Generation."

"We need elected officials introducing good legislation, raising the level of debate and speaking the truth." That quote is from Megan Leslie, and as MP for Halifax, Megan Leslie did just that.

[Page 5628]

While Stephen Harper's loss on election night felt good and Megan's loss on election night hurt, at 44, I am just a few years older than Megan. It was a terrible blow to see a bright, compassionate, community-minded leader from our generation go down in defeat.

Our generation is not done yet. We're just getting started. Thank you.

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

DUNPHY, BOBBY: ATHLETICS/ACADEMICS - WELL WISHES

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, Bobby Dunphy graduated from Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School in June 2015, with plans to attend the University of South Carolina Beaufort. Bobby is a talented young man. As a smart and multi-sport athlete he plays golf, hockey, volleyball, table tennis, and softball. He has joined the Sand Sharks golf team with a $20,000 athletic and academic scholarship. As a member of the Antigonish Golf & Country Club since he was a boy, Bobby has competed in many local, provincial, and national championships.

At USCB the team will compete in about a dozen tournaments a year against teams from North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. As Bobby embarks on this exciting chapter of his life, I would like to wish him the best of luck with his game and his studies.

I know my colleagues on both sides of the House will join me in hoping he has a great career, no matter which path he chooses. Thank you.

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

KENNEDY, TOM & LINDA: BEGGAR'S BANQUET - BEST DINING AWARD

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Tom and Linda Kennedy of Louisbourg on their recent award. On October 5th, Linda accepted an award for the best dining experience in Nova Scotia on behalf of the Beggar's Banquet. On January 3, 2016, Eastlink TV's Best of the Best will telecast an episode of Beggar's Banquet, including interviews with Tommy and Linda. This award was presented by Eastlink and this is the fourth year they have presented this award for the best in different categories of service to tourists, guests and patrons.

It is a great pleasure to thank Tommy and Linda Kennedy for their strong dedication to tourism for all of Cape Breton Island and to congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 5629]

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

GOV'T. (N.S.): CLIMATE CHANGE - PLAN

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Mr. Speaker, there is a stark contrast between the newly-elected federal government and this particular government. While the federal government has put a focus on climate change, the present government's new electricity plan lacks the ambition that has made Nova Scotia a national leader in moving from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy.

Nova Scotia's consumer advocate calls it a real thin plan that poses no challenge to Nova Scotia Power's monopoly, nor does it challenge Nova Scotia Power's guaranteed rate of return. It turns out that the Liberals' tough talk during the 2013 election campaign was just that, talk. Thank you.

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

KELLY, TERRY: HONORARY COLONEL - 14 WING GREENWOOD

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, this past summer Terry Kelly was invested as honorary colonel for 14 Wing Air Force Base in Greenwood. Mr. Kelly was inducted on July 6th by Wing Commander Colonel Iain Huddleston. Honorary Colonel Kelly is a man of incredible talent, being an accomplished singer-songwriter.

Honorary Colonel Kelly is a member of the Order of Canada and is the recipient of honorary degrees in civil laws and in fine arts from King's College and Saint Mary's University respectively. He has received the Queen's Silver and Diamond Jubilee Medals. Mr. Kelly has seven full-length recordings which have resulted in him being awarded seven East Coast Music Awards and nominations for four Canadian country music awards and a Juno.

Mr. Kelly represents the attitude which many Canadians should aspire to achieve. Having much pride in his country and community, he has fostered rich musical culture which many east coasters enjoy.

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

MACNEIL, KENNETH - N.S. MEDAL OF BRAVERY

[Page 5630]

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Kenneth MacNeil, a recent recipient of the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery. Kenneth intervened during a brutal assault on a young man by a group. He sustained major injuries that have resulted in a dozen surgeries. Kenneth did save the young man from certain death but with great personal injury.

It is a true honour to have the opportunity to thank Kenneth for his heroic action. Kenneth's philosophy is that when someone needs help, you help them. Although he doesn't consider himself a hero, I am very pleased his selfless actions were recognized with this prestigious award. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

JOHNSON, DIRKJE: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a few minutes today to speak about a friend who died recently. Dirkje Johnson of St. Margarets Bay was just a teenager when she left her home in the Netherlands and came to Canada. At that point she had already lived a life worthy of a John le Carré novel. As a child she has smuggled messages to the Dutch Resistance. She lay down on top of her little sister to protect her from strafing by the German Air Force.

When Dirkje arrived in Alberta and a guy in HR sniffed and told her that her proper place was in the typing pool, well Dirkje had other ideas. She became the first woman to head up the Human Resources Department in Red Deer, Alberta. She moved up the ladder as a civil servant, eventually moving east and retiring from the staff at the Maritime Council of Premiers. She also married and raised three boys - Peter, Raymond and Ron Junior, and a stepdaughter, Adrian.

After retirement she was a guest lecturer at universities, served on the CPP Tribunal and she got involved in Liberal politics. My husband Geoff and I were proud to have known such a tough, smart, resilient woman. Dirkje Johnson will be missed. Thank you.

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

VGH: FLOODING - NURSES COMMEND

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, nurses are everyday heroes who provide comfort and care to Nova Scotians but on the night shift of September 24th the nurses at the Victoria General Hospital here in Halifax were superheroes. During the flood that devastated three floors of the hospital, the nurses sprang into action and quickly evacuated 50 critical care patients to safety. They also saved taxpayers millions of dollars by protecting expensive equipment from the rising waters.

[Page 5631]

Today I ask all members to join me in commending those nurses, the unsung heroes, whose composure, dedication and professionalism prevented loss of life and the destruction of medical equipment. We owe them a debt of our gratitude.

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

DOOKS, BRENDA & EMILY - DIABETES MANAGEMENT

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, tomorrow is World Diabetes Day and November is Diabetes Awareness Month. In recognition of this I want to highlight two remarkable women who work and reside in my constituency of Dartmouth North. Brenda and Emily Dooks are grandmother and granddaughter who don't let diabetes hold them back from pursuing their passions. Brenda is the owner operator of the Uptown Girl Fashion Boutique and Red Rooster Warehouse, newly relocated to Windmill Road in Burnside Industrial Park. Brenda's keen artistic sense creates a unique shopping experience for her customers. Her shop carries high-end clothing, furniture and antiques, and it offers something for every shopper.

Granddaughter Emily is also diabetic. Unusually, she is the fifth consecutive generation of diabetics in this family but more importantly Emily inherited her grandmother's creative talent and since the age of 12 has been fashion designing. She now helps create Emily's Aprons; this deluxe line of kitchen aprons is available at the Red Rooster and a portion of the sales go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

I ask all my colleagues in the House to continue to show support for the programs and individuals like Brenda and Emily Dooks who are winning the battle of managing this challenging disease. Thank you.

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

LANGILLE, KEN: COMMUN. EFFORTS - SALUTE

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Ken Langille, a New Glasgow native, has been a community leader for several decades. Mr. Langille's strong leadership and commitment to his community has been a great asset to his town. He is a founding member and past chairman of Crime Stoppers, Crime Prevention, and the New Glasgow Youth Center. He is also a valuable member of the Pictou County Sports Heritage Hall of Fame Committee and is the former president of the Festival of the Tartans Committee. Ken served in the New Glasgow Fire Department for 30 years and the New Glasgow Town Council as deputy mayor, chair of the Police and Fire Committees, and a member of the Downtown Development Committee, Library and Heritage Committee. Ken is also a long-standing chair of the Board of Managers of his church. We salute Ken Langille; his untiring work and sacrifice have not gone unnoticed.

[Page 5632]

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

SAGAR, LT CDR REV. ALAN: SERVICE - THANK

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Mr. Speaker, this year marked the 90th birthday of retired Lieutenant Commander, the Reverend Alan Sagar. Born in Burnley, Lancashire, England on May 20, 1925, Alan enlisted in the British Navy in 1943 for the Second World War. He served as a signal man and officer in the North Sea and Far East. Alan came to Halifax to be an instructor in clearance diving for the Canadian Navy 60 years ago. He became the CO of Grandy FDUA Clearance Divers 1968 to 1970. Alan received commendations from Maritime Command and Chief of Defence Staff for his work. He retired as the oldest former CO and longest qualified diver in Canada.

Since retirement, Alan has used his skills in his own business as an Anglican Priest serving several parishes as skipper and while in Terence Bay, Alan volunteered at the local school as a reading buddy. Alan is also an accomplished artist. Married to his wife Margaret for more than 25 years, Alan has four children, two step children, eight grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. I would like the members of this Nova Scotia House of Assembly to join me in thanking Lieutenant Commander the Reverend Alan Sagar for his long service in the Navy and his lifetime service to community. Please join me in wishing Alan and his family all the best for the future. Thank you.

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

BARNES, EDWINA "WIN": DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, Edwina "Win" Barnes was a whirlwind of energy and enthusiasm. She could often be found at the Pictou Fisheries Pool, line dancing at the New Horizons Club, biking or walking with her friend. Win was always ready to try new things and meet new people. She would be the first to lend a helping hand to someone in need. Win was a proud Progressive Conservative and a tireless supporter who was part of our campaign team. Win organized the election office, door knocked, made phone calls, and kept us nourished with her home cooking.

Win passed away on July 24, 2015 at the age of 65. Win was a cherished friend who will be sadly missed by me and the entire Pictou West Association.

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

LIBERAL MPs (ATL. CAN.): ELECTION - RECOGNIZE

[Page 5633]

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take a moment to recognize all 33 newly elected Liberal MPs, who on October 19th won all the ridings by massive numbers. Here in Nova Scotia we proudly send 11 Liberal MPs to Ottawa. We sent some experienced and hard-working individuals who Nova Scotians know will make them proud.

Mr. Speaker, in particular I would like to congratulate Halifax MP Andy Fillmore. While some refuse to acknowledge his hard work publicly, and others dismiss his win as a fluke, Mr. Fillmore received 27,431 votes, or a strong 51.73 per cent of all the votes cast. Andy, we wish you all the best in your new career. We know you will make us all proud. Thank you.

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

JEWELLS, JAMEY - BASKETBALL N.S. AWARD

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Jamey Jewells, formally of Donkin, who won the Top Female Athlete of the Year Award for Basketball Nova Scotia at the 2015 Ricoh Sports Awards.

Jamey, who is a wheelchair athlete, was also runner-up for the Ricoh Award for the Top Female Team Athlete. She is also a member of the Women's National Team who competed in a (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg has the floor.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Would you like me to start over, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER « » : No sir, keep going.

MR. MACLEOD « » : She is also a member of the Women's National Team who competed in her first Paralympic Games in London, England, in 2012. It is a true pleasure to congratulate Jamey Jewells on the many achievements she has made over the last several years as a wheelchair athlete. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

PICK, NANCY - CENT. NOVA TOURIST ASSOC. AWARD (2014)

[Page 5634]

MS. MARGARET MILLER « » : Thank you. Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to speak for a moment about Burntcoat Head Park, the home of world's highest recorded tides, and someone special who works there.

In the summer of 2014, for the first time in its history, Burntcoat Head Park offered two-hour tours of the shoreline at low tide. It was important that visitors received their money's worth of adventure and that is where staff member Nancy Pick excelled in developing and guiding the Tidal Reveal Tour.

Nancy's friendly disposition, attention to detail, love and knowledge of the local area is what made her tour so successful and a must on many tourists' to-do lists. These attributes, along with her commitment to provide every visitor with a memorable experience, has earned her the Central Nova Tourist Association's 2014 World Host Customer Service Award.

I would like to congratulate Nancy on receiving her much deserved award, and thank her for continuing to enlighten visitors on the magnificent Bay of Fundy. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MACDONALD, FLORA: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember a great Canadian, Flora MacDonald. Flora passed away this summer and was buried in her hometown of North Sydney, with her brother Ron remembering his sister.

She was a trailblazer for women in politics. Ms. MacDonald's political career lasted 15 years, serving in three different Cabinet positions in Ottawa. After that, Flora dedicated herself to humanitarian endeavours, travelling to more than a hundred countries on behalf of numerous international aid organizations.

It's a true honour to have the opportunity to recognize the life and accomplishments of Flora MacDonald, Canada is a better country because of her. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

ROCK THE VOTE/MI'KMA'KI ROCK THE VOTE:

ORGANIZERS - CONGRATS.

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, last month's federal election saw unprecedented participation among our First Nations people. National campaigns like Rock the Vote and, closer to home, the Mi'kma'ki Rock the Votecontributed to a 20 per cent increase in voter turnout among the First Nations people across Canada. CBC reports have shown that in Nova Scotia, Eskasoni's voter turnout was estimated three-times what it was in 2011.

[Page 5635]

I want to congratulate the organizers of Rock the Vote and Mi'kma'ki Rock the Vote for their amazing efforts to increase participation in the democratic process - and I hope this political engagement continues in future federal and provincial elections. Thank you.

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

BRUHM, BILL - BRIDGEWATER LION OF YR.

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today with pleasure to recognize West Northfield's Bill Bruhm, a volunteer extraordinaire. For all his hard work, effort and commitment, Bill was recently named Lion of the Year for the Bridgewater area's Lions Club.

Bill is a tireless educator and volunteer who has proven to be one of the club's biggest supporters and asset. His ability to lead and garner support for the worthy causes and events sponsored and assisted by the Lions Club is invaluable. Today he is attending an intense Lion's training at headquarters in Chicago.

I would like to congratulate Bill Bruhm on his accomplishments as a member of the Bridgewater Area Lions Club and for being named its Lion of the Year. Thank you.

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

MACMILLAN, FR. ALLAN: ORDINATION - ANNIV. (50th)

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, on June 13, 1965, Father Allan MacMillan was ordained in Montreal. In June of this year he celebrated his Golden Jubilee at his parish in Judique and he received a beautifully-framed message from Pope Francis.

Father Allan is loved by his parishioners, young and old alike. He is a talented singer and his proficiency with languages includes Gaelic, a language he regularly uses during Mass. This is important because it reminds many parishioners of the language's value and its place of esteem in local culture.

Father Allan has found a home in Judique and the people hope he will be with them for years to come. Happy 50th Anniversary to a true gentleman.

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

FLU SEASON - VACCINATION

[Page 5636]

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind Nova Scotians that flu season is upon us. We had our first confirmation of the flu's arrival in Cape Breton last week and in order to avoid contracting the flu, the best thing people can do is get the flu shot. Getting immunized protects not only yourself, but others that are around you.

In Nova Scotia, the vaccine is available to everybody who wants it. I recently had my flu shot administered by a local pharmacist, but all Nova Scotians are encouraged to check with their family doctor, pharmacy or local public health service office to get the shot.

I ask the members to engage in healthy practices in terms of infection prevention and control by engaging in diligent handwashing and getting the flu shot. I urge the government to continue to develop and drive initiatives that support infection prevention and control. Thank you.

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

EHLER, HANNAH: COMMUN. SERV. - COMMEND

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the House a stellar young woman from Melanson, Ms. Hannah Ehler. Instead of asking for keys to the car on her 16th birthday, she celebrated it during a Me to We mission, helping others in Ecuador.

Hannah helped build a school and a community kitchen in the community of Shuid, 4,000 metres above sea level in the Andes Mountains. The bricks for the building were hauled manually up the mountain. Ms. Ehler is president of Horton High School's Interact Club and she hopes to share her life-changing experience in Ecuador with other youth who are motivated to help others.

I commend Ms. Hannah Ehler on her dedication to community service and her interest in exploring and understanding communities throughout the world. On behalf of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, I would like to wish her well in her academic career and her volunteer efforts as a global citizen. Thank you.

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

GIRL GUIDES (MID. SACKVILLE, LWR. SACKVILLE, BEAVER BANK) - TREE PLANTING

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the Girl Guides of Middle Sackville, Lower Sackville and Beaver Bank. On the afternoon of October 19th, 200 local Guides descended on the new educational park and garden behind Acadia Hall, to plant a variety of tree species and shrubs. When something like this happens, it really adds a lot to the park for everyone to enjoy. When the Guides grow up they are more likely to take ownership of the park because of their hard work.

[Page 5637]

The District Guide applied for a $500 grant to plan a few trees. The grant was approved so she used the same application with different names and managed to get approval for another $2,500. This funding will enable them to plant 12 trees and shrubs; species will include English and Red Oak trees and I want to thank the girls for having an interest in making our community a greener place to live and I commend them on their exceptional hard work. Thank you.

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

COWAN, DARLENE ET AL: MENTAL HEALTH FDN. - FUNDRAISING

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, at the local post office in Eastern Passage there are three lovely ladies who spend many hours knitting for a very important cause. Darlene Cowan, Darlene Trollope and Sherry Baker have been fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation of Canada. They started the year with a goal of $3,000 and on November 2nd they surpassed their goal and reached $3,092. Just recently their fundraising efforts named the Eastern Passage Post Office Number One all across Canada.

All three ladies knit different items that are for sale at the post office, anything from slippers, mittens, scarves, to ornaments. Many residents come by the post office to support them in their efforts and to purchase these items that make beautiful gifts.

It is caring people like these ladies who help make the world a better place to live. A big thank you and congratulations to these three outstanding community members.

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

RAYNOR, ELLIE-MAE: CAMPER TRAILER - CHILDREN'S WISH N.S.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, today I'd like to recognize 7-year-old Ellie-Mae Raynor of Enfield who was bursting with joy as she received the keys of her new camper trailer recently through the Children's Wish Nova Scotia. Ellie-Mae chose a camper trailer because even though she loves camping with her family and friends, she doesn't like being in a tent. Getting the camper trailer means her family will be doing a lot more touring next summer.

Ellie-Mae suffers from a rare genetic lung disorder known as primary ciliary dyskinesia - PSD. Making memories and having fun while camping will make living with her rare disorder that much easier on her.

Her wish for a camper trailer was made possible by the people like Bluewave Energy team who held a fundraising golf tournament for the children like Ellie-Mae and the kind folks of Fraserway RV in Bedford. Congratulations to Ellie-Mae and a heartfelt thank you to all those generous individuals who helped make her wish come true. Thank you.

[Page 5638]

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just a technical note. The word from upstairs, the honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, because your microphone was not in position your statement was not recorded. Do you want the opportunity to do it one more time for the record?

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River- Beaver Bank.

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Mr. Speaker, today I would like to recognize 7-year-old Ellie-Mae Raynor of Enfield who was bursting with joy as she received the keys of her own camper trailer recently through the Children's Wish Nova Scotia. Ellie-Mae chose a camper trailer because even though she loves camping with her family and friends, she doesn't like being in a tent. Getting the camper trailer means her family will be doing a lot more touring next summer.

Ellie-Mae suffers from a rare genetic lung disorder known as primary ciliary dyskinesia - PSD. Making memories and having fun while camping will make living with her rare disorder that much easier on her.

Her wish for a camper trailer was made possible by the people like the Bluewave Energy team who held a fundraising golf tournament for the children like Ellie-Mae and the kind folks of Fraserway RV in Bedford. Congratulations to Ellie-Mae and a heartfelt thank you to all those generous individuals who helped make her wish come true. Thank you.

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

DIGBY PIER LIGHTHOUSE: PRESERVATION GROUP - THANK

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the efforts of my constituents to save and preserve a much-loved symbol of our past, the lighthouse. In recent years coastal communities have organized groups whose mission is to preserve our remaining lighthouses. Given the interest in saving these picturesque beacons this past summer, Heritage Canada, the National Trust, and the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society established a contest called This Lighthouse Matters. It allowed these groups to compete for cash prizes. It also gave the groups a platform on their site to crowd fund for their project.

Of the five participating lighthouses from my county, one - the Digby Pier lighthouse - received over 12,000 votes and finished first in the low tide category. This lighthouse had kept watch over the harbour from 1886 to the early 1970s when it was moved out of the community. Over the last few years we've been able to return this lighthouse to its rightful place in downtown Digby.

[Page 5639]

By working together the group spearheaded this project and was awarded $15,000 towards the renovation of this lighthouse. I would like to personally thank Mayor Ben Cleveland for the tremendous work he did to make this happen. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : As there is not quite enough time for an additional full member's statement, before we get into the Orders of the Day and Oral Questions Put by Members to Ministers, we'll deal with the request from the New Democratic Party for an emergency debate.

Yesterday I indicated that both requests I received yesterday for an emergency debate met the criteria set out in Rule 43. I then put the leave motion to the House on the request I received first in time. As the House knows, the leave was granted and the emergency debate put forward by the Progressive Conservative Party took place at the moment of adjournment yesterday. The New Democratic Party has resubmitted their motion with due notice.

I now recognize the Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party to move her motion for emergency debate.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, therefore be it resolved that the business of the House be set aside for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance.

The matter in question involves the selling off of provincial assets, including the Land, Joint Stock, and Motor Vehicle Registries, to a private for-profit corporation. These registries generate millions of dollars in revenue for the province every year.

Other provinces that have chosen this policy direction have signed contracts for up to 50 years in length, binding governments for decades to come. In these other provinces, many are already speaking out about increased costs and a denigration of services associated with privatization.

The government has gone beyond simply showing interest in this policy direction without consulting those who would be most affected. The deadline for vendors to submit expressions of interest to the government was three weeks ago, on October 22nd. Mr. Speaker, there is nothing stopping the government from entering into a contract today which would privatize the registries.

This matter is of grave importance, and I urge members of this Assembly to engage in an important debate for the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 5640]

MR. SPEAKER « » : I have received more than two hours' notice of the matter required under Rule 43(2).

Under Rule 43(4), I am required to decide whether this matter is proper to be discussed. I have considered the factors set out in Rule 43(4)(a). This matter is of grave concern to Nova Scotians, concerns the administrative responsibilities of government, and could come within the scope of ministerial action. It is not on the order paper for discussion, and I have no indication that it is likely to be debated within a reasonable time by other means.

I will ask whether the Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party has the leave of the House for the debate to take place.

The motion is that the business of the House be set aside for purposes of dealing with an issue of urgent public importance, and the subject of the issue, as has been described by the Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party, is that the privatization by the government by the pending sell-off of provincial assets, including Land, Joint Stock, and Motor Vehicle Registries, to a private for-profit corporation is of grave importance. Does the House agree to give leave for the motion to be debated?

As I've heard several Noes, I would ask those who support the motion to rise in their place, pursuant to Rule 43(7).

As more than 10 members have risen, the member has leave under Rule 43(8). This debate will take place today at the moment of adjournment, as provided under Rule 43(11).

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF MEETING

- ORGANIZER

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We now know that the Premier's Chief of Staff met with the member for Dartmouth East on February 12th. It certainly appears that the meeting was arranged so that the Premier's Chief of Staff could offer a return to Cabinet at a future date to the member. In fact, he said, and I quote, "There is a path back" for you - and I'll table that.

My question to the Premier is pretty simple. Did the Premier ask his Chief of Staff to have that meeting?

[Page 5641]

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, as I've said many times in this House, in late December, Mr. Younger was the victim of an assault. He had a number of death threats on him. He had communicated to my office and to other members of this House that he had health issues. We advised him that it would be in his best interests for him to take a leave from that, or otherwise we would provide him with that leave.

At that time I notified Mr. Younger that when he felt his health was back to where it should be, he would let me know and I would put him back in the queue, as every other member of this caucus, when it comes to being brought into the Executive Council when I make a decision to do so. A few months ago, I made changes in the Executive Council and Mr. Younger was brought back in.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it certainly appears that the meeting was not for the purpose of discussing Mr. Younger's health at all, but to discuss what conditions would be placed on his return to Cabinet. The Chief of Staff to the Premier is quoted as saying at that meeting, "The Premier wants the legal stuff to be dealt with", and I will table that quote as well.

My question to the Premier, and hopefully we'll get a direct answer, is what instructions did the Premier offer to his Chief of Staff regarding the meeting with the member for Dartmouth East on that day?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to go back to walk the honourable member through the process. In early December, as you know, Mr. Younger was a victim of assault. We had a number of death threats. We had security on Mr. Younger, around this House. He spoke to us about health issues. We advised him he should take a break or we would provide him one. He chose to take a break.

At that time I said to him, when your health has been restored and you feel that you are able to come back, notify me and we'll bring you back in the queue. He was brought back into Cabinet long before the proceedings before the court had been dealt with. In no way, at any time, at any time, would I ever in the wildest dreams, think about involving myself in any criminal matter or any else's personal matters.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, in no way has it been indicated that that meeting involved a discussion about the member's health. I wish it had, we all would, but the fact of the matter is that the meeting was about what the member would have to do in order to get invited back to Cabinet, something that is purely in the prerogative of the Premier. The Chief of Staff met with the member for Dartmouth East that day. He offered him - a direct quote - a path back to Cabinet when the legal stuff was dealt with.

I ask the Premier if he was briefed on the outcome of that meeting.

[Page 5642]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is quoting a small portion of a taped conversation that has gaps in the middle of the tape. The conversation was about 20 minutes; we have about a two-minute conversation that has gaps in the middle of it and the honourable member is quoting from it.

Let us bear in mind why we're at this point today. There was a criminal case where the honourable member for Dartmouth East used a rule in this House that 90 per cent of the people sitting in here had no idea even existed, and then he went and misrepresented the advice that he received from the Clerk of this House. He communicated that misrepresentation to me.

Upon finding that out, I informed Mr. Younger at no time in the future will he be a member of this Executive Council or member of this caucus. I have to have the confidence that what they are telling me is the truth. If he wants to rely on a broken, two-minute conversation that was taped, I'll leave it up to him.

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

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF MEETING:

PREM. - KNOWLEDGE

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, last evening CBC aired an audio recording of the Premier's Chief of Staff telling the member for Dartmouth East what the Premier expected of him if he wanted to return to Cabinet. According to CBC, the conversation in question was captured on the 12th of February at the member's constituency office.

My question for the Premier is, when was he first informed about this meeting between his Chief of Staff Kirby McVicar and the member for Dartmouth East?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. My Chief of Staff meets with any member of the Executive Council and caucus on a regular basis. I am not informed of all of those meetings.

I want to again reassure this House that in December Mr. Younger was a victim of an assault. A number of death threats had come to his office. He had communicated through to us that he had health issues. We had told him that he should take a break or we would provide him with one. He chose to take a break. At that time I informed him that if his health came back to good spirits, come back, I would put him in the queue with every other member of this caucus when we were going to change the Executive Branch of government and that's exactly what I did.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Well I didn't hear an answer to my question of whether or not the Premier was aware that this meeting was taking place, and had taken place, on the 12th of February. I will try again.

[Page 5643]

Mr. Speaker, last night the tape that was aired called into question the involvement of the Premier's Office in the matter between the member for Dartmouth East and a legal process, a conversation in which the Premier's Chief of Staff talked about a criminal matter that they wanted to go away, the best option being that it be tossed.

My question again to the Premier, what did his Chief of Staff relate to him about what was discussed in the meeting between himself and the member for Dartmouth East on the 12th of February?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to remind all members of this House that the Acting Leader of the New Democratic Party is referring to a portion of a tape that Mr. Younger did in a conversation between him and my Chief of Staff. He has released a portion of that conversation. It is completely out of context I would say. I think it's important that if Mr. Younger has the remaining parts of that tape that he communicates it to Nova Scotians.

I can tell you what I have told him in December - if his health returned, to let me know and I would put him in the queue. I want to inform all members of the House that that's exactly what he did. When I changed the Executive Council he became a member of the Executive Council while that court case was still before the court.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm not asking the Premier about the tape; I'm asking about the meeting. This is the Premier's opportunity to put those two-plus minutes into the context that he is talking about here. I am merely asking the Premier what briefing he received and what was discussed in the meeting between his Chief of Staff and the member for Dartmouth East, from which we know that at least some portion was spent discussing the impending trial.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again I want to tell all members of this House that the member for Dartmouth East in December was a victim of an assault. He had a number of death threats, had security following in this building. He communicated to us he had a number of health issues. As any reasonable employer, we informed the member for Dartmouth East that he either take a break or we would provide him with one. He decided to take that break, at which point I communicated to him that when his health returned to let me know, to come back, that he was prepared to come back into the Executive Council and when there were changes in the Executive Council, I would consider him like all other members of this caucus, which I did, and I put him back into the Executive Council.

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

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF MEETING - DETAILS

[Page 5644]

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, we know that the Premier's Chief of Staff met with the member for Dartmouth East on February 12th. During the meeting he discussed conditions upon which that member would be invited back to the Premier's Cabinet. In fact, the Chief of Staff said - and I quote in full - "There is a path back for you and there are a couple of things that are on that path."

I'll just ask the Premier very directly. Did he ask his Chief of Staff to offer a Cabinet position to the member for Dartmouth East with conditions? Yes or no?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I've communicated inside and outside of this House that in December when Mr. Younger was a victim of assault, had a number of death threats, the member for Dartmouth East had a number of assaults, he communicated to us about health issues. I told him at that time that when his health returned to inform me and I would put him in the queue about becoming part of the Executive Council.

The only condition, Mr. Speaker, was that his health came back. Any reasonable employer in any part of this province I believe has a duty to ensure those that they are providing responsibility with have good health.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind the Premier not to refer to the honourable member by his proper name.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I think we all wish that was the condition that was imposed that day, but it wasn't. The fact of the matter is that the Premier's Chief of Staff went to see the member for Dartmouth East and he did impose a condition. This is what he said: "The first one is this . . . the end comes to the legal situation that has arisen . . ."

Why did the Chief of Staff impose that condition on the member for Dartmouth East?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know where the honourable member has been for the last number of months. If that was a condition, why was he back in the Executive Council, because the court case was still ongoing? (Applause)

Again, Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the honourable member he is taking a very small piece of a conversation and, by the way, the piece of the conversation that the honourable member for Dartmouth East wants him to have. That is the same member who used an obscure rule in this House that over 90 per cent of the people in this House had no idea even existed and, by the way, misrepresented the Clerk's advice.

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

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF DISCUSSION:

[Page 5645]

PREM. - NOTIFICATION

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Premier told this House that no one in his office had spoken to the member for Dartmouth East about his duty to give testimony. Yet, a recording recently released by CBC shows us that the Premier's Chief of Staff did, in fact, speak to the member about his court case.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier, when did the Chief of Staff tell the Premier of the contents of the discussion between himself and the member for Dartmouth East on February 12th?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Again, I want to remind all members of this House, in December, the member for Dartmouth East was the victim of an assault. He had a number of death threats. He communicated to us that he also had health issues. We informed him that he needed to take a break or we were going to provide one for him. He took that break at which time I said to him, when his health returned to let me know and we would put him in the queue at any time we were going to shuffle the Cabinet - that's it.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, we're not getting many answers to the questions - very direct questions. The Premier acknowledged yesterday that his Chief of Staff was informed the night before the trial involving the member for Dartmouth East that he was going to raise his privilege as a way to shield himself from giving testimony.

I want to ask the Premier, why was it that the Premier's Chief of Staff did not pass that information along until the next day after the case had been tossed?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. She's quite right. The member for Dartmouth East, the minister at the time, called and laid out a number of issues that were in his department and at the end of it he said he was going to use privilege. Like 90 per cent of the members of this House, my Chief of Staff had no idea what the honourable member was referring to, other than the fact he was going to use his privilege as a victim and not show up in court. At the end of the day when the issue was raised at the House, not when it was tossed, but when the issue was raised in the courtroom, was when I became informed of it.

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

DART. EAST MLA: TRIAL - OUTCOME

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Well that's a very interesting answer because at that meeting on February 12th, the Premier's Chief of Staff, talking about the assault trial said very specifically, ". . . hopefully that doesn't go. . . you know. . . it gets tossed and that's the anticipation, and great."

[Page 5646]

Well, it's not great, but the Premier maintains they had no idea that the member for Dartmouth East was going to use a loophole to get out of doing his duty at that assault trial that day. How can that be the case? Why then did the Premier's Office and his Chief of Staff anticipate, in their own words, that the trial would be tossed?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, what had happened was the honourable member for Dartmouth East had received advice from the Clerk. That advice was to tell him that privilege is often waived when it comes to criminal cases. That was not the way that advice was communicated through to us nor, quite frankly, by his lawyer to the court. Contrary to that, when that information was brought to my attention, we called the member for Dartmouth East to tell us how these two things were not lining up.

Again, we asked the member for Dartmouth East to revoke his client-solicitor privilege with the Clerk of this House, which he did. They forwarded us an email which contradicted the information that he provided us the previous day and then I exercised what I believe is my duty and responsibility, to remove anyone from the Executive Council and our caucus who is not willing to be forthright and tell me the truth to the best of their ability.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, that is also very interesting, but something doesn't line up because the Premier's Chief of Staff knew, at least as early as February 12th, that the trial was anticipated to be tossed. As a matter of fact, the member for Dartmouth East says very clearly that even before the charges were laid or an arrest was made, Mr. McVicar, the Chief of Staff, had detailed information about the assault and the investigation.

The Premier says they didn't know any of this until the last minute, but that alleged assault occurred over two years ago. When did the Premier first become aware that the trial was anticipated to be tossed by his office and why didn't he act then?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, we had never anticipated anything related to this trial. It was before the court. I want to remind the honourable member that the member for Dartmouth East was the victim of an assault when it was going to the court. Why we're here is that the honourable member used a parliamentary privilege that 90 per cent of this House had no idea even existed, went against the advice of the Clerk of the House when it came to criminal cases, exercised that right, and informed us that he received the exact opposite advice.

When I got clarity on that, Mr. Speaker, I did what I believed Nova Scotians expected me to do, and that was to remove the honourable member from the Executive Council and from our caucus.

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

[Page 5647]

DART. EAST MLA - PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE:

PREM. - AWARENESS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, when the Premier was asked to comment on this very issue in the media yesterday, he said that the member for Dartmouth East's version, that they had known all along, simply doesn't hold water. Why would I become involved in a criminal matter, is the question that the Premier asked yesterday and again today, but his Chief of Staff says to the member for Dartmouth East months ago that the Premier wants the legal stuff dealt with. Now, which version is true: the Premier's version that he didn't, or his Chief of Staff's version that he did?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I again want to remind the honourable member that he's using a portion of a conversation that has been provided to him by the member for Dartmouth East - the same member, quite frankly, who used the privilege to get away from a criminal case and the same member who misrepresented, quite frankly, what the Clerk of this House provided as information. At the end of the day, my only advice to anyone in Nova Scotia charged in a criminal case is to show up to court.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the member for Dartmouth East will answer to his recording, but the Premier has to answer questions in this House, that's why we're here today. By the way, he seems to know a lot about the recording, he knows it's 20 minutes long, and that's news to all of us who are relying on the public account of what was said, but let's just be clear, regardless of the length of the recording, the Premier's Chief of Staff says very clearly and completely, "The Premier wants the legal stuff to be dealt with."

I'll just ask the Premier a simple yes or no question, did he tell his Chief of Staff that he wants the legal stuff dealt with?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would tell all Nova Scotians that when they're called before the courts in this province, show up.

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

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF MEETING

- DISCUSSION DETAILS

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question for the Premier is, why is he unwilling to tell this House what he knew about what was discussed at the meeting of February 12th, between his Chief of Staff and the member for Dartmouth East?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I have told the members of this House and members of the province and media outside all that I knew associated with this case, and I will continue to do so, I'll provide the information to the best of my ability to the people of this province.

[Page 5648]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier has repeatedly said that 90 per cent of the members of this Chamber didn't know what privilege meant, but that means that 10 per cent did know what privilege meant. I find it very hard to believe that any member who has been in this House for 12.5 years had no knowledge, or no appreciation, of what privilege meant and how it had been used with respect to court cases in the past.

So, Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier how he can say that no one in his office - none of the legal advisers around him - had any knowledge of what privilege actually meant.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to remind the honourable member that it wasn't members of my caucus that were before the courts in the most recent history of this province. How would I know about privilege?

Do you want to know what I believe privilege is? It is being given the right to represent the people of your community to stand in this House, defend those interests and provide the people of this province with a government that responds to the needs of our communities. I will continue to work with Nova Scotians to move this province forward.

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

EECD: NEWPORT STA. DIST. ELEM. SCH. - DIVESTITURE

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. As we know, in recent years in past governments there was a plan put in place to review, and some schools were actually closed. One in my area that was closed was Newport Station District Elementary School, which closed in June of 2015. I would just like to ask the minister how that building and that facility will be divested or if it will, and what the process is as there may be interest in that facility.

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Thank you to the member. As the Education Act states, we have a process in place where schools, once they are no longer used for public education purposes, are divested. If they are a pre-1982 building, they go back to the municipality. We have a number of schools that have done that; when they have become vacant they have gone back to the municipality.

The school in question, Newport Station School, did close in June. It is my understanding that that has reverted back to the municipality as it is no longer required for public education.

MR. PORTER « » : I thank the minister and I guess I'll take it up with the municipality. Thank you.

[Page 5649]

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

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF CONVERSATION

- MISSING SEGMENT

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, do you know what? It is a privilege to serve in this House, that is the proper use of the word privilege. The way that we show that privilege is by answering questions and being held accountable for what we do and what our senior staff does.

Mr. Speaker, a moment ago the Premier disclosed that in fact he knows it was a 20-minute conversation that his Chief of Staff had with the member for Dartmouth East. That's news to all of us. Clearly the Premier was briefed on this conversation and the fact that it was 20 minutes long so I'd like to ask him a simple question. What happened in the other 18 minutes?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Mr. Younger provided - I'm sorry, the member for Dartmouth East. Clerk, I keep seeing you moving your head; I know I'm making a mistake by referring to names.

The member for Dartmouth East provided that recording to the media yesterday. My Chief of Staff said this was part of a 20-minute conversation that is completely out of context. Cuts, even the tape that has been received by the media has gaps in it.

All we're saying is if you have the rest of the conversation, let's put it in context.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Alright, Mr. Speaker, I think that's a good idea; let's put it in context. What we do know is that the Premier's Chief of Staff had a meeting with the member for Dartmouth East, and said there's a path forward for him to come back to Cabinet but the first thing he has to do is make the trial go away. That is basically what the conversation was about.

The Premier says he doesn't know anything about this, so I'll ask the Premier a simple question. When the Premier's Chief of Staff goes to a member of the government side and gives him conditions on what he needs to do in order to come back into his Cabinet, does the Premier still have confidence in his Chief of Staff when he takes those actions?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the assertion by the member opposite is completely inaccurate and false. I communicated many times to the member for Dartmouth East that he needed to take a break in December. If that break - I would say that when your health returns let me know, I will put you in the queue.

[Page 5650]

I want to remind all members of this House that the member for Dartmouth East was brought back into the Executive Council long before this was dealt with in the courts, Mr. Speaker.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, when the member for Dartmouth East was dismissed as a minister, the Premier got his own Chief of Staff to deliver the message. When asked about that, the Premier said: Everyone knows when my Chief of Staff or those close to me speak, they speak on my behalf.

My question to the Premier, who was ultimately responsible for that meeting, the Premier or his Chief of Staff?

THE PREMIER « » : I think what I said, Mr. Speaker, when I was asked by I believe it was a reporter from CTV that night, that my Chief of Staff made the call because I was at a Remembrance Day service at Camp Hill Hospital.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, we know the Premier's Chief of Staff met with the member for Dartmouth East on February 12th. The meeting was clearly arranged so the Chief of Staff could show a path back to Cabinet for that member if he met certain conditions. The first one, by his own words, was to have the trial dismissed, "to make it go away."

I ask the Premier - we know about this meeting; what other meetings are there? Did the Premier, his Chief of Staff, or any officials from his office have any discussions with the other side of that trial, with Ms. Gault or her lawyer, regarding the trial or any other matters?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, members of my team had no involvement at all in this criminal case. I want to again remind this House the honourable member is making an assertion which is absolutely false.

I want to remind all members of this House that the member for Dartmouth East took a leave of absence in December. At that point, I referred to - when he returned to good health to let us know. When he let me know, I put him in the queue with all other members of the caucus when we were making changes to the Executive Council.

He was brought back in, Mr. Speaker, long before the criminal case had been dealt with. Under the honourable member's assertion, it absolutely proves how inaccurate his statement is.

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

DART. EAST MLA: INCIDENT - PREM. INVESTIGATION

[Page 5651]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, there are so many questions, and there aren't very many answers, but we do know that one point the Premier wants to communicate is that there was no involvement whatsoever from his office in the criminal case.

But what I want to ask the Premier is, was there ever any attempt by his office to determine what actually occurred on the night of October 13th, when the incident at the Dingle occurred?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, it was before the courts - is the honourable member suggesting she would interfere with a case before the courts? That's absolutely ridiculous.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Let me say very clearly to the Premier, if I was Premier and a member of my Cabinet, on the night that the Cabinet was sworn in, was involved with a young person who had been serving as a staff member in my office, and criminal charges arose from some unknown circumstances, you're bloody right I would want to know what occurred. I would want to know that to know whether or not that individual was worthy of being a member of my Cabinet.

So I want to ask the Premier, why on earth was the issue of whether or not this individual was appropriate to be in Cabinet not examined by his office?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to remind all members of this House that when this issue came forward, what took place was to look at the reporting structure in the caucus office. At no time, Mr. Speaker, did any one of my staff look at the assault.

I want to remind the honourable member that at that moment in time the member in this House she was referring to was the victim - is she suggesting that all victims should be penalized?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just before we move on to the next question, I want to remind the House that the term "bloody" was deemed unparliamentary in 2010, so just make a note of that.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF MEETING

- CABINET ENTICEMENTS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : We know the Premier's Chief of Staff met with the member, showed him a path back to Cabinet, and told him the first thing he needed to do was ensure that the trial was dealt with. I ask the Premier a simple question, does he believe it's appropriate for a member of his staff to entice a member back to Cabinet on certain conditions related to an assault trial?

[Page 5652]

THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to tell the honourable member he is inaccurate, Mr. Speaker. If he looked at the sequence of events, Mr. Younger was given a leave of absence and took the leave of absence in early December. I told him that when he returned to health to inform me that his health had returned and he would be put in the queue with all other members of our caucus to go in the Executive Council. He was brought back into the Executive Council long before the criminal case was dealt with in the courts, so the assertion that the honourable member suggested that the only way back was to eliminate that is absolutely false and inaccurate.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I just want to remind the honourable Premier to try to refrain from referring to the member opposite by his proper name.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on his final supplementary.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Premier clearly has an issue with his Chief of Staff, because he has said, and we've already quoted, the first thing that has to happen is that the legal matter be dealt with. He actually invoked the Premier's name: the Premier wants the legal matter dealt with.

Was the Chief of Staff speaking for the Premier when he said that or not?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member again for the question. I want to go back to the issue that is before this House. The honourable member was brought back into Cabinet before the criminal case was before the courts. What happened was he used an obscure law, a Rule in this House, that he had been given advice that it is often waived in criminal cases. Unbeknownst to us - that was not communicated to us until after the case, the day after. It was Thursday night. When we were informed of that, we asked him to waive his client-solicitor privilege with the Clerk of this House, which he did. Once we received the information, we very clearly knew that the member for Dartmouth East had given us false information. We removed him from the Executive Council and caucus.

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

DART. EAST MLA: CABINET RETURN - TIMELINE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier seems to be hanging his hat on the fact that the member for Dartmouth East went back to Cabinet in July. The meeting with the member for Dartmouth East that the Premier's Chief of Staff attended was in February, and at that meeting the Premier's Chief of Staff says: we anticipate that the trial will be tossed.

[Page 5653]

I have to ask the Premier, did the Premier's Chief of Staff tell the Premier he expected the trial to be tossed before he put the member back in Cabinet in July?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to tell the member opposite that he is referring to information that is part of a conversation that is completely inaccurate. It's his version of this conversation that the member for Dartmouth East is telling this House and telling the media is accurate. Why would I have brought him back into the Executive Council in advance of that? It just doesn't make sense.

The reality of it, why we're here, is that Mr. Younger was a victim of an assault. The member for Dartmouth East was a victim of an assault. That assault was before the courts. He used an obscure privilege of this House that many of us didn't even know existed, and then he miscommunicated that to me. When we found out later that day - it was a reporter who found a letter that went before the court, presented by his lawyer, which contradicted what the member for Dartmouth East had told us. At the end of the day, we asked him to waive his client-solicitor privilege to the Clerk of this House, which he did.

I want to be clear, Mr. Younger is no longer in the Executive Council because he misrepresented the facts that he was provided by the Clerk of this House. I cannot, in good conscience, have someone standing around the executive table and in my caucus who is not forthright with the facts.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that we have two different versions of events. The version that was recorded and released yesterday with the words of the Chief of Staff of the Premier there for all to see - the Premier says that is only one-half of the conversation, the version that the member for Dartmouth East had.

Well, I'll ask the Premier, will he make his Chief of Staff available to media today so that the Chief of Staff can give his version?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to assure all members of this House that the facts that have been presented to the public of Nova Scotia have been based on what we have learned, that have come from this court case that was tabled. The fact that we discovered that Mr. Younger - actually, sorry, the member for Dartmouth East - misrepresented what the Clerk of this House had provided him for legal advice was enough information for me to remove him from the Executive Council and our caucus.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Just a reminder that QP will conclude at 10:54 a.m.

The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

DART. EAST MLA/PREM.'S CHIEF OF STAFF MEETING

[Page 5654]

- PREM.'S AWARENESS

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, we've repeatedly asked the Premier if he knew about the meeting between his Chief of Staff and the member for Dartmouth East on February 12th and whether or not he was briefed about what was discussed during that meeting. So far the Premier will not respond to either of those questions.

Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier, if he didn't know about the meeting of February12th, shouldn't he have known?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to remind her what it's like to be in government and what it's like to be the Premier of this province. I have a Chief of Staff who communicates regularly with members of the Executive Council, members of our caucus on a day-to-day basis, conversations that I would have no idea that are taking place.

This is a $10 billion corporation, Mr. Speaker, that we are turning around and moving forward, and Nova Scotians are responding to the direction we are taking.

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to ask the Premier very simply this question. Is he telling this House that he had no idea that a meeting between his Chief of Staff took place on February 12th and what was discussed in that meeting, until the release of that tape yesterday?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to again remind the honourable member that the Chief of Staff in our government works with the members of the Executive Council and all members of our caucus. I will remind the member opposite that unlike when they were in government, people who actually work in government today are allowed to do their jobs.

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

TIR: HWY. NO. 101 (GARLANDS CROSS TO FALMOUTH)

- LONG-TERM PLAN

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. First of all I'll thank the minister. In recent sessions of this House I've asked numerous questions with regard to short-term and interim plans for Highway No. 101, through a very dangerous stretch from Garlands Cross into Falmouth. We now see and have seen for a number of months work going on there and that's great.

Today I would like to ask, in following up to that, can he advise us what the long-term plan is and maybe how many years out we're looking at for further action to be taken?

[Page 5655]

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for the question. Obviously there have been some short-term improvements which the member has identified - embedded markings, some electronic signs, oversize signs which really have helped in the short term. The member is absolutely right, it is a very important corridor for us, heavy volumes, important for the mobility of our province from a safety perspective, and of course from an economic one.

As the member would know, that corridor is part of the feasibility study which is ongoing now which really is the first of its kind, a very significant look at eight key sections of the province in our provincial highway system and that will ultimately look at what we need for the long-term solutions for that area.

That particular section of Highway No. 101 is an important one. We'll have not only some details on what we're going to do, Mr. Speaker, but there will be some specifics on the design for that through this process, which will also include public consultation.

MR. PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister. I wonder if he could maybe be a little more clear on the time frame for that to be complete, if that is known at this point.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : The feasibility study is finished in its entirety in April 2016. The public consultations we hope will start this Fall; if not, they will be early in the new year. At that point we'll have an idea not only the design of what the overall corridor will look like, but also there will be some specific costing associated with that. Then of course we'll look at the models for payment for those specific areas and what long-term improvements will take place.

By April 2016 we'll certainly have a good feel of where we're going with Highway No. 101 and many of the other key corridors here in the Province of Nova Scotia.

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

PREM. - CHIEF OF STAFF: TEXT MESSAGE - DETAILS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday it emerged that the Premier's Chief of Staff had sent a text message to the member for Dartmouth East after the trial was thrown out. The text message said: good day today. The Premier was asked about that and he said that's not the whole message.

Mr. Speaker, the rest of the message said: I suggest ignoring the media on this. The Premier has asserted repeatedly that they have encouraged the member to say all he knows, to be available to answer all questions and yet his Chief of Staff texted: I suggest ignoring the media on this.

[Page 5656]

I'll ask the Premier, why did his Chief of Staff send a text message to the member for Dartmouth East telling him to ignore the media on this important issue?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The member for Dartmouth East communicated with my Director of Communications prior to that exchange. It was informed to him that we needed to gather the facts - what this obscure ruling was that he was using to move away from this criminal case. We then went to the Department of Justice. By the time we received the message back from them there was a message sent to the member for Dartmouth East informing him to be available in the morning at 9:00 a.m.; this was at 7:00 p.m. the night before. At this time the member for Dartmouth East sent a message back saying he would like to speak to the Director of Communications and the Chief of Staff.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker it appears the Premier knows a lot about the messages going back and forth between his Chief of Staff and the member for Dartmouth East. He said yesterday we are only hearing the messages that the member for Dartmouth East wants us to hear. Well, that can be cleared up quite easily. Will the Premier instruct his Chief of Staff to release all of his text messages, or emails, or other exchanges he has had between himself as the Premier's Chief of Staff and the member for Dartmouth East and save all of the Freedom of Information requests that are inevitably going to follow?

THE PREMIER « » : I thank the honourable member for the question, Mr. Speaker. If he had been paying attention I communicated that timeline yesterday. It's unfortunate that the honourable member is now starting to act like the member for Dartmouth East and only providing us with certain bits and pieces of information.

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

PREM.: CABINET VETTING - DETAILS

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, some things are becoming more clear. The Premier's Office was unable to manage the outcome of the events that led to the loss of a Cabinet Minister and a member of caucus, even though, clearly, there was some attempt to prevent that. It now appears that the Premier is working hard to save his Chief of Staff.

If we find it hard to believe that the Premier wasn't briefed in discussions with the member for Dartmouth East on the path back to Cabinet, I want to ask the Premier, who makes decisions about who goes into the Cabinet - the Premier or his Chief of Staff?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for her question. There is nothing to brief me on. I communicated to the honourable member for Dartmouth East that when his health returned I would put him in the queue with everyone else. He informed me that his health was back and when I shuffled the Cabinet he came back in. I want to remind this House, long before the criminal case was actually dealt with, no one else had to communicate that conversation to me. I had that conversation to tell the member when his health returned to let me know.

[Page 5657]

MS. MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, when you had that conversation were your three conditions that the court case be dealt with, hopefully tossed, that the member return to work and to this Legislature, and that the member keep his mouth shut in terms of what occurred that led to the incident, the criminal charges?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, again, I want to remind the honourable member that in December, when the member for Dartmouth East was the victim of an assault, he had also received a number of death threats. He communicated to us he had health issues so we at that time said to him, you need to take a break or we're going to provide you with one. He chose to take that break; he communicated that to Nova Scotians. I informed him at that time when his health returned that he would be put in the queue with all other members to be a member of the Executive Council. He informed us and when I shuffled the Cabinet he came back in.

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

PREM. - DART. EAST MLA: BLACKBERRY FILES - RETRIEVAL

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Premier seems to be hanging his hat again, this time on some theory that only part of these discussions, texts and emails have been released. Well, there's an easy way to clear that up, release all of them. The member for Dartmouth East was asked about this and he said, his BlackBerry and all of his files were deleted, wiped, the night he was dismissed from Cabinet. I just want to ask the Premier is that true and if it's true, can those files be retrieved?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. The member for Dartmouth East's government BlackBerry was secured by the people who own it, which is the government of the people of the Province of Nova Scotia. His personal contacts, his calendar were sent back in, Mr. Speaker, and we're going through the process now of seeing which one of those has information pertaining to government business.

Those that pertain to government business will remain in the possession of the government, Mr. Speaker, and he knows that full well. The rest of the content is returned to Mr. Younger.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, it is awfully hard to get a yes or no answer today on this important matter, but I'll try another one.

[Page 5658]

Mr. Speaker, the Premier seems to know a lot about the entire meeting that his Chief of Staff had with the member for Dartmouth East. He knows it was twenty minutes long, he knows that only a part of it has been released, and he was asked what was in the rest of it and gave us a summary of what he thought was in the rest of it.

So, I will ask the Premier if he has heard the entire twenty-minute conversation, and will he actually release it so we can clear this all up?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, the honourable member is only providing this House with - well let me say he is providing this House with inaccurate information. At no time have I said I heard the rest of that conversation. What I said to him was that the Chief of Staff communicated to me that that meeting was about twenty-minutes long. What we're provided here is about two minutes of the conversation. How would I be able to provide it? I didn't tape the conversation, Mr. Speaker.

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

PREM. - DART. EAST MLA: CABINET RETURN - CONDITIONS

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Mr. Speaker, whether or not someone sits at the Cabinet Table, as the Premier has indicated, is really important and it is a serious matter, and the vetting of people going into Cabinet should also be seen as a very serious matter.

So, Mr. Speaker, we know that the Premier's Chief of Staff met with the member for Dartmouth East on February 12th to talk about the path back into Cabinet. What we do not know is whether or not the Premier was aware of the conditions that were being laid out in that discussion.

So, I want to ask the Premier one more time, were you aware of the three conditions that were outlined as the path back into the Cabinet?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I don't know where the honourable member is coming up with these conditions. I made it very clear in December that when the member for Dartmouth East returned to good health he would be put in the queue with all of the members. The assertion that she is making on other conditions just simply doesn't add up. The honourable member was brought back into the Executive Council long before that court case was dealt with in the court. Her assertion just doesn't make sense.

MS. MACDONALD « » : What doesn't make sense is that the Premier is avoiding a fundamental question of what went on between his Chief of Staff and the member for Dartmouth East with respect to coming back into the Cabinet, and what the Premier knew about that, if he knew that that meeting was happening, and if he was briefed after it had occurred. It is a very, very simple question, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 5659]

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, the version of that conversation, they need to go talk to Mr. Younger. Let me be clear though, I communicated to the member for Dartmouth East in December that when he returned to good health I would put him in the queue to come back into the Executive Council like all other members. I want to remind the members of this House that at that moment in time he was the victim.

So is the honourable member suggesting that I should be penalizing someone who is a victim of an assault charge, Mr. Speaker? It absolutely goes against everything that Nova Scotians believe in.

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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

HON. MICHEL SAMSON » : Mr. Speaker would you please call the order of business, 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.117.

Bill No 17 - Public Inquiries Act.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, actually I was expecting the minister to speak, but I noted the minister has already spoken on this matter in the Spring, so, just bear with me for a second.

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : She didn't speak.

MR. MACMASTER « » : I guess I …

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order please. I just need a second. Sorry, the bill still needs to be moved for second reading.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

[Page 5660]

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to move that Bill No. 117, the Public Inquiries Act, be now read a second time.

It's my pleasure to be able to take this opportunity to speak to our amendments to this important piece of legislation. As I said last Spring, the then Minister of Justice - now Minister of Immigration - introduced these amendments with the goal to improve the effectiveness of public inquiries in Nova Scotia.

This amendment to the Public Inquiries Act will provide protection to witnesses and other participants giving evidence or testimony at an inquiry. This provision is meant to help ensure that people participating in an inquiry can speak without fear of their testimony being used in a criminal or civil proceeding. The forthcoming restorative inquiry into abuse at the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children is an example of an inquiry that will be assisted by this legislation. We want participants to be able to tell their stories fully, which will help in the healing process of the survivors and their families. This amendment will ensure that people telling their stories will not fear having their statements subsequently used in another proceeding.

Public inquiries, Mr. Speaker, are about finding the truth. To be effective, they must have the means necessary to get all the facts. Most people would agree, I think, that inquiries must have the ability to gather all the evidence available and to hear the facts from all of the witnesses. Inquiries help us to fully understand a situation - how and why it occurred - and to make recommendations that can prevent it from occurring again.

Other provinces recognize the importance of this as well, and have similar protections in place already.

I believe that this amendment will give us one more tool in helping the restorative inquiry into the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children, and future inquiries as well, get to the truth and to protect Nova Scotians who rely on government and other public agencies to look after them. Thank you very much.

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

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Thank you, minister, for your comments. I was caught a bit off guard there.

Mr. Speaker, getting to the truth is very important. I think about government and institutions of government and how important it is for those institutions to be dealing effectively with the public, to be dealing fairly with the public, and for improvements to be continuously made to systems. If improvements aren't being made, we can see bad things happen and continue to happen.

Most people in this province, I think, would have some understanding of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children and some of the things that have gone on there. Mr. Speaker, it's quite sad to hear some of the stories - very sad. If this is about getting to the truth, we want to be supportive of this bill.

[Page 5661]

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission - the first time I heard of such a commission, it was in South Africa. I had the chance to visit South Africa in 2010, during the World Cup of Soccer. I spent about a month there, and I really enjoyed the visit.

In the case of that commission, they also offered known perpetrators amnesty in exchange for honest testimony. In that case, as I understand, and perhaps the minister can expand on this at some point, that resulted in people who were perpetrators coming forward and telling stories about incidents they were involved with. Mr. Speaker, it was quite shocking, some of the stories that were told.

I will reference a movie - and I know that movies sometimes take liberty with history and with facts - from 1990 called A Dry White Season. I thought it was an excellent movie. It received some awards. That movie showed an account or some possible accounts of things that happened during the years of apartheid in South Africa - quite disturbing, but it was amazing. While people were left aghast at some of the testimony offered by perpetrators, I think at that time Nelson Mandela, when this was going on and when this commission was being set up, he recognized that for the first time as a Black leader of the country, he had a need to find some way to achieve reconciliation going forward. We all know what a great man Mandela was and his decisions as leader in this regard certainly are something that will be remembered for a very long time. With the testimonies of the perpetrators, while people were left aghast, the truth came out.

I guess the truth, as we read, will set you free. In this case the truth stopped anybody from saying, oh this didn't really happen, because perpetrators were actually coming forward and saying that they personally were involved in some of the atrocities. With the truth being out, then there was an ability to have some reconciliation. I suppose even the perpetrators could feel that they had unloaded, that they had shed what they were carrying around and perhaps could move on with trying to achieve some reconciliation with what they had done and with the people they had done it to.

In Canada, with the residential school system, there was also a Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to better understand what happened in that school system. As I understand - and perhaps the minister can clarify, in a future opportunity, how this legislation will work - in the case of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, it did not provide the same type of amnesty for perpetrators.

The result is that most of the testimony came from survivors. That was important because children today can understand what their grandparents went through in the residential school system and that has untold benefit. Not only does it link these young people with their ancestors - some of whom are certainly still living - but it helps them to better understand what they went through.

[Page 5662]

We know that people have gone through traumatic incidents that have been described in say, the residential school system, they have suffered greatly from that and they have carried that around with them and it has caused a lot of other problems for people after those events have happened. Having such a commission set up to get to the truth of what happened helps with the healing and I think it helps families deal with some of the problems that may have resulted from these events within their families.

I know the result here - I know I attended an event in Waycobah, which is an aboriginal community in my constituency of Inverness, and I know those survivors from the residential schools are looked up to as leaders in their community for what they endured and for continuing on and for living their culture despite efforts to cleanse them of their very own culture. I know that in the case of Waycobah, many of those people are also on the Elder Council there, so they are seen as people that the community consults with in making decisions for their community.

I will withhold any further discussion. I do look forward to further comments from the minister and to hear from other members of this House, but I will say that we do look forward to supporting this legislation as we see that it will help get to the truth of what has happened in the case of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I can indicate as well that we support the amendment. The issue here really is not the actual content. It's more an issue about process. It is my understanding that this legislation was introduced in the Spring. At that time the House was told there hadn't been any consultation done on it so far. I would like to know whether that has happened over the last four months.

It does appear that the government is regularly introducing bills in the House without any consultation, and all of the three bills currently in second reading were tabled maybe before they should have been. We are interested to hear what Nova Scotians have to say about the amendment, which every other province in the country already has, at Law Amendments Committee. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate very much the comments and discussion that other members of the House have brought to the floor today on this. I think it's a very important process that we're undertaking here. I know the support from Opposition Parties and members is critical to the success of this as well.

[Page 5663]

I appreciate that this amendment that we're bringing forward today is going to allow people to come forward and participate in the restorative process in a very positive way and not to have the fear, as I said in my opening remarks, of any repercussions - to feel free of fear in order to share their experience and knowledge. I think that's important for all the people who have something to contribute to this and to help the survivors and their families to heal, to feel a sense of justice and closure to this.

It's very important to us. I look forward to having this go to Law Amendments Committee and return here for third reading and work its way through the House, as our bills do. I will endeavour, and I think through the process look for an answer as well. To the member for Inverness, to your question, I've taken note of that, just to clarify further the extent of the protection that is in place with this amendment.

I think it's very clear that the amendment is intended to raise the bar in our province so that our Public Inquiries Act has the same protections that other provinces in Canada enjoy when they have to go to the process of a public inquiry. It will cover not only the inquiry we're speaking of that's coming up but any in the future, whenever there are those unfortunate circumstances where you need to go to that extent.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to close second reading of Bill No. 117, with your permission. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 117. 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, I'd say that was probably the most polite closing of second reading debate that I've seen in my 17 years.

Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I can advise the House that with second reading completed on Bill No. 117, that bill will also be considered at Law Amendments Committee on Monday, which will be meeting at 1:00 p.m. to consider its business.

The House will meet again on Tuesday, November 17th, from the hours of 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., at which time, following the daily routine and Question Period, we will be going into second reading of Bill No. 118, the Heritage Property Act, which was introduced today.

[Page 5664]

Mr. Speaker, with that I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Tuesday, November 17th, from the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for the House to adjourn, to rise again on Tuesday, November 17th, between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 43(2)

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

GOV'T. (N.S.): REGISTRIES - PRIVATIZATION

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I can say that in my time in the House I certainly enjoy late debates and emergency debates. I think it's something that's really informative.

As I get into my remarks here, my notes, I want to point out that as a critic, as a member of the Opposition, it's our job to point out errors and hold this government accountable. Maybe one of the easiest errors I can just look at is our order paper and I just use this as an easy example of some errors. If you look closely at today's date on today's order paper you can see it is off by one digit. It may be a simplistic example, but maybe some people are nervous about the date and the day we are in. Anyway, that is our job and I look forward to what we are about to discuss here - the emergency debate dealing with the proposal of privatizing registries.

To begin with, I think it's important to bring everyone up to speed on the questionable timeline of the current government's consideration of privatizing three of the province's registries, namely the Motor Vehicle and the Land and Joint Stocks. The Premier's former campaign manager became a listed lobbyist on behalf of Teranet, one of the companies competing or attempting to capitalize on the privatization on the registries. In August 2014, the Premier's former campaign manager formally stopped lobbying for Teranet the same day - I repeat, the same day that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia put out a request for vendors to submit expression of interest in privatizing the registries.

At the same time, AIMS released a paper praising privatization which ignores many of the concerns that have been raised, and I'm sure you're going to hear some of these concerns in the next few hours. The deadline for the request for the proposals was three weeks ago. To date we have not heard anything from the current - I repeat, the current government about the plan that would allow the registry's IT system to be upgraded in a way that it could keep the registries 100 per cent public.

[Page 5665]

Mr. Speaker, privatization of the Motor Vehicle, the Land and Joint Stocks Registries would be costly, long lasting, and a very negative impact on Nova Scotia and its citizens for years, even decades to come. Contracts signed in other provinces, other jurisdictions have been up to 30 and even 50 years. The public's interest of governments administrating and operating these registries must not be underestimated. The current government undergoing consideration of privatizing has created the public discussion of what these registries mean to Nova Scotia and its economy.

My colleagues later on will speak to the financial implications of privatization. I apologize if I've been watching too much baseball lately, but this emergency debate, here I am the lead-off hitter and I can tell you that the big hitters are due up later in the next hour. I can also tell you I've been watching too much baseball, but with the introduction of this proposal of privatization, the Liberal Government has struck out.

The government must consider the importance of these registries if we are going to make an informed - I repeat, an informed policy decision on this matter. Activities at the Motor Vehicles Registry affect our everyday life. The licences and registrations of motor vehicles are essential to public safety, the movement of goods and the overall interconnectedness of our province. The administration of drivers' licences, the drivers' licence tests are also a critical element of public safety. Safety on our roads. It is important decisions relating to the issues made in the public's interest and not for the bottom line of a for-profit private company.

The government-run online land registry system is reliable, effective, efficient, and reasonably priced and serves the public interest. If privatized, this is a real concern, that the Land Registry will be substantially diminished as an economic driver in Nova Scotia. The NDP caucus and I have met with the key stakeholders - surveyors, realtors, and appraisers - who have all raised serious questions about privatizing the land registries.

Surveyors establish land maps and boundaries for ownership, locations like building corners or the surface locations of sub-surface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law. Their work is crucial to the residential and commercial development, to property sales, and to construction. The Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors pointed out that when they meet with their national counterparts it is this province, Mr. Speaker - and I will repeat - it is this province's land registry that is the envy of Canada. It is the envy of Canada. Will the current government put at risk an economic driver of development? For what purpose, other than to pursue a short-term political gain in the form of an up-front cash payment, at a long-term cost to Nova Scotians.

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Appraisers in Nova Scotia perform an important role that serves the public good. As a third party to real estate transactions, appraisers have no vested interest. This means their fee is not tied to the resulting validations. It is easy to see the public importance of this role. Imagine, if the validations were provided by someone who would benefit financially from a higher or lower validation. The Nova Scotia Real Estate Appraisers Association depends on the land registries. They inform us that their ability to do the work could be substantially compromised by privatization.

The integrity of the data that they use to perform validations is essential. In Ontario appraisers are concerned that Teranet is manipulating the data - I repeat, manipulating the data - in order to secure higher profits. Should this be the case in this province, it is in the public interest of Nova Scotians that would suffer, Mr. Speaker. Will the current government put at risk the public interest of Nova Scotia to pursue short-term political gain?

The Premier has asked, or excuse me, the Premier speaking on behalf of the government said, "We do believe we have an obligation to hear from people on all sides of every issue, which we do." Yet, all the groups that I have mentioned, that we have met with said they have not - I repeat, have not - been consulted by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia or anyone else in the current government. Those closest to the registries are left to wonder what the future holds. Should the minister decide to consult with these stakeholders now it will be difficult to demonstrate that the government is not simply providing lip service to a tainted process. It is like doing your homework after you have written the test.

The minister and the current government need to consider the importance of these registries to the public interest and as an economic driver in Nova Scotia. Privatizing the registries so that the government can receive an up-front cash payment to better their official position is simply an electoral cycle, and would be short-sighted and irresponsible.

Mr. Speaker, I refer to my notes back in September 2015, the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors suggested in a press release that privatizing a land registry could mean higher fees for home buyers. They also went on to add it is also a concern that the provincial proposal could also make data less publicly available, and reduce access; these are grave concerns of the membership. President Gordon Burns says that the cost of legal and surveyors' services related to home buying could go up as it will simply pass on the fees to the buyers.

Mr. Burns went on to say that realtors in Nova Scotia believe that the possibility of home ownership is a fundamental right - he said in that particular press release. Everything or anything that would be hindering people from purchasing or selling a home, such as a higher fee or the lack of access to public data, is something that our members are very concerned about. The association, Mr. Speaker - and I think they should get the attention of the members sitting on the current government side, especially the backbenchers - the current association, the Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, on the issue of that press release, represented more than 1,600 brokers, salespersons and other members - 1,600 members who were not consulted and have raised some very serious concerns.

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Now, I know that we're all doing our homework and we're making note of these dates here, Mr. Speaker. On April 9, 2015, there was a current Liberal budget. The Liberals decided to close 13 land registry offices in rural parts of Nova Scotia. The Liberals also cut staff members from provincial parks. I'm going to get to that later.

The current government also closed several visitor information centres across Nova Scotia, in places like Pictou and in Digby. Mr. Speaker, this is what it's about and what I've said repeatedly here is that this current government has had a very negative, cumulative effect on rural Nova Scotia. If we lead into proposals for privatizing these registries, this is what we're going to get so I'm here to set up for my big hitters who are going to come up a little later on and believe me, they can hit it out of the park.

This cumulative effect, if you add on this proposed going down to privatizing these registries, this is what you are going to have. It is interesting to point out that the only reason - and I actually tried to do some homework on this, to get to why they are doing this. The only explanation that could come from the current government was that they did not want to upgrade the IT system; they did not want to maintain the present system and the costs related to maintaining that.

I can tell you that I have been here for a few years and for whatever governments have been on the government side, that is the poorest, that is the most lame excuse that I've heard in my 10 years here - they did not want to maintain or upgrade the IT system.

In my earlier notes I said it is the realtors who point out that this is the envy across Canada, our present system. Now I want to point out to you, before I turn it over to the big hitters, that suppose like me, you come from a fishing community and I suggest to all those who own a fishing licence, do not upgrade your present fishing boat; to the farmers, do not upgrade your equipment to harvest your crops; and to the homeowners in this building, do not upgrade your home and prepare it for winter - don't do the preparation; don't maintain it and what? You're going to sell off Nova Scotia.

I suggest to you, and I know that the Premier's Office may be so busy with other topics right now, but I suggest that you go back and have a better message than you don't want to upgrade your systems and to put that out there and think that the public is going to accept that. Guess what, Mr. Speaker? Those same members are going to have to go back to their Christmas parties and give a response.

I don't think the excuse to say I don't want to upgrade my home, I don't want to upgrade my fishing enterprise or my farm enterprise - that is a poor excuse. And now the big hitters are up, Mr. Speaker.

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MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for the member's comments has expired, and I do want to remind the member not to refer to the members opposite directly as "you."

The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the NDP caucus for bringing this matter forward for emergency debate.

Last Fall, the government announced that they were looking at alternative service delivery for Service Nova Scotia and the services offered through Access Nova Scotia centres. They said that a business case will carry the day; a business case will decide whether or not they will proceed with this alternative service delivery model. We were also told that one to three years after the decision there would be implementation if they go ahead with this new alternative service delivery.

We were told there would be no restriction on the location of the vendors, but were told that data storage would remain in Nova Scotia and that the employees servicing Nova Scotians, when they come to get their licences renewed and other services like that, are still going to be working in the same capacities.

The first thing I think about is the people I know in the office in Port Hawkesbury. I know if you're working in an environment where there is uncertainty, it adds to your stress when coming to work. Nobody likes to wonder about their future. I suppose in here we're no different; we wonder about the next election, if we're going to be asked to come back here by the people we represent. The people working in Service Nova Scotia offices, I think, when they signed up, they didn't really sign up for the same sort of risk that we sign up for. So I sympathize with them and what's going on in their minds right now, because I'm sure they're wondering, what does this really mean for us? Nobody really knows until decisions get made.

The other thing is that if there is another company that takes over the management of Service Nova Scotia's services that are offered to Nova Scotians, they may look at a different type of model in terms of their human resources. Ultimately, it will be up to them as to how they will manage their organization and the people working within the organization. That is something I know the people currently working at Service Nova Scotia are concerned about.

I think it's important that whatever the government plans to do here, it's crucial that they look out for the employees who are currently working in these positions and make sure that the environment they're working in is an environment of high quality where they feel valued, respected, and properly compensated. Right now - and I think it's really why this debate has been called - we don't know for sure what the future terms are going to be for those employees.

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I also heard a comment earlier today, what about the term of agreement? What if the government signs a deal for, say, 50 years, as was mentioned, such that the province would be locked into a 50-year agreement with another company offering the service? Having given up certain controls over the service for 50 years, that would be quite significant, especially if something happened that was perhaps unintended, but something that may have happened that might be negative for people working in that new system. There might also be financial consequences.

We look back to the P3 schools, and we see right here at Public Accounts, it's probably three or four years ago now, I was asking the Department of Education at the time, did the government really know the cost to construct a school when they were looking at these P3 arrangements? The answer that came back and was reported and was really the headline of the day was that the government didn't even know what a school cost, yet entered into lease agreements to lease those capital assets of the new schools. They had nothing to compare that to. Certainly Mr. Speaker, if any Nova Scotian is going out to buy something and they had a couple of options, they would want to make sure that they weren't overpaying for whatever they were buying and that what they were getting was also of at least equivalent quality.

Mr. Speaker, it has been done in the past where government has made decisions, sometimes based on philosophy, and those decisions haven't necessarily proven fruitful for Nova Scotians. I think it's important that the government know its facts before entering into an alternative service delivery agreement for Access Nova Scotia services.

I can think of a more recent example. It's funny when I hear the government talking about how we need to have a major overhaul of technology and we want to keep the same people working, it sounds a lot like the CT scan debate in Inverness. The community had a chance to get a very modern piece of equipment with no cost to the community in terms of fundraising, and we couldn't get the government to even look at the numbers, Mr. Speaker. It was very frustrating. Why shouldn't we be allowed to look at those numbers? I think they should be transparent.

I'm hoping that in looking at this proposition for alternative service delivery, the minister is looking at those numbers closely and making them public, ensuring that they're transparent, knowing what it costs to deliver the service currently and knowing what it's going to cost under the new model that's being proposed. That's critical, Mr. Speaker, for good decision-making.

I remember when the debate over the CT scan was going on, there was a figure put out publicly by the government saying that a scan only costs about $200. There were people in the health care sector who were just laughing at that number. I won't cast any further judgment on it because I really don't know what the costs are. I would love to know what the costs are. I think the public should be made aware of that kind of information so they understand the government is making good decisions with tax dollars.

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I would say just compared to the cost of somebody from Inverness to Sydney by way of an ambulance, return trip, Mr. Speaker, you would be lucky to pay for the gas with $200. So if it really costs $200 for a CT scan, they should have had a CT scan probably 20 or 30 years ago, if that was the case. It would have been cheaper to be having people scanned in Inverness than sending them to Sydney.

My point, Mr. Speaker, is it's important to look at the numbers and for the numbers to be transparent. I think sometimes in government there's a fear of putting those numbers out - not necessarily by the government in power but perhaps by some of the people working in the departments because if this kind of information gets out there, it draws a little more attention to what they're doing, and it draws a little more question as to whether what they're doing is most efficient.

Mr. Speaker, the government has got a number of contract negotiations coming up this Fall. We hear that there may be a tentative agreement with the Teachers Union. Government has to operate efficiently so that money is available to pay people working in Nova Scotia, as one example. This case being no different, there should be a clear, open, and transparent understanding of the costs involved here so that the public knows the government is making efficient decisions with taxpayer money.

We know we're paying very high taxes in this province. Even since 2008, the government is taking in an extra $1 billion, half of that by way of a 2 per cent increase in the HST, and the other half in increased federal transfer payments. There's a lot of money coming in, and we have to make sure that the money that is coming in is used as efficiently as possible. I encourage the government, whenever they are making decisions like this, to be forthcoming about the numbers behind their decisions. With that, Mr. Speaker, I will take my place. Thank you.

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

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. This is a critically important topic to discuss today. It just reminds me all over of a nightmare that is still continuing in the Province of Nova Scotia and that would be - people would remember - privatization of Nova Scotia Power. In fact, although it was brought forward by another Party, many people don't realize it was the Liberal Government that endorsed and passed that legislation so they need to take responsibility for a nightmare that has existed and still exists in this province and the next nightmare will be the privatization of the Land Registry and Motor Vehicle Registry.

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There is very little difference in what the results are going to be. We are going to have a major corporation making billions of dollars off the backs of Nova Scotians and in turn, they are going to see an increase. There will be no control, there will be no control. There won't be a URB that is going to be able to say stop increasing the motor vehicle costs and this is all, unfortunately, due to a trend that this province has seen with this Liberal Government and it is called making political decisions for political reasons and not for the people of Nova Scotia.

It's the political perception game all over again. We know why. We know why. It's all about political cycle; it's all about making the budget look good to go into the next election. It has nothing to do with the people of this province; it has nothing to do with knowing that this has taken place in other provinces throughout Canada and that the story from those provinces has turned out to be a fairy tale at all. It has been a nightmare for those provinces.

Why would we go forward with even thinking about this? What we need to do, Nova Scotians have to remind themselves of the 2013 election platform from this Liberal Government. First of all, get Nova Scotia back to work by making it easier for businesses to grow, prosper, and create the jobs we need. Well, privatizing will just add to the cost of doing business in our province. It will actually threaten jobs. This is a company, one of the companies in the running, from Ontario.

Recent numbers in October show that we had 4,500 fewer people looking for work in Nova Scotia. Do you know why? They left. They're gone. That is due to those political decisions such as the film and television industry. How can we make ourselves look good? It's not about how can we do the good for the people of our province.

Another statement from the election: get our province's finances under control and treat taxpayers' dollars with integrity after years of corporate handouts. They are looking at giving the registry to one of the biggest corporations; it's going to be a huge corporate handout, just the same as when I mentioned privatizing Nova Scotia Power and in the long run, what it's going to do, like Nova Scotia Power and all the struggles that we face as Nova Scotians with the increase of electricity, it's going to hit the pocketbooks of Nova Scotians. That is who is going to feel it.

So, why won't this government do the proper thing and just upgrade the registry? That makes sense. We live in a very technological world. We live and breathe it every day. If we are going modernize our province, if we are going to be able to compete with other provinces across Canada, if we're going to attract people here, what we need to do is make sure that we put the investments where they need to be, and that is to invest in upgrading the system, not give it away to some corporation so that the Liberals can say, going into the next election, "Woo, look at our budget, it looks better, it looks good," on the backs (Interruption) Yeah, on the backs of Nova Scotians in their future. Exactly what's going to happen? We've got another Nova Scotia Power brewing here. I wonder how the people of Nova Scotia are going to accept that?

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Then what's going to happen is people are going to start seeing the increases in the cost to do business. I know people often felt, when there was a little increase through the Registry of Motor Vehicles - people got very upset with that, and then governments would say, well, because it is the cost of doing business. We are not supposed to be making a profit, it's a public service, so what we try to do, we may have to raise it 2 per cent or whatever.

Well, this is not going to happen. And then the government is going to just point their fingers at this business and say, well, it's not us, we're not doing it, we're not involved in this. And it is also going to give profits to businesses outside the province, not even here in Nova Scotia.

It's bad enough to even think about privatizing these services, but to then in turn give business to an outside corporation - and we know that there's no secret that one of them is Teranet. How does that look, when the first optics that you're looking at is the government agreeing to deal with a business that the former campaign manager for the Premier was hired by - Teranet - to lobby the government on its behalf? How clear is that? Where are the honesty and transparency that this government ran on in 2013?

One of the other slogans was "It's time to invest in our province, in each other and in our children." Then why won't you invest in upgrading the system at a cost of roughly $36 million or $40 million? You already spent $40 million on the Nova Star. You gave RBC $20 million. Why aren't you investing in Nova Scotians? That's what you do when you invest in the registry - the Land Registry and also when you invest in Registry of Motor Vehicles.

It's critical, and it's time to put Nova Scotia first. That was another part of the slogan during the election. Where are you putting Nova Scotians first, Madam Speaker, when you're selling off a public service that is being provided to the people of Nova Scotia, to keep the cost as low as possible, having the ability as a government to make decisions around it, having the ability of a government to keep the cost of the service level what it costs to provide that service - how is that keeping Nova Scotians first when you are probably going to give the contract to some company outside of the province, and a company that there has been a relationship with? Now what are the optics of that?

With everything else going on and surrounding us the last number of weeks, and that you would not take this off the table - because of the optics alone, I would think it would be a good decision to take it off the table, but no, we're entitled to make those decisions.

It fits so well with the advertisement that we see - the McNeil movers. This fits perfectly. Let's move it out again, let's give it to another company that's outside the province. What's going to happen after the next election cycle and down the road when this company is making billions? This is one of the pots of gold that the government has, because this generates income. This generates revenue. Why would you ever play around with the opportunity to generate revenue? Why?

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I thought about this, Madam Speaker, over and over and I can't come up with an intellectual reason for it. It was the same as the film and television industry - you're seeing a $140 million investment coming in with spinoffs, they've proved it over and over again and this government resists to even learn, listen, or understand statistics.

I guess what happens is around the Cabinet Table they must throw everything in the hat, different suggestions of what they want to do and whatever draws is what they stick with. Obviously they are not looking at any business model or statistics or looking at what has happened in the past that may affect the future, the same as Nova Scotia Power and that's where it's going to leave us. Once that control is gone, it's gone.

This government ran on breaking a monopoly and now they're creating another monopoly - how does that fit? I really don't understand. They said, we're going to break a monopoly with Nova Scotia Power, which they haven't, they've just done the perception game on that again and now they're going to create a huge monopoly on one of the areas where we generate revenue.

Do you know, Madam Speaker, we're looking at about $10 billion in 10 years that the registry brings in - $10 billion in 10 years and we want to give it away because we don't want to invest $36 million or $40 million in updating it because we won't look so good if we go into the election and we don't have that budget that looks balanced. So we can take, off the backs of the people of Nova Scotia, this $40 million. We will make it look like we're the superheroes and we got the budget in line and all that - but, boy, don't look into the future at all with this government because that's when the sting will really happen, that's when people will realize when it's too late, just the same as Nova Scotia Power, absolutely the same and that's what's going to happen.

It's very sad that we're looking at the monies that would go to Teranet, it's a private company and they're also involved with Ontario in the pension plan and that's for their public pension plan. That means that money is going to be helping people in Ontario. I guess the Cabinet must have a lot of relatives in Ontario or something because the money is going to go help people in Ontario and the people in Nova Scotia are going to suffer from the decision, Madam Speaker. That is really a crime.

This government has a history in this Liberal Party of doing the same thing. P3 schools, look at that, look at the millions and millions of dollars that have been spent in the P3 schools. So the public has no control; the government has no control. Then what do you have to do after 10 years, which is coming up now, ironically, while this government is sitting. What is going to happen? They've got to either resign contracts or pay millions of dollars getting out of it.

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Who is paying for it? Not the ones sitting around the Cabinet Table. My mom is, I am, my brother, my father, the people who are working right now, the people who are struggling and they are going to see this through the Land Registry and Motor Vehicles if this government continues on this route.

I'm sure, Madam Speaker, the next slogan for the Liberals for the election will be, well if another province has done it and it hasn't succeeded, we'll do it. We have many examples. So our McNeil Movers will move out, we're going to move out of the province people, we're going to move in major corporations, we're going to move out jobs and we're all going to do it for political reasons - solely political reasons.

I hope the minister can present to this House some statistical information and a reason why they would jeopardize privatizing this service, the same as what they did with Nova Scotia Power a number of years ago and the nightmare in Nova Scotia continues. Thank you.

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

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Madam Speaker, I thank my colleagues for their comments around this particular subject matter. Before I begin I want to make it very clear that there has been no decision to proceed with alternative service delivery. We continue on a very thorough, exhaustive analysis of the options and opportunities that exist in the province.

I want to take a moment to touch on why we need to be open to exploring the opportunities such as alternative service delivery, commonly referred to as ASD. As you are aware, Nova Scotia is facing serious challenges and all Nova Scotians are aware of those financial challenges. Inherently, Nova Scotians are telling us change is needed and change is necessary. Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option.

We have also made a commitment to Nova Scotians that we will get the province's finances in order and that's why we are making the changes that are necessary to protect the programs and services that are most important to our citizens, priorities such as education and health care. We, as a government, have a responsibility to respect the tax dollars that we receive, to invest them strategically and properly on the priorities that are most crucial to Nova Scotians. Therefore, Madam Speaker, all of us - government, the Public Service, labour, citizens and my colleagues in Opposition - have to be open and flexible to new, effective ways of doing things that help us be more effective, more efficient, more strategic and, quite honestly, more responsible for taxpayers' dollars. They have entrusted us to act on their behalf.

We need to consider various options to meet our financial targets and be sustainable as a province, while providing better services and programs to those who we serve and represent. All of us have a shared responsibility to Nova Scotians to be open to new ways of doing business that will make government more efficient and effective. In fact, we owe it to Nova Scotians to make it easier for them to interact with government and to make government programs and services sustainable, more effective and more responsive to the needs of Nova Scotians. Thus, as part of being open to new ways of doing things, we are exploring - and I emphasize "exploring" alternative service delivery.

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Let me be clear, Madam Speaker, we are not talking about privatization. The alternative service delivery option that we are considering precludes privatization. My colleagues in Opposition are quite correct, in speaking to recent privatization, and have shared with me the example of Nova Scotia Power. That was a complete divesture of a program or an asset to the private sector. We have explicitly ruled that out.

What we are exploring and I emphasize again "exploring", is a partnership between industry, labour and government to deliver non-core services in a more sustainable and cost-effective way, freeing up government dollars to deliver the core services that Nova Scotians have come to expect and have communication to us in government, health and education. If a decision is made to proceed, government would retain responsibility for legislation, regulations and policies. We would also retain full ownership of the data.

The technology that supports these three in-scope registries needs significant upgrades. We estimate that the registries require at least $30 million in immediate investment to meet the current needs of Nova Scotians and then ongoing investment to ensure the future needs and expectations of Nova Scotians are met.

Any alternative service delivery arrangement that would include a partner between business, government and labour, a partner at the table who can make the investment and ensure that the registries are supported by up-to-date and robust technology that will keep pace not only with ongoing technological advancements and trends, but with the changing expectations of our clients.

We also know that industry sector partner is in a better position to adopt the latest technology and can upgrade much more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively than government. This would not only increase the reliability of the technology, but would allow government to focus more of its limited capital resources on those core priorities that I mentioned earlier, education and health care. That is part of the reason a decision was made to explore alternative service delivery.

Madam Speaker, there are choices we need to make. Do we spend $30 million upgrading the information technology required to support the registries when another more feasible and more sustainable option may exist, or do we spend $30 million on the priorities that matter most to Nova Scotians - priorities such as teachers and MRIs and health care and early learning? The registries are not sustainable and they face significant challenges. If ASD is not the path we choose, we will still need to make changes to the registries. Maintaining the status quo is not an option, and we owe it to Nova Scotians and to our employees to ensure that the registries are sustainable, efficient, and effective. We cannot continue on our current path, and we need to change course with the Land, Motor Vehicle, and Joint Stock Registries.

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The staff and employees at Service Nova Scotia are doing outstanding work as we speak, but they're limited by technology, outdated systems, and methods. I see first-hand the commitment and the professionalism of the staff who work diligently to serve our clients; however we need to make changes to help them consistently meet service levels. Our clients' expectations are only increasing. Whether it be in a more digital offering, client experience, or lower costs, we need to be more responsive, nimble, and client-focused in our service offering, in our systems, and in our interactions.

Essentially, our challenges - such as the significant investment that's required in the technology to support the registries - will not go away if ASD is no longer an option. Our challenges will still exist and we will need to address them. Each of us needs to be aware of the challenges that we face and be open to the options to move forward.

Madam Speaker, you've heard me say it before - decisions have to be based on evidence and research. I want to recognize my colleague from Inverness who spoke specifically about the need to be thorough, to be diligent, and to be exhaustive to ensure that the best interests of Nova Scotians are advanced. I want to assure my colleague from Inverness that that is exactly the work that we have undertaken. We will not continue with alternative service delivery unless the evidence and the facts demonstrate that there is significant benefit for both citizens and government.

At the moment, we are still continuing our research. Our research and analysis is thorough, it's exhaustive, and it draws on the experiences of those provinces that have pursued alternative service delivery. As I said a few moments ago, we have not reached the point where we can make a decision as to whether ASD is the right opportunity to pursue at this point in time. We are currently still in the request-for-supplier-qualifications phase, which closed on the 29th of October and staff from several departments, including Service Nova Scotia, Finance and Treasury Board, and Internal Services, are now evaluating the five submissions that we received. Based on the outcome of this evaluation process, it will take us several months to determine next steps.

We entered the RFSQ process with nine areas in scope. The outcome of the RFSQ process may possibly narrow this scope. We do not expect to be in a position to have an update on the outcome of the RFSQ process until sometime over the winter.

Madam Speaker, my colleague from Queens-Shelburne spoke about the need for consultation. It would be a significant waste of government time, and the experts that we've drawn in to support the work - not the decision, because no decision has been made. The need for stakeholder engagement would be premature until, first and foremost, we've made a decision; and, secondly, to determine those suppliers and the programs and services that they could provide to government. So I want to assure my colleague from Queens-Shelburne that if government chooses to continue from the RFSQ process, the first step and inherent responsibility is to engage those who would be impacted and seek their input and guidance.

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After the submissions have been reviewed and evaluated and we have a more definitive scope, we will then decide whether it is worthwhile to proceed with a request for proposal or not.

I want to take this moment to speak briefly to the Acting Leader of the NDP, specific to where we are in the process. I want to assure my colleague that we are at the RFSQ process in determining if there is a service provider who is able to provide for the needs of Nova Scotia. We have not initiated an RFP process and we will not initiate an RFP process, Madam Speaker, until a decision is made.

The steps we have taken are exhaustive, they are thorough and we've been very diligent to ensure that the best interests of Nova Scotians, and inherently the best interests of our employees within Service Nova Scotia, are paramount.

The identification of stakeholders, Madam Speaker, can only be known after the requests for supplier qualifications process has ended and the project scope itself is defined. However, I've publicly committed that we will engage all stakeholders who are in scope before we make any final decisions to proceed.

Madam Speaker, there are many rumours circulating around alternative service delivery and I'd like to take a moment to speak to a few of them. The first is that alternate service delivery will result in government giving away tens of millions of dollars in revenues to the private sector. That's not the case. This is 100 per cent false. Why would we as government relinquish revenue, given the financial pressures we're facing today? Relinquishing revenue is not part of this part of this discussion. It is about securing revenue, it's about enhancing revenues and it's about enhancing services to Nova Scotians.

The premise of this argument does not make any sense. Any speculation around the revenue model is just that, Madam Speaker - speculation. We've not yet made a decision to proceed, let alone work out the details. However, I can assure you that we will only proceed with ASD if the business case and the economic model is of significant benefit to Nova Scotians. Under no circumstances would we consider giving away revenue.

Another inaccurate statement, Madam Speaker, is that if we decide that ASD is the right option for the registries, it will result in the elimination of jobs. I have said many times, but it is worth repeating, that our employees are our greatest asset and should we make a decision to proceed with ASD, they will be front and centre in any potential negotiations. In fact the request for supplier qualifications required respondents to demonstrate how they would accommodate the transfer of affected employees from government. If we decide to proceed with ASD, our intent is to work with the selected partner to ensure that all jobs, both bargaining unit and excluded classification, are transferred to the new employer, along with existing rights.

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Our intent is also that any bargaining unit staff who are transferred to the new employer will remain union members. We have experienced professional, qualified and highly-trained staff in the registries and any new employer would need and want these resources. If they don't, ASD will not proceed.

Madam Speaker, ensuring that our employees have accurate, up-to-date information throughout this process has been a crucial priority for me personally and for the department collectively. This work has progressed. We have communicated the facts to our employees. We will continue to communicate the facts to our employees and all Nova Scotians. We've been open and transparent from the beginning and we will continue to be open and transparent and provide all stakeholders, including my colleagues across the floor, with the facts.

Madam Speaker, I hope my remarks today will ensure that all members of this House have clarity on the facts around alternative service delivery. Each of us are here today has a responsibility to ensure that Nova Scotians have the facts. The most important fact is that no decision has been made and will not be made until we have a solid business plan. Thank you.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker, and I appreciate the minister's comments on this important issue that I thank the NDP caucus for bringing forward. I was listening very carefully to the minister's words and things like decisions have to be based on evidence and that the research on this subject is thorough and exhaustive, I think were the words. I have to tell you, Madam Speaker, I want to believe. I really want to believe, but I am a bit from Missouri on this one, and we're going to need to be shown.

I will say that the Progressive Conservative caucus does believe that ways to deliver high-quality services effectively and cost efficiently should always be explored. Government should always be looking for ways to improve things and do things more effectively and more efficiently. That should always be the goal, so I don't have an issue with any department that starts a process to do that. But at the same time, we have to be mindful of the quality of the service that's delivered, and we don't want to do things that will sacrifice the service that Nova Scotians receive.

Nova Scotians are amongst the highest-taxed in the country, high fees - they deserve to get good value for money. I hope that the government is always on that path, and if this is one of the things they're exploring, then that's okay, but I heard the minister when he was saying that there would be no decision until the thorough analysis is completed, and I'm mindful of a couple of things when I hear that from this government.

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I am obviously mindful of the situation with the Film Tax Credit, where once again, we heard the then-Minister of Finance and Treasury Board speak at a chamber luncheon, floated the bubble up about possible changes to the Film Tax Credit, and then went ahead with it. That was a pretty meaningful change that was made, and I remember quite clearly asking the department, after the change, what types of analysis had been done. I think all members of this House remember how embarrassing that was, the lack of analysis that was done.

The best we heard at the end was that it became clear that this government understood the cost of that - they understood that Film Tax Credit to cost $25 million, but they certainly didn't understand the value of it, and the value of it was anything from $100 million to $140 million. Pick a number in there, it doesn't matter - it's significant, and the government proceeded with something that they didn't understand the ramifications of.

What we're talking about here, and I'll use the term "privatization" - I know the government has an issue with that, but let's call it what it is. That's what it is, and if you are going to go down that path, you'd better have your analysis done properly. We've seen in the last budget, I think it was 1,400 fees that were increased. This government found fees to increase that we didn't even know existed. They ferreted through and found these fees, and they increased them. So where are we going with fees in this province in the future? That's the question that needs to be asked.

When we talk about privatization, I'll say Nova Scotians have reason to be concerned. If we think about two recent examples where privatization processes have been tainted by influence peddling, perceived influence peddling - we don't have to go back in this province more than two months, when the former Liberal campaign manager was back in his new role lobbying. We don't even have to go, is it a month when the federal campaign person was out lobbying on behalf of some industries before the election? There's a wonderful history of Liberals putting Liberals first, and this government is no different. We know some people who have received pretty good employment opportunities as a result of being connected to their Party.

People have a reason to be suspicious. People have a reason to be concerned, and they darn well should be concerned when it impacts the level of service that they receive and fees they pay for everyday things like licensing their car, like getting a marriage licence. There are reasons to be concerned.

When I said I was from Missouri and needed to be shown about, perhaps, this new Liberal outlook where they will actually do some analysis before they reach the decisions, I'll reference a couple of recent examples where we have seen a bit of a pattern. I mentioned the provincial campaign manager lobbying for Teranet; if you remember the very first thing the Premier said was, I defend his actions. He defended his actions, that is the first thing he does, the first reaction the Premier has.

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People in this House may remember - I don't think it was that long ago - when the Premier said in the afternoon that a certain former minister had his complete confidence. He makes these bold statements and then tries to do a bit of research. We've seen it with the campaign manager lobbying. A week later they changed the policy, no more lobbying. Okay, but remember the process, the first thing is it's okay, nobody did anything wrong, I support him. A little bit of research, correct it, make the change.

The first thing we say, the minister has my confidence, I'm okay with what he did. A little bit of research, a little bit of back-peddling and smoothing around and out of Cabinet. We don't have the opportunity with the privatization of our services to make a mistake like that and correct it. I want to believe that the research will be done beforehand, when we talk about these significant issues. History is not a good indicator and saying you are going to do something and doing it are often two different things, so we will have to see. It sounds all too familiar to me.

Now Nova Scotians are wondering what will happen to their fees. They are wondering if privatization might mean lower fees, it might mean better services. They're wondering what it means, what is this all about? We've already seen a couple of instances locally, recently, where we are losing jobs when we send business, let's call it, out of the province. So it is absolutely fair to wonder what will happen to jobs in this province when things are privatized.

Members may be aware of a tourism contract that was recently awarded to a company predominantly from another province. There's a certain messaging that happens from a government when they do these types of things. What is the signal that is being sent to our businesses? I am certainly receiving a certain signal from those actions; I know the business community is receiving a certain signal. Maybe the members opposite are choosing not to receive that signal. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist; it certainly exists.

The signal is that it undermines the confidence the people place on our own abilities, on our own companies to do things. I enjoy when I hear the members opposite talking about respecting taxpayer dollars, I find that very enjoyable. When I think about the context of what started all this, what seems to have triggered all this for them is a $30 million IT requirement. Now let's think about that for a second, a $30 million IT upgrade seems to have triggered all this.

Now if you do a $30 million IT upgrade, you probably have a $30 million IT system as an asset. If you spend $40 million in two years on a boat, what do you have at the end? So if we want to talk about respecting taxpayer dollars, let's be honest and let's have a real conversation about that. These are the types of things.

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Now, when I put my name on a ballot and decided to enter politics, I did it because I wanted to try to add value to the province. I want to grow the province. I didn't do it to come here and watch a government cut things, cut services, and bring things away from Nova Scotians and make it a more difficult place to work and live. So if we want to respect taxpayer dollars, let's see one idea, let's see one plan from the members opposite about how they're going to grow our economy.

Let's stop talking about where they can save a couple of shillings and disadvantage this group, hurt this person, cut services. Let's see the ideas of how we actually grow the economy. I've seen plenty on how you do not grow an economy. We know all the things they don't want to do. We know all the types of jobs they don't want. We know everything they want to move away. But let's talk about making sure that we have good services here.

When we talk about privatization, we have to accept the risk and the risk is very real. The risk is that jobs will be lost, services will decrease, and fees will increase. Those are the risks. Those are the things we need to be mindful of. I look forward to seeing the analysis and seeing an open and transparent process that provides the real information that is really needed to make a decision. I hope we see that before it's all gone elsewhere, which is the tendency, because we don't have a chance to help you guys fix it and get it right if you drop the ball the first time. If you have to be open and transparent . . .

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would remind the honourable member to not address the House but the Chair, instead of using the term "you guys." Thank you.

The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Thank you. What I would say to you, Madam Speaker, and perhaps you could pass it along to the members opposite, is we don't have a chance to fix this should they get it wrong. Please, could you convey that message to them because they are not the greatest at picking it up through other means?

If you're going to make a decision to privatize something, you better know what the cost of the service is. My colleague, the member for Inverness talked about the CT scanner, where clearly, Madam Speaker, if you could remind them, members on the government side didn't know the cost of it. We can't have that again here now. If you're going to do that, you better know the cost of the service, and then I would suggest the companies that are being negotiated with, worked with, should tell you where they think that fee is going to go. We should have some indication of the bidders' thoughts, the potential partner - if the minister wants to use that word - an idea of what the fees are going forward.

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Not just today, what about in five years? Nobody wants any nasty surprises. We don't want to have a situation where the fees go up but the wages go down. That's a big concern that the commissionaires have in a number of areas now, and we're all familiar with the commissionaires, some of their contracts - what's going to happen?

We need to understand where we're going, and our experience with this government has been that they run into the room, knock everything off the shelves, smash everything up, and then try to stand back and reassess. Too late with privatization. Once you run in there and throw everything off the shelves and break everything, you're not going to glue it back together. We can't stand here and let that happen. So I worry about the process. I worry about the execution, because it's often good ideas that get poorly executed. So we have concerns, and I hope the members have heard them today. Thank you very much.

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

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD « » : Gee, that was the fastest 15 minutes I think I've heard in a long time. The member didn't think he would go 15 minutes, and I'm sure he could have gone much longer.

Madam Speaker, I'm very pleased to have an opportunity to stand here and participate in this emergency debate with respect to the government's plans, the activity that they have undertaken and are undertaking with respect to the public registries: the Motor Vehicle Registry, the Registry of Joint Stock Companies, and the Land Registry.

First of all I want to say that I'm very glad the Minister of Service Nova Scotia or Business - I'm not sure what the minister's title is at this moment - participated in this debate. I know him to be a sincere and hard-working minister.

I am, though, concerned that the communications folks who are providing the communications messages for the minister are telling the minister that he should never talk about what they're doing with respect to these registries as privatization but to call it alternative service delivery. This is wordsmithing to try to make the public think that something in the public sector is not being given over or sold off to the private sector. This is precisely what we're looking at here. We are, in fact, looking at delivering what is a public good in a way that's other than for the public good - allowing some portion of the revenue that we currently benefit from to flow not into public hands for our use but into private hands, into the hands of the shareholders of some private corporation or company.

I know that members of the government would have the public perception be that members here in the NDP caucus just oppose all forms of outsourcing. Let me say right from the outset that that's not the case. There are times when outsourcing makes great sense. If you have something the government or the public sector is doing that, in fact, is a cost to government and that could be done with greater public benefit in the public sector, why wouldn't you consider doing that? This is not the case here. This is not the case whatsoever.

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This is a situation where those registries, over a 10-year period, brought $1 billion into the coffers of the province. This is a case where those registries, on average, bring $100 million annually into the general revenue of the province. The only thing I've heard from the minister to justify their exploration of privatizing these registries is that there's a $30-million pressure to upgrade the technology for these registries. I have to say, $30 million - which sounds like a big amount of money, and on some level it is, but you have to understand the scale - $30 million is nothing in a province that has an annual budget of $10 billion. With registries that over 10 years bring in $1 billion, what's $30 million? I'm having a very difficult time seeing a business case here.

I recognize just like everybody does that our province faces some financial challenges and that change is needed. Unfortunately, we have a government that doesn't believe in economic development; they only believe in cutting public services. They don't believe in growing the economy; they believe in chasing people out of the province - the film industry being one, but not the only example. So this is a very, very serious matter in terms of the long-term financial health of our province.

The consequences both intended and unintended of signing onto a deal that could be 30 or 50 years in duration will tie the hands of future governments in ways we have not seen, with one exception, Nova Scotia Power - and we know how well that has worked out. This is yet another ill-conceived idea from the government and it's part of an austerity agenda that is attempting to crush the hopes and the spirit of people in the province.

As previous speakers have said, this agenda is a far cry from what members on the government side campaigned on and the Premier campaigned on in the 2013 election. More and more people in the province are coming to realize that this Liberal Government is not who they said they would be - the film industry certainly knows that.

So these registries are money-makers, plain and simple. We've heard a lot of different numbers regarding the cost of upgrading this system. We actually have not seen much analysis around that. We know that the government has spent millions and millions of dollars on the Nova Star for example, far, far beyond what was ever anticipated, and they've been able to have corporate handouts of over $20 million to RBC. Yet, apparently, a $30 million investment to upgrade the technology in this registry is too much.

Has the government considered the fact that the increase in the cost of doing business in Nova Scotia will increase if these registries are privatized? The Land Registry, for example - I've had the opportunity to meet with the surveyors, the realtors, the appraisers, who all point out what has happened in other provinces that have gone down the privatization route on these registries, and they're now all experiencing increased costs and a degradation of service. Has the minister, and will the minister look at what the experience has been in other provinces and take that into consideration?

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The minister when he spoke said that if government doesn't go down this route they will have to explore other options. Why aren't they exploring these other options now? Why don't they explore these options at the same time and then examine side by side the pros and cons of doing that?

Governments in other provinces have placed a cap on fees for essential services, but the Land Registry is not classified as an essential service. The Nova Scotia Association of Realtors, comprised of 1,600 members who are all facing pressures to lower their commissions, have informed us through consultations that their counterparts in Ontario are facing costs that have tripled since Teranet has been contracted to provide land registry service - tripled. And we all know - I think the statistics came out on Tuesday - what's going on in the housing field right now in Nova Scotia.

These groups are already facing difficult and challenging times. Why on earth would government consider taking measures that would increase costs and make things harder for people?

Appraisers in Nova Scotia perform an indispensable, independent role in property valuation, and in meeting with their association we've learned that their counterpart in Ontario has taken a substantial financial hit since Teranet took over the land registry. Current fees by Teranet that are being stated are misleading according to our consultations, as they refer to fees in relation to reports, when in fact fees are linked to computer clicks, actual clicks of the mouse - click. That will be a few dollars, click, a few more, click - imagine. How many times when we're sitting in front of our computers, or working on our iPads, do we reach for that mouse? Click - oh, I didn't mean to click that particular icon. Too bad, so sad; you have to pay for that. So, you know, I think that we need to be very, very careful and very, very clear about what's at stake here.

Teranet is forcing appraisers to pay a considerable minimum fee to obtain more information than they originally need, and the minimum fee has been stated to be in excess of $7,000. One appraiser ran out of data usage and they had to pay another $7,000 if they wanted more information. There are only 200 appraisers in Nova Scotia; maybe the government thinks they're insignificant because they're such a small group? But I'll tell you, if we don't have independent appraisers out there looking after the public interest, unbiased in the true appraisal of the value of a property when they're dealing with estates, and they're dealing with being able to acquire a mortgage, I don't know who we can rely on. This is the public good, the public interest; it needs to remain in the public interest. We need not chase people out of this.

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I know I have only one minute left, Madam Speaker, and I want to say to the minister that there's an excellent book on privatization that was written some time ago, called You Don't Always Get What You Pay For, and it was written by a professor of business at Cornell University. He does case studies looking at privatization all over the United States and what he has found is that privatization does not shrink the public sector; in fact, it increases the financial burden on the public sector. I would highly recommend that someone in his department take a look at some empirical research that is unbiased, that is based on real life experience.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, your time has expired.

The honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Madam Speaker, it is an honour to speak to this important topic in this emergency debate this morning - I guess it is this afternoon now. I was sitting here listening to all the debate going on from this morning into this afternoon. I'm hearing a lot of good points on all sides of what can and can't be done and who can and can't do it and so on and so forth. I just want everyone to know that we believe that ways to deliver high quality - and I state that high quality - services efficiently and effectively should be explored in all we do.

I thought I heard - and I don't know for sure, Madam Speaker, because the member wouldn't get on his feet. We have an emergency debate where three people on each caucus can speak and only the minister got up on the Liberal side to give their side of the story. I think I heard - and I could be wrong when I say this and I'll be corrected - the member for Halifax Atlantic was saying that privatization is a real good thing and he was in the background. The member for Halifax Chebucto was saying the same thing.

I hope they're listening when I say this because I would like to hear what they have to say and I'd like to see what they have to say to their constituents when they won't get on their feet and talk about it in an emergency debate but they'll talk in the background and say everything that our people are saying is bad and everything is good. I think it was privatization is good so I hope they'll get on their feet - we still have another little bit in this debate to talk about it - and I hope they'll get on their feet and clarify what they were saying so their constituents will realize what is going on in this Legislature, that it is good or bad, I'd like to hear what they have to say. I'll get off that topic now.

You know, Madam Speaker, (Interruption) he'll have his time, I have my 10 minutes first.

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

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Madam Speaker, I would appreciate if the member for Northside-Westmount would not put words in my mouth that I did not say. If he is going to stand here and give out incorrect . . .

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MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order, order. We'll give the floor to the honourable member for Northside-Westmount.

MR. ORRELL « » : Thank you, Madam Speaker. I'm glad that the member will come in and clarify what I thought he said. I said I thought, I'll stand corrected if he didn't say what he didn't say and he correct it, I'll be okay with that and I thank you very much for that.

Madam Speaker, as the minister said, change is needed. Do you know what? People in this province and people in this country - we just had a federal election - have voted for change. You know change is not always bad, change can be good.

Now we heard in the federal election that the federal Liberals, when they got back into power were going to change how services were delivered to the Veterans Affairs. As of yesterday, an article in the The Chronicle Herald said that now the federal Liberal Government may not put the Veterans Affairs office back in Sydney. That's not the change people are voting for.

Madam Speaker, when change comes about, if it's good change we'll support it, if it's bad change, we don't want to support it. What we want to see is things like red tape cut, save money on that. Save money on how the service delivery is done, more technology. We're hearing $30 million to upgrade a system. That's a lot of money but in the context of what I'm hearing as a profit for these groups, $140 million, to me that's a $110 million profit. I'm hoping that this service, when it's delivered by a company that may be out of province, doesn't take those profits out of the province with them.

What does that send out to our people who deliver the services now? Are we saying that these Nova Scotians can't do the job? Are we saying they don't deserve the money they get for doing these jobs? Some of the people who are coming in here, Madam Speaker, some of the companies - and I'll take one example in the last little bit - a security company that came in to provide security for the new Nova Scotia Health Authority. It's a Vancouver company; they're going to provide security throughout the province.

I've heard from people involved in the system now who do provide security for small businesses and small companies in each of our regions, that these jobs are going to be lower-paying jobs, up to $2 per hour less from this company that's coming into town.

Madam Speaker, not only are people going to be able to pay less taxes, I'm also hearing that they're going to have less hours worked, and that the profits that are going to be made won't be spent here in the province. They're going to leave our fair province. I hope that that doesn't happen if - because I heard the minister say the decision is not made yet, that if this does go to a company that is outside our province, I hope that the province won't go there with it. Delivering services in this province costs money, and profits made on industry like that, and taxes paid by the people who pay taxes, all go into providing services that they provide.

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I know the minister is not in this job to see that happen, and I know he'll do his due diligence to make sure that doesn't happen. I hope that the profits and the money that's spent here can be used for the valuable services we need.

The other thing is in an article in the CBC earlier, that a company that was contracted out earlier, IBM - the contract that set our services at a price similar to the current set of services, which I think is going to happen in this situation if that happens. The fear amongst people who work in these industries is that if technology evolves and new products become available or desired, will this cost more to the province?

We had a deal with the Yarmouth ferry that was going to be $21 million over a set number of years. I think it was six years. Last year they burned through that plus more, and this year they've gone another $13 million because we couldn't book early, we couldn't - and fair enough, but that cost the province money, and I'm hoping that doesn't happen here. If that happens, how much money can we afford to spend? It is a scary thought that the money is going to be spent on services that may require upgrading when we can upgrade the services and provide them ourselves.

So we do have questions. Will lower costs for government mean higher costs for Nova Scotians? Plain and simple. Hopefully not. Who will the real winners be if this outsourcing does take place, if that's what the government decides to do? Will it be the government? Sure, we're going to save some money. Will it be the people of Nova Scotia? Will we get a better service? I hope so. Or will it be the companies who come in to provide the service and do it as cheaply as possible and take the profits and leave? If it's a Nova Scotian company and they reinvest the money, that might be a good thing. So that's the question we have.

Nova Scotians have a right to know what's going on, how much money this is going to cost, and where the company is going to come from - if lower costs mean a company is going to come in here and provide fewer Nova Scotians with jobs, or jobs at a lesser take-home wage, or jobs that are going to provide fewer hours because we don't want to pay the benefits to these workers.

Madam Speaker, I know we have a great province and the people who work in this province who have benefits are able to enjoy a good quality of life. I hope that this stuff is being looked into, because we've already seen millions of dollars - I think it's a $6 million contract - go to a firm from Toronto for our tourism industry.

Our tourism industry is probably one of the biggest industries we have here in this province. It brings people from the outside. It brings in new money. That money that comes into the province is not something that we're recycling from our employees. It's new money that people are coming in and spending.

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We've already looked at ways to create new jobs that were not allowed in this province, and I use fracking for an example. We don't want to frack at a cost to the province that is detrimental, but we eliminated even studying it to see if it's one of the potential ways we can create jobs. Bring our people back from away and make sure that the money we earn stays here; we don't want to see our families leave.

We look at the film jobs. The Premier stood in his place and told us that we weren't going to lose any film jobs - even in the last week, we heard in news reports and from people that the film industry is way down. That money is not coming back here. That money is leaving our province; our people are leaving our province. I have a next door neighbor who works out West, and I think I might have told this story here one time before, he misses a lot of his children's functions and looked at moving his family out there with him. It actually got to the point where his wife went out to Alberta to look for a home because she could take a transfer in her job and the kids and the family could be together again. But after getting out there she realized that their quality of life and their way of life was not going to be good there, so they decided to stay here.

How many families pack their suitcases and leave and make it when they're away and don't ever bring that money back home, and don't ever come back home. Grandparents don't get to see their grandchildren as often and we lose that income in our province.

We know that losing our creative industries, that losing and outsourcing these tourism jobs, these security jobs are all taking money away from our province so far. Now we have another possible alternate service delivery - not a privatization, but it sounds to me that it could be an outsourcing.

The biggest concern that we face is the terrible signal that it sends in our province. It sends the signal that the government doesn't think that our own people, our own Nova Scotia companies can do the job. We know we have good, capable people in this province, good, capable companies, small companies that are the heart and soul of our communities. You take those companies out of the communities, you take those jobs, those well-paying jobs out of our communities and we lose that. We lose the confidence in the people, we lose the volunteers in the community, we lose the Boy Scout leaders, the hockey coaches, the music teachers - the heart and soul of our communities. The people who provide these services are the heart and soul of our community.

You know, this signal undermines the confidence in a sector targeted specifically in the Ivany report for expansion - the tourism industry. How many dozens of jobs will be lost, or could be created if that company was a main company here? We know that the company that is connected to it is here in Nova Scotia, but they've already indicated that they are not going to hire any more people to do the job. It seems to be that the government is determined to kill jobs, send jobs out of the province and really do nothing to look at ways of creating new jobs here in the province and, as I said, it banned new ways of creating good jobs here, and with no plan to create new jobs, we're losing that.

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I heard the minister say earlier that we're freeing up dollars so that we can use this money in other sectors of the government, and he said that all the jobs will be transferred to the company but then it's up to the company what the cost is going to be for those jobs. I think I heard - and I could be wrong again and I'll be corrected if I am - that they will not lose any salary or benefits.

In an article here by the CBC News on September 16, 2015, the Premier of the province said "It's up to those who want to deliver these services to hire whomever they wish to make their case, but we will be making what is the best decision for the taxpayers of Nova Scotia." In my mind, that's not what is in the best decision for the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.

You know, $30 million for the company to come in and provide the service, keep the same benefits, keep the same salary, it almost sounds like the company is going to do a service and come in here and do this for nothing. But I don't think that a company is going to come in here and do anything that's not for a profit. If we can do it for a profit of even $1 million, that's $1 million more than we had before we started.

Madam Speaker, I think the upgrade to the system and the money that we're going to make on top of that is good for our economy. I hope that the research is done well, if those does happen, and I hope that the people who work in these industries can stay here and keep their jobs going.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Order please.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Madam Speaker, I'm glad to have a few moments to stand and talk about an important issue. That's why our caucus felt the need to ensure that this debate happened. As a ruling from the Speaker, it was indicated that the likelihood of this being debated in the House was not there in the foreseeable future. That's why we felt compelled to ensure that this issue was brought to the floor of the Legislature.

When we're dealing with services provided by government to our residents, I think it's always important that we ensure that the government does as much as they can to ensure that those services are provided in an appropriate manner and that government addresses issues that you see.

I've had the privilege now to represent my community of Sackville-Cobequid for just over 12 years. When I was first elected in 2003, one of the issues that was brought to my attention by the residents of not only Sackville-Cobequid but the surrounding area, which had a catchment area of about 100,000 people, was the fact that the residents in the area that I represent had no access to Access Nova Scotia - no appropriate access to an Access Nova Scotia site, or to the ability to register their vehicle. At that time the closest registry office for people to renew their licence, and the services that are provided under Access Nova Scotia today, was in Halifax, and one was in Dartmouth.

[Page 5690]

It was an issue, as I said, for the people who supported me and elected me in the community. It was one that I continued to fight on and advocate for, that those services should be provided closer to communities around the province. Of course, our community felt there was a great need, because of the long wait times that were being seen at the site in Halifax and the site in Dartmouth.

It took a number of years. I want to commend the former Progressive Conservative Government that initiated the construction of an Access Nova Scotia site. I believe it might have been called Motor Vehicle Registry at the time, but they initiated the work toward constructing an Access Nova Scotia site in the community of Lower Sackville, which is well used not only by people who live in Sackville but people from Windsor, the Mount Uniacke area, and the surrounding areas.

That was an investment made by the government at the time, recognizing that services like renewing your licences, or land registry issues that you need to take care of, need to be accessed appropriately. I would hope that the current government would use that example when looking at the issue that is in front of us - an investment that is needed by the government to improve the services that Access Nova Scotia has and delivers to Nova Scotians on behalf of government.

We know it's significant. There has been talk that it is around a $30 million investment that is needed for the upgrade of the computer system, but we believe that's an investment that needs to happen. It needs to happen within the confine of government, because now we're hearing from the government that they are looking at what the minister and the government have been indicating is an alternate service delivery, which, as my Leader indicated, is really privatization of that service.

We've seen time and time again that when services are privatized, the workers are concerned and service has gone down. There have been a number of examples across Canada. When privatization of registries like we may see here in Nova Scotia, the outcome is not to improve services but actually ends up costing taxpayers more. I don't think that's the route we want to take, Madam Speaker.

It's interesting when I was looking back at some of the statements that the government made prior to them winning the election in 2013. In their platform they had a number of statements that they delivered to the public, saying this is how we're going to operate if we are given the opportunity to govern. One of the statements was to get Nova Scotia back to work by making it easier for businesses to grow, prosper and create jobs that we need, Madam Speaker. That was one of the statements that was made, but privatization of the registry will add to the cost of doing business. We've seen it in other jurisdictions time and time again. It'll threaten jobs and I believe, make life less affordable for Nova Scotians. That's contrary to what the Liberal Party was offering Nova Scotians at the time.

[Page 5691]

Another statement, Madam Speaker, was get our province's finances under control and treat taxpayers' dollars with the integrity, after years of corporate handouts. That was a statement in the 2013 Liberal platform. Privatizing the registry would be the biggest corporate handout since the privatization of Nova Scotia Power. The amount of money that's involved in and generated through the Access Nova Scotia Registry is well over $100 million a year. So, just in a decade you're talking about $1 billion that is brought into the province, and it would hurt the bottom line of the province.

There may be a bump or a benefit at the start but in the long run the increase will be a burden on taxpayers. One of the interesting things is we know some of the other debates going on here in Nova Scotia, and some of the other investment that is needed, is the replacement of the Centennial Building, a new hospital, which is going to cost a lot of money, Madam Speaker. It is interesting that the government is not willing to invest in a service that generates revenue that could help pay for the replacement of the Centennial Building.

I predict, Madam Speaker, that we may see another debate around the hospital and the replacement of the hospital that that too may be under a P3 model. We'll be making sure that Nova Scotians know and the government knows, that some of the examples we have seen in that alone across the country has created burden on taxpayers all across the country. I think it's not the route we want to see our province go.

Another statement that was delivered to Nova Scotians during that 2013 election and in the Liberal platform was that it's time to invest in our province, in each other and in our children. Why won't the government commit to investing in upgrading the registry, Madam Speaker? I mentioned that already. This government has spent over $40 million of taxpayer dollars on the Nova Star, and that's to date so far, in two short years. We know that they've given RBC over $20 million. So it's interesting to see the contradiction between the statements made and the promises made to Nova Scotians, and the action of the government over the last two years.

In their platform another statement, that it's time to put Nova Scotians first, that was another statement we heard a lot. It was on most of their campaign literature, but privatizing the registry puts, really, the Liberal Party first. It would put the profits of an out-of-province company ahead of the interests of Nova Scotians, and we've already had a number of members discuss some of the concerns around a campaign manager for the Liberals and his connection with one of the companies that are looking at trying to take over the registry. Again, a contradiction on what they promised to Nova Scotians and then their actions over the last two years.

[Page 5692]

They also indicated that Nova Scotia must control its own destiny. That was a statement that was in the platform, Madam Speaker. Privatizing the registry would lessen Nova Scotia's control over its own destiny, the complete opposite of what they were proposing and what they were offering Nova Scotians. That's why there are a number of people concerned; it's not just the NDP caucus. We have been in contact with a number of organizations who will be directly affected by the fact that if the registry is privatized, there will be an impact in their organizations, their companies, and their businesses, and there will be an impact on their destiny, their ability to control their destiny as a Nova Scotia company.

So, Madam Speaker, we hope, as the government moves forward, that they recognize that consultation needs to happen. It was interesting to hear the minister indicate that once a decision is made, there will be consultation. I don't think that's the way forward to try to make sure that Nova Scotia and the interests of the taxpayers of Nova Scotia are at the forefront of any decision made by this government.

They have been very quiet and they try very hard not to mention the P3 model. We know from history that entering those types of agreements has cost the province immensely. Our own Auditor General has indicated that the P3 model for the schools that were negotiated back when the Liberals were in power the last time has cost tens of millions of additional dollars to the province than if, at that time, they made the decision to keep those schools and the construction of those schools within government. We know just ahead of us now, in the year ahead, two years ahead, three years ahead, the government will have to make a decision on what to do with those schools and what to do with those contracts.

It's alarming to know - it seems like this freight train that the government is on around privatizing the registries is going full-throttle ahead. What we're asking for is that the government slow down, make sure that proper consultation takes place, and truly put the best interest of Nova Scotians first, like they promised in their platform, Madam Speaker - put the interest of Nova Scotians first so that we don't see what we have today in the current environment when the government made the decision a long time ago about the privatization of Nova Scotia Power. When government gives that up and gives up the control of a service that is currently provided, it's extremely hard and very rare to see those services return to government control.

Much of our debate over the last 10 or 12 years has been on power rates and on power service here in Nova Scotia. That, too, was a big statement in the Liberal campaign and the Liberal platform, about breaking the monopoly of Nova Scotia Power, but it hasn't happened yet. Nova Scotia Power is the only company that I can purchase power from, Madam Speaker, in my community of Lower Sackville; it's the only one. So they have not broken the monopoly, let's be very clear on that. And I don't think we'll ever see it. It's not something that the government can afford unless they put billions and billions of dollars back into trying to get that service back.

[Page 5693]

We foresee that this is going down the same track, Madam Speaker, and that's unfortunate because it is a revenue-generating service that brings in well over $100 million a year. We believe, as a caucus, that the government should continue to maintain control over that, and there are better ways to find efficiencies than to look at a P3 model.

I hope, with those comments and the comments from my colleagues, that the government recognizes that it's time to slow that freight train down so that we don't see what happened in the past, happen in the future when it comes to revenue and the destiny of services here in our province. Thank you.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Madam Speaker, I don't have a lot to say but sitting here and listening to the comments I know that the minister has worked very hard on this, as well, all of us have looked around the area. I live in an area where there is an Access Nova Scotia. The service provided through the employees there is running really well. It's a brand-new building and actually one of my concerns is what happens if we do privatize and outsource. What happens to all these new buildings that have gone up? What happens with all the assets that come with Access Nova Scotia? Do they go to this company that is going to be taking over these services?

There are a lot of concerns around the fees. We've already seen over the last decade, the increase in 1,400 fees that we have has been increased almost on an annual basis, so there are a lot of concerns around that. I think one of the things that the minister might want to consider is I feel there has been a disconnect with going through this process and keeping in touch with those who are employed at Access Nova Scotia. I know there are a lot of concerns from the employees for what the future holds for their employment there.

The minister stated earlier that there will be no change in their wages, but that's not what I'm hearing from them. I would ask that a better, more transparent dialogue happen between the employees at all Access Nova Scotia locations, just to provide assurance to them that their job is actually going to be safe. At the end of the day, that's what it's about for us: protecting these jobs and protecting these employees who are quite capable and do very well in their job, and making sure that they know that there are going to be some efficiencies made, but it certainly isn't jeopardizing the positions that they hold.

Once again, we are concerned with our new building that we have in Pictou County and what will actually happen to the building. Will the government charge rent for a company that may come in and oversee the privatization of that? Will we rent that out to that company or not?

[Page 5694]

The other thing that concerns me as I speak about the employees is that we did have the Premier say that it's up to those who want to deliver those services to hire whoever they wish to make their case, but we will be making what is the best decision for taxpayers of Nova Scotia. Well, I ask, is this the best decision for taxpayers of Nova Scotia, to consider privatizing?

I don't see anything broken in Access Nova Scotia. As we all know, we all have to go in, and there are lots of fees that we have to pay, whether it's for a fishing licence or recently taking my daughter in to get her driver's licence. I'm due to go in to renew a vehicle, actually, and every time I go in there, I am so impressed with the service.

Once again, I'm really concerned about the employees, and I would like to see a better dialogue open up between the minister and the employees, just to ensure that they are comfortable in moving forward with this.

On that note, Madam Speaker, I will take my seat. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER « » : Seeing no other speakers, that ends our emergency debate for this afternoon. With that, I would like to thank everyone who took part in the emergency debate.

We stand adjourned until Tuesday, November 17th, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 1:08 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 5695]

(Tabled Nov. 12, 2015)

RESOLUTION NO. 2358

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

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

Whereas for over 50 years, the Royal Canadian Legion has sponsored annual poster and literary contests that are open to all students in the Canadian school system, and the youths who participate in these contests assist the Legion in fostering the tradition of remembrance amongst Canadians; and

Whereas in this past year approximately 100,000 primary, junior, intermediate, and senior students participated in these national contests; and

Whereas Jacob Gilby, a student at Hants East Regional High, placed second in the 2015 Poster and Literary Contest for his essay in the senior section;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate and thank Jacob Gilby for being awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Shubenacadie, Elmsdale and Enfield Legion Committee for donating his winnings from the contest to the Legion Poppy Fund.

RESOLUTION NO. 2359

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

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

Whereas for over 50 years, the Royal Canadian Legion has sponsored annual poster and literary contests that are open to all students in the Canadian school system, and the youths who participate in these contests assist the Legion in fostering the tradition of remembrance amongst Canadians; and

Whereas in this past year approximately 100,000 primary, junior, intermediate, and senior students participated in these national contests; and

Whereas Mark Gallant, a student at Riverside Education Centre, placed first in the 2015 Poster and Literary Contest for his black-and-white poster in the junior section;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Mark Gallant for his outstanding work and interest in remembrance and our veterans.

[Page 5696]

RESOLUTION NO. 2360

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

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

Whereas for over 50 years, the Royal Canadian Legion has sponsored annual poster and literary contests that are open to all students in the Canadian school system, and the youths who participate in these contests assist the Legion in fostering the tradition of remembrance amongst Canadians; and

Whereas in this past year approximately 100,000 primary, junior, intermediate, and senior students participated in these national contests; and

Whereas Natalie Chisholm, a student at Riverside Education Centre, placed first in the 2015 Poster and Literary Contest for her essay in the junior section;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Natalie Chisholm for her outstanding work and interest in remembrance and our veterans.

RESOLUTION NO. 2361

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

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

Whereas the 2015 Pan American Games took place from July 10th-26th in Toronto, Ontario; and

Whereas Brad Ferguson, a chiropractor with ProTex Services in Elmsdale, was part of the Team Canada medical staff for the rugby team; and

Whereas Brad had the opportunity to obtain hands-on experience with high-level athletes and network with other medical professionals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brad Ferguson on being the only chiropractor from Nova Scotia chosen to be on this elite team.

[Page 5697]

RESOLUTION NO. 2362

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

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

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in the school and community, as well as commendable academic performance; and

Whereas in May 2015, Megan Vanessa Payne was awarded this prestigious award by Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor, John James Grant, for her many achievements, including maintaining her honours with distinction status throughout junior and senior high school; and

Whereas Ms. Payne was a participant in the Acadia Huggins Science Seminar and the St. F.X. Math Camp; VP of Human Resources in the Junior Achievement's Company program; leader of the We Act Committee for two years; a member of the HNRH girls' volleyball team and Kennetcook club volleyball; a member of the community theatre ONSTAGE, and she performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; and a volunteer as a summer camp counsellor and at the Kennetcook Days Festival;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Megan Vanessa Payne on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Medal and wish her every success in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2363

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

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

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in the school and community, as well as commendable academic performance; and

Whereas in May 2015, Nicholas Anthony Balzan was awarded this prestigious award by Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor, John James Grant, for his many achievements, including maintaining his honours with distinction status; and

[Page 5698]

Whereas Mr. Balzan has competed in the University of Waterloo as well as the Pascal, Cayley, and Fermat Math competitions; competed in the World Wide Science Fair in Grades 9, 10, and 11; participates in track and field, ski club, and the soccer program for the past 12 years, both as a player and as a referee; has played winter soccer for the last four years; and last year was on the East Hants Under 18 Team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Nicholas Anthony Balzan on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Medal and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2364

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

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

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in the school and community, as well as commendable academic performance; and

Whereas in May 2015, MacGillivray Monica Smith was awarded this prestigious award by Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor, John James Grant, for her many achievements, including maintaining her honours with distinction status; and

Whereas Ms. Smith has participated in HERH events such as Jazz and Concert Band and softball; was a Nova Scotia International Student Program Student Ambassador; was a "Shave for the Brave" organizer; was a participant in the school-wide science fair; was a member of the student council; competed in the Women's Air Rifle Target Shooting; in February represented Nova Scotia in the Canada Games; and volunteers in the Relay for Life and the Penguin Run;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate MacGillivray Monica Smith on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Medal and wish her every success in her future endeavours.



RESOLUTION NO. 2365

[Page 5699]

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

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

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is awarded annually to students who have demonstrated qualities of leadership and service in the school and community, as well as commendable academic performance; and

Whereas in May 2015, Brandon Eric MacPhee was awarded this prestigious award by Nova Scotia's Lieutenant Governor, John James Grant, for his many achievements, including maintaining his honours with distinction status throughout junior and senior high school; and

Whereas Mr. MacPhee has participated in the Acadia Huggins Science Seminar, the St. F.X. Math Camp, and the Elder's Conference on Social Justice; was president of Lil Chappy in the Junior Achievement's Company program; was a member of ONSTAGE, a community theatre group that performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland; is a volunteer at the Gore Fire Department and Rawdon Hills Cemetery cleanups; fundraises for the Rawdon Hills Health Centre; and participates each year in summer soccer;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Brandon Eric MacPhee on receiving the Lieutenant Governor's Medal and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2366

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

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society's fight against cancer is only possible with dedicated and hard-working volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents; and

Whereas on April 14, 2015, the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society recognized those who have been instrumental in raising funds for research and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer; and

Whereas Myrna Isenor of Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia, received her 10-year pin for her dedication and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many years of service Myrna has devoted to bettering our community.

[Page 5700]

RESOLUTION NO. 2367

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

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society's fight against cancer is only possible with dedicated and hard-working volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents; and

Whereas on April 14, 2015, the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society recognized those who have been instrumental in raising funds for research and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer; and

Whereas Holly Ferguson of Enfield received her 5-year pin for her dedication and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many years of service Holly has devoted to bettering our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2368

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

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society's fight against cancer is only possible with dedicated and hard-working volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents; and

Whereas on April 14, 2015, the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society recognized those who have been instrumental in raising funds for research and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer; and

Whereas George Moxom of Hardwood Lands received a special certificate for his many contributions to the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many contributions George has given to our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2369

[Page 5701]

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

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society's fight against cancer is only possible with dedicated and hard-working volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents; and

Whereas on April 14, 2015, the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society recognized those who have been instrumental in raising funds for research and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer; and

Whereas Dorothy Aitken of Milford, Nova Scotia, received her 10-year pin for her dedication and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many years of service Dorothy has devoted to bettering our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2370

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

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society's fight against cancer is only possible with dedicated and hard-working volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents; and

Whereas on April 14, 2015, the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society recognized those who have been instrumental in raising funds for research and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer; and

Whereas Donna Grant of Hardwood Lands received her 35-year pin for her dedication and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many years of service Donna has devoted to bettering our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2371

[Page 5702]

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

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

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society's fight against cancer is only possible with dedicated and hard-working volunteers who selflessly give their time and talents; and

Whereas on April 14, 2015, the Hants East unit of the Canadian Cancer Society recognized those who have been instrumental in raising funds for research and improving the quality of life of people living with cancer; and

Whereas Delores Bond of Barr Settlement received her 25-year pin for her dedication and commitment to the Canadian Cancer Society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the many years of service Delores has devoted to bettering our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2372

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

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

Whereas the Under-14 Basketball Nova Scotia Program is the first age class for provincial team programming and, in this program development, fundamental movement skills and fundamental basketball skills are where the major emphasis is placed for these athletes; and

Whereas there are two evenly split development teams for each gender and the athletes train in a high-intensity environment, working on their basketball skills through learning and competing drills, and they also play exhibition games against local teams as well as teams from other provinces throughout the summer; and

Whereas for the summer of 2015 there were six girls from Hants East who earned the right to participate in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Emily Trainor for representing Nova Scotia on the Under-14 girls basketball development team.

RESOLUTION NO. 2373

[Page 5703]

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

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

Whereas the Under-14 Basketball Nova Scotia Program is the first age class for provincial team programming and, in this program development, fundamental movement skills and fundamental basketball skills are where the major emphasis is placed for these athletes; and

Whereas there are two evenly split development teams for each gender and the athletes train in a high-intensity environment, working on their basketball skills through learning and competing drills, and they also play exhibition games against local teams as well as teams from other provinces throughout the summer; and

Whereas for the summer of 2015 there were six girls from Hants East who earned the right to participate in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Gracie MacIntyre for representing Nova Scotia on the Under-14 girls basketball development team.

RESOLUTION NO. 2374

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

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

Whereas the Under-14 Basketball Nova Scotia Program is the first age class for provincial team programming and, in this program development, fundamental movement skills and fundamental basketball skills are where the major emphasis is placed for these athletes; and

Whereas there are two evenly split development teams for each gender and the athletes train in a high-intensity environment, working on their basketball skills through learning and competing drills, and they also play exhibition games against local teams as well as teams from other provinces throughout the summer; and

Whereas for the summer of 2015 there were six girls from Hants East who earned the right to participate in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Ireland Miller for representing Nova Scotia on the Under-14 girls basketball development team.

[Page 5704]

RESOLUTION NO. 2375

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

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

Whereas the Under-14 Basketball Nova Scotia Program is the first age class for provincial team programming and, in this program development, fundamental movement skills and fundamental basketball skills are where the major emphasis is placed for these athletes; and

Whereas there are two evenly split development teams for each gender and the athletes train in a high-intensity environment, working on their basketball skills through learning and competing drills, and they also play exhibition games against local teams as well as teams from other provinces throughout the summer; and

Whereas for the summer of 2015 there were six girls from Hants East who earned the right to participate in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Sarah Delorey for representing Nova Scotia on the Under-14 girls basketball development team.

RESOLUTION NO. 2376

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

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

Whereas the Under-14 Basketball Nova Scotia Program is the first age class for provincial team programming and, in this program development, fundamental movement skills and fundamental basketball skills are where the major emphasis is placed for these athletes; and

Whereas there are two evenly split development teams for each gender and the athletes train in a high-intensity environment, working on their basketball skills through learning and competing drills, and they also play exhibition games against local teams as well as teams from other provinces throughout the summer; and

Whereas for the summer of 2015 there were six girls from Hants East who earned the right to participate in this program;

[Page 5705]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Mikayla Bianchi for representing Nova Scotia on the Under-14 girls basketball development team.

RESOLUTION NO. 2377

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

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

Whereas the Under-14 Basketball Nova Scotia Program is the first age class for provincial team programming and, in this program development, fundamental movement skills and fundamental basketball skills are where the major emphasis is placed for these athletes; and

Whereas there are two evenly split development teams for each gender and the athletes train in a high-intensity environment, working on their basketball skills through learning and competing drills, and they also play exhibition games against local teams as well as teams from other provinces throughout the summer; and

Whereas for the summer of 2015 there were six girls from Hants East who earned the right to participate in this program;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Megan Singer for representing Nova Scotia on the Under-14 girls basketball development team.

RESOLUTION NO. 2378

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

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

Whereas Master Corporal Scott Thompson grew up in Nile Mile River, graduated from Hants East Rural High, and joined the Canadian Air Force as an Aviation Systems Technician in April, 2005; and

Whereas Master Corporal Thompson has worked in over 100 countries and on six continents, peacekeeping, training and spending long periods of time away from his family and friends; and

[Page 5706]

Whereas on October 15, 2015 Master Corporal Scott Thompson received the Wing Commanders Commendation;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Master Corporal Scott Thompson on his commendation and thank him for his service in the Canadian Armed Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2379

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

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

Whereas the Knights of Columbus is an international Catholic organization that supports their church and community both locally and globally; and

Whereas in 2009, the Knights of Columbus launched the Coats for Kids initiative to help families with young children struggling in tough economic times keep their kids warm in harsh winter climates; and

Whereas the Knights of Columbus from St. Bernard's Parish in Enfield annually purchase and deliver winter coats to the food banks in Enfield, Shubenacadie and Indian Brook, and this year they will each receive 48 coats to distribute to children in need;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank the Enfield Knights of Columbus for ensuring that the children from the Corridor area of Hants East are protected for harsh cold of winter.

RESOLUTION NO. 2380

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

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

Whereas every year on November 11th Canadian Veterans are honoured and remembered; and

Whereas Christine MacAskill joined the Enfield Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in her mid-twenties at the request of her father; and

[Page 5707]

Whereas Christine Speaks with Veterans to record their stories and educates the younger generations on the people who served and died for Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly thank Christine MacAskill for her dedication to teaching the importance of remembering our fallen Canadian soldiers.

RESOLUTION NO. 2381

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas CPO2 Paige Janssen is a cadet with RCSCC Iroquois and has made many accomplishments through the cadet program; and

Whereas she holds such titles as Top National Standing Shooter for her impeccable marksmanship; and

Whereas her dedication to the sport of marksmanship has made her a Gold Medal in National Standing Position Marksman Match;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Paige Janssen on her accomplishments of National Marksman Top Sea Cadet and the the Lord Strathacona Medal.

RESOLUTION NO. 2382

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas CPO1 James Robinson, the Coxswain of 339 IROQUOIS, received the prestigious award of Royal Canadian Legion National Cadet of the Year; and

Whereas his hard work and many accomplishments have made him eligible for this award including Top Staff Sea Cadet; and

Whereas he also participates in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and spends his summers at HMCS Acadia as a staff cadet;

[Page 5708]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate James Robinson on receiving the high honour of Royal Canadian Legion National Cadet of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2383

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Robyn Currie is a member of the 18 Dartmouth Lions Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron; and

Whereas she has earned Warrant Officer First Class, which is the top rank with the royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron; and

Whereas she has received the Lord Strathcona Medal, which is the highest award a cadet can receive;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Robyn Currie on reaching so many successes within the Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron (RCACS) and wish her many more years of success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2384

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Brad Crossley, an educator at Astral Drive Junior High in Cole Harbour, received the Inspire Leadership Award on November 4, 2015; and

Whereas he has spent the last 28 years coaching various levels of competitive hockey and his coaching of players included Sydney Crosby; and

Whereas he is not only a coach but also an avid athlete completing a 4400km self-supported bike race that raised $27,000 for The Children's Wish Foundation and Autism Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brad Crossley on his accomplishments that has led him to receive the Inspire Leadership Award.

[Page 5709]

RESOLUTION NO. 2385

By: Ms. Joyce Treen « » (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas on Tuesday, May 26th 52 paramedics from across Nova Scotia were recognized with Long Service Awards; and

Whereas Darrell Bardua received the Long Service Award for his 25 years of service; and

Whereas he is a highly trained professional who has worked within communities to improve and expand the care available to those in need;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Darrell Bardua on receiving the Paramedic Long Service Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2386

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 Frank John Harry Johnston, a Grade 12 Halifax West High School student, earned his Bronze Cross with the Lifesaving Society and worked as a slide attendant at the Canada Games Centre as his first part time job where he came to the attention of the Director of the Lifesaving Society of Nova Scotia, Gordon Richardson; and

Whereas Frank's work in helping the Lifesaving Society fulfill its mission of preventing drowning and aquatic injuries for all Nova Scotians, while at the same time promoting the enjoyment of our aquatic environment, earned him "The Royal Lifesaving Society Commonwealth Council Certificate of Thanks" for his outstanding volunteer contribution to making Nova Scotia a water smart and water active Province; and

Whereas Frank went on to volunteer and then work for the Prospect Road Community Centre with their after school program and summer camps, providing recreation oversight for elementary school children and he also is a member of "Jack.org" at Halifax West, whose vision is, "No More Silence" on the subject of mental health;

[Page 5710]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly commend Frank on his volunteer commitments and wish him well in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2387

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 in the summer of 1998 concerned residents along the Prospect Road from Halifax to Peggy's Cove and in subdivisions served by Route 333 formed the Prospect Road Citizens on Patrol Unit; and

Whereas the Prospect Road Citizens on Patrol Unit was comprised of local citizens who supplemented police patrols to help reduce crime by keeping a neighbourly watch over their communities; and

Whereas Joe and Joy MacPherson of Shad Bay and Andrew Mitchell of Prospect Bay were all founding members of the Prospect Road Citizens on Patrol Unit, each of them continued to serve until the organization ceased to exist earlier this year, demonstrating an admirable commitment and dedication to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate all members of the Prospect Road Citizens on Patrol Unit and thank them for their service to community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2388

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 in the early 1990s residents of the Prospect communities came together to work with their local municipal councillor to increase recreational activities by forming the Prospect Road and Area Recreation Association; and

Whereas The Prospect Road & Area Recreation Association was instrumental in advocating for and working toward getting the Prospect Road Community Centre and has granted funds to numerous community-based volunteer organizations from Goodwood to West Dover to fulfill their mandate; and

[Page 5711]

Whereas Kelly Carlton has for more than a decade worked with successive elected officials and led a small but committed group of community champions as Chair of the Prospect Road and Area Recreation Association;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in acknowledging the huge positive contribution to community made by the Prospect Road and Area Recreation Association and its Chair, Kelly Carlton.

RESOLUTION NO. 2389

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas Constable John Robert Caughey was honoured on November 2, 2015, at the Nova Scotia Police Long Service Awards; and

Whereas Constable Caughey, who is stationed at the Antigonish RCMP Detachment, has been an invaluable member in the Antigonish community; and

Whereas for having served over 15 years of service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this award is very much deserved as he has helped Nova Scotians and Canadians live safe, healthy and vibrant lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Constable Caughey on receiving a Long Service Award and thank him for his years of dedication and leadership.

RESOLUTION NO. 2390

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas on May 26, 2015, the Minister of Health and Wellness presented 52 paramedics with between 20 and 40 years of experience with a Paramedic Long Service Awards for their experience; and

Whereas one of those paramedics was Derek LeBlanc of Antigonish; and

Whereas Derek was presented with an award for his 25 years of service;

[Page 5712]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Derek for receiving a Long Service Award for 25 years of caring for Nova Scotians as a first responder and thank him for his service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2391

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas on May 13, 2015, at the Celebrate Excellence in Nursing Awards Banquet, 11 awards were presented to registered nurses; and

Whereas the event is meant to recognize the success of registered nurses from across the province who have been recognized by their colleagues for their excellence in nursing; and

Whereas the Honorary Life Membership Award went to a retired professor at St. Francis Xavier University who has devoted her career to achieving excellence in nursing education, practice and research;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ellen MacFarlane for being presented with the Honorary Life Membership Award on behalf of the College of Registered Nurses of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 2392

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas on October 22nd, 2015 the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Gala during Small Business Week; and

Whereas the Ian Spencer Excellence in Business Award went to Antigonish Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company for its community-minded approach to business and providing insurance coverage for over 100 years; and

Whereas this award is named in memory of Ian Spencer and is in recognition of his commitment to bridging the gap between business and the community;

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Antigonish Farmers' Mutual Insurance Company on winning the Ian Spencer Excellence in Business Award.

[Page 5713]

RESOLUTION NO. 2393

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas Martha Brown was recognized as the 2015 Woodland Owner of the Year for the Eastern Region and was also the overall provincial winner, making her the first sole female provincial winner of the Woodland Owner of the Year; and

Whereas the Woodland Owner of the Year Award recognizes outstanding woodland stewards while encouraging sustainable woodland management; and

Whereas Martha's 162 hectares in West Lochaber have been in her family since the early 1940s and was passed over to her in the early 1980s with which she has produced a variety of products including hardwood logs, balsam fir brush for wreaths, pulpwood, blueberries, and firewood.

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Martha on being recognized as the 2015 Woodlot Owner of the Year for the Eastern Region and for being the first sole female provincial winner of the Woodland Owner of the Year.

RESOLUTION NO. 2394

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas on October 22nd, 2015 the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Gala during Small Business Week; and

Whereas Tera Keizer was the recipient of the Young Entrepreneur Award as part owner of Gold Dust Tanning; and

Whereas this award is designed to recognize youth who have excelled in the development and enhancement of the economic infrastructure and contributed to the prosperity and well-being of Antigonish through entrepreneurship;

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tera on winning the Young Entrepreneur Award.

[Page 5714]

RESOLUTION NO. 2395

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas on October 22nd, 2015 the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Gala during Small Business Week; and

Whereas the individual who won the Outstanding Customer Service Award was Tim McGraw from Tim's Service Centre, who has a reputation of being honest and treating customers with the utmost respect and professionalism; and

Whereas this award is designed to turn the spotlight on an employee who has demonstrated outstanding customer service to their customers;

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tim McGraw on winning the Outstanding Customer Service Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2396

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas on October 22nd, 2015, the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce held its annual Business Gala during Small Business Week; and

Whereas The Townhouse Brewpub and Eatery won the Emerging Business Award for its incredible menu, atmosphere, and selection of Nova Scotia craft beers; and

Whereas this award is designed to put the spotlight on a new profitable business showing excellence in new or innovative product or service, quality of merchandise/customer service, job creation, growth potential, market served, and community involvement;

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Rosemary Murphy, Terry Piercey, and the staff at The Townhouse Brewpub and Eatery for winning the 2015 Emerging Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 2397

[Page 5715]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas The Roaring 20's Antique Auto Club of Yarmouth County organized a most successful antique car rally at this year's Seafest; and

Whereas the rally has grown from 212 last year to 400 this year; and

Whereas this rally has become a major attraction in the Yarmouth Seafest;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the organizers of the Classic Car show and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2398

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Ashley Mooney of Yarmouth has been chosen the 1st Lady in Waiting at the 2015 Seafest; and

Whereas Ashley is a graduate of Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School; and

Whereas she is now a student at Mount Saint Vincent University;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ashley Mooney on her selection as 1st Lady in Waiting and wish her success in her university studies.

RESOLUTION NO. 2399

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas 15-year-old Mikaela Rhodenizer of Yarmouth has been chosen the CBC Young Athlete of the Day for November 2nd; and

[Page 5716]

Whereas Mikaela, a Grade 10 student at Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School, has been a member of the Yarmouth Curling Club for seven years; and

Whereas she also participated in 4-H, highland dance, and horseback riding;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mikaela on her award and wish her continued success with her diversified activities.

RESOLUTION NO. 2400

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Cecil Hamm-Roy of Yarmouth has been awarded the Quilt of Valour for his volunteer service; and

Whereas he served his country during the Korean Conflict; and

Whereas Cecil Hamm-Roy has devoted many hours to volunteer work, especially with the Christmas Daddies fundraiser;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cecil Hamm-Roy for his receipt of the Quilt of Valour and thank him for his continuing volunteer service to his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2401

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Cecil Roy of Yarmouth and Stephen Sollows of the Municipality of Yarmouth have received provincial volunteer awards; and

Whereas this is the 41st year for these provincial volunteer awards; and

Whereas these two gentlemen have contributed many hours to volunteerism;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Cecil Roy and Stephen Sollows on receipt of these prestigious awards and thank them for their selfless service to their district.

[Page 5717]

RESOLUTION NO. 2402

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Yarmouth artist David Gorman had his works on display at th'Yarc Regional Arts Council gallery during the summer of 2015; and

Whereas David Gorman Works in a drill ship, usually sailing out of Turkey to Cypress, painting during his leaves at home; and

Whereas he is continually experimenting in abstract forms to capture the essence of western Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of this House of Assembly congratulate David Gorman on his artistic achievements to date and wish him continuing success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2403

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas students of Port Maitland School participated in Student Vote, a national civic program designed to teach students the importance of democracy; and

Whereas the initiative in this school was organized by teachers Allan Whittaker and Glenys Stephenson; and

Whereas across Canada over 700 schools and 700, 000 students participated in this important project;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of this House of Assembly congratulate the students and teachers at Port Maitland school on their significant initiative.

RESOLUTION NO. 2404

[Page 5718]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Ellie Robichaud of South Ohio, Yarmouth County, earned a gold medal for her essay at the 32nd provincial Concours D'art Oratoire; and

Whereas Ellie is a French Immersion student at Meadowfields Community School; and

Whereas Ellie was one of the 141 students participating in this contest;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ellie Robichaud on her fine achievement and wish her well in her studies.

RESOLUTION NO. 2405

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas three Yarmouth skaters, Shayleigh Doucet, Kylie Landry, and Sharlie Pinksen, represented Nova Scotia in the pre-juvenile Atlantic figure skating competition; and

Whereas Shayleigh Doucet won a bronze medal in the competition; and

Whereas all three skaters will attend Skate Nova Scotia's annual Gala Awards Show;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of this House of Assembly congratulate these three skaters on their fine showing and wish them continuing success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2406

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas YCMHS girls have won the rugby league championship; and

[Page 5719]

Whereas girls' rugby is a relative newcomer in this area; and

Whereas YCMHS girls were the top-seeded team in the tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate YCMHS girls on their success in the rugby league championship.

RESOLUTION NO. 2407

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Mike Gorman, formerly of Yarmouth, and the late Fred Hatfield, are featured in a photography exhibit at the Western Branch of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mike Gorman, a writer for The Chronicle Herald, has excelled in portrait photography; and

Whereas the late Fred Hatfield who was editor of the Yarmouth Vanguard, was devoted to photography through his lifetime;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate this duo on their initiative in producing so many portraits of Yarmouth Citizens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2408

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas 68-year-old Imrich Kiraly of Yarmouth was a winner at the Canadian Masters Track and Field Championships; and

Whereas he placed first in the hammer throw, the weight throw, and the discus, and won third place in the shot put; and

Whereas Imrich Kiraly provides proof that it is possible to excel in athletics during one's senior years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Imrich Kiraly on his continuing success and thank him for providing the province with a very positive role model.

[Page 5720]

RESOLUTION NO. 2409

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Kennedy LeBlanc of Yarmouth has been chosen the 2015 Seafest Queen; and

Whereas Kennedy is a graduate of Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School; and

Whereas she is now a second year student at the Dalhousie School of Nursing in Yarmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kennedy LeBlanc on her choice as the 2015 Seafest Queen and wish her success as she pursues her chosen career.

RESOLUTION NO. 2410

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas four contemporary First Nations artists have displayed their work at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia's Western Branch in Yarmouth; and

Whereas these four artists, Charles Doucette, Fran Francis, Courtney Leonard and Alan Syliboy will present their work at the Halifax branch of the Art of Nova Scotia in 2016; and

Whereas the important theme of their work is portraying the parallel journeys of the Mi'kmaq people and the whales of North America;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate these four artists on their achievement and wish them success as they display their excellent work to the public.

RESOLUTION NO. 2411

[Page 5721]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Lyle Goodwin of Yarmouth has produced a movie, "South of Heaven"; and

Whereas he is selling his movie independently through the digital distribution platform, VHX; and

Whereas this movie was produced locally and features a cast of local actors;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lyle Goodwin and wish him success in the marketing of this artistic product.

RESOLUTION NO. 2412

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Lynn Doucette has been named citizen of the year by the Yarmouth Lions Club; and

Whereas Lynn Doucette has served as manager of the Yarmouth Golf and Country Club since 2008; and

Whereas she has been recognized for her selfless devotion to her position;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lynn Doucette on her receipt of this award and thank her for her service to her community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2413

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas YCMHS international students Sujeong King and Tomke Schilling have depicted Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela in a painting on the front interior staircase of the high school; and

[Page 5722]

Whereas the project was directed by YCMHS art teacher Dave Baldwin; and

Whereas this project created much positive energy in the school;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Sujeong Kim and Tomke Schilling on their artistic achievement and wish them much success in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2414

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Mike Ferguson of Yarmouth has earned a sterling reputation as brewmaster at Rudder's Brew Pub and Seafood Restaurant; and

Whereas Mike Ferguson moved to Yarmouth from Ontario after retiring from the Canadian National Railway; and

Whereas he has helped to make craft beer an important part of the hospitality industry;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mike Ferguson on his work as a brewmaster and wish him continued success at Rudder's.

RESOLUTION NO. 2415

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Natalia Tate of Yarmouth County participated in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon as a member of Team ALS Canada; and

Whereas Natalia ran to raise funds to fight ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease); and

Whereas she completed this gruelling marathon in memory of her father, David Tate, who died this year from ALS;

[Page 5723]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Natalia Tate on her successful completion of this marathon and acknowledge her dedication to the cause of combating ALS.

RESOLUTION NO. 2416

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Nicholas Muise of Yarmouth has received the NSCC Burridge Governor General's Academic Medal and the Board of Governors' Award for his achievement in Information Technology - Web Programming; and

Whereas the Governor General's Academic Medal recognizes the student with the highest academic standing; and

Whereas the Board of Governors' Award recognizes outstanding academic achievement and contribution to campus and community activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nicholas Muise on his achievements and wish him well with his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2417

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Trilby Watson and Shane Ward of Yarmouth provide a story of his recovery from life-threatening illness; and

Whereas Shane Ward suffered complications from heat stroke incurred in their waterfront food wagon, The Red Shed; and

Whereas they credit Yarmouth family, friends, and a determined medical team for his recovery and the continued success of The Red Shed;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly offer them congratulations on their determination in the face of the odds, and wish them continuing success with their business venture.

[Page 5724]

RESOLUTION NO. 2418

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas astronomer Tim Doucette is constructing an observatory on the Frotten Road in Quinan; and

Whereas Tim Doucette, who has been visually impaired since birth, has overcome this obstacle; and

Whereas he is completing construction of only the second telescope in the world with a social media interface;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tim Doucette on his initiative and marvelous achievement, and wish him success as a member of the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 2419

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas artist Tootsie Emin of Yarmouth has had her work displayed at th'YARC Arts Centre; and

Whereas Tootsie Emin in her work has examined the four elements in a showing titled "Elements of Life"; and

Whereas she began painting in 1989 and has been a prolific artist since that date;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tootsie Emin on her latest achievement, and wish her continuing success in her career as an artist.

RESOLUTION NO. 2420

[Page 5725]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Yarmouth PetValu Clippers U-14 girls soccer team won gold at the Gunn Baldursson Memorial Tournament on July 3rd to 5th; and

Whereas the team went undefeated, tying one game and winning four; and

Whereas the team was coached by Bruce Hobbs and Jason Nelson, and managed by Sonya Breton;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Yarmouth PetValu Clippers U-14 girls, and wish them continued success at soccer and in their academic pursuits.

RESOLUTION NO. 2421

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas the Yarmouth PetValu Clippers U-16 Girls Soccer team won the bronze medal at the Gunn Baldursson Memorial Tournament in July; and

Whereas the team lost only one game during the tournament; and

Whereas the Clippers won their bronze medal game by a score of 1 to 0;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Clippers on their bronze medal victory and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2422

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas two Yarmouth volleyball players, Amaris DeViller and Kate Fiander, were part of the U-14 girls' provincial squad; and

[Page 5726]

Whereas their team won gold during the Eastern Elite Championship; and

Whereas Amaris and Kate are first-class students in Yarmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Amaris and Kate on their achievement with the provincial volleyball team and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2423

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Whitney Middleton of Yarmouth has earned the President's Medal at the NSCC Burridge graduation; and

Whereas Whitney was chosen as valedictorian; and

Whereas Whitney earned these distinctions after having been out of school for eleven years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Whitney Middleton on her achievements and wish her well in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2424

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Yarmouth County's Renette Muise and Melissa Garron have won provincial powerlifting championships; and

Whereas Renette Muise is a cancer survivor who overcame her illness to win this championship; and

Whereas Melissa Garron is a relative newcomer to powerlifting;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Renette Muise and Melissa Garron on their impressive wins in their respective divisions.

[Page 5727]

RESOLUTION NO. 2425

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas eight Yarmouth-Clare area athletes have been chosen for provincial volleyball teams; and

Whereas those players are Alec Cottreau, Jeremy Rhyno, Sophie Surette, Amaris DeViller, Kaitlyn Mooney, Renee Cleveland, Kate Fiander, and Kara Inskip; and

Whereas these athletes are part of an elite group noted for their talent and skill;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate these volleyball players on their selection and wish them well in their competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 2426

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas the City Drug Yarmouth Midget AA Mariners female hockey team won a silver medal at their first-ever tournament; and

Whereas this is the first year the Yarmouth County Minor Hockey Association is icing a Midget AA girls' team; and

Whereas the gold medal was decided only by a shootout and a 4 to 3 loss;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the team on their fine showing and wish them success during the remainder of the season.

RESOLUTION NO. 2427

[Page 5728]

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas a group of Yarmouth-area citizens have formed the Yarmouth Refugee Support Group; and

Whereas their application to sponsor a Syrian family has been approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada; and

Whereas the support group, busily making preparations and fundraising to support at least one family, is coordinated by Leslie Robinson but contains at least 15 members and is still growing;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the members of the Yarmouth Refugee Support Group on their successful endeavour and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2428

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Charli LeBlanc of Yarmouth has been selected for the swimming award by the Yarmouth Recreation Association; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Annual Yarmouth County Awards Ceremony; and

Whereas Charli LeBlanc is recognized for her swimming ability and her work at the YMCA and the N.S. Lifeguard Service;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Charli LeBlanc on receiving this well-earned award and thank her for her continuing service to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2429

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By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Ryan Shay has been selected for the Parasport Award by the Yarmouth Recreation Association; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Yarmouth County Awards ceremony; and

Whereas Ryan, a student at Mount Saint Vincent University, has excelled in several parasports, especially in short-distance sprinting;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ryan Shay on receipt of this award and wish him every success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2430

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Kylie Landry of Yarmouth has been chosen the Female Youth Athlete of the year by the Yarmouth Recreation Association; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Yarmouth County Awards ceremony; and

Whereas Kylie Landry is being recognized for her excellent showing in figure skating competitions;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kylie Landry on her selection as Female Youth Athlete of the Year and wish her continued success in her figure skating competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 2431

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By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Mark Hubbard of Yarmouth has been chosen by the Yarmouth Recreation Association as the male athlete best exhibiting fair play; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Yarmouth County Awards ceremony; and

Whereas Mark is recognized for his achievements in Dragon Boating, Running, and Kayaking;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mark Hubbard for having earned this award and wish him continuing success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2432

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Megan Long has been recognized as female coach of the year by the Yarmouth Recreation Association; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Yarmouth County Awards ceremony; and

Whereas Long has devoted much of her time and energy to coaching at the Yarmouth Skating Club;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Megan Long on earning this well-deserved award and wish her continued success with the Yarmouth Skating Club.

RESOLUTION NO. 2433

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By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Chris Frotten of Tusket has been chosen Male Sport Volunteer of the Year by the Yarmouth Recreation Association; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Annual Yarmouth County Awards Ceremony; and

Whereas Chris has been recognized for his tireless work at the Jeux de l'Acadie;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chris Frotten on earning this award through his volunteer service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2434

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Donnie Boudreau has been named Official of the Year by the Yarmouth Recreation Association; and

Whereas this award is highlighted at the 39th Annual Yarmouth County Awards ceremony; and

Whereas Donnie Boudreau has served for many seasons as a baseball official;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Donnie Boudreau on earning this award and wish him many more seasons of officiating.

RESOLUTION NO. 2435

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas the Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School Vikings have won the Division 2 provincial soccer title; and

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Whereas this team has played hard and well throughout the season; and

Whereas the soccer team is coached by YCMHS teacher Jimmy Surette, with assistant coach Rob O'Brien;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the YCMHS boys soccer team and coaches on their victorious season and wish them success in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2436

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas Shauna McLaughlin Donaldson of Yarmouth has realized a lifelong dream of becoming a radio announcer; and

Whereas Shauna's busy life includes employment with Nerium International and the Nova Scotia Health Authority; and

Whereas Shauna is also a devoted homemaker, wife, and mother;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Shauna on having obtained employment with Radio CJLS and wish her success in her developing career.

RESOLUTION NO. 2437

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Yarmouth)

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

Whereas Heidi Kenny of Yarmouth has won the heavily-contested 2016 Contessas competition in the Master Colorist category; and

Whereas this is a prestigious national award for hair coloring and styling; and

Whereas Heidi Kenny, who operates the Heidi Kenny Hair Studio, has developed unique hair coloring combinations and styles;

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Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Heidi Kenny on this recent award and wish her continued success in her career.

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

(Tabled Nov. 13, 2015)

RESOLUTION NO. 2439

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

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

Whereas for the past 26 years the Progress Women of Excellence Awards has honoured inspirational women who play an important role in communities throughout the Halifax region, while also raising more than $1 million in support of Phoenix Youth programs; and

Whereas this year, 19 women will receive this prestigious honour, including Sara Wilson of Windsor Junction, one of the three recipients in the Health Wellness and Sport category; and

Whereas Sara is a mother of three, PGA of Canada golf professional, and the owner and creator of Metro Ladies Golf Inc., a unique women - only membership club that tackles the barriers holding many women back from experiencing golf and the opportunities it provides;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank the Canadian Progress Club Halifax Cornwallis branch for hosting this important fundraiser, congratulate Sara Wilson on her Progress Award, and wish her many more successful years helping women and girls fall in love with the game of golf.

RESOLUTION NO. 2440

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

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

Whereas long-time New Democrat Martin Rudy Haase has lived a storied life as a former publisher, boatyard owner, Second World War naval officer, marine architect and staunch environmentalist, accomplishing more than most in his 90-plus years of life, and meeting some of the legends of his time along the way; and

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Whereas Rudy has dedicated his life to preserving our province's precious wilderness, publicly opposing harmful pesticides, uranium mining, nuclear power, and clear-cut logging, and establishing himself as the first landowner to donate land to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust; and

Whereas Rudy was recently named among this year's recipients of the Order of Nova Scotia, this province's highest honour recognizing Nova Scotians for outstanding contributions or achievements, who have distinguished themselves in many fields and have brought honour and prestige to themselves and to Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in extending congratulations to Mr. Martin Rudy Haase, and thank him for the leading role he continues to play in the conservation and preservation of Nova Scotia lands for his generation and many more to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2441

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

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

Whereas Bill Estabrooks is a man known, respected and liked across Party lines, a man who openly boasts an unconditional love for the Boston Bruins, and a man who has given decades of his life not only as the former MLA for Timberlea-Prospect but as a teacher, mentor, community volunteer, and advocate for those in need; and

Whereas Bill is quick to lend a helping hand or jokingly roast both his allies and opponents, he is much less inclined to accept thanks or public recognition for the work that he loves and his countless contributions to the community; and

Whereas on September 13th of this year, Bill reluctantly gathered with his family members, friends and former colleagues for a ceremony at the community centre in Hubley to rename the facility "Estabrooks Community Hall", a well-deserved and fitting honour for someone who has given so much to those around him;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly join together to warmly congratulate Bill Estabrooks on this most recent honour, thank him for his dedication and service to the people of Timberlea-Prospect, and wish him good health and much happiness in his retirement years.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2442

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Marius van Leeuwen has earned the nickname "#got it done"; and

Whereas because by the time anyone thinks of asking him for something, he has already thought of it, researched it, and done it, and he is an honour student and an excellent student leader, throwing his enthusiasm into student activities such as the GSA, We Day, Band, Student Council, and he makes the daily announcements at his school as well; and

Whereas Marius has empathy and is observant, seeing needs of others, acts as a mentor to other students and motivates others to do well and get involved in ways that highlight each other's skills and is a true role model and inspiration to his classmates and teachers alike;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Marius van Leeuwen on receiving this recognition of him going above and beyond, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2443

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Robert Rockwell is the owner and publisher of the Parent-Child Guide; and

Whereas this is his publication's 20th year anniversary; and

Whereas the Parent-Child Guide is HRM's largest and oldest local free family newspaper;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Robert Rockwell on receiving this recognition and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2444

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By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Ellie Black dominated her competition; and

Whereas she started her night with an amazing vault exercise, and finished off with a routine on the uneven bars that was incredible and had the crowd exploding with cheers and applause; and

Whereas Ellie Black displayed her strength and balance in the second half of the competition, winning gold in the gymnastics all-around competition at the Pan American Games;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ellie Black on her gold medal and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 2445

By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas Brigadoon Village is a camp dedicated to allowing children with chronic illness conditions or special needs to have an opportunity to be kids, to be themselves, and to meet like-minded friends; and

Whereas Brigadoon Village was the recipient of SMU's Alumni Award; and

Whereas Brigadoon was built to do great things for the children and youth living in our communities, with collaboration, and continues to operate in this manner;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the organizers of Brigadoon and the staff of Brigadoon Village for the generous and honourable work they do.

RESOLUTION NO. 2446

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By: Mr. Joachim Stroink « » (Halifax Chebucto)

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

Whereas the Volunteer Host Program at Halifax Stanfield International Airport (the Tartan Team) celebrated its 15th Anniversary in October 2015; and

Whereas it started out with 18 volunteers in 2000 and now has more than 100, who have logged just over 250,000 hours of service; and

Whereas these volunteers have committed to making sure passengers have the best airport experience possible by displaying the qualities of The Stanfield Way, an airport culture program instilling the virtues of being happy, helpful, courteous, caring, and kind;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the more than 725 airport community employees that have graduated from the program, including 101 Tartan Team volunteers, for the generous and honourable work they do.