Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

La Chambre s'est ajournée le
26 octobre 2017

HANSARD16-99

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

MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: Shore Rd. (Birchtown - Gunning Cove) - Pave,
8541
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee,
8542
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3425, Safer Workplaces - Nova Scotians: Efforts - Applaud,
8543
Vote - Affirmative
8543
Res. 3426, Mobile Outreach Street Health (MOSH): Work
- Recognize/Thank, Hon. L. Glavine »
8544
Vote - Affirmative
8544
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 172, Psychologist Services Tax Credit Act,
8545
No. 173, Maximizing Economic Opportunities from the Paris Agreement Act,
8545
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Cdn. Mental Health Assoc. - GET LOUD,
8545
Downtown Dart. Bus. Commn. - Support,
8545
Noiles, Irwin Arthur (Art): Retirement - Congrats.,
8546
Kennedy, Brady - Gymnastic Achievements,
8546
Intl. Workers' Day (05/02/16): Hfx. Typographical Union
8547
Distracted Driving Awareness Mo. (04/16) - Safety Tips,
8547
Spinney, Bud/Conrad, Jimmy: Maple Syrup Producers
8547
CAA Worst Roads List - Online Voting,
8548
Boutilier, Mel: Hfx. Scholars Prog. - Fundraising,
8548
Kirkpatrick, Michael - E. Coast Hockey League Player of Wk
(04/04 - 04/09/16), Mr. E. Orrell »
8549
Roseway Hosp. - ER Closures,
8549
Hoben, Karen - Cancer Care N.S. Award,
8549
MacDonald, Laura - E. Coast Music Award,
8550
Desmond, Viola: Hfx. Transit Ferry Name - Voting,
8550
Friends of Fairview - Hist. Soc.: Creation - Success Wish,
8550
Shepherd's Lunch Room - Vols.,
8551
Eales, Ron & Meike - Physician Shortage,
8551
Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake (Pictou Co.):
Bowlers/Sponsors - Thank, Ms. K. MacFarlane « »
8552
Porter, Sarah: Student Assistance - Thank,
8552
Hosp.: ER Closures - Increases,
8553
Cdn. Masters Curling Championship (Kentville) - Congrats.,
8553
Natl. Physiotheraphy Mo. (05/16) - Success Wish,
8553
[ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:]
8554
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
8558
8562
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CW ON SUPPLY AT 5:20 P.M.
8566
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:24 P.M
8566
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 152, Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
8567
8567
8567
Adjourned debate
8575
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., May 3rd at 1:00 p.m
8476
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Tabled 04/29/16:
Res. 3424, Reid, Donna - Retirement,
8577
Tabled 05/02/16:
Res. 3427, Nassar, Elissa Maria: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8578
Res. 3428, Asaff, Savannah: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8578
Res. 3429, Bassil, Milan: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8579
Res. 3430, Bou-Nassif, Bryana: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8579
Res. 3431, Kabalen, Michael: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8580
Res. 3432, Maskine, Christopher: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8580
Res. 3433, Metlej, John: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8581
Res. 3434, Ramia, Anthony: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8581
Res. 3435, Abou-Khalil, Maribelle: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8582
Res. 3436, Anjoul, Annabella: 1st Holy Communion
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8582
Res. 3437, Atie, Simon: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8583
Res. 3438, Hoyeck, Celine: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
8583
Res. 3439, Jarmash, Nicholas: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8584
Res. 3440, Kodaysi, Sandy: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8584
Res. 3441, Kreidi, Georgy, 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8585
Res. 3442, Kreidi, Janet: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8585
Res. 3443, Makhlouf, Mia: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8586
Res. 3444, Rahme, Christian: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8586
Res. 3445, Tarabay, Sophie: 1st Holy Communion - Congrats.,
8587

[Page 8541]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Wilson, Mr. Keith Irving

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I wish to table a petition, the important clause reads:

We, the undersigned are formally requesting urgent and immediate attention to the poor conditions of the Shore Road from Birchtown to Gunning Cove. It is a safety issue that the Nova Scotia government has neglected for too long. We want it paved.

Mr. Speaker, the petition has 312 signatures, and I have affixed my name to this document.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

[Page 8542]

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, as Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 149 - Mineral Resources Act.

Bill No. 154 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 160 - Blueberry Associations Act.

Bill No. 161 - Service Dog Act.

Bill No. 162 - Elections Act.

Bill No. 168 - Labour Standards Code.

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

Further, Mr. Speaker, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 158 - Securities Act.

Bill No. 165 - Occupational Health and Safety Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3425

[Page 8543]

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

Whereas May 1st to May 7th marks National Occupational Safety and Health Week, a time when labour leaders, safety partners, employers, workers, families, and others gather at events to help raise awareness on the importance of workplace safety; and

Whereas this week is also a time to reaffirm our individual and collective commitment to improving health and safety in workplaces across the province, and protecting more families and loved ones from the suffering and heartbreak of a workplace injury or death; and

Whereas it is my hope that by showcasing occupational health and safety we will encourage even more employers and employees to be safety conscious, continuing the growing trend in this province to make workplace safety a habit;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the tremendous efforts of Nova Scotians in building a culture of safety and creating safer workplaces across the province.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'll ask our guests to stand when I call their names.

Joining us in the gallery today, we have the following people from the mobile outreach street team and the North End Community Health Clinic: Dr. Rod Wilson, executive director, North End Community Health Clinic; Rick Swaine, mobile outreach street team nurse; and Dr. Margaret Casey, board chair, North End Community Health Clinic.

[Page 8544]

I would ask all members of the House to join me in giving them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3426

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

Whereas for people who are homeless, poor, or have insecure housing, it can be difficult to access primary health care; and

Whereas Mobile Outreach Street Health, or MOSH, meets these people in places where they are comfortable and takes that all-important health care to them; and

Whereas the MOSH team includes two full-time nurses and other part-time team members, including an occupational therapist, a physician, and administrative support;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize and thank the mobile outreach street team for the valuable work they do.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

[Page 8545]

Bill No. 172 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 217 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Income Tax Act, to Provide a Pro Bono Psychology Services Tax Credit. (Hon. Christopher d'Entremont)

Bill No. 173 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Acts of 2007. The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, and Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act, Respecting the Maximization of Economic Opportunities from the Paris Agreement. (Mr. Andrew Younger)

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 Cumberland South.

CDN. MENTAL HEALTH ASSOC. - GET LOUD

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, May 2nd to May 8th is the 65th Annual Mental Health Week. The Canadian Mental Health Association is asking everyone to GET LOUD for mental health and to wear green in support of positive mental health.

Getting loud means raising your voice to build support and to stop the discrimination and stigma that too often accompany mental illness. Mental illness affects nearly every Nova Scotia family. By raising awareness about mental illness and addictions, we move a step closer to helping people access the help they need.

I want to thank everyone at the Canadian Mental Health Association and the many other organizations that work so hard to support recovery for mental illnesses and addictions. Today I encourage all MLAs and Nova Scotians to GET LOUD and make a difference for those with mental illness. Thank you.

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

DOWNTOWN DART. BUS. COMMN. - SUPPORT

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, the Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission, led by a volunteer board of directors, is committed to helping businesses grow and prosper. The commission promotes a vibrant business and residential environment built on the strengths of the district. There is a growing number of diverse businesses in downtown Dartmouth making it a wonderful place to live and work.

The commission recently hired artist Christian Toth to create a large sculpture designed to celebrate Dartmouth's community pride. Toth has sculpted four-and-half-foot-tall letters that spell out Dartmouth in blue and yellow, the colours of the Dartmouth flag. I want to offer my support to the commission for their continued innovative efforts to promote local business in Dartmouth.

[Page 8546]

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

NOILES, IRWIN ARTHUR (ART): RETIREMENT - CONGRATS.

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this moment to congratulate Irwin Arthur (Art) Noiles who recently retired from Canadian Tire after 35 years. Working in their parts department since 1980, Art was a fixture in the auto part scene in Halifax and beyond, known to many in that circle as the icon of the parts and service community. Art was a loyal, devoted, and faithful employee who rarely took a sick or a storm day. His impeccable work ethic did not go unnoticed by his friends and family.

Born and raised in Springhill, Art attended Acadia University where he met the love of his life, Rhea Williams, of Ellershouse. A loving son, husband, and father, Art is also a tireless volunteer, serving his community with seemingly limitless energy. A multi-talented musician, Art continues to give the gift of music through his long-time involvement with the Four Seasons Community Orchestra, Ardoise Union Church Choir, the Avon Strings, and so much more. Art stands as a role model to his entire community and to his two sons who have inherited many of Art's values, traits, and talents. His family could not be more proud.

I would ask the members of this House of Assembly to recognize and congratulate Art Noiles on his well-deserved retirement and wish him all the very best.

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

KENNEDY, BRADY - GYMNASTIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to congratulate Brady Kennedy of Pictou on his outstanding performance at the Atlantic Canadian Gymnastics Championship in St. John's, Newfoundland. Brady won gold in rings, vault, and floor; silver in high bar; and had sixth place finishes in both pommel horse and parallel bars. Brady had a fifth place all-around finish in the Level 4 Over-13 division. He will be competing at the Eastern Canadian Championship this month. He is also a member of the Canada Games core team training for the 2019 Winter Games. Brady is a member of the Pictou County Gymnastics Club.

I wish to congratulate Brady and wish him well as he trains for the upcoming meets.

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

[Page 8547]

INTL. WORKERS' DAY (05/02/16):

HFX. TYPOGRAPHICAL UNION - HONOUR

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday, May 1, 2016, marks International Workers' Day, also known as May Day. Yesterday, workers around the world gathered to celebrate the accomplishments that have been made and also come together to fight current issues.

In Halifax yesterday, the unionized employees at The Chronicle Herald were in attendance at the May Day rally, who have been on strike now for over 100 days. Canada's largest independently-owned newspaper is at risk due to the dedicated journalists, editors, and photographers being forced out.

In light of May Day, I rise today to honour those women and men of the Halifax Typographical Union. Thank you.

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

DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS MO. (04/16) - SAFETY TIPS

MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, as some of us may know, April was Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and, as such, the Halifax Regional Police and the Nova Scotia RCMP have partnered together to bring ride and safety tips to motorists to help eliminate the potential risk of being distracted while driving. They are plan ahead; have maps and GPS ready; have your vehicle road ready; have all necessary adjustments in and out of your vehicle done; store all electronic devices; prepare your travellers, little ones' car seats, and seat belts, snacks, and entertainment; snack safely; eat before you hit the road; be focused and alert; scan the road and always check your mirrors. Finally, stash your stuff - anything that may roll under your feet or shift while driving. We want everyone to arrive to their destination safely.

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

SPINNEY, BUD/CONRAD, JIMMY:

MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCERS - THANK

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, during the month of March, a ride along Route 3 in the Argyle Municipality will show that many of the maple trees in the area are tapped with containers attached to gather the sap from these trees.

Bud Spinney, a lobster fisherman from Argyle in my constituency, has been producing it outside in his sugar shack for almost four years. Jimmy Conrad from Argyle also has a sugar shack and has been gathering the sap for many years. He began with 150 trees, and he and his family now gather from over 550 trees and can produce as much as 50 gallons of maple syrup that he mostly donates or gives away.

[Page 8548]

I'd like to thank Bud and Jimmy, and all the producers of maple syrup, for providing such a tasty treat.

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

CAA WORST ROADS LIST - ONLINE VOTING

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : The finalists are in, and I know we're all waiting with bated breath for the winner to be announced. I am, of course, talking about Atlantic Canada's CAA Worst Roads list. The Worst Roads list considers roads from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I., and Newfoundland and Labrador. This year, Colchester County leads the pack with three nominations. According to CAA, not only do these roads provide their residents with dangerous driving conditions, but they also cost an annual average of $3,000-worth of bad traffic conditions, auto repairs, and taxes to motorists.

I want to thank CAA for making roads and driving safety a top priority and for encouraging public discourse around this issue. Online voting for worst road begins in early May, and as my colleague from Queens-Shelburne says, to be continued. Dot. Dot. Dot.

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

BOUTILIER, MEL: HFX. SCHOLARS PROG. - FUNDRAISING

HON. LENA DIAB « » : I wish to acknowledge Mel Boutilier, the founder and executive director of Metro Care and Share Society. Mr. Boutilier has been a philanthropist in Halifax for the past 40 years and is a recipient of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. Mr. Boutilier is hosting the Halifax Scholars Program annual scholarship fundraiser this week. It is designed to help high school students who have financial or other barriers prepare for, gain admission to, and complete college, trade school, or university. The fundraiser will feature a runway fashion show presented by international Israeli haute couture designer E.L. Zimmermann. I ask that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Boutilier and Metro Care and Share Society as they break barriers and create opportunities for tomorrow's leaders through educational advancement.

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

KIRKPATRICK, MICHAEL

[Page 8549]

- E. COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYER OF WK. (04/04 - 04/09/16)

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : I rise today to congratulate North Sydney native Michael Kirkpatrick of the Adirondack Thunder. Michael was named the East Coast Hockey League's player of the week for April 4th to 9th. Michael netted three goals and picked up three assists in three games. The St. Francis Xavier X-Men graduate leads the league in goals by a rookie this season, with 29. He also has 31 assists for 60 points in 72 games. It's a true honour to have the opportunity to wish Michael good luck as his career explodes.

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

ROSEWAY HOSP. - ER CLOSURES

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : As April continued on, so did the closures at Roseway ER. On Saturday, April 9th, the ER closed at 6:00 a.m. and would not open until 8:00 p.m., a total of 14 hours. Then, the very next day, on Sunday, April 10th, the ER closed at 6:00 p.m. and would not open until Monday at 8:00 a.m., a total of 14 hours. Mr. Speaker, just a couple of weeks ago, over the course of one weekend in Queens-Shelburne, the ER was closed for 28 hours. As I drove past the Town of Shelburne this weekend, I was driving away from a closed ER. To be continued.

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

HOBEN, KAREN - CANCER CARE N.S. AWARD

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : On November 18, 2015, palliative care nurse Karen Hoben of Mulgrave was honoured for her dedication to patients when she was presented with the Cancer Care Nova Scotia Award for Excellence in Patient Care. For over 20 years, Ms. Hoben has served the people of Guysborough County as a nurse and as a palliative care nurse since 1998. I want to commend her on her dedication and commitment to the people of Guysborough County and the health care field.

The care and compassion she has shown to those in the most difficult times is a true gift. The knowledge and wisdom Ms. Hoben shares with her colleagues sets the stage for others to strive to achieve her level of professionalism. We are fortunate to have individuals like Ms. Hoben working in the health care field in this province.

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

MACDONALD, LAURA - E. COAST MUSIC AWARD

[Page 8550]

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Laura MacDonald, entrepreneur and owner of a Kentville-based printing business called Deep Hollow Print, has won the East Coast Music Award for Graphic Media Artist of the Year for 2016. Laura is a one-woman show in her letterpress print shop and graphic design business. Her office is located within the renowned, award-winning publishing business Gaspereau Press, in Kentville.

She is one of the only people doing handmade gig posters in Canada, and it's her technique that makes her work unique and a winner. Letterpress printing is the art of locking design elements such as wood or metal or engraved images into a press bed and adding spacing materials for the blank space. The results are then inked and pressed against the type.

Congratulations to Laura on this great honour.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Before we move on to the next statement, I'd like to ask all members to keep the chatter down, if you could, please. Thank you.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

DESMOND, VIOLA: HFX. TRANSIT FERRY NAME - VOTING

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Earlier this year the people of HRM voted to name the newest addition to the Halifax Transit ferry fleet after the Nova Scotia civil rights icon, Viola Desmond. Seventy years since Viola Desmond's visit to that movie theatre in New Glasgow, her commitment to civil rights continues to inspire the people of Nova Scotia. It is in her legacy that all of us stand up together to fight against inequality and racial discrimination.

Mr. Speaker, I cannot think of a more deserving individual to inspire the name of our newest ferry, which is the most exceptional way to get to Dartmouth South, and beyond, from Halifax.

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

FRIENDS OF FAIRVIEW - HIST. SOC.: CREATION - SUCCESS WISH

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the Friends of Fairview, a group of residents who are eager to learn more about the history of their hometown and willing to share it with others.

The Friends of Fairview recently hosted an event, at the Fairview Legion, to share old pictures and stories about the community, with the ultimate goal of creating a Fairview Historical Society. The event was an overwhelming success and was the brainchild of Devonna and Don Edwards who wrote The Little Dutch Village, genealogy specialist Gerry MacLeod, and Fairview historian Wayne Kelly. Together this group has compiled hundreds of photos, maps, and stories.

[Page 8551]

At the event they shared some of the countless and interesting historical stories from the community, including anything from ghostly encounters to house-size sinkholes.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize the Friends of Fairview and wish them every success with the new Fairview Historical Society.

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

SHEPHERD'S LUNCH ROOM - VOLS.

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to inform all members of this House of Assembly about the volunteers who assist the visitors to the Shepherd's Lunch Room in New Glasgow. This lunchroom is a charitable organization that has been operating since 1992. It is located in the basement of the Trinity United Church and operates under a board of directors.

They serve an average of 90 to 100 people on Monday and Thursday throughout the year. The community has been very helpful and the public and businesses have been extremely supportive of the work the volunteers perform. All visitors are treated with respect and kindness.

The volunteers serve a full dinner, with soup, a main course, and dessert. The compassion the volunteers show is an inspiration for us all.

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

EALES, RON AND MEIKE - PHYSICIAN SHORTAGE

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, Ron and Meike Eales are seniors in their 60s who live in my constituency of Sackville-Cobequid. With four days' notice they were informed that they were losing their doctor due to a health issue. They did their due diligence and called family practices from Clayton Park to Fall River, but were unable to find a single practice accepting patients.

With ongoing medical conditions, Ron and Meike faced going to walk-in clinics for prescription renewals and to address their general health needs. They, like so many other seniors in the province, are naturally concerned about the future of their health and are looking to the government to put their worries at ease by addressing the shortage of doctors in Nova Scotia.

When will the Minister of Health and Wellness, Premier, and Liberal Government, live up to their promise of a doctor for every Nova Scotian?

[Page 8552]

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

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS BOWL FOR KIDS SAKE (PICTOU CO.): BOWLERS/SPONSORS - THANK

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, on April 9th approximately $51,000 was raised at the annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake in Pictou County. More than 80 teams and 300 bowlers took part.

Bowl for Kids has been an annual event in North America for more than three decades. It is a major fundraiser for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organizations that provide children and youth with a much-needed support system.

There are still many children waiting for a "Big" in Pictou County. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the bowlers and sponsors who took part in the Bowl for Kids fundraiser. I would also like to thank all those who volunteer their time to be Bigs. They are truly making a difference in the lives of our children and youth.

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

PORTER, SARAH: STUDENT ASSISTANCE - THANK

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to congratulate Sarah Porter, the program manager for Colchester County Junior Achievement. Sarah has reintroduced the Junior Achievements Program to students in the Chignecto Central Regional School Board. Grade 9 students work with volunteers as the Economics for Success Program prepares them for post-secondary education and puts focus on business readiness.

Another program, Our Business World, teaches Grade 6 students the basic components of running a manufacturing company, and puts the students in touch with volunteers who have experience in those areas.

So, I'd like to thank Sarah Porter for offering this assistance to students as they begin to determine their future school courses and their careers. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HOSP.: ER CLOSURES - INCREASES

[Page 8553]

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I have stood in this House a number of times to bring attention to the rash of ER closures at Roseway Hospital, in Shelburne, and also about the failure of the super Health Authority in rural Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I realize that some members here may not have the courage to bring similar closures to this Chamber - such as the ER closures in Clare-Digby, Lunenburg, Cape Breton Centre, and Sydney-Whitney Pier.

Mr. Speaker, universal health care affects all of us and these ER closures are right across our province and are increasing, under this government, to areas with and without government members.

Mr. Speaker, to be continued.

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

CDN. MASTERS CURLING CHAMPIONSHIP (KENTVILLE) - CONGRATS.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to tell members about the recent success of the Canadian Masters Curling Championship that was co-hosted by the Glooscap Curling Club in Kentville. Twenty-six visiting teams from across Canada enjoyed this six-day stellar performance. The house team, Glooscap's Alan Marshall Team, was skipped by Alan, third John Amirault, second Peter Smith, and lead Bruce Turnbull.

The success of this event was due to the tireless work of event co-chairmen Kathy Siddall, Valley representative on the Nova Scotia Curling Board and icemaker, Tony Stirling, and the 100 volunteers who worked together to make this the largest curling event ever held in the Annapolis Valley.

Visiting participants have reported they were thrilled with their welcome to Kings County, Nova Scotia. Congratulations to all involved on a great event.

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

NATL. PHYSIOTHERAPY MO. (05/16) - SUCCESS WISH

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, May is National Physiotherapy Month. This year the Canadian Physiotherapy Association decided to focus National Physiotherapy Month's theme on healthy aging.

As we get older we are more likely to find ourselves dealing with an array of challenging health conditions. This is a month to appreciate the importance of physiotherapy and rehabilitation, and leading a long, healthy and active life.

[Page 8554]

It is an honour to wish all physiotherapists of Nova Scotia, and Canada, a successful National Physiotherapy Month, and congratulate them for all they do to improve health care and healthy living in Nova Scotia

MR. SPEAKER « » : Barring more members' statements at this point, there can be some debate going into Supply for a maximum of 45 minutes, each member can talk for up to 15 minutes.

The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to speak going into Supply this evening.

The budget that we are looking at right now and debating is of great interest to many Nova Scotians and there is a lot of digesting of this information going on right now. We are individually picking through the budget department by department. We are trying to find out what is in this budget beyond that which is certainly trumpeted by the government during its Budget Address. We're trying to see if there are initiatives that are going to continue, and we're trying to see if there are initiatives that are going to be discontinued. So, we're getting a look at that, we're getting a feel for it now, Mr. Speaker.

My sense is, according to the number of days remaining this week and the number of hours left for estimates, we are likely voting on the budget this week. So, certainly some decisions to be made, Mr. Speaker. We've looked - I guess one of the things that struck me is something that's going on, and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal was good enough to come down and meet with residents of Deepdale, and my colleague here from Cape Breton Centre was able to join him for that. I think they had a chance to see first-hand the condition of the Deepdale Road, albeit after grading. I know a colleague from Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank has certainly been hearing - because many people in Inverness County have branched out across the province, the country, and elsewhere; there are people living right around this province from Inverness County originally - the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank has spoken with one of his constituents whose mom still lives on the road.

Certainly the Deepdale Road is not in great shape now, but a month ago, Mr. Speaker, it was particularly nasty trying to navigate that road. Driving it myself, it took me at least a half-hour to drive a section that's usually about a seven-minute drive. It's a little better with the grading, but the flaws remain, and they will come back without more significant maintenance to that road.

One of the things that I noted in the Budget Speech, because roads are such a significant issue for Inverness, is that there wasn't a word mentioned about roads in the Budget Speech. I had a chance to question the minister in estimates about a week or so ago. He confirmed that the maintenance budget is about the same this year; there's no increase, and also that gravel roads are not eligible for capital work. The concern with this budget is that there is not going to be an ability for the government to address Deepdale in a real meaningful way, at least in a way that the citizens would like to see it addressed.

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I know that's an issue right around the province, or at least in areas where the province maintains roads. I know there are a number of members, Mr. Speaker, who don't have roads within provincial jurisdiction because they're living in municipal units where all of their streets or roads are looked after primarily by the municipality. But most of us here in the Chamber do have - I shouldn't say most of us because many of the members are in HRM, and those roads would fall under the city - but a lot of members have roads, and we're all in the same boat.

We've seen a decrease in the maintenance budget by about 25 per cent over the last seven years, and that takes its toll after a while. If roads aren't maintained, it's like anything else. If you don't maintain your car, you're probably going to have to buy another car sooner than later, whereas if it's maintained, you might get a few more years out of it. I think that's the point we're at now, and I would have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, my chief concern with this budget is that it doesn't address the road concerns in my area. That's something that I think this budget has come up short on. I know a lot of members feel the same way. I'm sure some of the government members feel the same way because they're dealing with these roads too.

It's a challenge. It is one area, though, I think, where people actually get to see some value for their tax dollars. There's a lot of money expended in government that people don't really see the results of, and they may be good things, but roads are something that people see the results of, and they experience it on a day-to-day basis.

I couldn't imagine having to drive the Deepdale Road every day, at least in the state it was in about a month ago, because that would be incredibly frustrating. It does damage to vehicles. I was looking at the speedometer and, from time to time, I was pretty well at the zero mark. I was hovering between zero and five kilometres per hour, and I was thinking, I can't go any faster than this. You could feel the car jolting up and down, and had I been going any faster, there would be no question in my mind that if you're doing that on a daily basis, it wouldn't take long before you would be ruining bearings and affecting your suspension and whatnot.

Mr. Speaker, I'm afraid to say roads are not going to get a passing grade, and I would say that's an extension of what I'm hearing from my constituents, the people in Inverness. They are not going to be happy with this budget in terms of its effect on roads.

I'd like to say a couple of positive things, Mr. Speaker. I know the government members would like to hear something positive from time to time. I think there's some funding for (Interruption) Everybody got interested all of a sudden. There's some more funding for co-op positions and summer jobs for students. That's good. That will certainly help in a rural area, because there are not a lot of experiences available for young people. If they are home for the summertime, if there's a chance there would be more jobs available in a rural area because of that funding, that's a good thing.

[Page 8556]

I'm hoping that with a little bit of praise for something like that, the members will acknowledge the need to do a little more for roads.

I also note that there is an amount for Internet service across the province. We don't know how effective this is. I'm not really sure what the government has in mind here. I know there has been significant expenditure to try to bring high-speed Internet to Nova Scotians in the past, which I think was a good, well-intentioned investment. I think it has had mixed results. Some would question the technology - was it the best choice of technology at the time? I think hindsight might suggest that it may not have been, although I know that some would argue that.

Either way, at least there's something in the budget for that. I know that's important in Inverness as well. We have one heck of a beautiful place, with a lot of hills and valleys and rugged coastline, but of course that makes it a challenge to get high-speed Internet to all the people living in those various communities around the county.

I have to say I am very interested to see if this budget will balance in a year's time. A significant assumption that the Department of Health and Wellness will remain flat, in terms of its cost - that is very significant. I think of how just a few short years ago, the rate of inflation for the Health and Wellness budget was actually 7.9 per cent one year. I think it was 2012. Of course, at that rate, that would double after 10 years, and it is already 40 to 45 per cent of our budget.

If that can be done, I will be quite surprised - pleasantly surprised, because it's the biggest cost for government, and if that cost can be gotten under control, I'll be amazed at that, quite frankly. We'll have to watch that. We'll have to keep our eye on that, because I think that's very ambitious. Even to suggest maybe a 2 per cent or a 3 per cent rate of growth to me would be more realistic, but the Minister of Health and Wellness and his department have their opportunity to weigh in on this, and that's the goal they've set and that's what they feel they can live with. We will be very interested to see how that turns out.

I also mentioned the other day - actually, I had a question in Question Period - about the water treatment plant in Mabou and how there's a fledgling but growing aquaculture industry there, primarily with oysters. The oysters in Mabou - I don't know if some members have ever had a chance to eat those oysters. I know they were here - oh, it's probably about three or four years ago now - in Province House for a Taste of Nova Scotia event. The Mabou oyster is as good as you'll get anywhere. It has lots of meat, I love the taste of it. I'm not one to be putting toppings on my oysters. I like the real deal. I don't like anything getting in the way of the natural flavour. All biases aside, that is a good oyster.

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They are experiencing a problem right now, Mr. Speaker. It's no fault of their own, but the water in the harbour in Mabou is being compromised by something, whether it is agricultural activity, whether it's private septic systems, or whether it is the municipal water treatment system, which is about 55 years old. If that should be the culprit, I would like to see that there is some funding available in this budget to help communities stay on top of those infrastructure needs. What could be more important than our water? If you have clean water, you have a clean environment.

I know there was a bill introduced today to do with the climate agreement in Paris. You see all the leaders from all around the world all fly to Paris - 14,000 people flew to Paris. Imagine the environmental mark that has left on our planet. I shake my head a bit, Mr. Speaker. They could have Skyped.

I think about that, and then I think about simple things like our water, right here at home in our province, with some modest investments that are going to have a real impact on our immediate environment. How sensible would that be, Mr. Speaker? I think it would be very sensible. In this case, that water is affecting an aquaculture industry worth almost $1 million right now, and that is bringing in very meaningful income for about eight or nine individuals in the Mabou area.

We're talking about creating employment in rural Nova Scotia. We're talking about building on something we're naturally good at. In this case, it's aquaculture and seafood. Seafood, of course, I think is our number one export right now. Certainly with the exchange rate - I'm sure that has bumped it up a bit.

It would be nice to see some investment dollars for infrastructure, like the treatment plant in Mabou, in this budget. I know that would have to come forward from the municipality. They've told me they have come forward a number of times with it. I'm actually waiting on information now to see what they came forward with in the past. That's something that I think is money well spent. It's good for the environment and it's good for the economy. In fact, if that water treatment plant, at a cost of $1.5 million was refurbished or replaced, that would easily pay for itself within 10 to 20 years just in HST revenue alone. That's something where we see a return on investment.

That's something I think we should be looking at more often in this Legislature: return on investment. We see investments made in things, but very often we do not ask what the return on those investments is. That's something I wanted to talk about tonight.

I was also happy to see that the harness racing budget is intact. Inverness has a harness racing tradition that dates back many years. I can't think of the exact date that the raceway started, but I believe it's well over 100 years now. It's part of the culture in Inverness, and it's a very unique attraction for people to see grassroots horse racing in this province.

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I know a lot of the people visit the golf course in Inverness. I have the feeling that a lot of those people, especially the ones from the United States, are going to be interested to see that raceway. It's good to see that there is still money in the budget for that.

Mr. Speaker, I think I have run out of time. I will take my place.

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the Estimates for the Department of Health and Wellness and the Department of Seniors.

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'll ask the Deputy Government House Leader to call the motion for debate going into Supply, which we omitted in error, and allow the members to continue.

[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]

[GOVERNMENT MOTIONS]

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

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

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise and speak for a few minutes today on the budget.

On the weekend I was out around the constituency and talking to people about different issues and things that matter to them, and I was thinking of the expression, "All politics is local." That is quite a famous expression that I hear a lot. Tip O'Neill, I think, was where it came from initially and it is true, it's true. The people who represent rural areas know that there is nothing more local, there is nothing more important to a person than the road they drive every day or the piece of road at the end of their driveway. You do not get any more local than that.

In terms of this budget, I have been thinking about what this budget means for our rural roads and our rural infrastructures, because that is often where people see the greatest impact the fastest. Of course, you cannot have a discussion right now about roads and about the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Budget without speaking of the Yarmouth ferry. (Interruption) Excuse me, the Nova Scotia ferry, as the government would like to have it branded.

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The reality is there's only so much money to go around, and a decision has been made to allocate $100 million, $75 million, $200 million - pick a number, Mr. Speaker. Nobody has been able to give a number because a decision has been made to allocate a significant amount of money to the ferry system. Any time you allocate money like that, of any sort, to a project, that means you have made a decision that that's where you're going to put the money and it's no longer available for other projects.

In terms of the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Budget, which is at least $33 million over the first two years of that 10-year arrangement, it is money that will not be available for roads. To put that into context, in my constituency, some of the local budget for roads and road maintenance is very laughable beside those numbers. I think for brush cutting in my constituency, there's something like $45,000. It is completely de minimis in terms of what can be done for that, because the money is not there. People would say, where is the money? Well, the decision was made to put the money on the Yarmouth ferry. It is as simple as that.

The concern that people raise - they say, well, what about Bluenose II? I say yes, that is also in the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Budget now; it is all under the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. In the context of looking at the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Budget, the pocket of money that is available for transportation projects, which cover a whole range of things, a significant amount of that money has now been earmarked. It has been earmarked for nautical adventures in the form of the Yarmouth ferry and Bluenose II. People will have to accept that because that is the decision that has been made.

I know that there is a bit of a move by the government, shall we say, to soften that blow around the accounting for certain aspects of that project, where they would like to see part of that put in last year and part in this year and this type of stuff. We can say what we want about it but the reality is that the deal that was signed - I think it was on March 24th - commits the people of this province to pay unlimited amounts, uncapped amounts, for 10 years, and they decided that they would quantify the first two years of that as $33 million. That's what it is going forward: $33 million for two years.

Yet, even though by their own admission it's $33 million for two years, they found a way to account for it over three years by putting roughly one-third of it back into a prior year. If nothing else, it is something that we could talk openly about because the effort to spread a two-year thing over three years makes you wonder what types of things we will see over the course of 10 years. If that's the first thing they did in two weeks of signing the contract, already a little bit of manoeuvring. How much manoeuvring will be done over 10 years, would be the question that we'll have to ask. But the question that people are asking is, what about my road? And the answer is not clear.

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I actually have people on two different roads now that the department has no money to fix the culverts that I would stand here today and say, absolutely, it's the responsibility of the province. They have no money to fix them. They're leaving people's yards in a mess from water, from erosion of the banks on the side of the road, and they're saying to people, not my responsibility - it's yours, landowner. And they're doing this because there's no money and it's shameful, it's terrible. These are the types of positions that this government has put those people on the ground, department employees, to go out there and send forth that message - and I know that it makes them uncomfortable because they have to go to their friends' and neighbours' houses and tell them, that's not our responsibility, when they probably know in their heart of heart that it's not fair, what's happening.

So we will see; we will see if these types of efforts, if these lines that are being drawn in the sand hold up over time - and I will be anxious to see how the actual numbers, of how this budget rolls out, how the year unfolds, how the actuals compare to the estimates. Just saying something is so, doesn't make it so, and we have seen that a number of times, we've seen that a number of times with this government who campaigned to film industry people, please vote for us and we'll extend the credit. Then, they came into the Legislature, passed a bill extending the credit and then came in with the budget and wiped it out. There's something that they said they were going to do numerous times and then didn't do, because saying something is so, doesn't make it so.

We've also seen that - my colleague has been talking about the fixed election dates, that's another promise that this government was going to do. So we will see how much of that fiction resides in this budget. But we know for sure that it will be tough around the Health and Wellness budget. It will be tough around the Health and Wellness budget where the government would have you believe they will be able to hold spending steady, and I've often asked, how will they do that? Isn't that a nice dream? How will they do it? And we are already starting to see how they will do it: in the deterioration of services.

A deterioration of services to Nova Scotians - closures of clinics; closures of ERs; closure of mental health units. Less services available to Nova Scotians. Now, I don't think that's going to fly, because - and I would be surprised if the government members are not getting calls from people in need of a doctor - when you get a call from a working professional in Halifax who says my elderly parents live in your constituency and they need a doctor, can you help? Because they're far away, making their life two hours away in Halifax, and they're worried about their parents and access to medical care, well, that's when it will hit home, Mr. Speaker. That's when it hits home, when family members call you and say we need a doctor. We need to see medical professionals.

This is the government that said a doctor for every Nova Scotian - and don't forget, saying it is so, doesn't make it so. We do not have a doctor for every Nova Scotian, but worse than that - worse than that - I don't know that this government, when they said those things, had any understanding of what that meant, had any plan as to how to fulfill that promise or if they just said it to play on the emotions of people - well, that sounds good; a doctor for every Nova Scotian would be great. But there was no substance behind it.

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It's offensive to see those types of things said and done to Nova Scotians, but what's worse is the actions of the government have almost made it impossible to fulfill that, with the environment of animosity that they've created with our health care workers and our doctors. Doctors have been completely thrown under the bus - I think is the expression one of them used to me - by a Premier who stood up and said, oh doctors want a 55 per cent raise. He said to me, if that happened, why would the Premier do that? I said it's the way that this government operates, because there are only so many doctors in the province, there are a lot more voters, so maybe it's politically popular to make it seem like you're going to beat up on those nasty greedy doctors - until you need one, of course.

But the environment that has created, they haven't had a contract in years; they're in the media saying how greedy they are; it has created an environment where now we have doctors saying I couldn't recommend to a friend or colleague to relocate and practise here. I just couldn't, in good conscience, say that. We see doctors saying that in the media. Doctors Nova Scotia, I believe, was talking about the shift in the attitude of government towards their organization and how difficult it has been to work with them.

How will the health care budget be held steady? I think when you look at the facts, and you look at how this is played out, you would say, well, the only way to do that is to cut services, and cut services we will.

Time will tell, as this year starts to develop, if the revenue projections were accurate, if the expense projections were accurate. These are all things that the government will have to take accolades for or defend. Time will tell which one of those it is.

I know on a budget this size, a $10-billion budget, the auditors would have a materiality threshold, a certain level where they would say, anything that doesn't add up to this amount is not material; it doesn't matter. I think the materiality threshold on a budget like this would probably curl the hair on a lot of people's heads; it would be a very big number. That is how the government can do things - maybe $13 million on the ferry last year is not material. But that doesn't mean it's a good description of what's happening.

I think, of course, the messaging around the convention centre is laughable, and Nova Scotians know that that's laughable. You just can't take the same pocket of money and say you're going to use it three or four times. (Interruption) The minister says it's my characterization, but if it is, I'll certainly take credit, because I'm hearing it a lot of places. People can certainly understand the concept of debits and credits for sure. (Interruption) That's right. That's why they don't believe that you can use the same money for three debits against one credit. They know you can't do that. (Interruption) Creative accounting at its best. You can't say you're going to use the same money (Interruption)

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

MR. HOUSTON « » : You can't say you're going to use the same money to pay down debt as you're going to use to build the VG, as you're going to use to build a convention centre. It's only one pot of money. That won't work, and it doesn't fly. People can catch on.

With those few words, I'll take my seat.

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, it is also my pleasure to say a few words on Supply on the budget. What I would like to address in particular is the report of the Auditor General to the House of Assembly dated April 20th of this year, I believe - in particular with how it relates to this budget. This was a follow-up on the 2012-13 recommendations. There are a number of recommendations here that have not been completed that relate to the budget in a very pertinent way, I think, and I would like to address them in particular.

There's a number of recommendations to the Finance and Treasury Board. In particular, from January 2012 there were 18 recommendations and to its credit, the department has 14 of those 18 completed but four from 2012 have not been completed. From February 2013 there were also a number of recommendations. There was a total of 13 recommendations, nine of them were completed but four were not completed. I think it's instructive to discuss some of the ones that were not completed because they are pertinent to the budget, Mr. Speaker.

What I would like to discuss is from the February 2013 Report, Recommendation 2.8: "The Controller's Office should oversee the preparation of departmental risk assessments of material misstatement to the consolidated financial statements due to fraud and error." Now the consolidated financial statements, I understand, is exactly what we're talking about here, the budget. This is the consolidated financial statement that we have received.

Risk and error - I can tell you that from my experience in the insurance industry, specifically on the Board of Directors of Kings Mutual Insurance in Berwick, that after the Enron scandal the financial industry across North America started to take a new view on the possibility of risk due to fraud and error. These types of situations are taken very seriously in the insurance industry and in the financial industry. I would suggest that for this to be stated as not complete is a very serious situation for this minister to have had at his department. I realize the minister is relatively new to his portfolio but for his department to have had essentially two years to complete this departmental risk assessment and not have it done, I think most people that I know in the regulated financial industries would raise their eyebrows at that.

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I believe it is of concern to the public, too, to know that these statements have had risk assessments done, which I think are significant. Maybe this is not of concern to this government but I would suggest that this type of thing - compliance with regulatory requirements and compliance with things like Auditor General's Reports - the business industry I'm aware of take this type of thing very seriously and will do every effort to make sure they are in compliance with these types of recommendations. Just for the Auditor General to have made this recommendation in 2012 and to be able to check off in April 20, 2016, that this is not complete - to me, it is a serious matter.

You probably are all familiar with - and I was talking about it - the regulated financial industry. Even in unregulated industries, these things are taken very seriously. Most of you probably have seen the ISO certification some businesses very proudly will put right out on the front by their name, ISO 9001 Certified. What that refers to is dealing with things like this, of creating the proper audit trails that they can assure compliance and that they know they have dealt with the risks. This is something that I would suggest to you has to be taken very seriously. The fact that there's so many recommendations that are not completed kind of raises the eyebrow.

I would like to read another one from that same report of February 2013: "The Controller's Office should prepare policies and procedures for determining tax revenues, including establishing the cut-off timeframe for updating assumptions and models. This policy should be included in the province's Management Manuals."

Its status, not complete. This is highly relevant to the budget discussions of this last couple of weeks because we have raised doubts about the assumptions made in revenues in the budget and this is exactly what this is talking about. This policy has not been implemented, not complete, yet we see a very rosy assumption in the amount of money that the province is going to get in terms of personal tax revenue. This assumption, when questioned, I know the minister said these were Ottawa's numbers. However, this is exactly what this recommendation is dealing with – it is dealing with a process of procedures and policies for determining tax revenues and assumptions and models. This is what we're talking about.

So we have a budget before us where the personal tax revenue of Nova Scotians is projected to go up by $108 million. Just looking at the raw numbers, and I think we drilled down into this last time, one could say on the surface, and I would like to hear - I'm sure at some point the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board will have a chance to address this, and I certainly would appreciate hearing his analysis on this assumption. But one way of looking at this number is the average taxpayer – there are almost 500,000 part-time and full-time working people in the province. The amount of money that they're paying in tax, to achieve an extra $108 million we'd have to have 20,000 more people working in the province.

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I say I would be so delighted if that happened. I don't see this budget as being a back-to-work budget per se. It's a very conservative budget, if I can use that; I think I heard the Finance and Treasury Board Minister say that. It's a budget that has obviously been designed to project a surplus, but a lot of that surplus, most of it in fact, would come out of this assumption. If we look at last year, I know that the estimate and the actual from last year did show an increase in personal tax revenues, but this is a really big jump in personal tax revenues shown here.

This is exactly what this report from the Auditor General is addressing, this type of assumption. The Auditor General's opinion is that this is not complete, that the proper policies and procedures for determining these assumptions are not in place. To me that's a very serious matter that is pertinent to this budget and what we're dealing with, these types of things. Maybe there are some people who take the attitude that we don't need to do that.

In all fairness I can't see how the department can take that attitude towards these types of recommendations, that this would be from 2013 and we're now in 2016, and this recommendation has not been addressed, and it is so pertinent to what we're doing with the budget, because a lot of it is projections and assumptions. In fact, this is specifically about tax revenues, and this is what we're debating: is that really a fair assumption? As I said, I'm sure that the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board will have an opportunity to explain to us where that number came from and exactly why that is a fair assumption. I realize that 20,000 more people working in the province is only one part of it.

There's also possibly an increase in wages. I know that his government has had a policy of holding the line. We have a huge number of people in the province who work for government and are unionized. His government has a policy of holding the line on wages for unionized workers, so that's probably not where the increase in personal tax revenue is going to come from - from the people who are working for the government. Where is it going to come from? As I say, I would appreciate the minister addressing that.

There are a number of other recommendations here that have not been completed. Recommendation 2.9 from the same thing, February 2013, "The Controller's Office should prepare a description of the process for monitoring of internal controls . . ." I will, again, say my experience in the insurance industry is that when you receive these types of reports, you make sure you comply. This is a very serious matter to private industry and to business. I know that in my own farm life, we've had to deal with this with food safety. When you receive a report, you're not long dealing with it and making sure that you've complied. It doesn't go out a year, I can tell you that. The last thing you want is the following year to have the same thing that you haven't dealt with. It's considered very serious. I think that these things are all very, very serious issues that need to be dealt with.

Another one I would like to deal with is the Department of Business. The Department of Business has a very low, 3 per cent, compliance rate with the recommendations from the Auditor General. That's shockingly low. To be fair to the Department of Business, when this was written, it was the Department of ERDT, Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism. I know I've asked the minister about this in estimates, and he said that they don't believe that these are applicable. If you look at the recommendations for the Department of Business, you can see that some of the ones that the minister considers "not applicable" relate to the Jobs Fund.

[Page 8565]

The Jobs Fund is a huge line item in our budget that relates to the NDP. It was the NDP Jobs Fund, which will go on, as I understand it, for another 27 years. I consider that the length of time - I know I digress, but I do consider that an unconscionable length of time to have projected money, committed money out on the part of any government. I digress on that, but I'm sure I'll get some agreement from the other side on that.

However in this government, the Department of Business is charged with managing the funds. If you look at the budget, I believe the budget estimate was for $30-some million to go out in the last fiscal year for the Jobs Fund. In fact, what went out was $44 million, so we saw an almost $14 million increase from budget to actual for the Jobs Fund. When questioned, that was due to two bankruptcies.

This Auditor General's Report deals with the management of that Jobs Fund. Some of these things are not complete. When asked about that, the minister said that his department and the Auditor General had a dispute about that.

When you look at some of these things - and I'll read one to you here, Recommendation 3.27 from - I'm not sure what year this was from - 2013. "The Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism should develop a monitoring framework for all funding programs that utilizes site visits and third party corroboration to confirm projects are occurring as intended."

When you look at the budget documents, the Department of Business is responsible for the Jobs Fund. When questioned, the minister said no, Nova Scotia Business Inc. was doing it, but in fact it says the Department of Business was responsible, and this has not been completed. Now surely, if we are putting $44 million out into private hands through this Jobs Fund, we want to have management of that. This is the responsibility of the Department of Business. This is the Auditor General's opinion as of April 20th this year - a few days ago - and this is not complete. It baffles the mind.

When you look further into what things have not been completed, it says that - I want to find that page - let me give you another one here, from Page 62 of the Auditor General's Report. "The Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism should immediately develop, implement and consistently use a standard checklist to ensure the compliance with the Jobs Fund Process Guide." It says the Department of Business has put in "Action no longer required or appropriate." In brackets, right after that, it says the "Office of the Auditor General does not agree with this assessment."

[Page 8566]

If you look through this document, there are places where the Auditor General does agree with that assessment, that it is no longer required. There are places in this document where it says that the Auditor General agrees that this is no longer required. There have been considerable changes, yet we're going to go on living another 27 years now with this Jobs Fund and we have to have some kind of management or control of the Jobs Fund. That's the responsibility of the Department of Business and, I would suggest, the Department of Finance and Treasury Board.

The Auditor General does not think this is adequate. This report coming out just in the middle of the budget has been overshadowed by the budget, but these are very serious issues for our province. This is a matter of compliance with recommendations to the Auditor General Report involving millions and millions of Nova Scotia taxpayer dollars.

Is there third-party verification for the money going out? Are the guides being followed? Are the guidelines being followed with the money? Last year $44 million went out in the Jobs Fund - were the guidelines followed? The Auditor General does not believe that the documentation is correct for the guidelines to have been followed. I think that's a very serious issue with this current budget, because we have a budget in which this money has gone out and the Auditor General tells us his recommendations have not been followed.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is carried.

[5:20 p.m. The House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on Supply with Deputy Speaker Keith Irving in the Chair.]

[9:24 p.m. CW on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Kevin Murphy, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK » : That the committee has met and made considerable progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

[Page 8567]

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 152.

Bill No. 152 - Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs.

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : I move that Bill No. 152, the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter be now read a third time and do pass.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, we are happy to support this bill, Bill No. 152, the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter, which certainly allows us to reduce a lot of red tape. Anything that helps any administration with backlog of paperwork to move more quickly, making sure that there are more efficiencies and being more effective to help constituents is always in our favour, and anything that we can see that modernizes the processes by increasing better technology is always important to us. I'm glad to see that this bill will allow the Municipal Finance Corporation to do this.

So, as stated before, we're in favour of this and thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, you know, when we bring bills to the House, the amount of time that we spend on them is not always measured by how many pages they are, how many clauses they contain, how many words they are, how many definitions are in the first clause, or even how long the title is. Sometimes the longest bills get the shortest amount of attention, because the point of them is clear, and whether we're in agreement on both sides or not, the intent of the bill is clear no matter how many pages. It could be five pages, it could be 500 pages; yet, that's not how we decide - I'm sure on the government side, or with the New Democratic Party, or with our Party - how much scrutiny it should get.

Because the opposite is also true, Mr. Speaker; a short bill may require more scrutiny than its concise size requires. There are bills that are one line, or two lines, maybe three. There are sometimes ones that we need to take an even closer look at, to be sure that they have received the vetting that they deserve.

I don't know the internal workings of this particular government, when it comes to bringing bill ideas forward from a department to Cabinet. Mr. Speaker, I know that in times past, a department may identify a legislative need. It would go to Treasury Board or Policy Board for a review, depending on the specific intent of the bill. That would generate an R and R - a report and recommendation - that would then go on to a committee of Cabinet, or maybe a committee of caucus, as they look at the list of bill ideas coming forward from a department for the year, or for the session.

[Page 8568]

Bills are checked to see that they are consistent with the platform of the government of the day. They are vetted, sometimes, for their effects on people with disabilities. They're vetted to check to see what they mean for issues that are important, particularly to women, or to visible minorities, or to other groups that ask that a government consider the implications of every bill that they bring forward in meeting objectives in all of those areas.

Mr. Speaker, even when you see a brief bill come to this House, I think it's important that we have some assurance that all of that vetting has been done. I note that the minister, in bringing this particular bill forward, did not speak to the vetting process, so that we could be assured there isn't some unintended consequence that in some way is not evident from the concise nature of the bill, that it doesn't offend some agreement with a Mi'kmaq group, a First Nations group, or it doesn't have some constitutional implications that are not clear from the bill itself. Maybe there are bills that come to this House that appear to be housekeeping but, in fact, have much deeper implications than get examined on the floor of this Legislature.

You know, Mr. Speaker, I've always felt that in cases just like this bill, when we receive them in Opposition, we should also have access to all of the legal background material that is generated. For example, if the Department of Justice has a view on whether this bill is constitutional, that should be included with the bill. We don't have that in this case, so it's hard to say. Certainly on the surface it appears that it meets the constitutional test, but we have had cases in this House where bills have come forward and it turns out long after the debate is over and the lights are off and the session is done that they didn't.

One doesn't need to turn back in time that far to think of examples, including in the life of the current government - the Limitations of Actions Act, which was brought forward by the previous Minister of Justice. It was not a long bill; I can't remember exactly how many pages it was. It was not a long bill, but it had a lot to it.

I know this isn't a long bill, but the nature of the bill itself - we need to have that assurance. It's very relevant to the debate tonight, because we had that assurance in that case, and it turned out that that bill had some pretty significant constitutional implications that the government had not vetted. How can we be sure that's not the case in this bill?

I'll give you another example, Mr. Speaker, to make my point about this bill. In the life of the previous NDP Government, the Cyber-safety Act came in. It was presented as something obvious that should be done - similar to this bill being presented as something obvious. A much more serious topic, of course, in that bill, but the constitutionality of that bill, long after it was passed in this Chamber, was challenged in the courts and the bill was struck down. As a result, something that all of us, if I recall rightly, wanted to see happen - in the case of cyberbullying, we all voted for it at the time - ended up being thrown out.

[Page 8569]

Mr. Speaker, nobody likes to see that. When a bill comes to this House, we want to know that all of that has been thought through and that the processes of ensuring that we have valid bills coming to this House have been done. I raise that tonight because here we have an innocent-looking bill that on the surface seems like something that wouldn't require a lot of oversight, but we've seen that before. I think because this has happened in the recent past, we need to assure ourselves, when a bill like this comes forward, that all that work has been done.

That's just in the case of the constitutionality, which is an obvious one, but this bill deals with another level of government. There are multiple agreements between the provincial government and our municipal governments, between the provincial government and the Municipal Government Act, which governs all the municipalities of the province, and also between the provincial government and Halifax Regional Municipality, because they have a charter - the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

There are webs of agreements; there are memorandums of understanding; there are joint funding agreements; there are programs that long-term signed contracts are in place for between the provincial government and every one of the municipal governments, including specifically with the Halifax regional government. They are all, in some cases, guided by Statute, like the Municipal Government Act or like the HRM Charter, and other times through agreement.

That's also true with the federal government. The Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia interact in literally hundreds of ways, whether it's labour market agreements or labour market development agreements, and the difference between the two, or whether it's in Aboriginal Affairs. The number of ways that the provincial government interacts with the Government of Canada - these are things that need to be examined, no matter how wordy a bill that comes to this House is.

There are literally hundreds of extra statutory agreements that exist between the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia as well. Then there are private companies that the government is a signatory to agreements with, Mr. Speaker, whether it is the new ferry operator as an example - we are all watching that with great interest tonight of course, whether the new ferry operator has a signed agreement with the City of Portland which is a municipal entity, whether we have black-out days or not, these are agreements that we need to examine; and, who knows how this bill either interacts with or complements or offends all of those agreements.

There is no evidence before the House to assure us that this bill is complementary to all of those agreements - federal, municipal, cities that have a charter, cities that would like to have a charter like CBRM - where is the CBRM charter by the way? That is just something that we could have dealt with in a bill like this. Cape Breton Regional Municipality has long advocated for a charter to give that city, Nova Scotia's other city, the powers that have been transferred to Halifax through their charter, including the ability to streamline regulations, to streamline development, to set fees and other municipal charges, to enact bylaws and cut through the red tape that is required for approval from the minister's department. This bill amends the Municipal Government Act; it amends the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. Both were open now for improvements including providing for a charter for Cape Breton Regional Municipality like they have asked for.

[Page 8570]

You know, I remember - it is just kind of a short story but bear with me now - I remember in the last election that the Leader of the Liberal Party campaigning for Premier told Cape Breton Regional Municipality that the government would look at a charter for the Cape Breton region. Well, where is it? Have any talks been held to make that happen or were those just words? If talks were held, what was the result? Did Cape Breton Regional turn them down, or did the government find the Cape Breton regional officials to be unreasonable, or do they have an agreement and yet not brought it in to this House to be enacted? We do not know. None of that is provided with the bill. We get basically a one-page bill; but, you know, it actually causes us to wonder what the implications of this are. What analysis has been done in these areas?

Of course, I have not even reached yet to the residents of the municipalities in question, to the businesses, the small businesses and large businesses that may be impacted. We sit in this House, and we say well it is just about a municipal seal. Well, maybe, it is and maybe it is not. Those municipal seals over the years, they had legal meaning. They had real legal meaning that a taxable company or a borrowing authority or a lending authority they could actually rely on documents that had been affixed with this seal. We are getting rid of the seal, but what is going to be put in its place to give people equal authority or equal confidence in these agreements. A stamp? Is a stamp really a step forward?

There was a time, if we actually got a look at the history of seals, when they were actually done in wax, and it was not even that long ago you know where they would have a big seal, some of them were actually pretty big, and they were done in wax. There may be people here with a legal background that can recall that time.

That actually reminds me of something else that is very relevant to this and that is that last year was the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta, the Magna Carta of course being one of the fundamental legal documents of our time. You know, the Magna Carta was brought into force by a wax seal.

AN HON. MEMBER: Leo was there. (Laughter)

MR. BAILLIE « » : I thought it was King John; maybe it was King Leo. It's hard to read the writing on the Magna Carta today. (Interruption) You see, Mr. Speaker, this is why this bill deserves more scrutiny than it has been getting, because of comments like that. It's all fun and games to the government when they bring these bills forward.

[Page 8571]

AN HON. MEMBER: Until you blow a seal.

MR. BAILLIE « » : That's right.

Mr. Speaker, if you're going to take a symbol of authority that goes all the way back to the Magna Carta, 800 years - I have actually seen one of the originals that is remaining. There are only four Magna Carta copies left in the world, and I was lucky enough to see one last year - it's hard to read the writing after 800 years, but you know what you can see plain and clear? The seal. The seal is very clear 800 years in - the authority of the Crown, the fact that every citizen could rely on that document. Some of our most fundamental rights today can be traced back to the Magna Carta and the seal that made it a legal document.

Here we have a one-page bill that will do away with all that. Maybe that's a good idea. But it just leads to the question: what's in its place? Is it the goodwill or the good faith of the government as a signatory, Mr. Speaker?

We talk about debentures here in the notes to the bill. There are banks, and there are investors, they lend money through the Municipal Finance Corporation and sometimes directly to our municipal governments. They're not doing that for the fun of it; they're not doing that just because. They need to know that those loans, those debentures, are secured by something. When you're in government, often the security is the full faith and credit of the government itself. How is that evidenced? It's evidenced by the seal.

It's fine to say, oh we don't need that seal anymore, but people need to have confidence in their government. They need to have confidence in their municipal governments. They need to have confidence that when they borrow money, that will be paid back, and in the meantime the documents that are the basis of that loan are legally valid. And that's one of the many uses of that seal.

That's pretty important stuff. Yet when this bill comes in, it is silent on all those things. When you see an Act of the Legislature that claims to be an innocent piece of housekeeping, that is when, in Opposition, you need to do your best to ensure that all of these things have been thought through by the government.

I know that the minister is anxious to pat himself on the back for having cut red tape but, really, when the Ivany report said to take a look at red tape, at the regulatory burden, when political Parties - and I know our Party and the governing Party, the Liberal Party, both have had a lot to say about cutting red tape - when we do those things, I have to ask, is this what we meant? Is this it? We talk about the importance of a seal, but you can flip that around. You can flip that around and then ask: so cutting red tape means getting rid of the seal?

[Page 8572]

Is the paperwork burden going down? Is there going to be less documentation? Are there going to be fewer signatures? Are there going to be less approvals - level, after level, after level required to get anything done? No, Mr. Speaker, they're all the same. The red tape cutting is that the very last page doesn't need a seal. Well, good. How many months have gone by to get to that point? How much time does it take to get anything done in this province? How much time does it take to get a building going in HRM? How much time does it take to get anything approved in any of the municipalities of the province, because everything they do has to go to Halifax first?

The simplest little by-law passed by the Cumberland Regional Council, still has to come to Halifax, and sit on the minister's desk waiting for someone to sign off. That's the same in Colchester, the same in Shelburne, the same in Cape Breton, the same in the Town of Bridgewater, and it's the same in the Town of Truro. Mr. Speaker, there are 51 remaining municipalities which we should go through, because in every case the regulatory burden, the paperwork burden, is exactly the same after this bill goes through as it was before. Yet, I'm sure the press release is all ready to go about how they've cut red tape.

Well, Mr. Speaker, if you're a developer waiting on a project approval, if you're a resident of one of our small towns looking to create some park land, if you are out in Burnside or Bayers Lake and wondering why your tax burden is so high and why the Halifax Regional Municipality can't do anything about it, because that power resides in the Department of Municipal Affairs - well, there's no red tape being cut here tonight.

Where is the public outcry about these seals? I presume the government members are out there talking to their constituents every day, whether they're a Halifax member or whether they're an outside member. How many people went up to a government member and said, you know what the real problem is? That red seal that you need at the end of that legal document, that's really getting in the way. How many people brought that up?

I know that every Opposition member is out looking for ways to make things easier for people, looking for ways to cut through real red tape. I have lots of good ideas that I hear in my travels around, as I know other members do, about how we could really shorten up the approval process for good ideas, how we could really make life easier for people who are working with their government at any level, but not once did anyone say, you know the problem? The problem is that official seal that has to be affixed at the end of a document. I wish they would cut that, life would be so much easier. Yet this is what the government comes forward with.

You know what's funny, Mr. Speaker? When the NDP were in, I remember it very clearly, they brought in a clothesline bill. It was a bill that the Legislature would regulate clotheslines, Mr. Speaker, clotheslines. I know we thought that was ridiculous. I believe, if I can paraphrase the Liberal Party position at the time, it was that - really that's the biggest problem we have is clotheslines? And if we do have that problem, we should deal with it on the floor of the provincial Legislature, here, in Halifax, as opposed to leaving that power to municipalities to deal with at the most local level of government?

[Page 8573]

Mr. Speaker, I'm looking to the government side, I don't want to misrepresent their position on the burning issue of clotheslines, but I think that's what they said at the time. So, now we have a new government in, well, a two-year-old government - two years and a bit, one that used to criticize the previous government for bringing bills to the House that don't really make life a lot better for people, and yet here we have a bill that exceeds the frivolity of the clothesline bill because at least for some people, to be fair to the NDP of the time, at least for some people clotheslines and the regulation of clotheslines was a real concern.

You can see how that could be - maybe you live in a congested area like Halifax, maybe you actually have your view obstructed by your neighbour's clothesline, or maybe the clothes that they hang out aren't as clean as they should be . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition has the floor.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I'm trying to make really good use of it here tonight, too, because this is something that I think Nova Scotians are going to be interested to hear - that a government that was so critical of the NDP for wanting to regulate clotheslines actually exceeded that very low standard for regulation by bringing in a bill that does nothing more than (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition has the floor.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I've got to tell you, it's really hard when you're making a point when people are engaged in other things like that, so I appreciate you stepping in like that. You know what? Feel free to do that as time goes on because it's important that we have order in this House. (Laughter)

I mean really, if we're going to get rid of the red seal, isn't that just one step on the way to disorder anyway? Isn't that where we're headed, Mr. Speaker, where we can't even rely on an official seal anymore?

The government is making the case for me, that this is hard to take seriously, Mr. Speaker. I was making the point a moment ago that I'm sure that the - and I got away from this point so I'm glad we have a chance to come back to it in our remaining time because I was making this point a moment ago, that the government probably has a press release ready to go saying they're cutting red tape – except, really, no red tape is being cut at all.

[Page 8574]

For the man or woman on the street, their measure of red tape is does this get in the way of my ability to live my daily life - does this get in the way of my ability to get things done? When I interact with my government at any level, how long does it take to make something happen? Or, Mr. Speaker, which is actually more commonly the case, how long does it take to even get an answer - a yes or a no?

How many people have come into our constituency offices saying, look, I just want an answer so I can move on with my life, whether it's a tax bill or a zoning variance or an issue with the health care system, Mr. Speaker. I could go on and on with the many ways that people look for their government to give them an answer to a question they have or a problem they have, and they wait months and months.

Workers' Compensation - how many workers' compensation cases go for literally years unresolved, Mr. Speaker? How many layers of government does it take to get a yes or a no to some of these questions? How often has someone been told well that's on the minister's desk, and then months go by? These are very common occurrences in my constituency office in Springhill and in Parrsboro, and I'm certain they are common occurrences in the constituency offices of members on both sides of the House. But now I'll be able to tell them the Liberal Government has an answer - they are going to get rid of the seal.

Mr. Speaker, you can guess how many citizens will be comforted by that answer. You know when people want red tape cut, what does that really mean? Well to me it means that they see things happening faster around them. It means they get answers to their questions of the government in a speedy fashion. It means when they have a good project or a good idea that it gets a quick resolution. Mr. Speaker, the seal is the smallest part of all of that.

It has great meaning, but in terms of the time that it takes, or the amount of red tape that is saved by getting rid of it, it's irrelevant. It is irrelevant to the daily lives of Nova Scotians, yet the press release is ready to go. They have hired a lot of public relations help on the government side in the last few months. I can't even count the number of people with six-figure salaries who are doing public relations work. Maybe they'll have a way of showing the people of Nova Scotia how removing the municipal seal will make their lives better. I don't know, Mr. Speaker. It's a pretty hard sell, I would think, with all the issues that people face, all the problems that they have dealing with government at the municipal level or at any level.

You know, there is a provincial seal. I think the Attorney General actually is the keeper of the provincial seal, and it's a pretty big, heavy seal. Why is that not on the table for debate, Mr. Speaker? If getting rid of the seal is such a great idea, why isn't the government applying that same principle to their own seal? I'm willing to bet (Interruption). A member of the government is glad I mentioned it. Well I'm glad they're glad. If we're going to strike the seal from the municipal documents, it leads to the obvious question, do we need the provincial seal? Yet nothing that came in support of this bill addresses that.

[Page 8575]

Maybe that's what all that $100,000-plus-a-year PR help is for. Maybe we're going to see another bill to get rid of the provincial seal. Maybe it will be another one-page bill like this one, Mr. Speaker, and they will claim to have cut red tape twice, but whose life is really made better by that?

The new Yarmouth ferry contract, $100-million-plus, the boondoggle that it is, maybe it would be better if it had a seal on it, or maybe it wouldn't; I don't know. Would Nova Scotians feel better that their government got hosed by a private operator if at least the official document had a seal on it? I don't know. I know this: Bay Ferries would make us pay for the seal, too, Mr. Speaker, like they made us pay for everything else. Maybe there will be blackout days for using the seal. Bay Ferries won't let us use that seal for nine days in the season. They'd probably say that we have to get the seal fixed down in the States as opposed to here and that only Americans are allowed to use the seal. That's the kind of deal this government would make if they were actually in direct control of the municipal seal. They would seal their fate, I'll tell you that, Mr. Speaker, because we can't afford any more deals like that. Would that $100-million-plus Yarmouth Ferry deal, that bottomless pit . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would like to respectfully request the member to adjourn debate, given the lateness of the hour.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I just want to know how much time I have left for tomorrow before I do that.

MR. SPEAKER « » : You have 26 minutes.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Then, with that, I move we adjourn debate.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is to adjourn debate on Bill No. 152. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : I move that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. At that time we'll call Government Business, Committee of the Whole on Supply, Committee of the Whole on Bills for Bill Nos. 149, 154, 158, 160, 161, 162, 165, and 168; Bills for Second Reading Bill No. 171; and Bills for Third Reading, the continuation of the incredibly riveting debate on Bill No. 152, as well as Bills No. 156 and 157.

[Page 8576]

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow between the hours and 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet again tomorrow, Tuesday, May 3rd, between 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

The House now stands adjourned until Tuesday, May 3rd, at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 10:00 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 8577]

Tabled April 29, 2016

RESOLUTION NO. 3424

By: Hon. Tony Ince « » (Communities Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Donna Reid, a long-time resident of Cole Harbour and mother to her two children, Kayla and Kristopher, has been an active volunteer in minor sports including softball and hockey; and

Whereas after thirty years of dedicated service as a civil servant with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Cole Harbour Detachment, Donna is retiring; and

Whereas she will be embarking on a new role as a part-time field supervisor with Yellow Pages;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly join me in congratulating Donna Reid on her retirement and offer our gratitude for her many years of dedicated service to the Cole Harbour – Portland Valley area.

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 8578]

Tabled May 2, 2016

RESOLUTION NO. 3427

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Elissa Maria Nassar, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Elissa has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents, John and Georgette, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Elissa for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3428

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Savannah Asaff, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Savannah has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents, George and Linda, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Savannah for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3429

[Page 8579]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Milan Bassil, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Milan has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents, Philip and Brigitte, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Milan for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3430

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Bryana Bou-Nassif, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Bryana has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents, Toni and Nancy, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Bryana for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3431

[Page 8580]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Michael Kabalen, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Michael has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents, David and Anne, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Michael for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3432

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Christopher Maskine, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Christopher has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents, Tony and Rindala, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Christopher for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3433

[Page 8581]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas John Metlej, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas John has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents, Joseph and Vanessa, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate John for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3434

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Anthony Ramia, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Anthony has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents, Anthony and Josephine, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Anthony for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3435

[Page 8582]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Maribelle Abou-Khalil, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Maribelle has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to her parents, Elie and Diala, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Maribelle for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3436

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Annabella Anjoul, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Annabella has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to her parents, Johnny and Angie, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Annabella for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3437

[Page 8583]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Simon Atie, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Simon has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents, Charlie and Susan, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Simon for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3438

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Celine Hoyeck, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Celine has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to her parents, Elie and Nathalie, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Celine for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3439

[Page 8584]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Nicholas Jarmash, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Nicholas has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents, Fouad and Caroline, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Nicholas for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3440

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Sandy Kodaysi, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Sandy has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to her parents, Simon and Rita, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sandy for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3441

[Page 8585]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Georgy Kreidi, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Georgy has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks go to his parents for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi, and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Georgy for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3442

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Janet Kreidi, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Janet has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Janet for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3443

[Page 8586]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Mia Makhlouf, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Mia has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents, Bassam and Rima, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mia for this special milestone in her Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3444

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Christian Rahme, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating his First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Christian has dedicated many hours learning about his Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to his parents, Joseph and Rita, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Christian for this special milestone in his Christian life.

RESOLUTION NO. 3445

[Page 8587]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Sophie Tarabay, a student in the Our Lady of Lebanon Parish Religious Education program, is celebrating her First Holy Communion on May 7, 2016; and

Whereas Sophie has dedicated many hours learning about her Maronite Catholic Faith on Saturday mornings and will accept the bread and wine as the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrament that builds the Church into the Body of Christ; and

Whereas much thanks goes to her parents, Maroun and Tina, for their dedication, and to Father Pierre Azzi and Catechists Mona Francis and Zakhour Faddoul;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sophie for this special milestone in her Christian life.