Assemblée Législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse

Les travaux de la Chambre ont repris le
21 septembre 2017

HANSARD16-10

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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

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



Second Session

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Committee on Assembly Matters,
9575
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4055, House of Assembly Act - Amendments re:
Harassment in the Workplace, Hon. M. Samson »
9576
Vote - Affirmative
9576
Res. 4056, Clerous, Ronald - Invictus Games Medals,
9576
Vote - Affirmative
9577
Res. 4057, IWK Telethon: Organizers/Vols. - Thank,
9577
Vote - Affirmative
9578
Res. 4058, Com. Serv.: Foster Families - Commend,
9578
Vote - Affirmative
9579
Res. 4059, Transitional Health Clinic for Refugees: Staff
- Work Thank, Hon. L. Glavine « »
9579
Vote - Affirmative
9580
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 187, House of Assembly Act,
9580
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Davis, Emily - IMPACT Award (Dal.),
9580
Law Reform Commn. - Funding,
9581
Robicheau, Claredon: Retirement - Well Wishes,
9581
Ocean Pride Fisheries - Modernization/Expansion,
9582
Child Poverty: Truth & Reconciliation Commn. - Requirements,
9582
C.B. - New Doctors: Recruiters - Thank,
9583
Haslam, Catherine - VON Vol.,
9583
Fin. & Treasury Bd.: Fiscal Situation - Min. Announcements,
9583
Hospice Soc. (Greater Hfx.)/N.S. Health Auth. - Hospice Care,
9584
Glenn, Christie - Teaching Award,
9584
Nova Scotians: Services - Funding,
9585
S. Shore Helping Hands Init. - Expansion,
9585
Morris, Father Angus: Ministry - Importance,
9586
Liberal Gov't.: Election Promises - Memory Check,
9586
Gov't. (N.S.): Health Care Delivery - Positive Results,
9586
Hiltz, Kelcey: Anna. Valley Apple Blossom Fest. - Princess Canning,
9587
Johnston, Leah: Cannes Film Fest. - Attendance,
9587
Dolan, Serena: Athletic/Academic Career - Well Wishes,
9588
MacPhail, Mark & Lucas - Arm Wrestling Championships,
9588
Humility/Kindness - Remember,
9589
Walsh, Jim: Death of - Tribute,
9589
So. Woodside Sch.: Irving Oil Ltd. - Contributions Recognize,
9589
King, Shan - Educ. Wk. Award,
9590
Vegetorium Country Farm Market - Commun. Contributions,
9590
Police Wk. (05/15 - 05/21/16): Activities - Participate,
9591
Tracadie United Baptist Church - Anniv. (193rd),
9591
Apple Blossom Fest. - Anniv. (84th),
9591
Hfx. West HS: Mary Poppins - Production,
9592
Riverside Elem. Sch. - Heritage Proj.,
9592
Thibeau, Josée/Metro Boston Pizza Midget AAA Hockey Team
- Atl. Championship, Ms. P. Arab »
9593
MacIntosh, Chief Lloyd/N. Sydney Vol. FD - Amphibious ATV
Acquisition, Mr. E. Orrell « »
9593
Gigeroff, Alex: Death of - Tribute,
9594
Joyce, Pearl/Salvation Army Thrift Stores - Congrats.,
9594
Kerr, Stephen/Bras d'Or Archers Assoc.: Sport Promotion
- Congrats., Ms. P. Eyking « »
9595
Covert, Mike - Birthday (80th),
9595
N.S. Recycles Contest - Antigonish Participants,
9596
MacKeen, Eric/Tri Co. Ford - Awards,
9596
Alexander, Kali - COPD Fundraising,
9597
Mercer, Keira - N.S. Heritage Day Flag Design,
9597
Greer, Steve/C.P. Allen HS - Cdn. Assoc. of Physicists Award,
9598
Johnston, Sara: Number 9 Café - Opening,
9598
MacKenzie, Gerry/MGM & Assoc.: C.B. Bus. Hall of Fame
- Induction, Mr. D. Mombourquette « »
9599
MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT RULE 43:
Health & Wellness - Doctor Shortage,
9599
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 2348, Prem. - Gov't. (N.S.)/Doctors: Negotiations - Update,
9601
No. 2349, Prem.: Health Care - Fed. Funding Formula,
9603
No. 2350, Prem. - Doctors N.S. Negotiations: Legal Fees - Justify,
9605
No. 2351, Health & Wellness - Family Doctor: Accessibility
- Crisis Confirm, Hon. David Wilson »
9606
No. 2352, Health & Wellness: C.B. Doctors - Discussions,
9607
No. 2353, EECD - KCA: Gr. 6 Band - Funding Cut,
9608
No. 2354, Com. Serv.: Maternal Nutritional Allowance - Raise,
9609
No. 2355, Environ.: Tidal Turbines - Environ. Monitoring Plans,
9610
No. 2356, TIR: Bay Ferries - Mgt. Fee,
9611
No. 2357, Bus. - Digby Pines/Liscombe Lodge: Newcastle Mgt. Fee
- Release (05/16), Mr. J. Lohr « »
9612
No. 2358, EECD - Surplus Schools: Municipalities - Downloading,
9613
No. 2359, Prem.: Cayley's Law - Stance,
9614
No. 2360, Prem. - Planning & Priorities Dep. Min.: Personal Serv
Contract - Duties, Mr. A. MacMaster « »
9616
No. 2361, Health & Wellness - Zika Virus: Dept. Staff - Adequacy,
9617
No. 2362, Health & Wellness - Valley Hospice: Proj. Announcement
- Time Frame, Mr. J. Lohr « »
9618
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 167, Fair Drug Pricing Act
9619
9623
9625
9629
9633
No. 182, Labour Standards Code
9635
9637
9642
9645
9649
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 43:
Health & Wellness - Doctor Shortage,
9652
9656
9660
9663
9667
9670
9673
9677
9681
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., May 19th at 1:00 p.m
9683
Notices of motion under rule 32(3):
Res. 4060, Tall & Small Café - "31 Cdn. Coffee Shops to Visit
Before You Die" List, Hon. R. Delorey « »
9684
Res. 4061, White, Tracy - E. Hants & Dist. Bus. Course,
9684
Res. 4062, Fraser, Jim: Hants East Peewee AAA Penguins
- Coach, Hon. M. Miller « »
9685
Res. 4063, Juurlink, Lexi - Vol. of Yr. Award,
9685
Res. 4064, Noel Rd. Blue Jays - 19 & Older Team of Yr
9686
Res. 4065, Glad Garden Ctr. - Valley's Best Garden Ctr.,
9686
Res. 4066, Stirlings Farm Market - Valley's Best Farm Market,
9687
Res. 4067, Wolfville Farmers' Market - Agric. & Agri-Food
Innovator, Hon. K. Colwell « »
9687
Res. 4068, Luckett Vineyard - Valley's Best Winery,
9688
Res. 4069, Willowbank Farms - Valley's Best Farm/Agric. Bus.,
9688
Res. 4070, Shaw, Dan Neil - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9689
Res. 4071, Garland, Charles - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9689
Res. 4072, Chiasson, Dan - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9690
Res. 4073, Garland, Kevin - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9690
Res. 4074, Munroe, Hughie - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9691
Res. 4075, Kaiser, Jared - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9691
Res. 4076, Buchanan, David - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9692
Res. 4077, MacFarlane, Derek - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9692
Res. 4078, Bradley, James - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9693
Res. 4079, Smith, Jeremy - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9693
Res. 4080, Spalla, Hugh - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9694
Res. 4081, MacLean, Jonathon - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9694
Res. 4082, Norman, Lee - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9695
Res. 4083, Roberts, Ernest - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9695
Res. 4084, Williamson, Scott - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9696
Res. 4085, Buchanan, Robert - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9696
Res. 4086, MacFarlane, Shane - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9697
Res. 4087, Sampson, Matt - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9697
Res. 4088, MacNeil, Shane - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9698
Res. 4089, Watling, Sandy - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9698
Res. 4090, Wyer, Reg - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9699
Res. 4091, MacLean, Michael - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9699
Res. 4092, Cameron, Winston - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9700
Res. 4093, Dumont, Michel - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9700
Res. 4094, MacInnis, Neil - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9701
Res. 4095, Buchanan, Scott - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9701
Res. 4096, MacAulay, Darren - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9702
Res. 4097, Ronne, Doug - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9702
Res. 4098, McFadgen, Harvey - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9703
Res. 4099, MacDonald, Andre - Baddeck Vol. Firefighters: Serv. Thank,
9703
Res. 4100, Hants Co. 4-H Chap. - AVESTA Award,
9704
Res. 4101, Bent, Allen & Jacqueline - Milk Quality Club of Excellence
Recognition, Hon. K. Colwell « »
9704
Res. 4102, Scotian Gold - Anna. Valley C of C Outstanding Large
Bus. Of Yr., Hon. K. Colwell « »
9705
Res. 4103, Flying Apron Inn & Cookery - Rest. of Yr. (Chef-Inspired
Casual Dining), Hon. K. Colwell « »
9705
Res. 4104, Le Caveau Rest. - Rest. of Yr. (Chef-Inspired Fine Dining),
9706
Res. 4105, Hants Co. Exhibition - AVESTA Award,
9706
Res. 4106, Chicken Farmers (N.S.) - Anniv. (50th),
9707
Res. 4107, Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Ltd. - Anniv. (60th),
9707
Res. 4108, Frostbyte Interactive - Anna. Valley C of C Innovator of Yr.,
9708
Res. 4109, Langthorne, Amanda: Hairstyling Comp. (France)
- Congrats., Hon. Z. Churchill « »
9708
Res. 4110, Kidzact Quantum Crew: Dance Competitions -
Success Wish, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
9709
Res. 4111, Yar. Assoc. for Commun. Residential Options: The Store
Next Door - Opening, Hon. Z. Churchill « »
9709
Res. 4112, Hood, John & Nancy - Commun. Contributions,
9710
Res. 4113, Simpson, Lowell - Halls Hbr. Lobster Pound & Rest
Sewer of Yr., Hon. K. Colwell « »
9710
Res. 4114, Mawhinney, Dr. Rev. Laurence: Ordination
- Anniv. (50th), Ms. S. Lohnes-Croft « »
9711
Res. 4115, Frank, Stephen: Volunteering - Thank,
9711
Res. 4116, Rochford, Paul: Volunteering - Thank,
9712
Res. 4117, Heal, Mike: Volunteering - Thank,
9712
Res. 4118, Dimmell, Brian: Volunteering - Thank,
9713
Res. 4119, Children for Madagascar: Vol. Staff - Recognize,
9713
Res. 4120, Hfx. West: Fundraising - Recognize,
9714
Res. 4121, MacDonald, Dr. Gayle: Research Commitment
- Recognize, Ms. P. Arab « »
9714
Res. 4122, Issa, Chirine: Entrepreneurial Spirit - Recognize,
9715
Res. 4123, Pellerin, Asst. Capt. Jenna/Metro Boston Pizza Midget
Female AAA Hockey Team - Athletic Skills, Ms. P. Arab « »
9715
Res. 4124, Pickard, Maggie/Murtha, Jack - Sch. Commitment,
9716
Res. 4125, Waller, Jack/Saunders, Ken - Commun. Contributions,
9716
Res. 4126, Alexander, Kali - COPD Awareness,
9717
Res. 4127, Headley, Randy - Africentric Support Group,
9717
Res. 4128, Scott, Mark A.: QC Appt. - Congrats.,
9718
Res. 4129, Kuhn, Julia - Commun. Contributions,
9718
Res. 4130, Greenlaw, Chris/Anjoul, Ray - Commun. Contributions,
9719
Res. 4131, Thibeau, Josée/Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA
Hockey Team - Athletic Skills, Ms. P. Arab « »
9719
Res. 4132, Pottie Dr. I.: Scientific Breakthrough - Congrats.,
9720
Res. 4133, Woodworth, Janet Fortune - Fairview's Good Samaritan,
9720
Res. 4134, Hfx. West HS: Syrian Students - Assistance Recognize,
9721
Res. 4135, Shatz, Gayle: Gardening World - Contributions,
9721
Res. 4136, Birt, Wendy: THRIVE Girls' Chorale - Launch Congrats.,
9722
Res. 4137, Summerby-Murray, Dr. Robert et al: Celebration of Generosity
- Thank, Hon. L. Diab « »
9722
Res. 4138, Efthymiadis, Peter: Hfx. Armdale Constituents
- Serv. Thank, Hon. L. Diab « »
9723
Res. 4139, Cullinan, Dr. Janet/Team: Mancini Cup Soccer Tournament
- Congrats., Hon. L. Diab « »
9723
Res. 4140, Posavad, CEO Brian/Staff YMCA Greater Hfx.-Dart.:
Syrian Refugee Effort - Thank, Hon. L. Diab « »
9724
Res. 4141, TESL N.S. Pres./Bd. Of Directors: Work
- Recognize, Hon. L. Diab « »
9724
Res. 4142, Brennan, Ryan: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
9725
Res. 4143, Murray, Elaine: Retirement - Well Wishes,
9725
Res. 4144, Sutherland, Elizabeth: Big Tancook Island Children
- Devotion Thank, Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse « »
9726
Res. 4145, Trembley, Gaetan, Sr.: Lifesaving Event - Recognize,
9726
Res. 4146, Anderson, Stella: African United Baptist Assoc. Women's
Instit. - Devotion (50 Yrs.), Hon. K. Colwell « »
9727
Res. 4147, Dulux Dart./Vols.: Akoma Fam. Ctr. - Revitalization,
9727
Res. 4148, Colley Fam.: Contributions - Recognize,
9728
Res. 4149, Fashan, Shelley: Creative Expression - Contributions,
9728
Res. 4150, Beals, Keonte: Music Achievements - Recognize,
9729
Res. 4151, Forrestall, Vince - Carnegie Medal,
9729
Res. 4152, Ross, Stephen - Carnegie Medal,
9730
Res. 4153, Thompkins, Keiren J. - Carnegie Medal,
9730
Res. 4154, Morrow, Jim: Retirement - Congrats.,
9731
Res. 4155, Jackson, Zachaeus - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
9731
Res. 4156, Brandow, Connor - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
9732
Res. 4157, Baker, Dustin - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
9732
Res. 4158, Sherry, Craig - E. Hants Sports Heritage Soc. Award,
9733
Res. 4159, Gillis, Bryan - E. Hants Sports Heritage Soc. Award,
9733
Res. 4160, Layes, Grace - E. Hants Sports Heritage Soc. Award,
9734
Res. 4161, Breton Educ. Ctr. Bears - Anl. Coal Bowl Classic,
9734
Res. 4162, Bentley, Victoria: Medical Studies - Success Wish,
9735
Res. 4163, Kukula, Kirsten: Medical Studies - Success Wish,
9735
Res. 4164, Hfx. West HS Students: Mary Poppins -
Hard Work Applaud, Hon. L. Diab « »
9736
Res. 4165, Webb, John: Vol. Efforts - Congrats.,
9737
Res. 4166, Giles, Gavin: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
9737
Res. 4167, United For One Assoc.: Founding Members - Thank,
9738
Res. 4168, Awad, Michelle: Legal Career - Accomplishments,
9738
Res. 4169, MacNutt, Jessica/GROPRO Team: Bus. - Congrats.,
9739
Res. 4170, New Waterford Bantam Dodgers Bantam B Title
- Congrats., Mr. D. Wilton « »
9739
Res. 4171, MacKinnon, Kay - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9740
Res. 4172, MacEachern, Rita - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9740
Res. 4173, Timmons, Gloria - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9741
Res. 4174, Webb, Theresa - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9741
Res. 4175, Aucoin, Mary - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9742
Res. 4176, Oliver, Dorothy - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9742
Res. 4177, Muise, Eileen - CWL Vol. (50 Yrs.),
9743
Res. 4178, Higgins, Rachel/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9743
Res. 4179, Yeo, Annie/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9744
Res. 4180, Arab-Smith, Aaliyah/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9744
Res. 4181, MacLeod, Mariah/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9745
Res. 4182, Garagan, Emma/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9745
Res. 4183, Casey, Sarah/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9746
Res. 4184, Kiley, Olivia/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9746
Res. 4185, MacLeod, Renee/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9747
Res. 4186, Jabbour, Sophia/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9747
Res. 4187, Campbell, Megan/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9748
Res. 4188, Hanson, Josee/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9748
Res. 4189, Dawson, Storm/Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team
- Reg. Championships, Ms. P. Arab « »
9749
Res. 4190, Fairview JHS Girls Basketball Team:
Reg. Championships - Congrats., Ms. P. Arab « »
9749
Res. 4191, Arab, Nicole Marie: SMU Graduation - Congrats.,
9750
Res. 4192, Long, Mary: Forest Hill Church/Commun. - Serv
(50 Yrs.), Mr. K. Irving « »
9750
Res. 4193, MacAulay, Kim/Power, Anthony - King Abdullah II Award,
9751
Res. 4194, George, Karim: RBC's Top 25 Cdn. Immigrants of the Yr
Award - Nomination, Hon. D. Whalen « »
9751
Res. 4195, Hfx. West HS Improv. Teams/Coaches: Accomplishments
- Congrats., Hon. D. Whalen « »
9752
Res. 4196, Anjoul, Ray/Blades, Jessica - Hfx. West HS: Student
Gov't. - Co-Presidents, Hon. D. Whalen « »
9752

[Page 9575]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Wilson, Mr. Keith Irving

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Before we get into the first item of business, the topic for late debate, as submitted by the honourable member for Argyle-Barrington, is:

Therefore be it resolved that this Liberal Government acknowledge the difficulty Nova Scotians face in accessing a family doctor, especially in the areas where doctors are attempting to retire.

We will now begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER « » : As Chairman of the Committee on Assembly Matters, I wish to advise the House that the committee has approved the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace, which I will now table.

The report is tabled.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

[Page 9576]

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4055

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

Be it resolved that if the House of Assembly enacts the amendments to the House of Assembly Act as set out in Schedule A to this resolution that:

  1. the House of Assembly adopt the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace, approved and recommended by the Committee on Assembly Matters to the House of Assembly on May 18, 2016, and that is set out in Schedule B to this resolution; and
  2. the effective date of the policy be the date that the amendments to the House of Assembly Act receive Royal Assent.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 4056

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

Whereas the Invictus Games founded by Prince Harry are an international sporting competition for ill and injured active-duty service members or veterans; and

[Page 9577]

Whereas the 2016 Invictus Games were held from May 8th to May 12th in Orlando, Florida, and Canadian Armed Forces and veterans strongly represented Canada with 22 medals and commendable performances in all events; and

Whereas Ronald Cleroux, a retired leading seaman who served with the Royal Canadian Navy and is a resident of Halifax, took home a bronze medal in four-minute indoor rowing and a silver medal in one-minute indoor rowing;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ronald Cleroux on this outstanding achievement, his commitment to sport, and his dedication to his country.

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 « » : May I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : In the east gallery today, I am pleased to have Jennifer Gillivan, president and CEO of the IWK Foundation - if she would rise please - and Trent McGrath, vice-president and general manager of CTV Atlantic. They are obviously here today to promote the IWK Telethon so let's give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4057

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

Whereas the 32nd Annual IWK Telethon for Children will be broadcast on CTV on June 4th and June 5th from the IWK and remote locations in Sydney, Charlottetown, and Saint John; and

[Page 9578]

Whereas last year's telethon raised $6.2 million for the largest children's hospital in our region; and

Whereas 2016 marks the 20th year that CTV Atlantic has partnered with the IWK Foundation to broadcast the IWK's largest fundraising event;

Therefore be it resolved that members thank CTV Atlantic, the IWK Foundation, the IWK Health Centre, and the thousands of IWK staff, health care providers, and volunteers for their work on the IWK Telethon, and urge Nova Scotians to donate what they can to this important cause.

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 Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 4058

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

Whereas the 600 foster families currently caring for Nova Scotia's most vulnerable children and youth are the backbone of our child welfare supports; and

Whereas we want more Nova Scotians to consider becoming foster parents, including individuals who are single, married, or in same-sex relationships, from the African Nova Scotian community, and from the Mi'kmaq community; and

Whereas a campaign to attract new foster parents to provide love and support for children and youth is gaining a remarkable and heartening response from Nova Scotians across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend and encourage the commitment of foster families, the support of volunteers who participated in the campaign, and all who are open to sharing their hearts and homes - who you are is what they need.

[Page 9579]

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 « » : May I make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : In the east gallery today, we have four medical students from the Dal Medical School who recently took part in a week-long advocacy forum. This year, there was the wonderful topic of refugee health. I met with four, and some other MLAs met with students as well. They brought a wonderful perspective and deep knowledge to the discussion.

I'd like for them to rise as I introduce them here: Lucy Soudek, Victoria Bentley, Kirsten Kukula, and Stewart Whalen - who happens to be the son of our Minister of Justice. Let's give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4059

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

Whereas many refugees arrive in Nova Scotia with unique health needs that come from spending long periods of time in refugee camps without access to regular medical care; and

Whereas the Transitional Health Clinic for Refugees was established in 2015 to help refugee families get up-to-date vaccinations, manage chronic disease, and deal with other health concerns; and

[Page 9580]

Whereas this year the clinic's 18 part-time family physicians have seen more than 700 refugees, compared to the regular 200 patients per year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the staff of the Transitional Health Clinic for Refugees for their work to help our newest Nova Scotians establish good health in their new home, and thank our medical students for their advocacy.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 187 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 (1992 Supplement) of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The House of Assembly Act. (Hon. Michel Samson)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

DAVIS, EMILY - IMPACT AWARD (DAL.)

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : I wish to congratulate Emily Davis on receiving awards for student government, student leadership, and the Philip Stead Memorial Excellence in Student Leadership Award at this year's IMPACT Awards Ceremony at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.

Emily's passion to enhance student life, her dedication to helping others, her ambition to assist students in any capacity, and her success both academically and with extracurricular activities make Emily Davis a shining star. Emily was voted valedictorian of the graduating class of 2016, and will be returning to Dalhousie to begin her Master of Environmental Studies degree at the Halifax Campus.

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I wish to congratulate Emily Davis on these outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in the future.

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

LAW REFORM COMMN. - FUNDING

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, when I asked the Premier for a response to a letter signed by hundreds of legal experts calling for the reinstatement of funding to the Law Reform Commission, he stated that he expects private firms to fund the commission. Not only is this a conflict of interest but it is also against the required independence of the commission.

I would respectfully remind the honourable Premier that this commission is not a community-based organization. It is a commission of the government. Members of this House make appointments to that commission and the commission reviews public laws.

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

ROBICHEAU, CLAREDON: RETIREMENT - WELL WISHES

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, last Saturday, May 14th, a large group of people gathered in the Saulnierville Legion to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Transport de Clare and the retirement of Claredon Robicheau from that organization.

I could easily say Claredon Robicheau is the leader of rural-based community transportation in Nova Scotia. The mark that he has made on this province is one that has affected more people than we would ever know. I'm sure that everybody in this House has met Claredon at one point or another. He has been a huge advocate for people with disabilities and a huge advisor of mine for vulnerable people in my community.

I would like to take this time to thank him for everything he has done, not only for my constituency but for the Province of Nova Scotia, and recognize the tremendous work that he has done. I wish him all the best in his retirement and will hopefully see him on the barbeque scene with Delia.

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

OCEAN PRIDE FISHERIES - MODERNIZATION/EXPANSION

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HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Ocean Pride Fisheries, located in Lower Wedgeport, is undergoing a major modernization and expansion of their operations. The company will now be able to acquire specialized equipment that will allow them to continue their sea cucumber research and development enhancement and streamline their production. It allows them to improve the product quality and output volume of its cooked and dried sea cucumber products, enabling them to further strengthen their business in Asia, where these products are considered a delicacy and a nutraceutical.

The president of Ocean Pride Fisheries, Jules LeBlanc, states that the company currently employs 50 to 75 people in peak season. This expansion will create two dozen more jobs. I offer my congratulations and wish continued success to Ocean Pride Fisheries in all their endeavours.

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

CHILD POVERTY:

TRUTH & RECONCILIATION COMMN. - REQUIREMENTS

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Yesterday the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released their report called Shameful Neglect, a report on the disturbing rates of First Nations child poverty on reserves in Canada. The report found that 60 per cent of all First Nations children in Canada living on reserves live in poverty - 60 per cent.

It's important to note here that the Human Rights Tribunal of Canada put the federal Liberal Government on notice for not ending the racial discrimination against First Nations children on reserves.

Mr. Speaker, what this report tells all of us here in Nova Scotia is that First Nations poverty is not a First Nations issue. All of us must work together to fulfill the requirements outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and end child poverty right here in Nova Scotia, and we're still waiting.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre on an introduction.

MR. DAVID WILTON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery. I'd like to introduce Taylor Murray, if he could rise. He was part of my campaign during the election. I'd like to introduce Sean O'Neil also, if he wouldn't mind rising. He was also part of my campaign. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

C.B. - NEW DOCTORS: RECRUITERS - THANK

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MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, over the past weeks we've heard much debate over doctor recruitment across our province and, in particular, Cape Breton Island. As the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier, I too hear the concern from my community for the need for more doctors at home.

Mr. Speaker, I'm excited to hear the news of 10 new doctors coming to our island in June, with a plan to recruit even more. What has been lost in the debate is the hard work by all involved in securing new doctors for Cape Breton. Staff both at home and across the province have worked extremely hard and should be congratulated for their tireless work.

As the MLA for Sydney-Whitney Pier, I stand in my place today to thank all involved, at home and across the province, for securing these new doctors for Cape Breton Island.

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

HASLAM, CATHERINE - VON VOL.

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, Catherine Haslam is a long-time volunteer for the VON Pictou County. She has served on the board, she has helped in the office, but perhaps her favourite way to help is as a volunteer driver. She says it's a place that seems to suit her and it is what she enjoys doing.

In her enthusiasm to become a driver she also volunteered her husband Bill and they provide drives for seniors and people with certain disabilities, taking them to appointments and for groceries. Users pay a small fee to help cover the cost of the mileage and the balance is covered by charitable donations.

I want to thank the Haslams and all other VON volunteers, you do make a difference.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD.: FISCAL SITUATION - MIN. ANNOUNCEMENTS

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Municipal Affairs attempted to demonstrate his knowledge of fables, with a particular focus on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." However, I suggest if the minister wants to teach this lesson to someone who needs it, he should be speaking to the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board.

Mr. Speaker, just a few short months ago the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board cried out to the province that our fiscal situation was getting worse by the day. Our revenues were tanking, our debt was growing, in essence he was crying wolf. Then lo and behold just a few short months later, the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board announced that revenues will climb and our debt will go down, for now we have before us a balanced budget.

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Mr. Speaker, I hope the member listened yesterday, and will heed the lesson offered by his fellow Cabinet member.

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

HOSPICE SOC. (GREATER HFX.)/N.S. HEALTH AUTH. - HOSPICE CARE

MR. BRENDAN MAGUIRE « » : Mr. Speaker, today I rise to talk about an agreement between the Hospice Society of Greater Halifax and the Nova Scotia Health Authority, to provide hospice setting care in Halifax.

Hospice Society of Greater Halifax is an organization dedicated to helping Nova Scotians with end-of-life care. Mr. Speaker, everyone deserves to die with dignity and in a place of their own choosing. Hospice Society of Greater Halifax supports people with life-limiting illness, death, and bereavement The Hospice Society of Greater Halifax and the Nova Scotia Health Authority has signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate on a 10-bedroom residential hospice here in Halifax.

The goal is for a 12,700-square foot, 10-bed residential hospice facility to be opened by December 2017. The government is pleased to move services from the Centennial Building to the new hospice and to cover 50 per cent of operations through the NSHA budget. This is exciting news as the NSHA continues to work to provide palliative care services to Nova Scotians. This agreement is another step in the vision of the provincial palliative care strategy that was launched in 2014.

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

GLENN, CHRISTIE - TEACHING AWARD

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, on May 3rd, several teachers were honoured by Chignecto-Central Regional School Board and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, for their creativity, kindness, and dedication, and commitment to student success. Among these were Christie Glenn, a Primary teacher at Winding River Consolidated School in Stewiacke.

Ms. Glenn employs an innovative and play-based approach to learning that incorporates reading, writing, reasoning, and social interaction in a fun way. Everyday tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking a family meal, or pet care at the veterinarian clinic are all part of the classroom experience.

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Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Ms. Glenn on her award and express my appreciation of the methods and approach she uses today, in encouraging children in their community to become responsible and caring adults of tomorrow.

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

NOVA SCOTIANS: SERVICES - FUNDING

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, there is an almost constant refrain from this government that if Nova Scotians value a service they need to pay for it themselves. If women's centres want to provide services, they need to fundraise. If hundreds of legal professionals value the services of the Law Reform Commission, they need to pay for it.

Well, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians have already paid. We have paid our taxes on the good faith that the elected government will listen and make decisions that reflect our priorities. This government seems to keep forgetting that the money they allocated in the budget came from the pockets of hard-working people across the province. The government's choices do not reflect the priorities of Nova Scotians.

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

S. SHORE HELPING HANDS INIT. - EXPANSION

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, South Shore Helping Hands is an initiative formed in the Mahone Bay area to mobilize volunteers to help people within their homes with tasks that are becoming too difficult and unsafe. Tasks such as driving to appointments, minor home repairs, painting, yard clean-up, and even companionship are offered. Volunteers are set up with individuals on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on their needs. I am proud to say that this project, which has been recognized across the province and across the country, has recently expanded to New Germany and even into Queens County.

I leave you with a quote from the Helping Hands website from one of those people who often receive help: "'I don't know what I would do without your help.' Our volunteers often say, 'I get more than I give.'"

I ask that members of the House join me in congratulating South Shore Helping Hands on its recent expansion and for its continued service to those in need in our community.

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

MORRIS, FATHER ANGUS: MINISTRY - IMPORTANCE

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MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : For 50 years, Father Angus Morris has served his community of faith. It was while serving the poor in Latin America that he discovered what was truly important in his ministry as a priest. Those experiences shaped him personally and would impact the way he helped people in the parishes he led. As a champion for the Cursillo Movement, he empowered laypeople in the church by showing them how to become effective Christian leaders. This has helped hundreds of people to grow in their faith and made parish communities stronger.

He has been very kind to seniors, people who may feel forgotten as their lives slow down and their family members are busy with everyday life. He would remind seniors that they continue to have a very important ministry: the ministry of prayer, prayer offered for their families and others who benefit from that spiritual support. He is certainly well loved in Mabou, where he has been since 1994 promoting Scottish Gaelic music and culture and offering homilies that, while not overly lengthy, always leave people fulfilled.

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

LIBERAL GOV'T.: ELECTION PROMISES - MEMORY CHECK

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : We're all getting older, and it has been said that your memory can play tricks on you as you age, so it's important to exercise your memory. I'd like to test this theory here today, Mr. Speaker.

I recall the Liberal Government's election promise of a doctor for every Nova Scotian. I recall the Liberals would fix election dates and break up the monopoly of Nova Scotia Power. I also recall the Liberals' promise of a fuel rebate for mineral resources. My memory appears to be in good health. Unfortunately for the government, their memory seems to be in poor condition. If only there was a doctor available in this province for them to get a check-up.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.): HEALTH CARE DELIVERY - POSITIVE RESULTS

MS. PAM EYKING « » : I stand here today to defend our government's approach to delivering responsible, consistent health care in this province. Only seven years ago, and for seven long years, a previous government would not even recognize that there was a shortage in this province of doctors. Our government not only recognized the problem but publicly recognized the problem and set out to fix it by putting in a very aggressive doctor recruitment program, a plan that has now shown positive results in only three short years. (Interruptions)

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

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MS. EYKING « » : Having doctors relocate to Nova Scotia is not like delivering pizza. You don't just pick up the phone, and voilà, doctor. Doctors need to research the area they plan to move to. They need to consult with and consider their families. They are not going to come running to Nova Scotia because someone finally decided to wake up from their slumber and take a well-planned, well-played temper tantrum to score political points.

The question is not when, when, when will the doctors arrive? The question is what, what, what did they do?

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

HILTZ, KELCEY: ANNA. VALLEY APPLE BLOSSOM FEST.

- PRINCESS CANNING

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : I rise today to tell members that Kelcey Hiltz, the 18-year-old daughter of Daren and Shelley Hiltz of Glenmont, has been chosen as Princess Canning. Kelcey will proudly represent her community and is a participant in the highly respected Queen Annapolisa Pageant, to take place during the 84th Apple Blossom Festival this year.

Following her graduation in June, Kelcey is headed off to university to begin her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Please join me in congratulating Kelcey on this milestone accomplishment and her future endeavours and wishing her all the best in pageant activities.

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

JOHNSTON, LEAH: CANNES FILM FEST. - ATTENDANCE

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Congratulations to Truro's own Leah Johnston, a young filmmaker who is currently attending the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France, to screen her short film Ingrid and the Black Hole, which won last year's BravoFACT Pitch competition in Halifax. Cannes has a reputation for selecting strong films from around the world, so it's a great honour for Leah to be among those selected.

I last attended Cannes starring in the feature film Babyface, produced by Atom Egoyan. for the Directors Fortnight Series. It's a truly amazing experience for a young woman from Truro, and one I would like all Nova Scotians filmmakers to experience at least once in their lifetime, if they get the opportunity to continue making their films.

I'm very excited that Leah Johnston is getting this opportunity because Cannes is not just a celebration of cinema, it's a celebration of life itself. That's why the Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River NDP Association has submitted a resolution to reinstate the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit for our convention this June.

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

DOLAN, SERENA: ATHLETIC/ACADEMIC CAREER - WELL WISHES

MR. KEITH IRVING « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to introduce to the House a young woman from Coldbrook, Ms. Serena Dolan. Next month she will graduate from Central Kings Rural High School and head to the University of Memphis in the Fall.

Ms. Dolan has excelled at multiple sports including basketball and hockey and soccer, but it is to the sport that she loves - soccer - that she will commit her considerable energies over her varsity career. The head coach from the University of Memphis is very pleased to have recruited "the top player in the province" and Ms. Dolan is pleased to be attending an NCAA Division 1 school on full athletic scholarship.

On behalf of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, I would like to congratulate Ms. Dolan in her scholarship, and wish her all the best as she begins this new and exciting phase of her athletic and academic career.

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

MACPHAIL, MARK & LUCAS - ARM WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Mark and Lucas MacPhail of Ben Eoin.

The father and son team competed at the Nova Scotia Arm Wrestling Championships recently held in Berwick. Mark claimed the top spot in the right and left arm in the open division and also won the overall championship - he now has 27 provincial titles to his credit - while 11-year-old Lucas, a Grade 5 student at East Bay Elementary, won a gold in both the right and left arm in the flyweight division in his first competition. Mark's next event will be at the Canadian championship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in July.

I wish both Mark and Lucas MacPhail the best of luck in their future competitions.

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

HUMILITY/KINDNESS - REMEMBER

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MR. STEPHEN GOUGH « » : Mr. Speaker, today I offer a quote that can be attributed to Malcolm Forbes, a prominent publisher, during an interview in 1972: "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

This quote speaks of humility and reminds me that I serve at the pleasure of the constituents of Sackville-Beaver Bank. It further reminds me that we are all created equal and that it is up to each of us to recognize and maximize the advantages and opportunities that are presented to us. It also reminds me that we do not have the right to judge or determine anyone else's value, based on our own measuring stick.

Mr. Speaker, we are all here on this path called life, and being kind to others will never go out of style.

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

WALSH, JIM: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remember a pillar of the Town of North Sydney. Mr. Jim Walsh passed away at the age of 89. He was an exceptional veteran, fire chief and volunteer fireman, for 35 years. He was the driving force behind the creation of the North Sydney Cultural and Heritage Building. Jim devoted his life to the Town of North Sydney and was awarded the Canada 125 Medal for service to his community.

I'd like to take this opportunity to remember Mr. Jim Walsh for his years of dedicated service to the people in the Town of North Sydney, and send sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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

SO. WOODSIDE SCH.: IRVING OIL LTD. - CONTRIBUTIONS RECOGNIZE

MS. JOYCE TREEN « » : Mr. Speaker, on Sunday, March 13th, during March break, the students and families from South Woodside were treated to a free movie by Irving Oil Limited.

All the students of South Woodside Elementary School, as well as their families, were invited to a screening of the Minions movie at the Dartmouth Cineplex. Buses were even provided for those who did not have transportation. What a great way for these families to kick off their March break.

The generosity of this company never ceases to amaze me - they continue to give back to the community and especially to the children of South Woodside Elementary.

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Mr. Speaker, please join me in recognizing Imperial Oil Ltd. for their generosity and all the give-back they do to the community and for having the desire to be a good community neighbour. Thank you.

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

KING, SHAN - EDUC. WEK. AWARD

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, at a time when almost anything can and does appear online over our phones, on our computers, and through our tablets, and when that information and those photos can be manipulated digitally to present an alternative truth, it is reassuring to know that some teachers are taking advantage of opportunities to ensure that students become respectful, responsible, and ethical digital citizens.

During Education Week last month, a teacher from the Winding River Consolidated School in Stewiacke was one of several in the province who were honoured at a theme-based award ceremony in Bedford. Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate Shan King for his award for the promotion of Media Literacy: Empowering Critical Thinking in a Digital Media World.

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

VEGETORIUM COUNTRY FARM MARKET - COMMUN. CONTRIBUTIONS

MR. BILL HORNE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Vegetorium Country Farm Market in Waverley hosted an Easter egg hunt with a twist on the morning of March 26th. Over 3,000 colourful eggs were hidden along the lakeside trails at McDonald Sports Park in Waverley. While the children collected coloured eggs, the Easter Bunny joined them walking the park with a huge basket full of children's treats.

At the end of the hunt, the children and their families were invited to trade in their eggs for various fruit to make a delicious fruit basket. Proceeds from the Easter egg hunt were given in support of the IWK. The 300 participants raised $2,130. I would like to congratulate the Vegetorium Country Farm Market on the success, both financially and in participation, of this community event.

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

POLICE WK (05/15 - 05/21/16): ACTIVITIES - PARTICIPATE

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MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, May 15th to May 21st is Police Week in Canada. Police Week is the perfect time to highlight the important role that police play in keeping our neighbourhoods, towns, and cities safe.

During Police Week, Nova Scotians have a chance to learn more about the brave men and women who serve and protect us. In Nova Scotia, the RCMP is hosting a number of public events featuring the people, services, and equipment of law enforcement across the province. I hope people also learn about the Boots on the Street program that has been so successful in our province.

I encourage all Nova Scotians to take part in Police Week activities. I hope they meet the officers and learn more about the important and difficult job that they do.

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

TRACADIE UNITED BAPTIST CHURCH - ANNIV. (193rd)

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, recently the congregation of the Tracadie United Baptist Church celebrated the church's 193rd Anniversary. The Tracadie United Baptist Church dates back to 1787, when Thomas Brownspriggs came to Upper Big Tracadie to act as a teacher and a lay preacher. It wasn't until 1821, when a Baptist minister visited the community and organized a group of worshipers in a farmhouse, that the church began official formation. In 1822 the church was organized, and it's recorded as the oldest in the African United Baptist Association.

Mr. Speaker, the anniversary celebration was also a time to honour those who have served the church and the community over the years. One of those honoured was Pastor Clara Jordan of Sunnyville Baptist Church, who on October 3, 2015, became the first female African Nova Scotian pastor at Sunnyville Church.

The Tracadie United Baptist Church is the heart of the communities of Rear Monastery, Upper Big Tracadie, and Lincolnville. Please join me in congratulating the congregation and its leaders on such a momentous occasion.

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

APPLE BLOSSOM FEST. - ANNIV. (84th)

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to remind members that the 84th Apple Blossom Festival will take place in the Valley from May 25-30, 2016.

There's something for everyone at this world-class event. If you like music, Charlie A'Court and Christine Campbell will be performing. Of course, Queen Annapolisa will be crowned at the wonderful coronation event. The children's parade and the stellar main parade will take place once again. The Blossom Breakfast is not to be missed, and for those interested in local crafts, there's a Festival of Crafts. There's a street dance, fireworks, a family fun day at Scotian Gold, and a huge antique farm tractor pull hosted at the Northville Farm. There's ice cream and fun.

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I'll be there and I hope many of you as well will enjoy this event in our beautiful valley.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. Five ministers of government estimates were considered by the committee of the . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I think points of order are to be raised at the conclusion of Statements by Members, if I am not mistaken. We will get to you; we will get to you.

The honourable member for Halifax Armdale.

HFX. WEST HS: MARY POPPINS - PRODUCTION

HON. LENA DIAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to inform all members of the Legislature and the public that Halifax West High School will be performing the musical Mary Poppins at the Bella Rose Arts Centre, starting Thursday and going on for Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Today, they are performing for all the students in the Halifax area.

I want to congratulate these students who are a very talented team of students who have practised very, very hard, including my daughter Marena Diab, who is in the role of Miss Lark among other roles as well. Marena is a Grade 10 student going into Grade 11 and, we are very proud of her artistic pursuit among many successes, that being the fact that she is multilingual and volunteers at the IWK. I ask everybody to congratulate all students at the Halifax West.

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

RIVERSIDE ELEM. SCH. - HERITAGE PROJ.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to mention an exceptional heritage project which was presented on April 21st at the Riverside Elementary School in Albert Bridge. The project began over two years ago with volunteers researching all the areas that feed into Riverside School. This meant doing the history on Hillside Road, Trout Brook Road, Hornes Road, Brickyard Road, Broughton, Mira Ferry, and Catalone. Over 20 volunteers contributed information to this project of what life was like in the past years in these areas. The presentation was widely advertised and well attended.

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I stand here today to thank everyone involved. The project was carried out with great attention to detail describing life in rural Cape Breton. Congratulations to the committee who worked so hard to complete this activity, especially Irene Lahey.

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

THIBEAU, JOSÉE/METRO BOSTON PIZZA MIDGET AAA HOCKEY TEAM

- ATL. CHAMPIONSHIP

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate goalie Josée Thibeau and the Metro Boston Pizza Midget AAA female hockey team for an exceptional 2015-16 season. On March 20th, they beat the ProCresting Penguins 4-1 in the provincial championships and secured a spot in the Atlantic championships in Charlottetown.

The team won the Atlantic championships by beating the Moncton Rockets in a 4-0 win. Goaltender Josée Thibeau turned away all 28 shots for the shutout victory and earned top goalie honours in the tournament by not giving up a single goal. Metro Boston Pizza Midget AAA female hockey team represented Atlantic Canada in the 2016 Esso Cup in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, from April 17th to April 23rd and ended the tournament with a 1-3-1 record.

I wish to recognize goalie Josée Thibeau and the Metro Boston Pizza Midget AAA female hockey team for their athletic skills and sportsmanship and wish them every success in the future.

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

MACINTOSH, CHIEF LLOYD/N. SYDNEY VOL. FD

- AMPHIBIOUS ATV ACQUISITION

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to salute the North Sydney Volunteer Fire Department under the leadership of Chief Lloyd MacIntosh. They recently added an amphibious all-terrain vehicle to their equipment. The $30,000 price tag was covered through fundraising and will give the firefighters the tools they need to protect the community. They are true superheroes who save lives and property every day.

It is a pleasure to congratulate Chief MacIntosh and all the firefighters of the North Sydney Volunteer Fire Department for successfully obtaining their new vehicle. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all volunteer fire departments for their service and dedication to all Nova Scotia communities.

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

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GIGEROFF, ALEX: DEATH OF - TRIBUTE

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker. I rise today to pay tribute to Yarmouth's Alex Gigeroff, and I am saddened to say that we lost him on May 2nd. Alex held a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Law degree, and a Ph.D. in criminology. He was an assistant professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. He won or was nominated for several prestigious awards for his research in the fields of psychiatry and criminology, and he was a published author and academic.

Alex's academic and professional accomplishments were matched by his passion for the arts. Alex was the president of the Yarmouth Art Society and the Yarmouth Arts Regional Centre. He shared his endless talents with our community by acting and singing in local productions and designing and painting sets. Alex's famous murals are admired every day in Yarmouth schools and throughout the community.

Alex was a dear friend to many and leaves behind a legacy of meaningful work and deeds. His memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all whose lives he touched. To me Alex was a mentor, an inspiration, and a friend, and his spirit will live on in his many paintings and drawings that were all inspired by people in the landscapes of his home region and the beauty that Alex saw in all living things.

He was a true force for good in the world. I will miss his advice and friendship greatly, and I send my condolences to his family, friends, and all who will miss him.

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

JOYCE, PEARL/SALVATION ARMY THRIFT STORES - CONGRATS.

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, throughout Canada there are approximately 1,360 Salvation Army stores serving the public with quality clothing and furniture at affordable prices. These items can be accessed at any of the two locations in Pictou County. All funds raised by the thrift stores help support local families in need and further their ministry of the Salvation Army. Pearl Joyce, Thrift Store coordinator, along with her staff and volunteers are to be congratulated for helping people with their most basic needs.

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

KERR, STEPHEN/BRAS D'OR ARCHERS ASSOC.:

[Page 9595]

SPORT PROMOTION - CONGRATS.

MS. PAM EYKING « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to congratulate Stephen Kerr, president of the Bras d'Or Archers Association, for his work promoting the sport in Victoria County. The sport of archery is enjoying a resurgence in Cape Breton, thanks to Mr. Kerr. After retiring in Baddeck, Mr. Kerr discovered the nearest archery range was in Sydney. He organized a few meetings, put together a committee and, after a year of planning, the Bras d'Or Archers Association was formed. Members meet three times a week - Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday - from April through October at the Baddeck Curling Club, and archers of all skill levels are welcome.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to congratulate Mr. Kerr and all association members on their success, and wish them the best of luck for the season.

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

COVERT, MIKE - BIRTHDAY (80th)

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I'd like to take a moment today to tell you about a constituent who is marking a special day. Mike Covert will celebrate his 80th birthday today.

Mike has the most generous heart. In 2014, he was recognized by the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Foundation for making 422 donations of $100 in honour of friends, colleagues, and loved ones. He has for many years supported the Bridgeway Academy, sitting on its board, as well as supporting students with learning disabilities through his Mary Jane Covert Bursary, because he knows how crucial it is for young people to get a good start in life.

He also sits on the board of the Callow Wheelchair Bus, a non-profit that assists veterans and people with disabilities. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Mike's support of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia. He is a most steadfast supporter.

Mike is always on the side of the underdog. I often hear from him when he sees something wrong in society. He feels deeply for those who are less fortunate and often looks for ways to help.

Tonight Mike is being feted at a birthday party. I am looking forward to raising a glass to this very sweet man and wishing him many more years of health and happiness.

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

N.S. RECYCLES CONTEST - ANTIGONISH PARTICIPANTS

[Page 9596]

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, every year RRFB Nova Scotia hosts the Nova Scotia Recycles Contest. From September to February students in every grade across the province participate in various activities, from colouring contests to short films, to promote participation in waste reduction.

I'm happy to say that Antigonish was well represented within our region, with winners and runners-up in multiple age groups coming from our own elementary and high schools. Reanne Jean, a Grade 3 student from the Antigonish Education Centre, was runner-up in Grade 2-3 Advertisement Design; Elise Canning and Olivia Rehill of Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School were named winners of the Grade 7-9 Film Competition; Jessica Murphy and Georgia Sajatovich, also of Dr. John Hugh Gillis, were named runners-up for the Grade 10-12 Film Competition; and finally, Bryden Manthorne, Romine Oliver Charles, Alex LeBlanc, and Nick Murray were named winners of the Grade 10-12 Film Competition.

Mr. Speaker, in a province with so much artistic talent within its borders, it's heartening to see that students are using this talent to propagate real change. I'd like to thank these members for that work.

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

MACKEEN, ERIC/TRI CO. FORD - AWARDS

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Eric MacKeen, general manager of Tri County Ford in Tatamagouche, Colchester North, has worked at the dealership for the last 26 years. For the last 80 years Tri County Ford has been known for its service to the community and the many lifelong relationships that have developed with customers, and they are a major reason for its success.

The dealership has also contributed to countless fundraising initiatives and supports the Student of the Month program at North Colchester High School. Under MacKeen's leadership, the company has earned Ford Canada's top honour in Atlantic Canada, the President's Award, eight times in the last 10 years.

The Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce held its 126th annual gala dinner and celebration at the Best Western in Truro on April 21st. Eric MacKeen was selected and honoured as Business Person of the Year. His recognition coincided with Tri County Ford's receiving the President of Ford Canada's Diamond Club Sales and Service Award for the 15th time.

Congratulations to both Eric and Tri County.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Five ministers of government estimates were considered by the Committee of the Whole on Supply here in the main Chamber. During those considerations, the Minister of Health and Wellness could not or did not have the answers or the information in front of him during some of those questions. But the minister did commit to the committee to provide that information to the committee and to the members of this House. That was almost two weeks ago, and we know that the time is coming close to the end of the session. I would ask that the minister provide that information before the end of this session.

[Page 9597]

MR. SPEAKER « » : I'll take that point of order under advisement and come back to the House.

The honourable member for Fairview-Clayton Park.

ALEXANDER, KALI - COPD FUNDRAISING

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : I rise today to recognize an outstanding young woman and student at Clayton Park Junior High, Ms. Kali Alexander, who hosted a fundraising event on the one-year anniversary of her mother's death. Kali Alexander's mum, Tobi Alexander, passed away in January 2015 from a combination of flu and COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. One year later, Kali recognized the need to raise awareness of COPD while honouring her mother, and enlisted the help of the staff at her school.

The fundraising event raised over $800 for the Lung Association of Nova Scotia, and included fun activities such as a pie-throwing contest, face painting, donation jars in each classroom, and being able to donate $1 to wear a hat at school.

I wish to recognize Kali Alexander for her strength and determination to raise awareness of COPD while struggling with her own grief.

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

MERCER, KEIRA - N.S. HERITAGE DAY FLAG DESIGN

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : I would like to recognize Keira Mercer of Beechville, who was one of five students whose illustrations inspired the final flag design for Heritage Day in Nova Scotia. In total, 240 drawings were received from 23 schools located across the province.

Creative and colourful, each entry reflected the student artist's thoughts and feelings about Nova Scotia, and illustrated all the many different things that heritage can represent. The submissions were reviewed by a panel chosen by Arts Nova Scotia, and five top designs were selected. These illustrations were then shared with a professional graphic artist at Sperry Design, who used the artwork as inspiration for the flag.

The heritage flag was raised and flown for the first time at Province House on February 10th, in time for the holiday on February 15, 2016.

[Page 9598]

I would like the members of the House to join me in congratulating all the students who participated in the competition, and to let Keira know how proud we are of her contribution.

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

GREER, STEVE/C.P. ALLEN HS - CDN. ASSOC. OF PHYSICIST AWARD

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Every year, the Canadian Association of Physicists recognizes excellence in teaching physics. Only one high school from the Atlantic Region is selected each year, and this year Steve Greer of Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford is the winner.

The CAP's release notes that Mr. Greer is known for his use of hands-on and minds-on activities. He inspires his students to wonder about the world, and he shares his passion for the subject in diverse ways. He provides mentorship to other teachers across the province, works with the Perimeter Institute's Teachers Network, and even shares his love of the subject at "pizza and physics workshops" after school.

Mr. Speaker, it is clear Mr. Greer is passionate about physics, and isn't that what we want for all our children to find - that subject that ignites their passion? I love that Mr. Greer is modelling that for our children.

I'd like to congratulate Steve Greer on being recognized for his teaching excellence and inspiration, and I'd like to thank the Canadian Association of Physicists for promoting excellence.

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

JOHNSTON, SARA: NUMBER 9 CAFÉ - OPENING

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : The backbone of any economy is within its entrepreneurs and small businesses. That's why it's so encouraging to see another small business opening soon in Lunenburg.

Sara Johnston, who has relocated from Montreal, is opening Number 9, a café modelled after the Italian social clubs of her hometown. Sara's willingness to relocate from a major centre and set up a small business in Lunenburg speaks of the appeal of rural Nova Scotia. Her vision for her business is simple: to create a place where the community can come together. In a recent article in our local paper, Sara says she knows it will take time, but she is also happy to be in her favourite place.

Mr. Speaker, I ask all members to join me in welcoming Sara Johnston to Lunenburg and in wishing her the best in her business endeavours.

[Page 9599]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

MACKENZIE, GERRY/MGM & ASSOC.:

C.B. BUS. HALL OF FAME - INDUCTION

MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to honour and congratulate Gerry MacKenzie of MGM & Associates Chartered Accountants in Sydney, who will be inducted into the Cape Breton Business Hall of Fame later this month. Gerry has been a community leader both in the private sector and with various community organizations over the last 30 years. In his professional career he has represented some of the largest organizations across Cape Breton Island.

In his volunteer time he has volunteered with some great organizations, including the United Way of Cape Breton, the Cape Breton Community Concert Association, Sydney Downtown Development, and Cape Breton University - to name a few. I am honoured to rise in my spot today to congratulate Gerry for all his success, both in the private sector and his involvement in many organizations across Cape Breton.

MR. SPEAKER « » : As we're drawing close to the beginning of Question Period, I was advised earlier this morning by the honourable member for Sydney River-Mira- Louisbourg that he wishes to make a motion for emergency debate under Rule 43.

The honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg.

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, therefore be it resolved that the business of the House be set aside for the purpose of discussing a matter of urgent public importance. The matter in question is the frustration and fear thousands of Nova Scotians feel because they don't have, and they are not able to attain, a family doctor.

This problem is made worse by the government's new red tape requiring new doctors to wait months to get approval to practise in our province and the fact that the government is denying doctors who want to work in walk-in clinics. Doctors who want to retire fear doing so because there is no guarantee that this government will allow for a replacement.

A health care system that is there when we need it is part of the Canadian identity. Nova Scotians, like all Canadians, expect that they will have a family doctor to treat them when they are ill. Sadly, for far too many Nova Scotians, this is no longer the truth.

This is an urgent issue that verges on a crisis, Mr. Speaker. It is irresponsible to do nothing. This matter is of grave importance, and I urge members of this Assembly to engage in an important debate for the Province of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

[Page 9600]

MR. SPEAKER « » : On this motion I have received more than the two hours' notice for the matter required under Rule 43(2). As Speaker, under Rule 43(4), I am required to decide whether this matter is proper to be discussed.

I have considered the factors set out in Rule 43(4A), and this is a matter of grave concern to Nova Scotians which concerns the administrative responsibilities of the government and could come within the scope of ministerial action.

I considered the topic submitted to me by the honourable member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg and was prepared to ask for the leave of the House for it to proceed, but I have run into a procedural stumbling block. Rules are very clear. Before I can determine that a matter should have urgent consideration, I am required by Rule 43(4A) to have regard to the probability of the matter being debated by the House within a reasonable time by other means.

I announced earlier today the topic for late debate as submitted by the member for Argyle-Barrington, under Rule 5(5), which will be debated at the moment of interruption today. It is essentially the same subject as the proposed debate on the matter of urgent public importance. This leads to the inescapable conclusion that not only will there be a probability that this House will debate the matter within a reasonable time by other means, there is a certainty that it will be debated today at the moment of interruption. Accordingly, I am not able to conclude that the proposed debate meets the factor I'm bound to consider under the Rules, and we will be required to proceed with the shorter debate, as already proposed for at the moment of interruption.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of co-operation, with unanimous consent of the House, I would move that late debate be cancelled tonight and instead, at the conclusion of Opposition Members' Business by the NDP that the emergency debate would start at that point and run for a period of two hours and at its conclusion that the business of the House would be concluded for the day.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Thank you very much and I appreciate the Government House Leader's motion on this, but also I would withdraw our late debate, so that we don't run into that problem.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Is it agreed on the honourable Government House Leader's motion?

[Page 9601]

It is agreed.

I would also make mention that the topic for late debate has already been submitted and therefore was included on the order paper, so the motion to withdraw is denied.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS.

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

PREM. - GOV'T. (N.S.)/DOCTORS: NEGOTIATIONS - UPDATE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. This government is not taking the doctor shortage seriously. Negotiations between the government and our provincial doctors have been going on for over a year. During that time many meetings and negotiations were cancelled or rescheduled by the government's side, by the Department of Health and Wellness, because they always said they needed more time to prepare, and I will table that for the benefit of the House.

Mr. Speaker, will the Premier today update the House on the status of the negotiations between Nova Scotia's doctors and the Government of Nova Scotia?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I want to thank all those who have been working on behalf of the government and Doctors Nova Scotia to come to what is a fair and reasonable agreement. We're continuing to have that negotiation; we are continuing to talk at the table, and we look forward to being able to communicate a positive result to the citizens of Nova Scotia in the not too distant future.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, a CIHI report, the Canadian Institute for Health Information, shows that Nova Scotia was one of only three provinces and territories in the whole country that has not seen an increase in the number of doctors; that is despite the Premier's promise in the last election that every Nova Scotia family would have a doctor.

Mr. Speaker, when there is a doctor shortage in Nova Scotia, why is the Premier allowing us to fall behind other provinces that are seeing some success in recruiting new doctors?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. It gives me an opportunity to talk about the fact that we've torn down the walls in the health care system, that the Health Authority is working across the province to ensure that we have a distribution of health care providers. All new family physicians, health care providers, have recognized the collaborative practice model is the one that has been working, the one that actually has health care providers come and stay in communities across the province. That model is rolling out. It's unfortunate it didn't roll out five years ago, but we're in the process of working that, encouraged by the 10 new doctors that are going into Cape Breton.

[Page 9602]

We're seeing signs of a possibility of doctors going into other communities. We're going to continue to work with our health care providers to ensure that Nova Scotians get access to primary health care in the community they live in.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Health Authority confirms that the collaborative model the Premier talks about is five to 10 years away. In the meantime many Nova Scotia families, thousands of them, are going without a doctor. It is unimaginable that the government would not be out recruiting new doctors, while talking about something that is five to 10 years into the future.

Mr. Speaker, people need doctors now. They were promised doctors now, but every day that goes by, another doctor retires. In fact, Doctors Nova Scotia says that 800 to 900 doctors are scheduled to retire within the next 10 years, but I guess we're all supposed to wait.

Meanwhile the negotiations drag on and on, with the Department of Health and Wellness not able to get to the table in a timely way and conclude an agreement. Mr. Speaker, why is the government dragging its feet on negotiations with doctors, when there is such an urgent family need?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. He has a number of mistakes in the question. We're not waiting five years for collaborative practice. If he actually moved around the province, he would recognize collaborative practices are being built now across the province. We've seen health care teams working in communities in collaborative practice models. To suggest it's five years away, is simply misleading and trying to take a very serious situation Nova Scotians are being faced with and try to politicize it for some political gain.

The reality of it is, Mr. Speaker « » :Interruptions)

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

THE PREMIER « » : The reality is, Mr. Speaker, negotiations are tough (Interruption)

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

THE PREMIER « » : Tell him auditioning time is coming, he'll get a chance, he can audition soon. Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is negotiations are always challenging and always tough. Our health care providers recognize they're part of getting us back to fiscal health and we're looking forward to finding a positive resolution to negotiations taking place at the table.

[Page 9603]

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

PREM.: HEALTH CARE - FED. FUNDING FORMULA

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, back in February the Premier acknowledged that the campaign talk by the federal Liberals about changing the funding formula for health care transfers is unlikely to become a reality. He said "The funding formula on a per-capita basis is going to be very difficult for any government to make substantive changes to." I'll table that.

Fast-forward to the most recent meeting of the Atlantic Premiers where the Premier emerged calling for a new deal with Ottawa in health care funding. So I ask the Premier, if he feels changes to the federal funding formula are unlikely, what type of deal with Ottawa does he have in mind?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. What I said back when the formula was changed by the former Progressive Conservative Government on a per capita basis is that it would be difficult for any province to go in and take $8 billion from Alberta, which that formula provided them. I don't know whether she is suggesting that the Premier of Alberta is prepared to give us $1 billion - if she can negotiate that, we'd be more than happy to make that happen.

What I said recently is that would be the way to go, to do that formula. But if that's not what they choose, then we need to look at any additional health care dollars - need to take in demographics, the social determinants of health, all of the issues, aging population, chronic disease management. Any new funding coming into health care needs to reflect the needs of the parts of the region that are experiencing those very things that we believe should be part of a health care formula.

MS. MANCINI « » : This government's handling of the health care budget could weaken any case the Premier may make for more money from Ottawa for health care. The government has made cuts to long-term care, cuts to emergency departments, and cuts to physician services. This government has underspent the hospital infrastructure budget by tens of millions of dollars.

So I ask the Premier, is he at all concerned that his government's handling of the Health budget will weaken its position to negotiate a new funding deal from Ottawa?

THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. She knows very well when she talks about the infrastructure budget that all that money has been committed. Projects are moving down. We're making investments in health care infrastructure that her Party ignored when they were in power. She should know very well the investment we're making in her community, in Dartmouth, around the Dartmouth General, the HI announcement we made, the community outpatient clinic we've talked about, and the investment we're making in the Windsor hospital. Furthermore, we've done nothing but strengthen our position when it comes to negotiating with the national government.

[Page 9604]

Let me tell you, on the heels of national money flowing into this province, that government did nothing but turn around and invest it in 7.5 per cent pay raises while wait times were growing. We're going to make sure that the investment Ottawa puts in this province lands at the feet of patients in this province, to ensure that we have a system that reflects our ability to be able to deliver health care that Nova Scotians expect their government to deliver to them.

MS. MANCINI « » : There's one thing we can take away from this ongoing discussion on health funding, and that is that it will be quite some time before we see any changes to federal health transfers. In the meantime, health care in Nova Scotia is deteriorating under this government. The Premier has said they are tearing down walls in the health care system - I would agree that there is, indeed, a demolition under way here.

I ask the Premier, given that ER closures are up, wait times are up, and more and more Nova Scotians cannot find a family doctor, can he explain how his government's plan for health care is working?

THE PREMIER « » : For the first time, this province is looking at its health care system in totality, in a holistic way. We're able to invest to make sure that we're putting the proper infrastructure in place. Instead of sitting paralyzed by the opportunity like the former NDP Government, we've moved forward to put together a plan on how we improve the infrastructure in the province. We've laid out a plan around collaborative practice that is rolling out, bringing health care providers into the system. We're going to continue to work with our clinicians across this province to make sure that Nova Scotians get access to health care in the community where they live, in a timely manner.

We're going to continue to work with those providers regardless of the pessimism coming from the other side; we're going to continue to do what we've been elected to do.

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

PREM. - DOCTORS N.S. NEGOTIATIONS: LEGAL FEES - JUSTIFY

[Page 9605]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Negotiations with Doctors Nova Scotia have been going on for some time now. Last March government retained an outside lawyer, Jack Graham, to lead this negotiation with a price tag of $150,000. In documents obtained through a freedom of information request, the government said negotiating with doctors requires skills not available to government. By December 2015 - and of course, I'll table that FOIPOP - Mr. Graham had billed $150,000, and the amount the government expected to pay Mr. Graham was revised to $450,000.

At a time when Nova Scotians are without a doctor, how can the Premier justify $450,000 to a lawyer?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to say to the honourable member that that funding is not all to the lawyer. We have a team of people who are working on behalf of government.

We could do like previous governments have done and roll over, or we could make sure we stand up and defend taxpayers to ensure that we get a fair deal, that we get a deal that not only treats our health care professionals but also our taxpayers fairly.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Institute of Health Information reported that in 2014 all provinces and territories except for P.E.I., Manitoba, and Nova Scotia - all but those three - had an increase in the number of doctors. (Interruption) I don't know why they think it's funny that we didn't have an increase in doctors in Nova Scotia when every other province except those three did. I'm sure that thousands in Nova Scotia without a doctor, including those in Glace Bay and others, and that the doctors wish this government would spend less on lawyers and more on recruiting doctors.

Will the Premier commit to stop spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal advice from Liberal-friendly lawyers until the family doctor shortage is fixed?

THE PREMIER « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. We continue to look for support outside for professional expertise when it comes to delivering and negotiating on behalf of the citizens of the Province of Nova Scotia. We're going to continue to make sure that we have the appropriate team at the table negotiating on behalf of the citizens of this province to ensure that that deal not only treats our health care workers fairly but also treats the Treasury of this province and all taxpayers fairly.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - FAMILY DOCTOR:

[Page 9606]

ACCESSIBILITY - CRISIS CONFIRM

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday doctors went public with their concern about the Health Authority's decision to restrict new licences in the central region. They are claiming that this restriction is leading toward a staffing crisis in the short term. One doctor pointed to the frustration felt by new graduates and those who are about to retire. The doctor said, "Most of them who are about to retire are no longer able to provide their patients with any assurance that they're going to be replaced, so they know that their patients are going to be orphaned within a matter of months." I'll table that.

I'd like to ask the Minister of Health and Wellness, can the minister respond to the concerns of these doctors who are worried that there is a looming crisis around access to a family doctor? And I might say that a crisis is upon us right now, Mr. Speaker.

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I thank the member for the question. When this line of questioning started a few weeks ago, there were at least two clinics that were identified as in need of a doctor. We know that in the last few weeks, recruitment of doctors for those clinics has now taken place, and they will be available to cover patients who were seen by a doctor who has retired, and in another case is out due to illness. There is the contingency plan to look after the needs of those clinics.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the government doesn't seem to understand that the move toward collaborative care that the Premier and the minister have talked about doesn't happen overnight. In the meantime, doctor shortages have now crept into the city. I know rural communities know full well the impact. One doctor said, "We get hundreds of calls a day from desperate people looking for a family doctor . . . it's breaking our hearts to turn them away but we are full to capacity." I'll table that.

The doctors are calling for a meeting with the minister, along with a third party, because they know how important and critical this issue is. I ask the minister, will he commit that there's a problem here and commit to meeting with those doctors immediately, before this situation worsens, Mr. Speaker?

MR. GLAVINE « » : The member opposite knows that even with a new group of doctors and residents now graduating, getting them to commit to, for example, the current walk-in clinics in the city is no guarantee whatsoever. In fact, two residents representing the class of 2016 said there may be a few who would do a few shifts, so we know that we have to look at the whole issue here, and the Health Authority and several others are committed to meeting with GPs, walk-in clinics and clinicians here, and that meeting will be announced very shortly.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: C.B. DOCTORS - DISCUSSIONS

[Page 9607]

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Over the last couple of weeks we've been talking about the doctor shortage around Nova Scotia and in particular in Cape Breton Island, and the minister keeps touting how there has been 10 new doctors found for Sydney, and that's a good thing, but my question to him is, has he really sat down and talked to the doctors who are providing service in the CBRM, had a discussion with them about the trials and tribulations that they are going through? What has he done in actual contact with the doctors in Cape Breton who are so concerned about the shortage there?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say that I've met with quite a number of doctors in Cape Breton. I'd like to in fact, relay for him in the House, a not-too- distant meeting with the two doctors in Neils Harbour, and I said, you know, why haven't you been able to recruit here? The Physician Resource Plan said that they could have 2.75 doctors. We know that recruiting a 0.75 is going to be impossible, I found that out on a Wednesday and on Thursday I had the 0.75 changed to a full position, and we were able to recruit two doctors for Neils Harbour.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, on the weekend, the Leader of the Official Opposition and the member for Northside-Westmount had an opportunity to meet with a number of doctors in Cape Breton Island, and we sat for three hours and listened to their concerns and what they were worried about in the health care system.

Part of that meeting, Mr. Speaker, was the discussion about the number of doctors that have left, and are planning to leave. In the discussion 15 doctors were identified as leaving from this point forward - not counting the ones that have already left. Fifteen doctors - specialists, family practice, and people who wanted to retire. But I shouldn't have to tell that to the minister because he probably knows that from his Health Authority.

My question is, will he come to Sydney and meet with those doctors before the end of this month?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll be in Sydney in June, or I'll be in Cape Breton in June. I will have a number of meetings with doctors and with people in communities in Cape Breton to address the doctor issue. What I do know is that recruitment so far this year is going very well, and I know that we'll be able to meet many of the needs of communities. I think it's a matter of identifying which practices, which communities may be without a doctor, and we will address that in the coming month.

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

EECD - KCA: GR. 6 BAND - FUNDING CUT

[Page 9608]

MR. JOHN LOHR. Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. Parents at Kings County Academy have been very disappointed to learn that funding for the Grade 6 band program has been cut. Most parents will not be able to afford private music instruction for their children with the cut in funding for the program. It is my understanding that the numbers were not declining for this program and that other schools do offer Grade 6 band in the area.

My question, Mr. Speaker, for the minister, what would the minister say to parents of Grade 6 students at KCA whose children will not have band instruction, even though other neighbouring schools do receive this instruction?

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member for the question. I'm certainly aware of the situation in the Valley, in particular in that school, where the board has made a decision that they would not continue to offer band to Grade 6 students. It is, as I have said before, a board decision.

I will say to the member that the funding that goes from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to school boards, with respect to music, only includes band after Grade 6, so band is not part of the funding to schools up to Grade 6. It does begin in Grade 7 but in many boards and in many schools and in many communities, students in Grade 6 do get an opportunity for band. Sometimes that is the band auxiliary itself that is working with the parents and provides the funding for a band instructor, but formal instruction in band does not begin until Grade 7.

MR. LOHR « » : I thank the minister for that answer, Mr. Speaker. The minister is very quick to place responsibility at the feet of the school board, which made the ultimate decision. Despite this insistence, the minister has to accept that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development sets conditions for these decisions.

Concerned parents from KCA will be hosting a meeting tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. in New Minas to discuss the issue and the minister has been invited. My question for the minister is, will the minister commit to attending the meeting with parents from KCA to hear their concerns tomorrow night?

MS. CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, the member says that I am quick to identify whose responsibility it is. I think it's important that everyone in this Legislature knows whose responsibility it is and that the funding that we provide (Interruptions) Our grants to school boards have increased by $80 million this year and I think that's significant.

Unlike the NDP Government, we are not cutting funding from school boards, we are increasing the funding to school boards.

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

[Page 9609]

COM. SERV.: MATERNAL NUTRITIONAL ALLOWANCE - RAISE

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, we know that a healthy pregnancy leads to a healthy baby. Low-income women struggle during pregnancy to afford healthy food. Manitoba has found a way to ensure that all low-income women are able to carry a healthy baby to term. A recent report found that babies born to women who received an enhanced benefit did greater in terms of low birth weight and prematurity than a similar group born to low-income women who didn't, all this for the low cost of just $81 per month, compared to Nova Scotia's $51.

Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Community Services is, given the success in Manitoba, will the minister raise the maternal nutritional allowance to a rate equal or above Manitoba's?

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : I thank the member for the question. I'm very pleased to say that in the last budget we approved a $20 increase, the largest increase in the history of the program, across the board. That would include not only pregnant mothers but mothers, single parents, certainly persons with disabilities, across the board, the largest increase ever in the program.

I'm aware of the program in Manitoba. I'm encouraged by the work that I've been doing with my federal counterpart on the new child tax benefit that will be coming through in July. I know that will enhance both would-be mothers, mothers, and single parents now who have children in Nova Scotia, and make a considerable impact on their monthly income.

MS. MANCINI « » : The only time the maternal nutritional allowance has ever been increased was by my honourable colleague from Chester-St. Margaret's who raised this allowance by 75 per cent. I will table that.

Since then the maternal nutritional allowance has remained frozen, despite soaring costs for healthy, fresh food over the last two years. Unfortunately the proportion of low birth weights in Nova Scotia is the fourth highest in Canada, at 6 per cent, and that's despite our low birth rate.

Mr. Speaker, given Nova Scotia's maternal outcomes, will the minister commit to raising the maternal nutritional allowance to reflect the current price of healthy food to attain that?

MS. BERNARD « » : I thank the member for the question. One of the things we were able to do in last year's budget, in addition to the substantial increase this year, was to raise the cap on the child tax benefit catchment area so that actually brought 1,000 new families into that program with an increase to their Child Benefit Tax Credit in Nova Scotia. I am encouraged by the work that non-profits do all through this province including the new market that opened not only in my own riding but the mobile market and also with the farmers' tax credit all which will enhance food security for low-income Nova Scotians in the province.

[Page 9610]

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

ENVIRON.: TIDAL TURBINES - ENVIRON. MONITORING PLANS

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Acting Minister of Environment. We all know the importance that tidal energy might bring to Nova Scotia as research and development and for long-term energy needs. In fact, Emera plans to install their first turbine soon, and a June 3rd departure from Pictou is planned for the first turbine with installation a few weeks later.

The berth holders have a requirement to have environmental monitoring plans approved by both DFO and Nova Scotia Environment, and FORCE announced their draft environmental monitoring rules which also said they have to have their own plans. Yesterday, fishermen who called Nova Scotia Environment and DFO were told that no monitoring plans have yet been approved. When will the environmental monitoring plans for the first tidal turbines be approved?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, with this reference to energy, I will pass that to the Minister of Energy.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, we are very excited to see that the turbines are going to be deployed. This is a tremendous opportunity for Nova Scotia to be able to harness our tidal energy and produce a renewable, consistent form of energy for our province. Naturally, as I have pointed out in an op-ed that was published recently, this is being done at the same time with ultimate concern for the fisheries and for the habitat to ensure that there is protection there. These are demonstration turbines, there will be all the necessary monitoring that will take place with those turbines, and we will continue to work with our federal partners, the local fishermen, and all interested parties.

MR. YOUNGER « » : I do not disagree with anything the Minister of Energy said, Mr. Speaker. However there is a requirement that the individual sites have monitoring plans in place and yesterday, both Nova Scotia Environment and DFO said that they have not yet approved them. Yet the first turbine is leaving the wharf in Pictou on June 3rd for a tentatively scheduled installation of June 24th or June 26th.

I think the minister can understand there are fishermen that are concerned about it. I agree with him on the potential, but I am just asking a very simple question. With the first scheduled turbines just a few weeks away and consultation still required on the installation and environmental monitoring plans, what will happen if the DFO and Nova Scotia Environment do not provide sign-off before the scheduled installation?

[Page 9611]

MR. SAMSON « » : Again, Mr. Speaker, the tidal industry has tremendous opportunity for Nova Scotia and I can tell you that the entire world is watching this technology. We know that the tides in the Bay of Fundy are the strongest tides in the world and therefore, if we are able harness those tides here, there is an opportunity for Nova Scotia companies to be able to export that knowledge throughout the world.

As well, Mr. Speaker, I have been disappointed in the fact that I have not heard one of the members from Pictou County talk about the great employment opportunity that this has created putting hundreds of people to work at the Pictou shipyard and building these turbines.

There is more news that will be coming for that area as well, and it is unfortunate they do not share our optimism that we have for the economy in Pictou and the opportunity that the tidal industry will bring, but we will continue to work in promoting this industry and make sure to work with all of our stakeholders.

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

TIR: BAY FERRIES - MGT. FEE

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Maybe the Minister of Energy could listen up too, he does not seem to be doing a great job of listening.

Portland City Council had a very public meeting late in April to discuss the Yarmouth ferry contract. The City of Portland also then went ahead and posted online the full contract between the city and Bay Ferries; maybe they were boasting a little bit about the contract that they were able to sign. Sadly here in Nova Scotia, where taxpayers are paying and paying and paying, this government is reluctant to share important details of the contract with the good people of the province.

I would like to ask the minister one more time, will the minister commit today to tell the people of the province how much the management fee being paid to Bay Ferries is?

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to hand that question to the Minister of Energy. (Laughter)

Look, we have talked about this many times both here in Question Period and estimates. There are competitive factors that are implicated with respect to this management fee. That part of the contract was the exact same clause that was part of the PC Party's contract with Bay Ferries. There is legitimacy. This isn't about protecting anybody. This is the legitimacy of a competitive factor with respect to the management fees that are charged by a private sector operator.

[Page 9612]

MR. HOUSTON « » : The most open and transparent government, maybe not so much. I think at one point in time, members also used to ride up to this House on horseback. The minister is quite happy to drive in his car. Things change, minister. We want to know what the management fee is because low passenger numbers, taxpayers pay (Interruptions)

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

MR. HOUSTON « » : Dock improvements, taxpayers pay; vessel improvements, taxpayers pay; management fees, taxpayers pay. The government is not interested in talking about that today, so I'll ask another question. Is the CAT still going to sail on June 15 as advertised? Maybe you can give us a little glimpse as to how the reservations are - I've heard they're very poor. Maybe you can clear that up for the House today.

MR. MACLELLAN « » : The reality is this: we support the Yarmouth ferry, the Nova Scotia ferry service. It's for the province. It's for all of us. It's an important part of a transportation link with the U.S. This is what I can tell the member opposite, the entire House, and all Nova Scotians: we're moving in the right direction.

Bay Ferries has a tremendous model. They have put a lot of work into this to make sure this is done right. Every stakeholder, every part of the Nova Scotia ferry, is moving in a positive manner. The communities are excited. The region's excited. The only negativity now with the Nova Scotia ferry is coming from that member, that Leader, and that Party. We're moving on with Nova Scotians. They're leaving that cynicism behind.

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

BUS. - DIGBY PINES/LISCOMBE LODGE:

NEWCASTLE MGT. FEE - RELEASE (05/16)

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is for the Minister of Business. Last week I requested that the minister provide a breakdown of the total contract value fees that are being paid to New Castle Hotels and Resorts. Through Digby Pines and Liscombe Lodge, New Castle has been costing the taxpayers of Nova Scotia around $1.5 million per year. The taxpayers deserve to know how much that corporation is making through this contract.

My question for the minister is, since the minister has already committed to providing this what-should-be-public information already, will he commit to providing this information by the end of this session?

HON. MARK FUREY » : As I indicated to my colleague in a previous question in Question Period, I have no problem sharing that information with him or anyone else. I indicated at the time that those management fees have gone on for some 10 years now, when that Party was in power. Management fees are not abnormal in these processes. What I will tell my colleague is the management fees are the lowest they have ever been, under our government. Before the end of this session, I'll have that information for my colleague.

[Page 9613]

MR. LOHR « » : I guess I have to confess a little bit of confusion. On one hand, the Minister of Business is willing to disclose the management fees, and that's great; we look forward to seeing them. On the other hand, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is not willing to disclose it. I know this is the most transparent government ever (Interruptions) On things that they choose to be transparent on. My question for the Minister of Business is, which minister is following the policy of the government on being transparent, his department or the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal?

MR. FUREY « » : I appreciate the opportunity to recognize the good work that my colleague in Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is doing on behalf of all Nova Scotians. These are clearly two different industries. Contractual agreements vary from contract to contract and from industry to industry. As that member should be aware of under his government, management fees existed then, management fees exist now, and management fees will exist into the future.

I want to repeat, for the benefit of this House and all Nova Scotians, the management fees associated with this particular contract are the lowest they have ever been in the history of this particular file. I will commit to getting those numbers to my colleague before the end of this session.

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

EECD - SURPLUS SCHOOLS: MUNICIPALITIES - DOWNLOADING

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to ask staff from the Department of Municipal Affairs about Section 93 of the Education Act, which authorizes the transfer of surplus schools back to municipalities. With the ongoing school review process, many rural municipalities are concerned about financial responsibility for aging schools being downloaded onto them, regardless of the potential liabilities associated with these buildings. Parents in Bridgeport are seeking a meeting with the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development as they seek to avert the closure of their school.

My question for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development is this: is her department working with the Department of Municipal Affairs about this problem, and what is she doing about the concerns of municipalities caused by this section of the Education Act?

[Page 9614]

HON. KAREN CASEY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand and perhaps provide some clarification. We are respecting the decisions that have been made with respect to the return of schools after they are no longer used for public education. Pre-1982 schools go back to the municipality. In the case of Cape Breton, there are a couple of schools that will revert back to the church, and in the case of the P3 schools, if they are no longer used, they go back to the private partner.

MS. ZANN « » : Actually, Mr. Speaker, the legislation does not provide municipalities with the ability to refuse to take control of surplus schools. CBRM in particular is facing this closure of 17 schools, 15 of which they say they are grudgingly accepting because of their legal obligation. I will table that.

Staff from the Department of Municipal Affairs have indicated that this has come up in their discussions with the municipalities, so I actually have a question for the Minister of Municipal Affairs. Can he please provide an update on his department's efforts to address these concerns, since the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development doesn't seem to feel that it is appropriate for her to address it?

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, I do take exception to the member's previous comment. The Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development has done nothing but answer questions very clearly and directly in this House. We all appreciate the great work that that minister is doing in restoring the funding to our institutions that that government cut when they were in power.

In relation to conversations with municipalities around surplus schools, that is part of the conversation that we've been engaged with through our partnership agreements, and that's a conversation that will continue.

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

PREM.: CAYLEY'S LAW - STANCE

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Premier. Yesterday the member for Pictou East, with the assistance of Carolyn Fox, introduced a bill called Cayley's Law. The Premier acknowledged the bravery and the heartbreak of Cayley's family and friends.

The Premier's former communications director took exception to the bill and made his feelings known on Twitter. He likened the effort to seek help for kids with mental illness and to give the family a platform for change to garbage. Mr. Speaker, I'll table that - garbage.

Mr. Speaker, my question for the Premier is, does the Premier agree with this staff member that Cayley's Law is garbage?

[Page 9615]

THE PREMIER « » : Again, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Of course all members of this House - I said this yesterday - the family coming forward to talk about what has happened to their family and finding ways that we could better deal with ensuring that we are dealing with the multiple challenges that our children are facing as they grow through adolescence.

We're going to continue to do that, the work that we've been doing in our education system, investing year after year in SchoolsPlus programs. We've hired more psychologists this year - I think it's now providing 29 across our school system - working with teachers to be able to identify early onset of mental illness in our children, to be able to provide those supports, trying to work out with our clinicians to make sure that we're putting in place in the community out-supports required to help deal with this issue.

Every member of this House, every family across this province, at some level has had issues around mental illness and mental health challenges. We're now talking about them. The family came out yesterday in a very painful way and told us about their personal story, which is tragic. No one in this House wants to ever experience what this family has experienced.

We'll learn from what they've been able to do and other families about their experiences and what we can best do to put in those supports. We're going to continue to work with our health care providers and families like the one that was here yesterday, to ensure that we continue to do the best we can to provide supports for our children.

MR. MACLEOD « » : I want to thank the Premier for that answer, Mr. Speaker. Carolyn Fox showed amazing courage yesterday by coming forward and telling her story. She did it in the hope of preventing another family from having to go through what she has gone through. She deserves our respect and our gratitude; she does not deserve nasty Twitter remarks.

So, my question to the Premier is quite simple, will the Premier distance himself from his staffer's remarks by passing Cayley's Law?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think any member of this House would know how I conduct myself, that I would not associate myself with those remarks regardless of who presented them. You know our government is continuing to work with clinicians across this province to ensure that we have supports in place. We're working with our education partners to ensure that we're providing those supports.

Yesterday it was brought to the attention - actually a reporter asked the question about when a health care provider or an education provider is presented with private information, but potentially doing harm by not disclosing it; those are very difficult decisions that we have to make. I've asked our Department of Justice to look at that, other ways that we can make sure that if someone is communicating one thing to a health care provider, but not telling that to their parents, and the parents don't know - is there a way for the health care provider to be able to provide that support, Mr. Speaker? Those are the things that we're going to continue to go on with.

[Page 9616]

This is a tragedy. Any time that we lose a young Nova Scotian without being able to provide them with support it's a tragedy for all of us. And at no time would I ever, ever, ever associate myself with any remarks, Mr. Speaker - regardless if it's said in this House or outside of this House - that would demean anyone who came forward to make sure that they tell their story to make things better.

Mr. Speaker, that's what I hope all of us are in this House to do - to make things better for Nova Scotians.

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

PREM. - PLANNING & PRIORITIES DEP. MIN.:

PERSONAL SERV. CONTRACT - DUTIES

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. We see lots of money being spent on management fees and it begs the question as to what value the people of the province are getting for those fees.

Last Fall, the Premier gave his Deputy Minister of Planning and Priorities a personal services contract, which was strange because I know the issue came up with the media about the recipient of this income having to pay less tax, and we know the government has spoken out against that in debates we've had about lowering the small business tax rate. However, Mr. Miller was no longer going to be a deputy minister, but was now taking the title of senior executive advisor, and we know he's getting $15,000 a month for this.

Can the Premier explain what duties Mr. Miller performs for this?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, well first of all I want to say on behalf of all Nova Scotians how pleased I am that a person of Mr. Miller's calibre decided to leave the private sector and come and provide his expertise in the province.

Mr. Miller has been working in Priorities and Planning. As the honourable member would know, all of the Treasury Board now has been moved out and put in the Department of Finance. Mr. Miller's responsibility is to continue to work on the growth strategy that we work through the Ivany commission and the One Nova Scotia commission, Mr. Speaker, to ensure that we continue to drive the priorities of that commission and this government, and all Nova Scotians.

[Page 9617]

Mr. Speaker, he's continuing to work with the Deputy to the Premier and the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board to continue to show that we continue to provide stable finances for the Province of Nova Scotia, that we continue to negotiate contracts that reflect our ability to pay, and that we continue to make sure that the services Nova Scotians expect in this province are done in an affordable, sustainable way.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Well, Mr. Speaker, that is fine; we hope that there is good value being received for that.

I wonder if the Premier would be open to tabling Mr. Miller's invoices so that the public may see a full description of the work that he has been performing, so that is available to Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. Mr. Miller is on a contract and I think that has been tabled. Surely they've gone over every contract government has had in the past period of time.

But let me be clear at how fortunate we are that people provide (Interruption) the honourable member asked me if I was the Premier. Absolutely, Mr. Speaker, you want to know that I'm the Premier, because we are going to continue to lead direction and move this province forward. We're not going to allow the union leaders to run this province; we're going to run it. We're not going to allow Opposition to take us off track in providing good economic growth. We're not going to allow the Opposition to move us. We're increasing our youth support to this province. We're not going to allow the Opposition to move us on the fact that private sector optimism is up. We're not going to allow the Opposition to take us off track - population growth. We're not going to allow the Opposition to take us off track to see exports up. We're not going to allow the Opposition to distract us from moving this province forward. That's leadership.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - ZIKA VIRUS: DEPT. STAFF - ADEQUACY

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, we see the Premier roll out the clock that tells him he should sit down, stop him from keeping going.

The first reported case of Zika virus in Nova Scotia was announced this week. As the Deputy Chief Medical Officer explained, the risk of Zika to Nova Scotians is low. However, it's important to be adequately prepared for any outbreak. With the recent restructuring of the Department of Health and Wellness, the levels of staff and resources are called into question.

Mr. Speaker, with less staffing and resource capability in the Department of Health and Wellness, can the minister be assured that his department can adequately manage Zika, or any other viral outbreak in Nova Scotia?

[Page 9618]

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to say that Dr. Frank Atherton gave a very good account of the one case and also the fact that we have a climate not likely to have the virus active in our province. However, in terms of notifying physicians and clinical practitioners as to what they should look for, that information has gone out from the department. The department is prepared not only in terms of Zika, but if there should be any kind of epidemic that needs to be contended with.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, our province has had to deal with outbreaks before, with H1N1 and other viral infections. H1N1 showed us that the Department of Health and Wellness requires a comprehensive plan and sufficient resources to be able to properly manage these viral diseases. A lot of that leadership came from the Minister of Health and Wellness's own office.

President Obama and the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, has warned the public that as temperatures begin to rise, mosquitos that carry the Zika virus could potentially reach Maine, placing Nova Scotia at risk. So I'd like to ask the minister, can the minister tell the House if a plan is currently in place at the department, in the event that more Zika cases are confirmed here in Nova Scotia?

MR. GLAVINE « » : I thank the member for presenting that important question to the Legislature here today. What I can say is that we're fortunate to have the medical expertise and the Chief Medical Officer and his assistant to be able to lead any kind of plan to deal with an epidemic of any nature here in the province, or any kind of outbreak that may be seasonal.

We have learned many lessons from H1N1, and now we're able to move very quickly as a province to contend with any medical incident we may have to deal with.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - VALLEY HOSPICE:

PROJ. ANNOUNCEMENT - TIME FRAME

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : My question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. Yesterday the minister announced Hospice Halifax - and I will table that announcement - which is set to open in December 2017. While I am sure the citizens of HRM are delighted and the hospice is needed, I will remind the minister that the Valley Hospice fundraising finished two years ago with $4 million raised.

My question for the minister is, what does the minister say to the hard-working citizens of the Valley who completed their part in getting a hospice? Why are we treated as second-class citizens here and still waiting for this hospice project to be announced?

[Page 9619]

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, what I can first tell the House is that during the last time his Party was in government, the word "hospice" was not even written in the Department of Health and Wellness. We started at ground zero, we're just about there, and the member for Kings South with certainly get an invitation.

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

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

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : We'll be going in a rotation of 15 minutes. I'll get a schedule to the Government House Leader in a few moments.

Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 167.

Bill No. 167 - Fair Drug Pricing Act.

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

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : I'm glad to rise and speak for a few moments on Bill No. 167. I think it is upon us, when we see concerns in our community, to make sure that we try to address them. It doesn't matter if you're in government or if you're in Opposition Parties - we need to try to improve the process in which Nova Scotians receive services or how they receive information. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'd like to remind everybody, the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid has the floor.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, it's important, as an Opposition Party or government members, to ensure that we educate and inform the residents in our province on changes to legislation, changes to policy, and new legislation that may be on the horizon for government. That's really what's behind this piece of legislation.

[Page 9620]

Seniors' Pharmacare regulation legislation like this enshrines the importance of ensuring that seniors in this province who utilize the Seniors' Pharmacare Program know what's going on, know what potential changes are on the horizon for them. We don't have to go that far back in history to a few months ago when the government decided to make changes to the Seniors' Pharmacare Program. When I asked the Minister of Health and Wellness last year - it was just over a year ago - I asked the minister, on behalf of the 120,000 Nova Scotian seniors who utilize the Seniors' Pharmacare Program, if there were going to be any changes or increases in premiums for that program. I have to say, at the time the Minister of Health and Wellness stood up in his place and assured not only myself but the 120,000 seniors that under his watch, under the Liberal Government, there would never be an increase in the Seniors' Pharmacare.

Well, I don't know if the Minister of Health and Wellness was not following the briefings he was given or talking points, but we know that just didn't happen. You can call it whatever you want, Mr. Speaker. I know I can't call it what I want because it's unparliamentary, but it was definitely stretching the parameters of reality at the time because there was no intention to live up to that answer. We've seen that the minister came out recently and tried to increase Seniors' Pharmacare rates, to the dismay of those 120,000 seniors who you hear from on a continuous basis.

I engage with the seniors in my community who I represent on an ongoing basis. I try to find out what their issue is. I have to say, come January, February, and March, I hear from a number of seniors who are entering, or potentially could enter, the Seniors' Pharmacare Program. They ask, what should I do? Many healthy seniors who might not have been prescribed medication at that time or who might not have any kind of chronic disease or ailment, many of them question if they should enter the Seniors' Pharmacare Program.

I always try not to make that decision for them, but inform them on the importance of having that protection. If something were to happen down the road - and it is like if you had a vehicle, Mr. Speaker, and you did not put insurance on it and you drove it and ended up in a motor vehicle accident and you did not have insurance to cover it and then called the insurance company to say oh, I want insurance now to cover that accident. It is the same.

I know seniors of Nova Scotia are concerned when the amount of money that they bring in on a monthly basis should cover their expenses, and when you add a new one, when you turn 65, it concerns them and they try to make the best decision that they can in the situation that they are living in. I am talking about seniors on low income, middle income, and even the higher-income seniors who might have a pension or investments that they rely on in their retirement.

We have seen the backlash when the government decided to make changes to the Seniors' Pharmacare Program. One thing that was really concerning was the lack of information and the lack of will really to provide the information that was needed to make a good decision on if this was a positive move forward or if this was going to be something that would have a negative effect on seniors.

[Page 9621]

I know the program was paraded out, and the changes to the Seniors' Pharmacare Program were paraded out that it was a good thing. This was going to solve all the issues for seniors - seniors are going to pay less, and more will not pay premiums at all. But after questioning the government's data and the information released, not only as an MLA and as a Party, but even the media knew there was more to this story than what was being presented at the time of the news conference. It took repeated attempts to try to get that information even in the Public Accounts Committee, where the deputy minister could not answer, or would not answer, the questions around the information that not only the media, but seniors, wanted to have.

Lo and behold, sometime later we realized that the changes were going to have a negative effect on a lot of seniors, many seniors who would have seen an increase in their rates, some of them by over 100 per cent. Then started the calls to my constituency office, and I know for a fact that that was the start of the calls to not only the minister's office but the Premier's Office - and I am sure all members in the government caucus received calls from seniors. If they did not, I would be surprised because I know seniors were deeply, deeply concerned about the changes to this program, and this program really ensures some of our most vulnerable citizens do not have to make that impossible choice between medication and food or rent or those things that are necessities, shelter or anything like that. There was a strong reaction as I said from seniors about these changes, and I know it had an impact with the government's eventual turnaround on this.

That is why I think it is paramount that we bring legislation here forward to address this issue. Because I have to say the seniors I spoke to, some of them were extremely upset; they were visibly upset; they were concerned about their well-being; and I heard from so many who said I will have to just go without it and roll the dice on potentially enduring costs that would normally be covered under our Seniors' Pharmacare Program because they were going to opt out of that program. And for me to hear that from elderly people in my community was beyond, that the government would put them in that position. Not only that, they brought forward the information and the correspondence that was provided to them from the government, from the program, requiring information that was never provided in the past - and in a threatening tone.

When I read the letter that required them to take action within the end of - I believe it was the end of the month when they received that letter, I have never seen that type of language geared toward people who needed to make a decision on if they were going to stay in the program, if they're going to provide the information, or if they're going to opt out.

That's no way - no way - to treat the seniors of this province. I believe the government recognized that. I think there may have been somewhat of an apology from the government - I don't know if it was the Minister of Health and Wellness or the Premier - about the language and the tone of that letter that seniors received. It might have been the minister; I think it was the minister.

[Page 9622]

I'm concerned that that process took place and that seniors in this province were left wondering what they should do. Should they continue paying into a program that would hopefully support them and hopefully see them lead a healthier lifestyle? Medication, pharmaceutical, is an important part of trying to get your health better sometimes, Mr. Speaker. Of course, all the nutrition and exercise are there, but there are times when medication is needed. Many people depend on medication to survive. They depend on medication to get by.

This left a huge portion of our population scared, concerned, angry, and upset. I probably could go on and on if I had a thesaurus in front of me; I heard from so many people who were upset over these changes.

What this piece of legislation would do is require not only this government but governments into the future, if they're going to change this program that supports the seniors of our province, seniors who have built our province, then at least it should come to the floor of the Legislature for a debate so that not only Opposition members but also government - government would have to stand up and defend that potential change. Opposition members could stand up and look at and evaluate if that was a positive thing or a negative thing.

I don't think it's too much to ask, especially with what transpired over the last number of months dealing with Seniors' Pharmacare and the uncertainty that it left so many seniors with. Something has to be done, and I do not trust the government. I do not trust the government to say that they learned their lesson and we're not going to go down that road again.

As I said in my opening remarks, I asked the minister on the floor of this Legislature if he was going to raise the rates, and the minister said no, not under his watch. (Interruption)

He didn't. The Minister of Health and Wellness is yelling across that he didn't raise it. But he wanted to, Mr. Speaker. I don't know if it was his choice, the Premier's choice, or the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board's choice. They wanted to.

They didn't because there was backlash from 120,000 seniors. There was backlash from people in the community who said this was not fair, to treat our seniors like that. That's why they didn't. And that's why this legislation is important, I believe, and our caucus believes.

I would hope that the government sees the necessity to approve something like this so that, in the future - the next budget cycle, next year, if it's the Liberals or whoever - if they want to look at the Seniors' Pharmacare Program for a source of revenue like this decision when they were going to increase the premiums, they'd need to come to the floor of this Legislature. They'd need to defend that. They'd need to provide information, all the information, the good and the bad, pros and cons of it. That would give the Opposition Parties an opportunity to debate it.

[Page 9623]

More importantly, it's not to give Opposition members a chance to stand on their feet and talk about this. What I see as important about this legislation is that it gives the ability for seniors and for the public to have their say because of the process that we have in approving legislation. That's Law Amendments. Seniors could come to Law Amendments. People who support seniors could come to Law Amendments. People who care for their family members, who might not be seniors, could come to Law Amendments and try to make a presentation on if this is a good change or a bad change.

The government has committed now, when they backtracked and they pulled back the pending increase, that they will do some consultation. But listen, we don't have any information about that. I think it's not asking too much.

The government made a mistake. They apologized for some of the actions they took, but here's a way for the government to say to Nova Scotian seniors that we understand that that was not the way we should have done things. We should have consulted more; we should have brought all the information forward and by passing this piece of legislation it will do just that. I look forward to the government members' support on this legislation and having a vote a little later.

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

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak about this Bill No. 167, the Fair Drug Pricing Act, amended. Seniors are important to Nova Scotia. They have helped shape our province and they continue to be key influences in our families and communities. This is a big reason why I live in Nova Scotia; my parents are part of that senior category. My parents are aging in this province and they're proud to live here and I'm proud to live here with them, so I want to ensure that their health and their safety is the most important thing for this government and for any government that comes forward.

As we know, Nova Scotians have the oldest population in this country. We are currently about 175,000 people aged 65 years and over. We expect this demographic group to continue to grow to about 260,000 Nova Scotians by 2030; so you can see that we need to prepare for this demographic shift. That is why we are engaging seniors on the topics that are important to them this year in meaningful ways.

We will be reaching out to older Nova Scotians and the people and organizations that care about them in the coming months. Mr. Speaker, one thing we do know is that seniors want to be included in the life of this province. We recognize that many government decisions impact them in some way so it is important that we consider their interests, perspectives, needs, and contributions as we develop public policy, legislation, programs and services.

[Page 9624]

We need to include the diverse perspectives and experiences of our seniors so government can better understand the impact that its decisions may have on this population. It is important that older Nova Scotians have an opportunity to share their insights.

Mr. Speaker, when we announced changes to the Seniors' Pharmacare earlier this year it was to ensure that all Nova Scotians over the age of 65 had access to insurance coverage to help with the costs of prescription medications. The program ensures that for everyone, regardless of medical history or age.

Mr. Speaker, I remember a specific phone call from a paramedic. That paramedic called me and said the changes you are making are helping the less fortunate seniors. He said I am tired of picking up seniors at their homes who had to make a choice between food and drugs. I'm tired of going to their house to help them - if they could just take drugs that were prescribed to them. And that is exactly what we did. Yes, we acknowledged that the seniors told us that the changes that we were trying to accomplish were too much, too soon, and our actions had unintended consequences. As a good government, we listened to those concerns. We will consult with seniors from one end of the province to the other, to ensure their thoughts are heard before we make any changes in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member opposite has brought this bill forward on behalf of Nova Scotian seniors. I don't believe having the legislation approved to changes to policies and programs is effective. It is true that we represent the people but I believe changes to policies and programs should be based on comprehensive data and by engaging with those who are impacted.

We know seniors want to be recognized for the contribution they make and they want to be involved in changes that may be significantly impacting them. Mr. Speaker, they want to be included in the life of this province.

Many government decisions impact them in some way, so it is important that we consider their interests, perspectives, needs, and contributions as we develop public policy, legislation, programs, and services. We need to include the diverse perspectives and experiences of our seniors so that government can better understand the impact that its decisions may have on this population.

We will also be looking to them to help identify ways to remain active and participating members of our communities and economy. Government is designing what a public consultation looks like right now. While the plan is not yet done, I can assure you that there will be a variety of ways for people to participate and provide feedback. We have an opportunity to shape many of our programs that support seniors, to ensure that they are fair, accessible, and available for many years to come, including Seniors' Pharmacare.

[Page 9625]

Mr. Speaker, with those brief words, I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak on this bill. Thank you.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise and speak on this bill. It is an NDP bill, but despite that, it does have some merit. I do want to talk to that today.

In a way, it could actually be called "The Bill to be Upfront With Seniors When the Government is Making Changes to the Pharmacare Program." It addresses what was a real problem here just a few months ago, and the government did anything but be clear with seniors about what they were doing with that important Pharmacare Program.

Raising seniors' premiums by 100 per cent or 200 per cent by a press release - a press release that was incomplete, to be polite, about what was really going on with Seniors' Pharmacare Program - is unfair. It is not transparent. It is disrespectful of seniors. As a result, it now appears that we need a bill in this Legislature to compel the government to be direct and upfront with seniors about what they're doing with the Pharmacare Program and the premiums that go with it.

Mr. Speaker, to many seniors - and in fact, just to look at the Pharmacare Program and the way it's financed - the premium is basically a tax. The Pharmacare Program is the Pharmacare part of our health care system. It is the drug plan of our universal health care system.

For the hospital part of our system, for the doctor part, there is no fee, and that's something that all Canadians are very proud of and should be protected. For Pharmacare, which is a Nova Scotia add-on to the publicly-funded, universally-available health care system, there is a premium.

That premium was originally set in such a way that the government would pay 75 per cent of the Pharmacare costs and the seniors themselves would pay 25 per cent. That's actually how this got started. This Pharmacare Program has become part of our health care system, and a very important part, because over the past 20-some years since the beginning of the Pharmacare Program, modern medicine has come a long way. There are some wonderful medicines today that are available that keep seniors healthy longer, that allow them to stay at home longer, and that allow them to participate in the life of their community as volunteers and to live actively longer - which is great for the seniors themselves, of course, and only fair, since those drugs are now available to us in 2016.

[Page 9626]

It also provides an important benefit to the government, because seniors are then not going into nursing homes earlier than they need to. They're not reaching a health crisis and showing up in emergency rooms, whether a senior has a chronic disease - like hypertension, high blood pressure, or diabetes, that can be regulated through modern drugs to allow them to live a fulfilling life longer - or for many, many other illnesses. These are great things. And it is both morally right and financially smart for the government to make sure that seniors, regardless of their income, get the medicines that they need. For 20 years, through all Parties that has been established.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I would ask all members of the House to keep the chatter a little quieter than it is at this level.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition has the floor.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. When you look at the Seniors' Pharmacare Program, the way it was designed as part of our health care system, the premium is really a tax. It is a tax, and like any other tax, changes to it should be brought to this Legislature where they can be debated in public and where if the government wishes to reach that much deeper into the pockets of seniors, then they have to do it in the full light of day.

That makes perfect sense, and I support the intent of the bill to force that to happen, because when that does not happen seniors can be blindsided by increases in the premium that are beyond their ability to pay. That is exactly what happened this year. That is exactly what this Minister of Health and Wellness and this government did was they blindsided seniors with hefty tax increases, premium hikes well beyond their ability to pay without even the courtesy of having to come to the House for proper debate. I know the Liberals would have passed it in the end with their majority, they would have passed the increase here in the House, but at least it would be clear what was going on.

It would require proper consultation in Law Amendments Committee as part of the bill process, and proper debate here in the House, but we have already seen time and time again where the government skips that part or pretends that they are doing consultation. The greatest example is actually the Seniors' Pharmacare Program where the Minister of Health and Wellness said he consulted with the Group of IX , which is the representative of some of our largest seniors' groups.

However, Mr. Speaker, they themselves stepped forward in the media to say that they were not consulted on the actual changes of the program. They were told that the cost of the program may rise by 5 or 6 per cent, and they were led to believe that the premium increase that they may face would be in that range of 5 or 6 per cent. They were not told the government was thinking of increasing premiums for many seniors by 100 per cent or 200 per cent. They were not told the government was actually going to cut $10 million of its own contribution from the program altogether, requiring seniors to pay even more. They were not being told that the government was unilaterally changing the funding ratio in its own favour, to the detriment of seniors. That is not consultation.

[Page 9627]

All of those things would have become obvious if this tax change, this premium change, had come to the Legislature. Then seniors would know; they would not be blindsided. I can tell you we have heard from seniors from all across the province, and I know the government eventually heard, when they organized and when they spoke up. But one of the most impressive things that many seniors have said is that if the government had just simply told them the truth, they needed to pay a little more to save the program, there would have been no controversy. But that is not what happened.

Then the controversy ensued, a controversy of the government's own making because they tried to slide in a massive premium increase without properly asking seniors and showing them the plan, without coming to this House, or even to fully describe in a press release what they were really up to. It was only when the letters went out to seniors, and some of them saw their premiums go from $424 to $1,200, or for a married couple to $2,400, that it became evident what was going on. When the government wants to ask seniors for that much more money, they should have the respect for our seniors, to come here to this House.

In a way it is like bracket creep, where the government has brought a budget here that has a hidden tax increase of $22.5 million, far more than the alleged surplus that the government shows. That tax increase, which digs deeper into the pockets of every income tax-paying Nova Scotian, was never disclosed in the budget or any of the government's publicity around the budget or here in the House of Assembly until we asked about it, Mr. Speaker. That's not right.

In both cases when you raise seniors' taxes through Pharmacare or all Nova Scotians' taxes, it should be done in the light of day, if it has to be done at all. To not do that is both disrespectful to taxpayers and seniors. It is poor management and it is the opposite of transparent, when Nova Scotians want to at least be treated like adults and told when the government is going to ask them for more in taxes or ask seniors for more in the Pharmacare premiums.

Mr. Speaker, when you think about it, when the seniors of this province found out what was really going on and they got organized and they spoke up, one of the things they wanted the government to know loud and clear was that they are on a fixed income and that it's not okay to take advantage of them. Regardless of how much they saved for their retirement, it's not okay to look at seniors as a piggy-bank for the government to take more money from. That's what the government was really doing, assuming they wouldn't get organized, assuming they would be passive and not make a big kerfuffle out of this. But the government was wrong because they missed that fundamental point of seniors are on a fixed income.

[Page 9628]

Certainly we meet many seniors across this province who did everything during their working lives that a responsible government would ever ask of them. They saved for their retirement. They put away a few dollars on every paycheque for years to have a dignified retirement. They should rightly be proud of that accomplishment, whether they have a modest retirement income or they were able, through hard work and many years of sacrifice, to save up for a more dignified retirement. They did everything they were asked for but this government did not look at it that way. They said, ah ha, there is a source of money we can reach into and extract more from. That's where they went wrong and that's why seniors spoke up.

One of the most eloquent people to speak against what the government was doing was Valerie White, a former Deputy Minister of the Senior Citizens' Secretariat, who in many ways - through the Pharmacare Program and through the 50-plus Seniors Expo and all the ways that government used to be there in partnership with seniors - saw this government cut, cut, cut, cut back on the things that seniors rely on to live a dignified retirement here in Nova Scotia. She spoke up loud and clear and she knows first-hand how these things work, so good for her because seniors saw somebody in the senior levels of government who actually understood what the reality of life is today to be a senior in Nova Scotia, to be a member of the Pharmacare Program, so good for her.

Mr. Speaker, this change isn't only about premiums, by the way. One of the most shocking outcomes of what the government wanted to do, and still wants to do someday, is that the Department of Health and Wellness itself drew up scenarios to speculate on how many seniors would drop out of Pharmacare altogether because they couldn't afford it anymore. They had scenarios that saw anywhere from 8,000 Nova Scotia seniors to 15,000 seniors who would drop out of the program. These are people who need modern medicines to live actively, at home and be part of their community longer than ever before and that is a good thing.

How a Minister of Health and Wellness and a Department of Health and Wellness could actually ever be okay with making changes to the Pharmacare Program where thousands of seniors drop out and go without the medicines they need - it's beyond me, Mr. Speaker. It is not right. There has been a lot of debate about their premium hikes, but I want to make clear that for us on this side, it is never okay to change the program and accept that thousands of seniors would go without the medicines they need. It is wrong.

It is morally wrong and beyond that it's financially incompetent because what happens sooner or later, when seniors do not get the medicines they need, whether it's to regulate their blood pressure, to control their diabetes, for a host of other ailments that we can control with modern medicines, they end up in a health crisis. They end up in our emergency rooms. They end up in long-term care sooner than they need to. Why that's okay with the government, I don't know. They'll have to explain that someday, but that was one of the most offensive parts of their changes to Pharmacare.

[Page 9629]

Now they tell us, Mr. Speaker, well, this time they really mean it; they're going to consult with seniors, and they're going to do it this year. Well, it has been four months since the government said they would do a real consultation this time. There's no sign of it. There's no notice. There are no halls booked. Seniors are waiting and waiting to tell the government what they think of their plans for Pharmacare.

Now, Mr. Speaker, one would think that if the government sincerely wanted to make this right, they would be out there consulting with seniors before they bring in changes again, because despite all the expensive apologies, seniors know these changes are not cancelled, they're just delayed . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time has elapsed for the member's debate.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, it certainly is a privilege to stand and speak on Bill No. 167 and I want to acknowledge and compliment my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid for bringing this particular bill forward, an Act to Amend Chapter 7 of the Acts of 2011, the Fair Drug Pricing Act.

Mr. Speaker, before I get into my prepared notes, I think there is an individual in Nova Scotia who captured it in a very few sentences. He was talking about the Seniors' Pharmacare Program and to me, this was describing a government - this present Liberal Government - that's in damage control. The individual that I want to point out, before I get to my own remarks, is Mr. Bill VanGorder. Bill is the chair with the Canadian Association of Retired Persons of Nova Scotia, who said, "I think they realized they made a mistake."

Bill goes on to suggest that he's been a chair of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons of Nova Scotia for eight years. He suggests that it has the most emails, the most letters, the most phone calls of any other issue in the eight years since he has been chair of this particular organization. I think that he's captured that this is a government that put out a suggestion of a direction they're going in and they reversed direction immediately, and they are in damage control. Let's see if we capture this in the next few minutes.

The Seniors' Pharmacare Program is an essential piece of our health care system; in fact, it is a central part of our society. The program provides coverage for more than 120,000 seniors and this program aims to help seniors who throughout their working lives have contributed to our society, have paid taxes, and who will continue to do so in their later lives, often with tighter budgets and greater health care needs. I think an important message to understand is that seniors are dealing with tighter budgets and the need for greater health care demands. Mr. Speaker, the program is about ensuring some of our most vulnerable citizens do not have to make impossible choices between medications they need to survive, or feel better, and other necessities such as food and shelter.

[Page 9630]

In my own notes, I have the story of going into a senior's home - and I witnessed this a number of times - and seeing medication, a pill, severed in half. I believe everybody gets the message that that individual made a choice of trying to spread that medication out. At least, that's how I interpret it, to understand the struggles that that individual has of trying to get the right medication and probably spreading that money out for food or whatever.

To me, this is a very sensitive issue, and I think the result is we see the damage control of how the Premier had offered an apology in a few days, and counted and gone in a different direction. The strong reaction by seniors to the recent proposed changes by this government speaks of how seniors in this province view the importance of this program, and when only affordable for the status of regulations the Seniors' Pharmacare Program can be changed at the whim of the government.

This is what this bill is talking about, having a mechanism in place that if you're going to change this program it needs to be brought here and discussed and debated on the floor of this House. I'm going to pause there for a second because that is crucial to understanding the importance of this program. I know the importance, and I know the benefits of a majority government. This can go forever. A majority can do a lot of work, yet you have to face the tough questions in this House, and you have to be responsible to the public. This is the point that we're trying to make: given the importance of this program, this NDP caucus feels proposed changes by any government should endure public debate in this Legislature. It is crucial.

This is not about tying the hands of government for years to come. Legislation can be amended. In fact, majority governments will have the necessary numbers to make the changes they want to make, and we see that here. I think we all acknowledge that when you have a majority government, you can do that. But you have to stand in a public forum, and there are certain questions asked by the Opposition, and you have to stand and defend your policy.

This is what this bill is trying to create; it's trying to create that protection so seniors can know that program is going to be there for them. I don't think it's any less, if you're going to put out a program like that, that you stand and defend your policy. I think that's a wise decision.

By now, we are all aware of the promises made by the Minister of Health and Wellness on March 27, 2015, in this Legislature. He promised, Mr. Speaker, "While I'm Minister of Health and Wellness, there won't be an increase in the premiums in Seniors' Pharmacare." Well, here we see the importance of a public debate in the Legislature. The minister made this promise on the public record, and because of that we can hold him accountable. We've seen promises before - and I'll make just one reference to Roseway and the promise there.

[Page 9631]

Yet when you have a democratic process, you can stand here, and we may have different opinions and we may be far apart, but I can stand here in a respectful manner and ask for the minister to be responsible for that particular quote. Getting back to March 27, 2015, we see the Minister of Health and Wellness, and I repeat he promised: "While I'm Minister of Health and Wellness, there won't be an increase in the premiums in Seniors' Pharmacare." Then we fast-forward a few months and we see a policy change, and then we see a public apology by the Premier.

I guess I'm going to suggest, as the leader of the Canadian Association of Retired Persons in Nova Scotia suggested, they have made a mistake. They are going in the wrong direction, and this is damage control at its best.

However, because the regulations are not enshrined in the legislation, the minister was able to attempt to break that promise without debate in this Legislature. This is the point we're trying to make with this particular bill. You're going to do something like that, you come before the public. With all due respect, there's different viewpoints here, and I understand that, but you stand and debate that in the House. You're held accountable to the people who elect you, and you go back, and if you're successful, you'll return here. But if you're not, you're going to have to change your course.

This is what we've seen here since January, when these increases to Pharmacare were announced. There was an outcry by the seniors across Nova Scotia.

In a very short time, you saw the number one, the Premier's Office and the Premier's Cabinet, reverse course. To me, they did that out of damage control.

Mr. Speaker, by not having to bring the proposed changes to the Legislature, the government was able to go ahead with this plan to spin these changes in the most positive light that their communications team could come up with. When these changes were announced, the House, again, was not in session - perhaps that was part of the plan. However, whatever the plan was, we know that it backfired.

Again, I'm going back to this particular bill. You introduce a bill like this, you stand and you debate it in the House. Now, whether that was by accident that they introduced this particular policy when the House was not in session so the tough questions could be asked, that's up for the public to decide, Mr. Speaker. It's not for me.

But I can assure you that the Opposition is here to do their job. They are here to hold the Ministers of the Crown accountable for their actions. This is the democracy that we have produced. I can say that it has worked. To me, you cannot avoid the tough questions, so it is these proposed changes that would have had to pass the scrutiny of these particular Opposition Parties - the tough questions would have to be asked, the questions such as, who will have to pay more? It's a good question. When you see the premiums going up by twice as much, to as much as $2,400, it's got my interest, and I can assure you that it's got a lot of the seniors' interest too.

[Page 9632]

Other questions were, how would it affect those who receive the GIS? How much revenue will be gained by this government? Who will be consulted on this issue? These are all important questions. Yet when they were introduced in January, none of this had an opportunity to come to this floor of this House - important questions.

I know that I haven't got much time here, but during the debate today I witnessed the Liberal member for Halifax Chebucto talking about the issue of consultation. In my opening remarks, the member representing the group from the Nova Scotia Canadian Association of Retired Persons suggested that they're going in a wrong direction, they made a serious mistake, and they need to consult.

I listened to the Liberal member for Halifax Chebucto talk about consultation, and I listened intently, because I wanted to hear a schedule. What I heard, Mr. Speaker, was that there is no schedule for consultation yet. It has been over four months. This is something that's really serious. To me, it shows a lack of leadership when you do not have a consultation plan of something of this magnitude that's going to affect 120,000 seniors across our province.

When these changes were announced, again, I want to suggest that the House was not in session. To me, that may have been a plan on behalf of the government to do that and have the least effect, and it is questionable.

I want to point out, Mr. Speaker, if this could have been done in the Legislature prior to the rollout perhaps the anxiety - and this has not been mentioned here - the anxiety and the uncertainty that was felt by seniors when they received this letter in the mail could have been avoided. We had all this going through our particular communities, a lot of rolling out here were your premiums and this was going to double - you are going to be added another $400 or whatever to your cost of medication.

I go back to my earlier point that I have had the opportunity to go into households when I know that the individuals, when I see a severed medication pill I know that that individual had made a choice between trying to spread out the medication - and I am not a doctor but I know that that is not the right way to distribute medication, by cutting a pill in half. This is what some people have to do in order to have enough money for food or to maintain their household, and we are here to represent the people of Nova Scotia and make the right choices for them, and I can assure you that the announcement this January of the Seniors' Pharmacare Program went in the wrong direction. You see a government that was in damage control.

I can assure you that in the upcoming election you will not hear any of the Liberal slogans talking about the Seniors' Pharmacare Program or a doctor in Nova Scotia because they know that they have made a mess of both of those issues. Thank you very much for your time.

[Page 9633]

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join the debate for a few minutes today. I thank the former Minister of Health, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, for bringing this bill forward. It allows for some further debate on the Seniors' Pharmacare Program issue. I guess if we were to bring every tax change, every premium change here to the floor of the Legislature we would have, yes, extended days, extended hours, extended weeks, extended months, but I do appreciate this topic coming forward.

I think as all members know, the essence of bringing forward some change to the Seniors' Pharmacare Program was all about the reality that we all had heard in our offices, that the threshold of people who were able to get the premium covered was no longer suitable, that we needed to embrace thousands of more Nova Scotians who came to our office, who sent a message in different ways, that in fact they could not afford the medications prescribed by their doctor, by a clinic.

So the goal was to assist 12,000 additional Nova Scotians with no premium, to support 29,000 more Nova Scotians with a lower premium. That was the goal of the change, but as it has been pointed out, certainly placing the burden on another pensioned group was very challenging for some of them - not all of them. I also had emails to my office both at the constituency level and visits as well as to the ministry that they know you cannot add all of the medications, all of the drugs to the list that are needed each year.

There was an eight-to nine-year period where no matter who was in government we did not need to look at the Seniors' Pharmacare Program. We introduced 18 high-volume generics to the formulary, and it dramatically lowered the price. It lowered the cost to government, it lowered the cost to seniors across Nova Scotia. That was a good thing. That day now is over.

Governments of the future will have to look at how we will fund this program. We now will sit down with Nova Scotians and say, how can we map out at least five years? I would like to see a five-year plan for how we will deal with this program.

Remember, this is not a true insurance program, right? Everybody talks about it as seniors' health insurance, Pharmacare insurance. I'm pleased to say it speaks to our values as a Liberal Government that this is a social/insurance program. We now have more than 25,000 seniors who pay no premium in this province because they are truly low-income Nova Scotians. We have 29,000 who have lowered income.

We know that in the coming years there will be very expensive medications that will come into the formulary. Collectively, we need to know how we will fund these. We want them there for Nova Scotians. We want them there for seniors because, as it has been pointed out by several, it will bring a better quality of health. We know that we want to get those on the formulary.

[Page 9634]

I believe we will eventually get some form of a national Pharmacare program. If that is not able to be realized in the short term, I'm pleased to say that the Atlantic Premiers and the Atlantic Ministers of Health are looking at what we can do here in Atlantic Canada for Atlantic-wide procurement of a number of drugs. That certainly is going to help us. I think it will really help mitigate having to look at other possible scenarios in terms of what it may cost for a Seniors' Pharmacare Program.

I'm very optimistic that in the midst of this, in the midst of the challenge that the plan presented to about 40,000 Nova Scotians - remember 80,000 were happy; 80,000 pay no premium or a reduced premium and that is the case today. We put extra money, almost $4 million in this budget year, to offset that requirement for additional.

Starting very shortly, there will be a plan that will do the consultations, whether it's in a nursing home, whether it's in the church basement, for those who are online. It's wonderful to see so many seniors who are actually now online looking at what government is doing, looking at programs. We will have a very robust consultation over the next months, actually on three areas that affect seniors. They will go out in parallel to take a look at a seniors' strategy, to take a look at a number of existing programs we have and whether they are doing the job that they're intended to do, and also the Pharmacare consultation. That is now being developed.

I was able to speak to this yesterday. We have kicked off, with seniors across the province, an outstanding advisory committee that will do a lot of consultation around a seniors' strategy. We want seniors in this province to be a significant part of contributing to the life and well-being of our province. We want to make that paradigm shift that they are not a burden but that they are contributors to Nova Scotia society. We want to show them with the programs that we will bring forward in the future that will enable them in some cases to stay in the workforce, stay in the workplace, be an entrepreneur. The Seniors' Summit recently in Pictou was an outstanding, positive accomplishment.

What I am pleased to say in terms of the Seniors' Pharmacare Program and what was put forth, I know of very few times since I've been in the Nova Scotia Legislature that when a plan was brought in, governments pushed it forward. We were able to take the time out, reconsider, and give seniors in this province the assurance now, and into the future, that they will have a big say in terms of the future of this plan and that we now have a plan that is working now, and we'll continue to outline for Nova Scotians what the Pharmacare Program of the future will look like.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Time has elapsed for debate on Bill No. 167.

[Page 9635]

The honourable New Democratic Party House Leader.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 182.

Bill. No 182 - Labour Standards Code.

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

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to rise to introduce this minimum wage legislation. The legislation itself is designed to increase the minimum wage gradually, and I'll speak to that more specifically later, but I do ask the members who are here and who may be listening, to think about this, the comments that I do make, in a certain context.

Many years ago I sat on a board in Cape Breton, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Cape Breton, and as a board we were invited to participate in a game where we were required to imagine ourselves living on social assistance rates. It took place over a period of time and, needless to say, brought home a harsh reality to all of us at that point in time, recognizing the real challenges that people had living on social assistance.

Now, I'm not asking people to look at that, I'm asking members to consider what it would be like to live on the current minimum wage, which is $10.70 - $10.70 for a week amounts to $428. If you multiply that by 52 weeks, you come up with a gross income of $22,256. I would invite the members to consider, when they do listen to my comments, whether they could meet the challenges involved in trying to meet their basic needs on that amount of money.

The bill as it is proposed in the legislation before you, proposes that the rate will rise to $11.70 by January 2017; to $13.75 by January 2018; and to $15 by January 2019. In our bill we propose that exemptions will be identified through the development of the regulations. The purpose of the exemptions is to protect small businesses with small profit margins. Exemptions will be determined, implemented, and monitored by the Minimum Wage Review Committee - this is a joint labour-employer committee - through a process of annual review. After 2019, we would propose that the Minimum Wage Review Committee will continue the work that it has done since 2011, when it was created. The review committee will continue to make recommendations for additional increases to minimum wage, based on the rise of inflation.

Mr. Speaker, some people think that only teenagers looking for pocket money earn minimum wage. If only this were true, but it is very inaccurate. Across Canada, 60 per cent of those making less than $15 are 25 years of age or older; 35 per cent are over 40. Almost 60 per cent of low-wage workers are female.

Mr. Speaker, many low-income earners will be affected by the $15 minimum wage. According to Statistics Canada, an estimated 23,600 employees in Nova Scotia - that's about 6 per cent of all waged workers in this province - earned the minimum wage in 2011. The numbers are much higher for people who earn more than minimum wage but less than $15 an hour, so according to Statistics Canada's 2014 Labour Force Survey, just over 130,000 Nova Scotians - that's almost 35 per cent of workers - earned less than $15 an hour in 2014.

[Page 9636]

The $15 minimum wage rate will be a welcome relief for low-income earners. Minimum wage earners are no better off in 2016 than they were in 1997, even though the Canadian GDP per capita has roughly doubled in this time. The purchasing power of today's minimum wage rate is very close to what it was almost 40 years ago. Earning low wages is the biggest and most daunting problem for the poor. They cannot get ahead working for $10.70 an hour.

The increase in the minimum wage rate would allow those who are working full time to earn an additional $4.30 per hour. This is an additional $34.40 per day, or an additional $172 per week, minus taxes and payroll deductions. This would be meaningful for people who are struggling now to make ends meet and are forced to make very difficult choices.

Raising the minimum wage to address low income for the working poor is the most direct and most effective solution to relieve poverty in this province, but it does not have to be a standalone strategy. There are many additional ways to relieve poverty that could be explored. Our tax system could certainly be made fairer and more progressive, but adjusting the personal exemption, as suggested by the Premier, would be a much less effective tactic for dealing with poverty issues. There are many reasons for this. Raising the personal allowance would have little effect on the poverty levels of minimum wage earners and would result in a decrease in public funds by reducing taxes. Tinkering with the tax system would be an ineffective solution to reduce poverty, and it is a tactic that puts the full onus back on the government to resolve these problems of poverty.

Viable businesses should pay their workers viable wages, not poverty wages. There is plenty of evidence that increasing the minimum wage rate is a positive anti-poverty strategy. There is evidence from other jurisdictions, like Seattle, New York, California, and the U.K., which have already implemented a $15 minimum wage - and of course Alberta has already indicated that it plans to raise the minimum wage, and there are indications that Ontario may soon follow.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to look at a report that reviews the literature on minimum wage, titled The Case for Increasing the Minimum Wage: What does the academic literature tell us? The report was written by economist David A. Green, professor at the Vancouver School of Economics. It was published by the CCPA in British Columbia. This report concludes that higher minimum wages lead to lower turnover rates. This means that workers are more likely to have higher-paying and more stable jobs when higher minimum wages are introduced.

[Page 9637]

According to the report, any reductions in employment were limited to teenagers and small numbers of young adults. For those over 24 years of age, there was no discernible decrease in employment. Overall, an increase to the minimum wage will benefit the economy. As many economists have pointed out, people at the bottom of the income spectrum, because they earn so little, need to spend all of the money they earn. When their salaries are increased, they tend to spend more money, thus boosting the economy. Mr. Speaker, this is a positive move for low-wage earners, and it is a positive move for the Nova Scotia economy.

Although this bill amends the Labour Standards Code, this is not just a bill that impacts the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. This bill has the potential to alleviate countless cost pressures faced by several departments, namely the Department of Community Services.

What we know for certain is that far too many Nova Scotians are struggling to break the cycle of poverty and that low wages are playing a huge part in this. For example, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 40 per cent of children classified as poor in Nova Scotia lived in a family with at least one full-time, full-year earner. We also know that many Nova Scotians are relying on food banks as the cost of food has risen tremendously over the past year. One-third of all food bank users in Nova Scotia are children, and that is because their parents cannot afford enough food.

Problems with low wages also impact affordable housing, again, a growing crisis in Nova Scotia. Simply put, people in Nova Scotia are not able to afford rents or house prices. This is especially true in my own constituency of Dartmouth South. The Halifax Housing Needs Assessment released last year by the HRM shows us that one in four households in HRM faced housing affordability challenges: 25 per cent of all households, a total of 41,000, are spending 30 per cent of household income on shelter. More concerning, 11.8 per cent of all households, that's a total of 19,570, are spending 50 per cent or more of their household income on shelter. This is clearly a wage-related issue.

We have here today a bill that addresses the economic problems that short-sighted economic decisions just don't. I urge all government members to consider to themselves what an increased minimum wage means for their constituents and what it means for our province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : It's certainly a privilege to stand here and speak on this bill today. I'll say right off the bat that it's one certainly that's difficult to support, Bill No. 182.

I think first maybe I should give a little bit of credit to the Opposition for at least an attempt to improve the economy, because we certainly didn't see very much of that when they were in power. I am very pleased to listen to the rationale around why they feel that this is the way to do it. Quickly, I'll say that we all agree on the facts and the data that the minimum wage is tied to the consumer price index, which is important, something that they brought in themselves.

[Page 9638]

The minimum wage is $10.70 an hour, and this is at the top half of Canadian provinces also, I must say. So we're not doing too badly in the minimum wage area. The inexperienced minimum wage is only 50 cents less; that is for inexperienced people who have less than three months of work in the workforce or related experience.

What is interesting, though, is some of the statistics around who gets minimum wage. Most of them are under the age of 25, and 42.8 per cent of them actually live with their parents; so it is an interesting group of people.

One other point that wasn't brought forward is we've seen a decrease in the amount of people earning minimum wage since 1997; actually, it has been dropping dramatically here in Nova Scotia. I think that's a positive note to understand.

We don't agree that this is the way to do it. We think that growing the economy is an important thing, but it's a complex issue. Of course we're not - you know, we care about helping those who are in need, and those who need the most. We just disagree on the best way to get there. This proposal will hurt small businesses and will not help those who need it the most.

We have increased the minimum wage every year since coming to office, and we have ensured that it's increased with the cost of living. That's the reasonable approach. We're investing in what impacts families and low-income Nova Scotians the most. The honourable member talked at length about housing, and the cost of minimum wage not being able to afford housing, and I'm so proud of the work that our Minister of Community Services has done in affordable housing. We believe that putting our work toward public education and affordable daycare - these are the things that we want to do to grow the economy. Ironically, those three things were voted against by the NDP.

This bill is simplistic in an attempt to solve a complicated problem. There are many Nova Scotians who struggle with the cost of living in this province, and we care about helping those who need it the most. We disagree with the Opposition on the best way to support low-income Nova Scotians. With this bill, the NDP is arguing that the complex problem of low income can be solved by a simple but drastic hike to the minimum wage.

We think a more comprehensive solution is in order. I liken it to, if you think of the economy as a horse, a nice horse that you have in your pasture - we heard some references to horses today, I think by the Opposition. I'm more concerned with how what comes out of the back end of a horse relates to what they're talking about.

[Page 9639]

I would say that the solution of fixing this and comparing it to a horse is like giving a horse an amphetamine. It's like giving a horse speed and making it go fast, when really, to nurture that horse, you simply need to give it good food. You need to nurture it, keep it healthy, and work it along.

It's also important to note that this was the system that was originally set up by the NDP when they were in office, something that they obviously also thought was the most reasonable way to go, and that's tying it to the consumer price index. Now things have changed, but we don't believe that we should stop there. The minimum wage is only one aspect of supporting low-income Nova Scotians, and that's why we're focused on investments in those things we have that are high impact and high return. Affordable housing, public education, and affordable day care: those are the most important things that we feel low-income earners in this province are looking for, and we're providing.

It's important to understand that the minimum wage is not an isolated policy that increases the wage of workers and has no effects on the economy. Business workers and consumers will all react to the change, and the extent of the positive and negative effects of change in the policy, when depending on current economic circumstances in the structure of the economy.

We saw an 8 per cent increase by the NDP in the minimum wage, and the outcry by small business owners at that time was huge. This increase is 12 per cent, three years. Each year, 12 per cent, and if you think that small business owners were hurt when we saw the 8 per cent, just think of what it's going to do then. I have heard from many small business owners in my riding, even before this bill was brought forward: don't tinker with minimum wage.

It's likely that there will be a disproportionate negative impact on younger and less-skilled workers also, Mr. Speaker. By raising the cost of employment, employers may substitute out low-cost labour for other inputs in their production process through increased capital or higher-cost labour. What this means is that such a dramatic increase in the cost of labour may make businesses consider things like automation and technology, which would take the place of workers. This can come through the reduction in the number of hours, or reduction in other benefits.

Think about the changes that you might be witnessing at McDonald's these days. Many locations have introduced electronic kiosks where you can make your order. If the price of labour jumps as dramatically as proposed here, then these options may become more affordable to businesses as they try to maintain their margins, and that's the last thing we want to see. Because of this, impacts are generally going to fall on younger and lower-skilled workers and can have secondary consequences that make it more difficult to remain in the labour market and develop skills and thus reduce upward labour mobility.

[Page 9640]

These are not the kinds of things we want see, Mr. Speaker. We want the economy to grow. We want low-income people to be protected, but not this way. This is why a balanced and reasonable approach to the minimum wage is one which is most effective, especially when it's accomplished with a strong investment in things like affordable housing, public education and affordable day care - those things which have direct impacts on Nova Scotians, and particularly low-income Nova Scotians, and do not have a distortion on the economy.

For additional considerations businesses can often react through increased prices which are passed on to the consumer as a result of this. As prices for consumer goods increase in response, the purchasing power of the very people this is aimed to protect is going to be eroded. These people captured by this policy will be no further ahead, while those people who are excluded will see prices for food and other consumer items go up while their wages remain flat.

Just think about how negatively these prices would affect those Nova Scotians already struggling to get by on income assistance. Have any of these considerations been taken into effect, Mr. Speaker? I don't think so. Increase to prices could result in firms being less competitive in a global market or increasing costs to the Nova Scotia consumer. In the absence of other adjustments, through changing employment or prices, business profits will be reduced with a higher labour cost bill.

The NDP has made statements that the new $15 minimum wage would not apply to all workers, just those who work in large companies. Let's think about that for a moment. In Nova Scotia 6 per cent of wage-earning workers earn minimum wage, but this proposal would not apply to all these people. Who would it apply to? The NDP are not clear but they just say it would create two tiers of workers in this province. This is simply smoke and mirrors, Mr. Speaker, from the NDP.

This is supposed to protect the people, I don't believe it will. The two-tier structure, just to give you an example, a segmentation by business side for regulating can keep businesses from growing, so we set up a segmentation there, incenting businesses to stay away and stay under caps, in order to maintain a pay structure that allows them to operate in Nova Scotia, given the skills and productivity of the Nova Scotia workforce.

So we're going to set up two tiers now, similar to the small business corporate income tax rate. An exemption from minimum wage rules could provide an incentive for businesses to stay smaller. How are we going to grow when we have that facing them?

Corporate entities will often use the limits of rules available to them, restructured to take advantage of the minimum wage exemption is yet another opportunity for them. There are a significant number of small businesses in Nova Scotia that are also unincorporated.

[Page 9641]

Another good point is fragmentation of minimum wage scale between larger and smaller establishments does not isolate small businesses from needing to compete for labour resources with larger employers. Mr. Speaker, businesses that compete with each other will be treated differently, both from a product as well as an employee recruitment and retention perspective. Small businesses could be forced to increase wages and their labour costs in order to attract workers.

Even if small businesses are afforded a different minimum wage, which is not made clear in this bill, it is something that the NDP mentioned in their public remark, these businesses are still competing for skilled labour. If they don't pay the same rate as the larger businesses, or the market wage, they won't be able to find workers. Small businesses will find this dramatic hike to the minimum wage to have a very negative effect.

No mention was made of the comments that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business just released. Were they consulted? Was there a discussion with them? They're stating that this has been a major opponent of legislative increases to the minimum wage increase in Alberta and Nova Scotia. Arguments presented by the CFIB against minimum wage increases include:

Job losses from minimum wage increases can take the form of hiring freezes, slower employment growth, or direct job cuts during an economic downturn.
Employers pay higher payroll taxes and minimum wage earners face higher payroll deductions, which reduces the value of wage increases. CFIB calculations show that a $15/hour minimum wage earner will pay an additional $700 in provincial taxes.
Minimum wage increases do little to reduce poverty, since most minimum wage earners are young, live with family members, and are not from low-income households.

I would like to close my comments by saying that, again, you should always try to finish off with a positive. It's worth applauding that they would like to see the economy grow. We'd all like to see that. We all want to protect the vulnerable, and I commend that also, but doing it this way is not the right way.

We want to invest in families. We want to invest in education, in housing, and in daycare. We are seeing increased confidence in Nova Scotia's economy. We are seeing our plans grow and move this province forward and help low-income people who are the ones that we need to protect the most.

Don't ever forget the fact of what an impact this kind of an increase would have on our small businesses. In my area, I've heard it would be crippling, and I have no way that I could support this. I'm very proud of the work that the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education has done in preparing the conversations around this and keeping us moving forward as a province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 9642]

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

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : It's my pleasure and privilege to say a few words on this bill too. I appreciate comments from both sides of the House that I've already heard.

I have to say that in reading the bill, I did not see the two-tier aspect my colleague, the member for Clare-Digby mentioned in the bill. I don't see that, so I'm kind of surprised about his comments on that point.

However, the idea of raising the minimum wage in this way, when we have currently the highest minimum wage in the Maritimes and a mechanism to see it continue to grow in relation to the consumer price index, I do believe those two things should be maintained and continued. I know that as the consumer price index increases our minimum wage does increase. I believe that is the way that we should continue to do this.

I was a small business owner for many years and I know that there are many small business owners in the province who would work for less than minimum wage all the time themselves as the owner of the business. The idea that we can increase the minimum wage - many of these small business owners would be put out of business.

In fact, as a small business owner myself on a farm, I remember one year the profit at the end of the year was $2,000, so I worked my 2,000-plus hours for $1 an hour, in theory. There was no wage taken out by me or any other family member; this was strictly wages to the farm workers. Yet at the same time, we paid all our bills, and we continued to function, and my wife had a job outside the farm. This would be a typical thing for many small business owners; they would find ways of making these businesses work. The idea that we can simply increase the wages and these small businesses can absorb that, I think is very questionable. There are many, many small businesses in the province that operate in this way, that operate in a very tight fashion.

I know that when I look at the data of businesses in Nova Scotia I notice that there are businesses of 20 employees or less, and there are 65,000 people in the province working for these small businesses. I can tell you that the data shows that many of these small businesses are - in fact, many of them would not achieve the type of pay that would be achieved in this Legislature or in many government jobs in the province, so these small businesses operate very tight to the wire.

The idea that we can simply legislate these wage increases, I question that that would be detrimental to the overall number of people working in the province. I can just imagine someone saying yes, my wages went up, but I no longer have a job. I believe that it would be detrimental to the health of the small businesses, and the pools of money to pay these wages out in many cases just are not there.

[Page 9643]

Having been a small business owner and having known the difficulty of having a payday on a Tuesday, and on Monday wondering if I was going to make payroll, I know that feeling. So from the point of view of small business, we certainly approve the increase with the consumer price index but just question the logic of having this sort of an abrupt increase.

Another factor in this type of abrupt increase in the minimum wage would be that it would be inflationary to costs of goods sold, so many small businesses - many businesses - operate and in terms of our retail distribution of food and products around the province a lot of these, the calculations of how these products are priced when we go to the store and buy something, the wage component is calculated in there. So if there is an increase in wages, well, there is going to be an increase in the price of these goods. It is kind of circular; you raise the minimum wage, then in theory all the other wages sort of step up in cohort with that, if you understand what I'm saying, and this would be inflationary to all these wages.

Not only that, as my colleague, the member for Clare-Digby said, without a change - and I know we have talked about bracket creep in this House before but basically there are sort of different brackets of income tax, and if you were to raise the minimum wage to this level, an earner, a minimum wage worker who was working 40 hours a week would jump up into another bracket of tax so they would in fact have less. They would earn more, but relatively speaking, they would not have as much take-home pay as they had earned because they would be in a new bracket of tax. This has all been calculated out and in fact, I have it right in front of me here. So it does not actually add up that every dollar of the increase is all going to go in their pocket. In fact, raising the minimum wage this way would largely benefit the government because of the increased taxes taken in.

A better solution - and I know the New Democratic Party House Leader addressed this but I would beg to differ - I think a better solution would be to increase the basic personal exemption. I believe we have one of the lowest basic personal exemptions in the country in this province, and it would be, I believe, a better solution to this issue.

Another side of this issue is if you do raise wages you will see an increase in automation as my colleague, the member for Clare-Digby said. My family in fact are farmers in Holland, too, and I can tell you that in Holland, for whatever reason, they have a different structure of wages. It is very difficult to let somebody go once you have had them as an employee and every dollar - or euro in their case - every euro they pay the employee they are paying a euro also to the Dutch Government in social insurance costs and so on, so even one employee is very expensive.

[Page 9644]

What has happened in the industry there is that there has been an immense amount of mechanization. This is also happening in other European countries too. What we see in fact if we are looking for machinery, frequently the place we look in the world for machinery is Holland or Italy because these countries have such high wage structures that almost any machine that will replace a person is worth buying. It just does not matter; if there is a machine that will replace a person, you buy it.

I remember once dropping into a farm in Holland, and there was a farmer who was growing cauliflower, and he was harvesting the cauliflower. He had a tractor and a wagon, and in Canada we would have six, seven, or eight people working on that piece of equipment, and he was working there alone, by himself.

He had a little toggle switch that pushed the clutch of the tractor in and pulled the clutch to let it go, and of course it was flat land so it didn't matter about the breaks. So it would just turn ahead a little bit when he pushed the toggle switch. He said the clutch would last about 1,000 hours on that kind of operation, it's not quite as good as your foot. This guy was a very sociable guy and he loved to talk, but he was working all by himself, day after day, as the owner of that small business, because he couldn't afford to have an employee. I know maybe that is sort of the very extreme of where this could go, but that is a reality; that happens in some places in the world - it's certainly not what we would want to see happen.

A concern of mine though is that - sort of an alternative concern is the fact that there are so many people in the province who are working part time, and especially in businesses where I don't believe this really would be justified. I am concerned about that because I know when I look at businesses of over 500 employees, there are 122,000 people working in those businesses. I know I'm raising an alternative issue here, but I am concerned about that and I don't know what the solution to that is, but I do believe that government should not be in the business of giving an incentive for a company to have part-time versus full- time employees.

This should be a decision made on the merit of the job in the workplace, and this should not be something that government influences one way or the other. In a business that has a model that would justify part-time employees should work that way in a business, and has a model that would justify - full-time employees should work that way, yet we see many businesses that are clearly retail operations and work very long hours, have many, many part-time employees, and I don't believe that situation, I think that contributes negatively to the work environment of our province, and I have concerns about that.

So what I want to say about minimum wage is I do applaud the fact that the NDP, I believe the ultimate goal is that the province be made better by this, and I do applaud that, and I realize that there are many - you know, the difficulties and the numbers are there. It can be difficult to live on that kind of money, yet as we know from some of the data, which my colleague, the member for Clare-Digby quoted, many of these people are living with another wage earner in a family situation and of the total percentage of the workforce this represents 5.9 per cent. Many of these minimum wage jobs are entry-level jobs.

[Page 9645]

AN HON. MEMBER: Many of them aren't.

MR. LOHR « » : Many of them aren't, I agree. This is just going to be detrimental to the small business, yet at the same time we see these large businesses that, as I said, have a huge number of part-time employees. And I question that; however, on the whole we believe that the structure that is currently in place to raise minimum wage in step with the consumer price index is the right way to go, and the way that we need to build the economy of this province is to start to address some of the - truly building the economy is that there be more wealth in the economy, and having more businesses go forward successfully so that would drive up the wages of the economy of Nova Scotia.

So some of the basic resource development things that are out there waiting to be done, need to be done. We need to, as the Ivany report said, see the basic industries of Nova Scotia go forward and find an environment to work in. So I believe that development of the economy and the structure we have currently in place to assist people with low wages and social services as it is, is what we should continue with. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to direct the members to the east gallery, where we have Anne Louise Desrosiers. Please stand. Anne Louise is our Page, and Sarah, her godmother, is a former Page in this Legislature actually. I can't say exactly when she was a Page here in the Legislature, but I do know that Peter Theriault was a Page at the time. So give her the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to rise to speak to Bill No. 182, a bill that would see the minimum wage in Nova Scotia reach $15 an hour over three years. I think it's important to note that across Canada almost 7 per cent of workers make minimum wage and of these workers, more than 40 per cent are under 20 years old. The right-wing Fraser Institute, however, points to these numbers and argues that the issue only concerns young people still living at home. However, the picture changes when you consider those who are being paid less than $15 an hour. In fact 60 per cent of these workers are 25 or older, 35 per cent of them are over 40. While the Fraser Institute threatened that one in six jobs would be lost in British Columbia, if they raised the minimum wage, that supposition has actually been proved wrong.

[Page 9646]

David Green, a professor at the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC and an International Fellow at the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, reports that employment losses in British Columbia, as a result of wage gain for those over 24, had no discernable effect. In fact he says four years after the B.C. minimum wage was increased, employment remained the same as in the rest of Canada.

I think that's very important to keep in mind, Mr. Speaker, especially considering some of the things that our other colleagues have said here today. I think that perhaps they got their numbers from the Fraser Institute report, which is very biased. In fact Nova Scotia has the second lowest wages in Canada. I'm going to repeat that, I think it's an important note: Nova Scotia actually has the second lowest wages in Canada.

This is a serious problem, Mr. Speaker. Low wages not only impact people and their families, but our province's economy as well. Nova Scotia has a serious wage issue. Simply put, people are not earning enough money to live comfortably, to provide for themselves and for their loved ones, and to adequately contribute to our province.

Mr. Speaker, we also know we have an aging province. Those people who are aging and becoming 65 years of age is rapidly growing. We've just reached the point where there are more people dying than are being born in Nova Scotia, so our workforce is going to be very important in keeping our economy alive and growing and contributing taxes to the system.

Mr. Speaker, we also know that it is women who will benefit from an increase to the minimum wage, almost the most. More than 60 per cent of employees earning minimum wage or less in Nova Scotia are women.

Mr. Speaker, I gave a speech the other day to the Federation of Seniors and Pensioners in Truro. I talked about this issue of so many people in our province who are living on or below the poverty line, who are only making minimum wage and barely able to put proper food, healthy food on their tables, pay for their medications, pay for their rent and even have any extra money over to enjoy a little bit of beauty in their lives.

What comes to mind is that old song that the women used to sing about bread and roses. They said yes, it is bread we fight for but we want roses too. Don't average, ordinary people in Nova Scotia deserve to have a little bit of beauty in their lives as well, rather than struggling just to make ends meet? That's what we're finding that many of our fellow Nova Scotians are doing - they are just getting by. They are just making ends meet and they have no extra money left for a little bit of beauty. That's why the song Bread and Roses is so important actually for us to remember today.

As I said, more than 60 per cent of employees earning minimum wage today are women. According to the Centre for Policy Alternatives, women make up 100 per cent of those employed in six of the 10 lowest-paying occupations in Nova Scotia. As Critic for the Status of Women, this really gives me pause, and it really should give every single member in this Legislature pause. All of us have mothers, sisters, children, and surely we should care, in this day and age, about equality, about the quality of life that women lead in Nova Scotia. As I said, according to the Centre for Policy Alternatives, women make up 100 per cent of those employed in six of the 10 lowest-paying occupations in Nova Scotia. That includes the minimum wage.

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Women are also far more likely than men to be employed part-time in Nova Scotia. Women, in fact, make up 67 per cent of individuals who are employed part-time. Many times this is not because they chose to; it's because they're desperately trying to get a job to make a living that will put food on the table. Many times, I have to say, the women I've spoken to have said they will go hungry so that they can put food on the table for their children.

When I hear today in the House that a large majority of children who are born in Nova Scotia are being born underweight, I have to think poverty. Probably poverty has a lot to do with that.

The other day when I gave that speech to the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners, after I gave the speech, this lovely older woman came up to me. She thanked me, and she had tears in her eyes. She had a nice dress on, and she just said, I want to say to you, thank you. Thank you so much for bringing up this issue of inequality because, she said, I am one of those people who are struggling. She said, I try not to show it, and I come to these meetings, as many meetings as I can, but I make under $20,000 a year and it's not easy.

It conjured up an image of Bette Davis, the old movie actress, who said, old age ain't for sissies. Well, poverty ain't for sissies either, and unfortunately, many of us here in Nova Scotia are suffering, and they're not sissies.

We also know that the average earnings of women are significantly lower than men. On average, women in Nova Scotia earn less than $30,000. Low income in Nova Scotia is the most prevalent among women in lone-parent families, and as a result, we see disturbingly high rates of child poverty in our province.

Many of these women are trying to live on minimum wage. I see them in my office in Truro, which is quite a bustling little town. But you know, Mr. Speaker, Truro has poverty right at our very doorstep. There's homelessness, and there is the food bank, and it has been going up and up and up. The majority of people who are using it are women and children. Shame on our province that we are not doing more for the people who need it most.

Many of the people I talk to are not just doing one minimum wage job, they're doing two or three. Some of them work at night cleaning buildings while they're trying to earn a wage in the daytime, and their kids are going to school. They're trying to buy clothing for their teenage kids, and as anyone who has teenage kids knows, they go through food pretty quickly and like to drink a lot of milk. And so they should, because their bones are growing, they are growing, they're expanding, and they need as much healthy food as they can get to be healthy adults and to have their brains functioning properly which is surely what we want and need in this province of aging people. We're going to need as many bright young minds as possible to keep our province going and to be able to get good jobs that pay and put money back into the province's coffers. Bumping our minimum wage up over three years to $15 an hour, there's a lot of people in Nova Scotia who would be very happy about this.

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One more thing I'd like to add there, Mr. Speaker, is that as some of us know, I come from Sydney, Australia, originally, and I'll tell you, the minimum wage in Australia is over $18 an hour. I was talking to a friend of mine who is a business owner in Truro, doing very well, and we were having this discussion about minimum wage and whether it's good, whether it's bad, what it would do for the economy, what it would do for his work. He said oh well, like $15, that's an awful lot of money for minimum wage and I said well you know in Australia it's $18.22. He said, well I find that hard to believe. I said well, Google it. He googled it, sure enough, $18.22 an hour.

We started looking at other countries, Mr. Speaker, and there's a large majority of countries where they have minimum wage much over $15 an hour. In some ways we are behind the times here in Nova Scotia and it would be nice for us to get on the bandwagon and be a leader instead of a follower. I think Nova Scotians would like to see that as well.

As I've said, low wages do impact senior women who are far more likely to be considered low-income than their male counterparts. Seniors are really not the only ones hurting, Mr. Speaker. Income inequality is an issue for all of us. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the average income of the top 1 per cent of earners in Atlantic Canada is nearly $260,000. By contrast, the bottom 90 per cent earn an average of only $26,700. We know how far an income of less than $30,000 goes in today's economy - not very far at all - yet this is a reality for far too many people in this province. When you factor in rising health care costs due to the lack of government investment, what we have is a crisis for all of us in Nova Scotia, especially for women, for children and for seniors.

We tried to address this crisis while we were in office, between 2009 and 2013. On the issue of health care we opened Canada's first collaborative emergency care centres to provide 24/7 emergency care and same or next day appointments. As a result, ER closures were reduced for four years in a row. We brought the emergency room to people with our RESTORE program so that paramedics could administer clot-busting drugs to patients having heart attacks, instead of waiting until arriving at the hospital.

We introduced the Fair Drug Pricing Act, which caps the price of generic drugs, lowering prices and is a much better deal for our taxpayers. In fact when we got into office, I remember the generic drug price was 85 per cent for Nova Scotians. It was 25 per cent in Ontario and our seniors were bearing the brunt of that. So our then Minister of Health, Ms. Maureen MacDonald, went toe-to-toe with the pharmaceutical companies and guess what? She got them down to 35 per cent - from 85 per cent to 35 per cent for Nova Scotians. I would say that is working for our taxpaying public and for our people also living in poverty.

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On income inequality, we eliminated the provincial income tax for seniors receiving the Guaranteed Annual Income Supplement, which was a change that impacted 18,000 people. We introduced and indexed the Affordable Living Tax Credit to provide financial support to about 15,000 of the most vulnerable, low-income citizens of Nova Scotia, many of whom have disabilities, and we created Nova Scotia's first affordable housing strategy.

While in government we strove to be a strong voice for many people. We increased the property tax rebate for seniors to a maximum of $800. We ensured that GIS recipients could qualify for a rebate on municipal property taxes.

Mr. Speaker, there are many things that we did but did we do enough? Of course not, no, we had only four years. Have the NDP accomplishments been sustained and built upon by our current government? In some cases yes and in some cases no, which brings me back to the idea of the concept of social investment. The basic idea behind social investment is that people have to live and if people have to live, I would suggest that they cannot live on less than $15 an hour on a minimum wage and that is why we have brought this forward for your consideration today. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission, with six minutes remaining.

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : It's my pleasure to rise today and speak to minimum wage and also to opportunities for people in Nova Scotia, which I think is more important than even minimum wage, because what we should be striving for is to have a province where all people in Nova Scotia can reach their potential and have opportunities, have good jobs, and have a living wage.

Focusing on saying let's have a $15 minimum wage, while it might grab a nice headline, what it does do is actually hurt quite a few people. Mr. Speaker, 42 per cent of minimum wage earners are actually youth in their first job who live at home. If we start raising minimum wage, we might actually find youth who already have high unemployment, having even higher unemployment. With higher unemployment, they would have less work skills; with less work skills, it would take them that much longer to actually reach their potential in the workforce. This would be a really negative consequence to doing something as naive as saying let's have a blanket $15 minimum wage across the province.

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There are factors that affect what business owners will pay their workers. I'll use the restaurant industry - as I've heard from many restaurant owners here in HRM and in rural Nova Scotia. In HRM, I've had restaurant owners tell me, I can't get anyone in my kitchen for less than $15 an hour, and that includes somebody washing dishes. What they do is they react to the market; they have to pay a wage that reflects with the market conditions here in HRM.

If you look at going to a $15 minimum wage, what would happen to rural restaurants, where there is more labour available and also where there are perhaps higher costs or less volume to those restaurants, and they can't afford to have those higher wages? We might actually see many businesses in Nova Scotia shutting down due to this.

The NDP member for Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River spoke about how members in society are faced with having two jobs. What happens when jobs are eliminated and then they have no jobs? I think that would be a crime for families to have to go through.

In terms of affordability in the province, we looked at not only what the income is, but we should also look at the whole tax structure of the province. What we should also do is look at where people spend their income once they receive it. I'm not sure if the NDP did that when they were in power because they hiked the HST up 2 per cent, and that amounted to all Nova Scotians paying more for goods and services, which resulted in $400 million more in tax being collected by the province.

It would be great to reverse that HST hike, but while they were in power they also increased the debt of the province by over $3 billion, and now we're paying over $200 million more in interest just on the debt the NDP added while in power. It's kind of ironic - out of 150 years in the Province of Nova Scotia, the NDP were in power for four years and they have 25 per cent of the debt to their credit. Let's think about that - they've been in power 3 per cent of Nova Scotia's existence, but they own 25 per cent of the debt, and we're paying interest on it. It's unbelievable.

Mr. Speaker, it's also ironic that they bring this bill forward because they actually came up with how we would address minimum wage in Nova Scotia and increase it. While in government, they came up with a plan that was actually fair not only to business owners, but also to employees. That is why the board that sets the minimum wage for Nova Scotia is made up of both groups, so that they can actually have a discussion. They can raise minimum wage at a level that will not actually hurt businesses and have more harm done to Nova Scotians than the good we want to do for them.

In terms of helping low-income Nova Scotians, we've heard in this House many times that the income assistance rate has been raised. This helps a lot of Nova Scotians. We also know that the Department of Community Services is going through a transformation, and one of the items that has been discussed is if someone's on community services, can they get a part-time job - can they actually still receive their income from the department and receive more income to help them get out of poverty? I think this has a lot of merit because as we go towards that route in the coming years, if we move all jobs to $15, there's not going to be any left for an individual to get part-time employment and to actually help lift themselves out of poverty.

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Now, Mr. Speaker, I think there is merit and it's something that could be looked at in the future in terms of - are there large corporations that could pay more? I think there are. I think in those instances those corporations have to be good citizens in this province and pay their fair share, but you don't do that when there's higher unemployment; you don't do that when there are people looking for work. If you do that, you're going to have companies that are going to actually reduce the amount of people they have working and then you're going to have more people out of work and you're going to exacerbate the problem.

Mr. Speaker, in rounding this up, I think the most important part is that the NDP came up with a plan that was a fair plan when they were in government. The plan exists today. The plan is still moving forward and it sets the minimum wage for the province and we'll keep moving with that plan. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for debate has expired.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet tomorrow between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. At that time we'll call Government Business, Public Bills for Third Reading: Bill Nos. 171, 174, and 177. We will also call Bill No. 187, which appears on the order paper as second reading but which I understand will likely move through all stages of the House tomorrow by unanimous consent. With that, I move that the House do now rise.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is that the House now rise to meet tomorrow, Thursday, May 19th, between the hours of 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.

We have reached the moment of interruption where we will begin the emergency debate on the topic submitted earlier today by the member for Sydney River-Mira- Louisbourg. I'll remind everybody that we have two hours in total; no one member can speak for more than 15 minutes at a time.

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ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 43

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - DOCTOR SHORTAGE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, what could be more of an emergency for a family than to not have a doctor? Imagine a young family, a mum and dad trying to raise two children and they do not have a family doctor. The worry that someone will get sick, that even minor ailments will not be treated, that there is no one who knows the family's medical history or is there for them when they need medical help; it is a scary place to be.

Mr. Speaker, I am so glad that we are having this debate and I absolutely want to start by giving my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the strong voice of Cape Breton Island, the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, for pursuing this day after day in this House and for calling for this emergency debate.

Mr. Speaker, if we had gotten the answers to people's questions about family doctors from the Minister of Health and Wellness, from the government benches, we may not be here at this time with this emergency debate. But after weeks and weeks of asking for at least an acknowledgement that there is a problem, and then that there is a plan, and getting no answers, the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg called for the emergency debate to make it clear that it is not okay for the government to assure Nova Scotians that everything is fine when it is not fine, when there are thousands of families in that scary situation, without a family doctor, some for years.

Mr. Speaker, for the Minister of Health and Wellness to say in answer to a question that 3 per cent to 4 per cent of families don't want a family doctor and for him to think that is okay, shows how badly off-track this government has gotten in managing our health care system, starting with family doctors. How possibly could the government think it's okay that families go without medical help, without treatment for minor ailments, without some kind of connection to the health care system when they are not in an emergency or crisis, when they are not needed at the emergency room, and yet they do not get the help they need, and then finally they do end up in the emergency room? Whether they were wanting one or not, they need a family doctor, and they were promised a family doctor by that government when they were running for office.

When we ask the Premier about that promise that he made to the people of Nova Scotia, that every family would have a doctor - when we asked him about that promise in their campaign platform - he said that that was old information. Well, Nova Scotians remember it as a promise made; now it is a promise broken, and the excuses, they come.

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Thankfully for the people of Cape Breton Island, the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg did not let up in the face of the spin lines coming from the government trying to assure his constituents that everything was fine. Many of us know it is not fine.

In our own constituency offices, when you get call after call after call from families at home that cannot get a doctor, you know things are not fine. It is not okay to come to this House and say it's all fine, that we have collaborative plans now; there is no worry; there is no need. Come to my office in Springhill or go to the member's office in Sydney River and take the calls that we're getting. Take the calls that we're getting from our own constituents who do not have a doctor. These are the fundamental, primary front lines of our health care system.

There are some estimates that 30,000 families are without a doctor here in the Province of Nova Scotia. That is 30,000 worried parents. That is 30,000 young children who need a doctor, and when they don't get that doctor, when no one tracks their progress through life, when they develop chronic diseases, when they get into crisis and the need of urgent medical care, that is when we see the effects of the government's ignorance of the problem.

Just in case you doubt that statement, I'm glad we have the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg speaking up on behalf of his constituents, because today, earlier in the proceedings of this House, I saw two other Cape Breton members get up and read statements trying to assure people that everything is fine. The member for Victoria-The Lakes actually made a statement in this House that health care is fine, that there is no issue with family doctors.

That shows how ignorant the government is about what is really happening on the ground with families looking for health care in this province. The member for Sydney-Whitney Pier made a similar statement, trying to tell people it's all fine. Well, I would say to them, too, come to my constituency office in Springhill and take those calls that we're getting from families without a doctor, who are getting desperate as time goes by. Come to the Sydney River office and take those calls, and then come to this House and make a political statement that all is fine.

It is astounding. I do not know what is going on or what the information flow is now with the new Health Authority, but the Minister of Health and Wellness, whatever talking points he's getting, are the opposite of what is happening with Nova Scotia families who are looking for a family doctor. There is an incredible disconnect between a government that, like that famous ostrich, has its head in the sand and refuses to see what is going on in health care in Nova Scotia, refuses to see that there are thousands and thousands of families that need a doctor and do not have a doctor.

Well, we are calling this emergency debate in the hopes that they will pull their head out of the sand and see what is really going on. Put away the briefing notes and the talking points that they get from their officials in the Department of Health and Wellness or from the Health Authority and look at what is really happening.

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Promising every Nova Scotian a family doctor is a good thing. It should happen. After all, this is one of the richest countries in the world, one of the greatest countries in the world, with a universal, accessible, single-payer health care system. Those shouldn't be just words, but when you tell people we have a universal health care system, and then 30,000 families can't find a doctor, for them, Mr. Speaker, those are just words. We want them to be meaningful, we want them to be true, and we want them to be equally true whether you live in River Hebert, or in Sydney River, or in Pugwash, or in Lunenburg, we want them to be true - or in Halifax for that matter.

So, Mr. Speaker, surely when the Liberal Party was running for office and they made that promise, they actually had a plan to deliver on it, but maybe they don't, because rather than acknowledge the problem and present to this House an actual doctor recruitment and retention plan, they'd rather read political statements trying to tell people that there is no problem.

Well, there is a big problem and it's reached the point of an emergency. I can tell you, as the member for Cumberland South, that in Springhill, in Parrsboro, where they wonder why their emergency centres, their Collaborative Emergency Centres are open one day and closed the next, where they read notices in the paper, don't get critically sick during these times because the CEC is closed and that the reason it's closed is because there's not a doctor to back it up, Mr. Speaker, they know that there's a lack of family doctors.

During Estimates Debate, I brought these very specific situations to the attention of the Minister of Health and Wellness. In Parrsboro in particular, which was the first CEC, where they're short a doctor because of a maternity leave and their CEC is closed too often - 108 hours last year, Mr. Speaker, as a result - and I asked him, if they're not going to recruit one, at least provide a locum to fill in that leave so that the people of Parrsboro are not without their Collaborative Emergency Centre. He pointed out there's $2.6 million in the Health and Wellness Department for locums, for just this kind of situation, but yet they won't approve it. They won't do it, and that area goes without - and the same is happening in Springhill. These are in my constituency - that's one of 51. It's the most important one to me, just as everyone else's would be the most important one to them, but those are two real examples, and the ability to fix it is in the hands of the government, and yet they say no.

In Cape Breton, the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg pointed out earlier today that he and I, and the member for Northside-Westmount, actually took the information that we had received from the Minister of Health and Wellness here in this House, and sat down with doctors on the ground in Sydney, a number of them. Mr. Speaker, what they are saying, what their experience is, is light years away from the talking points of the Minister of Health and Wellness.

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Mr. Speaker, there are young, Nova Scotia born and raised, doctors who would love to practise here who are turned away. That is shameful. There are doctors who are planning to retire, hundreds of them and the government knows this. These are not secrets, it's known - 15 in the Cape Breton region alone, and yet there is no effort underway to find a replacement. The Minister of Health and Wellness says there are 10 new doctors coming, he doesn't say there are 15 leaving, and the 15 leaving have full family practices. Some of them have 1,500 patients, 2,000 patients, and so we ask him, those 10 new ones, are they going to take up full practices, full family practices? He won't answer. Well, Nova Scotians deserve answers and no one deserves those answers more than the families who have been waiting and waiting for a family doctor.

In some recognition of the problem in the recent past, Mr. Speaker, an orphan clinic was set up, with nine doctors. They weren't all full time in that clinic, but they were trying to address the needs of families who did not have a doctor of their own. They were given 15 minutes per appointment to see people. They were booked so heavily, they were booked months into the future.

Mr. Speaker, here is the sad fact of that clinic: what they were finding is that the patients who came to see them had been so long without proper medical care, for years without a doctor, that their issues were great, their health needs and challenges were high, and they couldn't possibly address them in the 15 minutes allowed to them.

That's what happens when there is no plan to make sure there are enough family doctors. That's what happens when the government sticks to talking points instead of actually listening to what people are saying, including the doctors themselves who took an oath and want to provide medical services but are overwhelmed. That's what they're telling us. I hope the government finally starts to listen because we can't go on expecting, in the name of cost-cutting, or because the government has no idea what to do, or because they are overwhelmed by the challenge that they actually pretend it doesn't exist; we can't go on like that. We owe it to tens of thousands of families who want a doctor. We owe it to them. They owe it to them; they made the promise. It was actually a good promise and we all want to see it kept, that's why we are having this emergency debate.

It's very telling that rather than say, yes, we made the promise and we're going to do our best, they try to convince us there's no problem. Mr. Speaker, this is another example of where the government says the reason we're restricting doctors to clinics, the reason that we don't have a plan to recruit more doctors in rural areas is that we have a new plan, new since the promise, new since the election, new this year, we're going to have collaborative practices.

Mr. Speaker, Dr. Lynne Harrigan, the vice-president of Medicine and Integrated Health Services at the Nova Scotia Health Authority says that to implement that new plan will take five to 10 years. I tabled that exact quote from her in this House yesterday. It is inexcusable to restrict access to family doctors today when the need is so great and tell people that someday in the future there will be a new idea. Fine, if there's a new idea around collaborative practices, let people have their family doctors today until the collaborative practices are in place. Don't cut them off, say no to more clinics, say no to more doctors joining existing practices in the hope that someday . . .

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

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to rise - well, I'm not glad to rise on this emergency debate, but I'm glad to be able to contribute to this debate because I've been talking about this issue for pretty much the whole session. I've said in the past I bring issues forward to the floor of this Legislature that I hear from the constituents of my community. That's really how all of us should work and that's how we should move forward in trying to improve the lives of not only the people we represent but the people of the Province of Nova Scotia.

In 2013, the Liberal platform, Mr. Speaker, the Premier promised a doctor for every Nova Scotian. You don't have to take my word for it, it's written in black ink on the red book. I think it's in my desk so I don't think I need to table it. You might even remember that commitment and that's a serious commitment to make to Nova Scotians. I believe Nova Scotians took the Premier, then Leader of the Opposition, seriously when the Liberal Party made that commitment to Nova Scotians in 2013.

Well, that's not happening today. In fact the current policy adopted by this government is doing just the opposite, Mr. Speaker. We know that new graduates are looking for work outside of the province. Doctors who are currently practising in Nova Scotia are being ever more frustrated with the current government and the approach they're taking, especially over the last year, but more importantly over the last couple of months.

The government's decision not to grant new licences in the central zone has brought an issue of doctor shortages which once - and I've said this many times - was a rural issue, to HRM. Now in HRM, because of a change in bylaw under the new super board, the new Health Authority - the identity that was touted to address all the issues in health care, and it's going to improve services - well, I just don't see that happening.

I say that with confidence because of the people I'm hearing from in my community. We're hearing it from members of the Progressive Conservatives, from the residents that they hear from in their communities. If the members in the government caucus don't hear the concerns and are trying to downplay them, that's a big mistake, Mr. Speaker. Things need to change, and I think the government needs to recognize that.

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We just debated a bill around Pharmacare that we introduced. The government was going to propose changes to Pharmacare and realized they made a mistake. We know that. The Premier put a full-page ad in The Chronicle Herald apologizing for it.

Well, here's another example where I think the government needs to do the right thing. They need to admit that restricting licences in the central zone is going to do nothing for recruitment and retention of physicians in Nova Scotia. It's going to make the situation of the doctor shortages even worse. In my almost 13 years here in the Legislature, physicians tend rarely to speak out in the public, in the media, around decisions government is making. They don't do it often. So when they do it, you need to pay attention. We heard over the last couple of days, Dr. Mark Fletcher, who I believe probably opened the first Family Focus or family walk-in clinic in HRM, is concerned about the direction the government is taking, even though I think the Minister of Health and Wellness has indicated on a number of occasions that they're all on board; they're going to help us transition to a collaborative approach to delivering primary care.

I've said it a number of times that I support that idea. Our caucus, our Party, brought forward Collaborative Emergency Centres, so we're not against that. But until those clinics are up and running - and there are a few around the province; I alluded to one with the Minister of Health and Wellness I believe, right in the parking lot of Soldiers' Memorial. I was under the tent when we opened that Collaborative Emergency Centre. I believe the minister was there, and the Premier might have even been there. So it's not a new concept, but I know how long it takes to get to that point. There was a lot of work involved.

By no means do I think anybody here on the Opposition side is saying that that's not the direction the government should go or shouldn't go. What we're saying is there's an issue facing the government in front of us right now that concerns thousands of Nova Scotians who do not have a doctor. I'm very fortunate that my family has a doctor, but I have a number of personal friends who have been looking for a doctor for two and a half years, and I know that is happening right across communities across Nova Scotia.

The government should be listening. The government should be instructing the Health Authority in the central zone to rip up the policy change today about issuing new licences in central region so that we don't see the problem in front of us grow and grow and grow, and that's what we're going to see happen. The government is dead wrong in the decision to allow that to continue. If they do not change course immediately, every single member on the Opposition bench is going to be up in the next session talking about this issue that nothing has been done because we're not going to find the answers.

In recruitment of health care providers, they talk to each other across jurisdictions. They're highly trained. They're sought after not only in other provinces but around the globe. If we have an environment that they know is restrictive, is one that's maybe telling them where they should practise, it's not going to do well for our attempts to recruit new physicians into the future.

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I'm seeing it in my community with a pending retirement - very difficult to find a physician to come in and take over the practice, especially if the government is indicating that they don't really like that model anymore, and they want to go to the collaborative approach. I believe we still need to have those family practices here in the province. We need those collaborative practices, and I think we'll see those family practices morph into collaborative clinics. The physicians that I go to in Fall River are pretty much a collaborative practice. They have a nurse practitioner. They were one of the first clinics to jump on board the pilot project for the electronic emails of test results and X-rays to patients and that move forward.

The physicians of this province want to move in a direction that ensures that they work in an environment that is supportive of their colleagues, of other health care providers, but more importantly, supportive of the residents that they serve. I have not met a family physician who is in it for the big bucks, Mr. Speaker. Yes, they are well compensated but there are many other disciplines within medicine that can bring those big bucks and you do not have to work - and maybe some of the specialists will get mad at me - work to the degree that family practice physicians work. They work hard. They see so much and try to avert escalating health issues in the community now. That is why I think it is important that the government first recognizes that work to change direction that they are currently going in.

We know the minister has indicated that was a decision of the Health Authority but ultimately health care and the responsibility of health care falls on the government, falls on the Minister of Health and Wellness. There is nothing stopping the minister and the Premier giving a directive to the Nova Scotia Health Authority to change that bylaw back until we see the collaborative practices that the Premier and the minister have talked about all over the province. Maybe then we will not need an emergency debate to talk about doctor shortages in Nova Scotia. It is no longer just a rural issue; it is an issue across the province and I cannot imagine the anxiety that a mother might have or a father might have who have kids who don't have a family doctor.

A good friend of mine lost her doctor for her and her three boys, two-and-a-half years ago. Her husband is in the military; he can go down to Stad and get seen. She says, well at least I am lucky that my kids are healthy. What happens if that changes in the future? She is concerned that the ability for her not to get a family doctor will hurt her kids' health.

We are not saying the government can't continue along the path of going towards collaborative practices. That is a path that has been paved before the Liberal Government came into office. It is one they should continue to go down; they should continue to work on and pave forward. I think where we will see the greatest success in the future is when we have that environment for not only our health care workers but our patients, so that when you go into these clinics you are treated by maybe a dietitian or maybe by a nurse practitioner or a physician. That is how we need to move forward. We are not discussing that. What we are discussing is the fact that today as we stand here, there are thousands of Nova Scotians who cannot call their family physician.

[Page 9659]

When you get injured, when you go for a test, what is the first thing they ask you if you go into an emergency department? Who is your family physician? I don't have one. Where should we send the records? I don't know. There must be orphaned records in all our emergency departments across the province because there are so many people without a family physician.

I know when we ask the question around the shortage, the minister interestingly enough talks about the per capita ratio of family physicians that we have but I think that answer was given in the past. The minister himself, when he was in Opposition, stated that we need to realize some of the people who are registered to practise may actually not be actively practising in Nova Scotia and that those numbers could be misleading. They could be comforting to some extent but misleading, and I agree with him. He was right back on April 25, 2012, so we know that we can't go to those stats. It is insulting almost to use them now in the environment we have.

We had two members of our House kicked out of the Legislature because of the sheer emotion about talking on this issue - and I was pretty close, I think you warned me once, but I had three questions that day and I wanted to get the questions out, but it shows that we're concerned, it shows there's so much passion involved in this because we know the ramifications of this, Mr. Speaker.

We know there are people in our community who are scared, who don't have someone to turn to other than potentially the emergency departments - which in a lot of communities often are closed - or walk-in clinics. The minister indicated that they kind of want to get away from the walk-in clinics, but the walk-in clinics serve a purpose right now, Mr. Speaker. I said this, even my own family use a walk-in clinic when we can't get in to our own family doctor's office, and it meets the needs, because there's a concern, there's a health issue. It may not be an emergency, that we need to go to the Cobequid Centre, but it's important enough that we need to seek professional help from a health care provider.

I have to say, Mr. Speaker, I know when I was Minister of Health there was an attitude within the department, and I was asked at one point in my job as Minister of Health, that we should restrict licences in Nova Scotia, that we shouldn't be allowing these walk-in clinics to continue. I knew right then that that wasn't a road I was going to go down. I did not agree with that and I put a stop to it right away and knew that that would not help Nova Scotians find a doctor, or find support.

But I guess the current minister - I don't know if that's how it transpired, Mr. Speaker, but he needs to stand up for Nova Scotians. The government, the Premier needs to stand up to their commitment to Nova Scotians that they made in 2013, to find a doctor for every Nova Scotian. And the actions that they've taken over the last number of months will never allow them to achieve that. I hope they understand the importance of this emergency debate and the importance of changing direction and get rid of that restrictive bylaw so that doctors can practise here in HRM and practise in rural communities. It will be better for the recruitment and retention of physicians.

[Page 9660]

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Sydney-Whitney Pier.

MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm honoured to rise during this emergency debate and recognize the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg for bringing this forward, an issue that's important for all members of this House and for all communities across this province. I've only been in this job for approximately 10 months, but this discussion has been something that I've been involved with before being elected to CBRM Council, back in 2008, and at that time I believe it was Premier MacDonald and the Progressive Conservatives who were in government, and it was a concern for the community at that time as well.

We were starting to see retirements within the community, within our medical profession, and the conversation was taking place back then of, as a community, as the CBRM, what can we do to recruit? What can we do to attract and retain doctors and medical professionals within the community? So, this is not a new discussion.

For me, I do want to say in response to the Leader of the Official Opposition, he made a comment that I made a statement in the House earlier today, said that everything was okay, and that we were trying to paint the picture that everything was okay. I've been in this House and this is my second sitting. I've watched the minister from this side field question, after question, after question and at no point did he say that everything was okay and that the work was done, and not anybody in this House agrees. I think I can speak for everybody, regardless of whether you're a Liberal, a New Democrat, or a Tory, that the work is never done. The work is never done for our communities to attract and retain and support medical professionals, Mr. Speaker.

The only thing that I wanted to say today, and I thought it was important to say publicly is that as we debate this tonight, and as we've debated this throughout the past number of weeks - there are a lot of people behind the scenes, whether they're in CBRM, or whether they're in Yarmouth, or whether they're in Halifax who are working day and night to try to recruit and retain medical professionals in this province. I took it upon myself to stand in my place publicly to thank them for all the work they are doing, something that the Leader of the Official Opposition has yet to do. (Applause)

I want to do that again tonight, Mr. Speaker, as I stand here as the member for Sydney-Whitney Pier, as a concerned MLA, as a concerned father with an 18-month-old and another one on the way in two weeks - and that may happen sooner than later. We'll see what happens. I keep my phone close, just in case I have to make the quick drive home.

[Page 9661]

It's very important to me and it's very important to my community, and there's a substantial amount of work to continue to be done. It will be done, and I have a lot of faith in the folks who are doing it on the ground every day. We're seeing that as a result of the announcement of 10 new doctors, six within the CBRM, six in outlying communities and, as the minister said in a few comments, the two who are going to Neils Harbour. I want to publicly thank those staff members for doing everything they can to recruit and retain doctors in CBRM and beyond.

Mr. Speaker, all Nova Scotians should have access to primary health care, and the Nova Scotia Health Authority is working diligently to fill vacant positions for doctors across the province as quickly as possible. This is one of the government's top priorities.

As we've heard and as we've talked about, and as I think everybody can appreciate, recruitment doesn't happen overnight. The Health Authority works to anticipate recruitment needs to fill vacancies as they arise. Recruitment is ongoing right across the province, as we've seen and as we've heard from the minister, with some of the announcements that have come in Cape Breton and other communities. That work will continue and it needs to continue.

There are a number of recruitment and retention programs that the government does offer to help support medical professionals and doctors within our communities. One specifically, since January 2015, has been the tuition relief program. Physicians who commit to five years of service in underserviced communities can receive tuition relief. I believe that some of the doctors who have been recruited for Cape Breton are because of that program. (Interruption) Five, actually, as I'm being told by the minister.

There's an initiative that has been put in place in the last year by this government, and as a result of that you are seeing five new doctors come to the CBRM. (Interruption) In underserviced communities, exactly. That's the key. That's a very important initiative that this government has put in place, and within one year we're seeing great results.

We also have a family medicine bursary. We have a program that provides family physicians with a financial incentive if they provide three years of service in communities outside of urban HRM. We also provide debt assistance - we're also pleased to do this in funding for physicians who are willing to work for three years in communities as well outside of the CBRM.

These three programs are aimed at recruiting physicians to communities where a need has been identified. What we have found through these programs is that many of the physicians stay and continue to practise in Nova Scotia once they've completed their commitment.

[Page 9662]

We also have programs intended to attract international medical graduates to our province. Under a return of service agreement, we will fund medical education and residency for international students who are willing to go to needed communities. As well, in regard to additional recruitment, the Department of Health and Wellness expanded the family medicine residency program at sites in Annapolis Valley and southwestern Nova Scotia in recent years, and the program has increased the number of family physicians being trained in Nova Scotia. By supporting this residency outside of large urban areas, we have found it leads to recruitment and practice in these areas.

There are a number of initiatives that have been put in place - looking at reimbursement for expenses to visit communities in Nova Scotia where positions are available and where they are interested in practising, and funding to support physician recruitment and national and local events. These recruitment and retention programs have resulted in physicians practising in communities throughout Nova Scotia from Arichat to Amherst, Guysborough, Coldbrook, Digby, Barrington, and Hubbards.

Mr. Speaker, although the Nova Scotia Health Authority has primary responsibility for recruiting physicians, the Department of Health and Wellness supports their efforts through the programs that have been mentioned already. These programs have resulted in physicians practising in many communities around the province and support the improvement to the mix and distribution of physicians in the province.

As I've already said, 10 new doctors have been recruited in Cape Breton, and two new doctors have recently been recruited to Neils Harbour. These efforts are working, and we expect the NSHA to continue to make the recruitment a top priority - and we've heard that. It has been a top priority, and I do want to specifically speak about home a little bit, because it is a very significant issue for home. It's an issue that we've heard a lot of discussion and debate over in the last couple of weeks, but at my office, on a daily basis, has been that same concern about access to family doctors, when are new doctors coming, when do we find out more information?

It's exciting for our community that we're going to see in the next month, those doctors are going to start to arrive, and as a result of that, we will be able to support many families within our community that are currently looking for a family doctor. But the work will not stop there. We will continue to advocate, and we will continue to do whatever we can, as all members of this House, to support the recruitment of doctors in Cape Breton and beyond.

As I've said, this discussion is not one that is new - this isn't a recent discussion. This is one that the Tories had to deal with, that the Dexter Government had to deal with, and now one that we're trying to address as a government. I can stand in my place and say we're looking at innovative programs to recruit doctors; we're looking at a tuition relief program that is starting to show results, that has brought five new doctors to our community within the first year of its implementation, and that I believe will bring more doctors as the program becomes more known to people who are interested in studying in the medical profession. I know that the staff of the Nova Scotia Health Authority is continuing to work diligently to ensure that every community across Nova Scotia has access to a family doctor.

[Page 9663]

It has been an honour to stand in my place this evening to discuss this very important issue. It has been a great opportunity to hear from my colleagues, and we'll hear from some more of our colleagues about this very important issue. I'd like to thank the House for the opportunity. Thank you very much.

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

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, in the 2013 Liberal platform, it was pretty clear: "Ensure a doctor for every Nova Scotian." It's not really subjective; it's pretty clear that that was the plan. It went on to say at that time, "Far too many Nova Scotians don't have access to a family physician, leaving many without care and putting added strain on our emergency rooms." The promise was, "A Liberal government will immediately provide up to $120,000 in tuition relief to 25 new doctors per year for four years, in exchange for a five-year commitment . . ."

I guess at this stage we should probably have about 50 doctors in that program. Maybe we'll hear from the minister tonight as to how they're doing on that. We did hear that there were five - five who are going to spring into action here in the summer. We will see how they're doing on that.

What I really want to talk about tonight is, in the Liberal platform at the time, it said, "In addition, we will appoint an expert Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team so that Nova Scotia is able to competitively recruit new doctors and keep the ones we have."

"An expert Physician Recruitment and Retention Action Team." I have no doubt as to the abilities that are working on recruitment and retention; for sure, they would be hard-working people doing the best they can. The problem is that they're effectively doing a job with one hand tied behind their back, because they are being handicapped by the actions of the government.

We can all agree that the doctor shortage is real; we can all agree that the doctor shortage is dangerous; and we can all agree that it needs to be addressed. We probably would have much agreement on the ways to address it, but where it's falling down, where the province is being hurt, is in the actions of this government.

I went back through my notes and some of the correspondence I've had with people in the medical field, and over and over there was a theme emerging from doctors: they're fearful of the environment that this government has created. The rhetoric of the Liberals scares potential new hires, and the rhetoric of this government scares people and causes them to delay in signing on. If you're a doctor, a highly-skilled, highly-mobile person, and you have all kinds of opportunities facing you, you want to try to take not only one that fits your family and personal circumstances, but you want to try to mitigate the risk.

[Page 9664]

What we have in Nova Scotia is what doctors perceive to be a very risky environment, and it all stems to the demeanour of the government toward the doctors, for one, but many of the public servants and people working in health care. It scares them to work in a province where they would worry that the government would disrespect them. That's what's happening.

That's what's happening, and that's why - we've seen that happen with the OB/GYNs, where I think last year's graduating class, I believe there were six, and none of them stayed in the province. That would be last June. I don't know how many will graduate this June, or are in the process of graduating now, and how many of them will stay. Why is that? Why is that, Mr. Speaker? It's certainly not because there's not a need. There'll be a few factors in there, and one of them clearly is that they're afraid of the actions of this government, and with good reason.

I could go on about pathologists, where we're now farming out pathology reports to labs in the United States and other areas of North America. Why? Because we don't have enough pathologists. Why don't we have enough pathologists?

I think at some point, it's okay to look back to prior governments and say, well, it's their fault, or it's somebody else's fault, but at some point I think it's necessary for the government to look in the mirror and say, well, what can I do? What have I done that has added to the issue, and what can I do to fix it?

We heard initially, when we started talking about the doctor shortage from this side of the House, the first responses we'll have, shall I say, Mr. Speaker, were that it's not true. There are more doctors per capita in Nova Scotia than anywhere else. That was initially what we would hear from the government.

Then when, as is necessary with this government, you start to peel it back, and process what you're hearing, and scratch a little deeper, and ask a few more questions, you realize that maybe statistically, that is a fact, but it's an erroneous fact because it's not relevant to the situation with general practitioners. You have a lot of doctors who may be doing research at the universities or elsewhere; you have surgeons and specialists. So maybe a blanket per capita number suits the government well at that point in time, but it doesn't suit Nova Scotians well.

We have progressed from that initial rebuttal, that statistic - that's gone now - and now we have, even up to the point where we had members acknowledging in members' statements this morning that this is a very real issue. Now the next step will be some responsibility and some accountability for it, and then maybe some solutions. That's the part where we're falling down.

[Page 9665]

I don't have comfort that the government fully understands the gravity of the issue. I know that in Pictou County we had a doctor pass away, sadly. All of that doctor's patients are looking for a doctor - 1,500 people looking for a doctor. We have doctors in the county who are full up, who are not taking patients, and they're getting 20, 30, or 40 calls a day from people looking for a doctor, that they can't take, plus a couple of those doctors in the county are past retirement age.

I don't know if the Department of Health and Wellness fully understands the average age and the coming need over the next few years. What we hear is they've been surprised by a couple of things. Quite frankly, that's not good enough; it's not helping to solve the problem.

We talk about what the government can do. What can the government do? They had an admirable goal in their platform. They haven't achieved any measure of success that's visible to me and to most Nova Scotians against that admirable goal, which is a doctor for every Nova Scotian. They're failing on that.

Are they at least doing the bare minimum of what they said they would do in terms of 25 doctors a year on the tuition thing? Will those doctors show up? I'm sure we'll probably hear a little bit about that tonight as that debate goes on. That is something that the government promised it would do and that it, hopefully, is doing.

The real issue is the big environmental issue - doctors haven't had a contract for a year, and they haven't had any fee adjustments in seven years, I think is the number that I hear. Meanwhile, they have seen their counterparts in the health system receive increases at certain points in time.

I think my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, mentioned doctors aren't usually outspoken about these issues. They have been watching this patiently, expecting I'm sure that in the fullness of time they would be treated fairly.

Then what happened? I believe it was in December that the Premier thought it would be a good idea to go to the media and try to launch an attack on doctors as being greedy people. That doesn't help, and I'm sure that doesn't help the expert recruitment and retention team. I'm sure when the Premier of the province has a lot of disparaging comments to make about the doctors of the province that doesn't help the expert recruitment and retention team. Again, it just ties the hand just a little tighter behind the back and says, here you go, let's see how you do when I stir the pot here for you. It hasn't helped. We know that doctors are nervous about this environment. You can have the most expert recruitment team - the most efficient and the most well-meaning - but when you go and ask them to recruit and retain doctors who are pretty nervous about the actions of this government, it's going to be hard to recruit and retain doctors. That's it - full stop.

[Page 9666]

This does not rest at the feet of the abilities of that recruitment and retention team. This issue and the solutions to this issue rest at the feet of this Cabinet; that's where they rest. Hopefully, we will see some movement, some acknowledgement of that, maybe, from this government. It's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess. They're making the problem worse, and maybe if they acknowledge that, it might go a long way.

But today, doctors are scared to commit to working in this environment. They really are. I believe that wholeheartedly. They're concerned about that for a number of reasons.

This government can change that. Maybe tonight we'll hear about some of the ways they're going to try to address that. Again, it just kind of blew my mind when the Premier went out with his particular attack on doctors, because when you think of the compensation paid to doctors, most people accept that doctors are well-paid people. They're highly compensated, highly trained people. I think the Premier's issue was he thought it would be publicly popular to put on the attack face and attack the doctors as greedy. But the sad reality is that the compensation to doctors in the grand scheme of a $4 billion health care budget is probably a drop in the bucket, but it is $800 million, part of $4 billion. I still stand by that, that is a drop in the bucket because if you don't have doctors, you don't actually have a health care system.

If you don't have doctors, there's no other $3.5 billion being spent because you don't have a health care system. You need doctors. To portray the doctors as greedy was very short-sighted and guess who is paying the price for that short-sightedness yet again? Every Nova Scotian who doesn't have a doctor should send an email to the Premier and say, way to go, Premier. We have no doctors because they don't want to work here because you called them all greedy and put out the message, don't come to Nova Scotia. Tie that hand behind the recruitment team a little tighter.

I want to close, in talking a little bit about something that the Auditor General has looked at. He has looked at physician alternative funding arrangements and that is where doctors are essentially on salaries and doing research and stuff like that, and just looking at how those contracts are operating and the checks and balances against that. He had quite a few recommendations in his May 2014 report about that. I don't know that they have been taken seriously to date even by the Department of Health and Wellness and maybe - I see the minister nodding, maybe we'll hear a little bit about that tonight, so that's good. So a few things on my list for the minster that we might hear from tonight, I guess.

Hopefully he will address some of those because this is a real issue and this is not an issue at the feet of yesterday's government, this is an issue at the feet of today's government, and today's government had better start to show some courage and some insight into how it will be addressed because we all deserve it to be addressed and the environment is going to need to change before it can be. So with those few words I'll take my seat. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

[Page 9667]

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I certainly have enjoyed the speakers up to this point and I think we're getting close to addressing one of the serious issues that is facing all of Nova Scotia. Certainly I am thankful for the opportunity to speak in this emergency debate.

Mr. Speaker, for two and a half years we have seen health care, especially in rural Nova Scotia, get worse. To me the point here that needs to be addressed immediately, and I've listened intently, the baby boomer iceberg is coming towards us. The baby boomer iceberg needs health care, it needs doctors, especially in rural Nova Scotia. If there is anything that comes out of this session, you want to take note of that particular phrase because it's coming at the population of Canada.

Mr. Speaker, in this session, basically we're in four or five weeks now, I used three powerful words when I made reference to health care issues in the constituency that I represent, Queens-Shelburne. At the end of each member's statement I used three words - "to be continued." I think those words are very fitting because this story is not going to go away. Many times we've heard this and most recently in the last few days we've heard about Roseway, and I'll get into all the other areas later on. This session, as it winds down, the use of this phrase "to be continued", the story of health care and doctor shortages will continue. It's starting to make a point and it's not going to stop in this Chamber because if you think it is, you're in for a rude awakening because this story, this topic, is not going to go away. In fact, Mr. Speaker, I am very confident today in predicting - and I said it in a few other speeches - that this present Liberal Government will not, I repeat will not use the slogan, a doctor for every Nova Scotian, in their next campaign.

I am confident, it's just oozing, the optimism that's coming out of me, the self-confidence, I'm so bold now, Mr. Speaker, that I'm willing to make a prediction. I know the member for Inverness had a great vision several nights ago, and he predicted a provincial election in October 2017. Now, just in reflecting about not using the slogan for a doctor for every Nova Scotian in the next provincial election, I am willing to predict that there's going to be an election on the anniversary of the third year of this present Liberal Government's mandate, and the anniversary is coming up October 8th, this Fall. I predict that there will be a provincial election called somewhere in the two-week time frame around that October 8th anniversary. I have concluded - I may have to meet with the member for Inverness to get the final details down - but I know the end date, the election will be over by the time you open your presents in 2016.

There is the prediction and the reason why I'm predicting this, Mr. Speaker, is because this present government knows that there's a health care crisis on the horizon, and they are going to get ahead of this situation. So, there's my prediction. You can take it to the bank, or you can do whatever you want with it. The reason I say this is because there are 1,000 Nova Scotians turning 65 every month, and that's the reason why I eluded to the fact that this baby boomer iceberg, she's moving through the water, baby, and she's going to take down someone, and if the present government doesn't address it, you're in for some rough water.

[Page 9668]

Nova Scotia has the highest population proportion of seniors. By 2026, Mr. Speaker, it is expected they will represent one quarter of Nova Scotians, and most of them live in rural Nova Scotia. Again, I may have to sit down with the member for Inverness and get my dates, you know, really tweak them, but I predict it's going to be this Fall, just because of this reason. This is a crisis on her horizon; the iceberg is in front of us, and guess what? You're going to have the present Liberal Government that's scared and is going to go to the electorate to get another mandate. One of the reasons why they're nervous about that, Mr. Speaker, is because they have a super health board, and what they have is a super failure.

Rural Nova Scotia has lost their voice, Mr. Speaker, and I have noticed in the recent weeks in this session, the Premier talks about tearing down the walls, in dismantling nine health authorities. I use that word, "dismantle" because the Premier and this government have destroyed the voice of rural Nova Scotia when it comes to district health authorities. It was this Party, this member predicted that the voices of health care will be lost when you dismantle the health boards. You see they've been stripped away, their voice, their integrity, the functions of the care of health care needs in rural Nova Scotia, has been drastically affected in the last year, Mr. Speaker, and the Premier has stripped this away, the very institutions, the nine district health authorities who understood the concerns of rural Nova Scotia, have been dismantled.

Now, you may want to call that tearing down the walls, I call it dismantling a mechanism, or infrastructure that is there for the fundamental well-being of all Nova Scotians. They talked about the super health board will save $15 million, Mr. Speaker, and I jotted that down a number of months ago, and just in this budget we see the administration charges for the walls around that super health board are millions of dollars over budget - $15 million more projected than the previous when we established this particular super health board. So it has failed, and yet we have doctor shortages across Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I know that emotions have run high in this Chamber and this session, and I know that several of us have been asked to excuse ourselves. I understand that it is a very emotional issue, but it is not only the people in this Chamber who are raising these concerns. I will bring your attention to a CBC report this week. It talked about - and I have heard - that somewhere between 1,100 and 800 of the 2,500 doctors presently in Nova Scotia will retire in Nova Scotia in the next 10 years.

That is not coming from this Chamber. It is an independent editorial from CBC reporting. CBC also reported that physicians told CBC, and I quote, "We get hundreds of calls a day from desperate people looking for a family doctor . . . it's breaking our hearts to turn them away but we are full to capacity."

[Page 9669]

This is not coming from an elected member here. This is coming from doctors, their voices across Nova Scotia. This is documented by a professional CBC reporter, and I can tell you, that is on the minds of all Nova Scotians.

You say, well, maybe it is just an isolated constituency issue of one or two maybe disgruntled MLAs. I will give you that, but I went home a weekend ago, and I sat down and did the math of the landmass of the communities that do not have an ER open or access to a family doctor. Let me just point out the total landmass: Cape Breton, Pictou, Sackville, Lunenburg, Digby, and Shelburne. Now, let us not forgot those. Let us keep them all in mind. The total landmass is equivalent to the double landmass of P.E.I.

So if you envision P.E.I. and you double it, that is the area now having no service of a family doctor. I asked this question before. If that area of landmass didn't have any phone coverage or gasoline stations, you would say you have a crisis. I am saying that that land mass has no doctor coverage. I think we have a health care crisis on the horizon.

Health care is a universal policy. It is a source of pride for all Canadians, and this particular government has failed. The Premier stood in their election campaign in 2013 and promised. We heard it here many times, and I have not heard the Premier address the question. The promise was a doctor for every Nova Scotian in 2013. It has failed. We have a health care crisis amongst us. We have a super health board that is a disaster, and we have a problem.

In this budget that we have gone through here in this last few weeks, we had not a penny going toward the issue that we are discussing right now in this emergency debate. I see that as a serious error.

It is an opportunity now for each individual, if they feel so, to stand up and engage in this particular emergency debate. I think we will hear from all sides. It is interesting, because you are going to be judged by the people of Nova Scotia on your comments, and we'll be looking forward to them. But when the minister talks in Question Period about 2 per cent or 3 per cent or 4 per cent of Nova Scotians not needing doctors, and I believe he's alluding to the fact that they have youth on their side, to me that's an indication of not understanding the seriousness of this issue. To me that is certainly a slap in the face of all Nova Scotians, because this is a serious issue and it has to be addressed.

We have seen some members of the present government, after a continuing barrage of statements in this session, finally get up and acknowledge in some members' statements that yes, we're trying to recruit doctors in their area. It's a lame excuse, Mr. Speaker, for the seriousness of what needs to be done right now.

[Page 9670]

We have closure after closure in Roseway Hospital, and I see with my own eyes the Premier come to the community of Shelburne, I've seen the Minister of Health and Wellness come to the community and promise a plan for health care and keeping the ER at Roseway open. We waited patiently for that to happen, and while we waited, the ER closures just escalated.

I documented each and every one of them in this Chamber. I can assure you from the expressions and the heckling that I had from that side that they were probably not impressed each time I rose. But I can assure you this - each and every closure will be brought to this session as long as I have breath in this body because health care is an issue that needs to be addressed. When you come to a community and you suggest that you have a plan to address the closure of ERs, and it doesn't happen and it gets worse, I think you need to be man enough to stand up and say the plan has failed. Mr. Speaker, until then, you're going to have these questions from Opposition, and until then you're going to hear this member say "to be continued."

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

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I'm pleased to join the debate tonight and, first of all, to say that any community that is short on doctors or primary care is a serious issue. It's a serious issue for those families, the communities, and for us as government to take a look at.

I certainly take serious objection to the Leader of the Official Opposition and to the member for Queens-Shelburne suggesting that because there are 3 per cent or 4 per cent of people not looking for doctors - I feel that I'm being accused that I'm dismissive of that 3 per cent or 4 per cent. The reality is this - in Canada, three million people do not have a family doctor, and one-half don't look for a family doctor. The 3 per cent or 4 per cent in Nova Scotia go to a naturopath, they go to an osteopath, and they go to other forms of alternative medicine.

What I can guarantee you is that when they need a serious medical incident looked after, they have our public health service. No doctor and no emergency room would turn such a patient away because they haven't accessed a doctor for 20 or 25 or 30 years. That's a personal choice.

Of those who don't have a doctor, it's been a real problem in our province for several decades to get that right complement. We brought in a Physician Resource Plan, and today I gave the member for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg an example of where the Physician Resource Plan was actually letting a community down. Neils Harbour was that perfect example. I went and sat with Dr. Ken Murray and the nurses in that hospital and I said, I can't believe this beautiful town on the Cabot Trail with outstanding two doctors and nurses, how they could not attract a doctor to that community? The Physician Resource Plan said your complement is 2.75 doctors. How would you ever recruit a 0.75 of a new physician coming out of med school? The day that I found that out, the next day the department changed that and we recruited for a full-time for their third position, which we have a doctor for, and Dr. Ken Murray who is on the eve of retiring, reducing his practice - we have two doctors.

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When I went to Baddeck and met with the medical staff there and other clinicians and support staff in a hospital, again two doctors, who in some ways maybe had served well beyond their time, were looking for replacements. Those two doctors have given an incredible three to four decades of service to Baddeck and surrounding area and we're now able to bring them in sight of their retirement, as we've recruited two doctors for Baddeck.

I give the credit to the Health Authority as they start to develop that provincial plan of taking a look, and what the Health Authority is going to do for the first time is not use the Physician Resource Plan as that kind of gospel around the numbers needed, they're finally going to do an inventory of how doctors practise. How many patients do they see? How many hours are they in front of patients in a week? Do they share a practice? Do they go to some other part of Canada or with Doctors Without Borders for part of the year? What are they looking at in terms of scaling back their practice as they get into elder years? When will they retire?

Getting this fuller picture will enable the Health Authority and a significant team to do recruitment and retention, I believe it has enormous possibilities to do the recruiting that we need, and some in advance. We need to be looking at who is going to sign on in 2017 and in 2018? We have to be much more proactive and we have given that directive to the Health Authority. (Interruption) The member for Northside-Westmount says he's already hoping to have a family member be a doctor practising in the province and there are many families as well. That's a whole other area with our doctors trained offshore that I absolutely believe has to be addressed at the national level. There are many young doctors who would like to return immediately to our province.

I think looking at recruitment and retention differently than what we have, I know one of those first attempts - the former Minister of Health, the member for Sackville-Cobequid spoke about how collaborative practices are not new but they solve a problem for a number of communities. I remember rising in Opposition and I was astounded that Bridgewater could not attract doctors - a beautiful town on the South Shore. They developed a collaborative practice, a team approach to primary care, and now they have sufficient doctors in that community. It is a model that we must embrace.

Steven Lewis, health policy and research consultant based in Saskatoon, spoke on CBC last week and I had to check this out for myself as perhaps the potential of a collaborative practice fully developed. In Group Health in Seattle, there is one doctor for 1,800 patients. How is that possible? They have a team doing the work. The doctor is working 40 hours a week and he has a team of people who are working with him and we're starting to see the emergence of this across the province. The one certainty with new doctors is that they will practise differently; they will absolutely practise differently and the work/life balance will be a critical piece. I think it will mean happier doctors and I think patients will have a doctor to go to, as we develop more of these practices across the province.

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I think getting a doctor who has a full service medical practice like I and many other members in the House have - again many consultants are saying this is part of the past. No one GP can know everything about all of the health conditions, but working in a team gives a greater opportunity to address many of the health issues that patients will have. We're in a transition period, which brings up, again, one of the areas that has been important to, especially metro, other parts of the province as well, the walk-in clinic.

We're not against walk-in clinics, but we need to put inside the walk-in clinic a greater wraparound - a comprehensive team of people working in those settings, and certainly working in the evenings is what we have in some of our communities now across Nova Scotia, but that's a transition. That will take time and I'm pleased to see that while yes, a directive was given that over the next five to 10 years there is to be some transitioning, in recent weeks some of those clinics have picked up a new doctor - in fact, a couple of those clinics mentioned here on the floor since the session started now have a doctor.

I'm pleased to be able to report to the House as well that we will see the Health Authority and the Health and Wellness Department sit down with doctors here in metro and look at how primary care will need to be delivered over the next decade. I think that's very important to do. They're committed to doing that and I think it will clear the air on a lot of the issues that are currently there - some have been presented publicly, and others have been presented as well to the department. I think, again, we will look to the doctors to collaborate and work with the Health Authority to find both a short-term and a long-term resolve. Some communities have been able to look at both short- and long-term ways of addressing the physician issue.

Of course, doctors have to get licensed by the college. That is in fact the role of the college to go fully into the training, the medical school, and if a doctor has been practising, to take a look at their full past and decide whether or not they meet the requirements first in Canada and for our province to be able to practise. What I'm pleased to report on is that, yes, it took a little bit of time in the first year of the Health Authority's operation, but now the credentialing and getting the doctor on the ground and in a practice, and in a community in Nova Scotia, is now a four- to five-week process. It's four to five weeks, and that's a big improvement.

For example, doctors here in the old Capital District, you had to have the deputy minister get around to signing off that they would be going into a practice. There were many - or too many perhaps - unique and special circumstances in some of the districts here, in the old nine districts. Now, as we move to recruiting for the province - putting a strong team in place, advertising aggressively in all parts of Canada, and perhaps some of our Nova Scotians who went stateside - I believe as we put together a very robust plan for recruitment, I believe we will have some better outcomes.

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So we will be changing. Change is under way, and change is difficult, but we will have some good announcements just in the next couple of months around recruitment. When I sat down about a month ago, a little over a month ago, with the board chair and with the CEO of the Health Authority, I said, for our government and for our province, this is priority number one. (Applause) With that kind of effort that will be made to address shortages and areas across the province, I think we can have good success.

I want to speak for a few moments about the residency program - only two years old in Yarmouth. Shelburne has been able to recruit its first doctor, as the member knows, in a long, long time. He will start to practise there in July.

In the Annapolis Valley, the residency program is yielding and providing doctors every year since that residency program started, as well as the one in Cape Breton. They are not even from Cape Breton. Some of the doctors go there, love the community, love how they are received where they do their clinical practice in residency, and stay in the community.

So perhaps there are another couple of areas where, in time, if not residency perhaps a clerkship - clerkship was talked about much by Dr. Tom Marrie, former dean of the med school. We may have to look at a whole array of ways of getting doctors into our community that I believe will provide the leadership to develop the new team practices that are required in our province. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I've listened with interest to all the previous speakers, and they all make some points that are very valid to the people of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is if you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. That's exactly what's going on when we talk about recruitment, we're doing the same thing over and over.

The first thing this government has to understand and realize is that there is a problem. The problem is that today, on the ground, there is a shortage of family physicians in the Province of Nova Scotia, in particular in Cape Breton, in the area that I have the privilege to represent.

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Once that is identified, then you have to move forward and talk to the people on the ground who are actually affected by what is taking place, by the doctors who are still there, who still want to practise in the Province of Nova Scotia, but are finding it harder and harder to do that because of some of the things that are being imposed on them by the Health Authority and by the Department of Health and Wellness.

Now, Mr. Speaker, one of the things that the Minister of Health and Wellness talks about, and he does a really good job of it, is the future of health care in Nova Scotia and where he wants to see it go. The problem is where we are today. It's the people who are involved in looking for a doctor today.

I heard him say, well, you know, we can get a doctor; if you just go to the emergency room, we can get a doctor. Well, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to share some thoughts.

"My 90-year-old mother sat in the emergency in Sydney for 16 hours. She could very well have died, but never got any service.

I myself have had no doctor since mine retired two years ago.

My son had to spend 9.5 hours in the emergency room this past week.

I waited 11 hours, with chest pains, to see a doctor in Sydney.

I personally can't get a doctor in Cape Breton, and we spent four hours at a clinic to see a doctor.

I sat in outpatients yesterday with an 86-year-old woman for seven hours and she still didn't see a doctor.

I have been without a family doctor since 2012. My condition has worsened."

I don't mind tabling that, Mr. Speaker.

The other thing that I think is very interesting: I received this note, and I'm sure most of you have seen it, because it was also in The Chronicle Herald in the letters to the editor.

"I am one of the lucky people in Cape Breton because I do not need a doctor. I had the foresight to marry an excellent physician 20 years ago. Seven years ago, we made the decision to move from the U.K. to Nova Scotia and looked into the possibility of practicing here. My wife followed the application process, which involved having her academic and professional qualifications notarized and checked (not for free), references followed up and then, nothing for a long time. After a prompt, a terse reply suggested she try for a position in Manitoba." Mr. Speaker - in Manitoba.

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The people that have been calling us and have been talking to us are worried about health care today. On the surface, what do we do? The minister talks and has pride in what is going on and some of the stuff, as I said earlier, is not bad. But in an editorial in The Chronicle Herald, it says "no new doctors can practise in HRM without approval by the health authority, which has been slow and reluctant to give it. Citing national doctor-patient ratios, the authority thinks HRM has too many doctors."

Mr. Speaker, it goes on. People are concerned about what is going on. It is not a matter to laugh at. Some of my colleagues have said this is a long-term problem, and they are right, but just because it is a long-term problem, it doesn't mean that you give up in trying to find a solution for the people who are suffering today. It means you work harder at finding a solution for the people who are suffering today.

In another editorial, "Family doctors in Nova Scotia are concerned about staffing 'wrecking ball' ". The province may be already heading towards a staffing crisis. Dr. Mark Fletcher states, "it's going to be difficult to attract and retain staff under the merged Nova Scotia Health Authority's restrictions on walk-in clinics." He was told last fall people could be able to go to walk-in clinics, but that has changed. "The problem being, that graduating doctors are not getting credentials to work in walk-ins, forcing them to consider leaving the province to find work." Fletcher said the plan is flawed. "Simply by cutting off the supply of physicians to the walk-in is not decreasing the public demand for that service because the access is still very poor," and it goes on.

On the weekend I had the opportunity to be with my Leader of the Official Opposition and my colleague from Northside-Westmount. We met with a group of doctors. Some of them were Canadian born, Nova Scotian, Cape Breton born, who had gone away, who had got their training, who wanted to practise medicine in Nova Scotia, who wanted to practise medicine at home, and they were told that their services were not needed here. They were not needed here because they were foreign trained. Well, I ask you - who would be more willing to stay in Nova Scotia than someone that was born here, someone that has family here, and someone that wants to live here? Those doctors, the department has to look at that and find a way to allow doctors who are from here to stay here, practise here, and be with their families here.

There are many flaws in the system. There are many challenges in this system but the challenges that we have in front of us are small compared to those who do not have a family doctor. We were wondering, where is this going to take us? Where is this going to end up? The minister talks about how there have been some successes, and there have been, and we are happy that there have been. According to the minister, we have 10 new doctors coming to Cape Breton. That is only to replace the doctors that are already gone.

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In our meeting on the weekend, the doctors from our community identified 15 new doctors who are leaving - who are not gone yet but are leaving. They've put in their resignations. They have been attracted to other jurisdictions. They put in their names, and they have been attracted to different jurisdictions. They have said that they are going to retire, and some have just thrown up their arms and said, I could practise for a few more years but you know what? The system is making it so hard, I don't want to do that.

Mr. Speaker, the way the new system works now, a doctor has no say in who comes in and takes his practice. The new Health Authority determines who's going to take over that practice. There are no guarantees when we get a new doctor that indeed that doctor is going to take over a complete family practice. We may have a doctor today who has 1,200 patients and a new doctor will come in, assigned by the Health Authority - which doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever - and be told, look, you take over that practice, but you only have to do family practice two days a week; you can go and work somewhere else for a couple of days a week, and you can do this for a couple of days a week. Does that make sense? Is that really, really helping the people that this minister has talked about? Is it helping the doctors do the job that they were trained to do?

We heard a lot about the orphan clinic in Sydney, a clinic that was assigned to help take up the shortfall. I have to ask you, Mr. Speaker, and I think the minister would have to agree, who came up with the name "orphan clinic"? Why would you say that about people? Why would you say that they are orphaned, that they have no hope? Why would you say that? It doesn't make any sense. It should never have been named "orphan clinic" and I would ask the minister to look into that.

But really, we started off with nine doctors who gave parts of their practice to try to help people bridge the gap from the time that they started there until a new family physician was in place. We are now down to two doctors - two doctors - who are serving that same clientele. When it began, they started taking appointments. They were booked until August with a full complement of nine, and then they had to cut it off because they were over 1,000 and there just wasn't room or time. Then doctors started moving away from the practice because they were discouraged by some of the practices that were put in place to make it harder for them to do their job.

When we asked about an emergency debate today, when we talked about a crisis in the health care system, we talked about all of these people who can't get a family doctor, Mr. Speaker, it's not 12 or 14, it's not 100, and it's not 200; it's thousands of people who can't find a doctor.

As bad as I know it is in my own community, I know the minister would acknowledge that there is a problem across the province. This is not a unique problem to just one area. This is not a problem that, as was stated by others, just started today. My whole goal, our whole goal, and I'm certain, the government's goal, is to fix the problem that's there now, to find doctors to make it work.

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So when I talk about Albert Einstein and how you keep on doing things over and over and hoping for a different result is the definition of insanity, as much as some people think that's funny, it really isn't. The one thing that I can tell my kids and my grandchildren is if you keep doing the same thing and the same thing happens to you, why would you think it's going to be any different?

We've tried a number of ways to encourage doctors to come to Nova Scotia. We've tried a number of ways to recruit doctors to come here, and it hasn't really worked. We really do need to try something different.

One of those things, I believe, Mr. Speaker, is to make sure that people from the Province of Nova Scotia, wherever they live in Nova Scotia, when they go away to get trained as doctors, are given an opportunity to come home. I know it's more complicated than just saying it can be done. But I have to say, if you're recruiting people, who would want to be in their communities more than a Nova Scotian who has family, who has tradition, and who has roots in the Province of Nova Scotia?

So let's recap where we are. We have a serious shortage of doctors in the Province of Nova Scotia. We have a population that ages at the rate of 1,000 people turning 65 every month. We have doctors who are leaving on a continuous basis because they say they are not getting the supports they need from the district health authority and from the Department of Health and Wellness.

We have people in an orphan clinic who have their doctors disappearing and don't have enough time to see all the patients who need their help. Mr. Speaker, we have a system which doesn't allow Nova Scotians to come back home and work and study and deliver medicine in the province where they were born.

What we really have, Mr. Speaker, is a crisis in the medical system in our province, we have a crisis in what's going on with doctor recruitment, and we have a crisis that needs to be fixed today, not tomorrow. Thank you.

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

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, a few years ago the CBC ran a television show, a contest to determine - every Canadian was entitled to vote to determine who was the greatest Canadian citizen. During that period of time I watched it, I watched little glimpses of it every now and then. I wasn't really finely tuned to it, but various people seemed to crop up. Don Cherry was there at one point and we had Wayne Gretzky, lots of sports people were involved. But as the thing went on I was thinking okay, but is it going to be a sports figure - is that our greatest? Okay, it's up to debate, probably lots of debate on this point in this room right now.

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At the end of the day the winner, who was heralded as Canada's Greatest Canadian was Tommy Douglas. Now Tommy Douglas, as you would know, was a New Democrat. He didn't start out that way, but he eventually emerged to be a New Democrat. Tommy Douglas was responsible for universal health care, for creating a universal system of health care in this country. If there's a defining principle in this country it would be ensuring that all individuals and citizens in our country have access to free health care and on an equal basis.

So important is that principle that Canadians voted freely throughout this country, from one end of the country to the other, to represent their firm belief in that principle by determining and voting for Tommy Douglas as the Greatest Canadian.

You know, Mr. Speaker, I think there is one thing that all Canadians agree on, that this principle actually defines us as Canadians, it defines us world-wide. It is a system that has been the envy of nations, especially even the U.S. who has tried in their version to create their own system there of universality of health care. So it is something that defines us, it is something that Canadians view as very, very important.

Today in this province, under this government, there has been, what I believe anyway, is a steady erosion of our health care system. It's somewhat troubling to see how quickly this system can erode in such a short period of time. I will acknowledge the work of two former Health Ministers, one who continues to be my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, and I acknowledge as well the former interim Leader, the member for Halifax Needham, both of whom were Health Ministers and from whom I have learned a lot.

They were creative in building up the health care system. You know of all the times that I've been sitting here, which isn't a long time, but during Question Periods when we hear the consistency of the government wanting to blame everything they can think of on what happened during four years of NDP Government, I don't hear them criticize us on that particular issue - and if they start now it's only because I brought it to their attention and they'll make up some things to support that, but I have noted that. What is in the past now cannot be changed.

What's concerning is this: we had for some reason, and I think it was basically economic reasons, decided that nine health boards was inappropriate. I think what we're seeing now is how important those boards were because they're connected to each community. They're connected in their communities. They understand the needs in their communities. As I see it, unfortunately, I have not seen any proof, nor do I think that Nova Scotians have seen any proof, that now our super board is going to be able to manage what those nine boards did. There has been an ongoing theme with the government in terms of their ambitiousness with regard to what they want to do to change health care.

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The other thing was attempting to get control over health care workers in terms of what unions they belong to. The attempt by the government to merge the unions was futile. They ended up spending a lot of money on an arbitrator whose work they rejected and going with a proposal that was originally proposed to them by the unions. What did it end up doing? It ended up creating anger and mistrust within the health care system, the workers who we depend on when we are sick and are in need of their care.

This is a government that has shown itself unable to efficiently manage its health care budget repeatedly since April 19th. The Opposition, I believe, has been most effective in pointing out the underspend in the infrastructure in the health care budget. A government that has shown now that it has lost the support of the physicians, the doctors, in the community, that is even probably more troubling than anything else.

But I think it's symptomatic of a systematic dismantling of the health care system. We've seen mental health care; note the mental health strategy that was put into place under the NDP has been just tossed aside, just tossed aside. We have heard over and over the stories that the members have brought forward from the Progressive Conservatives and the NDP of the great distress people are in because they're unable to access appropriate mental health care. That's another symptom of the systematic dismantling of this system.

Fundamentally at the core of it all, though, is lack of access to a family doctor. Like everyone else here I'm sure on all sides, I receive calls, emails and phone calls, from constituents who are so frustrated by the fact that they can't get a doctor. One person who returned here from Alberta two and a half years ago is unable to access a doctor. She has been able to use the walk-ins, but that's not satisfactory. At the walk-in, if she needs to get an X-ray, they'll give her the slip to get an X-ray, but then they say, do your follow-up with your family doctor. Well she doesn't have a family doctor. This person has sat with me in my office and debated whether she should leave. This is a young person in her 30s wondering whether it's worthwhile staying in the province that she returned to; it's her home province. She's thinking, I might as well go back out West because this is not quality of life.

It's a significant issue for people. It is so part of what our health care means to all of us that it's automatic when you go to see a physiotherapist, you go to see your dentist, you go for any other type of treatment that's not directly related to a doctor - if you want to see your dentist, your eye doctor, your physiotherapist, you have to fill out the form, what's the name of your family doctor? Put your family doctor's name on the form. We've all come to expect that, but it's very challenging now when individuals in the numbers that are coming forward are unable to access a doctor and are left in the system and in this muddle and in this confusion.

Is the government able or capable of putting this back on track? I don't know. What I hear, and I heard the minister speak tonight, that things are going to happen, things are going to come forward, you're going to see things happen, and announcements are going to be made.

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I do not understand why you just can't tell us. Tell us what's coming down the pipe, instead of - if there is hope, and if it's going to be fixed, I would like to hear that. I would like to be able to go back to my constituents and tell them that, but right now, what can I say to them?

The speaking notes that were introduced at one point, that were provided from Primary Health Care Connections, with their speaking points to people? When people are looking for doctors, it was sent to physicians, I believe, to tell them: please note that it may take a significant amount of time for your call to be returned, approximately three to six months at this time.

Then, another part of the speaking notes: "Having your call returned does not guarantee placement with a family physician or nurse practitioner." Primary Health Care Connections work closely with existing or new providers that are able to take on new patients.

That's the answer that we are telling people. So if the minister has a plan, I would really encourage him to share it with us so that we can pass it on to our constituents. You know, it's not just - this erosion of health care in the province, it's in a short time, and I think it will reflect itself, or it could reflect itself, in an erosion of confidence in this government. I ask them and encourage them to think about that.

Under our Constitution, every Canadian has a right to equality with other citizens, and what we're hearing is the situation - while it's bad in Dartmouth South, I think it's chronic and epidemic in Cape Breton. That's not fair. That is not fair, that someone in Cape Breton might have to wait even longer than someone in my riding for a doctor. It's inequality, and our Constitution says we're not to do that. We are guaranteed that equality.

It is troubling in this province with a high rate of seniors that the government has chosen to use its time in office in continuing to dismantle health care. It is a time when we vitally need it. We can't talk about per capita; it's completely inappropriate in terms of the funding formula. I asked the Premier today, what are we doing? Why aren't we knocking on the door of the federal government to ensure that that funding formula is changed, to challenge it? I've heard nothing of that, only that it's not likely anything will ever happen.

That's not acceptable. It's not acceptable for the people of this province, and it's not acceptable for the many seniors who will be approaching their senior years and will inevitably need more care.

So I ask the government to tell us what the plan is. I ask the government to remember that each one of us in this province, any corner of this province, is equally entitled to a family physician.

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It is troubling. We want to attract people to the province, and we want to keep people here. I alluded to the individual, the young person who is thinking about leaving. The reality is that this is about quality of life. If we are hoping to attract people and/or keep people here, we can't do it with this kind of mess on our hands.

I really encourage the government to step up and reveal the plan to us, if there is a plan, so that we can reassure our constituents on this particular issue. Thank you.

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

MR. TERRY FARRELL « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise to address this topic tonight. I want to take the last few minutes that are available to, I hope, bring some perspective, or at least shine a different light on the topic that we have before the House here this evening.

I want to begin by telling a little story that I hope will help to remind the members opposite and, perhaps also, the multitudes of Nova Scotians who are listening here this evening about what we're doing here as a government, what the Liberal Government is doing here.

I'll start back in 2013 when I was an aspiring politician and I did what most other aspiring politicians did, I went out and I met people on a daily basis and I literally knocked on thousands of doors - and that's not meant to build up my own credibility or anything because everybody in this House has done it, it's part of what we do. We talk to people, we listen to people, we hear what people have to say - and the other thing we do is we tell them what we're going to do.

Being new to this, I had to rely on the things being put forth by my Party at the time and the items that were in our platform. One of the main things that I talked to people about was about our health care policy and our health care platform, Mr. Speaker. At that time everybody understood, as they have understood for decades if you will, generations in the past, that health care is a difficult issue. It's a hard problem to wrestle with, it's the single biggest line item in our budget by miles, and everybody knows that it needs work. It always has needed work and it always will need work.

So what did I tell people, Mr. Speaker, when I knocked on doors and I talked to people? I said folks, the system has problems, it has difficulties and it needs to change - and people agreed with me. We had very specific things that we recommended to Nova Scotians in 2013 that we were going to do to change the health care system in this province to make it better.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians chose that change resoundingly. In October 2013, they voted for that change and they chose that change. I'm pleased to say that under the Premier and the Minister of Health and Wellness, we are in the process of effecting that change. That is happening every single day of our mandate and I'm proud to be part of that, and I'm very happy to be able to go back and report to my constituents that that promise I made to them is being kept.

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Mr. Speaker, as a result of that change, it means that things aren't going to be the same. If people think there won't be disruption and there won't be things happening and things won't look different when they go to their health care provider, their health care system, that wouldn't be change and change is happening - one step at a time, one thing at a time.

To listen to the members opposite you would think that at no other time in our history did we have difficulty with recruiting and retaining health care professionals. Well that's simply not the case, Mr. Speaker. It's an issue that has been with us since health care has been with us, and since we have employed doctors in our health care system, since the days of Tommy Douglas - as was pointed out by my friend, the member for Dartmouth South, possibly the greatest Canadian. When she said that, I did quip that if Tommy Douglas had ever made it into government, his status as one of the greatest Canadians of all time would probably have dropped quite dramatically and he might not have even registered on that poll. But regardless, he is recognized as having had a lot to do with the creation of our health care system the way that it is, and I won't argue with that.

The notion that (Interruptions) Well we'll see how things go for the member for Pictou East and the rest of his colleagues because I do keep an eye on the papers when they report on things like that, and I'm keeping an eye on that.

I guess what I'm trying to say there, Mr. Speaker, is that change is happening, change can be difficult, but the changes that we are effecting were part of what Nova Scotians picked us to do, and I'm very pleased to say that it is happening.

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

MR. FARRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, the issues surrounding the retention and recruitment of health care professionals are not new. When I met my wife, Nancy, she was a nurse at the IWK Hospital here in Halifax - as it was at the time, the City of Halifax - and her job was to care for small babies who had had heart surgeries in the IWK ICU unit there. At that time we would meet nurses who were working in that unit, or working in other places in the hospital, and for some reason at the time Kentucky was in fashion. Those nurses were either coming from Kentucky, had just been there to make enough money to pay off their student loans, or they were going to Kentucky to make enough money to pay off their student loans.

There were difficulties then for a place like Nova Scotia to recruit and retain those nurses, because there is always a draw somewhere else, or there is always an attraction somewhere else, and everybody knows that certainly has been the case with physicians for many, many years. These problems are not new, Mr. Speaker, and for the members opposite to try to make it sound like this is some kind of a crisis that's building, and that's just happening now, and may have never been there before, it's disingenuous, Mr. Speaker. It doesn't recognize that this is a problem that has been with us…

[Page 9683]

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

MR. FARRELL « » : What I want to say, Mr. Speaker, is that Nova Scotians are entitled to good health care. Nova Scotians are entitled to health care from a good array of primary health care professionals, working in a collaborative environment. That is what this government is dedicated to doing and that is what the Minister of Health and Wellness, and the people in the Department of Health Wellness, are dedicated to doing every day. The credit has to be given to the people on the ground, who are working in the system, who are working to provide that kind of primary health care to Nova Scotians all across the province. It might not always be done by a doctor, but the system is there.

The members opposite can always find a hard luck story. They can always find someone in a difficult situation to bring that story before the House and exploit that for their political purposes, Mr. Speaker, but this is a problem that has existed forever. The positive changes that are being made by this government are going to take this forward to another generation where these problems will be made better. The solutions are there within the work that is being done by the minister. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order please. Time allotted for emergency debate has expired. I want to thank all members for their thoughtful comments.

The House now stands adjourned until tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 6:53 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 9684]

RESOLUTION NO. 4060

By: Hon. Randy Delorey « » (Finance and Treasury Board)

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

Whereas the online publication Buzzfeed recently compiled a list of "31 Canadian Coffee Shops to Visit Before You Die"; and

Whereas the Tall and Small Café located on Main Street in Antigonish was chosen from amongst hundreds of coffee shops from across Canada to be included in this listing; and

Whereas the Tall and Small's friendly staff, quality service, delightful atmosphere, and delicious products have helped it become a social hub for Antigonishers of all ages;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Tall and Small Café on being highlighted in Buzzfeed's list of "31 Canadian Coffee Shops to Visit Before You Die".

RESOLUTION NO. 4061

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas the East Hants and District Chamber of Commerce has recently provided business people in East Hants with the Essential Business Skills - Building Stronger Business Relationships; and

Whereas this course covers connecting with employees and customers from different generations, dealing with difficult people, building an engaged team, adapting to various communication styles, non-verbal communication, developing effective negotiation skills, and resolving conflict; and

Whereas Tracy White, General Manager, Atlantic Division, Canoe & Kayak Canada, successfully completed this course in March, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Tracy on receiving her certificate for this course and wish her continued success in future endeavours.

[Page 9685]

RESOLUTION NO. 4062

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Provincial Pee Wee AAA Championship was held at the East Hants Sportsplex from March 24 to March 27, 2016; and

Whereas the Hants East Pee Wee AAA Penguins won this championship and went on to win silver at the Pee Wee AAA Atlantic Championships held in Charlottetown; and

Whereas Jim Fraser from Upper Nine Mile River is an assistant coach for the Hants East Pee Wee AAA Penguins;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Jim Fraser for volunteering countless hours of his time and skills to coach this talented group of 11- to 12-year-olds.

RESOLUTION NO. 4063

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas during the 2015 season Lexi Juurlink was heavily involved in the sport community of East Hants, coached the HERH Cross Country team, and was teacher advisor and general manager for the HERH women's basketball team; and

Whereas Lexi served as a Director for the East Hants Penguin Run, which under her guidance has become one of Run Nova Scotia's premier events; and

Whereas the East Hants Sports Heritage Society held their second annual Sports Awards on Saturday, May 7, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Lexi Juurlink for her dedication to the East Hants community and congratulate her on winning the Volunteer of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4064

[Page 9686]

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas in the 2015 season the Noel Road Blue Jays proved that they are the best Intermediate baseball team in Nova Scotia and had four gold glove winners and five all-stars as part of the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League (NSIBL); and

Whereas the Jays placed first overall in the league and earned the right to host the league championship in which they placed second overall and hosted the Baseball Nova Scotia Provincial Championships; and

Whereas the East Hants Sports Heritage Society held their second annual Sports Awards on Saturday, May 7, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Noel Road Blue Jays on being the winner of the 19 & Older Team of the Year Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4065

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas in February Glad Garden Centre was recognized as Best Garden Centre, winning a 2016 Valley's Best Award from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce recognizes, supports, and promotes Annapolis Valley businesses in a variety of ways and one is with the Valley's Best Award which asks local businesses and the community to vote for their favourite business for best service, product, and/or experience; and

Whereas located in Waterville, Glad Garden Centre is family owned and operated offering a wide selection of annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs and is open seven days a week to cater to customers near and far;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Glad Garden Centre for being chosen this year's Valley's Best Garden Centre and the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for creating this award that celebrates and helps develop producers, suppliers, and organizations within the agriculture sector.

[Page 9687]

RESOLUTION NO. 4066

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas in February Stirlings Farm Market in Greenwich was recognized as the Best Farm Market, winning a 2016 Valley's Best Award from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce recognizes, supports, and promotes Annapolis Valley businesses in a variety of ways and one is with the Valley's Best Award which asks local businesses and the community to vote for their favourite business for best service, product, and/or experience; and

Whereas existing for three generations, Stirlings Farm Market is best known for its apple orchards growing 35 varieties and also producing other fruits like pears, plums, and cherries and vegetables including sweet corn, peppers, and zucchini along with products like jams, jellies, and pies to sell at markets in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stirlings Farm Market for being chosen this year's Valley's Best Farm Market and the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for creating this award that celebrates and helps develop producers, suppliers, and organizations within the agriculture sector.

RESOLUTION NO. 4067

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Wolfville Farmers' Market was one of six finalists considered for this year's Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award; and

Whereas in 2013 the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce created the Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award to identify and support ingenuity in the agriculture sector; and

Whereas Wolfville Farmers' Market was recognized for its online distribution platform that allows vendors to better connect to consumers;

[Page 9688]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Wolfville Farmers' Market for being chosen as one of Nova Scotia's outstanding agriculture and agri-food-related innovators and the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for creating this award that celebrates and helps develop producers, suppliers, and organizations within the agriculture sector.

RESOLUTION NO. 4068

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas in February Luckett Vineyards in the Gaspereau area was recognized as Best Winery, winning a 2016 Valley's Best Award from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce recognizes, supports, and promotes Annapolis Valley businesses in a variety of ways and one is with the Valley's Best Award which asks local businesses and the community to vote for their favourite business for best service, product, and/or experience; and

Whereas Luckett Vineyards won this year's Best Winery category for their picturesque vineyard overlooking the Minas Basin;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Luckett Vineyards for being chosen this year's Valley's Best Winery and the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for creating this award that celebrates and helps develop producers, suppliers, and organizations within the agriculture sector.

RESOLUTION NO. 4069

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas in February Willowbank Farms of Starr's Point was recognized as Best Farm/Agriculture Business, winning a 2016 Valley's Best Award from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce recognizes, supports, and promotes Annapolis Valley businesses in a variety of ways and one is with the Valley's Best Award which asks local businesses and the community to vote for their favourite business for best service, product, and/or experience; and

[Page 9689]

Whereas at Willowbank Farms, along with the farm market and seasonal U-pick, guests may visit the museum of antiques and horse-drawn vehicles and enjoy a variety of farm-related activities and special events that include Hay Ride Weekends, a petting zoo, a corn maze, and Dykeview walking trail.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Willowbank Farms for being chosen this year's Valley's Best Farm/Agriculture Business and the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for creating this award that celebrates and helps develop producers, suppliers, and organizations within the agriculture sector.

RESOLUTION NO. 4070

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Dan Neil Shaw has over 46 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Dan Neil for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4071

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

[Page 9690]

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Charles Garland has over 23 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Charles for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4072

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Dan Chiasson has over 27 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Dan for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4073

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

[Page 9691]

Whereas Mr. Kevin Garland has over three years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Kevin for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4074

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Hughie Munroe has over 14 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Hughie for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4075

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

[Page 9692]

Whereas Mr. Jared Kaiser has over nine years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Jared for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4076

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. David Buchanan has over 23 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to David for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4077

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Derek MacFarlane has over 18 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

[Page 9693]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Derek for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4078

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. James Bradley has over 35 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to James for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4079

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Jeremy Smith has dedicated his service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Jeremy for making a difference in his community.

[Page 9694]

RESOLUTION NO. 4080

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Hugh Spalla has dedicated his service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Hugh for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4081

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Jonathon MacLean has over 17 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Jonathon for making a difference in his community.

[Page 9695]

RESOLUTION NO. 4082

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Lee Norman has over 13 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Lee for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4083

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Ernest Roberts has over 37 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Ernest for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4084

[Page 9696]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Scott Williamson has over 14 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Scott for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4085

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Robert Buchanan has over 50 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Robert for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4086

[Page 9697]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Shane MacFarlane has over 50 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Shane for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4087

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Matt Sampson has dedicated his service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Matt for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4088

[Page 9698]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Shane MacNeil has over nine years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Shane for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4089

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Sandy Watling has over three years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Sandy for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4090

[Page 9699]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Reg Wyer has over 46 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Reg for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4091

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Michael MacLean has over 30 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Michael for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4092

[Page 9700]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Winston Cameron has over 46 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Winston for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4093

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Michael Dumont has over two years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Michael for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4094

[Page 9701]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Neil MacInnis has over 11 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Neil for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4095

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Scott Buchanan has over five years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Scott for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4096

[Page 9702]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Darren MacAulay has over 27 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Darren for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4097

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Doug Ronne has over three years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Doug for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4098

[Page 9703]

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education and providing all forms of emergency services, and

Whereas Mr. Harvey McFadgen has over 15 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Harvey for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4099

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week took place this year from April 10th to 16th and is a time to recognize and celebrate our local volunteers; and

Whereas the Baddeck volunteer firefighters are dedicated to saving lives, protecting property through fire prevention and suppression, increasing public education, and providing all forms of emergency services; and

Whereas Mr. Andrew MacDonald has over 17 years of dedicated service to the Baddeck Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge his remarkable service and offer a thank you to Andrew for making a difference in his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4100

[Page 9704]

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the seventh annual Annapolis Valley Events and Sport Tourism Association, known as the AVESTA, awards, were held in Greenwich on April 22nd; and

Whereas the Hants County chapter of 4-H, an agriculturally-based youth and leadership organization, earned the Event of the Year Award for the Nova Scotia Provincial 4-H Show it hosted in 2015; and

Whereas not only does the event promote leadership and showcase the contribution of Nova Scotia's youth to the agriculture sector, but this year it attracted more than 10,000 visitors to the Windsor area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Hants County Chapter of 4-H on this award and wish them continued success in developing young people in our province to be leaders in their community and the next generation of our agriculture industry.

RESOLUTION NO. 4101

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Allen and Jacqueline Bent, of Lawrencetown, N.S., were recently named to the Agropur Cooperative's Milk Quality Club of Excellence which is given to members who recorded the best milk quality results; and

Whereas the Bents run their operation of 150 Holsteins and Jerseys with the help of their four children, Jennifer, Adrian, Alana, and Jonathan, and have been recognized twice as regional champions with this tribute;

Whereas only 16 Canadian farms are inducted each year from among 3,473 dairy producers for their outstanding performance;

Therefore be it resolved all members of this House congratulate Allen and Jacqueline Bent for receiving the Milk Quality Club of Excellence recognition and applaud them, and their family, for continuing to develop our dairy and milk producer sector.

RESOLUTION NO. 4102

[Page 9705]

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Scotian Gold Co-operative was recently named Outstanding Large Business of the Year by the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas based in Coldbrook, the co-op has 30 grower owners and an additional 25 farmers who bring their fruit to Scotian Gold for packing, storage, and marketing; and

Whereas Scotian Gold stores and packs 50 per cent of the apple production in Nova Scotia, and is the largest apple packing and storage operation in eastern Canada with fruit arriving from 55 family operated apple orchards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Scotian Gold for this honour and their contribution to the growth of the agriculture sector in this province.

RESOLUTION NO. 4103

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had more than $385 million in exports last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent, and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas the Flying Apron Inn & Cookery, in Summerville, was named Restaurant of the Year in the Chef-Inspired Casual Dining category through the 2015 Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards that were presented during the Devour! Food and Film Festival held in November 2015; and

Whereas the restaurant serves up regional seasonal fare through a menu that changes weekly to feature the best local ingredients, and a curated drink menu showcasing Nova Scotia's best wine and craft beer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Flying Apron Inn & Cookery on this recognition, and wish it continued success in contributing to the culture and economic growth of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 4104

[Page 9706]

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had more than $385 million in exports last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent, and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Le Caveau Restaurant, in Grand Pré, was named the Restaurant of the Year in Chief-Inspired Fine Dining category through the 2015 Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards that were presented during the Devour! Food and Film Festival held in November 2015; and

Whereas located in the heart of Nova Scotia wine country, Chef Jason Lynch and Restaurant Manager Beatrice Stutz treat guests to global cuisine and an exceptional Nova Scotian dining experience, with emphasis on fresh regional product matched with fine wines;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Chef Jason Lynch and Restaurant Manager Beatrice Stutz, and the staff, for their achievements and contributions to the Nova Scotia agricultural industry, and thank them for the positive impact they have indisputably had in their community, and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4105

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the seventh annual Annapolis Valley Events and Sport Tourism Association, known as the AVESTA, awards were held in Greenwich on April 22nd; and

Whereas the Hants County Exhibition, which has been part of the province's agriculture history since before Confederation, was recognized with the Event Legacy Award on its 250th Year Anniversary, celebrated in 2015; and

Whereas organized by the Windsor Agricultural Society, the Hants County Exhibition is known as the oldest continuously run agricultural fair in North America;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Windsor Agricultural Society for continuing to organize and host the Hants County Exhibition which annually showcases the best of our agricultural sector, and wish them much success in the future.

[Page 9707]

RESOLUTION NO. 4106

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia marked their 50th Anniversary at their recent annual general meeting held in March; and

Whereas the poultry industry contributes significantly to the province's agricultural economy, with almost $90 million in farm gate sales from broiler chicken and turkey combined; and

Whereas this is an important milestone that signifies five decades of ensuring the future sustainability of the industry on a local and national level and the jobs and economic activity that it brings for our rural communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia for helping to ensure that agriculture contributes to long-term prosperity and growth of our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 4107

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Limited, in Neil's Harbour, marked their 60th Anniversary at a recent event held in April and has been an active contributor to jobs and economic activity in Cape Breton's seafood sector by purchasing fish from six to eight communities at a value of up to $20 million every year; and

Whereas the value of Nova Scotia's seafood exports was $1.68 billion in 2015, which is a 33 per cent increase over 2014, with lobster continuing as the most valuable export overall, bringing in more than $891 million in 2015, followed by crab at $180 million, scallops at $169 million, and shrimp at $131 million; and

Whereas as the only active lobster processing facility on Cape Breton Island and a focal point for the community by providing jobs and supplying materials and equipment to the processing and harvesting industries, Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Limited has harvested and processed a significant portion of the East Coast's freshest and tastiest seafood since 1956, and this important milestone signifies six decades of ensuring the future sustainability of the industry on a local and national level;

[Page 9708]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Limited for helping to ensure that our seafood exports here at home and abroad contribute to long-term prosperity and the growth of our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 4108

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Frostbyte Interactive was recently named Innovator of the Year by the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce; and

Whereas based in Wolfville, the company is known as an end-to-end creative design and development agency whose mission puts innovation, versatility, and engagement at its foundation; and

Whereas this innovation was recognized in early Fall when the company was also awarded the Agriculture Innovation Accelerator Award by the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce for its Aerhyve "drone technology" product;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Frostbyte Interactive on this additional recognition as one of Nova Scotia's outstanding agriculture and agri-food-related innovators and wish them much success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4109

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas hairstylist Amanda Langthorne of Yarmouth entered an international hairstyling competition in Bordeaux, France, competing against stylists from France, Russia, and Korea; and

Whereas Amanda's skill and talent were awarded a silver medal in this prestigious competition; and

[Page 9709]

Whereas Amanda is currently starting her own business in Yarmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Amanda Langthorne on this very impressive achievement and wish her continued success in her career.

RESOLUTION NO. 4110

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas Yarmouth's Kidzact's Quantum Crew won the Millennium Cup for 13 and over at the Millennium Dance Festival; and

Whereas over 900 teams took part in this competition; and

Whereas the Yarmouth Kidzact crew will travel to Orlando, Florida, for an international competition;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kidzact's Quantum Crew on this impressive victory and wish them success in their future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 4111

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas the Yarmouth Association for Community Residential Options (YACRO) has opened a new business called The Store Next Door; and

Whereas the mission of The Store Next Door is to offer meaningful jobs to persons with disabilities and barriers to employment; and

Whereas YACRO's goal is to promote Nova Scotia and its people while providing crafts and artisans' products manufactured in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate YACRO on this important inspiring initiative and wish them every success.

[Page 9710]

RESOLUTION NO. 4112

By: Hon. Zach Churchill « » (Municipal Affairs)

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

Whereas John and Nancy Hood of Yarmouth have produced high-quality maple syrup and honey in their Hectanooga farm; and;

Whereas John is a master craftsman who has created state-of-the-art ship models, and Nancy is the president of the Yarmouth Craft Guild; and

Whereas John and Nancy Hood are both musicians in the local orchestra and band;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly thank John and Nancy Hood for their many meaningful contributions to their community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4113

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the agriculture sector, which had more than $385 million in exports last year, is successful because of the tenacity, talent, and dedication of many hard-working people; and

Whereas Lowell Simpson was named the 2015 Server of the Year through the 2015 Taste of Nova Scotia Prestige Awards presented during the Devour! Food and Film Festival held in November 2015; and

Whereas along with a feed of lobster, Lowell serves up Nova Scotian history and hospitality at Halls Harbour Lobster Pound and Restaurant, all with a smile in a welcoming atmosphere;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lowell Simpson of Halls Harbour Lobster Pound and Restaurant for receiving this honour and wish him and the restaurant continued success in contributing to the culture and economic growth of the province.

RESOLUTION NO. 4114

[Page 9711]

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas Dr. Reverend Laurence Mawhinney of Lunenburg is celebrating a very special anniversary; and

Whereas Dr. Rev. Mawhinney is currently the minister of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Lunenburg, overseeing a dedicated congregation; and

Whereas Dr. Rev. Mawhinney will be celebrating his 50th year of being ordained as minister in 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize the 50th Anniversary of his ordination and wish him good health and happiness going forward.

RESOLUTION NO. 4115

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters selflessly put their lives at risk to help protect the lives of the people of their community and beyond; and

Whereas Stephen Frank of the Cornwall and District Fire Department was honoured by the department for his 20 years of dedication and for making the community a safer place to live through his volunteer actions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Stephen on his hard work and selflessness in giving back to the community through volunteering.

RESOLUTION NO. 4116

[Page 9712]

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters selflessly put their lives at risk to help protect the lives of the people of their community and beyond; and

Whereas Paul Rochford of the Cornwall and District Fire Department was honoured by the department for his five years of dedication and for making the community a safer place to live through his volunteer actions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Paul on his hard work and selflessness in giving back to the community through volunteering.

RESOLUTION NO. 4117

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters selflessly put their lives at risk to help protect the lives of the people of their community and beyond; and

Whereas Mike Heal of the Cornwall and District Fire Department was honoured by the department his 25 years of dedication and for making the community a safer place to live through his volunteer actions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mike on his hard work and selflessness in giving back to the community through volunteering.

RESOLUTION NO. 4118

[Page 9713]

By: Ms. Suzanne Lohnes-Croft « » (Lunenburg)

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

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas volunteer firefighters selflessly put their lives at risk to help protect the lives of the people of their community and beyond; and

Whereas Brian Dimmell of the Cornwall and District Fire Department was honoured by the department his 10 years of dedication and for making the community a safer place to live through his volunteer actions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brian on his hard work and selflessness in giving back to the community through volunteering.

RESOLUTION NO. 4119

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the volunteer staff at Children for Madagascar are playing a pivotal role in fundraising for the impoverished children who live in Madagascar; and

Whereas the Children for Madagascar hosted a fundraising even on May 14, 2016 and 100 per cent of proceeds will provide the children with a better quality of life by repairing schools and providing food and clothing; and

Whereas Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world where half the children suffer from malnutrition, two-thirds of children have no access to primary education, and there are a very limited number of schools in the country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly recognize the tireless dedication of the volunteer staff of Children for Madagascar for their determination to improve the future of these children.

RESOLUTION NO. 4120

[Page 9714]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Halifax West High School and its staff hosted a successful 2016 Head for a Cure even and year-long fundraising campaign; and

Whereas Head for a Cure provides participants with the opportunity to shave their heads in support of cancer research initiatives, as well as listen to inspiring keynote addresses from politicians, activists and cancer survivors; and

Whereas over the past 13 years, Head for a Cure has collectively raised over $100,000 for cancer research through the shared actions of students, staff administrators, and community members;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Halifax West High School, its staff, and dedicated students who have been an inspiration to many Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 4121

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Dr. Gayle MacDonald, the Associate Vice-President of Research, joined the faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University in July 2015; and

Whereas Dr. MacDonald is a respected teacher, researcher, and author who greatly influences the discourse surrounding sex workers, addicts, and victims of AIDS; and

Whereas Dr. MacDonald's research interest is studying those who are considered "deviant" and the stigmatizing implications of that designation, and she is also devoted to providing the faculty with development opportunities and guidance as they pursue research initiatives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Gayle MacDonald for her commitment to research, and wish her every success at Mount Saint Vincent University.

RESOLUTION NO. 4122

[Page 9715]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Chirine Issa, new owner and manager of Issa's Saj House reopened her father's restaurant and has made significant contributions to her community; and

Whereas in March 2016, Chirine's father Saad Issa passed away suddenly whole traveling in the Middle East, and his daughter continues to keep his dream alive by maintaining the family business and ensure food quality and customer service exceeds customers' expectations; and

Whereas Chirine Issa reached out to a Syrian refugee family who opened a chocolate-making business and, in an effort to support local business, is selling their chocolates;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Chirine Issa for her entrepreneurial spirit and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4123

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Assistant Captain Jenna Pellerin and the Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA Hockey Team had an exceptional season; and

Whereas on March 20th, they beat the ProCresting Penguins 4-1 in the Provincial Championship and won the Atlantic Championship 4-0 against the Moncton Rockets; and

Whereas the Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA Hockey Team represented Atlantic Canada in the 2016 Esso Cup in Wyburn, Saskatchewan, from April 17th to April 23rd, and ended the tournament with a 1-3-1 record;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly Join me in congratulating Assistant Captain Jenna Pellerin and the Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA Hockey Team for their athletic skills and sportsmanship, and wish them every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4124

[Page 9716]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Maggie Pickard and Jack Murtha were elected co-presidents for the 2016/2017 school year at Halifax West High School; and

Whereas the student government at Halifax West is responsible for promoting the importance of getting involved with volunteer opportunities in the community, keeping the school environmentally friendly, fundraising, and the importance of inclusion; and

Whereas Maggie Pickard and Jack Murtha are outgoing, energetic leaders who are committed to exceeding expectation in the roles of co-presidents for the upcoming school year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Maggie Pickard and Jack Murtha for their commitment to their school, and wish them every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4125

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Jack Waller and Ken Saunders are two outstanding volunteers and are constituents in the Fairview-Clayton Park riding; and

Whereas Jack and Ken are proud community members who seek daily to improve the lives of residents in Fairview and have selflessly dedicated their time and energy to advocate on behalf of the Fairview community; and

Whereas Ken and Jack are compassionate knowledgeable volunteers who have a deep passion for Fairview and its residents and their expertise is regularly sought by the Fairview Community Association, the Fairview Historical Society and the Mobile Food Bus, among others;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Jack Waller and Ken Saunders for their significant contribution to our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4126

[Page 9717]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Kali Alexander, a young woman and student at Clayton Park Junior High, hosted a fundraising event on the one year anniversary of her mother's death; and

Whereas Kali Alexander's mother, Tobi Alexander, passed away in January 2015 from a combination of the flu and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and one year later Kali Alexander recognized the need to raise awareness of this disease while honouring her mother; and

Whereas the fundraising event raised over $800 for the Lung Association of Nova Scotia and included fun activities such as pie throwing, face painting and donation jars;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly recognize Kali Alexander for her strength and determination to raise awareness for COPD while struggling with her own grief.

RESOLUTION NO. 4127

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Randy Headley, a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University, recently lead a team to host a new event celebrating African history and culture, and raising funds for the Africentric Scholarship Fund; and

Whereas the Mount has a long-standing commitment to providing equitable access to education to underserved populations such as the students of African descent; and

Whereas the Africentric Support Group was originally formed in 2012 to advance supports for students of African descent;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Randy Headley and his team for the significant contributions they have made to raising funds for students of African descent.

RESOLUTION NO. 4128

[Page 9718]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Mark A. Scott, a well-known local prosecutor and community member, was one of ten appointees recently appointed to the prestigious Queen's Counsel; and

Whereas Mark A. Scott works for the Public Prosecution Service and has also been a long-time board member of Bayers Westwood Family Resource Centre; and

Whereas an independent advisory committee makes Queen's Counsel recommendations to the Cabinet, and the criteria includes a minimum of 15 years as a member of the Bar of Nova Scotia, good character, demonstrated professional integrity, and outstanding contributions to the practice of law;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Mark A. Scott on his well-deserved achievement, and wish him every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4129

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Julia Kuhn, an outstanding volunteer and a constituent of Fairview-Clayton Park, recently received a 2016 Provincial Youth Volunteer Award; and

Whereas the 2016 Provincial Youth Volunteer Award honours youth volunteers who were nominated by their municipalities for their selfless contributions; and

Whereas Julia Kuhn has given her time and support to many different organizations, including Feed Nova Scotia, Interact Club, Gender Sexuality Alliance, Brigadoon Summer Camps, Rotary Club, and the IWK;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Julia Kuhn for her significant contributions to her community and for being an inspiration to many Nova Scotians.

RESOLUTION NO. 4130

[Page 9719]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Chris Greenlaw and Ray Anjoul, two young men from Halifax West High School, recently volunteered at a free skating event held at Centennial Arena; and

Whereas the event was held in March 2016 and brought hundreds of families to the rink, many of whom did not have the proper equipment, so Chris and Ray spent several hours fitting the children with donated equipment and taught first-timers how to skate; and

Whereas Chris Greenlaw and Ray Anjoul willingly gave up precious time on their March Break to help at the community event, and were instrumental in its success;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Chris Greenlaw and Ray Anjoul for their commitment to our community, and encourage other students to volunteer at future events.

RESOLUTION NO. 4131

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Goalie Josée Thibeau and the Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA Hockey Team had an exceptional season; and

Whereas on March 20th they beat the ProCresting Penguins 4-1 in the Provincial Championship and won the Atlantic Championship 4-0 against the Moncton Rockets, where Josée turned away all 28 shots for the shutout victory and earned top goalie honours by not giving up a single goal in the entire tournament; and

Whereas the Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA Hockey Team represented Atlantic Canada in the 2016 Esso Cup in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, from April 17th to April 23rd and ended the tournament with a 1-3-1 record;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating goalie Josée Thibeau and the Metro Boston Pizza Midget Female AAA Hockey Team for their athletic skills and sportsmanship, and wish them every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4132

[Page 9720]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Dr. Ian Pottie, a well-known researcher and professor at Mount Saint Vincent University, is at the heart of a recent breakthrough in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and was published in the February print of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine; and

Whereas Dr. Pottie and his team have been working for almost 10 years towards creating a new compound for definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in living patients;

Whereas Dr. Pottie's laboratory involved countless students in the "cold chemistry" part of his work - which means the Mount has been home to the synthesis, characterization, and biochemical investigations associated with his work;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Dr. Pottie and his team on this significant scientific breakthrough and wish them many future successes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4133

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Janet Fortune Woodworth is a kind, caring health professional and constituent of Fairview-Clayton Park; and

Whereas Janet Fortune Woodworth was at a local drugstore when a seriously ill gentleman was in distress, and Janet ensured the gentleman's safety and kept him comfortable while waiting for an ambulance; and

Whereas Janet displayed compassion and professionalism when taking charge of the situation until the paramedics arrived and then paid for the gentleman's purchases from her own funds and gave them to him in the ambulance;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Janet Fortune Woodworth, Fairview's Good Samaritan, and thank her for stepping up to help the gentleman in distress.

RESOLUTION NO. 4134

[Page 9721]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Halifax West High School introduced a new initiative to help Syrian teenagers be successful in school; and

Whereas Halifax West is offering a couple of hours of math tutoring to students twice a week after school and has hired a designated teacher to do the tutoring so the Syrian teenagers can learn a new language and advanced math; and

Whereas Syrian students are being totally immersed in the language and are being challenged daily to read from left to right and to learn how to write letter of the alphabet in addition to learning math skills;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Halifax West High School for helping Syrian students become successful.

RESOLUTION NO. 4135

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Gayle Shatz, an experienced gardener and constituent of the Fairview-Clayton Park riding, is raising awareness of small-scale urban container gardening; and

Whereas through free workshops at libraries and garden clubs around Halifax, Gayle Shatz teaches gardeners how to use special planters that she creates that require less soil and water; and

Whereas Gayle Shatz's knowledge of and passion for creative container gardening on decks, patios, and rooftops provides urban dwellers with the ability to eat what they grow and eat from a reliable food source;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Gayle Shatz for her significant contributions to the gardening world and food sustainability and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4136

[Page 9722]

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Wendy Birt, creator and teacher-mentor of THRIVE Education, has recently launched a new initiative, THRIVE Girls' Chorale; and

Whereas Wendy Birt's passion for teaching and entrepreneurial spirit culminated in THRIVE Education, a 10-week after-school program that serves children in Grades 4 to 7 and provides these children with a sincere, deep, and lasting relationship with a strong and attentive teacher-mentor; and

Whereas in Spring 2016, THRIVE Girls Chorale was launched which utilizes Wendy Birt's skills as a talented singer and soloist in a variety of community bands as well as the founder of two children's choirs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Wendy Birt on the launch of THRIVE Girls' Chorale and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4137

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Saint Mary's is a first-class university that builds on its strong tradition of accessibility and community engagement and a great university of choice for aspiring citizens of the world; and

Whereas I was delighted to attend a Celebration of Generosity on May 16, 2016, where president Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray and board of governors chairperson John S. Fitzpatrick welcomed the generous supporters to an appreciation reception; and

Whereas guests were treated to wonderful music by Shimon Walt and Peter Allen, an excellent introduction by master student Shawn Simamba, and an Enactus team presentation by four genius students who have taken their entrepreneurship and business skills to higher levels;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank all of the generous donors, Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray, John S. Fitzpatrick, and all of the extraordinary students who took part in this Celebration of Generosity and wish them every success in the future.

[Page 9723]

RESOLUTION NO. 4138

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas an MLA constituency assistant is responsible for providing administrative and other assistance to the elected member of the Legislative Assembly by carrying out duties to constituents, including communication, public relations and marketing, organization, scheduling, casework, advocacy, and other services as required; and

Whereas Peter Efthymiadis has gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve the constituency of Halifax Armdale since October 2014, and will be leaving my office at the end of May to pursue other endeavours; and

Whereas Peter is a brilliant individual who has studied sociology at Dalhousie University, theology at Cambridge university, and immigration law at the University of British Columbia, and his presence will be very missed;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank Mr. Peter Efthymiadis for his service to the constituents of Halifax Armdale and wish him good health and tremendous success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4139

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Dr. Janet Cullinan is a busy and successful Halifax dentist residing in Armdale who enjoys volunteering in the community and promoting sports to children; and

Whereas Janet is a big supporter of local sport and is both a soccer mom and president of Halifax City Soccer Club; and

Whereas as the soccer coach for the St. Agnes Parish Junior High Team, she led the team to win this year's 8th Annual Mancini Cup Soccer Tournament, beating out 11 other church teams from throughout Nova Scotia;

[Page 9724]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dr. Janet Cullinan and all her team for winning the 8th Annual Mancini Cup Soccer Tournament and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4140

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas the YMCA movement has been building strong communities in Canada since 1851; and

Whereas the YMCA of Greater Halifax-Dartmouth was one of the first organizations to join the Syrian refugee effort here in Nova Scotia last fall; and

Whereas the YMCA of Greater Halifax-Dartmouth has played a key role in helping us welcome more than 1,000 Syrian refugees to Nova Scotia by providing face-to-face settlement services, teaching English and working with children in schools, sitting on our multi-agency planning group, and assisting with donations management;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank president and chief executive officer Brian Posavad, chief operating officer Barbara Miller Nix, and all of the staff at the YMCA of Greater Halifax-Dartmouth for their extraordinary contributions to the Syrian refugee effort.

RESOLUTION NO. 4141

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas TESL Nova Scotia is an association that includes teachers from private language schools, university English for academic purposes programs, ISANS, private tutors, consultants, and volunteers who work with newcomers at libraries, ISANS, and community refugee sponsorship groups; and

Whereas TESL Nova Scotia fosters scholarship, research, and professional development among teachers and others involved in teaching English to adults in Nova Scotia as well as providing a link to TESL Canada, the national organization for English teachers; and

[Page 9725]

Whereas I was honoured this past weekend to provide the keynote address to TESL Nova Scotia's Spring conference on the campus of beautiful Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, wherein they had their largest registration ever with 110 teachers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature recognize the important work of the board of directors and president Mary Lou Harnish of TESL Nova Scotia across our province an wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4142

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Ryan Brennan is the outgoing chairman of the board of directors for the Spryfield and District Business Commission, having served successful for four years; and

Whereas Mr. Brennan passionately promotes the local community through is volunteer work and professionally through his legal practice; and

Whereas as a graduate of Saint Mary's and Dalhousie, Ryan worked hard to establish himself as a local business professional specializing in residential and commercial real estate purchases and sales;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ryan for his accomplishments and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4143

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas Elaine Murray is a long-time resident of Glen Margaret and a dedicated employee of Halifax Public Libraries for the past 18 years; and

Whereas Elaine has been the branch manager for J.D. Shatford and Tantallon Public Libraries since the libraries' opening in 2001; and

[Page 9726]

Whereas Elaine went beyond her duties and provided exemplary service to her community by co-leading the creation of a community information resource, CC-Net, for the St. Margaret's Bay area;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Elaine Murray for making a positive difference for her community and wish her well in her retirement.

RESOLUTION NO. 4144

By: Hon. Denise Peterson-Rafuse « » (Chester-St. Margaret's)

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

Whereas Elizabeth Sutherland has been the only teacher for 33 years in the incredible one-room schoolhouse on Big Tancook Island; and

Whereas Elizabeth has been a dedicated teacher of the children at the schoolhouse, faithfully following the progress of the children as they move on to attend school on the mainland through middle school, high school, and beyond; and

Whereas Elizabeth has been a central participant of the Big Tancook community "family" during these 33 years of dedication to her students;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in thanking Elizabeth Sutherland for her many years of devotion to the children of Big Tancook Island.

RESOLUTION NO. 4145

By: Mr. Andrew Younger « » (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas Subaru EPIC Dartmouth is an important annual athletic event involving thousands of athletes, volunteers, and spectators, and Gaetan Tremblay Sr., a former Canadian Navy member, is a constant and dedicated volunteer; and

Whereas at the 2014 event, two visitors to Nova Scotia were swimming in Dartmouth's Lake Banook during event weekend while the triathlon swimmers were practising and called out for help when one swimmer dislocated his shoulder; and

[Page 9727]

Whereas Gaetan, upon hearing the calls for help, immediately dove into the water and swam to the distressed swimmer, bringing him ashore and to safety, preventing a drowning tragedy;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize and thank Gaetan Tremblay Sr. for his courage and selflessness in saving the life of the young swimmer in Dartmouth's Lake Banook during the 2014 Subaru EPIC Dartmouth weekend.

RESOLUTION NO. 4146

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the African United Baptist Association Women's Institute (AUBAWI) of Nova Scotia held their 60th anniversary celebration at the Saint Thomas Baptist Church; and

Whereas Ms. Stella Anderson was honoured for 50 years of dedicated service to the AUBAWI at a special banquet for 50-year honourees; and

Whereas Stella Anderson contributed to the work and ideals of the AUBAWI;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize and congratulate Ms. Stella Anderson for her devotion to the work of the African United Baptist Association Women's Institute over the last 50 years.

RESOLUTION NO. 4147

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Akoma Family Centre, a short-term residential receiving centre provided specialized services and care to meet the needs of approximately 200 children since 2011; and

Whereas the Akoma Family Centre was selected as a winner of the PPG Colourful Communities project, which transformed the centre from dark and dull to bright and beautiful; and

[Page 9728]

Whereas this is an excellent example of a community partner such as Dulux Dartmouth and volunteers from the Crossing Christian Church at Dartmouth Crossing working together to brighten the lives of our children;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize and congratulate the volunteers and Dulux Dartmouth for their efforts in revitalizing the Akoma Family Centre's environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4148

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas 300 descendants of the Colley family gathered in East Preston for a family reunion this summer, and individuals travelled from all over Canada, Europe, the United States, and Korea; and

Whereas the Colley family has deep roots in our province as they are descendants of Sir John Wentworth, the first Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas a generations-old family quilt, with each member's name and important stories hand-stitched, immortalizes the family history;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the Colley family for their contributions and celebrating their roots in our province.

RESOLUTION NO. 4149

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Shelley Fashan of Lake Echo has been a cultural activist for 30 years and an advocate for young and emerging artists; and

Whereas she was the first African Nova Scotian board representative on the East Coast Music Association, the Nova Scotia Arts Council, and the Lieutenant Governor Masterworks Awards, and a founding member of the Nova Scotia Mass Choir and the African Nova Scotian Music Association; and

[Page 9729]

Whereas she currently sits on the African Nova Scotian Music Association board, the Charles Taylor Theatre, and the Media Arts Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize Shelley Fashan for the valuable contributions she has made to creative expression and young, emerging artists.

RESOLUTION NO. 4150

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas Keonte Beals has deep roots in music, starting his career at age seven in the junior choir at St. Thomas Baptist Church; and

Whereas Keonte won the African Nova Scotian Music Association Emerging Artist of the Year Award for 2015, which is a significant boost to his career in music; and

Whereas Keonte credits his parents, family, and friends for supporting his career choice, and as well the two-year music arts program at the Nova Scotia Community College has helped him to further develop his talents;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize and congratulate Keonte Beals for his achievements in music and enriching all of our lives.

RESOLUTION NO. 4151

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas Vince Forrestall of Baddeck was recently awarded the Carnegie Medal; and

Whereas, established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Hero Fund was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada and the Commission awards the Carnegie Medal to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others; and

Whereas while Mr. Forrestall, along with fellow hikers, Steve Ross and Keiren Tompkins, were hiking the Uisge Ban Falls in Big Baddeck, East Bay hiker, Julien Rouleau fell through ice and vanished and Mr. Forrestall, Mr. Ross, and Mr. Tompkins rushed to the hole to attempt to save Julien, latching arms and legs gave the men the leverage they needed to pull Julien free;

[Page 9730]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Forrestall on his award and thank him for his quick actions in saving the life of Julien Rouleau.

RESOLUTION NO. 4152

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas Steve Ross was recently awarded the Carnegie Medal; and

Whereas, established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Hero Fund was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada and the Commission awards the Carnegie Medal to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others; and

Whereas while Mr. Ross, along with fellow hikers, Vince Forrestall and Keiren Tompkins, were hiking the Uisge Ban Falls in Big Baddeck, East Bay hiker, Julien Rouleau fell through ice and vanished and Mr. Ross, Mr. Forrestall, and Mr. Tompkins rushed to the hole to attempt to save Julien, latching arms and legs gave the men the leverage they needed to pull Julien free;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Ross on his award and thank him for his quick actions in saving the life of Julien Rouleau.

RESOLUTION NO. 4153

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas Keiren J. Tompkins was recently awarded the Carnegie Medal; and

Whereas, established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, the Carnegie Hero Fund was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada and the Commission awards the Carnegie Medal to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others; and

[Page 9731]

Whereas while Mr. Tompkins, along with fellow hikers Vince Forrestall and Steve Ross, were hiking the Uisge Ban Falls in Big Baddeck, East Bay hiker, Julien Rouleau fell through ice and vanished and Mr. Tompkins, Mr. Forrestall, and Mr. Ross rushed to the hole to attempt to save Julien, latching arms and legs gave the men the leverage they needed to pull Julien free;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Tompkins on his award and thank him for his quick actions in saving the life of Julien Rouleau.

RESOLUTION NO. 4154

By: Ms. Pam Eyking « » (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas Jim Morrow of Baddeck has recently retired from the newspaper business after being at the helm of The Victoria Standard since 1992; and

Whereas The Victoria Standard is published biweekly carrying a cross-section of local and community news coupled with important stories of interest on health, entertainment, business, and all levels of government, stories that have an impact on the lives of Victoria County residents; and

Whereas Mr. Jim Morrow has over 24 years dedicated to serving the residents of Victoria County;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Morrow on his retirement and thank him for his commitment to his community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4155

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service, and experience adventure, the award can play a critical role in their development outside the classroom; and

[Page 9732]

Whereas Zachaeus Jackson of Lake Echo achieved the distinction of receiving the Gold Award for those 16 years old; and

Whereas this award gives Zachaeus international accreditation for his experiences and allows his achievement to be recognized worldwide;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Zachaeus Jackson on his tremendous achievement on receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4156

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service, and experience adventure - the award can play a critical role in their development outside the classroom; and

Whereas Connor Brandow of Lake Loon achieved the distinction of receiving the Bronze Award for those 14 years old; and

Whereas this award gives Connor international accreditation for his experiences and allows his achievement to be recognized worldwide;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Connor Brandow on his tremendous achievement on receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4157

By: Hon. Keith Colwell « » (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physically active, give service, and experience adventure - the award can play a critical role in their development outside the classroom; and

[Page 9733]

Whereas Dustin Baker of Porters Lake achieved the distinction of receiving the Gold Award for those 16 years old; and

Whereas this award gives Dustin international accreditation for his experiences and allows his achievement to be recognized worldwide;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Dustin Baker on his tremendous achievement on receiving the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4158

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas during the 2015 season Craig Sherry coached Hants East Rural High (HERH) Women's Rugby, HERH Women's Soccer, HERH Curling, HERH Dance Team, and U-8 Girls East Hants Soccer Club; and

Whereas Craig coached the HERH Women's Soccer team to the Regional and Provincial Championships and the Cape Breton Classic, and also coached the HERH Women's Rugby team to the Regional and Provincial Championships; and

Whereas the East Hants Sports Heritage Society held their second annual Sports Awards on Saturday, May 7, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank Craig Sherry for his dedication to the youth of East Hants, and congratulate him on winning the Coach of the Year award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4159

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas during the 2015 season Bryan Gillis played for the Corner Brook Royals in the Central West Hockey League, in Newfoundland and Labrador, was named top goaltender of the CWSHL while setting the all-time league record for games and minutes played, and averaged 33.94 shots against per game and recorded two shutouts; and

[Page 9734]

Whereas Bryan helped the Royals to a 14-10 record, which earned them first place in the 4 circuit team and in the playoffs finished with a 4-4 playoff record, a 3.00 goals against average (G. A. A.), a 9.14 save per cent, and was named Corner Brook Royals playoff MVP; and

Whereas the East Hants Sports Heritage Society held their second annual Sports Awards on Saturday, May 7, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bryan on winning the 19 & Older Male Athlete of the Year award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4160

By: Hon. Margaret Miller « » (Environment)

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

Whereas Grace Layes competes in track and field and, in 2015, was the fastest junior girl in the province, winning the NSSAF 100m and 200m events, and also helped Riverside Education Centre win a silver medal in both the 4x100m and 4x400m events; and

Whereas Grace competed with Chebucto Athletics at the Legion National Championship finishing 19th in the 100m, 26th in the 200m, and was a member of Team Nova Scotia that finished fifth in nation in the 4x100m relay; and

Whereas the East Hants Sports Heritage Society held their second annual Sports Awards on Saturday, May 7, 2016;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Grace Layes on winning the 14 & Under Female Athlete of the Year award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4161

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas the Annual Coal Bowl Classic took place from February 1st to February 6th; and

[Page 9735]

Whereas for the second time in 35 years the host team, Breton Education Centre Bears, won the championship game against D'Arcy McGee High School from Gatineau, Quebec; and

Whereas the team consisted of Gary MacDonald, Nolan Campbell, Jacob MacNeil, Jordan Hennessy, Jeff MacEachern, Mitchell Rutledge, Nick Peckham, Blair MacIsaac, Devon Moseychuck, Brandon Caudle, Logan Jewer, Morgan MacIsaac, Dylan Messervey, Manager Jared Bates, and coaches Jean Guy Demeter and Greg Campbell;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Breton Education Centre Bears, and wish them success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4162

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas during the week of April 25, 2016, medical students at the Dalhousie Medical School organized an advocacy week focusing on refugee health care; and

Whereas my constituent, Victoria Bentley, who is in her second year of Medical School and part of the Dalhousie Medical Students Society, invited me to participate and meet with her in person; and

Whereas on April 27th I had the opportunity, together with Minister Leo Glavine, to meet with Victoria and her colleagues, Kirsten Kukula, Lucy Soudek, and Natasa Zatezalo, to discuss refugee access to health care in Nova Scotia and steps that can be taken to ensure prompt and effective primary health care to refugees;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Victoria Bentley on her hard work and dedication, and wish her success as she continues her medical studies.

RESOLUTION NO. 4163

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas during the week of April 25, 2016, medical students at the Dalhousie Medical School organized an advocacy week focusing on refugee health care; and

[Page 9736]

Whereas my constituent, Kirsten Kukula, who is in her second year of Medical School and part of the Dalhousie Medical Students Society, invited me to participate and meet with her in person; and

Whereas on April 27th I had the opportunity, together with Minister Leo Glavine, to meet with Kirsten and her colleagues, Victoria Bentley, Lucy Soudek, and Natasa Zatezalo to discuss refugee access to health care in Nova Scotia and steps that can be taken to ensure prompt and effective primary health care to refugees;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ms. Kirsten Kukula on her hard work and dedication, and wish her success as she continues her medical studies.

RESOLUTION NO. 4164

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas today marks the first of four days of performances of the musical, Mary Poppins, by the students of Halifax West High Schoo,l performed at the Bella Rose Arts Centre by an exceptionally talented team of students including my daughter, Marena Diab, in the role of Miss Lark; and

Whereas Marena, going into Grade 11 next year, should be proud to count this artistic pursuit amongst her record of success in the French immersion program, her development as a talented soccer player, her mastery of three languages, and in her admirable volunteer service for the IWK and other community organizations; and

Whereas we should seek to highlight and encourage well-rounded young people in Nova Scotia who pursue community involvement and personal development alongside their academic careers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the hard work and passion of my daughter, Marena, and all the students and faculty of Halifax West, and thank them for their contribution to musical theatre and the opportunity they have given us to see their immense talents on display.

RESOLUTION NO. 4165

[Page 9737]

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 Webb, albeit retired from his career as Director of Emergency Social Service for the Province of Nova Scotia, maintains a busy schedule volunteering; and

Whereas John, an important volunteer with Red Cross, was proud to participate in the May 17, 2016, opening of the Canadian Red Cross Centre of Excellence, a training facility that will benefit Red Cross volunteers from all over Canada; and

Whereas he has first-hand experience in orchestrating emergency responses throughout Nova Scotia including the Swiss Air 111 crash and Hurricane Juan, and in 2005 went to Louisiana as an American Red Cross volunteer managing a Red Cross shelter;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate John Webb and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4166

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Gavin Giles, a vital volunteer with Red Cross, was proud to participate in the May 17, 2016, opening of the Canadian Red Cross Centre of Excellence, a training facility that will benefit Red Cross volunteers from all over Canada; and

Whereas Gavin is Past President of the Nova Scotia Branch of Canadian Red Cross and currently a member of the National Board of Governors, serving as the National Vice-Chairman; and

Whereas in 2012 this accomplished Halifax lawyer was the recipient of the Canadian Red Cross National Distinguished Service Award, and in 2015 was invested into the Order of the Red Cross;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Gavin Giles for his accomplishments and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4167

[Page 9738]

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas people and communities across Nova Scotia have stepped up to support the Syrian refugee effort; and

Whereas the United For One Association of Halifax was formed by members of Halifax's Muslim community, in October 2015, with a focus on helping refugees who already have relatives settled in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas United For One has worked tirelessly over the last six months to spread love and peace, raise money for private refugee sponsorship, champion diversity, and welcome our new residents from Syria;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this legislature thank all of the founding members of United For One for their leadership and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4168

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas this Legislature aspires to provide positive role models for young women, while also calling attention to specific examples in our community, such as Michelle Awad, a partner at McInnes Cooper; teacher, leader, and board member at Dalhousie; and past president at the Nova Scotia Branch of the Canadian Bar Association; and

Whereas Mrs. Awad has provided superior counsel to Nova Scotia businesses, has appeared before the highest courts in the country, and has been recognized for the last two years as one of the nation's top 25 Women in Litigation by Benchmark Canada, as well as the Leading Woman Lawyer in Canada by Lexpert; and

Whereas Mrs. Awad served as a program chair for the Advocates' Society's Women in Litigation Symposium held earlier this month in Halifax at the Prince George Hotel and had a sold out, top notch audience, including myself;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this legislature recognize the impressive accomplishments of Michelle Awad's legal career, and applaud her for serving as an inspiration to future generations of women lawyers in Nova Scotia and beyond.

[Page 9739]

RESOLUTION NO. 4169

By: Mr. Andrew Younger « » (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas Jessica MacNutt, creator of GROPRO Grocery Delivery, has been providing grocery deliveries since 2012 to seniors, students, busy families and working people; and

Whereas GROPRO's philosophy is to provide their clients with budget-friendly, healthy, local food from markets, bakeries, and specialty shops; and

Whereas GROPRO has just moved in to their new office space at 73 Tacoma Drive in Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Melissa and the GROPRO team on their growing business and welcoming them to Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4170

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas the New Waterford Bantam Dodgers captured the Baseball Nova Scotia Bantam B title on Sunday August 30th, 2015; and

Whereas the Dodgers played 15-11 back and forth game for the Championship win. They finished the tournament with a 4-0 record; and

Whereas the team consisted of Greg Vankeulen, Kegan McRury, Jason Murphy, Kyle MacKenzie, Aaron MacLean, Devon MacLean, Jacob Odo, Andrew MacSween, Greg MacIsaac, Morgan MacIsaac, Brady MacNeil, Kyle MacInnis, Seth Crow, Mark Morrison; and coaches Donnie MacIsaac, Ray Wilson and Lawrence MacSween;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating coaches and the New Waterford Dodgers for their hard work during the season and wish them continued success.

[Page 9740]

RESOLUTION NO. 4171

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Kay MacKinnon received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Kay MacKinnon on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

RESOLUTION NO. 4172

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Rita MacEachern received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Rita MacEachern on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

[Page 9741]

RESOLUTION NO. 4173

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Gloria Timmons received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Gloria Timmons on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

RESOLUTION NO. 4174

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Theresa Webb received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Theresa Webb on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

[Page 9742]

RESOLUTION NO. 4175

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Mary Aucoin received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Mary Aucoin on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

RESOLUTION NO. 4176

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Dorothy Oliver received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Dorothy Oliver on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4177

By: Mr. David Wilton « » (Cape Breton Centre)

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

Whereas Eileen Muise received her 50-year pin for her long time service with the St. Leonard's Parish Catholic Women's League; and

Whereas she was originally a member of the St. Agnes CWL and joined in 1965; and

Whereas during the last 5 decades she has dedicated her time helping the Catholic Community, either at the weekly church services or making sandwiches and tea after a funeral service for the family;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Eileen Muise on her 50 years of volunteering with the CWL and may she continue for many more.

RESOLUTION NO. 4178

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Rachel Higgins on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

[Page 9744]

RESOLUTION NO. 4179

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating forward Annie Yeo on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4180

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Aaliyah Arab-Smith on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

[Page 9745]

RESOLUTION NO. 4181

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating forward Mariah MacLeod on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4182

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Emma Garagan on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4183

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating forward Sarah Casey on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4184

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating forward Olivia Kiley on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

[Page 9747]

RESOLUTION NO. 4185

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Renee MacLeod on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4186

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Sophia Jabbour on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

[Page 9748]

RESOLUTION NO. 4187

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Megan Campbell on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4188

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating guard Josee Hanson on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

[Page 9749]

RESOLUTION NO. 4189

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas this is the first time in the school's history that the girls basketball team has won Regional Championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating forward Storm Dawson on her team's victory, and wish this strong female leader every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4190

By: Ms. Patricia Arab « » (Fairview-Clayton Park)

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

Whereas the Fairview Junior High School Girls Basketball team had an amazing 2015-16 season; and

Whereas in the Regional Semi-Final Playoff games, Fairview Junior High defeated Rocky Lake Junior High by a score of 50 to 49, and in the championship game Fairview defeated Bicentennial Junior High 71 to 64 in overtime; and

Whereas a special thanks goes out to Paul Simmonds and John Moshett for their great coaching skills by coaching these girls to a championship title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating these young women on winning the Regional Championship for the very first time in school history, and wish them every success in the future.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4191

By: Hon. Lena Diab « » (Immigration)

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

Whereas Nicole Marie Arab received her Bachelor of Commerce degree (summa cum laude) and Certificate of Human Resources Management from Saint Mary's University; and

Whereas Nicole's strengths include versatile problem solving, a dynamic work ethic ignited in team settings, is a Legislative Page in our Nova Scotia Legislature and my niece; and

Whereas I was pleased to attend and be on stage to congratulate Nicole upon the presentation of her degree during her convocation ceremony, which took place this morning at Saint Mary's University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nicole Marie Arab on receiving her Bachelor of Commerce degree (summa cum laude) and Certificate of Human Resources Management and wish her continued success as she embarks on graduate studies in September and prepares for her upcoming wedding this Fall.

RESOLUTION NO. 4192

By: Mr. Keith Irving « » (Kings South)

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

Whereas Ms. Mary Long of Lumsden Dam has served as Clerk of the Forest Hill Baptist Church for 50 years this May; and

Whereas over this half century Ms. Long has unfailingly carried out her duties with good-natured and faithful diligence; and

Whereas Ms. Long graciously intends to carry on her work for the church into the years to come;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly commend and thank Ms. Mary Long on the 50th Anniversary of her service to the Forest Hill Church and community.

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RESOLUTION NO. 4193

By: Hon. Diana Whalen « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Kim MacAulay and Anthony Power of Mount Saint Vincent University organized UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, opening places of worship to the public across Halifax; and

Whereas UN World Interfaith Harmony Week is an important opportunity to raise awareness of religious intolerance, misunderstanding or ignorance and an opportunity for mutual self-reflection, open-mindedness and respect to all religions; and

Whereas Kim and Anthony travelled to Jordan in April 2016 to accept an award from King Abdullah II of Jordan, founder of UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, in recognition of the important work undertaken by Interfaith Harmony Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kim MacAulay and Anthony Power for receiving this prestigious award on behalf of the Interfaith Harmony Halifax and thank them for their efforts to foster a dialogue of respect among our different faiths.

RESOLUTION NO. 4194

By: Hon. Diana Whalen « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Karim George and his family immigrated from Egypt to Halifax seven years ago, in search of a better future and new opportunities; and

Whereas Karim was recently the only Nova Scotian nominated as one of the RBC's Top 25 Canadian Immigrants of the Year, in recognition of his extraordinarily hard work in establishing a very successful videography company; and

Whereas Karim has also made a positive impact in our community as an active volunteer with Halifax Dunbrack SoccerH Club, at his church, and as a member of the RCMP Cultural Diversity Committee;

[Page 9752]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Karim George on being nominated for this People's Choice Award which recognizes inspirational immigrants who are making a positive difference in Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 4195

By: Hon. Diana Whalen « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Halifax West High School is home to Intermediate and Senior Improv Teams and in 2016 was the only high school in Nova Scotia to have two teams place in the top seven at regionals; and

Whereas the two teams, coached by April Cross, then travelled to Ottawa's National Arts Centre to compete against high schools from across Canada, finishing ninth overall; and

Whereas the Intermediate Improv Team is made up of Lilly Kirk, Victor Lamoureux, Chris Duvar, Alison Dickson, Oliver Oldfield, Olivia Trivett and Evan Landry, while the Senior Team included Cait MacMullin, Connor McKiggan, Coleman Merry, Susan Wallace, Jared Taylor and Yvan Kammelu, all of whom have worked hard and been excellent representatives of their school;

Therefore be it resolved that the House congratulates Halifax West High School improve teams, their coach, and assistant coaches, on their outstanding accomplishments and wish them every success in their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4196

By: Hon. Diana Whalen « » (Justice)

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

Whereas Ray Anjoul and Jessica Blades, student leaders at Halifax West High School, were elected co-presidents of their student government in the Spring of 2015 and have served their community with great distinction; and

Whereas Ray and Jessica, with an enthusiastic team of students, set and met an ambitious goal of raising $20,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation through a number of events and activities, including Head for the Cure, which was held on April 13, 2016; and

[Page 9753]

Whereas Ray and Jessica, in the final month of their term continue to support important causes, hosting fundraisers such as the spaghetti dinner in support of disaster relief efforts in Fort McMurray fires and a Syrian refugee family new to Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that the House comment Ray Anjoul and Jessica Blades for their significant accomplishments in their year as co-presidents of Halifax West High School and wish them great success upon graduation.