The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.
























HALIFAX, MONDAY, OCTOBER 31, 1994



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



7:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We can commence the session at this time. I would like to open this
evening’s session by announcing to the House that today is the birthday of the honourable Deputy Premier and
Minister of Justice. I am sure we would like to all wish him a very happy birthday. (Applause)



Now to commence the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of the
Hilden Cross Road and the Burris Road, Pleasant Valley, Colchester County. For the purpose of this petition
I have affixed my signature. These individuals, there are 53 of them, are respectfully requesting paving of the
above mentioned roads. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour.



HON. JAY ABBASS: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to table a report in relation to the fire marshal’s office,
entitled Setting the Course: A Report to Address Fire Service Training in Nova Scotia, submitted by Frederick
G. Hollett, the Fire Commissioner from Newfoundland who was on this job throughout the summer. Thank
you.



3677

 

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to rise in the House of Assembly tonight
to report on job creation initiatives undertaken by this government over the last week.

 

 

Mr. Speaker, before I touch on the jobs that this government has assisted in creating in the last seven
days, I would like to point out that Nova Scotia was the only province in Canada to see a drop in
unemployment in September.



SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear! Hear! (Applause)



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, this government will not, however, rest on its laurels. We will continue
to engage in partnerships with businesses in Nova Scotia to help them grow and expand. We will seek out
opportunities wherever they exist, be that here at home or in other parts of the country or around the world.



Mr. Speaker, this morning I attended a press conference in Amherst to announce an expansion by
Simmonds Communications Limited. Some of the members of this House will remember Simmonds
Communications Limited as the company that moved into Northern Telecom’s facility when that company
left Amherst some months ago. At that time my department provided funding for a community group to help
recruit a new company for that area and we were very successful.



Today Simmonds announced it will create another 260 jobs in that community, in addition to the 100
jobs it has created so far. (Applause) Good news, Mr. Speaker, in a community with people who represent the
best of the Nova Scotian work force, people who are willing, able and enthusiastic about working in good
paying jobs, in a high-tech industry.



Mr. Speaker, this expansion was made possible through a joint funding effort by the federal and
provincial governments. The federal and provincial governments will provide a $200 million forgivable loan,
based on long-term job creation opportunities; a good investment by any standard.



In Nova Scotia’s beautiful South Shore, Yarmouth’s Domtex facility will be renovated into a multi-tenant facility to attract businesses to the area. Novatech Braid will be the first tenant. Novatech Braid
currently employs about 40 people; in their new facility the number of jobs is expected to rise by another 40
or more. By the time renovations are complete it is anticipated that 200 people or more will call the Domtex
facility their work place. Funding for this project has been provide by ACOA in the amount of $1.8 million.
The province will invest $270,000 in this project.



Finally, Mr. Speaker, I would like to update the House on the Sepracor facility. As you may recall,
Sepracor developed when the assets of the former Pharmaglobe plant in Windsor were acquired by the
company’s principals. At that time the assets were purchased for $3.6 million and now the company’s
principals propose to spend another $7 million to $8 million on the facility. Sepracor, an innovative
pharmaceutical operation, anticipates that 100 people will be working in their Windsor operation by the end
of year three. The investment by Sepracor in Nova Scotia is a good example of the kind of industry this
province can attract. This investment is a real investment in Nova Scotia’s future with good paying jobs as
the result.



Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to creating a climate to stimulate job creation for Nova
Scotians who are ready to face the challenges of the 21st Century. If this past week is any indication, we are
well on our way to reaching that goal. Thank you. (Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The minister took four minutes to make his announcement. Each Economic Critic
will receive four minutes.



The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to see that you are an excellent
timekeeper.



It is a pleasure for all of us when we learn that Nova Scotians are gaining employment and that the
job creation situation is better than it was the day before yesterday. But I venture to say, and all members will
agree, that all these jobs the minister speaks of did not just happen in seven days; there was a lot of
groundwork that took place, there was a lot of effort put forth by a lot of Nova Scotians. However, 80 per cent
of the jobs that have been created by this government in the last year were part-time, minimum wage jobs with
no benefits. Those jobs may be called jobs but they are not the kind of jobs (Interruption) That is true.



Mr. Speaker, those are the facts. Mr. Speaker, it certainly got a reaction from that crew and I hope this
won’t interrupt in my time, this interruption from those people. One of the great things the minister just said
is that he will not rest on his laurels and really I am pleased that he agreed not to because there aren’t many
laurels yet to rest on.



There are opportunities for Nova Scotians but one of the things that we have to do as Nova Scotians
is become more aware and become more cognizant of the fact that we can accomplish, we have to look back
and remember that we don’t have to be a have-not province.



Northern Telecom is working with Nova Scotians. A lot of the work that Simmonds Communications
are doing now, in fact, a $26 million contract was just negotiated between Simmonds and Northern Telecom
because Northern Telecom realized the good work that can be done by Nova Scotians in Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, I also want to comment on the excellent announcement for the Town of Yarmouth. That
is just a tremendous thing. Our caucus toured Yarmouth and we were through the factory last year and we
wholeheartedly supported Yarmouth a year ago when they were trying to get the government to assist them.
I am delighted that the government has assisted to make a mall in the former knitting mill building in
Yarmouth; that is going to help all of western Nova Scotia.



The rope factory that is in there now is making rope that can be sold around the world and there are
opportunities in Yarmouth for other businesses and other people to expand.






The Sepracor Drug Company is following in the footsteps of Efamol Drug Research in Kentville who
employ about 75 or 80 people and are going to do manufacturing in the Town of Mulgrave. A hundred people
with jobs in Windsor in a drug facility, that indicates to all of us, high paying, good jobs. So we want to
congratulate the government and Sepracor for choosing Windsor as their location.



One of the things that must be answered, because this minister made such a great emphasis on it, was
that the time for grants was over. I think the minister should share with the House exactly what the difference
is between a non-repayable loan and a grant. So, Mr. Speaker, if the minister would wish us to take credit for
what he and the Nova Scotia people have been doing with job creation, I think that is good for him, but don’t
lose sight of the fact that governments don’t create jobs, people create jobs. The greatest resource we have is
people in this province and people need the encouragement of the government and the encouragement of the
private sector to continue to grow and be strong. Thank you.



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



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I want to first of all congratulate the government for the
role that they have played in generating at least the prospect for some 300, possibly 400 jobs, if the
government’s own projections turn out to be realized by the end of year three. Certainly, Nova Scotians are
desperate for some good economic news and any such good news that this government can play a role in is
very welcome and we have no reservations whatsoever about congratulating the government on such
announcements.



I am glad that the minister saw fit to revise the printed statement as he did because the statement here
stated, “I touch on the jobs which this government has created in the last seven days.”. He quite correctly
corrected the statement by making reference to the assistance of this government in relation to those jobs. As
he reported in one instance, for example, it was very much a community group working together that made
the difference in the instance of the Cumberland County jobs and the additional jobs at Simmonds that are
so desperately needed in Cumberland County.



I think that it can’t, however, be forgotten that this is a government that ran an election campaign a
year and a half ago on the commitment that they had an economic strategy ready to roll out to put 57,000
Nova Scotians back to work. By that calculation it looks like there are about 56,400 jobs yet to go. So, Mr.
Speaker, every job is a needed job, every job is a welcome job.



I have to agree with my colleague from Kings North when he expresses concern about how many of
the jobs that have come to this province in the last year and a half have in fact been part-time jobs. Now the
minister has suggested that is not true. Certainly, the statistics that we have seen would indicate that close to
80 per cent of the new jobs that came into this province in the last year, have been generated in this province,
have in fact been part-time jobs.



[7:15 p.m.]



Of course, the problem is not just that the jobs are part time. The problem is that many of those jobs
come about because employers take advantage of our inadequate labour standards to fracture full-time jobs
making it impossible for people to earn a living, provide for their families on part-time earnings. Secondly,
of course, the part-time jobs are absent without the benefit of those protections and benefits that would
otherwise be available to workers under the Labour Standards Code.



I hope that the government will keep in mind that not every job is like every other job that you cannot
simply use the excuse that there are people looking for part-time jobs too when this government is actively
participating in encouraging employers to fracture jobs and pay people without the benefits that people
desperately need.



Having said that, Mr. Speaker, there is no question that the residents of Cumberland County, Hants
County and of Yarmouth County will be very grateful for those desperately needed jobs. It is true that, by and
large, those are jobs less in numbers than the jobs that were eliminated by the pull out of the industries,
Dominion Textiles, Northern Telecom, for example, and so there is not even a net gain in terms of the overall
numbers of jobs available even in those particular work sites.



So there is a lot of work ahead. I hope that the government has tongue in cheek when they are saying
that they cannot afford to rest on their laurels because so far it would be stretching it, to say the least, and
show an amazing lack of humility for this government to suggest that they have any laurels to rest on up to
this point. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby Annapolis.



MR. JOSEPH CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to introduce two guests in the east gallery. One is
C. D. Snow, better known as Bucky, an ex-mayor of the Town of Digby. He is accompanied by Dorothy
Francis from Dartmouth. Thank you. (Applause)



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTIONS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



RESOLUTION NO. 861



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption
of the following resolution:



Whereas November 1994 has been designated as National Adoption Awareness month; and



Whereas all children need and deserve the love, support and nurturing of a caring family; and



Whereas in this, the International Year of the Family, there are many children waiting for a loving
family to adopt them, especially children with special needs and sibling groups;



Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize November 1994 as National Adoption Awareness
month. That we focus attention on the needs of children waiting to be adopted and that we pay special tribute
to adoptive parents throughout the province.

 

 

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice without debate.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice without debate which requires
unanimous consent.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



Bill No. 117 - Entitled an Act to Establish a Corporation to Promote, Stimulate and Encourage
the Successful Development and Commercialization of Technology Products and Services Act. (Hon.
Ross Bragg)



Bill No. 118 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 122 of the Acts of 1909. An Act to Incorporate
the Amherst Cemetery Company of Amherst in the County of Cumberland. (Hon. Ross Bragg as a
private member.)



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



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.



RESOLUTION NO. 862



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption
of the following resolution:



Whereas Nova Scotia has already taken major multimillion dollar reductions to its defence
infrastructure from the federal Liberal Government; and



Whereas recommendations of a Liberal-dominated parliamentary defence review committee today
released a report recommending Canada strip the Atlantic fleet by moving a large part of the Navy to the West
Coast; and



Whereas the damage to Nova Scotia’s economy and to its air/sea search and rescue capacity would be
irreparably damaged if it were to lose ships, sailors and related equipment and infrastructure currently
assigned to Halifax;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier immediately respond to the proposals in the parliamentary
report and demand a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence to address the devastating
implications of the parliamentary committee report before the federal Liberal defence policy is released in
December of 1994.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.






RESOLUTION NO. 863



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas Hallowe’en can be a sometimes scary season for young children and disguising one’s true
identity is a time-honoured Hallowe’en tradition; and



Whereas these Liberals disguised themselves and their true intentions in order to gain power, with
results that are scarier than any Hallowe’en prank or horror story; and



Whereas the Premier’s choice, Hallowe’en, is an appropriate season for his Liberal Government to take
Nova Scotians on another bumpy nightmare ride in the form of the 1994 fall sitting;



Therefore be it resolved that this House reminds the Premier and his colleagues that according to
Omnifacts Research, it is the voters who are giving this Liberal Government the real nightmare in response
to its arrogant, dictatorial, top-down methods.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Yarmouth.



RESOLUTION NO. 864



MR. RICHARD HUBBARD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas this is Hallowe’en, a special day that is associated with treats, but also with tricks that can
get out of hand and frighten or hurt people; and



Whereas about 130 students of the Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School will be busy tonight
assisting seniors in their homes, escorting children on their Hallowe’en rounds and patrolling schools,
businesses, streets and housing complexes to prevent pranks and vandalism; and



Whereas through the All Saints Program, these students and Teacher/Coordinator, Ken Langille, have
made Hallowe’en a safer and happier occasion for Yarmouth residents for the past two years;



Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the All Saints students and Mr. Langille for their
outstanding efforts and for serving as a fine example of civic pride and responsibility for all Nova Scotian
youth.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice and passage without debate.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.



The motion is carried. (Applause)



The honourable member for Kings West.



RESOLUTION NO. 865



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas Nova Scotians have been told by the Premier and his Finance Minister that casinos will mean
economic and financial salvation to this province, yet they cannot produce one shred of evidence to back this
up; and



Whereas today I learned under the Freedom of Information Act that absolutely no research has been
done on the impact of casinos by the Economic Renewal Agency or the Departments of Finance or
Community Services; and



Whereas today’s information contradicts a statement by the Chairman of the Nova Scotia Casino
Project Committee on September 13, 1994, that senior bureaucrats have been doing research on the various
casino proposals;



Therefore be it resolved that the government explain to Nova Scotians what role senior staff from the
Departments of Finance, Economic Renewal and Transportation have played with relation to the Nova Scotia
Casino Project Committee if it is not to provide research and analysis.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Queens.



RESOLUTION NO. 866



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption
of the following resolution:



Whereas the Minister of Health has failed to follow the recommendations of his Blueprint Committee
respecting appropriate backgrounds of appointees; and



Whereas the Minister of Health has failed to appoint regional health boards with consideration for fair
geographic distribution; and



Whereas the minister has failed to protect the public interest from inordinate influence of the
significant number of Liberal Party members on the boards;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health immediately convene a meeting with the Blueprint
Committee with the specific purpose of repairing these outstanding deficiencies in the regional health boards.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



RESOLUTION NO. 867



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption
of the following resolution:



Whereas this Liberal Government justified its late night, shotgun Metro amalgamation by constantly
quoting a public opinion survey; and



Whereas the Liberal’s own polling firm, Omnifacts, reported tonight that 46 per cent of Metro residents
oppose the Liberal amalgamation with only 37 per cent in favour; and



Whereas fully 78 per cent agree the Liberal Government was not justified when it suddenly imposed
the amalgamation scheme without consultation;



Therefore be it resolved that the government should heed this poll, about the actual Liberal scheme,
stop fooling themselves into believing that there is political safety or cleverness in humbly stealing the worst,
most autocratic ideas of the late, unlamented Conservative Government, and instead proceed with a proper,
consultative municipal reform process.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Victoria.



MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move
the adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas Nova Scotia now has a maze of 14 environmental laws and 38 sets of regulations, some of
which are as much as 70 years old; and



Whereas a single new Environment Act will consolidate, streamline and simplify the existing
legislation and regulations, making the law clearer and fairer to all; and



Whereas this Act has also been tailored to respond to the concerns raised by Nova Scotians during
extensive consultations on this Act;



Therefore be it resolved that this House acknowledge that the new Environment Act would respond
to Nova Scotians’ desire for environmental protection that is effective, open and understandable, and commit
to speedy passage of the legislation.



MR. SPEAKER: Unfortunately, I think the honourable member for Queens anticipates what I am about
to say; we cannot table that resolution because it relates to Bill No. 115, the Environment Act, which is listed
on the order paper under the heading of Public Bills for Second Reading.



The honourable member for Kings North.






RESOLUTION NO. 868



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas 450 miners at the Phalen mine in Cape Breton were given their layoff notice today; and



Whereas the biggest concern for many of the workers is the lack of information relative to their safety
concerns within the mine;



Whereas the silent 11, Cape Breton Liberal MLAs, have done nothing to facilitate discussion to protect
the jobs of these miners;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier give direction to the silent 11 to try to intermediate in the
dispute and keep the miners mining.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 869



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day, I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas on April 20, 1994, the Minister responsible for the Nova Scotia Lottery Commission stated
that: “In addition to the direct jobs, tourism and other economic spinoffs, casinos will generate revenue for
the provincial government”; and



Whereas the minister obviously made the April statement without the benefit of economic and financial
analysis; and



Whereas six months later, the government still hasn’t produced research to support the establishment
of casinos yet million dollar contracts are being sought;



Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature vote against any move by the government to sign casino
contracts and enact legislation without conducting a full social, financial, economic, justice and health impact
study.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 870



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas Devco’s sudden indefinite layoff of 360 Phalen miners with the threat of more to come raises
concerns, since Devco had been pressing for work to proceed and the announcement bypassed labour-management safety procedures; and



Whereas the Lingan Colliery’s premature closing heightened concerns about Phalen and Devco’s
refusal to consider opening Donkin add up to major new job losses and a threat to underground mining in
Cape Breton; and



[7:30 p.m.]



Whereas it is in the province’s interest to keep and expand the number of long-term, export-based jobs
like many of those at Devco;



Therefore be it resolved that this House expresses concern that continued Devco mismanagement
threatens the survival and expansion of Cape Breton coal mining jobs despite this province’s desperate need
for long-term jobs and export-oriented industries and urges early, realistic steps to begin production at the
Donkin Mine.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I should compliment the Premier and the Minister of
Community Services on their identical, eye-catching ties. They are quite lovely. (Laughter)



MR. SPEAKER: Is that the resolution?



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 871



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas break and enter crimes dropped substantially in the Burnside Industrial Park in the past year;
and



Whereas the reduction in break and enters can be attributed in a large way to the “Phantom Patrol”,
volunteers from Burnside businesses who keep an after-hours eye on their fellow tenants; and



Whereas the “Phantom Patrol” are proving to be of invaluable assistance to the Dartmouth Police by
keeping an eye on suspicious activity in the park and reporting anything unusual;



Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature commend the “Phantom Patrol” for their
diligent hard work in making the Burnside Industrial Park an even more attractive place to do business.



Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for waiver of notice which requires unanimous consent.



Is there unanimous consent?



I hear no Noes. Therefore I assume there is unanimous consent.



Is the House ready for the question? Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary
minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 872



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas the Halifax International Airport will be the starting point for thousands of people arriving
for next June’s G-7 Summit in Halifax; and



Whereas the Halifax Board of Trade has petitioned federal Transport Minister Doug Young to give
Halifax International top priority in Transport Canada’s five year capital budget; and



Whereas the provincial and federal governments have yet to make any commitment to Halifax
International for more terminal space that will enhance the tourism potential for Nova Scotia well into the
21st Century, yet appear to be working around the clock in getting nearly $1 million for seven individuals to
take a short sail in Halifax Harbour next summer;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and the Minister for the Economic Renewal
Agency readjust their priorities and attempt to ensure Nova Scotia’s tourism industry is well looked after now
and many years into the future.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 873



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the
adoption of the following resolution:



Whereas the Premier and his casino entourage, including his Minister of Finance, continue to refuse
to release concrete information on the harm that casinos will have on the Nova Scotia economy; and



Whereas Nova Scotia’s $850 million tourism industry creates thousands of jobs at restaurants, pubs
and diners; and



Whereas the Florida State Government is allowing a state-wide plebiscite to be held on election day -
Tuesday, November 8th - to gauge the reaction of residents as to the impact casinos would have on local
restaurants by offering cheap food to clientele to keep them at the gambling tables;



Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and his Minister of Finance explain to the Nova Scotia
Restaurant Association and the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia immediately how the
government will ensure casinos will not bleed restaurants dry of business by offering cheap food to gamblers.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



RESOLUTION NO. 874



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption
of the following resolution:



Whereas the Human Resources Minister is, in her own words, “extremely frustrated and disappointed
with the inner workings of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Supply and Services for
delay after delay during the tendering process”; and



Whereas the Justice Minister is unhappy that half of Antigonish County’s paving will not be done
saying, “Clearly, I would like to have had this work done this year”; and



Whereas the Transportation Minister still defends delays that his officials attribute to staff shortages
due to early retirements and no provincial government experience in public/private ventures;



Therefore be it resolved that before they give the Do-Nothing Highways Award to one of their own,
Cabinet should ask who caused confusion and delay by rushing into massive reductions in senior staff, million
dollar consultants’ fees, ill-conceived privatizations and vicious attacks on public services.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



Are there any further notices of motion? No further notices of motion, we will then advance to the
Orders of the Day.



ORDERS OF THE DAY



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Public Bills for Second Reading.



PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 114.






Bill No. 114 - Municipal Reform (1994) Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs has concluded her remarks on the bill
in introducing it for second reading. We will now open the floor for intervenors.



I recognize the honourable member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased this evening to begin debate with the minister on
an Act to Provide for Municipal Reform, Bill No. 114. Before beginning I think it is important that we place
into historical perspective where we are with amalgamation, service exchange in this province.



Last year I reminded the House that the Municipal Incorporation Act of 1879 was introduced into law
by Honourable Simon Holmes, the second Premier from Pictou County for all of Nova Scotia. That bill
effectively eliminated the courts of session and allowed each and every portion of Nova Scotia to set up local
governments, creating a closer tie with government on many issues of local concern.



Very little has changed since that initial legislation. The set-up as provided in the Incorporation Act,
115 years ago, provides us with the type of government we have at the local level and the relationship of the
provincial government and the municipal government that Nova Scotians enjoy today. Municipal change was
resisted on the basis of uncertain costs, a fear of the loss of community identity and a belief that more
government was better government.



A quarter of a century ago the Warden of Inverness County described the existing state of municipal
autonomy as tons and tons of responsibility and not one ounce of authority. In 1969 the Honourable Harvey
A. Veniot, then Minister of Municipal Affairs in the G.I. Smith Government, told the Legislature that he had
in mind a study to determine whether amalgamation of some of the province’s then 65 municipal units should
take place on a piecemeal basis or whether amalgamation should take place right across the province. He
stated that he personally favoured 12 to 15 units.



Municipal reform has been studied for well over 40 years. In 1968 a study called Local Government
and the Changing Economy of Industrial Cape Breton, the so-called Finnis Report, and the 1969 study, the
Pictou County Municipal Coordination study, both reached identical conclusions - too much government.



The Graham Commission Report in 1974 recommended that Nova Scotia be divided into 11 new
municipalities, each covering urban and rural areas. The Cape Breton Regional Municipality Act introduced
this spring recognizes the fact that government can, in fact, at the local level cover urban and rural areas.



In 1989 the UNSM adopted the principle that service of general benefits, or people services, should
be provided by the province or the federal government and services of local concern, or property services,
should be provided by municipal governments.



In 1992 the Task Force on Local Government stated that the structure of municipal government in
Nova Scotia has remained essentially unchanged since the establishment of rural municipalities in 1879. This
task force listed five critical areas and a number of less critical areas. My comment on that is that the
changing economic times and the service exchange has created a number of critical areas in this province that
need attention.



The UNSM has identified five areas where reform is considered a necessity by that organization: Cape
Breton County, metropolitan Halifax, Pictou County, Kings County and Colchester County. The Honourable
Donald Cameron, during his two years as Premier, appointed two commissions to study municipal reform,
one in Cape Breton County and the other in Halifax County. We have 66 municipal units; 3 cities, 39 towns,
24 municipalities, 26 local village commissions, 92 local governments with over 600 elected officials in a
province with 900,000 people.



As of August 1, 1995, with the beginning of the new Cape Breton Regional Municipality, 8 will
become 1 and 66 will become 59 and on April 1, 1996, 4 will become 1 in the metro area and 59 will become
56. This leaves the prospect of one-half of the population of this province under 2 municipal governments and
the remaining half requiring 53 to deliver property service. That is still a long way from what Harvey Veniot
said in 1969 or what the Graham Commission recommended in 1974.



At one time or another, 10 areas of this province have been identified as very suitable for structural
simplification. Let us examine the track record of the present government in terms of reform. This track
record must be scrutinized as this very necessary process unfolds.



The position of the members for Timberlea-Prospect, Sackville-Beaverbank, Cole Harbour-Eastern
Passage, Preston and Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley was very clear and documented in a paper called, “The
Super City” issued by Halifax County in 1993. At this time these members, while stating they did not reject
reform, called on the Cameron Government to consult with these words: “You” - meaning the constituents
of Halifax County - “should be properly consulted, presented with all the relevant facts and guaranteed that
your sense of community and grass-roots representation will be maintained.”. Mr. Speaker, I would like to
table for the House that document.



I sincerely hope that the members for Timberlea-Prospect, Sackville-Beaverbank, Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, Preston and Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley will all be heard in this debate to ensure this
very necessary reform reverts to reflect the sentiments expressed in the document to which their names are
attached and which I have just tabled.



The Liberal municipal reform policy, part of the 1993 Liberal election platform, states categorically
that a Liberal Government will not change municipal boundaries and structures before providing full
information to the public on the impact of such change, including the costs and benefits of available options,
nor before members of the public have full opportunity for input and critique. Mr. Speaker, I table for the
House a copy of the Liberal municipal reform policy.



In view of the surprise announcement of the amalgamation of Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and the
County of Halifax on Thursday, October 27, 1994, the options were certainly bypassed. The metro
municipalities’ Chief Administrative Officers Committee reported on August 26, 1994 that it had been
meeting for several months and provided six options. The government with its announcement on Thursday,
without consultation, chose option five or the uni-city, effectively eliminating proper scrutiny and full
opportunity to weigh the costs and benefits of all available options. Mr. Speaker, I table before the House a
copy of the August 26th report of the metro municipalities’ Chief Administrative Officers Committee Report.



[7:45 p.m.]



Service exchange is an integral and key part of the reform process but cannot and will not stand on
its own. The disjointed approach to reform, as provided to date by this government, is guaranteed to provide
confusion and dismay from one end of this province to the other.



The objectives of service exchange by themselves are quite simple. First, to separate people service
from property service and, second, to provide municipal units with autonomous control over those property
services they deliver and for which they pay from taxes on their assessment base. This would address the
concern of the Inverness County Warden who complained that the existing state of municipal autonomy is
tons and tons of responsibility and not one ounce of authority.



A complete provincial-municipal separation of service responsibility and service payment would foster
efficiency of delivery to the ultimate benefit of the taxpayer. This must be the benefit of service exchange. Our
municipalities must be relieved of the fear, both real and imagined, of provincial downloading.



It is unreasonable to suggest an increase in either residential or commercial tax rates in many parts
of this province. For example, the Town of Trenton, hard hit by the latest proposal to the tune of $710,000
has already one of the highest commercial tax rates in Atlantic Canada.



In December 1993, the minister introduced her discussion paper on provincial-municipal service
exchange. This December proposal, as well as the present one, ignores the education tax levied on the
municipal taxpayer. This continuing opportunity for the provincial government to finance its educational
responsibilities by intruding into the municipal tax base, will continue to be a problem for municipal units
and provide continuing temptation for successive Ministers of Education.



The Minister of Municipal Affairs, as has been so often repeated, visited each of our 66 municipal units
this spring and I had an opportunity to accompany her on her three visits to my constituency, in Stellarton,
New Glasgow and Trenton. All were impressed with the minister’s energy and candour. The last unit of the
66 was completed just prior to the opening of the spring sitting of the Legislature.



The minister committed herself to municipal officials to take all their points of view back to Halifax,
make revisions on her position and in June, to reconsult with the unit officials and the public before her final
position was brought down in the Legislature. In addition, with the full cooperation of the UNSM, a
committee structure was set up to carry on the consultation process. Many of these committees did not meet
at all and others only infrequently.



When nothing happened, I questioned the minister in the House on June 23, 1994, when her revised
position would be available and she replied, in 15 to 25 days, as quoted from Hansard, “Mr. Speaker, I
appreciate the question. The honourable member is quite correct. We had hoped by the end of June to have
the final, final discussion paper. The UNSM, the table officers, had asked to have an extension on the meeting
times that the various committees were meeting and so we had extended that from four weeks into another
four weeks and that has caused a bit of delay. But we should soon be having some final numbers, I would
suggest, within the next 15 to 25 days.”.



I repeat, this was the Minister’s statement in the Legislature on June 23rd, 15 to 25 days. During the
summer, I wrote to the minister asking for her revised position, as it was obvious her April 1, 1995 deadline
would require legislation in the fall. I received no reply. It was obvious from my discussions with, and written
reports from, many local councils, that the advice given to the minister by these local officials would result
in very fundamental changes in the service exchange as described in December.



The tax shock of the December 1993 position would be crippling and perhaps fatal to many units. For
example, fatal to Kings County, perhaps Trenton, perhaps Canso, Dominion, Lockeport, Cape Breton County,
Colchester County, Mulgrave, Sydney Mines, Annapolis, to name but a few. A quick look at the balance
sheets told many municipal officials that their tax structure could not deal with the tax shock associated with
the December proposal.



I attended the UNSM meeting in Sydney one month ago with one purpose in mind and that was to hear
the minister’s revised position. This would be the minister’s very last opportunity to deliver on her
commitment to reconsult and allow the UNSM and others to have input into the legislation we all knew was
coming. Rather than this, the minister in Sydney told a shocked audience that the exchange which was and
had to be revenue neutral would be saddled with $27 million in new costs which the government had
determined were to be generated by the introduction of a provincially-operated and funded, one-tier, social
delivery system. Late in the game, Mr. Speaker, to be getting information like that. Very late in the game.
Nothing more was heard until the press conference on October 27th and the tabling of Bill No. 114 later the
same day. All this brings us to the present day. The October 27th provincial-municipal service exchange
proposal in Bill No. 114.



Initial reaction at the news conference was that this was a giant step backward for the municipal units
and reform. Again, as before, there were big winners and big losers. Among the big winners, winners in the
bottom line sense only, were: Halifax, $9.5 million; Dartmouth, $3.2 million; Bedford, $405,000;
Bridgewater, $417,000; Yarmouth, $412,000; Argyle $320,000; Inverness County, $354,000 and Digby,
$180,000.



The big losers: Queens County, $173,000; Kings County, $760,000; Halifax County, $4.5 million;
Colchester County, $1.1 million; Annapolis County, $111,000; Wolfville, $189,000; Westville, $210,000;
Trenton, $710,000; Stellarton, $118,000; Springhill, $70,000; Parrsboro, $100,000; Lockeport, $158,000;
Canso, $581,000; Berwick, $89,000; New Glasgow, $97,000.



Mr. Speaker, the new arithmetic of the process is a $76 million exchange but surprise of surprises,
despite all the talk about the end of municipal operating grants, a cost to the province is a $15.7 million
operating grant. This is a giant step backward in the evolutionary process of reform. One has to wonder that
if from April to October the government had continued its consultation with the UNSM, with the municipal
units and with the people of Nova Scotia, one has to wonder if a better solution could have been found. The
spirit of cooperation established from December to April dissipated in the indecision after April. The lack of
consultation from April to October and with the surprise of $27 million in new costs for a single-tier, social
service delivery announced in September.



I had opportunity, Mr. Speaker, as Opposition critic, to sit down with many municipal officials in this
province while this whole scenario was unfolding. I can report many municipal officials were ready to sit
down and discuss alternatives with the minister and with her department but the opportunity was not given.
It was lost throughout the summer of indecision.



I would like to spend a few minutes and discuss the principles involved in the exchange. First, let us
look at the costs which will be assumed by the province, the people services. The province, in assuming 100
per cent funding for nursing homes, homes for the aged and all home care services is correct as is the
elimination of the per capita hospital tax. The principle of municipal units contributing to hospital capital
costs and deficits is not acceptable and it will ultimately result in lower levels of health care available in less
affluent areas of the province. This principle is not acceptable as an objective of service exchange or reform.



The assumption of all costs of the administration of justice by the province, including courts, registry,
probate books and witness fees, is appropriate. The continuing contribution of municipalities toward the cost
of corrections is unacceptable and a weak point of the exchange. The assumption by the provinces of
responsibility of local boards of health dealing with eating establishments and food service and on-site sewage
disposal regulation is appropriate. Caution must be exercised, however, that a heavy-handed provincial
approach will not be taken with church suppers, outdoor gatherings and other once or twice a year events. I
am sure the minister heard that comment as she made her way around the province this past spring.



In terms of services to be assumed by the municipal units, the municipal assumption of local policing
costs, with the exception of highway patrols and central services, is appropriate. Local roads has proven to
be a sticky wicket. The province will continue to provide care and maintenance to all but 1,640 kilometres
of suburban division roads. The failure of a negotiated settlement on the issue of local roads has serious
financial implications for the exchange and has jeopardized its success. Cost-sharing will continue on arterial
and collector roads at 50/50 and this is satisfactory in principle. The elimination of all cost-shared programs
must be and should be the ultimate goal of service exchange.



The elimination of cost-sharing in district planning commissions, in building inspection, recreation
programs and weed control are compatible with the goals of proper service exchange. The elimination of the
proposal to make assessment a cost-shared program is an improvement over the December proposal. The
grants in lieu of taxes, paying full municipal taxes with certain exclusions, is in keeping with the objectives
and principle of service exchange.



[8:00 p.m.]



In terms of shared programs, the big issue is the promise of this government to deliver a one-tiered
social service assistance delivery system paid for by the province. This was the carrot that was held out to all
municipal units and attracted them to the table to discuss service exchange. This was the flagship of service
exchange and has floundered on the sea of indecision and interrupted consultation.



The province assumes total responsibility for child welfare costs, including costs associated with
apprehension. The province is increasing the cost-sharing on homes for special care from 66.67 per cent to
80 per cent. These homes, administered by Community Services, should not be a cost-shared program.



Mr. Speaker, the provision of $6 million by the province to offset municipal expenditures for
community-based support programs, funded under general assistance, will require intensive inspection and
analysis before units can determine if this amount is adequate.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask the minister, in her remarks in closing second reading, to outline the nature
and accounting for this very important expenditure. A key issue in service exchange is the delivery of social
assistance in this province. The provision of general assistance costs for the new Cape Breton regional
municipality is in keeping with the goals and the objective of exchange. However, I ask the minister, when
does the province start payment of general assistance costs in Yarmouth, in Kings County, in Lunenburg
County, in Annapolis, in Lockeport, in Colchester County, in Trenton, in Westville, in Canso, in Mulgrave,
in Inverness, in Richmond County? This must be determined and outlined by the minister to allow a fair
appraisal of her package.



I ask the minister to outline for Nova Scotians, when will the program initiated in the Cape Breton
regional municipality apply to all the rest of Nova Scotians?



Mr. Speaker, revenue sharing was a key component of the minister’s initial package. It did not receive
favour with municipal officials as it was not accompanied by assurances of control of spending and guarantees
of efficient, cost-effective administration by those receiving the benefits. There was considerable support for
revenue sharing with neighbours, as there was acceptance of the interdependence of economics at the local
level.



The minister has not chosen to pursue with the units this avenue of solution, having disregarded the
consultative approach to resolution. Her solution is to provide a thinly disguised equalization fund of $15.5
million to replace the municipal operating grant and the emergency funding grant.



In her wrap up, I encourage the minister to provide details of the distribution of these funds and
comment as to how it will be applied, so as to encourage efficiency in the administration and service delivery.
This approach, in principle, is very different from the December proposal.



Mr. Speaker, the October exchange introduces a new term, transitional assistance, a phase-in program.
This is a response by the minister to suggestions that I heard from many municipal officials. The gains or
losses of a unit will be phased in over four years, at 25 per cent the first year; 50 per cent the second year; 75
per cent the third year; and 0 per cent the fourth year. The transition plan will be self-cancelling in terms of
overall costs.



It is disappointing that so much time and substance have been lost in service exchange. Better solutions
have been left uncovered due to the lack of consultation from April to October. One cannot help at this time
to look back at the position of the previous government which correctly advocated complete reform realizing
that service boundaries have be to realigned to ensure municipal services could be exchanged and delivered
more effectively. The then Premier had a vision of municipal reform that would work. It was not a piecemeal
plan. He had vision with a capital V. We must compare this with the Liberal vision and the vision of the new
Premier. This is vision with a small v. Small v vision is when yesterday’s crazy idea becomes today’s bold
actions.



When this bill goes to the Law Amendments Committee, will this minister commit to take seriously
the representation from UNSM municipal officials and all concerned Nova Scotians, consider these
presentations the consultation which was denied during the past summer? This legislation may well benefit
from these submissions as long as the minister remains receptive and attentive. Mr. Speaker, the next step,
once this Act is finalized and the bottom lines are fixed, is to look at the areas which require consultation in
terms of solving service and financial problems which exchange has created or has not solved.



This can be done and done quickly. As I said earlier, the municipal taxpayer in most instances is
stretched to the limit. I hope the minister will accept my remarks and criticisms as constructive. I am a firm
supporter of municipal reform and will vote to send this bill to the Law Amendments Committee. I reserve
my vote on third reading until the House has had an opportunity to mould the legislation into the final shape,
ably assisted by the sculpturers from the UNSM municipal officials and the public. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, as I stand to make a few remarks on the bill this evening, I have to
say right up-front, that I don’t intend to be doing what the previous speaker did and that is at the present time
be saying that I will be voting for this bill to go on to the Law Amendments Committee. I would suggest that
what this bill needs to do is to go back to the drawing board. There has to be some credibility restored to the
whole process and to this government because of the government’s failure to live up to its countless promises
to treat its partners in government in this province, members of the municipal governments with some
decency and respect. Something that only a number of short months ago they promised to do when they were
seeking office.



Before I get into a number of the items on the bill, I would also like to take this opportunity to
introduce to you and to all members of the House, a guest that we have in our gallery this evening, Mr. Dave
Peters, who is President of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, who has joined us this evening.
(Applause)



Mr. Speaker, what we have before us in this bill on so-called municipal reform, an Act to Provide for
Municipal Reform is truly a mishmash. It includes almost everything from the kitchen sink, now that actually
is left out, but includes almost everything conceivable plus thrown in are some of the service exchanges. Of
course, what are left out are those items that the municipalities had been expecting to be in this particular
piece of legislation.



I pointed out that it was a mishmash, what is in here. I think what is covered in this bill is everything
from pest control - how you would control exotic pets, dogs and that type of thing - weeds and tree
commissions, all of which are very important, Mr. Speaker, but those are thrown in with this so-called service
exchange. Now, that gives the minister some credibility, a modest amount of credibility because the minister
did, as she will tell us over and over again, go on a road show last spring where she visited all 66
municipalities.



She now is saying, as she did when she introduced this hefty piece of legislation, and let me point out
something here, first of all, Mr. Speaker. I want to point out one thing first before I get into that point. What
we have before us is a piece of legislation which is 77 pages long, contains 146 clauses that this minister and
this government saw fit to introduce on Thursday and then expected that everybody should have that and it
should be ready for debate on Friday.



Mr. Speaker, this is the first time that I can remember in my 10 years in this House that a major piece
of legislation dealing primarily with the municipalities was not provided to the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities before it was introduced and their input sought. This is the very first time. I would suggest to
many members on the government benches because I heard you when you were over on this side of the House,
one of the first questions you asked when any piece of legislation affecting municipalities came to the floor,
was the union consulted? Have they received any input, that is the government received any input from whom
this is affecting? Does this have the support of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities or municipal units?



I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that people would have to be dreaming in Technicolor since they had
not even seen it, that they could say that they had the support. (Interruption) Oh, I hear the minister. Oh, she
is harping across the floor. Just look at, well, I want to tell the minister that I have looked at the resolution.
I want to assure the minister that I might even, before I sit down, refer to some of those resolutions and I
might, even be tempted to remind the minister what her seatmate, her colleague for Dartmouth South who
had, not too long ago, been very proud, supposedly, this humble man was very proud of his involvement with
the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and as his role as the Mayor of the good City of Dartmouth.



Mr. Speaker, I might even remind the minister what her now seatmate, the Premier, said about what
kind of heavy-handed tactics or what he thought of the heavy-handed kind of tactics that he is now trying to
do when they were being proposed by the previous Premier. In fact, one might almost wonder if Donald
Cameron is getting a consulting fee. I know this government is fond of consultants. Maybe he is getting a
consulting fee for having laid out the blueprint for what this government is proposing to do in this legislation.



In essence, Mr. Speaker, this is the Progressive Conservative plan. So, therefore, I am not surprised
that the PC critic would say that he is planning to be voting in support of the PC plan now shaded a tinge of
red as they have crossed the floor and decided that, no, they are not going to worry about municipalities or
their concerns. Instead, they are only going to be concerned about meeting their own personal fiscal agenda.



Mr. Speaker, let there be no mistakes about it. (Interruption) What this legislation, and those of you
on the government benches who, not very long ago, were sitting on municipal councils, many of them, some
from Halifax County and the document that was tabled earlier by the Municipal Affairs Critic, I remember
receiving that in my mailbox. I am very familiar with this document, where they are expressing some concerns
about the Tory plan that was out at that time. I am sure that many other municipal councillors, now MLAs,
in their former life, had they been presented with what is, very obviously, a complex but devious way for this
government to continue to download costs onto the property taxpayer, they would have spoken out strenuously
in opposition.



[8:15 p.m.]



AN HON. MEMBER: Who signed it?



MR. HOLM: Who signed which? (Interruption)



Yes, indeed, this has been signed by members of this House, yes, indeed, that was pointed out already.
I will pass it to you. I always wanted to be helpful, Mr. Speaker, to my friends in the Conservative caucus.



MR. SPEAKER: Excuse me. While the honourable member is gathering his thoughts, I wonder if you
could perhaps allow an introduction. An honourable member has asked for an introduction.



MR. HOLM: Certainly.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou Centre.



DR. JOHN HAMM: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to introduce to the House, two people in the
Speaker’s Gallery, Mr. Francis Dorrington, who is the Chairman of the Aberdeen Hospital Commission and
a councillor for the Town of New Glasgow, and Mr. Yud MacKinnon, who is a retired educator and until a
recent election, a councillor for the Town of New Glasgow. Please welcome them to the House. (Applause)



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



MR. HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I guess what I would like to do and I want to stress first of all, without
needing to go through the entire history of the reform process and all of the different studies and so on that
have been done throughout the year and I would suggest that there are no reasonable people who would say
that there is not a need for municipal reform in the Province of Nova Scotia. There are no reasonable people
who would say that there are not ways in which we can better deliver services and that we could have a proper
exchange of services.



What people want, Mr. Speaker, is to be treated with honesty. They want the government to be up-front. They want an end to the game playing, the one-upmanship that we see coming time after time from this
government. I cannot imagine how it is that this government, knowing full well that there is genuine public
support and concern about genuine reform, can devise ways, as it somehow has this great knack of doing, of
creating confusion, disharmony and mistrust. They have this unique ability.



Now let’s take a look at certain things that were done and were said. I want to remind the minister, who
is so sure that, somehow or other, we over here are confusing what the government has said. Mr. Speaker, the
Liberal municipal reform policy, that is not something that we devised. But you know, it is something that
members around here said that they believed in and it had some credibility, because who is making these
statements on behalf of the Liberal Party but the then past president of the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities. So people would expect that this gentleman understands the issues and is going to be
committed to the things that he is saying, said that a Liberal Government will not change municipal
boundaries and structures before providing full information to the public on the impact of such changes,
including the costs and benefits of available options - options, plural there, - not before members of the public
have had a full opportunity for input and critique.



We believe the province should serve people, so-called universal services such as social assistance. I
wonder how the Minister of Community Services and his staff who did, and I don’t know what part the
minister played but you know, the coordinating committee that is made up of provincial Cabinet Ministers
and executives of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities that was working to try to come up with the proper
service exchange in negotiating and hasn’t met, and of course it has to be called by the province so maybe that
is why it hasn’t met, hasn’t met since last spring.



But one committee certainly did and we were told at the union meetings in late September that the
Community Services Committee was working hard to come up with ways that the service exchange could be
put into place so that the province would honour its commitment to develop a one-tier social assistance system
in the Province of Nova Scotia. That is what the municipalities wanted, that is what drew them to the table
but what we have here in this legislation is that the municipalities by and large keep welfare and the province
off-loads police and roads onto the municipalities.



In other words, the province got what it wanted, it downloaded and it has set up a system whereby
increased costs will fall to the municipalities because, let’s consider a couple of things. First of all, we know
that the federal government, Lloyd Axworthy and company are looking at the UI system, they are looking at
the whole social safety network.



MR. SPEAKER: Excuse me but this bill does not relate to the federal UI system.



MR. HOLM: No it does not, Mr. Speaker, but there is a connection and I intend to make that and it
will relate, unfortunately, very closely. If those increased costs as are projected are going to fall back onto the
provincial social safety net, that means that the welfare costs will increase and that is really the largest
increase in costs facing municipalities.



The province, at the very last moment, in fact, they didn’t find out until this legislation was introduced
that they had been betrayed. This means that the province now is saying, whoops, because there is no
timetable in here, there is just an airy-fairy statement that has been made by certain people that, oh yes, we
plan to do it in phases, no timetable, no firm commitments in here whatsoever, it means that if there are
increased costs passed from the federal government down to the provincial level, that those costs automatically
end up on the shoulders and out of the pocketbooks of the individual property taxpayers across this province.



The province is ducking what it is expecting in the way of a bullet coming down from Ottawa and
passing that bullet directly down to the property taxpayers. That, I would suggest, is a major reason why this
government has decided to back off, to pull out, to betray the municipalities across this province who had been
promised that that was going to be a fundamental key in the service exchange. That was a promise not made
by myself or members over here although we certainly support it 100 per cent, support that one-tier system
totally. But no, it was made by this government and the municipalities and all of those who believed this
government have been betrayed by that because it is going to mean major new increases in costs to those
municipalities. There are other areas too where the province has downloaded and I will get to those a little
bit later on.



You know in here, Mr. Speaker, in that promise, I don’t see it in the legislation, of course but it says
the Liberals will ensure that all roads and bridges maintained currently by the province meet provincial safety
and engineering specifications before being transferred to any municipality. Right now, municipalities don’t
decide they want to take them, they are told, you got them. Not only do you have them, but you also have all
the costs that go along with it.



I am sure the Minister of Community Services will be very familiar with this policy and I am sure he
would totally have supported it at the time because under the Liberal welfare reform policy. You know, Mr.
Speaker, then it was not a matter of fiscal policy, it was really the Liberals were saying they were going to do
what was right because then under the existing position it says particularly given that the present government
has made - present government referring to the former Conservative Government, of course - replacement of
the two-tier system a corner stone of its proposed municipal reform. It is important to remember that a Liberal
commitment to this initiative preceded the government’s directive by a number of years.



So here the Liberals are saying, you guys are saying you are going to do it but we said it first. The truth
is that we said it before either one of them but that doesn’t matter. The Liberals are saying they said it first.
Then it doesn’t matter. The key is that it be done.



Then it said, moreover our initial policy direction was not fiscally driven through a response to rising
case loads, nor was it a detail of municipal reform. Rather, our policy was formed in recognition that the
present system contains inherent inequities, fails in some cases to adequately address basic needs, Mr.
Speaker. So that is what the Liberal policy was based on - the fact that the current two-tier system failed to
meet basic needs in many situations. It was not fiscally driven.



It is amazing now, Mr. Speaker, a few short months later, you know the situation has not changed and
I can pull out and I could take a look, for example, if we want supporting documentation with respect to the
inequities that exist in this system, how about the unemployed and welfare in Nova Scotia? The Bottom Line
it was called, a study done in 1992. Nothing has changed. I am sure that the Minister of Community Services
is very familiar with this document that outlines the problems that exist and the inequities and the fact that,
in fact, many of the programs are not even operating in accordance with the federal cost-sharing formula.



You know, Mr. Speaker, the anti-poverty network wrote to the Minister of Community Services on July
26th, on behalf of the anti-poverty network I would like to thank you for meeting with the representatives of
our group. Very pleased to have done that they were, Mr. Speaker. They support - it says, we support your
intention to involve the community in developing the one-tier system.



The end of July, the minister obviously still passing on the indications that they planned to develop
that. In fact, Mr. Speaker, at the end of September municipalities were still proceeding on the assumption,
because they had received no word to the contrary, that the social assistance system would become a one-tier
system.



Mr. Speaker, I could go on and on more about that but I am not going to because I have not enough
time and I want to touch on a whole bunch of items. The minister talks about consultation and how the Union
of Nova Scotia Municipalities, of course, supports that. Of course on September 2nd the minister wrote,
believe it or not, to all the different mayors and wardens and councils across the province - that is September
2, 1994, this year, less than two months ago, it will be two months tomorrow. She reiterated these kinds of
comments when she addressed the conference in Sydney, your great city that you represent, Mr. Speaker, just
slightly over a month ago.



Anyway, the minister in her letter at that time said, at the moment we are proceeding to develop a final
proposal with all of the financial implications identified and an assurance that any cost increases for the
provincial government can be accommodated. Proceeding in this manner means that it takes a little longer
to develop - and I guess that is why she didn’t have this full package ready 15 days after she said she would,
in June, - the final program but the end result should be a more substantial, practical improvement in
municipal government in Nova Scotia. She ended up in saying, I want to stress that no final decisions have
been made and we will continue to consult with the UNSM as the program proceeds.



[8:30 p.m.]



Well, Mr. Speaker, if she plans to consult with the UNSM as the program proceeds, I guess the
program is still proceeding because there has been no consultation, none whatsoever. If the minister wants
to get into a disagreement on that, into a shouting match then I suggest that maybe what we should do is bring
the president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and the minister together because the Union of Nova
Scotia Municipalities put out a release just the other day and quite clearly has said that the government has
acted, “unilaterally”. (Interruption)



Well, I hear the Minister of Transportation cautioned me not to be speaking in haste. I am not speaking
in haste at all. I am speaking directly and quoting directly from the release that I have in my hands from the
Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. (Interruption)



Well, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the minister a little later on rising to speak in the debate and
clearing up all of the confusions and all of the items that have been left by this government’s action.



Mr. Speaker, I want to before I touch on that, just so I do not by any chance run out of time and I know
I have a little over half an hour left, but there are probably about 40 minutes, I think.



MR. SPEAKER: I have your time beginning at 8:08 p.m. and it will conclude at 9:08 p.m.



MR. HOLM: Okay, great. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, because I did not write down the exact time that
I started.



I want to point out a number of things in the legislation. I am not going to get into the tree control or
the weed control or those items. There are a few points and those I am not going to get into them, not because
they are not important, but certainly there are some other things I want to touch on.



Now, Mr. Speaker, Corrections. I want to make just a comparison here and in this it is talking about
how under Clause 14 and I am not going through clause by clause, I am only going to talk about the principles
that are contained in this. I know that you are very fair and so, therefore will allow me to talk about different
principles in a bill that contains so many principles, but under this one it is interesting to compare that to
what, for example, the government is doing in the capital grants to municipalities.



In capital grants to municipalities the province is saying that the capital grant amounts will be fixed
at what they were and then they will be decreased to the municipalities in accordance with this government’s
expenditure control legislation. So, in other words, the amount of money that the province is going to provide
to municipalities will decrease under the capital system by 3 per cent the first year, 3 per cent the second year,
2 per cent and then 2 per cent for the term of the Act.



Under Corrections, interesting, the costs to municipalities for corrections are not going to be decreased
by 3 per cent, 3 percent, 2 per cent and 2 per cent, instead another little subtle way of the province
downloading some additional costs to municipalities just as they do in education by increasing the education
tax rate. What they are saying is that for corrections the cost to the municipalities are going to increase in
accordance with the CPI, the Consumer Price Index. The costs to the municipalities are going up, but when
it comes to cost-sharing they are going to be going down under that item.



When we take a look at the court houses and the lockup houses some might say that we got a little bit
of expropriation going on here without any compensation because, Mr. Speaker, the clauses not only remove
municipal responsibilities for court houses and provides authority to the Minister of Justice to take over those
court houses, what the bill actually says in Clause 19, Section 3(4) is that, “The assets and liabilities of the
Halifax County Court House Commission are vested in Her Majesty in right of the Province.”, and, Clause
19, Section 3(5), “Where the Minister requires a court house or court-house facility owned by a municipality
and so notifies the municipality, the municipality shall convey the court house or court-house facility, as the
case may be, to Her Majesty in right of the Province and is not entitled to any compensation . . .”.



So, Mr. Speaker, municipalities that may well have court houses that the Minister of Justice and his
colleagues want, because they have decided they want that court house, because they are taking over justice,
as they properly should, but they are saying, we are going to take those assets, those facilities, and uh-uh, no
compensation whatsoever, although the property taxpayers in those specific municipalities could very well
and would have been paying for those facilities. The only thing that the province will assume with those is
if there is still a debt owing on that building. They will take over the debt. They will not leave that debt but
they also will not leave the asset.



I do not know but it is quite conceivable and I would suggest it is quite probable, but some of those
court house buildings or facilities serve more than one purpose. So municipalities probably have other
functions going on in some of those structures but if the province decides, we want that, too bad, it is gone.
Maybe now they will charge the municipalities that currently own it rent to use the building that they already
own, Mr. Speaker.



Try that in the private sector. Try that on your friends who you meet with behind closed doors when
you go to Amherst and you have the think-tank sessions. Go to them and say that we are going to take over
your facilities because we decide we want them and, oops, no compensation. Try that one on for size. I think
you might get a slight reaction, Mr. Speaker.



We could take a look, and I freely admit there are some positive things in the bill when I am going
through this. For example, the changes for the auditors, Mr. Speaker, for municipalities to have to report
information when they find problems in the audits. I am not so sure about some of the municipalities being
able to charge up to a $200 fee if somebody owns a trailer and I am not too sure about that. The way this is
written, maybe somebody who has a ride-on lawnmower with a trailer, one that is not registered for on the
road, it could be that. That is Clause 99K for the Minister of Transportation, on Page 26, if the Minister of
Transportation would like to look that up in case he wants to find a way that he could get the fee for licensing
or have trailers that are not being used on roads.



Mr. Speaker, I want to touch next on, since we are dealing with the Minister of Transportation, of
course, he has expressed some interest in this bill, certainly another area where there are going to be costs that
are going to be incurred by the municipalities and not only in the roads but also in traffic authorities because
now, municipalities are going to have to be developing traffic authorities and to have those being appointed
by the council and, of course, meeting the minister’s standards as to what he expects to have in those.



I want to talk, if I might, on the whole issue of the capital grants and the operating grants. Particularly,
I will deal with the operating grants, Mr. Speaker. Now when we take a look, and this has always been
something that we have had some debates on in this House. The current minister, I must admit, is true to
tradition and last spring she did what her predecessors in that position had done when the former government,
the Conservative Government, was in. Every year that I can remember, the former government and now this
government would bring in amendments to the Grants Act. They would say, that notwithstanding what the
Act says in terms of how much money, this is in essence what they say, notwithstanding what the Act says,
how much money the municipalities are supposed to get in the way of operating grants, for this year it is going
to be so many dollars. When you trace it back, you find out that they have been doing that year after year, so
in many situations whether it be operating or grants in lieu and so on, the municipalities are really getting
no more money than they did five, six, eight years ago.



You know, Mr. Speaker, last year the minister tried but she, to her credit, the government to their
credit at that time, were still a tad sensitive to municipalities. Last spring they thought about, let’s remove this
requirement to bring amendments to the amount of money we provide in the way of operating grants, to get
those changes, let’s remove the requirement to bring that to the Legislature to get approval. They were going
to when they amended it the last time withdraw that requirement. They have done one better. Because what
they have done is chopped the operating grant altogether, all those sections are gone, no more operating grant.
Instead what we have now is an equalization grant.



The equalization is really what the operating grant was intended to do and be. Under the operating
grant, there was a policy and there was a principle and the operating grant said, in the clauses of the operating
grant, that the amount of money that was being provided to municipalities was to increase in accordance with
the increase in the revenues and the recoveries to the Province of Nova Scotia. If the revenues of the province
went up, if the recoveries of the Province of Nova Scotia went up, then so too supposedly the operating grants,
the amount of money that was provided to municipalities to assist them with their operations, so that amount
was to increase. There was not to be any changes made in that formula in that funding except by an Act of
this Legislature. Well, now Mr. Speaker, not required because now that is hacked.



Now, the minister and the government will decide the amount of the equalization and no requirement
to bring it before the Legislature and nothing in this legislation that ties that to the fortunes of the province.
So, if the province’s revenues go up; if the recoveries increase; no requirement according to this legislation
to share those gains with the municipalities that are providing the local people services from one end of this
province to the other. Gone, totally gone. The minister has therefore found yet another way to download
increased costs to the municipalities and to keep more for the government, the Province of Nova Scotia. The
Police Act, of course, is amended so it now says that rural municipalities are responsible for reimbursing the
province for police costs. It talks about pay reasonable costs. Who decides a reasonable cost, who sets the
standards? Are the municipalities to be consulted on what is or is not reasonable?



It says right here, and I am sure he is a very reasonable gentleman and I wish him a happy birthday
as other members of this House did earlier tonight. I am sure the Minister of Justice would try to be very fair,
but we can’t always be sure that the Deputy Premier will be the Minister of Justice and there may be some
others who might come along and occupy that position, who might someday decide that they would like to
increase the amount that they are passing on to the municipalities in the way of costs for those police services.



We can talk about grants in lieu of taxes, Mr. Speaker. If we take a look at grants in lieu of taxes,
again, you know the province has increased those items that no longer the province will pay grants in lieu of
taxes for. So, for example, municipalities who have museums and so on, or anything that would be considered
to be a health facility and more particular facilities are now going to be considered with this so-called health
reform falling under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health. Those areas are going to be exempt from
grants in lieu of taxes.



[8:45 p.m.]



What I am getting at, and I could go through and find a lot more and what I am trying to show, yes
indeed, the province has assumed some modest costs. What they have done is not only here, they have laid
the seeds for what they can do in year two, three and four in the way of increased downloading of costs. That
is what this bill does. It is very complex and I defy members opposite to show me in here where I am wrong,
to show me where the exact things that I am talking about, the very real likelihood that those will happen.
Show me in here where there is anything to prevent that.



Mr. Speaker, show me, and more importantly than me, show Nova Scotians, show municipal leaders
in this province that you can be trusted, that this government can be trusted and that they can have faith that
you will not do those things that they are afraid of. Remember, and I am pleased to see that the Premier is
back, because he will know, and I am sure when he was the Mayor of the City of Dartmouth that he would
have complained about the downloading of costs to the City of Dartmouth. I am just using it as an example.
I could be talking about some others, like Halifax County. I have got those figures here, as well. I am going
to choose Dartmouth for the moment.



Since 1987 to 1994-95, it is estimated that the downloading costs in social services alone to the City
of Dartmouth are over $14 million. I cannot remember when the current Premier became Leader of the Liberal
Party. What year was that? 1992 (Interruption) I think it would have been 1992. That is over $8 million or
$9 million that would have been just between 1987 and 1991-92. (Interruption)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.



MR. HOLM: That have been downloaded. The scary thing is, and the unfortunate thing is, Mr.
Speaker, and the unbelievable thing is that a government now, not only is it run by a Premier who was the
former leader of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and should understand the concerns, but has on its
benches so many former municipal councillors who should understand those concerns could now act and treat
those municipalities in such a manner.



Mr. Speaker, what we have before us is, if you want to be maybe slightly cynical, but I do not think
you have to stretch it too far, not only an attempt to download costs to municipalities, but it is a strategy, it
is a plan on behalf of this government to force municipalities to go into amalgamations. That is a good part
of what this government is planning to do. We will, once they have carried through if they do on their next
shotgun amalgamation that they are planning, and that is in the metropolitan area, we will have reduced the
number of municipalities from 66 down to 56. I would bet you that that means - because that is seven gone
in Cape Breton with the amalgamation there, and then when Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and the County
of Halifax amalgamate, that would eliminate three more - so my guess is that that means that this government
plans to get rid of approximately 38 more municipalities.



What you are aiming at is 18. That is what your goal is, 18. The Premier is going to write it down.
Well, I suggest he can write it down and then he may want to go back and check what I am sure he has jotted
down somewhere else on what their goals and what their long-term objectives are. They may not be stating
it, just the same way as this government when they were brokering, supposedly in good faith, the policing
amalgamation and, also, brokering the solid waste management that they were, just at the same time they did
not acknowledge that they had the legislation or the plan for the amalgamation in their back pocket and they
were going to drop that on the people in a matter of a couple of days.



Mr. Speaker, people want to be treated up-front. They want to be treated fairly. They are willing to
work with you and with others to try to find reasonable ways to bring about change, responsible change. But
you know, and I don’t think it is too much to expect that they be treated with respect. That is something that
has been lacking in this whole process.



We hear about the winners and the losers and I would suggest that a lot of those people in
municipalities who think they are winners maybe should be looking around them and see who the losers are.
Because what this government plans to do is to bring the winners and the losers together so that nobody in
the municipal units - and at first, of course, remember that the first year they are going to be clawing back 75
per cent of anybody who had a gain - but then they are going to be joining people together. So they don’t want
there to be winners or losers except at the very up-front so that those winners will be forced to take on the
losers and to share their so-called gains, plus some, Mr. Speaker, so that everybody is a loser except for the
province, which will be the winner.



What this is all about is not municipal reform for true reform. What this is all about is ways that this
government can off-load costs to municipalities, maybe larger municipalities than they are at the present time,
so that this province can keep more dollars in its own pocket and to meet the Minister of Finance’s stated
financial objectives. That is what this is all about. It is not about service exchange and, more importantly, it
is not about doing what is right and it is not about doing what was promised. That is not what this bill is
about.



It is interesting that in the Cape Breton Post somebody who is more familiar with members opposite
was quoted with a few comments about this service exchange as well. One Mr. Coady, who is now, I guess
that Mr. MacLean is not going to be seeking re-election in Sydney, it will make the race a little less or maybe
a little bit more interesting in terms of who is going to become the mayor of the new super city one. Anyway,
Mr. Speaker, he is saying that losses will be close to $5.5 million, that is because of this service exchange,
over three years, which will eat up the estimated $6.5 million savings from the introduction of regional
government to replace the eight separate municipalities of industrial Cape Breton.



It does not look fair, Mr. Speaker. Not my words, does not look like my words. That is Mr. Coady. We
create regional government to initiate savings and the province turns around and takes it. That is what this
is all about. It is for the province to find ways that it can somehow or other, whether it means reduce services,
whether it means upheaval, confusion, loss of jobs, insecurity, breaking good faith. What this is all about is
this province finding ways to somehow or other manufacture what it believes are savings so that it, the
provincial government, can turn around and take those savings.



You know, I am looking here for a couple of things from the last election or before the last election,
the then president back in 1993 talking about municipal reform, Sylvester Atkinson said, “. . . the go-slow
approach of the Liberals and New Democrats to municipal reform is the wiser approach.”. That is wiser than
that of the Conservative Government that was in at the time. “The shape of municipal reform should be
decided only after thorough consultation with the municipalities and taxpayers of the province.”.



“Liberal Leader John Savage said the Tory plan `is dictatorial, top down and shows a serious lack of
understanding.’”. It is very poetic and very apt. I would be only too happy to table that. That is what one
Liberal Leader, now Premier, described the former (Interruption) The member for Kings North wants me to
read it again. I will let him read it when I table it.



Mr. Speaker, what have we had happen here? Who can deny a process where supposedly the
government introduced a discussion paper almost a year ago in December, failed to provide any financial
updates, failed to consult with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on the pretense that, we are going
around talking to 66 municipalities which, according to the president at the UNSM conference, really had the
net effect, planned, undoubtedly, to take the union out of the negotiations. If the minister is running around
speaking to each individual player while she was doing that, then it was very difficult for the coach and the
management of those teams, I shouldn’t say management but the staff and the executive of the union, to be
negotiating on their behalf while the minister is running around doing a road show.



We had the minister, this is the same government that appointed the commissioner for the Cape Breton
amalgamation without any consultation giving them absolute powers, appointed the commissioner to look at
the police amalgamation and by the way, called it consensus when those who were voting on whether or not
they should have an amalgamated police force, when they voted 5 to 4, she calls that consensus. That brought
a little chuckle at the conference as well. A government that was off between $27 million to $30 million, at
least, on the cost of implementing the social service exchange and which has not had the subcommittees meet.
How can you expect anybody to endorse what they are saying and the process to date?



The current Premier about the former Premier’s process back in 1993, said to start off with this aspect
of reform seems to be an almost wilful slap in the face of municipalities. Those were pretty strong words by
our current Premier talking about the former Premier and the former government, especially in light of the
fact that he is now turning around and implementing basically that program with no alternatives being
provided.



I would suggest, however, that despite all that they have done, if there is truly, and the Premier said
the other day that he is a humble man, let’s hope there is some truth to the fact that the Premier and the
government are humble and that they have some humility.



AN HON. MEMBER: They have much to be humble about.



MR. HOLM: I am not even going to pick up on what would be a tempting comment, Mr. Speaker,
because I would like to see them exercise some of that humility. I would like to see them step back a little bit.
I would like to see this government tap into some of the genuine goodwill that exists from one end of this
province to the other, people in Cape Breton, people in Yarmouth County and all points in between, the
majority I would suggest would say it is time to have some reform. People are prepared to do their part.



[9:00 p.m.]



What they want to do - and I am sure the ministers must know this from their dealings with the
municipalities - they want to know they are not going to be downloaded on, they want to know that their input
is going to be respected and the programs and services to their citizens are going to be maintained and/or
improved as a result of a reform process.



The opportunity to build on the goodwill still exists, but not if this government goes ahead with its
current process. You know there are some who would argue that the end justifies the means. I am not one of
those. Never have been and I hope I never will. The end does not justify the means.



I would say however, Mr. Speaker, that this government has an end in mind. That end is not the same
as they promised a few months ago; it is not what they said when they were speaking to the Union of Nova
Scotia Municipalities and the 66 municipalities in this province, and it certainly was not what they said when
they were speaking to the citizens. The end of this government, the goal of this government quite clearly and
absolutely appears to be to achieve the Minister of Finance’s stated financial objectives at any cost. If that
means betraying our friends in municipal government, so be it. That is wrong. It is wrong.



They have expressed their willingness and they have passed resolutions authorizing, giving the
executive the authority to vote and to negotiate with the province. I believe they should be given that chance
and that time. If this government is truly humble, if you don’t believe that you have the absolute right to
impose your will with total disregard to what is best for the people of this province, if you expect people to
buy in, you will back off and you will allow for some time for that healing process and that true consultation
to take place.



Therefore, Mr. Speaker, in the spirit of cooperation and in the hopes that the government does truly
have some of that humility and is willing to open this process up for meaningful, true dialogue and
consultation, I am going to make the following amendment and I will send a copy of this to you, Mr. Speaker.
Then, after I read it, I will ask that it be passed out.



I am moving “That the words after that be deleted and the following substituted: that Bill No. 114 be
now not read for a second time, but that it is to be read a second time, six months hence.”.



This will provide the opportunity for consultation, true meaningful respectful consultation with the
citizens of this province and the municipal leaders in this province to take place, something that to date has
been denied.



MR. SPEAKER: The amendment, of course, is in order and it is the hoist amendment or the
amendment of deferral, that the process of the bill be deferred at this stage until a period six months hence.
The debate will now take place on the amendment, the debate will be related strictly to the amendment. I will
hold the speakers to the content to the amendment and while there are thoughts related to the necessity of
other, (Interruption) When the Speaker is speaking the House is expected to be silent, please.



The debate will be held to the amendment as strictly as is possible.



The honourable member for Queens.



MR. JOHN LEEFE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in support of the amendment that has been put
forward by my colleague. I think that it is a reasonable amendment, one which I would hope would attract the
attention of all members of the House, especially those who are on the record over the past couple of years as
being opposed to amalgamation without consultation. That is, of course, what is at the heart of the amendment
which my colleague has put before the House this afternoon.



That is the vital importance of ensuring that sufficient and appropriate and deep and intelligent
consultation occurs between the government and those municipal units which are to be amalgamated. It has
been made abundantly clear by the minister that, to date, she has determined that this is the package and that
the package is not open for discussion. That certainly is in contrast to the position that she seemed to have
taken up until very recently where she herself spoke at length upon every opportunity of the importance and
the requisite need of consultation.



Certainly, the chief magistrates of each of the municipal units which are going to be amalgamated in
this metropolitan area, that would be Mayor Fitzgerald, Mayor Kelly, Mayor Ball and Mayor McCluskey, have
stated that they are not at all opposed to the concept of reform. But they feel they have a responsibility to their
councils and to their constituents to be consulted and consulted at length in advance of any final decisions
being taken with respect to the form in which amalgamation will take place in the metropolitan area. One that
is almost loath to use the expression metropolitan area when one considers that, by the minister’s definition,
we are talking about communities that are as disparate as Ecum Secum on the Eastern Shore and the South
End of Halifax, here in our capital city.



It strikes me, Mr. Speaker, that by reading the bill six months hence, we provide an opportunity for
the minister to make good on her high sounding words for the need of consultation. It strikes me that six
months from now, if the bill were not to be read for six months hence, would put us in about April of next year
and she has stated that she intends to have a final package together for the House for April of this year, so the
timing would not be out of whack for the government. Yes, it would require the government to sit back and
take a second look at a position into which they have leaped and leaped unilaterally but I think it is a change
in this instance back to what the position the government had taken and had held for some time. One which
would be certainly be welcomed by us on this side of the House and absolutely would be welcome by the four
mayors and by their constituents.



It is an amendment to the bill which should have the support certainly, not only of the members on this
side of the House who are in Opposition but I would think of all of those persons who prior to May 25, 1993,
were municipal councillors and who put their names to a document which has been tabled tonight whereby
they decried amalgamation without consultation. One can only hope that those members will be consistent
in their new capacities as MLAs and will speak to this amendment; will speak in favour of this amendment;
and will encourage their government to do what they demanded of the previous government not too many
months ago; and that is that there be full, complete, open and in-depth consultation with municipal units
particularly those surrounding the metropolitan region in advance of legislation of this nature being brought
before the House.



This is a good, wise and a sensible amendment and certainly I will be supporting it and I hope that
colleagues from all Parties in the House will reflect on it, will speak to it and will give it support when the
question is put by you, Sir. Thank you very much.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, you know, municipal reform has been talked about for a long
time and I don’t think there is anyone in this province, or very few that wouldn’t agree with municipal reform.
But they would also have to say that you know what the problem is in this province, and we see it here and
this six months’ hoist would look after it, the problem is this government has turned deaf ears to everybody
but themselves. Maybe, just maybe there are some other people in this province who know something besides
the front row over there. That is the attitude they are taking on every bit of legislation. Nobody else knows
anything; only the minister; only the Cabinet of this province; nobody else knows anything; so you won’t give
them an opportunity to be listened to; to work with; to consult with; to allow them to develop a good idea. One
that would be good for this province, one that is not rammed down people’s throats and that is the attitude of
this government and that has got to change.



If that doesn’t change, Mr. Speaker, this province is going to be a bad, bad place to live in. Yes, I get
worked up, well, I will tell you I get worked up. Mr. Speaker, one thing this amendment would do is it would
allow consultation. Consultation isn’t all bad. You don’t need to be afraid of your government that you are
afraid to consult; you don’t need to be afraid of good people in this province, whether they be municipal
officials; elected or otherwise or whether they be the common guy on the street or whether they be a business
person or whatever profession they may be in.



Here is an opportunity for the government to do it right because what we have in this provincial service
exchange is not what we saw last spring. How did it change? Did it change because the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities wanted it changed? Not at all. Did it change because the people of this province wanted the
original plan changed? No, not at all. There was no consultation prior to this bill being introduced in its form.
The consultation that took place - and I was at one of those types of hearing - this paper does not reflect what
I am hearing municipal leaders and others to say.



[9:15 p.m.]



Now a six months’ hoist, Mr. Speaker, would allow one to say to these people, look, in six months we
are going to have municipal reform and a piece of legislation that will be good for Nova Scotia, one that will
be good for Kings County, one that will be good for the metro area, one that will be good for Colchester
County or Pictou County, one that will be good for any one of the counties. Here would be an opportunity not
to get a piece of paper that only half achieves what you want to achieve.



You know, Mr. Speaker, when you start putting puzzles together in a way that you are ramming the
pieces together that don’t fit, you know what kind of a puzzle you end up with, one that is not going to be good
for anyone.



I happen to think that if proper consultation was had and there was a commitment by this government
and this minister, not to pretend that you are going to listen and not to pretend that you want input, but be real
and allow input, allow free discussion, allow democracy to once again take place in this province, where the
government listens to the people of this province and those affected by decisions of this government, this six
months’ hoist would allow that to happen.



It would allow whether in any area, whether it be policing which has a lot of questions about policing
and we are going to have municipal police driving by the provincial RCMP covering the same ground, only
they are going to be responsible for different things. The municipal police won’t stop you - and the Minister
of Natural Resources might like to know this - they won’t stop you for speeding, obviously, we are going to
have our own separate police to do that. So maybe there is more work that could be done in that area; maybe
there is more work that could be done on the roads, on how that could work better, so that everybody could
be in favour. The way that it is done, I am not convinced it is going to be cost-effective and we are going to
get better service for less dollars.



You know, Mr. Speaker, if we are going to have service exchange, what are our objectives? First we
have to decide if we are going to set out to say that we want municipal governments and the services that are
run by the province and those run by the municipalities, we want them to be more cost-effective, we want the
taxpayer to get a better bang for their dollar. If that is what we want, then we should take the time to do it
right.



I’ve read this paper. There are many areas in there that I am not convinced. The information is not
there that tells me that the service, because it is going to be provided by somebody else, is going to be done
cheaper, is going to be more effective and the citizen is going to actually get better service for less dollars. I
don’t see that, Mr. Speaker.



Now maybe if there was time allowed for people to go around this province and we allowed all those
people out there with a lot of good ideas, they could come up with a plan in six months - I believe they could -
a plan that would not be a partial exchange, it would not be one with a lot of unanswered questions. We would
be able to deal in true facts; we wouldn’t have to surmise that our dollars are going to be better spent, we
would actually find out whether our dollars were going to be better spent.



What this does, and there are a lot of unanswered questions about people and it seems that this
government has a way that it doesn’t have the concern for people. It makes announcements and then it is not
concerned about how it affects people and their families.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Kings West has the floor.



MR. MOODY: Mr. Speaker, as I way saying, trying to get above the noise, there will be many families
affected by this, as well as many taxpayers. I think that if this government, which has not displayed any
compassion yet, has not displayed any leadership with the consultative approach, would take the opportunity
to say to the municipalities it is not a matter of when, it is not a matter of if we are going to have municipal
reform, we are going to have municipal reform and we are going to have a piece of legislation that we are
going to introduce in six months’ time and, therefore, the task is set. The tone is set and you go around and
you bring something in that reflects the input that you hear around the province. You don’t bring something
in that the minister and her staff decide. They recommend a Cabinet and Cabinet says, we think this is best
for Nova Scotia. We think this is the best plan possible.



Well, I hate to tell you, Mr. Speaker, it is not the best plan possible. You know, because this
government is going to ram this through and not allow consultation to take place, that it could in six months,
we are not going to have the kind of cooperation by many of the people that could help make this work.



Now just maybe the minister, if she decided that this is not an alternative and if she would agree that
in Law Amendments Committee we could, the idea as it came forth, or maybe if those ideas were listened to
and acted upon, I would have faith that we would not need a six months’ hoist. But the record of this
government clearly indicates, it does not matter if 500 people go to Law Amendments Committee, if 1,000
people go to Law Amendments Committee and they are all saying the same thing, this government will ram
it through their way, regardless of what Nova Scotians are saying. That is why I think a six months’ hoist
would be better than saying we will go on faith that this government will listen when it comes to Law
Amendments Committee.






Well, I think everybody may not agree, but there could be a consensus. What we would look for in a
six months’ hoist, Mr. Speaker, is a consensus builder. I think if people around the province knew it was going
to happen you would see a consensus building, at least the majority of the people would be happy with the
service exchange legislation that came forward. Right now we have winners and losers in the province.
Winners and losers for what reason? Were they bad managers that they are losers? Were they poor managers
that they are winners? Was it that the structure was unfair? You could go on and on. But what you have to
do is make those people understand, and I think you could, that what we have to achieve in a service
exchange, the provincial government will say they have no more dollars and I agree and the municipal
governments will say they have no more dollars and I agree. Then if you are going to have a neutral exchange,
it has got to happen in a way that people’s homework is done. Because from what I can see right now, the
municipalities will be the losers when this service exchange program comes into effect.



This government reneged on its promise to take over 100 per cent of social costs and right away that
tells me that this government is bent on making municipalities pay more. I think when it all shakes down,
there is nothing here that guarantees the municipalities that this will be revenue neutral. Not a thing in this
legislation guarantees that that is going to happen. So if I were out there in a municipal unit, I would be
saying can I trust this government? They may give me their word that it will be revenue neutral but there is
nothing to demonstrate in the costing that that is actual fact. If I were anybody out there, I would have to say
I am not sure that I could trust them. Because historically, in a year and a half, they have done more
turnarounds than probably any government in any history of Canada has done. So why would you trust them?
Why would you feel that you could agree that that will actually happen?



You know, Mr. Speaker, I will not delay the House on this amendment but I just want to say that this
amendment, if actually all members who agree in democracy and agree that their constituents ought to have
a say and agree that their municipal units ought to have a say, and that it is important that we allow the people
of Nova Scotia to help us mould this province and not a selected, appointed few, then they would agree with
the six months’ hoist. If they vote against the hoist then again they are ramming something down the people’s
throats and they are not willing to listen, they are not willing to consult like they said they were when they
ran the election last year and it is just unfortunate that somebody over there on the government side hasn’t
said, wait a minute, aren’t people important, aren’t the people of this province important, shouldn’t they have
an opportunity to be part of the process?



Maybe, just maybe, we have stopped listening. Just maybe there is a process that would work better
than the way that we are approaching things. Maybe it is the Premier that won’t allow them to do that but if
it is the Premier that won’t allow them to do that, surely to goodness there are enough solid men and women
in that caucus that said, sorry, Mr. Premier, you may be Premier but there is a better process to the way we
develop our programs and policies than to ram things down people’s throats. There is a better process and we
are going to make sure that democracy is still alive and well in this province and we are going to allow this
to happen. That is why we think, Mr. Premier, that there should be a six months’ hoist and that is why we are
going to allow the people of this province, finally, on at least one issue, to have some input on what their
future is going to look like and it is just too bad.



I know that this government does as little listening out there among the general public as they probably
do in the House. I know that what I am saying and many others goes on deaf ears but it will be recorded in
Hansard and I am sure years later people will understand what it is we are trying to say and why we agree in
this particular case that a six months’ hoist would be very, very appropriate for this legislation.



With that, Mr. Speaker, you can rest assured that I am going to vote for this amendment.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I just want you to know that I have to stand and support
this six months’ hoist mostly because I think we do need the opportunity to have a little bit of time, that this
bill should be read a second time six months hence.



There are a lot of reasons for that, not least of which is the craftsmanship in this bill. It would give us
all the opportunity to read the bill and to fully understand it because I realize it is very long, there are quite
a few pages, about 78 pages and I think it perhaps arrived here without due and correct reading of all the
members on the government side of the House. Otherwise, I know the name of this bill would not just be an
Act to Provide for Municipal Reform but I think it would be entitled an Act to Provide Municipal Reform and
the Care, Control and Breeding of Dogs because a full 10 per cent of the words in this bill refer to dogs. Eight
pages on the care and control of dogs and some people look shocked that so much is devoted to dogs in this
bill. Mr. Speaker, it may be that perhaps they missed it in first reading and maybe they should have an
opportunity and six months would give them the time to learn.



When it comes to municipal reform, if the first and biggest issue is the care, control and breeding of
dogs, it should be noted so in the title but municipal reform is not something to be rushed into, nor is it to be
taken lightly. It is like a marriage, they work a little better I am told when a shotgun is not involved and six
months time would give us all, I think, an opportunity to sit down because the Mayors of Halifax, Dartmouth,
Bedford and Halifax County have all said today that they want to sit down and they want to talk. They want
to bring forth solutions to the problems, they don’t want to add to the problem. Six months is not a long time
in the scheme of things. We are going into our 176th year in this very building. (Interruption) Thank you.



[9:30 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, six months in the comparison of time is not too long to ask. For the feeling of cooperation
that we now are seeming to be expounding from local municipal politicians, I think in six months we could
have a bill that is not quite so full of gibberish and foolishness and not quite so much attention paid to the
care, keeping and control of dogs which is totally foolish.



Mr. Speaker, there are some peculiarities of this bill that I know other members will be getting into
by and by. You know, in the bill it talks about gramophones and by golly, I do not even know where you can
find a gramophone today providing you did want to use it and turn up the volume to annoy your neighbours.
Yes, perhaps in an antique store you could get hold of a gramophone, but this bill needs the six months so that
the language in it can be properly crafted. So the understandings can be made clear.



A bill that was put together with such haste, Mr. Speaker, overnight can certainly (Interruption) Well,
if you want to know exactly what a dog is there is a definition. Read it, if you have not read the bill yet. It says,
“`dog’ means any dog, male or female, or any animal that is the result of the breeding of a dog and any other
animal;”. (Laughter) You know, Mr. Speaker, I think if we had six months, we could bring in a bill.
(Interruption) I do not know what it is. It is most confusing to all of us. If you get the point that I am trying
to make that the bill is poorly crafted because it was put forth in haste.



A week ago, the Premier said there is going to be no municipal reform without adequate discussion
and then he smiled like that. By golly, so you can see, Mr. Speaker, the folks that draft legislation did the best
they could under short notice. I think they too would appreciate six months to do a proper job because
municipal reform is going to affect each and every resident of this area of the province. Very shortly, I
understand it is heading to Pictou County then Kings County.



I live in Kings County and as you know, we are all very conciliatory people in Kings County. In fact,
Kings municipal councillors have been meeting for a couple of years now trying to get a feeling from this
government exactly where we are going with municipal reform. They want to be on board. They want to be
part of it, Mr. Speaker. Why don’t we let them?



This area, Mr. Speaker, surrounded by these four walls is not the only district in the province where
good ideas come from. Perhaps, if the government would listen to the folks outside this building or perhaps
listen to somebody besides the man in the mirror. Perhaps, they would find that there are others that can make
a contribution better than this, hard as it may be for the minister to even contemplate a better piece of
legislation than this. I guarantee there are others that could help her bring in a piece of legislation that could
be supported by all members of this House and the general population of this area. We are not asking this
government to say no to municipal reform. We are asking this government to say yes to the people in the
province.



I know, Mr. Speaker, that a week ago it sounded very popular to get involved with municipal reform
and then suddenly they did a poll. I don’t know whether I am lucky or unlucky or what, but one evening last
week I was sitting in my apartment, the phone rang and, by golly, I answered it and a gentleman said hi. I
forget his name but he says, I am from the polling company, have you five minutes? I said, who is doing the
poll and he couldn’t tell me. But you know, Mr. Speaker, one of the questions, two of the questions, were on
municipal reform. There were some sections that I said, by golly, I am going to be one of those statistics.



You see sometimes, Mr. Speaker, a poll released on television or you read about it in the newspapers
and you have to wonder, was anybody really called or do they just make it up? Well I am here to tell you, they
really do call people on the phone and speak to real Nova Scotians. When he asked me what I felt about
municipal reform and the action of the Premier imposing it on you, I guess you know what I told him, and
I was very open-minded about it, too. (Interruptions) Well, he was more interested in radio stations, I don’t
think we covered any television, it was radio stations and the like, it wasn’t just a poll on municipal reform.



MR. SPEAKER: The debate on the amendment is supposed to be strictly relevant to the amendment.



MR. ARCHIBALD: This is, Mr. Speaker. I am trying to give you and everybody else comfort in the
fact that I really do believe these polls are honestly done.



MR. SPEAKER: The amendment does not relate to polls, it relates to reading the bill a second time
six months hence.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Well, the poll, Mr. Speaker, indicates that the people in this province support a
six month period of opportunity to talk, to discuss and come to some mutual conclusions.



Now, Mr. Speaker, it is not just me, one member of this House standing here speaking, I am reiterating
the words, some famous words from people about a super city. Now what is wrong with waiting six months,
so we could really have a super city?



Now this government likes super schools and it likes super cities and it likes super communications.
The only thing they don’t like, Mr. Speaker, is superintendents and they fired them all.



So, speaking of super city and the need to wait for six months, there are other members of this House
who share my view that we should negotiate this, we should discuss it. Some of them are sitting in this very
Chamber and some of them (Interruptions) This has been tabled, Mr. Speaker. Some of them, I know, would
like the member for Timberlea-Prospect, I know he would like to speak; maybe the Chairman of caucus would
like to speak. Lucky Laszlo Lichter, I know that he would like to have a few words to say about municipal
reform because he said we need the time. Lucky Laszlo, the $100,000 a year man, he had some definite
feelings about municipal reform and if we give him six months, he might come out and tell us what they are
again, so he would reinforce the need for conciliation.



The honourable minister, Mr. Speaker, we all were so proud of that marvellous woman from Kentville
when she travelled to 66 municipalities to talk and to listen. But, by golly, was it just a sham? Did she listen
at all? By the look of this bill and the haste with which it was presented to us, I do not think she really was
listening. But you know a six months’ hoist would certainly (Interruptions) Ha, they are away and they are
listening and they are in support, Mr. Speaker, they all are calling for a decent hoist.



AN HON. MEMBER: . . . their ears closed and that salt water gets . . .



MR. ARCHIBALD: Well, yes. No, no, we will save the harbour . . .



AN HON. MEMBER: The hoist will give them time to open their ears up.



MR. ARCHIBALD: We will save the harbour. (Interruptions)



Now, Mr. Speaker, we need order in this Chamber as much as anything. But you know, Mr. Speaker
. . .



MR. SPEAKER: I quite agree that we need order in the Chamber but, of course, when a member is
discoursing and responds to all interjections and so forth, it tends to lead to further disorder, so I ask the
honourable member to keep that in mind as he discourses in a strictly relevant fashion to the amendment and
ignores all rabbit tracks.



The honourable member for Kings North has the floor.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Where is that amendment again? I want to read it. Well, Mr. Speaker, thank you
very much because it will be much easier to stay on course now that all members who hold you in great
respect, et cetera will listen and they will not interject as often as they were before but I am almost through
speaking on this amendment and suffice to say that I support it wholeheartedly because Nova Scotia, if you
look back during the 175 years since this Chamber was opened in February, this bill pales in comparison to
the first area of Canada with free schools. Freedom of speech took place here. Is there freedom of speech
contained in this bill? I say not, Mr. Speaker, not at all. (Interruption)



They are telling me, oh, that is in the Charter, we don’t have to worry about free speech, we have it in
the Charter. We can ram anything down people’s throats we want as long as we have it in the charter. Well,
look at what has taken place in this Chamber. Look at the history of this province and you tell me, Mr.
Speaker, and other members, is this going to go down as one of the accomplishments of people in this
province if we wait six months and we meet with the people? I want to tell you what they have been doing in
Kings County, they have been meeting. They have been making recommendations, they are not against
municipal reform. They are not against it, but they want to be part of a team. Nobody likes to be dictated to
and this government is rapidly getting a reputation as being a very dictatorial government and this is one way.
Let’s have the six months and if we can’t get an agreement from the municipal units in six months, then ram
it through, but give them an opportunity, that is all they are asking.



This is not political talk. The Mayor of Halifax sat in this Chamber, not as a Conservative, he sat as
a Cabinet Minister in the Liberal Government, yes and he was a good friend of the Minister of Housing and
he is the Mayor of Halifax. He is not trying to aid or assist the Conservative platform but he is trying to aid
and assist the people he was elected to represent and it is time the rest of the people that were elected in the
Halifax region elected to represent the wishes of the people. It is not political rhetoric to ask for a six months’
hoist on this bill. The Mayor of Halifax County, he ran for these rascals, Mr. Speaker, twice and he regrets
it now because they are not keeping their word. Wouldn’t you rather have the mayors on-side than throwing
stones? They tell me the Mayor of Dartmouth is also favourable to the governing Party. (Interruptions)



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There is too much private conversation and din in the background. We
have to have some reasonable quiet so that the debate can proceed. I would ask the honourable member for
Kings North if he could please wind up his remarks with reference to the amendment and avoid other topics.



MR. ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I really appreciate the control that you have of this House so that
everybody is able to listen when a member has the floor and I appreciate that very much. We do have a duty
and we do have an obligation to give people in this province the opportunity to take part in municipal reform
and six months, that is not a very long time. I urge all members to vote in support, particularly the members
of this House that formerly signed this thing about a super city. Think about it, when you go home tonight,
what the people told you and what you told the people a year and a half ago you stood for. By golly you will
support this amendment because this amendment is exactly where you people and you know who you are there
are, there are about eight or nine of you. You people signed this petition, the signatory said, this is what you
stand for. Was that a political promise or was it really what you meant? If it was really what these members
meant then (Interruption) Yeah, can they be trusted. If honesty and integrity mean anything in this day and
age, the members that signed this can only vote in support of this amendment so that the people can have a
chance to speak. Thank you.



[9:45 p.m.]



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



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak in support
of the reasoned amendment that has been introduced by my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid,
an amendment to Bill No. 114, An Act to Provide for Municipal Reform that is now under debate, an
amendment that would simply propose that this bill in its present form not be now read, but rather that it be
read for a second time six months hence.

 

 

There may be some on hearing that proposed amendment who would think we were proposing that
nothing happen for the next six months and I hear the Minister of Municipal Affairs taunting from across the
floor saying, for 40 years we have needed municipal reform, so why would you delay it six more months. Let
me say very clearly that our reason for proposing a hoist, which is the effect of this amendment, our reason
for proposing that the bill not be read for the second time until six months hence is to allow this government
to do exactly what it promised to do when it ran in 1993 in the election on the commitment to major
consultation in regard to important reforms that are needed in this province.



The proposal for a six months’ hoist is to give the government an opportunity to do some fence
mending and to get back to what they made one of their principal commitments to the people of Nova Scotia
when they ran for office and when they specifically talked about their approach to municipal reform.



What we are now debating is not the massive implications of the 78 page bill that we have before us
in the form of Bill No. 114. We are not here debating all the nuances and intricacies and implications of that
far-reaching bill. We are here debating the merits and demerits of a proposal that this government take the
next six months to engage in the kind of consultation that they promised and, frankly, that I think the
overwhelming majority of Nova Scotians believe is necessary to ensure the success of municipal reform.



Mr. Speaker, I note that the member for Kings West when he spoke in support of this hoist made the
comment that this government seems as though it stopped listening to everyone but themselves. I want to say
that I agreed with most everything that the member for Kings West said on this topic, but on that one point
I do not entirely agree. What I think has become clear is this government has even stopped listening to
themselves. If they could take a moment to recall what they have said on this subject, and not just a year and
one-half ago when they were out trying to dupe people into believing that they were a government committed
to consulting but as recently as September 2nd, when the minister sent out a letter to all mayors and municipal
council members and even more recently at the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities convention held in
Sydney just a matter of several weeks ago.



On each and every occasion that this government has addressed the issue of municipal reform they
have stressed the absolute necessity of consultation as the only responsible route to ensure cooperation in the
very major restructuring and reorganization that is needed in this province to come up with new provincial-municipal arrangements with respect to people services and with respect to property-related services.



Mr. Speaker, it has been suggested in the last few days since this clumsy, dictatorial, autocratic manner
that this government has proceeded with municipal reform, that this is a government that has shown itself
absolutely incapable of changing a light bulb without causing a near riot. It is unbelievable that something
that is as widely supported as municipal reform is in this province could be handled in such an irresponsible,
unilateral, dictatorial manner as to cause the amount of chaos, confusion and confrontation that this
government has succeeded in causing in the last few days.



You know, Mr. Speaker, if for no other reason, a six month delay is needed to allow for some
opportunity for the government to regain some credibility and to re-establish some trust with the partners in
this province, (Interruption) the partners to municipal-provincial reform. Let me say, that that is not just a
matter of the partnership with the elected officials, as important as that is, that is not just a matter of the
partnership between the provincial government and the municipal government. That is a matter of a
partnership and a trust between the people of this province and the government that they elected on the
promise of consultation, on an absolute promise that this government would not proceed in the manner that
Donald Cameron had proposed when he was in office in this province two years ago, and let me remind you,
on the basis of which that former Premier and that former Tory Government were turfed out of office.



People did not support that approach. People were not prepared to have an elected, democratic
government proceed in that manner and I think that is why you see the kind of outrage that has been
expressed over the last several days.



We need a delay and, therefore, a hoist of this bill at this time in order to re-establish some kind of
trust and some kind of cooperation among the partners. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that the
government has believed that it could dupe the public into thinking, well, this is all such complicated stuff
that you cannot be expected to really worry your little heads about it and grasp what it all means.



They felt that they could bring in a 78 page bill, unbelievable, to bring in a bill as complex as this with
as far-reaching implications, bring it in on Thursday afternoon and less than 24 hours to have the debate on
the floor of this Legislature get underway, even before a copy of this bill was in the hands of the Union of
Nova Scotia Municipalities, much less in the hands of the people in this province and their elected municipal
representatives who, less than a month ago, were re-elected to serve their municipalities on the understanding
that there was a provincial government in place in this province that was dedicated and committed to
consultation.



Mr. Speaker, who is it we think needs to be consulted over the next six months? Well, for starters, it
seems obvious that the list of those who need to be consulted would include those to whom consultation was
promised by this very minister and by this very government. As you know, there is a very long list of people
to whom this government promised consultation and who are deeply concerned and I think it is not an
exaggeration to say extremely angry at the way in which this government has proceeded. If the truth were
known, I think it would be safe to say, although no easy way of determining, that there are at least as many
members of the Liberal Caucus that are aghast at the way that this matter has been handled as there are
members of the Liberal Caucus that are aghast at this government’s headlong rush into casino gambling.



I wish in the time remaining to me in debating the merits of the hoist bill, to address some of those
different constituent groups that have a legitimate stake in that consultation and since you, Mr. Speaker, have
requested that I move adjournment a little bit early tonight, I will therefore do so at this time, move
adjournment of the debate and will continue my remarks tomorrow when I guess we will be continuing to
debate Bill No. 114 and the advantages of proposing a delay before this government rushes headlong into
municipal reform in the unilateral, dictatorial manner that they have so far outlined. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the adjournment of the debate on the amendment to Bill No. 114.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, the order of business tomorrow following the daily routine
and Question Period will be Public Bills for Second Reading. It will be our desire to continue debate on this
bill. The hours of the House will be 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and I now move that we adjourn.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise to meet again tomorrow afternoon at the
hour of 2:00 p.m.



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



The motion is carried.



We stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday.



[The House rose at 9:51 p.m.]