The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.
























HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1994



Fifty-sixth General Assembly



Second Session



4:00 P.M.



SPEAKER



Hon. Paul MacEwan



DEPUTY SPEAKER



Mr. Gerald O’Malley






MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like, at this time, to call the House to order and to
commence this afternoon’s sitting.



To begin, today, I wish to deliver a formal Speaker’s ruling on the point of privilege, or order - I
consider it really to be more of a point of order - that was raised on Thursday, November 3rd, by the
honourable Minister of Transportation, the Government House Leader, concerning statements made in the
House by the honourable member for Halifax Fairview, the Leader of the New Democratic Party.



I have reviewed the quotations involved very carefully. The essence of the matter appears to be that
the Leader of the NDP claims that the Government House Leader made statements in the guise of a taunt
or an interjection on June 15th to the effect that notwithstanding what was passed in the House as a House
Order, she would not receive the information requested.



Now examination of Hansard for June 15th fails to demonstrate any entry quoting the Government
House Leader as having said that but the Leader of the NDP claims that the statements may have escaped
being recorded in Hansard. This is consistent with the Hansard directive that asides and interjections are
not to be inserted into the text of our proceedings unless of major significance.



I have already indicated to the House my general views on this situation. It is clear that an order of
the House, once passed by the House, becomes an order for which any demonstrated conspiracy to prevent
the order from being returned would constitute a serious breach of privilege and a contempt against the
House. It would be particularly grave were the Government House Leader to be guilty of such a practice,
considering the high and important office which he holds.



4037

 

In this case, however, I find no evidence has been advanced to show that any such thing was
actually done by the Government House Leader, nor do I find any evidence that the Government House
Leader actually said that he would do such things other than a claim to that effect by one member, which
the Government House Leader denies and states violates his privileges as a member.



I am compelled to accept the word of the Government House Leader in this matter. I am compelled
to do so by the provisions of Beauchesne which I had quoted at the time that this matter was raised in the
House, Paragraph 494, stating that, “It has been formally ruled by Speakers that statements by Members
respecting themselves and particularly within their own knowledge must be accepted.”, in the absence of
clear evidence to the contrary.



The honourable Government House Leader has specifically requested that no penalty be exercised
in this case. He has therefore made a submission to the House, more in the sense of seeking to set the
record straight than of seeking any remedy. Therefore, I consider this matter closed.



We will now advance to the daily routine.



PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS



PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES



TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS



STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.



HON. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to advise the members of
the House that I have requested that the Minister of Justice broaden the terms of reference of the
independent investigation he announced last week into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the
Shelburne Youth Centre to include an examination of residential facilities which either have been
operated or continue to operate under the aegis of Community Services. I have also requested that the
terms of reference include an examination of the Lalo case. The Minister of Justice has agreed and will be
amending the terms of reference of the independent investigator to reflect my request.



While Mr. Lalo did not work in a residential facility, recent media reports quoting Mr. Guy
LeBlanc, a former member of this House and a former Minister of Community Services, have cast
suspicion on the way this matter was handled.



Mr. Speaker, I believe I have an obligation to the public to clarify a number of important facts
concerning the Lalo case. Contrary to what Mr. LeBlanc has been attributed or quoted as saying, I am
advised that immediately upon hearing rumours of a possible criminal investigation into allegations of
sexual misconduct on the part of Mr. Lalo, the department contacted the RCMP to confirm that an
investigation was indeed underway.



Once this was confirmed, I understand the department carried out its own investigation that
resulted in the employee first being assigned new duties and later, within approximately four months,
terminated. I further understand that the union subsequently grieved the firing and, as a result, the union
and the government later agreed to accept the employee’s resignation.



Mr. Speaker, the facts of the case are not consistent with the former minister’s recollection of
events. Mr. LeBlanc described the incident as having sat in the department for three or four years or
maybe more. I understand this is not the case, nor is it the case that the employee was quietly dismissed by
a previous minister. In fact, Mr. LeBlanc was the minister of the day during the time allegations about
Mr. Lalo first surfaced.



Moreover, since the police were already investigating the employee at the time the allegations of
abuse first became known to departmental staff, there would have been no need, as the former minister
contends, for him to order that the files be turned over to the police.



Notwithstanding the above, Mr. Speaker, I believe it is in the best interests of the department and
the public we serve to have this matter thoroughly examined by the independent investigator.



Finally, Mr. Speaker, I wish to advise the members of the House that my department has asked Mr.
Ross Dawson, an internationally-recognized expert in the development and provision of child abuse
services, to conduct a full operational review of the Nova Scotia Residential Centre. Mr. Dawson’s review
will be much broader in scope than an examination of the procedures in place to ensure the safety and
security of the residents. It will include a review of the current practices and procedures at the centre to
ensure an appropriate standard of care is being provided. As part of his review, Mr. Dawson will also
examine the polices and procedures of the Nova Scotia Youth Training centre with particular emphasis on
the safety and security of the residents.



Mr. Speaker, the department remains committed to improving the standards of practice at our
residential facilities and to maintaining appropriate standards of care for the children who reside there.



Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to also table a short biography on Mr. Ross Dawson.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I want to commend the minister for proceeding on a
couple of areas to include the examination of residential facilities. I think that it is very important that
these matters be dealt with in an open way. The case of Mr. Lalo, to have that reviewed and to make sure
that procedures were, in fact, followed and I believe they were, that the public understands what actually
happened and I think the minister is attempting to do that. He is also bringing Mr. Dawson to look at
policies and procedures. I hope that when all of this is done, that, again, the minister will be kind enough
to share those reports with all of us. I think that is very important. I think that for the public to have
confidence in the department and to have confidence in the running of these facilities, these reports have
to become public.



I thank the minister for making the statement in the House. I commend the minister on the
direction he is going and support his actions as does our caucus. Thank you very much.






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



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, I want to say that I very much welcome the Minister
of Community Services moving quickly after these shocking revelations were brought to public view last
week, to provide for the inclusion of residential facilities operating under Community Services in the
review process that is currently under way.



I have to say, in all honesty, Mr. Speaker, that I have had, not just nagging but increasing concerns
ever since the Minister of Justice’s announcement in this House to go the route of a review rather than a
full public inquiry, in regard to allegations of sexual abuse and physical abuse of children in the care and
custody of provincial institutions. I do not think there would be a single Nova Scotian who has not been
both sickened and shocked by some of the information that has come to light, both by lawyers acting on
behalf of victims and on behalf of those who have alleged victimization.



I am a bit uncomfortable, frankly, that it appears as though the government moving quickly to the
inclusion of the residential facilities under Community Services may have been inspired, at least as much
by the concern about which government did what or was most guilty of what, at what particular time,
rather than a really clear focus on those children who may have suffered abuse and victimization when in
the care and custody of the Province of Nova Scotia. For that reason, I guess I am very concerned to hear
from the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Community Services, if their position is that a full public
inquiry yet remains a possibility, at what point would such a full public inquiry be triggered?



In other words, what is it that would have to happen? What is it that would have to come to public
view before this government would say, yes a public inquiry is clearly indicated. I am not sure that we
have not already crossed over that line as perhaps a lot of people would have defined it and I think that it
is incumbent upon the government to address that question very quickly.



[4:15 p.m.]



The other thing is that I think the concern expressed about children in the residential facilities that
have already been identified, both under the jurisdiction of Justice and under the jurisdiction of
Community Services is very legitimate and appropriate. I think it also needs to be said that we continue to
have many children and many vulnerable adults, severely disabled adults that are living in small options
homes where who knows what kind of abuse may be going on in some situations. Because, unbelievably,
to this very day there still are no proper regulations and no enforcement of any kind of a standards in such
small options homes.



I hope that while Nova Scotians are hearing about the past abuses that have taken place, and
hopefully, being assured that current provisions in provincial residential facilities are appropriate and
adequate that the government is also going to be moving and getting on in a very big hurry, as a priority
matter moving to address the complete inadequacy and non-existence of any kind of standards or
enforcement of standards in small options homes.



Mr. Speaker, I hope that we are going to hear answers to the questions of what it would take for
this government to move to a full public inquiry and when it will be that they will be convinced that that is
the route to go in regard to these very serious cases of sexual and physical abuse. Thank you.



GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION



INTRODUCTION OF BILLS



NOTICES OF MOTION



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



RESOLUTION NO. 934



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



Whereas the Minister of Municipal Affairs has entered into an untendered contract at a cost to the
taxpayer of over $200,000 with the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche; and



Whereas this is in direct contravention of the Premier’s clear directive of tendering of contracts;
and



Whereas the Minister of Municipal Affairs said the Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs was not
involved in the tender negotiation process and yet Mr. Grant Morash who was the recipient of the
untendered contract said publicly the deputy minister was involved in the entire process;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Municipal Affairs spare the Premier the
embarrassment of demanding the minister’s resignation by phone from China and resign today.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



RESOLUTION NO. 935



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



Whereas in defiance of the Premier’s November 1993 directive, the Minister of Municipal Affairs
gave an untendered $215,000 contract to Deloitte & Touche, where her deputy minister’s spouse is a
managing partner; and



Whereas in equal defiance of the open tendering directive, the Human Resources Minister gave an
untendered $50,000 contract to Berkeley Consulting, while the Minister of Health gave Cynthia Martin
some $20,000; and



Whereas others who would have responded to a competitive tender call for these contracts had no
opportunity, yet Nova Scotia does not have unlimited funds nor do Liberals have unlimited credibility to
waste on such deals;






Therefore be it resolved that this House calls upon the ministers who have breached the Premier’s
directive on open tendering to resign their positions, and calls upon the Premier to ensure that the Deloitte
& Touche contract is cancelled, and to be the subject of open tendering if a consultant is truly required.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Deputy Premier.



RESOLUTION NO. 936



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



Whereas yesterday, the hardworking Saint Francis Xavier University X-men won the AUAA
soccer championship for the second consecutive year; and



Whereas all but one member of the St. FX roster are from the Atlantic Provinces, with 80 per cent
from Nova Scotia; and



Whereas later this week, the X-men will compete in British Columbia for the national
championship;



Therefore be it resolved that in the opinion of all members of this House that the Saint Francis
Xavier X-men, a worthy representative of Nova Scotia, be wished Godspeed in their efforts to win the
Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union soccer championship.



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



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Hants West.



RESOLUTION NO. 937



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



Whereas the Liberal Government’s Fairness in Government Policy states, open tender calls on all
contracts for goods and services over $5,000 shall be mandatory in all government departments and
agencies; and



Whereas the Liberal Government likes to say one thing while doing another; and



Whereas Premier John Savage continues to allow members of his Executive Council to hijack the
tendering process by awarding various untendered contracts;



Therefore be it resolved that the Liberal Government today explain to the people of Nova Scotia the
reason behind their government approving of over $0.5 million in untendered contract work in the past
year, including Friday’s $225,000 tender to Deloitte & Touche to assist with the establishment of metro’s
new super-city.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 938



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



Whereas the Premier can conduct media interviews from China, but apparently he can’t cope with
a blatant breach of his tendering rules and conflict of interest laws by his Municipal Affairs Minister; and



Whereas Nova Scotians deserve better than a fair-weather Premier who ducks for cover when the
only reason for metro amalgamation to emerge so far is that it provides a feeding opportunity for well-connected Liberals; and



Whereas if Nova Scotians wanted a Premier who would tolerate or encourage such questionable
deals, John Buchanan would remain in power to this day and all government toilet seats would be
automated;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the Deputy Premier and the Premier of get off their
hands and immediately address both the Municipal Affairs Minister’s blindness to the much-touted
tendering directive and conflict of interest requirements.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.



MR. RUSSELL MACNEIL: Mr. Speaker through you and to the members of the House, I would
like to introduce in the gallery the Mayor of New Waterford, Mayor Ray Cavanaugh who is also Chairman
of the Cape Breton Economic Strategic Organization. I would like you to welcome him here to the House.
(Applause)



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



RESOLUTION NO. 939



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 said
casinos will “. . . represent increased tourism for Nova Scotia.”; and



Whereas four months later, the same minister admitted in an interview that, “Based on info from
other areas, the casinos will not be supported primarily by people from outside Nova Scotia.”; and



Whereas in plain language the minister conceded that, contrary to his original statement, “. . . the
vast majority of revenue from casinos will come from the pockets of Nova Scotians.”;



Therefore be it resolved that the government act upon a motion passed this weekend by the
Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia and establish an all-Party committee to identify the positive
and negative impacts of casinos on the tourism sector of Nova Scotia.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings West.



RESOLUTION NO. 940



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



Whereas the Minister of Human Resources has confirmed what so many Nova Scotians have feared
by suggesting on November 3rd to the applause of her government colleagues, and I quote, there is very
little evidence of health reform going on in this province; and



Whereas the Minister of Human Resources went on to say, there is very little evidence of anybody
in the province with the expertise that is needed to help with the human resource management of the
department; and



Whereas this is a clear admission that under the direction of the Minister of Health, the health
reform process is in total chaos, having been mishandled, bungled and seriously undermined;



Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Human Resources immediately report to the Premier
on the dismal state of affairs at the Department of Health under the stewardship of the Minister of Health
and that an immediate replacement be sought to repair the extensive damage brought on health care in
this province by a minister who has no foundation on which to stand.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Pictou East.



RESOLUTION NO. 941



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



Whereas John Bragg of Collingwood, Nova Scotia, is one of Nova Scotia’s most successful
entrepreneurs; and



Whereas Mr. Bragg’s accomplishments were recognized regionally on October 4th in Halifax, at
the first annual Atlantic Canada Entrepreneur of the Year awards banquet, where he was named Master
Entrepreneur of the Year; and



Whereas Mr. Bragg’s achievements were recognized nationally on November 1st, in Ottawa, where
he was honoured by Governor General Ray Hnatyshn as one of Canada’s best entrepreneurs;



Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to John Bragg on
this well deserved recognition and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.



Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 942



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



Whereas the need for a unified approach to economic development was cited by the very credible
Minister of Municipal Affairs as the primary motivation for suddenly imposing metro amalgamation; and



Whereas metro municipalities fought unsuccessfully for a full year to gain this provincial
government’s approval for a united economic development agency but approval only came on November
4, 1993; and



Whereas taxpayers are still waiting for this government to give a single compelling reason for the
imposition of amalgamation, other than the secret thrill gained by putting on Donald Cameron’s clothes;



Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulates the metro municipalities for agreeing to form
a single economic development agency and urges the Municipal Affairs Minister or her successor to halt
all spending on metro amalgamation, in light of this step.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax Bedford Basin.



RESOLUTION NO. 943



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



Whereas Gordon Young, Director of Education for the Halifax District School Board, says that
proper procedures for the handling of asbestos removal at Rockingham School were not followed; and



Whereas a parent of two of the schoolchildren, alerted by the construction dust, had a tile tested at
her own expense; and



Whereas this prompt and responsible action led to further testing for asbestos by the Halifax
District School Board;



Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Karen Robinson of Tremont Drive
for her diligent response that has led to safety procedures being adopted for floor repairs in all Halifax
schools.



Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.



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



Is it agreed?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Kings North.



RESOLUTION NO. 944



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



Whereas the Government House Leader said on November 19, 1993, any member of the governing
Party is free to vote any time against any piece of government legislation; and



Whereas the member for Cape Breton West evidently believed his House Leader and decided the
Municipal Reform (1994) Act was not in the best interests of his constituents; and



Whereas the member for Cape Breton West is now on the brink of being expelled from the
government caucus, because of his free vote on Friday;



Therefore be it resolved that the Government House Leader clearly and concisely answer the
following question, does he or does he not support members of the government caucus voting for the best
interests of those who elected them or is it the best interests of the Liberal Party?



MR. SPEAKER: I don’t know if that resolution is in order. I have yet to hear a resolution presented
in the guise of a question. We have Question Period here for questions but I will allow the notice to be
tabled in the form of an expression of opinion.



The notice is tabled.



The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.



RESOLUTION NO. 945



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



Whereas on September 9, 1993, the Premier said he fired eight deputy ministers to revitalize the
professionalism of the public service and create a more responsive and accountable government; and



Whereas as he flew to the relative safety of China, the Premier finally revealed that the firings had
cost taxpayers $2 million; and



Whereas this unprofessional, unresponsive and unaccountable government has infuriated Nova
Scotians by wasting millions on consultants while neglecting basic health and other human needs;



[4:30 p.m]



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to immediately freeze all consulting
contracts until the Auditor General reports on the value obtained for the money spent on consultants, the
methods used to evaluate and award consulting contracts and such untendered consulting contracts as that
awarded to Deloitte & Touche for work on metro amalgamation.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 946



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



Whereas fire can strike in someone’s house at any given moment and destroy a lifetime of dreams; and



Whereas it always appears that there are hundreds of questions, but a limited number of answers
following any house fire; and



Whereas the Colchester Firefighters Association with the assistance of community minded businesses
have put together a booklet called After the Fire, designed to answer questions following a house fire;



Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature tonight acknowledge the sincerity and
diligent effort of Colchester County firefighters working to ensure their is peace of mind among community
individuals even after fire has damaged their home.



Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver of notice.



MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed that notice be waived?



It is agreed.



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



The motion is carried.



The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.



RESOLUTION NO. 947



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 Minister of Natural Resources was unaware that staff within his department had approved
the lifting of a hunting ban in an area situated near the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park; and



Whereas approval of such controversial decisions concerning hunting should be made by a Minister
of the Crown and not by a senior bureaucrat; and



Whereas the decision taken by the Department of Natural Resources had still not come before the
minister’s attention until I asked him to check into this matter late last week;



Therefore be it resolved that since the Minister of Natural Resources has now been made aware of the
controversial decision taken by his senior officials, the minister immediately step in and put the hunting ban
back in place.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.



RESOLUTION NO. 948



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 rocky road to Cape Breton amalgamation is imposing taxation without representation as
every cent spent by the all-powerful provincial commissioner will go onto tax bills without accountability to
local officials; and



Whereas the concerns of Cape Breton County residents who depend upon volunteer fire services have
not been addressed in amalgamation plans; and



Whereas the Cape Breton commissioner has not yet recommended acceptable community and voting
district boundaries due to his overwhelming desire to obliterate existing communities;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to use common sense and show the
confidence in its own top-down, unverified amalgamation approach necessary to wait and see how that
approach works in Cape Breton before rushing ahead to impose it everywhere else.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Kings West.



RESOLUTION NO. 949



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



Whereas through a freedom of information request it was learned last week that Cynthia Martin, an
Ontario communications consultant was given a $3,700 computer as part of her contract for seven week’s
work with the Department of Health; and



Whereas another Ontario consulting company, the Berkeley Consulting Group was paid $40,000 in
an untendered contract to clean up the mess in the Department of Health; and



Whereas according to the Minister of Health and the Minister of Human Resources no one in Nova
Scotia is knowledgeable on government reform other than the spouses of deputy ministers;



Therefore be it resolved that the government institute a tendering policy for hiring consultants that a
buy Nova Scotia policy be part of that strategy and that a standard be set that any minister who ignores the
policy be fired.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



The honourable member for Halifax-Atlantic.



RESOLUTION NO. 950



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



Whereas the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, TIANS, has asked the government to study
the economic effects of casino gambling before proceeding further; and



Whereas this reduces to zero the number of significant Nova Scotian organizations who endorse this
Liberal Government’s heedless headlong rush into casino gambling; and



Whereas the absolute lack of evidence about the effects of the gambling decision leads many Nova
Scotians to conclude that the government’s decision is as headless, or brainless, as it is heedless;



Therefore be it resolved that the Finance Minister and Cabinet drop their blinkers and agree to the
TIANS recommendation that an all-Party committee appoint a recognized authority to study the effect of
casinos, weighing any benefits against the economic, financial, crime and social costs.



MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.



GOVERNMENT BUSINESS



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



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



PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 115.



Bill No. 115 - Environment Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, in my remarks on Friday I was commending the minister on
the bill, in particular, bringing together the 16, I think it is, various Acts that were covering environmental
matters and bringing them all together in one piece of legislation, which is in effect a major step forward,
particularly for those industries and those individuals who have to use the Act or the various Acts that are in
place right now in future, they will only have to go to the one Act to get the information that they require.



I will be supporting this legislation in principle as I said also on Friday as it goes forward and I
mentioned a few items on Friday that I would hope that the minister would take a look at and perhaps in Law
Amendments or in Committee of the Whole House we may have some other minor changes made. There was
one thing that I had meant to mention on Friday about the bill as a whole and that is that this bill that has
been introduced by the minister is good sound legislation but is probably one of the most stringent pieces of
legislation that will be in place across this country. Probably the only other province that has legislation that
does match the stringency of this particular piece of legislation is the Province of Alberta and I would urge
the minister and to have him urge the Premier that at the meeting of the Council of Maritime Premiers to
bring forward to the council that perhaps it is time that the Atlantic Provinces as a whole had a general and
overall policy and legislation on environmental matters.



The reason I bring that forward is because there is no doubt that it is an unfortunate truth that when
a business is contemplating relocating or expanding their business, one of the things they look at is the
regulatory process that is in place and as part of that regulatory framework that they look at certainly
environmental law today is one of the most important things that they would consider. To some extent it
might be said that this legislation, no matter how well founded it is and how well accepted it is by the people
of this province, that it may perhaps place us at a certain disadvantage when businesses are seeking to locate
in the Atlantic Provinces. I think that it would be well worthwhile, as I said, that the Council of Maritime
Premiers be approached to determine whether or not a common legislation would be possible.



Mr. Speaker, in the original draft that came forward on this legislation in Section 164 it read, if a
company is guilty of an Act that an officer or director of the company had said to do then that officer or
director is liable. I think that most directors and most CEOs of organizations could accept that but in the bill
and I don’t know whether it is deliberate or not the wording has changed slightly. It now says, “Where the
Minister is of the opinion that a . . .”, company is guilty of an act, et cetera.



Mr. Speaker, business does not like uncertainty. They like to know the rules before they get involved
in a business venture. Where we have wishy-washy legislation that simply says where the minister is of the
opinion, then I am going to tell you that companies, particularly large companies involved in those kinds of
operations that may indeed have some environmental risk, are going to think twice about either establishing
their business or expanding their business in this province. I would like to see the minister return to the
original wording that was in the draft that was out for discussion among the populous.



The second matter, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to bring to the minister’s attention is something that
I would like to see changed in this bill and that is the penalty provisions and the type of offence that is
committed. The penalties in this bill are severe. A person or a company can be fined up to $1 million for
contravention of some elements of this legislation, or they could be sent to prison for up to two years, or we
could have a combination of both. So there are some very hefty penalties within this bill for those who violate
this particular legislation.



Mr. Speaker, I think that is a good thing, but we must remember, however, that the penalties are hefty
because in Alberta, referring to the Alberta legislation again, which is a strong bill, as this one is, they have
two things that they recognize. One is the contravention of the Alberta Act that has been done knowingly, i.e.,
with the intent to contravene the Act, Alberta recognized that this should have a higher level of fine or
imposition of any other penalty than the type of offence that is accidental.



I would suggest, Mr. Speaker, that we go to the fact that while we have recognized that there are two
kinds of offences in Nova Scotia, we have only recognized that there shall be one penalty for that type of
offence. So perhaps the minister would care to take a look at the Alberta legislation and the fact that perhaps
in the bill there should be two levels of punishment, one for acts which are done knowingly and with the
intention of contravening the bill and the other one which is committed accidently.



Clause 85 of the bill, Mr. Speaker, talks about the contamination of sites, more in a questioning mode,
knowing that whoever has a contaminated site becomes responsible for the clean-up of that particular site,
whether or not they actually caused the contamination. I am wondering, for instance, if I had a rich uncle that
died and left me a piece of property down on the waterfront where there used to be a refinery or something
of that nature, would I then be responsible for the clean-up of that property, having had nothing whatsoever
to do with the contamination in the first place?



There are, Mr. Speaker, other jurisdictions in the United States with environmental law that if there
is an innocent landowner, in other words, a person acquired the land unknowingly, by inheritance or by virtue
of simply buying the particular piece of property from a third party, being completely unaware of the history
of that particular property, then they are protected from liability. I was wondering if the minister, when he
sums up, would indicate whether or not the facts are such as I have presented or whether or not he is prepared
to take a second look at the bill to protect the innocent landowner.



Mr. Speaker, I don’t have too much else to comment on the bill because I say, generally speaking, I
approve of the bill and I find it a refreshing change to see less legislation than heretofore when we bring in
a bill such as this, an omnibus bill.



[4:45 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, I would also like the minister to comment on Clause 17 and Clause 18, both of which
deal with delegation. Perhaps when the minister wraps up, he could explain how it is that he can delegate
authority under this bill to any person and yet that person, when delegated, is exempt from any penalties of
this bill. Perhaps the minister would explain exactly how that is going to work because to my mind this simply
means that the minister can, in his wisdom, provide any person with an exemption from this particular Statute
that is before us today.



So, Mr. Speaker, I am pleased that the minister has brought in this bill. I look forward to it going
forward to the Law Amendments Committee, and listening to the intervenors, I understand that there will be
several, and then when we get back into the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, looking at the bill clause
by clause. While much of it is simply a rehash of what is presently in legislation, there is, indeed, a lot of new
material in here, as I said, particularly with regard to the powers of the minister - and I am not saying this
unfavourably - and particularly in the penalty clauses that are contained in this particular bill.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.



MR. DONALD MCINNES: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have the opportunity this evening to speak
on Bill No. 115, An Act to Reform the Environmental Laws of the Province and to Encourage and Promote
the Protection, Enhancement and Prudent Use of the Environment.



I know it has been pointed out, and the minister has said that as well, that this bill has been worked
on for quite some time. In fact, I guess it goes back to maybe 1989. Two of our former ministers, the
honourable member for Queens and our honourable Leader of the Opposition, were ministers and did a lot
of work on this legislation.



I am generally in favour of the legislation and will certainly be voting for it to move on to the Law
Amendments Committee where no doubt we will have many people come in and make their presentations.



I believe the bill, if I understand it, repeals a number of Acts. I believe it is 16, and I will not read them
all, but it repeals the Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Waste Management Act. It repeals the Derelict Vehicle
Removal Act, which was a good Act and I might say I was happy to be minister when that was put in years
ago. The Environmental Assessment Act is repealed; the Environmental Protection Act; Environmental Trust
Act; Chapter 184 of the Revised Statutes, the Gasoline and Fuel Oil Licensing Act is also repealed, the Litter
Abatement Act is repealed and you know I think that was a good Act. We talk about tourism and litter and
I think that the province is certainly, the Department of Transportation is doing a pretty good job now with
the litter and the fines have been increased and signs are posted. In fact, I think we have some communities
that have taken on a piece of road to see that the litter is kept clean in that particular area. I know there is one
in my own area down in Caribou River. I think it is a local group that is looking after that. Those are
important things and it is important that this is done.



There are eight more that were repealed; Pest Control Products Act; Recycling Act, the Salvage Yard
Licensing Act, the Smelting and Refining Encouragement Act, Transboundary Pollution Act, the Water Act,
the Well Drilling Act and the Youth Conservation Corps Act is also repealed.



I think it is important that these 16 former Acts are being put together under one bill. It is my
understanding that this bill is maybe as strong as any in Canada. I had some notes here a minute ago that said
Ontario and British Columbia have quite strong legislation. Sometimes I feel we went a little too far with
environment and with some of the things we require. I know from time to time you get people who approach
various members because they have concerns about lumbermen and even farmers, about crossing little drains
and wanting to cross drains and they will not be able to get permission to do this.



I have to say in July and August, and I know we have to protect the fish habitat and what not, but there
are times, and I have seen a couple of these myself, where the people were fined for tearing up the drains. If
there is a lot of water and they are using their heavy duty equipment to cross these drains when there is a lot
of water and everything, that is not correct. But there are times in the summer, particularly this summer, and
in August and September, that a lot of those drains through the woods were very low.



It seems to me that sometimes we go too far in stopping the people who are trying to make a living,
cutting wood, lumber, logs and whatever, in not letting them in some areas that are very hard to get to without
going across these brooks.



I must say I had a constituent just lately who had an environmental problem and I do congratulate the
staff from Granton, Ms. MacLeod for her cooperation. In fact I dropped in to see the fellow yesterday and they
did improve the banks, they moved the gravel in the little brook. The water was coming back into his house.
In a lot of cases I am sure they would not have let them do it but I was very pleased with the cooperation of
the Department of the Environment, I would say, at the Granton area in Pictou, they were helpful to this
particular constituent.



The Statutes that I said were repealed were certainly cumbersome and complicated and I guess
sometimes contradictory. As I say, the process had started way back when, probably in 1989.



I think the purpose of the bill - I know the minister looked through this but the bill supports sustainable
development, a recognition that our natural resources must be managed, to ensure that future operations can
be sustained. Also the bill acknowledged that a strong economy can only be brought about when there is a
strong environment.



In listening earlier to my colleague, the member for Hants West, he talked about perhaps we should
have legislation that would be applicable to the Maritime Provinces. His suggestion was that it would be raised
with the Maritime Premiers at the Atlantic Premiers meeting as something for them to look at. I think that
would be good for any business coming into the Maritimes, that they would have an opportunity to know that
the rules would be the same for everybody.



I think the time has come when we have to work together with these other provinces, to see if we have
an opportunity for the industry to come to. I know some people would not like me saying this, but if an
industry does come to the Maritimes, if it comes to Moncton it is not as good for us. But I think it is important
that we bring all these industries, any industries that we can get into the Maritimes, to have them.



I don’t have too much more to say about the bill. We look forward to hearing the discussions as it goes
to the Law Amendments Committee, when it reaches that point. I will be supporting moving this bill on to
Law Amendments. Thank you.



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I, too, will be supporting the legislation and welcome the
opportunity to make a few brief comments here this afternoon. I support the legislation in purpose and
principle. It does appear to be good, sound policy. I like the fact that we are combining 16 environmental Acts
into a single new bill. I certainly applaud the minister for taking the initiative to do that.



The minister said that the consolidation would result in a more effective and efficient service to the
public. I think we can all withstand a little more efficient and effective service to ourselves and, of course, to
Nova Scotians in general. Nevertheless, I do urge the minister to encourage his Atlantic counterparts. As my
colleague from Hants West has indicated, he would also like to see the minister talk to his Atlantic
counterparts and perhaps encourage them to adopt a somewhat similar type of policy. We have talked about
employment opportunities and encouraging industry to locate in this province and I think it is very important
that we all in Atlantic Canada have the same or somewhat similar environmental Acts in place. The minister
also might ask the Premier, of course, if he can track down the Premier, if he would have a word or two with
his Atlantic counterparts.



Mr. Speaker, I do want to comment a little bit on the penalties. I realize you do need penalties. The
penalties seem to be somewhat hefty, $1 million fine or two years in prison, or a combination of both.
Certainly, there will be some questions in different cases where the liability in the event of a contamination
should happen. I just would wonder and perhaps the minister, in his summary, before this goes on to the Law
Amendments Committee, could indicate what would happen if any one of us here or any Nova Scotian had
the misfortune or mishap of a transport truck, perhaps, flipping over or something, or losing a load of crude
or oil or whatever it may be, if he would indicate who would be responsible for such a mishap. As I
understand the legislation, the landowner would be responsible.



Mr. Speaker, I did listen to Information Morning sometime back and the Ecology Action Centre did
have some concerns which I think are quite legitimate. Some of the concerns they had were along the line that
pesticide requirements have been loosened from the initial draft. Perhaps the minister, if he would, could
enlighten us a little bit as to why that particular course of action was taken.



The bill also gives the minister and his government very broad powers. One of the individuals
commented that they were asked if the bill has enough teeth to protect the environment and the individual
responded that it has the ability to acquire teeth. I think what he was referring to there, Mr. Speaker, was that
in fact the minister and his government do have very broad-based powers.



The Ecology Action Centre also has some concerns and they have been working very hard on the
pesticide issue. When they went through the section that referred to pesticides, and I have to admit, I went
through it very hastily, but I noted that when I did go through that section that one of the clauses has been
omitted and that was the one on information and alternatives, which gave an officer of the government the
power to require an applicant for an approval to show that he or she had indeed looked for a more less
damaging alternative before using that pesticide. That was in the original draft and that has been omitted,
also.



Mr. Speaker, I guess as the individual has said, it does give the minister and his government the
opportunity to apply certain powers as they see fit. I certainly do support it. It looks to be good on the surface.
I will be supporting the bill going to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, this is a very important bill that the Minister of the
Environment is bringing forward and it is one that is going to make all of our lives, it will touch every one
of our lives at some point or other just by the improvement that probably will take place in the environment
within our province.



[5:00 p.m.]



I am very much anxious to have this bill proceed as quickly as possible through second reading so that
it can go before the Law Amendments Committee. Those people that are interested and those people that are
most concerned about the environment will be able to come in and make suggestions.



The environment has become an item in the last 20 years that it wasn’t before. We used to abuse the
place in which we live for many years. Our forefathers sort of went on the attitude that the environment will
renew itself without regard to how we live. About 25 years ago, that began to change and it has changed very
rapidly. The interesting thing to note is that change took place with regard to the environment and the use
of pesticides in Nova Scotia before it took place anywhere else in North America.



The research that was done at the research station in Kentville by the federal Department of
Agriculture in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s in integrated pest management, has led the entire North
American continent to the extent that there are some researchers about seven or eight years ago, suddenly it
dawned on them, by golly, we should look into this integrated pest management. Lo and behold to the
American scientists, they found that my goodness, they have been doing it for such a long time in Kentville
that they came to have a look.



One of the things that integrated pest management really is, is you have bugs in your orchard that do
devour pests and you monitor your spray program very carefully so that when you are spraying, you are not
harming the good bugs that are devouring the pests that you want to get rid of. That sounds so simple but for
the early pioneers in integrated pest management in Nova Scotia, it was a real commitment, because they
could see their neighbours spraying such great things as arsenic and black leaf 40 on their trees and getting
complete control of pests and these people who were not having as good a control in the early years. But once
they got established, all of the producers in the Annapolis Valley began to think, by golly, this is the way to
go. It is a lot healthier, it is a lot safer, and above all, it was more economical to do it that way.



The apple growers in our province put on about 50 per cent less sprays, less in number, than any other
region of apple growers in North America. That means to a lot of people that we have apples that are even
more close to organically grown and a lot of people prefer it that way. So, Mr. Speaker, the environment has
changed and our attitudes have changed.



Years ago when you were driving down the highway, it was nothing to see the car in front of your
throwing out their litter and it was almost like on Sunday afternoon when you wanted to clean the car you just
opened the doors and went for a drive as quick as you could and everything blew out. You don’t see that as
often now as you used to. Our ditches are much cleaner and much tidier because people are interested in their
environment.



I have a little notice here that came in the mail today, it didn’t even come to me but it came to me
today. It is a little disturbing with regard to littering on the highways. What it says is, effective immediately,
and this is from Pepsi-Cola Canada, “effective November 1, 1994 from the date of this notice Pepsi-Cola will
no longer accept receipts of Returnable Bottles. Product has not been sold in a returnable package since early
spring and returns have dwindled to the point where the cost of handling has become impracticable.”. So, this
really sends out a warning and a message to me and I hope that it does to the Minister of the Environment
as well, that this is the time to rein in notices like that and say, this is the end of the road boys.



I think that this Minister of the Environment would be applauded by all consumers in this province
if he brought in a ban on the use of containers that are not refillable and recyclable for the soft drink and the
beer industry. That would be a program, Mr. Speaker, that would sit this minister in good stead with an awful
lot of people, not just environmentalists, but people looking for work because it would create a lot of jobs in
the bottle sorting industry. (Interruption)



The use of refillable and recyclable bottles, Mr. Speaker, is something that we absolutely should give
our utmost consideration to. I have come to the conclusion it would be helpful for our industries. We have lost
the Coca-Cola bottling plant. They find it a lot easier to put Coke in cans or those little plastic bottles and ship
it here from Toronto or Montreal or somewhere else. Pepsi-Cola have done the same thing. They would not
be quite so anxious to close our bottling plants if they realized that the bottles would have to be trucked all
the way back to Montreal. They would say, well, let’s leave them in the Nova Scotia region. Prince Edward
Island is doing it at the present time without too many adverse effects and the bonus is the use of labour and
the employment and the lack of bottles gathering along the highway that are of no real value.



If these bottles were worth 4 or 5 cents apiece, Mr. Speaker, you would not see them laying on the
roadsides, you would not see them littering the landfill sites. It is an idea that I think all members could
support and I hope that the Minister of the Environment would take it to heart and introduce legislation that
will require all soft drink containers to be refillable and recyclable and require that beer be sold only in
recyclable containers.



We have a brewery in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, and that brewery could be protected by having
legislation that indicates we must continue to sell the beer the way it is being sold today, in refillable bottles,
because if they stop using refillable bottles, the way they have in the United States and switch to cans, where
is the incentive to keep a brewery, to keep a bottling facility in Nova Scotia? The incentive is reduced greatly
and I know the beer companies want to stay here and I know that it would be received very positively by the
industry as well. Certainly the employees of Coca-Cola and Pepsi would like to get their jobs back and this
would be one way that perhaps we could help them do that. So, I really believe that we should have refillable
containers and I hope that the Minister of the Environment will move along that way.



One of the things that I saw in the newspaper regarding the environment, Mr. Speaker, was a
suggestion by the federal government that I hope our minister will tell them to stop thinking about. That, I
believe, was a 2 cent increase in the price of gasoline, 2 cents per litre, as a green tax. Well, they can call it
anything they like but a 2 cent increase in the price of gasoline is a tax. We are overtaxed in Nova Scotia, in
Atlantic Canada and in Canada. The price of gas is high enough at the present time and another tax on gas,
and you can call it whatever you like, would just be a disguise to try to raise more tax dollars from the
consumer and from the taxpayer and the taxpayer is at the end of his rope now. So, I hope that our Minister
of the Environment will very rigorously discourage the federal government from bringing in a green tax on
the price of gasoline.



Mr. Speaker, we have had a great many press releases put out regarding this piece of legislation and
we have had an opportunity to look at it for some months now. You know, this legislation is very similar to
the legislation that was tabled a while ago and we had the summer to look at it. People were looking and
studying and comparing this to the earlier draft and I think that is a helpful way to do legislation. It allows
concerned citizens the opportunity to have a look and to think and to make constructive suggestions.



A year ago, the Minister of Housing did the same thing. Last fall he introduced a piece of legislation
on the co-op banking. We had the winter to look at it and the co-ops looked at it over the winter, and then he
introduced a bill in the spring which met with much favour among all people affected by his bill.



This bill supports something that farmers have been supporting for a such a long time. That is
sustainable development. Now, you can ask for a definition of sustainable development, Mr. Speaker, from
all 52 members of this Legislature and you will get 52 different definitions, all meaning the same thing, that
it is a type of activity that you can count on doing for many years into the future. You are not going to harm
the environment or the lifestyle of your neighbour. So, sustainable development is the only kind of
development that we can hope to look forward to lasting in the long run.



We are going to have a shared responsibility for the environment between government, industry,
business and people. Mr. Speaker, we are all out there in the environment. We are all sharing, so it is
important that it be in the legislation so that everybody knows that we have a responsibility. It is not just the
Minister of the Environment’s responsibility. It is each and every one of us, whether we be an individual or
a business.



Public participation in the environmental decision-making, Mr. Speaker, that is so important today
and there are an awful a lot of people that have a lot to say about the environment because they do not think
there is anything more emotional than our environment. We hear more today than we ever heard about
environmental illness. You know, this sort of thing was not heard of before, but it is today. So everybody has
a stake in our future.



The promotion of environmental technologies (Interruption) It enables the Nova Scotia round table
to be formally established. Now, this was an idea put forth by one of the previous Ministers of the
Environment. The Minister of the Environment and the Premier co-chaired the Round Table on Environment
and Economy. A lot of good people put hours of thought and discussion. Some of what they were saying is
the basis of this legislation today. This will continue, Mr. Speaker, and it should continue because there are
Nova Scotians with a lot of concerns that must be addressed.



The minister has the power to decide what the user fees are going to be, to decide the deposits for the
refund system, the product changes, taxes and subsidies, loans and grants to help make people more conscious
of recycling.



One of the things, Mr. Speaker, that is interesting about recycling is it is an activity that we all share
and we all want to take part in, but sometimes it is a little bit at cross purposes to what we are trying to do.
The newspaper industry in the United States is now based on recycled paper. If you get a letter from a
government office or if you get a letter from an organization or a company, most people are saying it is not
politically correct to send out a letter unless it has one of those little symbols at the bottom so that we all
realize it has been put out with recycled paper. One of the things that we have to keep in mind is we do not
do anything with recycled paper in Nova Scotia because we do not have the population to have surplus paper
in our presence.



There is an organization in Port Hawkesbury, Louisiana Pacific or Georgia Pacific. I forget what the
name of it, but they make hardboard and wallboard out of gypsum and recycled paper. They have to bring the
recycled paper in from the southern United States by the boat load, Mr. Speaker. We do not have enough
paper to recycle in Atlantic Canada to keep their plant going. So, when we do say we believe in recycling and
we would not think of sending out a letter or a notice to somebody unless it has a little recycled stamp, we
really are not doing a whole lot for the woodcutters in Atlantic Canada. They are competing directly with the
newsprint that is available from recyclers in the United States. It is now more economical to build a paper
manufacturing plant right next door to one of the large cities in the U.S. than it is to build it out near the
woods, where you have your trees growing, because of transportation. It is easier to haul a few logs or some
wood chip slurry to the mill than it is to haul all the newspapers back that you have to recycle. So, Mr.
Speaker, although we all agree recycling is good, there is a cost involved to Nova Scotia employment.



[5:15 p.m.]



Mr. Speaker, one of the things, too, is the enforcement that is being covered in this and the ability for
the minister to enter into agreements with individuals, with companies and with different levels of
government. Hopefully, this will allow, for instance, the construction of the highway system in Nova Scotia,
you have to get a provincial agreement and then you have to get a federal agreement. Hopefully, this will
allow one agreement to suffice, so that the work can be done much quicker and the approvals will be given
quicker, then when the decision is made to get to work, we are not held up while the environmental
assessments and studies are being down twice. So it is important not just for government to be able to have
a one-stop shop with environmental approval, but it is important for industry as well.



One of the things that is a little vexing sometimes is dangerous goods and pesticides. We sort of lump
them together. Pesticides used properly mean that Canadians and North Americans have an adequate source
of good, clean, healthful food. The farmers, who I know so well, are dedicated to making sure that the use of
pesticides is highly controlled and not wasted, and done in a careful manner. One of the things, of course, is
that any pest management product is so expensive that they do not waste it. The other thing is, they want to
do it and follow instructions to the letter.



One of the interesting developments, and I know there is technological funding in this bill, is known
as GPS monitoring, where you can locate your exact position within a few inches, from satellites overhead,
Global Positioning Systems. There is a computer program that a farmer can put on his tractor; he will take
multiple soil samples across his entire farm, put the coordinates in his computer that is working with the
satellite, and as he is driving his tractor down the field, the exact amount of fertilizer that is required for that
little grid-system will be laid down, or the exact amount of insecticide or herbicide will be sprayed in
accordance to what is needed in that exact location.



Now, Mr. Speaker, this is technology that was not even thought of five years ago. Nova Scotians are
at the forefront of operating this computerized system of the use of pesticides. This is done for the health of
you and for me and for all others. As well, it saves expensive resources so that they just land in exactly where
they should be. If you are running across a field and it is high in nitrogen on this side and low on that side,
well why put more nitrogen over here - put it all here. This bill provides (Interruption) Well I don’t think so.
I am not sure, mostly they don’t eat much fertilizer, so I don’t think it will bother driving too much.



This bill establishes methods of looking into technology, as it will affect each of us. All of these
technological advances that we are making with the environment are not just for Nova Scotians, this is the
sort of thing that you can sell to other provinces. We have a company, an organization, working in the
Annapolis Valley today that works exclusively on crop protection. Some of the computer programming they
have done, they have also sold it to farmers in Prince Edward Island. So the environment is something that
is providing employment and it is providing jobs and it is providing technology transfer from here to other
provinces and from other provinces to here as well, so this bill covers some of that as well.



Air quality is something that I’ve never heard of 10 years ago but all of a sudden every school in the
province is concerned about air quality. They now have machines that can measure the air quality in schools
and it is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers’ money to fix the problems but it is also causing
headaches, nausea, days away from school, it’s meaning some people can’t even go back to school so we must
look at air quality both outdoors and internally in government buildings. When it comes to air quality one of
the things that is so important is Nova Scotia made a decision about 10 or 12 years ago that we were going
to generate electricity by burning coal. This is probably one of the great things that has helped Cape Breton
because it is meant that we have coal miners working underground in Cape Breton.



At the same time air quality comes into the fore and we must be very conscious of the agreement that
has been made with the federal government on the amount of CO2 and the amount of sulphur that is floating
around in the air as a result of burning coal. We have to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure
that the air that is escaping from the smokestacks at the electricity generating plants is as we said it would
be. The minister has great power under this Act and the regulations will reinforce the power that the minister
has.



It is important that the minister realize his powers and that the regulations are regulations that people
want, can work with and will help in the development of our province. I am just so anxious to get this bill out
of here into the Law Amendments Committee so that people can come in and comment on it and then it can
come back here and with the further knowledge that we have gained from the people that will be appearing
at the Law Amendments Committee I know that we will have a great deal more of constructive assistance to
lend to the minister on this bill.



Without anything further, Mr. Speaker, I do want to say that I will be supporting this bill to go to the
Law Amendments Committee for second reading and I am looking forward to it coming back and the
interventions from others at the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak for a few moments on Bill
No. 115 and am also looking forward to the bill moving on to the Law Amendments Committee and listening
to interventions from those people that are working more directly and have been more involved directly in the
development of this piece of legislation because as has already been discussed, this issue of revising the piece
of legislation, the need to, the question of amalgamating a number of pieces of legislation and regulations,
Statutes I am sorry, has been on the table for some time. The draft Environment Act was tabled in the House
one year ago and there has been some significant consultation with interested parties, with all Nova Scotians
on what this piece of legislation we have in front of us today is going to look at.



My colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, is the Environment Critic for our caucus and
certainly more up on the details and the impact legislation like this has across the province. I am looking at
it specifically as it relates to my dealings with it and that is in my constituency of Halifax Atlantic in
particular. We have had the opportunity through months and months and years in fact debate over the Halifax
Harbour clean-up, over how sewage was going to be disposed of in mainland south, how we were going to use
the legislation to try to enforce a clean up of some of the waterways in Halifax Atlantic. We had some
problems over the last couple of years with pyritic slate and the effect that it had on Long Lake and the
McIntosh Run. We have had some problems with overflow discharge at Roachs Pond pumping station and
the impact that that has had on the waterway. We have also had issues with respect to illegal dumping and
other kinds of dumping in our constituency, Mr. Speaker, as well as individual issues with respect to
residential and commercial development, encroachment on waterways, improper sewage disposal and so on.



I must say at the outset, as I think I have said at a number of opportunities in this House over the past
few years, that each and every time that I have tried to find some solution to the problems or try to access
officials at the department, I have had nothing but the utmost of cooperation. Probably the biggest drawback
has always been the lack of teeth in the legislation, the lack of things like enforceability on some questions.
Questions like the statute of limitations in here, the right of the minister or the department to be able to go
in and restore obviously disrupted and destroyed, disturbed parts of the environment, to be able to go in and
to not just clean those areas up, but to restore them back to the way they were.



We have had a few instances, Mr. Speaker, where that kind of disruption has happened. Unfortunately,
through the powers or lack thereof of the legislation and the regulations thereto, we have not had the
opportunity to see some of those mistakes corrected. One of the concerns I know that has been brought to my
attention, that has come out in terms of this bill, is that while there has been a fair bit of discussion about
enforceability, and I think there have been more teeth provided here, some have referred to this as the may
bill; the department and the minister may do these things. I think as long as they even have that authority,
that that will make some considerable difference.






One of the concerns is that even now that they do have the authority to enforce, in certain areas, they
still do not have the resources within the department. One of the recurring problems that I have heard people
talk about, not only in my constituency, but across the province, is trying to get problems resolved and trying
to get attention to various issues with the current level of resources within the particular department. When
this is raised, people do not criticize the staff that is there now, people who have any significant knowledge
of the staff and how they, in fact, carry out their functions. But there is some concern, and I think it is
justified, in some cases, as far as my experience goes, that there will be an opportunity with this new
legislation for the department to do much more in terms of protecting the environment and enforcing the rules
of the road, so to speak, but there still are no more resources than there will be. At least there has been no
more discussion of that and that causes me some concern of whether in fact the department will effectively
be able to enforce the new Act.



I guess part of the concern has been that there has not even been any discussion about whether it will
cost any more. This is pure supposition on the part of some that it will, in fact, cost more. Perhaps the minister
could put some attention to that issue as to whether, in fact, there will be additional funds applied, whether
there is even any need for additional funds under this change.



[5:30 p.m.]



Another of the issues that is quite prominent in this new piece of legislation is the need for
sustainability, to streamline the regulations and the procedures within the bill as it carries out its
responsibilities, to make the bill more compatible perhaps with the interests of other departments, whether
that be the Department of Natural Resources or the Economic Renewal Agency or Department of Fisheries
or whatever. I think that is extremely important without any question.



The bill does provide that the minister is going to take on responsibility, for instance, for solid waste
management, for developing a plan across the province, to develop a plan and to develop the whole aspect
of that plan in terms of economic viability and so on. One of the questions that has been raised and I
understand that this is an issue that is nation-wide, if not international, and that is that in order to properly
enforce or perhaps make the requirements of environmental protection more compatible, that what we need
to do is to combine the experts, the scientists, the officials from some of the other departments, whether that
be the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Fisheries, to bring those people together and
to have them working under the guise of the Department of the Environment.



In many cases, these departments have competing responsibilities in their individual departments with
respect to ensuring and encouraging development on the one hand, but then on the other ensuring that the
rules and regulations with respect to the environment and ensuring that any development is compatible with
the environment are maintained.



One question that has been raised is whether or not, and I believe again, for people that are more
knowledgeable in this area, they can speak to it much more clearly, but I understand that this is an issue that
has been raised and is under debate and discussion across this country at the very least, if not internationally,
and that some jurisdictions are moving some distance towards combining some of those aspects from within
different departments in order to make the very regulations and Statutes that apply to issues like forestry
management and so on, to make those issues as they apply to the Department of the Environment much more
compatible and much more fluid.



A couple of other matters that have been raised that I note as I go through some of the discussions that
have been raised around this new piece of legislation, the question of the establishment of the environmental
assessment board, there is some question as to how that appointment will happen. My understanding is that
in the federal legislation it provides more specifically the criteria upon which people will be appointed to that
board in terms of their qualifications and so on. There doesn’t appear to be any such criteria provided for in
this legislation and perhaps that is an issue that the minister could and should give some consideration to.



The Public Health Association of Nova Scotia has raised a few concerns with respect to, not necessarily
the silence, but what they feel is the lack of adequate attention to questions of environmental protection and
human health, the impact of things such as how we deal with our solid waste management strategies and the
effect that those strategies have on environmental health. The question that is raised, environmental protection
and health, is integral to the body of any waste management strategy. Some of the concerns that the
association has cited deal with whether in fact there is a sufficiently broad context for the whole definition
of healthy environment. Even though the Round Table on the Environment and the Economy includes a
health representative, the concern is that this bill does not sufficiently provide for the embrace or the attention
to environmental health protection and human risk management that is necessary. I am sure that association
will be appearing at Law Amendments in order to deal with that issue.



The last matter that I want to talk about and ask the minister for some clarification is the question of
sustainability, an example that has been brought to my attention is the question of clear-cutting and the use
of pesticides in forest management. There does not appear to be any attempt within the bill, number one to
limit or further restrict the use of pesticides and that is important. In terms of what I was raising earlier on
the question of sustainability, I would like to ask the minister what he feels his role should be in terms of
better managing or his responsibility, having more of an input and, therefore better managing the practices
that are carried out in the Department of Natural Resources? In particular in this case of forest management
practices.



It seems to me that his department does have a role to play. It should have, perhaps a more integral
role in deciding, in helping the Department of Natural Resources to decide whether or not those kinds of
permits to allow those practices go forward. Whether or not they should not have a more active and assertive
role instead of being forced with dealing with the results and the consequences of those particular practices.
As you and I both know when it comes to dealing with the environment it does not seem to take a whole lot
of time to destroy it or to severely disrupt it, but it seems to take an awful lot of time to return it to its proper
and natural state.



With those few brief concerns I just want to finish by saying that we had in a high school in Halifax
Atlantic on Friday and Saturday, a conference hosted by the Environmental Society at J.L. Ilsley. There were
130-plus students from across this province who participated in a discussion around issues of the environment
and their role, the role of students and the role of the community, in ensuring that we maintain a higher
standard of environmental protection, environmental stewardship in this province.



When I addressed that group early on Friday morning I talked to them a bit about this piece of
legislation that is now before us and about the state of intent of the legislation. To consolidate to make more
positive and constructive the role in the Department of the Environment on issues of development to increase
the authority that the minister had and the department had on issues of environmental protection and the
attempt to try to make the legislation as accessible as possible to people such as them and to all Nova Scotians.
I encourage those students, as I know the minister would, to look at this legislation, to perhaps listen to some
of the debates here, to appear at the Law Amendments Committee if they had any particular questions, to take
a look at what it is that this government is doing in the form of setting rules and regulations that affect our
environment and in order to ensure that it is meeting the kinds of standards they feel are necessary.



Mr. Speaker, I also talked a lot about the fact that if this environment in Nova Scotia and across this
country and this world is going to be sustained, then it is going to take the involvement of those individuals
and many more like them and all of us here, not only in the development of laws and the rules and regulations
but also in how we conduct ourselves in our everyday lives.



I must say that in my review of this legislation it certainly appears that the minister and his department
have gone some distance down that road to ensure, through education and greater awareness and community
contact and consultation, that there will be much more of a collaborative effort between the communities and
the government, in terms of responding to the environmental challenges that face us today and tomorrow, Mr.
Speaker. I think that is a good start.



Again, I have a few basic concerns, a few basic issues that have been brought to my attention but I will
be voting in support of this legislation moving forward to the Law Amendments Committee and look forward
to hearing from those people who have been directly involved, in more detail than I already have, and the type
of feedback they can give us and the particulars, in terms of the parts of the legislation that either they think
meet or will meet the test of time or perhaps will require a bit of fine-tuning. I think that will be an interesting
process as usual and undoubtedly the minister will be his usual attentive self. Hopefully, when it comes to
Royal Proclamation, Mr. Speaker, we will have as good a piece of legislation as you and I can make it. That
is our role and responsibility in this House. Thank you very much.



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



The honourable Minister of the Environment.



HON. ROBERT HARRISON: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to close the debate. I must say that colleagues
opposite have provided pages and pages and many different, hundreds, of suggestions on how to improve this
particular piece of legislation. I will try and group some of them and respond to them as best I can. I think
it speaks to the issue of the general concern that exists in this province for the quality of our environment, and
throughout the world I would hope.



There are so many people in this province who want this Environment Act to be specific and precise
in the area that they feel is so important to them personally. One of our colleagues opposite talked about the
importance of every Nova Scotian taking responsibility for their environment. We talked about trying to find
a definition for sustainable development and it doesn’t get any simpler than the farmer in Kings County who
simply said, I want my great-grandchildren to have the choice of farming this land, and that is sustainable
development; or the woodlot owner in Enfield who simply said he would hope that his great-grandchild would
have the chance to derive as much pleasure and income from the woodlot he is working now, well into the
future. It is literally as simple as those concrete examples, Mr. Speaker, and we don’t have to get any fancier
than that. It is simply being able to pass on to the next generation the same - in fact, the improved - piece of
Nova Scotia that was worked and cared for by the people of this province.



One of the comments made by colleagues was that he would like to see the introductory section
strengthened, that the word goal was a soft word and the word principle was a more important word. I will
only ask him to reread Clause 2 again, which initially uses the word goal but then further subscribes to every
principle, from Rio and every other principle well-established in the introductory section.



[5:45 p.m.]



Many of the comments relate to lack of definition and I would remind colleagues opposite that what
we are talking about is an enabling piece of legislation and that all the regulations are out in force. So when
comments are made about the air quality section being a little vague, or the wetlands portion not being
properly defined, that they are looking for more substance, I would remind them, simply, that this is an
enabling Statute and that the regulations which are now out in front of the public of Nova Scotia are extremely
specific on air quality standards, deal with the issue of alternates to pesticide use, deal with the issue of
wetlands definition and commitment by intergovernmental departments to assure that once again we are
talking about sustainable use of a precious natural place, our own backyard here in Nova Scotia.



The issue of intervener funding will be, as I am sure my colleagues opposite will know, debated in the
Law Amendments Committee. The question of soul-searching by members of one government Opposition and,
of course, the commitment to intervener funding to level the playing field by another is an important issue.
I would refer members opposite to the embedding and the assessment portion of this bill of participant
assistance, that the assessment board of the future will be able to bring witnesses, at taxpayers expense, to
attempt to counsel those who are intervening and making serious interventions on projects that they believe
will have a negative impact on the environment of Nova Scotia.



There was a question as to whether the bill itself overrides other provisions, such as the freedom to
farm. It is rather important to mention that government departments and so many agencies throughout Nova
Scotia have been consulted. We have had tremendous involvement from people far and wide in the creation
of this bill and that it is our attempt both to protect the environment and be fair to business, to be fair to
groups like the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, to ensure that laws and regulations that are enacted
are done with a certain amount of consideration for their needs, their concerns and the issues that they have
brought to our table so many times and so eloquently, and at the same time, making sure that environmental
integrity is preserved. As my colleague opposite from Kings County mentioned, the fine work of Mr. Sanford
and others in the early integrated pest management movement.



Farmers are concerned about sustainability, foresters in this province are concerned about sustainability
and although we may differ on certain terminology, there is no question of the need to preserve the natural
resources of this province throughout this province.



There has been a lot of talk about whether the staff of the department is adequate to meet the
challenges of this bill, whether or not we have sufficient resources to bring to the task that has been set and
challenge that has been set in the crafting of this legislation. I would remind colleagues opposite that we have
brought together a number of different groups from the Utilities and Review Board, the salvage yard operators,
the gasoline licensing people, from the Department of Health, the health inspectors, so that the department
now has doubled its size, literally, in the last few months. It is bringing together people who have done like
work to try to find economies of scale so that the staff and the qualifications that we need are in place.



One of the other comments that I have heard frequently is the delegation of authority and the question
of whether or not we can delegate authority to people without qualifications and then further exempt them
from appeal of their work. I think it is very important to once again state that the regulations that accompany
this bill, that are out in front of the public, specifically deal with the level of qualifications required to do the
work that this bill challenges all of us to do properly.



The comments that have been made by a certain law firm in the city that have been referred to by
colleagues opposite in terms of ministerial power and discretion, many comments were made throughout the
consultation on the issue of ministerial power and those discretionary powers were defined where they could
be, were embodied in the introduction where they must be. Obviously, one cannot eliminate, nor should one
eliminate, the need for human judgment along the way on such issues.



It is important to know that the clause that has created some controversy in terms of the minister’s
opinion as to whether someone is guilty or not, is clearly misunderstood. The intent of that clause is to provide
the minister with the opportunity to bring charges against either a corporation if in the belief of the minister
in the department that there are reasonable and probable grounds to bring charges for a violation of the Act
but it also permits the minister and the department to bring charges against directors and it is important that
it be stated clearly that there is absolutely no intent to bypass the due process of law here but in fact it states
very clearly that it is not necessary for a minister of the day to bring charges to a corporation before it also
charges, in the case of certain situations, directors for their actions.

 

 

The honourable member for Pictou County talks about the adopt-a-highway program where certain
sections of highway in Nova Scotia are taken on by service agencies, by scout groups, various citizens groups
who look after and are stewards of their environment and we could think of thousands of examples where
local community efforts are making a difference right in their own backyard. This bill talks about the
importance of non-governmental agencies, about volunteer groups, and it makes a commitment that this
government and this department will support the efforts of citizens throughout Nova Scotia because ultimately
it is the citizens of Nova Scotia that will make the difference on the environment not this bill.



It has been talked about that the bill is punitive and I can’t argue with that. We have built in as much
of what we believe is preventive, responsible behaviour - in terms of rewarding that behaviour - into our
legislation but ultimately legislation also has to deal with punitive aspects for those who after all the messages
and all the mediation and all the other shuns still require a difficult penalty in order to get their attention and
in order to enforce the laws. We make no apology for those tough measures. Tough measures are needed if
we are going to be both fair to business and firm on the environment.



The concept of Maritime cooperation and a level playing field, we meet as a group of Environment
Ministers five times a year. In fact, there is a meeting going on today in Bathurst with my colleagues from
across the country. There is a tremendous dynamic collaborative effort occurring in this nation on
environmental legislation. Many of the references to Alberta and to British Columbia are true in fact. We have
borrowed from our sister provinces and territories, and the federal government in the creation of this bill but
more importantly we have brought those notions, those concepts to the people of Nova Scotia and they have
inexorably improved the quality of this Act through a year of very solid consultation.



Mr. Speaker, the final comment I will make is in reference to the doubling of the size of the department
and the bringing of public health staff over and now into what has been described as an environmental health
division and the absence of reference to that environmental health, it is there in the purpose section. There
will be regulations developed in accordance with environmental health principles in this province. This Act
gives us the ability to become more holistic, work with our sister departments here in the province but most
importantly to work with the people of Nova Scotia who are as committed as anyone to make sure that the
environment is looked after in the Province of Nova Scotia. I would be pleased to move this bill to second
reading.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 115. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



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



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 116.



Bill No. 116 -  House of Assembly Act.



MR. SPEAKER: In place of the honourable Minister of Education, the honourable Government House
Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I think it is open for debate as to actually who should have
introduced this piece of legislation. Normally, amendments to the House of Assembly Act are introduced by
the Government House Leader, in this case I guess because the change that will be effected deals with the
education system that the Minister of Education introduced the bill. In any event, I am the acting Minister
of Education and the Government House Leader so that may make the argument moot.



This is a very simple piece of legislation. At present the House of Assembly Act enables a teacher out
of vocational school or community college not to lose any salary for the first 21 days that they attend business
in the House of Assembly. This piece of legislation as an amendment to the House of Assembly Act will repeal
that provision. This will not impact on anyone in the province at this time, I would like to point that out.



A similar provision was available or was in effect for other teachers in the province through their
collective agreement. However, that provision has been bargained away in the latest round of negotiations
between the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the Department of Education. So, this will eliminate the
provision for all teachers and it will leave the negotiations of salary and benefits to collective bargaining, in
this case, as it does with teachers in public schools.



With that explanation, I move second reading of Bill No. 116.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr Speaker, I am very pleased that the Government House Leader is
introducing this bill because that is the proper person to actually have brought this legislation forward in the
first place.



I raised the matter, when this bill was first introduced, with the Speaker and he ruled that it was in
order for a minister, other than the Premier or the Government House Leader to amend an Act that came
under his jurisdiction. The Speaker referred to a section of Beauchesne that does indeed say that a minister
does not necessarily have to amend Acts that fall within his jurisdiction, it may be done by other members of
the Executive Council.



Well, Mr. Speaker, that could well be in Ottawa but Ottawa hasn’t been going for all that long and this
House has been going much longer. In this House the precedent has always been that those pieces of
legislation which are the property of the Speaker shall be, as I have said before, amended or reintroduced by
either the Premier or the Government House Leader who are the spokesmen, indeed, for the Speaker in the
House. I think that perhaps we are setting an unfortunate precedent here.



I know that the Minister of Finance would probably raise some objections if the Minister of Municipal
Affairs got to her feet and introduced a piece of legislation which amended the Finance Act. I am sure that
that would not be acceptable and I find it equally unacceptable to have the Minister of Education amending
the bill that belongs rightfully to the Chair.



Having said that and putting that on the record, the bill itself, as the Minister of Transportation has
said, does not effect any change that affects anybody in this Legislature at the present time so this is the ideal
time in which to make that change and to put in effect the same rules and opportunities, et cetera, that
teachers enjoy and that teachers in the community colleges did not and that was to be covered in this matter
under their collective agreement.



MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member yield the floor for an introduction?



MR. RUSSELL: Certainly.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader on an introduction.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I take great pleasure in introducing to the House a very special
guest in the east gallery who is here to watch the proceedings. I will do him a favour by getting him out of
here quickly so he doesn’t watch too much but I would like to introduce my son, Bobby and his friend, Cathy.
(Applause)



MR. RUSSELL: As I was saying, this legislation is truly housekeeping legislation and it simply places
the vocational and community college teachers in the same position as their brothers and sisters who are
teaching in the high school systems and elementary systems in this province.



So, Mr. Speaker, I certainly will be supporting this legislation in principle through second reading.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville Cobequid.



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, my comments will be very brief on this particular piece of legislation.
It does really, what the Government House Leader says that it does. I might question the slant that he put on
the negotiations that took place last spring, and that of course led to the different provisions that exist now
currently with those who teach at the community college and the public school system. It was not what you
might call true or proper open negotiations. It was more of a matter, you accept what we want because a sledge
hammer is hanging over your head and we have legislation before us to take away even more of the rights and
privileges the people have earned throughout the years.



[6:00 p.m.]



That having been said, Mr. Speaker, and that already having been done, what this legislation really -
that is before us - is truly just housekeeping legislation and it is really standardizing what exists now between
the community college and the public system in terms of the benefits. In particular, with the 21 day provision
that had existed in the old collective agreements, and I, for one, certainly would not suggest for one moment.
I do support the idea that is contained here and that is that if you are drawing your salary from this place,
certainly you should not be drawing it, or no need to be drawing it 21 days in absence, or I should say, in
addition to that on the teaching salary.



I support this amendment, Mr. Speaker, without any hesitation and will be voting for it on the second
reading stage. I would assume, quite frankly, unless I hear some compelling reasons to the contrary, all the
way through the Legislature. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader to close the debate.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 116.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the second reading of Bill No. 116, The House of Assembly Act.
Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



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



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker on a point of order. Back on last Thursday, November 3rd,
on a point of order, I asked that a document that the Minister of Finance had referred to that day in Question
Period, be tabled. The Minister of Finance then indicated that he would be happy to do so. I followed that up
on the Friday, a couple of occasions and asked the minister if he would provide it, he said he would. I would
like to ask you, Mr. Speaker, if it would not be appropriate to direct the Minister of Finance to table such a
report again.



MR. SPEAKER: Well, if the Minister of Finance was citing a document in debate, citing a component
of a document and he has been asked to table it, it is obligatory that he does so, but I would ask the Minister
of Finance to respond to the observations of the honourable member.






The honourable Minister of Finance.



HON. BERNARD BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I indicated to the honourable member, and not during
Question Period, but I indicated to the honourable member that I would provide a copy of that document. I
did so Thursday afternoon give that undertaking. Friday, we were busy with something else. I had asked my
executive assistant to get that report and table it. He has been ill today, perhaps he did not realize the urgency
of the request or he would have risen from his sick bed to make sure the honourable member had it. I am sure
if he is still ill tomorrow, we will assign the top two or three people in the department to make sure it is tabled
no later than tomorrow afternoon.



MR. CHISHOLM: If I may, I take offence to the connotations that the minister is putting on this
request. I mean I was simply (Interruption) The minister in debate was referring to a particular report. I asked
him for a copy of that particular report and if the minister is concerned with staff time, I am sure if he brought
the report here and tabled it in the House, as he is required to do, I would be happy to take the report myself
out to my constituency office or maybe to my caucus office or even to the Clerk’s office, Mr. Speaker, and do
the photocopying myself. (Interruption) In order that we can be provided with that report.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The first point upon which the member rose did potentially constitute
a point of order in the process of debate but, in my judgment, it has been adequately explained for the member.
His privilege as a member of House has not been violated. The document will be tabled.



With regard to the interchange between two members with regard to a tone of speech or content of
speech, is a matter of a simple difference of opinion and I consider the matter settled.



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: What did he rise on, a point of offensive tone or something?



Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 117.



Bill No. 117 - Innovation Corporation Act.



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



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and start the debate on Bill No. 117, an Act
to incorporate what we now call the InNOVA Corp. I won’t take a lot of time, Mr. Speaker. It is a move that
we have done to move our technology efforts in this government, both in the public part of government and
in our private sector partnerships under the umbrella of this new Crown Corporation.



Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia knows that one of the ways that we are going to grow our economy and move
it forward and put people to work is through the new technologies available today. Probably one of the most
overused words in the province these days are things like high-tech and technology and leading edge
technology and information technology and so on. There are so many buzz words for them and initials and
so on.



This really is pretty simple and straightforward. We know in Nova Scotia there are some things we
can’t do. I like to use the reference to things like building Caterpillar tractors. We just can’t ship those big
parts in here, manufacture them and then ship them back out to the big markets in the midwest and other
places. Economically, it just doesn’t make sense for us to be that far away from major market places with
things that are transportation sensitive, that distance is an issue with.



Where we can do well, Mr. Speaker, and where we have a chance to excel more than any place else
in the world today is in technology, whether it is telecommunications technology, information highway items,
whether it is refining the technology to do with pharmaceutical companies, whether it is technology that has
to do with bio-medical or whatever it is, we have that ability.



The reason we do is the technology industry is not necessarily distance sensitive. A lot of the software
development and information technology that happens is only as far away from the market as the telephone
line, is only as far away as a disk for a computer or a card or a floppy that you can take and put in an envelope
and send. Transportation is not an issue when it comes to those things. That gives us a level playing field
when it comes to competing with the rest of Canada and the rest of the world.



The other thing, Mr. Speaker, the reason that Nova Scotia can excel is one of the things that was often
referred to as a burden in this province, that is the cost of education. It is not a burden, it is an asset. We have
more degree-granting institutions, facilities of higher learning in Nova Scotia, higher than anyplace else in
North America on a per capita basis. We have the ability here, we have the technical ability, we have the
brains and we have the people, so that we can create the technology breakthroughs right here.



There is no reason that Nova Scotia, in areas like software, in areas in medical intelligence and
technology, can’t be like Silicon Valley. There is no reason that Nova Scotia cannot be like Utah.



Mr. Speaker, let me tell you for just a moment about Utah. Utah has about twice the population that
we have and their technology value to their economy is billions of dollars, something like $5 billion, whereas
we are in the low millions. We have every reason that we can do what they have done. They did it because
they had a great place to live and to do business. They went out and sold Utah as a place that is great for
research and development, as a place to develop technology and a great place to live and raise your families.
We can boast of the same things, Mr. Speaker. We have every bit as good infrastructures and support
networks. We have every bit as much support of a government and we have a lifestyle second to none in the
world and that is why we can attract these people.



Mr. Speaker, our telecommunications infrastructure here allows people to communicate with the world
from Nova Scotia, successfully and at a fair cost. Our technology information systems within our universities,
TUNS, Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, the med schools, all the schools that are out here, NSIT and so on, we have
all the facilities here and we can compete in the world because of that training that they provide.



Mr. Speaker, the Red Cross chose Nova Scotia over many other centres to locate their fractionation
plant. The reason they did are some of those things I talked about, the work force, the skill levels, the
lifestyles, the standard of living, the way of life, all those things that we take for granted. We are trying to
corral our technology efforts together so that we can market it better, expand it more successfully and make
it a more dynamic part of our economy.



Two initiatives that we have undertaken, besides the formation of the InNOVA Corp, is we have gone
out on an international search for two people, one to be the president of the Nova Scotia Research Foundation
and someone to be the new CEO and the champion of science and technology of the InNOVA Corp. We want
the Bill Gates of software. I understand Mr. Gates really is not looking for work. He is quite comfortable and
he is a little busy at Microsoft, but we want those kind of visionary people to come and to work and to be part
of our Innovation Corporation, InNOVA Corp and to be part of Nova Scotia’s technology thrust that we are
having here in this province.



There is no magic to it, Mr. Speaker. What we are trying to do is turn technology into a positive
economic driver in our economy. It can be done. The Premier, through the campaign and since, has talked
about the champion of science and technology. Well, we are going to put that person to work in InNOVA
Corp and we are going to make technology use in Nova Scotia grow through efforts we are doing with the
Nova Scotia Research Foundation, our quality initiative and some of the work that the private sector is already
doing.



Mr. Speaker, it is a sensible step. One of the things we are very proud of with the InNOVA Corp is that
we are asking that at least 50 per cent of the board will be from the private sector. We want people who are
out there running businesses, making payrolls, depending on good bottom lines to make things work. We want
them to be part of InNOVA Corp so that we can be driven on a commercialization of the technology that we
are trying to develop in Nova Scotia.



Mr. Speaker, technology can be the new growth area of Nova Scotia’s economy. Forestry is doing well.
Agriculture is doing well. A lot of our other initiatives that we are doing are expanding at a rapid rate. But
the way to really exponentially expand our economy is to harness technology with all those other areas,
whether it is a new technology in the sawmill industry or whether it is new technology in argri-food programs,
or whether it is new technology in our existing businesses that we have that are manufacturing or developing
new ideas, or whether it is harnessing technology to go out and develop the softwares and the information
issues and so on. We can do that if we focus and go on an attack of commercialization of our technology in
our province. This alone will not do it, but it is a step in the right direction.



Mr. Speaker, I just want to read a paragraph out of a letter and I will be glad to table it. It comes from
a company called Vertex Systems Limited, a gentleman by the name of Nicholas Jupp. He writes us and he
says it was a pleasure to attend the press release and the proposed InNOVA Corp legislation. I was delighted
to participate in the industry committee and to have some input as a board member of the Software Industry
Association of Nova Scotia. I do not think this is a panacea, but I do understand that if you want to get
somewhere, you have to start taking logical steps and I applaud this legislation as a step in the right direction.



This is from the private sector, who believe in what we are doing and the reason we are doing it. There
are thousands of them out there that have supported this initiative because they know that if we want to get
ahead with technology in Nova Scotia, we have to do it in a focused and driven way and we think InNOVA
Corp will take us there.



With those comments, Mr. Speaker, I would like to move second reading of this bill and I will listen
intently to the comments and thoughts that members opposite will have during this debate. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.



MR. GEORGE ARCHIBALD: Mr. Speaker, I think the minister summed up the feeling of many Nova
Scotians when he was just chatting away and introducing, in a very broad and a very general way, this bill
and the importance to Nova Scotians of technology, advanced technology, trading our technology, selling our
technology and, in fact, just kind of being the centre for development of innovations for North America. That
certainly is not a goal that we cannot achieve. Many Nova Scotians have ideas and sometimes they get
discouraged, sometimes they really feel, look, I cannot do it.



[6:15 p.m.]



Today, when I was driving in from the Valley I was listening to CBC, the program was kind of
interesting in that the gentleman being interviewed - I suppose, he must be middle-aged - he used to drive a
snowplow for the Department of Highways in British Columbia and the government changed and fired him,
I guess, by the sound of it. He went through a retraining program and he sat there at the retraining program
and fooled around with a computer and filled out all the answers to the questions and they said you should
be a priest; that is what you are really geared up to do. He said it would be hard to be a priest. I am not a
Roman Catholic; I am married and I have a child so they asked, what is your second choice then? He said I
like doing what I was doing; I like pushing the computer.



So from that beginning they sent him on a little computer course, a one-year community college course.
He is now president of a software company operating in British Columbia, a software expansion for athletics
in golf and in curling. That gentleman did that because the government was there to offer the program and
this is where we cannot lose sight of the fact that the government can provide infrastructure, but it is up to
the people. We need people in Nova Scotia that have a little more feeling of confidence that they can succeed.



A fellow by the name of O’Farell did a study for ITT a couple of years ago and he said one of the
biggest problems Nova Scotia entrepreneurs have is the lack of a feeling of confidence, the lack of the feeling
of success. You can see it time and again that one of our hard-working Nova Scotians has an idea and he will
just perhaps take it so far because he is a little timid about proceeding further.



That is one of the tragedies. Where are the Nova Scotians that we had in 1812 and 1813 during that
war with the United States? Where is the spirit from those fellows? Right out here in our harbour, they have
a boatload of (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, the spirit that Nova Scotians had a couple of hundred years ago, we
better get that spirit back. They assembled a boatload of fellows right here in Halifax Harbour and they sailed
to Washington, they attacked Congress, they burned the White House to the ground. This was a bunch of
fellows from Nova Scotia. Can you imagine Nova Scotians thinking they could take that sort of an attack on
today? What happened to that confidence? What happened to the spirit of Nova Scotians that had boats built
in Nova Scotia sailing in every sea and every harbour around the world?



This is what we have to encourage. Government cannot do it, but government can provide the
infrastructure to let Nova Scotians be as important, as progressive and as imaginative as they can be. We
cannot hold Nova Scotians back; we have to encourage and we have to give people in this province the feeling
that they can succeed.



A friend of mine, Richard Melvin is a very large vegetable grower in the Valley. He went to California
and he saw them harvesting broccoli and they have a broccoli machine that goes through the field. He looked
at it for a long time and he bought one and he brought it home and he said he could make it better. So he took
it over to the Nova Scotia Research Foundation in Dartmouth up on top of the hill, they’ve got a model of this
contraption and do you know what he did, he said I can make it better than the guys in California so together
with the scientist at the Research Foundation and the practicality that Richard Melvin possesses, they did
build a better broccoli harvester and then he went out and patented some of the intricacies that he applied to
this machine. Nova Scotians have the ability, they’ve got the imagination but what we do need is to marry
technology with the practicality and that is exactly what Richard Melvin did.



When I was over at the Research Foundation the other day I saw another contraption that they built
over there for taking the meat out of crab claws. What an innovation, it is just so far ahead of the way they
used to do it in the past. This is the sort of thing that can be done by Nova Scotians and government really
needs to encourage that sort of development. I know the minister indicated he is going have an international,
national world-wide search for the new person that is going to run this. Well, that is good but don’t overlook
the native Nova Scotian. (Interruption) Well, I am delighted that you ran ads in the local paper and when the
people indicate an interest, don’t overlook them just because the fellow is a, (Interruption) Well, they told us
they were going to pick the best one for the job and you have already watched one deputy and you know, well
I think there are some Nova Scotians really and truly that could set this thing in motion for you and continue
the work. Everything that has gone on in the past shouldn’t be considered out the window. You have to build
on the foundation that is there. You have amalgamated a lot of research foundations.



The money from the Nova Scotia First Foundation is available, you are going to be putting from your
department a considerable amount of money into this. One of the questions is, the people that are working
presently at Economic Renewal in this innovation, renovation, I am just wondering what they are going to
be doing now that you have a new agency set up? Are these jobs to become redundant within government or
are you going to be transferring people from one staff to the other or are they just going to be fired?



The minister just said, what would I like them to do. You see that is one of the neat things about
government when you are a minister, it is the minister that has to carry the ball. He doesn’t ask the Opposition
what they should do. However, if the minister feels unable to make tough and interesting decisions, I am sure
that there are others that would like to help him. It is curious and it is a wonder for many people on what
happens to staff within the department that are presently engaged in this sort of activity.



I know the minister was pleased because it gives an opportunity to talk about R and D. You know, in
Amherst where the minister comes from that branch from Northern Telecom, Simmonds have picked up, that
is a company that shows the stability of the Nova Scotia labour force. There are a lot of things that they are
doing there, making circuit boards and so on, a lot of it isn’t leading edge electronics but it is the practical,
usable, functional electronic equipment that they found a niche and they can make, $20 million or $30 million
contracts are coming into Simmonds and they are making telephones, they are making circuit boards, they
are making generators, they are making weather satellites, they are doing all kinds of practical things that are
paying a lot of money for the employees so those are good jobs and they are the kinds of jobs we need.



In Halifax when you are meeting with the people that have set up the computer networks, you then
begin to appreciate and realize the number of people with ability that we have in Nova Scotia. The companies
that have come to Nova Scotia and are operating here not because they have to but because they want to. I
think we have to keep sending the message that Nova Scotia is a great place to do business because sometimes
we forget because we are bombarded with advertising material from every other corner of the globe that says
you should really be doing business there. What we need is more businesses to attract more businesses.



We have an increase in tourism. Some of the tourists may go home and sometimes it is as simple as
how close the office is to the golf course that decides whether or not a company is going to move to Nova
Scotia. So every time we have an opportunity, we must put our best foot forward in the simplest terms.
Everything is not high-tech. All our jobs that are coming to Nova Scotia are not going to be as a result of
high-tech but there is a marriage between high-tech and job creation because high-tech really wouldn’t be
considered in a cauliflower harvester. However, it took the scientists in Dartmouth at the facility, working
with a hands-on farmer, to develop a better machine. So all of these avenues must be looked at. We all want
more jobs in the high-tech industries.



We want more jobs in research and development. The Nova Scotia Agricultural College in Truro has
a lot of programs underway. Acadia, Dalhousie, we have all kinds of universities. For years we have been
hearing, well, the research they are doing is not practical enough. Well perhaps it is time that it became more
practical. Certainly listening to the president of Acadia University, he says we are going to be doing the kind
of research that is going to provide employment for Nova Scotians.



So, Mr. Speaker, I am anxious for this to move on to third reading and go into the Law Amendments
Committee. I want to tell the minister that I anxiously await further input from Nova Scotians, as a whole,
at the Law Amendments Committee, so we could all come back and make changes and better adjust this bill
so that it reflects exactly what Nova Scotians want. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.



MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak for a few moments on Bill
No. 117, which certainly looks like a good idea to me. There are a number of different funds and
organizations around here that now have money to promote high-tech development and the creation of new
initiatives in the high-tech field, to work with the government, I think, in the areas of the information
technology. It makes sense to me that some of those areas would be combined.



There are a couple of questions, of course. I look back at the Government by Design document from
last spring, where things like the Nova Scotia First Fund and the Nova Scotia Research Foundation, among
a list of other things, were going to be tied in with the International Centre of Excellence for Technology
Innovation. I guess I am kind of curious as to what this corporation means for that centre.






Mr. Speaker, I don’t think there is anybody who would disagree with the government trying to better
organize its ability to promote economic development in this area, for the benefit of Nova Scotia. We do have
an opportunity, with the new technologies out there, to perhaps overcome some of the geographical barriers
that have affected us over the last 100 years. It is a question, I think, of coordinating our activities, the
government showing the private sector that it has the confidence and the initiative and the creativity to work
with it to move forward in these areas and is prepared to put up money where it counts, where it can be shown
that it is a viable and a sustainable operation, that is going to be hopefully where the government will put its
money.



[6:30 p.m.]



There were a couple of concerns raised in an editorial in the Halifax Herald today over this issue, about
the fact that there was all this public money going to be put together and a public/private board was going to
distribute it. The editorial raised the spectre of ACOA in the past and some of the notable failures that that
operation had participated in, in hoping that the minister and his department would ensure that both through
the criteria upon which this board distributes its funds and in, perhaps more importantly for the minister, the
appointments to this particular board, that everything is done to ensure that this new corporation in fact heads
for quality, moves down that line, makes sure that its decisions are fiscally sound for those particular
operations, as well as for the economic viability of the province. I am sure that the minister takes that concern
to heart.



It is interesting to note that an international search is underway for the CEO spot in particular. It
matters a lot, I think, to all of us in Nova Scotia that whoever it is that fills the CEO spot, and all the other
spots on this particular board, have the qualifications, have the expertise and have the grounding in the
industry to ensure that taxpayers’ money, as well as private money that will be part of this fund, is
administered in the most effective and efficient manner possible. Let’s not forget, it is not only the proper
stewardship of public money that is important here, as well as it is the promotion of innovation and successes
and I think that is extremely important.



So, Mr. Speaker, with those few brief words, let me say that I will be supporting this legislation on to
the Law Amendments Committee. I have not heard of any spectacular concerns raised in my initial going
through of this particular piece of legislation. It makes sense to me so therefore I will be supporting it, with
the concerns in mind that I have raised already about the administration of that fund, about the appointment
to the board and that we ensure that politics stays out of it and that we move forward in the interests of Nova
Scotians and the Nova Scotia economy to have the most credible, effective and efficient board and corporation
that we possibly can. Thank you.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 117 I think is a good bill and I will certainly be
voting for it in second reading. But I would like to just address a couple of things with regard to this bill and
I know the minister is listening intently to hear what I am going to suggest.






I don’t know how much experience the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency has had with
boards. I know I haven’t had a great deal of experience myself but those boards that I have been associated
with, I know that it has been of the utmost importance that not only do you have people who are adequate to
the challenges that the board faces but that also you have the board small enough that they can reach a
decision.



Mr. Speaker, this board is composed of 17 people and they come from a variety of different centres of
expertise. We have the Deputy Minister of Finance and the Deputy Minister of the Economic Renewal Agency
- there is a couple of government departments that will be able to argue effectively among themselves - “Four
persons appointed by the Governor in Council from four nominations by the universities of the Province . .
.”; “two persons, representing the Government of Canada . . .”; and “eight persons representing technology
and information-based business . . .” - private enterprise, glad to see that there - and “. . . one person
representing advanced technology and industry associations, nominated by the Nova Scotia Advanced
Technology Collegium . . .”.



Mr. Speaker, I think there is a good, broad range of people on this particular board. But I would
suggest that the minister surely must be aware that when you get a group that large and from such disparate
centres, that you are going to have quite an interesting series of meetings trying to get them to reach an
agreement.



I would suggest to the minister, and I don’t know if he has already appointed these people or told
people that they would be appointed, I would suggest that he cut that board down to around about eight or nine
people. Mr. Speaker, I would suggest that by doing that, he will make the board infinitely more effective than
it will be with these 17 people, no matter how well qualified they are, in arriving at the necessary decisions
that this board is going to make.



The question has already been asked of the minister, what happens to the people within the present
Economic Renewal Agency who are more or less carrying out these functions? As I understand it, these
functions will become the responsibility of the board and, naturally, these people are going to be, for all intents
and purposes, the people within the Economic Renewal Agency that is, will have no further business to carry
out and to be employed in the department in the way they were in the past.



So it will be interesting to learn whether or not the minister is going to contract - that is get smaller -
his staff again, or whether or not these people will be, in some way, manner or form transferred to the board.
Now the board, I would assume, would have some staff. I would be interested in knowing what kind of a
staffing centre will be put forth to support this particular board.



The last thing that I would like to say with respect to this bill, Mr. Speaker, is the name of the
corporation. It is called InNOVA. I don’t know if there has been any research done as to whether or not Nova
Corporation, a large and well-known corporation, is amenable to the Province of Nova Scotia taking a large
portion of their corporate name when we are forming this new government corporation.



With those few words, Mr. Speaker, I will be certainly supporting, and members of this caucus will
be supporting this legislation because, again, it is a step in the right direction and I look forward again to this
bill going through the Law Amendments Committee and through the Committee of the Whole House on Bills
when we can examine some of those questions that the minister may not want to answer during his wrap up
on this bill. Thank you.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to rise just to say a few words on this bill
this evening. This may be one of those occasions where all sides indicate their general support with the thrust
and the principle of this bill in the direction and indicating support for the bill to proceed from this stage to
the Law Amendments Committee process.



I was listening to the minister’s comments when he introduced the bill and he was talking about, for
example, Utah and the economic spinoff effects and the approach that they have undertaken in that area and
with the tremendous economic, as I say spinoffs, that have resulted for that community.



I say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to the minister, without any hesitation saying this whatsoever, that I
don’t think that Nova Scotia, certainly based on the people that we have in our location and the kind of
lifestyle that we have in Nova Scotia, we certainly don’t need to take a back seat, or no reason to think that
we need to take a back seat, to Utah or any other place. I am very optimistic or hopeful that the kind of
initiative being talked about here will help us to capitalize on our natural advantages.



We are certainly not in the centre of large, populated areas, so it is not as easy for us to compete for
or to attract businesses that rely on the heavy manufacturing sector and which are then going to incur
tremendous costs, relative to transportation. However, Mr. Speaker, many of the kinds of industries, and we
are already hearing about more and more of these small businesses and so on locating in Nova Scotia where
transportation via the traditional means to export your products to market is not as important. When we talk
about the information age and the new information highway, Nova Scotia is very well situated, I would
suggest, in that regard. So I am optimistic that given the ingenuity and so on of the people and the advantages
that we do have here, that we will be quite successful.



So I have no hesitation, unless some information comes forward that I am unfamiliar with at this point
in time, I certainly have no hesitation saying that I support the concept of what the minister is trying to do
here, to combine the different agencies into the one new InNOVA Corp, Mr. Speaker.



I guess the other thing, and a couple of other points that I would like to make and something that has
not only bothered myself and some others is that we have, within our province, some excellent post-secondary
institutions where we have tremendous research capacity. I have felt that in the past that much of this research
capacity and the talents of those who work in the universities and also the physical resources available have
not always been used to the best advantage, in terms of trying to assist and promote business ventures in this
province.



I know I have had complaints - I admit not a large number - from a small group who have said that
sometimes those from the universities will come out and study a particular project for a thesis or a paper, go
back and prepare the paper but the information does not flow back to the communities, to point out the
advantages and/or the opportunities they have identified in that study.



A couple of cautions that I have, certainly, and we don’t know yet who the members of the board are
going to be. I think certainly it is very important that the private sector who have experience in this field need
to be appointed and should be well represented on that board. It is my understanding that the minister plans
to present 50 per cent from the private sector. I remind the minister, of course, that the 50 per cent certainly
need to be appointed on the basis of their abilities and maybe some means can be found for the private sector
to make recommendations to the minister as to who those individuals appointed should be. Possessing a red
card should not be the primary condition upon which people are going to be appointed to the board. So great
care must be exercised in selecting those who are going to be controlling a great deal of public funds.



Also we do have in this province many people who are very innovative, who come up with excellent
ideas, who have the tremendous prospects of being a very good, viable business, an exportable business, that
will bring resources back to the province for the benefit of all, to say nothing about the most important part,
that being jobs. So certainly tremendous care and, as I say, political connections should not be in any way,
shape or form, a major consideration in appointing those people to the boards.



I also know that an international search is currently under way for the CEO spot for the foundation
and I am just wondering how that international search is being carried out. I just cannot help but wonder,
given the record of this government, if it is possible that that search is being carried out by private consultants.
Maybe the minister could indicate later on if this search is being done by the Department of Human Resources
of the government or the minister’s own department or if his department has given a contract to a consultant
to find this person. I honestly do not know the answers to these questions, it will be interesting to find out and
if it is a consultant, it will be interesting to know if that was a tendered contract to select the consultant to be
looking for the CEO.



[6:45 p.m.]



I hate to have to say that given the circumstances in which we find ourselves, given the record of this
government over the last number of weeks to say nothing of their 18 months in office, you have to be a little
bit wary and cautious because the government seems to be prone towards the untendered contracts to private
consultants as we saw the Minister of Municipal Affairs doing so flagrantly in violation of the Premier’s
directive that he gave approximately one year ago. Of course, if it is a consultant, if may be under $5,000 in
terms of a consulting fee. If it is, it would be one of the first that small that I will have seen and in that case,
of course, no tender call would have been required but I would suspect if it is a consultant and if they are
doing a thorough kind of search for a CEO to make sure that we have the best qualified person to head this
very important position that my guess would be that it would be in excess of the $5,000 figure.



So, I certainly have a few questions as to the process. I want certain kinds of assurances relative to how
those individuals who are going to be appointed from the private sector are going to be selected. This is and
has the potential to be a very important initiative for Nova Scotia. We do have many people in this province,
many businesses and others who are hoping to establish a business, who are creative, innovative and very
hard-working. They deserve nothing less than knowing that the people who are going to be appointed to the
board which will have so much control over what kind of assistance they do or do not receive to develop their
product, to develop their market, are going to be of the highest quality. Thank you.



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



The honourable Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency.



HON. ROSS BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, the comments by the member for Hants West regarding the size
of the board, I too agree with that. You know the two boards that we currently have within my department,
we have down-sized both of them, the Business Development Corporation and the Trade Council. The Trade
Council was unwieldy at 30-some people and we cut it in half. I take the member’s suggestions to heart, 17
is a big number.



One of the problems we have wrestled with is how to make sure that we have the right representation
throughout the broad spectrum of the technology community. We need our federal partners there, we need
our provincial people at the table, especially dealing with public funds, we want to get a good representation
from the private sector. But I take your comments and maybe that is something that we can consider as we
go, that we try to do something about the size of the board. Smaller boards are much quicker to react and
easier to establish consensus on issues, and I take his comments and we will see what we can do with them.



The member for Kings North wanted to know what was happening with the existing staff in our
organization. Some of the people are now retired through early retirement. Ones that are left that have not
been placed in other areas will be moved over to the new corporation. The ones that we have at our research
foundation, the Dartmouth Innovation Technology Centre, those staff will all stay intact and will report under
this new structure of InNOVA Corp, so it really is not a staffing displacement issue. Anybody who is in our
current technology division now will be moved over into the new organization. So there will not be any great
layoffs because of this.



Staffing at the new organization, obviously, there is a new position for the CEO. The president of the
research foundation is an existing person; that position is already there, so the only new one is for the CEO.
Support for the CEO will come from the existing technology people that will move over. So there are not a
lot of staffing changes, and I think all of the staffing has been identified.



I appreciate the member for Sackville-Cobequid’s comments regarding the corporation. I appreciate
the fact that he thinks that we can compete with the world and that we do not have to take a back seat to Utah
or any place else. I agree. I think that we have a sleeping giant here in Nova Scotia when it comes to
technology development and the chance to make this area of our economy boom and grow very rapidly. I
appreciate the constructive comments. It is very nice to have people across the floor look at a bill and say, yes,
this is something that we need and we are supportive of it. I appreciate their comments and the ones on the
size of the board we will try to deal with it as best as we can.



MR. JOHN HOLM: A question, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the minister’s comments relative to the
remarks I made about our not needing to play second fiddle to anybody else. The one question the minister
did not answer and that is the CEO and the international search; how is that being conducted and by whom?



MR. BRAGG: Mr. Speaker, in consultation - I am sorry I did forget about that - with our Human
Resources Department, it was agreed, because of the technical level of person that we are looking for, that we
would go outside and hire a recruiting firm to do the search. It was done by bid, by tender, a call for proposals.
I think Robertson-Surrette was the successful company and they have done the search, the ads have been in,
the applications are in and a decision will be made very quickly. It was all done according to the policy that
I have just laid out.



MR. RONALD RUSSELL: Would the minister permit another question? Mr. Speaker, the minister
has spoken about the expertise we have resident within this province. I was wondering why he would involve
himself and the government in a search which is much more expensive when you get outside this province.
Surely we have, within this province, people with every possible qualification that you would want to
adequately fill that position.



MR. BRAGG: Just so we make sure we are clear. Robertson-Surrette is a Halifax company that we
hired to do the recruiting. We went outside the province. We advertised here in Nova Scotia, as well as in The
Globe and Mail and other publications because we wanted to make sure that we opened the door to the very
best candidate. That may be someone from Nova Scotia. You’re right, we have some very well-qualified people
here in the province, but what if there was a Nova Scotian living in New York City who had the qualifications
and wanted to come home. Would it not be a disappointment if we did not make sure that those people were
made aware of it? What we did is, I think, very practical. We went out and advertised for the best there is and
we hope that will bring back the best results.



MR. RUSSELL: One more question. When the company went out to recruit this person, male or
female, what was the salary range that was offered?



MR. BRAGG: I was going to take a guess because I think I know what it is, but I am not sure. Let me
give the undertaking that I will find out because I do not want to mislead you. I think I know what it is. We
have made some special consideration. We will make sure we get the accurate figure. I get in trouble when
I do that.



Mr. Speaker, I would like to move second reading of this bill.



MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 117. Would all those in favour of the
motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



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



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 119.



Bill No. 119 - Motor Vehicle Act.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Communications.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, I want to say at the outset what a pleasure it is to stand and
introduce the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act contained in this Bill No. 119.



Last spring I had the pleasure of introducing a graduated driver licensing program to Nova Scotia. As
of last week the program which began on October 1st has seen 504 new drivers go through that system. They
will be the first of what, we hope, will be an entire new generation of safer drivers in this country. Certainly,
in other jurisdictions where graduated driver licensing and other programs have been put into effect there has
been a remarkable decrease in the number of highway fatalities and that is what we are aiming for in this
province.



Last year, 1993, we had 100 fatalities on Nova Scotia highways and that is the lowest number we have
ever had, but I am sure that all members of this House would agree that it is still too many. While the goal
of zero fatalities maybe unattainable it certainly is the goal that we all must aim toward. The amendments
introduced in Bill No. 119 are designed to target other factors involved in highway fatalities and in accidents
that will lower the number of fatalities.



I, perhaps would like to briefly go through the amendments and indicate to members of the House what
these amendments do and then I would welcome comments from members opposite. There are a few
housekeeping amendments that first of all deal, for example, with a situation where automobiles or motor
vehicles have parts, serial numbers identify the parts as being manufactured in different years. This will
clearly set out that the serial number on the vehicle will be deemed to be the year of the latest serial number,
this is so that it makes it more difficult for individuals to evade paying the taxes on this vehicle and then
choose instead to find a way to pay tax on a vehicle which would be older.



Clause 4(3) is one which intends, for conformity sake, so that at present in the Motor Vehicle Act an
individual under the age of 16 can own a motor vehicle; they are permitted to own a motor vehicle and the
Act states that upon producing a certificate of ownership, registration certificate must be given to that
individual. When, in fact, another section of the bill says that if you are under the age of 16 you cannot
register a vehicle. This will make it so that an individual under the age of 16 can neither own nor register a
motor vehicle.



Clause 5(1) reads, “Subsection 67(4) of Chapter 293 is amended . . .” and this an item which, “5(a)
clarifies the authority to extend the period of revocation of a driver’s license to be consistent with a court
order;”. What presently happens is the court, in keeping with the Criminal Code, may impose a sentence that
is different than that imposed under the Motor Vehicle Act. This will set out that the revocation is the greater
of the two, so that the judge can extend the suspension, but cannot shorten it.



Mr. Speaker, we have included in these amendments the requirement to report a motor vehicle accident
when damage exceeds $1,000 as opposed to the present situation where motor vehicle accidents have to be
reported when the damage exceeds $500. At present we have approximately 18,000 accidents in Nova Scotia
that are reported to the police. Approximately 5,000 of those accidents are less than $1,000, but greater than
$500. Clearly, I think most members would understand and appreciate that the police have to go through a
great deal of work in order to process those reports. If we can eliminate 5,000 of those reports which we
believe reflects the 1990’s, there is not a lot of damage has to be done to a vehicle today to get it over $500.
So this will bring it more in line with modern times.



[7:00 p.m.]



Clause 7, Section 102(1) is an amendment which has been lobbied for by many individuals and groups
for quite some time. This is the section in the present Act which allows drivers to enter a defence for speeding
in zones that are under 80. We are eliminating that defence which is the driving with prudence defence. One
of the difficulties I want to point out, from a practical point of view, on this is that there have been a great
many attempts made to control the speed of vehicles in residential subdivisions.



We have been lobbied, we have been bombarded at times at the Department of Transportation with
requests from communities to install four-way stop signs as the method of controlling speed on the streets.
One of the difficulties to have the police officers do this is the ease of the individuals charged with exceeding
the 50 kilometres, 60 kilometres an hour speed zone, entering the driving with prudence defence. It challenges
that successfully and as a result we are back at the same situation. This should enable police officers, police
agencies to enforce these speed limits and one would hope reduce the speeding through residential
subdivisions.



Another very important amendment that we have introduced here, Mr. Speaker, is the provision to
create a temporary work area on a highway. There were in excess of 200 accidents and injuries last year on
construction sites where the temporary posted speed is not enforceable and is not adhered to by the motorist.
This bill will now create a temporary work zone and the posted speed limit on a temporary basis will be
enforceable just as a permanent speed limit is enforceable.



Another housekeeping item if you will, is a change of terminology in the bill replacing handicapped
person with mobility-disabled person. This is being done at the request of the disabled community and that
will be introduced. It will not have any impact on mobility-disabled parking or presently called handicapped
parking, it simply changes the terminology.



Another clause of this bill, another amendment will allow the creation of a by-law which will provide
that the owner of a motor vehicle can be charged for parking offences. A recent decision of the courts has
ruled that the owner couldn’t be charged, that the driver be charged. I think in recognition of the fact there
is approximately $1 million in outstanding parking fees in this province this has become a significant problem
and one which will be addressed.



Clause 12, Section 182A, Mr. Speaker, will ban radar detectors in Nova Scotia. It will be against the
law to not only use but to have a radar detector and the police officer will and may at any time without a
warrant or anything else lay charges for having a radar detector and will remove that radar detector. I think
it is important to recognize that this device is manufactured with the sole purpose of evading the law. It is long
overdue that this device is removed from use in Nova Scotia.



Some would make light of this but I think in light of the fact that there were 23,000 speeding offences
in Nova Scotia last year shows that the level of acceptability for speeding is far too high. Whatever measures
we can take to help reduce the speed limit then we will certainly not apologize for taking those measures.



Another clause of this, Mr. Speaker, will provide that vehicle dimensions and weights will be
prescribed by regulation, rather than being set out in the bill. At present it is set out in the Act. The problem
is that you have an industry whose needs are changing. We have national safety codes, we have memoranda
of understanding with other provinces and the federal government and each and every time we do something
to conform to national standards, we have to come to the Legislature and amend an Act, rather than simply
doing it by regulation. This will allow for vehicle weights and dimensions to be done by regulation and should
address the needs of the industry and speed up the process of having these become law after they are agreed
to by 10 provinces and the federal government, in most cases.



Mr. Speaker, the clause of this bill that has perhaps generated the most debate to date is the clause that
will allow for an administrative license suspension for persons charged with impaired driving offences. The
police officer will immediately suspend the driving privileges of an individual for doing one of two things;
for failing the breathalyzer or for having a blood alcohol content, determined by a breath or a blood sample,
in excess of the legal limit, or for refusing the breathalyzer. If one of those two events takes place then the
police officer will immediately suspend the driving privileges and will report that to the Registrar of Motor
Vehicles. Where possible, the police officer will physically confiscate the driver’s license.



Mr. Speaker, once the police offer lays the charge for failing or refusing the breathalyzer, they have
no discretion in notifying the registrar to put the suspension into effect. That suspension is in effect for three
months, unless it is overturned. There is a review, an appeal process, where an individual, following a review
process, can appeal to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles who will hear that review and that can be supported
by documents of many types and by evidence. We will hear that review, I believe, within 10 days if there is
not a request for an oral review, or within 20 days if there is.



I have heard some comments about the ability of the province to proceed in that measure and how a
challenge might be. I have done some research and I would briefly like to enter into the record here this
similar type of legislation as it affects Manitoba and, of course, has been challenged in the Queen’s Court. I
will just read a couple of excerpts from the decision; “The province has the absolute right to manage the roads,
and particularly to issue and revoke driver licenses. The court furthermore characterized the procedure of
s.263.1 as purely administrative, and not criminal.”.



It is also found that the administrative suspension was not a penalty imposed by the Legislature but,
instead, a civil consequence of one of two acts committed by the individual refusing or failing the breathalyzer
test.



It was found that the role of the police officer was administrative and again, found that the action taken
by the province in the roadside suspension, if you will, was certainly justified and completely within the
authority of the provincial government.



I guess what we are attempting to do with this, Mr. Speaker, is to have the consequences of driving
while drinking severe, sudden and certain. One would certainly hope that would be a deterrent to drinking
and driving.



Mr. Speaker, Clause 18 to Clause 23 of the bill increase the minimum fines for a number of offences,
such as driving without a license, failing to stop for a school bus, careless and imprudent driving, driving at
a careless and imprudent speed and driving while suspended. These particular offences and these particular
fines, in most cases, are moving from minimums of $25 and $50 to $100 or $250.



There are a couple of reasons for that, Mr. Speaker. I think it is attempting to reflect the cost to our
justice system. It is also trying to bring the fine structure into the 1990’s. This has not been visited for quite
some time and I believe this more accurately reflects the cost to the system today and also the seriousness of
those types of actions.



Mr. Speaker, this bill will also provide that municipalities will issue licenses with respect to accessible
taxi cabs, that they will not limit the number of vehicles, the number of drivers or restrict the kinds of
passengers that may be carried in accessible taxi cabs. One of the problems we have in Nova Scotia is that
operators who are attempting to operate taxis for the disabled community are having great difficulty in staying
afloat, if you will, because of restrictions imposed by municipal governments that are limiting what they can
do. If we, and I think most Nova Scotians would want the mobility-disabled community to have access to
transportation, then this, we hope, will see those needs met.



It is important to note that in order to be eligible to receive a license to operate a disabled taxi, you
must meet the federal standards set out in the passenger transportation standards by the federal government.
There is a program we are presently involved with where the federal government and the provincial
government will make some monies available to individuals or operators to equip taxis for the disabled
community. There is a pot of money. It is capped and it mostly has applied to rural Nova Scotia to ensure that
there is mobility-disabled transportation in rural Nova Scotia. The prohibitive cost of outfitting a disabled taxi,
along with the limited amount of funds in that pot, I think, will be the deterrent to seeing taxis for the disabled
community become too commonplace.



Mr. Speaker, that, I think, briefly outlines the amendments that are contained in Bill No. 119. I am
very pleased, again, to move second reading and I would welcome the comments of members opposite.



MR. SPEAKER: Prior to recognizing any responses to the minister’s introduction of his bill, I would
grant an introduction to the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.



MR. DENNIS RICHARDS: Mr. Speaker, to you and through you, I want to take this opportunity to
welcome and introduce the 1st Iona Pathfinders group from Cole Harbour. This group tonight is represented
by their two leaders, Sabrina Rhindress and Monica Stoilov. I want to welcome the members of the group here
in the House of Assembly. I know that they have had a quick tour of the Assembly and some of the features
of the House. I welcome them to enjoy some of the debate that you will now hear.



I mentioned to the group a few moments ago, Mr. Speaker, about some of the details of this particular
piece of legislation the minister has just introduced for second reading and how important it was to all of Nova
Scotia. I am sure they were listening attentively as he spoke and I know that they will be watching how this
particular bill proceeds through the House. So with that, thank you for the opportunity to welcome this group
here this evening. (Applause)



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



MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I, too, welcome our guests in the gallery. I am very pleased
to rise this evening and speak in support of the amendments to Bill No. 119. These are some very important
amendments and the minister’s amendments will affect, as the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has
said, all Nova Scotians. I have a few general comments and I do intend to be brief and then I have a few
questions that I will tie in with some of my comments.



[7:15 p.m.]



The minister in his opening remarks has certainly addressed many of the concerns I had. But one such
concern that I have is that the bill will enable, as the minister has mentioned, a police officer to suspend
immediately, driving privileges at the time a Criminal Code charge is laid for drinking and driving, for
refusing a breathalyzer test. It goes on further to say there is no discretion by the police officer and there is
no delay in the removal of a drinking driver from the road. In most instances, the police officer will confiscate
the actual license and notify the registrar that the action has taken place.



Some people have talked about the presumption, that you are innocent until proven guilty, is being
taken away and the Crown may be subject to Charter of Rights challenges and so on, but I have to say that
most Nova Scotians I know and the people I talk to do not have a lot of sympathy for people that are drinking
and driving. So, I commend the minister for coming forward with this type of legislation and I certainly hope
that it does act as a deterrent for drinking and driving.



Now Clause 5(2) of the bill states or at least suggests that after you have lost your license due to an
alcohol related offence and want it back, restoration is subject to requirements that the registrar deems
necessary. I am hoping that the minister can tell me perhaps during his summary before he moves this to the
Law Amendments Committee, if this will be guided by regulation or how it is anticipated that this will be
handled.



Clause 10, as the minister had mentioned, does tidy up various sections of the bill and deletes
references to the handicapped person and refers to a mobility-disabled person. The minister did indicate that
he had the support from some of the disabled groups about this change and the participants were consulted
somewhat. I am hoping that the minister may elaborate a little bit on that too.



Clause 11, deals with the case where the owner of an illegally parked car is liable to a fine in addition
to the driver of the motor vehicle where the vehicle was driven by a person other than the owner at the time
of the offence. Mr. Speaker, that extends liability of the owner of the car which may be considered a sound
provision.



Clause 12, states that radar warning devices are to be illegal and a police officer can search and seize
any radar warning equipment. Nevertheless, it is not illegal to transport them from a manufacturer to a
consignee as long as they are in sealed packages. I am certain that the minister has not overlooked that
concern. But the banning does follow the lead of eight other provinces, I believe there are eight other
provinces in Canada that are banning or have banned those devices.



Clause 15 is a section that deals with the right of a police officer, as I mentioned before, to suspend
a person’s license when they are suspected of drinking and driving. The peace officer becomes an agent of the
registrar and takes possession of the person’s driver’s license and may use a temporary driver’s license that
expires in seven days. A person may appeal this order of suspension by filing an application, paying a fee and
getting a hearing. Mr. Speaker, that is very important because it is possible that you could be stopped and still
be under the .08 limit and I do think that the appeal mechanism will certainly enable these people, should they
want to go that route to get their license back.



I do have some concerns about the minimum amount of the level of fine to be assessed and it has been
raised, as the minister has indicated. If you are an unlicensed driver you go from $25 to $100; failure to yield
to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, the fine is increased to $250 from $25; failure to stop for a school bus, $50 to
$250; and so on, imprudent driving to $250. I am just wondering how was this change in the fine structure
reached? Did the minister look at these particular types of infractions in terms of their occurrence, in terms
of numbers, were they picked willy-nilly or were police forces canvassed? I am wondering if the minister was
talking to police forces when he looked at these particular infractions because there are several other violations
and I note that those fines remain the same.






Mr. Speaker, just in closing, I also note that the minister will be changing to a one-license-plate system
in Nova Scotia and I understand the different police forces do have some difficulty with this particular
amendment. I can tell you that I do not have a whole lot of problem with it because I was stopped, probably
10 years or 12 years ago, and I only had one license plate on my vehicle at that time and was subject to quite
a tongue-lashing and did receive a ticket. I had the plate on the back and he was following from behind and
happened to notice when he walked around the vehicle, so the plate on the front really did not mean a hill of
beans in terms of being stopped.



With those few comments, I will be supporting the amendments; I will be supporting Bill No. 118 and
support the move to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.



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



MR. JOHN HOLM: I enjoy standing up tonight to speak briefly on the bill because this is one of those
rare occasions when I can stand up and say to the Minister of Transportation and to the government that I
want to sincerely congratulate you for bringing forward what I think are some very positive and important
changes. The Minister of Justice accuses me across the floor of a coalition and I certainly would not want to
leave the illusion of a coalition between our caucus and the government.



I do want to ensure the Minister of Justice that on the piece of legislation that is before us - as we will
on any occasion when the government brings forward constructive, reasonable, sound amendments to
legislation or new legislation - they can be assured of our cooperation. I believe that what is contained in the
bill is, essentially very good legislation. Some of it - and I do not just blame this on this government - is long
overdue. I can, for example, go back through my files as I am sure the Minister of Transportation will know
what others have said in the past about certain things. The minister will know that there are, undoubtedly
records in his file where I, too, have been pushing for, for example, the prima facie speed limit in the
community.



I have talked to police officers in the past who are, themselves, very much concerned about being able
to enforce speed limits effectively, so that they can help to improve safety within the communities and have
felt somewhat as if their hands were slightly tied by the law the way it is currently written. So, I want to say
to the minister that I very much support what he is doing with regard to that.



There are a few points, if I might and I will be rather brief in my comments, but I would like to just
raise with the minister to seek certain clarification either when he wraps up or later on, under Clause 5(a)
which gives the authority to extend the suspension of a driver’s license to match the order that is placed by
the court. That, obviously makes a tremendous amount of good sense and I do not know how you could do
anything less than that.



In the second part where it gives the registrar the authority to impose special conditions for license
restoration where there has been a history of alcohol abuse, I do not have any hesitation in supporting that
either. The only question, and I ask the minister more for clarification because it certainly is not in any way,
I don’t say this, I should say, as a way to disagree what is the intent here because I think that is very
reasonable for those who have a record or a history of alcohol abuse, to impose certain restrictions. I am just
wondering, however, if there is some mechanism for those who feel that maybe as a result of certain kinds
of counselling or training or whatever that they have gone through, if there is a mechanism if the registrar
imposes special conditions, that they can have those reviewed in an impartial way?



Clause 6 seems to be aimed at really cutting down on the amount of paperwork. I know when you are
trying to push for some improvements in a road network or arguing the need for possibly some stop signs or
traffic lights, Mr. Speaker, and I remember this battle very well when we are arguing, for example, trying to
get traffic lights installed at the Beaverbank Connector and the Old Sackville Road, one of the conditions or
one of the things that is taken into account, is how many accidents have occurred at the scene.



Well, Mr. Speaker, currently under the present law, an accident hasn’t happened unless that accident
is reported and that accident was not going to be reported unless there was a death or an injury, or damage
in excess of $500. So by increasing the value of the damage that has been done to $1,000 from $500, one
could argue that maybe what the government is doing is statistically going to be reducing the number of
accidents when, in reality, what they are doing is simply reducing the number of accidents that have to be
reported.



I question the reason for increasing that amount to the $1,000 figure. I know the costs of repairing
motor vehicles obviously have increased since that $500 figure was initially introduced but I think it is also
important if we want to know where those accidents and mishaps occur. It is important to know and keep as
accurate a record as possible and if we keep record of the small ones, hopefully we will be able to identify the
spot where there is a hazardous situation, so that it can be corrected before the mishaps turn from minor ones
into more major ones. That is one clause I am not totally sure if I am in support of that, Mr. Speaker, without
some more clarification, but I certainly would not be voting against the bill on the basis of that one minor
reservation.



I am very pleased to see that the government is going to say that the temporary speed limits posted,
when work is being carried out, are going to be considered to be a posted speed limit that will be enforced,
the same as the other ones. We all know there have been tragedies occurring where there need not have been
if people had been using caution and reduced speeds in situations where work has been going on, so I very
much support what the government is doing here.



Clause 11 puzzles me slightly. This is the one that will give “. . . the council of a city . . .” the power
to make a “. . . by-law whereby the owner of a vehicle that is illegally parked may be fined in addition to the
driver where the vehicle was in the possession of a person other than the owner at the time of the violation.”.
I don’t know, Mr. Speaker, but I thought that was pretty well the situation right now; if I take somebody’s car
or if, for example, I was in need of a vehicle because mine broke down, for example, and you kindly offered
me the loan of your vehicle so I could go and do a very important errand that could not wait. If I parked
illegally, the officer who was noticing that I have not put any change in the meter or parked under a no
parking sign, is not going to know who was behind the wheel. They write a ticket and the ticket is made out
to the owner of that vehicle, based on the license plate number.



So what the government really appears to be doing here is not giving the municipalities the authority
to add an additional fine to the owner of the vehicle, but maybe it is giving them the powers to try to track
down or place an onus on the owner to say who was driving it, so maybe they can double the amount of fines
that are going to be levied.






Certainly, the clause making the radar detectors illegal isn’t going to cause me any hardship, Mr.
Speaker, because I have not had one, although I must confess I have had one and legally, technically, I still
own one. It has been sitting in my garage for about the last eight or nine years and that is a good place for it.
I do believe that they should not be legal in the Province of Nova Scotia because they are designed to assist
people to elude or to break the law.



[7:30 p.m.]



Certainly, again (Interruption) I am getting some helpful hints from my friends and I will try certainly
to take their advice. With respect to the suspension and immediate removal of a license of those who are
caught and charged with impaired driving offences, there are some who would argue that that is an
infringement on their rights because they have not yet been convicted. You know, if somebody goes out and
commits a criminal offence, the police have the authority to take that person to jail, to lock them up, when
they are charged and even they would have to appear in many cases before the magistrate before they are
released.



I would suggest that those who contend the rights of those charged with impaired driving are being
violated by this power being given to the police, I would suggest that their concerns pale beside the rights of
those who are being placed at risk by the impaired drivers who occupy our highways. I think that it is very
important that we send a strong message and as much of a deterrent as we possibly can to discourage anybody
from getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.



The fines that are being increased between Clause 18 to Clause 23 to me seem to be very reasonable.
Maybe some might argue in a couple of cases that they are still slightly modest given how out-of-date they
are in terms of when the amounts that are in the present Act were written. I certainly also support the
government’s intent to assist the taxi industry, those who are trying to provide service to the disabled
community because certainly at the present time many of those operators will have a very difficult time to
survive in a business if they are not able to handle other clients as well.



The intent of what the government is trying to do here is, I would suggest, laudable and I hope that
it is successful. I can’t help throwing in here given the fact that the Government of Nova Scotia is going to
be eliminating assistance for transportation, for transit, in municipalities that means eliminating the assistance
as well for Access-A-Bus and other transportation for those who are in need of special transportation, there
is going to be an increased need quite probably for taxis that are able to handle and to transport those who
have a mobility disability, so this becomes even more important given the government’s decision to eliminate
funding for transit.



I have gone on really longer than I intended to do but it is a pleasure to have the opportunity to stand
on the floor of the House on the rare occasion that one gets this chance to commend the government and to
commend the minister for bringing in a piece of legislation that I believe is so supportable. I have no
hesitation saying that I intend to be voting for this bill as it proceeds through the second reading stage to the
Law Amendments Committee process. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.






MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.



MR. GEORGE MOODY: Mr. Speaker, I won’t be too long. I want to support Bill No. 119. I don’t think
there are any clauses there that give me any difficulty. I just want to point out, because I think the minister
said this, that anyone charged with impaired driving would have their license taken away and I know the
former speaker said that. I think impaired driving and refusal of the breathalyzer or failure to pass the
breathalyzer then your license is gone. If you are stopped and the officer charges you with impaired driving,
with no option of breathalyzer, than obviously it does not fit under that clause. Maybe I was not listening
carefully enough when the minister was speaking, but that is my interpretation and others of this clause.



I guess the part that I am wondering about is the appeal process. The registrar, I believe, will be quite
busy. There are many people who are going to be wanting to either make an oral presentation, I suspect and
a written presentation. I am wondering whether the police officer will be at that oral presentation or whether
it will just be the person that is going there to appeal it. I am wondering, is this just a procedure because I
cannot imagine the registrar overturning very many cases of where the police officer has taken the license
from somebody because either, (a) they have failed the breathalyzer or, (b) they refused the breathalyzer. Are
we going to have a lot of appeals and are we going to have a lot of people obviously failing the appeals?



An appeal process is good if it has meaning and there is some way that it can be dealt with in a fair
manner. I think the more speedy way to deal with these things is to get the case in court as quickly as possible
and not let it go for a year or six months. If the case went to court quickly within the 15 or 30 days then you
would do away with that appeal process where we are now going to have a top bureaucrat in the registrar’s
office. He could get 20-25 calls a week on people who want to appeal because they have had their license
taken away from them. The reason they want to appeal is because it takes so long to get to the courts to decide
whether the person is guilty or not guilty.



I am not sure, the minister may know this about how this appeal process works in Manitoba or some
other province. I have no difficulty with the license being taken away. I do have difficulty if that person has
a long time before they get before the courts to prove themselves innocent if that is what they want to do. If
they are going to be a year getting to court and they are going to lose their license for a year anyway, then they
have already served the time to lose their license so what is the point of going to court.



The courts are now backed up in this province. If this government does not deal with that then I think
this whole process could be flawed, where I think this could be an excellent process. I do not believe it should
be up to a registrar sitting up there to decide whether I get my license back or not because how is that person
going to decide? Do I take a lawyer with me to this hearing? Is the registrar going to have to have a lawyer
with him, or am I just going to go in and give my case? How does the mountie give their case? It begs a lot
of questions but I do know how the court system works. If you could get that person into the courts within 30
days than we could try to deal with it in a quick manner.



I like the idea. I think it is trying to stop people from drinking and driving and I do not have any
difficulty with that. I applaud the minister. I just wonder how well this appeal process has been thought out
and how quickly maybe it could be dealt with in the courts. The minister probably has thought all these things
through. He probably has the answers. I will listen to see what I get from him is not a bureaucratic nightmare
that may end up happening and a procedure that is very ineffective, but yet one that is meant to be fair.



The parts of the bill other than that, I think, are extremely good. I think the one about the signs, the
speed limit when construction is going on. I think that it is a proven fact where we have had fatalities. I
remember back in my days as Minister of Transportation, the signage laws have changed, but speed is the
biggest problem when there is construction going on.



The other thing that does annoy me sometimes, and I have no difficulty with the speed limits and
saying they are absolute and I agree with all that, sometimes we get on the 100-Series Highway and you are
going out, like on Highway No. 101, and someone is going along at 60 kilometres an hour and then it ties
traffic up, people take foolish chances and pass and you have got a real problem. I am telling you, that causes
as many accidents as somebody going 110 or 120 kilometres an hour. I have seen it happen and people get
impatient going 60 kilometres an hour along 100-Series Highway. It is okay when you are on a four-lane
highway, everybody is going along and can pass, but anybody that drives the 100-Series Highway and it is
not four-lane highway can tell you, honestly.



Another thing that annoys me, they will go 60 or 70 kilometres an hour, then they get into a passing
lane and they are going 105 kilometres an hour. Then when they get back in the other lane, they drop back
again. I know that it is difficult to handle. I guess in the light of safety, we should say to someone, if you are
on the 100-Series Highway, heavens, if the road conditions are fine, I don’t mean when it is icy and snowy,
otherwise people should be stopped if they are holding up traffic and causing people to take unnecessary
chances.



I have to commend the minister. I think that what he has put together here in this legislation is really
positive. It is really good stuff and I commend him for bringing it forward and I will be supporting the
legislation.



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



MS. ALEXA MCDONOUGH: Mr. Speaker, like my colleague, the member for Sackville-Cobequid,
it is a pleasure to be able to stand up and speak positively in support of a legislative initiative of this
government. It is something that we have not had a lot of opportunity to do of late. I want to say, in overall
terms, that I think the minister is very much to be commended for the vast majority of the initiatives contained
in this bill. I don’t know whether the minister is groaning because he is thinking, well, now here she comes
with some of the negative comments.



I want to first of all say that there are a number of features of this bill that I think that, without a doubt,
represent a decision by the government to considerably toughen up the deterrent measures and the penalties
associated with unsafe driving in this province. I think that is very welcome and certainly the overwhelming
majority of the public would applaud the government for those measures.



I don’t know why, particularly, Mr. Speaker, but I have always had a particular dislike, probably more
extreme than that, detestation, for those radar detectors, the sole purpose of which has been to evade the law.
There is no other reason for those things but to find a way to break the law and not get caught in the process.
I think it is appropriate to make them illegal and as I understand the legislation, it is not just illegal to use
such a device, but since there is no point in having the device unless you intend to use it, it is also, as I
understand it from the legislation, illegal to possess such a device. I guess that is a clear message to people
that they might as well just get rid of the things once and for all and then there will not be a problem.



I also think that although it is understandably controversial, that it is appropriate for the legislation
to provide for the immediate suspension of licenses under the very particular situations that have been
described in the legislation. If you have someone who is clearly guilty of drunk driving, proven to be by virtue
of the breathalyzer or, by definition, guilty because of refusing the breathalyzer, then I think it is appropriate
to come down on the side of protecting the public. Heaven knows the statistics are overwhelming and very
convincing that drinking and driving or the incidents of alcohol involved in highway accidents is very clear,
there is no question about it, very convincing that stronger measures have to be taken and I think that the
measures that are contained here in the legislation are reasonable and supportable.



I think what will be necessary is a fair push by the government on public education around this
measure and around some of the other measures as well. That brings me to one of the things that I think is,
again, understandably a cause for concern by some people and that is the very significant increase in the
financial penalties for a number of different driving violations.



[7:45 p.m.]



I want to say that I think, on balance, it is appropriate for the penalties to be increased to the extent
that they have. I think, for example, if you have penalties that are so nominal -and many of them in the order
of $25 for ploughing through a crosswalk, for breaking speed limits and so on - that they really are not
effective deterrents. As a result, people don’t take very seriously the legislation that is in place and the
limitations on their driving that are there for good reason. So, I think it is appropriate and I have no difficulty
with it.



The fact remains, and there is no escaping this conclusion, that such penalties are more burdensome
to low income persons, more onerous on people with limited incomes, there is no escaping that fact. That is
not an opinion, that is not a judgment, that is a fact. If someone faces this penalty who has a limited income,
then they pay a heavier penalty in relative terms. I don’t think there is any easy solution to that problem but
I do think that, again, it behooves the government to put on a fair public education campaign around the new
measures and the reason for them.



The reason I say that is because I think what is necessary is for people to understand absolutely clearly,
without any ifs, ands or buts, that these are serious offences, that the best way to avoid being faced with what
you perceive to be an unfair burden, an onerous penalty, is to not bring it upon yourself in the first place. I
think that is something that the government has to be prepared to, to be proactive in doing over the next while
to try to ensure that people really have had the benefit of a public education campaign that will result in
changed behaviours, as opposed to being very upset when they are faced with a penalty many times the size
of what they had originally faced or perhaps known to expect.



I also want to congratulate the minister in relation to the clauses of the bill that deal with taxis serving
the mobility impaired. Again, I realize this may be somewhat controversial because the fact of the matter is,
particularly in some areas and certainly Halifax is the one that I know best because it is the constituency I
represent and I think it is probably safe to say on a per capita basis, we have more taxis in Halifax than in any
other part of the province. It is certainly true that Halifax has more taxis than any other city across the country
of comparable size or perhaps even any other city. I mean, the statistics are really quite alarming in terms of
how very difficult it is therefore for a great many taxi drivers to be able to earn a decent living within working
horrendously long hours for very minimal compensation.



Nevertheless, I think that what the government has recognized is that there is a very serious problem
to a great many Nova Scotians in the fact that currently, taxis serving the mobility impaired, if restricted or
because they have been restricted to providing transportation only to the disabled, have therefore not been able
to survive economically. The result of that is not only a hardship on those drivers but, even more seriously,
the complete lack of service to those who desperately need the special services that accessible taxis can
provide.



I think it is a judgment call; I think it is a tough one. I commend the minister for coming down on the
side of the disabled population. I think again what is needed is for there to be a recognition that the problem
of the surplus of taxis in a city like Halifax, for example, cannot be solved through this legislation but needs
to be addressed. I continue to feel strongly that it needs to be addressed because the current problem remains,
that there are a great many taxi drivers who are simply unable to earn a living while they try to provide service
to the public and I think that needs to be dealt with.



One of the items that I am not clear about and I would just simply ask the minister if he could comment
on it in wrapping up his comments, it may be that I am simply not aware of this; in increasing the penalties,
the minimum fines for a number of driving offences, there is no specific mention of fines for people who park
in the spaces designated for disabled persons, the handicapped parking spaces. I am wondering if the minister
could comment on that.



I seem to recall vaguely that there was, in fact, some increase in that penalty, brought in a while back,
but I am not certain about that. I do know that this is a problem. I know that on a couple of occasions I have,
at the invitation of some disabled persons, gone on a tour of handicapped parking places, to be exposed to
what a problem this is. It is really quite astounding the number of people who feel absolutely free to drive into
a handicapped parking space without the proper permit and with very evidently no physical need for
occupying that space, jump out of the car, run in and do their shopping or whatever, come back out and just
have no compunction about doing it.



I guess my question to the minister is whether he is satisfied that the existing penalty is sufficient and,
if not, is this something that the minister is prepared to possibly look at what would be a very minor
amendment. As I say, I have a vague recollection of there perhaps having been some increase in the penalty
a short time ago but I am really not sure if I am correct in saying that so I would ask the minister to address
it.



The one final comment I want to make does not, in fact, pertain to provisions in the bill itself that the
minister has brought in. It is my understanding that when the bill briefing took place, at the time of this bill
being introduced in the House, the minister did confirm his intention to look at the elimination of the dual
license plate system, to consider bringing in a regulation in the next 6 to 12 months that would, in fact,
eliminate the front license plate and make it only mandatory for drivers to have a single license plate on the
back of their vehicle.






I guess I would really ask the minister if he would also speak to this, in wrapping up debate on this bill.
I must say that I am not at all convinced that the cost-savings that have been estimated that would result from
such an initiative by the government would be warranted, in view of the negative consequences of eliminating
that front license plate. I know there are other jurisdictions that have done it. I am not sure if my recollection
is correct; the suggestion is that it could be a dollar saving of more than $0.25 million and I don’t want to be
guilty of saying, well, what is $0.25 million, when every cent counts. But I would have to say that given the
recklessness with which this government has been throwing away $0.25 million, $1 million, $2 million on
all sorts of highly questionable consultants’ contracts and so on, the idea that we would, in an attempt to save
$0.25 million, eliminate the front license plates of vehicles across this province seems to me to be not a very
good idea at all.



I think the minister is aware that police chiefs have been consulted on this and stated very clearly their
opposition. It is their estimate and I am not in any position to argue with their projections. They project, they
genuinely believe, that this would result in 50 per cent reduction in their ability to track down criminals
fleeing from the site of a crime. That is really quite mind-boggling.



I suppose you might say, well, it sort of goes without saying; if you only have one license plate to try
to identify instead of two then it is going to cut it down by 50 per cent. But I don’t think you can lightly
dismiss the concerns that have been expressed by police chiefs on behalf of law enforcement officers in the
province when they say that from their point of view, this is going to make it very much more difficult to
identify criminals fleeing from the site of crimes. Given the public’s concern about the incidence of crimes,
given I think the genuine feeling on the part of the public that we have to do a better job of addressing the
victims of crime, that it is just not warranted for the government at this time to be contemplating an action
that goes against the advice of our police chiefs and I think goes very much against the public sentiment in
regard to wanting to strengthen our ability to solve crimes and successfully pursue and identify criminals in
every possible instance within the bounds of respecting the law and so on.



I would really ask the minister if he would indicate what the status of this is. I guess I would
congratulate the minister for his candour in having stated at the bill briefing that this was under consideration
but I would plead with the minister to reconsider if that is in fact something that is still very much under
consideration, I think there are many good reasons not to consider doing that. Besides, if the minister could
give assurances that he will not proceed with that it would mean we would be able to be even more positive
and unqualified in our support for this very positive initiative that he has set out in Bill No. 119 to amend the
Motor Vehicle Act. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.



MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation to close the debate.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, there were several points raised by Opposition members that
I will attempt to address as best I can. If the response I give is not sufficient then we will seek even further
clarification from perhaps the department’s legal council and others.



The member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley referred to Clause 5(b) of the bill as did the member
for Sackville-Beaverbank, about the requirements deemed necessary by the registrar prior to reinstating
someone who has lost their license for alcohol-related offences. You may recall in the spring we included in
the graduated licensing bill, we created, or we allowed, that there would be a rehabilitative program
established for first time offenders; for repeat offenders there is a program and these would be the type of
requirements and conditions attached that the registrar may have someone go through prior to getting their
license back.



The member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley also suggested that it was not illegal to transport
radar detectors. I don’t know why anyone would do that if they weren’t going to try to use them. I think, he
is not in the House now but if someone were to look at this, there are other clauses in the bill which say that
you cannot carry them, so that is a little up in the air, I guess, right now, but I do not know why anyone would
want to carry these things if you are not permitted to use them.



[8:00 p.m.]



The member for Sackville-Cobequid raised the issue of reporting accidents and suggested, perhaps by
not reporting accidents our statistics would not be as complete as they are today or as meaningful for the
purposes of determining certain things. It is true that in attempting to make a determination as to whether or
not there should be flashing lights, traffic signals, stop signs there are a number of factors used. The
department has point systems for various determinations, some of which do include accident history, but, in
fact the statistics of all other provinces, I believe, are based on accidents over $1,000, so this, in fact, will
bring our statistics in line with other jurisdictions and I would suggest will make those statistics more
meaningful when comparing one province to the other in terms of highway safety and other matters.



I think he would also agree if you look at the flip side of this - freeing up the police time that is
required to process 5,000 accident reports of less than $1,000 - would certainly allow us, without increased
costs, to have more enforcement on the highways and, perhaps reduce some of those accidents.



The member for Kings West raised the question about impaired driving. I point out that the bill, I do
not believe, makes reference to impaired driving. The bill cites two specific incidents, whereby your license
will be suspended: failing the breathalyzer or refusing the breathalyzer. It does not talk about impaired driving
and I would like to make that very clear. The suspension of license is not, again, tied to a Criminal Code
decision, it is an administrative decision. The police officer is making that suspension in the name of the
Registrar of Motor Vehicles. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles has the authority to suspend license.



I do not want to get too involved in this argument about the court and the court time, but I suspect that
if you look at what this bill might do, this may, in fact, clear up some of the backlog in the court system and
see cases go to trial much quicker than they do now. When you are talking about what weight will be attached
to the decision, the Registrar, if you look at the bill, it predetermines, for example, exactly what the Registrar’s
job is in dealing with this review and it is solely to determine what he will take into consideration, is whether
or not the individual was operating a motor vehicle while having consumed alcohol in such quantity that the
concentration thereof in the person’s blood exceeded .80 mg. That is failing the breathalyzer, or that they have
refused.



I do not think that you are going to see as many appeals or requests for review as one might think at
first glance here. Clearly what you are going to do is go and have to satisfy the Registrar of Motor Vehicles
that one of those conditions did not apply. If you fail the breathalyzer or had a blood sample taken that was
in excess of what is described in the Criminal Code of Canada, then you know you have to convince the
Registrar of that. I do not think it is something that is going to be taken lightly and bandied about easily.



Mr. Speaker, the member for Halifax Fairview raised a number of questions which I will attempt to
address. I think I did one in the (Interruption)



MR. GEORGE MOODY: What I had missed, Mr. Speaker, was the three month suspension. I am
wondering if that does count. After three months, my understanding is the person gets the license back until
such time as it is settled in the courts and I am wondering does that three months count towards the year’s
suspension?



I was looking for something in here and I have probably missed it that says, yes it does or no it does
not and how that works.

 

 

MR. MANN: As I told one of my colleagues, I am going to double-check it. It is awhile ago since we
had this debate internally in the department, and went through all of this. I am reasonably certain that, yes
it does count, but I want to double-check that, and it is under this section, the suspension is for three months.
I am glad the member pointed that out.



The member for Halifax Fairview, I believe, her first point she raised about under the two conditions,
you either fail the breathalyzer or refuse the breathalyzer. Number two, I guess, in keeping with her requests
for education, an education program to advise Nova Scotians, if you will, of the changes.



We will certainly be doing whatever we can through our Driver’s Education Programs, everyone who
comes into contact with the registry will be given information to educate them. We will be posting signs
throughout the province, for example, advising people, especially visitors to our province, that it is illegal to
have in their possession a radar detector and to use a radar detector. We will certainly be doing that.



We recognize that, I guess, any cost, any fine, penalty, any imposition of a fee is going to have a more
dramatic impact on low income Nova Scotians than on someone well-to-do. I do not think we are at a point
where we can apply a needs test, for example, to a fines system, but we certainly will do our utmost to educate
Nova Scotians.



I thank her for her comments on the accessible taxis. On the other taxi problem that is a bit of - since
you brought it up, I will comment briefly - Dartmouth has limited the number of taxis in operation in that city
under the exact same provision in the Motor Vehicle Act that Halifax says it cannot do it by. There are legal
opinions on both sides of this. The Department of Transportation has legal opinions, so I guess a decision,
if one were to challenge it, could come down on either side. We have been meeting and consulting with the
Taxi Drivers’ Association, with the cities, with their solicitors, with our solicitors in our department and we
think we have got something that may in fact resolve this issue once and for all. If we cannot bring that
forward this sitting, we will certainly be looking at it perhaps in the next session. (Interruption) We will have
a super taxi driven by Superman, perhaps. I do not know. We certainly could look at that.



The member referred to the fines for parking in handicapped zones. I believe, as far as I know, that
virtually all of those are controlled by municipal by-laws and, in fact, they are not enforced by the Department
of Transportation or the provincial government but, again, I will double-check, but I do not believe on
provincial highways there are handicapped parking spots. I believe that they are all in the municipalities.



On the one plate, one sticker issue, it is not in the legislation. The member, I guess I was the one who
went out and asked to meet with the Nova Scotia Association of Chiefs of Police and I had the consultation
on this to discuss with them our option or our proposal or our indication, I guess, that we were looking at such
an effort. I would like to make it very clear, Mr. Speaker, what prompted us to do this.



Obviously, in a department that is going to be hit to the tune, I believe, of 19.7 per cent over four years
in our operating budget, we have had to examine and re-examine each and every penny that is spent in the
Department of Transportation and Communications. This is one issue that we looked at in which staff at the
registry were helpful in identifying as a possibility. I accept full responsibility for the decision and I would
make it very clear to everyone that the reason for considering it is financial. It is money. The anticipated cost-saving in going to a one plate, one sticker system, as opposed to the current two plate, two sticker, the saving
is approximately $200,000 a year. However, the potential for revenue generation through the sale of a second
plate, a vanity plate, a decorative plate could in fact far exceed the cost-savings.



I think one of the difficulties that has always, or one of the beefs, I have had, I guess, with budgeting
and with tough decisions is that the people who will criticize for what you do, do not know what the
alternatives are if you do not do that. If we can generate $1 million in revenue, if we can save $0.25 million
in revenue, it means there are other measures that we do not have to take. I think we would all agree that those
measures sometimes can be far more severe than the ones we actually introduced.



One of the problems, and I guess the arguments by the police chiefs and, as I say, we had a good
discussion on this, one of the arguments is how many times has the front plate on an automobile been used
to identify someone committing a crime. They do not know. We do not know. We have looked for examples.
We have asked for examples and we do not know. One ex-RCMP officer said to me, you tell them that the last
time I robbed a bank, I removed the front plate. Now, I am not trying to make light of it but, clearly, if
someone is going to go out and rob a bank and does not want to be identified by license plates, they will take
the license plates off. It is not (Interruption)



Well, you know, most vehicles involved in a hit and run, when they leave the scene they are leaving
the scene going forward and so the rear plates will be on the vehicle. There are very few hit and runs where
the vehicle backs away from the accident and you try to identify it using the front plate.



These are arguments that have been put forward. I point out that there are five provinces in Canada
that presently have the one plate system. We checked with those jurisdictions. They received the same
arguments prior to implementing this system, but said they have not identified any negative events since that
time. There are, I believe, at the present, 22 or 23 states in the Unites States that have one plate. So I will
leave it there.



The decision has been made. It was conveyed to the police chiefs. While I will not say they were
overwhelmed by it, I think they recognize and are appreciative of the fact that what we have done in terms
of legislation is going to allow them to do their job more effectively, more efficiently. It gives them some tools
and resources, perhaps, to do their job and they said, well, okay, they maybe lost a little, but they gained a
heck of a lot.



With those remarks, Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of this bill.



MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 119, the Motor Vehicle
Act. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.



The motion is carried.



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



The honourable Government House Leader.



HON. RICHARD MANN: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government’s business for this evening. I
would advise members of the House that we will be sitting at 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. The order of business
following Question Period, I guess, may be departure. With that, I would move that we adjourn until 2:00 p.m.
tomorrow.



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



The motion is carried.



[The House rose at 8:12 p.m.]



NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)



RESOLUTION NO. 951



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



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



Whereas Beauchesne states in Citation 670 that, “It is also competent for a Member,who desires to
place on record any special reasons for not agreeing to the second reading of a bill, to move what is known
as a `reasoned amendment’.”; and



Whereas Beauchesne states no limitation on the number of reasoned amendments that can be
considered at second reading; and



Whereas Beauchesne states in Citation 666 that, “There are three types of amendments that may be
proposed at the second reading stage . . .”, not that only three amendments in total may be proposed; and



Whereas on Friday, November 4th, Mr. Speaker denied a member the right to place on the record a
reasoned amendment by ruling that our practices have never permitted more than three second reading
amendments, one of each type; and



Whereas multiple hoist and reasoned amendments at second reading of controversial legislation have
been common in the practices of this House, including five second reading amendments to the 1991 Public
Sector Compensation Restraint Act, the fourth of which was moved by the member for Cape Breton Nova;



Therefore be it resolved that this House urges Mr. Speaker to take the time necessary to read the
relevant citations in Beauchesne, consult the record of previous Speaker’s rulings and review the recorded
practices of this House before he makes a ruling that interferes with a member’s well-established freedom to
place before the House a reasoned amendment on two-tiered social assistance or any other relevant matter.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 104



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Priorities and Planning Secretariat:



(1) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by Priorities
and Planning since November 16, 1993 for which there was no open tendering, indicating:



(a) The total value of the contract and an hourly, daily or other unit rates, where applicable;



(b) The purpose of the contract;



(c) The duration of the contract, including any option for renewal or extension;



(d) The reasons why it was not tendered; and



(e) The method used to select the person awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 105



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Transportation and Communications:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Transportation and Communications or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11,
1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 106



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Supply and Services:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Supply and Services or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating
for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.






HOUSE ORDER NO. 107



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Municipal Affairs:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Municipal Affairs or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating
for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 108



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Housing and Consumer Affairs:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Housing and Consumer Affairs or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993,
indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 109



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of the Environment:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of the Environment or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for
each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 110



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Education:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Education or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 111



By: Mr. John Holm (Sackville-Cobequid)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Transportation and Communications:



(1) For each constituency, the operating capital budget and the operating maintenance budget for
1992-93, 1993-94, and 1994-95.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 112



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Department of Human Resources:



(1) The number of government employees in the following categories, as of March 1993 and March
1994:



(a) Civil Servants (showing management, bargaining unit, other);



(b) Orders in Council; and



(c) Casual employees, full time and seasonal (showing a breakdown by department).



HOUSE ORDER NO. 113



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Natural Resources:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Natural Resources or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating
for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 114



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Labour:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Labour or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 115



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Human Resources:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Human Resources or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating
for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 116



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Fisheries:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Fisheries or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 117



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister for the Economic Renewal Agency:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department for the Economic Renewal Agency or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993,
indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 118



By: Mr. Robert Chisholm (Halifax Atlantic)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Agriculture and Marketing:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Agriculture and Marketing or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993,
indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 119



By: Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax Fairview)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Community Services:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Community Services or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating
for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 120



By: Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax Fairview)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Finance:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Finance or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 121



By: Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax Fairview)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Health:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Health or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.



HOUSE ORDER NO. 122



By: Ms. Alexa McDonough (Halifax Fairview)



I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move that an order of this House do issue for a return
showing, with respect to the Minister of Justice:



(1) A list of consulting contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
Department of Justice or any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993, indicating for each:



(a) The total value;



(b) The purpose;



(c) The duration, including renewal or extension options;



(d) The reasons a consultant was hired rather than the work being done within the Public
Service;



(e) The comparative cost of performing the work within the Public Service; and



(f) Whether the contract was tendered, and if not, why not; and



(2) A list of the contracts in the value of $5,000 or more which have been approved by the
department or by any agencies reporting to the minister since June 11, 1993 for which there was no open
tendering, indicating:



(a) Total value;



(b) Purpose;



(c) Duration including renewal or extension options;



(d) Reasons for not tendering; and



(e) Method used to select the person or company awarded the contract.