The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD16-96

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Kevin Murphy

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

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



Second Session

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2016

TABLE OF CONTENTSPAGE

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3286, Natl. Immunization Wk. (04/23 - 04/30/16) - Recognize,
8288
Vote - Affirmative
8289
Res. 3287, Harrison, Hope & Terry: Protected Areas -
Land Donation, Hon. M. Miller »
8289
Vote - Affirmative
8289
Res. 3288, Denim Day - MLAs Support,
8290
Vote - Affirmative
8290
Res. 3289, Administrative Professionals - Acknowledge/Celebrate,
8290
Vote - Affirmative
8291
Res. 3290, Diabetes: Signs/Symptoms - Awareness,
8291
Vote - Affirmative
8292
Res. 3291, N.S. Gaels: Social/Economic Contributions - Recognize,
8292
Vote - Affirmative
8293
Res. 3292, Correctional Serv. Wk. (05/01 - 05/07/16) - Recognize,
8294
Vote - Affirmative
8295
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 168, Labour Standards Code,
8295
No. 169, Health Authorities Act,
8295
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS:
Denim Day - Recognize,
8295
Com. Serv.: Child Welfare Complaints - Tracking,
8295
Jones, Colleen: Cdn. Sports Hall of Fame - Induction,
8296
Gaelic Language - Investment,
8296
Cdn. Currency: Women - Inclusion,
8298
Burger Wk.: Feed N.S. - Fundraising,
8298
Reginato, Cole - Successful Hockey Season,
8299
Roseway Hosp. - ER Closures,
8299
Hughes, Mary/Leaders/Vols. - Scouts Can.,
8299
Turnbull, Blayre - Athletic Accomplishments,
8300
Extended Care Paramedic Prog. - Support/Expand,
8300
Kennedy, Mike - Acadia Univ. Young Alumni Award,
8301
Nicholson, Jim: On the Ice in Pictou - Release,
8301
Avalon Sexual Assault Ctr. - Funding,
8302
Daley, Jacqueline: Admin. Professionals Day - Thank,
8302
Coxheath Scrapyard Fire - Responders Thank,
8302
Kings Co. Acad.: Instrumental Band - Cuts,
8303
Downey, Josephine - Dart. Commun. Health Bd. Award,
8303
Taste of N.S. Award: Anna. Valley Recipients - Congrats.,
8304
Roseway Hosp. - ER Closures,
8304
MacIntyre, Stephanie - N.S. Research & Innovation Graduate
Scholarship, Hon. R. Delorey « »
8305
MBW Courier Inc. - Credit Union Commun. Bus. Excellence Award,
8305
Natl. Oral Health Mo. (04/16): Children's Dental Prog. - Expand,
8306
Naugler, Seth - Duke of Edinburgh's Award,
8306
Mood-Ross, Katrina - Educ. Wk. Award,
8306
Richmond Co. Vol. Banquet: Honourees - Congrats.,
8307
Carroll, Julia/Glace Bay Female Bantam AA Miners - Championship,
8307
Davis, Roy/WWII Participation Medal - Doug Shute/
Meritorious Service Medal (Posthumous), Hon. K. Regan « »
8308
Trenton - Shipyard Facility (WWI),
8308
King's Day - Netherlands,
8309
MacIntosh, Terry & Josepha - Retirement Careers,
8309
Allen, Barbara: Administrative Professionals Day - Recognize,
8309
Baxter, Angela: N.S. Lions Fdn. - Life Membership,
8310
Waye, Janice: Administrative Professionals Day - Thank,
8310
Comeau, Jeanne Alice/Theriault, Estelle: Administrative Professionals Day
8310
Brookfield Baptist Church - El Salvador Mission,
8311
O'Connor, Shelly: Administrative Professionals Day - Thank,
8311
Pictou Landing Wellness Retreat: Organizers - Thank,
8312
Jacobs, Adam: Constituency Asst. - Thank,
8312
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS:
No. 2144, Prem.: Muskrat Falls Proj. - NL Assurances,
8313
No. 2145, Com. Serv.: Avalon Ctr. - Wait-Lists,
8314
No. 2146, Bus. - Credit Union Small Bus. Loan Guarantee Prog.:
Review - Reasons, Hon. J. Baillie « »
8316
No. 2147, Health & Wellness - C.B. Reg. Hosp.: Closure - Min. Input,
8317
No. 2148, Gaming - Chase the Ace Jackpots: Cap - Stance,
8318
No. 2149, Health & Wellness: C.B. - Physician Access,
8319
No. 2150, Environ. - Alton Gas Proj.: Environment Act - Application,
8320
No. 2151, EECD - Sch. Bds.: Play Spaces - Accessibility,
8321
No. 2152, Fish. & Aquaculture: Victoria Co. Snow Crab Ind
- Fed. Funding, Hon. C. d'Entremont « »
8322
No. 2153, Health & Wellness: Pictou Co. - Physician Recruitment,
8323
No. 2154, LAE - Chronicle Herald: Lbr. Dispute - Gov't. Assessment,
8324
No. 2155, Gaelic Affairs - Budget Cuts,
8325
No. 2156, Fin. & Treasury Bd.: Auditor General's Recommendations
- Implementations, Mr. T. Houston « »
8326
No. 2157, LAE: CBU Tuition Fees - Gov't. Funding,
8327
No. 2158, Tourism N.S. - Destination C.B.: Budget Cuts - Explain,
8328
No. 2159, Health & Wellness - Northside Gen. Hosp.: ER - Plans,
8329
No. 2160, Health & Wellness - Prescription Drug Monitoring Prog.:
Changes - Delay Explain, Hon. David Wilson « »
8330
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 163, Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act
8331
8334
8338
8341
8344
No. 153, Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act
8345
8349
8353
8356
8360
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
TIR: Bay Ferries Mgt. Fees - Release,
8362
8364
8367
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Apr. 28th at 1:00 p.m
8371
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 3293, Bouchard, Rene: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8372
Res. 3294, Bona, Wayne: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8372
Res. 3295, Bona, Anna: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8373
Res. 3296, Bungay, Winnie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8373
Res. 3297, Samson, Alice: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8373
Res. 3298, Stone, Helen: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8374
Res. 3299, Stone, Monica: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8374
Res. 3300, Napier, Susan: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8375
Res. 3301, McCormack, Joanne: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8375
Res. 3302, O'Brien, Chris: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8376
Res. 3303, McGrath, Susan: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8376
Res. 3304, McDonald, Florence: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8376
Res. 3305, Martel, Robert: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8377
Res. 3306, Middleton, Leona: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8377
Res. 3307, Marchand, Julieann: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8378
Res. 3308, Martell, Wilma: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8378
Res. 3309, Matthews, John: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8379
Res. 3310, Mauger, Ralph: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8379
Res. 3311, Marchand, Nancy: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8379
Res. 3312, O'Brien, Sheldon: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8380
Res. 3313, Mariner, Donald: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8380
Res. 3314, MacQueen, Elaine: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8381
Res. 3315, MacLeod, Annabel: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8381
Res. 3316, MacNeil, Elizabeth: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8382
Res. 3317, Marchand, Donna: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8382
Res. 3318, MacPhie, Murray J.: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8382
Res. 3319, Marchand, Claire: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8383
Res. 3320, MacNeil, Joan & Jim: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8383
Res. 3321, Forbrigger, Lorena: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8384
Res. 3322, Grime, Carl: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8384
Res. 3323, LeBlanc, Rodney: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8385
Res. 3324, MacAskill, Linda: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8385
Res. 3325, Jarman, Michael: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8385
Res. 3326, Groves, Kathryn: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8386
Res. 3327, King, Betty: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8386
Res. 3328, Landry, Douglas: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8387
Res. 3329, LeBlanc, Roger: Travail Acharné - Merci,
8387
Res. 3330, David, Kenneth: Travail Acharné - Merci,
8388
Res. 3331, Campbell, Odille: Travail Acharné - Merci,
8388
Res. 3332, Wilson, Carol Ann: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8388
Res. 3333, Wambolt, Robert: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8389
Res. 3334, Tyrrell, Terrance: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8389
Res. 3335, Talbot, Derrick: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8390
Res. 3336, Stone, Joseph: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8390
Res. 3337, Tyrrell, Sheila: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8391
Res. 3338, Stewart, Connie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8391
Res. 3339, Silver, Dawn: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8391
Res. 3340, Samson, Herman: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8392
Res. 3341, Snowdon, Troy: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8392
Res. 3342, Samson, Helen: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8393
Res. 3343, Samson, Anna: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8393
Res. 3344, Samson, Debbie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8394
Res. 3345, Samson, Peter F.: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8394
Res. 3346, Skinner, Mark: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8394
Res. 3347, Sampson, Vi: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8395
Res. 3348, Rogers, Joan: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8395
Res. 3349, Pottie, Sheila: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8396
Res. 3350, Sampson, Elaine: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8396
Res. 3351, Sampson, Lloyd: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8397
Res. 3352, Samson, Magdalen: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8397
Res. 3353, Samson, Diana: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8397
Res. 3354, Power, Alice: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8398
Res. 3355, Samson, Simone: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8398
Res. 3356, Peeples, Lillian: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8399
Res. 3357, Sampson, Theresa: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8399
Res. 3358, Reynolds, Ken: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8400
Res. 3359, Pottie, Christine: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8400
Res. 3360, Pottie, Daniel Keith: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8400
Res. 3361, Samson, Angela: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8401
Res. 3362, Marchand, Anita: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8401
Res. 3363, Mariner, Donald: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8402
Res. 3364, Marchand, Donna: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8402
Res. 3365, Marchand, Kelsey: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8403
Res. 3366, MacLeod, Malcolm: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8403
Res. 3367, Landry, David: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8403
Res. 3368, MacNeil, Elizabeth: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8404
Res. 3369, MacLeod, Annabel: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8404
Res. 3370, Bennett, Gerard: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8405
Res. 3371, Bona, Alvin: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8405
Res. 3372, Benoit, Jason: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8406
Res. 3373, Boudreau, Viola: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8406
Res. 3374, Bonin, Cindy: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8406
Res. 3375, Adamson, Nils: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8407
Res. 3376, Bonin, Jean: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8407
Res. 3377, Boudreau, Connie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8408
Res. 3378, Babin, Donna: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8408
Res. 3379, Boudreau, Donelda: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8409
Res. 3380, Boudreau, Anne: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8409
Res. 3381, Burke, Debbie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8409
Res. 3382, Clements, Terrance J.: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8410
Res. 3383, Fougère, Carmen N.: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8410
Res. 3384, Carter, Dillon: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8411
Res. 3385, Cotton, Richie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8411
Res. 3386, Burke, Bertha: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8412
Res. 3387, David, Kenneth L.: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8412
Res. 3388, Chilvers, Sharon: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8412
Res. 3389, Doary, Arthur: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8413
Res. 3390, Clannon, Joan: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8413
Res. 3391, Calder, Allister: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8414
Res. 3392, Embree, Weslee: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8414
Res. 3393, Burkey, Marie: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8415
Res. 3394, Marchand, Julieann: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8415
Res. 3395, MacDonald, Doug: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8415
Res. 3396, LeBlanc, Nancy: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8416
Res. 3397, Linden, Theresa: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8416
Res. 3398, Lovelace, Rev. Donna: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8417
Res. 3399, McEwan, Marcia: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8417
Res. 3400, MacAulay, Shaylynn: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8418
Res. 3401, Landry, Dianne: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8418
Res. 3402, LeBlanc, Cora: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8418
Res. 3403, Landry, Cameron: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8419
Res. 3404, Landry, Richard: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8419
Res. 3405, MacIntyre, Mildred: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8420
Res. 3406, Landry, Gary: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8420
Res. 3407, Landry, Rudolph: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8421
Res. 3408, Johnson, Margaret: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8421
Res. 3409, Frost, Alice: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8421
Res. 3410, Gwynn, Blair: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8422
Res. 3411, Johnson, Darryl: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8422
Res. 3412, Fougère, Rene: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8423
Res. 3413, Kehoe, Edward: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8423
Res. 3414, Hilbert, Kelly: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8424
Res. 3415, Jeffrey, Bernice: Hard Work/Commitment - Thank,
8424

[Page 8287]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2016

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Session

1:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Kevin Murphy

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Wilson, Mr. Keith Irving

MR. SPEAKER » : Order, please. Before we begin with the daily routine, there is late debate tonight at 5:30 p.m., at the moment of interruption, as submitted by the member for Pictou East:

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal release the amount in management fees that Nova Scotia taxpayers must pay Bay Ferries.

That is for late debate tonight at 5:30 p.m.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 8288]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : I'll ask our guests to stand when I call their name. Joining us in the gallery today we have two students from École Rose-des-Vents in Greenwood: Rhys Copeland and Sam MacDonald. Joining Rhys and Sam is their political science teacher, Ryan Poirier.

Rhys and Sam have such an interest in how government works that just a few weeks before the start of their second semester, they convinced their vice-principal to add a Political Science 12 course to the schedule. I'm pleased they are able to join us today. I would ask all members of the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3286

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

Whereas diseases that were once common in childhood are now rare in Canada because of vaccines, and immunizations are key to preventing many illnesses that can be life-threatening; and

Whereas vaccines are safe and provide important health benefits for you and your children; and

Whereas all Canadians are encouraged to protect themselves and others who are not able to;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature recognize April 23-30, 2016, as National Immunization Awareness Week in Canada, and promote immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 8289]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3287

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

Whereas Hope Harrison and Terry Harrison donated land to the province that increased the size of a planned nature reserve by nearly two-thirds, protecting a remnant patch of intact mixed forest in an agricultural and managed woodlot landscape - an under- represented kind of property in our protected areas; and

Whereas this donated land was the woodlot linked to the farm that Hope and her late husband, Donald, lived on near Maccan - land that had been in the family for four generations, land that Donald had carefully managed and protected from clear-cutting, land that is now a beautiful area of mature forest with older red spruce, yellow birch, white ash, and other hardwoods, near the confluence of the Maccan River and River Hebert; and

Whereas the long-term protection of this land was made in memory of Donald and Alastair Harrison - by Donald's wife, Hope, and Alastair's son, Terry - to carry on the legacy of care and concern for the land;

Therefore be it resolved that we thank Hope Harrison and Terry Harrison for this beautiful and memorable contribution to Nova Scotia's protected areas, and acknowledge the generosity and efforts of private landowners who choose to help protect our unique and important natural areas.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

[Page 8290]

RESOLUTION NO. 3288

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

Whereas April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Nova Scotia, and today is Denim Day; and

Whereas Denim Day began as a protest over a controversial acquittal in a rape case in Italy in 1992 and has grown into an annual event marked in many countries around the world; and

Whereas wearing denim is symbolic of our support for sexual assault survivors and a call to action to educate ourselves and others about sexual assault;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House support Denim Day and victims of sexual assault.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Internal Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 3289

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

Whereas April 24th to April 30th marks Administrative Professionals Week, and today, April 27th, marks Administrative Professionals Day; and

Whereas this time celebrates and shines light on the valued work of all administrative professionals; and

Whereas each day their leadership, dedication, and professionalism is evident in the work they do to make offices in government, private industry, and the non-profit sector function smoothly and effectively;

[Page 8291]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge and celebrate our hard-working and talented administrative professionals and recognize their many contributions to our province.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health and Wellness.

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

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, joining us in the gallery today, we have Rob Beck, a long-time volunteer and past chair of the Canadian Diabetes Association's National Advocacy Council. Rob Beck became involved with the Canadian Diabetes Association after he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2004. He has served as an advocate at the national level and is an inspiration to so many people.

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

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3290

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

Whereas in Nova Scotia approximately 70,000 adults aged 20 and over have diabetes; and

Whereas diabetes can lead to such life-changing complications as heart disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, and kidney failure; and

[Page 8292]

Whereas the World Health Organization chose to emphasize the global burden of diabetes on April 7, 2016, World Health Day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House urge Nova Scotians to be aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, to be screened if needed, and if they have the disease, to manage their health carefully so that they can live long and healthy lives.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Gaelic Affairs.

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Tapadh leibh, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. DELOREY « » : I'd like to draw the members' attention to the east gallery. I'd ask the following individuals to rise, and we'll provide the warm welcome of the House: Reverend Ivan Gregan, who's a minister at Port Wallace United in Dartmouth, but he's also a native Gaelic speaker and singer, and he provides perspective on Gaelic spirituality; Wendy MacIsaac, a traditional fiddler and a Gaelic language learner, and her son Calum; and Tonya Fry, who is the president of the Nova Scotia Gaelic Council.

If we could please give these people a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3291

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

Whereas Gaels in Nova Scotia, through Gaelic language, culture, and identity, make and have made numerous educational, social, and economic contributions to the Province of Nova Scotia; and

[Page 8293]

Whereas 2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of Gaelic Awareness Month in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Nova Scotia represents the only remaining area outside of Europe where Gaelic language, culture, and identity are shared and passed on from generation to generation in community, with approximately one-third of the population identifying with Scottish Gaelic ancestry;

Therefore be it resolved that every member of this House recognize that each one of us should do his or her utmost to better understand the social and economic contributions Nova Scotia Gaels make to our province and to participate in opportunities that acknowledge, honour, and raise awareness of the value of the language, culture and identity of Gaels in Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

Just before we get on to the next notice of motion I would be remiss if I didn't bring to the members' attention that Reverend Ivan Gregan, who was just introduced a fine Gael his own self, performed my wedding ceremony on November 13, 1999. It's a pleasure to see him in the House today. (Applause)

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Mr. Speaker, before I read my notice of motion, I'd like to make a number of introductions if I may.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MS. WHALEN « » : I'm pleased to welcome the members of our Correctional Services team to the Legislature today, as next week marks Correctional Services Week. Please join me in welcoming from the Central Nova Correctional Facility - and I will ask perhaps you stand when I read your names, that would be great and then everybody can know who is here - Captain Mark Williams, Acting Captain Richard Verge, Correctional Officer Holly White, Correctional Officer Cisco Smith, and Security Risk Officer Walter Garces. As well, from the Correctional Services Head Office we have the administrative team which is extremely fitting, as today is Administrative Professionals Day: Margarita Mendieta-Shortall, Tracy Sabean, Rebecca Sarty, and Tammy Vella.

[Page 8294]

This team works very hard every day to improve the safety of our communities through the very important corrections programs and services, and in particular the team has increased collaboration between community and custody with common goals of offender reintegration and rehabilitation.

I would ask that everybody give them a warm welcome to the House today. (Applause)

With that, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to do my notice of motion.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 3292

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

Whereas Correctional Services probation officers, youth workers, correctional officers, support staff and managers, contribute to safer communities in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Correctional Services is proud of partnerships it has formed with other departments and many individuals and organizations, including the Nova Scotia Health Authority, the IWK Health Centre, other law enforcement agencies, volunteers and non-government agencies, to provide correctional programs and services; and

Whereas the work of all those who provide correctional programs and services is extremely challenging and a job that not everyone could do, their services deserve the respect, appreciation, and recognition of this House of Assembly, and of all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the week of May1 to 7, 2016, as Correctional Services Week, and honour the great work of correctional staff in all of our communities.

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

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

Is it agreed?

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It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 168 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 246 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Labour Standards Code. (Hon. Kelly Regan)

Bill No. 169 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 32 of the Acts of 2014. The Health Authorities Act. (Hon. David Wilson).

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS

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

DENIM DAY - RECOGNIZE

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize Denim Day. For the past 17 years Peace Over Violence has run its Denim Day campaign on a Wednesday in April, in recognition of Sexual Violence Awareness Month. This campaign was originally triggered by a ruling in the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have given implied consent.

The following day all women in the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans, in solidarity with that victim. Denim Day is an important day that reminds us there is never an excuse and never an invitation for rape. Thank you to all the women and men who give their efforts to make Nova Scotia safer from sexual violence.

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

COM. SERV.: CHILD WELFARE COMPLAINTS - TRACKING

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Auditor General released his follow-up report of the recommendations made in 2012 and 2013. Unfortunately the Department of Community Services has several recommendations that were not completed by October 2015, years after the recommendations were made. One of these outstanding recommendations is that the department still does not track and record all complaints related to child welfare, including any investigation carried out and the resolution.

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The department has had years to complete this seemingly obvious recommendation and it is concerning that it has not been completed. I hope moving forward that we see complete signs next to all recommendations.

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

JONES, COLLEEN: CDN. SPORTS HALL OF FAME - INDUCTION

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize and congratulate a constituent of mine, one of our province's well-known and successful athletes, Colleen Jones. Yesterday it was announced that she would be one of seven inductees this year into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.

Raised in a large family, an avid curler, Colleen burst onto the scene at just 19 years old when she won the first Nova Scotia curling title in 1979. That same year she would go on to compete in the Canada Winter Games and placed second, tying the best finish for our Nova Scotia team, male or female, in Canada Games history.

In 1980 she competed in the Canadian Women's World Curling Championships and finished second. Just two years later she would become the youngest skip ever to win the competition at 22 years old. Colleen has since gone on to win countless national and international curling competitions and mixed women's and seniors' competitions. She won two international competitions and has appeared in a record 21 Canadian championships, winning six of them.

Colleen worked tirelessly to promote curling and exemplifies the passion and skills required to have such a long and distinguished career. Colleen is proud to be from Nova Scotia and stands as an example to future generations that they can come from small provinces and still win big.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that this House join me in congratulating Colleen for her well-deserved inclusion in Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

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

GAELIC LANGUAGE - INVESTMENT

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : I do have a statement in Gaelic but if you will, I would like to read it in English first.

Mr. Speaker, as a Nova Scotia Gael I've seen my grandparents speak Gaelic and I understand it is part of who I am. What I have found strange is that Gaelic seemed to be disappearing, as this generation of Nova Scotians passed on into the next world. Linguistic diversity is in severe decline around the world. We are losing cultural richness and all that it adds to our lives, yet we are supporting revitalization of Gaelic here in Nova Scotia. I have witnessed this personally, even within my own family.

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We have to keep it alive for the many Nova Scotians who share this heritage. The efforts of the provincial government over the past 15 years have made a difference. It strengthens identity, creates confidence in one's culture, and creates a bond for young Nova Scotians with their families and their communities, giving them reason to stay here in this province. It also creates enormous economic return. Based on this success, further investment is justified.

A Labhraiche Urramaich,

Mar Ghaidheal, chunna mi dol sios ar canan agus ar dualchas nuair a bha mi a'fas suas. Tha an da chuid gle chudtromach dha 'n mhor-roinn soe ann an iomadh doigh.

Ged a tha mion-chananan a' crionadh agus ann an cunnart air feadh an t-saoghail, tha mi toilichte a radh gu bheil ath-bheothachadh canain agus cultuir air chois a'seo ann an Albainn Nuaidh.

Chi mi an deagh-bhuaidh a th' aige seo air na Gaidheil, sean is og, agus tha mi toilichte gu bheil Riaghaltas na h-Albann Nuaidh air a bhi cuideachail a thaobh seo fad, co-dhiu, coig bliadhna diag. Tha iomairt mhath air chois a'seo, agus bu choir dhuinn barrachd taic a chumail rithe.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Thank you for permission to do this introduction. Mr. Speaker, there's a very prominent member of the constituency of Argyle-Barrington in the gallery opposite today. In fact, he may well be a future MLA for the area. He is none other than André d'Entremont, the son of the House Leader for the Official Opposition, the current member. I'd just like to encourage all members to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

CDN. CURRENCY: WOMEN - INCLUSION

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MS. LENORE ZANN « » : In honour of Denim Day, I'd like to bring the attention of the House to the fact that when new money is printed in 2018, at least one type of bill will have the portrait of a woman other than the Queen. This is an important way of recognizing women who have so often been left out of our history. However, the question remains if a woman adorns a $20 bill, will it in fact only be worth $14?

Canadian women who work full time still earn only 73.5 cents for every dollar men make. These numbers are even lower for indigenous women and women of colour. Here in Nova Scotia, women earn an average of $15,000 a year less than men, and this gap exists because work traditionally done by women is not valued. Women are more likely to work part time to accommodate caregiving and because of gender-based discrimination in hiring and setting salaries.

Mr. Speaker, if we agree it's time to have women on our money, can we also agree it's time to make sure women get their fair share of it?

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

BURGER WK.: FEED N.S. - FUNDRAISING

HON. LABI KOUSOULIS « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm sure it will not be news to a lot of us in the room that Burger Week happened this past March. It's a popular and tasty initiative year after year for our city. But I wanted to take a second to recognize the organizers and participants of Burger Week. Events as popular as Burger Week really grasp public attention and help promote our city's eating establishments. This year was the largest Burger Week yet, with an impact of over $600,000 on our local economy. On top of that, $36,269 was raised for Feed Nova Scotia. I want to again congratulate all the participating restaurants and organizers of this fun and noteworthy annual cause. While it's a great way to try a tasty burger, it's also a fantastic charitable cause.

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

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : I wonder if I could make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Permission granted.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Thank you. In the gallery opposite we have today a very esteemed individual who's very used to this place. He is here today to help celebrate Gaelic awareness as the president of the Gaelic College. But more importantly, I look up and I see a friend and a former Premier of the Province of Nova Scotia, Rodney MacDonald. I would ask the House to give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

[Page 8299]

REGINATO, COLE - SUCCESSFUL HOCKEY SEASON

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : I rise today to acknowledge Cole Reginato of Albert Bridge, who is getting more out of the 2015-16 hockey season than he expected. Cole was in the lineup of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles and played 24 games with his hometown team before being placed on waivers. He was then picked up by the Saint John Sea Dogs and is now playing in the third round of the QMJHL playoffs after his team defeated the Eagles in the second-round match-up. Today I congratulate Cole Reginato on a successful hockey season and wish him and his teammates the best of luck as they continue on in the series.

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

ROSEWAY HOSP. - ER CLOSURES

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : More than three months after the Minister of Health and Wellness came to Queens-Shelburne to announce his plan for the closures at the Roseway ER, the closures kept on going. On Friday, February 12th, the ER closed at 5:00 p.m. and would not open until Saturday at 8:00 p.m., a total of 27 hours. On Monday, February 15th, the ER closed at 5:00 p.m. and would not open until Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., a total of 15 hours. Again, during that same week, on Saturday, February 20th, the ER closed at 6:00 a.m. and would not open until Sunday at 8:00 a.m. - a total of 26 hours. In one week the only ER in this large area was closed for a total of 68 hours.

Mr. Speaker, to be continued.

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

HUGHES, MARY/LEADERS/VOLS. - SCOUTS CAN.

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, the Scouting program along Nova Scotia's South Shore always has a strong contingent of young people who take part in various activities and outings, who learn how to build, explore, and discover.

Part of the Scout program is the Annual Kub Kar races, with each Scout designing and building their custom car to race against other Scouts at this fun-filled event. I had the opportunity to watch some of this year's races, and you can be certain, Mr. Speaker, that every participant had a great time.

Scout leaders such as Mary Hughes, who was recognized for 45 years of volunteering with Scouts Canada, are the reason we have such a successful program on the South Shore. I'd like to thank Mary for her work and efforts, and all the leaders and volunteers as well as the young group of Scouts, who remind us all how important it is to keep learning, exploring, and discovering. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

TURNBULL, BLAYRE - ATHLETIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS

HON. PAT DUNN « » : Mr. Speaker, Blayre Turnbull's dream, for as long as she can remember, has been to participate in the Olympics. She is one step closer to realizing this dream - Turnbull was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF Women's World Championship.

Blayre played for the Calgary Inferno this past winter, a team in the Women's Professional Hockey League. She was a standout player for the University of Wisconsin, played with the Canadian Women's Under 22 Developmental Team, and Team Canada's 4 Nations Cup in 2014 and 2015.

Blayre recently participated in the World Championship which took place March 28th to April 4th in Kamloops, B.C. Pictou County sport fans are very proud of Blayre's accomplishments, and realize she has the athletic prowess to make the Team Canada roster for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

EXTENDED CARE PARAMEDIC PROG. - SUPPORT/EXPAND

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Extended Care Paramedic Program was introduced by the NDP Government to address backlogs created by patients arriving at the ER who could be treated elsewhere. In February 2012, the program won a gold Public Sector Leadership Award for taking bold steps to improve Canada through advancements in public policy management.

In a recent study published last month, researchers from Indiana University looked at records of nearly 5,000 nursing home patients. Over the course of a year, 64 per cent of patients who were sent to the ER were sent home without being admitted. Meanwhile, here in Canada, other provinces are starting to follow Nova Scotia's lead.

I hope, Mr. Speaker, the government sees the benefit of this program and continues to support and expand this important program. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

Kennedy, Mike - Acadia Univ. Young Alumni Award

[Page 8301]

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize an alumni of Acadia University, my alma mater, and an outstanding Nova Scotian: Mike Kennedy.

This year Mike has been honoured as the Young Alumni Award Recipient.

Mike graduated from Acadia University with a BBA in 2005. He went on to complete an MPACC at the University of Saskatchewan, and achieved his CA designation in 2008. Mike's career has covered a wide spectrum of business, volunteerism, entrepreneurship and social activism. He is the co-founder of Awesome Halifax, and launched the Canadian Bacon Cookhouse and H2O Golf.

Mike has received numerous awards and acknowledgements including Nova Scotia's CA of the Year in 2010, making him the youngest recipient, and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Person of the Year Award in 2014. He's a community volunteer extraordinaire, contributing to Canadian Blood Services, East Coast Music Association, ALS Nova Scotia, and the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, just to name a few.

Mr. Speaker, I wish to recognize Mike Kennedy who has been a mentor and inspiration to many Nova Scotians. Thank you.

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

NICHOLSON, JIM: ON THE ICE IN PICTOU - RELEASE

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate Jim Nicholson on the release of his two volume compilation of the local history of ice sports, entitled On the Ice in Pictou.

These editions chronicle hockey, curling, and even speed skating in Pictou from 1811 to the present day. The volumes feature a number of old photographs and write-ups. Highlights of this work include the town's minor hockey league in the 1940s, coverage of Pictou Academy's women's hockey teams in 1947 and 1948, and the last senior hockey team in Pictou in 1954-55.

Mr. Speaker, I congratulate Jim for the release of On the Ice in Pictou and applaud him for his many years of research into our community's athletic history. Thank you.

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

AVALON SEXUAL ASSAULT CTR. - FUNDING

[Page 8302]

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, while listening to the radio this morning, I was surprised to hear the Minister of Community Services say again and again "I don't know" to questions about why Avalon Sexual Assault Centre does not have enough money or why there are growing wait-lists for specialized counselling for survivors of sexual assault. What the minister does know is that Avalon should be fundraising to fill the gap from the inadequate core funding.

Avalon provides specialized services for survivors of sexual violence, and they have been doing it long before there was ever a provincial strategy. This issue is far too important for the minister to simply say I don't know. What I know is that survivors deserve better.

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

DALEY, JACQUELINE: ADMIN. PROFESSIONALS DAY - THANK

HON. ZACH CHURCHILL « » : Mr. Speaker, whereas today is Administrative Professionals Day, I would like to take a moment to thank my constituency assistant, Jacqueline Daley, who along with my wife and mother are not just my right hand in the community but are my right, left hand, and both feet. Jacqueline has been with me now for close to six years, since I was elected in a by-election in 2010, and I would not be able to do what I do without her enduring support, advice, and friendship.

I do just want to take a moment to recognize her today and thank her for her many tireless hours of support to my office and our community.

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

COXHEATH SCRAPYARD FIRE - RESPONDERS THANK

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the men and women who responded to the Coxheath scrapyard fire. More than 60 firefighters led by the Coxheath Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call and were able to keep the fire under control. Many stayed on the scene until the early hours of the morning. It is situations like these that remind us of how valuable and vital volunteer firefighters are to our community. These men and women are always ready to answer the call to keep our families safe, and we must never take them for granted. On behalf of the entire PC caucus, thank you for your service to our communities.

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

KINGS CO. ACAD.: INSTRUMENTAL BAND - CUTS

[Page 8303]

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday, it came to my attention that in September, Grade 6 students at Kings County Academy in Kentville will no longer have access to instrumental band. I understand that the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development herself does not make these decisions directly about spending in individual schools. However, it is the minister who has told school boards to look for efficiencies which often result in program cuts. Music education provides students with a range of experiences essential to their development. Children in band programs not only learn to play an instrument, but they learn teamwork, problem solving, spatial reasoning, and how to live and play in harmony.

Whether it is big-budget film projects or 12-year-olds with trumpets or electric bass, it appears that, with this government at the helm, the arts are expendable.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Justice on an introduction.

HON. DIANA WHALEN « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where we are joined by a neighbour of mine whose name is Manny Freedman. Mr. Freedman and I met because he lives in my apartment building in Clayton Park West, and he is visited by visitors that are here from afar. His daughter, Amy, is here from New Zealand and her partner, Rich Moulton - and this is Richard's first time in Canada, I understand. So I wonder if you would rise and receive the warm welcome of the members of the Legislature today. Thank you so much. (Applause)

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

DOWNEY, JOSEPHINE - DART. COMMUN. HEALTH BD. AWARD

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, Dartmouth North is an amazing community of diversity and character and, over the last two years, it has been my privilege to know some members of our community whose leadership and love transform a neighbourhood. One such lady was introduced to us this way by the community policing office with whom she has a great, collaborative relationship. The officers simply said, if we have any youth who may be causing an issue and you tell them you are going to tell their parents, they do not even blink an eye; but if you tell them, I'm going to tell Miss Josephine you have been causing trouble, they shape up in a hurry.

Josephine Downey, or Miss Josephine as she is affectionately known, has worked tirelessly in the community of Demetrius Lane for the last 20-plus years. Part manager, part mother, Miss Josephine is also on hand to lead, to encourage, and to mobilize the residents of the community. She has taken a leadership role in every community development project that has taken place at Demetrius Lane.

Josephine is and continues to be a strong role model and mentor to many in Dartmouth North, and was recently recognized as such with a Certificate of Recognition by the Dartmouth Community Health Board. I ask my colleagues in the House to please join me in congratulating Josephine Downey on this highly-deserved recognition.

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

Taste of N.S. Award: Anna. Valley Recipients - Congrats.

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to tell members some news about local businesses that were recently honoured for excellence. At the Taste of Nova Scotia Awards banquet, the Blomidon Estate Winery in Habitant was selected as the best wine producer and Lowell Simpson, who has been on staff at the Hall's Harbour lobster pound for eight years, was chosen as Server of the Year.

More of these prestigious awards were also presented to the Stutz family, who own and operate Domaine de Grand Pré and its restaurant, Le Caveau, selected as Restaurant of the Year. Pomme D'or Apple Cream Liqueur, created at the winery, was named the Innovative Product of the Year.

It's a real privilege to congratulate these worthy award winners.

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

ROSEWAY HOSP. - ER CLOSURES

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, as February 2016 came to an end, the Roseway ER closures continued three months after the Minister of Health and Wellness' announcements. On Monday, February 22nd, the Roseway ER closed at 4:00 p.m. and would not open until Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., a total of 16 hours.

Two days later, on Thursday, February 25th, the ER closed at 6:00 a.m. and would not open until Friday at 8:00 a.m., a total of 26 hours. The next day, Saturday, February 27th, the ER closed at 6:00 a.m. and would not open until 8:00 p.m. that night, a total of 14 hours. In the last days of February the Roseway ER was closed for 56 hours.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, this story continues.

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

MACINTYRE, STEPHANIE

[Page 8305]

- N.S. RESEARCH & INNOVATION GRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, nine students at St. Francis Xavier University were awarded scholarships in March 2016, to help them stay in the province to do research that could lead to new products and opportunities. The nine students received just over $58,800 in total. They were selected based on their research potential, their academic standing, and the link between the research at Nova Scotia's priority areas, like health and wellness, information and communications technology, oceans and marine technology, social innovation, et cetera.

One of those students was Stephanie MacIntyre of Antigonish. Stephanie is a master's earth science student. Her research focuses on implications of forest harvesting on soil stability, in particular how clear-cutting alters the quality and quantity of carbon loss from the soil. She received $3,000 from a Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Graduate Scholarship. The scholarships were created to help graduate students stay in Nova Scotia. The money is intended to help the students offset tuition and living expenses while they conduct their research.

Mr. Speaker, as Stephanie continues with her education and her research, please join me in congratulating her and wishing her the best of luck.

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

MBW Courier Inc.

- Credit Union Commun. Bus. Excellence Award

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : Mr. Speaker, the Credit Union Community Business Excellence Award recognizes a business exhibiting visionary leadership, achieving growth through new products or ideas, and being actively involved in the community through fundraising and partnerships. At their recent gala awards the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce presented MBW Courier Incorporated with this award.

MBW Courier, with its head office in Truro Heights, employs close to 100 people and has locations in Dartmouth, Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John. Active in their community, co-owners Barry Mitchell and Phil Walters have sponsored the Colchester East Hants Health Centre Foundation's annual golf tournament and supported the Colchester Food Bank, Christmas Index, various sports teams, and more.

MBW will also be celebrating 20 years in business this May. Congratulations to the co-owners and staff of MBW Courier Incorporated.

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

natl. oral health mo. (04/16):

[Page 8306]

children's dental prog. - expand

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, April is National Oral Health Month. Oral health, especially children's oral health, is an issue our caucus is very committed to. In 2013, the NDP Government expanded children's dental care to 13 and then committed to expanding the program to all children under 17 by 2017. At the time, the Premier said it was a good idea.

Unfortunately, the Premier and his government did not follow through with the plan to expand dental coverage to 17, leaving thousands of youth without access to dental care.

Mr. Speaker, the benefits of proper and ongoing dental care in children and youth are well documented. To mark this National Oral Health Month, we call on the government to commit to expanding the children's dental program. Thank you.

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

NAUGLER, SETH - DUKE OF EDINBURGH'S AWARD

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize and congratulate Seth Naugler on attaining the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award, which creates opportunities for young people to develop skills, get physical activity, give service, and experience adventure. The award can play a critical role in their development outside the classroom.

Seth Naugler of Lake Echo achieved the distinction of receiving the Silver Award for those 15 years old. This award gives Seth international accreditation for his experience, which allows his achievements to be recognized worldwide.

I applaud and commend Seth Naugler on his tremendous achievements and wish him every success in the future.

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

MOOD-ROSS, KATRINA - EDUC. WK. AWARD

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, 25 educators from across Nova Scotia were recognized during the Education Week ceremonies held on April 18th in Bedford. This year's theme was Media Literacy: Empowering Critical Thinking in a Digital World.

Among those recognized was Katrina Mood-Ross, junior high school English teacher at Drumlin Heights Consolidated School. Her passion for technology led her to enroll in the UCB Educational Technology Certificate Program, and as a result, Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies have consistently been infused in her classrooms, with great success. Students have a wide knowledge of cybersecurity awareness and how to respectfully use these digital media technologies.

[Page 8307]

I wish to congratulate Katrina Mood-Ross on receiving this award and thank her for her continued desire to teach students to become ethical digital media citizens.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable member for Cape Breton-Richmond.

RICHMOND CO. VOL. BANQUET: HONOUREES - CONGRATS.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, as you know, volunteers are the very lifeblood of our communities. Without them, so many of the events and services we've come to expect and rely on would not exist.

With that said, I am happy to rise today to celebrate the Richmond County Volunteer Banquet, which took place Friday, April 15th in St. Peter's. This year Richmond Municipal Council honoured the hard work and dedication of 118 individuals. Volunteers from various organizations are nominated as a thank you for everything they've done, not just in the past year but over the course of their volunteering careers.

Personally, I've had the honour to meet and work with a good number of these individuals. They are leaders and builders in our county. I consider this event one of the highlights of my year.

Mr. Speaker, please join me today in sincerely thanking every single one of these volunteers for taking time away from family and loved ones to make their communities stronger.

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

CARROLL, JULIA/GLACE BAY FEMALE BANTAM AA MINERS

- CHAMPIONSHIP

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to congratulate Julia Carroll of Albert Bridge and her team, the Glace Bay female Bantam AA Miners, as they finish up their 2015-16 in fine style.

Julia and her team ended their season as the Southern Conference league champions. I congratulate Julia Carroll and all her teammates, as well as their coaches, for all the hard work and the dedication they put into making their team champions, and also in learning how important it is to work as a team. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

[Page 8308]

DAVIS, ROY/WWII PARTICIPATION MEDAL

- DOUG SHUTE/MERITORIOUS SERVICE MEDAL (POSTHUMOUS)

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to tell you about a couple of members of our Bedford Legion community. I think their story illustrates the "greater love" our veterans share.

Roy Davis served in World War II. Most members who served in that conflict received their World War II participation medal within five years of the end of the war. For some reason, Roy Davis was overlooked. So his fellow Bedford veteran Doug Shute went to work, doggedly using the patience he employed as a peacekeeper in the Middle East to secure this long-overdue honour for his comrade.

Finally, in October of last year, Roy Davis received his World War II participation medal, 70 years after the end of the war. Sadly, though, Doug wasn't there to see Roy pin on his medal. Doug had passed away in April. He would've been so happy to see Roy receive his medal. Instead, Doug's widow Sandra received his posthumous Meritorious Service Medal.

As you can imagine, Mr. Speaker, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I'm so honoured to have been able to share that evening with them.

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

TRENTON - SHIPYARD FACILITY (WWI)

HON. PAT DUNN « » : The Town of Trenton is recognized for being the birthplace of steel in British North America. Many Nova Scotians are not aware that for a period of five years there was a shipyard in the steel town. The Trenton shipyards became a reality in response to the need for replacement ships for allied vessels that German U-boats had sunk.

The Trenton facility was already involved in the shell-making business during the First World War. The first ship that was built was the War Wasp, and it was launched in July 1917. The ship was twice torpedoed and sunk by the Germans, raised, and sailed again until it was torpedoed for a third and final time. Another ship, the War Bee, was constructed and lasted until the Second World War before sinking off Halifax in March 1944. I would ask that all members recognize the work that occurred at the Trenton facility during the First World War.

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

KING'S DAY - NETHERLANDS

[Page 8309]

MR. JOACHIM STROINK « » : Today is one of the rare days that I wear orange in this House. It is in celebration of the King's birthday, a national holiday in the Netherlands that celebrates the birth of King Willem-Alexander. King's Day is the largest street party of the year in Amsterdam. Over a million people flood the streets, all wearing bright orange colours and having a great time. There is live music, parties, and city-wide street markets, all making for an amazing atmosphere that is not to be missed. While I love my duties as an MLA, I must admit I'd rather be in Amsterdam right now.

I'd like to invite all the members of the Dutch community to the celebration of King's Day at the Dutch Consulate on Sunday, May 1st, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. I'm proud of my Dutch heritage, and I'm pleased to be able to recognize such an important day for the Dutch people of Nova Scotia.

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

MACINTOSH, TERRY & JOSEPHA - RETIREMENT CAREERS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the retirement careers of Terry and Josepha MacIntosh of Sydney Mines. Terry retired from the coal mines and started looking for an activity to fill his time. He built a small woodworking shop. His wife, Josepha, uses a wheelchair and was also looking for a pastime and became a natural woodworker. Terry and Josepha attend all local craft shows, and their works have been sold all over North America. Creating goods from wood helps the body, mind, and soul. It's a true pleasure to be able to see how this hobby has blossomed into a rewarding way of life for Terry and Josepha.

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

ALLEN, BARBARA:

ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY - RECOGNIZE

MR. IAIN RANKIN « » : Today is Administrative Professionals Day, and I would therefore like to recognize my constituency assistant, Barbara Allen of Terence Bay. It's an appropriate day to do so. Over the last two and a half years we've worked together on many projects and she has been there championing many causes.

In her personal life she has been a consummate volunteer, so much so that last year she was recognized with a volunteer award; they actually named the whole award the Barb Allen Award. That's now an annual award given out to volunteers. The accomplishments she has been able to achieve are too countless to mention, but one of the ones that the community will always be in debt to her for is the start of the Prospect Road Community Centre. I'll always thank her for that. I'll end with a quote that I'll rephrase from Bobby Kennedy: MLAs do 90 per cent of the talking, but CAs do 90 per cent of the work.

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

BAXTER, ANGELA: N.S. LIONS FDN. - LIFE MEMBERSHIP

MR. JOHN LOHR « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm proud of the fantastic work the Lions Club of Kentville is doing. Their community volunteer work helps hospitals, seniors' centres, schools, and eyeglass recycling centres. Lions Club members are involved in sight and health programs, youth volunteer opportunities, environment and disaster relief programs, and work tirelessly with their support.

Angela Baxter, an honourable member of the Kentville Lions, recently received a life membership in the Nova Scotia Lions Foundations for her dedication and service to the local club. At its charter night to celebrate the club's 67th Anniversary year, Shelley Hiltz spoke about the Children's Wish Foundation. Another worthy member, Conrad Schofield, received a Centennial Service patch for his commitment to the club as well. Today I ask members to join me in recognizing the work of the Kentville Lions Club.

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

WAYE, JANICE: ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY - THANK

MR. DEREK MOMBOURQUETTE « » : Today being Administrative Professionals Day and this week, I would like to take a moment to thank my constituency assistant, Janice Waye, who has been a constituency assistant now for over 20 years in the Sydney area. Janice does outstanding work every day. She has helped many people in our community who need it the most. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Janice for all of her work for all of the people of Sydney and for over 20 years of service to MLAs in the community, helping those who need it the most. Thank you, Janice, for all you do.

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

COMEAU, JEANNE ALICE/THERIAULT ESTELLE:

ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS DAY - THANK

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, staying on that same topic, I also would like to note Administrative Professional Day today. Two and half years ago was probably the happiest day of my life, but it was also the scariest day of my life. The realization that I had to find somebody to be my constituency assistant, as was mentioned to me by the Premier, the most important decision that you would make as an MLA, I was very fortunate to have inherited at that time a constituency assistant, Jeanne Alice Comeau who was 20 years with Wayne Gaudet. In a community that expected the kind of service that Wayne Gaudet gave, she certainly was exemplary.

[Page 8311]

To add to it, I made the big decision of going with two offices and at that time expanding out and getting two constituency assistants was equally challenging. I am very happy also to mention that I have Estelle Theriault working for me. She is probably one of the brightest, most personable young persons I have met, and I am very happy to have both of them, and I thank them very much and wish I was with them today.

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

BROOKFIELD BAPTIST CHURCH - EL SALVADOR MISSION

MR. LARRY HARRISON « » : I'm always in awe of the generosity and selflessness and compassion exhibited by my constituents and Nova Scotians in general.

Recognizing that El Salvador has experienced long-term civil war, major earthquakes, and abject poverty, a short-term mission team from Brookfield Baptist Church volunteered to help elevate a portion of this desperate situation. Partnering with Emmanuel Baptist Church, our volunteers travelled to Los Cruses, El Salvador, to begin construction of a youth house which will give youth a safe place to gather and learn different life skills.

Our volunteers dug the foundation using picks and shovels, mixed cement, and bent rebar by hand. Once the foundation is complete, a team of volunteers from Ontario will take over the build.

I would like to recognize the efforts and incredible generosity of the Bookfield Baptist Church mission team.

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

O'Connor, Shelly: Administrative Professionals Day - Thank

HON. LLOYD HINES « » : Mr. Speaker, today, on Administrative Professional Day, I rise to recognize the outstanding work that my constituency assistant, Ms. Shelly O'Connor, performs for the constituents of Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie. Shelly, mother of three, works diligently with all her clients who are extremely appreciative of her in-depth knowledge of government programs and the real assistance she supplies. She positively affects people's lives every day.

I wish to particularly thank her for her unflinching dedication during my recent medical leave of absence. Shelly epitomizes the great jobs that all constituency assistants do across all our province, and I want to put my sincere thanks to her on the record.

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

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PICTOU LANDING WELLNESS RETREAT: ORGANIZERS - THANK

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, Shaylee Bernard and ten other young women from Pictou Landing First Nation recently attended a wellness retreat, Empowering Our Youth Through Promoting Wellness. Wellness was the overriding theme, but culture also played a crucial role. The intention was to develop a kinship for the young women and to develop a sisterhood.

Elders provided a wealth of knowledge, support, and understanding. Discussions centred on peer pressure, domestic violence, and sexual assault and consent. Activities included drum-making, medicine pouches and dancing shawls. Pictou County RCMP partnered for the event with Officer Shaylene Sutherland in attendance.

My thanks to the organizers for this proactive retreat that gave these young ladies a sense of community and of hope.

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

JACOBS, ADAM: CONSTITUENCY ASST. - THANK

MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize Adam Jacobs, my constituency assistant. When not refereeing basketball games, playing baseball or floor hockey, or parenting his four children, he can be found at the Lunenburg Constituency Office in Blockhouse.

Adam is the face and voice of the Lunenburg Constituency Office, always cheerful and welcoming, he serves constituents with respect and efficiency. I certainly appreciate his work in the office and when he is out and about in the community on my behalf. In particular, when this Legislature is sitting, I depend on him to keep the office running smoothly, plus keep me updated on constituency matters . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The time allotted for Statements by Members has expired.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS TO MINISTERS

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

PREM.: MUSKRAT FALLS PROJ. - NL ASSURANCES

[Page 8313]

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The entire Muskrat Falls project is now billions of dollars over budget and behind schedule. The new CEO of Nalcor is even reviewing the future of the project, something that will be of concern to all Nova Scotians who are relying on that project for our future energy needs and to help Nova Scotia meet its renewable energy targets.

I understand the Premier has had a conversation with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and I would like to ask him, what assurances did he receive that the Muskrat Falls project will be completed?

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. I know this issue has been well communicated by the Minister of Energy, who spoke to his counterpart. The Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador also said that this project will continue to move forward.

We know there will be an adjustment in the time frame. That will be worked out with the partners involved in that, but we look forward to that energy coming to our province. As was alluded to, the only question, really, is "when."

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, "when" is a good question, because Nova Scotians are relying on that project for a number of very important things, including our ability to meet our own renewable energy targets, which this House passed into law.

Mr. Speaker, I'm wondering if the Premier can assure the House that we won't be offside of our renewable energy targets, and also whether his government has a Plan B to hit those targets if the Muskrat Falls project is pushed too far into the future because of delays.

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. We are well on the way to hitting our targets. We will continue to do so. We're looking forward to this project happening. As I said earlier, they're now going through the process. The new chairman of Nalcor is working toward looking at what that time frame looks like.

We've been assured that we'll get an update from them sometime between now and June, with a time frame on how much that project will be extended. When we receive that, I don't think we'll have to communicate it. I think Newfoundland and Labrador will communicate it to their citizens and indeed to all of the investors who are part of this project.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are particularly interested in the Maritime Link component of the project, since that's the part of the project that we'll be paying for directly.

[Page 8314]

One of the benefits of the Maritime Link is the jobs that come with it, particularly during construction. We learned today that a major contractor, for the Maritime Link specifically, missed their payroll last week and has filed for bankruptcy protection. It's good news that they have since made good on the payroll while they sort out their $16 billion in outstanding debts.

Mr. Speaker, the success of the Maritime Link is very important, not only to the people who work on the construction but also to Nova Scotia ratepayers. I'd like to ask the Premier if his government has reached out to the company in question, or to Emera, to determine the stability of the Maritime Link portion of the project and also if meeting payroll is going to be a problem again in the future?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the Minister of Energy to respond.

HON. MICHEL SAMSON « » : Mr. Speaker, as pointed out by the Leader of the Official Opposition, there were concerns raised about one of the contractors involved in this project. Emera has confirmed with us that everyone has been paid and that the project continues to be on time and on budget.

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

COM. SERV.: AVALON CTR. – WAIT-LISTS

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, survivors of sexual assault are in desperate need of timely services. In recent days we have learned that Avalon Sexual Assault Centre has seen wait times for some of their services triple.

In a radio interview aired this morning, the Minister of Community Services suggested that those on the wait-list at Avalon should seek services elsewhere. However, under this government, wait times for community-based mental health services have increased 25 per cent.

My question for the Premier is, where specifically is the government advising survivors to go for timely, appropriate service?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the Minister of Community Services to respond.

HON. JOANNE BERNARD « » : Mr. Speaker, wait-lists at Avalon have been around probably as long as the organization itself. They do tremendous work with survivors of sexual violence, both immediate and long-term abuse survivors.

[Page 8315]

I know that today officials from my department and the Department of Health and Wellness were working together to try to devise a way forward in alleviating the wait-list, because we know that survivors deserve immediate care. We know that they deserve immediate therapy and, like we have done in the past, we will work with Avalon to make sure that that happens.

MS. MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I believe all members of this House recognize the importance of having legislation and a strategy to address the growing problem of sexual assault. Unfortunately, the $1.2 million in prevention innovation grants currently being announced does not address the ongoing issue of wait times, nor are they available to support the organizations and experts who have been doing this work in communities for years.

Can the Premier explain why his government has not made this funding available to proven programs that were supporting survivors long before the strategy, itself, existed?

MS. BERNARD « » : I thank you for the question. Anytime you want to take this on (Laughter) go ahead, this department.

What I would like to say is that we went out to Nova Scotians last year when we started the strategy and they clearly told us that sexual assault services in Nova Scotia are not working for the majority of people - they do not know where the services are; they are not coordinated in communities; and when they walk in the doors what they see is not representative of what they need. We know that sexual violence services do not belong with any one organization or with any one level of government, and the $1.2 million dollars that was put into innovation grants was so that we could stop doing the status quo because, quite frankly, it was not working.

MS. MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, the minister has said in this House that she is happy with the funding this government provides for women's centres in the province - and I will table that - yet in this morning's radio interview she said she is aware that the funding levels provided by this government leave organizations with a shortfall, which she expects them to make up by fundraising.

My question, yes or no, Mr. Premier, will you commit today to provide adequate and sustainable funding to the organizations supporting survivors of sexual assault?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question, and the minister for the work she has been doing across our province with our partners.

This is a very serious issue which impacts families from one end of this province to the other. This government, as every government has done, has committed funding in their budget, today I think there is $11.4 million for services. We know there is more work to do, and we are going to continue to work as a government with our partners across this province to help ensure they have the proper level of funding. As communities across this province have supported organizations in their respective communities to ensure to enhance the services that are being delivered, we are going to continue to partner with those - and I know on behalf of all members of this House, all members of this House want to work with communities across this province to ensure that we deal with this very serious issue.

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

BUS. - CREDIT UNION SMALL BUS. LOAN GUARANTEE PROG.: REVIEW - REASONS

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Business. I think we now know we have to read government press releases very carefully these days. Seniors certainly learned that when the government sent out a release about their Pharmacare changes that was not what it said it would be. Certainly, the film industry has learned that from many press releases about them that comes from the government. But today, Credit Unions are reading today's government announcement with extra care because a release that purported to be congratulating the Credit Unions of Nova Scotia on the success of the Credit Union Small Business Loan Guarantee Program actually is an announcement by the government that they are going to review the program.

So, I will ask the Minister of Business, why is such a successful program under review?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. This program has been functional now for some 13 years, budget at $50 million dollars, and I think all Nova Scotians would appreciate the fact that government is being diligent to ensure that programs that are successful are reviewed, that there are opportunities to enhance those programs and continue to support those programs going forward.

MR. BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, the film industry was successful, they were reviewed, and we know what happened to them.

The Pharmacare Program was successful, it was affordable, and seniors got the medicines that they need. We know what happened to them.

Now, the Credit Union small business financing program is under review. It has helped 2,000 small businesses get started and create jobs here in the province. The government saw its benefit when they came into office; they doubled the funding for the credit union program. Surely they did a review before they doubled its funding just two short years ago. I'm going to ask the minister, what problem is he trying to solve?

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MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, we are not trying to solve any problem; we recognize the success of the program. It's what governments should be doing when we're expending taxpayers' dollars - 13 years, 13 years without a review. It's appropriate. The program has been very successful. Is there an opportunity to enhance the program?

We want to ensure that the program's government implements are supported and that we're using taxpayers' dollars appropriately, Mr. Speaker.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - C.B. REG. HOSP.: CLOSURE - MIN. INPUT

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, yesterday when I asked the Minister of Health and Wellness about the closure of the transitional beds at Cape Breton Regional Hospital, he said it was the Health Authority that makes decisions around daily operations.

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health and Wellness needs to be involved in critical decisions that could have long-term effects on the delivery of health care in Cape Breton. I'd like to ask the minister, is it really his position that he has no say in deciding whether transitional beds at Cape Breton Regional Hospital remain open or closed?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : As the member opposite knows very well, the transitional beds were put in place at a time when we didn't have the capacity in nursing homes such as we have today, during the process of building 1,000 homes. Look, I will leave it to the judgment of the Health Authority to make the right decision in this case.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Unbelievable, Mr. Speaker, I'm sure there are MLAs from Cape Breton in this House who won't appreciate that answer. There's a moratorium on new, long-term care beds; they're not going to build any more. Seniors in Cape Breton are waiting 600 to 900 days to get placement in a long-term care bed.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister, what is he doing to address the wait times facing Cape Breton seniors who are looking for placement in long-term care facilities?

MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, what we know about Cape Breton in terms of care for seniors and for those who need care on a regular basis, we know that the nine agencies in Cape Breton providing home care, nursing care, are providing Just in Time Care for those seniors.

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

GAMING - CHASE THE ACE JACKPOTS: CAP - STANCE

[Page 8318]

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister responsible for Part II of the Gaming Control Act. The Ashby Legion and the Horizon Achievement Centre have an unprecedented jackpot for a game called Chase the Ace. It is projected to be $2.6 million in this next draw, a week from Saturday.

Chase the Ace allows non-profits like Legions, churches and community organizations to raise substantial amounts of money. In this case it is helping people with intellectual disabilities, as well as keeping the local Legion open. Some are worried that the government is considering caving to behind-the-scenes pressures to cap the Chase the Ace jackpots. Is the minister for the alcohol and gaming division considering a cap on the Chase the Ace jackpots?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, let me first acknowledge and recognize the sheer number of volunteers in the Cape Breton-Sydney community who have dedicated so much time to such a worthwhile community initiative. It is quite obvious that it has brought the community and the province together.

One of the things we focus on, Mr. Speaker, is public access, public safety and the integrity of the lottery game itself. As Chase the Ace becomes ever more popular and evolves and leads to much larger prizes, the responsibilities of both organizers and those in our gaming section who oversee it are paramount. We continue to work with the partners in that environment to ensure we maintain public safety and the integrity of the game.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, these local fundraisers are good for the organizations, the local economy and the community. Local businesses have seen big boosts in sales on the weekends when Chase the Ace jackpots are being held. A cap would seriously deter non-profits from being able to raise money this way. Simply put, Chase the Ace allows gaming revenue to stay in local communities and doesn't drive people to addiction or to depression, like other forms of gambling.

My question again, will the minister assure Nova Scotians today that he will put the interests of local Legions and communities first by fighting any effort by the gaming lobbyists or others to put a cap on our Chase the Ace jackpots?

MR. FUREY « » : I want to assure my colleague opposite that we haven't in these circumstances received any pressure or outside engagement with those who oppose any types of lotteries. Quite the opposite: there's a tremendous amount of support for this particular initiative.

Mr. Speaker, one of the things that we remain very conscious of is the integrity of the game. There have been changes made in co-operation with the organizers both at the Legion and at the society involved in fundraising. In the case of Inverness, there was the same type of dialogue with the Inverness Legion, and they themselves closed their game with a particular method that they wanted to apply. We continue to work with the Ashby Legion, and so far, things are well.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: C.B. - PHYSICIAN ACCESS

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you will be to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Besides Chase the Ace, there's another game going on in Sydney; it's called "chase the doctor." We have many family doctors that are retiring at an alarming rate.

In the next 10 years, we will need more than 1,000 family doctors to meet the need in this province. In Cape Breton, people whose doctor has retired have to go to a temporary clinic. The need is so high that they are now turning patients away from this clinic. Last week, the minister said 3 per cent of the population does not ask for primary care. That means 30,000 people in Cape Breton.

My question is quite simple. When the minister promised a doctor to every Nova Scotian in their platform, did he forget that Cape Breton was part of Nova Scotia?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : The member opposite knows very well that I have a very fond place in my heart for Cape Breton. I spent some of my best vacations ever in Cape Breton. But that's not the question he's asking.

What I'm pleased to say is that strong recruitment has started to take place. The first six doctors now are identified. There will be more coming this Spring for Cape Breton. We'll keep the member updated as they sign contracts and get communities assigned to them.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Dr. Dale Miller, site medical lead at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital, said that the temporary clinic is merely ". . . a band-aid for what is a big problem." Last week, Doctors Nova Scotia expressed disappointment over the lack of an investment in family physicians in the budget. There are 10 family doctor vacancies in Cape Breton already and more on the horizon.

When can the people of Cape Breton expect to get the family doctors they were promised by this government when they ran in the last election?

MR. GLAVINE « » : What I can tell the member opposite and all people of Cape Breton is that the model of care is changing. I'm pleased to see that a community like New Waterford is looking strongly at a collaborative practice. We need to have patients in front of the right provider at the right time. That's part of changing the model of care in Cape Breton, and I know that this is going to make a great advance in stronger primary care for Cape Breton.

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

ENVIRON. - ALTON GAS PROJ.: ENVIRONMENT ACT - APPLICATION

MS. LENORE ZANN « » : On April 25th, the Minister of Environment dismissed the last two of six appeals to the approval of the Alton Gas project. Last week, I asked the minister if she was familiar with the precautionary principle enshrined in Nova Scotia's Environment Act, but I never really did get an adequate answer, Mr. Speaker. To be clear, the precautionary principle states, "Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation."

So, my question for the minister again is, did the minister apply the precautionary principle to this issue, as required in the Environment Act?

HON. MARGARET MILLER « » : Thank you to the member opposite for the question, Mr. Speaker. The precautionary principle is something that I'm quite aware of. All the approvals I granted to Alton Gas have been granted with the mitigation of risk to the environment in mind. All that has been addressed in the approvals. They all have terms and conditions that allow for the mitigation to be minimized.

If you are going to talk about the precautionary principle, and certainly it's not something I want to debate because it's something that has been debated forever, I would take note that if you were going to take in the precautionary principle, my drive here today would have still had some risk. Nothing goes in life without some risk and certainly risk can be mitigated within the terms and conditions to make it safe.

MS. ZANN « » : I don't think that's exactly what the precautionary principle was made for, but I'll take that into consideration.

Mr. Speaker, the appeals submitted on the Alton Gas project also address the lack of consultation with the communities in close proximity to the proposed project site. On April 19th, right here in the House of Assembly, the minister agreed to meet with representatives of Sipekne'katik and Millbrook First Nation, but only after the appeals were decided.

Now, surely that's a textbook definition of meaningless consultation, to consult after a decision has been made. So, my question for the minister, since the minister used to be supportive of community members opposed to things like fracking and the Alton Gas project, why did she decline to meet with Sipekne'katik and Millbrook First Nations and other community members before rejecting the appeals?

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MS. MILLER « » : Mr. Speaker, the honourable member should be very aware that when there is an appeal process that the minister has to rule on, they have to stay very unbiased. For me to meet with any special interest group would have been in violation of my role as a minister in making that ruling. I do definitely support the community of Sipekne'katik and will meet with them at any time under any conditions. They are members of my constituency. I certainly support them.

As for the Shubenacadie River and the conditions on the river, Mr. Speaker, the Shubenacadie River is near and dear to me. My husband and I had a farm there for 25 years. I've watched the tide come in and go out many, many times. My father has fished or gotten fish from that river, and done business on that river. If I truly believed that there was a risk to the Shubenacadie River, I would have been the first one opposed to the approval.

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

EECD - SCH. BDS.: PLAY SPACES - ACCESSIBILITY

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Education. At many schools across the province there are physically challenged children who can't navigate playgrounds because there are no funds to make necessary repairs or modifications.

At Ian Forsyth Elementary, Amanda Lawlor's daughter has difficulty getting across the pavement because of challenges with gate and depth perception, combined with the condition of the pavement.

The school board and the school agree there is a safety issue but they say the province doesn't provide funding for the work. The minister wrote Ms. Lawlor, and told her to take it up with the board, and the board responded again saying the province doesn't provide them the funding to do it. So, this is going in circles.

Mr. Speaker, why does the province not provide the funding to school boards to ensure outside spaces are accessible and safe for children with mobility challenges?

HON. KAREN CASEY » : Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member for raising the question. Of course, accessibility in all of our public buildings is of utmost importance. With respect to students in our schools, I believe that my comment back to the parent to go talk to their school board is the appropriate one. In the last two years our department and our government have provided $30 million, $15 million in each of the last two years, for boards to do things like build ramps, fix windows, repair roofs, do whatever they need in their school to make it accessible, to make it a safe place for kids.

MR. YOUNGER « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the minister has hit on exactly the point, the money is going to important things such as roofs and windows and so forth, and accessibility issues are falling to the wayside because there's no dedicated funding.

[Page 8322]

Well it got worse for Amanda's daughter. She broke her leg and combined with the cerebral palsy, she was confined to a wheelchair until just recently, but of course the school's entrance is not wheelchair accessible. There are high frames around the doors and they had to lift the wheelchair through the doors. The learning centre is on the second floor, but there's no elevator or other way to get the wheelchair upstairs. There are numerous other accessibility challenges at this school and at many other schools - not all, but many schools.

So, Mr. Speaker, will the minister commit to making sufficient dedicated funding available to boards to ensure schools are accessible and safe for children, especially those with mobility challenges?

MS. CASEY « » : I will repeat that when we provide funding to the school boards, they look at the priorities. That's why I'm suggesting that the priority for accessibility for that child or any other child in any of our schools has to be a priority for the board. They have funds; if they identify it as a priority, they have the funds to make those repairs. But, having said that, I certainly will contact the board, and I will contact that school and see what they have done with the maintenance capital dollars that we have provided.

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

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: VICTORIA CO. SNOW CRAB IND. - FED. FUNDING

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Fishermen in Victoria County are concerned for their families and communities after the federal government recently cut the snow crab quota by about 54 per cent this year. The northeastern Nova Scotia Snow Crab Fishermen's Association said the devastating cut will create a $6.5-million loss for the local economy. This represents many jobs both on the water and, of course, on shore.

Would the minister commit to requesting support from the federal government for Victoria County in light of this dramatic hit to the snow crab industry in that county?

HON. KEITH COLWELL « » : Thank you very much for the very important question. Victoria County has been very hard hit by this particular cut in quota on the crab. Unfortunately, the stock assessment they did showed that it had to be reduced by that much. We are working with the Victoria Co-op in that area and we will deal with other fishermen in the area to see what we can do to help.

MR. D'ENTREMONT « » : Osborne Burke, the general manager of the Victoria Co-operative Fisheries Limited says sales will be down almost $26 million annually because of that cut. The cut in quota means far less work for people in that local area. The processor will typically employ about 90 people during the season, but this year it will be much less. Mr. Burke estimates $10,000 in lost wages this year alone.

[Page 8323]

Will the minister please explain clearly how the government intends to support processors and workers impacted by this large quota cut?

MR. COLWELL « » : It is a serious concern for the Victoria Co-op, and I have been talking to Mr. Burke about this issue. We will continue to work with them as we explore the markets for other products that will, hopefully, over time reduce that problem that we've seen with the crab fishery and move them into new markets that we've already been dealing with them on.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS: PICTOU CO. - PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Pictou recently lost two doctors, leaving thousands with nowhere to seek medical attention. The loss of the doctors has also caused the closure of the after-hours outpatient clinic at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital, and this has been devastating to our community this week.

Will the minister tell the people of Pictou what his department has done to recruit doctors to Pictou and when they can expect to see them practise?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : I'm pleased to say that in terms of the overall recruitment and retention that is taking place in the province next week I'm meeting with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to get a full provincial picture. I know that Dr. Lowe has addressed this very serious concern on behalf of the health authority, and I know that they will now recruit specifically for that area to replace these two physicians.

MS. MACFARLANE « » : I'm sorry, but there's nothing to be pleased about in this situation. There are thousands of people in Pictou County without a doctor. The loss of the clinic at the Sutherland Harris Memorial Hospital will put even more strain on the already stressed emergency room at the Aberdeen Hospital.

The minister closed the short stay unit at the Aberdeen Hospital, so those with mental health issues have to go to the ER, causing lots of stress. Dr. Bill Lowe is quoted in the media saying that we need to look at providing better access to care after hours across the whole province - and I'll table that.

What action has the minister been taking to provide better access to care for the people in Pictou, specifically? As of right now all we see - we're witnessing the erosion of a whole medical system in our county.

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MR. GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite is very well aware that it wasn't a certified short-term mental health unit, it was nowhere the standard that is required.

Dr. Bill Lowe is right, we do need a different model of care that will be able to provide, especially for those hours after regular office hours, and the recruitment, retention and the long-term planning for that area is now well under way.

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

LAE - CHRONICLE HERALD: LBR. DISPUTE - GOV'T. ASSESSMENT

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. The protracted labour dispute at The Chronicle Herald has been going on for months. With no action taking place at the bargaining table, it appears there is no end in sight for this dispute. Can the minister provide us with the government's assessment of this dispute and tell us at what point, if any, it would be willing to get involved?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As the member should be aware, we don't insert ourselves into labour disputes. If either party would like a mediator, they can certainly contact us. I would not speak to any specifics in this or in any other case.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, I spoke with members of the union who are disappointed that their employer seems satisfied to circumvent the bargaining process by bringing in workers from outside the union. The government continues to support publication by purchasing ads.

My question to the Premier is, what is the government's rationale for continuing to advertise in The Chronicle Herald when workers are still on strike?

THE PREMIER « » : Mr. Speaker, many Nova Scotians still receive their information and news through The Chronicle Herald. We've used every form of communication to get that message out to people across this province. We think it's important that they understand the programs and services that are being provided by government.

It's our hope that the employees and employer at The Chronicle Herald can come together to find a proper resolution but, as a government, we need to continue to use the venue that citizens receive their news in.

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

[Page 8325]

GAELIC AFFAIRS - BUDGET CUTS

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER « » : A question for the Minister of Gaelic Affairs. Mr. Speaker, today the minister raised the flag at a celebration for the 20th Anniversary of Gaelic Awareness Month. There were lots of nice things said, yet this year we see a 15 per cent cut to the Gaelic Affairs budget. How does the minister reconcile his words of the support of Gaelic that he has been saying today, with his government's action in funding Gaelic Affairs?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, tapadh leibh and thank you to the member for the question. With respect to the change in funding, as estimates debates are going on, the very specifics will be discussed in more detail with the Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. What I can tell the member opposite is that the change in the funding from the budget last year to the budget this year relates to a carryover from changes that were made last year into this year. I'd like to highlight that those changes do not affect programming or service delivery by the Office of Gaelic Affairs.

MR. MACMASTER « » : Mr. Speaker, so this year's cut is really last year's cut. I'm sure the Gaelic community will feel valued with that. I think that this office has been cut just shy of 30 per cent over the last two years, so whether it was this year or last year, the end figure is almost 30 per cent, yet we hear the government say we should do our utmost to understand the importance of Gaelic and the value it brings to our province.

The government could start by taking its own advice, Mr. Speaker. Why does this government think it is okay to strip support for a cause that has seen an awakening amongst thousands of young Nova Scotians about who they are and about supporting the cultural integrity of something we promote to our visitors?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question and, indeed, I appreciate the opportunity. By the nature of the question the member opposite asked, it seems the only way the members opposite can value something is if they put a dollar figure to it.

We value the Gaels of Nova Scotia, we value the work that they do and the community groups, and the work that the Office of Gaelic Affairs, the staff in that department do, Mr. Speaker, is very . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order please. The honourable Minister for Gaelic Affairs has the floor.

MR. DELOREY « » : The work that the staff in the Office of Gaelic Affairs do to partner with community groups like the Gaelic Council of Nova Scotia, enhancing the work of that particular organization, Mr. Speaker, to reach out to community groups, and also I'd like to highlight last year at this time the member opposite was asking us about the closure of the office in Mabou, I stand here to tell you that we didn't close the office in Mabou. Indeed we kept that office, we integrated into our school system, and we're delivering better services for less money.

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

FIN. & TREASURY BD.: AUDITOR GENERAL'S RECOMMENDATIONS

- IMPLEMENTATIONS

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board. We heard from the Auditor General this morning about the lack of focus on implementing the Auditor General's recommendations. The Auditor General has the expertise, that's expertise in that office that can be used to make the province operate more efficiently. That office focuses on high-risk areas that need improvement and oftentimes, the ministers who receive the recommendations nod in approval, say they agree and then shrug their shoulders, walk out of the room and do nothing. The overall implementation rate is only 60 per cent.

So, I'd like to ask the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board, who does the minister feel should be responsible for this dismal implementation rate of the Auditor General's recommendations?

HON. RANDY DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to highlight for the member opposite the work and the recommendations in that AG Report, the Auditor General's Report, particularly with respect to the Department of Finance and Treasury Board, I'm pleased to report that the cut-off period for the update that the AG recently provided was back in November. I know with our department, as I'm sure with other departments, progress has been made.

I believe there are an additional number of items, which brought us up to over 80 per cent of compliance with those. That's significant improvement even since November. The number of items that are recommended, it's about ongoing progress, Mr. Speaker. Many of them do take time, they require a lot of change and, particularly with the Department of Finance and Treasury Board, expand multiple departments. It just takes time, but the work continues.

MR. HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, it's an interesting way this government has of showing they value things. They cut their funding, or they don't implement the recommendations.

So, my question for the minister was, who does he feel should be responsible? We hear a little bit about his department. There are many departments in government, and many are not acting on the recommendations - and they're matters of serious concern. We know some of them are risks to the assets of the province, and we know some of them are ineffective programs or risks to Nova Scotians, like the prescription drug situation.

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So, I'd like to ask the minister, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance and Treasury Board - which has ultimate responsibility for the safeguarding of assets in the province, I'd say - is he happy with a 60 per cent implementation rate from his colleagues and from his Cabinet, and if not, how does he think we can improve the implementation rate?

MR. DELOREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. I'd like to highlight and thank the work of the Auditor General and all of the staff in that department.

With respect to the rate of compliance, as I responded in the previous question, using just the one example of my department, we continue to improve on those tasks, work is underway. There is obviously a cut-off time when the report gets produced, Mr. Speaker. So, we've already improved our response from the report based on, dated back in November, and I think the budget that we tabled earlier this month shows just how well this government manages the finances of this province.

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

LAE: CBU TUITION FEES - GOV'T. FUNDING

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, students at Cape Breton University recently learned their tuition fees will increase by 20 per cent over the next four years, a decision made in April 2015. At that time CBU's president stated that the rise in tuition was the result of the province's decision to provide only a 1 per cent increase in its operating grant - and I'll table that.

Dalhousie's Vice-President Academic also said that tuition increases are necessary because the government is not keeping pace with operating costs - and I'll table that.

This budget, Mr. Speaker, continues the practice of holding the universities to an inadequate increase of 1 per cent. Is the minister proud of the untenable position that her government has placed Nova Scotia universities in?

HON. KELLY REGAN « » : I want to thank the honourable member for the question, and I would like to remind her that when her Party was in office they cut $35 million from universities repeatedly, year after year after year. If universities are in an untenable situation, it is because of the actions her Party took.

MS. MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Leader in the House of the New Democratic Party has the floor.

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MS. MANCINI « » : Thank you. In 2015, the government lifted the 3 per cent cap on tuition fees, to allow universities to make a one-time reset to accommodate so-called market adjustments. Not surprisingly the universities seized the opportunity to raise tuition fees. The 3 per cent cap has now been reinstated but many of the increases that were made in 2015 were spread out over several years, essentially making the 3 per cent cap meaningless. Will the minister agree that the 3 per cent cap has lost its effectiveness because of the 2015 reset?

MS. REGAN « » : Mr. Speaker, the member is incorrect, there were not tuition increases above the 3 per cent in 2015.

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

TOURISM N.S. - DESTINATION C.B.: BUDGET CUTS - EXPLAIN

HON. ALFIE MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister responsible for Tourism Nova Scotia. The Liberal Government is gutting our Regional Tourism Industry Associations. We learned recently that Destination Cape Breton's core and program funding has been cut by 66 per cent. The provincial Visitor Information Centres narrowly escaped the minister's chopping block. He shipped the tourism marketing and advertising strategy to a Toronto consultant, and the chair of the tourism board no longer lives in Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is why is the minister attacking our local tourism association?

HON. MARK FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, we have …

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Minister of Business has the floor.

MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, we have set a goal of doubling tourism revenues over the next 10 years, an item that came right out of the Ivany report. If we are going to achieve those objectives, we have to change the way we do things; the status quo is not acceptable. We have implemented strategies demonstrated and proven by research that will assist us in reaching those objectives.

MR. MACLEOD « » : Mr. Speaker, I guess the minister probably counts the trips that the consultant from Toronto makes here as part of a tourism influx. Tourism is a $2 billion industry and it is vital to the economy of all Nova Scotia, especially in rural Nova Scotia, and we are supposed to be doubling tourism revenues, according to the Ivany report's goal but not decreasing the supports for local tourism operators.

Our regional tourism associations are vital to achieve this Ivany goal. Our tourism strategy should include both provincial and regional marketing strategies. My question to the minister is very simple. Will the minister reinstate core and program funding to our Regional Tourism Industry Associations -yes or no? A simple answer - yes or no?

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MR. FUREY « » : Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. I want to recognize and acknowledge the great work that the employees do in …

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The honourable Minister of Business has the floor.

MR. FUREY « » : . . . in 51 municipal VICs and six provincial VICs across the province, Mr. Speaker. In order to achieve our objectives, the research has demonstrated that we have to advance and promote significant marketing. I know my colleague across the floor realizes that the only way we are going to achieve that is if we are able to secure the visitation for people from outside Nova Scotia who travel to Nova Scotia as first-time visitors, where they're going to spend more money and stay longer. They're going to help us achieve that goal of doubling revenues.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - NORTHSIDE GEN. HOSP.: ER PLANS

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health and Wellness. Last November, I asked the minister about the plan to keep the Northside General emergency room open. He praised the work done in the ER by saying, "The people of North Sydney and greater Cape Breton are fortunate to have an outstanding ER at Northside General."

It's now the end of April and there's no plan in place. Can the minister tell the people who use the emergency room what the plan is for the Northside General emergency room?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to say that my colleague knows perfectly well how good and how strong the health care system is in Cape Breton. I think he would agree with that. He has been a recipient.

The Northside General ER has been a problem now for a long period of time. Primarily they have sufficient physicians who could cover the ER, but a lot of it based on the fact of the point at where they are in their careers. They know that Cape Breton Regional has some of the best ERPs - emergency room physicians - in the province, and they know that with our EHS system, emergency care is well looked after for the residents of Northside.

MR. ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, emergencies don't happen from only 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., which is the only time the Northside General emergency room is open. When that emergency room is closed, or other emergency rooms in the area, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital simply can't handle the volume of people attending their emergency room.

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My question to the minister is, can the minister commit to keeping the ER open, extending the hours to when they are going to be needed most?

MR. GLAVINE « » : What I know is that the health authority has been working with the clinical teams at Northside, and getting some additional hours is their goal. At the present time, emergency services to the people of North Sydney and surrounding communities are in no way compromised by the short hours at Northside.

We have the best EHS system in Canada and we have emergency care at Cape Breton Regional that is second to none, so we don't have a problem with emergency care.

Could we have a few more hours added on? That probably is the case.

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

HEALTH & WELLNESS - PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROG.: CHANGES - DELAY EXPLAIN

HON. DAVID WILSON « » : Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health and Wellness. This morning in Public Accounts Committee, the Auditor General said that in 2012 he received a detailed response to addressing the issues of prescription drug monitoring program highlighted in his report from the Department of Health and Wellness.

The review in October 2015 indicated that the recommendations were not complete, so I'd like to ask the minister, what happened after his government took over to delay implementing changes around the prescription drug monitoring program?

HON. LEO GLAVINE « » : Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite was the Minister of Health and Wellness at the time, and I'm wondering why a stronger initiative wasn't put in place?

MR DAVID WILSON: I think the minister needs to clean his ears - the Auditor General indicated there was a strong, detailed response.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I'd like to remind the member that that's an unparliamentary term, so I'd like to get him to retract that and rephrase it.

MR. DAVID WILSON « » : I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker. Maybe the minister just needs to listen a little closer to my question.

The Auditor General indicated a strong response from the department, which I supported fully. Maybe it's because the first thing they did when they came into the government is fire the Deputy Minister of Health and Wellness. Maybe the problem we see now is that the first thing they did was spend all their time and energy amalgamating the district health authorities. That's the reason why we don't see improvements to the prescription monitoring program.

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MR. GLAVINE « » : I'd just like to say that there may be a deficiency, but with . . .

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

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

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 163.

Bill No. 163 - Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act.

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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE « » : Mr. Speaker, I'm so proud to get up and speak to this bill today. Here is a chance to really help people who need help.

Imagine a young woman - it could be a man, it could be anyone, binary, non-binary, it could be anyone; often it is a young woman - is attacked, is the victim of sexual violence, rape. Imagine that after that horrible experience that where she is encouraged, where she is wanting to hold her attacker accountable in law that people who know our system well to this day still ask that awful question, are you sure? Do you know what you'll go through? Do you know that you may end up being traumatized all over again? Do you know that you, in a way, are on trial when you go that route? That's the reality today.

There was a time when people did not want to talk about sexual violence at all; it was swept under the rug. Not only were these conversations not held about it, people were told to just be quiet. Perhaps that's why, of 100 incidents of sexual violence that occur, only six ever end up with charges and going to court.

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Mr. Speaker, not trying the 94 alleged predators is unacceptable. Having 94 victims stay silent is also unacceptable. Taking a victim, let's say a young woman, and actually discussing whether it's worth it to pursue her attacker shows that we have a long way to go.

These are the greatest arguments I can think of to actually pass this bill and give some comfort and hope and respect to victims of sexual crimes, to encourage more than six out of 100 to come forward and to see that justice is ultimately done.

Mr. Speaker, in the last few days, we've heard from so many Nova Scotians, whether they're official groups - the Canadian Federation of Students, student unions, various sexual support centres - speaking up to point out the need for greater help and protection not just in the courtroom but outside the courtroom as well, which I'll speak of in a moment. They are pointing out the risks to potential victims today on our streets and our campuses. They are overwhelmed by the demand for their services, whether they are counselling or crisis intervention or legal. We have to act - we have to act.

Just a few short months ago in Nova Scotia, we saw that even when one of the six out of 100 does have the courage to come forward and testify in a court of law that that isn't even enough. We still have decisions being made today that are offensive to victims, to women, and to common sense. One made national news right out of Nova Scotia, where it was found by a judge that the victim, a woman, had given consent to her alleged attacker even though she was asleep at the time of her alleged attack.

Mr. Speaker, we can't let this go on. The whole nation is involved in a conversation about this after the well-publicized Jian Ghomeshi trial. Why would we not seize this opportunity to actually have the very emotional and difficult discussion about how we can provide these important protections to those victims who need help outside the courtroom and inside the courtroom?

Why wouldn't we have these difficult conversations about how we can make sure that attackers, when found guilty, or when they are guilty are found guilty, Mr. Speaker, for the justice to be done for the victim in that case and for the safety of future potential victims when we don't pursue in law an alleged attacker?

Mr. Speaker, it isn't every day that a bill comes to this House where the problem we are attempting to solve is so clear, but this is one of those days. Victims of sexual crimes deserve our respect throughout the legal process. They deserve to get the help, the counselling, and the additional supports that can put their life back together. They deserve that, but they don't always get it - in fact they rarely get it. They deserve to know that when they go to give testimony, they will be treated with respect and they will have the legal representation that they need to make sure that right is upheld.

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Mr. Speaker, I know that members know that the prosecutor in a criminal case like rape, sexual assaults, is the Crown and that the accused has the right to a vigorous defence. That is how our system works at its most basic level and that is protected and that is always protected. The Criminal Code, the system of justice across the country, is designed to ensure a fair trial.

The administration of the system of justice is a provincial responsibility and the way that a victim is treated when they go to court as a witness between that defendant and prosecutor, that is in our hands to address. You will never convince me that a fair trial requires the revictimization of that person giving testimony. There is no way that our system of justice - the balance between prosecution and defence, the presumption of innocence - is held on the idea that it is okay to tear apart the reputation, the history, the mode of dress of the victim. Surely our system is strong enough to reach just conclusions about guilt or innocence without resorting to those kinds of tactics. But it is not happening that way now, Mr. Speaker.

We have it in our control, as a provincial Legislature, to encourage victims - women and men - to come forward. We already encourage them to come forward, but they know what happens when they do. That's why we need to address the process, the administration of the law in this province, to make sure that when we say I hope you have the strength to come forward and testify so that justice can be done that we back that statement up with real action.

Mr. Speaker, the fact is that some victims do go out and get their own legal representation, when they can afford it. Even though they are not the Crown, the prosecutor, the complainant, or the defendant, they are a witness, but they are put on trial. For those victims who can afford it, they go out and they get that legal help so that they can give testimony and they have someone there to stand up for them. But make no mistake, when a young woman or man goes to court as a witness, and they cannot afford that legal help on their own account, they are left on trial themselves, while the accused has the right to sit there and say nothing the whole time.

We have a Victims Bill of Rights in this province. We have it for a reason. It is 25 years old, and the time has come to add to the Victims Bill of Rights the right of sexual assault or rape victims to be treated with respect when they go to court to give testimony. If we do that, when they cannot afford to have a lawyer enforce that right in the courtroom, then we will provide that lawyer for them. If we do that, we are truly putting our money where our words are for victims that do not want to come forward, for the 94 out of 100 who do not come forward, we actually do something meaningful for them. That is what this bill is about.

I truly hope that this bill goes forward, that it can get the endorsement of every member, of every Party, of all of us. What a great message that would send on our campuses, on our streets, to predators, and most importantly to people who are victimized. What a great message that would send that we care, that we hear them, that we understand the problem and we are prepared to act to fix it. That is what this debate is about today.

[Page 8334]

I would hope that we can even add to this bill, which is about the courtroom process - extra help outside the courtroom. For example, we talk about legal fees when a victim cannot afford a lawyer of their own. It happens that Avalon used to provide that service; they had a legal adviser to at least advise victims of sexual assault on their legal rights. They no longer can afford to have that legal adviser on staff, and that important service is gone. We can put that back into place right here - we can put that back into place right here.

Outside of the courtroom we could also make sure that victims of sexual violence get the counselling that they need, the help that they need, so they can deal with the aftermath - the support that they need.

This bill is actually coupled with another one about ensuring that we have sexual violence plans on campuses across the province. Let us put that in place too. I have travelled to all the campuses. I have met with all of the student unions and the administrations, and they raised this issue as one of the most important ones to deal with. Well, let us make it happen.

The Canadian Federation of Students has come out to say this bill should become law. That's something we can all make happen here today, Mr. Speaker.

Then, for those who come forward, let's make sure that child care needs are looked after, so they can spend their time in court giving their testimony. The defence will do their job, the prosecution will do their job, with the best evidence, and this bill ensures that victims come forward, not six times out of a hundred but a hundred times out of a hundred, and give that evidence with respect and with the comfort of this society that we've built around them so that justice can truly be done in our campuses and our streets can be as safe as they can be. Thank you.

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


MS. SUZANNE LOHNES-CROFT « » : Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak on Bill No. 163, an Act to Amend Chapter 14 of the Acts of 1989, the Victims' Rights and Services Act. I commend the member across the floor for presenting this Private Member's Bill. It shows your compassion and care toward victims of sexual violence, and it's something, I'm sure, that every member of this House gives a lot of thought to.

When I was thinking about this - I really wish we didn't have to give thought to this, that we didn't have sexual violence in our society and that we could somehow end this. Unfortunately, it is a fact of our society.

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I want to acknowledge that this is a federally-regulated part of the Criminal Code of Canada. It is under the federal government's jurisdiction. The provincial governments do have the authority to create parts of the criminal law; however, most criminal laws have been codified by the Criminal Code of Canada, and sexual offences are set out in the Criminal Code. But this past July, in 2015, the Criminal Code was amended to protect the privacy and security interest of victims and witnesses in proceedings. That is for certain sexual offences, and if that is the case, then they are provided - if there is a request for medical records, therapeutic records, of sexual offence cases, they can get legal representation and it is provided.

I want to say that our Premier is very committed to working with his federal counterparts and colleagues to start discussion around minimal sentencing requirements under the Criminal Code for sexual violence offences. I think that's an important thing to keep in mind.

We've heard a lot lately, in Question Period and with ministers' statements, that our minister has created and set out a Sexual Violence Strategy here in Nova Scotia. It's a three-year commitment with a budget of $6 million over three years. This is a strategy that is focused on coordination of services to better respond to the needs of the victims and survivors and to ultimately prevent sexual violence from happening in the first place. I'm sure that is the goal of all of us: to prevent sexual violence. We need to identify the three categories: services and supports, education and prevention, and approach and accountability with this strategy.

A recent article by Moira Donovan on CBC - I'd like to quote a researcher that she names. Ardath Whynacht says sexual assault goes far beyond the courtroom. "Victims' rights conversations often ignore victims' healing, and victims' healing needs to be resourced." I'll table that for you.

The province is working on this strategy in the communities. We want to work together and come together to provide the best sexual assault services. I want to talk a little bit about a program we had on the South Shore through the Second Story Women's Centre. We had a three-year program called Be the Peace. It was community-based; it took in Lunenburg County and Queens County and anyone else who really wished to participate. They held workshops, they held conventions over a three-year period, and progressed with victims coming forward. It was also to bring peace and healing to victims. It also had the perpetrators brought in, too, to give an understanding and let them understand what they put other people through.

There were men's groups. I really liked the part of this project where they met with teenage boys, young men, and older generations, and they had men's working groups and focus groups to work on better ways of dealing with violence and anger issues. There were so many wonderful moments during this program. I can remember, in particular, one evening a group of us got together after Rehtaeh Parsons died. It was a very emotional evening and a large group of us gathered in the community room in Lunenburg to talk about how we felt, because I think Rehtaeh really reached the core of all of us and no one wants to see anyone suffer like that.

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I just felt that programs like this deal so much better with healing, to have conversation. It's open to everyone in the community. It doesn't put up borders for just people who - and I don't want to say "just" but for victims only. It needs to be there for the people who support victims. It needs to be there for people like me. I am a mother of three boys and I have a responsibility to society to raise sons who are respectful of women. I have a responsibility to teach those boys the effects of dealing with anger, dealing with issues of violence, and that there are peaceful ways of settling situations and having respect for everyone, especially the closest people to you. It's so important. Domestic violence is a very challenging issue in our society and one that I would love to say we do not have to address, but we do.

I'm so glad that this Sexual Violence Strategy has been started here. Our minister is so passionate about it. I listened to her and I am amazed in Question Period, when difficult and challenging questions are put to her, she responds with passion and with facts. I know she wants to do more and she wants to do it all at one time, but in reality, nothing gets done right if we do it too quickly. I know she is taking her time. I know it's always a goal to do it faster but I know she is going to do it right.

I'm proud of the progress this government is making with the Sexual Violence Strategy. I want to just affirm that everyone needs a place that's safe, a place that is non-judgmental. I think that this Sexual Violence Strategy will provide that for victims and will support the community and help all of us support victims - with respect.

There used to be a shame, and I say "used to" but I'm sure many people are shamed today when they have been the victim of sexual violence. I really hope that this strategy will work to lessen the shame associated with sexual violence, that the victim is not at fault and all of us need to work together. We need to stop making it as jokes. We need to interfere and interrupt people who are making jokes of sexual violence. We need to correct, because when we don't correct people who make these remarks, we are just victimizing people over again. So each of us in society has a responsibility.

Victims do have rights. Here in Nova Scotia we have the Victims' Rights and Services Act, and I know our Department of Justice works very hard on this. There is all sorts of legal information provided for victims. I know here in Halifax the city police have a very good Victim Services. I know on the South Shore I am quite proud of the work that has been done, and I spoke about Be the Peace project and many of the leaders in that project have been leaders in the South Shore Victim Services as well, and they provide a lot of volunteer hours helping to support the justice system.

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There are a lot of volunteers involved in this, but there are professionals. There are female health practitioners who are available for victims of sexual violence, and we also have female police officers who are on call. It is a program that is really working well on the South Shore, and I am really glad that we have it. And I know some recent funding has gone to help Victim Services in Lunenburg County - I am really glad to see that going forward.

We know the cost of legal representation can be quite expensive, and I sometimes wonder: is it a lawyer that the person in the court needs - do they need a lawyer, or do they need maybe a social worker or a legal system navigator rather than a lawyer to sit with them when they are in the prosecution process? I think that maybe they would be serviced better by someone who can navigate the system and let them know what kinds of questions and rights they have as a victim and what will take place in the courtroom, because I think it is a shock to be violated sexually to begin with and to go through the whole court system is very intrusive; sometimes you are victimized all over again. So there are aids there that the justice system provides. You can go behind screens.

My colleague spoke about therapy dogs last evening, and they are now offering therapy dogs in the courtroom to help relax victims, especially for children to give testimonies - in certain situations they are allowed a therapy dog when they are on the stand.

Putting those kinds of aids into practice will certainly help all our victims in the courtroom, and I am glad to see them going forward. Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians have really spoken to this government and our government has really listened, and we know that we have to reach out to all genders, our youth, our LGBTQ, our Mi'kmaq, and our African Nova Scotia communities, who have unique experiences with this issue.

As part of the ongoing work, the province is investing $1.2 million in support network grants that will better support victims and survivors to navigate the justice system and to help community organizations that specialize in that work.

I think that this first Sexual Violence Strategy is really good progress here in Nova Scotia. I think more work needs to be done, and our minister addresses that, and I am sure she is the right person to get that done. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. MARIAN MANCINI « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Progressive Conservative caucus for bringing forward this bill, but I regret we would not be in a position to support it. I think that the issues are really important and really need to be talked about, and I suspect that that is at the nub of bringing this forward.

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This is a complex topic, there is no question about that. There have been many, many, many reports and papers written on how to appropriately deal with the process when an individual has been victimized in such a way in terms of sexual assault or sexual violence.

The problem - really you have to start right at the beginning. When an individual is sexually assaulted - and I will suggest that, and I don't think there will be too much dispute on the issue, most are female; the victims are primarily female and the perpetrators are primarily male. When a woman is sexually assaulted she needs immediate and urgent access to therapy, to counselling. There has been some effort to look at this problem but we've spoken today about waiting lists for people trying to get into sexual assault centres and that is probably the worst thing that can happen.

If an individual isn't able to access - and it's not just counselling, it's specialized counselling. There are people trained in this way in some of our centres who have worked there to provide that therapy and to provide it in a consistent manner to the woman who has been sexually assaulted. It needs to be immediate and it needs to be consistent and it needs to be the same therapist. Those are some of the major problems that women who find themselves in this situation are facing. They are alone, waiting to get in to see people, and they essentially, many times - and the reports will establish this and people I have spoken to on this subject in the community have said they become re-victimized. Because of the inability to access the counselling, they will often turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of dealing with the issue, and the problem becomes compounded by their inability to get appropriate counselling.

Mr. Speaker, I believe all of us here would agree that we need to address this growing problem of sexual assault and sexual violence, but I believe we have to get at it at the beginning. When it actually happens we have to ensure, as a society, that the appropriate counselling is in place for an individual.

There are many problems with this bill. Unfortunately the bill says that the rights of survivors of sexual violence - they want them to be treated with respect when giving evidence - of course we do. Who cannot agree with that notion? Everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the court process, but we don't know what that actually means and we don't even know how we would enforce such a concept.

The judicial process is a truth-seeking process. Over the years the courts have struggled with this issue. Years ago the Supreme Court of Canada attempted to address the issue of a defence attorney being able to cross-examine an alleged victim on her prior sexual conduct. O'Conner set out very specific details with regard to the process that would have to take place. As my friend indicated, there is availability of legal counsel for that specific purpose and that is how it should be.

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When the alleged victim is in the courtroom, the judge has to control the proceeding and the judge needs to be aware of the law and needs to be aware of when defence will overstep their bounds. That is really important. The judge has the ability to shut the defence down, if their line of questioning is not relevant or if it is against any of the established precedent law in that regard. We rely on that.

It's not a perfect system, but for the most part I have seen judges be very cautious of it because judges are scrutinized at the Court of Appeal or at the Supreme Court of Canada, and no judge wants to see his decision having to make its way up to the higher courts.

But the other aspect is providing legal representation for the alleged victim. I'm not sure there is a real understanding of the legal system. I don't know what role the lawyer would play. The lawyer will not have standing; it's a defence, and it's a Crown. I guess the lawyer would talk to the Crown Attorney and then go back and talk to his or her client, but they would not have a direct role in the proceedings.

Crown Attorneys will make decisions on how they think the trial should proceed. Some of those issues may be about a statement, for example, that the Crown may decide has not been properly taken by the police - I'm using it as an example - and they may make a decision not to admit that statement, or they might make a decision about a witness they wish to call or not call. The alleged victim in the matter may not like that decision. There's really no recourse by having her lawyer there to fix that. The Crown has to be in charge of the proceeding. The situation would really, really fall apart very quickly and lead to a lot of confusion if we allowed that type of separate intervention to come into the courtroom.

So what is the role of the legal representative? What part would they play in the process? These are all questions. I don't know if there has been consultation with Crown Attorneys, if the caucus has consulted with Crown Attorneys in relation to this legislation, but I do not feel that they would support it.

Again, I go back to one thing, though, that I truly agree with. Always, through all of this recent process with the notorious case, particularly, that was before the court recently in Ontario - I truly believe that witnesses are completely overwhelmed when they go into the courtroom. Try to imagine yourself the first day you sat in this Legislature, and things were moving along, you had that order paper, you were supposed to know what was happening, and you really didn't have a clue. It's as scary as that. Things happen. All of a sudden people are up and leaving, and you don't know why. You don't know the reason for any of that.

I have a great deal of sympathy for people coming into the courtroom and having to face that. The idea of taking the witness stand, I think, would probably be one of the most traumatic things. Knock on wood - I've never had to do that, and I really, really would not look forward to that process.

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The court is about finding the truth. We cannot in any way diminish the importance of that.

What the alleged victims need in this case is support. I agree with my friend and her comments that that is where it lies. But it does not have to be legal representation. We have a victims' services organization or society that provides some support, and in fact has set out a protocol for how witnesses should be dealt with in the process.

If they're not able to do that - it could be funding reasons, or it could be something like that - but that seems to me the logical way to go with this process: to have someone who is fully versed in the process who can tell her what to expect every step of the way.

But I think something else that's important, that I don't expect we'll ever see, because I saw the Justice budget is flat, and I don't see any prospects for more Crown Attorneys being hired, but the ideal situation would be to have two Crown Attorneys on the file. One can be very closely linked to the alleged victim, because the thing is, the alleged victim, when she meets with the Crown, is not going to remember everything. It's been a very traumatic event, but as time goes by she will, and she needs to have ready access to tell the Crown of certain facts, so the Crown is fully prepared and able to prepare her fully when she takes the witness stand.

It's when these surprise things that come up, or issues that maybe the alleged victim forgot to tell the Crown Attorney, and then defence pulls something out, those are situations where the alleged victim can feel humiliated in the process. She can look like she's lying or not being truthful, and under cross may not get the proper opportunity to explain the whole situation. Although, even there there's an opportunity for redirect, but if the Crown is fully aware and can prepare the witness, then that's the most effective way because the Crown is directly involved in the process. In my experience, for the most part, I've seen Crown Attorneys show a lot of sympathy for alleged victims in these situations, but they do have crushing caseloads.

What I would say to this legislation is that we need support to make sure that people coming in to testify are fully educated, the best they can be, over a period of time, so when those facts come up, or those incidents that they said oh, I forgot to tell the Crown Attorney about this, they have someone they can contact right away, and that line of information will get through.

I also think that we need to - and I go back to my original point, and that is the immediate assistance provided through specialized therapy. That is where we should put our focus, and through that there will be so much ongoing support and trust built up through the person's therapist, that they will have the support that they need.

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So, basically, I cannot support this because I see it flawed in many areas. I support the basic concept of additional support, but the additional support should not be another lawyer trying to ferret their way into the process, because I believe it would lead to confusion and much more distress to the alleged victim. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. EDDIE ORRELL « » : Mr. Speaker, it's an honour to stand this afternoon and speak to Bill No. 163, the Dignity for Victims of Sexual Violence Act.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in my spot to speak to this bill, not as a lawyer, not necessarily always understanding the legal process, and not necessarily understanding what is the best way, legally, to go about some of the things that happen in court. I listened quite intently to my colleague from the NDP who just spoke, who is a lawyer, who had some interesting comments on how the court proceedings operate and how victims go through the system, and what her ideas might be to provide that support for victims.

I'll start by saying that in my everyday life, every day I'm out in the community, I'm ever amazed when I hear advocacy groups, on campuses and in our society, state how proudly their organizations have been fighting against sexual assault for decades.

Now, Mr. Speaker, it scares me to think that they've been fighting against it for decades and it's still happening. I have a young daughter who's in university; I have a young son, who has played sports and other things in the community, been a part of organizations, and I think that something like this could happen to them and they wouldn't have that extra support to go through the legal system.

Think about that, Mr. Speaker, we all have children and/or sisters and brothers who could go through this system and not being of the legal background and understanding the whole thing, but maybe not being able to afford the help they need, this would provide that to them.

Yes, they need the help of the sexual assault nurse examiners that we talked about here in this hallowed building, they need the counselling, they need that right away. But as this stuff starts to move through the legal system they need that help to navigate that system.

You know on one hand, thank Heaven there are people out there to continue this fight; on the other hand it's really sobering to think that sexual violence continues to be so pervasive in our society. A generation or two ago, few people would even report it, they would be terrified of wearing the shame in their families and communities, gagged by one of the oldest myths of sexual assault that somehow the victim deserved it.

Mr. Speaker, men and boys would suffer their whole lives and tell no one. As we saw just recently in a case in Port Hawkesbury, in the Fenwick MacIntosh case, where two brave gentlemen came forward to talk about their experience at the hands of Mr. MacIntosh, how they went through the legal system and how it affected their lives. They are somebody's children, somebody's brother. They've gone through a horrible incident and for years were embarrassed to bring it up to anybody. How many more people out there are like that, who are living with that, who are going through that, who if they came forward and had the support of the sexual assault nurse examiners, the counsellors and the people in the legal system who would allow this to move through and move on with their lives?

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Mr. Speaker, the women who would be isolated by the whispers of well look how she dresses, she was walking home by herself, she was leading him on at the bar, it's her fault. Well, that to me is a shame, the implication being that somehow the person who was assaulted did something to bring this on themselves, that somehow the perpetrator was less guilty of this crime because of the other person.

Mr. Speaker, if you think of the millions of dollars that are spent every year combatting these myths through educational campaigns, you'd be wrong to think that this stuff has been eradicated by that. Yes, we need that education, but we need the other supports in place as well to make sure that education goes to good use, that the people, the victims are receiving what they need. Blaming the victim is still widespread and it's effective because, like most myths, there is some historical value or truth being buried in there. It gives people a false sense of security that because they wouldn't do these things, they'll be safe.

Sexassault.ca keeps a running update on key statistics, Mr. Speaker, and resources around sexual assault in Canada. Just let me give you a few random samples. One in four North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime - one in four, 25 per cent of women will be sexually assaulted. That is what is reported. Sixty per cent of the sexual assault, sexual abuse victims, are under the age of 17. Think somehow of your own child in that situation - I don't want to think of that, I'd love to live in a society, an ideal society, where this stuff is eliminated completely.

Over 80 per cent of sex crime victims are women; 80 per cent of sexual assault incidents occur within the home; and 15 per cent of sexual victims are boys under the age of 16. Mr. Speaker, a vulnerable time in these children's lives that could be affecting them the rest of their days.

When I first read these notes, Mr. Speaker, I found the statistics were staggering. It makes me angry. What is going on in our society? Where is our society going? We live in a society where sometimes I wonder if this stuff is not almost acceptable - social media, some of the ad campaigns that are going on there.

We want to make sure we can eliminate this, and if it does happen, the supports are there for the victims. As a society, we have made great strides to move this sensitive topic into the light and tried to de-stigmatize it. But the question is, are our efforts working? Out of every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only six are reported to the police, and 1 per cent to 2 per cent of date-rape sexual assaults are reported to the police. I wouldn't call those very positive statistics.

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Really, we're not talking about the statistics; we're talking about human beings, people's lives, people who are affected by this. As we heard in the last couple of statistics I gave, many of these people are quite young. Imagine having to harbour that inside you for the rest of your life, not willing to come forward because of what people will say about you or how you'd be treated if it ever got into the legal system. We have to do better.

Here in Nova Scotia, over the past few years, we have seen announcements for services such as the sexual assault nurse examiners, and then we waited and waited for that money to flow. Then it's re-announced. How many people faced that lack of service in the wake of this horrible sexual violence? In my eyes, even one would be one too many.

Of the six people in 100 who do report sexual assaults, they have to ask themselves, what are they taking on? What is going to be thrown at them, to them, and how are they going to deal with this?

I recently spoke to someone who spent hours volunteering at sexual assault crisis lines. They told me that they hear way too much of this, Mr. Speaker, that going into the legal system is going to be difficult. It's difficult for the person who has been assaulted, so we have to question if they'll actually go through with it, knowing what's lying ahead of them.

I ask the question, does our justice system often do these people more harm by re-victimizing them when they do get to the trial stage? They have to sit in a room, often multiple times, and relive this horror that they've lived in detail. Heaven forbid, Mr. Speaker, if one of the details is not the same as the last time they were questioned, and they have to go through it again and again and again. All of these reports go to the prosecutor and the defence, and at the slightest opening, the character and integrity of the actual person is challenged. Their sexual history is maybe dragged up, and their credibility is attacked in the interest of a fair trial for the perpetrator. Not that we don't believe everybody deserves a fair trial, but victims don't need to be re-victimized over and over and over.

The other statistic that I found interesting is that only 2 per cent to 4 per cent of all the sexual assaults reported are false reports, yet 100 per cent of the complainants are put through this humiliating process. Our caucus believes strongly that victims of sexual assault have rights and deserve to be treated with respect, not just adversities in trial.

The bill "entitles a victim of sexual violence to be treated with respect when testifying about the sexual violence and enshrines the right of a victim of sexual violence to legal representation. It also requires the Director of Victim Services to pay, out of the General Revenue Fund of Nova Scotia, the reasonable costs of legal representation for a victim of sexual violence who wants, but cannot afford, legal representation in relation to the prosecution of the accused."

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Mr. Speaker, we can do better, and maybe if we did better, more than 6 per cent of the victims would report it. Our bill seeks to require greater respect to victims of sexual assault, heal and become survivors. This healing also requires help to navigate the legal system. God help them if they haven't had the financial means to pay a lawyer or have access to someone as an advocate, for example, to help navigate this legal system.

In November 2015 the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre sounded the alarm. Their executive director in Halifax announced that they would no longer afford a legal advocate to help victims of sexual assault navigate through this court system, even though there is still a high demand for that service. The money for a Legal Support Advocate Counsellor had run out by January 2015. If we checked, we would find that the money has been restored. I am skeptical given that the same centre has been forced to resort to crowd funding to address their wait-list for critical support on counselling services.

Our bill would also require that legal support would be available for people who could not afford it. Remember, the person who comes forward and takes a predator off the street may save your child and mine from this horror. That should be reason enough for members of this House to support this bill. I call on every person here to seek support from the Premier, Cabinet and everyone in this Legislature. This bill should not die in Opposition. The survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence should know it's not their fault and that they can get the help they need to navigate the system, to allow them to move on, to heal, and to live life to the fullest. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I know I only have a few minutes to speak on this bill, but I've been listening to my colleagues speak and I just really needed to talk about a few things.

I come from a very unique position of being both an educator and a counsellor. So, when I hear my colleagues talking about the education piece and teaching our boys how to be gentlemen, and teaching our girls how to defend themselves and how to protect their bodies, and understanding that we generalize sexual violence being between male and female and knowing full well that that's not always the case, knowing that, as the member for Northside-Westmount pointed out, talking about the alarming number of young boys who are sexually assaulted, it's very overwhelming, and there are so many things that I want to talk about in regard to this. I'm sorry, I'm being all fragmented because I'm long winded and I only have a few minutes to speak.

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I really want to say something, and I want to say it sincerely and it's not just as filling a role. Before coming into government, one of my biggest frustrations of government was how departments don't talk to each other. If we had a dollar for every time somebody said working in a silo - so being able to have a front row, or a second row seat to three departments, who work so connectedly together and who have tackled this issue of sexual violence for our province - three strong women I might add - it is very inspiring and it's lovely. We all agree that things need to be better, but like with so many other issues, we differ on what's going to make something better, and that's okay and that's why it's important to have these debates. That's why it's important for all of us to get up and stand in our place and chat, because I'm very hopeful that somewhere amongst all of this discussion, we're going to find what that actual better is.

Is it education? Well, as an educator, I do, I think that we need to be preventive. I think we need to prepare our young people to go into the scary world and to see the horrors that are out there, but I also think that we need to support them and we need to have trained professionals who are there to be there for them when they're at their lowest, and help them to come out on the other side.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I just would like to say that I am very pleased to have had this piece of legislation brought forward to this House. I think that we cannot talk enough about sexual violence and about how we can use our privileged position in this House to make sure that the citizens of our province are protected, and hopefully set a trend for the rest of the country. Thank you.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : I appreciate the discussion on Bill No. 163.

Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 153.

Bill No. 153 – Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act.

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

MS. KARLA MACFARLANE « » : Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and it brings me great pleasure to rise in my place and move second reading of Bill No. 153, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act. What I would like to do is to provide a little bit of history on how the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Maritimes) evolved and the reason for introducing this bill.

With hundreds of thousands of miles of coastline around Canada and a limited number of government search and rescue facilities, there has been a steady reliance upon volunteer services to assist those in distress at sea. Often, in the past, valuable time was wasted by those coordinating a search in attempting to contact willing volunteers who were properly equipped or knowledgeable to assist in search and rescue, also known as SAR. No mechanism was available to compensate these volunteers for expended fuel, wear, nor tear to their vehicles or vessels, nor to insure them or their boats while rendering assistance to others.

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To address some of these shortcomings, in 1978 concerned mariners in various parts of Canada met with the Canadian Coast Guard and agreed to form themselves into five associations, one in each Coast Guard region. Each association, or Canadian Marine Rescue Auxiliary, then signed a contract in the Fall of that year, with the CCG Maritimes signing in December.

This concept of an independent corporate body with a contract to provide search and rescue services allows the Canadian Coast Guard to provide training, insurance, and compensation to CMRA members without losing their volunteer status. Auxiliary members are not government employees and are under no more compulsion than any other vessel owner to assist in search and rescue as required under the Canada Shipping Act, but because of their participation in the CMRA, details such as names, phone numbers, types of vessels, and locations are readily available to the research centre.

This greatly reduces response time to SAR incidents in areas far removed from other rescue sources at a cost far below that of deploying a full-time SAR vessel and crew at the many localities served by the CMRA. With the signing of the contract among the CMRA (Maritimes) and the Coast Guard in December 1978, the newly-incorporated auxiliary, often referred to informally as the Coast Guard Auxiliary, existed only on paper, its sole membership being the president, Mr. John E. S. Briggs of Mahone Bay, and three directors, Mr. Hayes of Oakland, Nova Scotia, and vice-president Mr. John Harwood of Halifax, the secretary. By the end of 1979, the original six CMRA units had been established: the first at Summerside, followed by Pictou, Bridgewater, Baddeck, Alder Point in Cape Breton, and the Magdalen Islands.

These local groups, called units, are made up of fishers and/or yachtsmen from one or more local communities who organize themselves in areas for volunteer rescue work with their own vessels. They choose a leader and they undergo SAR training, first-aid courses, and exercises, and then decide on how to best put themselves at the disposal of the rescue centre.

In May 1983, Mr. Charles Clarke of Pictou assumed the presidency. By this time, the auxiliary embraced 25 units operating out of almost 50 fishing wharves, marinas, yacht clubs, and private docks around the Maritimes. Over 200 fishers and yachtsmen actively assisted, providing SAR coverage for their fellow mariners in distress. In that season the auxiliary, composed of 68 per cent fishers and 32 per cent pleasure boaters, responded to 160 calls for assistance from people on the water. A number of these were credited to the CMRA for having saved lives in those distress situations.

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By the Spring of 1984, the auxiliary's numbers had expanded to over 300, with over 40 units sailing out of more than 60 wharves. A committee of unit leaders was formed, and their recommendations approved to divide the region into approximately 15 zones, enabling improved membership representation on the board as well. By the end of 1984, the membership in the Maritime Region increased to over 450, with 359 vessels based at 98 different wharves in the province. Of those, 81.3 per cent are fishing vessels, reflecting the characteristics of the mariners around the coastal waters of the Maritime Provinces.

In March 1986, the membership stood at 567, with 426 vessels at 99 unit locations. In 1987 the first part-time employee, better known as the secretary, was hired for the CMRA, and in 1987 the rescue challenge competitions were initiated. George Lohnes became president from March 1989 until September 1993, and George enhanced revisions to the by-laws and standing orders. In 1996, the auxiliary started to take on more activity and independent roles in looking after their own affairs in both administration and SAR prevention. In 1987, the auxiliary officially had its name changed from the Canadian Marine Rescue Auxiliary to the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The prevention program was greatly enhanced and in 1997 the first full-time employee position was created. Funding was applied for and received under the new SAR initiative program for SAR equipment, of which first-aid kits, strobe lights, floater suits and SAR pumps were received. A business plan was created and implemented, putting project managers in charge of different aspects of the auxiliary.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Maritimes, also known as CCGAM, is a non-profit organization, and is a registered charity made up of approximately 800 volunteer members and 462 privately-owned vessels, throughout New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. The CCGAM has been in existence, as I have mentioned earlier, since 1978, and it provides assistance to the Canadian Coast Guard and the National Defence, with search and rescue and safe boating programs.

The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary is an organization that is dedicated to on-water search and rescue, and safe boating activities. Their mission is to provide a permanent day and night search and rescue service to cover marine requirements in the Maritime Region and prevent the loss of life and injury. Their mission statement is simple: "save 100 per cent of lives at risk; reduce the number and severity of SAR incidents; promote marine safety; support the Canadian Coast Guard; provide a humanitarian service; maintain the highest professional standards; promote dedication and pride of membership."

Like many volunteer organizations, CCGAM is experiencing difficulty in attracting and retaining new volunteers. This is in part due to an aging population of vessel owners in rural communities and a shift of the younger demographics moving to major urban centres. Another major challenge in the recruitment and retention of volunteers is the time pressures that are put on families today. Both parents are working, commuting further for employment, and in any effort to balance time between work, home, and volunteering is most difficult. With any volunteer organization there is not a simple solution to the issue of recruiting and retaining volunteers; however, with our help they might have a better chance of overcoming this issue.

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Mr. Speaker, this bill would enable the CCGA members in Nova Scotia to receive free vehicle registration as a tool to help attract and retain volunteers on water search and rescue, and as with any financial incentive volunteers may receive, would be most helpful to them. They alone are not the reasons volunteers join the CCGMA, but a volunteers sometimes wants to join to just support the overall general mission, to give back to their community, for the sociability of it, and the feeling of appreciation of the work they do, and the interest they have in our waterways.

The Province of Prince Edward Island implemented this program with strict guidelines to its members and has had great success recruiting members, and New Brunswick is following suit as well. The number of volunteers that would receive free vehicle registration in Nova Scotia is approximately 125, and would approximately cost the province about $27,000.

What I would like to add as well, Mr. Speaker, is that when Swissair Flight 111 happened, that was the first rescue resource to approach this horrific crash. They were there first on the site with all their volunteers and these units were mostly privately owned fishing boats that departed from Peggy's Cove and Bayswater and other harbours on the St. Margaret's Bay. We should be very proud of them. They were obviously soon joined by dedicated Canadian Coast Guard vessels, CCGS Sambro and Labrador.

We can never underestimate the value these male and female volunteers play in our communities. My hope is that we never ever take these brave men and women for granted, and that we never lose sight of the risks and sacrifices that these volunteers make on a daily basis. This bill would simply serve as token of our appreciation for the great work that they do and would align themselves with those who are firefighters and those who work with search and rescue.

As you can well imagine, it is a huge commitment. Supporting our local CCGA members in any way we can is the least we can do to give thanks and recognition for all that they do to keep our community safe. I want to personally thank these members for allowing me to enjoy many water activities with friends and family, and I want to thank them for answering the call in the middle of the night, or in the middle of supper, or whatever they were in the middle of doing.

Mr. Speaker, before having the privilege to be the MLA for Pictou West, I was on the water every other day with my kids. We're avid kayakers and when heading out on the Northumberland Strait, I always took great comfort in knowing that many of the CCGA members in my area - I could definitely give them a call if we found ourselves in stress. It just adds that extra comfort when you are out on the water by yourself, or with those who are less experienced.

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As Nova Scotians we take great pride being in Canada's ocean playground, and let's ensure that we are providing the utmost safety on our playground, and do the right thing and provide this small initiative to continue and help the good work that the CCGA members do.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER « » : Mr. Speaker, it's an honour to get up this afternoon to speak for a few minutes on this bill, and I thank the honourable member for Pictou West for bringing it to the House this afternoon and for her comments on this bill. She's touched on a number of topics.

I think there are probably a couple of folks in this House who have bounced around on the waters at times. I know the member for Queens-Shelburne certainly did a few years out there, and probably took part over the years in some things that may not have been all that pleasant at times. The member for Argyle-Barrington may also have spent a little time on the water. I know he has some history, and I'm not sure about others. I know in past years, certainly there were others who have been in this House who had fished for a living, and made their living on the water, and were part of this organization of volunteers.

It was interesting, I think it was yesterday, or the day before - it goes by quick now - that I stood in this place and spoke about volunteers in general and how valuable they are to each of our communities. Here is yet another great example of what that volunteerism really means. This time we are talking about something totally different. The importance of this - there are hundreds of them, over 400 from what I understand, 450, 475 of these vessels around the province that respond. Now tens of thousands of calls over the years.

I think this may have officially started in the late 1970s. Richard Smith, who lives in Windsor and is a pretty close friend of mine, he spent 39 years in the Coast Guard and when he retired, he was a captain of a ship and had been for many years, and had done all the different jobs leading up to that high-ranking job. He certainly saw a lot first-hand as well.

When you think about what the Coast Guard does out there, what their job is, of course it's rescue in a lot of cases and a lot of other things. They do more than just rescue but they are there to help protect. They do a variety of different missions with the military, with the police force, and they certainly work hand in hand with the auxiliary volunteers who respond to these incidents as well.

[Page 8350]

When I spoke to him about this particular bill, he had nothing but good things to say - how it was well-supported, a great idea that would come forward to be debated in this House. That group of individuals would see this as a good thing. They would be pleased to see this being debated on the floor of the Legislature as we move forward. I don't know where it will end up, but it is good to have this bill here today to talk about and, more importantly, to recognize the role they are playing.

Now can you imagine those couple of gentlemen I spoke about, those members having been out there working on the water? It is a little different. They would be doing something I couldn't do. I have been out a couple of times in my life with my buddy Richard, for a sail for a couple of hours in an afternoon, on a nice, leisurely, level bit of water that was not rough and it was fun and you could relax. I can't imagine being out there on the water and doing what they do through all weather and the ups and downs.

I remember Richard telling me a story one time back a number of years ago when he didn't think he was coming back. We heard Harold Theriault, the previous member for Digby-Annapolis, stand in his place a number of times and tell stories about how bad it can get and how he thought at times, he wondered, God help us, are we going to get back? And sometimes he didn't realize how he did.

When you think about that scenario, Mr. Speaker, you have the Coast Guard out there in that weather and conditions and then you have this auxiliary group of volunteers who are responding at the drop of a hat when that call comes in to rescue somebody in need, who are also out there trying to make a living. It could be any incident, I suppose. We have a lot of water, as the member for Pictou West has talked about; the shoreline is big and it goes a long way when you leave land. There are a lot of vessels out there at any one time, we know that as well and we know the great work that these volunteers continue to do.

She spoke about 9/11 - pardon me, it wasn't 9/11, she spoke about the Swissair. I should have remembered that, given that I worked that evening and responded to that call myself, on the ground, thankfully, but a very unpleasant time when you think about the magnitude of that and what people struggled with, continue to struggle with today, from witnessing something of that great impact and that significance. That is something they will remember forever but that's what they do. There was no hesitation. I was out there that night, there was no hesitation about those folks from Bayswater and all around that coast. Where were they going? They were on the job, they were out there looking and they were doing everything they could by way of trying to create a rescue.

We've talked a lot about the traumatic stress that goes along with that. We know there are people who have suffered because of that. We've heard the stories over the years but again, that is what those volunteers were doing. I'll bet if you asked any of them today if they were still working, would they continue that role? Yes, they would because it's what they do; it's in their blood to be out there on that water and I don't know how they could do it. I know that I couldn't do it.

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I know the stories that Richard has told me and with the new social media world today and Facebook, you'll go on and see friends who are on your page who are sailors on one ship or another, and they'll post these very dramatic kinds of events taking place at sea, with the biggest waves you can imagine - the up and the down, and it almost looks like they are going backwards, not forwards. They are not progressing; it's that one step ahead and two steps back is almost what it looks like when you are watching these boats on the water. It must be incredible to be out there in that. I just don't know how people in all of that effort could manage.

Maybe other members will speak to this today. I expect the member for Queens-Shelburne is probably speaking to this bill. I'm only guessing that, but I know he's talked often about his work on the water, and it's always enlightening to hear those stories as well.

There are a lot of pieces to this; there are a lot of hours. I think that there have been thousands, probably tens of thousands of responses over the years and 3,500 or 4,000 actual claim to lives saved by way of these events - and all on a volunteer basis.

Recognizing the good people who are out there doing this work is so important. We've talked many times about who these folks are, and they're everyday people just like everyone in here. They may work on the water; they may have other jobs, too. They're family people. They're mums and dads and brothers and sisters who are out there risking their lives, not unlike the volunteer firefighters who go on calls every day. It's the same idea if you really think about it, Mr. Speaker, in general. They don't hesitate. When the phone rings or that call comes in over a radio when they're bobbing along on the water, rough seas or otherwise, off they go.

There are a lot of different events, and there are probably specific calls, but I spoke a minute ago about my buddy Richard and being out in a Coast Guard vessel of all things, in all weather – winter, frozen, locked in a lake somewhere going to free somebody up. The kinds of things that he would have seen over those 39 years. He worked on a gypsum boat for a couple of years prior to that, and he got off that and his life went along and he made his way to the Coast Guard. He would tell you stories about those events and how rough it was at times. You'd be in a blinding snowstorm. I'm sure that others in here who've been on the water have probably experienced that, how disorienting it must become when you're looking at and counting on your other ability there, your compass and whatever else you would use to find your way - your depth finders, and the rocks.

These folks who are out there doing this work are volunteering. Think about who they are. They are probably as knowledgeable, if not more knowledgeable than anyone else when it comes to those waterways. You have rock issues out there. I don't know exactly what you would call it, the right terminology, but I'm going to call it rocks or sand areas where water levels might be low or other things - sunken ships maybe. We know along the coast of Nova Scotia there are a variety of sunken ships. I don't know the depth, but there would be a lot of navigation and experience that would be required to be out on that water, especially in the rougher seas.

[Page 8352]

When we look at those people, they stay trained in that. They think nothing of it, and off they go. It doesn't matter where and, like I said, there have been thousands of lives saved and these responses are amazing by these individuals. It's important, as I said, to recognize them and to realize that.

I want to get back to Richard and his story. There's the Coast Guard, a tough ship, it's an icebreaker. You would anticipate or expect that weather really wouldn't matter. Well, maybe for the physical plant, the ship itself, weather probably doesn't matter, although it certainly has an impact on it. We see them frozen up; there are a variety of pictures and videos and things that you watch whereby in the cold weather, in the winter in these storms, everything just becomes one big blob of ice, if you will. It freezes, and you're out there, and the guys and gals are working hard on that ship to maintain it, to keep it going. The volunteers would be doing the same thing whether they're on a fishing boat or they're on some other kind of craft out there. They would also have to experience that in these rescues that they are taking part in.

There would often be many stories where we know the Coast Guard but also military naval vessels would be out taking part; the Swiss Air event is no exception. We had military vessels out there; our navy responded a little bit later on that but came out and were assisted by others in those rescue operations. It's quite a thing that they do out there on the water. As I said, I can't imagine how anybody could do that job, Mr. Speaker. We really appreciate all that they do.

I think the bill recognizes, quite frankly, some key points. I don't know where it will go from today, but it is good to have it debated. As I said, the member for Pictou West would be familiar - there would be fishing vessels over on her shore as well and along Route 6 that she would be very familiar with and probably a number of organizations and people coming from all of our constituencies, hers being along some fishing villages out there that probably she knows well that work the waterways.

I don't know - I'm trying to think back - how many individuals are actually involved. When I looked at the data and I talked to Richard, there were 450 or 475 vessels. I don't know how many people work on a vessel. I guess that would vary depending on the size of the vessel. You're probably looking at many hundreds of people who are out there, taking part as auxiliary members and ready to go at any one time.

I guess with those few words, Mr. Speaker, I would say again, thanks to the member for putting the bill forward. We look forward to other comments, and I know there will probably be some more exciting ones than mine - coming from the member for Shelburne and others, who may decide to get up and talk about real life out there on the ocean, because that is not for me. I have no qualms in admitting that it's not anything that I could do for a very long time, unless I could see land every time I went out; I could go for days if I could see land. But I know that's not the case, especially when the weather's not good and the land is not visible; after that it's all downhill for me.

[Page 8353]

So a credit to all those great folks who work at it every day, in that industry of fishing and Navy and sailors and Coast Guard, all of them, and certainly our volunteers - a huge credit to them. Again, Mr. Speaker, with those few words, thanks so much. I look forward to hearing from others.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, certainly I paid attention to the earlier speakers and I want to congratulate the member for Pictou West for presenting this particular Private Member's Bill, Bill No. 153, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act. If I can work this right, I probably will address the member for Hants West's comments regarding balance, or as we call it in the fishing industry, acquiring your sea legs. Hopefully I can end on that particular note.

Mr. Speaker, this is an interesting bill because it's something that I'm certainly well familiar with and understand the issue that is highlighted here today. I want to point out that the members of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary currently do not receive any compensation for the work and the value of the work that they do. This piece of legislation would go a step further in recognizing the work of the auxiliary. It certainly does by providing exemptions for vehicle registration fees, licence plates, and driver's licence renewal fees - that's my understanding. To me, it's just a token of their appreciation.

In the Maritimes there is something like 470 vessels supporting the Coast Guard for search and rescue operations. They look after nearly 30 per cent of those calls. I hope everyone is paying attention to those numbers, because it's certainly something that is of value. The exemption puts the auxiliary on par with exemptions offered by Nova Scotia Ground Search and Rescue Association, and the volunteer firefighters that most of us have in our communities.

The Maritime manager of the auxiliary, Darcy Henn, says exemptions such as in this particular bill would be welcome news for non-profit organizations. Mr. Henn goes on to say, "The local fishermen throughout the province have local knowledge of the areas where they work, which is key to saving lives in hazardous conditions . . . Their expertise, experience and commitment to saving lives at sea is worth recognizing through the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act."

I'll get into a couple of examples a little later on in my speech here, and two of those examples really had a devastating effect on our international community and on my hometown. Those two examples that I'll get into a little later on are the Swissair 111, which each speaker has identified, and from my hometown, the Miss Ally.

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Mr. Speaker, I suggested that to understand the value of the many thousands, the literally tens of thousands of vessels in the Atlantic Provinces and know that roughly 500 or less are doing this valued service, that is the key. To me there are a number of opportunities and we need to recognize these non-profit organizations and the valuable work of roughly 800 volunteers who put their life at risk. Many times they do that to make sure that the communities are protected, and they do it freely. To me, again, this is just simply a token of appreciation.

Their mission statement, the auxiliary has been established in the Maritimes since 1978 - I believe that was noted earlier - the mission statement is to provide, I repeat, day and night search and rescue services to cover the Maritimes and the requirements that are leading to that in the regions to prevent loss of life and/or injury.

Earlier speakers alluded to Swissair 111. I recall that and I can tell you that I really sympathize with those first responders going out on that scene in the dark night and they mentioned from that particular area, Peggy's Cove and that general area, I often wondered when that first call went out that if it wasn't for this auxiliary ground search and rescue or the Canadian Coast Guard I should say, auxiliary, they were the first ones there, they were the first ones to respond and I know that the Coast Guard at Sambro was quickly there, dispersed, and also 14 Squadron CF Greenwood, but it was the locals who were the first ones there and they had - this was certainly an ordeal that was recognized around our world and it was a difficult situation.

I know that many of us have visited the monument there. I just want to point out that it was this Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary who responded first. Now the Miss Ally, my hometown, I can tell you that was a tragedy and it's certainly difficult to talk about. I do not know that all those volunteers who went out and searched the cavity of that vessel were the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, but I believe some were. To me, those community divers brought closure to the families in those communities, it should be recognized. (Applause)

It is difficult to talk about but it needs to be relayed that the importance of this service to communities in tragedies like this brings closure. I want to emphasize the importance of this and many times people are found safe and this is a value, too, because it's the local knowledge of those individuals getting out there at the beginning and that's why this particular bill is so important.

I've lost my notes, I've gotten out of sync, but I'm going to go with my heart. (Applause) Because I know one of the words I use, and it hasn't been used in this Chamber since I've been here almost 10 years, it's the word "regurgitate." I know when people look at me, they say well, why is he using that word now? My fear is this is a good bill, it makes sense and my fear is that I know the political world we live in, and I hope that the present government will not take this bill and set it on a shelf and regurgitate it and bring it forth in another form.

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Now is the time to act and recognize a good bill. The Premier has said that; I've heard it from all the Opposition members. To me it is a token of appreciation, how you can pay a small token for the services that are literally 13,000 kilometres of Nova Scotia coastline. We are asking for protection.

If my notes were here, they would say that in the Stephen Harper Government, in a number of years - I know people are sensitive to that - but there have been serious cuts to our Coast Guard, and this is the point I'm trying to make. It is the value of the service of these volunteers and to recognize the cuts of the federal Coast Guard to Atlantic Canada that now is the time to recognize a good bill. This is a good bill. We do not, hopefully, have to set it on the shelf and bring it back in another form and wait for the political timing to move on. Now is the time to do that.

I just want to emphasize that we have a large coastline, and we have many fishers out there, men and women, and I've seen this firsthand. When you can offer a token of appreciation, it's something that may also encourage members to come forward and join. Again, I point to the cuts in the federal budgets; we need to strengthen that. If you use the multiplication factors of the number of fishermen in Atlantic Canada and the value of their infrastructure - I am talking boats in my hometown. If you go to the local boatyard now, you better have more than $1 million in your pocket or a good line of credit because you are not going to get a boat. They are valuable things and what I'm trying to say is that you can go from the $200,000 or $300,000 range quickly up to $1 million, and you are asking that individual, in the dead of the night, to go out and help find or secure a particular situation.

That was asked of Swissair Flight 111, it was asked for the Miss Ally, and people did that - people responded and they did not ask for any money in return. Now is an opportunity where we have a Private Member's Bill before us - and I have heard them all say, bring the good ideas forward. Good ideas will be supported. I will challenge you all, when you go out for this particular weekend break, go to your community halls and ask individuals about this bill. It makes good common sense that we have an opportunity to recognize volunteers, fire departments, and ground search and rescues that add to and complement our community. This is an opportunity to recognize the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary. They do a value for our community, and I hope we have an opportunity - I hope there are more speakers. I hope you take the challenge and go back to your respective community . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. I just want to remind the member not to speak directly to the members in the House with the term "you".

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The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Well, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I found my notes now so I think I will correct myself. The member for Hants West - and I just want to end on that - asked the question, how do those ordinary individuals actually stand in a vessel when it is really inclement weather? And I agree with him - I agree with him - because what I opened up with is that you have to have sea legs. I can tell you that I was a while earning mine, and I can also publicly tell you that I have not received them yet. There is a message in there: if you think you cannot lose your breakfast, just come on some of the rides with some of the people in southwestern Nova Scotia.

To me, the important theme here - and I said I would end on it - it is all about balance, sea legs. You have a member here for Pictou West, and you talk about bringing good ideas forward. It's about balance. Here is an opportunity for all of us to have our sea legs. Here is an opportunity to make a compliment, a token gesture, for the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, and I hope you have the balance to support this bill.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : It's my pleasure to stand this afternoon to speak to Bill No. 153, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary Appreciation Act.

The first thing I want to bring up on this one is the whole issue that I'm sure each one of us hears on a regular basis in our community. That revolves around the issue of volunteerism. I don't know of a community group anywhere in Nova Scotia today that is not struggling to find volunteers, whether it's the local Rotary Club, whether it's the Knights of Columbus, whether it's the fire department down the road, or whether it's the Legion. Every single one of those organizations continues to have challenges in finding volunteers.

The core of what this bill is asking us is really trying to help this organization find volunteers. This, Mr. Speaker, is the same discussion that we've had in this Legislature on a number of occasions when we were talking about licence plates and registrations for firefighters and licence plates and registrations for search and rescue. Once again, here we are talking about licensing and registration for another kind of volunteer, equally important as those other two or three, which is the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Volunteerism is at the core, I think, of who we are as people. If I look at the slate of MLAs who are in this House today, who have the honour of representing their communities, I think every single one of us was at some time or still is a volunteer. We spend our time at local events. We spend our time volunteering at the fire department. We understand the challenges that these organizations have in finding volunteers.

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What is the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary? I think the member for Pictou West talked about it quite a bit. We also heard from the member for Hants West as well and, of course, my colleague for Queens-Shelburne.

Let's talk about the sea for a minute. Even though I've been to sea, I cannot call myself a fisherman. I know the member for Queens-Shelburne might not say he is, but I think he paid his dues; he is a fisherman. He spent lots of days and hours on the ocean, bringing home a needed catch to pay for the things that he needed to pay for for his family and to keep him volunteering in the community of Woods Harbour. My experience fishing - and I've talked about this before - is a number of trips scallop fishing in Georges Bank, lobstering off our shores in Lobster Bay and a little more to the west.

I can tell you there's a reason why I'm a politician today, because it's a heck of a lot easier than being a fisherman. It's a heck of a lot safer than being a fisherman or a fisher. There's never a day in this Legislature that I can accidentally misstep and fall overboard. There's never a day in this Legislature that something is going to swing and hit me upside the head.

Mr. Speaker, what I'm saying here is that we live in a Legislature that is warm and dry, and when we go out those doors, we go home to our families, most times, but at least we get to come back and play politician for another day. When something goes wrong here, we can take all our little toys and go home. We can even get kicked out of the House, Mr. Speaker, and come back another day.

I have lots of friends now that belong to a longer list of friends who didn't get to do that. They didn't get to come home.

The first friend I lost to the sea was a guy by the name of Gilles LeBlanc. Gilles was in his early 20s. He went out fishing - a lobster fisherman, I got to work with him at the local fish plant. Really good fella, really good golfer. He went missing off the back of the vessel. They searched for days trying to at least find the body so that that family could bury their son.

I think that's almost 15 years ago we're looking at at this point, maybe even a little bit longer, and there are still cars that I meet driving up the road with the little "G" on the back as a fundraiser for his family and to celebrate his memory. You know, there's a little stylized "G" that you see on the back of people's cars. He was the first friend that I lost to the ocean.

Mike Doucette, more recently, a kid I knew from Wedgeport. Again, fell off the back of the boat, never to be seen again. That's the power of the sea. If it takes you, chances are it's taking you and you're not coming back.

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The member for Queens-Shelburne talked about his community. It was a terrible tragedy for all of southwestern Nova Scotia on February 17, 2013, which was the tragedy of the Miss Ally. As we say these names in the Legislature, it doesn't bring them back, but it also reminds us why marine safety and what we're talking about here are important. Billy Jack Hatfield, Joel Hopkins, Katlin Nickerson, Steven Cole Nickerson, and Tyson Townsend. They were lost that day, never to be found again. The ocean took them. You know, we hope they're up above, looking over us and looking over their families, but it doesn't bring them back to Della Sears, or doesn't bring them back to the Hopkins family, or any one of those.

But you know what, the Canadian Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary were there to try to bring something home. To be able to find that yellow hull. The picture of that yellow hull is forever burnt into my brain. When I think of a tragedy, when I think of something that has gone wrong on the ocean, my brain automatically goes to that yellow hull, upside down, floating in the Atlantic.

Only because I've had the opportunity to go fishing do I understand the vastness and the power of that ocean. For those of us who have had a chance of sailing offshore by 12 kilometres, 12 miles, whatever that beyond the horizon is, and you're sitting there looking in all directions and there's not a bit of land to be seen anywhere. There's not a boat to be seen anywhere. You can understand how completely scary that has got to be when you get in trouble, and trouble can happen very, very quickly, which was the case with the Miss Ally.

That's why we need a Canadian Coast Guard and that's why we need a Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary, for those off chances that we are able to muster together and find our loved ones, to bring them home safely so that they can be in the warm bed that they deserve to be in, to be with the loved ones so that they can continue to share their lives. That's why people volunteer to be Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

With the 462, I believe, volunteers in Nova Scotia, the 200 vessels that participate in search and rescue, it's an immense value, because in a minute they drop their gear - let's say they are out fishing - they drop the gear, without a concern about that gear that they just dropped, to get to where they need to be to start that search. Regardless of the fuel they are going to burn in their boat, regardless of the lost wages they are going to have, they are participating in that search.

I think it would be terrible for us to think that we shouldn't somehow recognize them or celebrate them for the hard work they do, because if we lose somebody due to bad weather or somebody is in trouble in bad weather, the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary hops in their boats and head out, in the worst possible weather that you can have. The Canadian Coast Guard does that, the SAR Techs do that from Greenwood, in weather that would make my hair curl, what little I have left of it. These people need our support.

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To talk the sheer politics of it - and I know we, on the Opposition, are accused a lot of spending money. I heard the Premier attack us a little bit on that today, because of course we're asking for things that cost money, that the cuts to different organizations and groups are unjust because they are important to us. Here we are again right now talking to a bill that does have a financial implication: $27,000 from our estimates. I know this has been shared with - I don't know if it's the Department of Service Nova Scotia or whether it's the Department of Finance and Treasury Board - but this has been shared, I hope, through the House Leader, to be able to look at this particular bill to see if it is possible.

I think for $27,000 this is a very doable thing. I really don't think that we, as Opposition here, are asking too much. We can come up with all kinds of other asks that I am sure are much higher than this one, that probably don't have near as much impact on our small communities, on our coastal communities than this one would as well - $27,000 to help provide licence plates and registrations to volunteers, to volunteers who are no different than our firefighters who run into the face of danger when they are needed.

Now the politics of this again are always interesting and I call upon the government to maybe call this bill back at another time. I'm not going to call the bill for a vote today because I think this is an important one. There's no use in my mind of playing games or gamesmanship or brinkmanship with this bill because I think we all have spoken positively about it, that there is a possibility that maybe government might consider it, so I'm not going to call for a vote on this bill this evening.

What I do want is to have some kind of indication from the Government House Leader that there is still a chance on this one, that he will be able to call this back at a later date to pass it through second reading, to pass it through the regular processes of this House and make this bill a law in this land, to serve as a token of our appreciation for the hard work that Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliaries do in our coastal communities, to recognize the difficulties that our fishers have in our communities, that things can go wrong at a minute's notice, and that we need to have a safety net there available to us at all times, to make sure we can bring people home.

I'll finish quickly with another acquaintance I lost just recently, a guy by the name of Alderic DeViller. The people in Wedgeport called him "Beef." He had a heart attack and he died while he was saving somebody who had fallen overboard. So our communities, of course, lose once again by losing such an important individual. One life lost is one life too many.

Thank you for that opportunity. I look forward to further discussions on this bill at a later date.

[Page 8360]

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

MR. GORDON WILSON « » : I certainly do take the privilege to stand here today also and speak on Bill No. 153, an Act to Exempt Nova Scotia Residents of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Maritimes) from Paying Vehicle Registration and Driver's Renewal Fees.

I certainly would like to start with commending the honourable member for Pictou West for bringing this forward. I genuinely can say that the majority of the bills that are brought forward by that member are well thought out, and they're in the best interest of the Province of Nova Scotia. We are pleased to hear her speak when she does. This bill is about a lot of different things, and we wish sometimes it was just as easy as saying yes to anything.

Of course, we live basically on an island, so I think we all have our own experiences with the Coast Guard. Some people certainly have worked on the water. I'm not going to do my predecessor Junior Theriault justice and try and tell a story that involved a teapot, and do the swaying and get everybody going. I don't think there's anybody any better than him, and I certainly think that if he was in the House here today he would be spending time also talking about the importance of the Coast Guard to all of our communities.

But I will tell you that I would like to share a personal story myself, probably one that not only I'll never forget, but also my son, who was with me, will never forget. When I think of the Coast Guard, and when I hear of a bill that speaks about the importance of the Coast Guard, the events of 18 hours that I lived through will be something that I will never, ever forget in my life and one because of which my son and I share a closer bond than we ever had. Growing up, I always watched up and down the shore, especially where I lived.

I remember we had just bought a piece of property on the Bay of Fundy, and we were sitting there having a little fire. There were some guys way out there in a boat, and you could just see them as a speck of dust. They were anguishing at the motor, trying to get it going. Of course, the tide in the Bay of Fundy takes you along quite fast, so within about, I would say, an hour to two hours, we had watched them drift for probably about ten miles from what we could see with binoculars. We decided maybe it was time we'd better call somebody. Sure enough, it was two hours before dark so, lo and behold, out of Westport, who do we get but the Coast Guard to come and rescue them? Unfortunately, all lobster fishermen had gone in, but it was something that they could respond to very quickly.

We grew up on the water, and one day we decided as a group of young fellows - well I shouldn't say young fellows, this was 2009, and I think of myself young back then, and for some people here, that's a scary thing - we decided that we were going to go in the Marblehead Race. Nobody from Digby had done the race before, but we had done a fair amount of racing across the Bay of Fundy and a little bit outside of that. Five of us jumped on the boat one day and took off - oh, I have a minute and 12 seconds left - in the middle of the night we went from winds of 0 to 65 miles an hour across the deck. To say that I was scared is an understatement.

[Page 8361]

In less than one minute I'm going to tell you right now, the experience that I had down below, in the dark of the night, five of us - I wouldn't say we were huddled but we were reefed down to one little hankie out on that boat, my son included, rookies, over 100 miles offshore and over on the radio what we would hear was the Coast Guard. I will never, ever say that I've felt any more warm than when I heard the Coast Guard. We didn't have to get rescued, five boats did that night. It was one of the worse gales that the Marblehead Race had seen. With that I'll close my comments and hopefully speak another time on this bill.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The time allotted for debate on the Opposition bills has expired.

The honourable House Leader for the Official Opposition.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT « » : That concludes Opposition Business for today. I do want to thank everybody for their heartfelt discussions today; it was a great debate. I'll now pass it back over to the Acting Deputy House Leader to call business and hours for tomorrow.

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

MS. PATRICIA ARAB « » : Mr. Speaker, I can advise that the House will meet tomorrow, Thursday, April 28th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, we will continue with estimates. Following estimates, we will do second reading of Bill Nos. 165 and 168, as well as third reading of Bill Nos. 152, 156 and 157.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise, to meet again tomorrow, April 28th, at 1:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The motion is for adjournment, for the House to rise until tomorrow, Thursday, April 28th, between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.

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

The motion is carried.

We have now reached the moment of interruption. The topic once again for late debate, as submitted by the honourable member for Pictou East, is:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal release the amount in management fees that the Nova Scotia taxpayers must pay Bay Ferries."

[Page 8362]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

TIR: BAY FERRIES MGT. FEES - RELEASE

MR. TIM HOUSTON « » : Mr. Speaker, what is the cost of the Yarmouth ferry? That's the question that people are wondering - what's the cost? The cost is important for perspective on anything. If somebody says do you want this bag of apples, well maybe you do, maybe you don't. Maybe you want the bag of apples but maybe they say it's $100, well now you don't want it any more.

Cost is the way that we evaluate value. In fact, many stores will run sales, they will send flyers out, weekly flyers because they know that the cost of something is important to people and that's how they can compare things and see what they want to do. So when people ask what's the cost of the Yarmouth ferry, that will give them an indication of what is the benefit; it will give them a vantage point that they can determine - well, is that cost worth it or is that cost not worth it to them. That will be something that people are always interested in.

In the case of the Yarmouth ferry, the cost of the ferry is unknown to many people. We've seen estimates that it's $10 million a year; that is what we have in the budget this year. We talked a little bit in the House yesterday that actually the cost could easily be determined as $14 million because the charter fees aren't in the $10 million because the charter fees were paid previously - paid early some might say - under an arrangement. But if we wanted to say, what is the cost for that year, most reasonable people would say the cost for the year includes the charter fees.

While the budget shows $10.2 million, I think, for this year, that doesn't include the charter fees. So what is the cost? Even when you know those things, the cost is unknown because the Nova Scotia taxpayers are on the hook for any cash deficiency, I think was the wording of the contract. We do not know what the cash deficiency could possibly be.

Any number of factors could impact the cash deficiency. Marketing - who knows what is in the contract that would stop the operator from spending $20 million in marketing this year? We certainly would not expect that to be the case, but I don't think it's limited in the contract. So the cash deficiency is wide open, and it is important that we think about what the cost of the service is.

I don't think for most Nova Scotians this is just "service at any cost". You know, there will be a threshold for everyone. It would be different for most people, but there will be a threshold for everyone. To some people that service might be worth $80 million a year; to some people, it might be worth $2 million a year. It will be from where they sit, it will be from their vantage point. But no doubt the cost would come into play at some point.

[Page 8363]

In fact, I see this in discussions with toll roads. I was in a discussion where there were 10 people around, and I kind of did a straw poll as to who was in favour of a toll and who wasn't. I then said to the people who were in favour, I didn't give you a particular piece of information that might be relevant to you. They said oh, what is that? And I said well what if the toll is $30? Well, I don't want that, you know. I'm just making the point that cost is always important; it is always important.

In this case, an element of the cost is the management fee and we do not know how much the management fee is. This is an arrangement where since the taxpayers are on the hook for certainly all of the financial responsibility - and people would argue that there is operational risk that the operator will maintain, fair enough, that is part of being in business. Most business owners also maintain some financial risk. In this case, the financial risk is all with the taxpayers.

So, now it says you have hired a manager to manage something on our behalf. You have hired a manager to run a ferry on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia. The people of Nova Scotia will bear all the financial risk, but the manager will operate it and they will operate it in return for a fee. The question is, what is the fee? Now, we have heard from the government that the operator is not comfortable releasing the fee for competitive reasons. I don't know - it could be that when the minister rises to speak tonight, he may have a very short speech. He may tell us what the fee is, but we will have to wait and see what the minister has to say tonight about that.

This is a 10-year contract, so over the course of those 10 years, this fee will come out. We don't know - does the fee change over the lifetime of the contract? Is it a sliding scale? Is it a variable fee? Is it a fixed fee? There is just a lot of unknown about this fee, and I think it is a key element. The reason I said about the 10-year contract is because this operator is locked in there for 10 years. They will get their management fee, whatever has been agreed by the government, so releasing even say the first couple years of that fee, I don't know how that impacts their competitiveness, knowing that there are still years and years of fees down the road. It is not like this is a two-year contract that is going to go up for tender in two years and everyone will know.

In the fullness of time, this fee will come out. In terms of whether the fee that they are being paid on this route could impact their competitiveness on other routes, I do not know. It is a bit of stretch in my mind, given that each of those routes would be unique. I would think that if we want to have a competitive market place, and we want to receive competitive bids, then people should know all of the information. What is being paid to this manager to manage this route on our behalf is information that I think should be in the public domain. I really think it should.

[Page 8364]

We have a government before us that is the self-proclaimed most transparent, most open in history, I always think are the words, but it certainly prides itself on its openness and its transparency. Yet here we have details of a contract - significant details - that won't be released to the very people who are paying the way. The taxpayers of this province are paying the full boat on this one, Mr. Speaker - no pun intended there. As taxpayers are paying for this, we should have a right to know what's being paid over in the aspect of management fees.

I think sometimes we see this - and it might serve the operator well to release this; it might serve the government well, because I think people might be offended if this is $6 million a year, whereas maybe they won't be if it's $200,000. But we just don't know. There's too much unknown about this. I think there's an opportunity to lay the cards on the table and tell the taxpayers exactly what the arrangement is, and then why that arrangement was necessary to get this done, to accomplish the goal that the government was wanting to accomplish.

Again, we just can't forget that taxpayers have significant risk, significant exposure in this situation, because the taxpayers are on the hook for the cash deficiency - any and unlimited cash deficiency. They should at least know that the manager they're hiring and the management fee they're paying are going to in some way protect them, and that the contracts protect them.

I would urge the government to provide this piece of information to the taxpayers of the province. With those few words, I'll take my seat.

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

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU « » : Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Pictou East for bringing this topic forward, regarding the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to release the amount of management fees that Nova Scotia taxpayers must pay for Bay Ferries.

It's an interesting topic for all Nova Scotians, and I just want to get into a few of my notes here but, Mr. Speaker, I want to first of all point out that the government seems to pride themselves on being tough negotiators with the Public Service. I question, I guess, where is this toughness of negotiation when it comes to this particular deal? Bay Ferries is receiving a lot of support from this particular government. The government is shouldering most of, if not all of, the financial risks on this particular deal. Could they not have impressed on Bay Ferries that the one stipulation they would have to make public is the management fees?

I just want to point out that in 2013 this Premier, the Liberal Premier, promised to make this province "the most open and transparent province in Canada." (Applause) Well, I know that you're clapping, and I respect that comment, and I ended my quote, but to me, the secrecy of this management fee is yet another knock against this Liberal Government in that statement.

[Page 8365]

I think that we - I used that in a previous speech, so I've got to go on with my notes that I've got here. I know that the member for Pictou East understands these financial issues, and he raises a very important question: what is the cost? What is the cost for the Nova Scotia taxpayers? I can tell you that to me, it is difficult to get a good, clear - to me, it is unknown.

I know that some of the political opposition made reference to at least $10 million for the next 10 years. In my math, that's $100 million. It is a very rich deal, there's no question. I will defend that, but I'll also defend that all the political Parties (Interruption) There will be an opportunity for all the members here in the Liberal Government to have an opportunity to talk on this, that's my understanding.

Every political Party said that this particular route between Yarmouth and Portland is an international highway, and I recognize that. I also know that there are two issues that really concern me on this topic. The first one is the component that this particular catamaran does not have access for commercial traffic; the second point is that not one federal dollar goes to subsidizing this particular ferry. I'll try to talk in the remaining time on those two issues.

The commercial traffic, we have the highest landings in Nova Scotia, and we talked in the Ivany report about doubling fish exports in the next 10 years. There are only two paths that I know of - possibly three, I guess, if you want to include the transportation, the ferry, and the airport. It has to go out of those particular corridors, Mr. Speaker. If you're going to double fish exports, you've got a ferry in Digby that was down last week and, by the way, is taking less commercial traffic than the old ferry. To me there is a component in this negotiation that was overlooked.

When we had this at Public Accounts, one of the executives from TIR held up a map and the dates of the lobster seasons and suggested that because the ferry in Yarmouth was going when the lobster season wasn't on, everything was okay. Well if you use those people for negotiators, you have got it wrong, because the lobster facilities literally go year-round. I think that the commercial traffic has been overlooked on this particular deal, and it's high time that they be recognized.

Just a couple of other things. I know that there was a federal election, and I made note that the MP in West Nova and the MP for South Shore-St. Margarets made a pledge, a promise, that they would be going after the federal Cabinet if they were successful, and they would be banging on the Cabinet Table, and they would be requesting money for the Yarmouth ferry. Great idea, I endorse it. Great idea.

[Page 8366]

Now we have a federal government election. We have the infrastructure money of $20 billion - I repeat, $20 billion - $54 million of that on the previous budget from the federal government was allotted to Atlantic Canada for, guess what? It was to subsidize the ferry systems in Atlantic Canada - all but one. Guess which one? The Yarmouth ferry. I would think that the federal MPs are going to have difficulty coming into this Chamber and debating that issue, because they have fallen short.

To me, there's nothing wrong with having an international ferry system, but please bring your contribution to that table. There are a number of interested parties, and right now there's only one - it's the lonely Nova Scotia taxpayer. I can assure you that this is simply a rich deal.

AN HON. MEMBER: What about all those federal MPs?

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : The federal MPs are silent on this, and they need to come to the plate. I've heard this many times that we have all these ferry systems across Atlantic Canada. For the good of the debate, why isn't that federal money going into Yarmouth?

Please do not respond with, well, we're going to look at the terminals and we may upgrade. We may put some painting in the parking lots. No. I'm talking about a ferry system; I'm talking about a boat - and there needs to be a contribution there federally.

There also needs to be a contribution from the partner in the United States. For Portland to suggest that they don't want commercial trucks in their town, I take exception to that particular comment. I know that Nova Scotia goods are appreciated in the United States and I know they are valued. I also know that there is a fish exchange in Portland. (Interruptions) I ask this question . . .

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. The member for Yarmouth will come to order.

The honourable member for Queens-Shelburne has the floor.

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : Well thank you very much and I see that the member for Yarmouth is trying to heckle me but talking about being silenced, Mr. Speaker, on an earlier topic, talking about dispersants on the offshore oil, the member for Yarmouth was completely silent and I haven't heard him say a word, so I'm not looking for him to be involved in this debate. (Interruptions)

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

MR. BELLIVEAU « » : We're doing so well, Mr. Speaker, and I can see that the yoga classes are really making a contribution tonight - we're doing so well. But there are two points that need to be looked at; you can't expect the Nova Scotia taxpayer to bear the burden on this one particular deal. There has to be some recognition of the United States Government - why are they not at the table? Why isn't there any commercial traffic on this particular ferry system? The third part of that is why are our federal MPs silent? They suggested, they promised they would go to the federal Cabinet and they would bang on the desk and they would demand money for that ferry in Yarmouth.

[Page 8367]

You had $54 million in the federal budget and not one penny was allotted to Atlantic Canada for the Yarmouth ferry. Somebody's voice is not being heard and it's high time that the Nova Scotia taxpayers got a fair deal and it's high time that the Nova Scotia taxpayers understand that these management fees should be public. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER « » : The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. GEOFF MACLELLAN « » : Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the members opposite for their comments. I will focus a lot of my efforts here and the information that I'm bring to the House to the PC caucus, based on some of the comments that the member and the Leader and the caucus has made.

The reason I'll focus my efforts with that particular caucus and not the Third Party is because of the embarrassing richness of what that member for the NDP caucus just said. Mr. Speaker, I don't want to spend any of my time addressing those particular remarks. That member sat at the Cabinet Table and made the decision that decimated the industry for the Nova Scotia ferry service, decimated the economy in southern Nova Scotia, made that call, chopped the legs out from under Mark MacDonald and Bay Ferries, the very operator, the very service, the very business model that we are fortunate to get back to today, because of the decision by that Cabinet.

Mr. Speaker, it's not even fair to spend this important time in the Legislature going back and revisiting that and then taking lectures from that member who sat there and was part of that decision. I said this during estimates and I mean this, I think it meant a lot to many people, not just politicians, that Darrell Dexter would go on with Steve Murphy and suggest that was a mistake and if he had his day over, he would have looked at the larger piece and the bigger picture because we would not be in this mess.

The member from the NDP talked about the taxpayers; look at what has happened since 2009 to the present day because of the decision that they made. So with that, with respect to the PC caucus and the member for Pictou East, I say this in all seriousness: I believe we can debate and be critical of each other about things that are done in negotiations and on all files, not just the Yarmouth ferry. I truly believe that this is an exercise in transparency and openness for the Nova Scotia ferry service, with respect to how we've done this.

[Page 8368]

Every number, Mr. Speaker, everything that we have with respect to the deal, everything that could be public information is out there. The contract has been given to the member opposite, to the caucuses, to the media. It's out there for all to see, the investments we're making, part of a two-year financial arrangement, first a 10-year deal with Bay Ferries, but two years of financial arrangement where we go back to the table at the end of two years, that's all out there for everyone to see. So to suggest that we're covering these things and we're not open and accountable, I think is not accurate.

I'll tell you why with respect to the management fee and why that fits under a specific category. This is something that is competitive information. I know that the member for Pictou East has a business background; he would certainly appreciate some of the realities of different sectors.

Mark MacDonald and Bay Ferries compete in Canada for contracts. They operate for the provincial government; they also operate for the federal government. They operate other services across the globe as well, including a very busy and intense operation in Trinidad and Tobago.

These numbers, the management fee they charge, this is what their business model is. It's sensitive information. The member talked about very large numbers in the millions or a couple hundred grand; that was the range he used. In either event, if you are in a competitive environment, you do not want those numbers disclosed. That is a reality of business, because it gives you a competitive disadvantage. There is no question about that.

I understand that we talk about how it is tax dollars and it is the people of Nova Scotia who are investing in the Nova Scotia Ferry. Of course they are. But in this aspect of the agreement, this is something that is confidential information based on the competitive world that Bay Ferries operates in. It is not dissimilar to other industries we have that we support private sector operations by way of contracts with government, but it does not mean that we divulge all the sensitive information that gives them competitive advantages or disadvantages over their competition.

There is obviously a process for requesting this information. By all means, anything that happens vis-à-vis the government would be subject to the FOIPOP process. If there is a request, I do not get to know that information of what becomes FOIPOP in my department. I do not want to know; it is not my issue. If those things are submitted, and I am sure that they are, then that process will evaluate the request and will make a decision independent of anything that the minister or his senior staff will do. That is not my role. If that has been requested, that is fine.

As part of the contract, Mark MacDonald and Bay Ferries submitted that this is competitive information. I mentioned on a number of occasions during estimates that the deal that the PC caucus had in 2009 with Bay Ferries was very similar in a number of ways. This is another advantage. The very same clause for competitive, sensitive information and not disclosing certain portions of fees was in the same contract that the PCs had in 2009.

[Page 8369]

Mr. Speaker, I've said many times that I do not want to make this about a comparison between our contracts, but the reality is that this is why it existed then, and this is why it exists now. To suggest that there is not a reality in competitive sensitivity for information is misleading, and the fact that this was in the previous contract with Bay Ferries just creates that credibility. The deal that was signed with Bay Ferries and Mark MacDonald included management fees and operational costs, and that is what we have here.

Again, every number is out there. It is a two-year agreement. That is what we have with Bay Ferries. That is going to be the driving force behind what happens for the first two years, and to say that it is unlimited is also something that I respectfully do not agree is it at all. We have a start-up fee that is very much public. We have two years of operational fees that are very much public. Everything that the foundation of this agreement is based on is passenger counts. We have had two years with Nova Star where we have been in the range of 60,000 passengers, so for us, that was the reasonable baseline. Everything from that baseline 60,000 travellers sets the revenue tone, so once we have the revenue side, then we work on the cost side.

Mark MacDonald and Bay Ferries come in earnest. They identify what their costs are for operating this service. Just like in 2009, it requires a subsidy. To suggest that there is any operator out there in the world - I am saying this on the record in the Nova Scotia Legislature - that sees that this would be an immediate profit and there is a model here that makes money in Day 1 in the first year, they have not come forward during our very open international process, and they still have not come forward today.

The reality is that this service requires a subsidy. As we get down the road - as things stabilize, the performance increases, things get stronger, the market responds, and we start to see that flow back as we did back in the 2000s and prior to that - then, obviously, the subsidy will decrease.

That, again, is the importance of this contract, the way it is structured. If we have increased performance over and above that 60,000, it automatically reduces the subsidy. That's what this is about.

Again, going back to the agreement that the Progressive Conservatives had, Mark MacDonald had a number in the first year that he had with that caucus when they were in government: $9 million dollars. He invoiced $7.1 million in the same year, so he did not go to the end of the bank, and he did not go for every dollar he could the way it is being described, by that Party and by the Opposition, that Mark MacDonald is a shark. That is not the case. He identified the numbers that would be required for operational costs. When it didn't hit that number, he took less, and he took what was required. That's what he's going to do in relationship with this government, Mr. Speaker, that's the type of person he is.

[Page 8370]

For Mark MacDonald and Bay Ferries, I'll close with this in my two remaining minutes. Mark MacDonald certainly did not have to do this, with the history, with the experience, with what this means for him, and anyone who was at the launch of the contract, when we released the details at One Government Place, could see the emotion in Mark MacDonald. This was something that for him, from the perspective of Bay Ferries, the Nova Scotia ferry service was missing from their complement. They know it's challenging, Mr. Speaker, they know that there's a lot of work to do after the NDP cut this service in 2009. Four years of dormancy, back to two years with Nova Star, now we're at a good place with the right operator and that's where we have to be, and Mark MacDonald understands that.

For Mark MacDonald now, he's motivated not by criticism, not by the reaction from the public, he's motivated by the fact that he sees viability in this service, he sees the importance of the link with the northeastern United States with our partners in Portland. That's what he understands to be critical for us and critical for him. He wants to be a partner here, Mr. Speaker. We talk about the private sector all the time and that we need them to drive change and to lead the new economy. Mark MacDonald is a private sector operator, and a good one. He's someone we can rely on. Everything he has told me from the day I met him has come to fruition; everything he has told me has been true; and everything he has told me has been accurate. He's a conservative by way of numbers and information, and that's a good thing because he doesn't want to over-promise and under- deliver. That's what he brings to the table and we're glad to have him as a partner - and we're certainly happy that he's there and we appreciate all that he has done for us and we know that he's going to be up front and tell us the truth.

Mr. Speaker, I'll close with this - I certainly would appreciate, as we get down the road and we get into the season, we need everyone pushing in the right direction from Nova Scotia. We need everybody supportive of this. You can't say you support the service, but the deal is not any good, and you can't say Mark MacDonald is a pretty good operator, but then you criticize him at every turn and you create these red herrings about what he is and isn't doing and how he's taking advantage of this service and of the government.

That's not the case, Mr. Speaker, I've said it on the record a number of times and I say it again - Mark MacDonald is the right person, Bay Ferries is the right operator, the Nova Scotia ferry service is going to work, we're getting in the right direction. The MLA for Yarmouth should be proud of the efforts he has done in this House, and we're going to get this to a place where we're going to succeed for the people of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER « » : Order, please. Time allotted for late debate is expired. I want to thank all members for their thoughtful comments and we'll see you all tomorrow.

[Page 8371]

The House stands adjourned until 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 5:22 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

[Page 8372]

RESOLUTION NO. 3293

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking K.O.C. Lawrence Kavanaugh Council volunteer Rene Bouchard for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3294

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking East Novability Society for Persons with Disabilities volunteer Wayne Bona for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3295

[Page 8373]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Seniors Jolly Club volunteer Anna Bona for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3296

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Strait Richmond Healthcare Foundation volunteer Winnie Bungay for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3297

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8374]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Anne Centre Auxiliary volunteer Alice Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3298

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's and District Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Helen Stone for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3299

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8375]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Strait Richmond Hospital Seniors' Advisory Committee volunteer Monica Stone for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3300

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Dr. W.B. Kingston Community Health Centre Board volunteer Susan Napier for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3301

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Grand River Seniors' Club volunteer Joanne McCormack for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3302

[Page 8376]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that m`embers of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Lion's Marina volunteer Chris O'Brien for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3303

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Janvrin's Island Community Centre volunteer Susan McGrath for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3304

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8377]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond Figure Skating Club volunteer Florence McDonald for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3305

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Isle Madam Boat Club Society volunteer Robert Martel for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3306

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8378]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Ladies Social Club volunteer Leona Middleton for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3307

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Louisdale Volunteer Fire Department Society volunteer Julieann Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3308

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Bonnie Brae Seniors volunteer Wilma Martell for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3309

[Page 8379]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Men's Club volunteer John Matthews for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3310

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Isle Madame Historical Society volunteer Ralph Mauger for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3311

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8380]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking The HEARTS of Isle Madame Disability Society volunteer Nancy Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3312

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Legion Branch No. 47 volunteer Sheldon O'Brien for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION 3313

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8381]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Village of St. Peter's Society volunteer Donald Mariner for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION 3314

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking South Mountain Arm of Gold Association volunteer Elaine MacQueen for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION 3315

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Fourchu Development Association volunteer Annabel MacLeod for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION 3316

[Page 8382]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Bras D'Or Lakers Seniors Association volunteer Elizabeth MacNeil for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION 3317

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Felix Marchand Education Centre volunteer Donna Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3318

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8383]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Head of the Bay Seniors Club volunteer Murray J. MacPhie for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3319

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond County Seniors Council volunteer Claire Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION 3320

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8384]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Loch Lomond Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Joan and Jim MacNeil for their hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3321

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Point Tupper Heritage Association volunteer Lorena Forbrigger for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3322

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking River Bourgeois Mariner Society volunteer Carl Grime for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3323

[Page 8385]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking École No. Beau-Port volunteer Rodney LeBlanc for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3324

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking West Bay Pastoral Charge volunteer Linda MacAskill for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3325

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8386]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Telile, Isle Madame Community Television volunteer Michael Jarman for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3326

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking River Bourgeois Community Services Society volunteer Kathryn Groves for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3327

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8387]

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Islandview Hospital Auxiliary volunteer Betty King for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3328

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Lakeside Community & Area Archive volunteer Douglas Landry for his hard work and commitment.

RÉSOLUTION NO. 3329

Par: Michel Samson (Député, Énergie)

Attendu que les bénévoles sont véritablement le coeur de la communauté; et

Attendu que les bénévoles offrent gracieusement de leur temps pour appuyer les organisations de notre comté; et

Attendu que vendredi le 15 avril, 2016, j'ai participé à un souper avec les conseillers du comté de Richmond pour donner reconnaissance aux efforts de cent vingt bénévoles venant de notre comté;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée m'appuient pour remercier Rodney LeBlanc pour ses contributions à l'École Beau-Port.

RÉSOLUTION NO. 3330

[Page 8388]

Par: Michel Samson (Député, Énergie)

Attendu que les bénévoles sont véritablement le coeur de la communauté; et

Attendu que les bénévoles offrent gracieusement de leur temps pour appuyer les organisations de notre comté; et

Attendu que vendredi le 15 avril, 2016, j'ai participé à un souper avec les conseillers du comté de Richmond pour donner reconnaissance aux efforts de cent vingt bénévoles venant de notre comté;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée m'appuient pour remercier Kenneth David pour ses contributions au centre communautaire culturel, la Picasse.

RÉSOLUTION NO. 3331

Par: Michel Samson (Député, Énergie)

Attendu que les bénévoles sont véritablement le coeur de la communauté; et

Attendu que les bénévoles offrent gracieusement de leur temps pour appuyer les organisations de notre comté; et

Attendu que vendredi le 15 avril, 2016, j'ai participé à un souper avec les conseillers du comté de Richmond pour donner reconnaissance aux efforts de cent vingt bénévoles venant de notre comté;

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée m'appuient pour remercier Odille Campbell pour ses contributions à l'Association des femmes acadiennes de Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 3332

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

[Page 8389]

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Lakeside 4-H Club volunteer Carol Ann Wilson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3333

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's-Samsonville & Area Water Utility volunteer Robert Wambolt for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3334

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Isle Madame Tourism and Trade volunteer Terrance Tyrrell for his hard work and commitment.

[Page 8390]

RESOLUTION NO. 3335

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking West Bay Community Organization volunteer Derrick Talbot for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3336

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Acadian Festival volunteer Joseph Stone for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3337

[Page 8391]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Acadiaville Community Centre Society volunteer Sheila Tyrrell for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3338

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking River Bourgeois Economic Development volunteer Connie Stewart for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3339

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8392]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's and District Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Dawn Silver for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3340

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Little Anse Sampson's Cove Social Action Centre volunteer Herman Samson for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3341

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8393]

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking East Richmond Education Centre volunteers Jennifer and Troy Snowdon for their hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3342

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking New Horizons Seniors Club volunteer Helen Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3342

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking E. W. M. N. Cape Breton volunteer Anna Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3344

[Page 8394]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Louis CWL volunteer Debbie Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3345

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Filles de Jesus Isle Madame Food Bank volunteer Peter F. Samson for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3346

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8395]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Isle Madame Fire Department volunteer Mark Skinner for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3347

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Strait Richmond Palliative Care Society volunteer Vi Sampson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3348

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8396]

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Parish Altar Society volunteer Joan Rogers for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3349

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. John the Baptist Catholic Women's League volunteer Sheila Pottie for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3350

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Parish Pastoral Council volunteer Elaine Sampson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3351

[Page 8397]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking East Richmond ATV Riders volunteer Lloyd Sampson for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3352

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Comité régional de RANE de l'Isle Madame volunteer Magdalen Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3353

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8398]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Women's League volunteer Diana Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3354

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Rocky Bay Irish Club volunteer Alice Power for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3355

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Université Sainte-Anne volunteer Simone Samson for her hard work and commitment.

[Page 8399]

RESOLUTION NO. 3356

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Black River United Church of Canada volunteer Lillian Peeples for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3357

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking River Bourgeois Seniors Club volunteer Theresa Sampson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3358

[Page 8400]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Riverdale Community Services Society volunteer Ken Reynolds for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3359

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking River Bourgeois Youth Development volunteer Christine Pottie for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3360

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8401]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Community Centre volunteer Daniel Keith Pottie for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3361

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Joseph's Services volunteer Angela Samson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3362

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8402]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Friends of Notre Dame de l'Assomption volunteer Anita Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3363

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Village of St. Peter's Society volunteer Donald Mariner for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3364

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Felix Marchand Education Centre volunteer Donna Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3365

[Page 8403]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking EnRoute Isle Madame Access Association volunteer Kelsey Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3366

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Grand River Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Malcolm MacLeod for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3367

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8404]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond County Early Childhood Education Association volunteer David Landry for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3368

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Bras D'Or Lakers Seniors Association volunteer Elizabeth MacNeil for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3369

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8405]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Fourchu Development Association volunteer Annabel MacLeod for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3370

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Friends of Palliative Care volunteer Gerard Bennett for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3371

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Unima'ki Voyageurs Métis Association volunteer Alvin Bona for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3372

[Page 8406]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Lennox Passage Yacht Club volunteer Jason Benoit for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3373

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Joseph's CWL volunteer Viola Boudreau for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3374

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8407]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Louisdale Girl Guides volunteer Cindy Bonin for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3375

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Coastal Riders ATV Club volunteer Nils Adamson for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3376

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Friends of St. John's Arichat Society volunteer Jean Bonin for her hard work and commitment.

[Page 8408]

RESOLUTION NO. 3377

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking The Zachary Hall Memorial Society volunteer Connie Boudreau for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3378

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Ladies Auxiliary Branch No. 150 volunteer Donna Babin for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3379

[Page 8409]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Francis de Sales CWL volunteer Donelda Boudreau for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3380

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking D'Escousse Civic Improvement Society volunteer Anne Boudreau for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3381

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8410]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Lions Club volunteer Debbie Burke for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3382

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking 2842 L'Ardoise Legion Army Cadets volunteer Terrance J. Clements for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3383

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Père Vincent de Paul Council #14280 volunteer Carmen N. Fougère for her hard work and commitment.

[Page 8411]

RESOLUTION NO. 3384

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Oceanview Wildlife Museum volunteer Dillon Carter for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3385

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond Education Centre/Academy volunteer Richie Cotton for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3386

[Page 8412]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Lakeside Community Association volunteer Bertha Burke for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3387

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking La Picasse, centre communautaire culturel volunteer Kenneth L. David for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3388

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8413]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking River Bourgeois Festival Committee volunteer Sharon Chilvers for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3389

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. John the Baptist Parish Council volunteer Arthur Doary for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3390

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8414]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Sociètè Petit de Grat Beautification Society volunteer Joan Clannon for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3391

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Community Club volunteer Allister Calder for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3392

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond County Early Childhood Education Association volunteer Weslee Embree for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3393

[Page 8415]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking L'Ardoise Economic Association for Development volunteer Marie Burkey for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3394

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Louisdale Volunteer Fire Department Society volunteer Julieann Marchand for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3395

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8416]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Royal Canadian Legion Isle Madame Branch No.150 volunteer Doug MacDonald for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3396

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Friends of Isle Madame Provincial Parks Society volunteer Nancy LeBlanc for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3397

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8417]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Fleur de Lis Seniors Club volunteer Theresa Linden for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3398

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking West Bay United Church volunteer Rev. Donna Lovelace for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3399

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Volunteer Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary volunteer Marcia McEwan for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3400

[Page 8418]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's First Girl Guides volunteer Shaylynn MacAulay for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3401

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond MacAdian Ceilidh Dancers volunteer Dianne Landry for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3402

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

[Page 8419]

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond County Literacy Network volunteer Cora LeBlanc for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3403

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Isle Madame Minor Baseball volunteer Cameron Landry for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3404

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

[Page 8420]

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Peter's Parish Council volunteer Richard Landry for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3405

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Fourchu United Church volunteer Mildred MacIntyre for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3406

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Isle Madame Lighthouse Preservation Society volunteer Gary Landry for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3407

[Page 8421]

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Louisdale Lions Club volunteer Rudolph Landry for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3408

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Riverdale Seniors 55+ Club volunteer Margaret Johnson for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3409

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

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Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Adult Drop-In Centre volunteer Alice Frost for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3410

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Framboise Fourchu Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Blair Gwynn for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3411

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking District 10 Volunteer Fire Department volunteer Darryl Johnson for his hard work and commitment.

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RESOLUTION NO. 3412

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Development Isle Madame Association volunteer Rene Fougère for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3413

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Hyacinth Cemetery Committee volunteer Edward Kehoe for his hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3414

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By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking Richmond County Early Childhood Education Association volunteer Kelly Hilbert for her hard work and commitment.

RESOLUTION NO. 3415

By: Hon. Michel Samson « » (Energy)

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

Whereas volunteers truly are the heart of our community; and

Whereas volunteers give freely of their time to help organizations throughout our county; and

Whereas on Friday, April 15, 2016, I joined councillors and staff at a supper to recognize the 120 volunteers from throughout Richmond County;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the House of Assembly join me in thanking St. Louis Parish Council volunteer Bernice Jeffrey for her hard work and commitment.