The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD 10-3

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Charlie Parker

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

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

Second Session

MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
HPP - Healthy Living Tax Incentive,
Mr. A. Younger 115
TIR: Clementsvale Rd. - Conditions,
Mr. H. Theriault 116
Justice - Correctional Facility (Cumb. Co.),
Hon. M. Scott 116^
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Elections N.S. - 38th Prov. Gen. Election (Fin. Info),
The Speaker 116
Civil Procedure Rule 90 - Amendment, Hon. R. Landry 116^^
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 38, Lawrencetown: Hockeyville Comp. - Congrats.,
The Premier 117
Vote - Affirmative 117
Res. 39, Com. Serv.: Social Workers/Staff - Recognize,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 118
Vote - Affirmative 118
Res. 40, Liver Health Awareness Mo. (03/10) - Recognize,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 118
Vote - Affirmative 119
Res. 41, SMU Men's Hockey Team - CIS Championship,
The Premier 119
Vote - Affirmative 120
Vote - Affirmative
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 6, Industrial Expansion Fund Transfer Act, Hon. S. McNeil 120
No. 7, Pharmacy Act, Hon. Maureen MacDonald 120
No. 8, Multi-Year Funding Act, Hon. Manning MacDonald 120
No. 9, Advisory Council on Mental Health Act, Ms. D. Whalen 120
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 42, Lawrencetown Exhibition Youth Arena: Hockeyville Comp. -
Vote, Hon. S. McNeil 121
Vote - Affirmative 121
Res. 43, Cumb. Co. Commun. Credit Union Midget Girls Hockey Team -
Championship, Hon. M. Scott 121
Vote - Affirmative 122
Res. 44, Sir John A. Macdonald HS - Haiti Fundraising,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 122
Vote - Affirmative 123
Res. 45, Yom Ha Shoah Mem. Serv.: Temple Sons of Israel - Congrats.,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 123
Vote - Affirmative 124
Res. 46, Tulle, Mary: Destination C.B. CEO - Appt.,
Mr. K. Bain 124
Vote - Affirmative 124
Res. 47, Francis, Samantha/Sarah: Aboriginal Celebration -
Vancouver Olympics, Mr. C. MacKinnon 124
Vote - Affirmative 125
Res. 48, Ramia, Joe/Fam. - Retailer of Yr. Award (2010),
Ms. D. Whalen 125
Vote - Affirmative 126
Res. 49, Gaelic Culture: Support - Continue,
Mr. Allan MacMaster 126
Vote - Affirmative 127
Res. 50, Dobson, Warren: So. Queens Jr. HS Music Prog. - Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 127
Vote - Affirmative 128
Res. 51, VanOostrum, Andrew - Farm Environmental Stewardship Award,
Mr. L. Glavine 128
Vote - Affirmative 129
Res. 52, MacCormack Team: Curling Achievement - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 129
Vote - Affirmative 129
Res. 53, Sexual Health Ctr. (Cumb. Co.) - Positive Aging Grant,
Mr. B. Skabar 130
Vote - Affirmative 130
Res. 54, MacQuarrie, Coady: Port Hawkesbury Judo Club - Achievements,
Hon. M. Samson 130
Vote - Affirmative 131
Res. 55, Lun. Yacht Club Sailors: Youth Sailing Championships -
Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont 131
Vote - Affirmative 132
Res. 56, Williams, Evangeline: Commun. Contributions - Acknowledge,
Mr. M. Whynott 132
Vote - Affirmative 133
Res. 57, Rideout, Dakota: ECMA - Accomplishments,
Hon. M. Samson 133
Vote - Affirmative 133
Res. 58, Earth Hour: N.S. - Natl. Leaders,
Hon. C. Clarke 134
Vote - Affirmative 134
Res. 59, ABCO Industries: Boat Building - Funding,
Ms. Pam Birdsall 134
Vote - Affirmative 135
Res. 60, SMU Men's Hockey Team: Cavendish Cup - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Gaudet 135
Vote - Affirmative 136
Res. 61, Inverness Hosp. Fdn.: Fundraisers - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacMaster 136
Vote - Affirmative 137
Res. 62, White, Bob: Cycling Trophy - Congrats.,
Mr. A. Younger 137
Vote - Affirmative 137
Res. 63, Blanchard, Marley: 4-H Dedication - Acknowledge,
Mr. C. Porter 138
Vote - Affirmative 138
Res. 64, C.P. Allen HS Boy's Hockey Team - Championship,
Ms. K. Regan 138
Vote - Affirmative 139
Res. 65, Naqvi, Dr. Mahmood: Serv. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 139
Vote - Affirmative 140
Res. 66, Digby FD: Special Serv. Vehicle - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 140
Vote - Affirmative 141
Res. 67, Long-Gun Registry - Repeal: Gov't. (Can.)/Min. Toews -
Support, Hon. M. Scott 141
Res. 68, Sherman, Tom: Gov.-Gen's. Award (2010) - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 141
Vote - Affirmative 142
Res. 69, Gov't. (NDP): Fam. Pharmacare Prog. - Protect,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 142
Vote - Affirmative 143
Res. 70, Veinot, Rex/Fam.: Woodlot Owner of Yr. (2009) - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 143
Vote - Affirmative 143
Res. 71, Thibodeau, Chantal - Birthday (109th),
Hon. W. Gaudet 144
Vote - Affirmative 145
Res. 72, Park View Educ. Ctr.: Parking Problems - Commitment - Honour,
Mr. K. Bain 145
Vote - Affirmative 145
Res. 73, Murphy, Daniel: Para-Swimming Championship - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 145
Vote - Affirmative 146
Res. 74, Mullen, Nick & Amy/Riverdale Commun.: Hatfield Bldg. Fund -
Congrats., Mr. H. Theriault 146
Vote - Affirmative 147
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ADDRESS IN REPLY:
The Premier 147
Mr. A. Younger 151
Hon. M. Scott 163
Adjourned debate 167
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 75, Lawrencetown FD: Awards Banquet - Recipients Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 168

[Page 115]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

7:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Gordon Gosse, Hon. Wayne Gaudet, Mr. Alfie MacLeod

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I call tonight's session to order. We'll start with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from 205 residents of Dartmouth and surrounding areas. They are expressing displeasure with messages received from the Department of Health Promotion and Protection around the Healthy Living Tax Incentive and information they received that it will not be implemented due to budget constraints. I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

[Page 116]

115

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from the residents of Clementsvale and the surrounding area. They are expressing their displeasure with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for the unsatisfactory, dangerous and deplorable state of the Clementsvale Road. The petition is signed by 116

individuals and I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and to add to the petition that began on Friday. It is a result, as the House would know, of commitments made by the Premier, who was the Leader of the Official Opposition at the time. The headline says: Dexter says he'll keep Tory promises. The prayer says:

"We, the residents of Cumberland County implore that Premier Darrell Dexter keep his word and build a correctional facility in Cumberland County!"

There are 26 names on this particular petition, Mr. Speaker, and I have affixed my name.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: I, as Speaker, beg leave to table a document here tonight, entitled the Financial Information & Statistics, Volume II, Elections Nova Scotia, 38th Provincial General Election, June 9, 2009.

The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as Attorney General and pursuant to Section 51 of the Judicature Act, I hereby beg leave to table revisions to the Civil Procedures Rules. They were made in accordance with the Judicature Act by the Judge of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal on December 11, 2009, and December 22, 2009, and by the Judge of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on November 27, 2009, and January 29, 2010.

[Page 117]

MR. SPEAKER: The amendments to the Civil Procedures Rules are tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 38

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas it was announced on Saturday, March 27th, that the Village of Lawrencetown, in the Annapolis Valley, was voted by the public as one of the five most- spirited hockey communities in Canada in the second round of the Kraft CBC Hockeyville competition; and

Whereas Lawrencetown now competes against Cranbrook, British Columbia, Dundas, Ontario, Stanstead, Quebec, and Bishop Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador, to see who will be named Hockeyville 2010, with the winner to receive $100,000 to spend on the local rink and also to host an NHL pre-season game; and

Whereas Lawrencetown is a beautiful, historic and vibrant community with a dream to build a new arena to replace the small wooden pole barn structure built on the Annapolis Valley Exhibition Grounds in 1970;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House congratulate the people of Lawrencetown for this recognition, and encourage all Nova Scotians to support Lawrencetown in its quest to be Hockeyville 2010 by calling 1-866-533-8066 or by visiting "CBCSports.ca/hockeyville" to cast their votes before midnight March 31st.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 118]

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 39

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Social Work Week in Nova Scotia was celebrated March 21st to March 27th and social work is a profession committed to the well-being of seniors, families and all those in our society who have special needs; and

Whereas the issues and problems Nova Scotia's social workers deal with on a daily basis are broad and complex; and

Whereas social workers and support staff work tirelessly to provide support, counselling and advocacy on behalf of those who need assistance;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the effort and professionalism of social workers and support staff as they strive to enhance the well-being of Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 40

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

[Page 119]

Whereas 1 in 10 Atlantic Canadians will be affected by liver disease that might be treated but which will likely have no cure; and

Whereas the Canadian Liver Foundation promotes liver health, supports liver disease patients and their families, and funds research efforts across the country; and

Whereas during March Canadian Liver Foundation chapters hold a variety of fundraising and educational events to raise awareness of liver health and to fund research;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize March as Liver Health Awareness Month in Nova Scotia and thank the Canadian Liver Foundation volunteers, staff, donors, researchers, and sponsors, for their tireless efforts on behalf of people with liver disease.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 41

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

Whereas the Saint Mary's Huskies won their second consecutive AUS Men's Hockey Championship this season, giving them an opportunity to compete for the CIS Men's National Hockey Championship in Thunder Bay, Ontario; and

Whereas the Huskies were matched against the 13-time CIS hockey champions from the University of Alberta Golden Bears in Sunday's final; and

Whereas Saint Mary's has competed in the hockey final four times previously in their history, having to settle for silver each time;

[Page 120]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Saint Mary's Huskies men's hockey team and their coach, Trevor Stienburg, for winning the university's first national men's hockey championship last night in dramatic fashion with a 3-2 win in overtime.

[7:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 6 - Entitled an Act to Transfer Industrial Expansion Funds from the Department of Economic and Rural Development to Nova Scotia Business Incorporated. (Hon. Stephen McNeil)

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: I would like to introduce two representatives of the Nova Scotia College of Pharmacists who are in the west gallery this evening, Registrar Susan Wedlake and Deputy Registrar Beverley Zwicker. I would ask them to stand and receive the welcome of the House. (Applause)

Bill No. 7 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 36 of the Acts of 2001. The Pharmacy Act. (Hon. Maureen MacDonald)

[Page 121]

Bill No. 8 - Entitled an Act to Develop a Multi-Year Funding Framework. (Hon. Manning MacDonald)

Bill No. 9 - Entitled an Act to Create the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on Mental Health. (Ms. Diana Whalen)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 42

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

Whereas on Saturday, March 27th, 2010 the Lawrencetown Exhibition Youth Arena, located in Annapolis County, was voted as one of the five finalists to be named Kraft Hockeyville 2010; and

Whereas this honour earned the arena and community $25,000 in order to restore the Lawrencetown Exhibition Youth Arena; and

Whereas voting began on Saturday, March 27th and will continue until Wednesday, March 31st, with the national winner receiving a $100,000 arena upgrade and an NHL pre-season game;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly and, indeed, all Nova Scotians log-on to the Kraft Hockeyville site at "www.cbc.ca" and vote for Nova Scotia's only finalist, the Lawrencetown Exhibition Youth Arena.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 122]

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 43

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

Whereas the Cumberland County Community Credit Union midget A female team became the first female hockey team from Cumberland County to not only go to the provincial championships but also win a provincial title; and

Whereas despite losing their first game, the team came back to win all of their remaining games, including a 2-0 shutout of the South Shore team in the championship game; and

Whereas team captain Alyson Pickard was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, and Pickard, Jennifer Hollis and Alex Hicks went on to win three of the tournament's six awards for skills competition;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the players and the coaches of the Cumberland County Community Credit Union midget A female team on their individual and team accomplishments and for winning the 2010 Nova Scotia Provincial A Female Midget Championships.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 44

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

[Page 123]

Whereas Sir John A. MacDonald High School has raised money for Haiti; and

Whereas students and staff members donated to this worthy cause; and

Whereas Sir John A. MacDonald High School gave a cheque of $2,622.62 to the Canadian Red Cross for Haiti;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate and thank students and staff of Sir John A. MacDonald High School for answering the call of help in Haiti.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 45

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

Whereas the 2010 Yom HaShoah Memorial Service will be held again this year in Sydney on Sunday, April 11th; and

Whereas this year's guest speaker will be Claire Baum, a child survivor of the Holocaust who credits her survival to the courage of her parents; and

Whereas the service will be highlighted by her speech and the lighting of candles by the clergy of Cape Breton;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislature congratulate the Temple Sons of Israel for this annual observance, which helps us to remember the dark times of the Holocaust and all the horrors that were inflicted on the Jewish people.

[Page 124]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 46

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

Whereas Destination Cape Breton is a vital tourism body which helps bring visitors and much needed economic spinoffs to Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia as a whole; and

Whereas on January 1st of this year, Mary Tulle was named Destination Cape Breton's new CEO, succeeding Sandra MacDonald; and

Whereas Mary's rich background in marketing, management, project management and consulting prepare her well for the challenges ahead so that Cape Breton tourism can grow to provide greater opportunities for our people;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mary Tulle on being named Destination Cape Breton's new CEO and wish her continued success in her new roll.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 125]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 47

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

Whereas Samantha Francis of Pictou Landing First Nation saw an advertisement in the community newsletter looking for Aboriginal dancers for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics; and

Whereas Samantha's grandmother Sarah Francis helped the young dancer with her application, her Mi'kmaq costume and made her accessories for the submission of photos to Olympic officials; and

Whereas Samantha became one of five Aboriginal Nova Scotians and the only one from Pictou County who danced throughout the opening ceremonies;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly recognize Samantha Francis and her grandmother Sara for being part of a celebration that unified all Canadian Aboriginal cultures into one dance, a dance that was seen by more than 1 billion around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 48

[Page 126]

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

Whereas Joe Ramia, President of Gallery 1 Furniture in Dartmouth, was named the 2010 Retailer of the Year by the Canadian Home Furnishings Alliance at a gala awards dinner in Toronto recently; and

Whereas this is the first time an Atlantic Canadian business has been given this honour, which recognizes a business that has demonstrated an exemplary model of excellence and community service; and

Whereas this award reflects the Ramia family's business success and also recognizes their many philanthropic activities including funding the Gibran and Jamile Ramia QEII Health Sciences Centre Chair in Surgical Oncology and supporting the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia and Phoenix Youth Programs;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Joe Ramia and his family on receiving the prestigious 2010 Retailer of the Year Award and wish them every success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 49

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Fhìr na Cathrach, air làtha sa tìghinn, bìthidh agam m'ur coìnneamh gun glac sibh mar rùn na leanas:

Bho'n a bha na Gaìdheil a-measg prìomh luchd-aìteachaidh na Albann Nuaidh; and

Agus bhon a tha an rìaghaltas air a bhi a'toirt taic dha'n Ghaìghlig agus dha dualchas bho chionn beagan do bhiladhniclean; and

[Page 127]

Agus bhon a tha iomairtean ùra a'rìaghaltais airson nan Gaìdheal air a bhia'siorbheachadh anns a mhór-roinn;

Mar sin, biodh e'na rùn aid a'phàrlamaid seo gùn toir sinn gealltanas gùn toir sinn taic dhàn Ghaidhlig agug do iomairtean a chumas suas i anns na bliadhnaichean a thig.

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

Whereas the Gaelic culture is one of the founding cultures of this proivnce, yet many of its descendants, fully one quarter of Nova Scotians, grow up without the knowledge of their language, history, heritage and culture; and

Whereas government has made a difference for the future of Gaelic with the erection of road signage, the funding of community grass roots initiatives, greater presence of Gaelic in our schools, a dedicated Office of Gaelic Affairs and a Minister responsible for Gaelic Affairs; and

Whereas these initiatives have resulted in a record number of Gaelic learners who have embraced the culture;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commit to continued support for Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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. (Applause)

The honourable member for Queens

RESOLUTION NO. 50

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

[Page 128]

Whereas music is such an important part of our communities and the education system in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the music program has returned to South Queens Junior High School with a Grade 7 course of hands-on experience learning the guitar and Grade 9 students having the opportunity to give world drumming a try; and

Whereas music at South Queens Junior High School, with the help of teacher Warren Dobson and the Department of Education, will teach everything from reading music and tuning their instruments to improvisation and performing as a group;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize local musician and teacher Warren Dobson and the Department of Education for their interest in returning music to the curriculum.

[7:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 51

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture presents the Farm Environmental Stewardship Award to farmers who make good land, water and habitat stewardship a significant part of their plans for farm management and development; and

Whereas Andrew VanOostrum of Grafton was the recipient of the 2009 award; and

[Page 129]

Whereas the VanOostrum farm is one of the first to have an agricultural biodiversity conservation plan completed and has implemented several of the recommendations to protect waterways, even going beyond what was suggested to improve management practices;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House congratulate Andrew VanOostrum for receiving this prestigious honour and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 52

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

Whereas curling has been described as the roaring game with the roar coming from the noise of the granite stone as it travels over the ice and what started out as an outdoor game on frozen lochs and ponds has developed into a world-wide sport; and

Whereas skip Drew MacCormack, mate Ryan Whitehead, second Nick Den Hartog, lead Jordan Cassidy and coach Ron MacCormack, who make up the MacCormack team from the Windsor Curling Club, came away with first place in 2009-10 Nova Scotia Curling Association Youthspiel event while also participating in the Canada Games Trials at the Windsor curling rink; and

Whereas achieving such a goal was not only rewarding but encourages our youth and endorses the importance of continuing with healthy sports activities throughout their adult lives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the MacCormack team on their great achievement and wish them all the best in the future competitions.

[Page 130]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 53

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

Whereas our government is committed to taking the necessary steps in helping our seniors stay stronger and healthier; and

Whereas the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County has been pre-approved for a positive aging grant in the amount of $6,196 to promote sexual health amongst those over the age of 50; and

Whereas Ruthie Patriquin, executive director of the local Sexual Health Centre, will use the money to create an informative pamphlet to distribute through this and other similar centres around the province;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly extend our congratulations to the Sexual Health Centre for Cumberland County and applaud them for their efforts in educating the senior population on their sexual health.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 131]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 54

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

Whereas Coady MacQuarrie of Evanston is a student of the Port Hawkesbury Judo Club; and

Whereas Coady, after less than one month of training, participated in his first judo competition at the Halifax Invitational; and

Whereas Coady won two gold medals at the Halifax tournament - one gold medal in his weight division and another gold medal in a senior division;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Coady MacQuarrie for his participation and excellent achievements with the Port Hawkesbury Judo Club at the recent Halifax tournament, and wish him continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 55

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Lunenburg Yacht Club made its mark at the recent Club 420 Association Midwinter Sailing Championships in Jensen Beach, Florida; and

[Page 132]

Whereas Daniel Baker and Adam Taylor finished as the top Canadian boat while Henry Machum and Andrew Burns finished second among all junior teams; and

Whereas Coach Lesley Taylor said this accomplishment is a testament to a lot of hard work and commitment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these young sailors, and wish Mr. Baker and Mr. Taylor good luck as they represent Canada at the 2010 World Youth Sailing Championships in Istanbul this July.

Mr. Speaker, and members of the House, it is that Daniel Baker.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. WHYNOTT: I'd like to bring the attention of all members of the House to a very special person in the west gallery. His name is Gerry Goldsworthy. This is actually a good friend, a very good friend of the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage - he proposed to the member at our caucus meeting today. (Interruptions) And she did say yes. If Gerry would stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: Well, congratulations.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 56

[Page 133]

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

Whereas on February 28, 2010, the community of Upper Hammonds Plains and the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs recognized the valuable contributions made by Evangeline Williams in her lifetime; and

Whereas they acknowledged her long career as an employee of the province and as one of two employees who started off in the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs; and

Whereas they made people aware of her countless roles in her church over the past 30 years, including Sunday School teacher, choir president, and anniversary chairperson;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly acknowledge Evangeline Williams on her outstanding contributions to her community and to the Province of Nova Scotia, and wish her the best of luck on her future ventures.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 57

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

Whereas singer, guitarist, and composer Dakota Rideout of West Arichat chose her original song Jesus Brought Me You for her East Coast Music Awards application; and

Whereas Dakota was the winner of the Singer-Songwriter category in the East Coast Music Awards' One Big Opportunity competition and was chosen to perform at the recent ECMAs held in Sydney; and

[Page 134]

Whereas Dakota performed three original songs: Take Me Back, Jesus Brought Me You, and a collaboration with her mother, Tina Boudreau, Battle of My Heart;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dakota Rideout for her accomplishments at the recent East Coast Music Awards and wish her continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 58

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

Whereas on Saturday evening Nova Scotians and people around the world observed Earth Hour; and

Whereas Nova Scotians who are concerned about the plight of our planet and the effects of greenhouse gases on our environment decided to shut off their lights and minimize their energy consumption; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Power's Energy Control Centre reported an 18-megawatt reduction in power consumption between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, which represented an equivalent savings of more than 1.4 million 13-watt compact flourescent light bulbs and an improvement of 3 megawatts from the 15-megawatt reduction that occurred last year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the spirit that Nova Scotians showed as national leaders in the reduction of greenhouse gases and environment protection.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 135]

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 member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 59

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's NDP Government is committed to creating secure jobs our economy needs, and boat building is a traditional industry and is a significant source of employment in our rural coastal communities; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has a global reputation for boat building, and the long-term viability of boat building is important to our rural communities and our province's economy; and

Whereas Abco Industries Limited in Lunenburg provides the design and fabrication of welded aluminum boats, from 15 to 65 feet, primarily for patrol, regulatory and other commercial uses;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Abco Industries Limited on the receipt of funding from the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to help Nova Scotia's boat building industry open new global markets.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 136]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 60

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

Whereas the Saint Mary's University men's hockey team won the CIS hockey title final which took place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Sunday, March 28, 2010; and

Whereas Brad Smith scored in overtime to ensure the win over the top-seeded Alberta Golden Bears who had won the previous six years; and

Whereas Cam Fergus and Scott Brophy each contributed a goal to the 3-2 victory, while rookie goaltender Neil Conway made 38 saves for the win;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Saint Mary's Huskies men's hockey team and Coach Trevor Stienberg for their first-ever Cavendish University Cup, and wish them continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 61

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

[Page 137]

Whereas this past November the Inverness Hospital Foundation successfully completed a fundraising campaign, raising $2.2 million in 18 months; and

Whereas the campaign's goal was to raise money to enhance a major expansion and renovation project at the Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital; and

Whereas the effort, led by foundation co-chairs Leo Cox and John VanZutphen, was embraced by the community who rallied around this important cause, surpassing their original fundraising goal of $1.9 million;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Leo Cox, John VanZutphen, members of the hospital foundation, and the generous citizens of Inverness County for donating their time, effort, and money for the health and comfort of our community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 62

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

Whereas the Canadian Kilometre Achievement Program was established in 1975 by Cycle Canada to inspire cyclists to accomplish individual cycling goals and establish healthy lifestyles; and

Whereas the Canadian Kilometre Achievement Program rewards its Tour du Canada members for achieving significant goals in distance with various awards and distinctions; and

Whereas Bob White, a cycling enthusiast from Dartmouth, has been recognized for his dedicated and outstanding commitment and his extensive participation in cycling across

[Page 138]

Atlantic Canada and Quebec, becoming a winner of the seventh annual Tour du Canada award;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Bob White on this accolade and the engraving of his name on the national Tour du Canada trophy.

[7:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 63

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

Whereas Ellershouse Grade 9 student Marley Blanchard is an active member of 4-H; and

Whereas Marley is the daughter of Robert and Elaine Blanchard, residents of Dawson Road in Ellershouse and loves to show horses with her father at both horse shows and in parades; and

Whereas the September/October 2009 version of Saltscapes - Canada's East Coast Magazine, featured an excellent article on 4-H while showing Marley with one of her and her dad's Belgian horses while holding a red 1st place ribbon;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this historic Chamber of Province House acknowledge Marley's professionalism and dedication to 4-H.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 139]

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 member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 64

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

Whereas on Sunday, March 28, 2010, Charles P. Allen Cheetahs won the Nova Scotia Schools Athletic Federation's Division 1 Boys Hockey Championships in a 2-0 victory over the Memorial Marauders at the Sackville Arena; and

Whereas goaltender Ben Shaffner gave a stellar performance with 23 saves in the final game of his high school career for the shut-out; and

Whereas Brad Donaldson and Scott Webbink wrapped up their high school careers by each contributing a goal to clinch the win;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate the members, coaches, and manager of CP Allen Cheetahs boys hockey team on their victory and wish them continued success as they pursue future goals.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 140]

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 65

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

Whereas Dr. Mahmood Naqvi, medical director of the Cape Breton District Health Authority, recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia, had a vision over 30 years ago to improve the health care of Cape Bretoners; and

Whereas he developed Intensive Care, Coronary Care and Renal Dialysis Units and then began to consolidate services under one roof; and

Whereas through community and government support, the Cape Breton Regional Hospital was born, enabling Dr. Naqvi to bring new specialties to the area and enhance others, including the Cape Breton Cancer Care Centre with Dr. Naqvi still working for the benefit of Cape Bretoners, whether it's starting a new service or recruiting doctors and specialists to the area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Dr. Naqvi for his years of service as was recognized by the Cape Breton community through an Appreciation Night held in his honour acknowledging the outstanding career of an outstanding Nova Scotian.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 66

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

[Page 141]

Whereas the Digby Fire Department received a new fire truck in October 2009 and it goes on every fire call and they are very happy with it; and

Whereas this new truck is also known in the business as a special service vehicle; and

Whereas this truck is the first SSV in Canada, built by Metalfab Ltd. in New Brunswick, to use a fire use standard established by the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Digby Fire Department on receiving this new state-of-the-art SSV, which increases safety for their firefighters.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 67

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

Whereas the vast majority of long-gun owners are law-abiding Canadians; and

Whereas an attempt to address crime involving firearms in Canada created a bloated, ineffective billion dollar boondoggle that is known as the long-gun registry; and

Whereas people who register their firearms are not the people who should be targeted, it is the unlicensed holders and stolen guns that are often used in violent crimes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the federal Conservative Government and Public Safety Minister Toews in their measures to kill the long-gun registry.

[Page 142]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 68

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

Whereas Tom Sherman is one of Canada's top video artists, a professor at the University of Syracuse and a summer resident of Port Mouton since 1984; and

Whereas Tom was recently names as one of eight winners of the 2010 Governor General Awards in visual and media arts for distinguished career achievement; and

Whereas Tom will be receiving his award on March 31, 2010 at Rideau Hall from Governor General Michaëlle Jean;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Tom Sherman on this outstanding accomplishment and wish him well in all his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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.

[Page 143]

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 69

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Family Pharmacare program was adopted by the former Progressive Conservative Government in 2008; and

Whereas the program was adopted to ensure that Nova Scotian families would have access to prescription drug coverage in times of need; and

Whereas the NDP Government has indicated that it will be taking on tough expenditure management and that all programs are subject to NDP budget cuts that would leave Nova Scotian families wanting;

Therefore be it resolved that the House urges the NDP Government to protect fundamental health care benefits that the Progressive Conservatives adopted with the implementation of the Family Pharmacare program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 70

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

Whereas Maplewood Syrup and Christmas Tree Farm owner Rex Veinot has been recognized as Nova Scotia's Woodlot Owner of the Year for 2009; and

[Page 144]

Whereas this is the second time Mr. Veinot family business has received this award of recognition, the first time being 1996; and

Whereas the Veinot family of Maplewood, Lunenburg County, have been caretakers of this land since the 1890's, treating the land as a garden which produces firewood, timber and over 2,500 Christmas trees and recreational opportunities, all with the dream that many generations will continue;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the Veinot family for receiving the 2009 Nova Scotia Woodlot Owner of the Year and wish them continued success in all future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 71

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Monsieur le President, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que, le 31 décembre 2009, Chantal Thibodeau de Clare a accueilli la nouvelle année en célébrant son 109e anniversaire de naissance à la Villa Acadienne; et

Attendu que Mme Thibodeau a l'insigne honneur d'être parmi les rares Néo-Écossais à avoir été témoin de tout le 20e siècle avec les défis importants ainsi que les nombreuses découvertes et réalisations qui ont caractérisé l'époque et les dernières années; et

Attendu que Mme. Thibodeau est l'un des huit enfants de Johnny LeBlanc et de Janie Corporon de la Pointe-de-l'Église;

[Page 145]

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les members de cette Assemblée félicitent Mme. Chantal Thibodeau, qui a célébré sa 109e anniversaire, et lui offrent leurs voeux de santé et de bonheur.

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

Whereas on December 31, 2009 Chantal Thibodeau of Clare rang in the New Year by celebrating her 109th birthday at the Ville Acadienne; and

Whereas Mrs. Thibodeau has had the distinction of being one of very few Nova Scotians to bear witness to the entire 1900s and the significant challenges and the many discoveries and accomplishments made throughout her lifetime; and

Whereas Chantal is one of Johnny LeBlanc and Janie Corporon of Church Point's eight children;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Mrs. Chantal Thibodeau on her 109th birthday, and wish her continued good health and happiness.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 72

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

Whereas Park View Education Centre has had limited amounts of parking spaces for many years, which has caused the Bridgewater Police Department increased patrols and safety concerns as students park on King Street; and

[Page 146]

Whereas students at the school have been actively seeking a resolution to the parking problem and have developed a resolution which was presented to elected officials, staff and students; and

Whereas the former Progressive Conservative Government agreed with the proposal and announced over $2 million worth of capital funding for the school, with the parking lot issue to be addressed first;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House ask the current NDP Government to honour the commitments they said they were going to and quit penalizing students for taking an active role to resolve the long-standing problem.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 73

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

Whereas the para-swimming world short course championships for swimmers with a disability were held in Rio de Janeiro in December 2009; and

Whereas 20-year-old Bedford resident Daniel Murphy competed as a member of the team for the first time; and

Whereas the 30-member Canadian team concluded the championships with 15 medals - four gold, five silver and six bronze - and Daniel placed fifth in the S5 200 freestyle;

[Page 147]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Daniel and his coach, Kevin Ross of Halifax, on this stellar freshman achievement and wish them much more success in their future endeavours, both in the pool and on dry land.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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 member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 74

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

Whereas Doreen and Francis Hatfield of Riverdale, Digby County, lost their home on November 8, 2009 to a devastating fire and had to flee with only the clothes on their backs; and

Whereas life-long friends Nick and Amy Mullen vowed there would be a house built for the Hatfields before Christmas and that resolve sent the community into motion at a fundraiser that was quickly planned for November 14, 2009, which raised $79,000 after all donations were in; and

Whereas within two weeks the new house was up and enclosed, and on December 23, 2009 Doreen and Francis moved into their new two-bedroom bungalow with a full basement and donated furniture and appliances;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Nick and Amy Mullen and the entire Riverdale community for their giving spirit, and wish Doreen and Francis Hatfield many years of happiness in their new home.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 148]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[8:00 p.m.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move that the adjourned debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne be now resumed.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and join the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne. First, I would like to thank Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis for delivering the Speech from the Throne. I would also like to thank the honourable members for Antigonish and Lunenburg West for moving and seconding the Speech from the Throne as read by Her Honour. While I have the chance, I would also like to thank the Legislative staff, Pages and the Library staff for the assistance they provide for all of us. We could not attend to the business of the province without them.

Mr. Speaker, there's a new face in the Legislature this session. I want to extend my warm welcome to the newest member of the House - the member for Inverness. I am sure that he will serve the people of Inverness well. (Applause)

I wanted also to recognize those who served the people of Nova Scotia in the past and who are no longer with us. Mr. Speaker, Joe Casey, Charles MacArthur and Garnet Brown

[Page 149]

worked hard in this Chamber on behalf of their constituents and indeed for all Nova Scotians to make this province a better place. We mark their passing with remembrance of their dedication to the people of Nova Scotia. I have been listening to the comments on the Speech from the Throne by the Leader of the Official Opposition and the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and I want to thank them for their remarks.

To start, Mr. Speaker, I would like to outline some of my government's accomplishments over the past few months, accomplishments that I believe serve in the best interests of all Nova Scotians. This government started by removing the 8 per cent tax increase on home electricity, benefiting hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians. Government felt that in the face of economic challenges and rising home energy costs, this rebate was important to help people heat their homes and to make their lives more affordable.

In the Fall, Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health hired Dr. John Ross to act as the emergency room adviser. The appointment of Dr. Ross was an important step to help keep government's commitments on emergency rooms and reducing ER wait times. The provincial adviser is working with district health authorities, doctors and other health care providers to ensure that emergency departments deliver the kind of health care that Nova Scotians need and deserve. This will include advising government on commitments such as opening beds needed to admit patients now stuck in emergency departments. We expect Dr. Ross' initial report will be out very soon.

As well, Dr. Ross will advise on the creation of the Emergency Department Protection Fund to keep emergency rooms running and recently, Mr. Speaker, the government announced another of its commitments was completed with the removal of security deposits for seniors living in nursing homes. We did this as we promised we would. (Applause)

Government is committed to building even stronger communities across this province. In October, government introduced a new home construction rebate to kick-start the economy to keep Nova Scotia's skilled trades people working here at home. The program reached its capacity early this year and there is now a waiting list; 1,500 Nova Scotians qualified for a rebate of up to $7,000. As promised, government stimulated the economy and helped create hundreds of jobs by maximizing the federal infrastructure dollars. Together with federal and municipal investments, almost $230 million has been committed to more than 100 infrastructure projects across the province.

Government, as promised, began an expenditure management initiative that will see savings of up to 1 per cent across government for non-essential spending. Just last week, Mr. Speaker, I introduced the House of Assembly Management Commission Act, which will create openness and clear guidelines and an audit regime for House finances. This, along with other initiatives like eliminating the $45,000 transition fund, will help reduce costs, bring clarity to members, and ensure a modern and effective system is in place. (Applause)

[Page 150]

Mr. Speaker, I am also proud that this government committed to 25 per cent renewable energy by 2015 in Nova Scotia. This target is the most aggressive in North America.

The examples that I have cited are just a few of the things that my government has done since June to make life better for Nova Scotia families. As we outlined in the Speech from the Throne, we will continue our efforts to keep our commitments and to make life better for today's families.

This government will provide better health care for families in Nova Scotia, create jobs, grow the economy, make life more affordable, and get back to balance to ensure government lives within its means. (Applause)

Nova Scotians tell us that improving health care is vitally important, Mr. Speaker, and we agree. To make those improvements, changes to the overall system need to happen. Government will undertake a quality initiative to promote and improve patient safety and the quality of health care services across the province. There will also be increased accountability and transparency in setting priorities for major health capital projects under my government.

Mr. Speaker, I noted earlier that Dr. Ross' initial report is expected soon, and that will form the basis of a provincial emergency room strategy.

Mental health and addiction services will be revamped through a new mental health strategy, and a new drug information system will be developed to enhance patient safety and monitor drug use to make sure that health care dollars are being used wisely.

Government will also put more nurse practitioners into the province's nursing homes to give seniors better support, and pharmacists will soon be able to do injections. These efforts, Mr. Speaker, will make the health system more responsive, more effective, and more efficient.

Government will also make targeted efforts, such as: increase long-term care beds by 360, expand radiation therapy in Halifax and Sydney, add five additional digital mammography machines and expand the hours for the Cobequid Health Centre.

These are just a few examples, Mr. Speaker. I am proud to say that this government truly is committed to better health care for Nova Scotians and their families. (Applause)

The government has also committed to making life better but also more affordable for Nova Scotia families. A number of programs to provide recreational activities for seniors and also make their lives safer and increase accessability will be funded.

[Page 151]

For my government, Mr. Speaker, leaving people behind is not an option. We will increase funding for transition houses and women's centres for the first time in a decade. (Applause) We will transform the employment support and income assistance program and continue the Lighthouse Program to help at-risk youth.

My government is continuing with year two of the housing stimulus plan. We will spend $128 million to build affordable housing units and upgrade existing ones across the province.

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia was on an unsustainable path. Government is committed to making the right decisions for Nova Scotia families while dealing with the fiscal challenge that we have inherited. This will result in an even stronger, more sustainable economy for Nova Scotia.

Government will help the farmers of the province and the aquaculture industry by developing comprehensive, forward-looking plans that will help secure a strong future for those industries, and government will continue to work with the tourism sector to make the economy healthy again. My government will continue making strategic investments that will create jobs.

As Premier, I will continue to do all I can in my power to let the world know that Nova Scotia is a great place to invest. Recently, on a trade mission to Vietnam, I met a businessman who had no idea that shipping to North America via Halifax instead of the west coast could be more cost-effective and efficient for him and his company. This person now ships his freight via Halifax and is spreading the word to his colleagues in Vietnam about the benefits of using the Port of Halifax. Now this story stresses the importance of selling the province to the world. When international companies think about expanding or growing their business, shipping their goods or simply selling their products, I want them to think about Nova Scotia.

Closer to home, government will soon release a five-year plan to pave provincial roads across Nova Scotia. At the same time, we will continue with the expenditure management measures that will help this government live within its means and get Nova Scotia back to balance. As you know, Mr. Speaker, the budget will be introduced in the House on April 6th. It will be a fair and responsible budget that will correct the path that we were on; it will detail our multi-year plan to get back to balance. It will be a difficult challenge but Nova Scotians are hard-working, talented, and motivated people. Together, we will put Nova Scotia on a different path - one of lasting prosperity.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I will now take my place.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 152]

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise this evening and to speak in response to the Speech from the Throne delivered the other day, and certainly I echo the Premier's comments welcoming the new member from Inverness to the Chamber. It's nice to have a couple more young people in the Chamber, it gives a bit of diversity - and of course the Premier is young at heart.

The start to my day was particularly interesting (Interruption) I'll always be "younger". (Laughter) I was interviewed by a student from Prince Andrew High School - I guess they're going around interviewing a number of political folks for a political science class - and the first question was whether I thought most politicians were Achillean or Machiavellian. You can start to think about that for a second and see how we start our day.

Now, for those of you who would remember their history - and I'm not sure that either one of them is particularly good of course, because Achilles was, we all remember, the hero in the Iliad who was invincible and had the one weakness, and we all know that he grabbed his heel and so forth and that was the one spot that wasn't protected. But he was noted for his valour, which was great, that's exactly what you want - the only problem is he had an unrelenting wrath and a short temper and he became in philosophy the representative of the lonely outcast. So I'm not sure that any of us necessarily want to be there.

The other option, the Machiavellian option, of course in the famous work, The Prince, was known for his tendency - or talked about the character of his tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain. So you're faced with a question like that and you're not really sure how to answer that at 8:30 in the morning.

[8:15 p.m.]

It certainly gets you thinking, and I've been thinking about that for the whole day and where politics is - it's been an interesting few weeks, few months now, I guess, in politics and I'm sure that none of us have thought it's the best time in political life. It doesn't matter, really, what Party you're from. I know that many of us, maybe all of us, have trouble going through the Home Depot or Sobeys or Superstore or the local convenience store, with people wondering what you might be up to in Halifax, and that's a shame.

It's a shame that it has come that way and, Mr. Speaker, I don't honestly think that it's unique to Nova Scotia. I think the same thing started happening a number of years ago federally, we've seen it around the world, and it is time for a change. The Premier is right on that; he mentioned it in the Throne Speech and also in his response. I think that all members of the House support a change that is long overdue, and we're certainly glad to see the Premier accept our recommendation that it be included, that expenses end up online. I think that that makes a lot of sense. We're going to come to an area and we're going to get past this in Nova Scotia, but it's incumbent on all members of the House to work together to try to improve the reputation of politicians because, frankly, if we want people to aspire to get into

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politics we need to make it an honourable profession once again, and certainly that has been tarnished of late.

I would like to speak a little bit about what has happened since the last Throne Speech. You know, it's intriguing to me that a Throne Speech is usually when you start off on a new agenda - at least that has always been my experience - and it was only a few short months ago that we had the first Throne Speech. I've yet to understand why the necessity for another Throne Speech so soon after the first one, when all the issues that were in the first one haven't been accomplished yet. It's almost like we're starting over again and hitting the reset button. If I'm not mistaken, some NDP members at the provincial level, and certainly at the federal level, critiqued a similar process by Stephen Harper federally.

So it's baffling to me that we need to restart and throw out all the bills that were working their way through the process and begin all over again. Certainly governments must adapt and change as time goes on, but I've yet - and I thought maybe I would hear it in the Speech from the Throne, Mr. Speaker, but certainly I didn't, in terms of why exactly it's necessary to suddenly reset the clock and start all over again. It just makes no sense.

Over those past few months I've had the opportunity to be in a lot of different communities around the province, Mr. Speaker, and talked to a lot of people. It strikes me - and I think we all recognize that there are a lot of challenges, but the Premier indicated in his remarks that the goal of the NDP and the government was to leave nobody behind. Well, I'm sorry to say there are a lot of people getting left behind in this province, and a lot of people getting left behind at a rapid rate.

Last week I was over at the Dartmouth Adult Service Centre in the member for Dartmouth North's riding, talking to them about how the fact of the matter is they have a number of folks facing mental health challenges, and they are unable to meet the current needs in that facility. There are people staying at home, putting burdens on families, instead of allowing these people to grow and have work opportunities in an environment that is recognized, frankly, across the country. This is an organization that hasn't even seen a cost of living increase in a number of years, and yet they're struggling to do more and more and take on more and more of the activities that would otherwise come from the Department of Community Services and the Department of Health.

It strikes me, Mr. Speaker, that when we look at cost savings, sometimes it's not always about cutting, it's about doing things better. If you can take people who are otherwise taking up a bed in, say, the Halifax Rehabilitation Centre, or in one of our hospitals, and instead have them reaching their potential somewhere like DAS, then there's a cost savings to the government. There's tax revenue. I mean, it baffles me that we wouldn't make those sorts of strategic investments that have almost immediate cost savings.

[Page 154]

Another example that's very similar to that, Mr. Speaker, is the fact that when we look at those with brain injuries - and the Brain Injury Association has talked about this for a number of years - there's also the fact that there is a cap of some sort on some of the group homes, small options homes' licences, which is forcing people who are otherwise taking hospital beds and could be moved into some of these small options homes. So instead of a few thousand dollars a day in a hospital, they could actually be going to a couple hundred dollars a day on a per diem, which would be an immediate cost savings to the Department of Health and the government and it would allow us to do better things with the resources.

I attended one of the Minister of Finance's road show town halls and that is what he was looking for was ideas that we could do things better and save money and there's an easy one, no less in a department where we actually do want to have some savings.

There are other areas where we can start seeing wealth build in our small communities. The member for Kings West and I were in Guysborough recently and we met with a number of foresters. You know they are very, very concerned. They expressed a deep, deep concern to us that money that could be generated locally in the rural forestry industry is going elsewhere. It is being taken out of the communities and, in some cases, is contributing to the failure of these communities.

Where we met was just down the road from the Town of Canso and we all know in this House the challenges that the Town of Canso has had over recent years. The fact of the matter is that there are people who have opportunities in front of them yet they can't access them because of government regulation in forestry and the way that that industry is being regulated. These guys who harvest hardwood for a living and can make a lot of money out of hardwood selective harvesting of individual trees don't get an opportunity to get at those trees. So that money, the value is lost in the trees, frankly, when they go in and they clear-cut these in a pulpwood context. It is just devastating to these folks who could be making really good livings but, instead, are forced to watch the forests disappear. These are the kinds of changes that are simple to make and can create wealth in these communities.

One of the other places I had the opportunity - you know, the Speech from the Throne talked about economic opportunities and keeping the youth here. The other day in the responses there was some talk about the flyer that went around during the election from the government Party and talked about keeping young people here. I was at the Lingan power plant a couple of weeks ago and they talked about how they cannot get people to fill some of their very well-paying jobs - $60,000, $70,000, $80,000 stationary engineer jobs that they can't get people to fill because people don't realize that there are opportunities in Lingan. They don't realize they are there and that's a real problem.

I ran into a gentleman there who actually did take a job there, whom I went to elementary school with, of all things. He was one of the few people who has come into the community and realized the opportunities that were there for his family. I think we all want

[Page 155]

to see all areas of the province succeed but you know Cape Breton in particular. There is an example where industries are having trouble getting those jobs filled. That is something that we can be doing. That is something that government can be doing that really doesn't cost anything, that is making people aware of the jobs that generate spinoffs and tax revenues and so forth.

The Premier and Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor, of course mentioned in the Speech from the Throne the Olympics and the very famous goal that Sidney Crosby scored. I know we're all very proud of him and it seemed that overnight his jersey appeared in every restaurant around Dartmouth and Cole Harbour, it was really quite funny.

There was a second Olympian in the Olympics recently, Sarah Conrad, from down on Waverley Road in Dartmouth. The thing that amazed me - you wouldn't want to put me on a snowboard, Mr. Speaker, because I'd probably break both my legs. (Interruption) Yes, it would be fun to watch, that's for sure. It would be a one-way ticket to a wheelchair for me, I think, Mr. Speaker.

We gathered down at Doolittle's, a lot of the people in the community, to watch her compete. The interesting thing to me about that competition was the sportsmanship. People would fall and they would get up and they would be happy. There was a unique culture involved in that event and it showed to me the real, true spirit of the Olympics in that sport and certainly in Sarah. This, of course, is her second Olympics; she had performed in Turin earlier. It didn't matter to her that she didn't win a gold medal or a silver medal or a bronze medal, it mattered to her that she was there and representing her home and that there were people watching her.

I think that with the Canada Games coming next year, it is so much more important to focus on the spirit of these events and what it means to be a true sportsman and what it means to celebrate that sort of thing than it does to win. That's what we need to be very careful of next year. We spend a lot of time in Canada counting medals because it was on home soil, and we did fabulously well, but the importance was how people were treated and the hospitality.

Somebody sent me an editorial that was written about Canada in one of the U.S. papers after this had all wrapped up and it was amazing what they had to say about Canadians and the hospitality and just the fact that it was different from anywhere else they had been for a sporting event, people getting together and celebrating and understanding that. In my view that is what we need to try to achieve here when the Canada Games come next year. We need to try to achieve that atmosphere where whether they win, they lose, no matter what, people feel welcome and they feel celebrated when they come back.

Mr. Speaker, there's a lot of talk about this back to balancing and so I'll use the Premier's and the Minister of Finance's phrase for that. Of course, we all know the fiscal

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pressures that eight years of Tory messes put on this province and we all know that we are in a tight position. We all know that governments across the country and around the world are in a tight position, but the decisions have to be made right. You know, one of the things that really gets to me is the fact that we knew this in the June election and yet the government made the promise that they were going to balance the budget in year one.

Now of course they're backing away from this and frankly the Leader of the Official Opposition said during the election, you can't, that's an irresponsible promise to make. It's a responsible promise to say you're going to balance the budget. It is irresponsible to say you're going to do it in year one and look how it's turned out. It was irresponsible to make that promise and yes, the budget will be balanced at some point, but the fact of the matter is that it was said during the election and yet the Premier said during that time, no, we're going to do it in year one, we're committed to that and there was a quick, hasty retreat.

In fact, it's interesting to note that the government had a pretty good look at the finances before the House came in the Fall and yet still wasn't saying whether they would or wouldn't balance the budget until very near, or perhaps it was even after, the end of the session, so it's been a long time coming.

We also learned in between sessions at the Public Accounts Committee that the audit that was promised as a current year test never actually happened. It was a review and the auditing company came up, Deloitte, and said, listen, no, it was a review, it wasn't an audit despite the fact that very clearly there's no mistaking the fact that it says audit in this document and there's a fundamental difference between those documents and I think we all well know what an audit is now.

There has been a lot of talk about hospitals and emergency rooms and the Dr. Ross report and it's interesting that - there's no question, we've got to get to the bottom of the health care thing and I actually think it's going to take a little while to solve, the whole system, and I think it has to be solved on a national level as well. But, I am convinced that one of the reasons the government spends so much time focusing on the issue of emergency rooms is because they don't have a plan for any of the other things that are going on. In metro alone - and I wouldn't be surprised if this is happening across the province - there has been an explosion recently of walk-in clinics and private blood collection clinics where you can go in and pay $10 dollars, and the reason is evident.

I was over at the - well, I tried Dartmouth General, there was about an average four-hour wait there for blood collection so I went to Halifax to the Infirmary and they were even longer over there that day so no wonder there's an explosion of these private clinics and yet we don't hear the government talking about those. We're trying not to address the fact that there is a critical problem that is not only in the emergency rooms, it's the whole hospital system.

[Page 157]

I had the opportunity - the Minister of Health can remember my bringing up the Dartmouth General a number of times and I see in the Speech from the Throne, the Cobequid centre is mentioned and that's fine, you can mention the Cobequid centre, but I don't see any mention of the Dartmouth General or any other hospital for that matter. I met with the folks over at the Dartmouth General not that long ago and they explained to me that their issue is not just the emergency room. They have a critical issue in that hospital and they advised that they've been bringing this to the Department of Health, and through Capital Health, for quite some time now. They have presented plans that would alleviate the overcrowding there, that would actually allow them to absorb some of the patients that are being cascaded through the system in the Capital Health system but yet, nobody wants to hear it. Nobody wants to listen to that and that's the problem, because we're talking about going off and doing other areas with no plans for a large hospital and yet, you know what, it is going to cost money. It is going to cost money at Cobequid as well but we need to address these things. It is not good enough just to say, we're going to fix the shortage in the emergency rooms when there are other issues around.

[8:30 p.m.]

For example, one of the ways that they reduced the number of Code Oranges they were having was the fact that they were able to create virtual rooms in waiting rooms, so any patient waiting in a virtual room doesn't count towards the Code Orange, which means they know they are overcrowded but actually it reduces on paper the number of Code Oranges that they had to have. Well, that's not a solution to the problem. That is great that you are going to put them in a bed instead of a chair, but it hasn't eliminated the problem, it just eliminated the number of times you need to report it. That doesn't make any sense to me.

It is similar to the criticism that I had, which I hope was taken as constructive criticism, of the Emergency Department Accountability Act for ER closures - I can't remember the exact name, so I hope you excuse me, Mr. Speaker. My issue with that was that while the promise was for ministerial accountability, it put all of the accountability on the district health authorities. It said, you need to report when these closures are or the overcrowdings and the closures, you need to report annually on what you're doing.

That's an important aspect of it but what the public wants is they want the government to take responsibility and to come out and issue a report and do their own things and be required in legislation to do it, because that is what was promised. That's what was promised in this document with ministerial accountability not district health authority responsibility. So, I'm not convinced on that front that that has been achieved.

When we look at the failures of health care, we need only look as far as the nurse practitioner situation in Digby and let's not pretend that that has gone away somewhere because it hasn't. You need only to talk to the member here who lives in the middle of this problem, understanding that you need to create situations where people feel welcome and

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where they are given the tools to respond uniquely and respond as the community needs them to in these nurse practitioner situations, because every community is different and every community has slightly different needs that will address their concerns and yet, the folks on Digby Neck were failed. The problem has not gone away. A few months away from the House hasn't made it all much better. So, where is the solution to that? In fact, if anything, if you talk to a lot of people there, it has gotten worse for them. So, where is that solution?

There seems to be an approach that problems are only problems if they're brought up in the House or while the House is in the session. Well, that sort of attitude will only create a situation where people will be rushing to get out of the Legislature as fast as possible because they don't need to hear about it and that's not what we need. We need to understand that the problems don't go away the day the Lieutenant Governor comes and closes the House. The problems still exist and they still need to be addressed.

The Premier and others have spoken about the 1,500 homes and the new home rebate and again that is referred to here in the Speech from the Throne. No doubt there were 1,500 rebates taken but nobody has yet been able to show how many of those homes were already built by the time the rebates were taken or, more importantly, how many of those would have been built anyhow. Many of the builders that I've talked to say, well, yes, they already had contracts to do the homes they were doing and those folks got the rebate and so be it.

I talked to one guy who had his home planned for two years and was building it and he just lucked into getting one of those rebates. It was great for him, but the fact that 1,500 people signed up for a program doesn't make it a successful program. You had to show that there were 1,500 new homes that otherwise would not have been built and that just hasn't been proven. Certainly, if the government has that information, I am happy to look at it. But the government hasn't provided that information, that's the point, and they haven't proven that that works.

It is no different than the education tax credit for students. Student groups have come out pretty well unanimously, if not entirely unanimously saying that it is not going to work and they would rather the money be put into other things. So, if the student groups say it won't work, the faculty associations say it won't work, the university presidents say it won't work, why are we doing it?

It didn't work in New Brunswick, it didn't keep the students there. Why didn't it work? Because the value of that tax credit for many people after graduation is so small by the time they look at the tax credits they already have from student loans and so forth and the fact that for the vast majority of students who would be applying, their incomes are obviously not at the peak for their earning years.

These are the kinds of things, it's great to say, look we did this, but more important to the people of Nova Scotia, more important to the better conduct of politics and the

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Legislature is showing there is value and there is proven value in those measures. There hasn't been shown any proven value in those things at this point. If there is value, I don't know why the government is hiding those things.

Mr. Speaker, there are a number of tough issues that this province is going to face over the coming years. A number of other members may have received this from the Council of State Governments, talk about an electric car panel and so forth, looking at how you integrate electric vehicles. That always sounds great when we hear about it until we realize our power here comes from coal and you're effectively creating a coal-powered vehicle in Nova Scotia.

What that means is that we need to rapidly move to alternative forms of energy and that means we have to start implementing some of the studies that have been around for a number of years. A number of years ago, not only an independent panel, but one of the government's own panels, actually recommended that we move ahead with renewable to retail sales. The other day Minas Pulp and Power was at our Standing Committee on Resources and they indicated it was one of the top two things that they needed to see. The renewable energy industry generally needed to be moved ahead in order to see renewable energy survive.

It's something we really need to look at. We need to be thinking about electricity differently in this province. I'm not convinced that we're there, I'm not convinced that's happened yet. We've seen some small steps and there's no question about that, but we also have a lot of work to do to create conditions where people feel that it's accepted and people feel that they can deliver on these things and they want these renewable energy alternatives next to them.

I really haven't seen any of that at this point, explaining to people what the alternatives are, explaining to people where the costs come from and why it's important that government support these sorts of things. That is something we need to move forward on.

Some of those opportunities I talked about are going to be in labour and retraining and some of those retraining opportunities and some of those new employment opportunities are going to come from the alternative energy fields. On Page 14 of the Speech from the Throne the government heralds the Labour Market Agreement as something that's working really well.

I'm not sure whether the government has talked to their own staff about this, but they actually have expressed some concerns at a number of committees. There has been concern expressed all the way around on this Labour Market Agreement. I understand it's an agreement with the federal government, but the implementation of this is leaving an awful lot of people out. Nobody seems to be able to provide any rationale for how you get in there. You apply, you're told you're going to be successful and then the application goes into the

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province and it gets rejected, often because you're told you have marketable skills, yet nobody seems to be able to define what a marketable skill is.

This is a real problem and in fact, I think it was the deputy minister and another senior official who came and said, yes, listen, it's a problem. The interesting thing here is, I was surprised to see this in the Speech from the Throne after hearing from the department staff on this issue, because they were saying part of the problem is you have the federal Progressive Conservatives running ads on TV that say, listen, we have all these new programs. Come and apply. We're going to get you retrained. In fact, there is actually no new program.

I understand why people are applying, but then don't say the program is a success when, in fact, there are all kinds of problems. The department is saying there are problems with it and people are getting refused left, right and centre. It's not available. When you call the department and ask if there's a program guide that I can get that actually tells me who's eligible and who's not - I'm sorry, we really don't have that. That's a problem. You need to know, so that when people come into a constituency office or go into some of these employment centres and say I'm going to apply for this program, you can go down and say listen, you may or may not be eligible.

At the moment they are telling everybody they are eligible and to submit their application, and then they get refused. Some people have signed up for training programs, thinking they were told they were eligible - and actually getting letters in some cases implying that they are eligible - only to turn around later to find out they are halfway through a program and stuck with a bill that they are not going to get reimbursed for. That is wrong.

I was absolutely flabbergasted when I read that line in the Speech from the Throne saying what a wonderful program this is when, in fact, half of the people who are involved in it - maybe more than half - don't seem to be able to get approved through it. In fact I haven't had one person come through who hasn't had a letter back that said sorry, you are refused because you have a marketable skill, yet nobody can tell me what a marketable skill is. It is really, really odd.

So these are the kinds of things that need to be fixed. It is not good enough to just say we have this program. It is only good enough to show that the program works; it is only good enough to say we have proof that what we have implemented has actually worked. This is yet another example of something where that appears to not be the case.

You know we in Nova Scotia are facing some serious challenges. The last thing that I'd like to address is around the issue of demographics. I'm 35 years old, and I can't remember how old the member for - oh, there you go, the member for Inverness is the same age and I know the member over here for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville is younger than that. (Interruption) I knew that was coming, and the member for Bedford-Birch Cove is 24.

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The thing is that when I look around - listen, I graduated in 1992 from Prince Andrew High School and pretty well everybody I graduated with has left this province. Now some of them are out of the country working, a lot of them are out West, and not in Calgary, but in Ontario or British Columbia or places like that. The biggest problem that we have in this province is a demographic problem. We need to make Nova Scotia the place where you want to be.

We need to make people realize the opportunities that exist in this province so that young people and people under 40 choose to stay here, because frankly we are not going to be able to afford any of the programs, no matter how much cost-cutting or efficiencies the Minister of Finance is able to achieve - we are not going to be able to afford any of them if we don't get young people here and we create jobs where people are paying taxes to pay for the programs. It is a simple financial issue. It will be so expensive to live here that even those who are retired won't be able to stay - and that's wrong.

Nova Scotia is a province full of opportunity. Nova Scotia is a leader in so many fields, but has an opportunity to be a leader in so many more areas, from renewable energy, to some of the creative stuff that is being done at the universities, to research and development.

But one day I want someone to explain to me why it is that so much of the research that is done at our universities in Nova Scotia ends up being brought to market in the United States, or overseas - somebody has got to explain that. I don't for a second expect that there is necessarily somebody in this room who is going to have the answer overnight, but somebody needs to answer that and we need to change that. We need to because that's where the opportunities are. We are seeing the great ideas of Nova Scotians go elsewhere - and that's wrong.

Mr. Speaker, over the next few years . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Development in Halifax . . .

MR. YOUNGER: Okay, I've got one other subject for you - development in Halifax. All right. You know the Premier's Economic Advisory Panel talked about the issue that Halifax is a hub city, right? I know it's kind of like Toronto to the rest of Canada - everybody likes the sport of hating Toronto, and in Nova Scotia there's kind of the same sport when it comes to Halifax. That's fine when it is in jest, but the fact of the matter is that other parts of Nova Scotia are extremely important to our economic well-being, but Halifax is important and things just aren't going to survive in this province without a strong Halifax as well. It's the nature of the beast. So what happens when you go to downtown Halifax and you go down Barrington Street? There are papered-over windows and construction projects are few and far between. Why is that? Because we haven't created (Interruption)

Listen, there's lots of blame at the municipal level, and I don't deny that, but there are also lots of problems in terms of the economic climate here. We need to create an

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economic climate that makes people want to invest, and more important than creating an economic climate that makes people want to invest, we need to create an economic climate that makes people want to invest in the short term - not that they can look and say, well, I could make the investment now or five years from now when I see what happens. Give them reasons to make those decisions now, because we have a truly vibrant city but I've talked to a lot of people who are looking for reasons to stay.

[8:45 p.m.]

The other day I spoke at King's College, together with somebody from the Department of Finance and the executive director of the Atlantic Gateway Secretariat. One of the things that we all agreed on - all the students in the room said that they need jobs, but the most important thing to them at the moment in terms of the decision whether to stay is where they have the opportunities and the lifestyle that they're going to want to have long term. So that is something that we need to work on, and certainly streets full of papered-over windows in any community, whether it's Halifax or Glace Bay or Yarmouth, isn't going to help, which brings me to something else. I said I was going to finish, but here we go.

The Cat, all right, you know, it affects Yarmouth. (Interruption) And I was just asked how that affects Halifax. Well, it affects the whole province. The fact of the matter - but this is the part that I don't understand. I haven't heard anybody in the Legislature stand up and say The Cat is the right boat. I haven't heard anybody stand up and say that yet, but what I have heard them say is, you don't just pull the rug out from under everybody with no notice, with no chance to do something else. That makes absolutely no sense. There are stronger words I'd use, but they're unparliamentary. (Interruptions)

Here's the thing that really gets me, the community comes up with $3 million, right, that's good, and that's hard, that's not easy. The province has to pay $3 million anyway as a penalty clause, which gets you your $6 million. The math isn't that hard. There were no savings for this year in getting rid of The Cat. So why would you get rid of it? Why wouldn't you say, listen, this boat isn't going to work, we need to find something different for next year, you've got a year's notice, we're going to work together to find a different ferry system that works. That at least would have been more legitimate than a decision where you say, well, we're cancelling it because it's not going to save money, or we've got to save money and it's too expensive to do. So when it turns out in true terms, it's costing the government the same amount anyway.

Nobody from the government side - I listened to the debate about that on Friday night. Nobody was able to explain that on the government side. That was the one answer that never came out, why not do this in a different way? I think everybody wants to look at the economic - and you want to have something that brings cargo in, of course you do. It just doesn't make any sense. So at the end of the day those are the kind of decisions that don't make any sense and are not explainable. The ripple effect is enormous. You can go to White

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Point and talk to the guys who own White Point, and they'll tell you that their bookings are down. They're probably laying off staff. You can talk to hoteliers here in Halifax and they'll say, listen, maybe it's not 50 per cent, but we have a percentage of our sales that come in on The Cat that probably won't come. We have packages that we do.

This happens all over the place, and so the fact of the matter is that those are decisions that, again, one after another, decisions of their own making that were praised by the government in the Speech from the Throne with no evidence, no evidence to show that these decisions were appropriate, that these decisions were the right decisions, that these decisions have actually worked - just statements that we did it. Well, it's great that you did it, but prove to me it worked. The Cat is actually in the situation we're in now - it turns out with all the evidence on the table, it wasn't probably the right decision for this year, given that there were no savings for the government. The argument when the press conference happened was there was going to be a cost savings. Now it turns out there isn't any. That's a tough one.

So it's no different, whether it's a nurse practitioner in Digby or the Dartmouth General Hospital not being mentioned. The fact that we're looking at emergency room over-crowding but forgetting about the fact that there's an explosion in private blood clinics in this province; the fact that there are doctors who are now, instead of opening regular clinics, just open walk-in clinics because they don't want to deal with the paperwork. This is symptomatic of the problems and I don't know whether it's just a choice to turn a blind eye or what it is. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please, a little bit of chatter in the Chamber tonight. The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor.

MR. YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Close to the end of my remarks following the first Speech from the Throne I said: Over the next few years, we're going to be watching the NDP to see what decisions are made. Well so far, the track record hasn't been that good and a couple of lucky successes here and there does not a good government make. I guess, since the government has decided to hit the reset button and start all over again, we'll start looking again and see what happens. The first test will be next week.

I'm interested in seeing in the next three years how many more times the government hits the reset button and decides to start all over again because it will be a few times. With that, thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, it's an honour and a privilege to get up this evening to share a few thoughts I have around the Speech from the Throne that was delivered

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last week by Her Honour. I want to begin by saying that I want to welcome our newest colleague here at the Legislature, the honourable member for Inverness. (Applause)

Actually, part of my comments tonight will be about the big shoes this young man has to fill here in the Legislature because the person that was in this Legislature before him, in my estimation, and I believe the coming years will prove, has done a wonderful job on behalf of Nova Scotians. In fact, he brought in many programs that will benefit Nova Scotians not only now but for decades to come and I know the honourable member for Inverness realizes that and I welcome him to the Legislature to sit amongst us as a colleague and I look forward to working with him over the coming years.

I guess what was most obvious to me about the Speech from the Throne was what was not in it as opposed to what was actually in it and I want to table something. I know the members opposite have certainly seen this before. It's titled, A Bitter Deal - I'm sorry - A Better Deal for 2009, the NDP plan to make life better for today's families. They often say in the small print is the true story. I can hardly see it but it does say, clip and save. These are commitments Darrell Dexter and the NDP will keep.

I didn't write this, but someone wrote it, and I don't know if the people that went around during the campaign that held this up on high actually read that, but there are some things here that the Speech from the Throne does not address and they have not been addressed since this government came in to play, since last June. For example, the government talked about - sorry, the Party at the time, during the election, made a commitment to balance the budget and we all know where that went. We all know that went out the window.

As we watched over how this government has acted as a newly formed government the last number of months, we know and we realize - it goes without saying but I'll say it anyway - certainly from going from here to over there, something has changed. Well, my colleague says something has changed. A lot of things have changed. That old saying about don't do as I (Interruptions) - don't do as I (Interruptions) - I'm getting lots of help, Mr. Speaker.

I really listened with interest earlier tonight when the Premier got up and shared his thoughts about the Speech from the Throne and it's very easy for any one of us to stand in this House and make positive comments about each other, about the government, about being in Opposition or to be critical. I do want to say, the other day the Leader of our Party, if you remember back for those who listened to what she had to say, talked about how we really need to give credit where credit is due. I really believe that.

Mr. Speaker, there have been a couple of things I think have benefited Nova Scotians, no question about it, in the last nine or 10 months since the government took over. One, that fee for seniors going into nursing homes, no question, that's a real benefit to many people

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and I applaud the government for doing that. It is a great initiative. Of course, the issue around HST off of power bills, no doubt about it, that will help many people.

But, as the Leader of our Party said on Friday, there are many, many other initiatives that were included in the Speech from the Throne that the government would like to take credit for. We all know that's not factual, a lot of those initiatives were started a number of years ago and were continued along throughout the past mandate of the previous government and now onto this government. I'm hoping that many of those initiatives will continue along. To stand in the House and take credit for them when they know full well there's very little else they can take credit for so they take credit for what a previous government did.

I mentioned the former Premier, Premier Rodney MacDonald, I think one of the best things I've seen in this Legislature since I've been here is the Nova Scotia Family Pharmacare Program for those with low income. (Applause) For those MLAs who have been around for a number of years, it doesn't matter which side of the House you sit on, they would know we have constituents who have come to us over the last number of years on a regular basis needing help with their medications. I can think of many in my own area, sometimes the husband and wife both needed help and were unable to get that help. Because of that program brought in by our former Premier, I think that's one of the best programs I've seen in the 12 years I've been here.

Another program that was brought in that I'm sure the Minister of Justice was very interested in in his former career, was the Boots to the Street. The additional police officers that were brought in by Premier Rodney MacDonald to put additional police officers on the street to address issues of drug crimes, of violent crimes, of drugs in schools. I know when I travelled with him, that was one thing you heard a lot about, that people in this province wanted something done about drugs and schools. The Boots to the Street program has gone a long way with the teams that have been formed in communities to help in communities, especially students, with drugs around schools.

Another thing was the largest infrastructure program ever done, when it came to highway paving in this province, was done by the previous government. Another thing that was mentioned tonight by the Premier and has been over the last number of months is the issue around tidal power. Again, something Premier MacDonald personally involved himself in and ensured this province - in a budget that was very tight - that money was made available for tidal power.

Those are just a few examples of great initiatives by a previous government that this government, I know, would like to stand today in the House and have. When I look at the Speech from the Throne, talk about some things they believe they're responsible for, the only thing they were really responsible for at the time was to sit over here and be critical of not more programs being offered. We said at the time, you have to make choices and you have to prioritize programs and initiatives that you want to undertake. Simply sitting over here and

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criticizing the government for what it's trying to do doesn't cut it. People expect more from all of us and I hope as members of an official Party on this side that we will take advantage of every opportunity to bring that forward to members of the government and to the Premier.

It's been mentioned here earlier about The Cat. We had quite a debate here on Friday with the issue of The Cat. The honourable member is right, if anyone took a look at the history of The Cat, the boat that had runs out of Yarmouth until this year, there were a lot of people who questioned the effectiveness of that style and size of boat. But that's not to say that the community doesn't need a ferry service. I don't think anyone in Nova Scotia would argue with the fact that some sort of ferry service is required out of Yarmouth to ensure that tourism and economic opportunities are followed to their full potential.

No one has even taken the opportunity. The federal government, as you know, has put a lot of money into - I think $1 million - the southwest transportation strategy, which I understand is almost completed. You would think before any decision was made around that Cat, the government would have waited at least until that study was provided to them so they could make an informed decision as to what the next steps would be. But to see that funding yanked, Mr. Speaker, which led to the demise of The Cat, never to come back again, really - and that old saying, he thought it was gone, but the cat came back - well, it looks like this Cat won't come back.

That's a pretty sad statement for a new government. Less than a year in power, and the people in southwest Nova Scotia will always remember that this new government took away an opportunity for them to survive in these very tough times. I think the number I've heard was around 500 jobs that are affected, in one way or another, in southwest Nova Scotia. Mr. Speaker, I would like to hear from the government how they plan to go into those communities and help replace those jobs.

[9:00 p.m.]

When you talk about the platform that these folks ran on, Mr. Speaker - I was in speaking to a high school class here within the last few weeks, and a young guy in the classroom came up to me. He raised it as an issue, and he said, I guess my question for you is this, how can politicians make promises, whether it is during their time as an elected official or, especially, I guess, throughout an election campaign - how can you make a promise if you know in your heart you can't keep it? If you know in your heart you can't keep a promise, why would you make it? You know, Mr. Speaker, this was a young high school student who, I think, put a lot of thought into what he and his colleagues in his classroom feel and what they're thinking about politicians.

We're going to debate tomorrow, and I know a bill is coming forward and we're going to debate with regard to MLA expenses - and so we should - but there's a bigger issue here in this province right now, Mr. Speaker, in regard to credibility of politicians and why

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young people aren't coming out to vote. That young man, I think, summed it up in one short sentence, in one question to me. When you see things like this being put out during an election campaign - between last June and probably a few weeks or at least a few short months later, the then-Official Opposition became government and determined then that they couldn't balance the budget - but they were going to during the campaign. (Interruption) I heard that, Mr. Minister of Finance. (Laughter)

The Minister of Finance mentioned the honourable member for Dartmouth North, the former member, Jerry Pye for Dartmouth North, and I will say, Mr. Speaker, that he was in my constituency about a week ago. His sister had passed away, and Mr. Pye was there with his family. I just want to say condolences on behalf of the Legislature to Mr. Pye and his family, who lost a sister, a young lady who died way before her time. He was in the Legion at Springhill and I can tell you, he hasn't lost his ability to stand in front of a crowd and to speak. He did a great job. (Interruptions)

I will take my place in a moment, but I did want to say that there are many, many issues that we need to discuss and debate in this House, but I would hope that we would all be able to keep in our minds that young people in this province have questions of us as politicians, and it is around credibility and it is around truthfulness and being able to believe us. I think it was highlighted very well by this young man that people who want to get elected have shown traditionally, over time, that a lot of times commitments are made, promises are made, statements are made, and is there really an attempt there to follow through?

Mr. Speaker, I know that the honourable Minister of Justice is listening to me very closely tonight, and I wouldn't want to disappoint him because I know he wants me to raise the issue about a correctional facility that was intended for Springhill. There was a commitment there that was made, announcements were made, sites selected, design done, $1 million spent, a community that developed a strategy and a future based on that, only to have the government turn around and say, nah, sorry, we're not going to do that now.

You know, Mr. Speaker, that is a question that many people will be asking for many, many years, and the next opportunity we have the Premier up in our area, I am sure that there are some people - in fact, some old miners mentioned to me - and I couldn't say what they said because it would be unparliamentary, but would like to ask the Premier, and the Deputy Premier would understand, he comes from a mining community, he knows how strong willed these people are and how they expect that when a person shakes hands, two men shake hands, it is as good as gold - the same as a written contract, it's the same as good as gold, black gold.

Mr. Speaker, I know the time is getting short here, but I just want to say that there are many things here that I want to talk about tonight, the commitments the government has made, they have said publicly, they've put into documents, people are really questioning the forthrightness of making these statements when they either knew full well they couldn't keep

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them or made a decision between this side of the House and that side of the House that they were not going to do it.

There's no question, this government will face many challenges, particularly financial, in the coming years. I'm hoping that they will keep in mind the commitments they made to the people of this province, that Nova Scotians are expecting them to hold true in their promises.

Mr. Speaker, with that I'd like to move adjournment of the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for adjournment of the debate. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I do now move that the House rise, to meet at the hours of 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon. After the Orders of the Day and Oral Question Period, the government business will be Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill No. 1 and after that, the debate on the Address in Reply to the Speech from the Throne.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The House stands adjourned, to sit again tomorrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 9:06 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 75

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas Lawrencetown Fire Department recently hosted its annual awards banquet for 2009; and

Whereas during this special evening, Matt Pembleton received his 50-year service award from the department and was crowned with a gold helmet in recognition of decades of selfless service; and

Whereas Robert Gesner was honoured for 40 years of service, many of them as chief; Rickey Beals, Jim Leslie and James Wood received their 30-year service awards; Burtrum Shaw, his 20-year pin and Cliff Guibault received his 5-year pin;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these brave firefighters from the Lawrencetown Fire Department and thank them for their many years of service to their community, when they are ready to go at any time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day.