The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD 10-29

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

THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Jubilee Lodge: Generator/Tanks - Move,
Mr. C. Porter 2040
TIR: Rte.316 (New Hbr. - Seal Hbr) - Resurface,
Mr. J. Boudreau 2040
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
HPP - Injury Prevention Strategy, Hon. Maureen MacDonald 2040
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. R. Landry 2041
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. R. Landry 2041
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1114, McCurdy, Ross - CBU Ctr. for Sustainability:
CEO - Appt., The Premier (by Hon. W. Estabrooks) 2042
Vote - Affirmative 2042
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 68, Public Utilities Act,
Hon. R. Jennex 2042
No. 69, Public Highways Act,
Ms. K. Regan 2042
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1115, Amirault, Sarah: N.S. Recycles Contest - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 2043
Vote - Affirmative 2043
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1116, Rhymes, Rev. Fred & Rev. Val - Serv.: Warm Wishes
- Extend, Mr. A. MacLeod 2043
Vote - Affirmative 2044
Res. 1117, Paris, Henderson: Run Against Racism - Importance,
Hon. R. Landry 2044
Vote - Affirmative 2045
Res. 1118, MLAs: Mothers - Applaud,
Mr. H. Theriault 2045
Vote - Affirmative 2046
Res. 1119, LeBlanc, Gerald and Alice - Anniv. (50th),
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2046
Vote - Affirmative 2046
Res. 1120, Dawson, Andre: Baseball Hall of Fame - Selection,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 2046
Vote - Affirmative 2047
Res. 1121, Eisan, Dennis and Linda: St. John's Anglican Church,
- Commitment, Hon. K. Colwell 2047
Vote - Affirmative 2048
Res. 1122, Lucentis - Non-Coverage: NDP Gov't. - Explain,
Hon. K. Casey 2048
Res. 1123, Dominion Dart Championship: Organizing Comm.
- Congrats., Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 2049
Vote - Affirmative 2050
Res. 1124, Bourassa, Agatha: Robotics Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2050
Vote - Affirmative 2051
Res. 1125, Windsor - W. Hants Bantam AA Hockey Team
- Prov. Championship, Mr. C. Porter 2051
Vote - Affirmative 2052
Res. 1126, Martin, Benjamin/Morris, Louis: Glooscap Heritage Ctr.
- Wall of Honour, Ms. L. Zann 2052
Vote - Affirmative 2052
Res. 1127, Clayton, Ruth - Birthday (100th),
Hon. K. Colwell 2052
Vote - Affirmative 2053
Res. 1128, Sanson, Lt. Bill: Queen's Colour - Acceptance,
Mr. A. MacMaster 2053
Vote - Affirmative 2054
Res. 1129, Wallace, Bert C. - Birthday (90th),
Mr. G. Ramey 2054
Vote - Affirmative 2055
Res. 1130, Benson, Annika: N.S. Recycles Contest - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 2055
Vote - Affirmative 2055
Res. 1131, Baddeck Lobster Suppers - Visit,
Mr. K. Bain 2055
Vote - Affirmative 2056
Res. 1132, Lunenburg Folks Hbr. Fest. - Anniv. (25th),
Ms. P. Birdsall 2056
Vote - Affirmative 2057
Res. 1133, Clavel-Terrio, Danick: Educ. Wk. Award - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Samson 2057
Vote - Affirmative 2058
Res. 1134, MacDonald, Matthew: Fundraising - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 2058
Vote - Affirmative 2059
Res. 1135, Sunnyville United Baptist Church - Anniv. (91st),
Mr. J. Boudreau 2059
Vote - Affirmative 2059
Res. 1136, Beazley, Mayor Paul: Rotarian Activities - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter 2059
Vote - Affirmative 2060
Res. 1137, Burke, Natasha - Rock Star: Production - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacLeod 2060
Vote - Affirmative 2061
Res. 1138, Ingonish Dev. Soc.: Efforts - Recognize,
Mr. K. Bain 2061
Vote - Affirmative 2062
Res. 1139, Hatt, Samantha/Killam, Nykola: Bus. Venture
- Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont 2062
Vote - Affirmative 2062
Res. 1140, Gillies, Kelsie Evelyn Anne: Dal. President's Award
- Congrats., Mr. A. MacMaster 2063
Vote - Affirmative 2063
Res. 1141, DeAdder, Katrina/Taggart, Megan:
Natl. Animation Comp. - Congrats., Hon. K. Casey 2063
Vote - Affirmative 2064
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1142, Irving Schwartz: Cdn. Intl. Demining Corps.
- Congrats., Hon. C. Clarke 2064
Vote - Affirmative 2065
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 284, Prem. - Yarmouth: Job Creation - Numbers,
Hon. S. McNeil 2065
No. 285, Prem. - Lucentis: Prov. Formulary - Add,
Hon. K. Casey 2066
No. 286, Prem.: Team West - Status,
Hon. S. McNeil 2067
No. 287, Health - CMHA (Kings Br.): Funding - Discontinuance,
Mr. L. Glavine 2069
No. 288, Health - Fam. Dr. Shortage: Yarmouth - Address,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2070
No. 289, HPP: Problem Gambling Help Line - Operation,
Mr. L. Glavine 2072
No. 290, Agric. - Agriculture Plan (10 Yr.): Release - Timeline,
Mr. C. Porter 2073
No. 291, Com. Serv.: Youth In Care - Numbers,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 2074
No. 292, TIR - Rd. Const.: Allocation - Details,
Mr. A. MacMaster 2076
No. 293, Health: Insulin Pump Training - Wait Times,
Ms. D. Whalen 2077
No. 294, Agric.: Blueberry Ind. - Strategy,
Mr. L. Glavine 2078
No. 295, Prem. - HST: Application - Details,
Mr. A. MacLeod 2079
No. 296, TIR: Little Anse Rd. - Review,
Hon. M. Samson 2080
No. 297, Prem.: Gas Regulation - Stance,
Mr. K. Bain 2082
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 50, Correctional Services Act,
Hon. M. Samson 2084
Vote - Affirmative 2086
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 61, Non-essential Pesticides Control Act,
Hon. S. Belliveau 2086
Mr. A. Younger 2088
Mr. C. Porter 2090
Mr. T. Zinck 2094
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2096
Hon. F. Corbett 2098
Vote - Affirmative 2098
No. 62, Nova Scotia Hospital Foundation Act,
Vote - Affirmative 2098
No. 64, Electricity Act,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 2099
Mr. A. Younger 2101
Hon. C. Clarke 2103
Hon. W. Estabrooks 2104
Vote - Affirmative 2104
No. 65, Homes for Special Care Act,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 2105
Hon. Manning MacDonald 2105
Hon. C. Clarke 2106
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 2106
Vote - Affirmative 2106
No. 67, Halifax Regional Municipality Charter
Hon. R. Jennex 2106
Mr. A. Younger 2107
Hon. C. Clarke 2108
Hon. R. Jennex 2109
Vote - Affirmative 2109
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. R. Landry 2110
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO A CWH ON BILLS AT 3:17 P.M. 2110
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:29 P.M. 2110
CWH REPORTS 2110
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 35, Finance Act,
Hon. G. Steele 2111
Vote - Affirmative 2111
No. 24, Financial Measures (2010) Act,
Hon. G. Steele 2111
Mr. L. Glavine 2112
Mr. A. MacMaster 2116
Hon. G. Steele 2118
Vote - Affirmative 2120
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 22, Security and Investigative Services Act 2120
No. 53, Fur Industry Act 2120
No. 55, Internal Trade Agreement Implementation Act 2120
Vote - Affirmative 2120
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Legislature - Regulations: Role/Authority - Effect,
Mr. A. Younger 2121
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., May 7th at 9 a.m. 2124
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Res. 1143, Ireland, David: NSCC Bus. Comp. - Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 2125
Res. 1144, Ibey, Fred: NSCC Bus. Comp. - Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 2125
Res. 1145, Humphreys, Kris: NSCC Bus. Comp. - Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 2126
Res. 1146, Coll, Heather - New Glasgow Music Fest.: Success
- Congrats., Hon. C. D'Entremont 2126
Res. 1147, MacNeil, Adrian: Carrick Award - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2127
Res. 1148, Rousseau, Luc: Concours de robotique - Félicitations,
Mr. L. Glavine 2127
Res. 1149, Perreault, Michael: Concours de robotique - Félicitations,
Mr. L. Glavine 2128
Res. 1150, Bergeron, Malek: Robotics Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2128
Res. 1151, Rousseau, Alexandra: Robotics Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2129
Res. 1152, Bourassa, Agatha: Concours de robotique - Félicitations,
Mr. L. Glavine 2129
Res. 1153, Bergeron, Nicole: Robotics Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2130
Res. 1154, Rousseau, Ray: Concours de robotique - Félicitations,
Mr. L. Glavine 2130
Res. 1155, Quellet, Gabriel: Robotics Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2131
Res. 1156, Ferland, Olivier: Robotics Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2132

[Page 2039]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 6, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I call the House to order.

Before we begin the daily routine, I just want to read the late debate topic under Rule 5(5):

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize that the authority of the Legislature and role of elected officials is minimized by bills that designate the majority details to regulations approved by ministers or Cabinet.

That was submitted by the honourable member for Clare and it will be debated at the moment of interruption at 6:00 p.m.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

[Page 2040]

2039

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the residents of Jubilee Lodge in Hantsport. The operative clause reads:

"We the undersigned, being the tenants at Jubilee Lodge, 11 Chittick Avenue, Hantsport, N.S., respectfully request that the governing board of the Annapolis Valley Housing Authority direct the staff to immediately move the recently installed emergency generator and fuel tanks, forthwith, to a lesser offensive and safer location."

I have affixed my signature to the petition as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

MR. JIM BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from the Guysborough-Sheet Harbour constituency. The operative clause is:

"We the undersigned, petition the Government of NS to recognize the years of neglect to Route 316 from New Harbour to Seal Harbour and respectfully request this route to be resurfaced."

I, too, have affixed my name to this petition, and there are 314 names besides my own.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a report entitled 425 Nova Scotians die each year as a result of injury . . . Nova Scotia's Renewed Injury Prevention Strategy, Taking It to the Next Level.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled. (Interruption)

There has been a request to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

[Page 2041]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 22 - Security and Investigative Services Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 52 - Insurance Act.

Bill No. 53 - Fur Industry Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

[Page 2042]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1114

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

Whereas Ross McCurdy of Cape Breton University is the new chief operating officer for the school's Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment; and

Whereas this centre will help attract some of the world's finest researchers and experts in the green sector; and

Whereas this centre is a prime example of the world-class leadership that exists in Cape Breton and at Cape Breton University;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature recognize the innovative vision of the Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment, and wish Ross McCurdy all the best in his new role.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[12:15 p.m.]

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. 68 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

Bill No. 69 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 371 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Highways Act. (Ms. Kelly Regan)

[Page 2043]

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 1115

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Recycles is an environmental awareness contest for school children from Primary to Grade 12, run by the Resource Recovery Fund Board, RRFB, that distributes more than $30,000 in scholarships and prizes; and

Whereas the RRFB's panel of judges viewed nearly 9,300 submissions from 227 participating schools in this year's contest; and

Whereas Sarah Amirault of École Beaubassin in Halifax won a provincial award for her magazine-ad collage;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sarah on her imaginative art design, and wish her future success in all of her environmental and artistic 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 Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1116

[Page 2044]

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

Whereas Reverend Fred and Reverend Val Rhymes have been leaders and clergy for the past five and a half years at St. Bartholomew's Church in Louisburg and Christ Church in Sydney; and

Whereas Reverend Fred is now retiring, both clergy will be sorely missed at their respective churches following years of dedicated service and work; and

Whereas Reverend Fred and Reverend Val, during their time, were responsible for parish amalgamation, which involved the uniting of the smaller parishes into the Parish of the Resurrection to make better use of existing church assets;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend their warmest wishes to Reverend Fred and Reverend Val Rhymes for their years of service at their two respective churches, and wish them the very best in their future successes.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1117

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

Whereas the Run Against Racism will take place today, May 6th, and blends into the Marathon of Respect and Equality; and

Whereas Mr. Peter White and his wife, Diane White, has supported Henderson Paris in his Run Against Racism for years; and

[Page 2045]

Whereas Mr. White held a kickoff event where the municipality signed a proclamation showing their support of the event and its new route, which will allow for more communities and community members to participate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the importance of Henderson Paris's Run Against Racism, and the dedicated leadership of Mr. Peter White and Mrs. Diane White for ensuring the continuation of this incredible event.

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. 1118

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

Whereas this coming weekend will be a day to honour all of our mothers, but we should honour our mothers every day of the year; and

Whereas mothers should be recognized more for their wisdom, their understanding, their support, their encouragement and their great belief in their children and, most of all, their unconditional love; and

Whereas without our mothers many of us would not be where we are today, including many of the MLAs who are sitting in this Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House stand and applaud all the mothers of this province and wish them the best, from the bottom of our hearts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2046]

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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 1119

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 anniversaries are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of two individuals united as one; and

Whereas an unknown author once quoted, a marriage anniversary is a celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity but the order varies in any given year; and

Whereas on April 23, 2010, a very special occasion took place when Gerald and Alice LeBlanc celebrated their 50th Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Gerald and Alice on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wishing them many more happy years.

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.

[Page 2047]

RESOLUTION NO. 1120

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

Whereas Montreal baseball fans have yet another reason to celebrate our gone but not forgotten beloved Expos, with the induction on July 25th of No. 10 Andre "The Hawk" Dawson into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown; and

Whereas Andre Dawson played ten seasons for the Montreal Expos before moving on in his 21-year career to play for the Chicago Cubs, Boston and Florida; and

Whereas The Hawk, known for his prowess in the outfield, is one of only three major leaguers to hit more than 400 home runs and steal over 300 bases - anyone in the House who can name the other two, I'll have a prize for you later;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature recognize Andre Dawson on his selection to the baseball Hall of Fame and thank all true Montreal Expo fans for their continuing dedication to our dearly departed baseball team.

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 1121

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

Whereas Dennis and Linda Eisan have been members of St. John's Anglican Church in my riding of Preston since 1982, and they have been responsible for raising $70,000 in the past 23 years at their event that started out as a "heap of spaghetti supper" and has evolved into a prepared roast beef dinner and auction; and

[Page 2048]

Whereas in 1995, Dennis and Linda stepped in when their church needed someone to look after the hall bookings and the cleaning of both the hall and the church; and

Whereas Dennis cares for the cemetery and they both are involved in running the food bank, as well as cooking and serving food at all events - and recently raised $20,000 to re-shingle the roof for the church;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize Dennis and Linda Eisan for their commitment to the St. John's Anglican Church, and wish them well in their 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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. KAREN CASEY: With your permission, I would like to do an introduction prior to my resolution.

MR. SPEAKER: Sure.

MS. CASEY: I would like to draw people's attention to the east gallery where we have four adult children of one of my constituents, Eva Giddens. Eva is not able to be here, but her four children are, and I would like to introduce them - would you please stand? - Betty Jennings from Debert, Larry Giddens from Elmsdale, Gwen Davis from Debert, and Barb Reid from Salmon River. Welcome to the House and I hope you enjoy the proceedings. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1122

[Page 2049]

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

Whereas age-related macular degeneration is a serious cause of vision loss and blindness in adults; and

Whereas this vision loss and blindness can be reversed if treated quickly enough with a drug called Lucentis; and

Whereas the NDP Government will not cover the cost of Lucentis for Nova Scotians in need, despite previously advocating to cover this drug and despite the fact that professionals have pointed out the cost of the drug is much less than the eventual cost of $55 million in associated costs related to blindness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly ask the NDP Government to explain to the people of Nova Scotia why they are not covering the cost of Lucentis and are giving Nova Scotians the dubious distinction of being the only province in Canada that does not cover the cost.

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 Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1123

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 from Friday, May 7th to Sunday, May 10th, the Royal Canadian Legion F.E. Butler Branch 44 in Chester will host for the third time the Dominion Dart Championships; and

Whereas the Legion will welcome players from across Canada, the Yukon and Northwest Territories; and

[Page 2050]

Whereas this will be a wonderful opportunity for Legion members from this country to come together for a time of competition, also a time to form new friendships and understanding of Legions in other parts of the country, the problems they may face and successes they have achieved;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the organizing committee of the Dominion Dart Championships for a job well done, and very best wishes to all the competitors and we hope they have an enjoyable stay in our beautiful province.

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. 1124

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

Whereas Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the international robotics competition from April 14 to 17, 2010, with 82 teams from 32 countries participating in the event; and

Whereas Team Les Débrouillards, which means "the resourceful ones", from École Rose-des-Vents represented Nova Scotia and lived up to their name when they were able to assist the team from Newfoundland and Labrador with technical difficulties, and overcame language barriers to work with their paired team from South Korea; and

Whereas the judges recognized the commitment and abilities of Les Débrouillards and awarded them the Judge's Award at the FIRST LEGO League international robotics competition;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Agatha Bourassa, a teacher, on the success of Les Débrouillards at the international robotics competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

[Page 2051]

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.

[12:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1125

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

Whereas the Windsor-West Hants Minor Hockey Association's Bantam AA hockey team was one of two teams to bring home Nova Scotia Championship honours during the 2009-10 minor hockey season; and

Whereas the Bantam AA Hockey Club was under the capable direction of head coach Grant Veinot and assistant coaches Mitchell Veinot, Tim Page and Tony Ross, manager Darlene Page and trainer Geoff Veinot and finished with a 2-1-1 record in winning the Bantam AA Championship; and

Whereas the two wins came over Truro 5-0 and Dartmouth 4-3 while they tied the Strait Area 3-3 and lost 3-1 to Pictou;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the efforts of the Windsor-West Hants Minor Hockey Association's Bantam AA team on their 2009-10 provincial championship, which they won in Pictou, while wishing them every future success in both their educational pursuits and hockey dreams.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2052]

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 Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 1126

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

Whereas Millbrook veteran, Mr. Benjamin Martin and Indian Brook veteran Mr. Louis Morris are both proud of having served in military duties; and

Whereas Mr. Martin and Mr. Morris are passionate about having the sacrifices of other Mi'kmaq veterans and comrades formally recognized and honoured; and

Whereas Mr. Martin and Mr. Morris have dedicated their time and energy in the creation of a memorial exhibit and wall of honour at the Glooscap Heritage Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature thank Mr. Benjamin Martin and Mr. Louis Morris for serving their country and for their dedication in honouring their fallen comrades and bringing recognition to Mi'kmaq veterans.

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 Preston.

[Page 2053]

RESOLUTION NO. 1127

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

Whereas Ruth Clayton Harris, born on April 28, 1930 in Truro moved to Halifax at the age of 24, and shortly after to Montreal where she met her future husband Donald; and

Whereas the couple then moved to Winnipeg and on to Vancouver for a number of years, they finally decided to return to Ruth's home province in 1978 to the community of East Preston; and

Whereas following the passing of her husband in 1992, Ruth involved herself in various organizations within the community such as the East Preston Seniors where she served as president for four years and the Ladies Auxiliary for the East Preston United Baptist Church where she currently holds the position of secretary;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House wish Ruth Clayton a very happy 80th birthday and thank her for her many years of community involvement.

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. 1128

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

Whereas on June 27, 2009, Lt. Bill Sanson of Whycocomagh received the Queen's Colour from Governor General Michaelle Jean on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; and

[Page 2054]

Whereas this presentation marks only the fourth time in 70 years that the Navy has gathered to accept the Sovereign's Colour; and

Whereas the Queen's Colour is typically a unit's most prized possession;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lt. Sanson on this impressive honour and thank him for his service to our country.

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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1129

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

Whereas Bert C. Wallace is a member of Branch 24 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia where he was honoured on April 18, 2010 on the occasion of his 90th birthday; and

Whereas Bert C. Wallace joined the North Shore Regiment in World War II and participated in the D-Day invasion in that conflict; and

Whereas Bert C. Wallace was wounded in that conflict, resulting in the loss of his leg;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Bert C. Wallace on the occasion of his 90th birthday, thank him for the significant contribution he has made to his province and this country, and wish him well in the days and months and years that lie ahead.

[Page 2055]

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. 1130

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Recycles is an environmental awareness contest for school children from Primary to Grade 12, run by the Resource Recovery Fund Board, RRFB, that distributes more than $30,000 in scholarships and prizes; and

Whereas the RRFB's panel of judges viewed nearly 9,300 submissions from 227 participating schools in this year's contest; and

Whereas the design by Annika Benson of Bedford Junior High School was a runner-up in the magazine-ad collage category;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Annika on her imaginative art design, and wish her future success in all of her environmental and artistic endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 2056]

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. 1131

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

Whereas Baddeck Lobster Suppers offers a delicious and elegant dining experience beginning in June every year for the past 23 years; and

Whereas Baddeck Lobster Suppers is located on Ross Street in the vibrant business community of Baddeck, overlooking the glorious Bras d'Or Lakes; and

Whereas Baddeck Lobster Suppers is a business initiative operated by President Arlene Morrison, her husband, Vice-President Brian Morrison, and Secretary-Treasurer Eileen Montgomery;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly drop in over the summer and enjoy the succulent Atlantic lobster, hot planked salmon, or Triple A strip loin grilled steak served at Baddeck Lobster Suppers, while congratulating Arlene, Brian, Eileen, and Hal for their wonderful hospitality and delicious food.

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 Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 1132

[Page 2057]

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival was founded in 1986 by a committed group of volunteers to provide entertainment in which both traditional music values and exploration within the folk music genre are encouraged and honoured; and

Whereas the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival is Nova Scotia's longest-running folk festival, showcasing great Nova Scotian, Canadian, and international talent and providing workshops and children's activities, all while providing and promoting the Town of Lunenburg as a tourist destination; and

Whereas 2010 marks the 25th Anniversary of Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, being held on August 5th to August 8th with an unparalleled lineup of performers and events, thanks to the hard work of the Folk Harbour Society, sponsors, and numerous volunteers;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the 25th Anniversary of the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival as a significant cultural and tourist draw for the Town of Lunenburg and the Province of Nova Scotia as a whole, and commend the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society for their commitment to celebrating the joys of traditional and contemporary folk music, dance, and oral history through this annual festival and through other events of the year.

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. 1133

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

[Page 2058]

Whereas the 2010 Education Week Awards ceremony was held at the Black Cultural Centre in Dartmouth on Monday, April 19th; and

Whereas Arichat resident and Felix Marchand Education Centre teacher Danick Clavel-Terrio was nominated by her colleagues in the Strait Regional School Board for her work relative to this year's Education Week theme, Equity in Education: Supporting all Students/Équité en éducation: Soutenir tous les étudiants; and

Whereas Danick is recognized for reaching out to all students and celebrating diverse cultures and peoples all year that brings the world into the Felix Marchand Education Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Danick Clavel-Terrio for being recognized for her teaching excellence at the 2010 Education Week Awards Ceremony 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. 1134

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

Whereas 17-year-old Matthew MacDonald, an outstanding young resident of Sydney Mines, is the youngest person ever to be named as Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year by the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals; and

Whereas Matthew was selected by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, which was composed of a jury, professional fundraisers, volunteers and corporate representatives, for his support of the IWK; and

[Page 2059]

Whereas Matthew began his fundraising 10 years ago with his first lemonade stand, and just recently raised another $5,500 through a women's hockey tournament spearheaded by the team The Benchwarmers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the spirit of this Grade 12 student and wish him continued success with his outstanding fundraising efforts.

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1135

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

Whereas the Sunnyville United Baptist Church has been serving the spiritual and community needs of the residents of Sunnyville and the surrounding area for 91 years; and

Whereas this important anniversary will be celebrated with a special ceremony themed Kneeling before God, in Order to Stand; and

Whereas the Sunnyville United Baptist Church, under the care of Deacon Clara Jordan, will celebrate its 91st Anniversary on Sunday, May 30, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Deacon Clara Jordan and the entire congregation of the Sunnyville United Baptist Church for 91 years of dedicated and welcoming service to the community of Sunnyville and surrounding area.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2060]

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. 1136

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

Whereas the Paul Harris Fellowship Award is the most prestigious award a member can receive from their local Rotary Club and was named after the founder of Rotary International on February 23, 1905; and

Whereas Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley was one of two Paul Harris Fellowship Award recipients from the Windsor Rotary Club in 2010; and

Whereas during his acceptance of the award, Paul noted he literally began working from the ground up during his early years - in fact, below the ground, as he was the late George Redden's number one digger of graves at Maplewood Cemetery;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the Rotarian activities of Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley, which are too numerous to mention, while wishing him every future 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.

[Page 2061]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1137

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

Whereas the George D. Lewis Jr. High School in association with the Louisbourg Playhouse presented the show Rock Star on May 2, 2010; and

Whereas this is the fifth year of this type of production for the school's travel group; and

Whereas Director Natasha Burke has been a force behind the success of these productions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate educator Natasha Burke and the cast of Rock Star for their team spirit and commitment to George D. Lewis Jr. High School.

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. 1138

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

[Page 2062]

Whereas the Ingonish Development Society is a strong and active community association doing their utmost in promoting one of Cape Breton's premier tourism communities through a variety of initiatives, none too large or too small; and

Whereas the Ingonish Tourism Steering Committee is a subcommittee of the Development Society and is always looking to promote the area whether through signage, marketing or communications; and

Whereas the Ingonish Development Society consists of 10 local directors along with Chair Joe Robinson, Treasurer Larry Dauphinee and Acting Secretary Kevin Budge;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in recognizing the diligent and hard-working efforts of the Ingonish Development Society as they continue with their efforts to make Ingonish the constant popular tourist destination it has become.

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.

[12:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 1139

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 Samantha Hatt and Nykola Killam are Grade 9 students at South Queens Junior High School who plan to participate in their class trip to Quebec; and

Whereas rather than depending on allowances and their parents to fund this trip they decided to start their own business; and

[Page 2063]

Whereas these two young entrepreneurs have been quite successful with marketing their homemade bracelets to students in their school and nearby schools;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly wish Samatha Hatt and Nykola Killam of Queens County all the best in their business venture and hope they enjoy their class trip to Quebec.

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. 1140

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

Whereas Kelsie Evelyn Anne Gillies has earned the President's Award from Dalhousie University; and

Whereas Kelsie is also a recipient of the NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship and the Killiam Level II Scholarship; and

Whereas Ms. Gillies is currently studying at Dalhousie University for a Ph.D. in pharmacology and will conduct original research on tumour micro-environments to find a cure for cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Kelsie on her impressive academic achievements and wish her continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2064]

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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1141

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

Whereas Katrina DeAdder and Megan Taggart, two high school students in the multimedia course at the Cobequid Education Centre in Truro, have competed in a provincial skills competition held at the Nova Scotia Community College; and

Whereas their provincial project was a two-minute animation that took six hours to complete; and

Whereas the two students placed first in the senior high 2D Animation category and will be travelling to Waterloo, Ontario to compete in the nationals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Katrina DeAdder and Megan Taggart for becoming Nova Scotia's representatives at the national animation competition.

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.

[Page 2065]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, before I give my resolution, I just want to clarify that yesterday the honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island wore a beautiful Tory blue tie and I told him I'd reciprocate today with a colour he has an affinity towards. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 1142

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

Whereas Mr. Irving Schwartz, in 1996, established the Canadian International Demining Corps and the purpose of this organization was to rid the world of and protect children from, land mines; and

Whereas the Canadian International Demining Corps uses highly-trained dogs, technology, robots and education to make the world a safer place; and

Whereas once there were minefields and killing fields, now there are farm fields and play fields;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Irving Schwartz, a great Cape Bretoner, Nova Scotian, and Canadian, and applaud his efforts to make the world a better place in which to live.

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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

[Page 2066]

MR. SPEAKER: The time now is 12:51 p.m. and we'll go to 1:51 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - YARMOUTH: JOB CREATION - NUMBERS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Many times during Question Period in this House, Ministers of the Crown have claimed to have created jobs in this province. The Minister of Finance suggested that yesterday, the Deputy Premier the day before. My question for the Premier is, what jobs have you created in Yarmouth since you came to office?

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, the honourable member realizes that economic development efforts are ongoing. They're a matter of incentives, a matter of putting in place a proper regime in order to make sure that the economy is healthy. I know that there have been investments throughout southwestern Nova Scotia - whether those people live in Yarmouth or not, I wouldn't be able to say.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, let's put it on the record. The jobless rate in southwestern Nova Scotia, including Yarmouth, is 17.2 per cent. The unemployment rate has risen by eight percentage points since July of last year. Let's try again, this time in Cape Breton? How many jobs have you created in Cape Breton Island since June 9th of last year?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we're very pleased to see that through the efforts of the government and working along with Xstrata, that project is going go ahead. There are going to be hundreds of jobs that are going to be created as a result of that, something that we're very pleased about.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, again, let's put it on the record. The unemployment rate in Cape Breton including Glace Bay is 16.2, which is an increase of 2.5 percentage points since last July, and as disturbing are the numbers around people leaving the workforce. That's another way of saying they've given up and moved away. Full time employment across this province has decreased by 5 per cent since the NDP took office. Our labour workforce has shrunk by 3 per cent since some folks have moved away. My question to the Premier is, with all of those statistics and understanding what's in front of you, why would you increase the HST, which is a job killer?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the fact of the matter is that this is a government that is aggressively pursuing rural economic development, as well as focusing on the health of our provincial economy and that's going to continue. What we're seeing is the expansion of jobs as new opportunities for our port expand. What we are seeing is, as I said, additional jobs for Cape Breton through the announcement with Xstrata. The investment we've made

[Page 2067]

in Trenton Works will bring hundreds of jobs to Pictou County. We have been doing more with respect to economic development in this province than this province has seen for years.

(Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

PREM. - LUCENTIS: PROV. FORMULARY - ADD

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. On April 30th of this year, Prince Edward Island announced that it was placing Lucentis on the province's formulary and I will table the release. That leaves Nova Scotia as the only province in Canada that does not cover Lucentis. My question to the Premier is, will you recognize the refusal to cover Lucentis was the wrong decision and will you add it to the provincial formulary?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we have recognized Lucentis as an important drug. We understand that P.E.I. will go ahead with coverage later this year, as will Manitoba go ahead with it later this year. The fact of the matter is, we'd love to be able to cover Lucentis but unfortunately we do not have the money to be able to fund that drug at this time. There is a drug management unit that is looking at these questions very broadly. We are hopeful that we will be able to get to a point where we will be able to add that to the list of coverages.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, one of the five principles of the Canadian Health Act is universality, which means that all insured residents are entitled to the same level of health care. In Nova Scotia, that does not appear to apply to people who suffer from age-related macular degeneration. By not adding Lucentis to the formulary, Nova Scotians have been put at a disadvantage. So my question to the Premier is this, is it okay for Nova Scotians to receive a lower level of health care than other Canadians who are getting it in their own province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as I've said, I have indicated to the member opposite we would love to be in a position to be able to cover that drug, we think it has very positive potential results for patients. The reality is that we inherited from this government a massive deficit, we have to bring the province back to balance. So, Mr. Speaker, as soon as we can afford to add that coverage to the formulary, we will.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, it is my understanding that the cost of not covering Lucentis far exceeds the cost of covering it. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, while in Opposition the NDP called for Lucentis to be added to the provincial formulary. Now that they are in government, they refuse to add it. Eva Giddens, a constituent of mine suffers from age-related macular degeneration. I would like to table a letter from her six children to you, the Premier and one from her in which she says: "I would

[Page 2068]

like to ask . . ." - this is to the Premier - ". . .why I cannot have quality of life because I cannot afford it, without having to, at this point in my life to sell everything and move out of province."

If Eva lived in any other province, the costs would be covered. Her four children have pointed out to us today the importance it is to them as a family. So my question to the Premier is this: Will you meet with her family today and explain to them why their mother - a taxpayer in this province - is now being forced to move elsewhere so she can receive the quality health care that every other Canadian can get in their own province? (Applause)

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the reasons for the coverage in this province are clear. If the member actually understands the associated costs of this drug, it is a wonder that they didn't cover it when she was the Minister of Health. (Interruptions)

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order. Order. Order, everybody will have their opportunity to ask a question when the time comes.

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

PREM.: TEAM WEST - STATUS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. In December, the Premier pulled the plug on The Cat ferry without thinking of the consequences or repercussions of this misguided decision. The NDP announced Team West, a disjointed and slow initiative to help the people of southwestern Nova Scotia through this tough economic time. Mr. Speaker, I might add, these tough economic times that were caused by the Premier and the New Democratic Government. My question to the Premier is, what is the status of Team West?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if he is asking specifically about Team West, it is up and operating and is considering the opportunities that exist for southwestern Nova Scotia, such as we announced earlier, putting additional money into the tourism advertising budget in the Maritime market, so that we can attract additional people to southwestern Nova Scotia.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, it is too little too late. My question to the Premier is, you have killed off the 2010 tourism season, so what will you do to help this region through this tough economic time?

[1:00 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, our desire for southwestern Nova Scotia, of course, is to ensure that the economy is strengthened, that was obvious that it was not going to be done in the manner which it had been before. So we are continuing our economic

[Page 2069]

development efforts in that region, we are working with the stakeholders in the region to see that that happens. We are part of and co-leading Team Southwest Nova Scotia with the federal government, with ACOA.

Mr. Speaker, the only ones who seem to be confused about this are the members opposite.

MR. MCNEILL: Mr. Speaker, I think the Premier realized when he was in Yarmouth there are a lot of people confused about the initiatives this government is trying to do and the insult that they have thrown at the people of Yarmouth.

The Premier stated he wanted a transportation study fast-tracked. It was due at the end of March. I'd like the Premier to check his calendar and realize that today is May 6th. There are five government organizations providing information to this study. Three of those departments are provincial departments so the Premier must know something about when the study will be released. My question to the Premier is, when will that transportation study be released?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I indicated this to the member opposite before. That study is being done through ACOA. It is ACOA's timetable. We have not been advised as to when that study will be released.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH - CMHA (KINGS BR.): FUNDING

- DISCONTINUANCE

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. As members in this House are aware, it is National Mental Health Awareness Week, a week where CMHA and other organizations celebrate mentally healthy lifestyles and positive attitudes. Recently a posting appeared on the CMHA Kings Branch Web site, which reads in part as follows:

"It is with great sadness that I write this letter. The funding for the Community Outreach has not been renewed by the Department of Community Services. This unfortunately means that all of the social programs here at the CMHA will no longer exist as of April 28th, 2010. We will be closing this side of the CMHA office as of next week . . ."

[Page 2070]

I will table those documents. My question to the minister is, were you aware that the Minister of Community Services discontinued funding for all of the social programs at the CMHA Kings County Branch?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the honourable member for the question. It is my understanding that that particular Canadian Mental Health Association is undergoing some restructuring. The honourable Minister of Community Services and myself talk on a regular basis with respect to the needs of people with mental health disorders in the province, in terms of what I'm doing in the heath care system and what she and her department are able to do in terms of community living.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, with a background in social work, the Minister of Health is no doubt aware of how important social programs are to those with a mental health diagnosis. Social programs enable participants to learn how to maintain their own mental wellness, learn social skills, improve self esteem and, most importantly, these programs reduce stigma in the community. My question to the minister is, what is she planning to do to ensure that this Community Outreach program is restored?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In the coming weeks, my department will be embarking on a mental health strategy for the Province of Nova Scotia. Certainly part of that strategy will be to look at the programs that we are offering across departments for people with mental health disorders in the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the most recent newsletter produced by the CMHA Kings County Branch featured a section dedicated to the Community Outreach program. Contained within this section were quotes from participants in the program. They read as follows: I get a chance to get out and see people on a regular basis and it gives structure to my life.

My final question to the minister is, how does the minister feel now that her government has taken away these opportunities from those who relied on the community outreach program at CMHA Kings County Branch?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my department delivers services for people with mental health addictions through the district health authority, including the Annapolis Valley District Health Authority. We, here in the metro area, have had the opportunity to develop Mobile Crisis Outreach and that has been expanded in the budget in front of us but, as I indicated earlier to the member, we will be embarking on a process to develop a mental health strategy for the province - and I am more than happy to hear from the Canadian Mental Health Association from Kings County and throughout the province. I know they do exemplary work and I'm sure they will have a lot to contribute in the development of the mental health strategy.

[Page 2071]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HEALTH - FAM. DR. SHORTAGE: YARMOUTH

- ADDRESS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Health. In Yarmouth many people still do not have access to a family doctor. The situation has been getting worse and people cannot access the two clinics in Yarmouth, and I'm sure the minister is aware of the Ocean View Family Clinic and the Harbourview family clinic.

As a former government, we established these clinics as training grounds for non-Canadian licenced doctors to get their Canadian licence and see them become established in the community - but this has not been the case and every one of these new doctors has moved away. Family doctors are at capacity and cannot accept new patients, and as a result people have to go to the emergency room to have small routine issues addressed - it's hardly a kind of efficiency that we need in our health care system. Mr. Speaker, my question for the minister is, what is your plan to address the family doctor shortage in Yarmouth and throughout the tri-county region?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for a very important question. I do understand that there has been a loss of some family doctors through the International Medical Graduate Program, the CAP program, in the Yarmouth area. The Department of Health works very closely with the district health authority; we're working with the South West Health DHA to attract family physicians in that area. We do have a number of programs that will offer debt assistance to new graduates who are prepared to locate in a particular area, and the Yarmouth area is a priority area for us because of the loss of family physicians.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, recently doctors had a meeting in Halifax with the Department of Health officials where the doctors from Yarmouth were told that there is no doctor shortage in Yarmouth - this despite the fact that many, if not thousands of people in the tri-counties do not have access to a family doctor. We need to address the situation of foreign doctors becoming physician transients, at the Ocean View Family Clinic and at the Harbourview family clinic, to the frustration and disappointment of the residents of southwestern Nova Scotia.

My question to the minister is, will the minister listen to the people of Yarmouth and southwestern Nova Scotia and make a commitment to the community on coming up with solutions that will address the doctor shortage in the short term and plan for a long-term doctor commitment?

[Page 2072]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, we do have a variety of programs - we assist in funding site visits, for example, for physicians who want to come to a community and learn more about what's available in that community, and we do have the assistance for debt that physicians have accrued when they go through the very lengthy process of medical school in return for service to a particular community. So these programs are available. We work closely with the DHA and we will continue to do so.

I think one of the difficulties, as I understand it, with physicians coming to this part of Nova Scotia has been the inability to secure employment for spouses, which increasingly is a growing concern that we're seeing in some communities - but we will continue to work very closely with the DHAs to ensure that we have family practices throughout our province.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I've received lots of letters from concerned citizens in Yarmouth who do not have access to a family doctor, people like Roland Melanson from Yarmouth. Mr. Melanson has had 14 different family doctors since 1980 and has health-related issues that require him to go and wait eight to 10 hours at the Yarmouth emergency room to have 15-minute consultations that could have been conducted by a family physician.

The minister has the responsibility to Nova Scotians to offer better than what the people of Yarmouth are currently receiving. Now is the time to help the people of southwestern Nova Scotia have improved access to family doctors. Instead of reducing funding to Dalhousie Medical School, will the minister consider increasing the number of seats at Dalhousie, in return for service in rural areas of Nova Scotia?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, we have a working group in the department in discussions with Dalhousie Medical School with respect to the seats that we fund at the school, which we want to continue to fund. We do have reciprocal service agreements. We were able to recruit, and there is a new physician in the Barrington area of southwest Nova Scotia, and we will continue to work to ensure that there is good family practice coverage for residents of Yarmouth and the tri-county area.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HPP: PROBLEM GAMBLING HELP LINE - OPERATION

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, with a theme developing here. On March 31st a contract between the province and Morneau Sobeco, now Shepell·fgi, for the operation of the Problem Gambling Help Line expired. While the help line is still functioning for now, everyone is wondering just how long this service will continue. It is our understanding that proposals to continue the operation of the Problem Gambling Help Line were solicited but then

[Page 2073]

subsequently cancelled. My question to the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection is, what are your real plans when it comes to the operation of the Problem Gambling Help Line?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. We intend to continue offering the best problem gambling help line service that we possibly can in the Province of Nova Scotia. There is no plan to eliminate or cut that service in any way, although that service may be delivered in a different way. We now have an excellent 811 system in Nova Scotia, for example, that does have the capacity to offer further services than they are currently providing.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I sort of got my answer, but there's a good preliminary here. You have to understand how the Problem Gambling Help Line works. Operating on a 24/7 basis for the last 14 years, individuals in distress have been able to call and immediately speak to a trained social worker. More often than not, these individuals are suicidal and require immediate support, attention, and intensive counselling. They don't need to speak to someone who will simply transfer their call to someone else or, worse yet, tell them that they will have someone else call them back the next day. They need someone who is trained and knowledgeable, someone who will provide help immediately. My question to the minister is, does she plan to transfer the services currently being provided by the Problem Gambling Help Line to the 811 system in order to save money - yes or no?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, what I said in response to the first question is that we intend to continue to provide excellent services for problem gamblers with a help line. What form that will take, we still are examining.

In doing the preliminary examination of how this might be done, I have given very clear instructions to officials in my department that the existing workforce that is providing the services now needs to be factored into the equation as we move forward. I very much recognize the skills and the experience that they bring to this important piece of work.

[1:15 p.m.]

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure if there's a subliminal message there or not, but we will continue. This is a Party that when in Opposition truly cared about those with gambling addictions, they cared about people who were calling out for help and screamed loudly for supports to protect them. My, how times have changed. My final question to the minster is, will you issue an RFP soon as to ensure the Problem Gambling Help Line continues as currently structured?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, what I've said in the previous two responses I will say once more. It is our intention, it is this minister's intention, this government's intention to continue to offer the excellent level of services for problem

[Page 2074]

gamblers through a help line in this province. At the end of the day, that will be what we will do.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

AGRIC. - AGRICULTURE PLAN (10 YR.): RELEASE

- TIMELINE

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Agriculture. Farmers across this province are still awaiting the NDP magical formula that is evidently going to correct a lot of the issues, if you listen to the minister. The agriculture community is not convinced this will be the case. When will your government be releasing this 10-year agricultural plan that you love to talk so much about during last year's Spring election campaign?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I have to say I have never been more tempted than to say soon, very soon. But I won't. The 10-year strategy is almost complete. I'm hoping by the end of this month. Before we do that, I made a commitment to the Federation of Agriculture that I would let them have a look at it and see if they have any input. We've had kind of continuous dialogue with them through this process and actually there were a lot of discussions on other topics that we tried to apply to the strategy. I'm hoping by the end of the month that maybe that whole process will be completed.

MR. PORTER: I'm glad to hear the minister say almost complete versus soon, very soon.

Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Agriculture once again. Mr. Minister, farmers in Hants County from the Federation of Agriculture have come to me and they are concerned about where your government is going. Will the minister explain to me today, as well as the farmers, why is it necessary to cut $606,000 from the total programs and services division which will impact the Farm Investment Fund, the Agri-Food Industry Development Fund and the Innovation Fund? Has your department done any analysis on the impact this could have on Nova Scotia farmers and will the minister table a copy of any such analysis if it is available?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, certainly my staff did an analysis. We were directed to find a 1 per cent expenditure management. The reason we had to make those cuts is because of the way the finances were left to us by the previous government. (Interruptions) We looked for those places that, if we were going to make cuts, it would have the least impact on services that we could provide to the industry.

[Page 2075]

MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I will point this out. When we left government, the books were in fine order. (Applause) Mr. Speaker, through you again to the Minister of Agriculture (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order.

MR. PORTER: Mr. Speaker, through you again to the Minister of Agriculture. You raised the issue during your time on this side of the House and you felt the previous government should be doing more. My question today is, which Nova Scotia farmers want to know as well, why can't Sobeys or Atlantic Superstore broker one week in their buying cycle and purchase more Nova Scotian food and/or Atlantic home-grown products?

MR. MACDONELL: A couple of questions there, Mr. Speaker. The one I want to address first is the honourable member's notion of the books being in good order. They were in good order as far as Progressive Conservatives see budgeting, not as far as New Democrats see them. I'm not sure that I am the right person to speak for Sobeys and Superstore, but the honourable member would recognize the Select Nova Scotia program that his Party's government brought in, which has been a very successful program and I want to say, year over year, the amount of local products that wind up in retail in this province has increased, I think as a direct result of that program.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

COM. SERV.: YOUTH IN CARE - NUMBERS

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Community Services. According to Youth in Care Canada, there has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of children in care over the past five years. My question to the minister is, can the minister tell this House how many Nova Scotian youth are presently in care and whether this number has been increasing?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, Youth in Care is an issue that certainly does concern us. I don't want to give out a figure, I don't have the exact figure and I want to make sure that I give the proper information to the honourable member, so we'll make sure that that comes forth today for him.

Youth in Care, what we have to understand are all the different complexities involved in that, and that's through Justice, through Education, and even Health and Community Services. So that's why we have to look at the whole Youth in Care aspect on a more holistic basis to be able to provide better services for our youth of Nova Scotia.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the advisory committee on the Children and Family Services Act was mandated to develop a continuum of service for

[Page 2076]

vulnerable children, youth and families. My question to the minister is, will the minister please table the committee's last annual report and tell us what committee recommendations she has addressed?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, with respect to the committee that the honourable member is speaking of, there were about 30 recommendations. Certainly, we have been looking at those particular recommendations and that report can be tabled. One of the difficulties with that particular committee is some of the criteria are based on who sits on the committee. So it has been very challenging in the area, especially with having a member who represents a child that has been in the services of Community Services. It is a difficult one people who do not want to sit on a committee that represents that. So it is actually the criteria base that was made up years ago that challenges that particular committee.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Well, Mr. Speaker, we've established that there are 30 recommendations, what we haven't established is how many have been addressed by this government. Children in care are exceptionally vulnerable, their life prospects are far different than children in the general population and they face extraordinary risks. These children have extremely high instances of juvenile delinquency, school failures, substance abuse and mental health issues. This government must take action to address these issues, we must make sure that the committee put in place has the support of this government. My final question to the minister is, is the minister's advisory committee meeting on a regular basis and has she met with the committee?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, as I have just referred to, we do have a new committee that was just formulated, but as I expressed, it has been very difficult to make up the whole complement of that committee because of the criteria base. As I mentioned, it is very difficult to find an individual who is willing to sit on the committee that has had a child in care through Community Services. You can certainly understand the issues surrounding that and why it has been a real task. We've worked very diligently since we've been in government, just to try to find that individual that would be willing to sit on the committee. We finally have been able to do that, so we'll be going forth in a very short period of time to have our first meeting, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

TIR - RD. CONST.: ALLOCATION - DETAILS

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Inverness County has approximately 2,000

[Page 2077]

kilometres of roads, and the more kilometres of roads you have, the more bridges you have. To the minister, how does the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal determine its allocation for road construction and maintenance for each region of the province?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Inverness for that question, another example of the fact, of course, that would have been a great question for estimates. The priorities are determined very carefully by staff, but I want the young member to know that there is always the opportunity for input. I know that you're new into the process, and it's great to have you here. When the time comes, you're always welcome to come to my office to look at what you consider your particular priorities in your community. At that time, you would have the opportunity to meet with our chief engineer, the deputy minister, or myself, or all three. I would like to be included in the conversation, of course.

Input from citizens, important things such as petitions and other input, those are the things that get the attention of this minister, and hopefully, that will be one of the reasons that we'll continue to address the problems with roads or bridges in Inverness.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, Inverness County is home to perhaps more kilometres of road per person than any other county in the province. Will the minister ensure that the budget allocation for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for road and bridge construction and maintenance bears a direct correlation to the proportion of roads found in Inverness County relative to the rest of the province?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, to the member for Inverness, ratio and proportion, any kind of discrepancy could not be trusted to this old History teacher, to let you know. I want you to know that it's of some consequence, we're well aware of the fact that in the past your predecessor addressed a number of the issues when he was sitting in the seat that you are on that side, at the time. He constantly brought forward particular projects, they included certain roads and particular bridges. We have a list, that list of course is based upon priorities, whether it's in Inverness or whether it's based in Kings County. I'd encourage you to come forward to have a chat with us and we'll see what we can do.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the minister, he has in essence answered my next question. I would like to put something on the record for his benefit, and for the benefit of the members of the House. I just want to remind the minister that the Boston Bruins pin that he gave me after my maiden speech in this House is still sitting on my desk. It's sitting here as a good luck charm, and it's working, last night we saw the Bruins take a 3-0 commanding lead in their series against the Flyers. I just want to confirm with the minister that it would be appropriate for me to visit his office sometime in the coming weeks to discuss the priority needs for transportation for the people of Inverness.

[Page 2078]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

HEALTH: INSULIN PUMP TRAINING - WAIT TIMES

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you, I think we've got hockey fever or something going on. Mr. Speaker, I have a question today for the Minister of Health. Recently, I attended the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Breakfast and had the opportunity to speak to a number of parents, and their concern is around the time it takes families to access insulin pump training at the IWK. As the minister is aware, for young children who face significant challenges managing their blood sugars, insulin pumps allow for a healthier, more active life, and they greatly reduce the long-term risks of health issues down the road. My question to the Minister of Health is, is the minister aware of the current long waits at the IWK for insulin pump training?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for bringing this matter to my attention and, no, I wasn't aware that there were long waits for that training, but I will certainly look into it and have my staff talk with the folks at the IWK so we can get a better understanding of what those waits look like and why.

[1:30 p.m.]

MS. WHALEN: Well, thank you very much, and she has kind of answered my third question on that which is would she review it, and I'm glad to hear that she will. What I would like to do is just bring to her attention that they have training just twice a year. They do training, I think, in April and September and the April course was fully booked and the September course is also filled. So they can't take families now for essentially a year's time. One mother I talked to specifically, said her son had been strongly recommended by his endocrinologist to get the insulin pump. Fortunately, they're able to access it through their medical plan but they're still facing a year-long wait. So I guess I would ask if she has any specific ideas that we could put in place sooner rather than later to get this addressed.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say that I have had an opportunity to meet with the Diabetes Association here who do terrific work and I know about the work that's done in the clinic as well, but this specifically refers to young children and families who are using services at the IWK. When the House is in recess, it is my plan to spend some time with personnel at the IWK reviewing several of their programs where I know that the waits are quite long. I will certainly add this one to my list for those upcoming meetings.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I can't pass up the opportunity to have a final supplementary even though we seem to be on the same page on this one as we go forward. It's interesting to me that the IWK, in fitting and giving the training that's necessary for insulin pumps, is also doing that for children from P.E.I. and New Brunswick and at least one

[Page 2079]

other DHA, they do it for the Colchester DHA as well. What I was wondering, because anecdotally we've heard that some children in the Valley have gotten fitted and taken care of very quickly when they were looking for this training, so I would like to ask the minister as a final supplementary if she will review the list in other DHAs to see if there's a way that we can get more of these children off the waiting list at the IWK and get them the help and the support they need to get insulin pumps?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, again, I know that juvenile diabetes is an issue that many families throughout the province are dealing with. I absolutely will review this situation, not only with respect to the IWK but, in fact, with respect to DHAs around the province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

AGRIC.: BLUEBERRY IND. - STRATEGY

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Agriculture. We have lost the hog industry. The beef industry is in dire straits. In fact, two big producers in my area are reducing their numbers at the auction house in Truro this Spring. Now our blueberry industry, Nova Scotia's strongest crop export, is seeing some hard times as inventories are high. My question to the minister is, what is your government's strategy to sustain our ailing blueberry industry?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I would have to let the member know that we've had some discussion with the blueberry industry. The expectation on price for the coming year is not great. As a matter of fact, the worry is it will be even lower in this coming year. I think probably as a result of the recession, the lack of that particular fruit in pastries and so on, has caused a bit of a glut. I think the industry expects that over time that will work its way out but they haven't indicated even to me that they think there's much that the province can do to move out of that. This is just something related to the recession and kind of the North American blueberry supply and actually even the South American supply of blueberries as well. It is something that is going to have to work itself out of the system.

MR. GLAVINE: Well, Mr. Speaker, where the Minister of Agriculture's response came from, there is great symmetry of where I'm going.

Last year most growers in Cumberland County were receiving 35 cents a pound for their blueberries and this year the figures could be even lower. At 35 cents per pound, it doesn't even cover the cost of basic maintenance of this important crop.

My question to the minister is, if the price for blueberries drops again, what is your government prepared to do in order to help blueberry growers remain in Cumberland County?

[Page 2080]

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Our concern would be for those producers, I think, on a case-by-case basis. I mean, if producers have loans with us - number one, I think the Farm Loan Board is deemed to be a fairly compassionate lender, so we can probably help along those lines. The other business decision they're going to have to make is whether or not they want to invest those costs into maintaining the fields for this year, taking off a crop for this year, and they may want to determine whether or not it is feasible to spend that money and get such a low return for it.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the industry is worth $80 million to $100 million annually for Nova Scotia. It is important for the NDP Government to take the matter seriously, which I see the minister is, and I appreciate that. We can ill afford the loss of another major agriculture industry in Nova Scotia. Many new producers have recently purchased land and are finding it difficult to borrow money from banks and financial institutions because of the downturn in the economy and the industry. My question to the minister: Are you prepared to help new growers who are having difficulty obtaining proper funding for their blueberry fields?

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to assure the member opposite that if we are the lender, we would really like to try to be helpful. I know of a particular case, actually, where when the blueberries - I think they were close to $1.00 per pound - that someone in my constituency actually purchased land and then within a year the price dropped to 35 cents. That has made it particularly difficult.

Actually, we have been in discussion in the hopes that - we're thinking and we're hoping that this is a short-term thing and that we want to keep these producers around over this tough time, because this is an industry and this is a fruit that is internationally deemed to have great potential, and we want Nova Scotians to be part of that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

PREM. - HST: APPLICATION - DETAILS

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Premier. In his September 25, 2008, Halifax News Net column, the Premier wrote: "The HST is an extremely unfair tax when it is applied to things that ought not to be taxed in the first place and, on top of that, is applied unfairly."

Does the Premier still believe that certain specific items should not have the HST applied to them, so that all Nova Scotians will have to pay more for necessities during these very difficult economic times?

[Page 2081]

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I think the answer to that is quite obvious. That is why the measures that were contained in the budget were contained; that's why we took the HST off things like children's clothing.

MR. MACLEOD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you again to the Premier, and I do understand that you have removed the HST from items such as children's clothing. However, in this specific article the product that was unfairly taxed was gasoline. I am just going to quote that article again, to remind everyone what was written: "Change the HST so there is no tax on tax when you buy fuel at the pump . . . The cost of gas plus the motive fuel tax and the federal excise tax creates a total cost of gas prior to the application of the HST. The HST is then applied so you pay tax not only on the gas but on the previously applied taxes as well."

Mr. Premier, if this tax scheme was so unfair, why hasn't it been changed in the 10 months since this government has taken power?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to answer this question. It's because of the financial mess this province was left in by that Government.

MR. MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, the Premier should actually read some of the reports he has commissioned because Deloitte said we actually left the books balanced. In the article, the Premier wrote, "This is something I have been committed to changing since I was first elected." Now the Premier has been elected for 12 months, after that many months you'd think this would have been one of his first pieces of legislation put forward by the government. Instead, they made the whole thing worse for Nova Scotians by actually raising the HST and therefore putting a higher tax on the taxes paid on gasoline.

Will the Premier commit to Nova Scotians today that he will make the change that was so important to him while he was in Opposition and that he had time to write about in this newspaper article?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the good wishes of the member opposite. We'd like to, in fact, be able to make that change but the reality is that the province has been left in such dire financial straits as a result of the decisions made by the former government that we're unable to do that. What we did do is, we took the HST off home electricity, we took it off children's clothing, we took it off diapers, we took it off of feminine hygiene products. We are committed to fair taxation.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

TIR: LITTLE ANSE RD. - REVIEW

[Page 2082]

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, on the night of January 2, 2010, residents of Little Anse, Richmond County were hit with a vicious winter storm that brought high tides along with gale force winds. The result was significant destruction in the community. The breakwater at the entrance of the harbour was further breached and the community wharf collapsed.

Like so many coastal communities, the only road to the community follows along the shoreline. The night of the storm, debris, including large pieces from the wharf, washed up on the road making it impassable for several hours. My question is, is the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal prepared to review this road in Little Anse to find a long-term solution?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for Richmond for this question. I'm aware of some of the difficulties with that particular challenging situation. I do thank you for bringing it to my attention. It is an issue that is going reoccur unless the matter is addressed. That's the key matter, not just what's happened recently, but what is the plan for the next issue that we have around the storm surge. I will ask the member, of course, at any time to come forward and we could talk about it further, but I do give you a commitment that staff will be available with details as we look at a possible solution.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's response. I think this one might be even easier for him to respond to. On the night of January 2nd, over 100 residents - many of them seniors - were, in essence, trapped when they could not pass through the only road to the community. It took Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal staff, with the help of heavy equipment, to clear the road. Unfortunately, as the minister has indicated, this is not the first time this road has been blocked by storm-related debris nor will it be the last if action is not taken.

Since it is the only road into the community, a solution must be found as soon as possible. My question is, once the House rises, will the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal commit to joining me and his staff to visit Little Anse and discuss a long-term solution?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for that invitation. It's one that I certainly will accept. Of course, I am aware of the fact when we have coastal communities such as the one you have described, one road in is also the only road out. I was aware of the fact that TIR staff and other volunteers in the community responded so quickly and, from what I've heard, it was averted this time but it is not this time that we are talking about the incident of January 22nd, it is the next time and future times. So I look forward to visiting the community with you, and hopefully we'll have an opportunity to talk to some of the local citizens about their ongoing concern.

[Page 2083]

MR. SAMSON: Well thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to hear the minister accept my invitation. While I am sure his schedule is very busy, I would just remind him that it is currently lobster season in Richmond County when he is deciding when he should be visiting our area. The wharf in Little Anse was built in the early 1980s. Funding for the materials was provided by the provincial Department of Fisheries. The wharf, as a result, never fell under Small Craft Harbours and has not been put under the harbour authority process or eligible for any federal funding. The wharf has now collapsed, due to the last storm, and Small Craft Harbours refuses to help. My final supplementary is, will the Minister of Fisheries and Aquculture review this matter and provide funding to help this community repair their wharf?

[1:45 p.m.]

MR. BELLIVEAU: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker for the question. To the honourable member opposite, I'd be delighted to sit down and review the information with you. I can tell you that our coastal community is important and I also encourage you to participate in the coastal management report that is out there. We live in a coastal community, 13,000 kilometres of coastline and this issue is important. I look forward to meeting with the member and reviewing the information. Thank you.

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

PREM.: GAS REGULATION - STANCE

MR. KEITH BAIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question through you is for the Premier. Before the last election, the MLA for Cole Harbour had a lot to say about gas and gas prices. Let me quote from an article in The ChronicleHerald ,September 20, 2008 , which I will table: "If there is an independent regulator (setting the price), then people can have some sense that they are being treated fairly." Does the Premier still believe that statement?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am sure as the honourable member knows, that indeed that's the case and that is also the evidence.

MR. BAIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and again through you to the Premier. I'd like to table a chart showing the average price in Nova Scotia, as compared to that of Canada, over the past two years. Prior to October 1, 2009, the Nova Scotia prices were very similar to the national average. Sometimes our prices were even lower. However, as is clearly indicated in this chart, after the UARB started setting gas prices, Nova Scotians are now paying substantially higher for our gas than other Canadians.

My question for the Premier is, was the Premier aware of the information contained in this chart? Does he recognize that Nova Scotians are now paying more for gas than any other Canadians?

[Page 2084]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am happy to look at the chart, I haven't seen it. I can tell him that I have reviewed the information that has come from the Gasoline Retailers Association. They show now that we are below the national average of 47 weeks a year.

MR. BAIN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My final supplementary through you is to the Premier once again. Imagine how much higher the Canadian average will be after July 1st when the HST goes up. So after years of complaining, and let me quote from the article to make sure I get it right, " . . . having the review board determine the price at the pumps will get rid of any suspicion that the government is reaping a tax windfall from high prices."

He also says in the article of September 2008, he repeated his call for the province to stop applying the 13 per cent HST on top of the gas tax and the federal excise tax. He said the HST should be put on the commodity price of gas instead. My final question to the Premier is, does he still feel that way and is this a line in the budget that we may have just overlooked?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I've just been handed the charts. I haven't had a chance to review it but it appears to be a tax inclusive chart. The Utility and Review Board and, in fact, independent regulators don't regulate taxes. What they do regulate is the commodity price. If you look at the commodity price in Nova Scotia before the introduction of gas regulation, the Province of Nova Scotia was in the majority of the year over the national average. Since the introduction of regulation, we are now below the national average 47 out of 52 weeks per year.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Finance. The minister has come out and publicly said that he thinks that insurance companies have been making too much profit from auto insurance. The minister states that it should be no problem for them to absorb any increased costs that will be as a result of the changes taking place in the industry. My question is, would the minister explain how exactly insurance companies will be able to absorb . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, the time allotted for the Oral Question Period has expired.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

[Page 2085]

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 50.

Bill No. 50 - Correctional Services Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I rise to move second reading of Bill No. 50, whose title reads, An Act to Amend Chapter 37 of the Acts of 2005, the Correctional Services Act, and Chapter 31 of the Acts of 2004, the Police Act.

This bill is one that one can just read in the explanatory note, which is found on the inside and it states: "This Bill amends the Correctional Services Act and the Police Act to require the development and implementation of uniform training programs and guidelines for correctional services employees and police officers who work with individuals with mental disabilities."

This bill is one that I had previously introduced in this House, and unfortunately, prior to the last election it did not move forward at that stage. This bill is not meant to be a criticism of our law enforcement officials or our correctional workers. Instead it is meant to bring the new awareness that needs to be appreciated, especially in our law enforcement agencies, about the evolving and new awareness regarding Nova Scotians who suffer from mental health illnesses. I say "illnesses" because we are learning more and more of the various different types of mental illnesses that Nova Scotians may be faced with.

Nova Scotians will recall that we did have a number of unfortunate incidents in this province regarding our law enforcement agencies and correctional service officers in dealing with Nova Scotians who gave all the appearances of being resistant to arrest or resistant to being put in custody, only to learn later that those individuals were suffering from some form of mental illness. What this bill is meant to do is make sure that our police officers and our correctional officers are up to date with the most detailed information regarding the best means of being able to deal with Nova Scotians who do suffer with some form of mental illness.

We all realize that our police officers and our correctional service officers are often put in difficult situations where they have to make decisions with fairly little notice, and so they are called upon to rely on their training, rely on their education, rely on their experience as to how to best be able to deal with the individuals they do come across. Bill No. 50 is meant to make sure that they get the best possible education and training in dealing with Nova Scotians who do suffer from mental illness, so that they are aware of the best means

[Page 2086]

of trying to make sure that person is being dealt with in an appropriate fashion and that is not being seen as unnecessary aggression when in reality there are other causes for their behaviour.

I am pleased that the government, the Minister of Justice, and his department have decided to move forward with this legislation. It's my understanding there may be some amendments that will be proposed ,which we're certainly looking forward to reviewing once we go to the Law Amendments Committee stage.

I think, more importantly, I do want to take the time to point out that having been in this House for 12 years one has the knowledge of minority governments and majority governments. I can tell you that in the previous majority governments it was extremely rare that the government would call Opposition legislation for any debate and the only opportunity the Opposition had was on their own Opposition Day, which is on Wednesdays, but very rarely have any resolutions or bills that have been brought on Opposition Day ever come to a vote or have moved forward in the legislative process.

So I do think it is important at this time to recognize the government for taking the opportunity to call some of the Opposition legislation which has been provided - I think all of us in this House would agree that no one has a monopoly on good ideas and good government is a means of incorporating the good ideas that are out there.

I often think of Jean Chrétien as Prime Minister of Canada who was often accused of stealing the ideas of other Parties . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Borrowing.

MR. SAMSON: As is being suggested, I'm sure he would say he was merely borrowing. And I'm certainly hoping that this government, even with its majority, will also look to borrow some of the ideas, and I think it sends a message to Nova Scotians that it's not only borrowing but I think allowing Opposition members to be able to see legislation pass in this House, and I think it sends a message to Nova Scotians that, although there is a majority government, we can find the means of being able to work together, of putting legislation through this House regardless of what political Party it comes from.

If it's in the best interests of Nova Scotians, then it's something that I think we can all embrace. I believe that having been the chairman of the Select Committee on Participation in the Democratic Process, I think the message was loud and clear that they do want to see us working more co-operatively here in this Chamber and this is certainly an important means of being able to do so.

[Page 2087]

Mr. Speaker, I've had the privilege of having a number of pieces of legislation pass through this House - all of them as a member of the Opposition; in fact, should this bill make its way through this House, it will be the 11th bill that I've had pass through this House.

I raise that not simply to point to the fact that there have been that many, but to point out the fact that when you're elected in Opposition, there are two roads that you can go down. One is to say, I'm in Opposition and I don't expect to be able to get anything done, and you tell your constituents don't expect anything as a result. The other road is to be able to say that I have been sent by the residents of my area to try to work in their best interests and to make the government situation of the day and the Legislature of the day work in the best possible interests of those we represent.

That is the approach that I have taken in my 12 years, and it's an approach which I believe has worked well for the residents of Richmond County. I think it's an approach that can work well for all members of this Legislature and I believe, today, that the government is sending an important signal to the Opposition benches of a willingness to be able to allow us to work even in Opposition to achieve results which are in the best interests of the residents whom we represent.

Mr. Speaker, again I thank the Government House Leader and the Minister of Justice for the opportunity to make these comments on Bill No. 50. I do look forward, should there be any further comments on the bill, and with that I would move second reading of Bill No. 50.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 50. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

[2:00 p.m.]

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 61.

[Page 2088]

Bill No. 61 - Non-essential Pesticides Control Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on second reading of the bill before the House, entitled an Act to Prohibit the Sale and Use of Non-essential Pesticides. This bill addresses the sale and the use of pesticides that are used in a typical backyard to kill weeds and pests. They are used just for cosmetic purposes. They have been a concern for Nova Scotians and they are also a concern to health experts and to environmental organizations.

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities also wanted this issue addressed. The UNSM asked government to develop a province-wide policy. Our government has listened. Today we are taking steps to protect families and protect our environment. We have consulted broadly and done careful research. Now we are ready to move forward with legislation.

This bill proposes a ban on the sale and the use of these pesticides. It will apply to lawns and ornamental trees, shrubs, and flowers. Some products will be allowed. Products that are low risk will be permitted. The list of allowed products will be included in the regulations.

In this modern day, many recognize the wisdom of moving away from using pesticides in this way. We are making that same wise choice for our province. We understand that this change will take some time to get used to, and we are sensitive to that. There will be time for industry and homeowners to adjust. Our basic goal is to reduce exposure. Details will be finalized over the next several months and regulations will be ready this Fall. For lawn care, the regulations will be implemented in time for the next growing season in Spring 2011.

Regulations concerning trees, shrubs, and flowers will take effect in the Spring of 2012. I am pleased to report to this House that we had a great response to this during our public consultation period. We received about 1,700 submissions, and close to 80 per cent

wanted these kinds of restrictions. We also spoke to many groups, including Landscape Nova Scotia, Pesticide Free Nova Scotia, and municipalities.

We believe that this is the right step for our province. Health Canada approves these products for use, but they also state that it is a good practice to reduce or eliminate any unnecessary exposure to pesticides.

We have had expressions of support from Doctors Nova Scotia, the IWK Health Centre, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Nova Scotia Medical Officer of Health. This

[Page 2089]

bill is an opportunity for Nova Scotia. It is an opportunity put forward by our government to bring greater protections to our families and to our environment.

Nova Scotia's restrictions on pesticides will be harmonized with a very successful bylaw in effect in the Halifax Regional Municipality. HRM has seen complaints about pesticide use drop significantly over 10 years. Many Nova Scotians are already reducing their unnecessary use of pesticides. This is clearly what Nova Scotians want, and we have listened.

These types of pesticide restrictions are happening in other jurisdictions. This bill will reflect similar steps taken in Quebec. Ontario, New Brunswick, and P.E.I. also have restrictions. This ban will not apply to agriculture, golf courses or forestry. Pesticides used on vegetable gardens will not be affected.

Over the next several months we will work closely with municipalities, industries and non-government organizations as we draft regulations. There will also be significant public education and outreach. Mr. Speaker, we will ensure everyone is able to be informed on which products will be available for use. The regulations will include a list of low-risk products that are permitted. Some commercial applicators and homeowners are already using low-risk products.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to address the compliance enforcement of this proposed new law. As I mentioned, there will be significant public education. Nova Scotians see the wisdom in this move forward. We expect Nova Scotians will embrace it, just as they embraced recycling and composting systems across our beautiful province. People know that this change will help our environment and protect our families. We will work with Nova Scotians and the other groups I mentioned, to ensure everyone is equipped with the information needed.

As we all know, public education is the key to the success of many of our laws. Education is always a prime part of achieving compliance. Another part is compliance enforcement. Mr. Speaker, the Department of Environment has dozens of inspectors with compliance authority. They work out of 10 regional offices across our province. Our inspectors will work with Nova Scotians to ensure they are familiar with the proper practices but our inspectors also respond to all complaints. They have the authority to visit properties and to issue summary offence tickets, if necessary. That means they can lay charges that lead to penalties such as fines. I would like to point out that it will be quite unlikely that local police or RCMP will ever need to be involved in enforcing this law.

Mr. Speaker, our government is showing genuine leadership in making life better for families in every region of this province. We are acting to protect the health of our people and our environment. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

[Page 2090]

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise today and speak to Bill No. 61, the Non-essential Pesticides Control Act. The members opposite will be glad to know that I have a sore throat so I won't say very much.

The Liberal caucus certainly supports this bill. We have suggested some amendments which we have provided to the Minister of Environment which we will discuss primarily in the Law Amendments Committee, aimed at closing what appear to be some unintentional loopholes. I have had the experience with the HRM bylaw and certainly my view is that this was something that did need to be addressed at a provincial level, not a municipal one. Because a ban on use is useless, frankly, without a ban on the sale of the products and that is what the government is moving forward with.

I know the minister talked a bit about enforcement and I would like to talk to that a little bit. The minister talked about the police not having to become involved. Unfortunately, that's what they also said when HRM passed their bylaw and they included in "inspector" the definition of police. In fact, they have more inspectors - as I understand the numbers from the Department of Environment- they have more inspectors in HRM in the summer, through Clean Nova Scotia and otherwise, who are subcontracted, than the department has for the entire province, yet the police were still called in HRM.

Mr. Speaker, one of the areas of concern that we looked to see addressed over the next few days in getting this through is certainly to amend that clause of the bill and remove police and RCMP from the list. Interestingly enough, by removing it, it would still allow, under the Act, the minister the ability to appoint police and RCMP in a community if that community asked for it. It actually wouldn't preclude that. What it would do by removing that, is ensure that people who don't get a satisfactory response, or a response they deem to be satisfactory, from the Department of Environment, they automatically would be able to call the police under this.

The exact same thing happened at HRM and they still get calls to the police in the summer, and we've actually had uniformed officers out looking at this sort of stuff in HRM. So I think, where the Act, in fact, allows an inspector - anybody to be appointed by an inspector, by the minister, there's no need for the second part of that.

The other area of concern is obviously around the permitted products list, and I may have misunderstood the minister when he spoke, but he talked about the regulations being ready in advance of the next growing season. Of course, one of those regulations is the permitted products list. We would certainly expect that would be - or want to have that ready much sooner than the next growing season because commercial applicators of products order their product in September of the year previous. As a result, I would ask for some sort of confirmation at some point in this process from the minister, that at the very least the permitted products list - or the initial one, would be available prior to September of this year

[Page 2091]

so that we don't have companies ordering product and then find they can't use it when they come around to next summer. Those orders are placed fairly early.

When it comes to that list, I think we do need some clarity as we go through here, how this permitted products list is going to be defined. I say that because in some jurisdictions, they passed this kind of bylaw and then allowed products like 24D to be put on the permitted products list. Which I assume is not the intent of the government, but certainly that has happened in other jurisdictions, and we need to know what are the guidelines going to be around accepting a product, what can be used, what can't be used for example. I know there's some discussion about whether pyrethrins should or shouldn't be included. Although they're considered organic, at certain levels, they may not so much be considered organic. We will be seeking some clarity around that issue.

Obviously when it comes to looking at this list, there should be a process that the public feels that every product is evaluated by the same criteria in terms of whether it's used or not. The other element that I would like to hear confirmation from the minister is - the bill sort of alludes this may be the case - is the regulations talk about other rules. Obviously the HRM pesticide by-law has provision for infestations, and for some types of infestations there are products that can be used. It was interesting to hear the deputy minister - I think it was the deputy minster at the press conference - suggest that insecticidal soap could be used on lawns.

In fact, that is not registered for legal use in Canada on lawns, it is only registered for legal use on shrubs and flowers in Canada. My personal view is, just as it is in the States, insecticidal soap should be registered for use on lawns. In the case, for example, in South End Halifax, there have been problems with the European fire ant and so forth, which can be a health concern. I would just like some information from the minister on how his department will deal with that in the regulations in terms of infestations, how they will determine what an infestation is, and then what they will allow in terms of that permission. Infestations actually aren't addressed at all, at least by name in the bill, although perhaps it's intended to be through the regulations.

With that, without question we agree with the minster that the vast majority of Nova Scotians would support this. In fact, it's worth noting that Home Depot and Kent, for example, have taken all, if not most of these products, off their shelves nationally this year anyway. The number of places you can buy this stuff now is becoming more and more limited. There are some clarities and I think there are some areas that need to be corrected and tightened up as we move through the Law Amendments Committee and so forth.

I know I did provide the minister the draft copies and we haven't had them back from Legislative Counsel at that point, but I'm sure that - I'm hoping his staff will look at those and consider them. Maybe he has alternative versions, but I look forward to speaking with him on that as this moves along. With that, I'll take my place. Thank you.

[Page 2092]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I too am pleased to have a few minutes today, I won't talk long but I'll make a few comments on Bill No. 61 - an important bill to bring before the House, I believe. Certainly the minister spoke to the educational piece versus the compliance piece and I think that probably the biggest piece is the educational piece, as it is with most laws that not only have gone through here in the last few years, but always in rules that we live by sort of thing, the simplicity really of it all, and this is quite simplistic in my opinion.

[2:15 p.m.]

When the briefing went on, there were questions with regard to the policing and the RCMP having to get involved in such circumstances. I can probably say that most members in here at least and most people would probably agree that those organizations have much more important things to do than go to see how someone's lawn is making out, how green it is, or whether there are some dandelions on it, and what's being sprayed on it. So I would like to think that the people in this province are certainly well educated, informed, and have the ability to make the right decision.

Now, we all know there are lots of good laws in place in this province, throughout the country, and around the world that get broken every day that are common-sense laws, too, that you wouldn't think would be broken at all, things like drinking and driving and such. That's just one little analogy, but it's a great law. It shouldn't happen but it does happen and I think there have probably been issues. As a matter of fact, I've heard there still have been issues within the HRM, over the years, of this bylaw and I think that's one of the problems when you start moving toward the separation of laws such as this and leaving them up to municipal units and saying that it's okay to do it in the HRM but, you know, you can do this elsewhere in the province. That just divides the province. That divides the system as a whole, I believe, and so I think it's good that this bill is before us and I think it's one certainly our caucus can support.

I know I haven't had a lot of calls on the issue but I have had some. I do have regular callers who have issues with allergies and things like that when it comes to the spraying of certain chemicals. They are strong. I have been around these things when professional companies, like the Weed Man service and so on, come and they spray lawns, there are odours, but these folks are trained. They're professionals, they're able. They apply it the appropriate way or they use the appropriate safety equipment and such.

Myself, I have never used any kind of pesticide or spray. I kind of don't really believe in it myself. I let the grass grow and as it needs to be cut, I cut it and let those nutrients go back into the lawn. My opinion is if dandelions weren't supposed to grow, they probably

[Page 2093]

wouldn't grow. I see people who spray all the chemical they want on their lawns but the dandelions come just as many as there are on my lawn. So it will pass, come June and July, they'll be gone and my lawn is as green as anyone else's. So I'm a supporter of the more natural use of looking after properties and I think they look just as good and, you know, things like the dandelions and the weeds are just a normal part of life here in Nova Scotia and life in many parts of the world. So I think that it's just fine to go that way as well.

The product list has been mentioned. I think that's of some concern to the people who are really concerned about this issue that, you know, I think is probably the reason you're putting this bill in, those are the people who are driving this. I don't know whether you'll have much by way of presenters at the Law Amendments Committee, perhaps you will, from these organizations and groups and individuals who really are in full agreement with a ban. I just don't know if the ban will be strong enough, I would say to the minister, because we're not seeing the list. Until that list is prepared and put out publicly, I don't think you'll probably get a great deal of comment and I wish that we would see that list. Perhaps the minister, I'm sure he has some idea of just exactly what they are going to do, I know this is not a bill that just began being researched yesterday.

This has been something that has been going on for some time and has been an issue, and I think that there's a lot to cover. There's a lot of chemical out there, none that I'm familiar with other than what you can buy off the shelf. I don't spend a lot of time reading about what's in what, again because I don't use it, but I do know that there are people who use it and I do know that there are issues here in the HRM. I think the term I've heard in the past is the midnight sprayers. I don't know if that's accurate or not but something along those lines. It seems like an awful lot of work to me to be out there after dark trying to manage my lawn when there are a lot better things to do - like watch a good hockey game, especially when the Bruins are winning and the Canadiens are getting beaten.

However, you know, back to the bill. I think it's fairly in-depth, there's no question about that, there's a lot in here. I know that the honourable member from the Liberal Party has said that he put some amendments forward, so we look forward to seeing those as well.

I know I can't read clause by clause but I'll just point out a couple of things: outdoor trees, shrubs, flowers and ornamental plants. I'm not sure what an ornamental plant is or what would be sprayed on an ornament but, anyway, I guess there are certain things that people do spend some time on and wanting to beautify their property and I think that's great. Just because I don't use it doesn't mean that others - I know that a lot of others do. I don't know what the numbers are around the province, perhaps the minister knows the answer to that. I'm sure that somebody has done a great deal of research and probably can tell us how much of this stuff is used annually, how many people probably use it, and that's all well and good.

[Page 2094]

It's good that industry, agricultural - there are certain things, of course, golf courses and such that you've mentioned in the bill that need to be maintained. Again, not knowing a whole lot about the actual chemicals that are used on these things, I would like to think that we're moving forward. I know Health Canada has some input on what's used and what's allowed to be used and I would hope that ongoing research is done on these kinds of chemicals.

They talk about cancer-causing agents and we get frustrated sometimes and we ask the question, what doesn't cause cancer? It just seems there's so much of it and do these chemicals actually have an impact on cancer rates in Nova Scotia? We know they're high, perhaps they do. From what we see in some of these chemicals, I'm not going to say that they don't but perhaps they do. I know that you had at the briefing, minister, representation from the Cancer Society who are very pleased, as well, to have this bill brought forward. Obviously, in their mind stating that there is some impact from chemical spraying and pesticide use and the rate of cancer in the Province of Nova Scotia.

I was also very pleased to see Mayor Bob Stead there from Wolfville. They're leaders, there's no question about some of the things that they've done in the province, smoking bans, pesticide use. He had some very interesting points - when he and I spoke for a few minutes there and I know the minister certainly knows that mayor, His Worship, through his many years in municipal government - some great thoughts on how some of this stuff could be managed. When I was asked, I said, well you know the police, the RCMP, they certainly have other things to do. But perhaps a municipal bylaw officer at the very most, if the education piece wasn't working, would be your intervener there and maybe ensure that things were getting done appropriately and it will take time.

I'm glad that we're looking into next year to get things in place, selecting the right chemicals, allowing those who procure supplies for September to be given the right amount of time to not procure what they don't need or won't be able to sell next year. I think that some of these organizations are taking them off the shelves already. I hear from different people that there are things now that you can't buy and haven't been able to buy for the last little while in the past couple of seasons. This discussion has gone on because we see other provinces in the country doing it, especially our neighbours in New Brunswick, and so it was just a matter of time that they felt it wasn't going to be available here and rightfully so.

Yes, the municipal bylaw officer was discussed, however, Mayor Bob Stead did say he doesn't even think you'll need that because of the education piece. People being made aware will be the win all around and they will monitor themselves. Well, that's great in theory and I think that that's to a high percentage very possible. At the same time there's always that small percentage regardless of the laws I spoke to a few minutes ago. Regardless of what law it is, we unfortunately have people who will still step out and unfortunately take a chance and break the law. Whether they get caught or not there's always that - the cellphone law, we see still people (Interruption) Unfortunately, that's right, we still see

[Page 2095]

people on the phone. I saw media come out a little while ago that stated that the uptake was good on that bill. That's a good thing, the uptake is better than what we had been doing in the past using a hand-held phone now that hands-free is available.

Again, it's one of those laws and it makes perfect sense and one I certainly support 110 per cent, it makes perfect sense but there are still people doing it. The same thing applies to any law and it's going to apply to this pesticide ban, there's no question. I think that we'll probably still have the midnight sprayers and we'll have them outside the HRM now as opposed to just inside the HRM. Perhaps that will be what's discovered by way of enforcement when they're driving by and they're saying, what's that guy doing out there at 12:00 midnight? He'll have his little light on and they'll be out there doing their thing and lo and behold, again, I think there are a lot more things we could be doing.

Not to separate the urban and the rural parts of Nova Scotia, but I think that people may be - and again, nothing to back it up but I think people may have a different mentality when it comes to looking after their properties, their lawns. I know that in the HRM there tends to be these blocks of property, people live close together. You've only got a postage stamp in some cases for a lawn and you certainly want that property to be well-kept and look nice and your lawn is part of that and that's fine.

I can understand and appreciate why people want to be able to apply and keep their dandelions and their weeds down and such things and not allow the natural process to occur. I don't know that it will be as big a problem, perhaps it will. You know Mayor Bob Stead says it won't be a problem in Wolfville because they are already so ingrained on simple laws like the smoking in cars and smoking in town and all of these kinds of good bills that have been brought before this House and put through. I think he is right on, I think there will be a mentality.

You mentioned in your comments as well, minister, about the recycling, it took some time. Recycling, we're a leader, as we know, in this province in the recycling industry. That is just one example. I think again, this is another really good step, this is a leading step, not to take anything away from it.

I know that the people who call my office, who I run into in the street who have issues with allergies and so on and who really don't like the chemical spraying will be very pleased with this brought forward. With those few comments, I think I've covered pretty much everything in this reading, Mr. Speaker. I say thank you for the opportunity to speak to Bill No. 61 and I look forward to seeing what amendments, minister, may come back once it leaves the Law Amendments Committee. With that, thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

[Page 2096]

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have a couple of moments to speak to Bill No. 61, a bill that I think many Nova Scotians have been waiting for this current government to bring forward. I'd like to go back and talk a little bit about one of my earliest careers and jobs as a young person in this province was actually a pesticide applicator. I worked for a landscape company just after high school and I had an opportunity to make more money by applying and passing the provincial test to become a pesticide applicator for the company I worked for.

It was one of those situations that you grew very uncomfortable with early on. I was tasked with spraying both commercial properties and residential properties at that time. I had the appropriate equipment, of course - a paper suit that I would wear, a respirator as well. As a young person trying to make some extra money, that's all we thought about, we never really thought about the health implications. At the end of the day when I would finish up, that paper suit was pretty much soaked through and fortunately, I haven't had any ill effects, health-wise, with that but I think by bringing this bill forward there are a number of folks around the province who will be happy.

I know I would like to applaud the landscape industry itself for making the necessary adjustments after the HRM bylaw came in. A lot of companies went out and they saw fit to take the more environmental approach to some of the residential sprayings and applications that they did.

I would congratulate the minister in going about this in the right fashion, as far as timeline, Mr. Speaker. A lot of the industry early on was concerned as to when this bill would actually be enforced, due to the fact that a lot of the contracts with commercial properties and residential properties are often signed a year ahead of time, so this will give that industry enough time to make the necessary adjustments.

The member for Dartmouth East talked about retailers already taking this into account, as far as their clients. Rona and Farmer Clem's were two of the earliest businesses that saw fit to appease the public. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention a constituent of mine who has been quite an advocate. I know members on the opposite side are very well informed with this individual, Ms. Helen Jones is a constituent of mine who has spoken openly about the ban and, in particular, Mr. Speaker, with regard to midnight sprayers and

just the possibility of having these chemicals on the shelves would lend itself to having people come into the retailers and say, okay, maybe I'll try this without actually understanding the negative effect that it would have on children, on their household pets.

[2:30 p.m.]

When you're spraying these chemicals, you have to be very careful around wind. Oftentimes when I was spraying, you would have the neighbour come out who was concerned about what was being applied or an adjacent commercial property where staff

[Page 2097]

would come out if you're spraying trees and the wind would drift these chemicals. So Helen Jones had said to me in a conversation this past summer that by eliminating the possibility of folks walking into the retailers and buying these products, it would indeed go a long way in advancing our health and eliminating and enforcing a bylaw.

The minister, again, I want to congratulate him on speaking about the education piece. I remember well over a year ago Marketplace from the CBC came down and they did a study and they went into some of our retailers. They were asking the retail staff who would be buying these products and how they would be selling them based on the HRM bylaw and there were some very alarming responses made by some of the staff. I believe, again, that the retailers have taken a look at this and have educated their staff and will further educate their staff along with the consumer. So I'm looking forward to that.

I think with some of the recent legislation that has come out by this government, in particular a recent education piece around safety with police officers and fire trucks. I think the government has shown that they are committed to that actual effect of the education piece. I'm pleased to see that the minister is going to continue with that.

The product list is always the important thing right now. It is probably one of the only things that folks are concerned with, both consumer, retailer and the industry. We need to make sure that that list embraces everything out there and that the public understands and has that education as to the ill-effects of some of these chemicals that we are spraying.

So with those few comments, I am definitely in support and appreciate the minister bringing Bill No.61 forward at this time. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I am just going to speak a couple of moments on this bill which I thought was important. This has been an issue that has been talked about for a very long time. We have always been presented, of course, with two sides to every story as these things go along.

But what I wanted to sort of quickly say is that I made a bit of a jest or joke the other day on my Twitter account when it came to this bill, because of the way that this is going to be implemented where we don't get the full implementation of this bill until next year, where these products will still be available in stores for some time. Maybe not here in HRM because the ban has worked in this area for some time now, but in rural Nova Scotia right now you can still go out and pick up Roundup, you still can go pick up other things like Weed & Feed. Because there has been such a lack of public awareness around this issue that the person who has spent time developing their lawns, developing the landscaping around their home will be rushing to the stores and stockpiling some of these products. I had made

[Page 2098]

a bit of a jest on my Twitter account by just saying, well, I'm going to have to go and stock up on Weed &Feed.

But that's the point I'm trying to make is that because the way these things roll up and we really had no public awareness on this issue, it is going to take awhile for people to understand what is accepted and what is not accepted. So even though it will be banned, because the purchase of the product will be banned, it doesn't mean that you don't have a case of Roundup sitting in the garage. I don't know. That's an awful lot of Roundup, I know.

Mr. Speaker, I don't necessarily use these products. I remember one time I bought a can of - it wasn't Roundup, but it was a similar product. I was scared to death to use this stuff, because I always had in my mind that I had my little dog walking around in the backyard, on the lawn; I had my children, who were just toddlers, and toddlers are a lot closer to the lawn than we are. I didn't want to have this stuff being squirted around my property, so I've never really used the stuff and it does scare me. This was even well before people like the Cancer Society and other organizations came and spoke to us about this issue.

We do talk a lot about pesticides, but the ones that we do have to worry about more are the herbicides side of the equation. I mean, there are infestations of certain bugs on your lawn, but for the most part, people - for cosmetic uses - are trying to get rid of dandelions. The ironic part is that, not this weekend but last weekend, I was on my lawn with this thing I bought at Canadian Tire and it's got the little claw thing, and I picked out (Interruption) Well, this one here, I put it in and I pull it back and it pulls the dandelion out of my lawn. I probably picked, I don't know, a couple hundred dandelions off my lawn and (Interruption) I don't know, I don't like dandelion greens, even though I know the Minister of Community Services is really looking for it. (Interruptions) I have a dog, so you don't know exactly what's on that lawn at times. Let's just say I've been doing that for a few years.

You know what I do? Even smarter, because you all know I have two boys - you send the boys out with a bucket and you say, fill the bucket with dandelions and you're gonna get $5 bucks. I tell you that I probably would have paid less in herbicides if I did it that way, but it's a good opportunity for the boys to go out and do something, earn a little bit of money, and understand that using herbicides, using pesticides (Interruptions) No, it's not minimum wage, actually, because I do spend a fair amount of time doing it.

This does create some problems in my mind, though, because we're not too sure what's on the banned list. When is that list going to be available to us? Why can you now buy certain products for your vegetable garden, but you can't buy it for your lawn? Are we going to have to provide a picture of the vegetable garden before we go buy it in the store? It's a bit of a double standard there, so I don't know how we're going to make that one work. Exactly the question I'm getting is, of course, from the commercial operators being a little scared that they might get pushed out of the business from it. I've got some folks in my area who are wondering exactly how this will influence their business as they know it.

[Page 2099]

There's a lot of work to be done beyond just bringing it in here and talking about it, and I hope the government understands that. I hope that they're going to spend a lot of time on teaching people, doing the work before they send out the pesticide Gestapo and try to stop it. If we look at what happens here in Halifax or HRM, I don't know how good a ban it has been, because I do hear from homeowners who find themselves in the middle of the night going around and spraying and trying to stop certain infestations of bugs - red ants and the like. We need to make sure we have that read before we're going to start using more of those dollars on compliance when we really should be doing the education side of it.

The other part that I find ironic on this one is that if we looked at the list of these products from a Health Canada standpoint, Health Canada does license these products for usage in Canada. The science would tell you that these products are safe, but the move that's being made by the government today is one that is, never mind what the science tells us, we're going to go and put this ban in - which we support. We support the fact that we're putting this ban in place, but when we look at the issue of Georges Bank, well, let's wait to see what the science is going to tell us before we make a decision. I wish we could use the same kind of decision-making when it comes to all issues that hit the floor of the House.

Again, I just want to thank the government for bringing this issue forward. I do look for further clarifications on products, on what kind of education program is going to be out there and exactly how they're going to do it.

Mr. Speaker, we do need to push maybe a little more of the education side of this when it comes to the application of products on golf courses. Golfers have the highest rate of testicular cancer out of any other cohort. Why is that? I don't know. Maybe it is because they're on the golf course and the products that they're using there, or it just could be that it is an older group of people out there golfing, I'm not sure, but the highest rate of testicular cancer is individuals who golf. I don't golf so I'm hoping I don't have that problem.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much for this opportunity to speak to this bill and I look forward to seeing it move on through the legislative process in this Legislature.

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

The honourable Deputy Premier.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all the members for their intervention on this bill. I now move second reading of Bill No. 61.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 61. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 2100]

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 62.

Bill No. 62 - Nova Scotia Hospital Foundation Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 62. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 64.

Bill No. 64 - Electricity Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I look forward to sharing my thoughts on Bill No. 64, the Electricity Act amendments, as we proceed through second reading. I am pleased to speak about the importance of these amendments to the Electricity Act and what they'll mean for our province.

Nova Scotians have spoken when it comes to renewables, they've clearly, through the Wheeler process, and through input directly to the department that I am fortunate enough to be the minister of, they have made sure that they understand that Nova Scotians want this to be a priority for our province. In particular, Mr. Speaker, I would like to recognize the members of the Energy Department for their hard work and their professionalism as they have moved this piece of legislation forward in a timely manner. I suppose also I should thank them for their patience with the minister. These amendments establish the legal foundation for the province's new renewable electricity plan. These will help Nova Scotians gain access to a clean, secure and locally-produced energy at more stable prices over the long run.

These amendments provide for three key elements of the renewable energy plan and I'd like to highlight those three now, if I could, Mr. Speaker. Firstly, the appointment of a

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renewable electricity administrator who will have the responsibility of awarding contracts for large- and medium-scale energy purchases by independent power producers. This renewable electricity administrator is an important position and will ensure fairness in competition among producers who wish to sell renewable electricity to Nova Scotia Power.

Secondly, the establishment of feed-in tariffs or fixed prices for community-based renewable energy projects, and I emphasize community-based renewable projects, developed and operated by co-ops, First Nations, municipalities or community development groups. They will receive fair treatment to cover development costs and a margin of profit. The feed-in tariffs will apply to wind power, biomass, in-stream tidal, development tidal arrays and other renewable means of generation.

Third, and finally, an enhanced net-metering component that will credit consumers for renewable energy that they produce. Nova Scotia Power will be required to file its plan for net metering by November 1st of this year. Many of the details will be worked out through regulations that are being drafted right now which we will be making available for public comment in the near future. Again, I would like to compliment the Department of Energy and highlight the fact that the details will be worked out through regulations, they're being drafted as I speak, I would assume, which we will then make available for public comment in the near future.

[2:45 p.m.]

Regulations with input from the Nova Scotia public make this legislation even stronger. These provisions will move our renewable energy plan from a strategy to a reality. It's a plan that will create jobs in construction, supply, manufacturing and maintenance. All of which means an estimated 5,000 to 7,500 person years of employment in urban and rural areas. I know it's always important when we look at issues of this sort how many jobs are going to be created. We are looking at over 5,000, as many as 7,500 person years of employment in urban and rural areas.

For all Nova Scotians, this will mean a cleaner environment and a long-term electricity price stability. It will help us to create the legal requirement to generate 25 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources by the year 2015. I know I've heard from members of the House and I've heard from Nova Scotians, these are aggressive targets, these are targets this government wants to meet, Nova Scotians are expecting us to give leadership on this issue and that's exactly what we're doing.

These amendments will provide an opportunity for everyone to participate in greener electricity generation, from the power utility and independent businesses to communities and of course, individuals. The most cost effective way to produce renewable energy is through large- and medium-size projects that can take advantage of the economies of scale. Since keeping prices as low as possible for Nova Scotians is one of our key objectives, the plan

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calls for the bulk of renewable energy after 2013 to come in equal parts from Nova Scotia Power and independent power producers.

In my view, these amendments also provide a great opportunity for community groups interested in developing and operating their own renewable energy projects. I know I've tabled this one already and I know we're not allowed props in the House, but I'd like to table this again because that particular piece of information has attracted a lot of interest from Nova Scotians. Community groups in particular, community organizations are looking at the fact that they want to make sure they also can find out more about these renewable energy projects.

It's very important that Nova Scotia has a plan to deal with our electricity future. This legislation will enable us to implement a plan that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. It will stimulate the economic growth in the renewable energy sector, it will stabilize electricity rates in the long run and it'll help make our environment cleaner and greener for our children and for our grandchildren. Hopefully for us too because I intend to be around for a while. It marks the start of a new era in energy, security, self-sufficiency, diversity and sustainability in this province.

This is just one piece of a larger, cleaner energy strategy coming in the new year. That strategy will go beyond electricity to include space and water heating, transportation, energy efficiency, natural gas supplies and markets and economic opportunities. On that note, I do read more than just the sports page, although the sports page has got some great news in it these days. I was reading the business section this morning and then I turned to the opinion section and I know that Mr. Larry Hughes is an advocate who works at Dalhousie University, has some concerns about the energy strategy. For Mr. Hughes, I want him to know I look forward to meeting with him about his concerns. The strategy will go beyond electricity, it will include, as I had mentioned, space and water heating. It will include transportation, energy efficiency, natural gas supplies and markets and further economic opportunities.

Combined with the changes we've proposed in the Electricity Act, we'll be taking greater control of our energy security and placing it back in our hands to manage. This legislation before us today is good legislation that makes good sense. It's good for our province, it's good for our environment, it's good for the economy and it's good for Nova Scotians. I urge all members to support this and I look forward to hearing their comments.

With those few comments, I will take my place. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the minister for his remarks.

[Page 2103]

I always thought it's good to start with the positive stuff. It's funny, you know, the easy answer last week during Question Period for the minister, when I asked are you going to bring forward a bill, would have been just to say yes, and then it would have all been over.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: There's no suspense.

MR. YOUNGER: I know, there's no suspense, Mr. Speaker, the minister says, but it would have been so much easier.

Mr. Speaker, the primary concerns that we have with this bill are not so much what is in it but what is not in it. As they always say, the devil is in the details, isn't it? And for many years we - before my time in this caucus - certainly have advocated, just as the minister's own department has advocated, for renewable to retail to be included. I hope I'll have the chance to talk to the minister about it as it goes through the Law Amendments Committee, and maybe there's a way to amend this bill to include the ability for the minister to approve renewable to retail at a future point when it's deemed advisable by the minister - so some sort of permissive amendment that would give him that power, because clearly we have heard from the independent power producers the minister is trying to help that this is something that they need.

They have said since the announcement of the energy strategy, as well as before it, that they do not feel that the feed-in tariff in and of itself will work, that they also need the renewable to retail, and we've heard that from quite a lot of different independent producers over the past couple of weeks - and, interestingly enough, I think it's Berwick, one of the smaller municipalities, that already has that ability, which is kind of an anomaly in the province.

I also have some trouble in the way that the feed-in tariff model is designed. It seems to have been taken out of the Wheeler report and at the time there were a number of people who raised concerns, including myself, about how that feed-in tariff was modelled. If you're going to go down the road of the feed-in tariff, it makes sense to look at the experience in places like the U.K., in Germany, and even Ontario, where the small community-based feed-in tariffs have really just allowed the big corporations to create micro- community corporations and non-profit corporations, and still be the ones that benefit from the feed-in tariff.

So if you're going to do it, you are, in my view, better off just having a feed-in tariff. If you're going to have a feed-in tariff for small-scale, in-stream tidal or the development of tidal arrays such as is suggested in this bill, then just do it. Don't make it cumbersome by having to then determine what is and what is not a community-based project and create a situation where people spend all their time just trying to find ways around the legislation and work around it - we've seen that happen in other jurisdictions where this was tried, and in many cases they have had to abandon that model and go in other directions.

[Page 2104]

So, Mr. Speaker, my recommendation to the minister would simply be to not try to limit it in that way. An example I'll give you here - one of the examples given is a co-operative and there have been a number of examples of corporations setting up small co-operatives to reap the benefits of small-scale feed-in tariffs. So there is merit in moving some of this IPP process over to an independent regulator. One of the things that troubles me, as it has troubled me about a number of bills that are before the House this session, is we don't have the associated cost of having that mechanism in place.

We've seen that with a couple of bills that are in various stages, and the Finance Minister has spoken repeatedly about the need to contain costs and yet we see bills being introduced without a budget associated - and this is one that sets up an entirely new agency of government effectively, or a quasi government agency at the very least, and obviously that will have a cost associated with it.

I think that most of what the minister has proposed here has merit, but I think there's room for improvement in it, and hopefully the minister will be open to considering some of that improvement. In particular, I'll just repeat for the record, perhaps an amendment that would allow the minister at a future date to consider renewable retail, so it wouldn't force him into it at the moment but might allow him to consider that in the future. It might be a worthwhile amendment to consider, and certainly I will talk to him about that as it goes through the process. His own department has recommended it in a number of studies and a number of independent studies have recommended it. We've heard in testimony previous to this session alone from a number of independent power producers who have also said that that's critical to truly developing different types of arrays in the province.

The last thing I would say is around the net metering, the enhanced net metering. I am interested in getting some more information from the minister on how that would play out. There have been some challenges. Net metering is a great idea, but there have been some challenges with how that has played out in Nova Scotia thus far - some of it actually around electrical code issues that have made it cumbersome. I know I have met with Nova Scotia Power on it already. They're trying to make it simpler, but if we're going to go to enhanced net metering or more open type of net metering, which I think is a good idea, then let's make sure that the most number of industries, people, farmers, whoever, can take care of that as possible. Let's make sure it's easy for them to do that. With that, I'll take my place. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to join the debate on Bill No. 64, the Electricity Act, the amendments to it. I do, first of all, want to start off by complimenting the minister on bringing this bill before the House. As he is aware, there has been discussion within the sector of people with an interest in wanting to

[Page 2105]

see a feed-in tariff. I consider this move by the minister and his department to be a positive next step. Obviously we would like to go further, but I do recognize that implementing a first phase is an important next step, an ability to test it and make sure that the opportunity, as he has indicated in his comments, for a small business, co-operatives and others, to be able to play, have a marginal return that is fair, and indeed, provide for diversification and more entrants into the marketplace.

As he is aware, we've seen the great capacity, and I guess the opportunities, that have resulted in Ontario recently where we have, because of the feed-in tariff, over $8 billion of projects that have resulted in that province by bringing in their feed-in tariff. I do recognize that the minister has indicated establishing the renewable electricity administrator. I want to compliment him on that, indeed, for oversight, and to allow for an administrator to deal with these matters and ensure that applications for medium- to large-scale renewable projects are appropriately considered and are brought on-stream.

I want to compliment the minister again, because I agree that this sector, in helping to achieve some targets, also brings with it not only the positive benefits from the environment, but it also has a positive impact on the economy. As a result of that, I know that I and my colleagues in the Progressive Conservative caucus will be supporting this bill. We look forward to the interventions that may come forward at the Law Amendments Committee process. I do expect there will be great interest amongst the renewables community. I hope they will come forward, I hope they will bring their ideas, but I've talked to people within the renewables community and, to the minister, I was told this bill here gets a nine out of 10 in terms of next steps and I think that's a good grade, from people who see this as a move forward.

I do thank the minister for moving to next steps, and whether it was advance notice or not, it is very much appreciated because it has been something we've talked about and are interested, and I know this will feed into the government's objectives, as has been stated, to get to a 40 per cent target. So the Progressive Conservative caucus will be supporting this legislation, and if anything, at the Law Amendments Committee there may be further improvements or amendments that only strengthen this bill.

Again, I thank the minister, and I also want to commend, as he has, the hard-working staff of the Department of Energy and their colleagues who have brought this forward, so thank you very much.

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

The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the members opposite for their interventions. I was listening quite intently to a couple of

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particular points, points that I am sure that staff will follow up on. I thank you for your insight. Of course, as we all know, the valued tradition of the Law Amendments Committee, where I'm sure we'll hear from various people on their feelings with renewables in our province. With those few comments, I move second reading of Bill No. 64.

[3:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 64. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 65.

Bill No. 65 - Homes for Special Care Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise today and speak to Bill No. 65, an Act to Amend Chapter 203 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Homes for Special Care Act. I am proud that this bill is another example that our government is keeping its commitments and helping make life better for Nova Scotians with intellectual or physical disabilities, or both.

These amendments provide me with the ability to temporarily appoint an administrator to oversee or to take over a facility's operations in those rare situations where we feel immediate action must be taken. It is my hope and expectation that I will never have to use this legislation, however, it is important accountability, a piece that is missing from the current legislation.

I want to recognize the great work done by residential service providers. I have met with many staff members who work in these homes and I know just how passionate and caring they are. This legislation is not intended to disparage any of the boards, administrators or staff who provide support and care for those Nova Scotians who need it. It is their safety net so families and individuals with disabilities know we are here and we will step in, if necessary.

[Page 2107]

I thank you for the opportunity to speak to Bill No. 65 and I am very pleased to see it move to second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, our caucus will be supporting this bill. We feel that this bill is a start, a movement in the right direction as it affects the homes in our province and Homes for Special Care Act. While the bill is not as substantive as we would like to have seen, it is a start and there are some provisions in there that we can certainly support, particularly the provisions in the bill that allow for the minister to take action when she sees something wrong in a particular facility so we certainly approve of that. That cuts a lot of red tape in allowing the minister to step in and her department to intercede on behalf of the residents of these homes.

Also, I think that in regard to bill itself, Bill No. 65 is a bill to build on for the future in the department. I certainly applaud the minister for bringing the bill forward today and our caucus will be supporting it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus to briefly speak to Bill No. 65. Like my honourable colleague from the Liberal caucus, the member for Cape Breton South, I want to recognize the minister and the government for bringing forward this piece of legislation. We see this as a positive move forward by the minister and her department and with that just to indicate that the Progressive Conservative caucus will be supporting this bill, thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to extend a thank you to the honourable members in the Opposition for their support. I know that they are very concerned and they do care about those individuals that we certainly care about in the residences. I want to say thank you very much for the support, I appreciate it, and we will work together as a team to build on it.

I would like to take this opportunity now to move second reading of Bill No. 65.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 65. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 2108]

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 67.

Bill No. 67 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say a few words on Bill No. 67, amendments to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter. The HRM Charter is intended to respond to the unique needs of the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada.

Mr. Speaker, the amendments we are proposing were requested by the Halifax Regional Municipality and they cover a variety of issues. These changes will give HRM increased authority to protect trees in serviced areas and buffer zones around watercourses. This won't apply to land use for farming or forestry. In addition, the amendments will allow HRM to require a water study for subdivisions that lie outside the municipality's water service areas. These measures will help make sure that there is an adequate water supply to support new and existing homes.

Mr. Speaker, this will benefit residents and the HRM as it will help prevent the need for costly water service extensions. To clarify, HRM is able to require a water study when a development agreement is in place. These proposed amendments will extend this authority for larger subdivisions.

In 2008, amendments were made to the Municipal Government Act regarding conservation properties. These were inadvertently left out of the HRM Charter and they are being added at this time, and will be retroactive to February 17, 2009. In addition, some minor technical items are included in the Charter amendments.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to mention that we will be consulting with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities to determine whether other municipalities wish to have any of these amendments added to the Municipal Government Act. Department staff look forward to continuing our discussions regarding HRM's request for further changes to the Charter. With that, I move second reading of Bill No. 67.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

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MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to speak on this bill particularly because two of the items were ones I had actually requested when I was on council and they finally made it. It's kind of funny seeing the other end of them here at the Legislature. (Interruptions) Yes, or coincidental maybe, although I will remind the minister there's a book about an inch thick with the rest of them in there.

So the two in particular I want to speak to are the hydrogeological testing, just very quickly, and the tree one, just so maybe members of the House who aren't aware understand the necessity of it. Both really apply primarily to as of right subdivisions and really it comes down to - I just will provide two examples of why both are needed. In my own, well, it's not in my riding now, it's actually in the riding of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, but it was in my municipal district - Spider Lake Subdivision. The province ended up having to pay $200,000 for a waterline to cross the highway because the subdivision was built and there was no water. Now, the residents ended up having to pay $20,000 each, on average, to hook up to that water and, you know, it's just very expensive - not to mention the cost of internal plumbing changes and so forth and had hydrogeological testing been done prior to that subdivision, adjustments to lot size or other things could have been done.

On the tree side, over on Russell Lake west which is actually in the Minister of Education's riding - I think it is in the minister's riding - anyway, there was a case where we had, by development agreement created non-disturbance buffers for lake lots on Russell Lake. A number of homeowners had actually clear cut right to the water, and although it was covered by the development agreement, it could actually only be enforced through civil law and that's had to be replanted now.

If the municipality actually had the ability to protect the buffers of watercourses through protection of the trees through bylaw, or regulation of cutting to some extent, that may very well - it may never have happened in the first place; but more importantly when it did happen they could actually impose fines, which were not possible in that case and then you would have had a deterrence.

Mr. Speaker, I think that these are wise amendments. I will say that, of course, we all should remember that the municipality still has to pass the bylaw. These are really just permissive measures that will allow the municipality to go forth and do as it sees fit with those two.

I heard the minister say at the press conference that she would consult with the UNSM to see whether other municipalities may wish the same authority, and it may very well be the case that they would, because I think that those two probably make a lot of sense in jurisdictions other than Halifax.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage on an introduction.

[Page 2110]

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I would like to take this time to call attention to some visitors we have in the east gallery - Mr. Dennis Cuvelier and Jackie Sutherland. Dennis is a political science teacher at Auburn Drive and that is within the honourable Premier's riding, but I have residents and students from my riding as well who attend.

We also had the pleasure of going in and speaking to his class, he is very, very engaged in the process that we have here in the Chamber and I am thrilled to see him here, as I know, although the Premier is not here, he would be pleased to see it as well. (Interruption) Sorry, forgive me, can't say that. (Laughter) So, if I could ask my colleagues in the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all guests to this historic Chamber and enjoy the proceedings.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of the Progressive Conservative caucus to speak to Bill No. 67. As we all know, the HRM Charter as well by design, was a very extensive, exhaustive process and I suspect that this will be one of many over the course of time that will come before this Chamber.

Mr. Speaker, I won't reiterate the comments that were already made, but I would like to say to my honourable colleague's comments about UNSM being consulted. We are more than pleased to support this bill moving forward, but as with any of these bills that seem to be housekeeping, sometimes they involve detail. So we would like this to move forward to the Law Amendments Committee, but with the UNSM it may come to the point that we have that feedback, if it's this session or at a future date, but just to get that feedback in terms of concurrency of process and consultation. So we're pleased to support this bill moving forward at this time and maybe we will have a chance to speak to the minister outside of this session just to talk a little further to the detail.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, I thank for the comments this afternoon. I appreciated the examples that were provided by the member opposite, those are very good indications to show that good planning is very important here in Nova Scotia. So thank you for your comments.

With that, I would like to move second reading of Bill No. 67.

[Page 2111]

MR. CHAIRMAN: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 67. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[3:15 p.m.]

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 55 - Internal Trade Agreement Implementation Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Again with the concurrence of the House, if it could be so done, we would ask that the bills that were tabled today for Committee of the Whole House that we be able to go into Committee of the Whole today and deal with those bills, or a portion thereof.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

[Page 2112]

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I ask that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

[3:17 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gordon Gosse in the Chair.]

[3:29 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gordon Gosse in the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 22 - Security and Investigative Services Act.

Bill No. 53 - Fur Industry Act.

Bill No. 55 - Internal Trade Agreement Implementation Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 35.

Bill No. 35 - Finance Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

[Page 2113]

[3:30 p.m.]

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to move third reading of Bill No. 35, the Finance Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 35. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 24.

Bill No. 24 - Financial Measures (2010) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, again with pleasure, I move third reading of Bill No. 24, the Financial Measures (2010) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to make a few additional comments on the Financial Measures (2010) Bill. Some of them I know are a repeating of where we have been over the past several weeks, but there are four of five highlights to the Financial Measures (2010) Bill which will have drastic changes, short and long-term implications for the people of the province and, therefore, it is important that we take a look at those.

First of all, you know, we have heard from many pensioners over the past number of weeks. The impact for pensioners is considerable. When you take for five years that it will be a 1.25 per cent increase, no consideration for CPI and what it may be through that period of time, that is a drastic measure and one's pension can start to erode very quickly. We know that this past year the cost of living has been very low at a time when the country, and indeed the world, was experiencing recessionary impacts. So for that reason we've had very minimal CPI increase.

However, during the past six to nine months, in particular, we've seen pensions start to have a tremendous rebound. We know, for example, that the Teachers' Pension Fund had

[Page 2114]

an increase of almost 16 per cent just in the past 12-month period. It is our feeling in the Liberal caucus that these pensions should have been given some time to see where, in fact, the recovery would be.

I know the minister has talked about that even with strong recovery, we may not have been able to reach a very high percentage of funded for these pensions, but the trending right now is very strong and to be held to 1.25 per cent for a five-year period when we could see energy prices, electricity prices, general cost of living, the cost of homes going up; apartment and condo rentals, or fees I should say - all of these will add considerably to the cost of living. For somebody on a fixed income this, in fact, will have the kinds of impacts that will cause a pensioner to have to make choices around how, in fact, they will meet some basic needs.

It has been pointed out that the face of the pensioner in Nova Scotia is several thousand of that group of 16,000 retirees. Many thousands are people who work as clerks, people who we have met face to face when we went to register our automobile, people who we went to see about a birth certificate and on we can go. We know that their pension is, in fact, a small pension; the average being around $17,000.

I think these measures are, in fact, very traumatic for the pensioner to deal with. We had a protest here at Province House and with the number of people out and the kind of concerns that they expressed, we hope that the minister will monitor this very closely, the finance department, the pension commission and, in fact, perhaps have some intervention as we move down this road.

We know that beyond five years, we are being told if the fund can reach 100 per cent of funded liability - if it is not there, we know there will be no indexing whatsoever. So for the longer term, prospects here and the impacts are pretty considerable indeed. You know even with support to reaching to a stronger level of funded liability, the pension is based upon performance.

Look what has happened to teachers since they retired in 2006 - 2006 was the last year when teachers had a choice. They could go under the old system whereby pensions would be indexed on an annual basis or they could move to the new system whereby it was based on the performance of the fund. However, after that particular year, starting in 2007, it was going to be based on the performance of the fund for new retirees. We all know what the past couple of years have been like and again, the prospects for this year because it is still a considerable unfunded area for the pension. So now they are moving into a third year with no indexing, so we're starting to hear the impacts of what that is doing.

This is an area in the Financial Measures (2010) Bill that also changes for spouses. A spouse will now receive 60 per cent from a 70 per cent that they worked for 20, 25 or 30

[Page 2115]

years of service, in public service, to the Province of Nova Scotia and again, there will be less benefits for spouses when this Financial Measures (2010) Bill moves into full practice.

Mr. Speaker, this is one of the very contentious issues that the Financial Measures (2010) Bill brings to those who work in the public service of the Province of Nova Scotia. In addition, the Financial Measures (2010) Bill and the budgetary process raise the HST in Nova Scotia and it's one that we're all going to be hearing about over the next number of months and years. We have heard from many large groups, such as CFIB, the chamber of commerce, business people in our communities, especially working families who know that they will be impacted on a daily basis every time they have to put gas in the car, every time they go to the pharmacy, every time they go to a store, especially every time they have a major purchase, they will see that major effect of 15 per cent versus 13 per cent.

It really comes about because government decided that a strong spending pattern in the first months in office would be the first order of business. We have hundreds of millions of additional dollars that have been placed on the books of the province that we had to borrow for. This started in the Fall when the budget came out in October. We discovered in the budget that $341 million had been prepaid to universities. That was borrowed money. We're now starting to see that Nova Scotians will have to pay for that. That's really just to hold things in check. The 2 per cent will not be enough to keep the debt of our province from rising. In fact, we will soon be close to $1 billion of interest payment on the debt.

The HST is there not because of the past eight years. In fact, in the past eight years we saw seven balanced budgets in this province. Yes, we know, Mr. Minister of Justice, revenues were good, so you could spend and still balance, but the reality was we had balanced budgets. Deloitte told us in their report in August when they took a look at the books of the province and when they gave their report at the Public Accounts Committee in February, they said at most, three months out from early May, that the province was about $50 million in debt.

Government had already been in office. They had moved a considerable amount of money into the IEF, the Industrial Expansion Fund. They had purchased $75 million of land in southwestern Nova Scotia, the J.D. Irving lands. We kept adding on, we kept adding to the debt of the province. Now the HST is a cushioning effect. We're still going to have a big debt, but this is going to cushion some of the debt that the province will have.

For example, we know in some parts of Nova Scotia we will see very clearly the impacts of 2 per cent. The area in particular will be in Cumberland County and the communities that are closest to the border, when they add 2 per cent to items they purchase at the local stores, and in particular, gasoline. The difference between gas in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is what ignited the movement of people, first to buy gas, and then discovered that there are a whole range of products they could buy cheaper, whether it be cigarettes, whether it be electronic items that they didn't have to pay the RRFB tax on.

[Page 2116]

I'm not saying that's a good thing, but it's a reality of purchasing that the consumer takes a look at when they go to New Brunswick. The list has been growing. We know that with the tax on a tax, we're going to see a spread of at least 7 cents and possibly more on gasoline alone. What it's going to do is that the movement of people from Cumberland County which has been growing steadily over the past number of years.

[3:45 p.m.]

We now know, from a report commissioned by government, that four out of 10 people in Cumberland County make at least three trips a month into New Brunswick to purchase a range of items. I think that movement of people is actually going to move further into Cumberland County and possibly Colchester County as the HST goes forward. So there's a very strong trending, a pattern here that is now well established and, as I said in my first reaction to the HST, I think the problem in Cumberland County is going to escalate. I think the worst is yet to come for Cumberland County.

The HST is an inordinate burden for the middle class, the working class of Nova Scotia. It was good to see that there was some support for low-income Nova Scotians and for seniors. I am pleased that the government did see to try to cushion the impact to some degree. We will find out whether or not it was a neutralizing effect in the months to come as this works through the system, once it is implemented on July 1st. I think we will hear an even stronger voice from 5,000 to 6,000 business people who are part of CFIB, and whether it is the leadership of that organization or individual members, we are going to hear that it is impacting.

During the recession in our country the federal government made a major effort to keep the retail sector of home building moving along. I did a little survey in my riding, which has four or five major building suppliers. I know one or two that the Clerk of the House is probably very familiar with, Berwick Building Supplies, for example, Fraser's Building Supplies, these were places that said, in fact, this winter was very good. But they are now concerned that at 15 per cent, they are likely to see that it will cause some retrenching of people's buying habits, buying practices and the kind of renovations that they are prepared to do.

This is where we are going to - one of the areas where we're really going - hear from Nova Scotians. In fact, you know the construction industry, the building organizations of Nova Scotia have already signalled that they are against the HST. I know that over the coming months they probably will register in a formal manner that they see a downturn in the buying practices of Nova Scotians.

[Page 2117]

Mr. Speaker, that is probably one of the major concerns as we move forward, out of this session of the House and what government, through the Financial Measures (2010) Bill, as well as the budget, has delivered to Nova Scotians.

Another area that has come to light through the Financial Measures (2010) Bill is the removal of the surtax and the creation of a fifth bracket of taxation. The removal of the surtax is put in context of as long as we have the current financial picture in the province. As long as we have deficit budgets - certainly not in accordance with the provincial debt because we know that's going to be around probably for several generations- when we take a look at what we currently have on the books of the province. But by removing the surtax and creating a fifth bracket of taxation over $150,000 what, in effect, it did was create one bracket where people will experience a tax break; when a number of Nova Scotians get their T-4s next year, they will see that, in fact, if everything else remains a constant, then they will actually see a tax break.

I was really, I think a group of people from those that I have spoken with who are in that tax break, certainly didn't see this coming. They didn't see that they were a group that needed any kind of concessions along those lines. They're making a good salary, they're able to look after many of the amenities and many of the good things that they like to participate in in our province and they didn't expect that if you made $150,000, you would have $1,200 additional dollars in your pocket come the next tax year.

However, the real burden is going to be on those who are in the $30,000 to $80,000 to $90,000 area where there is no relief whatsoever, which includes about 0.25 million working Nova Scotians and that's the group that will absorb most of the 2 per cent HST.

So we will hear from that group, because they're already making decisions about what they purchased, what activities their children engage in, what kinds of things they can do in terms of a vacation, the very things that many Nova Scotians hoped to be able to do and the kind of buying habits and I guess, really, a way of life, because every time money is taken from the pocket, we know that people then have to make other choices about how they will spend their dollars.

We have many Nova Scotians that we hear from on a daily basis where they know that costs continue to rise, even if it is a small amount, even if CPI is registering a small amount this year and there are no tax breaks, then they know that they will have to shift some of their spending from one place to another.

So the Financial Measures (2010) Bill does come back to impact on the daily life of many Nova Scotians and we will see how it plays out, Mr. Speaker, over the next number of months and I know perhaps a few of my colleagues will also want to speak on the FMA, so with that, I will take my place.

[Page 2118]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, how many times in this House have we heard the government complain that they were left a mess? (Interruptions) Many times. Well, welcome to the real world. It is not easy to govern (Interruptions) As I said, welcome to the real world. It is not easy to govern, but it was easy for the NDP to criticize when they were in Opposition. It was easy for them to encourage spending and now we see the result of what they're doing this year with this budget deficit. It was easy for them to encourage this because they never had to deal with the responsibility of what that really means, they never had to be responsible for it.

And then today we heard the Premier backtrack on one of his goals when he became elected - to remove the HST off gasoline, off fuel. There is an example right there of saying something in Opposition, but once in government not so easy to do, and he's decided not to do it. Government requires great responsibility.

Now this government has moved this province away from balanced budgets, towards deficit budgets. This was something they promised they would not do when they asked Nova Scotians for their faith to vote them in as government. We also heard them say they would not increase taxes, but we see the increase in the HST - again, going back on their word to Nova Scotians. What can they say in their defence? They say we were left a mess - and I notice I've lost a lot of their attention, Mr. Speaker, because I don't think they like what I'm saying at this point. What I will say (Interruptions)

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

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, what I will say and what's evident for all Nova Scotians is this government was left with eight balanced budgets.

So I want to go into this a little bit deeper though. When we look at this mess, and I think they refer to some things in government, and I can think of the pension plan - and the minister was kind enough to allow me to have a briefing on that and here's an example of something that has been happening in government for many years, maybe not the 250 years that has been expressed by one of the members opposite but it's been something that was put together 40 or 50 years ago, and it's one example of something that has been put in place by government and it has been chugging along for many, many years, through many administrations - and the pension plan, changes had to be made this year.

I thought probably the best way to put this into perspective for people is to consider somebody who is working in government today, who has 10 years in, who has 20 years left to work - they're going to be retiring around the year 2028 - if everything's staying the same, if the pension plan continued as it has, that pension plan would not exist when that person would retire. Something had to be done. Those changes, they've been controversial, but they

[Page 2119]

were needed to be done - and I'll give the government credit for that. (Applause) I don't mind giving credit where credit is due - something had to be done. This is an example of something that has been happening for a long time and it's an example of difficult decisions the government must make.

One of the reasons why this pension plan is facing difficulty is because people are living longer. They're living longer than they were 40 or 50 years ago when the plan was put in place, and there has been a growth in the retired participants in the plan versus the active members, so that puts more strain on the plan.

We have to look at everything else in government, too, and Nova Scotians need to ask, what would this government have done differently over the past number of years? And as evidenced by the budget, Mr. Speaker, they wouldn't have done much different. I can think back to - I'm going to get into this in a minute but I just want to say there are really two sides to the budget. There's the expenditure side, which they've not really done much different on, even though they say they've been left a mess, and there's also the revenue side where that's the main area they've addressed. They're taking the easy way out - they've taxed Nova Scotians more. So that's all we've seen - increased taxes.

[4:00 p.m.]

Now, government can grow its revenues with a vibrant economy. What are increased taxes going to do to the Nova Scotian economy? They're not going to make it more vibrant - and we've talked at length about this. I'm not going to go on any further today about it, but we do know, and I tabled yesterday, in this House, documents that the federal government produced in conjunction with their budget in 2009 that prove that reductions in tax stimulate the economy. So by extension, raising the taxes here in Nova Scotia is only going to hurt our economy. Higher taxes are not going to create an environment for economic growth but yet this government has chosen to increase taxes. So what should this government have done?

Mr. Speaker, this government should have made decisions to balance the budget and this reminds me of the time, we go back to 2002-03, when Dr. John Hamm gave Nova Scotians their first balanced budget in 40 years. It's a point in time that will be significant in the history of this province. I remember something Dr. Hamm used to say: we have to keep our eye on the ball and our shoulder to the wheel. What he meant by that, what I believe, was he meant that Nova Scotia has to keep focused and moving in the right direction and we have to do it together. We each have to put our shoulder to the wheel and do a little bit of legwork - not take the easy way out like this government has done by increasing taxes and putting it on the people.

When Dr. Hamm was bringing this province back to balance in 2002-03, which is in stark contrast to what this government had done in bringing Nova Scotia back to a deficit, there were decisions that were made that were not popular. Mr. Speaker that took a lot of

[Page 2120]

intestinal fortitude and Dr. Hamm was a leader in fiscal responsibility in bringing this province back to balance. It put this province on a path of eight balanced budgets, a more sustainable path for Nova Scotia. What do we have today? We're back to deficit budgets.

The question I would like to pose, Mr. Speaker, is if the NDP think that we are in a mess today, where would we be if Dr. Hamm did not make those instrumental changes for Nova Scotians in 2002-03? We would be in a worse position. We need only look at the NDP and we look at their record in 2002-03 and in the following year because they voted against those decisions to be fiscally responsible. They voted against those decisions to put this province on a better fiscal footing. That was then, this is now. We see their true colours. Orange is not a good colour for Nova Scotia. (Interruptions)

We cannot support this budget because this government is taking Nova Scotia back to deficit and that is the wrong direction for the future of this province. We can only hope, Mr. Speaker, that this government chooses to become more fiscally responsible over the remainder of its term. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank all members for their intervention on this bill and I move third reading of Bill No. 24, the Financial Measures (2010) Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 24. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[4:04 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[4:38 p.m.]

[Page 2121]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Landry Mr. Samson

Ms. More Mr. Glavine

Mr. Estabrooks Mr. McNeil

Ms. Peterson-Rafuse Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. Corbett Ms. Casey

Mr. Dexter Mr. Clarke

Mr. Steele Mr. d'Entremont

Ms. Maureen MacDonald Mr. MacLeod

Ms. Jennex Mr. MacMaster

Mr. MacDonell Mr. Younger

Mr. Belliveau Ms. K. Regan

Ms. Zann Mr. T. Zinck

Mr. MacKinnon

Ms. Conrad

Mr. Gosse

Ms. Kent

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Preyra

Ms. Raymond

Mr. Smith

Mr. Epstein

Mr. Ramey

Mr. Skabar

Mr. Whynott

Mr. Morton

Ms. Birdsall

Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Burrill

THE CLERK: For, 28, Against 12.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, with the concurrence of the House, could we move Bill Nos. 22, 53 and 55 to third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

[Page 2122]

It is agreed.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR THIRD READING

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No 22.

Bill No. 22 - Security and Investigative Services Act.

Bill No.53 - Fur Industry Act.

Bill No 55 - Internal Trade Agreement Implementation Act

MR. SPEAKER: Is the House ready for the question?

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

The motion is carried.

Ordered that these bills do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bills be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. That concludes the government's business for today. Again, we wish to thank the helpful indulgence of the two Opposition Parties; I believe we got considerable work done today. I ask that we do now rise, to meet at the hour of 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to meet again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We have now reached the moment of interruption under Rule 5(5). The late topic debate:

[Page 2123]

"Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize that the authority of the Legislature and role of elected officials is minimized by bills that designate the majority details to regulations approved by ministers or Cabinet."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE (5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

LEGISLATURE - REGULATIONS: ROLE/AUTHORITY - EFFECT

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This may seem like a very minor issue when you first look at the wording of it, but it is actually a very serious one and one that has been challenged in the federal Parliament since 1943 and, in fact, such that the federal Parliament has had to create a committee of Members of Parliament which actually creates the regulations for bills.

[4:45 p.m.]

We survive here in the Westminster tradition of parliamentary democracy which traces its roots back to the English Civil War. MPs in the federal arena and MLAs here in the provincial Legislature have, under the constitution and the British North America Act and others, the absolute authority to pass and reject legislation. It has been suggested that the power of the Legislature to designate that authority to ministers or Cabinet is limited. Despite that, we have seen a lot of legislation in this House, and prior to the 1980s in Parliament, that designates almost all of the decision-making and lawmaking ability to the Cabinet or to individual ministers - which may, depending on which scholars you look at, be going a bit too far.

With the majority government that we have here in Nova Scotia, the Opposition is obviously limited in the ways it can change law. However, the Legislature maintains the moral and elected authority from the people of Nova Scotia to ensure that laws passed actually are outlined by the nature and structure of a positive legal framework and legislative framework and not just delegate that authority to Cabinet or to Orders in Council.

There are examples where regulations make a lot of sense. For example, the pesticide ban that the Minister of Environment passed - it makes sense to have the list of permitted products in regulation and not in the bill. It can make sense to have the fines or fees, which might be adjusted from time to time, done in regulations. The fact of the matter is, we have an example of a bill that just passed on private security guards that designates everything

[Page 2124]

from the use of force criteria to how private security will be regulated, how their office will be created - all designated to regulations. I would submit that's going too far.

The supremacy of Parliament and of the Legislatures was one of the main characteristics of the British Constitution that was transferred to Canada. Parliament was always deemed to have sovereign and uncontrollable authority in making and amending and repealing laws. The only thing that changed was in 1982 with the Canadian Charter of Human Rights; the only change was that it couldn't violate that Charter.

At the end of the day, Cabinet, in our constitution, either at a provincial or federal level, was never given any strict constitution or statutory basis to make law. That's what has happened now. There have been a number of papers on that. As a matter of fact, the Canadian Parliament was actually forced to address this issue a number of years ago because the same thing was happening. It actually started with a complaint in 1943 when there was a complaint of a similar nature, where Cabinet was actually bringing laws to the floor of the House of Parliament that basically said this will be determined in regulation, and the issue was brought forward.

What happened was, Parliament has been forced in a variety of committees - the latest which has been in existence since 1979-80 - to actually have a committee representative of all Parties which structures the regulations for all bills where regulations are required. They approved the regulations; the regulations don't necessarily come back to Parliament in that case, but they do go through that committee. I would suggest there is a need for that in this Legislature as well, a standing committee that would deal with and have the authority to approve those regulations so that the authority is not taken by a body which does not have the authority in question.

The fact is that there's an imbalance between the Legislature and Cabinet, and it's becoming greatly exacerbated through the inclusion of discretionary powers in legislation, the intent of which seems to be to allow Cabinet, as a collective or as individual ministers, to make law through ministerial orders, through Orders in Council, instead of just guiding policy and correcting policy as required. As I pointed out, some of the bills in this session of the House, in fact, do just that.

We should be concerned about that. We should be very concerned about that, because the fact is, what we've created is a situation that - at some point in the future we're likely to have minority governments again. That's part of the natural cycle. What will happen is we will have created a situation where it is not necessary for the government to return to the Legislature for changes in law, fundamental changes in law. The only thing they will have to come back to the Legislature . . .

[Page 2125]

MR. CHAIRMAN: Order, please. The chatter is getting very high and it is very hard to hear the honourable member.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East has the floor.

MR. YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I was just going to suggest that one of the things that we look at is the fact that when we have the law being made by orders-in- council that creates a problem - and this certainly is not a criticism of the current government, this is a criticism which goes back a long way and began at Parliament, and of course Parliament has found away around this. It is, interestingly enough, under our own Constitution Cabinet has no authority, it is actually, federally, the Queen's Privy Council, which includes all former ministers as well, that actually has the authority and the Cabinet is not itself mentioned under the Constitution.

Mr. Speaker, 20 years ago, Professor Bernard Crick wrote a book, called Reform of Parliament, and he actually commented on this so it is obviously not a new issue. He talks about the decline of parliamentary control and he said: "control means influence not direct power; advice, not command; intrusion, not obstruction; scrutiny, not initiation; and publicity not secrecy." He was trying to express concern that Cabinet in the British system was becoming overly controlled by Cabinet and that it wasn't coming forward.

Now this would be important, obviously, to backbench members as well, because what ends up happening is that backbench government MLAs have increasing less influence on government policy as well. Parliamentary debate has become legitimization, not legislation. I'm looking forward to hearing what the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island has to say on this as a former political science professor.

The interesting thing about this is that there are a number of Legislatures and the Canadian Parliament that have actually been forced to deal with this on Rules by the Speaker and have been forced to create committees of the House to craft and approve the regulations. That is a direction that, in my view, we should be going here because we are passing bills without knowing what will happen. That happened to this caucus on the cap on minor injuries - where it was intended to be one thing and then once the regulations got written the cap was so broad that it created concerns that weren't expected.

We obviously respect the fact that Cabinet has authority, and Cabinet should have authority but, at the end of the day what I hope that I can leave the Legislature thinking about is the fact that we have to be very careful about delegating all of the power of the government to regulations. We need some of that power. The Legislature still has to have the ultimate control and it should be limited.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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MR. SPEAKER: It appears that there are no further speakers, so that would end the late debate for tonight.

The House will now stand adjourned, to meet again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 4:54 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1143

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas students at the Annapolis Valley Campus of NSCC pitched their best business ideas to a panel of three judges at the 2010 Innovative Business Ideas Competition; and

Whereas David Ireland, a first-year student in the Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology Program took home third place; and

Whereas David's idea focused around energy efficiency audit applications where users could purchase an application to do a self-audit and receive recommendations for improvements on energy efficiency for their home through the mobile phone application;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate David on this outstanding accomplishment and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1144

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas students at the Annapolis Valley Campus of NSCC pitched their best business ideas to a panel of three judges at the 2010 Innovative Business Ideas Competition; and

Whereas Fred Ibey, this year's first place winner designed a stabilization device to be used on vehicles at an accident scene; and

Whereas this device uses less people to secure a vehicle and takes less time so that rescuers can attend to an injured victim faster than devices currently on the market;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Fred on this outstanding accomplishment and wish him continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1145

By: Hon. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas students at the Annapolis Valley Campus of NSCC pitched their best business ideas to a panel of three judges at the 2010 Innovative Business Ideas Competition; and

Whereas Kris Humphreys, a first-year student in the Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology Program, took home second place; and

Whereas Kris' idea focused on providing energy audits to individuals who want to either make energy efficient upgrades to a home they plan to sell or determine how energy efficient a home is they would like to purchase;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Kris on this outstanding accomplishment and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1146

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont (Argyle)

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

Whereas since 1939 the New Glasgow Music Festival has been a showcase for young musical talent from across northern Nova Scotia featuring performances in musical theatre, band, strings, choral, keyboards and vocal categories; and

Whereas in April and May of 2010 more than 1,100 performers participated in concerts over the 15 days of the festival; and

Whereas under the leadership of New Glasgow Music Festival President Heather Coll, volunteers work for many long hours to make the event such a huge success with both performers and fans;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Heather Coll and all of the volunteers for another very successful year of the New Glasgow Music Festival.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1147

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas throughout Kings County the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal staff work diligently to ensure the safety of the roads; and

Whereas on December 19, 2009, Adrian MacNeil's attention to detail, while dispatching, led to the discovery that there had been an accident and a vehicle left the road, through the team's hard work and coordinated efforts they were able to clear the road, communicate with the necessary information and ensured emergency vehicles were able to reach the individual; and

Whereas Mr. MacNeil's attention to detail and strong worth ethic, along with his commitment to ensuring the safety of drivers on our highways, prevented a tragic loss of life;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize Adrian MacNeil, who will be receiving the Minister's Carrick Award for Service to Clients and or the Public.

RESOLUTION NO. 1148

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le concours international de robotique a eu lieu à Atlanta, en Géorgie, du 14 au 17 avril 2010, accueillant 82 équipes de 32 pays:

Attendu que l'équipe «Les Débrouillards » de l' École Rose-des-Vents a représenté la Nouvelle- Écosse et s'est montrée à la hauter de son nom lorsque les membres de l'équipe ont aidé l'équipe de Terre-Neuve à surmonter des problèmes techniques et ont contourné les obstacles linguistiques pour travailler avec l'équipe de la Corée du Sud;

Attendu Que les juges ont reconnu l'engagement et les capacités de l'équipe et lui a décerné le prix du jury lors du concours international de robotique de FIRST LEGO League (FLL);

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Par Conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent Luc Rousseau, élève de 7e année, pour le succès de l'équipe « Les Débrouillards » au concours international de robotique à Atlanta, en Géorgie.

RESOLUTION NO. 1149

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le concours international de robotique a eu lieu à Atlanta, en Géorgie, du 14 au 17 avril 2010, accueillant 82 équipes de 32 pays:

Attendu que l'équipe « Les Débrouillards » de l' École Rose-des-Vents a représenté la Nouvelle- Écosse et s'est montrée à la hauter de son nom lorsque les membres de l'équipe ont aidé l'équipe de Terre-Neuve à surmonter des problèmes techniques et ont contourné les obstacles linguistiques pour travailler avec l'équipe de la Corée du Sud;

Attendu que les juges ont reconnu l'engagement et les capacités de l'équipe et lui a décerné le prix du jury lors du concours international de robotique de FIRST LEGO League (FLL);

Par conséquent, il est résolu que les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent Michael Perreault élève de 6e année, pour le succès de l'équipe « Les Debrouillards » au concours international de robotique à Atlanta, en Géorgie

RESOLUTION NO. 1150

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the international robotics competition from April 14 to April 17, 2010, with 82 teams from 32 countries participating in the event; and

Whereas Team Les Débrouillards which means "the resourceful ones" from École Rose-des-Vents represented Nova Scotia and lived up to their name when they were able to assist the team from Newfoundland and Labrador with technical difficulties, and overcame language barriers to work with their paired team from South Korea; and

[Page 2131]

Whereas the judges recognized the commitment and abilities of Les Débrouillards and awarded them the Judge's Award at the FIRST LEGO League international robotics competition;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Malek Bergeron, a Grade 5 student, on the success of Les Débrouillards at the international robotics competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1151

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the international robotics competition from April 14 to April 17, 2010, with 82 teams from 32 countries participating in the event; and

Whereas Team Les Débrouillards which means "the resourceful ones" from École Rose-des-Vents represented Nova Scotia and lived up to their name when they were able to assist the team from Newfoundland and Labrador with technical difficulties, and overcame language barriers to work with their paired team from South Korea; and

Whereas the judges recognized the commitment and abilities of Les Débrouillards and awarded them the Judge's Award at the FIRST LEGO League international robotics competition;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alexandra Rousseau, a Grade 6 student, on the success of Les Débrouillards at the international robotics competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1152

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le concours international de robotique a eu lieu à Atlanta, en Géorgie, du 14 au 17 avril 2010, accueillant 82 équipes de 32 pays:

Attendu que l'équipe « Les Débrouillards » de l' École Rose-des-Vents a représenté la Nouvelle- Écosse et s'est montrée à la hauteur de son nom lorsque les membres de

[Page 2132]

l'équipe ont aidé l'équipe de Terre-Neuve à surmonter des problèmes techniques et ont contourné les obstacles linguistiques pour travailler avec l'équipe de la Corée du Sud;

Attendu Que les juges ont reconnu l'engagement et les capacités de l'équipe et lui a décerné le prix du jury lors du concours international de robotique de FIRST LEGO League;

Par conséquent, il est résoulu que les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent Agatha Bourassa, enseignante, pour le succès de l'équipe « Les Débrouillards » au concours international de robotique à Atlanta, en Géorgie.

RESOLUTION NO. 1153

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the international robotics competition from April 14 to April 17, 2010, with 82 teams from 32 countries participating in the event; and

Whereas Team Les Débrouillards, which means "the resourceful ones", from École Rose-des-Vents, represented Nova Scotia and lived up to their name when they were able to assist the team from Newfoundland and Labrador with technical difficulties, and overcame language barriers to work with their paired team from South Korea; and

Whereas the judges recognized the commitment and abilities of Les Débrouillards and awarded them the Judge's Award at the FIRST LEGO League international robotics competition;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nicole Bergeron, a parent supervisor, on the success of Les Débrouillards at the international robotics competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1154

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

Monsieur le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que le concours international de robotique a eu lieu à Atlanta, en Géorgie, du 14 au 17 avril 2010, accueillant 82 équipes de 32 pays:

[Page 2133]

Attendu que l'équipe « Les Débrouillards » de l' École Rose-des-Vents a représenté la Nouvelle- Écosse et s'est montrée à la hauteur de son nom lorsque les membres de l'équipe ont aidé l'équipe de Terre-Neuve à surmonter des problèmes techniques et ont contourné les obstacles linguistiques pour travailler avec l'équipe de la Corée du Sud;

Attendu Que les juges ont reconnu l'engagement et les capacités de l'équipe et lui a décerné le prix du jury lors du concours international de robotique de FIRST LEGO League;

Par conséquent, il est résoulu que les membres de cette Assemblée félicitent Ray Rousseau, parent superviseur, pour le succès de l'équipe « Les Débrouillards »au concours international de robotique à Atlanta, en Géorgie.

RESOLUTION NO. 1155

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the international robotics competition from April 14 to April 17, 2010, with 82 teams from 32 countries participating in the event; and

Whereas Team Les Débrouillards, which means "the resourceful ones", from École Rose-des-Vents, represented Nova Scotia and lived up to their name when they were able to assist the team from Newfoundland and Labrador with technical difficulties, and overcame language barriers to work with their paired team from South Korea; and

Whereas the judges recognized the commitment and abilities of Les Débrouillards and awarded them the Judge's Award at the FIRST LEGO League international robotics competition;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gabriel Ouellet, a Grade 5 student, on the success of Les Débrouillards at the international robotics competition in Atlanta, Georgia.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1156

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Atlanta, Georgia, hosted the international robotics competition from April 14 to April 17, 2010, with 82 teams from 32 countries participating in the event; and

Whereas Team Les Débrouillards, which means "the resourceful ones", from École Rose-des-Vents, represented Nova Scotia and lived up to their name when they were able to assist the team from Newfoundland and Labrador with technical difficulties, and overcame language barriers to work with their paired team from South Korea; and

Whereas the judges recognized the commitment and abilities of Les Débrouillards and awarded them the Judge's Award at the FIRST LEGO League international robotics competition;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Olivier Ferland, a Grade 6 student, on the success of Les Débrouillards at the international robotics competition in Atlanta, Georgia.