The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD 10-11

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Charlie Parker

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

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

Second Session

MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Justice: Correctional Facility (Cumb. Co.), Hon. M. Scott 639
Fin. Tax Increases - Halt, Mr. C. MacKinnon 640^
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 272, Kaczynski, Pres. Lech: Death of - Tribute,
The Premier 640
Vote - Affirmative 641
Res. 273, Group of IX: Commitment - Recognize,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 641
Vote - Affirmative 642
Res. 274, Public Safety Telecommunicators: Tribute - Pay,
Hon. R. Jennex 642
Vote - Affirmative 642
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 23, Sea, Army, Air and Navy League Cadets Day Act,
The Premier 643
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 275, Fox, Terry: Dream - Anniv. (30th),
Mr. L. Glavine 643
Vote - Affirmative 644
Res. 276, Holocaust: Nova Scotians - Reflect,
Hon. K. Casey 644
Vote - Affirmative 645
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 277, Col.-East Hants Hospice Soc.: Positive Aging Grant -
Congrats., Ms. L. Zann (by Ms. V. Conrad) 645
Vote - Affirmative 645
Res. 278, Holocaust Remembrance Day - Recognize,
Ms. K. Regan 646
Vote - Affirmative 646
Res. 279, Fox, Terry/Fam.: Efforts - Recognize,
Mr. A. MacMaster 646
Vote - Affirmative 647
Res. 280, Rubrath, Bryan: SNAP! Stars Comp. - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Preyra (by Hon. D. Wilson) 647
Vote - Affirmative 648
Res. 281, Comeau, Pat & Arnold/Goodwin Hotel - Anniv. (40th),
Mr. H. Theriault 648
Vote - Affirmative 649
Res. 282, Smith, Dr. Paula: Yachting Award - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 649
Vote - Affirmative 649
Res. 283, HipHop4Haiti: Participants - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Whynott 650
Vote - Affirmative 650
Res. 284, Kaczynski, Pres. et al: Condolences - Extend,
Hon. S. McNeil 651
Vote - Affirmative 651
Res. 285, Prov. Vol. Awards (36th): Honourees - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 651
Vote - Affirmative 652
Res. 286, EMO: East. Shore Joint Emergency Mgt. - Work Recognize,
Mr. S. Prest 652
Vote - Affirmative 653
Res. 287, Prov. Vol. Awards (36th): Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 653
Vote - Affirmative 654
Res. 288, Eel Brook & Dist. Vol. FD: P.E.I. Comp. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 654
Vote - Affirmative 654
Res. 289, Boudreau, Clare/Fam. - Health/Happiness Wish,
Mr. B. Skabar 655
Vote - Affirmative 655
Res. 290, Canoe '09: Paddling - Contribution Thank,
Mr. A. Younger 655
Vote - Affirmative 656
Res. 291, Cumberland Napa Bantam Hockey Team: Efforts - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 656
Vote - Affirmative 657
Res. 292, D. M. Reid Jewellers - Best of Kings (2010),
Mr. J. Morton 657
Vote - Affirmative 657
Res. 293, Cole Hbr. MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 658
Res. 294, Whiston, Norris: Mun. Col. Rep. Vol. (2010) - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 658
Vote - Affirmative 659
Res. 295, Guysborough-Sheet Hbr.: Election Misleading - Remind,
Mr. A. Younger 659
Res. 296, Kennedy, Cst. John: Life-Saving - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 660
Vote - Affirmative 660
Res. 297, Shelburne MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Ms. K. Regan 660
Res. 298, Girl Guides of Can. - Anniv. (100th),
Hon. M. Scott 661
Vote - Affirmative 661
Res. 299, Timberlea-Prospect MLA: Election Misleading - Remind,
Ms. D. Whalen 662
Res. 300, MacInnes, John: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. A. MacMaster 662
Vote - Affirmative 663
Res. 301, Dart. South-Portland Valley MLA: Election Misleading -
Remind, Mr. H. Theriault 663
Res. 302, C.B. Cancer Ctr.: Appreciation - Dinner,
Mr. K. Bain 664
Vote - Affirmative 665
Res. 303, Cookville Wal-Mart: Big Brothers Big Sisters - Support Thank,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 665
Vote - Affirmative 665
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 1, Estimates - CWH on Supply, Hon. G. Steele 666
Mr. L. Glavine 666
Mr. A. MacMaster 670
Adjourned debate 674
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 5:18 p.m. 674
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 9:32 p.m. 674
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Apr. 13th at 12 noon 675
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 304, E. Hants Rural HS: Haiti Fundraising - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 676
Res. 305, Shubendacadie Dist. Elem. Sch.: Haiti Fundraising - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Casey 676
Res. 306, Fox, Terry: Dedication/Perserverance - Acknowledge,
Ms. D. Whalen 677
Res. 307, Spinney, Elizabeth: Middleton Prov. Vol. Award (36th)
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil 677
Res. 308, Pearle, Jack: Annapolis Co. Mun. Prov. Vol. Award (36th)
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil 678
Res. 309, MacDonald, Leonard: Bridgetown Prov. Vol. Award (36th)
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil 678
Res. 310, Stackhouse, Paul: Annapolis Royal Prov. Vol. Award (36th)
- Congrats., Hon. S. McNeil 679

[Page 639]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

4:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We'll call the House to order for a brand new week and I hope everybody had a good weekend.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cumberland South.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, as the House maybe has never seen this headline before, the petition was started as a result of a commitment that says, "Dexter says he'd keep Tory promises." As a result, people across this province have seen a broken promise on a daily basis. This resolution from Cumberland County says:

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

Mr. Speaker, this petition is signed by 107 residents in my area, bringing the total to 710 - with thousands more to come - and I've signed the petition.

[Page 640]

639

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from the area of Pictou West, your constituency. The operative clause is:

"We, the undersigned, petition the Legislature to preserve businesses and jobs by NOT increasing taxes. Balance the books over the medium term by rolling back the massive spending increases of recent years."

I, too, will affix my name. There are 13 others besides my own.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 272

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

Whereas on April 10th, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and 86 other passengers died in a tragic plane crash on their way to a memorial service for the 22,000 Poles executed by Soviet forces 70 years ago in Russia; and

Whereas President Lech Kaczynski was devoted to his country and to defending democracy and freedom for all Polish people; and

Whereas as the citizens of Poland mourn the loss of some of their country's most influential figures, they can take comfort in knowing that people from all over the world, including Nova Scotia, are grieving with them and support them during this difficult time;

[Page 641]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House extend their deepest condolences to the members of Nova Scotia's Polish community and the people of Poland as they try to cope with this horrific tragedy.

I would ask the members of the House to join me in two minutes of silence to pay tribute to all of those who have passed away.

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.

[Two minutes of silence were observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Seniors.

RESOLUTION NO. 273

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 the Group of IX Seniors' Advisory Council of Nova Scotia represents the concerns and interests of seniors to government in matters of policies and initiatives that benefit and impact Nova Scotia's senior population; and

Whereas throughout the year this council fosters communication and collaboration between 100,000 members of provincial seniors organizations and the Minister of Seniors, Department of Seniors staff, and the seven ministers who comprise the Seniors' Secretariat Committee of Cabinet Ministers; and

Whereas that dialogue is an essential part of formulating initiatives, suggestions and solutions to make sure government's efforts to serve seniors are as coordinated, appropriate and effective as possible;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the Group of IX for its commitment to informing government work that affects seniors every day and the

[Page 642]

members themselves for their individual personal efforts to maintain open lines of communication for the mutual benefit and information of seniors and government.

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 Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 274

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

Whereas April 11th to April 17th is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week; and

Whereas 911 call takers and emergency dispatchers play a critical role in protecting the health, safety and property of Nova Scotians; and

Whereas many lives are saved each year, thanks to the dedicated services of 911 call takers and emergency dispatchers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House pay tribute to the hundreds of public safety telecommunicators who work behind the scenes to provide a vital link to the public safety services on which Nova Scotians rely.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 643]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, before I introduce my bill I'd like to make some introductions.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

[4:15 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: In the gallery with us today are various representatives from the Cadet Movement, including Commander Gary Reddy, officer responsible for cadets in Atlantic Canada; Major Mark Boudreau, officer responsible for cadets in Nova Scotia; Vice-Admiral (Retired) Larry Murray and Mr. Jim Snow for the Navy League of Canada; Colonel (Retired) Bob Baxter from the Army Cadet League of Canada; Mr. Ernie Wisener from the Air Cadet League of Canada; as well as three cadets who I met earlier today. They are: Chief Petty Officer Second Class Joanne Buffett, Master Warrant Officer Matthew Clerk and Sergeant Holly Smith, along with many other cadets you can see in the gallery from the Halifax area. I would ask the House to make them welcome as they join us here today. (Applause)

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 23 - Entitled an Act to Establish a Day to Recognize the Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets and the Navy League Cadets in Nova Scotia. (Hon. Darrell Dexter)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 275

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

Whereas in 1977 Terry Fox was diagnosed with bone cancer and lost his right leg above the knee - this began his journey into the homes and hearts of Canadians; and

[Page 644]

Whereas on April 12, 1980, Terry Fox dipped his artificial limb into the Atlantic Ocean in St. John's, Newfoundland, beginning his Marathon of Hope where for 143 days he ran a marathon in an effort to raise money for cancer research; and

Whereas sadly, Terry was not able to finish his cross-Canada run, however, in his name runners and walkers from around the world have continued his Marathon of Hope and have raised $500 million for cancer research in Terry Fox Runs which are held all over the world;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly remember Terry Fox on the 30th Anniversary of his dream and encourage all who are able to participate or contribute to the Terry Fox Runs as we continue his legacy.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 276

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

Whereas the lives of over six million Jewish people were lost at the hands of the Nazi rule between 1933 and 1945; and

Whereas during the Second World War, Canada and her allies fought valiantly to defeat the tyranny and genocide of the Nazis; and

Whereas yesterday, on April 11th, Nova Scotians around the province paid tribute to those individuals by attending Holocaust Remembrance Services in various communities, including the Veterans Memorial Park in Bass River, a service I was proud to attend;

[Page 645]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge Nova Scotians to reflect upon this tragedy and take this opportunity to educate themselves about the Holocaust and its enduring effects.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask, perhaps, if we could have a moment of silence.

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.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 277

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Truro-Bible Hill, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society provides care and support to families facing terminal illness; and

Whereas the hospice society has been able to serve local families by supporting quality of life, dignity in death, and offering comfort during bereavement; and

Whereas the hospice society has been a recipient of $10,000 to provide rural end-of-life and grief support for seniors through the Nova Scotia Government's Positive Aging Grant;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Colchester East Hants Hospice Society on receiving this grant, and thank them for their excellent palliative care they continue to provide for families in need of this care.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 646]

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. 278

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

Whereas many Nova Scotians marked Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and paid tribute to the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust; and

Whereas it is our responsibility as a community to preserve the memories of those who perished, and to continue to teach future generations the lessons that can be learned from this appalling event; and

Whereas the horrific event has significance not only for Jews, but for all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that this government recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day and support ongoing efforts to educate the younger generations.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 647]

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 279

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

Whereas 30 years ago today a young, unknown man named Terry Fox dipped his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape Spear, Newfoundland and Labrador, as he began his journey across Canada to raise money and awareness for cancer research; and

Whereas Terry Fox's Marathon of Hope lasted for 143 days and 5,280 kilometres before he was forced to call off his run just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario, because of declining health; and

Whereas Terry Fox's unfortunate death in June 1981 was the impetus for the annual Terry Fox Run, which has raised more than $500 million around the world for cancer research;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize the tremendous efforts of Terry Fox and his family as they continue their outstanding fundraising and awareness campaigns in order to help find a cure for cancer.

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 Sackville-Cobequid .

RESOLUTION NO. 280

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

[Page 648]

Whereas SNAP! is the AIDS Committee of Toronto's annual photographic fundraiser to support programs for those living with HIV/AIDS; and

Whereas the winners of the SNAP! Stars Competition, chosen from art institutions from across Canada and northeastern United States, received a $1,500 prize and the opportunity to display their work at a live auction; and

Whereas on March 21st, Halifax's Bryan Rubrath, a student at NSCAD, was one of ten students to be awarded for a print from his Western Body/Eastern Mind series at the 2010 TD Canada Trust SNAP! fundraiser;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Bryan Rubrath on winning the SNAP! Stars competition and for his photographic talent.

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. 281

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

Whereas on March 23, 1970, Pat and Arnold Comeau took over Weymouth's landmark business, the Goodwin Hotel; and

Whereas the Comeaus have provided dining and hotel service to local residents and to people from as far away as Australia; and

Whereas Pat still enjoys running the hotel, seeing the regulars and meeting new visitors and does not foresee any changes in the near future;

[Page 649]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Pat and Arnold Comeau on reaching their 40th year in operation and wish them many more years of 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. 282

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

Whereas Dr. Paula Smith was the 2009 recipient of the WOW! Women on Water Memorial Cup during the Nova Scotia Yachting Association's annual general meeting in Halifax on November 28th; and

Whereas the cup is awarded for leadership, mentorship and health promotion, Dr. Smith is Rear Commodore of the Northern Yacht Club, Director of Training for Junior Sailing and the first woman executive of the club; and

Whereas with her leadership, youth sailing is thriving in Cape Breton, the improvements to junior sailing should help eliminate waiting lists, enhance safety and allow the Northern Yacht Club to host provincial and international events which, in turn, means an increase in business for local hotels, restaurants and service providers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Dr. Paula Smith and wish her and her club continued success and smooth sailing.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 650]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

MR. MAT WHYNOTT: Mr. Speaker, if I could make an introduction. I would like to draw the attention of the members of the House to the presence of four very prominent students in our community of Hammonds Plains. Back in February these young students took time out of their busy schedule and held a concert and raised $3,000 for Haiti and I'm going to do a resolution on their behalf. I would ask them to stand; we have with us Rebecca Ryan, Hannah Gillespie, Liam Gillespie and Grace McDonald. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 283

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

Whereas on February 19, 2010, Grade 4 students Rebecca Ryan, Hannah Gillespie, Liam Gillespie and Grace McDonald came together to host HipHop4Haiti; and

Whereas these residents of Hammonds Plains created, with nine-year-olds' visions, a contribution to a cause by rebuilding schools for Haitian students and therefore deciding to hold a fundraiser in the community; and

Whereas they put on a performance at the Hammonds Plains Fire Hall to create awareness for young children and their families about the tragic events which occurred as a result of the earthquake in Haiti;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Rebecca Ryan, Hannah Gillespie, Liam Gillespie and Grace McDonald for their selfless actions which brought awareness to the community through HipHop4Haiti and helped raise over $3,000 for the tragedy in Haiti, may they each continue to be children with such open minds and hearts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 651]

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 Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 284

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

Whereas 94 passengers including President Kaczynski, his wife, Maria, government and military officials perished in a plane crash Saturday in Russia; and

Whereas members of the Polish community across our country have come together to mourn the loss of so many influential figures in their home country; and

Whereas all Nova Scotians share in this loss of the 4,000 Polish Canadians who call Nova Scotia their home;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend our condolences to members of the Nova Scotia Polish community and to the people of Poland for this devastating loss and let them know that our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time.

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 652]

The motion is carried.

[4:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 285

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

Whereas National Volunteer Week is being celebrated from coast to coast as an opportunity to thank those who donate their time and energy to a cause they believe in; and

Whereas Volunteer Week activities are being conducted in communities across this province to promote volunteerism and encourage broader individual participation in charitable endeavours; and

Whereas today, April 12th, the 36th Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony took place and more than 70 volunteers were honoured for the tremendous contributions they have made to their respective communities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate all honourees at the 36th Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards and acknowledge the tremendous contribution these hard-working men and women, as well as all volunteers, have made to the 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 Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 286

[Page 653]

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

Whereas on Saturday, May 8th, 2010, Eastern Shore Joint Emergency Management will be hosting their 4th Annual Jamboree, promoting emergency preparedness in the Porters Lake area; and

Whereas Eastern Shore Joint Emergency Management, a community-based emergency preparedness and response group under HRM's Emergency Measures Organization, serves the Eastern Shore on a voluntary basis; and

Whereas the Emergency Management Office, EMO's mission is to ensure the safety and security of Nova Scotians, their property and the environment by providing a prompt and coordinated response to an emergency;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the important work Eastern Shore Joint Emergency Management does for their community and offer thanks to all the volunteers who make it successful.

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 Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 287

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has recognized the outstanding contributions of selected volunteers from across the province at the 36th Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony today at the Westin Hotel in Halifax; and

[Page 654]

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community throughout this province, contributing their time and expertise to enrich the lives of all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas this award is a testament to the goodwill, care, and dedication provided by volunteers every day to make Nova Scotia a better place to live;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the recipients of today's awards and thank all volunteers for their devotion to this 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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 288

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

Whereas the volunteer fire departments in Nova Scotia are often first responders to the scenes of car accidents; and

Whereas volunteers often have to extract victims or put out fires as a result of the accident; and

Whereas in the Fall of 2009, at a competition in P.E.I., the Eel Brook and District Volunteer Fire Department came in third among 14 other departments from the Maritime Provinces by demonstrating their speed and skills using the Hurst Jaws of Life after only six months of training using the new tool;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating these firefighters of the Eel Brook and District Volunteer Fire Department on winning this competition and thank them for their dedicated service, caring, and responding to the call of victims in life-threatening situations.

[Page 655]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 289

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

Whereas three-year-old Clare Boudreau of Amherst has been courageously fighting retinoblastoma, a rapidly developing cancer of the retina, for the past 18 months of her young life; and

Whereas with the community rallying behind her, this brave little girl travelled to specialists in Halifax and Toronto with her parents, Steven and Nancy Boudreau, by her side, undergoing various procedures including several exams under anaesthesia, chemotherapy and radiation; and

Whereas a recent visit to SickKids in Toronto revealed that the tumor was gone and that at the age of three, Clare had won her battle against cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly celebrates with the Boudreau family and wish them good health and happiness in the years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 656]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 290

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

Whereas the 2009 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships took place last August on Lake Banook in Dartmouth; and

Whereas more than 1,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 59 countries participated in canoeing and kayak events, which were broadcast and viewed by 60 million people worldwide; and

Whereas the Canoe '09 organizing committee announced on March 31, 2010, that it will contribute $880,000 to the BellAliant Legacy Fund to inspire young paddlers and foster future generations of CanoeKayak Canada's Atlantic Division;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly thank Canoe '09 for their outstanding contribution to local paddling and recognize the positive impact this financial legacy will have on the training and development of our home-grown talent.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

[Page 657]

RESOLUTION NO. 291

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

Whereas the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association wrapped up their season with their house league tournament; and

Whereas the Cumberland Napa Bantam hockey team defeated the Dieppe-Memramcook Mudbugs 1-0 in their final game; and

Whereas the Cumberland Napa Bantam team was the only Cumberland team to win their division at this tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Cumberland Napa bantam hockey team for their tremendous effort leading to a shutout in their championship game.

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 North.

RESOLUTION NO. 292

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

Whereas the Eastern Kings Chamber of Commerce, otherwise known as EKCC, is the chief advocacy group for more than 300 businesses, organizations and individuals in eastern Kings County; and

Whereas the EKCC held its annual Best of Kings celebration on Wednesday, March 10th, at the Old Orchard Inn in Greenwich; and

[Page 658]

Whereas D.M. Reid Jewellers in Kentville was awarded the prize for best jewellery store;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the management and staff of D.M. Reid Jewellers for their achievement in being named as the Best of Kings in 2010 and acknowledge their exemplary contributions to the Kings County community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 293

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

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Cole Harbour ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Cole Harbour ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Cole Harbour by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses, and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Cole Harbour that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

[Page 659]

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 294

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

Whereas the 36th Annual Provincial Volunteer Awards event is recognizing over 70 volunteers from communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this Colchester North resident has developed the concept of a hiking trail in the Earltown area, while running and training for marathons, and has helped to establish the Cobequid Eco-Trails Society; and

Whereas Norris Whiston has helped prepare successful funding applications, coordinated work days for a large number of trail-building volunteers, promoted trail events to the hiking and snowshoeing community, as well as created interpretive maps and documented trail building in central and northern Colchester;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Norris Whiston for being chosen Representative Volunteer for 2010 for the Municipality of Colchester.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 295

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

[Page 660]

Whereas in the last election, the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas the NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and now will pay for those deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Guysborough-Sheet Harbour by making life more expensive, hurting local business and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promise to the very people who voted for him.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 296

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

Whereas Constable John Kennedy from the RCMP Crime Prevention Unit in Pictou County was launching a province-wide World Junior High Reading Challenge with the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board during the first part of January 2010; and

Whereas while on coffee break at a Tim Hortons in North Sydney, a local man collapsed to the floor with a heart attack; and

Whereas Constable Kennedy administered CPR, resuscitating the man who was able to be treated successfully at a local hospital and eventually received a pacemaker;

Therefore be it resolved that all member of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating RCMP Constable John Kennedy for his speedy and effective resolution to this life-threatening situation and wish him continued success with his great work to improve literacy in Nova Scotia

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 661]

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. 297

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

Whereas in the last election, the honourable member for Shelburne ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Shelburne ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST, which will directly hurt the residents of Shelburne by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Shelburne that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promises to the very people who voted for him.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland South.

RESOLUTION NO. 298

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

Whereas 2010 will be an exciting year for Girl Guides of Canada as they celebrate 100 years of the Girl Guide organization in Canada; and

[Page 662]

Whereas the Girl Guides have spent 100 years challenging girls in their personal development and empowering them to be responsible citizens; and

Whereas one of the major celebratory events will be National Rally Day, linking girls from coast to coast at 22 venues across Canada on Saturday, May 15, 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Girl Guides of Canada on their 100 years of helping girls across Canada and wish them many more years of 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.

[4:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 299

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

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts and no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP budget is proof that the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits misleading information; and

[Page 663]

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST which will directly hurt the residents of Timberlea-Prospect by making life more expensive, hurting local businesses and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect that he misled his constituents in the last election and he broke his promise to the very people who voted for him.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

RESOLUTION NO. 300

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

Whereas the betterment of Inverness County was always first and foremost in the thoughts of John MacInnes; and

Whereas among John's major initiatives was community economic development and in that capacity served as chairman of the Mabou and District Community Development Association as well as in various causes to protect the local environment; and

Whereas on November 13, 2009, John was lost to cancer at the age of 55 and as the Inverness Oran later aptly reported, "Inverness County lost one of its champions" and our province lost a valued employee;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly send their heartfelt sympathies to the MacInnes family and pay tribute to John for all he did for Mabou, Inverness County and our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 664]

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. 301

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

Whereas in the last election the honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley ran on a platform that promised balanced budgets, no program cuts, no increases in taxes; and

Whereas this NDP Government is proof that the honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley ran a campaign based on false and misleading information; and

Whereas the NDP has created two deficits and will now pay for these deficits by increasing the HST which will directly hurt the residents of Dartmouth South-Portland Valley by making life more expensive, hurting local business and causing people to consider moving out of the community in order to find work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly remind the honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley that she misled her constituents in the last election and she broke her promises to the very people who voted for her.

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.

[Page 665]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 302

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

Whereas the Central Cape Breton Appreciation Dinner for the Cape Breton Cancer Centre raised close to $4,000; and

Whereas this annual dinner was founded by Jim and Donna MacNeil in appreciation for all the support provided by the centre to cancer patients and their families; and

Whereas all proceeds raised directly benefit people in our communities that are living with cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the organizers of this event and commend them on their extensive 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 Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 303

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 Cookville Wal-Mart employees donated games, dolls, puzzles and other toys to a charity that puts kids first; and

[Page 666]

Whereas South Shore Big Brothers Big Sisters executive director Sandra Murray said the toys would be given anonymously to parents and guardians of "littles" in time for the holidays and the remainder are used for prizes and other group activities; and

Whereas Cookville Wal-Mart is a sponsor that supports other events sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters such as Bowl for Kids Sake;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the Cookville Wal-Mart for supporting such a worthwhile cause.

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.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Res. No. 1, and the debate was adjourned by the honourable member for Kings West.

Res. No. 1 - re CWH on Supply - notice given Mar. 26/10 - (Hon. G. Steele)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

[Page 667]

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to continue the debate and discussion on the budget, and again I'll go back just to take a look at a few of the key messages that came out of the 2010-11 budget.

It is a deficit budget that is being paid for by middle-class Nova Scotians and by the working poor, and this budget is simply the easy way out. The NDP HST hike will hurt Nova Scotians by making life more expensive and giving this NDP Government an excuse not to make the difficult decisions that Nova Scotians expected them to make. Tax and spend.

I'd like to enter into the record a comment from one small business owner in Halifax: "It is not evident to me that the Government of NS supports 'small business as the engine of the economy.' I believe CFIB should play a large role in collaborating with the government sector and unions to grow the NS economy."

Of course it's not the Opposition's job to govern, it is our job to make the NDP Government hear the concerns Nova Scotians have with the decisions that this government has avoided. If the Minister of Finance can't come up with a better response than "what would you do?", it is clear that there is a deficiency of ideas on moving forward.

The projected deficit for 2010-11 is $222 million. If you add in the MOU, the payment to universities, then the deficit this year should be $563 million.

Now Deloitte came to the Public Accounts Committee and gave a very strong review of what they determined when they took a look and examined the books of the province in July and August of this past year. Deloitte reported a $51 million deficit for last year and anything at all on top of that is truly the NDP's spending spree.

The NDP estimated a deficit of $592 million for last year. Take away that $52 million and the NDP came up with at least $540 million of the deficit all on their own.

Now, of course, we know that the NDP dodged a bit of a bullet with the revised numbers, and are now forecasting a deficit for this year of $488 million going into the books of the province for the past fiscal year. This was due more to luck and a small economic recovery, in spite of the NDP's best efforts to harm Nova Scotia businesses and working families.

So where did the NDP's second deficit come from? Since the Finance Minister is using the adjusted forecast for 2009-10 to trumpet how we lucked out last year in narrowing his first deficit, then it is proper to use the same forecasts to look at spending. It would be dishonest to pick and choose, so we'll use the same numbers that the minister uses for revenue to look at spending.

[Page 668]

Health spending will increase by 6.9 per cent, or $235 million - total spending this year is projected to be $3.6 billion in health. Education spending will increase by 2 per cent - not quite enough to save Grade 2, but maybe enough for a decent Grade 1.5. Community Services spending will increase by 3.4 per cent - what is striking here is the comparison to debt servicing costs; and debt servicing costs spending will increase by 10 per cent in the coming year, to $959,000,197,000. It is still the most striking number that I've had to deal with since entering the Legislature. It is now very similar to what it was in 2003. It was brought down, of course, to below $900 billion and now we're back up and we'll go over a billion in the next couple of years.

The NDP has just ensured that we pay almost the same amount of money to service our debt as we do to help our most vulnerable people in our province. Today the Department of Community Services and our provincial debt servicing costs take up essentially the same proportion of the budget - Community Services 10.7 per cent, Debt Servicing Costs 10.6 per cent.

Now, on the spending side, it is interesting to know that there are some big winners, I guess we may say, but pretty excessive in light of the overall requirement for a truly balanced budget and balanced approach. Economic and Rural Development spending will increase by 41 per cent, Fisheries and Aquaculture spending by 45.8 per cent, Finance Department spending will increase 21.5 per cent, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations spending will increase by 8.45 per cent - at the same time as municipalities struggle with the impact that the NDP HST hike will have on their own budgets.

For example, this hike will widen the gap for HRM by a further $2 million; already HRM, of course, is struggling with their budgets this year. The Environment Department's spending will increase by 34 per cent. Overall, when you remove the line item for Assistance to Universities, overall program spending under the NDP watch has increased by a full 4.8 per cent this year.

Whenever he is called out on his lack of spending discipline, the Minister of Finance can only come up with a lazy and misleading comment - what would the Opposition do? Classic defense mechanism and it only serves to prove to Nova Scotians that the Finance Minister and the entire NDP simply do not have a straightforward plan. The minister is simply saying to Nova Scotians, I do not know, what would you have done? Instead of addressing the facts, the minister hides in partisan rhetoric; instead of debating important issues over the choices he and his NDP Government have made this week, he can only say, what would you do?

Well, after years of being in Opposition, the minister should now know that these are his decisions and he and his government must answer to Nova Scotians about why they were made. If the minister is out of ideas after only 10 months, then Nova Scotia could indeed be in trouble.

[Page 669]

Nova Scotia is now truly a province of extremes. We have the highest consumption tax at 15 per cent. We have one of the lowest personal exemption levels in Canada, and although it has declined by 0.2 per cent to 0.15 per cent, Nova Scotia is still the only Province in Atlantic Canada with a large corporation tax on capital. At $400,000, Nova Scotia still has the lowest small business tax threshold. Nova Scotia stills suffer from bracket creep. Nova Scotia is one of only three provinces in Canada that do not index personal income tax brackets, which means inflation pushes some of your income into higher tax brackets every year and that is bracket creep.

The reduction of the small business tax is okay, but it is not enough and it does not offset the other budget measures that will damage all businesses. This is a half measure when compared to the damage that the HST hike will have on business. Last year, businesses in Nova Scotia paid up to $9,000 more in taxes than other Canadian businesses; that is money that could have been invested in new equipment or used to increase employee wages. Many business owners would have also used this money to hire additional employees and invest in employee training.

The two-point HST hike takes effect on July 1st and the minuscule reduction of the small business tax does not come into effect until January 1, 2011. This means that business gets hit over and over again, until even the most marginal amount of relief comes into effect. The reduction of small business tax rate is a good thing, but CFIB has correctly pointed out that businesses have to be making money in order to take advantage of it.

I was going to read into the record from a small business owner in Shelburne: "We've seen NS government spending increase by 3.7 times the inflation rate while our population has gone up by one per cent. It would be nice to see how much the government ranks have increased over the same period. I truly believe that our present services can be sustained by cutting costs and reducing the debt. It's time we move away from the mindset of more pay and less work. We already pay a high rate of tax in this province; there should be no increase in taxes, fees, or any other mechanism that governments use to pay their coffers. Live within your means."

[5:00 p.m.]

The point of sale costs that businesses will have to carry will be passed on to the consumer, since the Finance Minister confirmed yesterday in Question Period that there would be no help and no sympathy from the NDP. Update HST rate in sales equipment, such as cash registers to charge the correct rate of tax; ensure any revenues collected via automated payments from customer bank accounts are appropriately adjusted; update price

[Page 670]

lists, catalogues, and other sales materials that are pre-printed with the new tax rate; update Web site or online payment software for businesses that sell products and services over the Internet; update accounts payable software; update input tax credit calculations; update taxable benefit calculations; update formulas and spreadsheets such as expense reports.

There are very clear problems with our tax system and they have just been made worse by the NDP. What we need, and what we have needed for quite some time now, is a comprehensive, transparent, and accountable review of our tax system. We can't keep losing graduates to other provinces, and we can't keep losing the residents of Cumberland County every time they need to make a purchase.

Since 2002, provincial government program spending has soared 76 per cent from over $4 billion to over $8 billion. Since 2002-03, the number of full-time departmental employees has increased by 10 per cent to 9,976. The budget estimates 837 more public sector workers to be added over the coming year. This does not include teachers, health authority, and other contract workers. What improved or expanded services are we getting for this increase in the size of government? Any runaway spending or unsustainable government budgeting over the years of successive minority government must also be attributed to the Opposition NDP as much as the Progressive Conservatives.

The Minister of Finance said it's hard to curb spending. However, one measure could be to have departments defend their spending - provide basic spending, and everything else justified as it comes along in the year - and what they deliver. This can be done on a quarterly basis. The current system allows and encourages ministers to grow their own departments without an overview of what they are actually delivering to Nova Scotians, and this has clearly not been addressed in this NDP budget.

So just to review, Mr. Speaker, it's a deficit budget that's being paid for by the middle-class Nova Scotians and by the working poor. We know that the surtax was taken off and not put back on the $83,000 to well over $200,000 wage income earners, and Nova Scotians are simply asking for fairness. Why should the $30,000 to $83,000 income earner, which is really over 200,000 to 300,000 Nova Scotians, be taking the brunt of the budget? This budget is simply the easy way out. The NDP HST hike will hurt Nova Scotians by making life more expensive and giving this NDP Government an excuse not to make the difficult decisions that Nova Scotians expected them to make. Once again, it's tax and spend.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to begin by congratulating the Finance Minister and his department for their hard work in putting together this budget. I do know that the minister is doing what he believes is right for Nova Scotia, but I do beg to differ with his budget plan. Nova Scotians have heard a lot lately about how bad things

[Page 671]

are. We're getting older, young people are moving away, rural areas are in decline, we pay high taxes, and so on. Our minds have been well prepared for today.

In November we had the NDP economic review panel tell us Nova Scotia is on the road to financial ruin. To reinforce this notion, Minister Steele travelled the province to proclaim the same in his Back to Balance tour. Now we have the NDP propose a four-year budget plan to save Nova Scotia.

Finally - and this is yet to happen - in the years ahead I am sure we will see the NDP boast about their performance and how it was they who made the difference, they who saved us. I expect this will happen around 2014, when Nova Scotians go to the polls.

People have seen this NDP approach before, and we can look back to the Romanow approach in Saskatchewan of the early 1990s. Take hope, Nova Scotia. All is not lost. True, we do need transformational change in government, not just to improve our Treasury but to improve opportunities for people for employment in the areas we all represent. We know that many problems are solved for people when they have employment, when they can find dignity in work and they have the opportunity to do something they enjoy and something they are good at.

Nova Scotians can have a growing private sector with employment opportunities here at home, close to family. We can have a growing population, because I do believe people want to live here. We can have grandparents who can have hope to see the next generation. Nova Scotians can have no tax increases because we pay enough.

This success begins with government. It begins with a government that lives within its means and makes future Nova Scotians a priority. Through deficit spending, this government has chosen to leave behind those who come after us. The NDP will make life harder and less affordable for the young people of our province, because they have chosen to offer a path of high taxes and more of our tax dollars will be wasted to pay the interest on the four deficit budgets we will see over the next four years.

It was interesting to note in the budget that the NDP have essentially resorted to paying young people to live in our province. They are doing this through tax rebates for young people who are willing to stay here after finishing secondary education. The response we have seen from student leaders was that they would have preferred more affordable education.

What message does the NDP Government send out to Nova Scotians earning in excess of $150,000? Who are these rich people? Mr. Speaker, some of these so-called rich people are very hard workers. I'll give you just one example: they are the physicians that we need in our local hospitals.

[Page 672]

Today I will give people facts, facts they can decide on which direction we should travel. The path I will outline is one this government would choose. It is possible. May Nova Scotians decide for themselves who should be steering the ship - the Progressive Conservatives who brought Nova Scotia back to balance under the leadership of Dr. John Hamm eight years ago, with the first balanced budget in 40 years, or this Premier Darrell Dexter Government.

Before I begin, I want to commend the government for its example to make government smaller. This is one example of transformational change, and it is a change that the Progressive Conservatives believe will make Nova Scotia better. It is in our collective best interest and it is one that we support. We would encourage government to ensure this is a reduction and not a reallocation.

I also want to recognize the minister for addressing the need to reduce the cost of health care administration and for improving access to health care by expanding the role that pharmacists can play to help Nova Scotians. I want to thank the minister for changes made to the Nova Scotia provincial pension plan to bring it more in line with what other Nova Scotians experience.

If the Progressive Conservatives would do things differently, how would we do it? To begin, let us confirm where we left off when the NDP took power in the Spring of 2009. Our provincial Treasury is in much better shape today because of the eight balanced budgets this Progressive Conservative Government delivered. Where would we be today if those budgets were not balanced?

May I point out that some of those balanced budgets were voted against by some members of this House? I am not surprised to see that the NDP are planning to deliver deficits over the next four years, because we've seen a record of that. I do sympathize with Nova Scotians who believed their Premier, Darrell Dexter, when he told them he promised to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I remind the member that Christian names are not to be used in the House. You can refer to the member as the honourable member for or the honourable Premier, but not first names. Carry on.

MR. MACMASTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I do want to sympathize with Nova Scotians who believed the Premier when he told them he would deliver balanced budgets and when he told them he would not raise taxes. He has not done either of those, that has been made fact with this budget.

I am also not surprised to hear the NDP say they have had nothing to do with past government decisions, even though they held influence in minority government since 2003. Well, it seems the NDP has difficulty accepting responsibility. We see it yet again today. Instead of taking responsibility to ensure government lives within its means, they have

[Page 673]

chosen to pass on the debt - debt they started creating when they took office - to the young people of Nova Scotia.

Some people question whether the 2009-10 budget left to the NDP was balanced. An independent review conducted by Deloitte has confirmed that it was, in fact, balanced. That is a fact and it is a fact that must make our Finance Minister uncomfortable, as history will show that all he could deliver on his watch were deficit budgets.

Next we had the economic review panel whose task was to tell us how awful the future looked because of the economic recession, government spending patterns and the revenue challenges due to an aging population. They said there was no way to have a balanced budget until 2012 and that Nova Scotians should pay more taxes.

Next came the Deloitte review, which I've just mentioned, and there's something very important that I want to highlight about this review. There was a significant assumption made that the province be forced to raise revenue to meet expenses, for it was assumed that expenses could not be controlled. In the past there are many examples of how governments adjusted spending to accommodate declines in revenue. This was a fact noted, not just by myself, but also by a research report conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Expenses can be controlled by the will of a responsible government. The budgets for the next four years could be balanced with responsible fiscal management. The facts are, the NDP inherited a balanced budget, they commenced a review to tell us how awful things were, only because curtailing government expenditure was not an attractive option for them.

They had to convince people the same way. They had to convince people to think the same way so they began a consultation around the province, the Back to Balance tour. In hindsight, Nova Scotians can now call it the "back to deficit" tour and the "back to tax" tour. I gave the minister a chance to have a review completed by an independent marketing agency to ensure the consultation results from this tour were not biased by the opinions he expressed at each session.

He chose not to when he avoided answering the question in the House two weeks ago. Apparently this government is happy to review the works of others through their own lens of reality. They refuse to allow anyone to review their work as they would not want to be called upon to take responsibility.

There is nothing wrong with asking people for ideas and their thoughts about the state of our province. That is a good thing. But without having the facts, and in this case only with the opinions of the Finance Minister, how could a consultation result in an accurate expression of what Nova Scotians want or what is in their best interests? In fairness to Nova

[Page 674]

Scotians, they do not have all the information that the Finance Minister and his department have available to them.

A Progressive Conservative Government would continue our tradition of balanced budgets. We believe balanced budgets lay the foundation for a future of potential. We would create the environment for increased productivity and increased gross domestic product. We would do that by making government smaller so that we live within our means. We would do it by reducing our debt with future budget surpluses and we do see a future of reduced taxes for Nova Scotians. We see a larger entrepreneurial economy because these people create jobs for Nova Scotians. And we would do something else, something that never seems to matter in government - we would count our costs.

[5:15 p.m.]

How many businesses can operate in this province who do not know the costs of the goods and services they produce? They need to. First of all they need to because they need to know how much to charge for their products and services, to ensure they're generating a profit and an income for the people that work for those companies. Government needs to, because we need to ensure that we are operating optimally for Nova Scotians. Yet for some reason, government rarely understands the costs of the services it provides.

There is a significant cultural mindset that must be overcome. We charge user fees yet we don't know how much it costs to deliver those very services to Nova Scotians. I have discovered this through some of my questioning at the Public Accounts Committee since I've been elected. If we value Nova Scotians, as Nova Scotian business owners value their customers, we will strive to better understand costs and make decisions to ensure Nova Scotians get the best value for their tax dollar.

Why this path, this path that I describe today, the path that the Progressive Conservatives envision? Because we have been on the other path since the 1960s, save for the eight balanced budgets from 2002 through to the one tabled before the NDP came to power. The path that we have been on since the 1960s, with deficits every year, has given us the second-highest debt per person in the country. We have flat GDP and a declining population. We have some of the highest taxes in the country and we have a hungry government pleading to eat more of Nova Scotians' daily wages. Nova Scotians have made sacrifices to enjoy balanced budgets. Nova Scotians deserve a government that lives within its means. The Progressive Conservatives will not support this budget, because this budget, Mr. Speaker, takes us back to deficit. And with that, I now request adjournment of this debate.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request for adjournment. (Interruptions) The estimates then are (Interruptions) There has been a request for adjournment.

[Page 675]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move that you now adjourn the debate on Resolution No. 1.

MR. SPEAKER: The estimates really are referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Supply and for another day. That's where we are on that.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Supply unto Her Majesty.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[5:18 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gordon Gosse in the Chair.]

[9:32 p.m. CWH on Supply 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 Supply reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made progress and begs leave to sit again.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, that ends the business for the government for today. After the daily routine and Question Period, we will be going into Committee of the Whole House on Supply once more and if time permits, we will be calling Bill Nos. 7, 10, 13, 16, 18, 19 and 22.

Mr. Speaker, I move that we now rise to meet tomorrow from the hours of 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m.

[Page 676]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House rise to meet again tomorrow from 12:00 noon until 8:00 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 stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 9:33 p.m.]

[Page 677]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 304

By: Hon. Karen Casey (Colchester North)

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

Whereas on January 12th a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, the Capital of Haiti, leaving thousands dead and more than 200,000 people homeless; and

Whereas students in some Grade 9, 10, and 11 classes at Hants East Rural High School have been collecting donations and making and selling friendship bracelets to raise money for their Friends for Haiti project; and

Whereas on their first day of sales they collected $75 for Haitian relief and they hope to raise more money before their fundraising concludes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating students at East Hants Rural High School for taking the initiative to help support those most in need.

RESOLUTION NO. 305

By: Hon. Karen Casey (Colchester North)

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

Whereas on January 12th a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, leaving thousands dead and more than 200,000 people homeless; and

Whereas students at Shubenacadie District Elementary School responded with a Pennies for Haiti fundraiser, in which their donations were turned into art projects; and

Whereas the Grade 3 class, who used their pennies to design a heart surrounded by children holding hands, won first prize;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the students of Shubenacadie District Elementary School for collecting and donating $416.45 to the children of Haiti.

[Page 678]

RESOLUTION NO. 306

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas 30 years ago today Terry Fox dipped his toe in the Atlantic Ocean near St. John's, Newfoundland, to begin his Marathon of Hope to raise funds for cancer research; and

Whereas 143 days later, after being forced to end his dream due to the spread of cancer, Terry Fox became a legend and hero to people across Canada and throughout the world; and

Whereas to date, close to $500 million has been raised in Terry's name for cancer research;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House acknowledge the dedication and perseverance of Terry Fox and recognize this important anniversary which has been a source of pride and hope for Canadians from coast to coast.

RESOLUTION NO. 307

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 Nova Scotia has recognized the outstanding contributions of selected volunteers from across the province at the 36th Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony today at the Westin Hotel in Halifax; and

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community throughout this province, contributing their time and expertise to enrich the lives of all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Elizabeth Spinney has been recognized by the Town of Middleton, acknowledging the service provided to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Elizabeth Spinney on receiving this prestigious award and thank her for her devotion to this province.

[Page 679]

RESOLUTION NO. 308

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 Nova Scotia has recognized the outstanding contributions of selected volunteers from across the province at the 36th Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony today at the Westin Hotel in Halifax; and

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community throughout this province, contributing their time and expertise to enrich the lives of all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Jack Pearle has been recognized by the Municipality of the County of Annapolis, acknowledging the service provided to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jack Pearle on receiving this prestigious award and thank him for his devotion to this province.

RESOLUTION NO. 309

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 Nova Scotia has recognized the outstanding contributions of selected volunteers from across the province at the 36th Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony today at the Westin Hotel in Halifax; and

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community throughout this province, contributing their time and expertise to enrich the lives of all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Leonard MacDonald has been recognized by the Town of Bridgetown, acknowledging the service provided to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Leonard MacDonald on receiving this prestigious award and thank him for his devotion to this province.

[Page 680]

RESOLUTION NO. 310

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 Nova Scotia has recognized the outstanding contributions of selected volunteers from across the province at the 36th Provincial Volunteer Awards ceremony today at the Westin Hotel in Halifax; and

Whereas volunteers are the backbone of every community throughout this province, contributing their time and expertise to enrich the lives of all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas Paul Stackhouse has been recognized by the Town of Annapolis Royal, acknowledging the service provided to the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Paul Stackhouse on receiving this prestigious award and thank him for his devotion to this province.