The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.



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

Second Session


Nat. Res.: Terence Bay Wilderness Area - ATV Usage,
Hon. J. Baillie 4559
Law Amendments Committee,
Hon. R. Landry 4560
Law Amendments Committee,
Hon. R. Landry 4560
Res. 2703, Sampson, Tyler Glenn: Bravery - Acknowledge,
The Premier 4561
Vote - Affirmative 4562
Res. 2704, UN Intl. Day of Disabled Persons (12/03/10):
Emergency Training - Agencies Thank, Hon. R. Jennex 4562
Vote - Affirmative 4562
Res. 2705, Ryan, Shannon - GO's Health & Wellness Award,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald (by Hon. M. More) 4563
Vote - Affirmative 4563
No. 129, Wilderness Areas Protection Act, Hon. J. Baillie 4563
Res. 2706, Potter, Grant - Rec. N.S. Award,
Hon. S. McNeil 4564
Vote - Affirmative 4564
Res. 2707, UN Intl. Day of Persons With Disabilities (12/03/10):
Barriers - Recognize, Hon. J. Baillie 4564
Vote - Affirmative 4565
Res. 2708, Earle, Jessica - 4-H: Commitment - Applaud,
Mr. B. Skabar 4565
Vote - Affirmative 4566
Res. 2709, Natural Hist. Museum - Tyrannosaurus Rex Exhibit,
Mr. A. Younger 4566
Vote - Affirmative 4568
Res. 2710, Harvest House/Coordinator - Homelessness Fundraiser,
Hon. C. Clarke 4568
Vote - Affirmative 4569
Res. 2711, UN Intl. Day of Persons With Disabilities (12/03/10)
- Recognize, Hon. W. Gaudet 4569
Vote - Affirmative 4570
Res. 2712, Denny, Chief Leroy: Eskasoni - Chief Election,
Mr. A. MacLeod 4570
Vote - Affirmative 4571
Res. 2713, Digby Area Bd. of Trade Bus Excellence Awards:
Recipients - Congrats., Mr. H. Theriault 4571
Vote - Affirmative 4571
Res. 2714, Gov't. (N.S.) - 2010-11: Books - Balance,
Mr. A. MacMaster 4571
Res. 2715, d'Entremont, Suzanne - VON Award,
Mr. Z. Churchill 4572
Vote - Affirmative 4573
Res. 2716, Langley, Cassidy - Athletic Awards,
Hon. K. Casey 4573
Vote - Affirmative 4574
Res. 2717, N.S. Food Policy Coun.: Founding Meeting - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine (by Hon. W. Gaudet) 4574
Vote - Affirmative 4574
Res. 2718, Wong, Jessica: Nat'l. Women's Hockey Team
- Selection, Mr. K. Bain 4575
Vote - Affirmative 4575
Res. 2719, Guimond, Anais - Cdn. Youth Bus. Fdn.
Female Entrepreneur of Yr. (2010), Mr. A. Younger 4575
Vote - Affirmative 4576
Res. 2720, Bourque, Thérèse - Birthday (97th),
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4576
Vote - Affirmative 4577
Res. 2721, Terry Fox Run: Clare Vols. - Effort (30Yrs.),
Hon. W. Gaudet 4577
Vote - Affirmative 4577
Res. 2722, Doncaster, Andrea - Engineers N.S. Citizenship Award
(2010), Mr. A. MacLeod 4578
Vote - Affirmative 4578
Res. 2723, O'Hearn, Kerry - Commun. Contributions,
Hon. K. Colwell 4578
Vote - Affirmative 4579
Res. 2724, Taggart, Carly - Female NSSAF Sports Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4579
Vote - Affirmative 4580
Res. 2725, TIR: 5-Yr. Plan - Re-write,
Mr. H. Theriault 4580
Res. 2726, MacDonald, Joe: Hockey Skills - Applaud,
Mr. C. Porter (by Mr. K. Bain) 4581
Vote - Affirmative 4581
Res. 2727, Hall, Bobbie-Lynn/Butz, Paulette/
Bedford-Sackville Autism Support - Congrats.,
Ms. K. Regan 4582
Vote - Affirmative 4582
Res. 2728, MacGregor, Barrie: Yarmouth YMCA - Serv. (15 Yrs.),
Mr. Z. Churchill 4582
Vote - Affirmative 4583
Res. 2729, Muise, Charlie & Annie - Anniv. (68th),
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4583
Vote - Affirmative 4584
Res. 2730, Perrot, Bill: Retirement - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 4584
Vote - Affirmative 4585
Res. 2731, Kendrick, Chris: Hole-in-One - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Porter (by Hon. J. Baillie) 4585
Vote - Affirmative 4585
Res. 2732, Bill Dompierre Mem. Basketball Tournament:
Organizers - Congrats., Ms. K. Regan 4585
Vote - Affirmative 4586
Res. 2733, Northside/Harbour View Hosp. Fdn.: Serv. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 4586
Vote - Affirmative 4587
No. 124, Land Surveyors Act,
Hon. J. MacDonell 4587
Hon. K. Colwell 4588
Hon. C. Clarke 4605
Ms. D. Whalen 4622
Mr. A. MacMaster 4640
Mr. A. Younger 4654
Adjourned debate 4657
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Dec. 6th at 12 noon 4659
Res. 2734, Dempsey, Brian - Prov.: Serv. - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Baillie 4660
Res. 2735, Queens Reg. Mun.: Commun. Arts & Culture Recognition
Award - Competition, Ms. V. Conrad 4660
Res. 2736, Faith, Fraud & Minimum Wage:
Writer/Producer/Cast/Crew - Congrats., Mr. J. Morton 4661
Res. 2737, Stewart, Ceri: Liverpool Reg. HS - Exercise Classes,
Ms. V. Conrad 4661
Res. 2738, Sweetnam, William - NSAC Distinguished Alumni Award,
Hon. J. MacDonell 4662
Res. 2739, Bishop, Patricia -
NSCA Young Alumni Achievement Award,
Hon. J. MacDonell 4662
Res. 2740, Lindsay, Steve - NSSAF Sports Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4663
Res. 2741, Blois, Nathan - NSSAF Sports Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4663
Res. 2742, Forbes, Dyson - NSSAF Sports Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4664
Res. 2743, Shipley, Gordon & Brandon -
Great Village & Dist. Fire Brigade Awards,4664
Hon. K. Casey 4664
Res. 2744, Spencer, Trevor -
Great Village & Dist. Fire Brigade Awards,
Hon. K. Casey 4665
Res. 2745, Lewis, Marjorie: Cobequid Outlook
- Vol. Reporter Congrats., Hon. K. Casey 4665
Res. 2746, Tattrie, Candace: Col. Co. Sports Hall of Fame
- Induction, Hon. K. Casey 4666

[Page 4559]


Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.


Hon. Charlie Parker


Mr. Gordon Gosse, Mr. Leo Glavine, Mr. Alfie MacLeod

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We'll get today's proceedings underway for Friday.

We'll begin the daily routine.


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

HON. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from the residents of the Terence Bay area, a petition of 302 signatures, of which I have affixed my own signature. The operative clause asks for access to wilderness areas by off-highway vehicles in the Terence Bay Wilderness Area. I will so table.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

[Page 4560]


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. 63 - Legal Profession Act.

Bill No. 99 - Conflict of Interest Act.

Bill No. 100 - Labour Board Act.

Bill No. 118 - Public Interest Disclosure of Wrongdoing Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills 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. 113 - Clothesline Act.

Bill No. 115 - Public Sector Compensation Disclosure Act.

Bill No. 120 - Condominium Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

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




[Page 4561]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier on an introduction.

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw your attention to the Speaker's Gallery where we have with us today members of the Sampson and Eisenhauer families. Present in the House today is Janice Sampson, who is the mother of the late Tyler Sampson; Reverend Ardythe Ashe, Tyler Sampson's grandmother; Cindy Sampson, his sister; Heather Eisenhauer, the mother of the late Adam Eisenhauer; Glenn Eisenhauer, his father; and Ginny Dockrill, his aunt. We also have with us Chief Justice Constance Glube who is the chairman of the Medal of Bravery Advisory Panel.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask that the members of the House give our guests a very warm welcome, and thank you for joining us here today. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.


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

Whereas 25-year-old Tyler Glenn Sampson showed tremendous courage on August 13, 2005, when he tried to fight off an armed assailant who broke in and attacked his childhood friend, Adam Nicholas Eisenhauer, who had been partially paralyzed in a car accident four years earlier; and

Whereas Mr. Eisenhauer was unable to defend himself and died as a result of the attack that day, and Mr. Sampson chased and fought his friend's attacker, only to be fatally stabbed himself; and

Whereas Mr. Sampson's brave actions later helped police apprehend the man responsible for these vicious crimes, but he was unable to posthumously receive Nova Scotia's Medal of Bravery, as the honour had yet to be created;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge the incredible friendship shared by these two young men - a friendship so strong that Tyler Glenn Sampson did not think twice to sacrifice his own life in an attempt to apprehend the man who killed his friend, thus exhibiting the true meaning of the Nova Scotia Medal of Bravery.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4562]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Standing Ovation)

[9:15 a.m.]

The honourable Minister of Emergency Management.


HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Thank you, Premier, that was very moving.

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

Whereas recent hurricanes and floods have reminded us of the need to be prepared and to stay safe during emergencies; and

Whereas persons with disabilities can face unique challenges during emergencies and often require specialized preparedness strategies; and

Whereas more than a dozen volunteer, community, and government agencies in our province, coordinated by the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission, have come together with EMO to help promote and provide emergency training;

Therefore be it resolved that on this day, which is the United Nations International Day of Disabled Persons, members of this House congratulate and thank those agencies for their worthwhile initiative to help make all Nova Scotians with disabilities better prepared and safer during emergencies.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 4563]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.


HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the Minister of Health, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas FUSION Halifax works to capture the voice, spirit, and attention of 20- to 40-year olds who are dedicated to shaping the future of the Halifax Regional Municipality, and also hosts the annual GO awards that honour individuals who are inspiring change in the city; and

Whereas Shannon Ryan of Capital Health District won GO's Health and Wellness Award for leading the creation of two community health teams, one in Dartmouth and the other in the Spryfield Loop; and

Whereas Ms. Ryan's vision was to create community health teams based on the new health model that focuses on the promotion of health and wellness to support area residents and families to gain the knowledge, confidence, and skills necessary to make healthy lifestyle choices and better manage chronic conditions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Shannon Ryan for being the recipient of the GO's Health and Wellness Award and for sharing government's commitment to providing better health care for Nova Scotians.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.


[Page 4564]

Bill No. 129 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 27 of the Acts of 1998. The Wilderness Areas Protection Act. (Hon. Jamie Baillie)

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


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


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

Whereas Recreation Nova Scotia recognized the dedication and valuable contribution made in advancing recreation in the Town of Annapolis Royal by the late Grant Potter in naming him the first recipient of the President's Award of Distinction at their awards dinner on November 19th; and

Whereas Grant Potter was recognized by all as a talented athlete and outdoor enthusiast whose love for all things recreation was infectious to those who knew him; and

Whereas the theme of this year's 2010 award is Living Recreation to its Fullest, and Grant Potter was a perfect example of just that and inspired many others to do the same;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly applaud Recreation Nova Scotia's choice in honouring such an outstanding individual as Grant Potter, and recognize his family for their role in his accomplishments.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 4565]

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.


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

Whereas people around the world will mark United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities today, to recognize the courage and resilience of people who live with disabilities; and

Whereas the Day of Persons with Disabilities aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities and the gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic, and cultural life of their communities; and

Whereas in Nova Scotia, one in every five people live with a disability;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the barriers people with disabilities face, and focus thought and resources on helping to break down those barriers.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.


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

Whereas Jessica Earle is in her last of 12 years as a member of the Double D 4-H Club, where she completed projects in mini-horse, donkey, dog obedience, rabbit, sheep, beef, goat, sewing, crafts, foods, first aid, floriculture, junior leader, scrapbooking; and

[Page 4566]

Whereas at the 2010 Provincial 4-H Show held in Truro in October, Jessica Earle was Champion in Showroom Class Rabbit; Open Dog Obedience; Mini-Horse Judge; Senior Craft Article; Mini-Horse Showman; and she took first place in the Senior Flower Arranging competition and placed first in the Senior Single Demonstration; and, as well, held the position of president of the Double D club for 5 years, held terms as treasurer and vice- president, and spent many hours volunteering; and

Whereas Jessica Earle will be returning to 4-H this year in the role of leader and will continue to be the chairman of the Cumberland County 4-H Rally;

Therefore be it resolved this House of Assembly commend Jessica Earle for her many years of dedication and involvement in 4-H, and applaud her commitment to continue to be involved in keeping the 4-H spirit alive in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, and in Canada.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.


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 Museum of Natural History is the first Canadian museum to host the replica exhibit, A Tyrannosaurus Rex Named Sue; and

Whereas Sue is being shipped to Halifax from Kuwait, where the exhibit recently concluded; and

Whereas the museum expects the exhibit will attract 70,000 visitors during its time here;

[Page 4567]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Museum of Natural History, and wish them every success with their display.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[9:24 a.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: The hour is up. A recorded vote has been called for.

Are the Whips satisfied?

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[10:24 a.m.]


Mr. Landry

Ms. More

Mr. Estabrooks

Ms. Peterson-Rafuse

Mr. Steele

Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Ms. Jennex

Mr. MacDonell Ms. Zann

Mr. MacKinnon

[Page 4568]

Ms. Conrad

Mr. Gosse

Ms. Kent

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Preyra

Ms. Raymond

Mr. Smith

Mr. Epstein

Mr. Prest

Mr. Ramey

Mr. Skabar

Mr. Whynott

Mr. Morton

Ms. Birdsall

Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Burrill

Mr. Gaudet

Mr. Samson

Ms. Whalen

Mr. McNeil

Mr. d'Entremont

Mr. MacLeod

Mr. MacMaster

Mr. Clarke

Mr. Younger

Mr. Colwell

Mr. Theriault

Mr. Zinck

THE CLERK: For, 38. Against, 0.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.


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


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

[Page 4569]

Whereas teams from Harvest House in North Sydney and Glace Bay have lived in a giant cardboard box in the Mayflower Mall parking lot for 54 hours, from noon on Thursday, November 18th until 6:00 p.m. Saturday, November 20th, to help raise awareness about homelessness and attempt to raise money to fill the oil tanks at both locations over the winter months and collect clothing and bedding donations; and

Whereas Harvest House provides a crucial service for the homeless by ensuring they have a warm place to stay, safety, and food during dangerously cold winter months; and

Whereas additional programs offered at Harvest House include addiction recovery, life skills training, education, informal counselling, parenting classes, youth initiatives, guidance, and work programs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Harvest House coordinator, Mr. Sangster, and his volunteers, who have taken on the task of helping those less fortunate to have a better life and wish them success with their unique fundraiser.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.


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

Whereas December 3, 2010, marks the 29th Anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities; and

Whereas designated by the United Nations, this day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to encourage support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of persons with disabilities; and

[Page 4570]

Whereas this year's theme, "Keeping the promise: Mainstreaming disability in the Millennium Development Goals towards 2015 and beyond," has been designed to teach us all of the immense benefits which can be obtained from the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly commit themselves to the importance of recognizing December 3rd as International Day of Persons with Disabilities and support programs and initiatives that support inclusion for persons with disabilities for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[10:30 a.m.]

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.


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

Whereas Leroy Denny has been a band councillor in Eskasoni for the last six years; and

Whereas Mr. Denny has shown enlightened and steady leadership in many aspects of his community serving as a justice worker and a teacher; and

Whereas on Wednesday, November 24th, Leroy Denny was elected chief of Eskasoni;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly offer their congratulations and best wishes to Chief Denny on his recent election and applaud his efforts to help the people of Eskasoni reach their full potential.

[Page 4571]

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.


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

Whereas the Digby Area Board of Trade received more than 60 nominations for this year's Business Excellence Awards held recently at the Royal Canadian Legion in Digby; and

Whereas the categories and winners are: hospitality, Bay Ferries; tourism excellence, Digby Pines Resort and Spa; community contribution (business), Cooke Aquaculture; community contribution (non-profit), Digby County Family Resource Centre; customer service, Digby Pharmasave; business excellence, O'Neil Fisheries; and entrepreneur, Annapolis Highland Vineyards; and

Whereas Faye Haley, chair of the Tri-County Regional School Board, also received a life achievement award at the ceremony;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate all the award recipients of the Digby Area Board of Trade Business Excellence Awards and wish them many more years of success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4572]

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.


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 NDP have added more than $1.5 billion in debt since they promised balanced budgets and no new taxes; and

Whereas this government, like any other, is best measured by its actions, not its words; and

Whereas the NDP vehemently opposed measures taken to balance the books in 2002 and 2003, and voted against them;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly agree that measures need to be taken in the fiscal year 2010-11 to begin matching expenses with revenues.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.


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

[Page 4573]

Whereas Suzanne d'Entremont of Yarmouth has been a devoted and valued member of the VON Tri-County for 25 years; and

Whereas in recognition of her exemplary work in directing the operations of both the VON Eastern Region and Tri-County sites during the H1N1 outbreak of 2009-10, the VON presented Suzanne d'Entremont with a silver award of excellence; and

Whereas the VON referred to Suzanne d'Entremont's manner in dealing with the H1N1 outbreak as calm, thorough and well-informed, and also that a big part of the eastern region's success during H1N1 was due to Suzanne's leadership;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize Suzanne d'Entremont for her dedication and contributions to the community of Yarmouth and congratulate her on being awarded the VON's National Silver Award of Excellence.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.


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

Whereas school athletes must be well organized to be able to participate in sports and still maintain good academic grades; and

Whereas leadership, good sportsmanship and co-operation are only a few of the valued skills learned by being part of a team; and

Whereas Cassidy Langley, a student at Central Colchester Junior High School in Colchester North, was presented with the Coach's Award for Girls Soccer, MVP Award for cross-country skiing, Most Improved Player Award in badminton, and the Celebration of Sport Award;

[Page 4574]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Cassidy Langley for the many awards she has received, and especially for being named athlete of the year.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.


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

Whereas on April 19, 2010, Nova Scotians, including individuals from varying sectors of the food industry, gathered at Truro's Holiday Inn for the founding meeting of the Nova Scotia Food Policy Council; and

Whereas the meeting gathered individuals from across the province who support the goal of a secure, sustainable food system; and

Whereas the council will serve as a means to gain information and seek out ways to implement solutions and raise public awareness on the importance of securing a sustainable food supply for all Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly wish the Nova Scotia Food Policy council every success with this endeavour and remind Nova Scotians of the importance of buying local whenever possible.

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

[Page 4575]

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.


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 hockey star Jessica Wong is one of 21 players who will don the maple leaf for the National Women's under-22 hockey team at the 2011 MLP Cup in Switzerland from January 4th to 8th; and

Whereas Jessica is one of 11 players back from last year's gold medal-winning team in Germany, where she scored two goals in the championship game; and

Whereas Jessica, who now plays for the Minnesota Duluth Bulldogs, led her team to gold at the NCAA Division One Frozen Four Women's Hockey Championship, scoring the winning goal late in the third overtime of the final game;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Jessica Wong of Baddeck on once again being chosen as one of Canada's representatives at the National Women's Under 22 Tournament and wish her well at both the tournament and in all her future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4576]

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.


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

Whereas Anaïs Guimond founded Atlantic Cirque in 2002; and

Whereas Atlantic Cirque is based in Dartmouth and is the region's only circus school, teaching circus performance skills in trapeze, high wire, and acrobatics to students of all ages; and

Whereas the Canadian Youth Business Foundation recently named Anaïs the 2010 Female Entrepreneur of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Anaïs on the significant achievement and wish her and Atlantic Cirque every future success.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.


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

[Page 4577]

Whereas birthdays are an occasion for family and friends to gather together to celebrate the life of an individual; and

Whereas on October 17, 2010, Thérèse Bourque celebrated her 97th birthday; and

Whereas to have reached 97 years of age and continue to be active and share all the memories gathered over your lifetime with your loved ones is a wonderful reason to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Thérèse Bourque on reaching this milestone in her life and wishing her many more happy birthdays and continued good health.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.


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

Whereas 2010 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Terry Fox Run across Canada, which has taken place each year in the Municipality of Clare; and

Whereas many volunteers have participated in the Terry Fox Run, ensuring the run's continued success as it continues to raise much-needed funds for cancer research; and

Whereas the community of Clare has always had a team of volunteers to coordinate the event and many participants who fundraise and take part in the run;

[Page 4578]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the invaluable effort made by the many volunteers in Clare over the past 30 years and wish them continued success in their future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.


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

Whereas Andrea Doncaster, the mother of twins and stepmother of two, juggles engineering, family and significant community service; and

Whereas through her hard work and determination, Andrea has received many awards and honours in her chosen profession of engineering, including the Engineers Nova Scotia 2010 Citizenship Award; and

Whereas Ms. Doncaster's credits include two Lieutenant Governor's Awards in architecture and a remarkable volunteer record with the YMCA and MS Bike Tour;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Andrea Doncaster on receiving the Engineers Nova Scotia 2010 Citizenship Award and thank her for the time she volunteers, which helps make Nova Scotia such a great place to live.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4579]

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.


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

Whereas Kerry O'Hearn, born and brought up in Dartmouth, met and married his wife Dawn and moved to Lake Echo permanently, raising two children there; and

Whereas Kerry earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Saint Mary's University in Halifax and went on to teach elementary school students for 24 years with the Halifax Regional School Board; and

Whereas among other volunteer activities, Kerry was a charter member and president of the Lake Echo Lions Club, treasurer of the Lake Echo Ratepayers Association, member of the board of trustees for The Birches in Musquodoboit Harbour, leaving there to join the board of management as finance chair for the Nova Scotia Hospital in Dartmouth where he finished up each of the last 13 years with a small surplus;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge Kerry O'Hearn for his outstanding work in his community and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

[Page 4580]


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

Whereas studies show that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be discipline problems, more likely to exhibit good attendance behaviour, more likely to graduate and more likely to be successful in later life; and

Whereas 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation reinforces the significant role that interscholastic athletics plays in education by annually organizing the Celebration of School Sport to recognize the best male and female athlete, the best teacher-coach from each junior and senior high school in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Carly Taggart from West Colchester Consolidated School in Bass River, Colchester North, female recipient of the 2009-2010 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Sports Award.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.


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

Whereas a recent transport study for southwestern Nova Scotia recommended that the Saint John to Digby ferry remain in place for the positive economic development it will create for this province; and

[Page 4581]

Whereas this study also recommended that the 100-Series Highway that will carry traffic to this ferry, that hasn't been built yet after 36 years of waiting, also be built; and

Whereas this government's five-year plan for roads has no mention of this road being built or even started, which will make it 41 years of no finished 100-Series Highways in western Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal rewrite his five-year plan and at least put a can of orange paint in it to at least mark this roadway for the future economic development of this province.

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

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

[10:45 a.m.]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.


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

Whereas nine-year-old Joseph (Joe) MacDonald is an outstanding young hockey goalie who plays for the Acadia Axemen, AAA Atom team; and

Whereas Joe is the son of Suzanne Doherty of Brooklyn and Paul MacDonald of Hantsport and grandson of Ida Shaw of Windsor Forks; and

Whereas Joe began playing goal at the age of five and this summer participated in the Atlantic Selects Novice Major Hockey Team Tournament in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where he led his team to five victories, including a 12-1 win over the club from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and 8-7 over the hometown Foxboro team;

[Page 4582]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the significant hockey skills of Joe MacDonald and wish him every success with his future hockey and educational pursuits.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.


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

Whereas the Provincial Autism Centre annually honours schools, groups, and individuals who make significant contributions to those dealing with autism spectrum disorder; and

Whereas Bobbie-Lynn Hall and Paulette Butz founded Bedford-Sackville Autism Support in 2005 to offer parent support for those dealing with autism; and

Whereas the Bedford-Sackville Autism Support group also holds social and recreational events for families with autism throughout HRM;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Assembly congratulate Bobbie-Lynn Hall, Paulette Butz, and the members of Bedford-Sackville Autism Support on being honoured by the Provincial Autism Centre for their time and effort helping families deal with autism and wish them well in their future endeavours.

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

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

[Page 4583]

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 Yarmouth.


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

Whereas for 15 years Barrie MacGregor has been a driving force in his work for the YMCA of Yarmouth, a CEO who was the very heart of the organization and who truly cared about his community members, especially the youth; and

Whereas Mr. MacGregor's active and enduring volunteer work have made him a community leader and an inspiration to all those around him; and

Whereas Mr. MacGregor was honoured this week at his retirement party, where colleagues, friends, and family paid tribute to him and his countless accomplishments and contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Barrie MacGregor and his 15 years of dedication and integral service to the YMCA of Yarmouth, congratulate him on his retirement, and wish him the very best in all his future endeavours.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 4584]

The honourable member for Argyle.


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 on July 13, 2010, a very special occasion took place when Charlie and Annie Muise celebrated 68 years of married life; and

Whereas Charlie and Annie Muise experienced many things over the course of their married life and faced it all with strength, determination, and devotion to each other and their family of eight children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating Charlie and Annie on this remarkable milestone in their life together and wish them many more happy years.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.


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

Whereas the Annapolis Valley Honour Choir held their end-of-year concert on June 5, 2010; and

[Page 4585]

Whereas the year-end concert served as a farewell event for Bill Perrot, as he retired and passed on his conductor's baton; and

Whereas current choir members, along with the alumni, have contributed stories, thoughts, and anecdotes of their many fond memories of Mr. Perrot and compiled them into a book for him to treasure;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Mr. Bill Perrot as he begins the next chapter of his life, and wish him many years of health and well-being.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.


HON. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Hants West, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the odds of an amateur scoring a hole-in-one are 1 in 12,750; and

Whereas a hole-in-one is a rare shot even on the PGA and LPGA Tour; and

Whereas Chris Kendrick of Falmouth, playing with his wife Natalie, father-in-law Carl "Chook" Smith, and friend Brenda Newcombe, accomplished this rare feat of a hole-in-one during the month of June at Avon Valley Golf and Country Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to Chris Kendrick on his hole-in-one during this past golf season at Avon Valley Golf and Country Club in Falmouth.

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

[Page 4586]

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.


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

Whereas the 2nd Annual Bill Dompierre Memorial Basketball Tournament for female high school teams across Nova Scotia is being held December 10th and 11th at Lockview High School; and

Whereas this tournament is held in memory of Bill, a beloved husband to Kim, a devoted father to Matt and Chris, and a valued community member of Bedford, who is remembered for the countless lives he touched and shaped as a teacher at NSCC and as a basketball coach at CP Allen, Lockview High, and Dartmouth High; and

Whereas this tournament allows teams to participate without an entry fee, and will contribute proceeds from canteen sales, T-shirt sales, and donations, to Kidney Cancer Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating tournament organizers Brandon Rafuse, Sean Hanlon, Kim Dompierre, Matt Dompierre, and Chris Dompierre, and wish that all teams play hard, play fair and enjoy the competition that Bill relished so much.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4587]

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.


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

Whereas the board of directors of the Northside/Harbour View Hospital Foundation during its September meeting selected from its 15 members a new executive; and

Whereas Daniel McKeough and Vice-Chairman Frances MacDougall, along with Treasurer Kim Brewer and Secretary Lynn Clarke, will lead the foundation on fundraising efforts to help provide high-quality, compassionate, cost-effective health care for the people they serve; and

Whereas the Northside/Harbour View Hospital Foundation was incorporated in 1992, and has raised more than $1 million to assist these two hospitals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in congratulating the Northside/Harbour View Hospital Foundation and its dedicated service to health care.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

[Page 4588]

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.


MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 124.

Bill No. 124 - Land Surveyors Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure today to rise to move second reading of Bill No. 124, the Land Surveyors Act. Over the last two decades, many changes have occurred in the profession of land surveying in the field of self-regulation of professions and in the development of legal principles applicable to those professions.

The current Land Surveyors Act has not been revised in a major way in more than 20 years. This means it does not reflect land surveying changes or leading practices for self-regulating professions that have been adopted by other professions. The Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors recognizes that the Act required modernization and has worked diligently with government over the past five years to develop the new bill. This new Land Surveyors Act will allow the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors to more effectively monitor and enforce high standards among land surveyors in order to serve and protect the public interest.

Mr. Speaker, the bill also sets the framework for a more flexible and modern complaints and discipline process, a smaller and more efficient council that is more representative of size of membership and adds a representative of the public, and greater clarity in the role of the executive director for the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors. The new bill is the first of a package of proposed governance documents being developed by the Association of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors. New regulations have been prepared and will require the approval of government. To complete the modernization of the governing structure, the association is also developing new bylaws, standards of practice and a code of ethics.

As well, the new legislation will ensure that the province is in compliance with the agreement on Internal Trade and Fair Registration Practices Act, which regulates labour mobility across Canada, Mr. Speaker. Before I wrap up, I would like to reiterate that the changes to the Land Surveyors Act that we are introducing will help provide greater accountability for this self-regulated profession and make life better for Nova Scotians who

[Page 4589]

hire surveyors and rely on their services. With these few words of explanation and background, I look forward to all sides of the Legislature supporting Bill No. 124.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I just intend to say a few words on this bill. (Interruptions) We may have to take a little while.

This is a bill that has a very great personal interest for me and I'm going to tell you a little story as I go through discussion on this bill. As I'm reading through the bill, there seems to be some information here that says if somebody provides information that's knowingly false, or false information under the Act, there is a summary offence of up to $2,000 in addition to any other penalties that might be applied. Well, I can tell you from personal experience, to get a mess fixed up surveyors have left behind costs a heck of a lot more than $2,000. If you've got surveyors who aren't really interested in resolving a problem, you've got a bigger problem and bigger expense. You're getting into legal fees, all kinds of legal fees, all kinds of disputes, and presently, the way the system is, it just simply isn't there to help an individual who owns property who hasn't been treated properly by a land surveyor.

I will give you an example of how this could happen to somebody, and if there's anyone out there listening to my comments today who would be kind enough to call me if they've had a problem with a land surveyor, I would like to hear their story because I can tell you I've heard a lot of them so far and they don't veer very far off of what I have here. Certain land surveyors' names keep coming up all the time, and I won't mention them here of course, but they keep coming up all the time as intruding on someone else's property, not following practices that they should have, and as we go through this process, you see just how difficult it is to get something resolved if one of these surveyors doesn't do their job properly, quite frankly, and that seems to be a problem with some surveyors.

[11:00 a.m.]

Now, I'm not saying all surveyors, because I've dealt with some surveyors in the past with property and they've done an excellent job. They follow up, they make sure it's done properly, they consult with the neighbours on either side or anyone that's abutting the property, and indeed, do an excellent job and provide an excellent service. But there are a few of them out there who just seem to not really care about what they're doing. They don't do proper research. They don't really have the interest of the landowners at heart, which they should do, but at the same time ensuring that the work they do is properly conducted in an ethical and proper way.

Not everybody is correct when they think about land. It's a very emotional issue for many, many people and, as you go through that process, it becomes very hard to get a

[Page 4590]

resolution to something if somebody has been told by a surveyor, oh yes, you own that piece of property or that piece of property, and indeed they don't. So then you have to go to court. You have to sue the person, the surveyor, the abutting land owners, and the list goes on and on. You're possibly years and years in court - no idea how you get these things resolved.

I'm going to tell you just one small story here, and I've got several of these from constituents. In one particular instance, a piece of property was surveyed. It was put up for sale. It was surveyed at a great cost, and a letter came with it that indicated that, from the surveyor that did the work, the property lines were correct and laid out in the letter - exactly what the property lines were. On that basis, the individual moved forward and bought this piece of property.

That was fine for several years, and all of a sudden, another surveyor comes in and runs a line at an angle through the other line that was there and certified by the original surveyor. Then all the trouble starts, of course. Both the individuals figure they own this piece of property or that chunk of property. I think this is a story that's repeated over and over and over again in Nova Scotia, unfortunately - and then, the two surveyors don't quite agree with each other but don't quite disagree either. If one of them disagrees with the other, well, then they've got an issue of ethical practice and indeed their reputation as a surveyor. In the meantime there's two landowners not knowing how to resolve this problem.

As time goes on, they try to get the problem resolved. The surveyors are basically no help whatsoever, because they both say they're correct, or almost correct. They go through this process again for a few years, and lo and behold, the original surveyor who surveyed the original land purchases the land surveying company from the other gentleman who drew the second line.

Now we've got a bigger problem. I would personally think that that surveyor would then be in a conflict of interest. But lo and behold, after discussions with the executive director, who I think at that time was pretty nervous about the membership giving him a hard time, because they worked for the membership, wasn't too interested in helping to resolve this problem.

So here is a company that the original owners, the two original owners, the two separate companies, surveyed it and disagreed. Now it's owned by one company and the one company decides that they're going to do nothing about this, because either way they lose. They bought the liability from the other company. Now they're in a conflict of interest, but when requested to provide information on this, they absolutely refuse. They refuse to acknowledge any letters that are sent to them or any documentation that is sent to them whatsoever. Is that ethical practice? I don't think so. I don't know any other profession, in this province or in this country, that tolerates such sloppy work.

[Page 4591]

The story gets worse. So on one side of the line, there was a minor dispute over a building that had been there. But it was only minor - the two landowners agreed on where the line should be and that wasn't an issue, so one of the individuals who had good luck with this surveyor who had been in the conflict decided that he would go to this particular surveyor, one of the original ones that surveyed this property, and get a boundary line agreement done.

Lo and behold he did and it was looked at by all three parties, the surveyor and the two individuals, and it was agreed upon, the line, and was not an issue. So an agreement was drawn up and a plot plan came. Well, this plot plan showed up, it was pretty neat. It showed the description of the land where this boundary line had been agreed to by both parties, but on the other corner, another drawing in the corner showed this piece of land that intruded on the other piece, on the opposite side of it. The surveyor showed up, he said, here, sign this. Another unethical practice, because it included information that was not requested.

Fortunately, the individuals didn't sign this agreement and made the surveyor go back and draw the drawing up without that intrusion on the other side of the property. This is totally unbelievable. When this was brought forward to the surveyors society - basically, well, that's a dispute between two surveyors, we can't get involved in this.

In the meantime, the property owners that are involved in this thing are at a loss. You can't do anything with the property, you can't sell it, you can't subdivide it. You can use it, but you can't use the disputed area. However, trees are cut on the disputed area every year to ensure that the rights to the property are still there, but other than that, it's a long court battle to resolve this problem. At the end of the day, what do the surveyors do? They basically walk away from it or try to walk away from this.

This bill, from what I've read of it, will hopefully help a bit of this, but I don't think it's tough enough. If people are going to take responsibility for doing a job in a profession, they've got to take responsibility for the work that they do and the quality of work they do. As I say, I'm sure there are a lot of good surveyors out there, very reputable people who care about the work and actually do an excellent job, but in the cases I've seen, this has not been the case.

Also - the same surveyors again - another constituent approached me, and all of a sudden the driveway that they used to have for about 45 years, a fence was put up in the middle of it one day. What happened there? The surveyor said, you don't own the land, you run a line up the middle of the driveway, and he eliminated the driveway. The property owner just whipped up a fence really quick and up the fence goes and lo and behold the fence is still there today. That was about five or six years ago. No indication of the property being used or the road being used, no discussion between the property owners, and indeed, when the

[Page 4592]

surveyor was contacted, he said that was tough luck, that's the way it is, and basically, go away.

There are three or four other examples of exactly the same thing by these two surveyors. It's pretty hard for people to imagine what kind of a problem a surveyor can cause for you or for an individual unless you know somebody who has gone through this kind of process or know somebody else who has been victimized, I'd say, by shoddy work, unprofessional work, or indeed, work that shouldn't have been done the way it was done for whatever reason. Hopefully this bill will address some of this and I look forward to seeing some amendments in it that will make it tougher for surveyors to get away with shoddy work and unprofessional conduct. I don't see that strongly enough in this bill yet. You can only experience that if you've been on the receiving end of some of this very poor work that has been done.

It doesn't happen often, but the point of it is that it does happen, and when it does happen, what's the recourse? You go to the surveyors society - that's what we tried on these cases - and meet with the executive director. The executive director, at that time and under that process - hopefully this bill tightens it up so the executive director isn't worried about the membership removing his job, I guess. Maybe that was the problem, who knows? But really, no help.

Then you really need an independent body to resolve this. I'm glad to see there is going to be an individual on there who's not a land surveyor, who would give more of a balance to what is going on. Hopefully the meetings they have to discuss this would be open meetings and be recorded, so if you have to go to court with a surveying company or an individual surveyor, at least you've got some documentation to go with.

This has been a contentious issue for me for a long time. As you see more and more people with very serious problems with their properties and you see these things happen, you understand very quickly what has happened with them. Some people just simply don't have the money to go to court and fight these things and the surveyor just sits back and says, well, that's tough, we'll look at something else and do something else, but it doesn't resolve the problem.

Most of these cases could be resolved very simply, without too much expense, if they were done properly. A lot of people, too, and I see in the bill here that there are some fines for people providing improper information, "knowingly furnishes false information in any application under this Act or in any statement required to be furnished under this Act or the regulations;" Hopefully that would be the case.

In another case that I know, a gentleman had a piece of property and an unscrupulous person made up a little sketch and registered the sketch with the Registry of Land and lo and

[Page 4593]

behold, a court case ensued afterwards. It was something that was drawn up, could never be traced to find the document anywhere but, it was a court case.

These court cases can cost $30,000, $40,000, $50,000 and indeed, what people often hope is that the land isn't worth that much and that people will just drop the case, move forward and someone else wins. You can't have that happening, it's too expensive today to buy and maintain property in Nova Scotia. If we don't have some really tough rules and regulations around land surveying, to ensure that the work is done properly, you are going to see more and more problems as time goes by.

I can remember a few years ago that a good friend of mine was at home and he noticed some new survey stakes on his property. He came to find out that a surveyor had been in and surveyed off a chunk of his property, at the instructions of another landowner. So what do you do? Luckily this gentleman was pretty sharp with this stuff and he called the surveyor right away and lodged a complaint with him, lodged a complaint with the surveyors society and demanded to see the documentation around the piece of property that had supposedly been surveyed improperly. Lo and behold, it was done improperly.

Fortunately, this surveyor was reasonably reputable and decided that he would fix it. That's the exception to the rule. That's not the rule, that's the exception to the rule. He did fix it and did have to pay a penalty to the surveyors society and did, indeed, resolve the problem without a long court case. That was the exception, that's the only one of these cases I've seen in the many years I've been an MLA that has ever been resolved that simply.

This still took about eight months to do. It is just unbelievable how this happens. In another case, again they had a piece of property, a gentleman had a deed, it said this is the piece of property and surveyed into another piece of property- just a chunk out of it. Not even something that would have been a sensible line or anything, it was obvious that it wasn't done properly. So the owner of that land immediately went to see the landowner and they made an agreement to look at this and got the surveyor back again. Again the surveyor looked at it, looked at all the documentation - which he should have done the first time and he didn't, he didn't do his homework - and came to find out indeed, he had surveyed it wrong. He had to move the stakes again but in the meantime, all the land had been cut, all the lines had been cut through the land and disturbed the land. Even if a surveyor does that, they should be penalized for doing that because it just disturbed the property that they're working on.

The penalty should be severe, if you cut trees down it takes 20, 30, 40 or 50 years for them to come back, and then someone else may come along and see this "supposedly" cut line, property line, and think it's accurate. So that's another case, and I see more and more of these cases all the time. It makes you wonder how these guys stay in business. It makes me wonder.

[Page 4594]

[11:15 a.m.]

On the other hand, I've talked to people who have had excellent, excellent work done by surveyors, but the list is short, a very short list of names. In our area, where I live, in Porters Lake and along the Eastern Shore, there is a lot of difficulty with property lines and everyone's aware of that. At the same time, if there's difficulty, you should do all your research, you should make sure before you put stakes down or before you cut property lines that you have the right information, and you verify the information and talk to all the adjacent landowners to make sure it's going to be done properly.

Then, if there is a dispute, get it resolved before the lines are run so that when it's finished, it's done properly and people can have an assurance that they paid for a professional service and they got professional service and, indeed, they don't have to worry about going to court to fight this out because somebody was unethical or didn't do their homework properly. As I say, in any other business - if a law firm doesn't treat their clients properly, they have major problems on their hands; if a doctor doesn't, they have major problems. Any professional has a major problem if these things aren't done properly.

But it seems the land surveyors - I don't know why, because I think they're very well-educated - tend to appear on the surface to be very professional, indeed a lot of them are, but it's the exception to the rule. And that's what we're talking about today, the exception to the rule. You have the rule that somebody hasn't done something properly, how do you get it resolved in a very expedient way, and a fair way and an inexpensive way to fix it?

Typically, these things are thrust on landowners without the landowners being involved at all, but in some cases that's not true either, because sometimes landowners figure they own land they don't own and that causes all kinds of problems. If that's the case, surveyors should be able to sort out where the property line should be and then, if the landowners can't agree on it, they have a way to resolve it. But they should have to prove that they own the property and if the surveyor does his homework properly and does his deed searches properly and does the boundary line properly, and knows the area, they should be able to resolve that without ever having to go to a court or any other kind of a hearing.

It's just irritating to see and very concerning to see that a lot of these things go on, and a lot of innocent people, it costs them a tremendous amount of money, a lot of aggravation, and holds up many projects that otherwise wouldn't be held up.

You've seen sometimes that homes under construction, a surveyor has made a problem measuring and a foundation is put in the wrong place. The regional municipality, when I was on council, there were a couple of properties that actually had the foundations in and the municipality would make them tear them out because they weren't in the right spot - not far enough from the property line even though the surveyor had checked them and said they were.

[Page 4595]

When you go through this process, it's very, very important that we understand what the risks are for individuals, for property owners. Property is very expensive to maintain in this province. By the time you pay high property taxes, especially in the regional municipality your property taxes are way too high . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Tell us about property taxes.

MR. COLWELL: Oh, want to hear about property taxes? That's another pet peeve of mine. You talk about property taxes, if you live in the rural areas, especially out in the suburban rural areas out around Porters Lake, or the other side of Halifax and that type of surrounding, you see your taxes and assessments - I was always told when I was on regional council the assessments were higher in downtown Halifax and that made the values more in downtown Halifax.

Well, lo and behold, my area, where I live, has almost the highest assessment in all of Halifax Regional Municipality. And we don't have any services. I can tell you what we have for services. We have garbage removal, but not at the same service level as you have in the core of the city. Green bins are picked up every week in the city, only once every two weeks in a rural area. Blue bags are picked up every week and only every two weeks in the rural areas.

So as you go through the process and see the unfairness just in that one thing with garbage removal, but then if you move forward, there are no sidewalks, no curbs, not that we want them. Most all roads are owned and maintained by the Province of Nova Scotia so nothing to do with your property taxes. We have composite fire departments. A composite fire department is a fire department that's made up of regular firefighters, full-time paid firefighters and volunteer firefighters, but out in the rural areas is the only place that have these.

Now, it's a great way to do things, it really does cut costs, and indeed a lot of volunteer firemen are trained as well as the professional full-time firemen are. Indeed, today, if they're in the department long enough, it's a requirement that they are trained to that level which is fantastic. These people provide their time. It costs them a lot of money to be a volunteer fireman, and indeed put themselves in dangerous situations, while in the core of the city it's all professional paid firemen. So that's another area we don't have equality with the city.

We have no sewer, no water. When you talk about putting a septic system in, it can be anywhere from $6,000 to $30,000 or more for a septic system. If you put a well in, it's anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for a well, it may be more. So all those services you have to pay for yourself and then you have to maintain these. Every three years you're supposed to get your septic pumped and that costs you $300 or $400 and if the system fails, you're into

[Page 4596]

another major repair bill which can be several thousands of dollars, and that's a service that is not provided by the municipality.

Then if you look at the other services, let me go over again the services we're provided with: garbage collection, police protection, fire department - sort of half because it's a composite department - building inspection services and bylaw enforcement, and that's about it. If you live in the city, you have public transit, you have curbs and sidewalks, you have roads that are maintained by the municipality, and a lot of other services that are not available to the rural areas, but yet the tax rate is only slightly different.

As I've said before, when I was on council, they always used to tell me that the problem was that your assessments weren't that high. Well, there are a lot of homes in my area that aren't probably as nice as the homes in the south end of Halifax but taxes are higher. Can you imagine that? The property tax is higher. The south end of Halifax where you have every conceivable service that the municipality can supply and yet the property taxes are higher in some places in Porters Lake than they are in the south end of Halifax. Can you tell me that's fair?

Well, I can tell you anybody who lives in a rural area is very, very upset with this, extremely upset. We just seem to get the same old information back all the time. Then we have this ghost tax, I call it the ghost tax, oh, it's a horrible tax, it's the local improvement charge and the area rates, the area rates. (Interruptions) Well, lo and behold, I'll explain about that. Our local councillor, in his great wisdom decided that the new - that's the proper name I think - school that the province is going to build, is going to put in a new community centre, and that's fair enough, except . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: After it's surveyed.

MR. COLWELL: That's right. What he had done was, he had never consulted with the people who had the present community centre which needed to be upgraded slightly but didn't need a new one, absolutely did not need a new one. But he decided in his great wisdom, yes, we are going to build a new community centre as part of the school in Porters Lake. Well, that happened - no public consultation, no input from the community whatsoever. He goes to council and puts an emergency system through for an area capital rate.

So now the new school is going to have a new community centre, and in that process determined that the present community centre they've been running on its own, has never been in financial trouble, always has ups and downs, as any community centre does, but really a model of how things are run. There are great people operating it, great people from the community helping all the time, and they were just left out in the cold.

Now, they were told at a public meeting that we're not going to support your community centre any more; I was there. You can't have any more money because we're

[Page 4597]

putting the money in this new school and that's going to be the community centre. So then the questions started to rise, how's this going to work?

Well, I can remember when Graham Creighton High was rebuilt after it had some damage to it and council at that time decided they were going to put $400,000 into a community room. It sounded good at the time. I had some thoughts about it that weren't very positive because typically, when you deal with the school board, it is very difficult to get access to a school and any MLA here who knows that if you are trying to get access to a school, it is just about impossible.

Anyway, it wasn't in my area and the councillor at the time thought it was a good idea and the council supported it and away it went. So they built this community centre. Now it's a small room with a couple of washrooms that has a private entrance to it so you don't have to go through the school and access to that made pretty good sense. Guess what? Try to get that community centre.

Now I brought that issue up in committees here, several times, and lo and behold, the municipality finally took over this community centre. It really was for the seniors, now the seniors have to book it. Guess what? If you do not have the janitor at the school, even though the janitor doesn't have to open the door, they do not have access to the school. The janitor has to be in the school in order for them to use this community room.

That is the same thing that is going to happen in Porters Lake. You are not going to have access to this facility. You are not going to be there. It is going to be $2 million or $3 million on this area rate that has been put on, put everybody's taxes up in the area. That will include a large area, an area that is not even serviced by this school, and there are other community centres. There is one in Lawrencetown that will be area rated for, there's one in Lake Echo that will be area rated for and in Chezzetcook, there's already a small community centre there. They will be area rated for it, and pay for this process, because it wasn't done properly.

We have to change our rules and make them tougher so things can be done properly. When you look at the inequality of taxes, as you go through this process, it comes back to this bill. If the property is not surveyed properly and you think you own this piece of property, the municipality will come along and charge you taxes on the whole piece of property, even though there might be a boundary dispute on it. You can't sell it or do anything to it, and lo and behold, you can't sell it, but to keep the taxes up on it, including these area rates, these improvement charges, capital rates and all these other things that they pile on you. They do that and you don't even own part of the property, possibly, but you are paying the taxes on it.

When the times comes - keep this in mind if anyone hasn't run into this, it's real - what will happen is, if you find out later, after a dispute is settled, that indeed this piece of

[Page 4598]

property, say a big chunk of your property, isn't owned by you, you go back to the municipality and try to get your money back that you paid in taxes. If you want to see somebody laugh really hard, they laugh really hard when you show up. That's the only thing you get out of them, a big laugh, because we've got our money, don't bother us, go away. But if you owe them money, they'll sell your property to get it. It just shows you how badly some of these people are being treated by some of these unfortunate things.

I'm going to bring up something else here, too, when you talk about surveying and doing land. O'Connell Drive in Porters Lake - I can recall when I spoke in the House and put a Private Member's Bill in here which never did get support, unfortunately - the province had agreed to pave a section of O'Connell Drive from Highway No. 7 to the school because at certain times of the year the school buses and the big trucks going to the school and all the traffic to the school beat the road up so badly that a subdivision street was actually closed by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal - it was impassable.

Finally the government decided they would pave this road and not charge the residents for it. That was wonderful news, everybody was really happy about it, and nobody wanted anything else paved. Lo and behold, the councillor in the area came along and decided that he wants to pave the rest of the road. So that was done, in co-operation with the Progressive Conservative Government at the time, because they had to agree to it and they did. So that was fine, they got the road paved all the way up. Then when it came time to pay for it, guess who had to pay for it? Everybody on the road, including the people who had the road paved at no cost to them (Interruption), through their taxes - a local improvement charge, which was anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. Even side roads off it that weren't paved had to pay this local improvement charge.

[11:30 a.m.]

Further, to make it even more aggravating, the people who lived on the gravel part of the road - which was the best gravel road I have ever seen and maintained unbelievably well because it was built very well - they didn't want this, they fought against it but the road was paved anyway. They had to pay as well. There was a new small subdivision going in with all paved roads and everything in place, they had to pay for this road as well.

These sort of unscrupulous things can happen and it's a big bill - you get a bill that you weren't expecting. If you sign a petition and decide you want your road paved, that is one issue. Then you're prepared for it, you know it's coming and you made preparation for that and, indeed, that you're going to move forward and get that done but if you're not prepared for this, it's a very serious financial impact on you and your family.

These local improvement charges go on your property taxes so if you don't pay them, the municipality will put up with it for about three years and under the law that was passed again by the past Progressive Conservative Government, they have to sell your house after

[Page 4599]

three years. If you can't pay your property taxes - you could have a $200,000 home and $10,000 tax bill - if you can't pay that $10,000 tax bill, they'll sell your house, they'll come out and sell it, to get their $10,000 back. (Interruption)

They'll probably have to re-survey too and check the boundaries and everything. That may not be done right, so that will mess it up again, it's very expensive to do. As you go through this whole thing, you see how it is. Then if they sell the house, a $200,000 house (Interruption) That's right and as they go through the process, if they sell this house at a public auction, say, for $100,000 or $200,000 house, by the time they take the survey fees out and all the registration fees and the back-taxes and everything else, the residual value is there for the property owner, the former property owner but guess what? You've got to apply for it. If you don't apply for this, you'll never get the money and a lot of people don't understand they have to apply for this money. However you work it out, you lose a pile of money on the deal, no other ways to describe it.

If anyone thinks this doesn't happen, you want to really do some research because it does and it happens way too often and it's very, very difficult for individuals. It's not something you can ignore. If you get a notice from the municipality that your house is going for tax sale, you want to make sure that you get down there and you do what you have to do to make sure that property is not sold, as you go through the process.

All this discussion about the surveying - talk about surveying again. Another thing with surveying - when you re-pave the roads, those have to be surveyed, so dear knows if they're correct. It's a long process and it's an expensive one.

Would you like to know more about it? Well, it's a long process and I can give you one example. I'll give you an example that's sort of funny but it isn't funny at all. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal came up and they did their survey and they checked everything out and they decided they're going to widen the road and put some ditches in. So they came up this one little subdivision street one day and they ripped out a gentleman's fence up in his yard about 20 feet, tore all the ground out, put a ditch in, widened the road and on the other side of the road, they put a ditch in and tore a whole hill off on the other side of the house.

Lo and behold, the people were away, of course, that day when they dug it all out and they came home at night, well, you see some very unhappy people. So they come out and they contact the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. The exact quote that the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal told them was, our surveyors checked it and it's our property.

Well, when they got an independent surveyor to check it out again, it wasn't their property and, indeed, they had destroyed the two abutting property owners' properties to try to widen this road and it was way beyond what the normal width of the road would be. At

[Page 4600]

the end of the day, after many months of aggravation and a lot of heartache for the people who were involved, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal had to come back, re-put the fence up, re-ditch the ditches where they were, re-fix the road again and actually pay compensation to both of the individuals. Taxpayers paid for that mistake, a surveyor's mistake. They had a lot of difficulties along the way. Can you imagine coming home and part of your yard is gone? It's gone! The answer you get, well, surveyors surveyed it and it's okay, we did it right. Then you find out and you know it isn't right because you had your property surveyed before, taking into account where the actual property should be. In this case it was correct, it was done properly. They had a good surveyor in one case and a bad one in another. Again, it was a real big issue.

I want to talk some more about road paving in my area. The O'Connell Drive saga went on, and unfortunately we didn't get my Private Member's Bill through to prevent this, so maybe the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations would entertain another Private Member's Bill to stop the municipalities doing this. Because since that one happened, things have gotten worse. Out in my area there are all kinds of roads that are being paved right now - it's a good thing to have your road paved, but the rule used to be that you had to have them petitioned. So you would pay the frontage because it's usually a two-way split between the province and the municipality and subdivision streets to pave the streets.

But the municipality neglects to tell anybody that they don't pay it, the adjacent property owners pay it. So indeed, it doesn't come out of the general revenue from the municipality, it comes out of local improvement charges for that area. So the residents pay it.

Now that they got away with O'Connell Drive, they're going all over the place and paving roads and sending people bills, up to $12,000 and $15,000 for the road being paved, even though they don't want it paved. It's just being imposed upon them. The answer they're getting back from the councillor that's doing all this - in one case I know of, I know there are other ones in other areas - you'll thank me later.

You want to know how a local improvement charge works? A lot of people don't understand this. (Interruption) You should know about this, you'll probably get hit with one. It's a good thing and it's a bad thing. Local improvement charges, this is what happens, they come in and pave your street, which they didn't get permission to do. They wait a year after it's done, you get a bill in the mail one day that says here's your bill for the first year. You're going to pay - let's make it simple - $10,000 for your paving. Your bill this year is $1,000 because it's amortized over 10 years. So you write your $1,000 cheque out, whatever you have to do to pay for the paving, that you didn't ask for and didn't want. You give them your $1,000 cheque and say, that's not too bad, next year I'll save up and pay my $1,000 next year.

Lo and behold, they don't tell you, the first year when the bill comes, there's no interest on it. The second year there's interest. When the bill comes the second year, it's

[Page 4601]

$2,000, not $1,000, it's $2,000. You're expecting a bill for $1,000 again and now you have to double the size. That bill continues on and the interest slowly reduces over the 10 years until in the final year you probably only pay about $200 interest on the $1,000. That's a pretty steep interest rate when you calculate it. It's a lot cheaper to go, refinance your house, if you're in that position to do it or to pay it in some other way with a line of credit or cash, if you're fortunate enough to have that, which most people that own homes don't readily have around because there are so many costs with a home.

That's what you're facing. As you go through this process, people are often upset where the road is widened. Again - surveyors again - surveyors putting the road in, that put the property line in and move the property lines back. Indeed, they own less property than they thought they did, which is very unfortunate.

It's so important to have people understand how this works. Anybody that hasn't experienced trouble with surveyors and with land and with that type of activity has no concept of exactly how complex and how very, very expensive and aggravating this can be. You have something, it might be a piece of property that has been in your family for 500 years or 200 years or 50 years, it doesn't matter and all of a sudden someone encroaches on that property line, that you probably don't even know about, you may not even know that it's happened, with another survey line and then you have to prove that that line is wrong. You have to prove it's wrong. You try to prove it, it's very difficult, very expensive.

I don't think this bill, from what I've seen in it, is nearly tough enough on surveyors that don't use ethical practices and try to resolve problems properly. It's like anything, if people are easy to work with and can work and do things that make common sense, usually these things can be resolved. But if someone digs their heels in, a surveyor for instance I and says I know I'm right and doesn't recheck everything they've done to ensure that indeed they are right - and sometimes they may be and sometimes they may not be - to ensure that this aggravation doesn't really hurt families. The government opposite is all about families, so here's a chance to help families. Put some tougher regulations in this, put bigger fines in this for surveyors, and make this thing tough so they know if they mess up, they're going to pay and they're going to pay dearly for it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Do they have a code of ethics?

MR. COLWELL: I think they have a code of ethics. They talk about it here in the bill. I would like to see it because, hopefully, it's an improvement over the past one. I can remember, I'm older than a lot of people in this Legislature, I hate to say that but it's true, but I can remember in Halifax when they had the police strike. Can anyone remember the police strike? I can't remember when it was, it was a long time ago. Anyway, they brought the RCMP in and the RCMP just didn't have enough manpower quickly enough to resolve the problem.

[Page 4602]

So every morning the police would parade a whole bunch of people for drunkenness, speeding and all kinds of stuff, into the court. So this went on for three or four days and people would get the regular fines, away they would go, and they would be back the next day with the same sort of thing again. So finally a judge got so tired of this - this guy came in, he had spun the wheels on his car, spun the tires, now, I don't know how serious the spinning was but it was something you shouldn't be doing in downtown Halifax. So, anyway, they hauled the guy in and the judge says how do you plead - not guilty. He said you're guilty - $10,000.

Guess what - $10,000 - there were no more fires in the streets, there was no more drunkenness, there was nobody speeding, there was no one else spinning their tires downtown. You've got to put a message forward that people understand and they sure understood that because at that time $10,000 was a lot of money, and that ended the problem.

The police got control very quickly after that and they never lost it again. Hopefully, we never have a situation where we have to see a police strike again. Dear knows, with the activities that the government's doing now, what all is going to be unionized and what all is going to be there, the average person is not going to have many rights unless you're in a union. So that's going to be interesting. I wonder if the surveyors are going to unionize? Probably. Do you think that they're going to unionize? I would say they probably will have to, to stay in the province.

As you go through all this stuff and you see what could happen to you as an individual, most people who live every day and work every day don't understand these problems until they actually personally run into them. Even if a neighbour has a problem, you can't understand what it's like until you see it yourself. What I do, and I know all the MLAs here do, you see a lot of things in the communities that personally, before I got into politics, I never knew existed. There are some pretty bad things out there that can hurt people seriously that shouldn't and this is one of these things.

The surveyors should be held accountable for what they do. The penalties should be severe if they mess up because it's a very severe cost to the landowners. You've got to put it in context. It says here in one place, I think it's a $2,000 fine, well, today, a $2,000 fine is really quite honestly a joke. It's a joke and just part of doing business, it's part of doing business and $2,000, a surveyor would make that in a couple of days. So what does he care? Pay the fine, so what, go on and do something else, but if you made that fine $50,000, boy, he would make sure he had everything done right.

AN HON. MEMBER: Or take their licence.

MR. COLWELL: And take their licence too, take that too, eliminate the licence. I mean really make sure that they get the message, that they really get the message that if they mess up, they pay. Because a surveyor can run a line, it takes him a day maybe to run a line

[Page 4603]

through a piece of property, and he walks away and says my line is right. If it's not right, thousands and thousands of dollars later, years later, and tons of aggravation on behalf of both property owners, hopefully, you get it resolved. There's no guarantee even then that you'll get it resolved.

Eventually what generally happens is someone gives up and they say, well, I can't afford to do this anymore and they move on. Then it's resolved some way or another and some kind of an agreement is made.

[11:45 a.m.]

I can tell you from what I've seen in the past, it's a whole lot easier to go to your neighbour when a surveyor has messed up and say to the neighbour, let's do a line agreement and whatever the line agreement is, we'll settle on it and that's the end of it. If you don't do that you're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars, potentially, as time goes on - when you combine both parties and all the research they have to do. This is real, this is not something I'm making up, that's not something I'm just saying here today. You talk to somebody who has had a boundary dispute.

I know some families in Chezzetcook years ago had a piece of lakefront property, very valuable property, and several families took another family to court because a surveyor went in and said, we own this property. I forget how many families - six or seven families went together, and it cost each one of the families about $35,000 to $40,000 each. Do the math on that. That's a tremendous amount of money. At the end they lost this case and some of these deeds went back to the original land grants. These property descriptions are a couple hundred years old and it's unbelievable that this could transpire.

How much time do I have, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: You have about 12 minutes left.

MR. COLWELL: Only 12 minutes? I was going to say I was only going to speak for a couple of minutes (Interruptions) This is a very serious issue - I know one of the colleagues over there is laughing, but her husband is a surveyor. I would say she's laughing because when she goes to the bank she knows there's lots of money there that he makes, so that's good for her. (Interruptions) You gotta get paid somehow, I suppose.

I'm joking a little bit, but this is a very serious matter. When you look through the processes and see the things, why don't we have a different type of dispute mechanism in the province? Why don't we have the province have surveyors who come in and review the work, peer review of work that has been done that's in dispute? Not the association that works within itself, but a peer review from surveyors who are employed by the province, who would look at this and say, here, we did all the research based on what has been supplied

[Page 4604]

to us, and here's what it should be. That would resolve the problem immediately. It would resolve most of these things and would save hundreds of thousands of dollars. It would save a lot of aggravation for surveyors and property owners alike to have somebody who would come in and do that and make the ruling final and at least it's fixed for good. (Interruption) A dispute surveyor, that's a good idea.

I know that it was never, ever talked about, I don't think they would ever want to do that, because then it would take control of their profession away from them, but it wouldn't. That individual could also be a member of their association, but independent from it, if that makes any sense as you go through it. We have to have something like this, so I'm encouraging the government to put really stiff fines for surveyors or for people who give false information to surveyors, false documents, and make them pay, because it costs people dearly.

If you've ever seen anybody who is really having a land dispute, you can see that they're a nervous wreck. They're worried about how they're going to pay for the cost of this, what they're going to do, and how they are going to handle it. It is a very, very serious thing. I've never seen people get so emotional about anything like they do with land. A lot of people don't try to dispute it, they just take what's handed to them because they can't afford to do anything with it. They just simply cannot afford to do anything, and is that right in this province? It's not right. It shouldn't be how much money you have whether or not you can look after the piece of property that has been given to you, that you purchased, or whatever the case may be. It should be because there's a system in place that works and works well, that protects your rights. That sure isn't there now, and I don't think this bill is going to do it either.

I would like to see tougher regulations than what is in the bill. I would like to see accountability by surveyors and accountability for people who are providing information to surveyors because if a surveyor gets information that is incorrect and doesn't check it out properly, that is partly his fault but it's also the fault of the person who has provided the inaccurate information. I think that both parties in that case should be accountable and be held accountable financially. Once you hold people accountable financially, then you'll find that things work, they do work. If you give something that is quite valuable to somebody, it's what it's worth, if you give it to them it's free.

If you take that same thing and sell it to them for what it's worth, then it's very valuable to them because they've had to work to get the money to buy that particular item. If it's given to them, it's just something that is free and that really works. (Interruption) That's right, that's how children get spoiled, instead of having to do things themselves and learn things, and you see too much of that today with children being given everything. All of a sudden, the parents wonder why my little Johnny is in trouble with the law now, because he figures he can go take something and get into trouble. It's really unfortunate as time goes on.

[Page 4605]

I know that years ago a gentleman worked for me and he said, I'll bring my sons in. We were moving some heavy material or something one day. They came in, some of the best young workers I've ever seen. I asked him, how did you get these boys like this? He said, when I buy wood, they are not going to have supper until they get so much of the wood piled in the basement for the winter each day. He said that taught them the work ethic and it works, it does work. He was really good to those boys, the best father you could ever see but again, he taught them how important it is to work and how important it is to look after things.

We're getting away from this all the time and we're getting to the point, when you watch the media now, everybody is responsible but if you didn't look after, be responsible for what happened to yourself, there's a problem. That's what our society is going through.

There was an accident on the road the other day and now they want a big investigation into it. Now it should never have happened. It was a street hockey thing, I said. Now it is a big investigation why this is going to happen. Well, one, the kid shouldn't have been playing there and, two, the driver should have been more careful. So everybody has to take responsibility. Hopefully the young child is fine and there are no problems for the family.

It is so often that you see people blame everyone else. Indeed, they don't want to take the responsibility themselves. Until we take responsibility ourselves for what we do and what happens in our province and in our society, we're never, ever going to make it better to live here. I think it's a wonderful place to live, wonderful people here, but until we have the responsibility - it goes back to this bill, this bill isn't strong enough. It's really got to have stronger - they've got to be responsible and financially responsible, seriously financially responsible. You make that happen, you'll eliminate 99 per cent of all the land disputes you have in the province, immediately. They will be resolved and resolved properly but if you put - I see in here a $2,000 fine, I believe, or summary offence, that's really a joke. It's a joke today for a business, it's a joke. If you put $2,000 down for a fine for a business, it is nothing.

It really has to be tougher. You make that $50,000, they're going to pay attention, they are going to really pay attention. You keep all kinds of stuff out of court, you plug the court files up with these things and it could be resolved before it ever got to the court. But just think also what it costs to run the court and the court system when you have one of these boundary disputes and they aren't satisfactorily done. Just think of what it does. You are into all kinds of problems and the cost goes on and on as you do it. So why not make these guys, if they mess up, pay big time and that would be the end of the problem.

I know lawyers won't be happy with that because they won't make much money from disputing these things but anyway, there are lots of other ways they can make money. Indeed, if this process goes through and you manage to get some accountability by surveyors, it would be a good standard to go by for other organizations.

[Page 4606]

Mr. Speaker, how much time do I have left?

MR. SPEAKER: Three and a half minutes.

MR. COLWELL: Oh, I'm running out of time here, this is not good. There are so many issues here that are related to this, you know. (Interruption) Yes, we can go to the Committee of the Whole House, we can talk on this there. Yes, we'll do that. Yes, in third reading, on every clause. Yes, we can still talk on this for quite awhile. We're looking forward to that, actually.

If the minister and the government were to make amendments (Interruption) If the government make some amendments in here, put some real teeth in this bill, we might support it and support that part of it. We'll check and see what's going on, but we'd like to see that happen. I'd be doubtful if it does, but it seems like these things come forward and never manage to get some real teeth in them. It would help the province and help resolve a lot of property disputes, a tremendous amount of costs would be gone in courts and tying up court time, and all of these other things that are so difficult to quantify when you actually try to put a dollar value on them.

When you go through this, it would be an interesting exercise if the minister gets his staff to go see exactly what it costs for one of these cases - not just the costs that individuals pay, but the surveyor's cost of surveyors not being on the field, what it costs the court system, and all the other things that go around that. That's a huge amount of money, plus it ties people up for no reason. (Interruption) Yes, that should do it. A $50,000 fine should do it if you mess up, and that would fix it once and for all. Maybe over time have an escalator on that so as the cost of living goes up, it goes up with it, so they can appreciate what the fine means.

With those very few words, I'll take my seat and I'm going to anxiously listen to many of the other comments as they come forward with great anticipation. Hopefully the minister will consider some of the comments I made and see if we can do something about getting the fines increased and making these guys more accountable. Thank you.

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to see that this Legislature is giving the land surveyors of Nova Scotia, as they would know and believe, the attention and time they deserve here in debate on second reading of Bill No. 124, the Land Surveyors Act. Over the course of the next hour, as we move into 19 hours left of debate on this, we'll have a chance to really survey all of Nova Scotia to get an assessment. We'll be able to truly focus on making sure that this House has an appreciation of self-regulated bodies in Nova

[Page 4607]

Scotia. This bill, as we know, is part of a general trend in the Province of Nova Scotia, a trend to have some self-regulation.

I find it interesting in the minister's opening comments - if I take a look at some notes here - to serve and protect the public interest, to have a smaller and more efficient board with new regulations that have been prepared. At some point we may see those regulations, but they have yet to have the peekaboo exercise over at the Cabinet Room to see if they will get the blessing of the high commander of Nova Scotia. (Interruption) I'm sure that those - well, I didn't call him Chairman Dexter. But the high commander of the socialist regime of Nova Scotia (Interruption) Well, it's true. The Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations says it's not nice, but it is true, because what we're finding is (Interruption) I did, referencing someone else.

The minister is saying it's not nice, but what's not nice is for us to have to be in this House, dealing with a bill that otherwise would have been a process that would have moved along, but the minister knows we're part of a process. There are other matters before this House that are not very nice, that don't represent open and transparent, that show a government and a Cabinet that will not consult with Nova Scotians, that will not deal with the matters of the day.

If the government members want to heckle, they can go right ahead. It's not going to deter me. They know that already. If they want to suggest that any of these matters are not dealing with the bill, I'll be happy to draw the line back, because this bill is a matter - it has regulations. What I'm saying is, the peekaboo exercise in Cabinet is not yet known. The minister, I don't even think, has seen the regulations yet but I'm sure somebody, Dan O'Connor or someone in the Premier's Office at some point will say, the high commander has deemed it fit to bring these things forward for consideration.

[12:00 noon]

It's not about this, whether it's nice or not, Mr. Speaker. What is not nice is that we have to be in this House to debate matters that otherwise we would be in consistent agreement on and want to support the government to move forward and see regulations come forward, but we also have a process that deals with the inconsistency of this government and its approach to the legislative agenda and, quite frankly, dismissing.

What's not nice is Nova Scotians having clothesline bills and idling bills and any number of things where we were in Committee of the Whole House, and I don't know why we weren't back because I think we were moving along quite well with regard to the bill before the Committee of the Whole House, but somehow we're now on the Land Surveyors Bill, but we can draw the lines of comparison. We don't need a land surveyor to give us the lay of the land of what the government is up to, we know that. What Nova Scotians are

[Page 4608]

seeing clearly is that they don't need anyone to interpret for them what is starting to occur, what we've known for a long time and now the government is just being exposed.

Here we have this bill - I find that you talk about internal trade and fair regulation and also a code of ethics that the minister referenced, that they would bring forward. The irony, Mr. Speaker, is yesterday in the Law Amendments Committee, when it was brought forward that this House should have a code of ethics, government members vehemently opposed that and did not want it to come forward, so I question if a code of ethics that the minister says is good for the industry but there's no code of ethics that is appropriate for the Legislature.

I would say in looking at this, this bill allows us to ask, why is it, with self-regulating bodies, they would have a code of ethics and the amendment that was brought forward by the Liberal caucus, to have a code of ethics and the proposal they had, the language that was provided, would suggest that we would want to have that same standard, that we would want in this House to clearly articulate for Nova Scotians, as the minister has said is important to have for the land surveyors, a code of ethics, yet this House refuses - not this House, I shouldn't say that, the House is not refusing, because the Liberal caucus and the Progressive Conservative caucus agree that a code of ethics would be appropriate. The government agrees it's okay for the land surveyors to have a code of ethics, it's okay for the Barristers' Society to have a code of ethics, it's okay for Doctors Nova Scotia to have a code of ethics, for the nursing college, for any other group that self-regulates, they have a code of ethics.

What's not right and what's not nice is that we, in this House, refuse to have a code of ethics. Nova Scotians looking at this have to say, why are the NDP members of government against a code of ethics for this House, yet they bring a bill forward that supports a code of ethics for land surveyors and other registered bodies that they should be held to a standard and operate under a certain standard? At the same time, Mr. Speaker, when we've come through a period which is now known as "the expense scandal" here in Nova Scotia, where - and as I always say, in the race to who is more right, the government has fallen over themselves to implement and force changes but haven't looked at what a code of ethics done in terms of collaboration, what a code of ethics done for this House in terms of dialogue or consultation, what a code of ethics for this House meant for us to be able to operate and conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner.

I find it interesting, Mr. Speaker, that we are talking about promoting, through this bill, a code of ethics for land surveyors and the NDP members of the Legislature refuse to accept or be part of an effort to have a code of ethics for this House. At the same time, we're prepared, without any hesitation, to ram through changes because they just couldn't do it fast enough, because they talked about wanting to be the ones, in the speeches we've heard from the Premier and others, saying they're cleaning up the Legislature.

[Page 4609]

Well, if you're cleaning up the Legislature, you would think you would put in standards, Mr. Speaker, that would deal with a code of ethics. You would think there would have been consultation, at minimum, through the House Leaders of this Legislature to discuss those rather than - and there weren't even napkin moments when the government was coming through with changes, they didn't even deem fit to put them on a piece of napkin to bring them forward. They rushed them forward in front of the cameras because, I remember still, the Minister of Finance telling the Government House Leader to just keep going, keep going, you do whatever you have to do.

It was all about a shameless exercise in this race to who's more right, and here we have a bill that the government would suggest that a code of ethics is really important for land surveyors, that every self-regulated body in this province, that this House has been moving forward and modernizing, so we're all about modernizing everything else except this Legislature, this fundamental institution that should be the rock and the foundation upon which all these other codes of ethics are built on, and we refuse, as members of this Legislature, to have a code of ethics.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know why we refuse to have one here but say that everyone else has a legal obligation to do it. We're going to legislate it, and we're going to make sure you're regulated to the point that we will make sure it's through the regulations. Cabinet will make those decisions, but is Cabinet making decisions where they have a code of ethics they're supposed to abide by in the decision-making process as a member of this Legislature?

Because what we've known, and what we've said, unfortunately, is that we have whittled away what used to be the most, I think, upstanding - this institution had a very proud history in this country, to be the first 250 years of progress, moving forward in the parliamentary process, and within a few short moments it was all, literally, moved back, thrown to the side for political expediency, and not about upholding the British parliamentary traditions.

As I say, when we have a House of Assembly whose management operations - as you know, Mr. Speaker, you're supposed to be autonomous from the executive branch of government - that this House is one of the four pillars of democracy and we know that this House now has a member of the Executive Council who has oversight and responsibility for this House's financial matters. We know that to be the case. So if we had, like this bill before us has, a code of ethics, what government, if they had to follow a code of ethics that asked them to abide by a certain standard, would they have gone?

I do believe that the only other country in the British parliamentary system around the world, the Commonwealth, that may have taken over what Nova Scotia has done - the only province or territory in Canada - I think it may be Nigeria that the minister is using the example where the Minister of Finance controls the finances of the House of Assembly, that is supposed to be autonomous.

[Page 4610]

Where was the code of ethics, like we see in this bill, for the Land Surveyors Act? Where was the code of ethics when this NDP Government was dealing with destroying this institution? Where is the code of ethics when we see about saying one thing and doing another - when we say we're cleaning things up but we won't consult? If there was a code of ethics, we would have, as all Parties - as I thought we started on a process to deal with making changes that would hold us to a new standard, to require us to be more and do more on behalf of the people who elected us, to give them the public confidence that they not only deserve, but they need, because they asked us to come here to make life better for them.

So what would a code of ethics have done for working families, because there are working families who are being served by land surveyors? They're being asked to uphold and be guided by a code of ethics and yet the NDP see no need for that in their own actions and what they bring before this Legislature. It's rather ironic that the minister talked very well about the land surveyors and their ability to have a code of ethics, about every self-regulated body in the province to have a code of ethics, and quite frankly, the Legislature of Nova Scotia is a self-regulated body. It happens to go by majority vote and the parliamentary tradition would say the things that would represent the institution should be those where consensus, collaboration and co-operation would rule the day to make sure things like a code of ethics for Nova Scotia would be in place.

So the Liberal Party brings it forward and what they say is, they are open to discussion for that code of ethics. I'm sure the land surveyors of Nova Scotia are dealing with a code of ethics that they themselves say, we're going to be held to that standard and we want the public to have the confidence we can, but this self-regulated body called the Legislature, the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia, this institution, it's not good enough for us, but it's good enough for everyone else. That's saying one thing and doing another and that's again what this government has done - in a void of a code of ethics, without standards in place. Yet we have other bills where the government wants to say we have further transparency, that we're going to say that your family, personal information is out there for everyone to see because we think that's good disclosure.

Government comes in and does that. Was there consultation? Was a code of ethics looked at when he brought those forward? Did this House, did this self-regulating body called the Legislature, the people's House of Nova Scotia, the Parliament of Nova Scotia, did we have an opportunity for that to come, for the Parties to talk about and say what would strengthen that, what would show that we have a code of ethics and we will abide by what's in those words and live up to those words in everything we do and be held to account for those words? No, we won't, but it's okay for everyone else to have to be held to that standard.

Again, Mr. Speaker, you know, when this government fired the Chief Clerk, an individual who served 34 years - if I'm not mistaken - of his life and gave his life and his life became this House, who believed in the institution of the oldest Parliament in Canada and

[Page 4611]

was fired because he chose to do what he was supposed to do: he told the truth in the Red Room. He told the truth and government said, get rid of him. You, Mr. Speaker, had to go and tell him he was going to the street. I've said that many times and nobody will refute that, and taxpayers have spent half a million dollars, likely, in firing the Chief Clerk of Nova Scotia. I'd say, if we in this institution of the Parliament of Nova Scotia had a code of ethics, would Rod MacArthur have been fired in the manner he was by this government?

If we had a code of ethics that we expect everyone else to stand up to, would things have been different in the way this government has gone about running roughshod over this Legislature? For ministers to come to this Chamber and say, well, if we didn't have to waste our time here we'd be in the departments doing our work - well, there is no department if there is no Legislature, and that's why I say we now have a parliamentary dictatorship in this province. It's damn with the Opposition and the parliamentary traditions of this House and we'll do whatever we want. We know that the Parliament of Nova Scotia is void of a code of ethics, yet everyone else who has a bill before this House is supposed to have a code of ethics.

It's a sad day. I was out in the hall earlier today, talking to people who said, we're at an all-time low in this province when it comes to this Legislature, and I said, but we are at a time when we have to stay the course and make sure we continue to work and not let this agenda that we've seen come forward manifest or perpetuate itself anymore, that we will stand up in a filibuster if we must. We will. We'll use every means at our disposal and we will show that if the government is not prepared to have a code of ethics, we will make sure we abide by one, written or unwritten, and we will stand to that.

I know that when I was Speaker - when you're a Speaker and all sides of the House are upset with you, you know you're doing your job right, because if you're holding the government members - you know what? The government members aren't too upset these days, because I know that when all sides of the House have their grumblings about the Speaker, it means the Speaker is being unbiased and recognizing the balance that's required and, indeed, what the Speaker is elected to do in this House for this institution as an independent person of the elected members of this House is to uphold the traditions of this House. We don't see that anymore and the public knows.

As I would say, and I understand, when the Liberals and others were in, there would have been an effort amongst House Leaders to collaborate. On parliamentary bills where you don't like it because there is a political philosophical difference or there is budget debate, that's one thing, but when you fundamentally hurt and harm the institution of the Parliament of Nova Scotia, when we're willing to set aside what people took 250 years of progress to move forward for and we're willing to set that back - I always say the government's firing of Rod MacArthur was a pinnacle of a moment of a visceral nature that went to the core of a government that couldn't handle - they could give but they couldn't take, and we see that time and time again.

[Page 4612]

[12:15 p.m.]

A code of ethics for the land surveyors of Nova Scotia, for every other self-regulating body in Nova Scotia is okay. But for the NDP, a code of ethics for this self-regulating body called the Legislature, the Parliament of Nova Scotia, is not deemed fit or worthy of discussion. Dismissed and voted down, the Progressive Conservatives and the Liberals voted for it and the NDP voted it down so it would never get back to this House. But you know, there will be Committee of the Whole House at some point, if they choose to go back to it. There will be third reading.

I don't know how much longer we're going to be here. We talk - I know the Minister of Health said before we're going to have a Christmas break and I would welcome a Christmas break in the sense that we're going to come back here. It was the Premier who said he's going to put the Legislature back to work. After the gerrymandering of it, we're now supposedly back to work.

Now that you fire a Chief Clerk and say, maybe there'll be enough havoc going on because people have to come in, we had temporary people - God bless them and thank them for coming from elsewhere in the country. I often say, where was the code of ethics when all these things were going on? Where was the code of ethics about consulting with the Opposition when it came to upholding what should have been the processes and the traditions of this House? They're gone.

I haven't been happy with it and I - in my rightful place, because the people of Cape Breton North have elected me - whether there are ministers who see that this House isn't worth it, this is just a necessary evil. I've heard them say it's just the theatre of government. But I'll tell you, we're now going to see in the coming hours and days as we go forward, the government is not running roughshod over Nova Scotians anymore. It's our duty, when we talk about a code of ethics for the land surveyors, to talk about where is the one for the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia? Why does the Premier and the NDP members refuse to have a code of ethics for this Chamber, yet will come here with legislation and then bolster it as being a good thing to do, and yet refuse to have a code of ethics for this Chamber.

How can a member of this House be against a code of ethics? As I said the now-called spending scandal, if anytime we need to restore public confidence, it should be now. Yet, when we have other bills to talk about, what are gifts or not gifts? The member for Richmond was asking, what does that mean? How do we know? Last night there was a reception here and things were provided free of charge to members to promote the Taste of Nova Scotia. Is that a gift?

For the person that's in a rural area and one of their neighbours comes up and gives them a dozen lobsters, that's probably a gift because you think you're getting a benefit

[Page 4613]

because it's food. Is that a gift? But the government won't articulate those things. I'm wondering if there were a code of ethics in place, would we be articulating these things even better, because they can't tell us what it is they want to go. They want to pat themselves on the back saying we have eliminated gifts, but won't define a gift because then a gift is left open-ended as to what it is and what's the value of it. It's all about the inconsistencies.

The Land Surveyors Bill that is before us, is another example for us to look at where the government is holding someone else to a different standard than they're willing to hold themselves to. Those kinds of platitudes are falling flat with Nova Scotians. I know the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, when I talked about the high commander, said be nice. But there's nothing nice about this Legislature holding up, doing the right thing, refusing to do the right thing yet expecting other people to do that. I can dismiss that, with all due respect to the minister, who is a good person.

But, you know, it's not a good government. It's not a good government when they refuse to make this Legislature, this Parliament of Nova Scotia, as strong as it could be and even stronger. We've refused it. We've thrown people out of this building because of it. It's a disgrace, it's a terrible time in the Parliamentary history of this province. Yet everyone that was part of the government of the day, the Legislature of the day, were happy to go around in their communities and promote Democracy 250. We're happy to talk about everything they do and uphold those citizens who do good work, truly a citizen. A citizen is someone who gives to and is active in their community.

Those citizens thought the MLAs, in promoting Democracy 250, were committed so the younger people. The biggest focus we had was on younger people, aside from recognizing our veterans, aside from recognizing our service personnel, our volunteers, our service clubs, it was youth. We talked about ensuring that today's youth would see life in elected office to be a noble and good thing to do. We said we have to get more young people voting and engaged, that we want to make sure that you will be the leaders of tomorrow. So, they can look at this, Bill No. 124, the Land Surveyors Act, and it looks rather good, it speaks to accountability, it speaks to a code of ethics, but they now see and know we have a government that doesn't want a code of ethics for this House.

One has to say to them, if you wonder why there is cynicism, there's one reason why, one reason of many. If you want to know that if you are employed by the Province through the Legislature of Nova Scotia and you tell the truth, you'll be fired, even if it costs $0.5 million, even though you've given 32 years of your life to make sure this institution is maintained and strengthened, and making sure that you were fair and unbiased with everyone, impartial and neutral, gave good counsel, but when you see this institution being torn apart at the seams and you tell the truth, you are fired, even if it takes $0.5 million. Even if it takes a government that is prepared to have the Minister of Finance, the Department of Finance oversee this House, which is never supposed to be. The House is supposed to be

[Page 4614]

independent, autonomous from the executive branch of government. We are no longer that; we see that.

I know it is a timing issue because I know, Mr. Speaker, those wrongs will be righted another day. I know that the founding Parties of this Legislature, and traditional Parties of this Legislature, will come back another day and make sure whoever is the government, and will work across Party lines to restore faith in this institution and bring it back and help to fill the void that has now been created. It has been created by a majority of members, and that's true enough, it has been created by a Cabinet that has used their voting majority on committees to get to a point where here today we talk about a code of ethics for land surveyors and self-regulated bodies, but this self-regulated body refuses, unilaterally refuses, to step up to the plate and tell Nova Scotians.

So those young Nova Scotians that certain members who were elected at the time went out and were patting on the back and going and doing pizza and politics, or whatever they were doing in their communities, the conferences that were held, and asking them: Why aren't you voting? Well, Mr. Speaker, you've got a majority of this House, a reason why they are not interested in politics, because they won't do the right thing for and by the people, by standing up and truly, if they were truly committed to this institution, we would have started the session by putting in place a code of ethics, putting in place an updated House of Assembly Act that would have brought us into a modern age and let young people know that this House is a place that they some day, hopefully, would be involved with, would be engaged with, would come to the Law Amendments Committee.

Mr. Speaker, we have young people in this House, students who are Pages, and part of the Page experience is to get a sense of how processes go - there are some long days that go in and we have debate. Hopefully we've seen Pages who move on and become involved - I know the member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville is a member who was a Page in this House, and it shows. You know what? I don't know how many young people today are looking at what they're seeing in this Legislature, a Legislature that absolutely refuses to have a code of ethics for this institution yet demands that everyone else have one, refuses to consult across Party lines about changes and practices within this institution - refuses to do it, costing taxpayers untold dollars because we can't get some of that disclosure, says we want to go and make changes, with regard to what we disclose and what information is there, without consultation.

What they're trying to do - and we've already heard the Premier pat himself on the back that he was cleaning up this Legislature. Well, if he had a code of ethics in place that he was abiding by and living up to with regard to bringing legislation and everything else, I think we would actually have a different outcome than we have today. I've said it's a disgrace and I know it to be a disgrace, but here we are and we're in a process of filibustering because this government said one thing in Opposition, now doing something totally different in government. This government that went and does not want to allow for the changes that

[Page 4615]

would represent in other bills that would be properly reflective of consultation and that they're proper representation. Again, it's about appeasing special interest groups and the majority - the vast majority of Nova Scotians don't matter because those special interest groups were provided with a promise that we're going to protect you, that some union boss buddies are more important than better legislation for this province. That's what we know, that's a reality, and that's why we're speaking on the Land Surveyors Act, Bill No. 124, here today.

That's why it's ironic that the Land Surveyors Act would talk about a code of ethics, would talk about making sure there was fair regulation, that you abide by the rules of the game across the country - yet this Legislature goes against the grain and changes the very fundamental functioning and operations of this institution, that indeed, we be smaller and more efficient. The government talks about that and still hires more people, spending more money and saying at the same time trying to get back to balance. Well, if there was balance, we wouldn't be here having to filibuster in a process to try and get this government to wake up and start doing some good things for a change. That's the reality.

To my honourable colleague who says, "be nice," well, we're waiting for the government to be nice. I'll tell you, the government has offended the vast majority of Nova Scotians. This institution has done nothing to learn, to build, and to move forward. To suggest that all 52 members of this House - whether NDP, Liberal, PC, or Independent - that with changes to this House, we'd be consulted. With changes to this House, we'd be part of offering up at least consultation, try to find consensus, try to co-operate - but has this House done it? No. Not once, that I'm aware.

Occasionally we've been told, this is what we're going to do and if you don't like it, well, too bad, we'll run the clock on you. That's the best we got. The best we could hope for was that, and yet, if we were to go into a committee and meeting and didn't bring paperwork with drafted amendments, they'd be crying foul. The meeting would have to be delayed, we'd have to get the copies, we'd have to look at it, we'd probably have to go back another day. Yet when changes were made to fundamentally change this, the financial operations of this Legislature, they were words in the air. Nothing on paper, not even a napkin for people to look at what they were talking about, and more importantly say, can we agree?

There are areas where we agree unilaterally, unequivocally, but we didn't even have the chance to do that. We didn't have the chance, like land surveyors did, to consult with government and Cabinet, to consult on the regulations that would come forward. Even when we've drafted regulations for this House and they've left with a sign-off for consensus, what has come back has been changed. Who did that? At the end of the day, well, if you don't like the changes, it doesn't matter - we've got the voting majority. That's happened with the very regulations that you oversee, Mr. Speaker. Where was the code of ethics for that? How do Nova Scotians know? I defy any member of the government to say I'm wrong. If I am wrong, prove it, and I will apologize. I will apologize if anyone can say anything I'm saying about

[Page 4616]

this institution is wrong. I will apologize to Nova Scotians if I have been wrong. Sadly, too sadly, this is a time you don't want to be right.

I've sat where you're sitting, Mr. Speaker, and I've understood the challenges of trying to make a House work, but I never thought in my wildest days that this institution would walk away from the very principles and tenets of democracy, that this institution would tear itself apart and have a political exercise, rather than a parliamentary exercise, to build it back up again. The political exercise is ongoing. We see it. We see it with other bills, and I won't speak to those bills because right now we see it as it relates to the Land Surveyors Act. We see it as it relates to the conduct of the Cabinet of this province.

I actually believe, in some of these cases, I wonder who really was consulted when changes were made and who really will challenge? Who? Again, Mr. Speaker, if I'm wrong about any of this I will gladly get up in my place and apologize, withdraw comments from this House and apologize to this House and all Nova Scotians if I'm wrong.

[12:30 p.m.]

I'm still waiting, still waiting, to say I was wrong about the firing of Rod MacArthur. I'm still waiting for people to tell me, he was not fired. I'm still waiting to find out what the real cost was, because I'm still waiting for the government to tell me why, at any cost, they would get rid of someone after 34 years of service, who was consulted by every other Legislature in Canada and even from the United States and around the Commonwealth. That our Chief Clerk could be called upon from the entire Commonwealth, for advice. Because he knew, and understood, and believed in, and lived, what this institution is about.

Yet, we were ready to fire him, because he, during a process of trying to clean up, what was, admittedly, a process that had to be cleaned up. He spoke the truth, because he saw something wrong being done and because he spoke the truth - the truth - because he spoke the truth, he was fired. Cabinet would have come over and instructed you, I'm sure, to tell him, sorry Rod, but you're gone. Because the Speaker would have to convey that. I can't say, maybe the Minister of Finance did it himself or the Premier, but I doubt it. I would say Cabinet came to you, Mr. Speaker, and said, he is to go, and now work out the details for him to be gone, get rid of him. Because we don't want someone who actually knows what this institution and its history is all about. We don't want someone who understood what Democracy 250 was all about. We don't want someone who believes if something's wrong, you should say it's wrong and what might make it right. We don't want someone who will be accountable to the Conflict of Interest Commissioner. We don't want someone who will tell the truth to the Auditor General, because he was. I've known that about him and any other Speaker that's dealt with him would know that about him.

[Page 4617]

I've been on the government side, as a House Leader and talked to the Chief Clerk and not liked his response, but I accepted it, because, you know what? He was telling the truth, but he gave me the advice that was truthful and he did the right thing, and uphold what the institution, rather than a political agenda, would have been. That's Rod MacArthur.

I remember, God rest his soul, Michael Baker, getting fumed about our Chief Clerk at times with the advice - and, of course, the Speaker at the time would have been Murray Scott, and I'll tell you, at the end of the day, Mike knew he was right, but Mike was just doing what his job was to do and that's to get legislation through and make it happen. But Michael Baker respected the advice he got. Michael Baker never came forward and said, I don't like it, get rid of him. He understood that the Chief Clerk and the Speaker, who is part of his caucus, had a job to do, whether he liked the answer or not because the Speaker and the Chief Clerk upheld this institution.

So we have a code of ethics. A code of ethics in this bill, yet this House refuses to have it. But I know we have a government that, you don't like it, we're going to get rid of you. So it tells me, in terms of my honourable colleagues saying, be fair. What's fair about spending half a million dollars on an upstanding Nova Scotian who has served this institution for 34 years, and served it well, and did the role he was supposed to do. What's fair about wasting taxpayers' dollars and frivolously throwing them out the door when there's young women tonight having a vigil at 6:00 P.M. in Sydney at Holy Angels for the cost of what we've been spending and wasting time. What's fair to those young women? What's fair? And I'll refer to Holy Angels all the time.

You know, what's fair, Mr. Speaker, and this is another thing about the consultation, if there's a code of ethics. When I was in government, there was an issue with the school board, every single Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board member and the MLAs in that jurisdiction would come in. And I've been in that room when I've been an MLA with Cabinet colleagues and have to give their message, and live with it, and take my lumps, there were those days, because it was tough. I was there, as a minister, on behalf of the government, with my colleagues, NDP and Liberal and Tory, around the table with the school board members and we abided by that tradition and you listened and you dealt with it and you know what? We have not, as Cape Breton members been at each others' throats because we always try to work in the interest of the region, try to attack an issue instead of the individual.

However, we now have Holy Angels - speaking of a code of ethics - we now have Holy Angels, where an issue comes up, we go to the table for an all-Party approach, the board asks for an all-Party approach, and who is not there? Well, all the board members are there, the Progressive Conservative and Liberal MLAs are there but, oh, the NDP members won't show up anymore.

[Page 4618]

It's funny, Mr. Speaker, if there was a code of ethics and there was a tradition in place where all three Parties would go to the table regardless of how tough the issue was, I would be there with the members of the NDP and the Liberals, in front of the board, would give you your comeuppance, and you sit there and we work forward and, do you know what? We always found progress. We found compromise. Now all of a sudden Holy Angels was an issue. The Liberals, the Tories and the board show up, and the government refuses to go.

I've said in this House, and I have thanked the Minister of Education for at least having the wherewithal to go down and to meet, and I do respect that, but we weren't allowed in the room. We weren't allowed to be part of that all-Party process. It was just the minister and a couple of staffers, one from the Premier's office and one from the department.

So where was the code of ethics that we expected here with the Land Surveyors Act, Bill No. 124, where was all of that? What have we come to? How do we think young people are going to look at an elected representative, which should be one of the highest honours anyone can ever achieve in their life, to be elected by their peers to represent them and to come to this Legislature, the Parliament of Nova Scotia, and do right for them and by them but we know we're not? It's sad because one would have hoped we would have had consensus on the major issues that define the management of this House of Assembly.

One would have hoped that we would be here talking about the Land Surveyors Act - protected by the Land Registration Act at times - but the Land Surveyors Act. You know, there are 150 active members in the Land Surveyors Association, 150 active professionals who do a good job - 150 individuals, 150 active, aside from 20 life members, 35 retired and 28 students. There are 28 students who are studying to be land surveyors, 28 students who will be affected by what the Land Surveyors Act, Bill No. 124, is all about - 28 students, youth most likely, or predominantly, 28 youth who are going to come forward and have a code of ethics that they are going to have to live by and conduct themselves by, and 28 youth who would think that this House of Assembly would be willing to abide by that same premise.

Again, no, because this House, the government - and it's only the government, it's the NDP that refuses to have a code of ethics for the Legislative Assembly, the parliament of Nova Scotia. Yet we're asking youth, so if you're a young person studying to be a land surveyor, the terms are defined, the legislation is being updated. We can go back, I mean, as we know, land surveying, as a profession, is thousands of years old.

There are many cases, if you go from Egypt, the Roman era, the Arab empire, all of those areas, and then on to Europe and, of course, as we know here in Halifax, in 1749, the first engineering - there were actually engineers in Nova Scotia before there were lawyers. The reality is, the foundation of how communities have been established, where this building would be located, the grids, everything.

[Page 4619]

In 1749 there were surveyors here in Halifax, Europeans who came and they immediately set out to survey. So surveying has been a long tradition, not just in the world, but one of the first activities of organizing this society, setting up a colony, setting up what now is Nova Scotia, and actually planning for this building being part of setting up what was supposed to be the people's building that would, hopefully, have had, as we move forward progressively, a code of ethics.

We have a bill before this House that land surveyors have a code of ethics but the building they planned for refuses to have a code of ethics. Ironic, I would say, Mr. Speaker. In fact, sad, as I've indicated, disappointing, and it's dismaying to those who actually see that there should be many more positive initiatives instead of regressing back, moving back, and moving away from what parliamentary democracy was before this current session, was before this government took over, and now is a reality that it has been harmed and I would say demonstrably so. It has been harmed to the point that I don't know - other than a future day and another government will repair damages that have been done. Another day, hopefully that government will have a code of ethics and standards that are in place.

But for the students - of the 28 students studying land surveying, they know when they succeed and get accredited and start to work, they're going to be held by the regulations that uphold them to be professional, to have a code of ethics. A young person looking at politics and representing the people will come forward and know the Parliament of Nova Scotia doesn't have a code of ethics. What do I stand for? What do I have to be upheld by? What am I measured by?

When we come through a period where we know Nova Scotians want us to be more accountable and transparent, instead everything went to the backrooms. It's ironic that young people can look at land surveying as a career and know definitively what the standards are, the principles and practice of the profession and the trade. Of what the accountability measures are, what the governance structure is, what the operating environment is, what the code of ethics is. Yet a young person looking at potentially running for public office in Nova Scotia can't say and can't see where that transparency, that accountability, responsibility and the obligation would be in place.

As I say, for the current government members that were here to go around and take the resources that were put out there to support Democracy 250, that had - what I see now as platitudes when they were talking to young people - because they're not prepared to work, they're not prepared to deal with what I would think a Parliament and the British Parliamentary tradition would be wanting to do, would not work together.

There's an interesting thing when you talk about Newfoundland and Labrador and their spending scandal as is now known as the Nova Scotia - the different thing with Newfoundland and Labrador is they actually wanted to strengthen the institution rather than politicize the process. They actually wanted to make sure, across political lines, that

[Page 4620]

Legislature was going to operate effectively and efficiently. You know that the changes in Newfoundland and Labrador were very much the foundation of a lot of the initiatives that would have been proposed but have not been followed here in Nova Scotia.

Yet, if there were a code of ethics such as is being proposed for the Land Surveyors Act revisions - what's interesting as well, if we had followed that - in Newfoundland and Labrador, they chose to strengthen the institution rather than politicize the process. In Nova Scotia, the Land Surveyors Act, as you know, has been one that's evolved, in fact, if I'm not mistaken, this is 100-plus years old, aside from the profession, in terms of this Legislature dealing with it, I think it was just after 1900. In 1910, it was actually 100 years ago, a century ago this Legislature dealt with the legislation, the bill that would bring in the land surveying profession in the province. Subsequently, in 1951, it was the last time it had a major update - 60 years ago.

So a 60-year-old bill and we have seen there were amendments made from 1951 to 1989, were the next amendments to that Act. From 1951 to 1989 there were amendments. They're back at the House and they're strengthening it. The irony is that, even for the land surveyors' profession, the land surveyors' profession is concerned about making sure that their profession is held to a higher standard, that it's transparent, that the rules of the game are clearly defined, that they have a code of ethics.

Yet, the NDP members of this government refuse, refuse, refuse - whether in this Chamber, in committee - to be accountable and abide by a code of ethics as would be the case. We wonder what 28 students and why they can have confidence as they go forward, they know the rules, they know what they're defined by, they know the regulations that come forward, but the very people that oversee them refuse to abide by the same process.

A great irony that this NDP Government has put out there, it's say one thing, do another. Do as I say, not as I do. That's the NDP motto that Nova Scotians are regrettably coming to know. That is part of a process that we here, in the House of Assembly, have to deal with today because, Mr. Speaker, we know there are other bills that this government refuses to have any consideration, even moderate consideration of, and we are now in a process where the clock will run on and we will stand up and we will deal with this.

[12:45 p.m.]

I would hope that as well, in this process, it has given us a chance to talk a bit more about the Land Surveyors Act and give it more airing and time than it would have normally received in this House, and understand that even with 100 years of this Legislature providing it with this legislation, at that time no one knew what would happen in 2010.

The one thing people understood about democracy and Parliament is they always hoped it would be improved over the course of that century. So here we are, a century later,

[Page 4621]

bringing changes to improve legislation for land surveyors, yet we have an institution that refuses to move along and improve. In fact, we've gone back and we've gone back greatly. An institution that's prepared to spend, at the hand of a minister's oversight, which is inappropriate in the Parliamentary tradition of the Commonwealth, and a Legislature that is prepared to spend, at any cost, on getting rid of people who get in the way of trying to get the government to do the right thing and that the right traditions of this House be upheld. That's what we know.

It's ironic, Mr. Speaker, that here we are today, again, to deal with Bill No. 124 that has measures in it that the government won't measure up to themselves and won't step up to the same level and standard they expect other self-regulated bodies to. We are a self-regulated body but it is a self-regulated body where the government will unilaterally do things and not abide by the Parliamentary traditions of which we used to be proud of, and will not stand accountable before the people, will not provide provisions such as the Land Surveyors Act, that would actually provide transparency. They are willing, though, to have the hammer over the regulations of the land surveyors. They are willing to make sure that someone else abides by a standard and a code that they themselves are not prepared to live up to. So again, do as I say, not as I do, NDP governing style, that's what is there.

When my honourable colleague says, be nice, yes, we would be much nicer if the government would be nice and do the right things. Members know this government that they are part of is doing some things that are very wrong, that break away from the traditions of this institution of the Parliament of Nova Scotia, that break away from what should have been a collaborative, co-operative process that we could say yes, indeed, the Land Surveyors Act is a good piece of legislation because we know that the foundation upon which is built, which is this Legislature, is operating effectively.

The House isn't but hopefully the land surveyors - and as I say, at least they have a next generation coming up who know the rules, who understand what the codes are, will abide by them, have to operate by them. If they don't they know the penalties for them. Yet the Parliament of Nova Scotia refuses to be held to that standard and to go to a higher ground to provide Nova Scotians with confidence. That, Mr. Speaker, is indeed a sad moment.

When you look back, Mr. Speaker, in 1951, I'm sure when Angus L. Macdonald, the then Premier, brought forward the changes 60 years ago to the Land Surveyors Act, he was assuming that for legislation at that point it would have been getting a little outdated. He, himself, would say look, we've got to do some stuff. I'm sure if we looked back in Hansard, the government of the day would be noted as making sure that the Land Surveyors Act would be the best it could be, with a Parliament that actually acted according to the practices and the traditions of Parliamentary democracy.

As I say, back in 1910 when George Murray was the Premier, when they first put in the legislation, that indeed, Premier Murray, another person with a great history in this

[Page 4622]

province - actually, both of them were Liberal Premiers when I look at it now - Premier Murray, in the foundation upon which Angus L. Macdonald built on, was making sure that the profession of land surveyors was going to be improved upon. I also know that Premier Murray and then Premier Macdonald, they too wanted to make sure the parliaments they were part of were better, that the process of democracy would be improved through their actions.

Here we have, today, some changes and probably over the course, since 1749 when the first surveyors were active here - European surveyors, here in Halifax is where they started, according to the history books. Here in Halifax in 1749 the effort of formalized land surveying began, before lawyers. Do you know what? Maybe they had something right back then. They put the pros in before they put the lawyers in and that's probably why most of the communities have a good, stable, balanced approach, the grids are in place because if the lawyers had gotten ahead of them, God knows what the process would have looked like. We probably would have had cow paths everywhere just trying to get to work in the daytime.

I say that in jest, but I don't say in jest that from 1749, then to 1910, to 1951, to 1989, and now 2010, land surveyors bills are something that we would want to see that a code of ethics would override those things. The NDP Government members don't want to have a code of ethics for themselves, yet everyone else that's a self-regulated body must. The funny thing is, all self-regulating bodies have to have processes and procedures in place that will.

Do you know what I know is wrong, Mr. Speaker? I know what this House is doing is wrong because the government has already assumed what the mandate is. To further solidify what I'm saying, we have a bill that is yet to even be considered back in this House, before a Committee of the Whole House on Bills, before third reading, yet the government is advertising for the chair of the new labour board in the paper. How is it, if the government is saying it's going to be held to a new standard - this is a prime example of do as I say, not as I do - why is it the chair of the new labour board is being advertised before this institution even considers if there is going to be one? Why is that out today, Mr. Speaker? You know what it is? It's consistent with the criticism and the critique I was offering before - this government is going to do whatever it wants.

Just like the ministers who said, if you let us out of here, we'll get back to work - well, we're here to work on behalf of the people. They wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for the Legislature. They wouldn't have a job to come to if it wasn't for the people and the people are now saying, if you're going to go and advertise for the chair of a new labour board before the House has even bloody well considered it (Interruptions) - I retract the word bloody - before the House bleeding considers it. When you're advertising that, it tells you exactly where our public are. That is exactly what I was talking about with the young people looking at this institution, 28 students in training to be a land surveyor, they have a standard

[Page 4623]

they're going to be held by to have a legislative framework, which they're going to be guided by, but this House refuses.

I'm wondering, why the hypocrisy? Why put out an advertisement for a position for a board that doesn't even legally exist in this province? We know what the government has done - damn the torpedoes, straight ahead, we're going to do it. That's the hypocrisy we see. That's the reality of what this institution of the Parliament of Nova Scotia has been reduced to. That's what's become of the NDP, that they will go and advertise for the chair of a new labour board before it ever has cleared this House. (Interruption)

The Minister of Justice said, that's the majority. You know what? It's the same majority government that the minister, the Attorney General of Nova Scotia, was at a Cabinet table to send instructions to fire the Chief Clerk. You knew it before the people knew it and this is the same government that's advertising for the chair of a labour board that has not even cleared this House. If there is one government member who can say that's right, if there are members that can say that they are proud of their Party, well, good on them because I don't know what the heck they're thinking. The hypocrisy of coming forward and saying, we're going to advertise for the chair because the House, it's a necessary evil - we only wanted your votes so we could implement this, we only wanted your votes so that we could appease some union boss buddies and not consider the majority of Nova Scotians who are being affected by the legislation. We want to have a bill before the House for land surveyors that holds them to a standard that we won't be held to ourselves.

That's what the Attorney General, the person responsible for the laws of the land of Nova Scotia, was part of - a Cabinet that sent orders to fire someone for telling the truth. The rule of law is based on the truth. The fact is that the government can't handle the truth. They are good at giving but they can't take the reality, and they're giving Nova Scotians a flawed process with regard to advertising for a chair of a board.

The Attorney General sees nothing wrong with tweaking the laws of the land, being part of a government that will dismiss the Parliamentary tradition and abandon what it was he was elected to come to this House to do. He will advertise for the chair of a labour board without even clearing this House. Therein lies why a filibuster is underway in this Legislature. There is why you are part of a diminished Legislature, that the foundation of democracy in Nova Scotia is further impinged by the NDP. The New Democratic Party of Nova Scotia have demonstrably harmed the institution of the Parliament of Nova Scotia, which I truly regret. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, of course it gives me great pleasure to rise this afternoon, on a Friday afternoon at almost one o'clock, to speak on this bill, which is Bill No. 124, an Act Respecting Nova Scotia Land Surveyors. I'm sure that every member of the

[Page 4624]

House agrees this has a compelling interest to every corner of the province because it is the Act that will really dictate how the land surveyors in this province operate, how they self-regulate, how they take complaints, how they look after the interests of the public, as well as their professional society and their own interests.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, there are a lot of societies that have their rights enshrined in legislation and, in fact, their duties. It's not just about their rights as members, but when we enshrine an Act here in the Legislature it is to enshrine the duties and responsibilities of various professions and to protect the rights of Nova Scotians at the same time. I'm certainly more familiar with some of the health professions Acts that we have, where we seek that balance between protecting the health and well-being of Nova Scotians as we authorize certain people to take their place in the medical care system.

It's very common for the Legislature to have bills like this and it is also very much standard, I think, in terms of the clauses and the responsibilities that different groups will have. So when I looked over Bill No. 124 to have a look at what's in it, I can certainly see those same things in place. A great deal is in the bill, certainly around definitions. That's always pretty common.

Actually, while I'm beginning - as the members know, I'll be speaking for some time this afternoon on this bill, so I think I'd like to begin with a comment, generally, around the preparation of some bills that we see here at the Legislature. I think there's something very fundamental missing. Some legislatures actually have it as a requirement that all the bills come with notes that explain what the various sections are intended to do. We have that on a sporadic basis. If the members will look at their binders with the bills in them, you'll see some of the really short bills actually have a corresponding note that will say, the intent of this bill is to - whatever, and explain what it is about in common language.

It was interesting the other day when we were speaking here on residential tenancies, the minister said in her final comments I had mentioned that the bill was very legalistic. When you look at it, especially where it is talking about taking out a clause in an old bill and substituting with something new, it's really hard, without having both bills before you and really almost being a lawyer, to understand exactly what the intent of different sections of the bill is. It's our job here in Opposition to do just that. We have to go through it. We have to figure it out, Mr. Speaker, because frankly, we are not confident that every clause that is brought forward by the government is going to be there for the right reasons or be the right thing to do.

[1:00 p.m.]

So we need to question it, that's our job and I know the members in the government realize that, because they were effective members in Opposition as well, many of them, and so they know that we have to try and take the time, understand it and then come back with

[Page 4625]

what we think are proper amendments or, you know, on some occasions give it our full and unequivocal support, and that does happen sometimes but, Mr. Speaker, it makes our job a lot harder when there are no corresponding notes that explain this.

I was going to tell you that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, actually, in her final comments had replied to me not to worry because there would be a plain English version of that bill made available.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Plain language.

MS. WHALEN: Plain language, yes, thank you, but to make it clear, so clear everyday English, especially in the case of that bill, many people are tenants, many people would not have a technical background and, Mr. Speaker, you know that in this province, 40 per cent of Nova Scotians have trouble reading and writing. That is actually not higher than the country, it's about on par with Canada, and it's a real crime. It's a tremendous loss for our province in terms of the ability for average everyday Nova Scotians, 40 per cent of those people having difficulty reading.

There's a scale that the Government of Canada uses for literacy. The top Level 5 are people who have university education who can read technical material and definitely these bills fall into that level. They're difficult and, you know, I'm very fortunate, Mr. Speaker, to have been a graduate of Dalhousie University and that gave me an opportunity to do this sort of reading. I have an MBA from that university. I think now had I known I was coming to this House, I might have tried to do more law courses in order to be better prepared for the kind of work before us, that might have helped us more, but we are fortunate, the members of this House who can read this kind of material. (Interruptions)

More law courses, yes, I said in order to be more effective in the Legislature, I think lawyers have a certain advantage. It may their ability to debate endlessly, that may be good. We have a few lawyers here but there are fewer lawyers here than there were in the past, Mr. Speaker, we see more teachers, more educators, but my point is that the minister herself in talking about the Residential Tenancies Act, which has a parallel here to Bill No. 124, she said, we will come up with a plain language version, and that means that any tenant and any landlord in the province would be able to pick up the version that is really designed for them to understand what the intent is of the bill. As a legislator and as somebody who is here today at the early stages of looking at this bill respecting Nova Scotia land surveyors, I would really like to see that we would have a version that explained, even in the short crib notes that you would get in some other bills. That should be made and I would like to, right here today, make it a request of government that we ask our Legislative Counsel to always provide those kind of explanatory notes. I think they would help any Nova Scotian who goes on-line.

We now have a tremendous amount of information available at our fingertips, Mr. Speaker. By going on-line, clicking on the legislative site, under government, you can look

[Page 4626]

at any bills that are making their way through the Legislature, you can read bills that have been passed and, you know, how much more helpful it is if there's those explanatory notes so that students, and academics and Nova Scotians, frankly, who need to know, and I'll go back to the Residential Tenancies Act, there are thousands of Nova Scotians who are renting and living in rental accommodation, they may need to know what their rights are and when they have difficulty, they may need to know exactly, right back to the Act, whether or not they have the right to go to the Residential Tenancies Act, or whether their rights have been impinged in some way.

So I think it's very important that those explanatory notes begin to make their way into every piece of legislation that we see before us because frankly, Mr. Speaker, just in my early remarks here on this bill and beginning to talk on it, I am struck by the fact that there are 24 pages, beginning with definitions and so on, and not one explanatory note to give a little bit more context to the work that's before us here today.

It's interesting to note that it's a replacement bill so we're updating an Act for a profession that has been active in our province for a very long time. Certainly from the earliest days of mapping our City of Halifax, when we were first founded, we know that the surveyors have been active. I know that the earlier speaker, the member for Cape Breton North, actually was speaking about the founding of the city. I believe that 1749 was the year that Halifax was founded as a counterbalance to Louisbourg, which was part of the French Colonies and was a very powerful fort for the French people and the French government. It was decided to come here and have a military presence in Halifax on this wonderful harbour, in order to create that counterbalance in power at that time, which was really an international power base.

In founding the City of Halifax, we have the plans to this day of how they mapped out our city on a grid and used that to go forward in creating the City of Halifax, which is now, today, the City of Halifax. We have had surveyors doing this sort of planning and work from the earliest time of our government here and our people, certainly in English-speaking Nova Scotia, because our history went back before that, with land grants and Acadian farmers.

It's obviously very important - the ownership of land and the accurate description of land is very important. I'll get into that more as we talk further around the profession of land surveying, the training of land surveyors, and the bill that is before us, which is going to govern how they behave, how they interact with the public, how they maintain their professional integrity, which is so important. Through a bill here in the Legislature professional integrity is a big part of it. It's a big part of what they are standing by and a big part of what we look for as we accept certain professions for that very important role of getting, I would say, the honour of having an Act in their own name and also the responsibility of their members and their professional body maintaining that high standard

[Page 4627]

of work ethic and control and professionalism that we expect from people who are doing business in Nova Scotia.

I should say, to begin with, that certainly we have tremendous professionals in that area. I know there are many people who have worked hard to see these changes come forward. I think, as I said in the very beginning, there is not a corner of the province that isn't responsible for maintaining records. Every municipality relies on those records and land ownership and property descriptions in order to raise their provincial taxes.

Just before I go there, I want to make sure that it is very clear to the government that I believe no bill should come before us without the explanatory notes. I think every one of us - and we are not all Harvard lawyers, or even lawyers, as I've said. What I'd like to see is that because we represent the people of Nova Scotia and come from all walks of life, that it is made very clear what kind of legislation we're passing.

Those explanatory notes in plain language would help everybody. They might mean that some departments don't have to go to the effort of writing an entire separate version for the general public to really understand. As I said, it is a real travesty that we still have 40 per cent of Nova Scotians with literacy problems. That can be anything from the most severe cases, where they really can't read and write, but it is said that many people are impeded on the job because they can't read instructions, they can't read technical manuals. In fact, even at an earlier level, we worry on the health care side that people can't understand the information given to them when they get a prescription filled, for example. I know that going in there I've noticed over the last number of years - I think most of the pharmacists are doing this now - they'll give you a big printout, basically, about that drug that you've just been prescribed, which will tell you all the adverse effects and exactly what would be good for you or not good for you and what to watch for, when to come back and see your doctor, even how to properly take those drugs.

As I say, Mr. Speaker, I think the understanding of basic information that will keep us healthy is so important. This, of course, is a mission for the Minister of Education and for each and every one of us in our own domains, to be promoting education and literacy because, as I said, how can we possibly protect members of the public when they have difficulty reading the kind of information that is before us? In every single bill that passes here there are people out there who are impacted. There are individuals who are going to feel the impact of the kind of ideas or motions that are put forward.

So through this bill, which is 24 pages, as I said, it covers a lot of ground, it has 78 different clauses. It actually is replacing an older Act, because I did find a couple of references to the former Act, saying that the former Act is going to stay in effect until this new Act is passed and becomes law. That is an important fact that we are actually here replacing an Act that I think is about 60 years old.

[Page 4628]

I think while we're here in the Legislature, it's important that we do look at some of the major challenges before us. Literacy is certainly one that I think is paramount. We've been talking a lot in this session of the Legislature about the economy and about job losses or plants that might find that they're no longer competitive and they're moving from Nova Scotia. A good part of what makes us competitive is a literate population. Having 11 universities in our province is a tremendous advantage, but it means that we have about 40 per cent of the population that have higher education and are really well trained and able to handle the most difficult literacy issues and material, but then we have 40 per cent that have really fallen by the wayside and don't have basic literacy.

I think that's why our Legislature should be striving, not just with bills, but with all the information that we prepare, with our own Web site, with the information that we see going out from the individual ministries - everything should be designed to encourage people to get more training and to help them if they don't understand something. There should be numbers always prepared so that if people can't read the material they know where to call.

It's a fact that people with literacy deficits, people who are illiterate, are often very sensitive about that. It can affect their workplace, it can affect their lives. They often will hide it very well. They're certainly very good listeners, they want to hear something rather than read it. I've heard of teachers that are talking to parents during parent-teacher interviews and, in fact my sister-in-law is a teacher and she had said that, particularly in one community where she worked and there was a high level of literacy issues there, she said that often when she would tell the parents, I've written that in the report, the parents would push the report aside and say, you tell me; I've come to this interview, I want you to tell me.

That's their way of covering up that they really couldn't read the report. But they cared about their children and they were at the interview and they wanted to be told. They wouldn't say to the teacher, I'm sorry, I can't read that, because there's an element of embarrassment and maybe even shame that they have not been able to read. We need to reach out and actually do more on that.

I notice the Minister of Education had sent a package of posters to the MLA offices. I don't know if the other members of the House had received those packages, but they showed different people, I think they were trying to reflect Nova Scotians, the breadth of Nova Scotians. They showed a father and a son, the line was that they were learning together, they were both learning. It's showing you adults that are trying to get those basic skills and the Minister of Education had sent a note saying we're trying to get the word out, we want the word out that there are free programs available for adults to come back and learn and that this is something that you can do.

I know that each year there is a wonderful sort of graduation ceremony held, and I was the Education Critic at one time and did attend that. It is a fantastic day to hear some of

[Page 4629]

the inspiring stories of adults who have lived with the inability to read and write fully and have gone back to school and have done that. They are so proud. Each and every one of them have a different story, but they are so proud and their children are proud of them and they now feel they can sit down and help their children with literacy issues. That really is what we need to be striving for so that we take the 40 per cent of Nova Scotians who can't operate fully in our economy and help give them the skills so that they can earn more money, fill the jobs that are out there for higher-skilled people and be able to actually raise their standard of living while they help our province.

One of our biggest issues is a shortage of people. We know the demographics show a declining population. I'm sure the members will remember, I think it's worth noting, when you talk about demographics, that the year 2006 was actually a watershed year for Nova Scotia. That was the year we had more deaths than we had births. It was the first time in our history of Nova Scotia that the trend had reversed. That means we're a shrinking population, that's really what it boils down to.

[1:15 p.m.]

We talk about immigration as a good avenue to bring more people here, and certainly it is. There has been nobody who is more excited by the idea of us being a welcoming society and bringing people here from around the world. We also have 40 per cent of our own population who couldn't begin to read this bill, an Act Respecting Nova Scotia Land Surveyors. That, to me, is just a sad state of affairs.

We've also heard lately that our productivity is low in Nova Scotia and there are a couple of factors for that. I don't think it's holidays that causes that either. I will say that very loudly. I don't think we have enough provincial holidays or statutory holidays. Have you ever heard that attached to productivity? People suggest that's a productivity problem. All I'm saying is, there are some really big factors that affect that and it isn't because we're lazy, it isn't because we get an ample amount of days off in the year. In fact, Nova Scotians work hard and don't even take the holidays that we are given. From a health perspective, we know you should take the amount of holidays that you're given because then you are recharged, healthier, balanced. (Interruption) That would be nice, yes, exactly.

We do need more holidays, that's one thing, only because we don't have balance worked into our lives but that's not the cause that productivity would suffer from. Productivity suffers because we have a high rate of illiteracy and so we have people on the job who can't work to their full potential. I believe the government should be looking at tax credits or programs that individual employers could tap into, that would encourage them to set up literacy programs on site.

I read a very interesting article recently about literacy on the job and it actually equated a lot more injuries and accidents on the job to our rate of illiteracy. It would be

[Page 4630]

interesting to note if there were some way we could look at that in Nova Scotia. This was a national study that said that if you have accidents on the job you should actually investigate with that lens about how literacy may have impacted the accident occurring. I mean, if you mix chemicals that you shouldn't mix together, perhaps it's because you couldn't read the instructions, or you operate machinery incorrectly because you couldn't read those instruction. It comes back, again, to people being vulnerable for that reason.

I just strongly believe that we need to put a focus on literacy and helping every single Nova Scotian be able to meet their full potential, because there is no segment of the population that we can leave behind as we go forward in our province, if we want to advance and grow the economy as we hear the government say. Getting back to balance is the common expression being used, but it's about making every Nova Scotian able to contribute to their highest ability. One way we can help right now is starting to address that literacy rate, which we know is bad. I know we're at the Canadian average on that but by the same token, we could do better.

Nova Scotia is an "education province" and I think that's a phrase we need to repeat and celebrate. We have great universities, we have 13 campuses for Nova Scotia Community College, we have other schools, private institutions here as well. For a little province, for less than a million people, we have a lot of higher education, a lot of opportunities for education. One of our members mentioned recently - I believe it was the member for Kings West - that actually the level of drop-outs from school is declining and that's something we can be proud of too.

It was mentioned to the Minister of Education that the cost is going to go up for our education system because some of the kids that we're keeping in school need more support. They can learn and they will learn, but they need more support. It's worthwhile for us to spend the money now and help them graduate so that they can take their place throughout society, so that they can become land surveyors, if that's what they really want to do. I mean, that's our aim right now, to see them do the best that they possibly can.

There's a lot in this bill on land surveying and I think that one point that has been raised by a number of speakers has been the code of ethics. I was able to find that reference, it's quite near the back of the bill. There is a reference that speaks about having the standards of practice and the code of ethics applicable to this bill. It also says that there was a previous code of ethics. I had asked the minister but on that - it's Page 23 - it did actually say that the former code of ethics would remain in place until this bill comes into play.

So it may be that the former code of ethics that they've been operating under for many years has met the mark, and I'm not sure if it's going to be updated or not. But the point raised by a number of the other speakers - Mr. Speaker, welcome to the Chair - was that there is a code of ethics for land surveyors. We know that there's a code of ethics for many other professions. I believe there's a code of ethics at City Hall here in HRM. They've looked

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at a code of ethics for their councillors but we don't have a code of ethics for ourselves. (Interruption)

There's one in this bill. There is a code of ethics in this bill, yes, exactly. Our point really is that the land surveyors know that they need a code of ethics. All kinds of other professions recognize the need to really, write down what standard we're going to hold ourselves to, in the conduct of our day-to-day business. I'm sure that we could write a very good code of ethics for this House and I would suggest that if the women were involved, we might include some codes around conduct and probably decorum. Decorum might be a big part of it. There might even be a few other members who would join in that observation that we could do better. I must say the decorum is very good in the House today, Mr. Speaker, it is very good. People are attentive, no yelling. I much prefer this to Question Period but, anyway, Question Period has its purpose as well.

It's just that at this point we can talk in more depth and I certainly do like to talk in some more depth, as the member for Digby-Annapolis knows, we like to get into lots of discussions on the detail of the bills before us. So we are looking at the Land Surveyors Act and, in considering property and land, it's hard not to look at the kind of experience that I've had over the last 10 years as an elected representative because the area that I represent is very new - much of it is very newly developed in that 10-year period.

In fact, 20 years ago I moved to Clayton Park West which was at that time a community on paper only - really. It had two streets that were opened, a road that still had barricades across it for the next street that would be put in, and it was all forest. Today when you go there, there are about 10,000 people who live in Clayton Park West. It includes the large corridor of Parkland Drive, Mr. Speaker, and that corridor has more people living with an address on Parkland Drive than, I would suggest, are in many towns in Nova Scotia. It absolutely is more than a village, it's the size of a town, it really is, and we have all multi-unit buildings along that street.

Again, I know the member for Digby-Annapolis knows it because you have a son who lives in that area, and the apartments are new. They're well-kept and they are one after the other along that corridor and that was designed on purpose, Mr. Speaker. I don't want people to think that that was just something that happened by chance. The density of Clayton Park West was laid out before I ever bought my home in 1990. It was determined on paper by the developer when they went for their first approvals.

Of course, a lot of the land there was purchased from the Sisters of Charity, who at one time owned a whole swath of land that went from the Bedford Basin, including Mount Saint Vincent University, and came right up the hill through Sheffield, across Dunbrack, through Clayton Park West, all the way into the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes area which includes Susies Lake. The Sisters of Charity still own about 150 acres on the shores of Susies

[Page 4632]

Lake and right behind Kent Building Supplies which is the last parcel of their land that they are holding from their founding in 1849, I think.

So that is very near and dear to their heart, their final parcel of land, because over the years, you know, generations of the Sisters of Charity would go there, would enjoy nature in that area and walk through the woods to get there. Now those areas of woods are all my community and, as I said, they're home to tens of thousands of people right now. So we've seen that area spring up really in a 20-year period. If you go back another 25 years, you'll see that Clayton Park itself, the original Clayton Park, when it was first founded, was again all woods and became a beautiful community with mature trees and a wonderful sense of community. It comes from about the early 1960s, the earliest residents in that area.

So you can see that in all of the Clayton Park riding there's very little that is older, that has an historic basis - a little bit in old Rockingham, along the Bedford Highway, that area, that connector to Bedford and on to Windsor was there from the earliest time of the City of Halifax. In fact, many will know the Prince's Lodge along the Bedford Highway - it doesn't fall in my area now, but it did when I was a city councillor - that's the little round house that is along the Bedford Highway. It is from the early 1800s and signals the area that was a country estate, actually, of one of the governors of Halifax, the same governor who built Government House and the round clock at the bottom of Citadel Hill at the top of the street, and also the Round Church, St. George's Church, which is in the North End.

It is a beautiful church that we are so happy was rebuilt because it burnt down in the 1990s, there was a fire in the church and it was a tremendous thing that because of its historic value and because of its importance to the community and not only the community of Anglicans who worship there but to the wider community, that church was rebuilt with help, I know, from many levels of government and certainly Heritage Canada helped, I know that. The did all kinds of fundraisers to get the money.

As I say, that governor, whom I believe was the father of Queen Victoria, had a big role to play here in Halifax - in fact I know he was the father of Queen Victoria. I shouldn't say I'm thinking about it, I just can't remember his exact name. George, maybe - I think it was George.

Mr. Speaker, my area has a little bit of connection to the history and it's a very colourful and royal history of Halifax, but it had very little that was historic. Most of our lands are newly developed and, of course, relied very much on the surveyors who helped us to do that work . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: A lot of surveying going on.

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MS. WHALEN: There was an awful lot of surveying and, again, we understand how important that is, the importance of making sure it is done right, that there are no property disputes.

I know many people who would be representing older communities probably do see that, where the lines of ownership are unclear, where a single parcel of land might have had several bits that are put together. I actually ran into that problem, Mr. Speaker, at a family cottage that we owned in Queens County. When we looked at it, it had five different pieces of description because there had been a provincial road that had gone through it, which was now just a driveway to the cottage, so there was a little piece that had been sort of purchased for $1 from the Department of Transportation 50 or 60 years ago and different little pieces that came together on a property that was less than an acre.

So we had a boundary dispute with our neighbour, at that cottage, who actually encroached and used what he thought was the public road which, in fact, was not the public road and had not been for 60 years. It was our own property and had come down the public road and had used it and tried to encroach at the same time upon our property. So, Mr. Speaker, that led to a dispute, and we had to find the property records, we had to get a lawyer to look at what exactly we owned, and we had to assert our rights as property owners. It is left to the individual to do that - you can't complain to your municipality.

AN HON. MEMBER: Did you have to re-survey it?

MS. WHALEN: I believe it was re-surveyed, yes it was. That is a big cost as well, I'll tell you that. If you have any encroachment on an old property or a new one - but it's more apt to happen on old one, because with new properties, that I was describing in Clayton Park West, there's really no question about those lines. The lines of ownership are very clear and they are well registered and you're not going to run into that kind of difficulty. It's the old properties that have been around for a long time and haven't been sold so they've never been consolidated, that those kinds of issues come up.

Actually in that dispute that we had, it did have to be re-surveyed. I think maybe the neighbour paid for the survey; I think that was the case. It has also been migrated, which takes us to the issue of the new property management that we've got, which came into place in the last eight years, perhaps. I think it was at just about the time I arrived at the Legislature, around 2003, that we began to set up a digital record of all the properties in the province. I think that will ultimately be a tremendous advantage. I think about half the properties have already been what they call "migrated," which means they are now into the system that is digital.

[1:30 p.m.]

[Page 4634]

To get there, that property has to either be refinanced or sold. If there's an exchange of property - in fact, I had to refinance my property this year for a special reason and for that reason I had to migrate my property, which I wasn't too happy about because there is a charge of about $1,000 to do that. Anybody who is faced with it is told it is a one-time charge, so you just pay the once, no other property owner when they buy my home or I sell it will ever have to incur that cost.

That is going to be a bit painful for people as each and every property over time does get brought back into this electronic system, but it's been a tremendous advantage for lawyers and people doing work with property because now they don't have to go into the archives and the vaults and pore over the old records of properties. Some of those are wonderful, historical documents.

I mentioned the property ownership of the Sisters of Charity, which was that long strip coming up from the water at the Bedford Basin. When we look at those old records, they're really interesting. They are all long, narrow strips because the important part to landowners in the early days of Halifax, and probably even today, is water frontage. People wanted a place to moor. They had boats - they travelled a lot from the city to Birch Cove and Rockingham by boat and they wanted to have that access to the water frontage.

The properties were divvied up in long strips starting with water frontage and then going straight back, way back into the woods. That still remains on those old records and they're wonderful to see, but those records need to be maintained and kept as historical documents and it's pretty difficult for the lawyers to be combing over basically a couple of centuries of land records.

Having the current records in a database is a great help. I think it's led to a lot of efficiencies and it certainly helps whether you're buying or selling property. It can expedite things a little bit and also probably give you a greater certainty about your ownership. I go back to the dispute we had at the cottage where we were disputing where the boundary and the lines were, and that was an old piece of property in Queens County that had just not been consolidated and never re-surveyed for a long time. So we need to get those records up to date.

Who do we depend upon to do that? Land surveyors. We need the surveyors and we need their science, their means of maintaining records and so on. I'm very pleased to say that dispute was resolved and a legal agreement drawn up so that two neighbours can coexist with reasonable calm. That's what it's about. It's about trying to ascertain where your ownership is because people are very territorial. I can tell you, whether you're on a little lot in the city or a big country lot, people are territorial, and we care about what's ours and where we have our rights.

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We hear about that frequently here. We talked about ATVs a few years ago, the all-terrain vehicles. Particularly in our country areas - I know the minister is well aware of this from Hants County - there's a lot of trespassing with all-terrain vehicles. People feel there are trails and fields and even farmland that they're allowed to trespass across on these vehicles. The farmers take exception and people living in those rural areas may take exception to both the damage to their land and the noise and disruption to their animals or the wildlife that they like to have near their home.

There is a certain beauty in the rural area and people love the fact that there are both wilderness and wild animals sharing that land with them. ATVs don't respect that and do frighten animals and cause a lot of disruption for people who are doing passive things in the wilderness like walking, cross country skiing - things like that. You don't necessarily want to share the land with ATVs. It's easier for me to say because I am in the city, a riding where it is not a common practice. I just feel that the ecological impacts are great.

What I saw in that argument was the fact that people want respect for their own land that they own and how it's managed and how it's respected by others. So we have a certain territorial aspect about that. Often it can lead to great disputes among neighbours.

Given that, we have a lot of rules in place. It's interesting, though, that the municipalities won't step in. It's all legal. If you want to assert your rights, then you have to go to a lawyer. I know a lot of people are reluctant to do that. I said earlier it might have been good to be a lawyer - I was thinking more of the skills here, but I wonder if it isn't good to be able to understand your rights and be able to represent yourself in those kinds of disputes.

I don't know how often it comes up for others, but I quite often have people with a legal concern, but they're really frightened to see a lawyer because of the cost, quite frankly. They know they probably have a case, but they don't have $5,000, or maybe even more, to get the case rolling or to feel that they can bring it to a point where they will get restitution. We have to be careful of that, because something like our legal aid system doesn't help for an awful lot of the issues that people come up against.

As I said, the history around land surveying is very clear that it is really about dispute resolution, it's about getting value for your money. When you purchase something, you know exactly what it is you've purchased and we do need that kind of assurance. It became very clear to me, again, any time I've done property transactions, how very careful the banks are too, about the kind of documentation they require to be absolutely sure that when they're giving you a mortgage, that you have got ownership and that they have, in turn, they have the right to get their share back. If they've lent you the money, they can repossess or get their value back if you forfeit on your payments. You can see very clearly how cautious they are. For that reason, I think that we have a lot to learn from the Act, from Bill No. 124, because it is about protecting the public.

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As I said, encroachment is a real problem and I don't know that this Act will cover anything about how they set fees for themselves, but, as much as I said lawyers are expensive, I wonder if many of us haven't run into the fact that surveyors are very expensive too. Sometimes in relation to the value of the property, it can be really out of whack. I think that we need to ensure that there is some correspondence, almost, between the value of the property and the work that's being done.

There was certainly an issue that my mother had a problem with in Parrsboro where she actually brought in a complaint against the land surveyor because she felt the cost was so high relative to the work that was done and the value of the property was about $25,000. It was a small little property in the town and the cost to survey it was something like 10 per cent of the value of the property, which she thought was completely ludicrous and she did bring that complaint. I will say that at that time she didn't get very much satisfaction from laying a complaint with the surveyors association or professional body that manages it. I hope they're doing a better job under the current bill.

There is a whole part in here on hearings, that you can actually, I think, bring a complaint and I think if you're not happy with the resolution of that, they have a process for a hearing board, where you can go before them and give a further explanation of what your problem is, I believe so. I think that's important, because whatever bill we pass here, that's going to govern the work that they are doing, we need to ensure that they are going to listen to the complaints, keep a record of complaints, know whether or not they need to in any way discipline their members. There is not one profession that you can name that doesn't, at least occasionally, have to use their powers and discipline their members. As much as people attain a high level of professionalism, as much as they're proud of the work they're doing and the society they belong to, there are always some bad apples, let's say, in that profession and you have to be able to ensure that the public is protected.

That's why it is absolutely essential that they have a code of conduct, which as we've said, we don't have here and there is a wonderful opportunity before the government, to be the first government in Nova Scotia to set that code of ethics, to take the high ground, to feel that you've made a difference in how all subsequent generations of MLAs will actually behave when they get here to the Legislature. Each and every one of us would sign that, would agree to these high standards that previous MLAs have set for us and we'd be able to go forward with that knowledge, that, not only is it an honour and a privilege to be here, but that we accept a big responsibility for a high standard of conduct. That would be something I think we'd all be proud of and I'd be proud to put my name to a code of conduct and a code of ethics like that.

Again, to me, this would be just an obvious one, for the government to grab hold of. It's been a Liberal suggestion, that's true. We've actually suggested it over a number of years but we did suggest it this year as well in the wake of so much discussion and reform, here in the Legislature, around MLAs and the conduct of our business. What better time to grab

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hold of that and take the time as an all-Party committee to work out what we would see as the high standards that we would want to go forward with. As I say, it's the Liberals that had introduced that idea. We know that other ideas we introduced in the last year have been taken up, some that are popular, some that are popular, some that are now by the government, but we have certainly introduced reform in the way that we manage our affairs. I can't think of one that would have more meaning to the people of Nova Scotia than to be able to look and see the code of conduct that we have all signed on to and all agree to, as we go forward.

We all recognize the tremendous privilege we have to sit here and represent thousands of Nova Scotians. I think that's why we should take it very seriously and try to be part of a solution that would give the people of Nova Scotia, the people who we represent, that confidence. They know that the members of the Legislature are good people. I can say that the members of all Parties who I've worked with here, on committees and over the years, people are here for the right reasons. We have all put our names on a ballot and come forward with the intent to make Nova Scotia better in whatever way we can do it.

Mr. Speaker, I think that is one of the things that this Bill No. 124 encourages us to do. It is a way that we can say, look what we require of the land surveyors. It's not just a nice thing to have, we require them to have a code of conduct, a code of ethics, so why wouldn't we do the same for ourselves? I see that the Leader of the Official Opposition is in full agreement with that and that's important to me too.

As we look at this bill, I mentioned to you the tremendous challenges in a new area like mine. Where it isn't about property ownership or encroachment, it's about how you map out what is really a forest and create a home for 20,000 people. That has happened so quickly in Clayton Park, Mr. Speaker, it has actually occurred in a short 20 years that we have a whole new community there - not just a community of houses, it's not just a suburb. I think we have to make sure, and we've got a suburban committee now that I think probably at some point would want to talk to me because I think there's so much we can do about creating suburbs.

A suburb is almost a bad word because they are seen as bedroom communities. A bedroom community means it's a place where you just go home and sleep at night. Then you travel into the city and do your work and shop and go to restaurants and then go home to your bedroom community. It doesn't really give you the sense that a suburb - maybe it's something that is grown and is adjacent to an original city but we have all of the facilities there to be a full and complete community. It takes a little time when you are a new area like Clayton Park West, because suddenly you're in the midst of blasting, they're clear-cutting and they're taking away the lumber. Anybody who has lived there has been through the blasting and the dirt and the construction vehicles that are coming and going , it's a time of great disruption and it's not very pretty, when it's under construction.

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Once that period is over and people buy those homes and move into the apartment buildings that are being built it becomes a community. I've always felt that my main job, as a representative for that area, both as a city councillor and since I've been an MLA, has been to fight for the facilities we need that bring us together as a community so that we don't have to travel out by car for everything we need to do, that we have the facilities that bring us together. That includes schools, it includes the library that we had opened in 2002, it includes our new, big Canada Games Centre which has been on our agenda for 10 years in that area, to get a decent, large-scale recreation centre that could replace the little pool we've had.

Northcliffe Centre pool has been our area's so-called community centre but there's not much there. It's just a pool, it isn't a place where the community comes together and stays or has a cup of coffee or meets. There were no meeting rooms or ways to have clubs. It had very limited use but it is certainly a great place for the kids to take their swimming lessons or to go for water aerobics, but not a lot of other activities that you could do in the Northcliffe Centre because it just wasn't big enough and it wasn't built with that in mind.

It was actually built in the 1970s when there were very few people living in our area. It was built when the original part of Clayton Park was only about 10 or 15 years old. There were a few homes in the upper part of Rockingham that were new. Dunbrack Street didn't exist, it wasn't even mapped out yet. It started as an outdoor pool that was great for the community for awhile. Then the community thought they'd like to use it year-round so a bubble was put over it for a number of years, just an inflatable bubble. That broke after a while and there was a fundraising effort in the community, along with the YMCA at the time, and a structure was built around that old outdoor pool.

[1:45 p.m.]

Well, it was never right for the community, it wasn't properly built, really - it was an outdoor pool that they just covered - and so the air exchanging and other things were a problem in that building. It has had a lot of structural problems and the roof is very bad. It just wasn't good. There was too much moisture.

So what we're about to see now is another major piece of community infrastructure coming in the area of the Mainland Common, which is, as people will know, about 175 acres. It's bigger than the Point Pleasant Park lands. I think that's 100 acres in Point Pleasant Park. The Mainland Common was something that we really should tip our hat to the City of Halifax before amalgamation. They saw that the only growth area for them was onto the mainland, into Spryfield and into the area around Fairview. (Interruption)

Shall we tip our hats to them too? Okay. (Interruption) Oh, having a new centre - we certainly are delighted with the provincial government's involvement in that new centre, yes. I'm talking more of the history of it, but it began with actually having the city have enough foresight to put aside 175 acres that, again, if we go back to the idea of land surveying, the

[Page 4639]

fact was that that was all back in the woods and there was nothing close to it at that time, but they realized that on paper they had all of these areas that would be developed. They had the plans for a very extensive community in Clayton Park West, Sheffield, and Cresthaven - all of these in that area.

Right now we have another whole new area which is just adjacent to the Fairview riding, but it's still in Clayton Park. It's the Mount Royal Subdivision which, again, was all woods right by Highway No. 102 and Dunbrack Street, and that whole area has been cleared, streets are down and new homes are going in. So as that was happening, they realized they were going to have a lot of - was there an introduction? Did you want to do an introduction? I see we have guests in the gallery and I've been asked to allow time for an introduction. I would be happy to.

MR. SPEAKER: I would thank the honourable member for that courtesy.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations on an introduction.

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I also thank the honourable member for taking from her time. I would like to welcome some young women from the Techsploration program. The Techsploration program introduces Grade 9 young women to careers in sciences, trades, and technology, and they have arrived here from speaking at the 13th annual launch of Techsploration. The students represent schools from all across the province. So we welcome you to our Legislature today, and I ask my colleagues to give the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome all guests to the Legislature and hope you enjoy the proceedings, as we are on Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill No. 124, the Land Surveyors Act.

The honourable member for Clayton Park.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm thrilled that the young women are here from Techsploration, because they had an event today that I had hoped to get to that was at the seaport. I know that that was on today and I had said that I would try to get there, but unfortunately, our House is sitting longer today and there were some pressing needs. I needed to be here to talk on the Land Surveyors Act and I hope to give all members of the House a better sense of the new communities that are in our city, as well as the different kinds of history that we each share, but Techsploration is a terrific program. It teaches women, and I'm glad they're up there because this reminds me of something very important in my last 10 minutes. I may change direction for this.

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Techsploration, as some of you may know, is a program where they go into the junior highs and match these young women with women who work in technical and scientific professions. So it allows young women to look at some of the careers that they may not have thought of that are non-traditional for women. They get a chance to meet a woman who's actually doing that. I know they go to things like the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. They go to some of the factories and actually see some of the trades. They do scientific things - I'm sure you go to the universities, as well, and see some of the women working in universities, in labs and so on. I think it's a really important thing.

I know that, at least a few years ago, there were students from Fairview Junior High who were introduced into that program. I don't know if we have anybody here today from Fairview, but I hope we do. I know that that was a program brought to Fairview Junior High in its early days, and not only do the young women learn, but there is also a time when they can bring back that knowledge to the school and share with all the students - so if only a number have been able to go out on these placements, they come back and share their experience. Some of the mentors come back with them and get to speak to the wider student body, including the boys who, again, can learn from that experience. I think it does an awful lot of good.

There's another reason it's very good fortune that we have Techsploration with us. As I began my hour in the House here today speaking on this bill, I began by talking about literacy and how important it is that we be literate and have a good education. Without that, we have so many Nova Scotians who can't meet their full potential. I think that when young people have the chance to go out and meet somebody that they can identify with in a job or profession, it gives them the encouragement and even gives them a dream that they didn't have before, that this is something I can do with my skills, I'd be able to do that job too - it gives them something to work towards to stay in school and to succeed.

As I said in my opening comments, it's so important that we not allow any of our young people to fall by the wayside because we are a province that doesn't have a lot of people for our size, we are declining - less than a million people in this province that we love, and we need to make sure that everyone who calls Nova Scotia home can find work, find a way to contribute as much as possible with their skills and, so, really reach their highest potential.

At the same time, while we're speaking here, and really the content of this bill is a bill that outlines the practice of being a land surveyor, how they will be managed, how that profession maintains high standards, and while we're talking about that I think it is important that we talk a little bit about the Nova Scotia Community College - and I hear that I have only five minutes left, so I think that's a great time to mention the Geomatics school at the Nova Scotia Community College in Lawrencetown. I mentioned there were 13 campuses across our province, and allowing young people to access education close to home is important too because of the cost of any college or university education.

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Lawrencetown is unique in that it has a college that was originally a survey school, and has branched so much beyond that. Surveying is certainly part of it because they are doing map-making, they're doing GIS, which is global positioning studies. They really are a school where employers come from around the world and hire those graduates. They're working in the petroleum industry, mapping the offshore - not just here in Nova Scotia where our offshore is really very small in the scheme of things - they're in the Gulf of Mexico, they're in the North Sea, they're working for companies that are doing things like undersea mapping and, of course, land mapping as well. GIS and the power of that technology is something that we've been pioneering right here in Nova Scotia - occasionally you'll see ads on TV for NSCC that show map-makers.

If you're going to be a cartographer and you're going to be involved in map-making, the basis of it is being able to identify properties and have a proper record of the exact property lines and how somebody could exactly pinpoint the ownership of land. I've given a few reasons today why that's so important - it's to prevent a conflict between neighbours; it's to allow you to be able to mortgage and finance properties, because that's not going to happen if you can't ascertain that you've got full ownership of it; and it protects people financially. Ultimately, that proof of ownership is your protection financially.

The work that land surveyors do is very important, and I'd like to mention as well or just go back again to the fact that we have a long history of mapping and surveying in this province. I mean, the very first maps, almost, of North America are from Samuel Champlain who mapped the South Shore, he mapped Port Mouton and the area around that bay, and also right into the Bay of Fundy and all the way up to Isle Haute, I think, which I know that the (Interruption) Isle Haute, that's how we say it. We don't say it with a very good French accent, it's been anglicized. Isle Haute, but anyway, it's near Advocate, it is up in Cumberland County near Advocate and it is a landmark for fishermen. I know that the member for Digby-Annapolis visited there not very long ago during the by-election in Cumberland County.

Those original place names, even Port Mouton, I suppose if we said it with a proper accent, Mouton, it was named after a sheep that was thrown overboard. Samuel Champlain was a tremendous cartographer and he did map the shoreline of the Bay of Fundy and the South Shore and ultimately, not long after, founded Port Royal, which is our first European settlement in North America and so we have that as a starting point.

We have the founding of Halifax in 1749, where the streets and the grid that Halifax is built on, were laid out and laid out around Citadel Hill because as I said, in the beginning, Halifax was founded as a fortification really to be a counter-balance to Louisbourg in Cape Breton. At that time Cape Breton was still part of the French colonies and not part of British North America. We needed that at the time, so we had a city built directly below the Citadel.

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I believe I have only one minute left in my time and I have enjoyed it very much. I hope that we've all learned lots (Interruption) I've talked about land surveyors so much, so much about land surveyors. Bill No. 124 will set out the practice of land surveying. We know that it is a proud profession. We expect that through the passing of this bill that it will again ensure that they manage themselves well, hold themselves to a high code of conduct and again, I say there is a message for us in the Legislature that we could also mimic their high standards by setting a code of conduct for ourselves. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park for being so succinct today with her comments. I was interested to hear about Port Mouton and how it was named, after a sheep thrown overboard. The member for Pictou East has asked me to do an hour in Gaelic. I would love to have that ability, maybe some day I'll be able to. Unfortunately my Gaelic - I'd love to do five minutes. Tha mi 'n dòchas aon là, bidh mi 'g radhiann àir a' sin air cóig mioniadean, ach chan eil mi a dèanadh an diugh. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I'll return to English for a moment. It's nice to hear the (Interruptions) Everything sounds better in Gaelic. I thank the members for sharing their applause and some Gaelic words being spoken in the House. It's a very old language and it's nice to try to keep it going in our province. I know that a lot of our seniors and our elderly, their faces light up when you're able to share a few words with them in Gaelic. It reminds them of the old days and when the language was more prominent. Of course, that ties in right to our bloodlines and our family histories and those are all good things.

Now, to the matter at hand, because I can assure you I want to focus my thoughts on this bill today, Bill No. 124, the Land Surveyors Act. I do want to build upon my colleague, the member for Cape Breton North's comments. He was speaking about the value of a code of ethics in this legislation for surveyors but the lack of such a code of ethics for the Chamber here. There was one thing that my colleagues and I would like to table, this is something, perhaps a case in point. We have Wilson Executive Search looking for a chair for a new labour relations board, before the Legislature here has even approved or passed that legislation to enact a labour relations board.

The question I would ask for the benefit of all members of this House is, is it ethical to be searching for a board chair when this legislation to enact that position has not yet been passed in this Legislature? This, of course, is Bill No. 100, but I want to focus on Bill No. 124. I know that this is a good bill, I know the industry is very supportive and they've led the charge on this, and I know that the changes will include public representation on the association's council and streamlining the public complaints and discipline process.

[2:00 p.m.]

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There have been no major revisions to this Act since 1989, but over the last 20 years changes have occurred, as they do in every industry, and I think it is important that the legislation be modernized - and that's what we're seeing with this bill. Some people out there who may be watching today might be wondering what surveyors do and how would this legislation impact Nova Scotians. (Interruption) My colleague said it would be helpful to hear, to learn more about that.

When do we need to have a survey done? Well, we might need to know the location of the boundaries of our property; we might intend to subdivide a property or lease out some land, and a survey is required to ensure that all is in order; and whenever you intend to buy or invest in a property or build on any property, you need to have a survey. This legislation is going to help consumers, Mr. Speaker. Whenever you are concerned about encroachments on your own property you may need to get a survey to clarify those matters. This bill will help the industry to deliver a good service to the public and safeguard the consumer.

Now surveyors, some of the things they would do, they might do a lot survey to determine the boundaries on a parcel of land. We often see these markers in the corner of a property. I remember we had a property in Judique surveyed one time and we saw some stakes go into the ground on the corners of the property - and they are still there today, you can find them. These are important, Mr. Speaker, they help with future surveys. I have some friends who have gone to school and have become surveyors, and I know they are supportive of this legislation.

Some of the other things a surveyor might do would be a subdivision survey, so whenever there are new lots being created or changes in the boundaries of existing lots, the Nova Scotia land surveyor can assist people with the steps leading to final municipal approval and registration of the subdivision; we might also need a surveyor to do a retracement survey. This would re-establish original boundary lines and replaces corner markers, that we've just spoken about, that may have been lost or obscured by forests or construction activities or erosion perhaps.

Surveyors provide all kinds of other services which may include: topographic or hydrographic surveys on land or water; precise construction layout and as-built surveys; accident surveys; condominium surveys - we might see more so here in the urban area of the province, in Halifax; could be accident surveys, as I think I've just mentioned; legal descriptions; and acquiring and compiling spacial information for geographic information systems and application of global-positioning technology.

Mr. Speaker, there are costs for these services but, back to this bill, this is really focusing - and costs are important because consumers are paying those costs, and what this bill helps to do is provide a framework for the industry to be able to operate ethically and give consumers good value for their dollar when they need to get this kind of work done. So

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some of the things that might be called into question will be assisted with this bill, with this legislation - that might be when the surveyors are consulting with a client throughout the project, there is time spent on that, and if that's called into question, this legislation will help. If there is time spent searching for deeds, plans or other documents, it might be from government or from other private sources that information is coming from, time spent at the site of the survey, consulting with other professionals when necessary, analyzing and assessing field survey and documentary evidence, performing computations and preparing survey plans and reports, and preparing and submitting applications on behalf of the client.

Mr. Speaker, the goal with all of this, of course, is so people can know the exact location of their property boundaries and provide peace of mind, and it enables landowners to carry out projects without fear of costly legal procedures - and it saves a lot of headaches. This legislation is going to help ensure that those kinds of activities can happen with fewer headaches.

This bill - and I can say this about a lot of industries in our province and right across North America - the ability to self-regulate has great value and it can work very well to protect the integrity of an industry and to give confidence to consumers. I do know that industries respect this privilege because they've been given the value to hold the privilege to self-regulate and to have freedom to self-regulate.

I know from working in the financial industry that industries will work hard to protect their consumers and to ensure people are satisfied and happy about their experience, and I know there are times when that does not happen. People might say well, why would industries be working hard to protect their consumers, they might be cynical about that. We've seen that in the financial industry over the past number of years when we had the decline in the stock market and the housing bubble in the U.S., and some would make a point - and it would be a very good point - that maybe sometimes industries don't do a good job of policing themselves.

I think that is a point well made, however there are still benefits to self-regulation and if there is something wrong, which has caused the housing bubble or caused the stock market to decline, perhaps it's not just self-regulation that has caused that - perhaps it's the policing of the self-regulation that has caused that.

I know if governments felt that self-regulation was a real contributor to this, in its sense of being self-regulation, then governments and the public would be calling for the elimination of this form of regulation, and they're not doing that. I think people believe that industries do care about their consumers, they want to protect their consumers because, as we know in business, there's nothing better than a return customer. If you're going to have return customers in any industry, including the surveying industry, you want people to be happy about their experience. So if people are dealing with a surveyor, this legislation is

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going to help to ensure that people using the services of a surveyor come away with a good experience, they're happy about it and they're willing to use that service again.

Also, we must remember that this service of surveying helps our economy because when a building needs to be constructed, if it's not properly surveyed or there are problems, you can have legal disputes that slow down economic activity, and this bill will help with that, it will help to guard against such things happening.

I would also like to make the point that there are rogues out there and people who would be taking advantage of their position in an industry, to benefit themselves, selfishly. I know that industries are very cognizant of that, because if you have a rogue who is offering, in this case, perhaps surveying services, and is not compliant with the regulations, that's going to cause a bad reputation for the whole industry. We need to have people confident when they go to purchase goods and services here in our province that the services and the goods they're being provided with, that they're being given a fair deal and that people are treated fairly. I know that industries take it very seriously when there are rogues who are not respecting the rules and regulations that the industry is supposed to be operating with.

I can compare this to the financial industry where people who are buying and selling securities are required to be licensed, much like surveyors here. There are courses that need to be taken to be properly educated and trained to have an understanding of the markets, much the same way surveyors are required to have education and licensing to do the work that they do. I know that in the financial industry you have to have knowledge of economics. You have to have a securities course. You have to have a course on ethics. You look at situations sometimes with ethics, it's not black and white. You may have a conflict. You may have two values that are perhaps working against each other, and they may both be honourable values.

If I could give you one example, Mr. Speaker, I think of truth and mercy. You may be placed in a situation where it's important to be telling the truth and to uphold a principle. Converse to that, you may have a situation where you may be faced with the value of mercy, and perhaps considering all the intangibles and the tangibles of the situation, your heart may swing toward the side of mercy, and that's an honourable value as well. So sometimes, like in this bill, which has a code of ethics, people are faced with those decisions and those choices.

This legislation will help people. It will help people learn about ethics and how the industry has to deal with situations that may have values that conflict with one another, and it will help surveyors to at least be consistent, perhaps, with their decisions. It will help the industry form regulations that have some logic and some - and I know they have all kinds of those already, but it's important to have it formalized in legislation.

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I'm not sure about the surveying industry, but I know in the financial industry there are compliance officers and most firms have officers who police the activity. That's part of self-regulation, because if there's not somebody policing it, you may have a tendency to have people who will become lax with regulations and then you spoil the intent of delivering goods and services, in this case here in our province, in a fair manner, and you may have people who - maybe even by mistake - may do things that are inappropriate. The value of having a compliance officer or a watchdog helps to ensure that people are on the up and up and that if there is something that appears to be improper, there's a mechanism to quickly correct that and fix that problem before it becomes a bigger problem. I know with this legislation there is that benefit for surveyors.

I also know that continuous education is required, and I'm sure in the surveying industry that's the case as well, that there are opportunities for surveyors to be able to further their education and their knowledge of the industry. That's important because as times change and things change, Nova Scotians deserve to be able to have services that are current and also to ensure that they meet with any changes in future legislation. I know there are things like refresher courses and courses on rules and procedures, and I do truly believe that these industries - and the surveying industry in this province is no different - value not just the letter of the law with this legislation and with codes of ethics, but I do believe that they value the spirit of the law as well.

I will say, Mr. Speaker, I do believe there is a role for government in self-regulating industries. There is a continued role for government to work with an industry that is self-regulating and if we look at the - I'm sure everybody in this room, if not through their own personal savings, through our pension plans have - and any Nova Scotian who has savings or a pension plan or a tax-free savings account or an RRSP, any kind of investment account - been affected by what has happened in the stock market. We saw what can happen when a self-regulated industry is perhaps not policed to the degree that it should be. So there is a continued role for government to protect consumers and protect the integrity, in the case of this bill, of surveying, if you expand it beyond that, in other things like the financial markets.

[2:15 p.m.]

One example that could relate to surveying, if you have an industry that's not doing things as they say they are, for instance, saying that certain investments are safer than they really are and hiding bad investments in the mix, if that's not being watched by a government agency, you get what happened in the United States which was an inflated housing market, inflated property housing prices. There were loans being given out to people with no income and no job or assets. When they couldn't pay the bill, they couldn't pay the bank for that loan, things started to crumble. The tragedy of it all was, most people wouldn't want to be investing in low grade loans, but they were investing in them because there were rating agencies that were stamping these products with a quality rating, which led people to believe that the investments in real estate, that were made in those securities, were better than they were. That they were stable, that they were safe and many people got hurt by that.

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We had issues recently with the pension in this province where the government had to take steps to try to reverse the effects of what had happened in the financial markets. Self-regulation, I believe, is very important, but there is a continued role for government to ensure that even if an industry is self-regulating, that there is a watchdog, there are mechanisms in place to protect if something starts to happen in a self-regulating industry that shouldn't be happening.

I don't know, I'm sure some of the members in here have seen the movie Wall Street and I know Wall Street 2 recently came out and I haven't had a chance to see it, but that's a good example of a self-regulating industry where people are committing illegal acts. It was an excellent movie. The first 20 minutes of that movie, I believe it was - perhaps one of the members may correct me - I believe that was a Stanley Kubric film. No? I believe it was, but I do know the first 20 minutes of that film, for a self-regulated industry, there's a lot of examples there of what's going on and perhaps rules maybe being broken there. It really was of great interest to me when I watched it because it's probably one area for Nova Scotians, if they wanted to get a look at what a self-regulated industry looks like and some of the aspects of it, if they had time to sit down to watch that first part of the movie and have somebody with them there to explain some of the things going on, it's a good example of an industry that's self-regulated. I know I look forward to watching Wall Street 2.

I will say that this legislation, in the first Land Surveyors Association bill, that provided self-governing status, was passed in this Legislature in 1951, by a gentleman from Inverness County, a man by the name of Angus L. Macdonald. To show the members of this House that I can cross political lines, I do recognize that Angus L. was a member of the Liberal Party. He's a very famous member of this Legislature, very well respected. We, of course, have the Angus L. Macdonald bridge named after him. The member for Victoria-The Lakes says he travels it all the time and many of us do coming into the city.

If I could tell a little bit about Angus L., he was born in 1890, which is quite some time ago, and it was in Inverness County on the family farm at Dunvegan. He came out of a family of 14 people and those were the days when we had large families in this province. I don't know if we'll see another day when we'll see families to the tune of 14 children. I know it would certainly help with our GDP growth - as we know, population is strongly correlated to GDP growth. Certainly at that time many children in a family was a big help because in those days, if you had many hands on the farm, many hands made light work. There were economies of scale.

I know many families at that time in our province had big families. Angus L.'s wife was from a prominent Acadian family (Interruption) Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, just to clarify, were you saying - oh, you had 21 in your family. The [Deputy] Speaker, who is sitting in the Chair, the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova, had 21 members in his father's family.

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That is a huge family and a credit to him and to her, as well, for that achievement. Perhaps I'll stop right there.

You think of the sacrifice made by that family, because I'm sure there were days when it might have been had to make sure that every one of those 21 mouths got fed. You think of the contribution that is still being felt today by that family. Of course we have an individual sitting in the Speaker's Chair, but when you start with 21 people back then and start expanding those families out, think of how many Nova Scotians are contributing to the economy of our province (Interruption) and how many votes there are, too. That's a good point and perhaps that's a lesson to us all in this Chamber, that we should be using that perhaps as a - who needs voter ID when you can have 21 children in your family for future generations of supporters.

Mr. Speaker, back to Angus L., I do know that he was a Roman Catholic and his family were ardent Liberal Party supporters and to this day we see trends in the province where Catholics would be voting Liberal and the Protestants would be voting Tory. I don't know what happened along my lines - well, I do, but I probably won't get into that today. I know in Inverness County there are many - whether it is the Acadians or the Mi'kmaq or many of the Gaelic-speaking people who came from Scotland were Catholic and, as a result, we've had many good Liberal members in this House since this House began. (Interruption) We had some good Tory ones as well and I thank the honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes for reminding me of that. I do know that sometimes there are people who switch allegiances and what not.

We do know that Angus L. was a very good member in this House and (Interruption) Where did he represent? Well, that's a good question, I believe he represented a seat here in the city at one point in time. (Interruption) Yes, and to move back to my remarks, I'm trying to keep this discussion positive.

AN HON. MEMBER: Halifax Fairview is going to be open soon, if you need assistance.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, Angus L., who is the member who introduced the legislation around surveying back in 1951, he went to St. F.X. I think this is interesting, St. F.X. is, of course, a great university and, this is interesting, though, his family couldn't afford to pay for a university education so he obtained a teaching license and taught for a couple of years to finance his education and then midway though his degree, he actually left university, again, to take another year off to earn spending money and enough money to pay for his tuition and what not. When he completed his degree, he was required to teach at St. F.X. to pay off the remainder. That would have been back in 1915.

I think we should remember Angus L. as well, Mr. Speaker, for his contribution during the time of war in this country. In February 1916 he joined the 185th Battalion, known as the Cape Breton Highlanders, that left for Britain in October of that year. He received

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further training there and he was sent to the front lines in France. What an experience to have, to later become Premier of the Province, to have fought on the front lines during the First World War, a war when perhaps the combatants were much closer in their hand-to-hand combat. There were bayonets at the end of rifles that were probably used quite often. Of course, war is a terrible thing and there is no question that you still see very personal, very close human-to-human contact, but the First World War was particularly devastating because of the technology at that time. Not that I want to be advocating for better technology in war, but if you look back at the rudimentary weapons and machinery that they had, I'm sure he was greatly affected by his time on the front lines.

I know that he did return home in 1919, and a biographer who had written about Angus L. MacDonald said that war had made him more serious and less self-confident but struck by the willingness of so many to march to horrible deaths in the name of an abstract principle. I think he was affected by that, as of course anybody would be.

I do know that after war, he went on to Dalhousie Law School and became a lawyer, so this was a very educated man who brought in this original Act. He was a very smart man, came from modest means, financed his way through university, served his country during time of war, studied at Dalhousie. This is an interesting point - we often talk about the value of our experience and the experience of young people in having a chance to share the experience we have in this Chamber, for young people to be able to participate in mock parliaments. I notice that Angus L. MacDonald led the Opposition in a mock parliament at the Dalhousie Law School, and no doubt those are helping to hone some of the skills that he would use on the very floor that we stand on today. Of course, that contributed to his compassion and his interest in making the province a better place and in ultimately creating that bill back in 1951.

Going back to the time of war, I'd like to share a little story with the members of this House. I discovered that I was named after a gentleman who fought in the First World War as well. It's funny, I never knew this. I knew I was named after a fiddler, a violin player, but I never knew that he was a relative and I never knew that much about him. I was contacted by e-mail - this would have been last Spring - by a gentleman from England who is writing a book. The gentleman I was named after was, of course, Allan MacMaster, and he grew up in Hillsdale, which is in Judique.

This Allan was, during the time of the war, this would have been before the - I was a little reticent to become involved with this, because the book that was being written was about the Epsom riots. Members of this House may or may not be aware, but there was an event that happened after the First World War that put a bit of a dark mark on the history after the war.

There were some Canadian soldiers who were remaining, and soldiers, I think, from some other countries as well, who were still in England at the time, in an area known as

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Epsom, just south of London. They were there because some of them were sick, they had injuries, they were not given permission to go back home at this point. I know that at the time they were also not looked at. They may have been being looked down upon by some of the local population. I don't know that for sure, but I do know that there was an incident, and I suppose some of the local women were, perhaps, catching the eye of some of these soldiers, and who could blame them? Times of war, they're not great times, and you come out of it and you want to get home. Perhaps I should stop at that, but there is no harm in that.

[2:30 p.m.]

Some of the local population were getting upset about, perhaps, the attention being paid to some of these women, and anyway, what resulted was one of the soldiers was hauled off to the prison.

Well, this was just the final straw because there was quite a bit of tension and it was coming out at the local pubs and whatnot. Anyway, one of the men, one of the Canadians was dragged down to the prison and there was a march by some of the soldiers down to the prison and they demanded that this colleague of theirs be released. When that didn't happen, I can't imagine - we don't have any videotape of what happened back then, of course, but we do know that one of the policemen was killed in that fray. We don't have conclusive proof, but the gentleman that I'm named after appears to be the man who did it.

Of course, when it's a situation like that, you might think it's an accident, some people might say it's something more than that, but at the end of the day - well, do you know what? I think he was a good man, this Allan MacMaster. He saved a man in a mine accident at one point - that was after this had happened. He had a plate in his head, which no doubt he suffered an injury during the First World War, and I'm proud of him.

I was a little reticent in getting involved in this because I thought, gee, you know, here's a relative of mine - do I really want to be confirming that he was the man who perhaps did this? - but if nothing else, I think I saved some face for him. I was able to shed some more light on who he was as a person and what had transpired, and I'm proud of him. I know my father named me after him. My father was only about five years old at the time, but he saw him playing the fiddle and he was pretty good at it. Of course, my dad was rubbing sticks together at the age of three, he wanted to play the fiddle. So he had respect for this gentleman, and I look forward to learning more about him.

I thought I would share that with the members of this House, because when you find out who you're named after, you take an interest in that person, obviously, and I thought that was an interesting story to weave into my remarks today because I knew that I might need to perhaps expand a little beyond the bill itself.

AN HON. MEMBER: It's all very relevant, extremely relevant. (Interruptions)

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MR. MACMASTER: If I could draw it back, Mr. Speaker, our experiences in life shape who we are and they shape our thoughts when we put legislation, much like Angus L. Macdonald did, after having gone through a period of war - and no doubt there were surveyors in the army building bridges as well, and I could talk about a man by the name of Dan R. MacDonald, a great composer, who did some work building bridges, but I won't move into that today. I'll save some Dan. R. stories for another day.

So Angus L. Macdonald was the man who brought this legislation into the House, and I know the members will all be interested in this little tidbit that I found. When he was teaching - I believe this was at Dalhousie - one former student described him sitting at his desk and he was saying apparently Angus L. Macdonald felt that the more students disagreed with one another in class, the more Angus encouraged it. So perhaps there's hope for us here, that maybe there's some progress being made even though sometimes we're disagreeing.

Angus L. Macdonald, of course, served as Premier of this province from 1933 to 1940, and he later became the federal Minister of Defence and oversaw the creation of the Canadian Navy and the Allied Convoy Service during World War II. He passed away while he was still in office in 1954.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: He also built the causeway.

MR. MACMASTER: That's a good point. I was just going to talk about some of the things that he did under his leadership.

MR. JIM BOUDREAU: And I'll never forgive him for it. (Laughter)

MR. MACMASTER: And the member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour holds some resentment to this day for that causeway being built. I know there was some economic development in a community of his constituency at that time because there was a ferry running there. There was, of course, a train that used to cross, and I can only imagine all the activity that would been on to get a train across there every day, and probably multiple times a day. In those days the steam engines couldn't carry as many cars. I remember my father telling me that you would see, even at a quiet railway station, perhaps in a community like the Valley, you would see maybe 10 trains a day, whereas today you might see one because it can carry 10 times as many cars.

Angus L. Macdonald spent quite a bit - and I shouldn't say the word "spent." I think he invested a lot of money in the paving of roads and building bridges and extending electrical transmission throughout the province. One of the things we've seen not so long ago, we talk about history repeating itself, we just had a downturn in the economy where the federal government and the provincial government partnered to spend a lot of money on infrastructure. What was Angus L. doing but the very same thing after the Great Depression

[Page 4652]

to help address the mass unemployment. He was putting the jobless to work on highway projects.

He also was a visionary. He saw the need for what we would call today, equalization. He felt the poorer provinces needed a greater share of national tax revenues to pay for health, education and welfare. We see to this day that we benefit from those measures. He also pointed out - I should bring this back to the bill and I will in a moment but I think it's important to point out that he pointed out at the time that Nova Scotia had gone from being the richest province before Confederation to the poorest by the 1930s. I know we've made gains since then, but he attributed this to policies made at the federal level that favoured Ontario and Quebec and industries that were located there.

I know the member had mentioned earlier about the Canso Causeway linking Cape Breton Island to mainland Nova Scotia. That would have taken surveyors, taken a lot of surveyors. This Act, I believe, was in force before the causeway was built so no doubt the province was getting good value from the surveyors. Perhaps saving on some of the potential conflicts that could have arisen had there not been something, a clear piece of legislation in force to ensure that the work activities and the surveying of that project were proceeding in an appropriate manner.

Mr. Speaker, may I ask how much time I have remaining?

MR. SPEAKER: You most certainly can. You have exactly 20 minutes left.

MR. MACMASTER: Thank you. I look forward to continuing my remarks. I actually have numerous documents here but perhaps I'll save them for another opportunity when I may be able to stand up and speak in the House here. I will do my best to keep it interesting.

Another bridge I mentioned earlier was the one we have named after him in this province, the Angus L. Macdonald bridge. Of course, this bridge, named in his honour, made it possible to travel between Halifax and Dartmouth without having to board the ferry or drive the distance around the Bedford Basin.

An interesting story about the bridge, about actually any of the bridges in the harbour. I don't want to go into this too much, but I do know that there's folklore and I don't know if this is true, but there has been some discussion that there may have been a curse on the bridge. Or on any bridge put across that harbour that would have been put on by one of our people, Mi'kmaq, one of the founding peoples of the province. We don't know if that's true, it might be. I know if going into the Gaelic culture, I know we certainly have a belief in the supernatural and my grandmother might call it a buidseachd, she might say a buidseachd was put on the bridge, which is essentially a curse. I presume that's an old Gaelic word, I've

[Page 4653]

never seen it written. A lot of the Gaelic came across the pond, the Atlantic Ocean, through oral transmission. These words can be very old.

Another word she used to use was the word, doirbh. I've seen many members in this Assembly being doirbh from time to time when they perhaps stand up and they stick their chest out and they're speaking boisterously because that's pretty much what doirbh means. It means somebody that's very confident and sure of themselves. I remember her using that word in kind of a humourous way where she might even see a little fellow or a little one parading around like they own the house and she would say, look at that little fellow, isn't he doirbh.

I remember those words. I miss them because I don't get to hear them anymore. (Interruption) She might have been speaking it to me, yes, but I do remember when I was younger, my father even used to use a lot of Gaelic words, he'd throw them in here or there and you'd kind of get the gist of what they meant. The member for Pictou East just referenced another expression in Gaelic and used the word pòg, which is P-O-G, but in Gaelic the g letter is sounded like a c, so the word pòg means kiss.

We have a bar just up the street here, which is called The Pogue (Interruption) - don't worry, I'll get to the rest of the - I might do it word by word, but we have a bar up the street here called The Pogue, which I think is perhaps an abbreviation, it would be related to the band, there was an Irish band called the Pòg Mo Thòn and in Irish Gaelic, it's very similar to Scottish Gaelic but there's a little difference. (Interruption) I don't know if they were surveyors, I'm sure from time to time when a survey was being conducted, somebody might have said something such as pòg mo thòn, if they weren't pleased with the results of the survey.

MR. SPEAKER: I would remind the honourable member that I am also from Cape Breton and my grandmother is of Gaelic descent, so I would bring your conversation back to the English language, please.

MR. MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, just for clarification for the benefit of the House, the word pòg means "kiss" and the word mo means "my" but I will not tell you what the word thòn means. Perhaps, if people want to, they can look it up on the Internet. (Interruption) The member for Argyle has wisely suggested that I turn my cheek on that one.

I did want to reference a member who was - he wasn't a member of the Legislature but he certainly held an important position in the House, a Sergeant-at-Arms, and that was Noel Knockwood. We have a portrait of him out in the House here. Getting back to the curse on the bridge, he actually removed that curse. I won't go too much into the curse and why it was levied, because we don't know for sure, and I know some people don't believe in that kind of thing. I know I do because it is part of my culture and I'm sure that Mr. Knockwood believes in it, otherwise he wouldn't have taken it upon himself to remove the curse.

[Page 4654]

I do apologize, Mr. Speaker, I probably should be trying to keep this more in line with the subject at hand here. I do know that those stories are probably more interesting and I will try to come up with some further material there. I know that stuff is probably more interesting than some of the stuff I am going to speak about now.

When we look at surveying in the province, and the contribution it makes to the economy, I was over in South Africa earlier this year. I made plans about two years ago to go to the World Cup. Of course I was keeping a keen eye on some of the things I've seen, I love to travel and I love seeing how other people do things. When you travel and you pull yourself out of your element, you start to become more cognizant that the way we do things here isn't always the be-all and end-all. Your mind opens up to the value of other people's ways of thinking.

One thing about South Africa is their population is growing. They have very healthy population growth, and they've also got a lot of people who are starting to join the economy. I was in a place called The Kingdom of Lesotho, which is in South Africa, but it is it's own independent country. When we crossed the border there was, of course, the usual - any time you are crossing a border in a lot of places throughout the world they like to try to make you feel like you might be somebody who is bad and they might try to make you fear about whether or not you are going to gain entry.

We got into the country and I must say that the people there are incredibly friendly, very kind people. They are doing well and I think they have got a good future. A lot of them moved to places like Johannesburg, where they hope to gain employment. When you are driving on the highway around Johannesburg, you are going to see some nice cars, like BMWs and Mercedes' and it is surprising to see people driving those kinds of cars because there are more of them there than we see here, Mr. Speaker. It is a sign that people are starting to participate in the economy, people who weren't allowed to participate in the economy during the time of apartheid. Of course, apartheid meant keeping people separate and keeping people apart and there were all kinds of things.

I want to go back to Lesotho and tie that back in. There are people living there in the mountains, they live right off the land, the children have the most beautiful smiles, they are kind people. I don't think there's a bad bone in their body, from what I could see, and you think, wouldn't it be nice for those people to have more wealth? Well, I tell you, they have a tremendous amount of wealth of goodness in them, which is probably worth more than anything, and there's great happiness there and that's the ultimate measure of success.

[2:45 p.m.]

A lot of these people will come into Johannesburg, and outside Johannesburg there's a township called Soweto, which is short for Southwest Township, and this is where the

[Page 4655]

Black people were required to live. The Afrikaners that were there did not want them to be living in the same community, much like the race relations in the U.S. at one time. Of course, there was activity here in Canada where people felt at the time that Black people shouldn't be able to participate in the economy, they shouldn't be allowed to go to the same schools.

Those are terrible things, and I don't want to be too hard on the people who were responsible for those things - maybe they were caught up in the day - but those measures were absolutely wrong and anybody who tried to continue them and stop the progress of rights for minorities - and in this case in South Africa, they were the majority. Anybody who was stopping that progress - terrible thing. I watched a movie recently that - because having been there - this movie was very good, and if I think of it I'll come back to the name of it another time, because the members might be interested in watching it.

In Soweto, I visited an area of the township where there is a memorial to Hector Pieterson. He was a young boy who was shot during a student protest march, and they were protesting because - this is how deep the apartheid went - they would not let the children learn math in school because they didn't want them to have knowledge. They knew by giving these young people knowledge, they were giving them power to overcome the oppression of the apartheid. Today, when I look at South Africa, we're seeing - I was in Pretoria, where, if you were a Black person 30 years ago, you'd better get on your way because you weren't welcome, and today when I drove through the streets I was the only white person that I could see. That's a victory. It's good to see that country and those people sharing in their own success and being able to determine their future.

One of the things I want to draw back to this bill and surveying - this all gets back to the economy, and when we have a good bill like this, it helps to protect an industry. It improves the flow of business and contributes to GDP growth. We need that in Nova Scotia. If we look in South Africa, countries like South Africa are limited by the World Bank on how much they can borrow, and although that may slow down investment and progress, I think also there's a positive side of that because it means there's less liability and a healthier future.

If you take a country like South Africa that is developing, and there are many people who are very poor there who are trying to find a way in the economy to gain a better life for themselves - and they might not even be looking for themselves, they might be looking for their children. To be living in a country that's not laden with a lot of debt, there's a better future there for those people and there's a better future for land surveyors. (Interruptions)

Just to focus on that point, we have a lot of debt in this province. We can all talk about how we got there, but the fact is we're there and we should focus on how we're going to turn that around. If I look at a country like South Africa, the fact that they don't have that debt, it means they've got a better chance and I hope they, even though they may have the temptation to spend money on creating bigger governments and whatnot, I hope they don't do that, because I think that's one of the things that may have hurt our economy here in Nova

[Page 4656]

Scotia. Where we have - and I'm not putting the blame on anybody here, Mr. Speaker - many people working in government, yes, we need those people and we want everybody to have a chance to work, but when government grows too big it starts to affect the rest of the economy. It would affect surveyors, it would affect the economic growth in the province, which of course we're talking about construction of buildings, we're talking about increased population because we have more people coming here to work, because there are jobs here - and wouldn't that be a wonderful thing? We're going to have more need for surveying and more students coming to Nova Scotia.

So, that's why I bring up that point, and so to conclude now, on this bill, I thank you for the opportunity, to have been given a chance to speak on it. I do commend the government for bringing the bill forward; I commend the industry for their leadership in bringing it forward and leading the charge. I wish them the best with the new legislation and I hope that it helps Nova Scotia consumers with their surveying needs. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth-East.

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I thought maybe you were going to call it Dartmouth North like my honourable colleague, the member for Argyle does all the time.

I am very pleased to stand in relation to Bill No. 124, an Act Respecting Nova Scotia Land Surveyors, and it's interesting to note that the survey that came out yesterday shows the Premier's approval rating at only 20 per cent - and I'll table that. So that has to be an interesting survey of the land in question. That's from Angus Reid, which puts him at a, well actually he's just above where the HST is now, interestingly enough.

Mr. Speaker, we're talking about the bill, and it's interesting, I note that my remarks yesterday, something I mentioned yesterday actually also relates to this bill. What that bill is, I had mentioned that I thought it was an urban myth that you could walk across somebody's land carrying a fishing pole and then you weren't trespassing. Well, lo and behold, there are people who watch Legislative Television on their computers and so forth at home, and didn't I get an e-mail right afterwards telling me exactly which Act - in fact, it isn't an urban myth, there is actually, in fact, legislation in Nova Scotia which allows you to do just that.

Our Legislative Library kindly printed it off for me and it actually relates to the land surveyors' bill, because the land does have to be surveyed and it's not just fishing - in fact fishing, picnicking, camping, hiking, skiing, or engaged in any other recreational activity, or engaged in the study of flora and fauna, or hunting, defined in the Wildlife Act, are all reasons you can trespass without it actually being considered trespass.

[Page 4657]

The interesting thing about that is of course if you're a land surveyor, you can't charge someone with trespass unless you know where the boundaries of the property are. If I may quote for a second from the very fine book, The Surveyors of Canada, the first paragraph, so I can set the stage for what we're talking about here: A nation must have surveyors to map its lands, chart its coasts and locate its overland routes. For some time after Confederation, the surveys and mapping organizations of Canada grew slowly. At first there were only the adventurous railway engineers and the eager men of the Geologic Survey at work investigating and recording the face of the land. Under Sandford Fleming, the railway men in government service, until their task ended in 1880, had re-contoured most of the feasible overland routes.

Land surveying has come a long way since 1880, when Sandford Fleming, who we know is the originator of the on-time rail service, or mostly on-time rail service, and the clocks, and Greenwich Mean Time and all those sorts of things that he had involvement in - it has come a long way. So here we are replacing an Act, that really hasn't been updated in any major way since 1989, with a new bill, which I'm sure has the broad support of land

surveyors and the entire bill, I'm sure, consulted with the surveyors and those who it would impact. That's certainly the way it seems to be, and I commend the minister and his department for taking that approach. It makes a lot of sense. One would not want to have provisions in a bill that don't relate to the title or really haven't been consulted on, like the rest of the bill. I do commend the minister and his department on addressing that issue.

My honourable colleague, the member for Halifax Clayton Park had talked about explanatory notes and so forth and sometimes those are with the bill and sometimes they are not. In replacing an Act, it actually would be interesting - and maybe the department has this - to have a "this is what is included in the Act and this is what is not included in the Act," or "this is what has been changed" - sort of crib notes of that. It's probably minor, so we've tried to look at those ourselves. Hopefully I get them right and I apologize if I get them wrong, but one of the ones I might focus on, since I really probably have only a couple of minutes before we will be adjourning for the day, is the fact that GPS - obviously, in 1989, other than the military, I doubt anybody really had a GPS around too much.

It is interesting to think about GPS because one of the things I can recall around the time of the first Iraq war is that the U.S. Government, which was running most of the satellites for GPS navigation at the time, had a built-in error correction. If I remember correctly, it was about 100 metres, and so using GPS as a tool for land surveying would have been pretty well useless. Imagine doing a city property line with an error margin of 100 metres - you would be two neighbours down the street from me.

Obviously things have come a long way, and now, my goodness, my cellphone on Argyle Street will tell me I'm on Argyle or Barrington or wherever. Sometimes it can go too far. In fact, certainly on Facebook and Twitter and all those things, I turn the location service off. But if you're a land surveyor, it gives you the opportunity, with cellphones and other things, to actually follow the property line and do that.

[Page 4658]

I'd like to talk a little bit about - although I will probably just introduce it and move on - the Shubenacadie Canal Commission, because we've spent a lot of time trying to map those out. Recently the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage and the Deputy Premier were kind enough to set up a meeting with me on the bill I have before the House, on the canal commission, and the department has recommended some changes so it can be considered in the next session. That, of course, requires some movement.

Mr. Speaker, I will tell that story at another time, and I know that we will have many hours of debate.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would ask if the honourable member would entertain adjourning debate at this time.

MR. YOUNGER: I would be very pleased to, Mr. Speaker. I move adjournment of this debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for adjournment of the debate on Bill No. 124. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

A recorded vote is being called for.

We'll ring the bells for one hour.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. The rules stipulate that to have a recorded vote you have to have two members standing in their place and neither of those things happened.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. That satisfied the Chair, and I'll repeat myself. We will now ring the bells for one hour or earlier, if the Whips are satisfied.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[2:59 p.m.]

[The Division Bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Are the Whips satisfied?

A recorded vote has been called for.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[Page 4659]

[3:59 p.m.]


Mr. Landry

Ms. More

Mr. Estabrooks

Mr. Steele

Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Ms. Jennex

Mr. MacDonell

Ms. Zann

Mr. MacKinnon

Ms. Conrad

Ms. Kent

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Preyra

Ms. Raymond

Mr. Smith

Mr. Epstein

Mr. Prest

Mr. Ramey

Mr. Skabar

Mr. Whynott

Mr. Morton

Ms. Birdsall

Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Burrill

Mr. d'Entremont

Mr. Bain

Mr. Porter

Mr. Clarke

Ms. Regan

THE CLERK: For, 29. Against, 0.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

The Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday at 12:00 noon. The House will sit until 10:00 p.m. The order of business on Monday will be the daily routine;

[Page 4660]

Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Bill Nos. 63, 89, 99, 100, 102, 103, 105, 106, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 115, 118, 120; and also Public Bills for Second Reading, Bill Nos. 88, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127 and 128.

Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise.

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

Two members have stood.

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[4:03 p.m.]

[The Division Bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order please.

The motion is that the House do now rise, to meet again Monday from 12:00 noon until 10:00 p.m.

A recorded vote has been called for.

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[5:01 p.m.]


Ms. More Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Estabrooks

Mr. Steele

Ms. Jennex

Ms. Zann

Mr. MacKinnon

Ms. Conrad

Ms. Kent

Mr. Wilson

Mr. Preyra

Ms. Raymond

[Page 4661]

Mr. Smith

Mr. Epstein

Mr. Prest

Mr. Ramey

Mr. Skabar

Mr. Whynot

Mr. Morton

Ms. Birdsall

Mr. Burrill

Mr. d'Entremont

Ms. Regan

THE CLERK: For, 22. Against, 1.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

The House will now rise to sit between the hours of 12:00 noon and 10:00 p.m. on Monday.

[The House adjourned at 5:03 p.m.]

[Page 4662]



By: Hon. Jamie Baillie (Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party)

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

Whereas Brian Dempsey of Herring Cove recently retired from the executive of the Halifax Atlantic Progressive Conservative Association; and

Whereas Brian has been an active force among the Progressive Conservative Association in Halifax Atlantic for the past 50 years; and

Whereas Brian exemplifies the best attributes in Nova Scotians by being committed to his community through participation on various boards and committees to caring about the plight of his fellow neighbours by stepping up and getting involved to do something about it;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Brian Dempsey on his years of service to our province by contributing in the democratic process for the betterment of his community.


By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Region of Queens Municipality enriches community life by strengthening the tradition of arts and culture on the South Shore; and

Whereas the Region of Queens Municipality was recently selected as one of four communities vying for the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award presented by the Nova Scotia Arts and Culture Partnership Council; and

Whereas the Region of Queens Municipality is very active in presenting arts and culture activities including concerts at the Astor Theatre and Lane's Privateer Inn, plays by the Winds of Change, book readings every summer in Port Medway along with house concerts, local art galleries and dance lessons;

[Page 4663]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate the Region of Queens Municipality on having been selected as one of four communities vying for the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award and wishes them continued arts and culture success on the South Shore.


By: Mr. Jim Morton (Kings North)

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

Whereas the feature film Faith, Fraud and Minimum Wage originated as the play Halo inspired by a well-known event written for Kings County's Two Planks and a Passion Theatre; and

Whereas the film is a contemporary comedy-drama about life, faith and forgiveness written by Josh MacDonald and produced by Beverly Bliss; and

Whereas the movie was shot in the beautiful Town of Shubenacadie with a cast and crew primarily from Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Josh MacDonald for his superb screenplay, Beverly Bliss for her excellent production and recognize the talent and wonderful skills of the film makers, actors, staff and crew featured in Faith, Fraud and Minimum Wage.


By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas if you offer exercise classes in a comfortable environment, make them easily accessible and allow teens to participate with their friends, the program will be more successful; and

Whereas Liverpool Regional High School teacher, Ceri Stewart, had an idea to bring teen fitness classes to the school making exercise more accessible to students and staff; and

Whereas teachers and students are exercising once a week and are encouraging everyone to think about physical activity in a fun and enjoyable way;

[Page 4664]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Ceri Stewart of Liverpool Regional High School for bringing exercise classes for students and teachers in a comfortable environment and for making them easily accessible for everyone.


By: Hon. John MacDonell (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College honours alumni success and professional endeavours with alumni awards each year; and

Whereas William Sweetnam of Centreville has been recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award for 2010; and

Whereas Mr. Sweetnam's many years of dedication to the poultry sector and his commitment to community leadership through his local church, hospital, and other organizations has earned him this award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate William Sweetnam for receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to agriculture, his community, and beyond.


By: Hon. John MacDonell (Agriculture)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College honours alumni success and professional endeavours with alumni awards each year; and

Whereas Patricia Bishop of Port Williams has been recognized with the Young Alumni Achievement Award for 2010; and

Whereas Patricia Bishop and her family created an innovative business model for their family farm and have earned the title of Atlantic Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers for 2010;

[Page 4665]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Patricia Bishop for receiving the Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of her agricultural entrepreneurship and contributions to her community.


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 studies show that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be discipline problems, more likely to exhibit good attendance behaviour, more like to graduate, and more likely to be successful in later life; and

Whereas 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation reinforces the significant role that interscholastic athletics plays in education by annually organizing the Celebration of School Sport to recognize the best male and female athlete and teacher-coach from each junior and senior high school in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Steve Lindsay from Central Colchester Junior High School in Onslow, Colchester North, coach recipient of the 2009-10 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Sports Award.


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 studies show that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be discipline problems, more likely to exhibit good attendance behaviour, more like to graduate, and more likely to be successful in later life; and

Whereas 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation reinforces the significant role that interscholastic athletics plays in education by annually organizing the Celebration of

[Page 4666]

School Sport to recognize the best male and female athlete and teacher-coach from each junior and senior high school in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Nathan Blois from Central Colchester Junior High School in Onslow, Colchester North, male recipient of the 2009-10 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Sports Award.


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 studies show that students who participate in school activities are less likely to be discipline problems, more likely to exhibit good attendance behaviour, more like to graduate, and more likely to be successful in later life; and

Whereas 40,000 student athletes participate annually in school programs throughout the province; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation reinforces the significant role that interscholastic athletics plays in education by annually organizing the Celebration of School Sport to recognize the best male and female athlete and teacher-coach from each junior and senior high school in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dyson Forbes from North Colchester High School in Tatamagouche, Colchester North, male recipient of the 2009-10 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Sports Award.


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 Nova Scotia's volunteer fire brigades have been an integral part of rural communities for decades: and

Whereas these volunteers dedicate both time and effort to ensure the members of their communities have the best fire protection; and

[Page 4667]

Whereas training, fundraising, first-aid, recruitment and public relations are only a few of the many additional responsibilities of the members of a fire brigade;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Gordon Shipley for receiving the Claude O'Brien Fellowship Award; and his son, Brandon Shipley, for receiving the Junior Firefighter of the Year Award from the Great Village and District Fire Brigade.


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 Nova Scotia's volunteer fire brigades have been an integral part of rural communities for decades; and

Whereas these volunteers dedicate both time and effort to ensure the members of their communities have the best fire protection; and

Whereas ongoing training in new procedures and in the use of new equipment is a major commitment by the members of a fire brigade;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Trevor Spencer for receiving the Most Improved Firefighter Award from the Great Village and District Fire Brigade.


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 the Cobequid Pastoral Charge includes the communities of Portapique, Bass River, Economy and Five Islands; and

Whereas the pastoral charge has been publishing the Cobequid Outlook, monthly, since 1975; and

Whereas this informative bulletin keeps residents along the shore informed of such things as meetings, special events, births, deaths and anniversaries;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Marjorie Lewis from Five Islands, Colchester North, for 24 years as a volunteer reporter for the Cobequid Outlook.


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 in 1967 Candace Tattrie set track and field records in midget girls javelin and juvenile javelin; in 1970 set more provincial records in javelin; in 1971 threw an incredible 135 feet and 9 inches, placed second in javelin at the Eastern Canadian, and set a Canadian record for the high school mile in track and won the Eastern Canadian 1,500-metre in track; and

Whereas Candace, one of the first female whip pitchers in the province, pitched for her province at the Canada Summer Games in Burnaby, B.C., in 1973; represented Nova Scotia from 1974 to 1980 at the national softball championships; led the Andy's Tire girls team to a provincial title in 1978 and coached the 1978 Nova Scotia junior girls at Nationals; and

Whereas Candace, also a player of both broomball and golf, has had many wins in these sports;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate multi-sport athlete Candace Tattrie for her outstanding athletic career and for being one of this year's inductees into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame.