The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 10-41

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Charlie Parker

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

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

Second Session

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2010

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
INTRODUCTION OF NEW MEMBER:
Mr. Jamie Baillie (Cumberland South), Hon. C. d'Entremont 3213
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Educ.: Holy Angels HS - Save, Hon. Manning MacDonald 3215
TIR: New Boston Rd. - Pave, Mr. A. MacLeod 3215
Energy: Fracking - Ban, Mr. A. MacMaster 3216
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Veterans Affairs Comm.: Anl. Rept. (2009-10),
Mr. C. MacKinnon 3216
Community Services Comm.: Anl. Rept. (2009-10),
Mr. J. Morton 3217
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
N.S. Civil Procedure Rules (Amdt.), Hon. R. Landry 3217
Law Fdn. (N.S.) Anl. Rept (2009-10), Hon. R. Landry 3217
Members' Manual, Members' Compensation, Expenses
and Constituency Administration, The Speaker 3217
Members' Manual, Assembly Procedures and Services,
The Speaker 3217
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2015, N. S. League for Equal Opportunities - Anniv. (30th),
The Premier 3217
Vote - Affirmative 3218
Res. 2016, Donner Awards: Recipients - Congrats.,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 3218
Vote - Affirmative 3219
Res. 2017, Clare Mun. - Commun. Arts & Culture Award,
Hon. P. Paris 3219
Vote - Affirmative 3220
Res. 2018, Operation Red Nose/Vols.: Dedication - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Jennex 3220
Vote - Affirmative 3220
Res. 2019, St. Bernard's Church - Anniv. (50th),
Hon. J. MacDonell 3221
Vote - Affirmative 3221
Res. 2020, Hfx. Port Auth. - Banner Cruise Ship Season,
Hon P. Paris 3221
Vote - Affirmative 3222
Res. 2021, NSAC - Enrolment Record,
Hon. J. MacDonell 3222
Vote - Affirmative 3223
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 89, Personal Health Information Act,
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 3223
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2022, Educ. Min. - Holy Angels: All-Girls HS - Continuation,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 3223
Res. 2023, Jackson, Kenny John/McKee, Scott:
Cumb. So. By-Election - Congrats., Mr. J. Baillie 3224
Vote - Affirmative 3224
Res. 2024, Gilbert, James - Entertainment Success,
Hon. D. Peterson-Rafuse 3225
Vote - Affirmative 3225
Res. 2025, Operation Red Nose: Launch - Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 3225
Vote - Affirmative 3226
Res. 2026, Sacred Heart Sch. Grade 5 Class/Mr. Kane
- Welcome, Mr. J. Baillie 3226
Vote - Affirmative 3227
Res. 2027, Valley Summer Theatre: Staff - Commend,
Hon. R. Jennex 3227
Vote - Affirmative 3227
Res. 2028, Educ.: Holy Angels Sch. Prop. - Purchase,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 3228
Res. 2029, Cabot Trail Writers Fest.: Organizers - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 3228
Vote - Affirmative 3229
Res. 2030, Margolians - Truro & Area C of C Bus. of Yr. Award,
Ms. L. Zann 3229
Vote - Affirmative 3230
Res. 2031, McNeil, Ian: Pit Talk - Release Congrats.,
Hon. S. McNeil 3230
Vote - Affirmative 3230
Res. 2032, MacBurnie, Ronald: Veterans Affs. Commendation
- Congrats., Hon. K. Casey 3230
Vote - Affirmative 3231
Res. 2033, Heather Figure Skating Club - Skate Canada Recognition,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 3231
Vote - Affirmative 3232
Res. 2034, Cooley, Pam - Cdn. Progress Club Hfx. - Cornwallis Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 3232
Vote - Affirmative 3233
Res. 2035, Hungary: Democratic Traditions - Applaud,
Hon. C. Clarke 3233
Vote - Affirmative 3234
Res. 2036, Harrison Lewis Ctr.: Opportunities - Recognition,
Ms. V. Conrad 3234
Vote - Affirmative 3234
Res. 2037, 4-H Movement: Contributions - Recognize,
Mr. L. Glavine 3235
Vote - Affirmative 3235
Res. 2038, Southwestern N.S. - Storm Damage: Emergency Staff/Vols.
- Thank, Hon. C. d'Entremont 3235
Vote - Affirmative 3236
Res. 2039, Holocaust: Nova Scotians - Remember,
Mr. G. Gosse 3236
Vote - Affirmative 3237
Res. 2040, Comeau, Richard: Blood Donations - Recognition,
Hon. W. Gaudet 3237
Vote - Affirmative 3238
Res. 2041, Lewis, Dr. Jane - C.B. Health Research Award,
Mr. A. MacLeod 3238
Vote - Affirmative 3238
Res. 2042, Chiasson, Ashley - Environment Design Challenge,
Ms. B. Kent 3238
Vote - Affirmative 3239
Res. 2043, Justice: Jail - Weekend Releases,
Hon. M. Samson (by Mr. A. Younger) 3239
Res. 2044, Hants West - Storm Damage: EMO/Vols.
- Assistance Thank, Mr. C. Porter 3240
Vote - Affirmative 3241
Res. 2045, Hebridean Freighter: Sinking - Park Dedication,
Ms. M. Raymond 3241
Vote - Affirmative 3242
Res. 2046, MacLean, Lauchie: Glenora Distillers - Battle of the Glen,
Ms. K. Regan 3242
Vote - Affirmative 3243
Res. 2047, Legions - Salute,
Hon. C. Clarke 3243
Vote - Affirmative 3244
Res. 2048, Strait Reg. Sch. Bd.: Recreation Facilities - Funding,
Mr. M. Smith 3244
Vote - Affirmative 3244
Res. 2049, Thomas, Andrew: Wrestling Success - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Colwell 3244
Vote - Affirmative 3245
Res. 2050, RCL. Br. 24 (Bridgewater): Work - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Ramey 3245
Vote - Affirmative 3246
Res. 2051, Balser, Poppy: Cdn. Soc. of Watercolour Painters
- Election, Mr. H. Theriault 3246
Vote - Affirmative 3247
Res. 2052, Eisner, Brandt: Swoon Gallery - Opening,
Mr. M. Whynott 3247
Vote - Affirmative 3247
Res. 2053, Glace Bay Post Office: Move - Halt,
Mr. G. MacLellan 3248
Vote - Affirmative 3248
Res. 2054, Arenburg, Ron & Nancy/Valley Search & Rescue -
Project Lifesaver, Mr. J. Morton 3248
Vote - Affirmative 3249
Res. 2055, Pearen, Roy: Wartime Serv. - Recognize,
Ms. D. Whalen 3249
Vote - Affirmative 3250
Res. 2056, Demond, Katherine: Determination - Recognize,
Ms. P. Birdsall 3250
Vote - Affirmative 3251
Res. 2057, Low, Lucinda - Women of Excellence Award (2010),
Mr. A. Younger 3251
Vote - Affirmative 3251
Res. 2058, Lumsden, Lion Barry (Buzz): Canso Lions Club
- Lifetime Membership Award, Mr. J. Boudreau 3251
Vote - Affirmative 3252
Res. 2059, Lions Clubs: Contributions - Recognize,
Mr. L. Glavine 3252
Vote - Affirmative 3253
Res. 2060, Fudge, Beverley: Can. Post - Retirement,
Mr. G. Burrill 3253
Vote - Affirmative 3254
Res. 2061, Doucet, Dianne - ChitoRyu Championships,
Hon. W. Gaudet 3254
Vote - Affirmative 3254
Res. 2062, Hfx. Camerata Choir - Healey Willan Prize,
Ms. L. Zann 3255
Vote - Affirmative 3255
Res. 2063, Four Pad Arena (Bedford-Birch Cove): HRM
- Thank, Ms. K. Regan 3255
Res. 2064, Liebold, Colin - Commun. Contributions,
Ms. B. Kent 3256
Vote - Affirmative 3257
Res. 2065, Matthews, Doreen: Lake Echo Seniors Club - Dedication,
Hon. K. Colwell 3257
Vote - Affirmative 3258
Res. 2066, Antigonish Town: Climate Change Reduction
- Commitment, Mr. M. Smith 3258
Vote - Affirmative 3258
Res. 2067, Creighton, Myles: NSGA Jr. Dev. Team - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Theriault 3259
Vote - Affirmative 3259
Res. 2068, Lunenburg Co. Lifestyle: Fundraising Comm.
- Vols. Congrats., Mr. G. Ramey 3259
Vote - Affirmative 3260
Res. 2069, Oceanview Educ. Ctr.: Transition - Participants Thank,
Mr. G. MacLellan 3260
Vote - Affirmative 3261
Res. 2070, Cavanagh-Dollard, Caitlyn: Royal Military Coll.
- Success Wish, Mr. J. Morton 3261
Vote - Affirmative 3262
Res. 2071, Burnside Correctional Facility Problems:
Gov't. Solutions - Find, Hon. M. Samson (by Ms. K. Regan) 3262
Res. 2072, Michelle Stevens Sail Loft Ltd./Stevens Fam.:
Lunenburg Hist. - Contributions, Ms. P. Birdsall 3263
Vote - Affirmative 3263
Res. 2073, Alcorn, Emmy - Established Artist Recognition Award,
Mr. J. Boudreau 3264
Vote - Affirmative 3264
Res. 2074, Timberlea Beverage Rm.: Commun. Support - Thank,
Hon. W. Estabrooks 3264
Vote - Affirmative 3265
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 367, Educ. - Holy Angels HS: Min. - Prem. Directions,
Hon. S. McNeil 3265
No. 368, Prem. - Cumb. So.: Policies - Failure Admit,
Mr. J. Baillie 3267
No. 369, Educ. - Holy Angels HS: NDP C.B. Members - Response,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 3268
No. 370, Energy: Electrical Bills - Tax Addition,
Mr. A. Younger 3270
No. 371, Prem.: Unemployment Rate - Statistics,
Mr. J. Baillie 3271
No. 372, Com. Serv. - Electrical Bills: Increases - Assistance,
Mr. G. MacLellan 3273
No. 373, Educ. - Holy Angels HS: Students - Options,
Hon. C. Clarke 3274
No. 374, Health: West. Mobile Breast Screening Unit - Status,
Ms. D. Whalen 3276
No. 375, Educ.: Holy Angels HS - Ranking,
Hon. C. Clarke 3277
No. 376, Educ.: Student Assistance Review - Costs,
Ms. K. Regan 3279
No. 377, Prem.: Amherst Survey - Definitions,
Mr. J. Baillie 3280
No. 378, Com. Serv.: ESIA Policy - Applicability,
Mr. T. Zinck 3282
No. 379, TIR - St. Margarets Bay Connector: Houses - Save,
Hon. W. Gaudet 3283
No. 380, Nat. Res.: Chignecto Game Sanctuary - Protection Status,
Mr. L. Glavine 3285
No. 381, Prem. - Convention Ctr.: Meeting - Convene,
Mr. J. Baillie 3286
No. 382, SNSMR: Weymouth Land Registry Office
- Move Explain, Hon. W. Gaudet 3287
No. 383, Prem. - Forest Ind.: Regs. - Time Frame,
Mr. J. Baillie 3289
No. 384, Nat. Res. - Forests: Regs. - Time Frame,
Mr. L. Glavine 3290
No. 385, EMO: Southwestern N.S. - Update,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 3291
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. No. 1925, re Holy Angels HS: NDP Gov't. - Preserve
- notice given Nov. 4/10 - (Mr. A. MacLeod) 3292
Hon. K. Casey 3292
Hon. M. More 3295
Hon. Manning MacDonald 3298
Mr. Keith Bain 3302
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Hall, William: Achievements - Recognize,
Mr. J. Morton 3306
Hon. K. Colwell 3309
Mr. C. Porter 3311
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Wed., Nov. 10th at 12 noon 3314^
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2075, Gilroy, Cst. Murray: Long Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
Mr. J. Baillie 3315
Res. 2076, MacDonald, Cst. Paul: Long Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
Mr. J. Baillie 3315
Res. 2077, Williams, Cpl. Douglas: Long Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
Mr. J. Baillie 3316
Res. 2078, Operation Red Nose: Contribution - Recognize,
Mr. L. Preyra 3316
Res. 2079, Redmond, Keyana: Prince Andrew HS - Co-op Prog.,
Mr. A. Younger 3317
Res. 2080, Byrne, Sgt. Kevin: Kandahar Tour - Serv. Thank,
Mr. M. Whynott 3317

[Page 3213]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2010

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order. We'll start today's proceedings. Before we go to the daily routine, I would like to recognize the honourable Leader in the House of the Progressive Conservative Party who will present to the House the newly-elected member for Cumberland South.

[Hon. Christopher d'Entremont escorted Mr. Jamie Baillie into the House.]

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: I have the honour to present to you Mr. Jamie Baillie, member for the electoral district of Cumberland South who has taken the oath, signed the roll and now claims the right to take his seat.

MR. SPEAKER: Let the honourable member take his seat. (Standing Ovation.)

[Page 3214]

3213

MR. SPEAKER: Now, before he really gets to sit down, I'm going to recognize the honourable member for Cumberland South who would like to make a couple of introductions.

The honourable Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

MR. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to beg your leave to introduce a few special guests in the gallery today, starting with the Grade 5 class of Sacred Heart School of Halifax: their teacher, Mr. Kane, and their star pupil, my daughter, Hannah Baillie, who I believe are in the west gallery. I'm hoping they'll stand up and be recognized by the House. (Applause) They're very shy.

Also, if I may, I would like to introduce to the House my family: Sandra, Alex and Hannah; and my parents, Bob and Bev, who are also here. I can assure you, sir, that with my parents in the gallery, I will be on my best behaviour here this afternoon. I just want to add, before anyone makes fun of this tie, it was a special gift, a gift from my two daughters, and that's why I'm wearing it today. (Applause)

One last introduction, but certainly not least, there are a number of people from the constituency of Cumberland South here today to make sure that I showed up for work and I want to say a special welcome to them. (Applause)

[2:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, honourable member, and again all the best wishes here in the Legislature.

Before we go to the daily routine, I want to read the Adjournment motion that will be under Rule 5(5) for late debate. It reads as follows:

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly take a moment to recognize the achievements and bravery of William Hall, VC, the first African-American, "the first Nova Scotian and one of the first Canadians" to have received the esteemed Victoria Cross.

That was submitted by the honourable member for Kings North and will be debated at the moment of interruption at six o'clock.

Just one small housekeeping matter. I forgot to remind members earlier that tomorrow, Wednesday, November 10th, is the final day to order the 2010 House of Assembly Christmas cards. Order forms are available in the Operations office.

[Page 3215]

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, if I might be permitted to introduce some people in the gallery before I table a petition.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, in the gallery today we have a number of students, parents and other interested citizens from the Sydney area attending Halifax today. They've come up on a bus this morning to meet with the Minister of Education regarding the saving of Holy Angels High. I would ask all the members from Holy Angels and their chaperones who are here today to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House of Assembly. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We'll begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition to the House today containing 7,500 signatures from people in the Cape Breton area regarding the saving of Holy Angels High. I want to read an operative clause. It simply states: I want to go to Holy Angels and graduate in 2027 - it's from Hallie O'Reilly, age two.

"My Grandmother, Aunts Cousins and Mom went HAH I want to go too!"

Mr. Speaker, I would table this petition for your indulgence.

I neglected to mention that I have affixed my signature and the member for Glace Bay has also affixed his signature to the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

MR. ALFIE MACLEOD: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition, the operative clause is as follows:

"Residents of the New Boston Road hereby call upon Provincial Government Officials to have the New Boston Road paved at the earliest, possible date.

[Page 3216]

This road is in such a deplorable condition that it poses a great danger to the motoring public and pedestrians."

Mr. Speaker, I have attached my name to this petition as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, if you'd permit me to do an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MR. MACMASTER: If I may direct members' attention to the gallery opposite. In the Speaker's Gallery - and I'll have these individuals rise - we have with us Tom Oommen who is here today because he lives in the Margaree watershed and we have Angela Giles who is with the Council of Canadians. They are concerned about the potential negative impact of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas in West Lake Ainslie. I would ask that they rise to receive the applause of the members of the House, in recognition of their commitment to be here on behalf of their cause today. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Inverness.

MR. ALLAN MACMASTER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition to ban hydraulic fracturing in Nova Scotia. The operative clause is:

"We the undersigned, in the interests of all residents of Nova Scotia, demand a province-wide ban on the use of fracking as described above."

There are a number of clauses but that is the operative clause. This petition contains the names of 1,146 people and, in accordance with tabling procedure, I shall also affix my signature to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, it is an honour and a privilege for me, as Chairman of the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs, to table the Annual Report 2009-10, the First and Second Sessions of the 61st General Assembly.

[Page 3217]

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable member for Kings North.

MR. JIM MORTON: Mr. Speaker, I rise to table the Annual Report for the Standing Committee on Community Services. I'm pleased to do that and I'd like to thank all the members of the committee for the work that they invested in the project this year, as well as the staff who put the report together.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a document, the Nova Scotia Civil Procedure Rules Amendments, May 13, 2010.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. ROSS LANDRY: Thank you again. Mr. Speaker, I beg leave again to table the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia's 2009-10 Annual Report.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

I also, as Chairman of the House of Assembly Management Commission, wish to table a couple of documents here this afternoon. In accordance with Subsection 26(2) of the House of Assembly Management Commission Act, I hereby table the manual of conduct and policies for members required under the Act. It is in two parts and I certainly want to give thanks to our Chief Legislative Librarian, Margaret Murphy, and also our Director of Administration, Deborah Lusby, who have worked very hard on this. All members will soon have a copy of this manual.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

[Page 3218]

RESOLUTION NO. 2015

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities is celebrating 30 years of advocating for the rights of persons with disabilities; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia LEO, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission, is marking the day by holding a training session for members of the Persons With Disabilities community; and

Whereas participants at the session will also celebrate the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that focuses on the right of persons with disabilities to participate in political and public life;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities for 30 years of advancing the rights of persons with disabilities and wish all participants in the training session a successful and rewarding day.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2016

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

Whereas a couple of Nova Scotia organizations were recognized last week as two of the best-run charities in the country at the Donner Canadian Foundation Awards for excellence; and

[Page 3219]

Whereas North Sydney's Educational Program Innovations Charity Society was awarded the $20,000 William H. Donner Award for Excellence in the Delivery of Social Services; and

Whereas Alice Housing of Dartmouth was presented with the $5,000 Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Management;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend these fine organizations for their outstanding achievement and dedication to 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.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2017

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

Whereas on Friday, October 29th, the arts and cultural community gathered at Pier 21, Canada's Immigration Museum, for the fifth annual Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala, an evening that celebrates artistic and cultural excellence in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award, a prize valued at $10,000, recognizes excellence and initiative in bringing arts and culture into community life and provides the winning community with an investment to enhance future activities, thereby strengthening connections within the community through shared experiences; and

Whereas this year the Municipality of Clare was the successful community and embodies the spirit of the award and the importance of community cultural celebration;

[Page 3220]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Municipality of Clare on their recognition as the recipients of the Community Arts and Culture Recognition Award and continued dedication as a leading source of artistic and creative output.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2018

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

Whereas this House has recently proclaimed tough new rules on drinking and driving; and

Whereas Operation Red Nose volunteers offer a safe way home for partygoers in 109 Canadian communities, including Halifax, Sydney, and Truro; and

Whereas this is the sixth consecutive year this valuable service has been offered in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Operation Red Nose and its volunteers for their dedication to keeping our roads safe.

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 3221]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2019

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

Whereas our forebears who worked close to the land and sea felt a need to express themselves spiritually; and

Whereas churches were often among the first buildings erected in Nova Scotia communities where the public could congregate; and

Whereas on October 15, 2010, St. Bernard's congregation in Enfield celebrated the 50th Anniversary of their church;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the congregation of St. Bernard's Church on their 50th Anniversary and wish them well for the future.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2020

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

[Page 3222]

Whereas the Port of Halifax has experienced a record year for cruise ship passengers and making an important contribution to the economic impact of tourism in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the port has announced that more than 260,000 passengers visited Halifax during this cruise ship season, a new record for the province; and

Whereas Halifax Harbour welcomed 127 cruise ships during this season, which helped boost Nova Scotia's tourism season in 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Halifax Port Authority (HPA) on its banner cruise year and wish HPA continued success in making the Port of Halifax a premier travel destination.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2021

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College is a specialized university that cultivates learning and research while focusing on improving and sustaining the environment for the health and well-being of society; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College reached its highest enrolment in its 105-year history this Fall with 961 students, representing a six per cent increase over last year; and

[Page 3223]

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College welcomed 85 international students from nearly 20 countries including China, India, Jamaica, Bermuda, Pakistan, Mexico, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Korea, the United Kingdom and Ghana, bringing international student enrolment to an all-time high of 19 per cent of the student body;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Nova Scotia Agricultural College for this significant achievement, as well as its ongoing contribution to the agriculture industry.

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

[2:30 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 89 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Collection, Use, Disclosure and Retention of Personal Health Information. (Hon. Maureen MacDonald)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Opposition House Leader.

RESOLUTION NO. 2022

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

Whereas Holy Angels High School has been an important partner in the education system in Cape Breton since 1885; and

[Page 3224]

Whereas this all-girls high school has a proud history of academic excellence over its 125 years of continued operation in the north end of Sydney; and

Whereas the 299 young ladies who attend Holy Angels and those who will attend in the future want this unique facility, the only one of its kind in the public system east of Montreal, to continue;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education and her NDP Government agree that Holy Angel High School should continue to operate as an all-girls high school and purchase the school property from the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame.

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 Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2023

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

Whereas the residents of Cumberland South recently engaged in a by-election; and

Whereas all three recognized Parties in Nova Scotia put forth candidates in that by-election; and

Whereas the act of standing for election is a true act of community leadership, even if only one candidate can be returned by the electors;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and congratulate Kenny John Jackson of the Liberal Party and Scott McKee of the New Democratic Party for their display of leadership by standing for election in Cumberland South.

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

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

[Page 3225]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2024

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

Whereas actor James Gilbert, who grew up in the Ingramport and Black Point areas has made himself known in the entertainment world; and

Whereas James Gilbert has starred in the television series, The Tudors, The Border, Flashpoint and the upcoming movie, Saw VI; and

Whereas James Gilbert will play a crew member of a whaling boat in the interpretation of the novel Moby Dick, which will begin filming after the Christmas break;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate James Gilbert on his success and wish him all the very best in the future.

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 Official Opposition.

[Page 3226]

RESOLUTION NO. 2025

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

Whereas the 2010 Nova Scotia launch of Operation Red Nose was held today at Province House; and

Whereas Operation Red Nose is a free, designated driver service, run by hundreds of volunteers who keep our roads safe during the holiday season by getting people who should not be behind the wheel, and their cars, home safe; and

Whereas this year's campaign runs Friday and Saturday nights in late November through to mid-December, in the Halifax, Sydney and Truro area;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate this organization on its successful launch and thank the volunteers for their dedication in keeping Nova Scotians safe during the holiday season.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 2026

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

Whereas Mr. Kane's Grade 5 class from Sacred Heart School of Halifax is joining us today in the west gallery; and

Whereas the young women in this class are the leaders and workforce of tomorrow; and

[Page 3227]

Whereas the students in Mr. Kane's class are here to observe the proceedings in this historic Chamber and watch North America's first democratic Legislature in action;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House welcome Mr. Kane and the students to Province House and commit to acting with the utmost decorum and respect, to set an example for our future leaders.

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

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2027

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

Whereas the Valley Summer Theatre is a not-for-profit society dedicated to bringing some of the world's best plays, written by some of the world's most notable playwrights, to the Town of Wolfville each summer; and

Whereas the Valley Summer Theatre is founded in the belief that Nova Scotia is blessed with an astonishing amount of professional, artistic talent; and

Whereas the Wolfville area is one of the finest places in all of Canada to showcase that talent and the talents of other outstanding professionals from across Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend the staff of the Valley Summer Theatre for their contribution to professional theatre in the Annapolis Valley.

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

[Page 3228]

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 Opposition House Leader.

RESOLUTION NO. 2028

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

Whereas the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame established an all-girls high school in 1885 in the historic north end of Sydney; and

Whereas over the years the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame have developed this unique all-girls high school as an institution of excellence and, indeed, an educational icon; and

Whereas the current Holy Angels staff have continued the legacy of excellence left to them by the sisters and previous administrations;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education continue to honour their legacy by agreeing to purchase the Holy Angels High School property, thereby ensuring this institution of learning will continue to exist as an all-girls high school at its present site.

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.

[Page 3229]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2029

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

Whereas the second annual Cabot Trail Writers Festival was recently held in North River, Victoria County; and

Whereas the festival, featuring readings and workshops, was a huge success, attracting a wide audience from across Atlantic Canada and beyond; and

Whereas plans are already underway for next year's festival, which will take place from September 30 to October 2, 2011;

Therefore be it resolved that all Members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate the organizers of the Cabot Trail Writers Festival on another successful event and wish them the best in the future.

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 Truro-Bible Hill.

RESOLUTION NO. 2030

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

Whereas Margolians is a fourth generation family-owned department store that was opened in Truro in 1923 and has expanded to include 11 departments and 30 staff and covers 26,000 feet; and

[Page 3230]

Whereas Margolians has become a well-known landmark for shopping in Truro and carries extensive selections of brand-name clothing, housewares, and footwear; and

Whereas Margolians received the Business of the Year Award from the Truro and Area Chamber of Commerce for 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Margolians, its owners, and staff on receiving the Truro and Area Chamber of Commerce 2010 Business of the Year Award and wish them continued growth and 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 Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2031

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

Whereas coal miners contributed significantly to Cape Breton Island's culture and the nation's economy for over 250 years; and

Whereas on October 21, 2010, Ian McNeil, former host of Cape Breton's CBC Information Morning and a past Liberal candidate in Inverness, launched a book entitled Pit Talk; and

Whereas this book features rare Cape Breton photographs and oral storytelling in celebration of the coal mining legacy in Cape Breton;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Ian McNeil on the release of his book, Pit Talk, and thank him for keeping the history and culture of coal mining alive.

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

[Page 3231]

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 2032

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

Whereas the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation Award recognizes an individual who has performed commendable service to the veteran community and/or individuals who represent commendable role models for their fellow veterans; and

Whereas 78-year-old Ronald MacBurnie is a Korean War veteran, a retired peacekeeping veteran and an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 72; and

Whereas Ronald MacBurnie maintains the local cenotaph, lowers the flag to half-mast when a member of the forces is lost, and labours for many hours in his workshop, often at his own expense, making crosses which he personally places on the graves of Canadian Forces members in his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ronald MacBurnie for receiving this prestigious award and for his continued efforts to ensure our veterans receive the recognition they deserve.

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 3232]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2033

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

Whereas the Heather Figure Skating Club of Pictou County has 59 years of training exceptional skaters and teaching children to skate; and

Whereas the Heather Figure Skating Club is a proud member of Skate Canada, promoting a healthy lifestyle and participation in sport; and

Whereas the Heather Figure Skating Club hopes to be recognized by Skate Canada as the top promoter of the new Skate Canada logo, above and beyond all other skating clubs in Canada, and win a visit by world-renowned figure skater Kurt Browning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate and thank the Heather Figure Skating Club for its promotion of health and participation in sport for all children, and further, wish the club success in its pursuit of being recognized by Skate Canada as the number one skating club in Canada by promoting the Skate Canada logo.

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 Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2034

[Page 3233]

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

Whereas each year the Canadian Progress Club, Halifax-Cornwallis, organizes a gala awards dinner to honour exceptional women in our community and to raise funds for Phoenix Youth programs; and

Whereas on November 18, 2010 the Canadian Progress Club, Halifax-Cornwallis, will host the 21st Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards; and

Whereas Pam Cooley, owner of CarShareHFX, will be honoured for her vision and determination in the category of Entrepreneur/Innovator;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature extend congratulations to Pam Cooley for this distinguished achievement and wish the organizers of this event all the best for a successful evening.

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

[2:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2035

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

Whereas on November 10, 1956, the Hungarian Revolution was brutally crushed by tens of thousands of Soviet troops after days of fierce resistance by the outnumbered and under-equipped Hungarian Army and Hungarian workers; and

[Page 3234]

Whereas the lives of 2,500 Hungarians were lost in the popular uprising that set the stage for the ultimate collapse of communism in 1989 throughout central and eastern Europe; and

Whereas in 1999 the democratically-elected Government of Hungary formally joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and in 2004 Hungary became a full member of the European Union;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly express condolences to the people of Hungary for those who lost their lives fighting for the cause of freedom in 1956 and applaud the strong democratic traditions that have taken root in the Hungarian nation that are proudly celebrated in Canada and within the Hungarian-Nova Scotian community.

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2036

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

Whereas the Harrison Lewis Centre in Sandy Bay Landings in Queens County held the Homestead Arts Week in August; and

Whereas traditional skills for country living offered at the centre during the week focussed on hand mowing, canning, baking, log furniture and blacksmithing; and

Whereas grounded in respect for the environment and natural history, the centre provides opportunities to learn about skills that are increasingly relevant today;

[Page 3235]

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognizes the Harrison Lewis Centre and the opportunities they provide to learn traditional skills for country living.

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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2037

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

Whereas 4-H clubs have played a significant role in Nova Scotia's rural communities since 1922; and

Whereas 4-H is a nation-wide program, which works with the community's youth to help them develop into productive members of society and tomorrow's leaders as they "learn to do by doing"; and

Whereas today in Nova Scotia, we have 100 clubs across the province with approximately 2,400 members;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions the 4-H movement has made to the quality of life in rural Nova Scotia and wish them continued success in future endeavours.

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

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

[Page 3236]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2038

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 since Friday, an unprecedented 240 millimetres of rain has fallen in southwestern Nova Scotia, swamping homes, closing roads, turning fields into lakes, forcing more than 100 families to evacuate their homes; and

Whereas local states of emergency have been extended to parts of Barrington, Yarmouth and Argyle; and

Whereas emergency crews, Emergency Management Office staff, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal staff, local municipal officials, the Red Cross and many volunteers are working tirelessly around the clock to minimize the damage to property and inconvenience to families that the rain and flooding has caused;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in extending heartfelt thanks to everyone who is working so hard to protect people and property in southwestern Nova Scotia and send best wishes for their safety as they complete this important work.

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 3237]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 2039

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

Whereas November 1st to 9th marks Nova Scotia Holocaust Education Week; and

Whereas Holocaust Education Week remembers and honours the survivors of the Nazi regime and helps us to teach generations of the future that injustice and hatred are never an acceptable option; and

Whereas Holocaust Education Week provides a unique opportunity for students and faculty from all backgrounds to reflect upon one of the darkest moments of 20th Century history;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge Nova Scotians to remember the Holocaust and support the Department of Education's Holocaust education in the Nova Scotia school curriculum.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 2040

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

[Page 3238]

Whereas a ceremony was held this past Spring at the Rodd Grand Hotel in Yarmouth, recognizing community members who have made significant contributions to Canadian Blood Services; and

Whereas Richard Comeau from Saint Alphonse began donating blood when he was 18 years old and he continued to be a regular donor until his prostate cancer diagnosis; and

Whereas Mr. Comeau was honoured for donating 150 units of blood which would have saved up to 450 people's lives;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Richard Comeau for receiving this recognition from Canadian Blood Services and recognize the significant contribution he has made to helping others.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 2041

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

Whereas Dr. Jane Lewis, Dean of the School of Education, Health & Wellness at Cape Breton University, is this year's recipient of the Cape Breton Health Research Capacity Builder Award; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis' baseline study, "Painting the Picture of Prescription Drug Abuse in Cape Breton," has brought additional public awareness to drug abuse on the Island; and

Whereas Dr. Lewis has been a leader in the development of health and wellness at the Cape Breton University;

[Page 3239]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud Dr. Lewis, commend her for her participation and support of research activities, and recognize her success in achieving this 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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2042

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

Whereas the Resource Recovery Fund Board is a non-profit organization working with Nova Scotians to improve the province's environment; and

Whereas the board chose Ashley Chiasson, a Grade 3 student at Astral Drive Elementary School, as the recipient of the Environment Design Challenge Award for Reusable Bags; and

Whereas Ashley Chiasson won a backpack with wonderful prizes along with $500 for Astral Drive Elementary, which her class voted be used to buy multimedia equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Ashley Chiasson on receiving the Environment Design Challenge for Reusable Bags Award and for her dedication and creativity with good solutions for our Nova Scotia environment.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3240]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2043

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

Whereas issues of violence on the street and overcrowding in jails are of great concern to Nova Scotians who do not feel safe under this NDP Government; and

Whereas the Justice Minister has seen fit to hand out "get out of jail free" passes to criminals at a rate of over 15 "get out of jail" passes per weekend; and

Whereas the NDP has been releasing people sentenced for crimes that include a baseball bat beating, assault, possession of counterfeit bills, failing the breathalyzer, obstructing justice, and sexual assault;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House remind the Justice Minister that when a judge sentences an offender to jail time, they should do the time in jail, not at home.

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 Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2044

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

[Page 3241]

Whereas residents of Hants West, including Mountain Road, Newport Station, Three Mile Plains, Chester Road, Vaughan's, and Mill Section have been deluged since a heavy rain began falling in Nova Scotia late last week; and

Whereas I have visited and spoken with many individuals, including Billy and Sharon Macumber of Three Mile Plains and Darcy Silver, who have been overwhelmed by Mother Nature; and

Whereas people and places in Hants West are just a small sample of hundreds of people throughout the Annapolis Valley, including Kings and Annapolis Counties, affected by the unprecedented rainfall;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank volunteers and EMO officials, who are working so hard and urge the government to evaluate and react as quickly as possible in order to alleviate the stress and worry of those impacted by damaged houses and buildings.

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 Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 2045

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

Whereas mariners from the earliest days of European settlement have needed assistance to navigate the difficult approaches to the Halifax Harbour, from the building of the light tower on Sambro Island in 1758 through to today, with pilots coming and going from Herring Cove to shepherd in container ships, tankers and tall ships from around the world; and

[Page 3242]

Whereas 35 children in the Village of Herring Cove were left fatherless in 1940 on March 28th when the pilot schooner Hebridean collided with the British freighter Esmond, and disappeared in less than two minutes, taking with her six pilots and three crew members; and

Whereas on the 23rd of October, 2010, some 150 of the children, grandchildren, great- and great-great grandchildren from the families of Carleton, James and Lorne Dempsey, of Claude and Charles Martin, of Lionel Pelham, Matthew Power, Roy Purcell, James Renner and Lawrence Thomas gathered in Saint Paul's Church Hall, Herring Cove, to celebrate the dedication of a park by the Atlantic Pilotage Authority near the breakwater, and a plaque commemorating this tragic loss;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its thanks to the Atlantic Pilotage Authority for creating a monument to the loss of the Hebridean, offer its continued condolences to the families of those men lost and appreciation to the Village of Herring Cove for hosting the pilot service that still makes Halifax Harbour safe for vessels from around the world.

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 beg leave to make several introductions.

MR. SPEAKER: Certainly.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, if I could direct the members' attention to the west gallery where there are a number of residents of Bedford-Birch Cove here today. We have Irene and Harold Swindells, and they have come to view the proceedings today - for some reason it's very special to them.(Laughter) Also we have a former member of this House who is here with us today, Joel Matheson, who was, among other things, Minister of Justice for

[Page 3243]

a while. I would like the members to give all of them the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2046

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

Whereas Lauchie MacLean, president of Glenora Distillers International Limited in Glenville, Inverness County, Canada's only producer of single malt whiskey, has launched a special edition, 15-year-old single malt whiskey named The Battle of the Glen; and

Whereas Bedford resident MacLean created this incomparable libation expressly to herald the end of a nine-year legal battle against the Scotch Whiskey Association for the right to use the word "glen" on Glenora's whiskey labels, arguing successfully in 2009 in the Supreme Court of Canada that glen is a word used liberally in Cape Breton, and elsewhere, to denote a small valley; and

Whereas The Battle of the Glen is the first and only product created as the result of intellectual property litigation and almost all of its 4,200 bottles have been sold worldwide, but mostly to western Canada which, no doubt, will result in the enlightenment of western Canadians as to the superlative quality of items produced in Cape Breton's small valleys;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislative Assembly stand proudly with Lauchie MacLean, the victor in the "Battle of the Glen", and congratulate him on his success.

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

[3:00 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3244]

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2047

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

Whereas around the last week of October every year Legion branches across Canada kick off their annual Poppy Campaign; and

Whereas Armstrong Memorial Branch No. 19 of the Royal Canadian Legion kicked off its annual Poppy Campaign with a flag-raising ceremony in North Sydney; and

Whereas Legion members such as Eric McLean, Carl Wall, Bill Weatherbee and Dave MacPherson of Branch No. 19 distribute the poppies and remind us, lest we forget;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join me in saluting the Legions across this great country that help us to remember.

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 Antigonish.

RESOLUTION NO. 2048

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

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia has invested $2.94 million in recreation facilities to increase participation in sport and physical recreation; and

[Page 3245]

Whereas the Strait Regional School Board and staff at its schools are committed to supporting and promoting healthy school environments and advocating for healthy community partnership; and

Whereas the Strait Regional School Board applied for and received funding from the Recreation Facility Development Program in the amount of $10,000 each to upgrade playgrounds at St. Andrews Consolidated School and Antigonish Education Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Legislature acknowledge the commitment of the Strait Regional School Board, Antigonish Education Centre and St. Andrews Consolidated to provide an environment that enables children and youth to maximize growth and development.

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2049

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

Whereas 18-year-old Andrew Thomas from East Preston took up wrestling at Graham Creighton Junior High School in the Bantam Division and enjoyed the sport so much that he joined the Metro Amateur Wrestling Club, finishing off the year winning his first gold medal in the Halifax Regional School Board finals; and

Whereas since 2007 Andrew has gone on to win first place in the Nova Scotia Club provincials, first place in the regionals, first place in provincials except in 2009 when he was unable to attend, fourth place at the 2009 nationals and fifth place at the 2009 Canada Games held in Prince Edward Island; and

[Page 3246]

Whereas in 2010 Andrew was recruited by the University of New Brunswick to study Grade XII in Fredericton where wrestling is taught as a subject and where he trains with the university team;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize Andrew Thomas for his competitive spirit in wrestling and wish him all the best as he continues to work towards his dream of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games.

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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2050

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

Whereas Branch 24 of the Royal Canadian Legion has a long and proud history, having been formed in 1927; and

Whereas this branch has done much good work over the years and has a robust membership of approximately 700; and

Whereas Branch 24 of the Royal Canadian Legion has a number of activities planned for Remembrance Day, including the usual well-organized service at the 11th hour, a video commemorating veterans, and a dinner in the evening;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the members of Branch 24 of the Royal Canadian Legion in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, for the very good work they do and wish them continued success in their future endeavours.

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

[Page 3247]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2051

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

Whereas Poppy Balser from Digby was one of seven new members elected to the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour and the only one from the Atlantic Provinces this year; and

Whereas the society was started in 1925 and now has 265 members including 29 from the Maritimes; and

Whereas Ms. Balser only started painting with watercolours when she moved to Digby in 2000;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Poppy Balser on this special accomplishment and wish her well in her future artistic 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 3248]

The honourable member for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville.

RESOLUTION NO. 2052

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

Whereas Brandt Eisner successfully opened his first art gallery and boutique, Swoon, on the Hammonds Plains Road, on Friday, October 22, 2010; and

Whereas his gallery includes several art pieces including rooms dedicated to folk art, a 1,500 piece collection of salt and pepper shakers, retro art and fashion; and

Whereas Swoon is an exciting addition to the Hammonds Plains community and its presence opens the doors for him and other artists to showcase their work;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly welcomes Brandt Eisner and his new art gallery, Swoon, which opened October 22, 2010.

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2053

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

Whereas the Canada Post Office location in Glace Bay has been a key component of the downtown business sector providing mailing services for the residents of the Bay and surrounding areas for decades; and

[Page 3249]

Whereas Commercial Street has served as the economic hub of our community since our incorporation in 1901 when thousands of shoppers jumped aboard tram cars on Saturday afternoon to hit the town for their clothing, groceries and entertainment; and

Whereas the Canada Post Office, which provides invaluable foot traffic to the downtown core, has decided to move its operations from the current location on Main Street;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in supporting the people of Glace Bay, our independent retailers and our downtown business district by encouraging Canada Post to recognize the importance of the traditional downtown post office.

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 Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2054

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

Whereas Valley Search and Rescue (VSR) is a highly-trained volunteer organization that is equipped to carry out searches for lost and missing persons in remote, rugged and inhospitable back country in Kings County; and

Whereas on July 18, 2010 VSR introduced Project Lifesaver, a service that uses radio transmission technology to assist in tracing individuals who suffer from autism, Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive conditions; and

Whereas Valley Search and Rescue, with leadership from Ron and Nancy Arenburg, became the first of the 24 ground search and rescue teams in Nova Scotia to introduce this unique service;

[Page 3250]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Ron and Nancy Arenburg and Valley Search and Rescue for making Project Lifesaver available to the citizens of Kings County.

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 Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2055

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

Whereas born on December 24, 1921, Hartley Roy Pearen is a modest, quiet man who has lived in Halifax for the past 28 years and is truly an unsung hero of our day; and

Whereas Roy served as a navigator in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II and was honoured with five medals for outstanding service to his country; and

Whereas for three years during the war, Roy flew a tour of operations with the 419 (Moose) Squadron as the navigator on Lancaster bombers and held the rank of flying officer;

Therefore be it resolved that during this time of remembrance, all members of the House recognize Roy Pearen for his outstanding wartime service to our country and his love of the natural beauty of his adopted province of Nova Scotia.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3251]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2056

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

Whereas the Canada Games is a multi-sport and cultural event that brings together the best athletes and artists from each Canadian province and territory, with the 2011 event being held in Nova Scotia making it the largest multi-sport event in Nova Scotia's history; and

Whereas 11-year-old Parkdale resident Katherine Demond, who has ranked high in last season's Atlantic championships, has been selected for the synchronized swimming team selection camp; and

Whereas the fun-loving and driven athlete will gain experience swimming with people of a higher competition level, preparing her for competition for the future Canada Games;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the determination and hard work of this aspiring athlete, Katherine Demond, as she continues to work toward her goal of competing at the Canada Games.

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.

[Page 3252]

RESOLUTION NO. 2057

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

Whereas 19 women will be honoured at the 21st Annual Progress Women of Excellence Awards dinner in Halifax on Thursday, November 18th; and

Whereas the honourees will be recognized for outstanding leadership and success; and

Whereas Lucinda Low is nominated in the category of education and research, celebrating her achievements as the founder and executive director of Bridgeway Academy in Dartmouth, a non-profit day school for students with moderate to severe learning disabilities;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Lucinda on being named a 2010 Woman 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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2058

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

Whereas the Canso Lions Club paid tribute to charter member Barry (Buzz) Lumsden, who has provided over 42 years of leadership and service to the Canso Lions Club and surrounding communities; and

[Page 3253]

Whereas District Governor Barry Dean praised the Canso Lions Club for its projects and support for community groups and individuals; and

Whereas in recognition of his contribution to the Canso Lions Club the district governor presented charter member Barry (Buzz) Lumsden with a lifetime membership for the Canso Lions Club and Lions International;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Lion Barry (Buzz) Lumsden on his Canso Lions Club Lifetime Membership Award and thank him for his 42 years of service and true dedication to the Lions motto, "We Serve."

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 Kings West.

[3:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2059

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

Whereas Lions Clubs were established in 1917 as a way for business leaders to look beyond their own companies and organizations to put their talents to work to improve their communities; and

Whereas Lions Clubs International has grown into the world's largest service club organization with 1.35 million members in more than 45,000 clubs all serving their communities to improve the quality of life for others; and

Whereas in addition to the local contributions of Lions Clubs, Lions Clubs International has made immeasurable contributions to improving the sight of visually impaired people in developing countries;

[Page 3254]

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize the contributions Lions Clubs have made to our communities and to the developing world, and wish them continued success in all 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-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2060

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

Whereas Beverley Fudge retired on October 24, 2010 from the post office in Upper Musquodoboit, following 25 years of service; and

Whereas for 17 of those years she served the community as its postmaster; and

Whereas Beverley's service to the people of Upper Musquodoboit has transcended, in a host of ways, the limits of both duty and job description, placing her in a unique position within the regard and affections of the people of Upper Musquodoboit;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly acknowledge the many contributions of Beverley Fudge on the occasion of her retirement from Canada Post, and join with the people of Upper Musquodoboit in wishing her many more richly conversational and productive years.

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

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

[Page 3255]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2061

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

Whereas this past August 10th the International Soke Cup ChitoRyu Championships took place in Kumamoto, Japan; and

Whereas of the 16 Nova Scotians who travelled to Japan to represent our province, six participants were from Clare; and

Whereas Dianne Doucet won a bronze medal in the master women's black belt international Individual Kata competition and a bronze in the black belt Individual Kumite;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Dianne Doucet for her two bronze medals at the 10th International Soke Cup ChitoRyu Championships and wish her continued success in all 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 Truro-Bible Hill.

[Page 3256]

RESOLUTION NO. 2062

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

Whereas conductor Jeff Joudrey of Truro founded the Halifax Camerata Singers in 1986; and

Whereas Mr. Joudrey leads this 25-voice choir in a repertoire that delights audiences with music that covers many periods and styles; and

Whereas the Camerata Choir, under the direction of Jeff Joudrey, won the prestigious Healey Willan Grand Prize for the best performance in overall musicianship, technique and program at the 2010 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Jeff Joudrey and the Halifax Camerata Choir on winning the Healey Willan Grand Prize, and wish them continued success as they continue to entertain audiences provincially and nationally.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 2063

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

Whereas hockey players, ringette players and skaters have suffered a dearth of ice time in the Halifax Regional Municipality for years; and

[Page 3257]

Whereas HRM decided to build a $42 million, state-of-the-art, four-pad arena in the riding of Bedford-Birch Cove to alleviate this problem; and

Whereas the federal government declined to contribute a single nickel to the project, despite flinging millions about in its so-called economic action plan, when even our own poverty-stricken provincial government managed to contribute $2 million, or 4.76 per cent of the cost;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank Halifax Regional Council for persevering in the face of federal intransigence and commend them for doing the heavy lifting on this project.

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2064

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

Whereas Colin Liebold, a Grade 11 student at Cole Harbour High, participated in the 2009 Nationals for swimming with the Shearwater Bluefins swim team; and

Whereas the student and avid swimmer accomplished two new personal-best swim times, with the 50-metre fly at 28.03 seconds and the 100-metre breast stroke at 1:15.12 seconds; and

Whereas Colin is an RCSCC Iroquois Cadet, swimmer and lifeguard at Cole Harbour Place and Dartmouth Sportsplex;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Colin Liebold for his aquatic achievements and for being an outstanding member of the communities of Eastern Passage, Dartmouth and Cole Harbour.

[Page 3258]

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 Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2065

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

Whereas after Doreen Matthews of Lake Echo took on the role of president of the Lake Echo Seniors' Club, she was successful in obtaining a grant which paid for new furniture, television, VCR, sound system, paint and new curtains for the seniors' room in the Lake Echo Community Centre and also gave the kitchen a facelift, new dishes and cutlery, et cetera; and

Whereas under Doreen's leadership they hold several dinners every year which are free to the seniors and their partners, as well as lining up two or three outings, such as the maple syrup tour, Sherbrooke Village, pumpkin people in Kentville, the annual conference in Pictou and the council picnic; and

Whereas recently Doreen has been successful in obtaining another grant which they intend to use for writing a book that will involve the youth of Lake Echo as the seniors tell their memories of years gone by;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge Doreen Matthews for her dedication and commitment to the Lake Echo seniors and wish her well in her future endeavours.

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

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

[Page 3259]

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 Antigonish.

RESOLUTION NO. 2066

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

Whereas because of the initiative from our government, Nova Scotia is quickly becoming a recognized leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology; and

Whereas the Town of Antigonish is working toward becoming a sustainable community; and

Whereas the Town of Antigonish received $49,500 in funding from the ecoNova Scotia Fund for Clean Air and Climate Change, to convert 100 of its streetlights from the conventional to energy-efficient LED lights;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House congratulate the Town of Antigonish on its commitment to working to reduce climate change and create a sustainable community.

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.

[Page 3260]

RESOLUTION NO. 2067

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

Whereas 14-year-old Myles Creighton from Digby has recently been named to the Nova Scotia Golf Association's junior development team; and

Whereas the Digby Pines and Annapolis Royal golf courses are his home clubs and he has won two midget titles this last year and came third in the NSGA Midget Championship; and

Whereas the junior development programs offer comprehensive training, including input from CPGA professionals and sport science specialists in the area of fitness, nutrition and mental strategies;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Myles Creighton on his outstanding achievement and wish him well on the NSGA junior development team.

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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2068

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre Society volunteers reported last week that they have raised to date, $1,032,500 to support the construction of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre; and

[Page 3261]

Whereas this amount represents about one-third of the goal to be raised by the lifestyle centre's capital campaign; and

Whereas this admirable accomplishment demonstrates the dedication and commitment on the part of the residents of Lunenburg County to see this project successfully completed;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the volunteers of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre Society fundraising committee for a job well done.

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 Glace Bay. (Interruptions)

RESOLUTION NO. 2069

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, I thank the members of the House for that warm welcome.

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

Whereas Glace Bay's brand new junior high school, Oceanview Education Centre, will officially open in January 2011, welcoming the first cohort of Grades 7, 8 and 9 students to the state-of-the-art facility; and

Whereas Oceanview Education Centre will replace two historic institutions in Glace Bay, St. Michael's and Morrison, which were our town's two high schools for generations, prior to being transformed into junior high facilities in 1989 upon the completion of Glace Bay High School; and

[Page 3262]

Whereas Oceanview Education Centre will unify our community's teens and provide a high-quality learning and extracurricular environment for our future generation of leaders who will have an opportunity to learn, live, work, and prosper in Cape Breton and will not have to travel elsewhere;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating Principal Paul MacNeil and Vice Principals Henry Boutilier and Greg O'Neill for their tremendous efforts in preparing for the transition to the new junior high school as well as the 620 students who will comprise the first assembly of tomorrow's leaders in Glace Bay. Let's Go Oceanview Breakers!

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 Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2070

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

Whereas Caitlyn Cavanagh-Dollard, 18-year-old resident of Centreville, N.S., has been an Army cadet for the past six years, receiving numerous medals and awards for excellence in leadership, for her skills as a cadet, and for volunteering for projects and adventure programs; and

Whereas upon graduating from Northeast Kings Education Centre in June 2010 with honours with distinction, Caitlyn was accepted into the Regular Officer Training Plan at the Royal Military College of Canada to pursue a degree in chemical engineering and an eventual career with the Canadian Forces; and

Whereas Caitlyn was awarded a $100,000 full tuition entrance scholarship to pursue her studies and will be an officer cadet at the Royal Military College;

[Page 3263]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Caitlyn Cavanagh-Dollard on her success as a cadet, on her graduation from Northeast Kings Education Centre, and on her significant scholarship award and wish her continued success at the Royal Military College of Canada and in her future career.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 2071

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

Whereas this NDP Government does not seem to be able to handle the issues of overcrowding in provincial facilities, especially at the Burnside jail; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice thinks that sticking a bureaucrat's office in the jail will make the Burnside facility a less violent place; and

Whereas the Minister of Justice thinks that bolting beds to the wall is a reasonable way to deal with overcrowding and increasing levels of violence in the Burnside jail;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House urge the NDP Government to come up with real solutions and stop making the problems worse at the Burnside correctional facility with what can only be described as window dressing.

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

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3264]

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[3:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 2072

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

Whereas the Stevens family of Second Peninsula has a long history of sailmaking, dating back to 1910 when it began with Randolph Stevens Sr. on Tancook Island, which is continued today by his great-granddaughter through her company, Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd. in Lunenburg; and

Whereas the Stevens family has made or repaired thousands of sails over the years, including sails for the iconic Bluenose II in 1979-80, in 2005 constructing the mainsail for the Bluenose - the largest working mainsail the world has ever seen, at 4,100 square feet; and

Whereas Ms. Stevens celebrated 100 years of the Stevens family sailmaking in August this year with an open house at the Sailloft studio in Second Peninsula;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Michele Stevens Sailloft Ltd. and the Stevens family on 100 years of sailmaking and recognize their contribution to Lunenburg's seafaring history.

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

[Page 3265]

RESOLUTION NO. 2073

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

Whereas on October 29th Nova Scotia celebrated achievements by its artists, awarding its most important arts and culture prizes at the 5th Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala at Pier 21; and

Whereas Mulgrave Road Theatre artistic director and musician Emmy Alcorn of Guysborough received an Established Artist Recognition Award at this year's Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala; and

Whereas Emmy Alcorn of Guysborough has encouraged appreciation for arts and culture through her work in theatre and the development of the Chedabucto Place Performance Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emmy Alcorn on the receipt of her Established Artist Recognition Award, thank her for her dedication to arts and culture and wish her continued success in 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?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 2074

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

[Page 3266]

Whereas the Timberlea Beverage Room has a tradition of supporting our community; and

Whereas throughout this year, this community-minded business has hosted fundraisers for a wide variety of charities, groups, athletic teams and worthy community causes; and

Whereas the Timberlea Beverage Room has shown positive leadership in our community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate and thank the owners and staff of the Timberlea Beverage Room for their community support.

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.

In a moment we'll go into Oral Question Period, just a friendly reminder that you direct your questions and answers here through the Chair and, secondly, no electronic equipment on during that period of time.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time now is 3:34 p.m, we will go to 5:04 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

EDUC. - HOLY ANGELS HS: MIN.

- PREM.  DIRECTIONS

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, just in time for all the students arriving here today, the Minister of Education sent out a release saying she supported them. The release said that the minister will encourage the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board

[Page 3267]

to consider all options, including helping to coordinate the purchase of the building by a community organization for moving the school and students to another location.

Mr. Speaker, it is not the responsibility of community groups to buy a school - it is the responsibility of the government but from the release that does not appear to be an option. So my question to the Premier is, have you told your Minister of Education not to purchase that school?

THE PREMIER: Well, in fact, Mr. Speaker, the member opposite would know that the ownership of schools differs from board to board. In many cases, they are actually vested with the school board itself. Sometimes those properties have been bought by municipalities, they've been given to the school board on a lease purpose for many years so that they can operate the school. What we are encouraging the board to do is to seek the best possible way to keep that school operating.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier knows that it is his government's responsibility to ensure that that building stays in the hands of Nova Scotians so that these young women get an opportunity to be educated in an all-girls school. The government wants to look good for these students, parents and faculty in the gallery today but they still have not committed to buying Holy Angels School. The individuals who have travelled here today did not do so for a non-committal press release from this government. What they are looking for is a helping hand from this government. So my question to the Premier is, are you committed to keeping an all-girls school in Sydney?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, of course, what we're committed to is to help the school board there to consider all their options to make sure that that school continues to operate. The member opposite knows that, in fact, that school was not vested in the ownership of the province; it was vested in a private organization and a religious order. What we want the board to do is to explore all the opportunities for them to be able to keep the school open and running.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the government's press release issued today was nothing more than a public relations exercise. The students who are in the gallery today want to know whether the government would be willing to buy the existing school. My question is very simple - Premier, will you buy the school?

THE PREMIER: Well, the answer to that is no, we're not going to buy it but we are going to work with the school board. We want them to explore the opportunity so that school can be purchased, whether it's through the community, through the municipality, through the school board so that it has the opportunity to remain open and operating and to serve the young women of that community for the years to come.

[Page 3268]

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

PREM. - CUMB. SO.: POLICIES - FAILURE ADMIT

MR. JAMIE BAILLIE: They're clapping now, Mr. Speaker, but they won't be clapping in a moment. (Laughter)

My question through you is to the Premier. Nova Scotia has now persevered through 17 months of NDP Government. As a result, this government now has a record to answer for. For the residents of Cumberland South, this record includes emergency room closures, a job-killing HST increase, cancelled long-term care beds, a cancelled jail, cancelled road work and much more. The people of Cumberland County clearly passed their judgment on this record by granting the NDP less than 5 per cent of the vote in the recent by-election. My question to the Premier is, will the Premier now admit that his policies have failed the people of Cumberland South and explain what he intends to do about it?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is right about this, we inherited a terrible financial mess, which included many of the things that you've already enumerated. I mean, the reality is that this government, we've built more kilometres of road in the last two years than of any time in history. We are repairing the infrastructure that has been left in such disrepair. We have taken this province off of a $1.4 billion deficit track and we are putting it back on track.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I've only been in this House one day and already the Premier's answers seem tired to me. In the recent by-election in Cumberland County, many strong opinions were expressed about the performance of this government. Even the leader of the Liberal Party was there often during the by-election to hear them out but totally absent was the Leader of the NDP and our Premier. My question to the Premier is, will he commit now to coming to Cumberland South to meet with local businesses and residents to hear their concerns and act upon their suggestions?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I have been fortunate enough to be in the beautiful constituency of Cumberland South on many occasions. It is an area of the province that I very much enjoy visiting and, of course, I'm certainly willing to continue to do the kind of work we have been doing to serve the people of Cumberland County.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, a recent editorial in the Amherst Daily News stated that this government must start treating Cumberland County like a part of this province because it has been neglected for too long under the NDP. However, the Premier still has an opportunity to do at least one thing right for this important part of our province. The residents

[Page 3269]

of River Hebert have come together in support of renovations at River Hebert High to create a new Primary to 12 school. This school will allow children to continue to be educated in their own home community and represents an important commitment to the people of River Hebert.

My final question to the Premier is, will the Premier follow through on this commitment to the people of River Hebert and ensure that new school project gets built on time?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for his first question. I know he's working hard and out of concern. Over the course of an election campaign, you hear a lot of things from people. I want him to know that I'm pleased to work on this project among others, for the benefit of Cumberland South.

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

EDUC. - HOLY ANGELS HS: NDP C.B. MEMBERS

- RESPONSE

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Education. There's no question that Holy Angels High School in Sydney is important to Cape Breton. Students come from all over the Island to attend the school. This school has been ranked among the best in the area. It is a source of pride for our community, yet today we witness and hear the Premier saying that they are not going to buy Holy Angels. His NDP Government is not going to buy Holy Angels and allow the students to further their education in the all-girls high school in the north end of Sydney. My question to the minister is, have the NDP members from Cape Breton also told you that they agree with the Premier's decision?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I just had the opportunity to spend about an hour with 10 or 12 of the students from Holy Angels and three parents. It was an excellent meeting and I want to thank them very much for their very respectful manner. They shared a lot of personal testimonies about the value of a Holy Angels educational experience. We talked about some of the options that might be available to the board to pursue to keep that school open. I certainly pledged my commitment and that of the department and the government to working with the school board to pursue every possible option to keep that school going into the future.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Yes, Mr. Speaker, the examining of every option obviously does not include purchasing the school, because the Premier just said that - the government is not going to purchase Holy Angels. So in other words, the students at Holy Angels will be moving somewhere. There's a lot of speculation as to where they're going to be moving, but certainly they're not going to have their own school in the historic location

[Page 3270]

in the north end of Sydney where they've been since 1885. Shame on that Premier and shame on that government for doing that. Shame on you, Mr. Premier, for saying that. (Interruptions) You did not say that you are not going to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, order. Your question, please.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: We're witnessing the end of Holy Angels here today. Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Education put a press release out today basically asking the school board to consider having community groups buy Holy Angels and keep it open down there. Now what kind of a ridiculous press release is that? What, is the Lions Club going to buy it, or the KoC, or the Salvation Army or who? This is a board of education and a Minister of Education who should be buying that school and keeping those students in that school so they get an education in an all-girls school. My question to the minister is, why will she not take her responsibility to purchase that school and keep those young women at that school in the north end of Sydney?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I've had a number of meetings with various officials of the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board. When I met with them over a year ago I explained to them that, because of the recession and the tough times we are having, I was counting on boards to be looking at innovative ways - in terms of partnerships, in terms of reviewing how they deliver programs and services - to maintain the values and priorities of their community and to think outside the box.

Certainly in other areas of this province we're looking at multi-use of school buildings and community facilities. I think it is very reasonable to ask the school board to look at the complex of buildings that is on that heritage block in the municipality and to look at many uses, many ways that those buildings could continue to serve the citizens of that area, including educational use. Thank you.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, 7,500 Cape Bretoners signed a petition which I tabled Cape Bretoners signed a petition, which I tabled in this House this afternoon, to keep Holy Angels open, to keep it open as an all-girls high school well into the future providing the kind of excellent education they're providing down there now - 7,500 Cape Bretoners, and this government ignores that. This NDP Government has said today they're not going to purchase Holy Angels so, in other words, Holy Angels is going to close as an entity in and of itself.

These girls who attend Holy Angels are going somewhere, maybe they're going to Breton Education Centre in New Waterford, that's the rumour we hear coming down here in order to save BEC, but you don't do one thing at the expense of another. I would ask the minister again, Holy Angels is a valuable institution of learning in the North End of Sydney

[Page 3271]

and I would ask her to reconsider her decision, never mind those options about moving those students out of that school, keep them there, buy the school and let them continue with the excellent programs they've had there since 1885?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, this government shares the commitment to keep that school open. I would just like to remind the honourable member that building is about 50 or 60 years old and Holy Angels, I think, has a legacy of approximately 125 years, so obviously, it has been in other structures itself. I think what's important is the quality of programming, the young women staying together, the relationship with their students and support staff. We will do everything possible within our means to help the school board look at options to continue that. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

ENERGY: ELECTRICAL BILLS - TAX ADDITION

MR. ANDREW YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, last Fall the NDP created Efficiency Nova Scotia and the new NDP electricity tax to pay for it, a new tax on electrical bills for all Nova Scotians. The government at the time called it a Christmas gift to Nova Scotians and, of course, it's the Christmas gift that keeps on taking.

The NDP opposed the tax in Opposition just two days before the election yet, as one of their first acts of government, they introduced it. Now we know that tax will double on January 1st and the hearing has already been scheduled for another rate increase for January 1, 2012. I would like to know, does the Minister of Energy still believe that at a time of increasing power bills due to fuel costs, adding a new tax to power bills was the right thing to do?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: It's no time to reinvent history, but the lesson should begin again. The HST has been removed from electricity, there was nothing wrong with that one, was there? More importantly, Efficiency Nova Scotia is well on its way to establishing some leadership roles in this province and in this region. For example, today I met with a couple of people from New Brunswick, Jeannot Volpé in particular, and William Thompson came to Nova Scotia and wanted to know exactly how Efficiency Nova Scotia works. What is this all about? That is showing leadership in our region, that's showing leadership in Nova Scotia. Efficiency Nova Scotia will step forward and show leadership again. That's what the people of Nova Scotia wanted, that's what we gave them.

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Energy can talk all he wants about HST, but the fact is that even accounting for that, power bills will have increased 22 per cent in three years, that's even including the rebate for HST. The only thing Efficiency Nova Scotia is good at, at the moment is creating high-paid jobs. In fact, they just posted for 22 jobs while the minister's own department has suggested the jobs that were at Conserve Nova

[Page 3272]

Scotia have just been absorbed into government. So much for the efficiency part of Efficiency Nova Scotia.

The value of the new jobs is over $1 million when benefits are included. Does the minister believe it's fair that Nova Scotians are paying more on their power bills to support over $1 million in new salaries to fund an agency created by the NDP?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, Efficiency Nova Scotia is establishing important programs in this province for Nova Scotians. It's important for the member opposite to realize that Alan Crandlemire, who is currently in the particular role of hiring staff, is recruiting and making sure that he can get the best possible people to work in an agency that Nova Scotians requested. Nova Scotians wanted arm's length; Nova Scotians wanted an organization such as Efficiency Nova Scotia to step forward and show the leadership that they are doing - and guess what? That's exactly the challenge they're meeting, and I'm proud to say that Alan Crandlemire thus far has done an excellent job. (Applause)

MR. YOUNGER: Mr. Speaker, I have no doubt that Mr. Crandlemire is an excellent person. The fact is the NDP opposed the creation of this tax in a letter written by the Premier's chief of staff two days before the election, the fact is power bills for Nova Scotians are going up, the fact is profits of Nova Scotia Power are going up, and the fact is the NDP electricity tax is going up. The only thing that isn't going up is the ability of Nova Scotians to pay.

You had options and you didn't take them. On January 1st, Nova Scotians will pay almost 9 per cent more for electricity when the NDP electricity tax is included. Nova Scotia Power suggests there will be increases every year from here on in. Mr. Speaker, why won't this minister admit that the tax your government opposed in Opposition, opposed during the election, is contributing to higher electrical bills for Nova Scotians and making life less affordable for Nova Scotia families?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, it's important again that the history lesson shows that when we look at the fact that there are going to be more programs available to Nova Scotians, more programs that are going to assist them to face some of the challenges ahead because of the leadership of Efficiency Nova Scotia.

It might be appropriate to slam Nova Scotia Power at every opportunity. Nova Scotia Power is someone we're working with in this province, someone who I meet with regularly, Rob Bennett, I want you to know is one of those folks, that he is representing an important issue in this province. He's looking at what is good for Nova Scotia. He is not just simply saying, I need the bottom line to make sure I'm making more and more dollars. Let's be faithful to the fact - it's important - Nova Scotians wanted an organization such as Efficiency Nova Scotia. They now have it. Let's give them some time to see how they do.

[Page 3273]

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

PREM.: UNEMPLOYMENT RATE - STATISTICS

MR. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey released last week showed that, in Nova Scotia, 8,600 jobs were lost in the month of October, pushing the unemployment rate in our province up almost a full per cent to 9.8 per cent - these significant losses occurred at a time when the national rate actually dropped to 7.9 per cent. My question through you to the Premier. He now has 8,600 more reasons to believe that his plan of higher taxes and more debt is bad for hard-working Nova Scotians. What further proof does he need that he is taking Nova Scotia in the wrong direction?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party just shows that you can make figures say anything you want, but the reality is that average employment in the province this year is up by about 1,700 jobs. What we're doing in this province is taking every opportunity we can to find ways to create solid, good-paying jobs in this province.

Just yesterday, I was pleased to announce that we're going to explore a venture capital fund along with the other provinces to make sure that there is money on the front end to be able to invest in new innovative businesses in this province. It's part of a package we are pursuing in order to make sure there are good economic development initiatives in this province.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, the Premier doesn't seem concerned about the loss of 8,600 jobs in October, so let me tell him, through you, that one of those 8,600 Nova Scotians who lost their job last month is a constituent of mine named Michelle Capon. Michelle is a young single mother who returned to Springhill from Alberta to take a job with TeleTech in Amherst. Like 214 others, Michelle learned late last month that her job was disappearing. This devastating news has left Michelle with no job and lots of bills and lots of worry.

Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier, what advice do you have for hard-working Nova Scotians like Michelle who are doing everything right but taking home less every day under his government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, my advice would be to make sure that what happened under the current government never happens again - under the former government, rather, never happens again (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

[Page 3274]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'll just start again. What happened under the former government was that they created such an extraordinary financial mess in this province that we have spent a lot of our time trying to clean that up. I want to remind the member for Cumberland South that we have made investments as we have in Amherst with companies like LED Roadway Lighting who, in fact, are expanding their workforce, as I understand are advertising in the paper for new workers. We think this is a great opportunity, we think it's a great product, we think there is a great opportunity to expand the economic base there in Cumberland County.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that Michelle Capon will appreciate the financial history lesson that the Premier has imposed on the House here this afternoon. My final supplementary to the Premier, through you, what is your government prepared to do to ensure that there are opportunities for young people like Michelle right here in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I just explained a couple of things that we are doing. As I said, we're making sure that there is a support for innovative new companies in this province so that they have the ability to expand the economic base of the province, to keep young people here. We have entered into many different workforce development programs designed to re-skill people to make sure that they're able to meet the needs in the current labour force. As I pointed out, we're making investments like we are in LED Roadway Lighting, which is a progressive company that's continuing to expand. There are many other companies in this province that we are working with in order to make sure that there is a strong economic base for the province.

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

COM. SERV. - ELECTRICAL BILLS: INCREASES

- ASSISTANCE

MR. GEOFF MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, as the member for Dartmouth East pointed out, residential electrical bills will increase by almost 9 per cent on January 1st. Again, this is a 22 per cent increase in power bills since 2007. There are many Nova Scotians who must make the choice between food and electricity. This is not right and it's not fair for Nova Scotia's families. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, what can you do to help low income Nova Scotians, especially this winter?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, we have done a lot because one of the things that we have been doing that the former government didn't even know how to do was to strategize and plan. That's why within our first year we invested in the Income Assistance Program because of the Affordable Tax Credits that we created and the Poverty Reduction Tax Credit we created. For the first time in years, this province saw an increase

[Page 3275]

of $26 per month for those who are on income assistance, rather than the $4 to $6 in previous years.

We're working to make those situations better and making changes to the Income Assistance Program through a variety of means. As I said, it's because we do have a strategy that we are rolling out.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, the reality is that a family of three living on income assistance receives a shelter allowance of $620. This is barely enough to cover rent and many rentals don't even include heating or electricity costs. My question to the Minister of Community Services is, are you going to again raise income assistance rates to at least compensate for the increasing NDP electricity tax?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, one of the things that we did is we took the HST and our portion off heating and electricity, which is a step that wasn't done before. The member will learn over time that the fact is, as I mentioned before, we do have a plan.

I know that it is a struggle for individuals on income assistance. It's too bad that there wasn't more investment in that area in previous times. It wasn't looked at for years and years except for the $4 or $6 increase, but this is a government that truly cares and is making changes within the policies for income assistance and within the variety of things such as the co-hab. We made an announcement with regard to that, that that has changed now, that people can also save more money on income assistance without losing that. So there are a lot of things that we have been doing. If the member wants to sit down with me, I can go over all those things.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, regardless of how we explain it, the power bills have been increased 22 per cent and any savings that the NDP had promised for the HST rebate are certainly long gone. The NDP Government cut HARP and they've increased electricity bills. The NDP is making it harder to afford necessities. So my question to the minister is, is this what the government meant by a "better deal" for today's families?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Thank you for the question. I want to clarify that we didn't cut the HARP program. One of the things that we do is we work in coordination. We may make some changes to a variety of programs. However, this government works within all of its interdepartmental aspects. We work with the other departments, not just in our silos, but as I mentioned to the honourable member, we have done more with income assistance in this last year and a half than you can even state years and years before that. I'm very proud of all those things that this government has dedicated itself to help Nova Scotians and especially those who are impoverished.

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

[Page 3276]

EDUC. - HOLY ANGELS HS: STUDENTS - OPTIONS

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. I want to start by being very clear that the Progressive Conservative caucus supports the efforts of the MLA for Cape Breton South to keep Holy Angels High School where it is in south-end Sydney. (Applause)

Early today the minister, in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the NDP's abysmal failure to support excellent young women and the Sydney community, issued a release headed: Minister of Education committed to keeping Holy Angels High School open. How is it the minister can say she's committed to keeping Holy Angels High School open when in the next breath she says moving the school and students to another location is an option? Mr. Speaker, why isn't the interest of these young women here today an option for that minister and her government? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, it's interesting. In the hour-long discussion with students and parents from Holy Angels this afternoon, I finished off by suggesting that reasonable people could sit down together or offer options to the school board that could be discussed in a common sense, practical way that would move this issue forward. I don't think it furthers the best interests of education in that region of the province to take an emotional venting in this Chamber. (Applause)

My government is committed to keeping that school open. I have said that time and time again. The solution won't be found on the floor of this Chamber. It's going to be found by supporting the school board in its search for options that will satisfy all the needs of the various interest groups.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, the students here don't buy the minister's answer. We don't buy her answer. The community doesn't buy her answer. What they want is the minister to buy their school for them. That's what they expect, that what they want.

The minister suggested every possible outcome but the right one and that is her leadership. It is bad enough that she has thrown Holy Angels and the community into chaos, creating another crisis rather than a solution. Will the minister finally do the right thing, show leadership, support the board, these outstanding young women and buy the school? Yes or no, minister.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I would suggest it's not my leadership that is at question here. The government and the Department of Education - we do not have the money in the

[Page 3277]

department's budget to buy that building, but we are willing to work with stakeholders and support the board in its . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Education has the floor.

MR. MORE: The department is willing to work with the school board and support it in its search to find a compromise, a solution that will work in the best interests of the young students, both current and future, of Holy Angels. Thank you.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, according to the minister, it seems that everyone is at fault except this failed NDP socialist experiment. I'm glad the students rented their own bus to avoid the wrath of the Dexter bus, but unfortunately, it's rolling through Sydney as we speak here in the Legislature.

Mr. Speaker, we all know that if Holy Angels was in Dartmouth South-Portland Valley, this wouldn't even be an issue. A student poster outside earlier says it all, it's a sad day when you see angels crying. That's exactly what she's doing to those young women in Cape Breton. Will the minister finally admit that this is just another example of the Dexter NDP destroying the fabric of communities and now the young women of Holy Angels and Sydney?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I've mentioned several times that I'm going to Sydney to meet with other students and faculty and parents. I'm also going to be meeting with the school board. I want to get a status report on just what the school board has been doing to resolve this issue. I'll be very interested to hear their various options.

There is no gold at the end of the rainbow and the Department of Education does not have the money to purchase the building. We will certainly be willing to support the school board and other community interests as they work together to try to find a solution. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

HEALTH: WEST. MOBILE BREAST SCREENING UNIT

- STATUS

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Over the past couple of months women in the Annapolis Valley and southwestern Nova Scotia have been wondering whether there is any truth to the rumour that the mobile breast screening unit will no longer be providing service to their communities in the near future.

Mr. Speaker, as you are more than aware, by their very nature mobile breast screening units are able to provide service in remote communities, enabling more women to access this

[Page 3278]

very important diagnostic test. They have proven their worth by saving lives and reducing health care costs, as a result of ensuring early detection of breast cancer. My question to the minister is, will she indicate with a yes or no whether the western mobile breast screening unit will be taken off the road come next fiscal year?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, breast screening is a very important program in this province. We have a very strong program. We have 11 fixed sites, we have three mobile units. Two of the mobile units are not digital mammography, they are the old machines. We're currently reviewing that program and when the review is complete, we will have a better appreciation of what is needed, where it is needed and how to continue this excellent service.

MS. WHALEN: As the minister said, there are only three mobile units in the province and certainly the one we're talking about here, in the western region, is definitely the oldest on the road. It looks to be about 13 years old. The service on the eastern mobile unit, which serves Cape Breton, was actually converted to full digital mammography after it had reached the age of 13. My question to the minister is, given that they are now the same age, will the minister confirm whether or not she will be looking at transferring the equipment and making this field mobile mammography digital rather than the older system?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to tell members of this House that in the past year, this government invested $7 million in upgrading digital mammography in the Province of Nova Scotia. (Applause) We will continue to support this very valuable program for women and to ensure that we have better health care for the people of Nova Scotia.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister pointing out how many much has been invested in that. I realize it provides more accurate results and faster results and more women are able to be seen when we're using digital mammography. We're glad about that. I think it should be mentioned as well that a lot of the money is raised by local groups like Bust a Move last year that raised $1 million itself to buy one of those machines.

In the 2009 Annual Report of the Nova Scotia Breast Screening Program, they indicate a number of the challenges that exist and among them is the inequitable distribution of mobile screening vans. I would like to ask the minister today if the minister could indicate how she plans to address the issue of the inequitable distribution of mobile screening vans which was recognized in their annual report almost two years ago?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we have 11 fixed sites in the Province of Nova Scotia. This is a very equitable distribution of digital mammography in the province. They're all modern, up to date equipment. Additionally two of the mobile units are the old analog units, we are reviewing the needs in the province right

[Page 3279]

now. When we have a decision, we will certainly be making those decisions known. (Applause)

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

EDUC.: HOLY ANGELS HS - RANKING

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. As the minister has admitted, student absenteeism is at an all time high in our province. However, Holy Angels High School continues to buck the trend, reporting an attendance rate of more than 90 per cent. (Applause) Furthermore, the mature young women at Holy Angels rank high near the very top when it comes to math and English scores. As the Minister of Education can see, we're dealing with a group of bright, young women who get it, who see it and who simply want their institution of academic excellence to stay put. Why, minister, are you against proven academic excellence models in our province, Holy Angels being a bright light of them?

[4:15 p.m.]

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, my department and government recognize the valuable contribution that Holy Angels makes to the young women of Cape Breton. It has a rich history and it provides a very excellent - it does a wonderful job of educating young women and we certainly congratulate them and their families and the staff there. They do a great job. That's why we're working so hard to help it continue. Thank you.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, many of our future leaders are here from Holy Angels High School and they're sitting in the gallery today and their spirits are high even if the government's attitude towards them is very low. Last week I received an e-mail from one of them, Cynthia Burke, a young Holy Angels student captured the spirit of her school in two short sentences. She wrote: Holy Angels isn't just a school, it's a place where we are finding the people that we want to be in life. We are getting the skills we need to be successful and powerful women.

Mr. Speaker my question is now to the Premier. After hearing Cynthia's words, can you explain why this institution of academic excellence is being dismantled and disregarded by your NDP Government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the member opposite that, in fact, the opposite is actually true. What we're attempting to do is work with the school board to find options for them in order for them to be able to keep that institution open and continue to provide the service that school has provided, the excellent staff have given the support to the students to allow them to achieve the levels that they have achieved. We hope that will

[Page 3280]

continue and we hope that the school board will do everything in its power to ensure that it does.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, the school board is doing everything in its power, it's wanting the Premier and his government to do everything that's within their power and that's the right thing. He can make that decision here today for these young women and their academic institution.I would like to share another comment from Kayla McKinnon, a Grade 10 Holy Angels student. She wrote last week in a letter to the editor, "The school is a place where everyone feels comfortable. They never worry about who they are, but who they want to be. I have only attended the school for about two months but already I cannot picture my life without it." To this point, Mr. Speaker, the Premier and his government are missing, Holy Angels is making a real difference in the lives of these young women. Think about Cynthia and Kayla. Show leadership and instruct your Minister of Finance and Minister of Education to negotiate the $750,000 that you know you can do, Mr. Premier, required to purchase Holy Angels and commit to keeping it open. Will the Premier do it, yes or no, for these young women here today?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will just reiterate, as the Minister of Education said earlier in reply to one of the earlier questions, she will be attending in Cape Breton with the school board for the purpose of discussing the options for Holy Angels High School. The reality is our government would like to see . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, our government would like to see Holy Angels High School remain open, operating and providing the fine service that they have provided over the years.

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

EDUC.: STUDENT ASSISTANCE REVIEW - COSTS

MS. KELLY REGAN: Mr. Speaker, last Friday the Minister of Education announced six consultations for student financial assistance. I believe it's very important to hear from students, but the government knows a review has been done in the recent past and the fixes we need are already clear. According to The ChronicleHerald, students said the province did a consultation just three years ago and the government is stalling the process for reform. This is an unnecessary exercise when the minister has threatened outrageous cuts in other areas. We don't have the money, for example, to buy Holy Angels. My question to the Minister of Education is, how much will this consultation cost?

HON. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'll have to check on that, but I believe we're doing it pretty much in-house. We're concentrating the meetings and the on-line input within

[Page 3281]

a few weeks so that we can get the information very quickly. It's one of these cases, it's a Catch-22 - we're damned if we do and we're damned if we don't. The environment around post-secondary education has changed significantly over the past year or two . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There is too much chatter across the floor of the Chamber. The honourable Minister of Education has the floor.

MS. MORE: The environment around post-secondary education has changed significantly in the last couple of years and we just want to make sure that all of the stakeholder groups have an opportunity to give us their latest thoughts, suggestions and analysis.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, the 2007 consultation document noted that this review was met with enthusiasm and was championed by the management of the Nova Scotia Student Assistant Program. The 2007 review outlined what students have been asking for, front-end grants, simpler applications and an examination of allowable costs. Friday, Gabe Hoogers from the Canadian Federation of Students said, we need meaningful action, we need grants, we need to ensure that accessibility to post-secondary education is ensured in Nova Scotia. That sounds to me like the same thing they were asking for three years ago. It's hard to understand why we need to do another full consultation. My question to the Minister of Education is, are you hoping for a different outcome this time?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, we should have that information back from this very condensed, quick version of a consultation within three to four weeks and it will enable us to move forward with our further discussions and decision making around these issues. I think it's a sign of a responsible government to take the opportunity at all times to consult with its citizens, especially when you do it in such a timely and speedy manner.

MS. REGAN: Mr. Speaker, this government has a habit of using reports and highly controlled public consultations as cover when it wants to make unpopular decisions - we saw this with the Back to Balance sessions from the Minister of Finance. Now it appears the Minister of Education is going down the same path - the O'Neill report and these consultations are providing cover for raising tuition. My question to the minister is, are you planning to remove the tuition cap in the coming year?

MS. MORE: This government relies upon the best information possible, research and analysis, and those decisions have not been made but we will take the time because we care and we listen and then we'll act.

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

PREM.: AMHERST SURVEY - DEFINITIONS

[Page 3282]

MR. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. In a recent interview with the Amherst Daily News, his Minister of Finance discussed a recent survey of consumers in Cumberland County. Amazingly, the minister was impressed with the results of his survey and downplayed the damage done to retailers in the border region. He commented that most Amherst retailers can draw some comfort from the information that he has received. My question to the Premier is, how do you define comfort to those Cumberland retailers who have seen businesses around them close and find it harder and harder every day to make a living because of your unfair, non-competitive tax policies?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I believe that the survey he is referring to was part of an engagement process that the Minister of Finance had with the local business owners in order to set a baseline and to be able to provide reliable statistics about what was actually going on in the border area. I think it intends to reflect that many of the fears with respect to these types of increases in cross-border traffic did not, in fact, bear out. This is, of course, a pattern that's been going on for many years and, of course, it's not a comfort to see business going across the border, but I'm told by the Premier of New Brunswick that he faces the same thing on the Quebec border and it is a feature of being a border town.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance also commented on that report, indicating that the data shows that there appears to have been a slight shift in shopping behaviour but the changes are not large. In actual fact, the report clearly shows that although 70 per cent of respondents have not changed their shopping habits as a result of the HST increase, 30 per cent have.

My first supplementary question to the Premier is, can you explain how a 30 per cent change in consumer habits due to your increase in the HST is comforting to Cumberland County businesses and the people who shop there?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I know that the member opposite has a comfortable time with interpretation of data, but I will allow the Minister of Finance to go into some more of the features of the study for him.

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to say that the debate can proceed on the basis of facts, that the data we have collected is now available to all Nova Scotians, anyone in Cumberland County or anywhere else or the Leader of the Opposition, on the Department of Finance Web site, so that Nova Scotians can see exactly the same data that we have.

The fact is that if the Leader of the Third Party wouldn't cherry-pick the data and look at the total data and what it shows us, it shows that the changes in behaviour have been very slight, particularly concentrated in the retail gasoline sector. We know it is a concern, but we have been working very closely, along with the member for Cumberland North and the whole

[Page 3283]

government, to focus on what the real issue in Cumberland County is: jobs and economic development for everyone.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, the only thing slight here today is the sleight of hand that's going on over there across the aisle with that government, as they try to explain this survey to the people of Cumberland County.

In response to concerns expressed by business in Cumberland County, the minister has said that he thinks everyone agrees that the real issue here is not the HST. Well, that statement is in stark contrast to the Quarterly Business Barometer released by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in Nova Scotia that stated that 65 per cent of their business respondents rated tax and regulatory costs as their top concern. My final question to the Premier is, when will your government stop comforting the retailers of Cumberland County and start listening to their concerns?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I know that the member opposite had the opportunity to look at the survey of the membership by the CFIB and he would know that, among other things, they found that confidence among business owners is continuing to climb.

[4:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COM. SERV.: ESIA POLICY - APPLICABILITY

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Community Services. Section 5.17.6 of the Employment Support and Income Assistance Policy Manual refers to a policy centred around quitting or being fired from your place of employment. The policy states that the individual is suspended from qualifying for any benefits for a period of six weeks from the time the application is received. My first question to the minister is whether or not she believes this is a blanket policy that applies to all or, as she has stated many times in this House before, should be determined on a case-by-case basis?

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the honourable member for the question. One of the facts that you have to look at with policies is that you do need to have a policy in place. However, the challenge is to have that flexibility within the policy. That's why we allow our caseworkers, who are very well trained, to look at the policy and to have that flexibility in order to make sure that there is some individualization to their decision making. If they have any issues with that, we have a process in place whereby the individual who is receiving that advice from the caseworker can take it further if they are in disagreement with it. Thank you very much.

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MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, this past week I had a 62-year-old senior in my community who had just lost her job approach my office. I encouraged her to apply for assistance. At that point she expressed to me that in her whole life she has never had to do this, to go to the department or to the government for assistance, and that she needed only short-term help to get past this little hump while she applied for other jobs. She returned in a couple of days and informed me that she was denied. That set her world in a whole other turmoil. She could no longer afford the rent. She is awaiting an eviction notice. She had no money for food and, more importantly, this senior is a diabetic and can now not afford her medication.

My question to the minister is, is this situation and others like it going to be how this minister and the government cut 5 per cent from this department, on the backs of low-income Nova Scotians and seniors?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows and that I've been able to show, and this government has been able to show, is that we truly care about Nova Scotians. That's why we have a plan that we're moving forward to make changes to ESIA redesign. I have said a hundred times to the honourable member and to also other members in this House that any type of policy that they're aware of, or they feel has some struggle surrounding it, I'm more than willing to sit down and look at that policy to see whether that policy is a workable policy or may need some changes.

MR. ZINCK: Well, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's comments and so do many other Nova Scotians who have waited for many years for a review of the ESIA Act. The fact though is that this constituent and many others around this province are in need now, not in four or five years, Madam Minister. So my final question is simply this: When will her department and this government ensure that individuals get the help they need instead of putting them on the streets and being near homeless?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, as I said before, I mean we're looking at policies that have been in existence for 20 to 30 years that no one even took the opportunity to look at. We're looking at those policies; we've made changes. There have been recent announcements in terms of policies that we have, there have been policies that we have recently changed, and there are hundreds of policies. So we're willing to look at them.

I do know that there are people who are in dire need now and that's one of the things that I have to struggle with each and every day. I wish it wasn't like that. I wish that there was much more attention over past years to these individuals in our province. However there wasn't, but now you have a government that's going in there and are fixing that and making those positive changes.

[Page 3285]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

TIR - ST. MARGARETS BAY CONNECTOR: HOUSES

- SAVE

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, residents of Ingramport are worried that their homes are in jeopardy because of the proposed St. Margarets Bay connector road, even though there are four other routes for the connector that would not require destroying homes. If the government is going to build the connector, it's just common sense that it would build it on one of the four routes that would not harm homes and uproot families. So my question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is, will the minister promise not to pave over homes if the government decides to go ahead and build that connector road?

HON. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. The concern in the community is, of course, whether there should actually be a connector road with five routes. A community meeting held by the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's was well-attended, with lots of input, lots of people discussing it. Today the Head of St. Margarets bridge is out. The concern, of course, is now children are being inconvenienced as they come back from St. Margaret's Bay Elementary with an extra 30-minute drive because without the connector, non-existent today, they have to go all the way to Hubbards, back up onto Highway No. 103, back past where I live to the neighbourhood of Tantallon Woods.

Is there a need for a connector? People stop me in the arena, they stop me when I'm grocery shopping, and they say a connector road is necessary. A process is underway, a process involving a group of people who are listening and asking questions on the need for this connector road. That process is fair, it's open, it's transparent, and come February when we have the open house, after that open house, a decision will be made.

MR. GAUDET: An internal e-mail from the department suggests that Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal officials have also settled on the route that could destroy homes. The e-mail states: "Due to operational requirements we cannot relocate the proposed interchange. The proposed location near Ingramport has it's [sic] challenges but it is still the best location." Mr. Speaker, I'll table a copy of that e-mail

Mr. Speaker, it sounds like families in Ingramport have good reason to be concerned that the connector is, indeed, going to be built over their homes. I don't think this is what Nova Scotians had in mind when the NDP promised a better deal for families. So again to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, will the minister give Ingramport families a better deal and promise not to pave over their homes unnecessarily?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, the engineers in the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal advise the minister and the minister will make

[Page 3286]

the final decision. I have told the people of this community many, many times the decision has not yet been made.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to hear the minister indicating to the House that the minister will have the final say.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is planning to move forward with its plan to build a connector road that would destroy homes and properties in Ingramport. The minister says that the decision hasn't been made but his officials have already decided that the Ingramport location is " the best." Again, my final question to the minister is, will the minister promise Ingramport residents that their homes will not be bulldozed unnecessarily?

MR. ESTABROOKS: The commitment and the promise that I make to the people of Chester-St. Margaret's, the people who live in Timberlea-Prospect, and Nova Scotians, is that this minister is going to continue to listen, is going to continue to consult, is going to continue to have faith in the process. When we were looking at the need for a connector road, a need for a connector road with five proposed routes, environmental assessments underway, various other concerns being addressed, that's the commitment that I will give the people of that community. No decision made. We are looking forward to the open house. After the open house and the input from the community who are present that evening, that's when a decision will be made. People will be listened to, that's an assurance that I'm sure the people of that community know.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES.: CHIGNECTO GAME SANCTUARY

- PROTECTION STATUS

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, time and time again I have asked this government about making the Chignecto Game Sanctuary a fully protected wilderness area. Once more my question to the Minister of Natural Resources is, when will the Chignecto Game Sanctuary be granted full protection status?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I can't tell him that. This really is in the purview of the Department of Environment. The process generally for designation is a couple of years, but I can get back to the member to give him a more timely timeline as quickly as I can do that.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, we are hearing rumours that even if this area is granted full protection, invasive activities such as logging will continue because of the NDP Government's deal with Northern Pulp. My question to the minister is, will you allow

[Page 3287]

logging or other invasive activities to continue if the Chignecto Game Sanctuary is granted full protection status in the future?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of activities that can happen in wilderness areas - actually hunting is one. I'm kind of thinking maybe, in fact, if this was a sanctuary it might rule that out, but I don't know that for sure. Generally, harvesting practices are not carried out in wilderness areas, and I would say that if there is an obligation to one of the forestry companies, then that's a commitment that we would be compelled to fulfill, but we would look for a volume from another source.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, this NDP Government seems to make changes to legislation and regulations, as they see fit to suit their business deals. Their deal with Northern Pulp last year has put them in a predicament - they need to supply that company with fibre. My question to the minister is, why are you putting the environment and ecosystem at risk allowing for Chignecto to be logged even as a fully protected wilderness area?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, there is a process, and I want the member to be aware that if it becomes a protected area then it would be my expectation that those harvesting practices would cease, but we would still have an obligation to fulfill that volume from some other piece of Crown. Presently the Crown land that's in question there, there is an agreement with a company - if there is an agreement with the company, because I'm not entirely sure there is, but it's one that if you make an agreement you stand by it and if something changes in that then we won't see that they suffer from a commitment that we made.

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

PREM. - CONVENTION CTR.: MEETING - CONVENE

MR. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, just before I begin, I would like to say that I appreciate the previous member's interest in Cumberland South, where the Chignecto Game Sanctuary resides. My question through you is to the Premier is, on Argyle Street there sits a huge ugly hole in the heart of this city's downtown. This location is where the new convention centre is supposed to go. Just as the jails in Cumberland County and Antigonish County were economic drivers for those regions, so too is the convention centre an economic driver for this city and our province. Will the Premier show some leadership on this project and convene a meeting of the relevant stakeholders to sort out the mess his government is making of this important project?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we didn't do what the former government did. What we did do was do a proper analysis of the project. We ensured that what ultimately will happen with this site and our involvement in it will mean that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia

[Page 3288]

will get the best possible deal as a result of the work that will be done, whether it's the number of jobs created or the economic spinoffs. We have set that out in detail for the municipality and we're now waiting to hear from them on whether or not they intend to partner in this project. We obviously agree that it's important to the province. It's an important opportunity for us, but we also have a responsibility to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. I know that's something the former government didn't worry about, but we do.

[4:45 p.m.]

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, at the rate this government is going, we'll be waiting 100 years for a decision on this important project. (Applause) Because the government has shown no leadership - in fact it has waffled continuously and has shown little respect for its funding partners, including the Halifax Regional Municipal Council - in fact the government sent its Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal deputy to the council carrying a "poison pill" letter, one that was known to be unacceptable to the council, in order to stall the project. I have that letter and I will table it for the House at this time. My question through you to the Premier is, will you please take the lead on this file and work constructively with HRM and the other funding partners to conclude an agreement that is fair to taxpayers and will allow this important project to proceed?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the letter sets out very clearly the position of the province. We think it's a perfectly reasonable one. We think it's one that if the municipality looks at in any kind of detail, does their own financial analysis, they will be able to endorse. We're hopeful that will be the case. Our interest, of course, is to protect the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. That's what we're going to do. I believe this is a great opportunity for the municipality. There are hundreds of millions of tax dollars they will get as a result of the building of this project. It is one that will be an important economic driver for the city and the province for many years to come. We've done our due diligence on it, it's now up to the municipality.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, with that answer, I know the taxpayers of Nova Scotia will be just as comforted as the retailers in Cumberland County are by this government's tax policies. A recent study by Gardner Pinfold showed that over the first 10 years of operation, a new convention centre would host 6,800 events, have 2.2 million visitors to this city and inject $750 million into the local economy. I will table that report for the House. My question for the Premier is, will he stand up for economic development in our city? Will he unequivocally state his support for this project by committing today that he will have an arrangement approved by January 14th that is acceptable to Nova Scotia taxpayers and will allow the project to proceed?

THE PREMIER: Last June, the days of writing blank checks were over. They're over. We have done a proper analysis. (Applause)

[Page 3289]

MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order. Order, please. Order. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER: We did a proper analysis of the project, we set forward the conditions on which we were prepared to support the project, we forwarded to the municipality. We think they are perfectly reasonable, we think that there's a good reason to believe that the municipality, when they do their own financial analysis, will understand that. We hope that the project will move forward and we think this will have great benefit for the province and for the city.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

SNSMR: WEYMOUTH LAND REGISTRY OFFICE

- MOVE EXPLAIN

HON. WAYNE GAUDET: Recently, the provincial government announced targets for all departments to look at reducing their spending. Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations was asked to look at reducing their spending by 10 per cent. With these new government directives I find it difficult to understand why Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations called a tender, on November 3rd, for office space in the Town of Digby in order to relocate the Weymouth land registration office.

For my first question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, can the minister explain to the many people of Clare and the surrounding communities of Weymouth, why is your department determined to move the registry office in Weymouth to the Town of Digby?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: As part of our making sure that we can live within our fiscal means, we're looking at consolidating services. So therefore, we're looking at bringing all of the areas from the surrounding communities into the Digby area. There's a tender out and that will be examined in due time. Thank you.

MR. GAUDET: Currently, the registry office is located in Weymouth, which is located in the middle of the county. I'm told the majority of the people using these services are from the Weymouth and Clare area. For some people living in the communities located at the far end of Clare such as Springdale, Lake Doucette, Beaver River, Woodvale, Hectanooga, Mayflower, these residents have to travel a good 45 minutes to an hour to get to the registry office in Weymouth now. By moving the office to Digby, the minister will be imposing an additional 30 minutes to their travel in order to get to the Town of Digby in order to get to the new registry office. So my second question, through you, to the minister is, why is the minister forcing these residents to drive an hour and a half in order to access the services provided by your department?

[Page 3290]

MS. JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the question. One of the things that we're looking at is to make sure that we centralize our services and meet the needs of Nova Scotians. We are also in the process of making sure that we can have our services on-line so people can do that, they also provide services by mail. We are looking at a tender because we're also looking at the safety of the people who work within our facilities. There are issues in that area that we need to look at to make sure that our employees are safe. There is a tender out and we'll be exploring that tender when that comes due. Thank you.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the current registry office in Weymouth was opened in 1998 by her department. The current facility is very suitable, it is more than adequate and there will be no cost-saving to the department. There has been a registry in Weymouth since 1785. Now the minister is looking at closing the office in Weymouth after 225 years. My final question to the minister is, will you put a stop to your department's plan to close the registry office in Weymouth, until you get a chance to hear from the public in Digby County?

MS. JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, what I will promise to do right now is to make sure that we make appropriate decisions within our fiscal reality. We are going to make sure that we do provide good services for people in Nova Scotia. We will be looking at the best possible place to make sure that our services are centralized and the people in Nova Scotia get the appropriate services. Thank you.

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

PREM. - FOREST IND.: REGS - TIME FRAME

MR. JAMIE BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. Two of the requirements of leadership are decisiveness and the willingness to articulate a clear plan, yet what we have seen from this government is indecisiveness and unwillingness to say where the government stands with respect to future regulation of the forest industry in Nova Scotia. On the one hand we have a minister saying, as he did on August 9th, that he has no intention of making decisions that would undermine the basis of forest industry jobs. On the other hand, we have two conflicting reports of the government's expert panel which, if adopted, would have a dramatic effect on the industry for decades. My question to the Premier is, when are the people who derive their livelihood from the forest industry going to see real leadership from this government that they are so desperately seeking? When will they have the answers they need to know?

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I've actually had the opportunity to engage with many of the companies and stakeholder groups that were involved in the consultation, to hear from them about the forest policy, about the questions associated with forestry in the province. We made sure that we have been careful to go through and to try to help build consensus around these issues. We're continuing that work and we think the process has been a good one. As the member would know, there is a variety of opinions with respect to this policy, so we are taking the time to make sure that we get it right.

[Page 3291]

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, there appear to be many opinions on this policy within the government itself, so my question through you to the Premier is this, will the Premier please explain to this House how the woodlot owners of this province are supposed to plan for their future, and the future of this industry, when the government cannot even provide them with a simple answer like what a clear-cut is?

THE PREMIER: Well, Mr. Speaker, that's not true. I believe the Minister of Natural Resources actually set out a very clear definition of what a clear-cut is, but the question of clear-cuts in the province will be dealt with by the Natural Resources Strategy.

MR. BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, my final question, this government needs to learn that there is a cost to doing nothing and allowing uncertainty to prevail in an important industry, so my question to the Premier is, will he now end the uncertainty and get on with the job of providing the answers that woodlot owners need?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I guess this is a good opportunity to congratulate the Minister of Natural Resources for the work that he has done on this file. (Applause) He has invested an extraordinary amount of time and energy and effort in meeting with people from around the province with respect to this policy. Being careful to understand the nuances of the effects on small woodlot owners, on large commercial harvesters, we want to make sure that we have a policy that preserves this important natural resource but also preserves the jobs that are associated with it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES. - FORESTS: REGS. - TIME FRAME

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to the Premier, I'm going to go to the Minister of Natural Resources where I will get an answer. I will get an answer. Last week the Minister of Natural Resources spoke at a rally to save our forests outside the Legislature. The minister gave assurances that regulations and policy around clear-cutting would come by the end of the week - that was last week. My question to the Minister of Natural Resources is, when will we see your government's regulations on the future of our forests?

HON. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for his question. I made a commitment on policy direction - not on regulation. Regulations, I would expect, would probably take at least until the Spring to have those ready.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, whole- tree harvesting is one of the most devastating forestry practices in existence. In these instances the trees are hauled out in full to the roadside, landing where they are de-limbed and chipped for processing. My question to the minister is, will a ban on whole-tree harvesting be part of these regulations?

[Page 3292]

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I guess the member opposite will have to be like the rest of Nova Scotians and, when I make that statement, he'll know the same as everybody else.

[5:00 p.m.]

MR. GLAVINE: Well, Mr. Speaker, as Nova Scotians know and as the NDP Government knows, it has been a real embarrassment to give the green light to allow Wagner Forest Management to whole-tree harvest on a quarter of the parcel at Apple Head, Cumberland County. It appears that whole-tree harvesting has already begun in this area - 2,100 acres of this newly protected area will be flattened under our non-existent harvesting regulations. Mr. Minister, you have the ability to shut down this operation tomorrow, so my question to the minister is, why did you permit Wagner Forest Management to whole-tree harvest before you introduced new regulations on forestry in Nova Scotia?

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, we don't have the new regulations because the strategy isn't quite complete. Under the previous administration, the timelines were set. We're hoping to hit them and that's by the end of this year that we'll have our strategy fully outlined. That will give an indication of what the regulations will be. So until then we have to let industry work with the regulations that government has before them, and we do have harvesting regulations.

The member and one of his colleagues has also indicated that I can tell Wagner Forest to stop. We didn't give them the green light - they had the green light; they already owned the property. So they can harvest 500 acres as part of an agreement to purchase - something they could have done whether they sold it to us or sold it to somebody else.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

EMO: SOUTHWESTERN N.S. - UPDATE

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we all have heard through the news and, of course, in this Legislature the last couple of days about the flooding that is happening in my constituency, in the constituency of Yarmouth, and I believe also in Shelburne, the things that are going on - we know that there has been tremendous flooding and some subsiding actually the last few hours in communities like Quinan, but we do have some concern about the communities that are in Tusket and those areas as the water continues to flow down the Tusket system. So my question to the Minister of Emergency Management is, is there a bit of an update for us about the situation in my neck of the woods?

HON. RAMONA JENNEX: Mr. Speaker, we are undergoing a storm system that no one would have ever anticipated that Nova Scotia was going to receive so much rain so

[Page 3293]

very quickly. I don't have an update but I do want to say that Nova Scotia Power is in the vicinity of concern that the member brings up. A week ago they were anticipating that there was going to be weather and they did the best they could to lower levels in the dam. As you know, we're at maximum capacity in that area. I have been keeping in communication with the honourable member on that. Since I've been in the House, I haven't had an update ,but as soon as I hear anything I will be making sure that goes out in an advisory, and I also will advise the member opposite personally.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for her commitment on this one; I thank her for her input on this one over the last number of days. We are coming to a bit of a crossroads, I believe, in the flooding where the lower part of the system is now experiencing what we're hearing at 28 feet or 29 feet above flood process. There are a lot of systems there, a lot of dams and those kinds of systems that are in there that are, of course, a huge concern to us.

Over the next number of days, once we do get past this one, there will be the issue of compensation maybe for the people of our area. I'm just hoping that there is going to be support for them in the near future, whether it be through DFAA and those kinds of things, so thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

Before we go to the Progressive Conservative Opposition Day, I just want to briefly bring to the attention of the House that it has come to my attention that a portion of the petition tabled earlier today by the member for Inverness is a printout of an Internet petition and does not contain real signatures, so that portion of the petition is out of order. Once again, I remind all members that electronic petitions are out of order and are not to be tabled.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Motions Other than Government Motions.

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

[Page 3294]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1925.

Res. No. 1925, re Holy Angels HS: NDP Gov't. - Preserve - notice given Nov. 4/10 - (Mr. A. MacLeod)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester North.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand today to speak to the resolution, the operative clause being, " Therefore be it resolved all members of this House of Assembly urge this NDP Government to do the right thing and preserve an important Cape Breton institution and act quickly to save Holy Angels High School."

I think that it was very evident here today that this is an issue that is of interest to everyone in this House. It is something that is of great interest to the people in Cape Breton and it's of particular interest, and with a great deal of passion, that the students who are currently enrolled at Holy Angels High School have a feeling about this. They came here. They believed that they would be heard. They came here because they believe that something is wrong with the process, something is wrong with the decision. They thought that by coming here to Province House to share those concerns and to watch the proceedings in the House, they would get a chance to let people know how passionate they were and how proud they were.

I have to tell you, they've gone home with heavy hearts - and the reason they've gone home with heavy hearts is because they did not get an ear from the minister. Yes, they got some time with the minister, and the minister's own words were that it was an excellent meeting. Well, I had a chance to talk to some of those people who were in the meeting with the minister. I believe that the Minister of Education is a kind, caring and compassionate person - I've told her that and I will tell her that again, and I will say that publicly. I believe that what's happening within the NDP caucus and Cabinet is tearing her apart because it is not the kind, caring, compassionate action that we would expect from her.

I do have sympathy for the minister, but I also want to express my thoughts about the process. We had students here, we welcomed them. They were standing out in the rain, there were a number of the MLAs who went out to see those students and, as an educator, I was happy to be one of those. I joined the member for Cape Breton South, the member for Cape Breton North, the member for Cape Breton West, the member for Victoria-The Lakes and we listened and we talked to those students. I know the member for Glace Bay spoke to them and I believe some other MLAs may have as well.

What they wanted was to have someone in a position that they respect - and that is our position as MLAs - to listen to them, to act on their behalf and to promote their cause. So they came, they were enthusiastic, they left, but let me tell you, we have not heard the last

[Page 3295]

from those students. They have resolved and they have said in their own words, this is the first page, there are many more to come. I think that should reinforce, in the minds of all of us here, and in those who are making the decisions here, i.e. the government, that this is an issue that should not be taken lightly.

I have to tell you that in my opinion, the decision was made in December 2009 or perhaps earlier. It was in December 2009 that I wrote to the minister to let her know that this was a concern and I thank the minister for her response. In that response she was already talking about options that did not include buying the school, allowing it to continue in the building that it is currently in. So back in 2009 someone in the Cabinet, or in the government, had made a decision. Why play the charade? Why do we continue to lead these students on and let them believe that there are options when the only option they want is one that has been dismissed?

I asked a question in the House, I asked it of the minister, and it was very clear in her response that buying that building is not an option. I will, if I could, Mr. Speaker, share with you some of the response that the minister gave. I will table it for those people who wish. When asked about the future of Holy Angels school - and remember, we're talking about a decision that has perhaps already been made but nobody wants to say it - " . . . it's important here to separate out where the school functions from the future of the school."

Another quote from the minister, "The department committed to working with the board to look at what the options were." Well there is only one option, Mr. Speaker. Another comment from the minister when she responded was, we will work closely with the board to develop those options. These students don't want options, they want one option and it's clear what that option is.

Another comment, another quote from the minister, " . . . their preferred option of the province buying the school was not feasible." How much clearer do we need to get that means no, we will not buy it. We went on and the minister said, " . . . we just couldn't afford that option . . ." This was as a result of some meetings where department staff went down and met with the school board in July, so in December they were talking about options that didn't include buying. In July they tell the school board committee that they can't afford it, that purchasing is not an option, yet we continue to talk to these students and to the school community about trying to what is right for the students at Holy Angels. In my opinion, that is misleading.

Another quote from the minister when she responded: "There's lots of excess space in that board . . ." Another quote: " . . . we will work to see if there's room in another school."

Let me tell you, the students can read between the lines. They are beginning to believe that the decision was made and yet they are being led along a path they do not like.

[Page 3296]

To add insult to injury, we had a press release that came out today and that press release is entitled: Committed to Keeping Holy Angels School Open.

Well, we can play with words here, Mr. Speaker, but you know and I know and everyone in Cape Breton who has read this knows that keeping Holy Angels School open does not mean keeping the building that the Holy Angels School is now in open. This press release can be seen as a fairly feeble attempt to quiet the students who are coming here today and to make them feel that, yes, the government was going to keep Holy Angels School open. They know the difference. They know that the decision to keep Holy Angels School open has already been made.

There were tears in the eyes of those students when they were here in the gallery today. The tears were because they believed that somebody here would listen. They were excited when they came and they were chanting outside and they were heard by those of us who went out to listen. They were excited when they got into this building - many of them had never been here before. They recognize that this is the place where decisions are made. They were excited about the opportunity to have a representative group meet with the minister. They were severely disappointed when the minister told them it was not her responsibility. Sure, they talked about the testimonies, they talked about the quality programming that's there, but when they asked the minister what she was going to do, they were told it was not her responsibility.

Mr. Speaker, you know and I know and anybody who knows how school boards work in this province knows that the funding for the school boards does come from the Department of Education. It is taxpayers' dollars that go to the school boards to help them operate their schools. This is a school that's been subsidized by the sisters and those students are out there saying, we've been subsidized. Now we want the board, through the funding that they get from the Department of Education, to pick up the slack, to put the money into the school, and to keep it open.

[5:15 p.m.]

One of the concerns that has been raised - I consider it to be a red herring, as many other people do - is talk about a $10 million renovation project. Again, anyone who knows how school boards operate and where they get their funding and how they get renovations to their schools in their board is pretty clear. The board puts in a request to have renovations done when it's deemed that the building needs repairs. There are many schools that are put on that list and there are many renovation projects that are phased in. The people in Cape Breton and the girls in Cape Breton know. Look at Riverview in Coxheath, look at Sydney Academy. These are schools that have required millions of dollars of work, but the board recognized that, the department responded to that, and those buildings are being renovated through the course of three, four, five phases.

[Page 3297]

My comment here today is this: let's cut the charade. The Premier said today that they would not buy it. Let's cut the charade and let's be honest with these students and tell them there's no intent by this government to buy that building and to allow them to stay where they are. They'll be wharfed off into a wing at Breton Education Centre with a sign that says "Holy Angels." That's not maintaining the institution. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. MARILYN MORE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm very pleased to stand today and talk a little bit about the Holy Angels situation. As many of us know, we were joined today by some representative students and parents from Holy Angels community. I took the opportunity to meet with a group of about a dozen or so, plus a few parents, for approximately an hour this afternoon. It was interesting because they certainly were very passionate about their educational experience at Holy Angels and talked a lot about their personal experience. Then we broadened the discussion out to talk about various options and the roles of some of the major players in this situation: the school board, the department, the government, and the community.

I was very pleased when they left that one or two of the adults said thank you, that they were leaving with some hope because they understood that if people worked together in a very practical, respectful, common sense approach that there may be solutions to keeping Holy Angles open. That was the message they were looking for. They wanted to see some hope and they wanted to have a better understanding of how the various groups related, what their roles and responsibilities were.

It was an excellent hour and I thank them for their very thoughtful questions, their very respectful attitude. I'm looking forward to more of that when I visit Holy Angels on Friday and also in the afternoon I'm planning to have a good discussion around the options and encourage the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board to ensure that they look into absolutely every single option and choice available to them to keep that school open.

The government, the Department of Education and myself as minister, join the supporters and advocates of the Holy Angels educational experience because we understand that they not only have a rich legacy of 125 years, but they are providing a very modern, extraordinary educational experience for not only the student population that is there now, but also into the future.

I was very impressed by the young women who spoke to me this afternoon in that they were just as concerned about the younger women in the community having the same opportunity as they did to attend the school, as they were about being able to finish their own high school years in that building.

[Page 3298]

There is no question that it's a wonderful school, the government recognizes that, the Department of Education recognizes that. I'd just like to share a little bit about the process that happened. When the department was notified by the school board - I'm thinking in November, December - that the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame wanted to sell the complex, we were just as horrified as the school board because we realized the pressure that this was going to put on everyone. We were concerned about looking at the options available.

Senior staff from the department met with senior staff, the board chair and the vice-chair on several occasions. Also, both here and in Halifax, senior staff met with representatives from the congregation to look at possible options such as extending the lease, perhaps increasing the payment of the lease in the short-term, being able to stay there until a buyer was found. None of those options worked out. It is very unfortunate, I would say, that in July our staff went up and met with the board chair and other senior officials to explain that we had looked at our budget, because obviously their preferred option was to stay in the same location and have the province buy the school. We explained to them in July that this was not possible with the strains and stresses on the Department of Education budget.

We committed and have, since that date, been trying to work with the board to identify some practical, doable options that would secure the legacy and provide a very good experience for those young women, preferably in that building, and that's why in the press release today we talked a little bit about thinking outside the box.

It's my understanding that it's the whole complex on that block that the Congregation wish to sell, and there's certainly a lot more space in buildings there than the school. Possibly the community might come together and look at a broader vision for that area of Sydney. It may be that a number of programs and services and community groups and agencies might be able to operate from that complex. It would be interesting to see if something visionary and forward-thinking like that would be considered by the board, the community, and the municipality.

It's important that we don't just look at things in the traditional way that we've looked at them. I think one of the challenges of governing at any level of government these days is to make sure that we're delivering programs and services that are of value and priority to citizens in a way that is cost-efficient and provides, perhaps even improves, the quality of that service and programming. I think we have an excellent opportunity here to support the school board in investigating some innovative, unusual, non-traditional approaches to this particular challenge. The only condition that the province has been forced to put on this is that we have to be able to live within our means. It's important to Nova Scotians that we stay consistent in our message, and it's living within our means.

Over the past year I've had the opportunity to meet with graduates from Holy Angels, and they too, like the current students, have been extremely proud of their attendance at that

[Page 3299]

school. They have talked a lot about how important and almost transformational that experience was to attend an all-girls school, and we certainly recognize that in that community, and for that board, having an all-girls school is a priority. We will work to support the board as they try to protect that initiative. It represents the values of that community.

I just wanted to also mention that in early February, I believe it was, I had the opportunity to visit Holy Angels. It was unfortunate that we had a bit of a weather disturbance that day and the roads were icy. School was cancelled, but I had the opportunity to meet with the principal and staff, a couple of the sisters from the Congregation, the chair of the school advisory committee, and some other representatives. Certainly the board chair and the superintendent and others were there as well.

So we spent some time talking about the value of Holy Angels. I had a chance to tour the school. It will be particularly exciting for me to go back this Friday, when hopefully the students will be in school, and have a chance to see the school spirit and the sense of togetherness that is obviously a very important part of their experience.

There are options, and when I meet with the board Friday afternoon I am going to insist that they present those options to me, both then and into the future, that they research them, that we understand the implications of each of them, and that we look at any barriers or challenges they may have with moving forward on any of them, because the Department of Education does not make those decisions.

Nearly a billion dollars of taxpayers' money goes to support public education in this province, and it's distributed to the eight school boards - one provincial, the francophone, and seven regional boards - on a formula basis. There are some dedicated funds, but a lot of it is in a single envelope which boards use to allocate among staff, facilities, and programming, and that way the regional boards have the opportunity to reflect the interests, the priorities and the values of their community in a way that also includes the mandatory public school program that it's necessary to provide under legislation. So that's why we see regional differences, because communities often have different priorities and the boards, which are an elected level of government, are in a position to reflect those unique priorities and needs within their region.

That's why it would be very inappropriate for a provincial government to step in and dictate how the school board chooses to use its financial and human resources, but we will work with them in order to identify the options that are possible for them to protect Holy Angels. We're committed to doing that. We've been doing it for the past year. The board fully understands and we will ensure that they put those options on the table, that they work with interested groups and within the community to make those decisions. They need to understand where the support is coming from, who's willing to do what, and they need to

[Page 3300]

look at unique and, as I said, innovative ways of reaching a compromise, a solution, that will meet everybody's needs in this particular situation.

I'm confident that that level of government will take up this responsibility and this challenge in a very professional way because it's all about the students. I know there are suggestions that there's undercurrents and other agendas going on here, but I think that we are all committed to serving the best needs of the students across this province. I will be taking that message to both Holy Angels, the community and supporters, and to the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board when I go to Sydney on Friday. The government and the Department of Education are committed to ensuring that those options are in place and that a very careful, well-considered approach is taken to reaching these decisions.

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

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that the people of Sydney and area who have children going to Holy Angels, or those who have graduated from Holy Angels, would be very happy to see the minister this weekend - or this Friday, whenever she's coming. I'm sure she'll get the kind of reception that will dictate what has been said in this House today. I guess it will be an appropriate reception.

[5:30 p.m.]

I want to thank my colleagues in the Progressive Conservative Party from Cape Breton who have joined in this debate to assist me in trying to convince the government that the school in question, which is in my riding of Cape Breton South, remains there and remains an active educational institution. The honourable members from Cape Breton West, Victoria-The Lakes, and Cape Breton North, as well as the Education Critic of the Progressive Conservative Party, the member for Colchester North - I want to thank them. I also want to thank my colleague in the Legislature, the member for Glace Bay, Geoff MacLellan, a newly-elected member who also signed this petition today, the petition that I was proud to present in the House today.

That petition had 7,500 names who don't agree with you, Madam Minister. As we were speaking today, there were more petitions coming in which will probably be presented tomorrow and over the next few days. The Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame have started a proud legacy at Holy Angels since 1885, and for a number of those years those sisters taught at Holy Angels, taught young women with very little in reward except the satisfaction that they were putting a good educational product in their building in the north end of Sydney.

It's unfortunate that the minister keeps talking about options. Let's say for the record what the Premier said today. For the record, the Premier said his government will not be buying Holy Angels. So all the spin in the world that the minister is putting on is nothing more than that - just political spin. She has been scripted very well to keep saying that she's

[Page 3301]

going to meet and discuss options. Well, the only option that I know that the students want, and the 7,500 people who signed the petition, is to remain in the present building at Holy Angels. The Premier has cut that idea adrift today by saying his government's not going to purchase the school.

But, yet again, the minister comes out today with another press release, another spin from the spin doctors over at the Department of Education. It's the second paragraph where it states, consider all options, including helping to coordinate. So they're going to get in now - if I get this right - they're going to go and coordinate the efforts by a community organization for moving the school and students to another location, that's in her press release today. When she meets with the board on Friday, she's going to say that you have the option, go out and get a community group, one of the clubs that operate in the Sydney area.

Like I said earlier in Question Period, maybe the Lions Club might want to buy it and run the education system for Holy Angels, or the KoC or the YMCA or whomever. When she says community groups, in other words, they're going to wash their hands of the educational system at Holy Angels in that present building, but they're allowing somebody else to buy it and run it.

In the year 2010, the education system in Nova Scotia has regressed so much that we're now going to turn over the operation of an all-girls school to a community group. Come on, Madam Minister. I'm surprised you even let that go out today. Whoever conned you into letting that go out today should be ashamed of themselves and the Department of Education.

It's $750,000 - or as I said in Question Period the other day - or less; a sharp negotiator might be able to get it for a little less. I can only assume that the government has already made up its mind that Holy Angels is going to cease to exist on that site, and cease to exist as an all-girls school, because those excellent students that have attended Holy Angels and are attending at Holy Angels, do not want to be assimilated in another school. They've had a precious thing; they've had an educational icon there for years and they do not want to be dumped in another school such as the rumour running around the school in the Deputy Premier's riding, about Breton Education Centre, which is lacking of enrolment and it poses a serious problem for the board in the future.

The answer to that problem is not to cause another problem by taking Holy Angels out of the system and putting those students out there. They're not going to stand for that. Nor should they have to even consider that.

The renovations have been mentioned and I agree, that school's going to have to be renovated, so was Sydney Academy. It was done by the previous government, so was Riverview High School, so was Baddeck, so were some junior highs. While we're talking junior highs and the minister talks about money, I believe there's a new junior high going in

[Page 3302]

the Premier's riding at a cost of $8 million or $9 million. That's the word that I hear, but if that's not true, the minister can correct me, but I understand there's a new school going out there. The money will be found for that, I guess.

Anyway, the minister is blaming the board, I think, by saying it's the board's responsibility and trying to put the onus on the board to accept the heat that's going to come from the constituency, people who are concerned about this, from all constituencies: Cape Breton West, Cape Breton Centre, Cape Breton Nova, Cape Breton North, Glace Bay, all of those constituencies have young women attending Holy Angels. All of them have a great deal of pride in their school; they have a great deal of pride in the fact that they're going to an all-girls school and they act accordingly.

The minister met with the students today and congratulated them for coming up here today. They shouldn't have had to come up here today on a bus, but they did, they had to raise the money to come up here, a bus that they had to go out and get the money for. Some of the parents put their own money into this bus coming up here today. The school board knew they were coming here, the minister agreed to meet with them, and I thank the minister for that, but what she said to them is we're going to discuss options on Friday.

Again, I tell you that one of the options - I'm speaking now to the people back home - don't be fooled by that because the Premier said in this House today that the government is not purchasing Holy Angels and continuing to operate it as a school. Even though for many years the governments of the day - be it this government or the previous government or the one before that - got off pretty easy in the costs of Holy Angels only because the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame subsidized that school for years.

Now they want to pass along and they did pass along their legacy to the present-day administration at Holy Angels, who have carried on the excellent reputation of Holy Angels, carried it on to the point where it has received national attention on its academic excellence. It always receives great grades when it comes to providing education in this all-girls setting.

For years we have heard the cry about not enough money in education and all of the things that go along with that like having to cut back here or cut back there, and in some cases I think it's a matter of choices. Here the government has the choice to keep a unique all-girls school, the only one in the public system east of Montreal to keep it open and that setting in historic north end Sydney where it has been for years next to the Holy Angels Convent where the Sisters actually live. It has been there for many years and it has contributed greatly to the economic well-being of downtown Sydney where 300 girls are coming in and out of that school every day and it's close to the main downtown area of Sydney.

I think there's hope when the Premier says something because he has a habit of changing his mind when the heat is on so maybe if there's enough heat on in this one that

[Page 3303]

he'll be bound to it. I suggest that the Premier come to Sydney and tell the people of that area, tell the people of your constituency, Mr. Deputy Speaker, or the constituency of Cape Breton Centre or the other constituencies that are not government constituencies down there why he's refusing to spend $750,000 to keep an icon going in the centre of Sydney, to keep a school going that has an excellent reputation over the years of providing quality education and, also, to keep a school there that would keep the tradition alive that was started by the Congregation of Notre Dame.

I mentioned the other day that people like Senator Peggy Butts who was a pioneer in fighting for women's issues and fighting for the Holy Angels school itself and people like Sister Agnes Cordeau and all her sisters. Sister Agnes Cordeau, of course, was a principal there and all the other Sisters who were there, Sister MacInnes. I could go on but I don't want to do that because I'm going to miss some names. I can tell you that those sisters in that congregation were dedicated to keeping quality education for girls at the high school level in Sydney.

Now, for the minister to discuss options and say that she's going to discuss options with the board. On the one hand she says the board is responsible for delivering the program, on the other hand she's going to discuss options. I don't know which it is but I do know one thing, that the government, your ministry, the Minister of Education's ministry and the Minister of Finance have the hands on the purse strings, the school board doesn't. You know what? The school board might feel a bit intimidated by this exercise that's going on because what's happening with the school board, they're torn, they're torn by trying to protect Holy Angels and agree that we should take over that particular building, because they might incur the wrath of the provincial Department of Education in other ways and they're struggling to keep the education system going in our riding. It wouldn't be the first time that that has happened.

It's all about choices and, you know, the Minister of Finance and other people in the government have made choices. They chose to pay a civil servant $340,000 to get rid of him. There was no problem doing that. I didn't hear anybody stand up and say we didn't have the money to do that. He just disagreed with government policy so he was gone, $340,000 out the window. But to keep a school open that teaches excellence for young ladies in our community down in Cape Breton, to keep that open is a problem.

You know, $50 million in Pictou County for a foreign company that may or may not prove to be a good investment is not a problem, but $750,000 to keep a school open, an all-girls school - it's the only one east of Montreal - suddenly is a problem. I think the reason it's a problem is - I think the fix is in here. I think what they want to do is close Holy Angels and move those students into another school, possibly Breton Education Centre. So I'll be watching that eventuality to see if that's going to happen. We must save Holy Angels and we'll continue to work hard to do that until we reach our goal.

[Page 3304]

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

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, I can't say I'm pleased to rise today to speak to this resolution, because I feel it's something we shouldn't even be discussing. First of all, I want to thank the students and the chaperones who were in the gallery this afternoon for showing their passion toward Holy Angels High School. I know it's too bad that they had to leave to miss this debate, but I know they want to go to school tomorrow while they still have one.

It has been said many times in this House that Holy Angels is an institution for all of Nova Scotia to be proud of. We on this side of the House are proud of it, but it certainly appears those members on the opposite side aren't. Holy Angels has been part of the community since 1885, under the watchful eye of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. Now, in Holy Angels' time of need, the provincial government has turned its back on the school and the 299 young women who attend that school.

With this issue having been on the minister's plate for nearly a year, the students and staff alike have been left in limbo. There has been little or no effort on the part of this government and even fewer assurances. The only sure thing, as we heard from the Premier today, is that this government refuses to purchase Holy Angels High School. The $750,000 asking price for the facility is merely a fraction of the financial commitment the NDP Government has made to a brand-new facility in the Premier's hometown - which, coincidentally, would host the same number of students. It's also minute in comparison to the recent land purchases made. It's not even in the ballpark. For this reason, the argument on fiscal constraint is no longer relevant.

[5:45 p.m.]

What is becoming increasingly clear as this crisis unfolds is that there's a tremendous emotional attachment to this facility. Enrolment is increasing year after year. Its rankings are on the rise in the annual AIMS report on schools. Our office has been flooded with letters and calls from concerned students, parents, and alumni. Just last week 300 people jammed the gymnasium to show their support for Holy Angels High School. Today students and parents were here in this Legislature to fight for their school.

Mr. Speaker, all relevant parties support this school's continued operation, from the Opposition Parties in this House to municipal council and, surprisingly - it shouldn't be - to the school board, all trying to get this government to listen to the will of the people.

If I could, I would like to reference an e-mail that our caucus office received just yesterday from a Holy Angels graduate who is also the daughter and granddaughter of Holy Angels graduates. I'm just going to read a section of it.

"I think the problem is that it's actually an invaluable institution - it's impossible to put a dollar value on the good Holy Angels represents, so those of us arguing for its

[Page 3305]

continued existence are always at a disadvantage to those arguing for its closure (or relocation) on strictly financial grounds.

Teachers' salaries, heat and lights, maintenance costs and 'necessary renovations' (however suspect) can be calculated and presented in dollar terms. The strength, independence, love of learning and bonds of friendship that Holy Angels fosters in its students are not so easily quantified.

But that makes them no less real."

I will table that e-mail.

Mr. Speaker, just this morning an incredibly confusing release came from the minister. Its title was: Minister of Education committed to keeping Holy Angels School open. It was misleading as it merely encouraged the school board to consider all options. This is not leadership and it's not what the school community is looking for.

Mr. Speaker, the decision on Holy Angels shows the lack of leadership this government has demonstrated since June 2009 - false promises, lack of ideas, and passing the buck. Already the board has basically been told that they have to find options for Holy Angels. The minister has referred numerous times in this House that the board look for room in existing facilities.

Well, Mr. Speaker, let me say, through you, that does not and will not work. Simply put, having Holy Angels be enveloped by another institution is totally unacceptable. It's the tradition of a stand-alone facility that makes it great. It can't be replicated by simply moving the students to another institution. The staff, students, everyone in that school, and the residents of Cape Breton stand united in their desire to see the proud school remain open and anything but that would be utter failure on this government's part.

Mr. Speaker, the minister said she spent about an hour speaking to the students. Well, we spoke to the students after their meeting and they were told it's not the minister's responsibility. Well, these bright young women don't buy that. The only cost to the board has been a $40,000 lease they paid to the Sisters. The students who are here today call this a subsidy and they reminded the minister of that. Now they're asking the province to do the right thing.

The suggestion that was made by the minister to have someone else buy the building was stated again by the Premier. Why are we trying to download the ownership of our schools to community groups? We have to question whether or not the decision is already made. We've asked the minister to convene an all-Party meeting with the school board - that didn't happen. We've asked the minister to have her department negotiate with the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame. Did that happen? Not that we're aware of.

[Page 3306]

Another question that has to be asked, is the province waiting for someone else to buy the building so that they can continue to lease it from someone else?

Mr. Speaker, if someone buys the building and it is a business, your lease is not going to be $40,000. The minister referred to it as an excellent meeting, that the group was leaving with some hope. Well, the ones that we spoke to said they didn't leave with any hope. I think, if anything, they left here more frustrated. They came here to get answers. The answer they got was the board will have to - we will meet with the board on Friday, and when speaking of that, I have to say I'm pleased that the minister is meeting with the board and staff of Holy Angels and, possibly, since we didn't get an all-Party meeting, we would be willing to join her in that meeting if she so wishes.

Mr. Speaker, we asked the minister last week to table some of the options that were being discussed. There was never anything tabled, but today we heard that the students who were here were told about some options that could exist for Holy Angels High School. So I guess I'm going to ask again, Mr. Speaker, that the minister please table the options that we requested last week, that probably weren't there but apparently are there this week, so if we could please have those tabled, it would be appreciated.

The minister also has said, a couple of times, reasonable people will make reasonable decisions. Remember the adage, build it and they will come? Well, Madam Minister, move it and they won't. It always seems that looking at other options will restrict and make more difficult the opportunity for students outside the Sydney area, where the bulk of the enrolment of Holy Angels comes from - they come from outside areas - that will restrict that movement.

If that school happens to be - as has been suggested - in Breton Education Centre, will the students from Georges River, will the students from the Northside, go to New Waterford? Will the students from Sydney leave and go to New Waterford? Those are questions that have to be asked because you can take Holy Angels and make it a part of another school and have its own identity, but that identity is lost if you're sharing it with Breton Education Centre or you're sharing it with any other school in the board.

Mr. Speaker, it's about leadership and I think today in a lot of the questions that we heard from our Leader to the Premier, the questions were based on leadership. I think it's time that this Premier, this minister and this government show leadership, do the right thing, and keep Holy Angels High School where it is.

Again, there's only one thing for certain, the Premier said during Oral Question Period that the province is not buying the school. It seems that the agenda of this government is to divide and conquer, but it's going to be a rough road. The young ladies and parents who were in the gallery here today and those attending Holy Angels High School, their parents

[Page 3307]

and their grandparents, are not going to be giving up and no one on this side is going to be giving up either.

Mr. Speaker, do the right thing, that's all we ask. Do the right thing, keep Holy Angels going as the existing facility that it is and the benefits that will be derived from that will be tremendous. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: I would like to thank all the honourable members for an excellent debate. The time allotted for debate has expired

The honourable House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it is taking a while to get used to all the titles. That concludes the business today for the Progressive Conservative Party so I'll pass the baton back on to the Government House Leader.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, the man has more titles than a Mexican fighter - the Leader of the Third Party knows much about boxing, I assure you, and he will impart much of that to us in the years to come. His knowledge of boxing is second to none, apparently, I've been told. Now with the business, Mr. Speaker. He's missing my best lines.

Mr. Speaker, the hours for tomorrow will be 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. and following the daily routine, we will be doing Bill Nos. 83, 85, 87 and 88.

I move that the House do now rise to meet at the hour of noon tomorrow.

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

The motion is carried.

We will sit tomorrow between the hours of 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m.

We have now reached the moment of interruption. The debate chosen earlier, was submitted by the honourable member for Kings North and it states:

"Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly take a moment to recognize the achievements and bravery of William Hall, VC, the first African-American, 'the first Nova Scotian and one of the first Canadians' to have received the esteemed Victoria Cross."

ADJOURNMENT

[Page 3308]

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings North.

HALL, WILLIAM: ACHIEVEMENTS - RECOGNIZE

MR. JIM MORTON: Mr. Speaker, in just two days we'll observe Remembrance Day and so it seems to me somehow fitting to recall one of our forebears who has contributed so much to Nova Scotia and to Canada.

William Hall was born in about 1827. There are many things we don't know for sure about this man, but he was born sometime around 1827 in Horton, Nova Scotia, to Jacob and Lucinda Hall, who were former American slaves and probably, at least what history seems to be able to tell us, almost certainly refugees of the War of 1812.

William was one of seven children. We know he was the youngest of those children and that, to my mind, suggests that he may have been more adventurous than people born at other spaces in his family. Certainly, he acted on that. He probably attended school in Horton, but we expect not for very long, and as a very young child, probably as a young adolescent, began working at the shipyards in Hantsport, which were quite prolific at that point.

At some time shortly thereafter he set sail as a merchant marine. As a young man he was working on trading vessels and by the time he was 18 years old he had probably visited most of the major ports in the world. Because of that travel he spent three years in the American Navy, saw some service just after the Mexican War, and was discharged. Then, in 1852, he enlisted in the British Navy in Liverpool, England.

It's not so surprising, perhaps, that while William Hall was a man of colour, a man of African descent, he also was a man who was born into a time when the British Government had created opportunities for people of African descent to serve in some of their institutions and the military was one of those. So in 1852 he enlisted in the Royal Navy in Liverpool, England, and his first service was as an Able Seaman. He saw service on a number of ships and, in fact, saw considerable service in the Crimean War where he won several medals for bravery and for the service that he spent there.

[6:00 p.m.]

In 1857, William Hall was serving in the Far East on the HMS Shannon at a time when the Indian regiments mutinied or became rebellious. I think this William Hall became both a hero of history and a man who was caught up in his time. The British Government at

[Page 3309]

that point was involved in running an empire that spanned the globe. William Hall was a relatively lowly military man in the British military and he got caught up in this rebellion in India. His ship, among other crews, was called to give service to Indian regiments, to government regiments that were trying to quell the rebellion.

In November 1857 the crew of HMS Shannon was sent to rescue the British garrison, which was under siege in Lucknow, India. What happened thereafter was what got William Hall the Victoria Cross, why he's now referred to as VC. The mutinous Indian regiments had secured themselves within a mosque. The mosque was under siege at the point that Hall and other members of his crew arrived. They tried to take the mosque but suffered very heavy casualties, many of his crew were killed. William Hall and members of his crew, including the lieutenant who was in charge, his name was James Young, were assigned to use a cannon to break a hole in the thick wall of the mosque.

As I said, many of the members of the gun crews were killed as that activity was happening but Hall, who was a large and powerful man, continued to fire, continued to reload and continued to move forward despite all of the carnage that was happening around him.

Lieutenant Young was seriously wounded in this event but Hall continued forward and eventually they were able to reach the wall and the army behind them was able to move into the mosque and take control of the situation. As a result of that event, the captain of the HMS Shannon, William Peel, recommended William Hall and Lieutenant Young for the Victoria Cross in recognition of their valiant behaviour.

I'd just like to read to you what the citation said at that point from part of the historical record:

"Lieutenant (now Commander) Young, late Gunnery Officer of Her Majesty's ship 'Shannon' and William Hall, 'Captain of the Foretop' of that Vessel, were recommended by the late Captain Peel for the Victoria Cross, for their gallant conduct at a 24-pounder Gun, brought up to the angle of the Shah Nujiff, at Lucknow, on the 16th of November, 1857."

The Victoria Cross, for those of you who haven't looked at one recently, is in the shape of a Maltese Cross. It has a lion emblazoned on it, standing on the crown of Britain and underneath that are the words "For Valor." Mr. Hall, in later years as he wore that cross very proudly, always displayed it on a blue ribbon to show that he had been a member of the Royal Navy. Mr. Hall was actually awarded the Victoria Cross on October 28, 1859 on board the HMS Donegal in Queenstown Harbour, Ireland, which was more than three years after the event, which earned him that.

[Page 3310]

He continued to actually serve in the Royal Navy until 1876 when he retired as a quartermaster and was given a certificate of good conduct at that time. Then, like people often do when they retire from the military or from some other career and they start off life in Nova Scotia, he returned to Hortonville where he started off life and moved in with two of his sisters on a farm in that community near Avonport. He lived a relatively peaceful life during that time, he farmed. There are some reports that he had what looked to be a prosperous farm, that he lived fairly well in that environment.

In 1901, just three years, in fact, before his death, he was in Halifax when the Duke of Edinburgh and York, who was later King George V, visited Nova Scotia and was recognized by the Duke because he was wearing his medals and was actually given a place of honour in the parade during that event, one of the few times after his discharge that he was recognized for service.

William Hall actually died at home of what was called paralysis on August 25th - the day of my mother's death actually - in 1904. He was buried without military honours, tragically, in an unmarked grave and he was in debt. Despite what appeared to be a farm that gave him a reasonable living, he and his sisters were in debt for 500 pounds sterling. Friends of his estate were asked to see if they could sell his medals to raise funds to pay off his debt and that happened, so the medals found their way back to England during that time.

Since then a number of things have happened. I mentioned already that during the Crimean War he was awarded other medals, he wore those as proudly as his Victoria Cross. He was the third Canadian, actually, to win a Victoria Cross and the first African-Canadian to win it. The first two were Colonel Alexander Dunn from Toronto for service in the Crimean War and surgeon Herbert T. Reade, who also during the Indian Mutiny in 1857 was awarded the Victoria Cross. Hall was the first Canadian winner of the Naval Victoria Cross, among about 80 people who won that award for valour since that time.

Since Hall's death there have been a number of people - I only have one minute left so I would like to move very quickly and not tell you so many more things, but to say that William Hall's life I think has been an inspiration to many people.

I was in Gibson Woods not very long ago with the Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs and sat with a few people who are elders of that community who were talking about the resurgence of pride that they have in the place that they live. In front of the church in that community is a plaque created by the Valley African Nova Scotia Development Association which pictures some of the historical figures who have been important to that community and to the Gibson Woods community, and William Hall is part of that group. So people look to William Hall as a hero, as somebody to revere, and to somebody who can give hope for a better world in the future. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

[Page 3311]

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it's with great pleasure I rise to say a few words on the hero - and we can only say it in one word - hero, William Hall. Unfortunately, like so many other things in the Black community, his heroism went unrecognized here in Nova Scotia for a long time. My honourable colleague very aptly described the heroism and the battles he was in, and the many awards and medals he did receive which really shows the value of such a brave and wonderful sailor and, indeed, being the first Canadian in the Navy to receive the Victoria Cross is quite an accomplishment.

When you look back at history and all the battles that have been fought, all the things that the Canadian Forces had been involved in at that time and prior to that time, it was really an incredible feat. Especially for a Black man who at that time would have been treated basically as a slave, being able to accomplish the things that he did. Indeed, conquered not only fear of a battle and the many things that would go along with that, but also the problems that he would have had at that time being from the Black community.

I want to go on to thank the Black Cultural Centre and one person in particular - Dr. Henry Bishop. Dr. Henry Bishop was instrumental this year in getting a Canadian stamp in honour of William Hall, the Victoria Cross recipient. There was a wonderful ceremony at the Black Cultural Centre. The admiral for Maritime Forces Atlantic was there along with Canada Post and many other dignitaries and bestowed upon this gentleman, posthumously, of course, one of the greatest honours you can have in this country - a stamp that would recognize the wonderful and indeed the courageous work that he did when he was in the Navy.

You move forward in history from William Hall and you'll see the Black construction platoon that we talked about this in the Legislature the other day, that when they entered the Second World War, they didn't think they could hold up their end in a battle and they were afraid that they couldn't do the job. They didn't remember William Hall and all the other people like him who had fought so gallantly. Over the time that - this has been going on for years and years and my honourable colleague talked about the pride in the Black community which is coming back which I'm very pleased to see, representing the largest Black community, indigenous community, actually in Canada I believe. The pride is coming back in the community. The fine things that have been done are starting to be recognized. So many people who have been first in the country and first sometimes in North America in accomplishing things and at the time they accomplished them, there was no recognition. I hope will change forever and I'm sure that it's on the way to do that.

You'll see the work that has been done by the Black community and by people such as William Hall to make this country as great as it is and with almost no recognition. Can you imagine a hero to the level that William Hall had achieved in his lifetime in the military and indeed was buried without any military honours? That's unacceptable, totally unacceptable and today that would not happen. It's nice to see today that people are working together in the Canadian Forces, which I know we're all very proud of in this Legislature, to see that it

[Page 3312]

doesn't matter what your colour is or what your ethnic background is, you can accomplish anything you desire to accomplish in the Forces as long as you work hard like everybody else does. That is long, long overdue.

I can remember that the Black construction platoon - I was talking to Dr. Henry Bishop, one of the organizers of that function in Pictou every year, and he said the highest ranking officer that we've ever been able to attract to this function - this very function to honour all these members in this construction platoon who achieved wonderful things and, indeed, did receive many medals but never got recognition beyond that - was the lieutenant commander, the highest-ranking person ever. Fortunately I had a cousin, a woman, who at that time was a brigadier general in the Canadian military. I approached her and asked her if she would come to the Black construction platoon's annual celebration that they had in Pictou. She said, well, I have to check my schedule and everything else. We made the arrangements and she did come. She was the highest-ranking officer who had ever been to this function. Now this is today - this is not 200 years ago, this is today.

Lo and behold, we got there, she came, she gave a wonderful speech, and it so happened that under her watch in the military, she did document her organization that she was responsible for, documented and published many books on the contributions by the Black people in the military over the years, so she was very familiar with this. Lo and behold, much to my surprise and to her surprise, because she made quite some big waves in the Canadian military when she did come, that the brigadier general who outranked her here in Atlantic Canada showed up with his staff at this function.

It was good to see that finally the fine work and the hard work and the bravery and the heroism that the soldiers with African Nova Scotian background and African-Canadian background really started to achieve, to see some people in authority in the military who recognize how important their contributions were. I was very fortunate to be able to convince my cousin to come and participate in that function, and indeed, she did enjoy it very much and got to meet many people who I am sure she will remember until the day she passes away, which I hope is a long time from now.

It has been an incredible experience for me working in the Black community. I didn't know anything about William Hall and I went to school with a lot of the young people from Preston, and I'm sure they didn't know about him. It is important that the community knows about people like William Hall and so many more. The list is so large and the accomplishments are so great that it would take days and days to go through all the things that the Black community has accomplished in Nova Scotia - particularly in Nova Scotia.

When you see the things that have happened and the things we can no longer tolerate - and shouldn't have tolerated years ago - it's nice to see that slowly, slowly things are changing. You're seeing that a lot of people from the community are now in the process of going to university. When I went to school very few people from the Black community went

[Page 3313]

to university; it was very unfortunate. I've talked in this place before about the mid-1970s, when children from the Black community weren't allowed to go to school. They were not allowed to go to school in the 1970s. They would come out and they would ask the children what an escalator was. Now fortunately, I travelled to the U.S. on vacation to see relatives down there, so I knew what an escalator was. If they'd asked me what an escalator was before I went to school I couldn't have told them, because there were none here. So if they couldn't answer a couple of questions like that, well, you're mentally challenged and you can't go to school. That's exactly what the school board used to tell them.

[6:15 p.m.]

Finally the Black community had enough of this and they took the school board and the province to court and, indeed, started the process of ensuring that the Black children in the community got an equal education. As they went through this process, they decided they were going to give the kids a head start and they started a daycare centre. Well, the daycare centre first went to the Department of Education and said, what do we need to teach our kids to get them ready for school and when they go into Grade Primary? Well, we're not interested. Then after three or four years of running the daycare, the school came out and said, what are you doing to the kids? He said they're coming to school and they're way ahead of any of the other kids, you've trained them so well. You can see what a community that's determined can do and I can only commend the community for the fantastic work they've done and look forward to many more positive things as we move forward, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, it's indeed an honour tonight to get up and say a few words. I want to thank the member for Kings North and the member for Preston as well for their comments this evening. This is a lot about a couple of history lessons we've heard so far so I'm going to talk just a little bit different. No sense in repeating things that have already been said. If I can help it, I'm going to stay away from that but I'm going to talk about William Hall a little bit. He comes from my area, the Hantsport area and I know he spent some time in Kings North, I guess, in those days, which wasn't defined as of yet but would have been what is Kings North today. He then moved on and has certainly spent time in the Hantsport area after his multiple journeys around the world and all of his escapades and fighting wars and all of the great things that he had done and certainly achieved. Very much well-deserving of the award that was bestowed upon him, the Victoria Cross.

There have been a number of tributes. We see a tribute downstairs in this very building, this historic building. There is a photo, a painting hanging on the wall there very appropriately that was done some time ago. We've heard about a stamp that has been done, a little bit about the history of the wars that he fought in and so on.

[Page 3314]

Besides that, here he lieth in Hantsport, of all places around the world in his journey that he had taken, in the small Town of Hantsport, Nova Scotia. There, as well, is a monument erected with a plaque on it that talks a little bit about William Hall, for many years gone unrecognized, then rightfully, given a place and buried appropriately and given the honours that he so deserved.

In this province, strangely enough, we have five Victoria Cross recipients: William Hall in 1867, we had John Chipman Kerr from Fox River in 1916, Philip Bent, Halifax in 1917, James Robertson in 1917 and John Bernard Croak from Glace Bay in 1918. Two of those have Legions, I believe, named after them, one being the Croak and a Legion branch in Glace Bay. (Interruption) A school and Legion named after him. As well as in Hantsport where William Hall has been so widely recognized. There is the Lucknow Branch Legion there today. It's too bad in debate like this that we weren't able to bring in historians like Joey Patterson. I don't know if anyone here knows St. Clair, his appropriate name. Joey's has done a tremendous amount of history on a variety of things. Everything from shipbuilding and, of course, who couldn't tie shipbuilding and shipping and travelling on the high seas and not have William Hall come into that story. He would be an excellent resource to have here and if you really wanted a history lesson, his book that has been written a year or so ago and published is a great lesson there as well.

We were very fortunate to have people like William Hall and others who I've just mentioned receive awards but this tradition has carried on over the years. They may not all be Victoria Cross bearers and recipients but we have had a number of people from this province and from this country fight in many wars. Here we are at a time of remembrance in November that we always think about at top of mind more than other times of year maybe for some. I know members of this House have stood in their place this week and they've reflected by way of resolutions some of those people.

One of those members sitting across the way there, I know, from Lunenburg West spoke passionately yesterday I believe in a resolution regarding family. I can tell you, that's what people will remember, not just on November 11th, they remember those people. The family of William Hall would have remembered for many years, decades, and then you forget. It seems like there's a time when all is lost but it comes back around - these recognitions of William Hall, like we're seeing again.

Now tomorrow there's an event here, which I think we've all been pretty much made aware of. His name will take the place of a connector road in the Hantsport area. I don't know if other members will be attending but I'm sure they will, the local members at least from the Kings County and myself. I know that I'll be there in the morning to attend that ceremony, once again, a very fitting time of year, a very fitting change for our area in Hantsport to reflect on William Hall's feats and life and his memory and all that was done.

[Page 3315]

But back to the time of year, here we are in the time of remembering and we do remember. A lot of us remember, probably most of us remember all year long, especially if we've had family in the service. I, myself, have many family members: my brother's in the service right now, stationed out of Greenwood, and I have two brothers-in-law who are both military men. One has spent two terms in Afghanistan. You can just imagine what that must be like. He can think of that and yet when you talk to him he doesn't talk much about it, like a lot of the old vets didn't talk much about their experiences when they were overseas in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean conflict.

Those are always things that we think about and we don't forget because of our family connections to things like conflicts around the world and every day we hear in the news, we're still hearing about Afghanistan, we're hearing about terrorism, we're hearing about conflicts, it's hard not to remember. Not just on November 11th, while we'll all go to the cenotaph and we'll stand and we'll do our thing, but it's every day; it's so in the forefront now with the news and the media.

I wonder what it would have been like had all that been around in the day of William Hall. Would it have been as widely recognized? You can just picture him reading the history and the story that Jim told, pardon me the story that the member for Kings North told. He gave quite a history lesson on the big gun and you can picture this as you read it, so unlike today when you actually see what is going on in these places. There's a whole different picture of what war means today, there's a whole different picture of what our veterans are today.

We have the new vets, or modern vets, who are fighting for rights. We have veterans from the Second World War, those who are still alive, and that number is shrinking; the Korean conflict, that number is shrinking. My wife's grandfather is a veteran of the Korean War. He's 85 years old, I think now, and he's getting more frail by the day, by the week, by the month, as are a lot of those people that we hear talked about in this Legislative Assembly at this time of year when resolutions and so on are brought forward, and at different times, I suppose too, when we talk about our Legions and we're doing this or we're doing that, but it's important that we remember William Hall.

It's important that we remember all of those recipients. It's important that we remember all of our veterans from days gone by, not just on November 11th. When we see our kids in the schools - there are Legions that go around, I know in my area, and they'll talk, maybe about William Hall a little bit, and these days through the Remembrance week when they visit elementary schools and they do presentations and the kids sit there in their assembly, watching intently as the Last Post is done and all of that process is completed year after year, and they watch this all the way through.

If it wasn't for that I don't know just exactly how this would be carried on, I guess through places like this and opportunities such as this coming forward tonight. We have to

[Page 3316]

continue to promote, not just in November, but all year long. We have to remember again, as I said, our new vets, who are fighting in conflicts around the world now, and we need to figure out where we're going with that, what does that actually mean.

People like William Hall, as we keep going back, it's the history lesson, it's the beginning, it's the first Victoria Cross that was awarded. Will there be more? Maybe. Will there be more from this province? We've already seen the sacrifice of Nova Scotians in current wars. What a shame that is that these young men and women are losing their lives, some will say. It's a huge debate, as we know, around the country. Should we be there? Shouldn't we be there? Again, here we are in the news. Now there's a potential for extension and I can tell you from military families like ours, that means something, so, let's remember William Hall, John Croke, James Robertson, Philip Bent and John Kerr, five Nova Scotians who received this great honour of the Victoria Cross and let's remember all those who are out there fighting for us today and every day. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. I would like to thank all the honourable members tonight for an excellent debate on such an historic topic on African Nova Scotians. The adjournment for the House to rise was made earlier. We will now rise and sit between the hours of 12:00 noon and 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Thank you.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 6:27 p.m.]

[Page 3317]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2075

By: Mr. 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 the Police Long Service Award and Medal was established to recognize the respect, appreciation and outstanding career of Nova Scotians who serve and protect; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia annually recognizes the career success of officers who not only contribute to the police service, but also to the well-being and strength of their communities; and

Whereas our families, neighbours, communities, province and country are safer and more secure thanks to the 24/7 service our valued police officials provide;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join with me in recognizing Constable Murray Gilroy of the Springhill Police Service, and extend congratulations, thanks and appreciation for his 25 years of long service as recognized at a ceremony on November 2, 2010.

RESOLUTION NO. 2076

By: Mr. 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 the Police Long Service Award and Medal was established to recognize the respect, appreciation and outstanding career of Nova Scotians who serve and protect; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia annually recognizes the career success of officers who not only contribute to the police service, but also to the well-being and strength of their communities; and

Whereas our families, neighbours, communities, province and country are safer and more secure thanks to the 24/7 service our valued police officials provide;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join with me in recognizing Constable Paul MacDonald of the Springhill Police Service, and extend

[Page 3318]

congratulations, thanks and appreciation for his 25 years of long service as recognized at a ceremony on November 2, 2010.

RESOLUTION NO. 2077

By: Mr. 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 the Police Long Service Award and Medal was established to recognize the respect, appreciation and outstanding career of Nova Scotians who serve and protect; and

Whereas the Province of Nova Scotia annually recognizes the career success of officers who not only contribute to the police service, but also to the well-being and strength of their communities; and

Whereas our families, neighbours, communities, province and country are safer and more secure thanks to the 24/7 service our valued police officials provide;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly join with me in recognizing Corporal Douglas Williams of the Springhill Police Service, and extend congratulations, thanks and appreciation for his 25 years of long service as recognized at a ceremony on November 2, 2010.

RESOLUTION NO. 2078

By: Mr. Leonard Preyra (Halifax Citadel-Sable Island)

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

Whereas Operation Red Nose is a volunteer-led, free, anti-drinking-and-driving program, which helps keep Nova Scotia's roads and highways safe during the holiday season; and

Whereas Operation Red Nose is unique in that it enables motorists who might be unable to drive, and their passengers, to arrive safely at their destinations in their own vehicles and is run entirely by volunteers in communities such as Halifax, Truro and Sydney; and

Whereas today, November 9th, marked the official launch of the 2010 Operation Red Nose campaign, building on the success of 2009 in which 631 Operation Red Nose

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volunteers provided 833 rides throughout our province, helping to keep roads safe for Nova Scotians and their families at a time when impaired driving has, unfortunately, proven to be more prevalent;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognizes the important contribution that Operation Red Nose is making toward the prevention of impaired driving on Nova Scotia's roads and highways, and applauds the commitment of the volunteers and sponsors who are enabling motorists and their passengers to arrive safely at their destinations this holiday season.

RESOLUTION NO. 2079

By: Mr. Andrew Younger (Dartmouth East)

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

Whereas Keyana Redmond is a student at Prince Andrew High and a participant of the co-operative education credit program; and

Whereas Keyana is currently fulfilling her job placement with Michelle Gillard and Linda Furlough of Blossoms Fresh Fruit Arrangements in Dartmouth where she must complete a total of 100 hours over the course of the semester, in addition to her classroom studies; and

Whereas Keyana and her co-op program classmates demonstrate outstanding commitment to their education and workforce training by proactively enhancing their employment skills and gaining valuable work experience;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in congratulating Keyana Redmond on her participation in the co-op program at Prince Andrew High and wish her all the best in her future endeavours

RESOLUTION NO. 2080

By: Mr. Mat Whynott (Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville)

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

Whereas Hammonds Plains resident Sergeant Kevin Byrne, who is currently Aviation Technician for 12 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Shearwater, has served in multiple capacities for the Canadian Forces for 31 years; and

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Whereas earlier this year this valued member of our forces served a nine-month tour with the Canadian Helicopter Force's Task Force Freedom located in Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan; and

Whereas while on his tour Sergeant Byrne flew the Nova Scotia flag in his camp and distributed Nova Scotia pins to fellow comrades from around the world and visited monuments of considerable significance, including Vimy Ridge and Normandy;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly sincerely thank Sergeant Kevin Byrne of 12 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Shearwater for his exemplary service with the Canadian Helicopter Force and Task Force Freedom during his nine-month tour in the Kandahar Air Field and wish him the very best of luck in the future.