The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 09-10

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/

First Session

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 248, Gov't (N.S.)/NSGGEU/PSC: Pride Parade (2009) -
Involvement Congrats., Hon. F. Corbett 506
Vote - Affirmative 507
Res. 249, Right to Know Wk. (09/28-10/02/09) - Recognize,
The Premier (by Hon. F. Corbett) 507
Vote - Affirmative 508
Res. 250, Hurricane Juan: Preparedness - Importance,
Hon. R. Jennex 508
Vote - Affirmative 508
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 23, Employment Support and Income Assistance Act, Mr. C. Porter 508
No. 24, Pipeline Act, Hon. W. Estabrooks 509
No. 25, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. R. Jennex 509
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 251, Coady Intl. Ctr. - Grand Opening,
Hon. S. McNeil 509
Vote - Affirmative 510
Res. 252, Cdn. Foot & Rest. Assoc. - Anniv. (65th),
Hon. K. Casey 510
Vote - Affirmative 510
Res. 253, MacKenzie, Jake - Jiu-Jitsu Championship,
Ms. L. Zann 510
Vote - Affirmative 511
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 254, Kingston Steer Barbeque - Founders Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 511
Vote - Affirmative 512
Res. 255, Nakile Home for Special Care - Anniv. (20th),
Hon. C. d'Entremont 512
Vote - Affirmative 513
Res. 256, Lidstone, RCMP Cpl. Mike: Atl. HS Wrestling Fest. -
Organizing Commend, Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 513
Vote - Affirmative 514
Res. 257, McNeil, Adam - Golf Accomplishment,
Hon. S. McNeil 514
Vote - Affirmative 514
Res. 258, Mounce, Evan: Musical Talent - Applaud,
Mr. C. Porter 514
Vote - Affirmative 515
Res. 259, Dart. Moosehead Dry Men's Baseball Team - League Title,
Mr. A. Younger 515
Vote - Affirmative 516
Res. 260, N. River/N. Shore Terry Fox Run (29th) - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 516
Vote - Affirmative 517
Res. 261, C.B. Search & Rescue Assoc. - Anniv. (40th),
Hon. Manning MacDonald 517
Vote - Affirmative 517
Res. 262, Louisbourg Lighthouse - Anniv. (275th): Tribute Organizers -
Congrats., Mr. A. MacLeod 517
Vote - Affirmative 518
Res. 263, Maillet, Michel - Karate Championships,
Hon. W. Gaudet 518
Vote - Affirmative 519
Res. 264, Florence Vol. FD: Chief/Members/Vols. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 519
Vote - Affirmative 520
Res. 265, Osborne, Laura: Gunn, Rick et al/Bedford United Church -
Fundraising, Ms. K. Regan 520
Vote - Affirmative 520
Res. 266, N.S. Intl. Air Show: Yarmouth - Hosting Congrats.,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 521
Vote - Affirmative 521
Res. 267, Glace Bay Seniors & Pensioners Club: Vols. Recognize,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 521
Vote - Affirmative 522
Res. 268, MacRae, Heather et al/Baddeck Lobster Suppers -
Ghana Fundraising, Mr. K. Bain 522
Vote - Affirmative 523
Res. 269, MacGillivray, Logan - Sierra Leone Fundraising,
Ms. K. Regan 523
Vote - Affirmative 523
Res. 270, Gibson, Peter - Tennis Championship,
Mr. C. Porter 524
Vote - Affirmative 524
Res. 271, Clements, Maureen - N.S. Fed. Of Home & Sch. Associations
Vol. of Yr., Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 524
Vote - Affirmative 525
Res. 272, Neville, Bryan - Cycling Accomplishment,
Mr. A. MacLeod 525
Vote - Affirmative 526
Res. 273, Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team: Berwick Sport Hall of Fame -
Induction, Mr. L. Glavine 526
Vote - Affirmative 526
Res. 274, N.S. 55+ Games: Yarmouth Hosting - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 527
Vote - Affirmative 527
Res. 275, D'Entremont, Chris - St. John Ambulance Life-Saving Award,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 527
Vote - Affirmative 528
Res. 276, MacDougall, Chris - Verge Award,
Hon. K. Casey 528
Vote - Affirmative 529
Res. 277, St. Joseph's Elem. Sch./Sydney Mines Commun. -
"Let Them Be Kids" Award, Hon. C. Clarke 529
Vote - Affirmative 530
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 47, Justice: Police Review Bd. - Min. Responsibility,
Hon. M. Samson 530
No. 48, HPP: Rink Revitalization Prog. - Funding,
Hon. K. Casey 531
No. 49, Health: Caregiver Allowance - Clawback,
Hon. S. McNeil 532
No. 50, Com. Serv.: Caregiver Allowance - Soc. Assist. Clawback,
Hon. Manning MacDonald 533
No. 51, Health: Caregiver Strategy - Long-Term Care Beds,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 535
No. 52, Health: Caregiver Allowance - Flaws,
Ms. D. Whalen 536
No. 53, Health: Roseway Hosp. - ER Closures,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 538
No. 54, Roseway Hosp. - ER Closures: Gov't. (NDP) - Trust Justify,
Hon. C d'Entremont 538
No. 55, Health: Caregiver Allowance - Qualifying,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 539
No. 56, ERD - Bowater Mersey: Funding - Details,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 541
No. 57, Gov't. (NDP): Spokesperson - Clarify,
Hon. S. McNeil 542
No. 58, Gov't. (NDP): Openness & Transparency - Priority,
Hon. M. Samson 543
No. 59, ERD - Economy: Recovery Efforts - Details,
Hon. C. Clarke 545
No. 60, TCH: Black Cultural Ctr. - Funding,
Hon. K. Colwell 546
No. 61, ERD: Sm. Bus. Tax Credit - Removal,
Mr. C. Porter 547
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Hon. K. Colwell 548
Hon. R. Hurlburt 553
Hon. P. Paris 557
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 4:34 p.m 561
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 p.m. 561
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Health: Caregiver Allowance Prog. - Shortcomings Acknowledge,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 561
Hon. C. d'Entremont 564
Hon. Maureen MacDonald 567
HOUSE RECESSED AT 6:27 p.m. 569
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:32 p.m. 569
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:57 p.m. 569
ADJOURNMENT, The House rose to meet again on Wed., Sept. 30th at 2 p.m. 570
NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 278, Robichaud, Michelle: 4 Seasons Florist - Opening Congrats.,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 571

[Page 505]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

Sixty-first General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Charlie Parker

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we start the daily routine, I have a couple of statements I wish to read.

Honourable members, it has been brought to my attention that I misspoke during an interview last evening with the CBC. My laments involved matters surrounding the proposed Speaker's Dinner. I can't remember it exactly word for word what I said, but it was certainly not my intention to cast aspersions upon some or any members of this House, nor to speak in any partisan fashion. If my comments in any way were interpreted as such, I'm truly sorry. If I offended any member of this House, I truly apologize. I am your Speaker and act as Speaker for all members of this House and certainly earnestly want to retain the confidence of all of you. Thank you.

The second matter. Last week the member for Cumberland South asked about Question Period or length of questions and answers, the number of complete questions that we had, so I asked my staff to do some research. Over the last two-year period the average number of questions completed on a Tuesday and a Thursday, our one-hour sessions, had been 14.41. Last week on Tuesday we completed 14 questions and on Thursday we also completed 14 questions.

[Page 506]

505

Over the last two years the average number of questions completed on a Wednesday, our hour-and-a-half session, has been 20.9 questions. Last week on Wednesday, we completed 19 questions. So we're close. We're, I think, within the average of the Question Period over the last two years, and I would certainly ask all members, whether you're asking a question or whether you're answering a question, to try to be as concise as possible. Again, thank you for your co-operation.

Now, before we go to the daily routine I want to announce that the motion under Rule 5(5), the late debate topic was submitted by the honourable member for Kings West:

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly acknowledge the shortcomings when it comes to their delivery and execution of the Caregiver Allowance Program.

Again, that will be heard during the interruption at 6:00 p.m.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 248

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

Whereas the theme of the 2009 Halifax Pride Week was "Breaking Down Walls; Building Bridges"; and

Whereas the 2009 Halifax Pride Parade marks the second year that the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission and the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union participated together in the parade; and

[Page 507]

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is committed to being a workplace that values diversity and is representative of citizens of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the leaders and staff of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union and the Nova Scotia Public Service Commission for their involvement in the 2009 Pride Parade.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 249

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

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia has adopted the principles of openness, transparency and accountability, and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act gives Nova Scotians the right to access information in the custody or under the control of public bodies; and

Whereas the access to the information ensures citizens of Nova Scotia have the opportunity for meaningful participation in the democratic process; and

Whereas a celebration of the right of Nova Scotians to access information will facilitate informed public participation and policy formulation, ensure fairness in government decision making, and permit the airing and reconciliation of divergent views;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize and celebrate Right to Know Week from April 28th to October 2nd.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 508]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 250

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

Whereas Atlantic hurricane season is a time to remind Nova Scotians of the importance of being prepared; and

Whereas during hurricane season individuals should remember to have their emergency plans and kits ready; and

Whereas today, September 29th, marks the 6th Anniversary of Hurricane Juan, one of the most powerful and damaging hurricanes to hit our coast;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House take a moment to remember those we have lost and those who have suffered damages during Hurricane Juan in 2003, and acknowledge the critical importance of preparedness.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

[Page 509]

Bill No. 23 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 27 of the Acts of 2000. The Employment Support and Income Assistance Act. (Mr. Chuck Porter)

Bill No. 24 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 345 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Pipeline Act. (Hon. William Estabrooks)

Bill No. 25 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Hon. Ramona Jennex)

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

[2:15 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 251

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

Whereas in 1928 the St. F.X. Board of Governors asked Dr. Moses Coady to establish the university's Extension Department, appointing him its first director and over the next two decades this successful work became known worldwide as the Antigonish Movement; and

Whereas in 1959 the university established the Coady International Institute to provide programs that promote education, innovation, group action, and sustainable economic activities for disadvantaged groups around the world; and

Whereas this year celebrates the 50th Anniversary with the grand opening of the Coady International Centre at St. Francis Xavier University;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly join me in extending our appreciation to the Coady International Institute for their continued commitment, congratulating them on this milestone and wishing them every success in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 510]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 252

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 Canadian Food and Restaurant Association is celebrating their 65th Anniversary in 2009 and is one of the largest employers in Nova Scotia with 30,000 direct employees; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's restaurant industry provides nearly one in five jobs for people under the age of 25; and

Whereas the Canadian Restaurant and Food Association has solid representation in Atlantic Canada under Vice-President Luc Erjavec;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend our warm regards to the new national president, Garth Whyte, Luc Erjavec, and the 30,000 restaurant employees in Nova Scotia who do such an outstanding job year-round in providing delicious meals to their thousands of customers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Truro-Bible Hill.

[Page 511]

RESOLUTION NO. 253

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

Whereas Jake MacKenzie of Truro, Nova Scotia, won the American National Jiu-Jitsu Championships, Lightweight Adult Brown Belt at California State University, California, on September 13, 2009; and

Whereas Jake has competed in 14 international Jiu-Jitsu tournaments this season and earned medals in 10, including eight gold; and

Whereas Jake's athletic lifestyle and ambition for success makes him a role model in our community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Truro's Jake MacKenzie on his international Jiu-Jitsu success and wish him all the very best in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, if I could make an introduction first, I would draw your attention to the west gallery where we have a number of citizens from the Kingston area, if they would rise when I introduce them: Evelyn MacLean, Barb Hildebrandt, Lynn and Rick Cann, Lilla White, Wanda Bezanson - and Wanda is the widow of former MLA Frank Bezanson who served two terms here in the 1970s - Marg Bungay, and Vicky Parker. Vicky has a connection actually to the resolution that I'm about to read, but first if we could give them a warm welcome today. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 254

[Page 512]

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

Whereas in 1960 the Kingston Steer Barbeque was started to promote the cattle industry; and

Whereas for the past 50 years the cattle producers and the community at large have come together in celebration of this industry's contributions; and

Whereas agriculture is the driving force behind the economy of many communities throughout Kings County and the cattle industry is a significant part of this stimulus;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the importance of the Kingston Steer Barbeque and congratulate R.A. Boates, C.C .McMaster, H.O. Stronach, L.B. Foster, C.V. Ross, L.R. McMaster, E.G. Pierce, R.G. Simms, G.F. Balcom and W. Hallman for starting the barbeque in 1960.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Argyle.

RESOLUTION NO. 255

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 September 29, 2009, marked the 20th Anniversary of the Nakile Home for Special Care located in Argyle, Yarmouth County; and

Whereas staff were hired in September 1989 and Nakile admitted its first residents in December; and

[Page 513]

Whereas the home currently employs 70 full-time and part-time staff who care for 35 seniors, as well as a small population affected by chronic illness and/or disability, and has a long wait list with a full occupancy since opening;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the board of directors, Administrator Bertha Brannen, their dedicated staff and volunteers of Nakile Home for Special Care, and thank them for maintaining the quality and excellence of care over the past 20 years and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 256

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas RCMP Corporal Mike Lidstone of Sackville works at the RCMP detachment in Windsor, N.S.; and

Whereas Corporal Mike Lidstone is a wrestling coach who believes in boosting kids' self-esteem through sport and has helped implement wrestling tournaments in British Columbia and Ontario; and

Whereas Corporal Mike Lidstone was a leader in the organization of the Atlantic High School Wrestling Festival held at Sackville High School in February 2009, which drew 366 junior and senior high students from across the Maritimes;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly commend RCMP Corporal Mike Lidstone of Sackville for leading the organization of the Atlantic High School Wrestling Festival held at Sackville High School in February 2009 and wish him much success in the future.

[Page 514]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 257

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

Whereas on July 7th, 15 year-old Adam McNeil of Middleton won the 2009 NSGA Midget Championship; and

Whereas Adam sat in fifth place heading into the tournament final but steady play during the final round allowed him to climb up the leader board and capture his first provincial championship; and

Whereas this placement qualified him to play in the 2009 Junior Champion at Seaview Golf and Country Club in North Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join and congratulate Adam McNeil for this outstanding accomplishment and wishing him every success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 515]

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 258

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

Whereas the Canadian Music Competition is a national organization working in the field of classical music with the goal of supporting and encouraging young Canadian performers; and

Whereas saxophonist Evan Mounce from Brooklyn, Hants County placed first in the national finals in the winds category for his age group and was given a 95 per cent overall grade during the competition against top musicians from around the country; and

Whereas the international Stepping Stone offers musicians at the dawn of their career invaluable experience and opportunity as well as encouragement to grow as performers and develop their artistic personality;

Therefore be it resolved that all members in this House of Assembly applaud the accomplished musical talent of Evan Mounce and encourage him to continue to develop his artistic personality and continue to elevate as a musician.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 259

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

[Page 516]

Whereas the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry won their 15th Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League title on September 17th at Beazley Field in Dartmouth; and

Whereas they took first place in game four against the Halifax Pelham Molson Canadians with a score of 6-3; and

Whereas the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry team is three time Canadian Senior Baseball Champions;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Dartmouth Moosehead Dry men's baseball team on their win and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 260

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 29th Annual Terry Fox Run was held on September 13th in the North River area of Victoria County; and

Whereas 30 participants from the North River/North Shore area ran, walked and biked on the Murray Road along the scenic North River; and

Whereas almost $1,700 was raised in the community to continue Terry's dream;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank the residents of the North River/North Shore area, and indeed all Nova Scotians, for their participation in the 29th Annual Terry Fox Run.

[Page 517]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 261

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 Cape Breton Search and Rescue Association will celebrate their 40th Anniversary on Saturday, November 21, 2009; and

Whereas the Cape Breton Search and Rescue volunteers have contributed much to the community of Cape Breton over the years; and

Whereas these citizens give freely of their time to assist in the rescue of those in distress;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate all those involved with the Cape Breton Search and Rescue Association and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[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.

[Page 518]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 262

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

Whereas 275 years ago, the first lighthouse in all of Canada was erected in Louisbourg; and

Whereas this historic community proudly treasures all pieces of its fascinating and storeyed past and draws people from far and wide to experience what Louisbourg has to share; and

Whereas many individuals worked hard to develop a proper tribute to this remarkable structure and groups like the Louisbourg Lighthouse Society, Coastal Connections Trail Association and the Louisbourg Youth Group are all worthy of gratitude;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate organizers promoting the 275th Anniversary of the Louisbourg Lighthouse and thank them for drawing future attention to our proud heritage.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 263

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

[Page 519]

Whereas Michel Maillet from Clare competed in the 35th Canadian Karate Championships in Calgary, Alberta in July of 2009; and

Whereas Michel finished second in the Junior Men's Kumite-68 kg division in the tournament; and

Whereas Michel qualified to represent Canada at the Junior Pan American Karate Federation competitions from August 30th to September 6th in El Salvador;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Michel Maillet for winning a silver medal at the Canadian Karate Championships and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 264

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

Whereas the Florence Volunteer Fire Department is vital to emergency service support as well as community service under the leadership of Chief Dave Julian; and

Whereas the fire department constructed a new complex complete with lounge, hall and museum space to better serve the residents of Florence and surrounding areas; and

Whereas the department presided over a fire they wouldn't put out as the recently celebrated burning of their mortgage, thanks to community support and government partners enabling them to focus on enhanced programs and services rather than monthly mortgage payments;

[Page 520]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Chief Julian, the officers, members and volunteers wishing them well as they continue their work, meeting some of the community's greatest needs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 265

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

Whereas Bedford resident Laura Osborne was a typical teenager when three years ago she was diagnosed with adult-onset metachromatic leukodystrophy; and

Whereas Laura is a remarkable young woman who has faced this challenge with dignity and courage and has earned the respect and admiration of her community; and

Whereas there are no traditional forms of treatment available to MDL patients and all experimental treatments are not covered by health plans and are extremely expensive;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Rick Gunn, Nancy Johnston, Sylvie Cook-Hand and the members of Bedford United Church for organizing a musical tribute night in honour of Laura Osborne on Saturday, September 26, 2009 to raise much needed funding for her care.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 521]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 266

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia International Air Show was held on September 12th and 13th at the Yarmouth International Airport; and

Whereas this year's event held special significance as it marked the 100th Anniversary of flight in Canada and a fitting tribute was provided by Canada's own Snowbirds; and

Whereas over 10,000 enthusiastic spectators turned out to watch the impressive show and proved yet again that Yarmouth is a premiere destination to hold world-class events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the people of Yarmouth for supporting and hosting the Nova Scotia International Air Show, while also encouraging organizers to continue to bring the show back for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 522]

RESOLUTION NO. 267

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Glace Bay Seniors and Pensioners Club was the recipient of the Nelson Muise President's Award from the Cape Breton Council of Senior Citizens and Pensioners; and

Whereas the President's Award is presented each year to a Cape Breton seniors club that best serves the needs of seniors in their community; and

Whereas they were under the guidance of president Bernie Petrie, vice-president Joe Kanary, treasurer Stephen Andrecyk, and secretary Barbara Shea;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize the volunteers and congratulate the Glace Bay Seniors and Pensioners Club.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 268

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

Whereas at the end of May 2009, Heather MacRae and Kerianne Watson returned home from Ghana after signing on with Projects Abroad to help build an orphanage in Tinkong, Ghana; and

[Page 523]

Whereas realizing that much more needs to be done, Heather and Kerianne are returning to Ghana and will be helped in their efforts by Mari Somerville, who is going to Ghana with the Volunteer Abroad organization in the Spring; and

Whereas Heather and Mari's employer, Baddeck Lobster Suppers, has offered a fundraising dinner on October 10th, with proceeds going toward the orphans and Mari's work in Ghana, where she will be conducting home visits, assisting with prenatal care, and much more;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud Heather, Kerianne, and Mari for their tremendous humanitarian work and thank Baddeck Lobster Suppers for their support for those less fortunate.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Bedford-Birch Cove.

RESOLUTION NO. 269

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

Whereas Grade 7 student Logan MacGillivray from Bedford Junior High has demonstrated his commitment to help students in Sierra Leone; and

Whereas Logan shipped his first crate of supplies last year and has continued his quest to collect additional school supplies and furniture, which have now been crated and shipped; and

Whereas Logan is working with the International Centre for Peace and Development Studies to furnish a multi-purpose centre in Sierra Leone, which will house a computer room, arts and music rooms, and outdoor recreation facilities;

[Page 524]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the hard work and generosity of Logan MacGillivray that he has exhibited, and wish him continued success in future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 270

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

Whereas encouraging and rewarding achievements of our young athletes builds a strong foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle; and

Whereas Peter Gibson of Windsor, Hants County brought home the title from the under-18 Outdoor Atlantic Junior Tennis Championships held in P.E.I. in July 2009 after notching a straight set victory 6-3, 6-3; and

Whereas Peter has obtained the confidence and fortitude, as a result of his latest achievement, to be at the top of his game against the best from Atlantic Canada as he competes in the 2009 Canada Games and future competitions;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly applaud Peter Gibson on his determination and commitment and wish him continued success as he pursues his next tennis challenge.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 525]

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. 271

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Maureen Clements, president of the Glace Bay Elementary Home and School Association, was named Volunteer of the Year by the Provincial Home and School Association; and

Whereas the award is given each year in recognition of volunteer services; and

Whereas Maureen was presented this prestigious award for her leadership qualities, compassion, empathy and friendship to her school community of Glace Bay Elementary School;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Maureen Clements as the Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations Volunteer of the Year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 272

[Page 526]

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

Whereas Cape Bretoner Bryan Neville recently completed an 8,245 kilometre cycling journey that took him all across our vast and beautiful country; and

Whereas Bryan, at 62 years of age, completed this amazing three month voyage in which most men one-third of his age could not even begin to fathom; and

Whereas Bryan's inspirational journey underscores just how powerful one's drive and determination can be while also proving to one and all that dreams can indeed become true;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud and acknowledge Bryan Neville's amazing accomplishment and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 273

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

Whereas the annual Berwick Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place June 6, 2009 celebrating local accomplishments in sport; and

Whereas the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team was inducted in this year's ceremony in recognition of their accomplishments on the field; and

Whereas Art Newton contributed to the success of the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team as the president;

[Page 527]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Art Newton of the 1971 Berwick Alpines Men's Fastball Team for his induction into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 274

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

Whereas from September 24th to 26th, Yarmouth hosted the third Nova Scotia 55+ Games; and

Whereas over 35 different events were offered to seniors in hopes of promoting the importance of physical activity, social interaction and friendly competition; and

Whereas with 333 competitors registered, the event continues to grow and the Yarmouth area has again raised the bar as the accommodation and facilities for the games were second to none;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Yarmouth for the excellent job they did hosting while also congratulating all participating seniors for recognizing the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 528]

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. 275

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I need to preface this, that the Chris d'Entremont referred to in this is not me unfortunately.

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

Whereas on May 23, 2009, Chris d'Entremont, a Yarmouth County native, received the St. John Ambulance Life-Saving Award at their annual ceremony in Halifax; and

Whereas Chris, a certified medical first responder, was called upon to perform CPR on his father, André, as his mother, sister and family looked on; and

Whereas Chris, with the assistance of other emergency personnel, performed lifesaving procedures for more than 20 minutes on his father who unknowingly had a congenital heart defect;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in commending Chris d'Entremont on remaining calm in the face of a very difficult situation and in wishing his father, André, continued good health.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[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.

[Page 529]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 276

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

Whereas the Celebrating Communities Awards Night was recently held to honour the achievement of Nova Scotians from across the province for their excellence in the areas of community development, client service, collaboration, innovation in community development, outstanding youth leadership, and outstanding volunteer achievement; and

Whereas this year's event will also mark the inception of a new community service award named for the late Harold Verge, long-time community leader known as the grandfather of community economic development; and

Whereas Truro entrepreneur and community leader Chris MacDougall has been named the first recipient of this prestigious award;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Chris and extend their appreciation for the leadership he has shown in our community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton North.

RESOLUTION NO. 277

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

[Page 530]

Whereas St. Joseph's Elementary School in the community of Sydney Mines became the recipient of a prestigious award from "Let Them Be Kids"; and

Whereas the school and community have raised $65,000 and plan to raise another $30,000 to construct an all-access, all-abilities playground to be called Miners' Memorial Playground; and

Whereas the intent is to provide a safe, inclusive play area that all members of the community can enjoy, and instill in our children the need and desire to help someone and make a difference in someone's life for the good of giving and not just because they get something in return;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House join me in congratulating this outstanding group for their efforts to date and wish them every success as they continue their noble work.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Just a reminder to members, no electronic devices during Question Period and, again, I would ask that members direct their questions and answers through the Chair. The time is 2:48 p.m. and we'll go until 3:48 p.m.

The honourable member for Richmond.

JUSTICE: POLICE REVIEW BD. - MIN. RESPONSIBILITY

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians remain concerned regarding recent developments into the Police Review Board hearing examining the termination of the

[Page 531]

former Stellarton Police Chief. Our current Minister of Justice will be called to testify as one of the original complainants. While many see this as a conflict of interest for the Minister of Justice, the Premier has responded by transferring responsibility for the Police Review Board from the Minister of Justice to the Minister of Finance. The release from the government indicated that the Minister of Finance will oversee the Police Review Board on a temporary basis. My question to the Premier is, will he confirm that it is his intention to return responsibility for the Police Review Board to the Minister of Justice at a future time?

HON. DARRELL DEXTER (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, the Police Review Board was moved temporarily from the Department of Justice to be overseen through the Minister of Finance and, yes, it will return.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the Police Review Board is an adjudicative board and, as such, applicants submit their applications which are then reviewed by an advisory committee. This committee recommends a short list of up to six qualified candidates to the minister responsible who then chooses a candidate for appointment and this appointment is later confirmed by Cabinet.

Current members of the Police Review Board examining the firing of the former police chief of Stellarton know very well they were appointed by the minister responsible for their board and their potential reappointment will rest in the hands of the minister responsible. My question again to the Premier is, since the Minister of Finance only has temporary oversight of the Police Review Board, does the Premier not see the obvious conflict of interest in suggesting responsibility for the board will at some time return to the Minister of Justice?

THE PREMIER: I want to thank the member for his question. I just want to respond to him by saying that the members of the review board, in fact, will come by way of recommendation to the Executive Council and be approved through the Executive Council.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the Premier is well aware that the recommendations to Executive Council first come from the minister and it is the Minister of Justice who will be determining who gets reappointed and who doesn't get reappointed.

The other issue of importance in this matter is whether the proceedings of the Police Review Board will be public. While the Minister of Justice reversed his initial stance and now says he will publicly testify, he still maintains a publication ban should be in place for the other complainants. Mr. Speaker, such public hearings are of interest to Nova Scotians in ensuring the integrity of our administration of justice. Two media outlets have sought intervener status and asked the board to allow the publication of evidence presented in the closed-door meetings held earlier in September.

[Page 532]

My question is, will the Premier immediately instruct government lawyers to seek intervener status in this matter to ensure all information and evidence regarding this Police Review Board hearing remain open and available to Nova Scotians.

THE PREMIER: I want to thank the member for his question, the answer to which is, I don't intend to intervene in what the Police Review Board is doing. I have faith that they will follow the appropriate protocols, that the hearings will be held in accordance with their rules, the evidence that they want and seek will be provided. That should assure the people of this province that the Review Board is acting appropriately.

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

HPP: RINK REVITALIZATION PROG. - FUNDING

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Premier. Mr. Premier, I'm not sure if your Minister of Health Promotion and Protection knows Bud MacInnis but if not, he is the Manager of Antigonish Arena and he is exceptionally upset with this government's decision over their announcement to cut $2 million from the rink revitalization program in Nova Scotia. He isn't the only one upset as Bud attended a meeting of the Recreation Facility Association of Nova Scotia in the last few days and that association is equally upset. My question for the Premier today is, will he reevaluate the decision and put the $2 million back in to support such a valued program?

THE PREMIER: The Interim Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party knows that it, in fact, was not a program and had no criteria, there was no policy in place for its administration. It was simply a line item, which was distributed by the former government in advance of the election campaign.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the $2 million fund was to assist, and it was designed to assist, aging rinks across Nova Scotia. Nearly 75 rinks received a total of $4 million in funding over the previous two years and in Antigonish alone, thanks to this government's decision of the past, the Arena Commission spent $7,200 on critical repairs to the refrigeration system, $4,200 for a new overhead door, $6,500 for repairs to the Zamboni. This is an example of how the Rink Revitalization Program funds were used. How could this government make this decision knowing the importance that rinks and arenas have to our local communities?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, although that is a budget question, the reality is that the former government put the Province of Nova Scotia on an unsustainable path. Frankly, they created extraordinary financial hardships for this province, which we're going to have to deal with and this is simply the case that we are going to live within our means.

[Page 533]

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, it's true that this government should be making some tough decisions and unfortunately they are not. Mr. MacInnis said today that the Recreation Facility Association was bracing for some cuts, but they were not expecting the program to be dropped. Rinks from Windsor to Amherst to Antigonish to Cape Breton to Sackville to Yarmouth, a total of 74 communities, they are all disappointed. What does the Premier have to say to the hundreds of families in those communities who use these facilities on a daily basis?

THE PREMIER: Thank you very much for the question. There are of course other programs through the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, and those communities are able to apply through those programs if they have a particular project that they think warrant or merit assistance.

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

HEALTH: CAREGIVER ALLOWANCE - CLAWBACK

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Many people in Nova Scotia care for ill loved ones at home, for instance in my riding, Matthew and Guylaine care for their son with multiple challenges to his health and their two other teenage children. They were delighted when they were told they were eligible for the caregiver allowance, but there was a catch. They were told, because they receive social assistance, they would have the allowance clawed back by 70 per cent. (Interruption) So my question for the Premier is, how can you justify this clawback from this family?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Leader of the Official Opposition. As he knows, the design of the program is that the money will be taxed in the hands of the recipient. It becomes income in their hands. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order, please.

MR. MCNEIL: This government considers the caregiver allowance earned income under its rule of receiving social assistance. Surely this government understands the financial drain on families caring for a loved one under these circumstances. So my question for the Premier is, why are you penalizing a family struggling to make ends meet when it is obvious that they qualify for this program and they need help?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we were very clear throughout the campaign that this would be taxed in the hands of the recipient, it becomes income. We made it perfectly clear throughout. That is the parameter of the program.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, many families in this province put the needs of their loved ones before their own. It is obvious they will bear a financial burden for doing so; that

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was the point of the Caregiver Allowance Program. So to have money clawed back adds insult to injury for this family and other families across Nova Scotia. My question to the Premier - will you commit to removing the clawback provision for families who qualify for caregivers under this program?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, my response to the Leader of the Official Opposition is simply this: The design of the program was to tax the money in the hands of the recipient. That's where it gets taxed. (Interruption) This, of course, is the exact program that was introduced by that government, that was endorsed by that member. (Interruptions)

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

COM. SERV.: CAREGIVER ALLOWANCE - SOC. ASSIST. CLAWBACK

HON. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Community Services. The Leader of our Party just shared a story from one of his constituents who had their social assistance clawed back after receiving the caregiver allowance. My question to the minister is, could you please explain why your department is clawing back social assistance for those who qualify for the caregiver allowance? I would like you to answer it and not the minister sitting next to you. (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DENISE PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the question from the honourable member. This program was a program that was established and initiated by the previous government and endorsed by the Liberals, therefore this program that we will be looking at was their former program.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, social assistance and the caregiver allowance are provided for two different purposes. It makes no sense to clawback income assistance from those who need it simply because they're caring for a loved one. Mr. Speaker, it seems to me that that the Elizabethan Poor Laws are alive and well in the Province of Nova Scotia still in this day. My question to the minister, again: why are you penalizing those on income assistance who provide care and support to loved ones?

[3:00 p.m.]

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you to the honourable member for his question. The care program - it's very important to us in Community Services, and as with any program that is initiated, there are always opportunities to review and look at it and to make changes. We do care very deeply for those who are receiving the Caregiver Program and those who are accessing those programs. So each case

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is an individual case. As I said, it is really important to us to understand the needs and to look and review the possibilities of what will come in the future with those programs.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it's obvious to me that the NDP Government now has a different slant on looking after those must vulnerable in our society than they did when they were sitting over here in Opposition. They're still allowing the Department of Community Services to continue with their draconian policies that affect those most vulnerable amongst us here in Nova Scotia. Shame on that government for allowing that to happen.

Mr. Speaker, this is just another example of the mismanagement of the Caregiver Allowance Program. We have been hearing of the many people who do not qualify for the allowance. Now we know that even those who qualify face other obstacles when trying to care for their loved ones. Again my question to the minister, will your department end this practice of clawback?

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the honourable member for his question and I would like him to know that we do deeply care . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: Show it, show it. Just end the practice of clawback, that's all. You have to show it!

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable minister has the floor. Let's let her answer her question, please.

MS. PETERSON-RAFUSE: We have been here for only three months, whereas the previous government was here for over 10 years, and through Community Services there have been a lot of issues. Our staff is very diligent and works very hard, as the other Opposition members do know. Both departments - as soon as we were aware of the situation, our Department of Community Services did the right thing and has been speaking with the Department of Health and we're in discussions and reviewing the program.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HEALTH: CAREGIVER STRATEGY - LONG-TERM CARE BEDS

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Health. During my tenure as Minister of Health, I was very proud of our work on the caregiver strategy. Part of that strategy was a plan to add long-term care beds in facilities across the province to the system. Many communities have benefitted by our hard work and seniors are now capable of moving into a home in their own communities. My question to the Minister of Health is, how many beds will not be constructed because of the Minister of Finance's cuts?

[Page 536]

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the honourable member for his question. Our government is committed to giving seniors as many options as we possibly can, so that they can stay in their homes as long as they can and be in their communities.

Mr. Speaker, there have been no cuts to long-term care in the budget and we are on-stream to open the same 800 beds that the former government had committed to open in the year 2010. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the minister for that answer. It is very heartening to hear that that construction program will continue as we set it up.

Mr. Speaker, the people of my community have been waiting for some time to see construction started in the Nakile Home For Special Care they talked about today. As you are aware, the construction cost that came in on tenders from contractors was much more than the budgeted project price. Subsequently, the tenders were substantiated with numbers from Hanscomb, which are the estimators used by the province.

Yesterday Nakile celebrated their 20th Anniversary and is looking forward to this next exciting phase. My question to the Minister of Health is, what news do you have for the seniors of Argyle who are awaiting these expanded services?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member. As he knows, I was very happy to meet with him and the administrator of Nakile prior to the opening of this Legislature and the introduction of the budget. We were aware that Nakile was experiencing difficulties financially because of the rising costs of the project that they had proposed, and to the seniors of that member's community, I would say this government is very committed to keeping seniors in their homes and in their communities as long as possible. We will certainly work with the honourable member and members of Nakile to see what is possible.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately the process that is in place should have protected this volunteer board for the numbers that they signed for in the service agreement and, as the minister knows, the numbers are based upon that service agreement signed by the group, based on numbers that probably were two years old or more that were put forward by the architect and the project manager. So, Mr. Speaker, Nakile's project is in jeopardy and an answer of extra funding is needed to be able to award that contract or have it expire tomorrow. When will Nakile find out if they can renegotiate the service agreement to allow for the true costs of the construction at this site?

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MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the honourable member again we are prepared to work with any community and any group to see what is possible.

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

HEALTH: CAREGIVER ALLOWANCE - FLAWS

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last week and again today the minister has been presented with a number of specific cases that outline obvious flaws of the Caregiver Allowance Program. These are real people and they deserve real answers from this government. Jean is currently at the Abbie J. Lane geriatric unit - not by choice but by necessity. Despite receiving limited home care and personal care services, she was found unconscious after a fall that required hospitalization. Jean does not qualify for the Caregiver Allowance Program. My question to the minister is, where is the common sense in refusing to pay $400 a month for the caregiver allowance when we are currently spending over $1,000 a day to keep Jean in the Abbie J. Lane?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. The Caregiver Allowance Program is a program that was designed by the former government with the support . . . (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Health has the floor.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It was designed by the former government with the support and the encouragement of the Opposition. It is a program that is targeted to people with very low incomes and very high needs. It is not a program that is intended for every person in the program who is giving or receiving care of a family member or a friend, or a neighbour.

Now, having said that, Mr. Speaker, there are problems with the program of the former government, supported by the Opposition, and we will be making changes to improve the circumstances of caregivers in this province.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it's important that we say that we've heard twice from the minister that this program was designed by others, supported by the Liberals. She neglected to say introduced by the NDP. She had every opportunity to do so.

Mr. Speaker, this is an NDP program that we're currently looking at and I'm asking about Jean, who is in the Abbie J. Lane currently, the geriatric unit. In order to be discharged, she was told she must find more support at home, which she does have in place. In fact, it

[Page 538]

was suggested to her that she look into the Caregiver Allowance Program, but she does not qualify, her hopes have been dashed. She is now sitting alone and unhappy and unable to go back to her own home because of this impasse. My question to the minister is, why is the Caregiver Allowance Program so inflexible when it comes to meeting the needs of those who are in distress?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, like all new programs, you have to start someplace, I guess. I'll give the former government who designed this program some credit - they made a decision to start with people with low incomes and the highest needs. That was supported by the members of the Opposition.

Earlier in Question Period on this, somebody said to the government, well, you can change it. I want to say to the members of the Opposition, yes, we can. (Applause)

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, and I'm glad to hear that change can come, because I'm going to ask that we reassess the situation for Jean who is at the Abbie J. Lane. Really sit down and look at the difference between $400 a month for the support she needs at home or $1,000 a day to stay where she is right now, in order to stay safe. I'm going to ask the minister, Mr. Speaker, through you, will the minister commit to re-evaluating Jean and her needs for the Caregiver Allowance Program so that she can go home where she belongs?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the honourable member, not only would we be prepared to reassess Jean with respect to the caregiver allowance, but we would look at what other programs and supports we might have to offer to Jean in the event that the caregiver allowance isn't something she would be eligible for.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HEALTH: ROSEWAY HOSP. - ER CLOSURES

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. It was recently announced that the Roseway Hospital in Shelburne is to be closed every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in October. My question to the Minister of Health is - and, by the way, I'll table the closure release - how does this meet with the Premier's campaign promise to keep every ER open?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as the former Minister of Health in the former government would well know, this was a problem that existed for well over 10 years. It's a problem that government did very little about. But we have a plan. We've announced a provincial adviser on ER closures and we have other measures that we will be

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rolling out in the coming weeks and months. This issue is a priority for this government and it's one we are actively working to tackle.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the minster knows that this government did lots of work in keeping ERs open because not all ERs are experiencing the same kinds of problems. Let's look at Lillian Fraser, for example, where there's a will, there's a way in solving these ER closures.

During the recent general election, the NDP made pledges of maintaining all operating hours of all emergency rooms to remain open. A bold promise, but it was an emphatic promise made by the Premier to Nova Scotians and he was rewarded with a majority government. My question for the Minister of Health is, what guarantees are you prepared to give to the residents of Shelburne County that they will have access to essential primary care in their region, especially since the MLA for Shelburne is content to sit back and say nothing about the ER closures now that he's in government?

[3:15 p.m.]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would say to the honourable member that my colleague, the member for Shelburne, and I have had numerous conversations about the quality of health care in Shelburne County, not only at Roseway but throughout his entire district.

Mr. Speaker, we have a plan for maintaining emergency rooms around the province. We've begun that plan with the announcement of Dr. John Ross as our ER adviser and we will be rolling out additional measures in the coming days and weeks. Thank you.

ROSEWAY HOSP. - ER CLOSURES: GOV'T. (NDP) - TRUST JUSTIFY

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, during the recent campaign, the MLA for Shelburne stated that "The NDP has a common sense plan to keep emergency departments open and deliver the kind of health care that . . ." Shelburne residents ". . . expect and deserve." I guess the NDP believes that the people of Shelburne don't deserve much. My question to the regional member for southwestern Nova Scotia, using your words, "with at least 10 scheduled closures during the Month of June, Rodney MacDonald can't be trusted to keep the emergency room open at the Roseway Hospital." Minister, Roseway Hospital is scheduled to be closed for 12 days in October, why should Nova Scotians trust you or your government? (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable member, who is your question directed to?

[Page 540]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: My question is referring to the regional minister for Southwest Nova Scotia which is the member for Shelburne, it's for his own community, right?

MR. SPEAKER: Do you want the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture or the Minister of Health?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: The Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the people of Shelburne County that this particular minister and this particular government are addressing the issues. I can assure you that if you go back and check Hansard, the same number that the member opposite introduced today, the same schedule, he had his numbers wrong. He talked about 98 per cent of ERs being open. I can attest to you today that this minister is actually dealing with the issue. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH: CAREGIVER ALLOWANCE - QUALIFYING

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last week I was contacted by a constituent about the challenges her family is having with the Caregiver Allowance Program. My constituent provides care for her husband 24 hours, seven days a week; she gets some assistance from home care and some from palliative care. Her husband suffers from cirrhosis of the liver, his kidneys are failing, he has lung disease, as a result of the many years of working in coal mines. He will never get better. They were told that he was a MAPLE 3, two points away from qualifying for the program. So on behalf of my constituent, my question for the Minister of Health is, why does this individual or anyone like him not qualify for a caregiver allowance?

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his question. This program is a targeted program, it is targeted at people whose assessments with a home care assessment results in what is called a MAPLE 5. If people feel that they have been assessed inappropriately, then they can certainly ask for a review. I would encourage the honourable member that, perhaps, that is what he should advise his constituents.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, this constituent, my constituent and many others in this province don't care about your MAPLE level, minister, they don't care about your excuses, minister, they are dying and you are not helping them, minister. They are dying as we speak right now and you can give them help but you have refused,

[Page 541]

minister. There are some very fundamental problems with this program. They can be fixed if this government cared.

When my constituent called about the program, no one came out to visit him, no one came to the house; they simply used the minister's MAPLE level to score my constituent. Now, Mr. Speaker, you know and I know people's circumstances can change very rapidly. So my question to the minister is, why is the minister not having assessments performed upon receipt of a caregiver allowance application instead of relying on these scores that may very well be out of date?

MR. SPEAKER: Again I remind members to please direct their questions or answers through the Chair.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable member, there are a variety of reasons for which somebody may qualify for this program. They have to be assessed, they have to meet an income test, they have to have a certain number of hours of care per week. Not every person who is an applicant for this program will qualify. The program designed by the former government, with the support of the Opposition, is a program that is very targeted and it's targeted to the people with the highest level of need and very low incomes. We communicated this clearly when we launched the program in August.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, let me ask the minister, if it was such a lousy program, why did you implement it? Why did you put the program into effect? I'll tell you why. They were so hungry for power they put it through and said hopefully everybody will like it, but they don't, they don't like it. I've also heard that the Continuing Care staff has been given some new direction when it comes to notification about this Caregiver Allowance Program.

Mr. Speaker, the staff have been told not to send out notification of denial in writing, they've been told to call the applicant and deliver the news over the phone. No doubt they've been told to do that to cover up any possible paper trail that might be there. So my final question for the minister is, can she confirm whether that's the case and when exactly this new direction was provided by this government to staff?

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I heard a number of questions there. I want to table a release from the Liberal Party, from the honourable member for Richmond when the program was launched in which he says that this is a program that he fought for nine years to restore. Perhaps he should speak to the member for Glace Bay and let him know that he was (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please.

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The honourable Minister of Health.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health has the floor.

AN HON. MEMBER: Sit down.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: I'm not sitting down until I finish my answer. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health has the floor.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps the member for Richmond would like to tell the member for Glace Bay why he was fighting so hard for this program for nine years if the member for Glace Bay thinks it shouldn't have been introduced at all, apparently. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Yarmouth.

ERD - BOWATER MERSEY: FUNDING - DETAILS

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. Last week his department announced an investment of $2.5 million to Bowater Mersey of Brooklyn, Queens County, and our PC caucus supports the funding that Bowater received because the loss of jobs in rural Nova Scotia would be disastrous. My question to the minister is, why did the province use the CD Trust Fund to support Bowater Mersey and not the IEF or NSBI?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you my response is this, the reason we didn't use the IEF is we had another fund that was available that didn't cost the taxpayers any money. It's a fund that's made up of federal dollars and staff did due diligence, it qualified - hence the money was awarded.

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Economic and Rural Development, on the day of the announcement, was unable to relate any details of the agreement, such as whether the company has to meet any goals to substantiate the investment or whether there was, in fact, any free provincial money in the CD fund. My question to the minister is, did he understand what he was agreeing to when he authorized the $2.5 million with Bowater?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, yes.

[Page 543]

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, it's fantastic what a week can do for a minister. Last week the minister stated that he did not know if there was any provincial money in the Bowater deal, right outside these Chambers. That raises grave concerns about the minister's ability to manage a complex and highly important portfolio. My question to the minister is, what other agreements has the minister signed without the details of the agreement and where the money is coming from?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, the answer is none.

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

GOV'T. (NDP): SPOKESPERSON - CLARIFY

HON. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. In my first question to the Premier today I raised an issue of a constituent of mine who is having a clawback of 70 per cent of the caregiver allowance. During his answer the Premier said we were very clear with Nova Scotians, $400 would be taxable, too bad, so sad.

When my colleague, the member for Cape Breton South, asked the Minister of Community Services about this very issue, about reviewing the clawback provision of this program, the minister, to her credit, said she would review this and is reviewing it with the Department of Health. So my question to the Premier is, who is speaking for government - you or the minister?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Leader of the Opposition, first I'd like to point out that I would never be flippant and say something like too bad, so sad. In fact, these issues, these programs are very important to us on this side of the House. We know that many, many families in this province - I know the members of the Opposition don't understand this - many, many families in this province are, in fact, getting and being able to take advantage of the caregiver allowance.

I work every day with the Minister of Community Services and we all work together to make sure that what we deliver is the best programming for the people of the province. (Applause)

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier just said many, many Nova Scotians are receiving this program. Last week we requested the Minister of Health to table two numbers: the total number of people who have applied for the caregiver allowance and the total number of people who have been approved for the program.

At the time the minister indicated that she would have to call the DHAs to gather that information. A few simple phone calls over the past three working days, Mr. Speaker, would have produced an answer to that question. The Premier just said in this House today that

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many, many, many Nova Scotians are receiving this program. So my question to the Premier is, where are the caregiver allowance numbers that we requested last week?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Leader of the Official Opposition, they are being assembled and will be released in due course.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this program is flawed, those who need help are being denied. This is about choices. Last week your government chose to pay $353 million on a bill not due until next year but you are turning your back on some of the most vulnerable families in our province. You delayed the implementation of this program for over a month. You were reviewing the program but instead of changing it, knowing the flaws that existed in this program, you chose between paying a bill to universities in advance, setting aside $81 million to buy land that no other Nova Scotian knows what land it is, you set aside an additional . . .

[3:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order, please. I'd remind the member that this should be directed to the Chair, please. (Interruptions) I'll remind the member again that you should be directing your questions through the Chair, not directly to the member.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what this government is doing is going forward with a program that is going to benefit families in this province who are caregivers looking after their loved ones. The program, as we pointed out, was the program that was there when we came into government and it is, of course, under review. We are looking forward to being in a position to put forward our own program in the following year and that's what we'll do.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

GOV'T. (NDP): OPENNESS & TRANSPARENCY - PRIORITY

HON. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, during their entire history in Opposition, current and past members of the NDP have lamented the lack of openness in government. For years NDP members of the Human Resources Committee have complained that they should have access to the short list of applicants to agencies, boards, and commissions in order for members of that committee to ensure that ministers had chosen the best qualified candidates.

At the inaugural meeting of the Human Resources Committee under this new NDP Government, I moved that the short list for committee appointments be provided to committee members to assist in our work, as had been advocated by the NDP for eternity. To my shock, it was NDP Government members who voted down that very motion. My

[Page 545]

question to the Premier is very simple, why is the openness and transparency you fought for in Opposition no longer a priority now that you sit in government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member for Richmond, of course we intend to be open and transparent about the operations of our government. The member will recall that he was told that if he had a suggestion with respect to this committee that he should go to the Special Committee on Assembly Matters. They deal with the mandates of the various committees.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, at a meeting of the Human Resources Committee on March 27, 2001, the member for Halifax Fairview stated, "The concern that I have, as a new member of this committee, is that I simply do not have the information before me that would allow me to say that these are the best possible people available to handle millions of dollars of public money." He went on further to say, "What I don't know, because apparently I am not entitled to know, is why the minister picked these people. Why did the minister go out and select the people that he called on? Among the people who responded to the ad, why did he pick them and not somebody else?"

MR. SPEAKER: Can you table that quote, honourable member?

MR. SAMSON: It's in Hansard, Mr. Speaker. I think your staff should be able to find it, but you can have it as well. My question is, now that the member for Halifax Fairview is the Minister of Finance, will he commit to providing members of the Human Resources Committee with the shortlist of applicants for all agencies, boards, and commissions that fall under the Department of Finance?

HON. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, this issue about finding the very best person available is one that was very important to me since the time that I was first elected. What really hamstrung us during the time that we were in Opposition was a system put in place by the Liberals when they were in government - and they didn't complain about it when they were the government - a system continued by the Progressive Conservatives when they were in government. I think the answer that has been given is simply one that I'll repeat - it's in the Rules of the House, and it is for the House through the Special Committee on Assembly Matters to decide whether to change those rules. It's certainly not within the scope of my responsibilities as Minister of Finance. (Applause)

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's pretty rich when you get that type of answer from a member who was a self-proclaimed patron saint of government openness when he was in Opposition. He is now suddenly telling us that because of a technicality, according to them, that he cannot provide members of this House with the very information for which he fought and which he lamented while in Opposition. How rich to hear the chairman of the committee say that a committee cannot make its own decisions, it needs to go Assembly Matters. Mr. Speaker, talk about passing the buck. My question again to the Premier is, when you spent

[Page 546]

so much time in Opposition looking for openness and transparency, why are you now hiding behind a parliamentary technicality rather than providing Nova Scotians with the information you thought they deserved when you sat on this side of the House?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I also remember, as the member for Richmond remembers, how opposed the member for Richmond was to releasing that information when he was in government.

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

ERD - ECONOMY: RECOVERY EFFORTS - DETAILS

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. Nova Scotians have been going through the largest economic downturn our generation has known. While the federal stimulus plan is working throughout Nova Scotia, thanks to Progressive Conservative cost share investments, clearly what is not working is the government. Will the minister please inform this House of what, if any, measures he has undertaken over the past 100-plus days to help the economy recover and to get Nova Scotians back to work?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you, I'd like to say that staff at Economic and Rural Development are very, very dedicated. We are doing due diligence in finding jobs and employment and enticing new companies to come to the Province of Nova Scotia. We will continue to do that. This is one of the commitments that our government has made and we will continue to work in the best interests of all Nova Scotians.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I didn't ask what his staff was doing, I asked what the minister was doing about economic recovery.

Mr. Speaker, it's painfully obvious - and I mean painfully - to thousands who expected action from the promise-everything, do-little socialists. The minister was recently in Cape Breton to announce a $280,000 investment that was committed by the Progressive Conservatives. What Cape Bretoners did not hear is any action to address manufacturing closures, port development, the railway, tourism - nothing, nada, zip, from that minister. Will the minister please inform this House what discussions he has had with Cape Breton businesses, the Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, the Cape Breton Partnership or the tourism sector and, if he hasn't, explain why he won't consult with Cape Bretoners?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you, and I guess I will let the entire House know - it is true, I was in Cape Breton. While I was in Cape Breton, I visited with the port authority, and I visited with some companies and organizations that are involved in tourism. I also visited with members of the African Nova Scotian community in Whitney Pier where they had a huge reception for me, where over 50 people turned out.

[Page 547]

I must say that when I refer to staff, and this may be new to some members of the House, but I'm going to just take a second to boast a little bit because what we have in Economic and Rural Development when we talk about staff is we have a team effort - and there's no "I" in team - and we work together. (Interruptions) We've entertained missions from India, we've had companies here from Korea that I've attended dinners with, done some networking, Mr. Speaker.

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I heard the minister attempt to talk about teams and teamwork but he's never talked about, nor has he demonstrated, leadership and leading. The Minister of Economic and Rural Development has fixated, apparently, on tea and photo opportunities instead of economic opportunities. The people of Cape Breton are clearly left wondering when he'll acknowledge that Nova Scotia exists beyond the MacDonald and MacKay Bridges. Will the minister inform this House what he has done, or will do, for Cape Breton's want-to-be working families?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, one of the things that I want to note is that when we in Economic and Rural Development talk about Nova Scotia, we don't try to divide the Province of Nova Scotia. (Applause) It's unfortunate that there are individuals who choose to pick a forum to be negative about some of the nice (Interruption)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development has the floor.

MR. PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions) As I was saying, the Province of Nova Scotia, Economic and Rural Development - and again, I have no problems with talking about the teamwork, whether it be NSBI and InNOVAcor, all of the staff and employees that (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you, minister. The honourable member for Preston.

TCH: BLACK CULTURAL CTR. - FUNDING

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. When the Black Cultural Centre appeared before Human Resources Committee last Fall, all three Parties agreed that the centre makes do with very few resources. My question to the minister is, will the minister recognize the importance of the centre and provide additional resources?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, certainly this government recognizes the importance of the Black Culture Centre of Nova Scotia. It serves the Province of Nova Scotia very well. As far as the question about additional resources, that's a discussion for myself and the Black Cultural Centre.

[Page 548]

MR. COLWELL: Well, that's not a very satisfactory answer from the minister. The public deserve to know what the minister has planned for the Black Cultural Centre. The Black Cultural Centre, ever since it originally opened, has provided very important services to the people of Nova Scotia, recognizing the heritage and the history of the Black community in Nova Scotia and this minister should understand that. As the president of the centre put it, the previous government considered its value to the province to be down by more than 50 per cent. My question to the minister is, do you consider the value of the centre to be down by 50 per cent like the previous government did?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, through you, my response is, why should I, above anybody else in this House, recognize the issues and the problems facing the Black Cultural Centre? That kind of questioning coming from an honourable member (Interruptions)

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage has the floor.

MR. PARIS: That kind of question, Mr. Speaker, coming from a member who represents the largest number of African Nova Scotians by an election - he should be ashamed. (Interruptions)

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the great demand for the work the Black Cultural Centre has done without the resources is unbelievable. I know the minister recognizes the value of this centre in his job as the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. It could be a major attraction for tourism and an economic driver for the region. There is no other centre like this anywhere in the country. My question to the minister is, what are your plans to address the concerns of the Black Cultural Centre?

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, when the Black Cultural Centre approaches me, we will have that dialogue.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

ERD: SM. BUS. TAX CREDIT - REMOVAL

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic and Rural Development. The economic recession has hit everyone hard, especially small business. In its May budget the previous government had pledged to help small business by dropping the small business tax credit from 5 per cent to 2.5 per cent over a three-year period. Will the minister stand before this House today and commit to small business that

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he will indeed follow the previous government's lead - as they so like to say it's our budget - and implement these tax cuts?

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I think we've demonstrated so far our commitment to the business community of Nova Scotia. We've made some significant investments in Nova Scotia and the member opposite should know full well some of the investments that we've made in West Hants, in his very own jurisdiction. Mr. Speaker, the question being, will we follow the example of the previous government? My response is, I hope not.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, during Question Period the member for Argyle put a question - I think it was his second reply - and put it to the regional minister. I don't believe they are recognized in this House, and I would ask you to look into this further and give us a ruling if you would, please.

MR. SPEAKER: I'll take it under advisement.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

HON. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, today I want to talk about the condition of roads in HRM, which is part of the area I represent, and the very serious concerns that that creates for many of our residents. Part of my riding is in the provincial area represented by the province and the other part of my riding is represented by HRM. Well, I've got to say in

[Page 550]

the last six years the level of service in the rural areas is superior to the level of service in HRM, which is a huge change in the process.

Fewer than 10 years ago, the roads in HRM were in better condition than they were in the rural areas, at least in my area, but today, now, we see a situation where the roads in HRM are in worse condition than they are in the province. Now, the province is in a financial crisis, which we identified as being a long time coming, but HRM at the same time has continued to increase taxes either through assessment rises or increasing taxes and yet the service levels haven't improved. This is a very serious concern. As the traffic volumes increase, the road conditions are getting worse and also the problem is the traffic is getting worse. So we have two compound things that are happening here.

There has to be a really sensible approach to curing this problem. As I spoke about recently, they put a fast commuter service in Cole Harbour and very poor planning - lots of buses, lots of places for the bus to go and I believe in buses. I think buses are part of the solution to the traffic problem in HRM, but they didn't provide enough parking. So I was wondering who developed this process in HRM that said okay, we can put tons of buses in this location but only enough parking for about 100 or 200 cars. It just doesn't make sense.

The other problem with that sort of location is, it's too far into the core, so you're not cutting traffic off travelling through Cole Harbour. This is just part of the problem. There needs to be a common-sense approach to traffic. When you come in Highway No. 7 in the morning there's a huge lineup. The traffic lights aren't timed properly. When you come from Cole Harbour there's no lineup that way, so it needs to be adjusted slightly.

If they put a right-turn lane both in the evening for the evening traffic travelling east and the traffic travelling west on Highway No. 7 to allow the traffic to get to the bypass, this would also ease traffic and move traffic through that intersection faster, allowing vehicles to get to Burnside much faster and not hold the other traffic up that is heading on into Dartmouth and Halifax and other locations - just very simple things that could be done to indeed reduce the amount of time. Today when cars are sitting in traffic, it also hurts our environment.

When you look at that and you look at the city when I drive in in the mornings, and I've noticed it for some time, there's a brown cloud of smog that hangs over the city. Now, we used to think of Halifax as a very clean city but this is all being added to by the traffic we have. The traffic held up, sitting at stop lights and waiting for as much as 20 minutes to half an hour at a location with the vehicles running, it doesn't help. So anything that can be done to move this traffic on through will be a huge improvement for everyone in the community.

I've requested, from the former government, that a bypass, a Highway No. 107 bypass be put through from Exit 17 in East Preston through and back on to the Montague Road, the end of Montague Road. That would take a lot of traffic off Main Street. Indeed, although the

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plans have been in place, engineering staff feel that's one of the main things that we should be doing, with discussions with them again, along with other programs they have, the government refused to fund this program.

In the 1970s the land was purchased, most of the land, but yet the program isn't there. Almost all the plans are drawn up, yet the program doesn't go ahead. This is not a huge, $50 million project, this is a project of probably $5 million to $6 million to repair and, indeed, take all this traffic off this area. That would help traffic in Cole Harbour, it would help traffic all over, from all the Eastern Shore heading into Burnside, and again alleviate the problems of traffic going into other areas like Dartmouth and Halifax as they cruise through in the morning.

Years ago - well, not that many years ago - five to 10 years ago, when you travelled Highway No. 107 or Highway No. 7, very light traffic after-hours in the evenings, off rush hour. Now the traffic is as bad after-hours - non-rush hour, that is - than it was during rush hour at least 10 years ago. At rush hour it is just bumper to bumper in both directions. At least it travels at a good speed, at the speed limit of 100 kilometres an hour, most of the time.

This is a serious issue. If we don't have a good transportation system our economy is going to suffer from it, our environment suffers from it and we all lose. People have chosen to move out to the rural areas and to commute back and forth. Again, even from those rural areas like the areas I'm talking about in Mineville, in East Preston and out into Porters Lake and Lake Echo, and even beyond that in other areas, people have chosen to live there because it is less expensive to live there, to buy homes, or it used to be that way. It used to be lower taxes but that's not the case anymore.

Therefore, I really believe that we should be looking at a long-term traffic solution here to get people into the city easier. There should be a Park & Ride.

MR. SPEAKER: Order. Order, please. There is a lot of chatter in the Chamber and I would recognize the member for Preston is speaking and I would just ask you to tone it down so that we can hear the member.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, there needs to be a Park & Ride put down as far as Porters Lake and maybe even further, to allow people to access the bus system on a regular basis so they can get into the city more easily. It will alleviate the problem and probably make the bus system more successful. I know HRM is working in that direction, but they need to work faster. The growth in the HRM, especially in the outlying areas, is really good. HRM tried to put a plan by design in there, which has stunted some of the growth in the area, and that's going to be a problem for the communities as time goes on. But they also have to look at traffic solutions.

[Page 552]

Some of the solutions that they would have, as I'm saying, are very inexpensive. It can be very effective to ensure that people can easily commute back and forth to work and to medical appointments. We have a lot of seniors further east who have to travel to medical appointments and to the hospital on a regular basis, and it makes it very difficult for them, especially when they are not used to the high traffic volume when travelling in the traffic. So it's important that we put these things in place and look at some of the things that can be done - again, not expensive things - that can be done to help alleviate this problem in the immediate future.

If we don't start really seriously looking at this we're never going to solve the problem. When they build roads now, I don't think they realize the kind of traffic volume that we're talking about now, and as more and more people move to the rural areas, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. Luckily, we have a lot of people in the rural areas who work from home. They have their business ventures there or they work strictly from home, which really helps to alleviate our problem and I congratulate the employers who are wise enough to do that in situations where it does make sense. However, not all people can do that and it is necessary for people to physically come into the city, either Burnside, which is a huge employer, or into other parts of Dartmouth and Halifax. But this is an issue that has to be addressed.

I really feel that it is time that the municipality and the province sit down together and say, what can we do to really address these traffic issues? You see all kinds of talk about a road here that's going to be repaired, or a road there that's going to be repaired, and those roads need to be done, there is no question about that, but we really have to look at the use of the roads and see which roads really need the work. We really need to see where the traffic is going and see what we can do to adjust the traffic in a manner that moves more smoothly, less delay, and makes it a lot better for everyone.

Again, I can't see this. This hasn't happened. The municipality has talked about bus service, but they haven't looked at the areas where there so much traffic is coming from. Maybe it's because they don't realize it; they haven't done the traffic studies that they should have been doing. I suggest that probably they should really be looking at this in the future.

The municipality has spent a lot of money on the sewer system, $300 or $400 million, and presently one of the treatment stations is having a great deal of difficulty. I think that should be totally investigated as well, because our tax dollars are paying for that and it has really been difficult for the people on the water systems that are trying to pay this bill. Again, it shows that there are some difficulties there that need to really be addressed, and need to be addressed for a long-term solution for all of us in the municipality - and, indeed, the province, because the province invested a substantial amount of money in that treatment system.

[Page 553]

There really hasn't been a satisfactory explanation of why this thing has failed and when it is going to be back up on track again and eliminate the terrible odour that is downtown for the people who work here every day, travel here every day, and more importantly, probably - we live here and we can probably live with that, but if you have a tourist come here on the cruise ship and have this odour here and they really don't understand what's going on, it makes you wonder why you would visit Halifax and spend the money here. Those are the issues that we really have to look at and there needs to be more and more of this looked at.

[4:00 p.m.]

Also, if you look at the tax structure that we're paying in the rural areas and the service you get, you don't get the same service in the rural areas as compared to the tax you pay for the work. I have brought that issue up many times. I'm a little bit concerned, too, with this sewage treatment system and the problem with the treatment system - the possibility the municipality may want to put that on the general tax rate. I don't think that people on septic systems should be responsible for that problem that's being created by the municipality.

So as we go through this process of seeing all the money being spent on things like the sewage treatment system, we come back again to the traffic system that we have here. I think it's time the municipality really started looking at - in conjunction with the province - solutions to the traffic problems we have. The municipality could definitely use more assistance from the province with buses, especially in HRM where the traffic and the population growth is going and going.

There are many things that can be done that are really not expensive but that can help the everyday traveller, can help the community and also help businesses because if you have employees who have to wait in traffic for an hour or more a day to get to work, it makes them less likely to want to work in the city, in the core of the city, and if they have choices to be outside, that's another issue. Also, with businesses trying to move goods during rush hour, it is very expensive and it adds extra costs to the cost of moving goods and we really need to address these issues and put them in the forefront.

It doesn't seem that in the past anybody has really paid attention to it. They'll put in a new set of traffic lights that slow traffic instead of really looking at the interchange and maybe putting the traffic lights in place. These are all issues that can combine to create problems.

There are also some very dangerous intersections. We have one in our area where the Ross Road enters the Highway No. 107, there have been many accidents there. It's totally a municipal issue and what we really should do there is realign the road, line it up where it should be and put a proper set of traffic lights in, but there have been so many people - that's one of the biggest concerns I have in my riding from the residents who work and commute

[Page 554]

through that intersection. Most everyone you talk to has had a close call, either been in an accident or almost in an accident, and as this goes on we have to get these problems resolved. I really think the only way it can be done is through the province and the municipality working together.

Mr. Speaker, it's important that these issues are addressed and addressed so that residents can live healthier because of less pollution - there is traffic and buses sitting in traffic too long - and also so it's safe to drive on our roads, which is very important, and the conditions of the road are better. They don't beat the cars up as they travel back and forth to work again, putting costs up for people when we have very difficult times, indeed, with people in the process of losing their jobs and trying to make ends meet with families. As we go through this, it's very difficult for families now and if we don't have a really good transportation system in place where there is a lot of traffic, these problems are never going to be resolved. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Yarmouth.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to stand in my place today and speak going into Supply. This was my eighth election this past June and I'm quite happy to say that I was elected on all eight accounts and this time the people of Yarmouth gave me a very strong mandate, we won every poll in Yarmouth, the team that I had and about 100 volunteers helping out. I will stand in my place every day that I have the opportunity and stand up for the people of my community. That's my job, that was the mandate of the people of Yarmouth and I can assure every member on the government side, I will be keeping their feet to the fire and making sure that Yarmouth is represented in this House of Assembly.

I remember last week there were members from that side who were hollering over here, when you win by 2,000 votes, you come back and you talk to me. Well, I can tell you I won by 4,537 votes last election so I think I can stand in my place as well as a member who won by one vote, he deserves to have the right to speak for his people in this place.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, when that group was on this side of the House, they knew, they had all the answers to the environment. Every answer that there was, they knew everything and they could correct everything.

Well, they are now in government and they're turning their backs on Nova Scotians on the environment. Especially- I don't know if they're penalizing the citizens of Yarmouth or what they're doing on the environment- but they will not come up to the plate and deal with the people of Yarmouth and be fair and open and transparent as the Premier of the day says that he is and he wants to be and this government wants to be.

The people of Yarmouth have a real concern on the environment in Yarmouth and what's happening from the government? Absolutely nothing. They can criticize all they want

[Page 555]

on that side of the House, I will stand every day in this House and I will stand up for the people of Yarmouth. I'll let them know and I can assure you that I will be driving a bus to bring people here to let the government know there's a concern in our community on the environment and they're turning their backs on the people of Yarmouth. That's not acceptable by any government of any Party.

Why they can't at least talk and deal with the people up front and be transparent is beyond me or the citizens of Yarmouth. Last evening there was another public debate in Yarmouth - lo and behold, no one shows up again from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment, no one shows up. I invited the two ministers to come down to a public meeting, they have declined. The Minister of Environment has an issue in his own home riding with the environment, he's turned his back on the people. I will stand up for the people of Shelburne and I will support the people of Shelburne if that member will not stand up for the people of Shelburne.

It's a shame, Mr. Speaker. When he sat on this side of the House, he had all the answers. Now he doesn't. Well, I will stand up for the people and our caucus will stand up for the people.

They talk about a better deal for families. Well, the families in this province are crying out. The seniors of our province, the backbone of this province, is asking for help from this government and they are turning their backs on seniors in this province. That's disgusting, Mr. Speaker. Absolutely shameful. When they go knocking on doors up to June 9th and they're promising the moon and that they're going to do everything for the people of Nova Scotia, they get elected and they do absolutely nothing.

Mr. Speaker, they've decided to put $81 million in land acquisition, they've decided to prepay universities a year out - $300-plus million - but they're not willing to help senior citizens stay in their own homes and have the help they need. That is shameful. The backbenchers over there, that have muzzles on. Not to stand up for the people of their ridings, that is absolutely shameful. Shameful.

We had the economy, it's been in a slump. There was an announcement about a week, week and a-half ago of $100 million and not a thing for southwestern Nova or the South Shore. The muzzles went on the members from the southwest area. We have a Minister of the Crown from the area - what has he said? Not one word to the people of Shelburne about Highway No. 103. But, when he was on this side of the House he had plenty to say about it.

Where are they? The member for Queens ranted and raved here on this side of the House about Highway No. 103, where is she now? Why will she not stand up for the people of Queens and let them know that she wants that Highway No. 103 to be completed. Not a word. Not a word because they all have their muzzles on, they're not allowed to speak. They're scared that they might never get to the front bench.

[Page 556]

Mr. Speaker, the people will remember and I will let the people know, every opportunity I get, in every community I go in, I will be speaking to the boards of trades, to chambers of commerce, the councils of the communities. They've turned their backs on them. I don't understand their mentality. They must think that people are going to have short memories and they will forget they elected people to come to this House and represent them and they're not saying a word.

I can't believe this government is making the debt that they are this year in the budget - a deficit, I'm sorry, this year in the budget. Prepaying so that maybe next year they think they will look good. At the attitude of every minister over there, not an answer to a question to any Opposition member. The Minister of Economic and Rural Development - his response to the member for Preston today was disgusting, Mr. Speaker. That member represents his community and he asked the question of that minister and what the minister's response was - that was absolutely terrible. For that member to stand in this House and be called a Minister of the Crown, I can't believe it. The member for Preston, I'm sure, will get to his feet again and he will be asking that minister. I know I will be and our caucus will asking a lot more questions of a lot of the ministers because we have not had one answer yet to date.

All we've had today is passing the buck. Well let me tell you that Nova Scotians know - and I can guarantee you the people of Yarmouth and southwestern Nova Scotia know - that this is an NDP budget. There's no doubt about it, this is an NDP budget and they're going to have to wear it.

Mr. Speaker, every day in my constituency office I have seniors in there with tears in their eyes and family member coming in there, asking for support. What is this government doing and what is that minister doing? Turning her back on the senior citizens of this great province, who built our province. I can't believe that member would do that. I can't believe that the Premier of the province would turn his back on the seniors of this great province of ours. They helped shape and form this province and here we have a government that has better deals for families and the better deal, I think, is the raw deal for families of Nova Scotia.

How they can sit there and chuckle and laugh, as I hear in the background now, by some people who want to be ministers and they'll never make it to the front bench because they might speak out. They won't do it on their own, they'll only do it when the Premier allows them to speak, as we witnessed in this House last week when there was a question to a minister and the Premier was going to answer it for that minister. It's unbelievable, is right, it's terrible.

Mr. Speaker, since the election, and let me go back to the election, the Leader of my Party came to my riding during the election campaign; the Leader of the Liberal Party came to my riding during the election campaign but there was one other leader who forgot to get to Yarmouth. He didn't know where Yarmouth is. The ministers can probably be counted on

[Page 557]

one finger who have been in Yarmouth since they've been elected. So I guess Yarmouth is an outcast. Well they might be an outcast to some of them but I can guarantee you that they'll know that Yarmouth is part of Nova Scotia. It's the gateway to this great province of ours and it deserves to have the same treatment as any other part of this province. (Interruption)

That's right, fuel prices, that's right, I guess that is a gateway. So maybe we're going to get that discount, too, also on the fuel.

Mr. Speaker, transportation is the key to our economy. As I mentioned last week, we have the Digby ferry that is on life support, we have Bay Ferries in Yarmouth that need some assistance, we have the international airport in Yarmouth that the government, the Minister of Economic and Rural Development - he wouldn't even know how to get to Yarmouth. He's never been there, he's never talked to any councillors, he's never talked to any of the boards of trade or anybody since he's been elected.

What is going on? Is Yarmouth an outcast? Well, maybe it is but I'll guarantee you that I will be here and I will be letting people know that Yarmouth is part of this great province of ours. I can assure you, Mr. Speaker, and all members of the House, when I was a Minister of the Crown I was fair to every person in this House. Every person in this house came to me with a request - if it was doable, it got done. You can ask maybe your deputy premier on that issue, if you want, and your back rooms, your meetings. When they brought questions and concerns to me, I dealt with them but the ministers of the day forgot about that. They forgot about what we did and how we worked together. They want to be a one-show.

[4:15 p.m.]

Well, let me tell you, the people in Nova Scotia will not forget because this caucus will make sure they do not forget. We will, every week in this House and when we're not in this House, be letting Nova Scotians know what this government is doing.

Mr. Speaker, it hasn't been that long since the election and they keep talking about - I heard the Minister of Economic and Rural Development say today about his team, but you heard the member for Cape Breton North - every team needs a leader - and that's what they're lacking in Economic and Rural Development in this province right now. They need a leader and we will keep their feet to the fire. We'll keep their feet to the fire and make sure that all regions of this great province of ours is treated equally. That's what our intentions are. (Interruption)

That's right, there's more than the Halifax and Dartmouth area. Halifax and Dartmouth deserve the same as rural Nova Scotia, as western Nova Scotia, as eastern Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, but having favouritism is not the answer. It's treating all Nova Scotians and not using communities against communities. That's not the way that we see the government should work and that's not the way that we're going to sit back and watch it

[Page 558]

work. We will be letting the Premier and the people of this province know that there are issues in every part of this great province, and we intend to let them know each and every day. Our Leader has started her tour. She's listening to people right now - maybe some of those ministers should get out and listen to some of the people. (Interruption)

Yes, and if they want to save gas and help the environment, we'll even let them travel with us, Mr. Speaker, because we're hearing from the people, and the main ones we're hearing from today are the people who have loved ones who are elderly and looking for assistance - and that minister is turning her back on those seniors, and the Premier of the province is turning his back on those seniors. Well, we're not going to sit back and just watch it, we're going to be speaking up in here and we're going to be talking to Nova Scotians.

The second issue we're hearing, Mr. Speaker, is our economy and we have a great job to do here. You have a great partner in Ottawa that's willing to work with this government, but apparently this government does not want to work with Ottawa. That's disgusting. It's a shame. I doubt if any of those ministers even know the phone number to Ottawa. It's 613 - that's to start them off - but we will be here and we will keep the government's feet to the fire. We will be letting them know of the issues that are in all parts of this great province of ours - and when I say "all parts" I mean all parts of our province. I thank you for the time.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic and Rural Development.

HON. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak a little bit today about something that made me a wee bit sad, but I hope that some people will see some of the good things that I'm going to talk about. I represent the riding of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and very, very recently there was an incident that happened in the riding which was somewhat devastating to the community. It tore the heart and soul out of some parts of the community, one part of the community in particular and that was in the region of Beaver Bank and Kinsac.

Several days ago, Mr. Speaker, there was a devastating fire in the community. The community centre burned. The community centre housed not only the community centre but part of it also included the fire hall. Now, to some people this may sound like a very everyday occurrence, but for the people of Beaver Bank and Kinsac it was a devastating blow. It was a significant blow. That community centre served many purposes for the community. Besides having that lifesaving attachment attachment of the fire department, it housed a daycare, it was where the scouts and the Girl Guides and the whole movement of guiding and scouting met on a regular basis. People would have their wedding receptions there, people would have community meetings. I attended many community meetings at that facility. Seniors met there on a regular basis, they had lunches there, they had a lunch program. Right now the

[Page 559]

community is struggling, and with the help of our community services, they're looking for alternatives.

I don't want this to sound small and insignificant, but to those residents, this community centre was built with a lot of sweat, a lot of tears and a lot of hard work. The community worked hard; they worked together, they raised money, they sought out partnerships. They got partnerships and they devoted a lot of time, effort and resources into this community centre. It was just a great day when the community centre did finally open and now it doesn't exist anymore. What's there now is a burned-out shell. Thank goodness they did manage to salvage the equipment on the fire side of the structure but everything has disappeared within the community end.

This community centre - they had Beaver Bank Idol there on a number of occasions, they had the Battle of the Bands. It was the focal point of all activities when it comes to the community and I think if anybody in the House has experienced such a loss, they can certainly know what the good people of Beaver Bank and Kinsac are experiencing.

I had to mention that, Mr. Speaker, because that has been paramount on my mind since the fire happened. I remember waking up to the news and hearing about the fire. I've visited the site on a couple of occasions, I've heard some interviews on the radio and I've seen people crying - seeing their eyes swell up with tears as they were being interviewed about the blaze.

But I've got confidence, this is a very resilient community and that confidence I have in Beaver Bank and Kinsac is a confidence that I share with the whole riding because the people in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank have experienced many tough things in their life but they are fighters. They will fight to get this community centre back to where it was and I'm sure the other residents and neighbours, the communities that neighbour Beaver Bank and Kinsac, will be more than willing to help.

When I talk about Beaver Bank and Kinsac, that same resilience resides within the whole riding. I think of the things that go on in Windsor Junction with respect to the Keloose Fair, how they rely so heavily on volunteers and how that fair has been kept alive for so many years. I look at what has happened in Beaver Bank with the county and the community fairs that they have now and the Woodbine Family Association that has community fairs and fund-raisers, they built a community centre and how in Beaver Bank the kids even went out and raised thousands of dollars so they could have their own skateboard.

The camaraderie that exists throughout the riding is well-witnessed when you go to the Waverley Legion on Friday afternoon to enjoy their fish and chips special, when you go to the seniors groups, whether it be for lunch or for one of their exercise meetings, or whatever the case may be, at any one of the locations throughout the entire riding - the Fall

[Page 560]

River seniors, the Waverley seniors and the Woodbine seniors, the Silver and Gold - all those things that make communities communities.

One of the things that I've learned, Mr. Speaker, is that sometimes you hear about equal opportunities and how everybody wants to be treated equally. Well, I've certainly learned in my short life that sometimes you are doing an injustice by treating people equally, and by treating people equally you oftentimes ignore the differences in each and every one of us. I come from that place where I believe that we are all different. If we are all different, then treating us all the same ignores those differences.

Mr. Speaker, I think that not only applies to individuals; I think it applies to communities as well. We have some communities that have fared better in the last couple of years than other communities. I think we have to recognize those differences and, as a result of that, pay more attention to those that have a greater need. If we don't do that, then we are sometimes being wasteful. We are sometimes giving individuals and communities maybe more than what they need. Maybe that need could extend to somebody else or to another community. So I think we have to be very, very careful when we boast about treating people and communities the same and treating them equally. We have to be very, very careful, and I stand before you, as somebody who understands that only too well.

When I talk about Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, I think about the activities. Now, this is a riding that for the most part is not served by Metro Transit - for the most part, and I say "for the most part" but it's certainly the greatest part. I think it's probably fair to say - and I use the word "fair" with emphasis - that public transit doesn't exist there. So that makes it very difficult for our young to get around. It makes it very difficult for our seniors. It makes it very difficult for those who are financially disadvantaged to get from A to B.

What this community does, you know, do we complain about it? Well, absolutely, we complain about it because we want to make our voices heard so that we can strive for a better tomorrow - but in the same breath, while we are complaining, we make things happen, Mr. Speaker. We've got canoe clubs that - you know, we live in a riding that boasts great lakes and so somebody in their wisdom, long before I came along, decided that, well, we should have a canoe club. We built Cheema into one of the best canoe clubs in Canada. It certainly has made international fame and fortune. It has won many, many significant events on the international stage.

Mr. Speaker, we're a group of communities that go about making things happen. We don't wait for other people to make things happen for us. We will go out, we will solicit partners. I think that's what they call capacity building, but by all intents and purposes we want to do for ourselves and we will make those requests when appropriate. We also - I think of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, and one of the most historic and significant features of this riding is the Shubie Canal. I don't know if anyone in the House canoes to any extent, but one of the best experiences that one can have in his or her life is canoeing the Shubie

[Page 561]

Canal, going through the locks - and, granted, not all the locks are working and so you have to portage around some of the locks, but years ago when Europeans were first coming to Nova Scotia, and certainly before the Europeans got here, the Mi'kmaq community used the Shubie Canal system as a means of transportation and getting from A to B. That was their public transit system. It's great.

[4:30 p.m.]

One of the things that I also have to say about Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank is the diversity of the community. I think a lot of people would refer to Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank as probably one of the more wealthier communities or ridings in the Province of Nova Scotia. That may be true to an extent, Mr. Speaker, I think the real wealth of the community comes from its people. It's not about the money in their pocket - it's what's in their heart.

I just feel so proud when I go to the grocery store or just when I'm out and about, I feel so good that people - just to go get that bottle of milk at the grocery store, it takes me 45 minutes to an hour. It's a long journey, one could say. I don't want to use the word, impressed, but I'm so taken by the number of young people who come up to me. It's kind of amazing, but nobody calls me Percy, nobody calls me Mr. Paris. Usually the young kids call me Percy Paris and it seems like it's got a certain ring to it for the young kids and I certainly respond to that ring.

One of the things that adults have said to me - I've got to relay this to the House and to my colleagues here on this side of House - one of the things I hear continuously, I've heard a lot of talk about elections over the last couple of days. I'm not going to stand here and boast about my elections. The people made a choice. What I'm going to boast about are the people. People come up to me and people have come to me and some people have said, Percy Paris, I didn't vote for you, I didn't vote for you, but I want you to do well.

I think that's a message. That's a message I hear loud and clear. Mr. Speaker, I hear that message in other places within the Province of Nova Scotia. There are those who did vote for me, thank heaven, I guess that attests for itself or else I wouldn't be standing here in my place today. The good people. They're all good people. Again, when those people come up to me and say that we want you to do well because they realize the better that we do, the better that I do and the better that we do as a government, the better they're going to do. They've been smart enough to put one and one together and they've come up with the right answer.

I've learned a great deal from the residents of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. I've had people join the campaign and certainly after the campaign, elderly people. There was one woman, 96 years of age, this was the first time she ever voted NDP. I ran into her about two

[Page 562]

weeks ago and she stopped me in the grocery store and she said two words to me, the most important words that I hear from voters. She said, thank you.

It's usually us, as politicians, that go around thanking the electorate for the time that they vote. I take your signal well, Mr. Speaker, and with that I will take my seat. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The motion is carried.

[4:34 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Gordon Gosse in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Hon. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable member for Kings West:

"Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly acknowledge the shortcomings when it comes to their delivery and execution of the Caregiver Allowance Program."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH: CAREGIVER ALLOWANCE PROG.

- SHORTCOMINGS ACKNOWLEDGE

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to congratulate the member for Kings West for bringing forth this resolution to debate tonight, that we acknowledge the shortcomings when it comes to the delivery and execution of the Caregiver Allowance Program.

This has been a matter that has attracted a lot of attention in the last several days, culminating in questions that were asked in Question Period over the last several question periods, but also resulting in the fact there are a large number of people who are inquiring as to what the Caregiver Allowance Program is about and, in particular, why they are not permitted to access that program, why they have been turned down.

[Page 563]

I myself brought attention to the House today during Question Period of a case of a constituent of mine whose kidneys have failed and who suffers from cirrhosis of the liver, lung disease, and so on, but was told he was assessed at what's called a MAPLE level three. Part of the confusion that results in this whole program is the system that's being used. Not that it's the right system or the wrong system, but if you go online right now - it's on the government Web site - and look up the MAPLE level system and try to make sense of that system, you're left scratching your head trying to determine what level someone would be left at. That's part one.

The other - and most confusing - part of this whole situation is that we've been left, in this case, with a minister who so far has refused to give us numbers as to how many people have been inquiring about this program and as to how many people have been selected for this program. Mr. Speaker, I did a little bit of digging and I'd like to share some of my own numbers with the minister. Of course, there's nothing that I can put on record here in terms of where I got it; the sources are confidential because they work within the Department of Health or the district health authorities and they don't want to be identified because, naturally, they're concerned about whether or not they would lose their jobs for releasing some of this information.

As I understand it, in the Cape Breton District Health Authority alone, there have been over 1,200 inquiries into this program. Which, I remind members of the House, came at a time, in a district health authority - it came during the summertime, which is when you would have had a lot of staff off on vacations and so on. So you've been left with an understaffed department handling an abnormally large amount of inquiries. Problem number one.

Problem number two is how they determine whether or not you qualified for the program. Problem number three is the fact that they are not assessing people as they come in. When you apply for the program, you don't get a visit from someone who comes out to assess your stage of illness or whatever the case may be. You may, but more often than not you won't, because they'll use an assessment that has previously been done. That assessment - as I understand it from within the Department of Health and from within district health authorities - that assessment could be as much as 12 months old. Almost a year old. In some cases, it could mean an outdated assessment that we're dealing with here.

Mr. Speaker, you know and other members in this House - I would think all members of this House know - that when you're dealing with, in some cases, fatal illnesses, the rate of deterioration - the change - can be rapid over a very short period of time. If you're dealing with that, how can an assessment that's 12 months old be used as an accurate picture of what the situation is at that point in time when you decided to apply for the Caregiver Allowance Program?

[Page 564]

All of those things I have not been able to determine, although I've had some numbers thrown at me that perhaps in some cases - I heard one figure that in one area of Glace Bay, there were over 115 applicants and only two would have qualified, in that one area of my own riding, for the program.

The other question here, and this came up during Question Period - this is what I think we all love about the Legislative Assembly, is that sometimes it takes a great deal of debate and sometimes a great deal of controversy for the facts to come forward and try and make your decision making a little easier. Now during Question Period today the minister stated that she is going to share the numbers with us, or the Premier indicated he would share the numbers with us when they became available and that they're being taken now. The minister indicated that, look - and I'm not quoting her but she did say that what we're dealing with here is a program that wasn't the greatest program in the world. As a matter of fact, she blamed it on the previous Progressive Conservative Government, that they didn't do their work and it wasn't a great program and then stated that we, as a Liberal caucus, supported them and we supported the program and I don't have to remind you, Mr. Speaker, that's Question Period. I don't know whether we go uphill or downhill from there.

What comes out of it is that you have a situation where you have to ask yourself a question and I'm sure a lot of constituents - not just my constituents, not just constituents for the Progressive Conservative Party but I'm sure that the members of the New Democratic Party are having a lot of inquiries at their constituency level and asking the same questions. The main question - if you had a flawed program, why in the name of Heaven would you institute a flawed program? Why wouldn't you say hold on, let's take another look at this program and make some changes because we don't want to put it out to a general public that (1) it's going to be turned down and (2) it's going to be confused and then have Opposition Parties come into the House and criticize this program because it's not doing what it was set out to do?

So the main question is, why would a government, why would an Executive Council, the Cabinet, why would a minister decide to take a program that she admits is not what they wanted to do and institute that - first of all, promote it during an election campaign and then institute it immediately but have all of these problems go out into our general populous and have all of these people complaining, and in the end result, have whatever numbers are that actually should qualify for the program, not getting the help that they deserve.

That's the main thing, that's why we're here. That's why we're supposed to be here, to help people in a time of need. In this case, there appears to be a large - I don't know the numbers - but it would appear from what people are talking, there might be a large number of constituents out there who are in a time of need at this particular time. So, Mr. Speaker, this question, and I don't - it's hard to resist, sometimes, the urge to play politics with any issue. The nature of the game, the nature of our game if you want to call it a game, the nature of whatever we do, is politics. That's why we're here, we're politicians.

[Page 565]

We try, and I'm not speaking for all members but I'm sure that all members try not to do exactly that. In this case, though, if you take a look at the situation, why else would you put forward a program that just doesn't make sense at this particular time, doesn't do what it was supposed to set out to do. There were pilot programs and this program was tried out. If those problems were identified, then why weren't they corrected? I'm sure the problems were identified during pilot programs.

You just don't have problems because the program becomes automatically instituted. You do pilot programs, and experimental programs, for the very reason - to find out what the problems are with that program, where you're going to have problems with staffing levels, where you're going to have problems with such things as levels of assessment and applications and the numbers you're dealing with and the staff numbers that you need to do the job properly and ultimately the funding that you're going to require to do the job.

So, Mr. Speaker, when the member asked me to be here and speak on this and said that there are shortcomings with the delivery and execution of the Caregiver Allowance Program, I couldn't agree more. I know that a lot of members agree, I know a lot of members over in the NDP can't agree publicly but I'm sure they're getting, as I said, the same complaints as us and they've taken their concerns to either the Cabinet or the minister - in this case the Minister of Health - and are asking simply for something to be done in this case to correct the problem. That's all you need to do.

I'm not here to say that I have all the answers or what should be done but, Mr. Speaker, here to realize, and hopefully the minister or the government will realize this as well, that there are shortcomings with the program when it comes to the delivery and execution. Something should be done to resolve those problems.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Argyle.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Merci beaucoup, M. le Président. I'm very happy to stand tonight to speak briefly to the Caregiver Assistance Program, one of the programs of late that we've been hearing a lot about - not only on the floor of this House, but also in our constituency offices we are hearing from people who are unable to get funding through this caregiver allowance.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to go back a little bit and basically the generation of this program from a number of years ago. There was a basic caregiver program in this province a number of years ago and I think it fell under the auspices of the Department of Community Services. That program was brought to a close probably five or six, or seven or eight years ago because it wasn't addressing the needs of folks in Nova Scotia. Then that program was brought back in a pilot in the northern region. It was run under the auspices of the

[Page 566]

Department of Community Services to provide some kind of care, light housekeeping, by either a family member or friend from the community, with that senior.

So after that trial with Community Services, with some discussions with MLAs in this province, with community members, we felt at the time that the Community Services program was not meeting the needs of seniors in this province. So then, of course, that funding got flowed over to the Department of Health to come up with a program because they tried to match up the funding with caregivers with maybe an existing listing for placement in a long-term care facility, or on a list for home care or what have you, to try to match up those two types of patients who would be requiring some kind of services.

After a lot of discussion and I can say, you know, in Cabinet and otherwise, we spent a lot of time trying to come up with what kind of costs would be associated with this program, what kind of criteria might we want to put in it and, Mr. Speaker, many of us in caucus and in Cabinet brought forward specific cases. You know, these are the people we're seeing at the door of our constituency offices looking for this kind of help - most of them are of low income, most of them are of medium to high need when it comes to care.

So over the last number of months, of course, we were able to put the funding aside, we were able to get the program details done. We have an election - of course the results were not what we expected but, Mr. Speaker, the NDP made government and then it was up to them to bring that program out of the department into a program that Nova Scotians can access. So subsequent to that, and I forget the exact date that the announcement was made, this minister made the announcement of the new caregiver program which would provide $400 to caregivers - up to $400 to caregivers in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you our phones probably rang off the hook - where the heck do I call for that? Of course, putting them in contact with the 1-800 number where people got on the list, then were subsequently assessed using MAPLE - and I know the member for Glace Bay talked about that in his discourse, I guess I could say. Then we're hearing back from these individuals that they're not receiving care or they're not receiving the dollars that they need.

What I thought I would do in the minutes that I have is really go through the MAPLE process a little bit and try to match it up to the constituents that I have who have come to my attention that are allowing me to speak of them in Question Period and of course in situations like this. A question I asked in Question Period I believe last week revolves around an individual by the name of Jean Cottreau. Jean is 87 and from Wedgeport. She has suffered a stroke, she has fallen and broken her hip and has mobility problems and her son, Peter, takes care of Jean on a regular basis.

[6:15 p.m.]

[Page 567]

Peter, as I said in my short question last week provides his mother with, of course, mobility, helping her up and down, making sure she's in bed and out of bed, making sure she has help to get in the bath and others. So there is a fair amount of care revolving just around the mobility issue. Jean also has diabetes and requires regular blood checks and adjustments to her diet in order to keep her well. I believe there are some pills or injections as well.

So if we go through the MAPLE criteria and try to have that scoring piece done to it, and I'll table these two documents as I go, one is an introduction for the Methodology for Assisting Priority Levels, which is MAPLE; and unfortunately I don't have the matching piece that, of course, the department would use when using this process in a Nova Scotia context.

It needs to be stressed, and I am just going to read a paragraph out of it before I table it, "It needs to be stressed that MAPLe does not automate the decision-making process, but rather provides the clinician with a standard measure that along with all other available information helps with making a placement decision. There will be cases where the MAPLe category is very high, but informal and community supports can adequately maintain the individual at home. There will be also be uncommon cases where the MAPLe category is low, but special circumstances require long term care facility placement. However, on average, a higher MAPLe category represents increasing weight of evidence in support of priority for placement."

So the MAPLE process used by the province is used - and I want to table that - for placing people in long-term care facilities. So by extrapolating, I believe, that decision-making process, we're seeing whether or not people are available to get the caregiver allowance. Again, this is a program that should, under the right circumstances, keep people in their homes longer and keep them out of long-term care facilities to begin with.

But if I go down the criteria used, or that should be used, to calculate the MAPLE levels, No. 1 is worsening of decision making; No. 2 is behaviour, which would be like wandering or verbal abuse, physical abuse or socially inappropriate, the kinds of things that we would sort of allocate or see in people with Alzheimer's or some other kind of disease of the like. Meal preparation difficulty. We can directly look at that in the case of Jean and Peter, where Peter does have to prepare meals for his mother. Medication management difficulty. If Peter wasn't there to make sure she was getting her meds, she would not be able to have her meds. Falls. Well, I talked about the mobility issue where Jean does need a fair amount of supervision to get around her house and then needs wheelchair assistance to get to other appointments, whether it be doctor or other.

Mr. Speaker, also No. 6, one or fewer meals a day; again if it wasn't for Peter, the meals wouldn't be cooked or prepared and Jean probably wouldn't eat. So it takes a lot of work on behalf of that. Environment would, of course, be cleanliness of the environment in which the individual lived. Number of medications and then we look at ADL and we can talk

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about that later. The cognitive performance scale, institutional risks, these are all considerations under MAPLE.

I think if we had a little clarity on exactly how MAPLE standard works with MAPLE Nova Scotia, I think when somebody comes to us that we would be able to see how these things match up.

Mr. Speaker, this program is one that we were very happy to bring forward but this is now a program of the current government, one that they can make changes to as they need in order to better respond to Nova Scotians' needs. All we are asking from this side of the House of Assembly is to make those adjustments so that Nova Scotians can make it to this program and can get that help. By keeping people in their homes will lighten the load on our healthcare system and especially our long-term care system and keeping dollars flowing to those care needs and keeping people where they are most comfortable, which of course is at home.

Thank you very much again for the opportunity to speak this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this evening to speak on the important topic of the Caregiver Allowance Program and thank the members opposite for giving me this opportunity.

This government is committed to seniors' options to stay in their homes and communities longer. To do that, we made a number of commitments during the recent provincial campaign. We committed to implement self-managed care allowances and personal alert assistance programs. We committed to provide home adaptation funds and security deposits for seniors in long-term care facilities, provide more restorative care to address mobility concerns and medication issues and to use nurse practitioners to augment care in nursing homes. We live up to our commitments as promised.

This government also recognizes the important role of caregivers and supports their efforts to assist loved ones and friends so they can stay in their homes and communities longer. Part of that recognition was moving forward with the Caregiver Allowance Program. The current program is targeted at low- income care recipients who require a high level of care and who have a high level of disability or impairment as determined through a home-care assessment.

I don't need to tell the members opposite that the current program is not ours. I would table a press release that the honourable member from Argyle put out the day of the announcement of the program and I'd just like to read this quote from the honourable member, quote, "This is the program that we first developed in 2007 and expanded in

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subsequent years, said PC Party health critic" - the honourable member. "The budget tabled by the Progressive Conservative Government prior to the election includes a $900,000 increase to the program, bringing it's total budget to $2.7 million.", quote, "It is encouraging that they have decided to follow through on this very important initiative." I'll table that, Mr. Speaker.

This was a program designed by the previous government on the advice of the now Official Opposition, which we chose to implement based on the previous government's May 4th budget and I'll table the coverage in the Herald as well. In this article on August 12th in the Herald, reporter David Jackson quotes the Liberal MLA, the member for Richmond who made the caregiver allowance a condition of propping up the Tories after the 2006 election, who said, many caregivers don't have other income and, basically he's glad the program is going to be province-wide as it was under the Liberal government and I tabled the honourable member's release on that in which he said he had been fighting for this program for nine years.

The former government is responsible for every detail of the current program. We understand that there are some issues with the program and we will learn from them to improve future support for caregivers.

We felt honour-bound to support the previous government's commitments to Nova Scotians, to implement a Caregiver Allowance Program in 2009-10 and it is in the budget as I indicated but that doesn't mean we won't succeed in improving on it. This is why, in the future, we will be introducing our own plan to support caregivers as part of a range of programs to help seniors stay in their homes. We will make sure we listen to seniors and caregivers as we develop our plan.

Mr. Speaker, there is fault with the current caregiver allowance, but it's not in its delivery and execution - it's a fault in its conception and design. For that, we need look no further than the members of the previous government opposite and their friends in the Official Opposition.

Nevertheless, our government recognizes the very important role that caregivers have in the lives of the people they care for. We know that caregivers need support themselves so that they can continue to provide care to their family members or friends. We have committed to developing a range of programs to give seniors options to stay in their homes and communities longer, with the caregiver allowance, just one such component.

Mr. Speaker, that concludes the comments that I would like to make in this debate, with one notable exception. The honourable member raised some questions, the former Speaker, about the assessment that is being done by the care coordinators, as did the member for Glace Bay. I want to say that the care coordinators in this province, in the various DHAs,

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are working as hard as they possibly can. They bring a great deal of professionalism to their job and they apply the assessment tool . . .

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I did not make any reference toward caregivers and the assessments they were doing. My reference was toward the time frame in which the staff was working at the district health authorities and the Department of Health. Nobody has ever questioned their integrity. For the minister to try that kind of trick here is reprehensible.

MR. SPEAKER: The point that the member raises is certainly not a point of order. It's a disagreement between both members.

The honourable Minister of Health.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As I was saying, the care coordinators are working very hard and they bring a great deal of professionalism to their work as they apply the various assessment tools. This is often difficult work, doing assessments can be very difficult, but they do a very good job, they do the best they can. I want to thank them for their efforts on behalf of the people of the province. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. I want to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late debate. We will continue very shortly with the continuation of the Committee of the Whole House on Supply. The House will recess for several minutes. Thank you.

[6:27 p.m. The House recessed.]

[ 6:32 p.m. The House reconvened into a CWH on Supply.]

[7:57 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Charlie Parker, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 571]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, that ends our business for today. I would now turn it over to the Deputy House Leader for the Progressive Conservative Party to announce Opposition business for tomorrow.

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

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. For tomorrow's business, following the daily routine and Question Period, we'll be calling Resolution No. 28 and Resolution No. 192.

MR. SPEAKER: Did you want to move adjournment as well?

MR. PORTER: I so move that the House do now adjourn for the evening to meet again tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a motion for adjournment.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 7:59 p.m.]

[Page 572]

NOTICE OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 278

By: Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid)

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

Whereas 4 Seasons Florist at 546 Sackville Drive, Lower Sackville opened for business in April 2009; and

Whereas Michelle Robichaud, along with husband Todd Wiwczor, are the owners of 4 Seasons Florist; and

Whereas Michelle Robichaud, whose first job at age 15 was in a flower shop, has 10 years' experience in the floral industry;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Michelle Robichaud and Todd Wiwczor on the April 2009 opening of 4 Seasons Florist and wish them much success in the coming years.