The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 06-7

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Cecil Clarke

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/

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

First Session

FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICE OF MOTION :
Res. 127, Ryl. N.S. Tattoo: Organizers/Vol. - Congrats.,
Hon. L. Goucher 328
Vote - Affirmative 328
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 43, Student Aid Act, Mr. L. Preyra 328
No. 44, Public Utilities Act, Mr. M. Samson 329
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 128, Piercey, Fred/Burt, Darren: Stoney Beach Rescue - Commend,
Mr. K. Deveaux 329
Vote - Affirmative 329
Res. 129, Nat'l. Old-timers Baseball Tournament: Yarmouth - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 330
Vote - Affirmative 330
Res. 130, St. George's Friends of Clemente Soc. - Humanities Course,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 330
Vote - Affirmative 331
Res. 131, Environ. & Lbr.: Climate Change Prog. - Min. Consider,
Mr. K. Colwell 331
Res. 132, Miller, Grant - Estabrooks Award,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 332
Vote - Affirmative 332
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 133, Saint Antonio's Lebanese Fest.: Organizers/Vols. - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 333
Vote - Affirmative 333
Res. 134, Crawford, Lynn/Linden, Kevin/Lewis, Diane: Holocaust Educ. -
Efforts Acknowledge, Mr. G. Gosse 333
Vote - Affirmative 334
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 9:17 A.M. 335
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 4:49 335
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 1, Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act 335
Hon. M. Scott 335
Mr. K. Deveaux 336
Mr. M. Samson 337
Hon. M. Scott 338
Vote - Affirmative 338
No. 13, Safer Needles in Healthcare Workplaces Act. 338
Hon. C. d'Entremont 338
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 338
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 339
Hon. C. d'Entremont 340
Vote - Affirmative 340
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 30, Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act 341
Mr. M. Samson 341
Mr. K. Deveaux 342
Hon. J. Muir 342
Mr. M. Samson 343
Vote - Affirmative 343
No. 24, Agriculture and Marketing Act ~ 344
Hon. B. Taylor 344
Mr. J. MacDonell 344
Mr. L. Glavine 345
Hon. B. Taylor 345
Vote - Affirmative 345
PRIVATE AND LOCALS BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 28, New Minas Water Commission Act 346
Hon. D. Morse 346
Vote - Affirmative 346
Vote - Affirmative
No. 29, An Act to Incorporate the Temple Sons of Israel, Sydney 346
Mr. K. Deveaux 346
Vote - Affirmative 346
No. 34, Maritime Conservatory Reorganization Act 347
Mr. K. Deveaux 347
Vote - Affirmative 347
No. 41, Kingston Food Bank Act 347
Mr. L. Glavine 347
Vote - Affirmative 348
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Monday, July 10th at 12 noon 348
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 135, Uhlman, Wayne - S. Shore Bantam AAA Hockey Team:
Dedication - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 349
Res. 136, Taylor, Susan - "Excellence in Teaching" Award,
Hon. E. Fage 349
Res. 137, Northeast Kings Educ. Ctr. - Football Team:
Creation - Congrats., Hon. M. Parent 349
Res. 138, Armstrong, Lawrence A. - Retirement, Mr. C. Porter 350
Res. 139, Smith, Wendell & Geraldine - Van Vulpen Award, Hon. M. Scott 350
Res. 140, Mollon, Kristopher - Lt.-Gov.'s Award, Hon. M. Scott 351
Res. 141, McClelland, Dave - Retirement, Hon. M. Scott 352
Res. 142, Campbell, Janet - Retirement, Hon. M. Scott 352
Res. 143, Williams, Cst. Doug: Cumb. Co. Seniors Safety Initiatives -
Appt., Hon. M. Scott 353
Res. 144, Richard, Veronica: Hair Donation - Congrats., Hon. M. Scott 353
Res. 145, McKenzie, Sgt. Laura - Cadet Award, Hon. M. Scott 354
Res. 146, Black, Jane - Retirement, Hon. M. Scott 354

[Page 327]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2006

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

327

[Page 328]

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 127

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: 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 Tattoo is a reflection of our province's unique cultural heritage, showcasing our military history, music and community; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia International Tattoo has entertained audiences for more than 25 years with an exciting, vibrant blend of music and performance by the international lineup of talent; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia International Tattoo is recognized as the best event of its kind in the world, and was granted Royal Assent by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her 80th birthday this year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the organizers and volunteers at the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, which is running from July 1st to July 8th. I would like to welcome all of the participants and spectators to our province, and invite you to discover why so many visitors return to Nova Scotia again and again.

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

Bill No. 43 - Entitled an Act to Assist in the Retention of Doctors in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Leonard Preyra)

[Page 329]

Bill No. 44 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 380 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Public Utilities Act. (Mr. Michel Samson)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 128

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

Whereas the heroic efforts of Fred Piercey and Darren Burt averted potential tragedy by rescuing a trio of sisters being overpowered by the strong current at Stoney Beach; and

Whereas the lives of 14-year-old Jennifer Walsh, 11-year-old Beri Colton, and 7-year-old Payton Colton were surely saved by these brave actions; and

Whereas Fred Piercey and Darren Burt were honoured by the Governor General's Certificate of Commendation for this rescue;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature commend and honour Eastern Passage residents Fred Piercey and Darren Burt for the heroic rescue of three sisters from the strong current at Stoney Beach, and congratulate them on the receipt of the Governor General's Certificate of Commendation.

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.

[Page 330]

RESOLUTION NO. 129

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

Whereas Yarmouth will host the 14th Annual National Old-timers Baseball Tournament August 3rd to August 7th, with some games being played in Clare; and

Whereas 33 baseball teams from across Canada will bring their families to the area for a weekend full of music, lobster boils, hospitality, and good old-fashioned baseball; and

Whereas events like this will help boost Yarmouth's growing reputation as an outstanding sport and tourism destination;

Therefore be it resolved that this House wish organizers and teams the best of luck with their upcoming national tournament, and congratulations to the Yarmouth and Clare businesses that will see a tremendous boost after several years of declining tourism.

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 Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 130

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

Whereas the Clemente course in the Humanities, an educational program offered free of charge to those living in poverty, has proven over the past decade to be effective in breaking the cycle of poverty through education; and

[Page 331]

Whereas the St. George's Friends of Clemente Society, led by Chairman, Reverend Canon Dr. Gary Thorne, and Administrative Director, Bruce Russell, has worked diligently and successfully to bring the Clemente Course to Halifax; and

Whereas the first Humanities 101 course was officially launched on Monday, October 17, 2005, the United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Reverend Gary Thorne, Mr. Bruce Russell, the members of the St. George's Friends of Clemente Society, and the 30 students in the Humanities 101 course on this successful initiative to combat poverty through education.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 131

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

Whereas climate change is one of the most significant environmental challenges we as a province need to address sooner rather than later; and

Whereas the devastating effects of climate change include increased smog, rising sea levels, storm surges, as well as an increase in extreme weather events, including storms, hail, floods and drought; and

Whereas when the Minister of Environment and Labour was questioned on the possibility of creating a Nova Scotia plan to replace the One-Tonne Challenge cancelled by the federal Conservatives, the best he could do was make light of a very serious issue;

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Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Environment and Labour review his response and seriously consider implementing a made-in-Nova Scotia program, which was successful in changing human behaviour, a key ingredient in curbing the negative effects of climate change.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 132

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 Grant Miller was selected as this year's winner of the Bill Estabrooks Award at Brookside Junior High School; and

Whereas Grant daily demonstrated a positive approach to his school this year; and

Whereas Grant Miller's contribution to Brookside Junior High School is exemplary;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Grant Miller as the winner of the Bill Estabrooks Award at Brookside Junior High.

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 333]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 133

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

Whereas celebrating our sense of community and culture through our many festivals and events is what makes the HRM an exciting place to visit, live, and raise a family; and

Whereas the 2006 St. Antonio's Lebanese Festival, being held from July 7 to July 9, 2006, will enable all of us an opportunity to savour a taste of Lebanon in the heart of Halifax; and

Whereas this weekend's festivities promise to be exciting, as participants will enjoy live music, Lebanese folk dancing, exhibits, and Lebanese cuisine;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature congratulate the countless organizers and volunteers as they embark on this exciting weekend, and wish all those involved our best wishes for a successful event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[9:15 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 134

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

[Page 334]

Whereas three Cape Breton school teachers attended a four-day conference in Jerusalem, from June 26-29th; and

Whereas Lynn Crawford, Kevin Lindon and Diane Lewis have attended the conference entitled Teaching the Holocaust to Future Generations; and

Whereas the goal of this conference was to address issues pertinent to Holocaust education and to provide participants with education curricula and activities;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislative Assembly acknowledge Lynn Crawford, Kevin Lindon and Diane Lewis for their ongoing efforts in Holocaust education.

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: 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. I would ask for the unanimous consent of the House that the two committees on Supply would sit for seven hours today.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it a motion or a request?

[Page 335]

MR. BAKER: It's a request for unanimous consent of the House . . .

MR. SPEAKER: There is a request for unanimous consent of the House to sit for seven hours in Supply today.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[9:17 a.m. The House resolved itself into CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[4:49 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke, resumed the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 1.

Bill No. 1 - Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to move second reading of Bill No. 1. As we all know in this House, people across this province are worried about the rising crime in Nova Scotia. A big part of Nova Scotian life is the feeling of safety

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and security in our communities. We are working to support law enforcement in their efforts to tackle these very serious issues.

At the same time, there's a role for communities to play, and this bill gives them the tools to take action against criminal behaviour in the various communities throughout the province. Under the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Bill, complaints from community members can result in court orders to close locations that are home to prostitution, illegal drugs, illegal liquor or gaming.

These are activities that are very detrimental to healthy communities in Nova Scotia. This bill allows people to register their concerns about buildings that are unusually fortified, buildings that are often home to illegal activities. To implement this work, a new investigative unit is being established. This team will follow up on complaints and work with community members on their concerns.

Under the legislation, if a court is satisfied that certain activities are a serious and immediate threat to public safety, it can order that the property be closed and remain closed for up to 90 days. The court can also order individuals to stay away from the property and to set other conditions. Owners can be held liable for any costs to close a property in the interest of public safety.

Mr. Speaker, this bill allows communities and the new investigation unit to work together with law enforcement to push criminal activity out of their neighbourhoods and away from their families. This public safety initiative is working in other provinces, and it will complement successful measures already undertaken by our local and provincial policing partners.

Mr. Speaker, these tools go hand in hand with other provincial action to address crime and improve the safety of Nova Scotians. I've had the opportunity, myself, to speak to police across this province, and they are very supportive of this initiative and are looking forward to a quick passage through the House. With those few comments, I move second reading of Bill No. 1. (Applause)

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to hear from the Minister of Justice that the police support the NDP's desire to see safer communities in Nova Scotia. For the record, this is a bill the NDP has introduced three times. We're now glad to see it being called for second reading. We are very hopeful, as well, that it can pass. The government bill, which is the one we're debating, is identical to a bill the NDP first introduced last Fall and again in the Spring and then again earlier in this session, which I believe is Bill No. 8.

[Page 337]

Mr. Speaker, this is a piece of legislation that Manitoba has had in place for probably five or six years, maybe a little longer, but it has been very effective there. The NDP Government there thought it was important because there was an issue with properties that were chronically being used for criminal activity. There was a need to ensure that those properties could be shut down. Let's be clear, it's not just buildings, it could be apartments, it could be a park where there are drug sales going on.

These are the kinds of issues that we are very keen to ensure we can address. These are the issues that the NDP, from day one, has said we need to ensure that we put tools in place for our police officers and for our communities to ensure they are able to take the efforts and take the measures necessary to ensure that their communities can be safe. This is one tool, it's not a panacea, it's not going to solve all the problems, but this is a tool that can be used to ensure our communities can shut down places that are chronically used for criminal activity for an extended period of time. I think that is very important. We are very glad to see this bill being called forward. We are going to help ensure that it makes it past the House, hopefully by the end of this session, so Nova Scotians and the police officers in this province have the tools they need, another tool they need, in order to ensure we can try to address a growing problem of violence in our communities. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to say a few words on Bill No. 1, the Safer Communities and Neighborhoods Act. Certainly any piece of legislation which is going to make our communities safer by allowing residents, communities and the police enforcement the tools to be able to address some frequent criminal issues that take place, unfortunately in many of our neighborhoods, is certainly something that we welcome. I believe when this issue came up last Fall, all three caucuses indicated intention to bring forward legislation dealing with this very important matter. So I think it's safe to say that this is an issue that has the support of the entire House in strengthening legislation that currently exists.

For a long time, Mr. Speaker, we talk about Nova Scotia and our communities and how wonderful they are, but the reality is we are now in 2006 and society is catching up with us, and it's important that we keep up with society. Many of our committees now are faced with increased criminal activity, and there are changes that are taking place which we may not always wish for our communities, but it's time that we deal with that reality and make sure that we upgrade our laws and amend them to better reflect the society that we now are faced with, do our best to make sure that we can bring back our communities the way we want them to be, and make sure the tools are then in place when such issues should arise, to have a direct impact on the safety of our communities. So our caucus will certainly be supporting this legislation going on to second reading and the Committee on Law Amendments. Thank you.

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

[Page 338]

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the members opposite for their support of this bill and, as was stated already, this bill will benefit the law enforcement across this province to make sure our communities do remain safe and healthy for all our citizens.

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 1.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 1. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 13.

Bill No. 13 - Safer Needles in Healthcare Workplaces Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it's good to finally stand on my feet today and bring forward Bill No. 13, the Safer Needles in Healthcare Workplaces Act. I can say this is a very important bill for me to bring forward to ensure the safety of needle sticks in the workplace and to make sure that these instruments are used in health care institutions right across Nova Scotia. I would move second reading of Bill No. 13.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I wanted to rise to speak a couple of minutes on this bill. It's something I rose in this House before. I know that this was introduced by the member for Glace Bay, I think, several times in this House. It was something that I've talked about in the past. It's important that with changes and devices used in health care, especially around devices that ensure safety to our health care providers, that government react and implement and utilize these new devices. Things are changing every day, and it's promising to see that the government is taking this step to ensure that the health care professionals in this province are protected when they do their job every day.

I've said it before that I was fortunate as a paramedic that the paramedics in this province have been using these safety-engineered needles for many years now, and I'm just

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wondering why it has taken so long for government to move on providing these safety devices to other health care providers. I do caution and wonder why, in the bill, it allows for the government to exempt a workplace or a class of workplace from being a health care workplace, when the bill is there to provide these health care providers with these pieces of devices that hopefully will protect them, but it gives the Governor in Council the ability to exempt a health care workplace from having to provide safety engineered needles. So I wonder why the purpose of this bill is actually, you know, defeated when you have that clause in there. I guess what we'll do is maybe look at this when it passes through to the Law Amendments Committee and see if we can maybe make changes because, realistically, that's going against what the purpose of the bill is.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, we do support this going on to the Law Amendments Committee. I know we'll have some discussion then to see if we can make sure that this piece of legislation passes and really gives the protection to the health care providers that they need.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and speak just for a couple of minutes on Bill No. 13. I'd like from the outset to extend my appreciation to the government for recognizing that this is a very important issue to begin with and I'm proud of the role our Liberal caucus has played in bringing this issue to the floor, first of all.

Each and every day there are thousands of workers who are exposed to an unthinkable risk in the workplace because the risk they could suffer is a needle stick injury. It could happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. It does happen to nurses, LPNs, doctors, maintenance staff and many others. A worker who suffers a needle stick injury is potentially exposed to more than 33 blood-borne diseases, including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

While conventional needles save a few cents in the short term, the hidden costs far outweigh this immediate benefit. Disease testing, drug treatments, overtime costs and the stress that a needle stick injury places on the worker and his or her family needs to play a more prominent role when health care supply purchases are made.

While an initial investment is required to support this bill, it will save the health care system in the long run. This piece of legislation affords protection to workers while saving money in health care. It is a win-win situation.

I do need to state for the record, we do have a few concerns that Bill No. 13 does not go far enough to protect as many workers as it should. This is not the Liberal bill that was introduced at first, this is a government bill and those concerns are about this government bill. This is not the piece of legislation that we first proposed, so I will say to the minister and to the

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government, we have those concerns and we will continue to debate this and address those concerns through the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, just quickly, the honourable member from the NDP did mention the exemption. The exemption really is in place in case there are health care workplaces or in specific cases where a safety engineered needle cannot be used. We just want to make sure that we're not impeding the use or the administration of health services by having this bill in place.

Also, I would want to extend my sincere thank you to the member for Glace Bay for his advocacy on this issue, and for his work and the work of the Liberal Party on pushing this issue forward.

With that, I would like to move second reading on Bill No. 13.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 13. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

HON. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 24.

Bill No. 24 - Agriculture and Marketing Act.

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I'm wondering if we can have this one put down because I know I was discussing something with the Minister of Agriculture, but my understanding was - no one told me that this was actually coming forward today. I know we talked about it, but it was never at that stage. Maybe we can call Bill No. 30 and then come back to this one, if that is possible?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

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PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No.30.

Bill No. 30 - Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: As you can tell, Mr. Speaker, since the election things are done a little differently here in this House, so it is interesting to see the Government House Leader introducing legislation at such an early stage, calling legislation that is being introduced by the Opposition.

Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 30 is the Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act. It is meant to do two things: to help restore confidence in the eyes of Nova Scotians in our system of government, while at the same time providing Ministers of the Crown an ability to have a step-by-step process to follow, should they find themselves in either a real or a perceived conflict of interest.

Mr. Speaker, we realize that events that took place here in our province recently, and even a few years ago, left members of the House questioning what exact process was being followed within the Cabinet if members should find themselves in a conflict of interest. We have the former Premier who introduced legislation for the first time in Nova Scotia which did create a code of conduct for Cabinet, and certainly that was an important piece of legislation here in this province, but the problem with that legislation was that it never really set out what process was to be followed if there actually was a conflict of interest.

Now, Mr. Speaker, conflicts of interest are going to happen. They are a reality in any organization you are in - in any government you are in it is going to occur. The problem was what happened, what were the steps to be taken? At one point we thought maybe there was a policy that was adopted within government that said here is what you do if you are in a conflict of interest, but our attempts to be able to even get hold of that policy made it clear, we were left to conclude that no such policy existed. Now that is not fair to ministers and it is not fair to the public that they not be aware of what steps are to be taken.

Mr. Speaker, this bill mirrors, in many ways, the legislation that exists in New Brunswick where they also brought in a code of conduct for their ministers, but within the legislation it sets out a step-by-step process of what a minister is to do should they find themselves in a conflict. For example, the legislation says that they must report it to the President of the Executive Council, and at that point the President of the Executive Council would name another minister responsible for that particular file. At the same time, a minister

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who may be in a conflict would not be permitted to be briefed or given updates on that particular file that they may be in conflict with.

Mr. Speaker, the other major change in this legislation is that it now allows both elected members and the public to ask for an investigation by the Conflict of Interest Commissioner should they feel that a minister may have been in conflict. Previous to this, under the legislation the former Premier brought in, it took a resolution of the House of Assembly to ask for an investigation or a request from Executive Council itself. Now, while this sounds good in theory, under a majority government the chances of a majority government allowing a resolution to go through the House asking for an investigation of one of their own Cabinet Ministers would have been a rare sight, to say the least, or to even expect that Executive Council itself would ask the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to investigate one of their own members, I believe, was an unfair process to start off with, and more than likely it is not one that would have been effective.

So, Mr. Speaker, again this is legislation which is not meant in any way to attack any existing or previous members of the House. This is a means by which we, as elected members, can continue to work to restore confidence in Nova Scotians' eyes that when it comes to the workings of Cabinet, when it comes to the workings of government, and especially when it comes to the use of taxpayers' money, that they can have all confidence that the rules are being followed and, if a conflict should occur, that there is a clear process in place that they can follow as to what will happen.

At the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, as I said, this is something that is going to protect the interests of Nova Scotians, it is going to protect the interests of existing Cabinet Ministers, and protect the interests of ourselves as elected officials should we find ourselves in that situation. So I am pleased to see that the government indicated in their Throne Speech a desire to bring this legislation forward. Today they are putting those words into action by calling this bill, and I look forward to it moving on to the Law Amendments Committee and speedy passage through this House this session.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I want to recognize the efforts of the Liberal caucus in bringing forward this legislation, not only before the last provincial election but again in this session. I think anything we can do to enhance conflict of interest requirements with regard to ministerial code of conduct is important. I hope that this is the beginning of a debate that we should be continuing to have in this House, not only with regard to conflict of interest but accountability and around democratization in our province.

Whether we talk about the way our elections are operated, how they're financed, whether we're talking about enhancing the Freedom of Information Act and Protection of Privacy Act that is in desperate need of improvements, I would hope that as a House we can

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begin to recognize that these are measures that not only shouldn't be seen as punitive to those who want to enter politics but should be seen as tenets of an important part of a democratic process in which citizens have an opportunity to have full knowledge of what is going on amongst their government and have an opportunity to ensure that those who are making decisions are accountable for them. We look forward to hearing at the Law Amendments Committee from the citizens of Nova Scotia with regard to this.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to say a few words on behalf of the government caucus. Clearly, as has been demonstrated since the Progressive Conservative Government took power in 1999, the issue of accountability and code of conduct of public servants has been a priority and, indeed, it was this government that introduced the first code of conduct for ministers.

To be quite frank, Mr. Speaker, we are interested in looking at ways that accountability and the public interest can be protected, not only among politicians but among those who work for government. We all believe that all Nova Scotians have every right to have every confidence in their Public Service and in their government. Therefore, the government caucus will be supporting this bill in second reading to move it on to the Law Amendments Committee process.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Leader of the Liberal Party it will be to close debate.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I would certainly like to thank my colleague, the NDP House Leader, for his kind comments and for his support, and also the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. I wasn't sure if anyone from the government would address the bill at this stage, but I'm pleased to see that one of their more senior members has indicated the government's intent on seeing this legislation move forward. With that, I would happily move second reading of Bill No. 30.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 30. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

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[PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 24.

Bill No. 24 - Agriculture and Marketing Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for the co-operation from members in the House.

Mr. Speaker, this bill will enable the policy development and regulation of Nova Scotia's wine ciders and fruit liqueurs industries. The industry supports our efforts to amend the present Agriculture and Marketing Act, and they have been consulted. There are efforts underway between the federal government and the provinces to establish national wine standards whereby Nova Scotia will benefit from having provincial legislation and provincial quality standards for wine.

Our provincial industry has doubled in commercial grape production since 2000, and it is anticipated that there will be a doubling of farm and cottage wineries by the year 2015. The industry is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade which requires regulation so that industry can make sound investment decisions based on firm and enforceable regulations. I'm pleased to move second reading of this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to speak on this and I'll be brief. I have to say that I'm surprised actually that this industry has gotten to the stage that it has without regulation. Obviously, I would think that, considering the product that we're creating here, it would certainly be in the best interest of not only the government and the citizens of the province but certainly of the industry that regulation is in place. The fact that the federal government is trying to move to national standards in draft regulation itself, I think Nova Scotia wouldn't have a very credible voice at the table unless it was in the process of trying to have regulation of its own industry.

[5:15 p.m.]

This has been a particularly successful industry in the province, and I think it's one where policy and regulation that would enhance its development would be a very wise idea. One of the most notable aspects of the development of particularly the wine industry is that over time this industry is to incorporate more and more of Nova Scotia content or Nova Scotia

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grapes in its production. This is one of those few incidents where the government was able to implement a policy which was implemented buying local. As much as we're told that you can't do that, this is one example where government was able to do that and it doesn't seem to have caused many ripples and has been a positive thing for the industry acreage, and the province has grown dramatically over the past years. This industry, as the minister indicated, is really expected to grow in the next decade or so.

I would say that for a number of positive reasons and one in particular considering the product we're talking about, to put quality assurance and regulation in place can only benefit the industry and the people of the province. With that, we give our support. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'd just like to rise on behalf of our caucus and certainly endorse this bill. I think the time has come in Nova Scotia to set standards and establish regulation for an industry that is well-established but has enormous potential. I just look at the Annapolis Valley where my riding is located and see Grand Pré Wines, Gaspereau Vinyards, Sainte-Famille Wines Limited, and the growth of these over the past number of years. The number of new plantings in the Valley certainly indicate that this is a vibrant industry. Having the basic product out of the Valley and other parts of Nova Scotia move into our wineries I think is another step in putting Nova Scotia on the map in this growing and important industry. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, to close debate I would just like to say again that we really do appreciate the co-operation of members opposite regarding this piece of legislation. I was a little remiss earlier in not mentioning the hard work of the former, former Minister of Agriculture, the honourable member for Argyle, because he put a lot of effort into this initiative. I move second reading of Bill No. 24.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 28.

Bill No. 28 - New Minas Water Commission Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, this is simply a housekeeping Act, it was passed over 25 years ago. When it was first drafted, all the gender was with reference to males as opposed to males and females, so this makes that correction. Also, the stipends are some 20 years out of date, and it makes them current. With that, I move second reading of Bill No. 28.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 28. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 29.

Bill No. 29 - An Act to Incorporate the Temple Sons of Israel, Sydney.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Cape Breton Nova, who introduced this bill, the Temple Sons of Israel, Sydney, this is a piece of legislation that reorganizes the society upon which the Temple Society is based, based on the fact - my understanding is - that all the original members of the society have now passed away, and this will reorganize the organization. I so move second reading of Bill No. 29.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 29. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 34.

Bill No. 34 - Maritime Conservatory Reorganization Act.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I know this is a bill of interest to my colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto, who introduced it and also to at least one of the Clerks of the House who is on the board of directors of the Maritime Conservatory of Music. This is a piece of legislation that, again, reorganizes and clarifies the society upon which the Conservatory is based as a result of the fact that I believe there's a piece of legislation but there's also an incorporation under the Societies Act and this will allow for a much clearer understanding of how the society is organized. I so move second reading of Bill No. 34.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 34. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 41.

Bill No. 41 - Kingston Food Bank Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, this is the second occasion on which I've introduced this bill. The first draft was a little bit too broad in its legislation implications. So, this one has been before the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and it's very specific to the Kingston Food Bank, which, because of a little technicality, the society built their new food bank on village land, and of course it's required by the Kings County Municipality that, in fact, they would tax any of the properties. So the food bank came under taxation purposes. This bill will provide the exemption for the Kingston Food Bank not to have to pay taxes to Kings County Municipality. Unless there is any other reason to have the bill further debated, I would move second reading of Bill No. 41.

[Page 348]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 41. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee on Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I move the House be adjourned to sit again on Monday, beginning at 12:00 noon until 12:00 p.m. Monday evening. (Interruptions) Sorry, 10:00 p.m. After the daily routine, we'll move into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply, followed by Public Bills for Second Reading, Private Members' Public Bills, and Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise and meet at the hour of 12:00 noon on Monday. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[The House rose at 5:24 p.m.]

[Page 349]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 135

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Canada's sport of hockey is strong and healthy on the South Shore; and

Whereas the South Shore Irving Bantam AAA hockey team ended the season with a league record of 21 wins; and

Whereas team managers play a significant role in the development of these players;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate team manager Wayne Uhlman on his time and dedication to these players.

RESOLUTION NO. 136

By: Hon. Ernest Fage (Human Resources)

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

Whereas Susan Taylor, an Amherst Regional High School music teacher, was presented with an Excellence in Teaching Award from the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board recently; and

Whereas hundreds of students have graduated with the gift of music, including the special education students, and as a bonus the ARHS band was chosen to perform at the awards banquet, making the evening more special to Ms. Taylor to have some of her students with her;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Susan Taylor for receiving this award of excellence.

RESOLUTION NO. 137

By: Hon. Mark Parent (Environment and Labour)

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

[Page 350]

Whereas Northeast Kings Education Centre, situated in Canning, will be home to a brand new high school football team this Fall; and

Whereas the team will be competing in the new 15-team Nova Scotia Schools Athletic High School Football League, which is replacing the former Metro High School Football League, and will have teams competing against each other from Canning to Port Hawkesbury; and

Whereas students, parents and teaching staff have been working diligently for the past number of months on issues such as overall costs, along with other pertinent issues such as equipment, transportation and coaching;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the immense organizational abilities of all students, parents and staff involved in the creation of Northeast Kings Education Centre's inaugural football team for the upcoming 2006 season.

RESOLUTION NO. 138

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas municipal staff always put their community first in order to effectively deliver important services to our citizens;

Whereas Lawrence A. Armstrong has served the Town of Windsor very well for the past 43 years as deputy clerk, town clerk and then chief administrative officer; and

Whereas Lawrence A. Armstrong is retiring from the Town of Windsor and is now able to spend more time with his wife, family and, in particular, his grandchildren;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this House commend Lawrence A. Armstrong for his dedication to the Town of Windsor and wish him all the best with his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 139

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

[Page 351]

Whereas Wendell and Geraldine Smith and their family of Leicester were presented the John Van Vulpen Memorial Award as Cumberland County's farmers of the year at the Cumberland County Federation of Agriculture's annual farmers banquet at the Nappan Pavilion; and

Whereas the Smiths have a successful beef farm and are thriving in the blueberry and maple businesses with the help of their two sons, who work with them full-time, with many other family members helping out when needed; and

Whereas Wendell started his maple operation when he was 19 years old, and it has grown from about 900 taps to over 60,000 taps over the years, showing that this family is very passionate for agriculture and believes that farmland should be utilized;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Wendell and Geraldine Smith and their family on this outstanding award, and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 140

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Kristopher Mollon, a student at River Hebert District High School, was honoured to receive the Lieutenant Governor's Medal for the 2005-06 school year; and

Whereas Honourable Myra Freeman, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, presented the medals to only 29 students from Cumberland County, Colchester County and Hants County; and

Whereas the Lieutenant Governor's Medal is given to recognize these students who have shown through their studies and commitment to community that they have given a lot of themselves, and they deserve to be recognized, celebrated and cheered on;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Kristopher Mollon on receiving this outstanding award and wish him continued success in the future.

[Page 352]

RESOLUTION NO. 141

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Dave McClelland was honoured this year on his retirement after 32 years as a teacher, 18 of those spent as principal of Oxford Regional High School and Oxford Regional Elementary School; and

Whereas Dave McClelland is best known for his drive to make a difference in the lives of students, ensuring each has access to the best possible education to meet their educational goals and post-secondary needs; and

Whereas he was instrumental in securing the Northumberland Athletic Park and nature trail;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Dave McClelland on his retirement, and thank him for his 32 years of service to the students and to this province.

RESOLUTION NO. 142

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Janet Campbell was honoured on her retirement after 34 years of teaching students at Oxford Regional High School; and

Whereas Janet graduated from Nova Scotia Teachers College in 1972 and spent her entire career teaching students at ORHS; and

Whereas when the era of the information highway challenged staff with learning new technology skills, she showed strong leadership working many extra hours as mentor, sharing her self-taught knowledge freely with her fellow teachers;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Janet Campbell on her retirement, and thank her for her 34 years of service to her students and to this province.

[Page 353]

RESOLUTION NO. 143

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Constable Doug Williams, a 21-year member of the Springhill Police force, was thought the perfect choice for a new position to deal with safety initiatives for Cumberland County seniors; and

Whereas Constable Williams, the community relations officer for the Springhill Police Department, has been selected for the position that was created by the Department of Justice and coordinated by the Senior Citizens' Secretariat; and

Whereas Constable Williams has proven himself to be trustworthy within the community, and seniors feel safe putting their trust with this very dedicated and sincere officer;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Constable Doug Williams on this very important decision and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 144

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Veronica Richard of Springhill who has been growing her hair for her entire life of eight years, and now has had a braid of 12 inches cut off her beautiful locks, wants to help someone else by donating it; and

Whereas Veronica's hair will be sent to the Headquarters Hair Solutions Clinic in Halifax and made into a wig for a child who has lost their hair because of cancer treatments; and

Whereas Veronica is a Grade 2 student at West End Elementary School, and she is very happy about donating her hair to a worthy cause and she is very happy with the new look;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Veronica Richard for this unselfish act of kindness that will make a huge difference in the life of a less fortunate child, and wish her all the best in the future.

[Page 354]

RESOLUTION NO. 145

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Sergeant Laura McKenzie of Oxford #2553 Royal Canadian Army Cadets was the recipient of the Angela Crowley Memorial Trophy for the Best All Round Cadet; and

Whereas Laura was also presented the Best Senior Shot Award for the Oxford Corps; and

Whereas the awards were presented at the Corps' annual Ceremonial Review on May 15, 2006;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sergeant Laura McKenzie on these outstanding achievements and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 146

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas Jane Black was honoured this year as she retires after her 34-year teaching career; and

Whereas Mrs. Black has taught students from Grades 2 to 12 throughout her 34-year teaching career and loved every minute of it; and

Whereas Jane acquired a Diploma in Education from Acadia University and taught at Blandford Elementary School on Nova Scotia's South Shore, then in Springhill, and for the last 16 years as Grade 2 teacher at Oxford Elementary School;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jane Black on her retirement after 34 years, and thank her for her service to the students and to this province.