The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 06-29

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

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Boxing Day Shopping: Stores - Close, Ms. M. More 2391
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Cameron, John Allan: Death of Tribute, The Premier 2392
Econ. Dev. - Citco Fund Services: Office - Opening,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 2395
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1151, 4-H Members - Congrats.,: Vols./Leaders - Thank,
Hon. B. Taylor 2398
Vote - Affirmative 2399
Res. 1152, d'Entremont, Jeanne - Le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas Awards,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 2399
Vote - Affirmative 2400
Res. 1153, Boucher, Wayne - Portia White Prize, Hon. L. Goucher 2400
Vote - Affirmative 2401
Res. 1154, Franz-Odendaal, Dr. Tamara - NSAERCC Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2401
Vote - Affirmative 2402
Res. 1155, Health Prom. & Protection: Seniors - Falls Prevention,
Hon. B. Barnet 2402
Vote - Affirmative 2403
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1156, Mining Day on the Hill (2006) - Recognize,
Hon. D. Morse 2403
Vote - Affirmative 2403
Res. 1157, Pengrowth - Gov't. (N.S.): Scholarships - Support,
Hon. W. Dooks 2404
Vote - Affirmative 2404
Res. 1158, d'Eon, Vernon &Corinne - Le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas
Award, Hon. C. d'Entremont 2404
Vote - Affirmative 2406
Res. 1159, Raimbault, Alain - Prix Grand-Pre, Hon. L. Goucher 2406
Vote - Affirmative 2406
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 122, St. Paul's United Church Lands Act, Hon. M. Baker 2407
No. 123, Provincial Capital Heritage Commission Act,
Mr. H. Epstein 2407
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1160, Nat'l. Autism Strategy: Gov't. (Can.) - Create, Mr. D. Dexter 2408
Vote - Affirmative 2408
Res. 1161, Adopt-A-Book Campaign: West. Counties Reg. Branch -
Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 2408
Vote - Affirmative 2409
Res. 1162, MacDonald, Natasha - Nat'l. 4-H Travel Award,
Mr. K. Bain 2409
Vote - Affirmative 2410
Res. 1163, Marshall, Grand Chief Donald, Sr.: Treaty Day -
Creation, Mr. J. MacDonell 2410
Vote - Affirmative 2411
Res. 1164, Nat'l. Catastrophic Drug Plan: Implementation -
Investigate, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2411
Vote - Affirmative 2411
Res. 1165, Kings North 4-H: Gratitude - Express,
Hon. M. Parent 2411
Vote - Affirmative 2412
Res. 1166, Dalhousie Sexton Engineering Undergrad. Soc.:
Pulling for Kids Event - Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra 2412
Vote - Affirmative 2413
Res. 1167, Educ. - Composite High Schools: Funding - Provide,
Mr. L. Glavine 2413
Vote - Affirmative 2414
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1168, Pictou Co. Dragon Boat Fest. - Anniv. (5th), Mr. P. Dunn 2414
Vote - Affirmative 2415
Res. 1169, Fels, Sabine - Art Express: Coordinator - Congrats.,
Ms. M. Raymond 2415
Res. 1170, North Nova Educ. Ctr. - Boys Hockey Team: Coaches/
Manager/Trainer - Congrats., Mr. K. Bain 2416
Vote - Affirmative 2417
Res. 1171, Jacques Whitford - Today's Parent Magazine Award,
Ms. M. More 2417
Vote - Affirmative 2418
Res. 1172, TPW: Hwy. No. 101, (Digby to Weymouth) -
Start Date, Mr. H. Theriault 2418
Res. 1173, O'Connor, Clare - Women of Excellence Award,
Hon. J. Muir 2418
Vote - Affirmative 2419
Res. 1174, LaRoux, Mike - St. Margarets Ctr.: Efforts Thank,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 2419
Vote - Affirmative 2420
Res. 1175, Quinn, Tony/Animal Rescue Coalition: Bayers Lake
Pet Store Protest - Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen 2420
Vote - Affirmative 2421
Res. 1176, MacIvor, Daniel - Gov.-Gen's Literary Award,
Hon. L. Goucher 2421
Vote - Affirmative 2422
Res. 1177, Noteable Friends Choir: Directors/Accompanists/
Singers - Commend, Mr. C. MacKinnon 2422
Vote - Affirmative 2423
Res. 1178, Chemist, Blanche Elizabeth - Foster Children: Love &
Support - Recognize, Mr. K. Colwell 2423
Vote - Affirmative 2423
Res. 1179, Gilkerson, William - Gov.-Gen's Literary Award,
Hon. J. Streatch 2424
Vote - Affirmative 2424
Res. 1180, Stora Enso - Nature Conservation: Importance -
Recognize, Mr. M. Samson 2424
Vote - Affirmative 2425
Res. 1181, Natarajan, Mahadevan - Cdn. Diabetes Assoc. Vol.
of Yr. Award, Hon. A. MacIsaac 2425
Vote - Affirmative 2426
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1182, Bowman, Sarah/Brake, Virginia - Pengrowth - N.S.
Pet. Grant, Mr. Manning MacDonald 2426
Vote - Affirmative 2427
Res. 1183, Gow's Home Hardware - Large Bus. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 2427
Vote - Affirmative 2427
Res. 1184, Belliveau Motors Charity Golf Tournament: Staff/Vols. -
Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 2427
Vote - Affirmative 2428
Res. 1185, Haugg, Morris J.: Semi-Retirement - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 2428
Vote - Affirmative 2429
Res. 1186, Condominium Act - Amend, Ms. D. Whalen 2429
Res. 1187, Leger, Craig: N.S. HS Football League MVP -
Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 2430
Vote - Affirmative 2430
Res. 1188, St. Michaels Jr. HS Golf Team: Members/Coach -
Congrats., Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2431
Vote - Affirmative 2431
Res. 1189, Bridgetown Fire Hall - Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel./
Gov't. (Can.): Funding - Resolve, Mr. Stephen McNeil 2431
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 270, Health: Radiation Technologists - Wage Level,
Mr. D. Dexter 2432
No. 271, Com. Serv.: Wall Family - Assistance,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2434
No. 272, Health: Colon Cancer Screening - Implement,
Mr. D. Dexter 2435
No. 273, Econ. Dev. - Sweatshops: Products - Procurement
Policy, Mr. H. Epstein 2436
No. 274, Justice: FOIPOP Officer - Appoint, Mr. M. Samson 2438
No. 275, Fish. & Aquaculture: Fish Farm Expansion - Reaction,
Ms. V. Conrad 2439
No. 276, TPW: Sackville Exchange - Funding,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 2440
No. 277, Health: Nat'l. Autism Strategy - Support, Mr. L. Glavine 2441
No. 278, TPW: Grand Lake Rd. Construction: Business - Effects,
Mr. G. Gosse 2443
Mr. G. Gosse
No. 279, Health - Breast-Reduction Surgery: Threshold - Explain,
Mr. L. Glavine 2444
No. 280, TPW - Roads: Tender Calls - Timelines, Mr. C. Parker 2445
No. 281, TPW - Perrin Drive Paving: Election Promise - Breach,
Mr. P. Paris 2447
No. 282, Health - Digby: Physician Shortage - Priority,
Mr. H. Theriault 2448
No. 283, Gov't. (N.S.) - Insurance Rates: Cap - Details, Mr. G. Steele 2449
No. 284, Fish. & Aquaculture: Inshore Fishing Boats - WCB
Rates, Mr. S. Belliveau 2451
No. 285, TPW - Hwy No. 104: Twinning - Time Frame,
Mr. M. Samson 2452
No. 286, Educ.: Sch. Visits - Dates, Mr. W. Estabrooks 2453
No. 287, Com. Serv.: Bloomfield Centre - Closure,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 2454
No. 288, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel: Fire Halls - Funding,
Mr. S. McNeil 2456
No. 289, Health: Palliative Care Prog. - Commitment,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 2457
No. 290, Prem.: Sidewalks - Safety, Mr. J. MacDonell 2459
No. 291, Econ. Dev.: High-Speed Tech. - Prioritize, Mr. W. Gaudet 2460
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 1024, Friends of Port Mouton Bay/Commun.: Efforts -
Support, notice given on November 20, 2006 2461
Ms. V. Conrad 2461
Hon. R. Chisholm 2463
Mr. H. Theriault 2465
Mr. J. MacDonell 2467
Res. 1033, Commun. Access Prog. (CAP): Extension/Continuation -
Support, notice given on November 20, 2006 2469
Mr. C. MacKinnon 2469
Hon. R. Hurlburt 2471
Ms. D. Whalen 2473
Mr. H. Epstein 2475
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 117, Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act
Amendment 2478
Vote - Defeated 2478
Vote - Defeated
No. 117, Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act
Hon. M. Baker 2478
Vote - Affirmative 2480
HOUSE RECESSED AT 6:08 P.M. 2480
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:42 P.M. 2480
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. M. Scott 2481
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. M. Scott 2482
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Nov. 23rd, at 11:00 a.m. 2482
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1190, Election Workers: Income Clawbacks - Cease,
Mr. H. Theriault 2484
Res. 1191, Hants West 4-H Clubs: Gratitude - Express,
Mr. C. Porter 2484
Res. 1192, Cdn. Coastguard: Auxiliary Zone 6 Team - Congrats.,
The Premier 2485
Res. 1193, Goosens, Stéphane: Can. Games Table Tennis Team -
Congrats., The Premier 2485
Res. 1194, MacPhail, Mark - Arm Wrestling Championships,
The Premier 2486
Res. 1195, Collingwood FD: Firefighters - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 2486
Res. 1196, Collingwood FD: Ladies Aux. - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 2487
Res. 1197, Kings Co. Bus. Awards: BeLeaf Spa/Valley Tread -
Nominations, Hon. M. Parent 2487
Res. 1198, Kings Co. Bus. Awards: Fox Hollow Cheese House &
Developments/Friends of the Fam. - Nominations,
Hon. M. Parent 2488
Res. 1199, Environ. & Lbr.: TD Friends of Environ. Fdn. - Cleanup,
Hon. M. Parent 2488
Res. 1200, Lamb, David: Athletic Achievements - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Parent 2489
Res. 1201, United Way (Pictou Co.) - Relocation, Mr. P. Dunn 2489
Res. 1202, First United Baptist Church (New Glasgow): Operation
Christmas Child - Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn 2490
Christmas Child - Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn
Res. 1203, NSCC Sch. of Fisheries - Anniv. (60th), Mr. P. Dunn 2490
Res. 1204, Wilson, Budge - Gov.-Gen's. Award Nomination,
Hon. J. Streatch 2491
Res. 1205, Broome, Alan & Antoinette: Boston Christmas,
Hon. J. Streatch 2491
Res. 1206, RCL: Branch 44 (Chester) - Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 2492
Res. 1207, RCL: Branch 88 (Chester Basin) - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Streatch 2492
Res. 1208, New Ross Christmas Fest. Anniv. (13th), Hon. J. Streatch 2493
Res. 1209, Elliot, Peter: New Ross FD - Vol. Serv. (30yrs.),
Hon. J. Streatch 2493
Res. 1210, Charing Cross Garden Club: Beautification Projs. -
Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 2494
Res. 1211, Zinck, George/Fishers: Lobster season - Success Wish,
Hon. J. Streatch 2494
Res. 1212, Keddy, Nason: New Ross FD - Vol. Serv. (20yrs.),
Hon. J. Streatch 2495
Res. 1213, Crossman, Doug: Chester Mental Health & Addictions
Clinic - Relocation, Hon. J. Streatch 2495
Res. 1214, RCL: Branch 79 (New Ross) - Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 2496
Res. 1215, Carrier, Paulette/Paulette's Home Décor - Relocation,
Hon. J. Streatch 2496
Res. 1216, Neptune Unit: Ryl. Cdn. Sea Cadets - Expansion,
Hon. J. Streatch 2497
Res. 1217, RCL: Branch 116 (Tantallon) - Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 2497
Res. 1218, Meister, Marie - New Ross United Baptist Church:
Anniv. Comm. - Congrats., Hon. J. Streatch 2498
Res. 1219, RCL: Branch 144 (Western Shore) - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Streatch 2498

[Page 2387]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2006

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I rise today on a point of privilege. I've provided your office with a copy of my remarks, along with the draft copy of Hansard from yesterday. During the debate on Bill No. 117, our caucus members, along with the entire membership of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, have been the subject of vicious and unparliamentary attacks that I would submit are unprecedented in this House. Various members of the NDP caucus have seen fit to take the time of the House to make unsubstantiated claims against Liberal MLAs and members of our Party. The focus has mainly been on the financial assets of our Party.

Mr. Speaker, most members of this House and Nova Scotians will know that following a trial held regarding fundraising by our Party over 20 years ago, all monies identified during the trial to have been raised illegally were returned to the provincial Treasury - in fact, an amount of over $1 million. The remaining money has been accounted for as legitimate donations to our Party.

2387

[Page 2388]

Mr. Speaker, the MLAs in this House and the entire membership of our Party are honourable, decent and hard-working people who deserve the respect of all members of this Chamber. I'm very concerned that certain comments made in this House cast aspersions and allegations against both the elected and unelected membership of our Party, which are unfounded. Yesterday, the debate started with the NDP member for Halifax Fairview suggesting that our members were using financial assets which were the proceeds of crime. In essence, his allegation was that we were criminals. The NDP member for Halifax Citadel went on to say, "Bill No. 117 allows the Liberal Party to live off the benefits from the avails of crime."

Once again, Mr. Speaker, this suggests that Liberal MLAs in this House and our membership are criminals. The same member went on, as indicated in Hansard, to compare our Liberal MLAs and membership of our Party to a notorious person in the United States who was acquitted of murder but later found responsible in a civil court.

AN HON. MEMBER: Shame. Shame.

[2:15 p.m.]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the NDP member for Halifax Citadel went on to say, "My point, Mr. Speaker, is the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives are colluding here, the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives are colluding here to defend a discredited, dying electoral and campaign finance regime."

Mr. Speaker, these statements are clearly unparliamentary, they are libellous, and are meant to smear the reputations of members of this House and the membership of our Party. Parliamentary immunity was meant to allow members of this House to express themselves freely, without fear of repercussion, but it was never meant to allow members to set out and seek to tarnish the reputation of other members of this House or the thousands of members of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, every political Party has members and incidents in their past that they are not proud of. I would remind the members of the NDP that they may wish to reflect on the actions and convictions of previous and current members of their Party and caucus before they attack the reputations of others. People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

To quote an authoritative text on the matter, Joseph Maingot in Parliamentary Privilege in Canada states, "There are actions that, while not directly in a physical way obstructing the House . . . or the members; nevertheless obstruct the House in the performance of its functions by diminishing the respect due to it."

[Page 2389]

Mr. Speaker, I believe the statements made in this House by the members of the NDP caucus have shown a complete lack of respect for the members of this House and the members of our caucus.

Mr. Speaker, I have been a member of the Liberal Party since I was 14 years old. The men and women I have met over the years are honest, dedicated Nova Scotians who are important players in ensuring a strong democracy for our province. They have my utmost respect and, I believe, are deserving of respect of all members of this House and I look forward to your ruling.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. On behalf of my caucus, I would like to respond to the point of privilege raised by the Leader of the Liberal Party. I think if you look at the record in its entirety of the comments made by any of our members yesterday, but I think particularly the ones noted from the member for Halifax Citadel, I believe there was an apology provided at that time, on the record, and I think that while you review this matter, I would encourage you to look at the record in its entirety to see what was said. I think, in my opinion, and in the opinion of our caucus, this is a dispute between two members with regard to the facts, but as well, I would say that there was an apology provided at that time and I think that is something that needs to be considered as part of this process as well.

MR. SPEAKER: I have reviewed the material supplied to me by the Liberal Leader and I've also looked at the transcript from Hansard, for that period of time. I've also taken into consideration the context of the comments. I would say, to the House, that I believe there is a prima facie - a matter of privilege before this House - but in fairness to the severity of this item and a comment I just heard from the member for Halifax Citadel, and the point is, whether comments are on the official record of Hansard or not, if they're heard by this Chair, they can be deemed to be parliamentary or not. In just hearing that, I will take this under advisement because I consider it a serious matter.

I think that this incident, as well, is also a notice to all members of this House about the decorum and the expectations from all Nova Scotians who elect us to be here to represent them, to maintain a level of civility and, indeed, decency in this House, and there have been words that have broached. We often have a wide breadth that we try to provide the latitude necessary for political opinion to be freely expressed, but not to have people's rights and privileges impinged in this Chamber. I will now take this under advisement, with the will of the House, so I can reflect further on this because I deem it to be a very serious matter.

Is it the will of the House?

It is agreed. Thank you.

[Page 2390]

We'll now begin with the daily routine.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture on an introduction.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Through you, to all members of the House, I'm honoured today to make an introduction - a special introduction. I note that you are proudly wearing your 4-H pin and we're very delighted that you are and, in fact, more delighted are the guests in our gallery. I would ask as I introduce these folks if they would please rise and at the conclusion of the introduction, I would ask that all the honourable colleagues in the House give a hearty round of applause to these folks.

We have with us today Elise MacDonald, the Nova Scotia 4-H Hostess, who is from Heatherton, and she's also a student at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. We have Brendan Cousins. Brendan is the Nova Scotia 4-H Host from Sydney Mines, in Cape Breton North. As well we have Ms. Cheryl Burbidge, the immediate past-president of the Nova Scotia 4-H Council from Paradise. And we have Mr. Glen Graham, Nova Scotia's representative to the Canadian 4-H Council, who happens to reside in the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

As well, Mr. Speaker, we have another constituent of yours from Cape Breton North, Carmellita Cousins, a 4-H leader from the Northside 4-H Club, Cape Breton County and she's also, of course, Brendan's mom. Last, but certainly not least, Cheryl Chandler, who is the Communications and Resource Coordinator in the 4-H and Rural Organizations section of the Department of Agriculture. I would also say that today the Premier and I had the privilege of proclaiming November as 4-H Month in Nova Scotia. I would ask all members of the House to give our guests a hearty round of applause. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: I do apologize Mr. Speaker, but there was one very important member of that delegation that I neglected to introduce and that individual is a 4-H alumni, he is their announcer, he's the ringmaster at the Nova Scotia 4-H show and he just happens to be the director of the Progressive Conservative caucus, Mr. David Hovell. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, I'd like to welcome our special guests to the Speaker's gallery today. I would also note to the House that Brendan, not only being from Cape Breton North, is also proudly enrolled with the vocational program at Memorial Composite High School. (Applause)

The honourable Leader of the Opposition on an introduction.

[Page 2391]

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, today with us in the west gallery is Mr. Ian Johnson, who I think is well-known to almost all members of this House, having been here on occasion, from time to time. With him are two groups of individuals - one is the NSGEU political lobby committee, and also members who recently attended a political lobbying course. So I would ask all members of the House to warmly receive our guests in the gallery today. (Applause)

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, it's that time of year again for the House to welcome students from the Cobequid Educational Centre - whose football team, by the way, won the Nova Scotia championship the other day. They make an annual pilgrimage to the House to watch the proceedings. They're accompanied this year by Peter Keavney, who I know has been here before and Troy Payson, two teachers at CEC. We're delighted to see you back and ask all members to give those students a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, welcome and welcome to all visitors that are joining us today in the gallery.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to make an introduction before tabling this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. MORE: In the west gallery, I want to draw members' attention to three people: Genevieve Vetese, Tammy Cameron and Jason Walker. If they could stand. Genevieve and Tammy were instrumental in collecting the signatures on this petition and I ask my colleagues to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition from approximately 2,200 Nova Scotians. The operative clause is:

"We, the undersigned, do not agree to the opening and shopping on Boxing Day 2006. We wish to have store [sic] closed on that day."

I, too, have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 2392]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart today that I rise to note the passing of a Nova Scotia legend, Mr. John Allan Cameron. John Allan has been battling cancer for several years now and, sadly, has finally succumbed to the dreaded disease.

While being named to the Order of Canada, and commonly referred to as the "Godfather of Celtic Music", not only here in Nova Scotia but indeed across the country, exemplifies the level of fame he reached. One Web site very simply sums it up: John Allan Cameron was Celtic when Celtic wasn't cool.

There are so many singers and musicians from Cape Breton who have found success from their unique music because of what John Allan Cameron has done for them and he will not soon be forgotten for that reason alone - names such as the Rankin Family, Natalie MacMaster, and Ashley MacIsaac come to mind.

However, there is so much about John Allan that made Nova Scotians so fond of him. His humour, his music and his storytelling were so natural to him and you could hear those stories either at one of his concerts or, indeed, I can tell you as a fellow musician having played with him, during one of the breaks you would hear more jokes and stories than you could imagine. You always felt as though you were a part of a small Cape Breton kitchen party wherever he performed.

He left the Island in 1957 to travel to Ottawa to become a priest. However, he returned to the province to study education at St. F.X. where he at that time also performed with a group called the Cavaliers. After teaching in London, Ontario, he resumed music in 1968, playing traditional Scottish and Irish music at the Newport and Mariposa Folk Festivals. In 1968 he began a recording career which spanned decades.

However, Mr. Speaker, many Canadians really came to know this national treasure through television in the years from 1975 to 1981 when he starred in the John Allan Cameron Show. I am sure this was a favourite of many families of people in this House. He was, of course, part of CBC Halifax's own Singalong Jubilee and was known for raising the spirits of our troops, travelling over the years to perform at the United Nations Peacekeeping outposts around the world.

[Page 2393]

Mr. Speaker, John Allan Cameron was born in Glencoe Station, which is a few minutes away from the community of Mabou - for those of you who may not be aware of the area - into a family of many other talented musicians. He was just a few weeks shy of his 68th birthday and those years were full and dedicated to sharing his gift with others, whether it was in intimate settings like coffee houses around Canada or on international stages such as the infamous Grand Ole Opry. He played with other legends and always encouraged the talent of up-and-coming musicians, a few of whom I mentioned earlier.

Just a little over a year ago, the Rebecca Cohn, and certainly at Strathspey Place in Mabou - I attended there - and I think down at The Savoy as well, all those places I mentioned were filled with admirers and contemporaries of John Allan's, including his own son, Stuart. They were all heartwarming tributes to this fine individual.

Mr. Speaker, there are many tunes that he played and many songs that he sung which will be favourites and always remembered, certainly by Nova Scotians. I know all of us in this House send our prayers to his beloved family, especially to his wife, Angela, and son, Stuart. I can tell you, knowing Stuart, that the music will live on through Stuart and his guitar playing, certainly in that regard. This province and our country have lost a very special friend.

Mr. Speaker, following all the comments, I would ask that members of the House stand for a moment of silence in John Allan's memory.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our caucus and our Leader, we want to share in passing on our deepest sympathy to Angela and Stuart.

[2:30 p.m.]

The reason I suppose I'm getting up to, not just because I'm from Cape Breton, but I really had the joy of working with John Allan on many projects. I used to produce the Christmas Daddies Show in Cape Breton, and he and I worked and collaborated on that very closely and, I'll tell you, besides the musical genius of the man, it's what he gave freely for people. There was never, ever, a time when John Allan was too busy to do something - as the Premier noted, whether it was for our troops, he would pick up a hockey stick and play a game for somebody, always for nothing - it was never, ever, a thought of what's in it for me.

The Premier talked about how we expanded our horizons when it came to Celtic music, and when we worked on shows you would often have downtime to sit and tell these kinds of war stories. The best story he used to tell was when he and Allister MacGillivray, another great Nova Scotian musician, were living out of their car in

[Page 2394]

Nashville, trying to get discovered. He always used to say that he didn't know whether the boys down in Nashville understood a guy coming on stage in a dress. He used to always make fun of his kilt, but he was certainly proud of that and the Cameron tartan.

I'll tell you, if there was ever a seminal point, Mr. Speaker, that brought back the deep roots of our Celtic musical tradition, it was his first album. I would think if Father Rankin was still around today and talked about things like the first concert at Glendale and The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler, those types of programs, it would all go back a lot in the perspective of that album. He truly was a great, great person, besides a great musician.

One thing that really sticks out in my mind, back, it must be almost 15 years ago, we were working with a musician from Nashville, Pam Tillis. She was doing a number off her CD and she didn't have her musicians there. So she was backed by Natalie, by Ashley, and by Stuart. I'm going to tell you, when they performed, it was like a hush and a pall fell over the crowd. These were truly great musicians. After it was over, Pam kind of said, well, you know, I haven't worked with musicians like this forever. She's the daughter of Mel Tillis, a lot of people who are country music fans would know that. She said, I've been around great musicians all my life but these are mind-blowing musicians. How did you learn to play like that? They kind of pointed to John Allan. He kind of broke that ground for us.

I have no doubt that he's in a better place today, and we're a little worse off for it. I'm going to tell you, we're going to miss him, and he was truly a great Canadian, a great Nova Scotian and, boy, I'm really proud to be from Cape Breton, the place John Allan was from. Thank you. (Applause)

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the entire caucus and the membership of the Liberal Party we share in the grief of all Nova Scotians today with the death of a legend, Mr. John Allan Cameron. John Allan Cameron has been a major contributor to Nova Scotia's arts community since the 1960s and has been a source of inspiration for many generations of Nova Scotia's music community. His exceptional talents with the guitar are world-renowned, and people across Canada have been listening to his exceptional music for decades. He has been called the "Godfather of Celtic Music" and some of this province's biggest musical talents credit him for keeping the traditional music alive.

John Allan Cameron was fiercely proud of his Scottish heritage and took every opportunity to don his traditional kilt. Above all, John Allan was a teacher, sharing his knowledge and love of music with whomever would listen, starting with his own son, Stuart. His teachings continued right up until his final days, when he donated all of his

[Page 2395]

personal papers to Cape Breton University so they could be studied by fans, musicians and scholars of the Celtic music tradition.

The members of the Liberal caucus join the other members of this House with our sympathy and prayers for John Allan's family and friends, especially to his wife, Angela, and his son, Stuart. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: All rise for a moment of silence.

[One minute of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure to rise in the House today and speak about some exciting developments in our province. On Monday, the province, through Nova Scotia Business Inc., announced that Citco Fund Services is creating an office and training centre in Halifax. The company will also create up to 350 new jobs over the next seven years. Yesterday, the province announced Bermuda-based Olympia Capital is expanding its Canadian operations, OC Financial Services, to Halifax, and creating up to another 150 new jobs.

Mr. Speaker, I know all members of the House will join me in welcoming the new global leaders, companies that recognize the benefits of locating in Nova Scotia. We are cost-competitive, we are close to key business markets, we have world-class technology, and we have an educated and talented workforce. Nova Scotia is the location of choice for companies of this calibre.

Last week I joined Premier MacDonald and Stephen Lund of Nova Scotia Business Inc. to welcome Butterfield Fund Services to Halifax. Butterfield is another key player in the hedge fund industry. Dalhousie University was the perfect place for this kind of announcement. The company hopes to create, Mr. Speaker, and I reiterate, 400 full- and part-time jobs over the next seven years.

These announcements follow last year's payroll rebate to the West End Capital, which has promised to create up to 50 new jobs in Nova Scotia in this sector. Monday's announcement included Citco locating a trading centre of excellence in Halifax. Mr. Speaker, this means Nova Scotians will have access to specialized knowledge and administering hedge funds knowledge that is available in only a handful of locations throughout the world. This government is committed to providing high-quality career opportunities to all Nova Scotians.

[Page 2396]

Nova Scotia Business Inc. has issued a payroll rebate to help this world leader in hedge fund industry. The jobs that Citco, Olympia, Butterfield, and West End Capital offer salaries that are roughly double the provincial average. These jobs will also be attractive to skilled and experienced workers both here in the province, and those who may have left and are looking for a reason to return.

Mr. Speaker, these announcements have positioned Halifax as a world leader in the financial services industry. This emerging sector puts Halifax with an elite group, with cities such as Dublin, Tokyo, New York and London. I know this sector holds much promise for the province, and these announcements are great starts. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, no one, least of all anyone in this Chamber doubts for a moment that Nova Scotia is a wonderful place in which to live and to do business. No one, least of all anyone in this Chamber can do aught except welcome to our city the companies, hedge funds, that have decided to set up business here. Nova Scotians - particularly, we know from statistics, those who live in HRM - have a very high level of post-secondary education in terms of proportion of people who have achieved degrees. That makes it very attractive for companies to locate here.

There are several points we should note. First, we have to welcome the fact that Nova Scotia Business Inc. seems finally to have turned its attention away from attracting business only through call centres to our province. Thank heavens they have decided to focus on another sector. We also have to understand that hedge fund companies are very wealthy companies that pay high salaries to their employees and deal with millions, often hundreds of millions, sometimes billions of dollars in their assets. The conclusion, of course, is that they can locate virtually anywhere and, indeed, don't really need the payroll subsidies, but we have offered them, through NSBI and through the Office of Economic Development, payroll subsidies.

Be that as it may, the question is, will we be able to retain such companies in the long run? The focus has to be not only on attracting good, solid businesses to set up here, but on retaining them in a sustainable way through many years beyond the period of the payroll subsidy.

I would like to join with the minister in welcoming these companies to HRM, welcoming them to Nova Scotia, but I say again, as I have said so often to NSBI, we have to focus on ways to make sure that we keep these companies, keep them for many years here. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Liberal House Leader.

[Page 2397]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, at the outset, I want to thank the minister for providing me with a copy of his statement, I might say well in advance, we've been waiting in anticipation for the statement for a few days now.

First, I'd like to say, we're always pleased to see viable, strong companies locate in Nova Scotia. Many companies have stated they locate in Nova Scotia because of our strong and skilled workforce. The province has again employed the payroll rebate system in this instance. I continue to remind the government that payroll rebate system was brought in by the previous Liberal Government in Nova Scotia and the government to date has not seen fit to employ any other methods in the province in order to bring business to Nova Scotia except the payroll rebate system.

I would hope that in the future we will have some other initiatives put on the table of Economic Development that will attract business to the area. I applaud them on using a Liberal initiative to keep bringing business to this province.

The statement states that there's going to be up to 350 new jobs in the one business over a period of seven years. I hope that's not like some others, I hope that it's front-end loaded and not back-end loaded because I'm sure the funding for this company will be front-end loaded. I hope this company is not like some others that when the payroll rebate system starts to dry up, their ambitions of going to 350 jobs also dries up over a period of a number of years.

Having said that, companies like CFS could provide this province with economic growth and provide a higher standard of living for many, many of our citizens. But, I remind the government that they still have an obligation here to rural Nova Scotia. I'll give a couple of examples - companies like Shaw Wood and the recent announcement of lost jobs in the Port Hawkesbury region are still of concern to the government and to the members of the Legislature on this side of the House as well.

Mr. Speaker, I again remind the government about its role and its responsibility in the proposed LNG facilities, all of which are in danger now because the government continues to send this industry mixed messages. I fear the most recent events do not provide a positive environment for energy sector companies to locate here.

Although our caucus is pleased to see the arrival of a company such as the one announced today, we applaud with apprehension as we are unhappy with the minister and the government's failure to address issues specifically in rural communities in Nova Scotia. Rural Nova Scotia is the backbone and the bedrock of this province. This government needs to start treating it as such.

Finally, let me applaud the minister on his recent appointments to NSBI of all three new members that are going to NSBI, in particular, Mr. Jim Kehoe, an icon in business from my area of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton, who will do an excellent job on

[Page 2398]

NSBI. I'll continue to remind him, as I've reminded other members of NSBI and the economic development people that rural Nova Scotia includes the area formerly known as industrial Cape Breton. I'll be encouraging Mr. Kehoe to bring some good measures to your table, Mr. Minister, for inclusion in future announcements. Thank you.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 1151

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

Whereas we "Capture the 4-H Spirit" in November as 4-H members, volunteer leaders and supporters celebrate the many benefits the 4-H program offers thousands of young Nova Scotians during National 4-H Month; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia 4-H program in 84 years has grown to include over 2,400 members, 4,400 projects and 1,000 volunteer leaders in 100 clubs across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the 4-H program is the largest youth organization in the world that encourages leadership development, care and responsibility for our resources, and builds positive life skills;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate all Nova Scotia 4-H members and thank the volunteer leaders and families who together are supporting our future agriculture, business, government and community leaders in Nova Scotia, and as I indicated earlier, the Premier of Nova Scotia proclaimed the month of November 4-H Month.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 2399]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Acadian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 1152

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que chaque automne, le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas organise un banquet pour les bénévoles, où il fait honneur à une personne et à une entreprise pour ses contributions à la communauté acadienne; et

Attendu que le 20 octobre 2006, lors de ce banquet annuel, Jeanne d'Entremont de Pubnico a été honorée pour son travail et son dévouement envers la communauté acadienne; et

Attendu que Jeanne participe activement á l'association de son église et a participé á de nombreux organismes, entre autres, Nouveaux Horizons, le Counseil acadien de Par-en-Bas, l'Association des Acadiennes d'Argyle, les Dames auxiliaires de la Légion royale canadienne, la Croix-Rouge et la Société canadienne du cancer;

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres se joignent à moi pour féliciter Jeanne d'avoir reçu cette distinction bien méritée et lui souhaiter de nombreuses autres années de santé et de succès dans tous ses projects.

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

Whereas each Fall, Le Conseil Acadien de Par-en-Bas holds a volunteer banquet where they honour an individual and a business for their contributions to the Acadian community; and

Whereas on October 20th, at their annual banquet, Jeanne d'Entremont of Pubnico was honoured for her hard work and dedication to the Acadian community; and

Whereas Jeanne is an active member of her church association and has served on many organizations such as the New Horizons, Le Conseil Acadien de Par-en-Bas, l'association des Acadiennes d'Argyle, ladies auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Red Cross and the Canadian Cancer Society, just to name a few;

Therefore be it resolved that all members join me in congratulating Jeanne for receiving this well-deserved award and wish her many more years of health and success in her endeavours.

[Page 2400]

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 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1153

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 Portia White Prize was established in 1997 to honour the memory and legacy of African Nova Scotian Portia White, who achieved international acclaim as a classical singer on the stages of Europe and North America; and

Whereas the Portia White Prize is awarded annually to an outstanding Nova Scotian artist who embodies artistic excellence and innovation in the spirit of Portia White; and

Whereas this year's Portia White prize was awarded to Wayne Boucher, a contemporary painter from Annapolis Royal of extraordinary artistic vision and exceptional ability. Mr. Boucher was recognized for his contribution to the arts in his community and across the country over the past 30 years as an artist, mentor and advocate, and Mr. Boucher exemplifies the qualities of our best Nova Scotian artists and is a highly-respected leader in the visual arts sector;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Wayne Boucher on being named recipient of the 2006 Portia White Prize.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 2401]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act.

RESOLUTION NO. 1154

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

Whereas Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal is Mount Saint Vincent University's first winner of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada University Faculty Award; and

Whereas Mount Saint Vincent nominated her for this prestigious award because of her commitment to having women scientists available as mentors; and

Whereas Dr. Franz-Odendaal will be a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students at the Mount;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal and Mount Saint Vincent University on their commitment to women in science, and wish them and their students all the best in the coming months and years.

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 Health Promotion and Protection.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution, I would like to bring to the attention of the members of the House some guests we have in the east gallery. On behalf of myself and my colleague, the Minister of Seniors, we have with us

[Page 2402]

representatives from Community Links, the Falls Prevention Coalition, the Group of Nine, the Senior Citizens' Secretariat, Northwood, and Caregivers Nova Scotia. They are in the east gallery and I would ask members to give them the usual warm welcome of applause. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

RESOLUTION NO. 1155

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

Whereas each year one in three Nova Scotians over the age of 65 experiences a fall; and

Whereas falls amongst seniors are serious injuries that can be prevented by being aware of the risks, and making changes to our homes and communities to make them safer; and

Whereas preventing falls is a priority of the Health Promotion and Protection Department's injury prevention strategy, as well as the Senior Citizens' Secretariat and Nova Scotia's 12 regional Falls Prevention Coalitions, who will be marking the day with various activities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of the work being done by various groups and individuals to prevent falls by seniors on this Falls Prevention Day.

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 Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1156

[Page 2403]

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

Whereas November 21st was declared Mining Day on the Hill 2006, an annual event that brings representatives of the Canadian mining industry, the Canadian Mining Association, and government decision makers together in Ottawa for meetings; and

Whereas the Canadian minerals and metals industry is responsible for an average of 4 per cent of Canada's gross domestic product, and employs thousands of Nova Scotians; and

Whereas the mineral industry continues to play a major role in the Nova Scotia economy through exploration, mine development, mineral production, processing, and the use of related goods and services;

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotians of all walks of life recognize the mining sector's and geoscience's ongoing investments locally and nationally by acknowledging Mining Day on the Hill 2006.

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 Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 1157

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

Whereas Pengrowth and the province have expanded the Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Energy Scholarship by investing an additional $500,000 each into the scholarship fund; and

Whereas this $1 million investment brings the total dollar value of the scholarship fund to $3 million; and

[Page 2404]

Whereas the additional money will be used to create six new trades scholarships, for a total of 20 undergraduate and trades scholarships awarded to Nova Scotia students annually;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support the efforts of Pengowth and the Government of Nova Scotia to provide increased educational opportunities for Nova Scotians and enhanced opportunities for students in the province's energy industry.

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 Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 1158

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: M. le Président, à une date ultérieure je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que chaque automne, le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas organise un banquet pour les bénévoles, où il fail honneur à une personne et à une entreprise pour ses contributions à la communauté acadienne; et

Attendue que le 20 octobre 2006, lors de ce banquet annuel, Vernon d'Eon Lobster Plugs de Pubnico-Ouest a été honoré dans la catégorie des entreprises pour ses contributions à l'économie acadienne et régionale, pour son dévouement à la communauté et pour sa prestation de services dans les deux langues officielles; et

Attendue que Vernon qui, avec son épouse Corinne, a débuté son entreprise en fabriquant des chevilles à homards Lobster Plugs exploite maintenant six magasins en Nouvelle-Écosse et un à l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard, ainsi qu'un parc de six camions de livraison, un restaurant à Pubnico-Ouest, trois magasins de souvenirs et 56 employés, et qu'il trouve toujours du temps pour faire du bénévolat dans sa communauté;

[Page 2405]

Par conséquent qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres se joignent à moi pour féliciter Vernon et Corinne de Vernon d'Eon Lobster Plugs pour leur travail et leur dévouement envers leur famille, leur communauté et leurs employés, et leur souhaiter de nombreuses autres années de succès dans tous leurs projets.

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

Whereas each Fall, Le Conseil acadien de Par-en-Bas holds a volunteer banquet where they honour an individual and a business for their contributions to the Acadian community; and

Whereas on October 20th at their annual banquet, Vernon d'Eon Lobster Plugs of West Pubnico was recognized in the business category for its contribution to the Acadian and regional economy, for its dedication to the community, and for offering services in both official languages; and

Whereas Vernon, along with his wife, Corinne, began the business manufacturing lobster plugs, now has six stores in Nova Scotia and one in P.E.I., as well as a fleet of six delivery trucks, a restaurant in West Pubnico, three souvenir boutiques and 56 staff members, and still finds time to volunteer in his community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members join me in congratulating Vernon and Corinne of Vernon d'Eon's Lobster Plugs for their hard work and dedication to their family, community and employees, and wish them many more years of success in all their 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 Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 1159

[Page 2406]

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 Prix Grand-Pre supports the pursuit of artistic excellence and innovation by paying tribute to the work of Acadian Nova Scotian artists; and

Whereas the Prix Grand-Pre is awarded annually in one of the following categories: performing arts and film, visual arts and crafts, or literary arts; and

Whereas this year's Prix Grand-Pre was awarded in the category of literary arts to author and francophone school teacher Alain Raimbault of Wilmot. Mr. Raimbault writes poetry and novels for children and young adults, most of which contain themes specific to Acadian culture, values and history. His work is widely recognized in France, the United States and Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Alain Raimbault on being named the recipient of the 2006 Prix Grand-Pre.

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 Citadel on an introduction.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, I want to draw your attention and the attention of the House to the presence in the west gallery of my Liberal opponent in Halifax Citadel, Mr. Devin Maxwell. Mr. Maxwell, in the last campaign, was honourable, decent and hard-working, and took the high ground in that campaign. I welcome him to this House and thank him for his public service during that campaign. I would ask him to stand and receive the applause of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens on an introduction. (Interruptions)

[Page 2407]

Order, please. Order, please. There's too much noise in the Chamber and I would ask members to bring the level of noise down for the honourable member for Queens who has the floor.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to welcome today guests from my home riding of Queens County and, in particular, Friends of Port Mouton Bay who are working very hard at supporting the protection of Port Mouton Bay. With us today are Clyde Fisher, Judy Cohoon, Trinda Lee MacLean, Robin Fisher, Inid Roehner, Richard Roehner, Philip Hupman, Rose Hupman, Ryan Fisher, Leanara Fisher, Rosalyn Daury, Ruth Smith and Brigitte Petersman. Thank you for coming today and if the House would give a warm welcome to the guests in the west gallery. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: And, again, we welcome all visitors to the Chamber today.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 122 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Lands of St. Paul's United Church of Blue Rocks. (Hon. Michael Baker as a private member.)

Bill No. 123 - Entitled an Act to Establish a Commission Respecting the Heritage of Nova Scotia's Capital. (Mr. Howard Epstein)

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

[3:00 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1160

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

Whereas today, November 22, 2006, families and supporters of children with autism will march to the Halifax Regional Library, Main Branch on Spring Garden Road and call upon the federal government to develop a national autism strategy; and

Whereas according to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 166 North American children is being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder; and

[Page 2408]

Whereas parents of children with autism urge federal MPs and senators to support Private Members' Motion M-172 and Private Members' Bills C-211 and C-304 that would create a national autism strategy;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the value and hard work of the families and supporters of children with autism, and call upon the federal government to create a national autism strategy.

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. 1161

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

Whereas the 2006 Adopt-a-Book campaign for the Western Counties Regional branch was a tremendous success due to the remarkable support of the friends of the library groups from across the area; and

Whereas this year, the campaign was able to surpass their goal and raise $21,794 for 958 books with the help of the RBC Foundation and the staff of the Meteghan branch; and

Whereas with the support of CJLS, since 1996, the Adopt-a-Book campaign has provided over $130,000 worth of books over the past 10 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate all volunteers and staff who have been involved in the 2006 Adopt-a-Book campaign for the Western Counties Regional branch.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2409]

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. 1162

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

Whereas award-winning 4-H members and leaders from Nova Scotia attended a five-day national conference in Toronto, beginning on November 1st, participating in presentations and workshops focusing on agriculture and how food moves from the farm to the plate; and

Whereas eight Nova Scotia members received a national 4-H travel award to be part of the 65-member delegation from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States attending this conference; and

Whereas Natasha MacDonald of Boularderie was one of the successful 4-H candidates chosen to participate in this very worthwhile conference;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate Natasha MacDonald and indeed all successful candidates, and wish 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?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 2410]

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1163

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

Whereas the Treaty of 1752 had been established as the basis of the relationship between the Mi'kmaq people and the Crown; and

Whereas Treaty Day was established by Grand Chief Donald Marshall, Sr. in 1986 as an annual reminder of the treaty signed proclaiming peace and friendship; and

Whereas October 1, 2006, marked the 20th Anniversary of Treaty Day;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly acknowledge the foresight of Grand Chief Donald Marshall, Sr. in the creation of Treaty Day.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 1164

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 rising cost of health care in this province and across the country is causing distress for people who suffer from debilitating illnesses; and

Whereas diabetes cost Canada's economy more than $13.2 billion in 2002; and

Whereas more than 2 million Canadians live with diabetes today;

[Page 2411]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly investigate the possibility of implementing a catastrophic drug plan and aid those who divest much of their income on all medications, supplies and devices.

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 Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 1165

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

Whereas 4-H has been the backbone of our rural communities since 1922, helping to create a place where today's youth between the ages of 9 to 21 reach their full potential; and

Whereas with November being National 4-H Month, local Kings North 4-H members are enjoying the opportunity to showcase their many talents; and

Whereas 4-H in Kings North includes the Cornwallis Project 4-H Club serving Port Williams and Wolfville, the Eastern Kings 4-H Club serving Canning and Sheffield Mills, the Central Valley 4-H Club serving Billtown and Centreville and the Basinview 4-H Club serving Port Williams and Canning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly express our gratitude and best wishes to all 4-H Clubs in Kings North for the tremendous work which they undertake, while also acknowledging the local members from Kings North who participated in the National 4-H Members and Leaders Conference in Toronto earlier this month.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2412]

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 Citadel.

RESOLUTION NO. 1166

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

Whereas on December 2, 2006, students from Dalhousie University will endure long hours, physical strain and December temperatures to raise money for families in need at a relay event entitled, Pulling for the Kids, during which participants will pull two cars in a relay race for 12 consecutive hours outdoors; and

Whereas all funds raised through the relay will be donated to the Christmas Daddies Telethon, an event that raises more than $500,000 annually to provide less fortunate children with gifts at Christmas; and

Whereas the event falls just before the winter exam period and the long hours that student organizers are contributing in order to make this event possible reveals a true commitment to the spirit of the cause;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize and congratulate participating students and members of the Dalhousie Sexton Engineering Undergraduate Society who have organized the Pulling for the Kids event and wish them all the best in their fundraising and car pulling efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 2413]

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1167

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

Whereas vocational schools are a thing of the past in Nova Scotia, Memorial Composite High School in Sydney Mines is thriving and could be a model for the future; and

Whereas it's probably the most unique, challenging and rewarding school, according to principal Patsy Blais; and

Whereas 36.9 per cent of its students are enrolled on the vocational side, taking courses such as construction, carpentry, cooking, plumbing or graphic design;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly urge the Premier to honour his leadership and election promises to announce additional funding for the upgrades of equipment and programming for composite high schools.

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 Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 1168

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

Whereas the 5th Annual Pictou County Dragon Boat Festival took place in August of this year on the East River in New Glasgow, doing its part towards the international campaign of yearly dragon boat races; and

[Page 2414]

Whereas since 2002 the East River race has raised over $500,000 for worthy causes such as the Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivors Support Association, Pictou County Prostate Cancer Support Association, Special Olympics and the Nova Scotia Amateur Sports Fund; and

Whereas this year's race had 47 teams from across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and included traditional Chinese customs long associated with dragon boat racing. The event also featured special guests from the Chinese Society of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate the organizers of this year's Pictou County Dragon Boat Festival on their 5th successful year. Congratulations also to the people of Pictou County for their continued support of such an important event with their volunteer work, including the construction of a dragon boat donated to the 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 Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 1169

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

Whereas the Arts Express Program was established for the J.L. Ilsley family of schools in order to strengthen support for the arts in the unique and historic communities of Halifax Atlantic; and

Whereas the Arts Express coordinator has written thousands of dollars of grant applications for a program with no funding of its own, has organized the collection and distribution of used musical instruments to the schools and has arranged for schools to adopt musicians, artists and poets as mentors; and

[Page 2415]

Whereas students have worked with artists of all kinds, including National Film Board directors, African drummers, professional dancers, sound engineers and silkscreen artists;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Sabine Fels, Coordinator of Arts Express and suggest strongly that the Department of Education ensure funding for arts coordinators in all the families of schools of this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

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

Whereas high-speed Internet access in our technologically dependant society has become a necessity for all Nova Scotians, whether it be for accessing government forms only available on the Internet, staying in touch with our family members, researching school projects, or searching for employment; and

Whereas many rural communities in this province still are not able to access high-speed Internet, either because the service is not yet available or individuals lack the resources to own a computer; and

Whereas 279 Community Access Program sites across this province, enabled 1.8 million Nova Scotians, mostly seniors, low-income families and children - our most vulnerable members of our society, to access vital Internet service;

Therefore be it resolved that Premier Rodney MacDonald reconfirm his and his government's election commitment to Nova Scotians with regard to high-speed Internet access and ensure long-term funding for this critical province-wide program be secured before March 31, 2007, to ensure rural Nova Scotians are able to continue to access the programs and services they deserve, through the Community Access Program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2416]

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is out of order.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1170

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

Whereas North Nova Education Centre Gryphons Division 1 Boys Hockey Team won their second major tournament of this year; and

Whereas the Gryphons defeated Dartmouth High Spartans, Millwood Knights and Charles P. Allen Cheetahs, while winning the Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals Eastern GMC Millennium Cup Hockey Tournament; and

Whereas the Gryphons went 5-0, defeating Sackville High Kingfishers, Dalbrae Dragons, Sir. J. A. Macdonald Flames, Northumberland Nighthawks and Dr. John Hugh Gillis Royals, 4-3, in double overtime to win last weekends Allan Cameron Memorial High School Hockey Tournament;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate North Nova coaches Pat Dunn and Chris Stewart, team manager Larry Morrison and trainer John Dewar, for showcasing some of the best high school hockey in the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 1171

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

[Page 2417]

Whereas Jacques Whitford Ltd., is an internationally recognized environmental consulting firm, headquartered in Dartmouth; and

Whereas Jacques Whitford provides a family friendly working environment to its 1,000 full-time employees; and

Whereas this company offers progressive policies such as a top-up of 75 per cent of salary, for up to 52 weeks to fathers and adoptive parents taking parental leave;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Jacques Whitford Ltd., upon its award as one of Canada's Top 10 Family Friendly Employers for 2007, by Today's Parent Magazine.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[3:15 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1172

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

Whereas Highway No. 101 between Digby and Weymouth, Nova Scotia is non-existent after 35 years of waiting while other sections of Highway No. 101 have been built; and

Whereas many of the folks who were 50 years old at the time have passed on and had hopes of seeing this road completed; and

Whereas there are many people 50 years old now on the road who have lost the hope their forefathers had before them;

[Page 2418]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly urge the government to give this next generation hope by setting a date to start Highway No. 101 between Digby and Weymouth, Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No, several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1173

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

Whereas the Canadian Progress Club Halifax-Cornwallis has announced the recipients for the 2006 Progress Club's Women of Excellence Award; and

Whereas Clare O'Connor, Director of Public Affairs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia and who is also a native of Truro, will receive a Women of Excellence Award in the Communications and Public Affairs category on Thursday, November 23, 2006; and

Whereas Ms. O'Connor, who is well known for her work in health promotion and her achievements in supporting organized stroke care, is also being recognized for her expertise and involvement locally and nationally regarding the links between physical activity, community planning, and health outcomes, and for having her first book, entitled, Celebrity Court Cases, published this year and distributed throughout North America;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Clare O'Connor on receiving a Women of Excellence award and for her commitment, dedication and professionalism.

Mr. Speaker, just before asking for wavier of notice, I want to note some members may know her because she, at one time, worked in the PC caucus office.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2419]

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 1174

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

Whereas the St. Margarets Centre is the recreational heart of the communities in the St. Margarets Bay Area; and

Whereas Mike LaRoux and the staff of the St. Margarets Centre have given exemplary leadership; and

Whereas the efforts of Mike LaRoux and the board of directors are much appreciated by area residents of all ages;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Mike LaRoux and all involved with the St. Margarets Centre for their continued great work and efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

[Page 2420]

RESOLUTION NO. 1175

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

Whereas Halifax entertainer and public speaker, Tony Quinn and his wife, Angie have recently rescued a four-month old beagle named Chance from a pet store where it was living in depressing conditions; and

Whereas the puppy was not exercised or properly trained at the pet store, and was found to be under-developed as a result of the cramped space in which he was kept; and

Whereas the puppy rescue generated news media and letters to the editor, and has focused renewed attention and concern about the treatment of cats and dogs in pet stores;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate Tony Quinn, the Animal Rescue Coalition and the many people who protested against cruelty to animals at a rally on November 18, 2006 at the Bayers Lake pet store.

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 Finance on an introduction.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to bring to the attention of members of the House, three visitors to the House, who are located in the east gallery of the House. They are Ian Russell, Christie Heron and Beth Halliday, who are members of the Digby and Area Board of Trade. I should also mention for members of the House that Ms. Halliday has recently become a Canadian citizen. I would like to bring the warm greetings of the House to them. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, welcome.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

[Page 2421]

RESOLUTION NO. 1176

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 Governor General's Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language book in each of seven categories of Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, Poetry, Drama, Children's Literature, Children's Literature (Illustration) and Translation (from French to English); and

Whereas Sydney-born, Halifax playwright Daniel MacIvor has been nominated for the prestigious Governor General's Literary Award three times in the category of Drama; and

Whereas this year Mr. MacIvor's innovative and breathtaking collection entitled I Still Love You won the $15,000 prize;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Daniel MacIvor on winning the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama and recognize him as a Nova Scotian who is excelling in his field on the national level.

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 Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1177

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

Whereas the Noteable Friends Choir was founded in 1985 and has been part of the music scene in Pictou County for more than 20 years; and

[Page 2422]

Whereas the choir celebrates the contributions of male and female experienced and inexperienced singers; and

Whereas the Noteable Friends Choir public performance documents have been archived by Sylvia MacDonald, Pictou, since the choir began;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the directors, accompanists and singers who have added their musical talents to the community with spirited participation in the Noteable Friends Choir.

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. 1178

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

Whereas Blanche Elizabeth Chemist of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, passed away due to cancer some time ago; and

Whereas Ms. Chemist over a 35-year period raised 453 foster children and helped to feed and clothe many local children in a time of need in her community; and

Whereas Ms. Chemists's unselfish and complete devotion to the lives and well-being of children in her community produced several successful individuals, including police sergeant Steve Selig;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize, praise and recognize the unconditional love and support Blanche Elizabeth Chemist provided to all the foster children she happily welcomed into her home, including Steve Selig.

[Page 2423]

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 Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 1179

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

Whereas the Governor General's Literary Awards are given annually to the best English-language and the best French-language book in each of the seven categories of Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, Poetry, Drama, Children's Literature, Children's Literature (Illustration) and Translation (from French to English); and

Whereas William Gilkerson of East Side Martins River Road was nominated in the Children's Literature category for his work Pirate's Passage and Budge Wilson, Southwest Cove, was nominated in the same category for her collection of short stories called Friendship; and

Whereas yesterday Robert Sirman, director of the Canada Council, and Laurent Lapierre, a member of the Canada Council's board, announced that Mr. Gilkerson was the winner of the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate William Gilkerson on receiving this tremendous honour and thank him for Pirate's Passage, a novel described as a benchmark in Canadian literature.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 2424]

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 Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1180

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

Whereas Stora Enso in Port Hawkesbury was recently recognized for its nature conservation work by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour and the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas; and

Whereas over the past 16 years, nature conservation has been an integral part of the company's sustainable forest management planning system; and

Whereas Stora Enso recently designated the formal protection of a 362-hectare company-owned parcel of land as a nature reserve, which is home to one of the last undisturbed flood plains of Nova Scotia, several rare plants, the provincially vulnerable wood turtle and several oxbow lakes;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize and congratulate the ongoing nature conservation efforts of Stora Enso and encourage all Nova Scotians to recognize the importance of nature conservation in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

[Page 2425]

RESOLUTION NO. 1181

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

Whereas Mahadevan Natarajan recently travelled to Toronto to receive the Canadian Diabetes Association's 2006 National Volunteer of the Year Award; and

Whereas Mr. Natarajan was one of five people across the country to receive this prestigious award; and

Whereas Mr. Natarajan has done volunteer work with diabetes at local, provincial, national and international levels;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Mahadevan Natarajan on receiving this prestigious award.

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. 1182

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

Whereas Sarah Bowman and Virginia Brake from Lower Sackville have been selected as the recipients of the 2006 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Petroleum Innovation Grant; and

Whereas the research grant is worth $15,000 over two years and is solely awarded to Nova Scotia students pursuing energy-related studies at the master's degree level; and

[Page 2426]

Whereas Ms. Bowman is conducting research on the Western Laurentian Sub-basin in Cape Breton and Ms. Brake is studying the 3D seismic interpretation of the Eastern Shore Margin;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Sarah Bowman and Virginia Brake as recipients of the 2006 Pengrowth-Nova Scotia Petroleum Innovation Grant.

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 Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 1183

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

Whereas businesses of all sizes contribute to a healthy economy; and

Whereas it is essential that we celebrate the business successes in our communities; and

Whereas the Bridgewater and Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 3rd Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the staff at Gow's Home Hardware for being the recipient of the Large Business Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 2427]

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. 1184

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

Whereas on August 4, 2006, the 12th Annual Belliveau Motors Charity Golf Tournament was held; and

Whereas a grand total of $29,418.87 was raised; and

Whereas this money will go towards the purchase of a defibrillator for the Clare Health Centre, which is due to be constructed in 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate all staff, volunteers and Belliveau Motors for raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1185

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

[Page 2428]

Where Morris J. Haugg, Q.C., recently retired from the partnership of Hicks, LeMoine and takes up the position of Senior Counsel; and

Whereas Morris was admitted to the Bar of Nova Scotia in 1970 and received his Queen's Counsel designation in 1993, earning the reputation as a thorough, knowledgeable and dedicated lawyer; and

Whereas he has been active in the life of his community for over four decades, volunteering countless hours with the Amherst Rotary Club, Cumberland Health Care Foundation, Amherst 2000 Society and the PC Party of Cumberland North on all levels;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Morris on his semi-retirement and wish him enjoyment on his days of rest.

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.

[3:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 1186

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

Whereas the Condominium Act of 1971, in its first five years recorded only 18 condominiums registered compared to 66 new condominiums that have been incorporated in the last five years; and

Whereas it is clear that condominium ownership is increasing in Nova Scotia and within this boom there are new buildings that are running into costly repairs which should not be happening; and

[Page 2429]

Whereas the Act does not have special provisions for protecting new condominium owners from unexpected, costly repairs that have not been foreseen in such new buildings;

Therefore be it resolved that the government should address this problem through amendments to the Condominium Act or strengthening of the new home warranty program in order to protect condominium owners in new buildings from costly building deficiencies.

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 Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1187

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

Whereas Craig Leger, a Cobequid Education Centre Grade 12 student was named the 2006 Nova Scotia High School Football League Most Valuable Player; and

Whereas Craig Leger is a running back, rushed for more than 2,400 yards and scored 27 touchdowns as the CEC Cougars won the NSSAF football championship; and

Whereas Craig Leger is also an outstanding track and field athlete, holding boys NSSAF junior and intermediate records in hurdles;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Craig Leger on winning the 2006 Nova Scotia High School Football League Most Valuable Player Award, and wish him continued success in his athletic and academic pursuits.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 2430]

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. 1188

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 St. Michael's Junior High School Golf Team recently took part in the Cape Breton Junior High Golf Championship; and

Whereas the members of that team - Logan Shaw, Brett McKinnon, Brett McLanders and Cordell Dowe - are coached by Paul Chaisson; and

Whereas the St. Michael's Junior High School team captured the championship at the Lingan Golf and Country Club;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the members and coach of St. Michael's Junior High Golf Team on winning the championship, and wish them all the 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 Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1189

[Page 2431]

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

Whereas three years ago the County of Annapolis and the Town of Bridgetown identified the building of a new Bridgetown Fire Hall as their number one infrastructure priority; and

Whereas the people of these communities have raised the municipality's required one-third of funding under the Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund; and

Whereas the municipality has now been told that their fire station no longer qualifies for funding under this program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House call on the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations to work with the federal government to end this unfair practice.

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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 3:34 p.m. and end at 5:04 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH: RADIATION TECHNOLOGISTS - WAGE LEVEL

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question this afternoon will be for the Minister of Health. Radiation technologists in Cape Breton and in rural mainland hospitals have told the minister and his colleagues that a serious mistake was made in setting their wage level and it was not corrected in the recent collective agreement. These are vital positions, yet it will become even more difficult to recruit needed technologists and fill vacancies unless a fair wage is offered. I will table a letter to the minister sent

[Page 2432]

11 days ago by Cape Breton technologists who feel they have to walk off the job to get the government's attention.

My question to the Minister of Health is, what is the government's response to the concerns raised by the hard-working technologists?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I'm aware of the situation. They are passionate and very professional about the way they have raised their points of view. We know they are very committed members to the health care team. As all members are aware, we've just concluded a collective agreement that has been ratified by its membership. The process of collective bargaining may not always satisfy everyone, but of course that is the process we all go through. I know that we will continue to work with this issue, and I look forward to some further discussions.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, technologists are required to complete a four-year degree program, yet outside the Capital District they are paid much less than similar professions with similar educational requirements. Radiology technologists earn $10 less per hour than the radiation therapists who require a three-year diploma and have similar job requirements. The unfair treatment creates shortages, adding stress to those who remain. Many technologists, knowing the needs are great, cannot believe the government will tolerate a situation that makes recruiting and training so difficult. My question, again through you to the minister, is this, what is your government going to do about the unfair wages and unfair working conditions that are adding to the critical shortage of technologists?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Again, Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about these individuals and the issues they have brought forward, but there was a set of negotiations that have recently been concluded. They have been ratified by those memberships. I would ask the member opposite if he believes in the collective bargaining process.

MR. DEXTER: It's not often, Mr. Speaker, that I get asked the questions, but the answer to the minister is of course. The problem, of course, is that in this instance the result - and the minister knows this because he's read the letter - these people are not prepared to continue to offer services at the rate of pay that they are being paid. Recruitment and retention of health care professionals in rural areas is very important. We hear from staff in regional hospitals that they face great difficulty when they try to bring technologists back home from metro, because the policy of wage parity for hospital workers has not been respected when it comes to technologists. My question is, again to the Minister of Health, when will your government show the hardworking technologists the respect they deserve by providing them with wage parity?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Leader of the Opposition, simply put, again, we just completed a collective bargaining process. Within those two unions there is a vast number of different job descriptions and a vast difference

[Page 2433]

of people who work within that, people we do care for and hope the best for them in that health care system, because we all know that they work very hard. If you look at what the collective agreement has brought to them, they are getting a raise that amounts to about 15 per cent, as they were represented by their union.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

COM. SERV.: WALL FAMILY - ASSISTANCE

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, every since Highland Fisheries closed its doors in Glace Bay back in March, David Wall, who worked at the plant, and his wife Ann Marie have been looking for help from the Department of Community Services. For five months now, they've had no money coming into their household. They've had very little food, no heat, overdue bills, and lots and lots of stress. Clearwater Fisheries refuses to say a closure has taken place at the plant. Employment insurance is still calling it a lockout. Because of this, the Walls have been denied benefits from Community Services.

Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services, what are you doing, Madam Minister, to help this family that is in such dire need?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, and to my honourable colleague across the way, of course I can't speak to the specifics of any case, but I would be more than pleased to sit down with that honourable member and do anything that we could within the programs and services through the Department of Community Services.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, there are others in Glace Bay and surrounding areas who are affected by this closure and are in similar situations as the Walls. David Wall's appeal of his employment insurance application was upheld, but now Human Resources and Social Development Canada has appealed that decision, and still there is no help from the Department of Community Services. My question to the minister is, Madam Minister, you personally spoke to Ann Marie Wall and you promised to help her, what have you done?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I thank my honourable colleague for bringing this issue up. Again, I won't speak to the specifics of any case, but certainly we'll do everything we can within the Department of Community as it pertains to our programs and services offered.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the minister knows that nothing has been done. The minister had no problem calling up Ann Marie Wall and saying everything's going to be fine, Ann Marie, I'm going to help you. Now she can't tell us anything about the case. The minister can simply pick up the phone again and tell Community Services in Glace Bay that it doesn't matter what Clearwater says. It doesn't

[Page 2434]

matter what HRSDC says. The plant is closed and possibly will not reopen in the new year, and there are people in need of the basics - food, heat and shelter. If that's not a closure, I don't know what is.

So my final question to the minister is, why won't the minister take control of this very urgent matter, do what her department is supposed to do, and help those who have no other resort, and those who need the help now?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I know my honourable colleague is passionate about helping his constituents. Again, I won't speak, ever, to the specifics of any case. That would go against the privacy and confidentiality that is entrusted upon all of us. I would be more than pleased to work with this member and all members of this House to ensure that all Nova Scotians needs are being met.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH: COLON CANCER SCREENING - IMPLEMENT

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'll table a letter from Lynne FitzGerald. In January 2005, Ms. FitzGerald was diagnosed with colon cancer. She was without symptoms, had no family history, and led a healthy lifestyle. By the time she was diagnosed, the cancer had spread to her liver, and the outlook was grim. Had there been a screening program in place in this province she might have been diagnosed before the cancer spread to other organs. So my question, Mr. Speaker, through you, to the Minister of Health is, why is his department so unwilling to implement a routine colon cancer screening program in this province?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we're not reluctant at all. This is why this has been referred to Cancer Care Nova Scotia, to come back with recommendations on what a screening program would look like. So, to the member opposite, we've taken this on and are coming with those recommendations.

MR. DEXTER: Well, Mr. Speaker, not having a program in place was only the first of the problems. I want to quote from Ms. FitzGerald's letter. "Not only was there no screening program in the province to find colon cancer before it had spread but also, there is no prevision in this province for catastrophic illness. I face financial ruin as I am a single parent with a teenage daughter." Ms. FitzGerald had to liquidate her retirement savings before she could get a meagre $127.65 a month from Community Services. So my question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Health is this, why is there no program in place to help victims of catastrophic illnesses?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, to speak to the catastrophic drug issue, it is one that all Canadian provinces have brought forward as an issue to work with the federal government to come up with a program that's going to make sense for all

[Page 2435]

Canadians. Mr. Speaker, as you know, through the Canada Health Act, the issue of pharmaceuticals is not within that agreement. We try our best to offer those pharmaceutical services while people are in hospital, but it does not extend into the community as far as we would hope. So that's why we continue to work with federal partners, with all our provincial colleagues, to make sure that we do have a catastrophic drug program that will make sense into the future.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the many people in this province affected by catastrophic illnesses cannot continue to wait. Not only is there no early detection program for colon cancer, when it is diagnosed, there's nothing in place to help patients access life-saving medications. Ms. FitzGerald called it a no win situation for colon cancer patients. So my final question to the Minister of Health is, how many more situations like that facing Lynne FitzGerald will his department allow before it puts better programs in place for early detection and treatment of colon cancer?

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. We have asked our cancer agency, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, to come up with the recommendations on what a colorectal cancer screening program would look like, to give us an idea of what that cost would be to the Province of Nova Scotia. We will continue to do our best to make sure that we work with all Canadian provinces, as well as with the federal government, to come up with a fair and equitable program that will address the issue of catastrophic drug coverage here and for all in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

ECON. DEV. - SWEATSHOPS: PRODUCTS - PROCUREMENT POLICY

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: To the Premier; Mr. Speaker, sweatshop is a term that originated in the garment industry. Retailers place orders with designers who then hire contractors to assemble the clothing. Factories sweat profits out of the workers and operate unsafe workplaces. With global trade, we here become linked to sweatshops, many located in very poor countries and sweatshops are certainly not limited to the garment industry.

Retailers often claim they are not responsible for workers' wages and working conditions but really, they exercise tremendous control over the production chain and have the power to ensure fair working conditions.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask the Premier why his government has not yet introduced procurement policies that ban sweatshop-produced goods from Nova Scotia?

[Page 2436]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the Minister of Economic Development to provide an update.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member for bringing it to the floor today. I can assure that member and all members that I spoke as early as this morning with the Director of Procurement. We know that this is a very important issue. We are dealing with it, we have staff dedicated to the file and we're talking to other jurisdictions within Canada to see what can be done nationally.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, thank you. Let me give the members of the House and the minister some examples. Municipalities, school boards and universities all across Canada have adopted no sweatshop procurement policies. Indeed, at the last Nova Scotia Government Employees and General Workers Union biannual convention, the members unanimously approved a resolution calling on the provincial government to adopt such a policy.

Coincidentally, with my asking this question, I discovered this very day that the Government of Manitoba just announced today that they were adopting a no sweatshop policy. What I would like to know is when is the minister going to ensure that this admirable consensus all across Canada will be taken into consideration in our province in developing provincial procurement policies?

MR. HURLBURT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm sure the member heard my first answer and I will repeat my answer, we have staff that is dedicated to this file. We are looking at policies, we're looking at other jurisdictions within Canada and we will be coming forth with a policy on the issue.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I want to put on record exactly what it is that the NSGEU passed in its resolution earlier this year. The resolution is that the Province of Nova Scotia require all suppliers of apparel or textile goods and services and all trademark licences, to provide the names, addresses and contact information of each subcontractor and manufacturing facility to be used in the production of products, or rendering of services in the province and its agencies, boards and commissions or authorities, to adopt a no sweatshop procurement policy within the next year.

Mr. Speaker, that was a year and a half ago and I'd like to ask the minister when he thinks he is going to have that policy in place?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, the same as everything that I do in my department - when I have all the information and all the facts, we will be making a decision and a policy on this.

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

[Page 2437]

JUSTICE: FOIPOP OFFICER - APPOINT

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Darce Fardy, a longstanding, highly-respected public servant, retired in January of this year from his position as Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer. A review officer is an extremely important position for the people of Nova Scotia, to help ensure accountability, transparency and fairness in government. However, the government clearly doesn't see any of these goals as a priority, because they have yet to reappoint a full-time person to this position. Currently the position is being filled by our Ombudsman. Both the review officer and the Ombudsman position - each deserve a dedicated individual due to the caseload and importance of the position. Therefore my question to the Minister of Justice, when do you intend to appoint a Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Review Officer and giving the people of Nova Scotia, once again, a full-time review officer?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: The question from the honourable member opposite - I can tell him, soon.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, we heard the answer soon, I believe, a couple of weeks so, so I'm not quite sure, maybe the Minister of Justice will be able to clarify exactly what "soon" means when he gets back up. Obviously it wasn't very soon, because two weeks later he's still saying soon. We're obviously very concerned about what message the government is sending out about accountability and transparency. In 2002, it was this Tory Government that raised the fees for FOIPOP applications, forcing the public to pay more, which effectively decreased the number of applications by almost 30 per cent. Time and time again we see the government refuse requests, apply excessively high fees, and now are prolonging the reappointment of a FOIPOP review officer.

Nova Scotians clearly demand better from the government. Therefore, my question, again to the Minister of Justice, when are you going to place accountability and transparency at the top of your department's and this government's agenda?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member for the question. As he mentioned, certainly the position is being filled very capably these days by the Ombudsman. Since it's closer to the time now, since the last time the member asked, I can tell him it's very, very soon.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, well, I guess we'll all have to wait to see what the definition of very, very soon is going to be in this case. I know under the former Premier, it wasn't very quick. So we'll see what it is under this Minister of Justice. One of the interesting comments that was made by the Minister of Justice, as well, was that he was

[Page 2438]

interested in reviewing the current fee structure that has been put in place for FOIPOP applications. He has acknowledged that there has been a decrease in the requests, and a concern that Nova Scotia was given an award as one of the most secretive governments in all of Canada. Based on the fact that the minister has publicly mused about reviewing these fees, I'm wondering if he would take this opportunity now to advise the House as to what the status of that review is?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. I can tell you that I am reviewing those fees now.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: FISH FARM EXPANSION - REACTION

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of- what should be- the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Last week when I raised my concerns about the Aqua Fish Farm proposal, this minister said he has been hearing positive responses from people in the area. I would like to know just who he was talking to. The concerned local residents in the gallery today, the Municipality of the Region of Queens, and the nearly 2,000 signers of the petition are not among the supposed supporters the minister references. My question today to the minister is, can he explain to the Friends of Port Mouton who are in the gallery today how this proposal for this expansion will be good for this community?

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member across referenced what I said last week on getting positive feedback, as well. That is true, I have a number of people who are against and I have a number of people who are for the project. The project is in the assessment phase. The assessment is ongoing, and we'll be making a decision in due course.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Environment. I know that an environmental assessment of the proposed project will take place, and I hope that the minister will examine it very carefully before coming to a decision. However, I have information provided to me, which I will table today, that shows the record of Aqua Fish Farms operation in New Brunswick, and it raises some very serious concerns. I ask the minister, will he ensure that this company's record in New Brunswick will be taken into account before a decision is made here?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I've determined through my staff that the responsibility for determining whether the fish farm proposal is given the thumbs up, and the monitoring, falls under the Minister of Fisheries. So I'll pass the question to him.

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, it's quite right, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the federal government, the industry, do the monitoring for

[Page 2439]

all sites in the Province of Nova Scotia. The information that was asked for a few weeks ago will be made available probably within the next two weeks for the assessments and the monitoring that has been done for 2004-05. Probably early in February, our monitoring assessment will be done for 2006 and that will be made available as well.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, I'm hoping that you will review the assessment records that I have received from New Brunswick. The Friends of Port Mouton Bay have serious and unanswered questions that this government needs to address. My question is, will the Minister of Environment and Labour and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture sit down following Question Period and discuss this issue with these people here today?

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I can't speak for the Minister of Environment and Labour, but I can tell the honourable member that I certainly will meet with the group from Port Mouton after debate. (Applause)

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

TPW: SACKVILLE EXCHANGE - FUNDING

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The government finally decided to quiet the concerns of Sackville residents by issuing a cloudy press release last Tuesday on a new Sackville exchange. It said planning will start soon and that construction could begin by 2008. Of course, it will depend on a yet-to-be-discussed cost-sharing agreement with HRM.

This is a far cry from the government's commitment that they made well over 10 years ago, that they promised to build this interchange, Mr. Speaker. (Interruption) By government, by government, listen to the question. My question to the minister is, why was this announcement made without HRM being made aware of the funding arrangements?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, it's typical of that corner of the House - good news is hard for them to digest easily, so we need to give them some time. The project to which the honourable member refers of 10 years ago, it was something that was in place at the time but it became impossible to preserve the corridor at that time because the land was allowed to be turned over into other uses other than as a transportation corridor. So the project to which he refers then, as a result of planning decisions, is not available. The project that we indicated that we starting the planning on is one which is designed to alleviate congestion in that particular area and when the design work is completed, then we're in a position to understand the financial implications of the project and at that time it's appropriate to discuss finances.

[Page 2440]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Well, Mr. Speaker, I hope it doesn't take another 10 years to get to that point. Councillor Brad Johns and others have worked long and hard on pushing for this and, like myself, he is happy to see the beginning to this process. The problem is that, although the government says it will begin planning, it then throws the ball back into the municipality's court.

[4:00 p.m.]

What we really have here is a political knee-jerk announcement by the department in response to a Daily News story, dated November 1st, which I'll table. So my question is, why does this government continue to play politics with road construction in this province?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, you know, we tell the folks what we're going to do, that we're going to plan seriously for something that's a very serious traffic congestion. We make that announcement known and the other side can't stand good news, so they call it politics. Well, if that's politics, good politics.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, this announcement, as it is, is little more than departmental propaganda. There are no firm commitments, there are no firm dates. The people of Sackville want results, not more propaganda from this government. Why did this minister release the announcement without any real details or plans about this construction?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member demonstrates how far they are from being in a position to govern. They do not understand that before you can come forward with a plan, you need to design. Design is a very important part of constructing roads. We are doing the design work; when the design work is completed, we will commence the construction of that road. I can assure you people will be travelling on that road before the term of this government is out.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH: NAT'L. AUTISM STRATEGY - SUPPORT

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Today a rally was held at the Halifax Public Library in support of autism. Parents and grandparents there were calling for the federal government to form a National Autism Strategy that will bring evidence-based treatments under the umbrella of Medicare. Parents of children with autism have approached this government in the past asking for support in their battle with the federal government to put a national strategy together. Unfortunately, these parents have only received lip service to their concerns and feel they are being left to fight this battle alone.

[Page 2441]

My question to the minister is, will this government lend its support to parents of children with autism in this province and strongly encourage its federal brethren to implement a national autism strategy?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, I thank him for this question and bringing the issue of autism to the floor of this House. I can say that we've been working hard, of course, through our programming, but of course I would support the families that are there in asking the federal government to come up with a national strategy when it comes to autism.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, certainly while the $4 million program has been a great help here in the province, much-needed, and the parents of children with autism are grateful to have something, but it's simply not good enough. The existing program is well below national standards and only provides a fraction of what other provinces are providing. The existing Nova Scotia program only covers applied behavioural training costs for one year. Parents and children with autism need more than one year's assistance. Not only is the program limited to one year, but also, if the child is older than five years of age, the program is not available at all.

Autism is not something that can be cured in one year. Persons over the age of five with autism suffer just as much as those under five. The program, as it exists, is simply not good enough. My question to the minister is, what will this government do for those parents of autistic children who do not qualify or have exhausted their one year of coverage under the existing program?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite knows, once a child gets beyond the age of five and goes into the school system, there are programs and services available on that side of things. Of course, we're very proud of our EIBI program that helps families tackle the issue of autism, helping their children develop communication, they learn how to play and other functional skills. I know that we'll continue to work with those families to make sure we have programming in place from here into the future.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, however the medical community recognizes various behavioural therapies as being the best treatment options for autism, no provinces in Canada offer coverage of these treatment options under Medicare. Some provinces, like Nova Scotia, have introduced small programs that simply are not enough. Children with autism, like all other children, deserve the chance to be the best they can be. These children and families cannot be treated as second-class citizens. My final question to the minister is, will the minister call on his federal counterpart to immediately bring forward a national autism strategy?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I know that I know and this government knows full well the incidence of autism in Canada and the alarming incidence here in

[Page 2442]

Nova Scotia. We'll continue to work with all partners. I can even say, in my own riding, I know of two families that each have two children, not only having to deal with one but two children within their family and we want to make sure that we have the programming in place for them. I will continue to work with my honourable colleague, Tony Clement, in making sure that we push towards and we will continue at our federal-provincial meeting - I believe that's happening the first week or so of December - and that will be brought to the table by this member.

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

TPW: GRAND LAKE RD. CONSTRUCTION: BUSINESS - EFFECT

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The work being carried out on Grand Lake Road is long overdue, but it is having a negative impact on Direct Tire, a small business that does the lion's share of its business in the months of October and November. The work has been carried out without proper drains being installed and causing the parking lot to flood when it rains. My question to the minister is, what recourse does this small business owner have in having this situation fixed?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, had the honourable member brought the matter forward - he has brought it forward and I'd be glad to follow up on it with respect to any problems there are. Certainly, the fact that we're out there doing as much as we are, does, in fact, create situations where at times there are some temporary inconveniences. We do the best we can to clear them, but we've been very busy this year.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, when customers see a parking lot full of water, they're going to drive somewhere else, where they'll stay dry. As well, delivery trucks are having difficulty getting in to deliver product. I will table a picture, showing one such truck that was stuck, blocking Direct Tire's driveway, for over three hours and also clogging one of the busiest roads in the CBRM. So my question is, who is responsible for how this work was carried out and is the responsibility with the department or have they delegated responsibilities to the contractor?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I think the honourable gentlemen is a fair-minded person and would appreciate that I'm not in the position to pass judgment as to who would have responsibility, based on even a picture. If the honourable member wants to sit down and open a discussion with members of my staff, I'll be very happy to make them available and we'll get to the bottom of it.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister for that offer. I will take him up on that offer. The way the road is now designed, water runoff collects in Direct Tire's parking lot, so trucks can't deliver product and this business is suffering, as a

[Page 2443]

consequence. My question is, what action is the minister going to take to help the owner of Direct Tire deal with this current situation and help compensate him for his losses?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I think I've made an offer to the honourable gentlemen that will deal with that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

HEALTH - BREAST-REDUCTION SURGERY: THRESHOLD - EXPLAIN

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Mrs. Jody Bradbury is a young mother to two very young boys and a proud spouse of a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. Mrs. Bradbury and her family were recently posted to CFB Greenwood, from Gagetown, in June 2006 and her husband is now in Alberta, preparing for deployment in Afghanistan. Mrs. Bradbury has been suffering from a very personal, but painful affliction. Mrs. Bradbury is in need of breast-reduction surgery. Her physician agrees that she would be a good candidate for this surgery, and that it would be a tremendous help to improve her painful symptoms. But in order to qualify for funding from the Department of Health for this surgery, the surgeon has to be able to remove 500 grams from each breast. My question to the minister is, what is the government's justification for setting such a high threshold for approval of breast-reduction surgery in this province.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I do know that there are some rigorous rules around who qualifies and who doesn't qualify. I know all of those have been clinically proven. I would offer to the member opposite that I could go and see exactly what those rules are and report back to him.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, Ms. Bradbury is in the House today, and I must acknowledge her bravery for coming forward with her personal story in the hopes of helping not only herself but many other Nova Scotia women who are in the same situation. Ms. Bradbury has been advised that the province has plans to increase the minimum threshold for considerations of breast reduction surgery to 700 grams.

These amounts are extreme. No other province in this country has set such high and unrealistic criteria. In fact, only Quebec and Manitoba set threshold limits at all - most provinces assess each patient on a case-by-case basis. Much smaller amounts than that which the province is contemplating could be a tremendous help to many women in this province. My question to the minister: How can this government justify increasing the threshold even higher, keeping this much-needed and medically necessary surgery out of the reach of Nova Scotia women?

[Page 2444]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I have to admit that I don't know all the details about this issue. I can say that I can go back and get those details for the member opposite. I am not aware at all of changing that threshold.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, breast reduction surgery is not a question of vanity, it's a question of quality of life. Women in need of this surgery are in constant pain in their neck, back, shoulders and chest, and breathing problems such as asthma are aggravated even further. Decisions cannot be made on the necessity of this surgery based solely on the amount to be removed. If a woman is in need of this surgery and a lesser amount than the 500- gram threshold the province has set would be helpful, then that should be enough. Besides, the more tissue removed during surgery increases the possibility for complications and blood loss - why create more pain and a longer recovery period than is absolutely necessary?

My final question to the minister: Will the government reconsider its criteria for breast reduction surgery and help Ms. Bradbury and other women in Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say to the member opposite that I do know that physicians and specialists of course look at this on a very close basis, making sure that all criteria are met. Maybe the criteria are too stringent, as the member alludes to. Again, I will commit to the member opposite to review that information and report back to him as soon as I can.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

TPW - ROADS: TENDER CALLS - TIMELINES

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The Nova Scotia Road Builders Association has 120-member companies and directly employs 7,500 Nova Scotians. The association has consistently stated that early tender calls are critical to timely tender completion. In May of this year, the minister announced that the West Branch Road in Pictou County would be repaved; however, the tender was not called until late summer, and awarded on September 19th of this year. What can this minister tell the residents of the West Branch and River John area on why the tender was called so late that it made it impossible for the contractor to complete it this year?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated earlier, we have had a very significant road program this year. The honourable member would appreciate that the road builders are limited, and in fact are sort of playing a catch-up game with respect to being able to do all of the work that we're putting out there, so it's necessary for us to spread the work out throughout the entire construction season.

[4:15 p.m.]

[Page 2445]

That means that some roads begin early and other roads begin later and that, unfortunately, means sometimes the weather catches up with contractors and work that they had hoped to complete doesn't get completed. I can assure the honourable member that work will be completed as quickly as possible when the construction season resumes.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Automobile Association said earlier this month that poor road conditions are undermining important elements of our economy such as trade, tourism, commute times, and the environment. In Pictou County, Stonehame Lodge & Chalets near Scotsburn and Pictou Lodge near the P.E.I. ferry have had guests concerned about the poor quality of local roads leading to these destinations. So my question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister, when can you offer hope to these tourism operators that these poor quality roads will no longer be affecting their businesses?

MR. MACISAAC: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. When we became the government of this province, the capital program was somewhat more than $40 million a year, not much more. We have gradually increased that, year after year, and our program last year was over $200 million as capital construction. The huge deficit in road repair that we inherited is something that we have been working at steadily. We are making progress and we intend to keep spending and making capital construction a priority of this government so that our roads will improve. I can say to the honourable member, I hope the roads he references will be done in the near future.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, we're certainly all affected by poor quality roads in this province. Recently the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce held a Roads and Highways Symposium in Truro to try to get some answers, amongst other things, to the acute problems associated with our secondary roads. One of those problems, I know personally, has been experienced by the Caribou Fire Department near the Town of Pictou, who indicate that response times to emergencies are hampered by poor road conditions.

Mr. Minister, what can you tell those firefighters in the Caribou Fire Department who are being slowed down by poor quality roads?

MR. MACISAAC: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I can tell the honourable member and all members of this House that this government intends to make the repair and enhancement of the quality of our roads in this province a priority of the government and we will, every year, ensure that we can put as much capital toward the improvement of our roads as we possibly can. We have demonstrated that with our records from 1999 to date. Nova Scotians can look forward to us continuing that emphasis in the future.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

[Page 2446]

TPW - PERRIN DRIVE PAVING: ELECTION PROMISE - BREACH

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The minister's spokeswoman was quoted in yesterday's Chronicle Herald as saying that the paving on Perrin Drive has been deferred to March, 2007, because of budget constraints. I am sure this will come as a surprise to the vast majority of residents who received a letter from my predecessor, dated May 5th of this year, which I will table, stating the minister's assurance that the road works would be completed this fall.

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to ask the minister why this pre-election promise was broken.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. All honourable members of the House will recall that as the construction season proceeded last year, we encountered challenges that had not been fully anticipated. One of those challenges, of course, was the wage rates that have to be paid to workers in order to keep them here in the province, but the biggest thing was the - and even though we had allocated a significant amount of money in our budget to account for it - but the increase in liquid asphalt prices was something that was far beyond what was anticipated. That meant that there were a few projects in the province that had to be deferred to next year.

Mr. Speaker, I can assure all honourable members that any projects that were deferred to next year will, in fact, be done next year.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, some of the residents of the Perrin Drive area have been waiting for over four years for the road to be double chip sealed. They have encountered nothing but broken promises. I would like to table letters from the minister and the Minister of Finance confirming that these urgent road works would take place in the 2006 construction season. Would the minister explain to the people of Fall River why they have been subjected to so much election propaganda and so little action in this matter?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I refer all our honourable members to the construction program which we had last year, but there were challenges that I've indicated. As a result of those challenges, a number of projects were delayed until next year, but I can assure all honourable members and folks living on roads where there has been a delay that we will be looking at those roads early in the next year.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, a school bus travels up and down this road four times a day. The parents of the children traveling in this bus live in fear of a major accident. Members of the Perrin Neighbourhood Association tell me they spend thousands of dollars every year on car repairs and all they get from the government are excuses based on the minister's inability to forecast the price of asphalt. I would like to ask the

[Page 2447]

minister, how can the residents of Fall River be sure the latest completion date for Perrin Drive is not just another empty promise?

MR. MACISAAC: Based on the record of this government, Mr. Speaker

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

HEALTH - DIGBY: PHYSICIAN SHORTAGE - PRIORITY LIST

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Digby-Annapolis is one area of Nova Scotia with a large number of elderly people and this number is growing. This area is lacking in many ways - there is a lack of doctors, rooms in seniors nursing homes, lack of assisted living homes and a lack of palliative care. We are thankful for a few more beds that are to open in our wonderful little hospital, but without doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners in our area, it won't matter how many beds are in that hospital.

This situation is growing worse every day. My question to the minister is, does the Department of Health have Digby high on the priority list for doctors and nurse practitioners?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as all areas in Nova Scotia are number one with this government. I can say to the member opposite we will continue to work with the community, to work with Southwest health to make sure they have the facilities and the personnel in which to offer those services.

I can also speak to the success that we have had, of course, on the islands, just down from Digby with the nurse practitioner project. That has turned into a full-time position. We continue to work with those communities to find the right services in the right areas.

MR. THERIAULT: That nurse practitioner has been there for a long while, but we need a lot more. We have just lost another doctor out of Digby - he's gone to P.E.I. His leaving seemed to stem from a malfunction in the sponsorship program this province has in place. This doctor looked after over 3, 000 patients in the Digby-Annapolis area - now these patients don't even get to see a doctor at the out-patient department, they are being told to go elsewhere. We have a handful of doctors left in Digby who are overworked and are ready to retire. Our situation in Digby is at a critical stage - people without doctors don't know where to turn so they are calling me. My question to the minister is, can the minister direct his department to take a serous look at the situation in Digby and soon?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as I said yesterday during a course of questions, with family physicians of this province, the most urgent vacancies appear to

[Page 2448]

be in Barrington Passage, Bridgewater, Middleton, Digby and Colchester and Pictou Counties. The vacancies are a total complement out of 800 family physicians in this province, about 22 are showing openings. We will continue to work with the district health authorities to make sure recruitment will continue well into the future to fill those pieces in.

MR. THERIAULT: You know, Digby is in the media probably more than any other place in this province for emergency room closures. With our few elderly doctors that we have left in Digby ready to retire, we see this situation getting much worse, to the point of full closure. My question to the minister is, with a situation of a growing number of patients and a declining number of doctors, would a place like Digby be eligible for applying to Doctors Without Borders for help? (Laughter)

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that the organization the member speaks about is a wonderful organization that helps out millions of people worldwide. I can say, right now, within Nova Scotia, that we are addressing this issue, by working through our CAP Assessment Program, working with our partners at Dalhousie making sure that we have those physicians going into the future.

Mr. Speaker, I will also talk about our commitment to the Bear River Clinic that not only will help out in seeing people in that area, but also help out in making sure that health promotion happens in that area, as well, making sure that we have the healthiest possible province in Canada.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

GOV'T. (N.S.) - INSURANCE RATES: CAP - DETAILS

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Insurance Act. As we all know, the principal feature of the government's auto insurance reform was to limit benefits to accident victims in order to return the insurance industry to profitability. What none of us knew at the time was that the insurance industry was actually doing just fine, and, three years later, their profits from auto insurance in Nova Scotia are large and growing. Between 2001 and 2005, claims dropped by $60 million in Nova Scotia, while premiums climbed by $125 million. Meanwhile, though, Nova Scotians injured in motor vehicle collisions are still stuck with the cap. My question to the minister is, when will the government undertake a review of industry profits and compare those profits to the plight of Nova Scotians suffering under the damages cap?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians received a 20 per cent reduction in insurance premiums as a result of this government's decision. That has been a benefit to Nova Scotians, and insurance premiums in Nova Scotia are continuing to drop.

[Page 2449]

MR. STEELE: Of course the minister knows that wasn't the question. This is about Nova Scotians suffering under the cap while the industry makes very large profits. Let me give an example. Two weeks after this government enacted the cap, a woman driving with her children was struck by another vehicle. Since the accident, she is still unable to use her right hand to undertake the simplest of tasks - her family members must do them on her behalf. She is unable to work, suffers from recurrent migraine headaches, and the reduced income in their household means that they are under the threat of losing their home. But, under the auto insurance bill, her injuries are classified as minor. Under the old system, she would have received tens of thousands of dollars in damages. Can the minister please explain to the House, why this Nova Scotian and her family should continue to suffer in order to correct a non-existent profitability crisis in the auto insurance industry?

MR. BAKER: To the honourable member, the issue here is Nova Scotia had to make changes in the system of liability for minor injuries in order to ensure that the price of insurance for Nova Scotians is reasonable. Mr. Speaker, we have dropping insurance rates that are benefitting all Nova Scotians, and that is why we made the changes we did.

[4:30 p.m.]

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, the government at the time was trying to strike a balance, and we opposed that but we understand what they were trying to do. What I am saying today is, three years later we know that the balance has not been struck correctly because the industry is far more profitable today than anybody foresaw then. In fact, the evidence we have now is that they were far more profitable at the time than even they thought or any of us in this House believed. So we're asking the government to look at it again, to restrike the balance. My final question to the minister is, when will this government undertake a review of insurance industry profits as compared to the suffering of Nova Scotians under the cap so that they can once again get the balance right?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, again to the honourable member, what we have in Nova Scotia is an insurance scheme which is fair to Nova Scotians. It guarantees that Nova Scotians who suffer from serious injuries are compensated; it guarantees that the vast majority of Nova Scotians have affordable insurance premiums. We believe that the system is, overall, a very good system.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: INSHORE FISHING BOATS - WCB RATES

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, which may soon become an office. Our coastal communities are striving to prosper, and one of the keys to this

[Page 2450]

success or failure will be the fisheries and the people employed in the fisheries. One way we could increase employment in the fisheries would be to get more people working on inshore fishing boats. However, one of the impediments to this are the WCB rates that captains must pay. What action will this minister undertake to help inshore fishermen deal with this issue?

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. He is indeed right, we do consider the fisheries very important to the Province of Nova Scotia, but the issue as far as WCB rates, I would have to refer to the Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I realize that WCB rates are higher than they should be in different industries across Nova Scotia. The benefits are also lower than they should be. That is why, several years ago, when the WCB was in trouble, this government stepped in and put in a new governance system that has decreased the unfunded liability and that has increased benefits. We're continuing to move in the right direction.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, currently the Nova Scotia Workers' Compensation rate book charges $7.19 per $100 of payroll. That is a lot of money, and is blocking many captains from hiring that extra deckhand. These rates are too high, and I know it is not based on the safety record of the inshore fleet. The problem is that the inshore fleet is lumped in with the offshore fleet who are going out for days or even weeks at a time. The solution seems simple. I ask the minister, will he work to separate the inshore from the offshore fleet?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I have stated before that the Workers' Compensation Board has a governance, an independent board that has employees and employers on it. They have been doing an excellent job, and they have turned around the WCB and are moving everything in the right direction. However, for the benefit of the honourable member, I would be happy to write a letter to ask for their rationale on the separation or the lumping together of these two fisheries.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, that may be a good start, but this, indeed, would be a very good move. To illustrate that, I will table Page 22 of the P.E.I. Workers' Compensation Board's rate book. P.E.I. inshore fishing has been given its own rate. In P.E.I., they are paying $4.61 per $100 payroll. This is 36 per cent less than our inshore fishermen in Nova Scotia. My question is, will the minister call for an immediate review to examine how these groupings are determined, and work to achieve a better rate for the Nova Scotia inshore fishing fleet?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I've already indicated in my previous reply that I'll ask for the Workers' Compensation Board to give me their policy on this, but I really want to reiterate here, because it's very, very important, the Workers' Compensation

[Page 2451]

Board was almost broke when we came into government. We have turned it around through a proper governance structure, we are very proud of that fact, and we will continue to move forward with bringing down the rates to employers and bringing up the benefits to employees.

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

TPW - HWY NO. 104: TWINNING - TIMEFRAME

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, municipal councillors, business leaders and residents of the Strait area, along with the MLA for Richmond, have for many years called upon the provincial government to complete the twinning of Highway No. 104 from Truro to Cape Breton. Recent statistics from the Department of Transportation and Public Works show that Highway No. 104, from Truro to Cape Breton, is the most dangerous section of highway in Nova Scotia. The last time any asphalt was put down to extend the twinning of Highway No. 104 between Truro and Cape Breton was in 1998-99, under a Liberal Government, when the twinning to New Glasgow was completed.

My question to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works is, when should the residents of the Strait area expect to see the complete twinning of Highway No. 104 between New Glasgow and the Canso Causeway?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. We have, in fact, work ongoing now at the Thorburn interchange. That will enable us to be in a position to let contracts for the twinning of that section of the road and we hope to have that underway in the near future.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, our business leaders in the Strait area have worked hard to grow our economy and attract new businesses to the area in places such as Point Tupper and the Goldboro Industrial Parks. Such economic growth requires proper transportation infrastructure. Residents have waited since 1999 and still no extension on the twinning of Highway No. 104 other than some brush cutting and now, finally, an overpass with no road leading to it.

Mr. Speaker, the growth of the Strait area requires a safe and reliable highway system. My question again to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works is, what work will be undertaken to complete the twinning of Highway No. 104?

MR. MACISAAC: Surely, Mr. Speaker, the honourable member doesn't trivialize the need for the clearing of a right-of-way. He's not suggesting that we would begin paving over trees and woods and such? (Interruptions)

[Page 2452]

MR. SAMSON: Well, you know, Mr. Speaker, I know that my colleague, the member for Digby-Annapolis, has long complained about the growth of alders in his riding, but for the residents in the Strait area to have waited seven years, under a Tory Government, to finally see that they're going to cut the brush and cut the trees in the way of putting a road in, I think is asking a bit much.

Mr. Speaker, the growth of the economy in the Strait area also requires a safe and reliable transportation route from the Canso Causeway to Cape Breton Regional Municipality, especially in the Sydney area. Both Route 105 and Route 4 are in many areas unsafe and in need of significant repair. So my question to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works is, when can the residents of Cape Breton and the Strait area expect a new safe highway linking the island from the Canso Causeway to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the honourable member and all members of the House that the twinning of that section of road in this province is a fundamental priority of this government. It is something that we intend to see begin and see completed. I can tell the honourable member that we are in the process of doing very important planning. The design work at the bypass at Antigonish, the Highway No. 104 bypass, that design work will be completed in another year. That would leave us in a position to be able to call contracts in 2008-09 for that particular section. The sections at Sullivan's River, those sections will be ready to go to contract in the very near future, and I hope as early as next year.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

EDUC.: SCH. VISITS - DATES

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. This morning I had the opportunity to hear Don Connolly do an interview on Information Morning with the Minister of Education. This morning the Minister of Education was relaying the fact that she had visited a number of schools about the conditions of these schools. During the interview, she confirmed that she had visited Centre Consolidated and Dartmouth High School to see the condition of these schools and referred specifically to these two schools. I was wondering if the minister could confirm the dates that she visited Centre Consolidated and Dartmouth High School?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, and to the member opposite, I think everyone in this House knows that I have spent 35 years in education, and that has taken me into a lot of schools. I've spent five months as Minister of Education, and that has not taken me into a lot of schools but I have been in both of those schools.

[Page 2453]

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, the school advisory chair, Barry Eisener, of Centre Consolidated is not pleased. He heard the same interview that I heard, and he confirmed with our office that the minister's staff had cancelled the visit to Centre Consolidated a few days before October 30th, when it was scheduled to take place. Will the minister confirm at this time, did she or did she not visit Centre Consolidated, or was the meeting in fact cancelled?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, and to the member opposite, Barry Eisener has communicated with our department on several occasions. There was in fact a scheduled visit on October 30th, and, yes, in fact, that was cancelled.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, so I can be clear on the fact when we speak to Mr. Eisener later today, when the reference was made during the Information Morning piece this morning by Mr. Connolly about the condition of this particular school that has been neglected for such a long time, they have highlighted the fact that the minister said that she had seen Centre Consolidated's situation and she had seen how poor it was, we can confirm that she has not been there. So the obvious question that the people of Centre Consolidated and Mr. Eisener want to confirm is, when will this minister visit their much-neglected school?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, and to the member opposite, I will repeat, Mr. Eisener knows and this House knows I did not attend a meeting at that school on October 30th. I did, however, visit that school in my earlier life. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

COM. SERV.: BLOOMFIELD CENTRE - CLOSURE

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, through you my question is to the Minister of Community Services. Bloomfield Centre is a multi-purpose community centre in North Central Halifax, home to many social justice groups that provide programs to many people, groups like the Elizabeth Fry Society, People First, the Halifax branch of CHMA, the Association for Independent Living, and Street Feat, the voice of the poor, to name a few. The centre, a former school, is owned and operated by HRM, which has declared it surplus property and a financial burden to the municipality. A process is now underway to move the organizations out of this centre.

My question, through you to the minister is, what is your department doing to ensure that the many social agencies that work out of the Bloomfield Centre aren't forced into inappropriate locations or in settings where higher rents eat into their ability to maintain the current program levels?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank my honourable colleague for the question. Certainly, the groups that my honourable colleague

[Page 2454]

mentioned do some phenomenal work in our communities and across this province. Certainly the decision of HRM is one that is out of my hands, but I will ask staff to update me on the progress of the discussions that are going on with these individual groups.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my second question is to the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. In addition to the various social groups, Bloomfield Centre has a large gymnasium used extensively for adult recreation. I note with great interest, Mr. Speaker, that the minister's department financially contributed to the HRM review of Bloomfield Centre, which will result in its closing.

[4:45 p.m.]

So, Mr. Speaker, I would like the minister to commit here today that there will be no reduction in recreational facilities available to residents of north and central Halifax, if Bloomfield Centre closes.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What I will commit is that we here at the Department of Health Promotion and Protection do a good job, I believe, in providing support for community groups, organizations and municipalities. In this case, we have partnered very closely with the Halifax Regional Municipality and will continue to do that, so that recreation services can be provided to all constituents of Nova Scotia.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to go back to the Minister of Community Services. Multi-purpose service centres have proven to be effective models for providing health and social services, business incubation, arts skills and arts co-operatives. It is unfortunate that this is a fact that has been lost on the HRM.

A group of concerned citizens, Imagine Bloomfield, have come together to develop a vision and a plan to retain Bloomfield Centre as a multi-purpose centre for the community. So my final question for the Minister of Community Services is this, is your department willing to become familiar with Imagine Bloomfield, with a view to working collaboratively with them to ensure that social justice groups in our community can continue to have a place to provide services in a multi-service setting?

MS. STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. To my honourable colleague across the way, I appreciate her bringing this to the floor today. Certainly the groups that my honourable colleague mentioned, as I said before, do some great work in the communities and I would be more than pleased to learn more about their concept of this multi-purpose service centre and I would look forward to meeting with those groups and meeting with my honourable colleague to learn more.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

[Page 2455]

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: FIRE HALLS - FUNDING

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Three years ago, the County of Annapolis and the Town of Bridgetown sent their top infrastructure priorities to the federal and provincial governments. Given the state of the current fire hall, the County and the Town of Bridgetown came together to set a new fire hall as their number one priority, asking both levels of government to each provide one-third of the total cost of the building, of a new fire station, under the Canada-Nova Scotia Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund.

The Town of Bridgetown has been told that the fire hall does not qualify for infrastructure funding any longer. So my question to the minister is, was it the provincial or the federal government that decided fire halls no longer qualified for infrastructure funding?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I don't know whether fire halls ever qualified under those programs, but I can tell the honourable member that it was the federal government that said that particular fire hall did not qualify.

MR. MCNEIL: Other fire halls qualify and just Bridgetown doesn't qualify? I think what he is saying is that fire halls don't qualify and it was his department that on March 30th notified the Town of Bridgetown that they no longer qualified under the program, even though they qualified under the previous program.

So, Mr. Speaker, thanks to the generosity of the people of both communities who donated money towards the construction of a new fire hall, the municipality has come up with the required one-third of funding, but they need the other two-thirds to proceed with the construction. Firefighters in Bridgetown are working in cramped quarters in an outdated and unsafe building. So my question to the minister is, what is your government doing to convince the federal government to allow fire halls to be part of the infrastructure funding program?

MR MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the rules were changed by the federal government and indeed, the reason that our department would have notified the municipality that the fire hall was not eligible is because communication generally goes from our department to the municipalities that make the applications.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the question was, what is your government doing to convince the federal government that fire halls should be part of an infrastructure program? These communities are all over Nova Scotia. There are communities across this province that require a safe and modern fire hall. If they are all told they no longer qualify for the funding, what are these communities supposed to do? My question to the

[Page 2456]

minister is, what is he telling those communities that are looking for funding to build new and modern fire halls in Nova Scotia?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, now that the honourable member has mentioned that, I do remember that the community which I represent did benefit from one of those federal-municipal programs. Their fire hall received a part of that. The federal government changed the rules. I'll check with my staff. I'm quite happy to write to the federal government and ask them to change the rules back. As the honourable member would know, or at least some honourable members will, these programs are developed for a specific period of time. They aren't going on forever and a day. There is a new program being developed now, and perhaps fire halls are included in that. I will find out.

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

HEALTH: PALLIATIVE CARE PROG. - COMMITMENT

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. This government has been making empty promises regarding the establishing of a province-wide palliative care program. The Minister of Health Report to Nova Scotians in 2003-04 committed to working on a consistent approach to palliative care in the next year. That didn't happen. Former Premier John Hamm promised in April 2004 to phase in a palliative care program. That didn't happen. So my question to the Minister of Health is, 2006 is nearly over, where is the provincial palliative care program his government promised?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that over the last number of months we've been working with district health authorities in order to make sure that we have at least a common level of palliative care across the province. I can say that for a number of months before I became Minister of Health, we did work with the department at that time to make sure that we had a palliative care program in Yarmouth, which was under-serviced for a long period of time. The honourable Minister of Economic Development and I worked very hard to make sure that we had that program. I can say that across the province, there was not necessarily a standard nor a level that made sense. Over the last number of years, the last year or so, we've been trying to balance the palliative care programs across this province.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, this government has chosen to deflect action on palliative care, the way it has with so many issues, by conducting study after study while doing nothing to deliver on its promises. The provincial palliative care report was released in Fall 2005, but it remains in draft form, not released to the public. There are no province-wide standards for palliative care, so what one district calls palliative care is a completely different experience than what another district may offer. I ask the Minister Health, will he table the 2005 palliative care report in the Legislature today?

[Page 2457]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that all Nova Scotians who need end-of-life care should have access to the same level, regardless of where they live in this province. I can say that over the last year, expansion of palliative care services is a priority through our continuing care strategy. We are investing an additional $832,000 in the current fiscal year, looking forward, $2.2 million in 2007-08, for the delivery of enhancing the continuing care/palliative care benefits across Nova Scotia.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I don't think the Minister of Health answered my question, or doesn't want to answer the question. It was, will he table the report today in this Legislature? I guess he has answered no. Years of empty promises have meant that thousands of Nova Scotians with terminal illnesses and their families went without the support and programs they should have been able to access. We all know a hospital bed is not only the least desirable place to die, but it's also the most expensive. My question to the Minister of Health is, when will the empty promises stop, and a provincial program with universal standards of palliative care, be adopted for the Province of Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, that member opposite can come and say the things he wants on the floor of this Legislature. He can reference things that we are working on, I can reference things I'm working on. I can say that we're working hard on palliative care, making sure that we have a program that's based on data, based on responsibility and making sure that we're helping the people who so dearly need it, making sure that through end-of-life experiences, we can help make that the best we can possibly make it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

PREM.: SIDEWALKS - SAFETY

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Premier. The Premier made it clear in the last election that he supports building sidewalks to ensure that children are safe while walking to school. In my constituency, there are two schools that are on roads directly off the Highway 2 and these schools are the Enfield District Elementary School and the Elmsdale District Elementary School. Highway 2 has a sidewalk, but these roads the schools are actually located on do not. So my question for the Premier is, when are you going to fulfill your commitment to keeping families safe and build sidewalks so the children in these communities can walk to school safely?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the government committed to do was to review the issue of safe walkways to schools and the government will keep that commitment.

[Page 2458]

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, if ever there was a non-answer - I think the Premier would already know that there are unsafe areas. I'm identifying one for him and yet he refuses to act to correct it.

Providing children with sidewalks to walk on when going to school is not simply a safety issue, but it's also a Health Promotion issue. In light of this, my next question is for the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, who, during October encouraged students to participate in International Walk to School Week, a program designed to encourage healthy living for students. So my question to the minister is, can you explain why there are no sidewalks on the roads to these elementary schools, limiting the safe places for these children to get exercise?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member would know, sidewalks in the Province of Nova Scotia, at least for the most part, are the responsibility of municipalities. But I'll say this, we're the first province, Nova Scotia, to have an injury prevention strategy. I'm very proud of the work that we've done to ensure kids are having an active and healthy lifestyle. Those two things, obviously, have some kind of conflict, but we continue to work with the municipalities to ensure that sidewalks are built where they're absolutely necessary and that's in areas close to schools.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my final question will go to the Minister of Education who is responsible for the safety of our children while at school. The minister mentioned earlier, in a previous answer about her previous life - and I want her to remember her previous life when I helped her on a number of issues regarding these schools, I thought she appreciated my efforts in those regards. My question for the minister is, will you tell this House when you will build sidewalks on roads leading from highways to schools to increase the safety of children walking to school?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, yes, I do remember when we worked together and you understand that we appreciated your support and your efforts - that's translated into two good schools, in particular, that we worked on. I'd like to publicly thank you for that. (Applause)

Secondly, in answer to your question, I believe the sidewalk issue is a municipal responsibility. When we went through the planning sessions, we did have municipalities at the table and they did contribute to the building of those sidewalks.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

ECON. DEV.: HIGH-SPEED TECH. - PRIORITIZE

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. On several occasions, we've heard this government state that they want to bring broadband service to all areas of the province. The Premier has stated

[Page 2459]

publicly that he wants to achieve this goal by 2010. However, this is four more years away and many citizens and businesses need this technology now. Many citizens and businesses need this technology now. In this age of information technology, what could be more important than having access to broadband technology. So my first question to the Minister of Economic Development is, Mr. Minister, many businesses are suffering because of another one of this government's half measures. Why do you continually place the accessibility to high speed technology on your back burner?

[5:00 p.m.]

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, this is my lucky day I guess. I'm very pleased to inform all members of this House there will be an announcement very, very soon on the broadband.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, we're all looking forward to this one. This is a matter of competition. Many of our companies are competing against other companies in the Maritimes, in the rest of Canada, and indeed the world. So how can we expect our companies to compete and increase our economic growth if we don't allow them access to high speed Internet? This is being hardest felt in rural Nova Scotia, specifically in areas like the Eastern Shore. One business owner stated, "It's not very nice to ask all business along the shore to limp along for four more years."

Well, again my question to the minister, will you commit to us today to speed up your timeline for province-wide access to broadband technology?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I thought December 25th was next month, but apparently I'm getting a gift early. I can assure all members of this House that there will be an announcement very, very soon on broadband in this province. I can assure all members of this House and all Nova Scotians that the Premier of our province has made a commitment to all Nova Scotians, to all Nova Scotians, that they will have broadband. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, through the dedication and the hard work of my staff in Economic Development, we will see that through, I want to tell you, and we're going to see it a lot faster than some members of this House realize.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, we know that the Premier has made a commitment by the year 2010. Well, Mr. Minister, this is about providing an environment for all of our businesses to compete in a regional and global economy. So to have to rely on a dial-up service is simply archaic and significantly diminishes the ability of our businesses to operate on a highly efficient level. So, Mr. Minister, your department has set a timeline that is far too long for province-wide access to high speed Internet. So again to the minister, will you start to place Internet and information technology as the top priority in your department?

[Page 2460]

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, watch us. Guaranteed, we will have broadband in this province before the timeframe that the Premier announced earlier.

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1024.

Res. No. 1024 - Friends of Port Mouton Bay/Commun.: Efforts - Support - notice given Nov. 21/06 - (Ms. V. Conrad)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak to Resolution No. 1024:

"Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly support the efforts of the community and the members of The Friends of Port Mouton Bay in their working to preserve Port Mouton Bay from the proposed expansion of Aqua Fish Farm's current development."

I have spoken to this issue many times in the form of several questions over the last couple of weeks. I've tabled a petition with well over 1,800 signatures and I am looking for the support of this government, this House, to help this community protect Port Mouton Bay. (Applause)

I can't express that any more firmly. This proposed expansion does not belong in Port Mouton Bay for many, many reasons. We have 40 lobster boats with crews of at least three crew members on each boat in this area. We have about 27 mossing boats in this area. This is one of the most pristine areas in North America, according to the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia. That's a grave concern for my communities - for the County of Queens. We all know that the Municipality of Queens has taken a resolution with their council members, and they are all overwhelmingly in support of the Friends of Port Mouton Bay. We have a lot to lose here.

I want to ask the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture to really seriously look at the possible and probable negative economic impacts that will be found if this

[Page 2461]

expansion is to move forward. The minister has in his power, in his discretion, to look at the economic impacts that could possibly happen to this very pristine area in my community. I would ask him to refer to the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act, Chapter 25, Section 21(2), which gives him the power to have a full, economic impact study done before making a final decision on this.

The information I tabled today - I want the minister to take very seriously the environmental assessment process that was done in New Brunswick, especially the most recent one in 2005, going into 2006, that shows clearly that Aqua Fish Farms in New Brunswick has not been and has not demonstrated good stewardship in that province. So therefore, it's very important that this minister not only look at the environmental impacts of this company and look at what's happening in Port Mouton Bay.

Some of the economic impacts that we'll see happen. Certainly the depletion of our fisheries stocks, our lobster stocks. What I'm hearing from fishermen on the ground, what they're telling me is that the immediate area around the existing expansion - they are seeing a dead zone. They are no longer lobster fishing in that particular area of the bay. They are having to go out further into the waters to get the same numbers of lobsters that they did several years ago when the first farm was established.

This is a very unique harbour in the fact that it has been mapped, showing a navigational channel - a port that has been mapped for generations. Not only is it a navigational harbour, but it also supports and harbours and acts as a safe haven for our lobster fishermen in times of need. When there is a storm in the area, those 40 fishing boats are taking turns moving their gear in and out of that harbour, in and around where this expansion is to be located.

The area where the existing farm is today, the waters around that area, I'm told and I have seen, I went out two and a half years ago to this particular site - it's a dead zone. There are no lobsters there, I'm told from the local lobster fishermen. There are no scallops in that area and the area is not the same as it used to be. From the existing farm down towards Summerville Beach, one of the beaches in Queens County that makes up our beautiful coastline of beaches.

I'm asking the minister to seriously look at that type of economic impact that it will have on our local fisheries in Queens County. I'm told that the mossmen are not able to get the same levels of moss, harvesting their moss, because there's just simply none. It's vanishing in and around that area where the current site exists. So to have an expansion of 29 hectares, which is similar to or is 70 acres, is just incredible. The current farm consists of eight pens. This expansion will see at least 40 pens out in that bay. That's a lot of pens and a lot of fecal matter. I can tell you that the presentation I attended, there is no guarantee that fecal matter will ever be remediated, not even through the fallowing process.

[Page 2462]

To the honourable member and to the minister, as I indicated in a drawing yesterday to you, that the fallowing process - there is a sediment that actually hangs in the balance. Not all of it is settling to the bottom of the ocean floor. There is a lot of that sediment that just hangs there and with the tides and the currents, that's moving elsewhere. There are no methods in our monitoring process that gives us good faith that it's not going elsewhere. Other economics - we have a budding tourism industry and we have lots of residential growth in that area. Those are all the economic impacts that we'll have.

You need to do something, Mr. Minister. I'm asking your government to support my communities, Port Mouton Bay and the County of Queens, and the municipality in supporting and protecting this bay. Thank you. (Applause)

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

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to speak to Resolution No. 1024. I thank the member opposite for bringing this resolution forward. As you know, there has been considerable public debate on this topic, and I have heard from many people. Some people do not want the site; others are in support of it. I have also heard the reasons why people don't want it, and I have learned of the reasons why people do want it. This is obviously a very sensitive issue in Queens County and surrounding areas, and I appreciate that everyone has their own view.

I would like to take a minute to talk about the aquaculture industry in general. Aquaculture, I feel, is a perfect fit for Nova Scotia in many ways. It not only provides jobs and economic benefit to coastal regions, but it encourages youth to stay in coastal communities; it provides opportunities for spinoff service industries; it utilizes existing infrastructure, and it must demonstrate environmental responsibility to co-exist with the ecosystem that provides the waters to grow fish.

The Nova Scotia aquculture industry takes a diversified approach to development, cultivating not only Atlantic salmon and mussels, but also steelhead trout, oysters, Arctic char, clams, abalone, halibut, and cod. Nova Scotia is not alone in this industry; in fact the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated recently that nearly half the fish consumed as food worldwide are raised on farms rather than caught in the wild. In 1980, just 9 per cent of the fish consumed by human beings came from aquaculture - today, 43 per cent does.

While fish catches have not increased in the past several years and there are fears that wild stocks may decline further, I feel aquaculture is the answer to provide fish to feed the world and meet the increasing demands that we have. As well, Nova Scotia aquaculturists have invested heavily on industry diversification - for example, in less than a decade Nova Scotia has become a world leader in halibut hatchery and nursery

[Page 2463]

husbandry and is poised to become a key supplier of juvenile halibut, as well market fish to domestic and international buyers.

Other alternate species cultured mainly for niche markets include Arctic char, abalone, a sablefish operation currently under development. Marine salmon aquaculture currently accounts for approximately 67 per cent of the total value of fish farming in Nova Scotia. Although the province's coastline is extensive, only certain areas are acceptable to year-round farming of these species due to a phenomenon of extremely cold water called Superchill. To overcome this hurdle, development opportunities lie in farmers utilizing existing suitable sites and bays to their full potential, as well as the constant exploration of prospective new sites, and technical solutions.

Advances in aquaculture technology, including new feed formulations, containment cage construction, shellfish hatcheries and tank farm water treatment mechanisms have the potential to open new development opportunities which, until recently, have not been economically or biophysically possible.

[5:15 p.m.]

In concert with new species development, Nova Scotia aquaculture farmers are leading the way in advancement of applied technology. Nova Scotia's aquaculture total farmgate production and value in 2005 was over 9 million kilograms of product and $44 million, respectively.

Mr. Speaker, there are currently 379 issued aquaculture licences in Nova Scotia, including the cultivation of Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, brook trout, Arctic char, halibut, cod, sablefish, blue mussels, American oysters, European oysters, scallops, clams and abalone. Nova Scotia's aquaculture supports 900 direct jobs and an additional 1,400 indirect jobs, generating a total payroll of somewhere around $50 million per year.

Recent federal-provincial initiatives, including the Aquaculture Framework Agreement, hope to address some of the above challenges through clarifying roles and responsibilities, improving regulatory harmonization, advancing business risks safety nets, marketing initiatives, research and innovation, development and commercialization and infrastructure.

The Eastern Canadian aquaculture industries produce some of the safest and healthiest shellfish and finfish in the world. We have a fish veterinarian to assist aquatic farmers with monitoring their fish health. It is a well managed system of care. Fish and all animals require health care and we ensure that if vaccines or medicated feeds are required, it is only administered under the supervision of a qualified veterinarian.

[Page 2464]

The benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids are important to our well-being and the farming of finfish has helped to make a healthy food product more affordable and readily available year round.

It is common practice for the industry to use a monitoring system such as underwater cameras while feeding fish to ensure proper distribution of feed. I understand the environmental impact of typically localized beneath the site, the impact is biodegradable and reversible when farmers use a fallowing system to reduce the impact.

I realize my time may be getting short. The industry is still a young industry and there is much we have to learn about the opportunities and the impacts, positive and negative. Right now, the communities near Port Mouton aquaculture site are wrestling with this project. I want to reassure my colleague there is a rigorous process before a decision is made. We have monitored the existing site for several years and the plan is to make the environmental data for 2004-05 available shortly. The data collected in 2006 will be available in early February.

I thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to meeting with my colleague from Queens, as well as the group from Port Mouton, right after this debate. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I too am glad to stand and speak on Resolution 1024. I say that because I love fish. I've been around fish all my life. I fished for 35 years. I've been in tourism for quite a number of years (interruption) yes, and that will be next, whatever, yes, I won't repeat that.

I think there is a time and a place for everything on this earth. I believe there is a time and a place for tourism, there's a time and place for fishing, there's a time and place for a beautiful area to be saved. There's a time and a place to grow fish.

If we don't grow fish, our oceans will never, ever keep up with the demand. We've seen that. We'll blame each other for wiping it out and wiping it out, but if the demand wasn't in the world for that, we wouldn't have been out there catching them. We can't feed the world out of the ocean. It's as simple as that. We have to grow fish. I'll mention Port Mouton - I haven't really seen the site, but from what I'm hearing about it, it sounds like something that may have happened in the New Brunswick aquaculture industry.

The New Brunswick aquaculture industry got overcrowded. People were putting cages around the island end-to-end-to-end. After awhile, it got so crowded, the diseases started in them and they couldn't stop them. Once they would stop one disease, another disease would come in. Anything you overcrowd will die, in the wild or in captivity.

[Page 2465]

When you get a vaccine for one disease, another disease will come along. They can't keep up with it. So in New Brunswick they had to thin it out. They had to thin that out to make that work ,and that's something that we cannot do here in Nova Scotia.

In 1994, I helped set up an aquaculture site, as a fisherman. The first thing I did was put it out of the sight of people. That was the first thing. The next thing I worked at with others, was to put it over the bottom where there was the least amount of fishing ever done, and that's where we found a site for that area. There are sites all around this province to do that. The industry can grow. The Chinese have been growing fish for 3,000 years, and we are buying fish from China to eat in this province. There's something wrong there.(Interruption) Okay, on land. It has been proposed to go on to the land. We will run into the same thing.

I'll go to Weymouth, Nova Scotia, for a minute. We have mink on the land down there; raising mink. Everybody said put the mink back in Weymouth, put them out of sight, back in the woods, everything will be all right. But it's not all right. The people are still complaining - the hog farms, the mink ranches, and now the aquaculture. One thing we can't do, we cannot overcrowd. We cannot crowd out beautiful areas. We cannot crowd out traditional fishermen, and we cannot crowd out ecotourism on the shores. We all have to have room for this. We have to grow fish.

So what has to be done is just the way I've explained it, and it can work. If we don't do something like this on our shores - Nova Scotia is a perfect place to grow fish, it's a natural place to grow fish, whether it's in places around our coast that's not harming anything, whether it's inland, whether it's offshore 100 miles, that is also being looked at, but we have to do it. We have to have fish. It's the best, healthiest fish on earth, and we have - I guess I'm running out of time, Mr. Speaker. I'm sorry, I could probably go on for a while longer yet, but, anyway, I just want to say one thing before I sit down.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has approximately a minute and a half.

MR. THERIAULT: One thing before I sit down. We can't try to push each other around in Nova Scotia in these coastal areas. We can all sit down to the table and we can all make this work with just a few suggestions. There's not a problem in this world, in this province, that you cannot work out and make everybody happy. For every problem there's a solution. There always was and always will be. Thank you, very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm really pleased to have an opportunity to speak to this resolution. I want to say, and I want the people of Port Mouton who are here to understand a couple of things about me, one, is that I'm a farmer. My first notions, actually, some years ago when I first heard people talking about

[Page 2466]

farming fish, I thought what a great idea. I'm also a sheep farmer, and I know Port Mouton Harbour is not favourable to raising sheep, I guess it has a history of that. I want to say there is something that has gone on in recent years in my constituency in particular, because we produce 30 per cent of the milk that people drink in this province in the constituency of Hants East, and we also have one of the most rapidly-growing residential areas east of Montreal.

So this would definitely seem like an area that would be prone to conflict, Mr. Speaker. One thing that I've come to believe in doing this work, because I've gone to the public four times and asked them to re-elect me, so I think they believe that I represent them. Something that's important to me and I think important to my colleague and all my colleagues is the idea that people should have some say in what happens to their communities. For me it wouldn't matter if a fish farm was generating clean water; if the people didn't want it, that should be enough to stop it.

So I do worry about food supply. Actually this recent report that came out, Mr. Speaker, about the imminent total collapse of the oceans by 2050, I think that as politicians we should be very concerned about what it is that we do to the oceans and what we do to our environment in general. It's obvious from the member for Digby-Annapolis - he made some good points, but it's obvious that we're going to have to grow fish to feed people because we're not going to be able to get it all from the ocean. That's clear. It's clear now that we can't do it.

Not all aspects of the aquaculture industry seem to have been problematic for communities. Certainly the shellfish side, mussels and so on, this doesn't seem to have run into the same opposition that the fin fish industry has run into. I think that at first it seemed like a great idea, but communities started to recognize problems.

The industry started to recognize problems and my colleague, the member for Digby-Annapolis indicated that if you crowd too many animals, and we certainly know from all the forms of industrial agriculture and so on, what kinds of problems that creates. But the question still remains, can you grow food, can you grow fish and do it on land and still do it in an economically viable way? If the province can't answer that question, maybe they should beef up their extension department and their production technology department that came out of the Department of Agriculture and share some of that with the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and put some people in place to actually do a couple of pilot projects and see whether or not they could actually establish an on-land facility that would be viable.

If we're going to talk about jobs, the question has to be, what are those jobs worth to the community? If 1,800 people in Port Mouton, in that area, signed petitions saying they don't want this expansion, then I think somebody should be listening to them. Mr. Speaker, I can table a photocopy out of this, if you wish, Strong Leadership.... a clear course. I don't know if you recognize this booklet but this was the Tory election

[Page 2467]

campaign in 1999. I'll just quote from Page 19, Making Government Accountable. "We believe Nova Scotians are right to demand greater openness, accountability and participation. The John Hamm Government will be a government that listens to Nova Scotians and acts in accordance with their priorities and expectations."

Mr. Speaker, now I know that Premier Hamm is not here any longer, but I think this set the tone in 1999 when the government changed and became a Progressive Conservative Government. I think that this government should take a lesson from somebody's book - they don't seem to want to take one from the New Democrats but they won't even take one from their own. In 1999, when they formed a government, they were a majority government. In 2003 they were a minority; in 2006 they were a smaller minority and there are issues that people tried to send them a message on. One of them was the Digby quarry. The people of Digby tried to make a statement, we don't want the Digby quarry. What did that result in? They lost a Progressive Conservative minister and elected the member who sits in the House today.

[5:30 p.m.]

Now, Mr. Speaker, there is the issue of strip mining in Cape Breton. This is another area that, it seems, the government is quite willing to allow strip mining to occur in Cape Breton and yet the people in that area do not want it. They've indicated that time and time again and yet this government has refused to listen.

So, Mr. Speaker, I think the role of politicians, because this role is a unique role, we go to the people and we ask them to vote for us. We ask them to make a commitment on what we've pledged we will do for them. Then we come to this House of Assembly and the members of the Progressive Conservative Party and the members of the Liberal Party have formed governments in this province. Yet, when these issues arise, they don't want to listen to the people who elected them.

Mr. Speaker, that is serious and at some point, I guess that's when we throw governments out - they say governments are not elected, they're just thrown out. So I can't understand why, in the 21st Century, with all that we know and all that government should know around some of the problems that have been associated with fish farms, why they wouldn't be interested to listen to the community that doesn't want it and be willing to do some research for the benefit of Nova Scotians, for the benefit of communities and for the benefit of the industry, to see if there's another way to carry out fish farming in this province and produce what they seem to determine is a viable industry. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The time has expired for debate on Resolution No. 1024.

The honourable Opposition House Leader.

[Page 2468]

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Could you please call Resolution No. 1033.

Res. No. 1033 - Commun. Access Prog. (CAP): Extension/Continuation - Support - notice given November 20, 2006 - (Mr. C. MacKinnon)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. First I would like to thank the minister - before thanking the minister I would like to thank the member for Clare for following in my footsteps in relation to seeking province-wide access to broadband. Then I would like to thank the minister for his remarks that it will be faster than some members realize. I sure hope that it's fast enough to assist the residents of Barney's River in Pictou East.

The resolution that I put forward, in part, was, many rural areas in Nova Scotia are suffering from lack of high-speed Internet service. The Community Access Program, CAP, is being threatened through federal cutbacks. Numerous rural communities are at a distinct disadvantage from not having high-speed Internet, while others fear a loss of the Community Access Program. In that resolution, I asked that this House of Assembly go on record in support of extending high-speed Internet services and the maintenance of CAP in this province.

Now, Mr. Speaker, earlier I tabled a resolution and a petition. The petition was signed by 63 residents from the Barneys River area of Pictou County, including the owners and operators of lumbering and trucking interests that transport internationally from that area. Now, looking over the list of those who have signed this petition, there are more per capita businesses in that area than in most areas of Nova Scotia. I look at G&B Williams Enterprises Limited. They are involved in international trucking. They have some new forms that are coming into play for shipping into the United States and they claim that it will take hours to fill out those forms in a dial-up system.

I look at M&R Ross Logging Limited, Williams Bros. Ltd., C&G Williams Bulldozing, Mill River Trucking, Mountain View Resources, collectively over 100 employees in those. I scan the list and I see Kevin Thompson, one of the leading fish harvesters in that area and who also has other business interests. I look over the list and see Gordon Anderson, the Education Committee Chair of the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board; Linda Williams, a teacher; Lois Thompson, a teacher. This is an area that needs high-speed Internet service, and it needs it fast.

What I would like to see happen, Mr. Speaker, is that, immediately, there be an expansion to the Cumberland County pilot project. I believe that we could have several pilots at various levels of completion while awaiting province-wide broadband service. That is what I am asking this government for - some more pilot projects, including

[Page 2469]

Barneys River on the very top of the list. I want to very quickly jump to the situation involving the CAP program.

I know I only have a couple of minutes to speak, but looking at the CAP sites that exist in this province, 279 CAP sites in this province - my wife and I operated a bed and breakfast for five years in Louisbourg, spending, for most of those years, time in Pictou County in the winter months. To see displaced fish plant workers' children in the library there, looking up information for their homework, playing games, no computers at home - I just don't understand the right-wing agenda of the Stephen Harper Government. I sure hope that we can do something in this province to counter that agenda. We cannot allow our communities, our rural communities, to experience higher levels of out-migration from farming communities, from fishing communities, from forestry-based communities.

Mr. Speaker, we need to have things like access to Internet services to keep people in those communities. It is of paramount importance. In closing, I want to say that the minister should move as quickly as possible on province-wide access, but please, please consider some pilot projects in places like Barneys River so that these people will not operate at a great disadvantage. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to stand in my place today and debate Resolution No. 1033. As we all realize, we had an election this year, and there was not a promise, there was a commitment made by our Premier and this government, and that was on broadband Internet services across our province. Our Premier made the commitment to all Nova Scotians that we would have broadband in this province by the year 2010.

I'm very pleased, Mr. Speaker, to let members know, as I did in Question Period today, that this is coming much faster than we ever anticipated. We will be making a good-news announcement in this province on a pilot project in the very near future. With that announcement, I think there will be some real spinoffs. I have travelled this province as the Minister of Economic Development. I have talked to small business. I've spoken to municipalities and to RDAs, and that has been a concern from one end of the province to the other.

I understand that concern, because I happen to have been a small-business owner/operator for a number of years - we won't go into how many years. I know that we need the infrastructure in this province to grow small business in rural Nova Scotia. I realize that, being, as I said earlier, a small-business owner. We need all the tools to work in rural Nova Scotia, to maintain and enhance the economy all over this great province of ours.

[Page 2470]

Mr. Speaker, I can say one thing, that I do not believe throwing rocks at the federal government is the way to have good dialogue with the federal government. I believe in having good, open dialogue with the federal government. I have started that dialogue. I have started the dialogue with the Honourable Peter MacKay, and I've also had good conversations with the Minister of Industry.

I'm optimistic, Mr. Speaker, that we will have a continued service with the CAP services in this province. This government and our Premier and this minister understand how important those CAP sites are in this province. There are 279 of them, as the previous speaker mentioned, and we know how important they are to every area of our great province. That's why I have decided to have good dialogue with my federal partners, not go in and beat up on them, but to have good dialogue and let them know how important it is to every area and every community in this province of ours that we must maintain that service and enhance it in any way we possibly can.

This government saw the need this year to put extra funding in - an extra $100,000 - the CAP services, Mr. Speaker, to make sure that we maintain the level of service for this fiscal year. I am very, very optimistic that we will have this service - and the out years - and that's by having good dialogue with our federal counterparts and making sure that they understand the importance to rural Nova Scotia, how important it is to small business. As I said earlier, I can definitely speak on small business, having been a small-business owner for a number of years.

Mr. Speaker, there are two carriers in our province, Aliant and EastLink. They've had the opportunity, but they could not find a tool to do it without subsidy. That's why we put an RFP out, and we have had good response back from the RFP. Next week I hope that we will be able to be in a position to make the announcement on who will be getting that contract. I think it will be an excellent project, and I ask all members to watch as it unfolds, and watch how rapidly I think we can increase the service across this great province of ours.

There are numerous communities - I've been to Queens, I've heard the issue in Queens. I've been to the Strait area. I've been in the Cape Breton area. I've been all over, and every RDA in every community has asked us about the broadband. Mr. Speaker, in your home riding, you know how important it is to the mink ranchers in the backlands, how important, they need high-speed Internet for the delivery of their services and to see where the markets are. That's why this government has taken the initiative. We made not a promise, as I said earlier, a commitment, to Nova Scotians, and we will live to that commitment. We are intending to fast-track that as fast as we possibly can. With this pilot project I think we will iron out any wrinkles that may be within that contract so that we can fast-track the next one that comes out.

Mr. Speaker, I really believe that we must work with our communities. We must work with our RDAs. Our RDAs are a great tool for each and every member of this

[Page 2471]

Legislature to work with. They are a tool. They are a lobbyist group for all levels of government, and they have a proven track record. They have an association that is working for the whole province and for the good of the province. They know the needs of their community.

In my home community, I can tell you, our library, right on the main street of Yarmouth, I go in there and I see students from my high school, Mr. Speaker. I see seniors in there in the evenings using high-speed Internet at the CAP sites, and I know how important it is to them. We must enhance it and maintain it. I'm sure that each and every member can relate to issues in their communities on the CAP sites, how important it is, and what we must do, but we must do it co-operatively, all members of the House. We must work together to enhance all of Nova Scotia and create a better environment, because when we have a better environment and we're growing the economy of our great province, everybody benefits.

Mr. Speaker, I'm not talking only HRM or CBRM, I'm talking every region of our province. I believe that co-operatively - and I don't care what colour stripe any member of this House wears - I think we all have a job. The job is not to just throw rocks at one another, our job is to work as co-operatively as we possibly can to enhance every community in our province. I can relate to the member for Shelburne. I know he has issues in his community, and my job is to work with that member and all members in the House. He has an issue with the wharf in his community, it's been brought to my attention and I can assure you and all members that we are doing what we possibly can to address that concern and numerous other concerns.

[5:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, in your home riding, there are a couple of issues that have been brought to my attention and I want to have some good dialogue with you and have your input into it, as we should all be doing in this House.

With those few remarks, I can assure all members. . .

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure for me to talk today on this resolution that's before us. The resolution is about two things. It's about high speed Internet access across the province and it is also about the CAP program and the threat that we are currently under in terms of the funding and the continuation of CAP.

I thought it very important today to talk about our last Human Resource Committee meeting, which was held earlier this month. At that meeting, we had two people come to tell us about what the CAP program is really all about here in our province and what it means to the many communities that host the CAP program. One

[Page 2472]

of the people who came was Charlotte Janes, she's president of the Nova Scotia Library Association and with her was Eric Stackhouse and he's, I believe, a volunteer, he's chairman of the Nova Scotia CAP Association.

It was a fascinating meeting because I think all members learned a great deal about how our program here in Nova Scotia differs from other provinces and why it is so central to our communities. I think, as we talk about the need for high-speed Internet access, it is understood that we need the high-speed broadband across the province, because information is not only knowledge, it's the key to everything in our society today. Information is king.

If you're living in a rural area and you can't get information, it's going to impact your studies, your training, your communication with others, your business. It has tremendous negative impact, if you can't take your place alongside all of the other businesses and all the other communities in the world, because essentially, the world is open to us through the Internet.

That's a given, but I want to go to the CAP site, because the CAP sites in Nova Scotia are the window to the world for those communities. They provide the access to information to people who don't have access to their own computer or who don't have as good a hook up. Some of them around the province are now actually hooked up, not through broadband, but by satellite, so it's a little faster than the dial-up. They may choose to go there because it's a better connection.

I think what was so important to me was to realize that in Nova Scotia, the program has developed differently than in other provinces. I think one of the most telling things that was said was with these imminent cuts or the threats of further cuts, even the complete destruction of this program, Nova Scotians have been sending lots of letters to the federal government and to their provincial minsters, but it was said in that meeting that 90 per cent of the complaints going to the federal government are coming from Nova Scotia. I think that's pretty amazing that our province, which is just 3 per cent of the population of this country, is making by far the loudest noise about what this will mean if we lose those CAP sites.

What are we talking about? There are around 270 CAP sites in our province and I know we talk a lot about the rural areas and their access to information, but don't forget the urban areas as well. We have a lot of people who can't afford their own computers, a lot of people are at our HRM libraries and at the community centres and seniors centres that host CAP sites right here in the metro area.

For them, this is a tremendous opportunity for training and for exploring and expanding their horizons. I know some of them are at seniors centres, as I mentioned, and for those seniors - one of the nicest pictures that I saw in the whole presentation was a picture of a woman who is in her 90s, who actually had a headset on at the CAP site,

[Page 2473]

and she was communicating with her grandchildren in Western Canada. This was in a rural area, but she had been able to go to a CAP site, learn about the technology and was able to drop in there and speak to her family that are far-flung now.

I think that you cannot put a price tag on what that means to her and how much it improves her life, and her quality of life, to be in touch. That's just one example, so there are elderly people who are learning how to use the Web to keep in touch and to keep current on things, which is very good for their health and their socializing and everything.

Another thing that was said about the rural CAP sites is they often become a centre where people gather, because we don't have post offices in these communities anymore, we often don't have a general store. There are so many of the places where people would otherwise have socialized that are gone, and the CAP site becomes a place where people drop in and are really able to socialize and keep in touch.

I wanted to make sure that we talked about the seniors and how much this means to them. In talking about the CAP sites, you could not miss the fact that a lot of young people are hired through the CAP youth program, which is an affiliate program. If the CAP sites go, there will be no youth program to hire young people and to have those young people training the older people and the others in the community. So the employment impact, again, especially in rural areas but throughout the province, hiring students is an important thing and having them connect with the rest of the community is very positive. That will go as well, Mr. Speaker.

What was different, and I think I should go back to why it seems that Nova Scotia has made so much noise about the threatened cuts. I think what is important is to acknowledge that here in Nova Scotia we have a provincial partner, and that is the Office of Economic Development. That was made clear in the presentation, that in other provinces it was seen as just a federal program and they didn't get the buy-in from the provincial government. That's made a huge difference here, and it has helped.

However, although the minister over there is pleased - I'm happy to give a compliment when it's due - at the same time what we have to do is fight. We really have to fight harder to make sure that this is not dismantled, that we don't lose it. Even the uncertainty right now, in the next months, was made very clear to us in that meeting, that the volunteers who are the heart and soul of this program can't keep going without some assurance of funding.

Mr. Speaker, before I close, I would just like to mention that in terms of the government money invested in CAP sites, we were told at the meeting that the return is 9 to1 with the volunteer time and donated space that's given for the CAP sites across the province. This is a tremendously positive investment for federal and provincial money,

[Page 2474]

and I would suggest that we have to work very hard to continue to support it. So I would urge the minister to do so. Thank you. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I'm quite prepared to take the honourable minister at his word, something is coming, some announcement will be made. We don't know what it is, and, understandably, it will be some, we hope, short time until we actually hear details from the minister. Our focus today is on the problem with the possible shutdown of CAP sites throughout the 279 locations in Nova Scotia in which they exist. Our focus is also on the expansion of broadband Internet access throughout communities in Nova Scotia, especially, of course, rural communities.

We look forward to what it is that the minister will announce. We don't know whether he'll be saying that the provincial government will take up whatever financial slack is left if the federal government does continue to abandon the CAP program. It would be unfortunate if the federal government persisted in reducing its financial commitment, but it would also be a good thing, of course, if the province were to step in and take up whatever responsibility was left to it by the federal government.

We don't know whether any announcement to come from the minister will relate to something beyond the CAP sites. We don't know whether it will extend to broadband. We don't know whether it will perhaps be more experimental or short term or trial sites located in some parts of rural Nova Scotia. We don't know whether it will be a commitment to full-scale broadband at a more accelerated rate than was originally promised by the government when it identified 2010 as the year by which it hoped to have broadband in place throughout the whole province. We just don't know.

It seems to me that's the range of possible kinds of announcements that may come from the government. We look forward to it. The minister certainly seemed very earnest in his promise that something was coming. I noted, however, that no particular date was given by the minister, it's open. He's clearly aware that this is something of concern in rural areas. Indeed, at the Committee on Economic Development, we held hearings on this matter the last week. We heard that Nova Scotians had registered their concerns about the possible winding up of the CAP program in great numbers. Clearly the government has heard that message.

I want to raise a context within which this question comes forward. Quite clearly what this is all about, whether it is CAP sites or broadband Internet access, it all has to do with linkage to the world at large through our computers. Now this is crucial, this is a crucial matter, whether your interest is business development, economic development, cultural awareness, family connections or any other purpose. If the rural areas are to be on anything like an equal footing with the urban areas, then this seems like a starting

[Page 2475]

point when it comes to setting up a system that would begin to give them something of a leg up.

The economic advantages that go with having a dense population in urban areas are very difficult for rural areas to overcome. It is not that there isn't a great deal to come from rural areas, clearly they are. Yet, at the same time, we have to ask ourselves will this be enough? Will it be enough if we get maintenance of our CAP sites? Will it be enough even if broadband Internet expands throughout the whole of Nova Scotia, including every piece of the rural areas. I don't think it is. I worry because I see a pattern, which suggests to me that we have to ask ourselves the question, has the government at some point quietly decided to abandon rural areas in Nova Scotia? Have they decided that a low level of maintenance is what's on the agenda for the coming years, rather than any serious attempt at robust development?

That's a serious issue, it's a serious public policy issue. It's one which, if the government thinks it should head in that direction, it should articulate clearly so that it can be debated.

Now I am a person who thinks that would not be a good idea. I see the economic problems, I see how it becomes much more expensive to support programs in areas with sparser populations but, at the same time, I don't believe that we, as a province, should even remotely consider writing off the rural areas. Yet consider the evidence, consider what it is that has actually occurred here. If you look at our rural communities, there has been enormous depopulation, there has been a change in demographics so that those people who are left there are significantly older.

We see school closures, we see higher unemployment rates than in the urban areas, we see businesses closing, we see problems with fuel outlets, we see the cyclical nature of the natural resource sectors, which have been the mainstay of rural Nova Scotia for many years, having an impact on the sectors that have traditionally been vibrant in those areas. There is a serious problem and I don't see that this government has taken active steps to deal with them. In fact they have been very passive, considered only something like the fishery. There is no clear indication that the government is doing anything active with respect to fish plants that is productive. We don't see them stepping up to the plate and speaking publicly and aggressively about maintaining fish stocks.

So it goes when you look at agriculture, when you see forestry, pulp and paper, there have been missed opportunities on the part of the government. I think that this problem about broadband and the CAP sites has to be seen in the context of the government backing away from rural areas. I, for one, think it is time we had a very focused debate about that. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity.

MR. SPEAKER: Order please, The time has expired for debate on Resolution No.1033

[Page 2476]

As previously agreed, the House will now return to government business.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 117.

Bill No. 117 - Members and Public Employees Disclosure Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is on the six months' hoist amendment. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried. (Interruptions)

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No, no . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The amendment. The amendment is defeated. That's correct - thanks for the guidance.

If I recognize the minister it will be to close the debate.

[6:00 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I rise to close debate on second reading of the bill. Mr. Bill - Mr. Speaker (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, we're all having silver-tongued moments here. Where this bill is concerned, it seems to be a common problem.

Mr. Speaker, I'll actually try to say what I mean with respect to this matter. First of all, this bill is a fundamental piece of legislation that will help modernize the way political Parties are financed in Nova Scotia. It is part of a package of reforms to increase the transparency and accountability of our electoral system. Some people may ask, why is government so committed to having this legislation passed? Well, the answer is, it's what the system needs.

[Page 2477]

The democratic process in our province has shown a steady decrease in voting for the past 30 years. In the past election, only 62 per cent of voters actually voted, our lowest turnout ever. Two ridings right here in Halifax failed to get even 50 per cent participation. Part of the problem is an increasing number of Nova Scotians who are losing confidence in our political Parties as legitimate expressions of their point of view. Collectively, the House needs to modernize how our Parties are regulated and financed.

Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 117 is a very important first step in rebuilding the public's confidence in our political system. This bill has several advantages that will go a long way in that direction. For the first time in Nova Scotia history, donations by individuals, businesses and unions will be capped at $5,000 in total to any Party at any level. This will eliminate the appearance of undue influence by any person or organization with financial means, over our electoral system. To encourage more donors, the tax credit for donations under $1,000 will be increased, thus shifting the balance of Party funding to individuals.

Political Parties will annually have to file and publish audited financial statements, so every Party member and every member of the public can see where the money is and where it has gone. As well, trust funds will have practical limits that will eliminate their use during election periods, and never for political advertising in all of its forms.

For the first time, the government will support the political process by funding political Parties based on a fair system of votes received by each Party in the last election. All Parties, even the Green Party, that are qualified will receive per voter funding. With this public financing comes a greater accountability for political Parties. The level of public financing is modest compared to other jurisdictions, yet an important element to ensure that Parties are robust institutions capable of providing real choices for voters. Taken together, and when implemented, this bill will greatly enhance our electoral system and the rules under which we operate.

During the debate on this bill, much has been said by certain members of the Opposition. Some of the observations have been helpful and some less helpful, Mr. Speaker. Let me outline the principles behind the bill for all to understand. Our government believes in this bill and the reforms that it will bring about. The bill will develop with four overarching principles in mind. First, the perceived or possible influence of big money from any person, company or union had to be taken out of the system. This bill does this.

Secondly, public financing should never be the sole source of revenue for political Parties. Frankly, our government believes that some level of financing from outside of government is helpful to keep political Parties vital and vigorous. Thirdly, the principle that underlines this is that Parties must be treated equally. This bill does that, Mr. Speaker. The final and most important principle is that the public has a right to know

[Page 2478]

by whom and to what degree Parties are being financed and how they spend all of the money they receive.

Mr. Speaker, these reasons, these principles are the basis for this legislation. Now I understand that we've all had a one-sided discussion concerning the bill, and what I look forward to is that this bill will be proceeding to the Law Amendments Committee where we can have a chance to hear from Nova Scotians. Our government is committing to listening to Nova Scotians, and to listening to ideas that will come from all Opposition Parties that would improve the bill.

We believe that the bill provides a fundamental good start in this province; it's a real move forward. Frankly, we are saddened by the decision by the Official Opposition to not support the bill moving forward at a greater speed. Nevertheless we are making progress, Mr. Speaker, and I want to make sure that that progress continues. However, in that vein, our government is committed to making sure that Nova Scotians who wish to contribute, small donors who want to contribute to political Parties in Nova Scotia have that advantage, and that it's not delayed.

In that vein, it is our government's intention to introduce with the Financial Measures Act and to make effective January 1, 2007, the changes around political contribution donations. That cannot be implemented partway through the year, we need to do it now, and that's why our government is committed to that implementation. So Nova Scotians who wish to, after January 1st, will be able to take advantage of the more generous contributions. We also intend, as a Party, to ensure that we do not accept donations over the $5,000 limit after January 1, 2007. We would call upon other Parties to take advantage of the same thing. (Applause) The government bill, if passed, will contain a provision requiring any political Party that accepts donations over that $5,000 limit to return it to their donors. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, with that, I move second reading of Bill No. 117.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 117. 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 Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, there are some further bills that are ready to be reported back by the Law Amendments Committee - if we might have a 10-minute recess to allow the committee to consider the remainder of the bills.

[Page 2479]

MR. SPEAKER: The House shall recess for 10 minutes.

[6:08 p.m. The House recessed.]

[6:42 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, could I have the consent of the House to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: There has been a request to revert to Presenting Reports of Committees.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, thanks to the co-operation of all members of the Committee on Law Amendments, I have several bills to report.

Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 27 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

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

Bill No. 68 - Pension Benefits Act.

Bill No. 69 - Maintenance Enforcement Act.

Bill No. 80 - Canadian Forces Reservists Civilian Employment Act.

Bill No. 83 - Labour Standards Code.

Bill No. 92 - Assessment Act.

Bill No. 94 - Property Valuation Services Corporation Act.

[Page 2480]

Bill No. 107 - Midwifery Act.

Bill No. 115 - Architects Act.

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

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 61 - Motor Vehicle Act.

Bill No. 95 - Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 114 - Engineer Profession Act.

Bill No. 119 - Elections Act.

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

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the government's business having been concluded for the day, I move that the House do now rise to meet on the morrow at the hour of 11:00 a.m. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m., or until such time as the government's time is concluded.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the House to now rise and resume tomorrow at the hour of 11:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 2481]

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

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 6:45 p.m.]

[Page 2482]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1190

By: Mr. Harold Theriault (Digby-Annapolis)

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

Whereas this province relies on the hard work and effort of many Nova Scotians to work at various polling stations during provincial elections; and

Whereas many of these workers are seniors whose only income is a pension or supplement; and

Whereas election workers are often paid a small stipend for working during election time, and this income must be declared as income and is often clawed back from a senior's pension or supplement;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the tremendous work done by many Nova Scotians on election day and approach the federal government to stop clawing back income received for working on election day from seniors who are receiving a pension or supplement.

RESOLUTION NO. 1191

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 4-H has been the backbone of our rural communities since 1922, helping to create a place where today's youth between the ages of 9 to 21 reach their full potential; and

Whereas with November being National 4-H Month, local Hants West 4-H members are enjoying the opportunity to showcase their many talents; and

Whereas 4-H in Hants West includes the 3 Cornered 4-H Club serving Poplar Grove and surrounding areas, the Avon 4-H Club serving Martock and surrounding areas, the Border Riders 4-H Club serving Mount Denson, the Burlington Workers 4-H Club for Scotch Village and Burlington, the Newport 4-H Club in Brooklyn, and the Riverview 4-H Club serving Summerville and Lower Burlington;

[Page 2483]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly express our gratitude and best wishes to all 4-H Clubs in Hants West for their tremendous work which they undertake, while also acknowledging the local members from Hants West who participated in the National 4-H Members and Leaders Conference in Toronto earlier this month.

RESOLUTION NO. 1192

By: The Premier

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

Whereas the Canadian Coastguard Auxiliary team Zone Six (between Judique and Pleasant Bay) in western Cape Breton proved themselves the best in the Maritimes at this year's championship in Shediac, New Brunswick; and

Whereas the winners will compete in Toronto next October in the International Search and Rescue Competition, which includes both American and Canadian teams; and

Whereas team members Leonard LeBlanc, Lionel Chiasson, and Mark LeFort competed in various categories for the title, including communications, on-water exercises, first aid, line-throwing, life ring throwing and search planning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Auxiliary's Zone 6 team on their win, thank the Zone Six director, Edward LeBlanc, and salute our Coastguard Auxiliary for their vital efforts year-round.

RESOLUTION NO. 1193

By: The Premier

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

Whereas Stéphane Goosens of Point Cross will be a part of Nova Scotia's Canada Games table tennis team; and

Whereas Stéphane has gotten a lot of his practice to reach this level of the game by competing in tournaments, but also with all the members of his family, and friends; and

[Page 2484]

Whereas Stéphane will meet his national competition at the games in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, which begin February 23, 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate this young athlete on his hard work and skill which earned him a place on Nova Scotia's team, and wish him well as he continues toward his goal of a medal at the Canada Games this year.

RESOLUTION NO. 1194

By: The Premier

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

Whereas Mark MacPhail of Ben Eoin (originally from Inverness County) recently returned from Manchester, England, after competing in the 2006 World Arm Wrestling Championships against 40 competitors - all national champions; and

Whereas Mark accomplished a tenth-place finish in his Left-hand Division and thirteenth in the Right-hand Division; and

Whereas he will compete locally in March 2007, and received an invitation to participate in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Classic;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mark on his recent impressive placements in Manchester and wish this Nova Scotia athlete all the best in the 2007 competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1195

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas the Collingwood Volunteer Fire Department will gather with friends and family on December 9, 2006, to honour those who volunteer their time and effort to the fire department; and

Whereas these men and women who protect our community through their service make great sacrifices as firefighters; and

[Page 2485]

Whereas since the community of Collingwood and surrounding areas are kept safer because of the volunteer efforts of these brave men and women, they deserve our support and recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the firefighters of the Collingwood Fire Department and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1196

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Justice)

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

Whereas the Collingwood Volunteer Fire Department will gather with friends and family on December 9, 2006, to honour those who volunteer their time and effort to the fire department; and

Whereas the ladies auxiliary contributes many hours of service through fundraising, meal preparations and all-round support; and

Whereas since these ladies continue to support their local community and fire department, these individuals deserve our continued support;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the ladies auxiliary of the Collingwood Fire Department and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1197

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:

Whereas the Eastern Kings Chamber of Commerce held its 12th annual Kings County Business Awards Dinner on November 9th; and

Whereas this annual event showcases successful business operations across Kings County; and

Whereas BeLeaf Salon and Spa, and Valley Read, both of Kentville, were nominees for Outstanding New Business in 2006;

[Page 2486]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature compliment the owners and employees of Kentville business operations, BeLeaf Salon and Spa, and Valley Read for their nominations and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1198

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:

Whereas the Eastern Kings Chamber of Commerce held its 12th annual Kings County Business Awards Dinner on November 9th; and

Whereas this annual event showcases successful business operations across Kings County; and

Whereas the Fox Cheese House in Port Williams, and Fox Hollow Developments and Friends of the Family, both of Kentville, were all nominated for Outstanding Small Business of 2006;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the owners and employees of Fox Hollow Cheese House, Fox Hollow Developments, and Friends of the Family for their nominations and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 1199

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:

Whereas TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, along with staff at the TD Canada Trust Branch in downtown Kentville, organized and completed a beach sweep at Scotts Bay, which cleaned nearly 300 metres of shoreline this summer; and

Whereas teamwork is a critical component of a cleanup of this magnitude, as tidewater from the Bay of Fundy fills the bay with 100 billion tonnes of seawater every day while also washing various debris ashore daily; and

Whereas the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation have been involved in raising $35 million and distributing funds to more than 13,500 local environmental projects across Canada;

[Page 2487]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the diligent team effort involved and the organization shown by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in cleaning nearly 300 metres of shoreline at Scotts Bay this summer.

RESOLUTION NO. 1200

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:

Whereas Jim Lamb of Somerset had the pleasure of having his son, David, home for a week this summer after David had captured a silver medal in Scotland with three other teammates in the Commonwealth regatta, just a couple of seconds behind the top team from South Africa; and

Whereas after Scotland, David and his team went directly to the World University Games' Rowing Championships in Lithuania, where they placed seventh; and

Whereas David will be attending Western University in London, Ontario, in January for his masters degree in pharmacology and toxicology;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature commend David for his outstanding athletic achievements and wish him every good success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1201

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas the United Way of Pictou County recently celebrated the opening of its new premises; and

Whereas the charity's new space is located in Victoria Plaza on Stewart Street in New Glasgow, and the new Stewart Street location is expected to increase the United Way's visibility in the area; and

Whereas the director, Dodie Goodwin, said that United Way organizers have already received positive feedback about the new premises and hope that it can lead to an even better relationship with the community;

[Page 2488]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the United Way and its director, Dodie Goodwin, and the new home in New Glasgow - with support, the United Way is in an even better position to support those in Pictou County who need it the most.

RESOLUTION NO. 1202

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas this year marks the 8th annual Operation Christmas Child charitable initiative at the First United Baptist Church in New Glasgow, aiding children in the developing world; and

Whereas the program seeks the support of the Pictou County community to create colourful shoeboxes filled with gifts suitable for children aged two to 14 years; and

Whereas all of the items collected are sent to children in Haiti, Guinea, Senegal and the Ivory Coast, and this year's campaign has already collected over 2,000 hand-painted shoeboxes filled with surprises;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House offer their humble support and recognition to the First United Baptist Church of New Glasgow and the Pictou County community for their thoughtful initiative - Christmastime is a busy time of the year and it is remarkable that a community can also remember children in need living far away from Nova Scotia's shores.

RESOLUTION NO. 1203

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Community College School of Fisheries in Pictou celebrated its 60th year in October of this year; and

Whereas the School of Fisheries has established a respected reputation since 1946 that stretches national and international boundaries with its expert training in aquaculture, marine safety, marine navigation, inshore fishing, deckhand and fishing gear maintenance, to name but a few; and

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Whereas the School of Fisheries has been committed to ensuring a future for the fishing industry and has continuously worked towards the preservation of the long and proud tradition of fishing associated with Nova Scotia and Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations to the staff and administration of the NSCC School of Fisheries in Pictou - maintaining the expertise that has long been associated with the fishing industry in this province is both commendable and integral to the history of one of our most important industries.

RESOLUTION NO. 1204

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Budge Wilson, the author of Friendships and countless other books, is from the very beautiful Southwest Cove; and

Whereas Friendships is a subtle and moving collection of stories about surprising moments of understanding from unlikely sources; and

Whereas Friendships earned the author a nomination for the Governor General's Award for Children Literature;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Budge Wilson on her nomination and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 1205

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas in 1917, Nova Scotia called upon the New England States for assistance during the Halifax Explosion; and

Whereas each year since that time the Government of Nova Scotia has sent a large Christmas tree to Boston as a show of our appreciation for all their assistance; and

Whereas Lunenburg County is the Balsam Fir Christmas Tree Capital of the World, it is only fitting that the tree this year was donated by Alan and Antoinette Broome of New Ross;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Alan and Antoinette Broome for their generous donation and wish them all the best in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1206

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Legions across Nova Scotia are recognized for their involvement and dedication not only to veterans and Legion members, but also to our youth and communities; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 44 in Chester continues to provide a very valuable service in our community; and

Whereas veterans, Legion members, and citizens held Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11th to remember those who gave so much for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 44 for their commitment to our province, our country, and our history.

RESOLUTION NO. 1207

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Legions across Nova Scotia are recognized for their involvement and dedication not only to veterans and Legion members, but also to our youth and communities; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 in Chester Basin continues to provide a very valuable service in our community; and

Whereas veterans, Legion members, and citizens held Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11th to remember those who gave so much for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88 for their commitment to our province, our country, and our history.

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RESOLUTION NO. 1208

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas December 1st, 2nd and 3rd marks the 13th Anniversary of the New Ross Christmas Festival; and

Whereas every year the community spirit is very evident at the tree lighting ceremony in the centre of the village; and

Whereas the New Ross Regional Development Society, headed by Dawn Elliot, works very hard to promote this event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the New Ross Regional Development Association on a fantastic job, and wish them much success this year and every year.

RESOLUTION NO. 1209

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Peter Elliot has been a volunteer with the New Ross Fire Department for 30 years; and

Whereas Peter Elliot has dedicated countless time and effort in keeping New Ross safe, and his volunteer work has been greatly appreciated; and

Whereas it is the dedication and bravery of volunteers across the province that keep many fire departments running and, in turn, keep communities safe;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Peter Elliot for 30 years of voluntary service to the New Ross Fire Department, and also for his bravery and commitment to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 1210

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas visitors to the New Ross area are welcomed each summer with beautiful pots of flowers hanging from the light poles; and

Whereas these pots are part of the Charing Cross Garden Club's community beautification projects, which are made possible each year by donations from local businesses; and

Whereas the pots are supplied by T&D Nurseries of New Ross;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Charing Cross Garden Club on helping to make New Ross inviting to all visitors, and wish them much success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1211

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Nova Scotia lobster has become famous all across the world; and

Whereas lobster fishers from St. Margaret's Bay are getting ready to set their pots on November 27, 2006; and

Whereas George Zinck is the president of the Prospect-St. Margaret's full-time fishers association;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their best wishes to George Zinck and all fishers on another successful season, and wish them many more to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 1212

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Nason Keddy has been a volunteer with the New Ross Fire Department for 20 years; and

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Whereas Nason Keddy has dedicated countless time and effort in keeping New Ross safe, and his volunteer work has been greatly appreciated; and

Whereas it is the dedication and bravery of volunteers across the province that keep many fire departments running and, in turn, keeping communities safe;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Nason Keddy for 20 years of voluntary service to the New Ross Fire Department, and also for his bravery and commitment to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 1213

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas South Shore Health is making it easier for Chester area residents to access mental health and addiction services; and

Whereas the Chester Mental Health and Addictions Clinic will provide therapeutic services to individuals and families, as well as offer group services such as acupuncture for anxiety and sleep problems, and smoking cessation groups - South Shore Health will also be exploring the potential to offer a walk-in clinic and additional health promotion education sessions; and

Whereas the Mental Health and Addiction Services Programs have relocated to new offices at 3762 Highway No. 3 (behind Stacie's Restaurant);

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Doug Crossman, the Director of Mental Health for the South Shore, on their new location and wish them much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 1214

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Legions across Nova Scotia are recognized for their involvement and dedication not only to veterans and Legion members, but also to our youth and communities; and

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Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 79 in New Ross continues to provide a very valuable service in our community; and

Whereas veterans, Legion members and citizens held Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11th to remember those who gave so much for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 79 for their commitment to our province, our country and our history.

RESOLUTION NO. 1215

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Paulette's Home Décor is a local business providing decorating assistance for those who need help; and

Whereas just recently, Paulette's Home Décor expanded into a new location in Hubbards; and

Whereas Paulette Carrier is the owner and operator of Paulette's Home Décor;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Paulette Carrier on her new location and wish her much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 1216

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets is a youth organization sponsored in partnership by the Department of National Defence (DND) and the civilian group, the Navy League of Canada (NLOC); and

Whereas the Neptune Unit of the Sea Cadets is launching a satellite group; and

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Whereas after many teens attended an information session at the Chester Legion it was determined that the first meeting would be held on October 5, 2006;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Neptune Unit on this very worth expansion and wish them much success in the years to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 1217

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Legions across Nova Scotia are recognized for their involvement and dedication not only to veterans and Legion members, but also to our youth and communities; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 116 in Tantallon continues to provide a very valuable service in our community; and

Whereas veterans, Legion members and citizens held Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11th to remember those who gave so much for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 116 for their commitment to our province, our country and our history.

RESOLUTION NO. 1218

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas the New Ross United Baptist Church began serving the spiritual needs of the New Ross area in 1831; and

Whereas under the leadership of Marie Meister, the New Ross United Baptist Church celebrated its 175th Anniversary with a special service and reception; and

Whereas the New Ross United Baptist Church is as strong as ever;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Marie Meister and the whole anniversary committee on a great job and wish them much success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 1219

By: Hon. Judy Streatch (Community Services)

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Legions across Nova Scotia are recognized for their involvement and dedication not only to veterans and Legion members, but also to our youth and communities; and

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 144 in Western Shore continues to provide a very valuable service in our community; and

Whereas veterans, Legion members and citizens held Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11th to remember those who gave so much for our country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate and thank the members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 144 for their commitment to our province, our country and our history.