The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 07-38

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/

First Session

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TCH - Diefenbunker: Nat'l. Historic Landmark - Designate,
Hon. K. Casey 3391
Environ. & Lbr. - Tire Incineration: Toxic Emissions - Production,
Ms. M. Raymond 3392
TPW - Brookfield Lafarge Plant: Tire Burning - Prevent,
Mr. K. Colwell 3392
Health - Glace Bay Hosp.: ER - Save, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3392
Environ. & Lbr. - Avon Peninsula: Fundy Gypsum Mine - Expansion
Prevent, Mr. S. McNeil 3393
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1939, Gov't. (Can.) - Atlantic Accord: Intent - Recommit,
The Premier 3394
Vote - Affirmative 3394
Res. 1940, Racial Discrimination, Int'l. Day for Elimination of
(03/21/07) - Recognize, Hon. M. Scott 3395
Vote - Affirmative 3395
Res. 1941, Estimates - CWH on Supply, Hon. M. Baker 3395
Vote - Affirmative 3396
Res. 1942, Millwood Knights Men's Hockey Team: Capital Reg.
Playoffs - Congrats., Hon. B. Barnet 3397
Vote - Affirmative 3398
Res. 1943, SMU Student Union: Bursary - Fundraising,
Hon. K. Casey 3398
Vote - Affirmative 3399
Res. 1944, Racial Discrimination, Int'l. Day for Elimination of
(03/21/07) - Recognize, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3399
Vote - Affirmative 3399
Res. 1945, Hewey, Gregory Arnold: Land Conservation - Thank,
Hon. D. Morse 3400
Vote - Affirmative 3400
Res. 1946, Crawford, Bill/Greenville Commun. Ctr. Comm.:
Commun. Ctr. - Opening, Hon. B. Barnet 3400
Vote - Affirmative 3401
Res. 1947, Dill, Hazel - Can. Outstanding Principal Award,
Hon. K. Casey 3401
Vote - Affirmative 3402
Res. 1948, N.S. Archaeological Soc./Land Trust: Conservation
Easements Act - Input, Hon. D. Morse 3402
Vote - Affirmative 3403
Res. 1949, Divine, David: Speedy Recovery - Wish,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3403
Vote - Affirmative 3404
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 144, Municipal Grants Act, Hon. J. Muir 3404
No. 145, Education Act, Hon. K. Casey 3404
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 1950, Offshore Revenues Accord - Retention: N.S.
Determination - Affirm, Mr. D. Dexter 3404
Vote - Affirmative 3405
Res. 1951, Joe, Rita: Death of - Tribute, Mr. M. Samson 3405
Vote - Affirmative 3406
Res. 1952, MacArthur, Roderick & Susan: Marriage - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Scott 3406
Vote - Affirmative 3407
Res. 1953, Joe, Rita: Death of - Tribute, Mr. D. Dexter 3407
Vote - Affirmative 3407
Res. 1954, Racial Discrimination, Int'l. Day for Elimination of
(03/21/07) - Recognize, Mr. M. Samson 3407
Vote - Affirmative 3408
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 1955, Joe, Rita: Death of - Tribute, Mr. A. MacLeod 3408
Vote - Affirmative 3409
Res. 1956, Walker, Brandon/Frenette, Robert - Bullying Web
Site: Launch - Congrats., Ms. J. Massey 3410
Vote - Affiramative 3410
Res. 1957, Ross, Brian & Cathy/Select Roses - Anniv. (15th),
Ms. D. Whalen 3411
Vote - Affirmative 3411
Res. 1958, Dill, Howard and Hilda: Entrepreneurial Tenacity -
Recognize, Mr. C. Porter 3411
Vote - Affirmative 3412
Res. 1959, Racial Discrimination, Int'l. Day for Elimination of
(03/21/07) - Recognize, Mr. P. Paris (by Mr. G. Gosse) 3412
Vote - Affirmative 3413
Res. 1960, Energy - Province House: Energy-Efficient Bulbs -
Install, Mr. S. McNeil 3413
Vote - Affirmative 3414
Res. 1961, Rankin of the Narrows Sch. - Non.-Smoking Video:
Gr. 8 Students/Jonathan Young, et al - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 3414
Vote - Affirmative 3414
Res. 1962, Wedderburn, Gus: Death of - Tribute, Mr. L. Preyra 3415
Vote - Affirmative 3415
Res. 1963, Dillon, Pastor & Mrs. Gary - Glace Bay Baptist Church:
Dedication - Congrats., Mr. David Wilson(Glace Bay) 3415
Vote - Affirmative 3416
Res. 1964, NSCC Stellarton - Culinary Team: Silver Medal -
Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn 3416
Vote - Affirmative 3417
Res. 1965, McCallum, Arnie: Hockey Dedication - Recognize,
Mr. H. Theriault 3417
Vote - Affirmative 3418
Res. 1966, MacPherson, Trudi: Skiing Silver Medal - Congrats.,
Mr. A. MacLeod 3418
Vote - Affirmative 3418
Res. 1967, SMU Research Teams (Dr. McMullan, et al):
N.S. Gaming Corp. - Research Grant, Mr. L. Glavine 3418
Vote - Affirmative 3419
Res. 1968, Howatt, Cameron: Can. Winter Games Silver Medals -
Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 3419
Vote - Affirmative 3420
Res. 1969, TPW - Rubberized Asphalt: Usage - Investigate,
Mr. H. Theriault 3420
Vote - Affirmative 3420
Res. 1970, Marshall, Camilla - Commun. Support: Gratitude -
Send, Mr. P. Dunn 3421
Vote - Affirmative 3421
Res. 1971, Kerr, Rebecca: Can. Winter Games - Flag Bearer -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3421
Vote - Affirmative 3422
Res. 1972, Mosher, Les: Rotary Club Service Award - Congrats.,
Hon. J. Muir 3422
Vote - Affirmative 3423
Res. 1973, Kentville - Environmental Advisory Comm.:
Commun. Effort - Recognize, Hon. M. Parent 3423
Vote - Affirmative 3424
Res. 1974, Bayview Bobcats Boys Basketball Team - S. Shore
Championship, Hon. M. Baker (by Hon. J. Muir) 3424
Vote - Affirmative 3424
Res. 1975, Langille, Sydney & Morgan/Daniels, Kelcie: Angel
Hair for Kids - Donation, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3425
Vote - Affirmative 3425^
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 367, Prem. - Budget (Can.): Changes - Outline,
Mr. D. Dexter 3425
No. 368, Prem. - Budget (Can.): Action - Details, Mr. M. Samson 3427
No. 369, Health - Colorectal Screening Prog.: Delay - Explain,
Mr. D. Dexter 3429
No. 370, Health - Long-Term Care: 100 km Rule - Review,
Mr. D. Dexter 3430
No. 371, Environ. & Lbr.: Recycling Fee - Justify, Mr. K. Colwell 3432
No. 372, Environ. & Lbr.: RRFB: Tire Burning - Acceptability,
Ms. M. Raymond 3433
Ms. M. Raymond
No. 373, Health: Cancer Treatment (N.B.) - Costs,
Mr. David Wilson(Sackville-Cobequid) 3434
No. 374, Nat. Res. - OHV Regs.: Misinformation - Clarify,
Mr. L. Glavine 3436
No. 375, Health - Health Care Providers: Burnout - Prevention,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 3437
No. 376, Health - ER Closures: Reduction - Plan,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3438
No. 377, Environ. & Lbr. Trenton Generating Stn.: Emissions -
Standards Review, Mr. C. MacKinnon 3440
No. 378, Educ. - Schools: Bullying - Details, Ms. J. Massey 3442
No. 379, Prem. - Gas Regulation: Support - Explain,
Mr. M. Samson 3443
No. 380, Com. Serv.: Women's Centres - Funding,
Ms. M. More 3445
No. 381, Health: Protection of Persons in Care Act - Program
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 3446
No. 382, Gov't. (N.S): Advertising - Political Motivation,
Ms. D. Whalen 3447
No. 383, Immigration: Immigrants - Retention, Mr. L. Preyra 3448
No. 384, Com. Serv.: McEvoy Inquiry - Recommendations,
Mr. T. Zinck 3450
No. 385, Educ.: Post-Secondary Funding - Plans, Mr. L. Glavine 3451
No. 386, Com. Serv.: Co-operative Housing - Funding,
Ms. V. Conrad 3453
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 1921, Environ. & Lbr.: Air Quality Regs. -Enforce, notice
given Mar. 20, 2007, 3455
Mr. K. Colwell 3455
Hon. M. Parent 3457
Ms. M. Raymond 3460
Mr. H. Theriault 3463
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 143 - Income Tax Act 3465
Ms. D. Whalen 3465
Mr. W. Dooks 3468
Mr. G. Steele 3470
Mr. L. Glavine 3472
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Gov't. (N.S.): Crown Lands Acquisition - Premier's Commitment:
Hon. D. Morse 3475
Mr. C. MacKinnon 3477
Mr. L. Glavine 3480
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Mar. 22nd, at 2:00 p.m. 3481
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 1976, Lun. Co. Fencers: Can. Winter Games - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3482
Res. 1977, Chataway Café - Lun. Recycling Ctr.
Bus. Of Mo., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3482
Res. 1978, Colp, Devin - Bowling Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3483
Res. 1979, Zwicker, Michelle - Bowling Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3483
Res. 1980, Bowl More Lanes - Gold Medalists: Team Members -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3483
Res. 1981, Bowl More Lanes - Silver Medalists: Team Members -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3484
Res. 1982, Bowl More Lanes - Bronze Medalists: Team Members -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3484
Res. 1983, MacDonald, Alex: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3485
Res. 1984, Lowe, Cody: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3485
Res. 1985, McManus, Shaun: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3486
Res. 1986, Tripp, Bailey: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3486
Res. 1987, Ballard, Joshua: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3486
Res. 1988, Robar, Sam: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3487
Res. 1989, Lee, Austin: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3487
Res. 1990, Wight, Instructor Vincent: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3488
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson
^Res. 1991, Seney, Stephen: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3488
Res. 1992, Martin, Jenna: Tae Kwan Do Medal - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3489
Res. 1993, Dickson, Frances Jewel - "The Arctic, Canadian History":
Publication - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3489
Res. 1994, Swwweet Retreats Internet Café: Lun. Recycling Ctr.
Bus. of Mo. - Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3490
Res. 1995, Williams, Barbara - Cdn. Assoc. of Social Workers
Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3490
Res. 1996, Kerr, Rebecca - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3491
Res. 1997, Burry, Sarah - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3491
Res. 1998, MacIntosh, Sharon - Can. Winter Games:
Participation - Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3491
Res. 1999, Ryan, Troy - Can. Winter Games: Participate -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3492
Res. 2000, Petropolis, Arielle - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3492
Res. 2001, Mayhew, Ben - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3493
Res. 2002, Wilton, Brendan - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3493
Res. 2003, Huestis, Courtney - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3494
Res. 2004, Mayhew, Allan - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3494
Res. 2005, Medeiros, Jennifer - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3494
Res. 2006, Wilton, Julie Ann - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3495
Res. 2007, Soehi, Meggie - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3495
Res. 2008, Delmas, Peter - Can. Winter Games: Participation -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3496

[Page 3391]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21, 2007

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Before we begin the daily routine, the subject of this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Kings South; be it resolved that all MLA's in this House of Assembly acknowledge government has honoured the Premier's green commitment to require significant additional Crown lands. That will be heard at the moment of interruption today. We now shall commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I have a petition that I would like to present. It is a petition from the Debert Military Historical Society. I can read a bit of the summary: "The former CFS Debert Diefenbunker is the last remaining functional underground bunker and the only one in Atlantic Canada, dating back to the Cold War. This facility has been a major part of our military history and under the closure of CFS Debert in 1998, we the Debert Military Historical Society are petitioning to have the bunker declared a National Historical Landmark", and 155 signatures, to which mine is affixed, as well as the Premier's.

3391

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 3392]

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MR. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave here to table a petition which has been signed by some 600 members of the Nova Scotian public, one of the clauses of which reads, "Synthetic rubber tires contain significant concentrations of toxic and hazardous chemicals and incineration of tires has the clear potential to produce toxic emissions of numerous carcinogenic, mutatogenic and teratogenic chemicals and add to global warming."

So I would request your indulgence to table the petition to which I have affixed my signature. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and with your consent and with the consent of the House, I'd like to make an introduction before I present the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. COLWELL: In the west gallery we have four members of our community from the Truro area, Mr. Fred Bolis, Mr. Allan and Lydia Sorflaten and Emily Kierstead. They are here to watch the proceedings of the House today. Thank you and welcome. (Applause)

I have a petition with 678 names on it and I have also signed the petition. The operative clause of the petition is that the Brookfield Lafarge Cement plant not burn tires for energy. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition to save the Glace Bay Hospital Emergency Room, the operative clause which reads that the Legislative Assembly work to, "secure the services of physicians and medical personnel needed to operate the emergency room on a continual basis and take a strong proactive stance to recruit much needed physicians to the area.

Mr. Speaker, the petition bears the names of 1,451 residents of Glace Bay and surrounding areas and I have affixed my name to it.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 3393]

The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, could I do an introduction as well?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. MCNEIL: Thank you. I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery as I introduce members of the Avon Peninsula Watershed Preservation Society. Their president is Raymond Parker. With Raymond today is Mira MacNeil, Darryl Sheehy, Doug Crossman, Heather Deveau and David Patriquin. I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of the Avon Peninsula Watershed Preservation Society. The position opposes the expansion of the Fundy gypsum mine on the Avon Peninsula and is in favour of protecting the agricultural land in the watershed area. There are 2,164 signatures and I have affixed mine as according to the Rules of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health, on an introduction.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to introduce to the House, people in our gallery who are visiting. I believe they are all LPNs from the Capital Health District, as well as their union, of course, the NSGEU. I would ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I would like to welcome our special guests and all visitors visiting the Legislature today.

The honourable member for Pictou East on an introduction.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where we have Peter Boyles, a spokesperson for the Hillside- Trenton Environmental Watch Association and other members of that association with him today. I would like them to please stand and receive a very warm welcome from this House of Assembly. (Applause)

[Page 3394]

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 1939

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

Whereas the 2007-08 federal budget unfairly forces the Province of Nova Scotia to choose between economic development and sustaining its share of equalization to support the fundamental needs of the people of this province; and

Whereas this is a major blow to the efforts of Nova Scotia to become self-sufficient; and

Whereas the commitment to all citizens of Canada to restore the country's fiscal balance included a promise to "ensure that no province is adversely affected from changes to the equalization formula";

Therefore be it resolved that all representatives of this House of Assembly stand together in calling on the federal government to recommit to the true intent of the Atlantic Accord, to stand alone as an economic tool to support Nova Scotia's goal of self-sufficiency and remove what is, in fact, a discriminatory budgetary hammer on the people of Nova Scotia.

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 3395]

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1940

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

Whereas on March 21, 1960, 69 men, women and children were killed and hundreds injured when police fired on a peaceful anti-apartheid demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa; and

Whereas in 1966, the United Nations proclaimed March 21st the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and Partners Against Racism continue to promote awareness of the date through events across the province that encourage people to find solutions to racism in their communities;

Therefore be it resolved the House of Assembly recognize today as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and support the elimination of racism across 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 Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 1941

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall:

(1) read and table the message from Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor, transmitting the Estimates of Sums required for the service of the province for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, for the consideration of this House;

[Page 3396]

(2) table the Government Business Plan;

(3) table the Estimate Books;

(4) table the Crown Corporation business plans;

(5) table the Estimate and Crown Corporation business plan resolutions;

(6) deliver my Budget Speech; and

(7) move that the Estimate of Sums required for the service of the province for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008, being Supply to be granted to Her Majesty, and the Crown Corporation business plans be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

Mr. Speaker, for the information of the House, the budget will be presented on Friday, March 23rd of this week.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, before I take my seat, I would also like to address a personal matter. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the House, my constituents, many other Nova Scotians, my friends, my staff, and most of all my family, for their prayers and for their words of encouragement, kindness and patience over the last year as I have struggled with my health problems. Unfortunately, I have received bad news from my physician. My cancer has returned. As a result of this, I may not be able to attend at the House as much as I would wish over the next while as I pursue treatment options. Additionally, I may not be able to carry out all my duties to the fullest extent I might wish.

I ask for the understanding of my colleagues on all sides of the House and patience from Nova Scotians as I deal with this illness which tragically affects so many of our families. As I indicated earlier, I will bring forward my budget this Friday. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. (Standing Ovation)

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it's at times like this that, of course, words are difficult to come by but I want the minister to know, he asked for our understanding, you have more than that, you have our support. We look forward to the successful completion of your treatment and your return to the House as soon as possible.

[Page 3397]

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's with deep regret and a heavy heart that our caucus receives this news from the Minister of Finance. On behalf of our caucus, I want to extend our best wishes to the minister and to his family as he undertakes this next step in his battle. While I would not want to undermine the hard work that we all do in this House, our personal health must always be our top priority. I assure the Minister of Finance that he has our full support and, more importantly, we look forward to having him return to this House again very soon on a full-time basis.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I, too, would like to join the comments of my colleagues here in the House. Last year I know that we were all very saddened, my colleague, when we heard of your illness and certainly I feel the same way today. I shared these comments with you earlier that myself and my colleagues, I know all members of the House, wish you and Cindy and the boys all the best as you go through another difficult time, but we've seen what a fighter you are during the past year. I've heard the Leader of the Opposition say you have his full support which I'm glad to hear. (Interruption) In all seriousness, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1942

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

Whereas the Millwood Knights men's hockey team defeated J.L. Ilsley, in a very close game last night, by a score of 3-2, to capture the Capital Region playoffs; and

Whereas Brandon Duffy scored two third-period goals, giving the Millwood Knights a 3-1 lead; and

Whereas the game was a very tight one, with both teams staying very competitive right up until the final buzzer, with a late rally from the J.L. Ilsley Judges;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Millwood Knights men's hockey team on their winning the Capital Region playoffs and wish them the best of luck in defending their provincial championships in Antigonish.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3398]

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 Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1943

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

Whereas the Student Union of Saint Mary's University, under the leadership of President Zach Churchill is raising funds for a bursary to help needy students attending the university, opening its doors to those who otherwise might not avail themselves of the benefits of a university education; and

Whereas the student union has already raised $250,000 in contributions from its 8,500 students currently in studies at Saint Mary's, its many alumni, its catering company and others, as they press toward their goal of $300,000; and

Whereas the province itself is taking steps, such as our debt reduction program and a commitment to lower tuition to the national average, to ensure that more students receive a post-secondary education;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Saint Mary's University Student Union and alumni and other supporters for this worthy cause, one that will have a lasting and positive effect on the lives of many people to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 3399]

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1944

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 the Nova Scotia Government recognizes its strength is in its diversity; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Government has as one of its Corporate Human Resource goals to become a diverse workforce, representative of the population it serves; and

Whereas the provincial Public Service has established a range of employment programs that provide valuable work experiences for members of diverse groups, including Aboriginal People, African Nova Scotians and other racially visible persons, and persons with disabilities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the importance of workplace diversity and employment equity programs on this, the International Day of Elimination of Racial Discrimination, March 21, 2007.

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. 1945

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

Whereas the province is committed to increasing its Crown land base by acquiring more coastal lands and wilderness areas and to conserve and protect it from development; and

[Page 3400]

Whereas Gregory Arnold Hewey has agreed to sell to the Crown his land at McGowan Lake, Queens County, which is located in an area where Blanding's turtle populations have been identified; and

Whereas the property contains a number of small ponds that do not freeze during the winter and provide valuable habitat for overwintering of Blanding's turtles, which Nova Scotia declared an endangered species in 2000;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House thank Gregory Arnold Hewey for helping to conserve and protect this parcel of land that contains critical habitat for the endangered Blanding's turtle.

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 African Nova Scotian Affairs.

RESOLUTION NO. 1946

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

Whereas this February 15th, the Greenville Community Centre held their opening ceremonies, attended by the Minister of Economic Development and the Premier; and

Whereas the President of the Greenville Community Centre Committee, Bill Crawford and the committee members have worked tirelessly to bring the dream of a community centre to fruition; and

Whereas the Community of Greenville, one of the 48 historic African Nova Scotian communities, their neighbours and visitors to Nova Scotia will benefit greatly from the new multi-purpose facility and its new research centre;

[Page 3401]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Bill Crawford and the Greenville Community Centre Committee and wish them many years of continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 1947

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

Whereas Hazel Dill, who is currently the principal of Dr. Arthur Hines Elementary School, has been selected as one of Canada's outstanding principals for 2007 and will be inducted into the National Academy of Principals; and

Whereas Hazel Dill is the only Nova Scotia principal named to this list of 32 distinguished educators from across Canada who share the honour of being named outstanding principals; and

Whereas Hazel Dill was invited to participate in a five-day leadership program between February 25th and March 1st, where she and the other winning principals had the opportunity to discuss and reflect on leadership issues;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Hazel Dill on being named one of Canada's outstanding principals for 2007 and thank her and all principals for their leadership and immeasurable contributions to our public education system.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3402]

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.

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you. It's my pleasure to rise today and make an introduction in this House of someone who is very well known to many of us. A good, personal friend of mine and, indeed, all of my family - Jim Connors is with us today in the gallery. It gives me great pleasure to welcome him to the House. As I said, a good friend to me, helped me through some very challenging times in my life and I'm sure Jim would expect all members of this House to help him through the very challenging times as he moves forward in the days to come. Ladies and gentlemen, if you would all join me in a round of applause for Jim Connors. (Applause) Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 1948

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Archaeological Society (NSAS) and the Archaeological Land Trust of Nova Scotia Society, both non-profit organizations, approached the province to request the Conservation Easements Act be broadened to include sites having archaeological features; and

Whereas both organizations, while respecting the provisions of the Special Places Protection Act, wish to have the ability to be pro-active and have a "hands on approach" to preserve archaeological and historic sites in an expedient manner with private landowners; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Government recently made regulations pursuant to Section 16 of Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2001, the Conservation Easements Act respecting the protection, restoration or enhancement of land that is a recognized archaeological site;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the Nova Scotia Archaeological Society and the Archaeological Land Trust of Nova Scotia Society for bringing this issue to the attention of government.

[Page 3403]

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 responsible for the Advisory Council on the Status of Women Act.

RESOLUTION NO. 1949

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 we continue to benefit from the contributions of those who have chosen Nova Scotia as their new home, we wish to single out the contributions of one of these special individuals; and

Whereas David Divine came to Canada in 2004 from his home in England to settle in Nova Scotia - a graduate of Edinburgh University, Aston University and the London School of Economics, Mr. Divine has been helping the disadvantaged in areas of social housing, social care and health for many years in Nova Scotia and was named the James R. Johnston Chair in Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University in 2004, the aim of which is to act as a catalyst for the creation of a Centre of Excellence in Black Canadian research, a clearing house for material related to Black Canadian scholarship and a Centre for coordinating major local, national and international conferences on Black Canadian research; and

Whereas Mr. Divine was involved in a serious car accident recently and remains in hospital;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend to Mr. Divine and his family their most sincere wishes for a speedy recovery.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3404]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 144 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 302 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Municipal Grants Act. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 145 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96. The Education Act. (Hon. Karen Casey)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 1950

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I think that is what is called a smattering of applause. I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Offshore Revenues Accord was intended to enable Nova Scotia to catch up with other, wealthier provinces that have benefitted from 100 per cent of their resource revenue; and

Whereas the Revenues Accord was separate from the ongoing Equalization Program provided by the federal government; and

Whereas this week's federal budget has suddenly treated the Offshore Revenues Accord as part of the equalization and further declares that Nova Scotia cannot benefit from improvements to equalization if it keeps the Offshore Revenues Accord;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly unite in affirming Nova Scotia's determination to accept no less than the Offshore Revenues Accord as negotiated and guarantee that Nova Scotia will receive 100 per cent of offshore revenues, separate and apart from normal equalization formula as it exists from time to time, and that Mr. Speaker be asked to convey a copy of this resolution to the Prime Minister of Canada.

[Page 3405]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it 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. 1951

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

Whereas Rita Joe of Whycocomagh First Nation passed away on March 20th, 2007 after losing her battle with Parkinson's disease; and

Whereas Rita Joe who celebrated her 75th birthday last Thursday was a celebrated poet and writer and known as the poet laureate of the Mi'kmaq Nation; and

Whereas Rita Joe's work attempted to counter the negative stereotypes often associated with Mi'kmaq people and her poetry often reflected the pain and flight of her people but also hope, beauty and understanding;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly acknowledge the accomplishments of Rita Joe of Whycocomagh and extend our deepest sympathies to her family, friends and the entire Mi'kmaq community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 1952

[Page 3406]

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

Whereas the Chief Clerk of the House of Assembly, Roderick MacArthur, has been a well-respected member of the House of Assembly staff for many years; and

Whereas Roderick MacArthur has been a dedicated and valuable part of the democratic process in Nova Scotia by serving its citizens and all politicians in the House of Assembly; and

Whereas we were all pleased to learn that on March 1, 2007, Susan and Roderick MacArthur were united in marriage (Applause);

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Susan and Roderick on their recent marriage and we wish them many happy and healthy years together.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Well, to the Chief Clerk, so much for a quiet ceremony. (Laughter)

There is a request for waiver and passage without debate.

Is it agreed?

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

Motion is carried. He is married, officially.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 1953

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

Whereas Rita Joe, known widely as the Poet Laureate of the Mi'kmaq people, was honoured by her appointment to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, with the Order of Canada, a National Aboriginal Achievement Award and honourary degrees; and

Whereas Rita Joe's poetry expresses the hope, beauty, pain and understanding of aboriginal life; and

[Page 3407]

Whereas Rita Joe began writing poetry so her eight children could read about the aboriginal experience, she wrote, "So gently I offer my hand and ask let me find my talk, So I can teach you about me.";

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly express its deepest condolences on the passing of Rita Joe to her family and friends, her community of Eskasoni, and to the people around the world who have been touched by the words and spirit of Rita Joe.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 1954

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

Whereas March 21, 2007, is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; and

Whereas on that day in 1960 police opened fire that killed 69 people at a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa; and

Whereas in 1966 the United Nations General Assembly called on the international community to further their efforts in eliminating racial discrimination by proclaiming March 21st of each year as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize March 21, 2007, as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and join efforts to eliminate racial discrimination in our society.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3408]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1955

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

Whereas yesterday Nova Scotia and Canada lost a most valued poet, writer and intellectual; and

Whereas 75-year-old Rita Joe was known for her poignant writings about her experience as a Mi'kmaq woman and published five books of poetry in addition to an autobiography and anthology of Mi'kmaq works and was currently working on her eighth book; and

Whereas Mrs. Joe was named to the Order of Canada in 1990 and was awarded two Doctorates of Letters from the University of Cape Breton and Mount Saint Vincent University. She was also awarded a Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University and was one of the few non-politicians ever called to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their sincerest sympathies to the family of Rita Joe and recognize the loss to the greater Canadian community. Outstanding members of our community must be singled out in an effort to validate the importance of Nova Scotia's contribution to the Canadian intellectual base. Mrs. Joe's achievements are an invaluable contribution to the growth of the First Nations communities which deserve our continue support.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask permission for the House to stand in a moment of silence on her behalf.

MR. SPEAKER: Do you request waiver?

MR. MACLEOD: I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3409]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

Would all members please rise for a moment of silence for Rita Joe.

[A moment of silence was observed.]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. Please be seated.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution, I was wondering if I could make a short introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, in the west gallery is a student from Dartmouth High School, Brandon Walker. I would ask that he would rise and be recognized. He's here to partake of the proceedings today and my resolution is in regards to Brandon. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 1956

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

Whereas Dartmouth High School student, Brandon Walker, and Robert Frenette of Bathurst, New Brunswick, have collaborated to launch www.bullyingkidsspeakup.ca ; and

Whereas both young men have been victims of bullying and are now working together to share their stories with other victims in the hope that it will raise awareness around the issue of bullying; and

Whereas bullying victims can e-mail their stories to the site anonymously for posting, which will allow victims to vent and learn from the experiences of others;

[Page 3410]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate both Brandon Walker and Robert Frenette on their efforts to help others who are dealing with bullying, and wish them the best in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 1957

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

Whereas in 1992, Cathy and Brian Ross took their passion for gardening and flowers and created Select Roses, located in Rockingham Ridge; and

Whereas for 15 years Cathy and Brian have had tremendous success with their flower shop, providing quality services to their customers; and

Whereas Cathy and Brian both believe in giving back to their community by providing arrangements to telethons, the Women of Excellence Awards, and other charitable events in the immediate area;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cathy and Brian Ross on the 15th Anniversary of Select Roses and recognize the many contributions they have made.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3411]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, just before I read my resolution, I also would like to recognize and welcome the constituents here this afternoon from Hants West.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1958

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

Whereas Dill's Pumpkin Seeds are distributed across the world from the family farm site on College Road; and

Whereas Dill's Pumpkin Seeds are now making themselves familiar with a couple of million more potential shoppers as they sprout up at Lowe's home improvement stores in the United States; and

Whereas Lowe's home improvement stores have nearly 1,400 stores situated across the United Stares, with Lowe's even asking for one of the 1,000-pound pumpkins from the Dills for display at the Lowe's conference in Las Vegas, scheduled a few months from now;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the entrepreneurial tenacity exhibited by Howard and Hilda Dill and their family on College Road in Windsor, and wish them another quarter to half century of large pumpkin growing and seed popularity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 3412]

RESOLUTION NO. 1959

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on March 21, 1960, police in South Africa opened fire on a crowd of peaceful anti-apartheid demonstrators, killing 69 people in a racist crime that became known as the Sharpeville Massacre; and

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21st the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, calling on all nations to redouble their efforts to eliminate all forms of racism; and

Whereas UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, last year gave an impassioned address about the need to eliminate the everyday racism that oppresses and narrowly defines people based on stereotypical attributes attached to their race, religion, or ethnicity;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly work toward understanding and eliminating racial discrimination in all forms, including systemic racism, by both recognizing and appreciating differences and promoting fair, equal access to opportunities affecting quality of life.

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. 1960

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

[Page 3413]

Whereas compact fluorescent light bulbs last several times longer than ordinary incandescent light bulbs; and

Whereas compact fluorescent bulbs save energy and about $50 per bulb during the lifetime of that bulb; and

Whereas the House of Assembly represents all Nova Scotians and should light the way to reducing energy consumption;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House call on the government to install energy-efficient bulbs in the people's House by the end of this session, to set a good example.

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.

[3:00 p.m.]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 1961

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

Whereas students at Rankin School of the Narrows in Iona, Victoria County, did a spectacular 30-second video entitled "Cigarette Attack" designed to encourage people to stop smoking; and

Whereas Rankin School of the Narrows was chosen as the provincial winner in the "Great Smoke Off", an inspirational contest funded by Health Canada in which the students won $500, along with the video to be professionally produced for television; and

Whereas Rankin of the Narrows actually submitted two presentations to be judged, one of which made it to the final six and was then judged online by all Nova Scotians;

[Page 3414]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to Grade 8 students Jonathan Young, Sarah MacSween, Tryah Nicholas, Bonnie MacNeil, Courtney Dearning, Brent MacKenzie and Julius Wukitsch for their outstanding work and desire to encourage even more Nova Scotians to stop smoking.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 1962

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

Whereas Hobartson Augustus James Wedderburn, know to friends as Gus, passed away in Halifax on February 24, 2007, at the age of 77; and

Whereas Mr. Wedderburn was a community leader who helped found the Black United Front, the Black Cultural Society and the Black Educators Association; and

Whereas Mr. Wedderburn was instrumental in the creation of our first provincial Human Rights Commission;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly take a moment on this International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to honour Gus Wedderburn, a man who lived his life in the pursuit of justice and equality and send our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3415]

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. 1963

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 Pastor and Mrs. Gary Dillon are helping both their church and congregation with the renaming of their church; and

Whereas United Baptist Church has served as a beacon for the former Town of Glace Bay for over 133 years and continues to supply Sunday morning services as well as mid-week Bible studies and prayer meetings; and

Whereas the United Baptist Church is now known as the Glace Bay Baptist Church, and located at 229 York Street in Glace Bay;

Therefore be it resolved the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Pastor and Mrs. Dillon for the dedication to both the Glace Bay Baptist Church and their congregation, and wish them continued success for future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 1964

[Page 3416]

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

Whereas culinary students at the Nova Scotia Community College in Stellarton recently competed in an annual provincial culinary competition, "The Hot Salon," open to all NSCC culinary students; and

Whereas students Elaine Beach, Ashley Mason, Andrew Hart and team captain, Amanda DeYoung, took home the silver medal for their three-course meal consisting of the three "black box" ingredients handed out to each competing team; and

Whereas the team represented the Stellarton campus extremely well at the popular competition open to all NSCC culinary students and were pleased to wear the silver medal with the Akerley campus wearing gold;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations to the culinary team at NSCC Stellarton for their silver medal win. Supporting young people through all their endeavours guarantees success for our province into the future. Nova Scotia has a diverse talent pool and it is important that we continue to recognize that.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it 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. 1965

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

Whereas Arnie McCallum was the first to help organize minor hockey in the Digby area in 1957; and

Whereas in 1964, as many as 275 children competed in five leagues, including flyweight, paperweight, peewee, bantam and midget; and

[Page 3417]

Whereas Mr. McCallum was honoured for his dedication to minor hockey in the area by dropping the ceremonial puck during the CTV-Mountie games held on March 3rd, 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize Mr. Arnie McCallum for his lifetime dedication to the success of minor hockey in our Digby area.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1966

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

Whereas young ski racer Trudi MacPherson of Big Pond recently brought home a prize; and

Whereas Trudi claimed the silver medal in the giant slalom event at Ski Wentworth; and

Whereas she and her brother have represented Cape Breton well in downhill skiing and work hard towards continuing to do so;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their heartfelt congratulations to Trudi MacPherson on her recent medal win.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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

[Page 3418]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1967

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

Whereas a team of researchers from St. Mary's University have been awarded a four-year, unrestricted research grant of $345,000 from the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation; and

Whereas the grant will allow researchers to study the impacts that commercial gambling advertisements have on adolescents in our society; and

Whereas the study will include the impacts of unregulated advertising from gambling web sites, television sites, radio stations, sports, betting and casino games;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Dr. John McMullan, Dr. Dave Perrier and master's student Delthia Miller on their research grant that affects the lives of so many Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 1968<

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

Whereas Cameron Howatt of Windsor recently returned from the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse with a silver medal in the sport of boxing; and

Whereas Cameron boxed in the 76 to 81 kilogram weight class and went to the gold medal final against a Quebec fighter before settling for a silver; and

[Page 3419]

Whereas Cameron's mission when le left for the Games was to bring a gold medal back for Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend our congratulations to 16-year old Cameron Howatt of Windsor for striving for excellence while being one of the three silver medalists for Nova Scotia in the 2007 Canada Winter Games and wish him continued success with all future plans.

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 mined, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 1969

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

Whereas rubberized asphalt consists of regular asphalt paving mixed with ground, used tires that would otherwise be discarded or take up space in landfills; and

Whereas noise tests and research on asphalt rubber pavements shows that reduction in noise levels up to 50 to 75 per cent is commonly attained; and

Whereas other areas of North American, such as Arizona and California, have been used rubberized asphalt for years to resurface highways and streets;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly urge the government to investigate rubberized asphalt further, which can reduce our need for burning tires or leaving them in a landfill, and help our environment in many other ways.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3420]

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.

[Page 3421]

RESOLUTION NO. 1970

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

Whereas New Glasgow native, Camilla Marshall, has been a constant source of expertise and support for her own community and for ones outside of it; and

Whereas her volunteer work and craft skills have earned her a special place in the hearts of many, including the families of the Westray mining disaster, the four RCMP officers killed in Alberta two years ago and the many troops serving in Afghanistan; and

Whereas Ms. Marshall, despite all of her activities, such as fundraising for the IWK Hospital and doing work for her church, she still finds time to enjoy her six grandchildren and visit her mother's hometown in England;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their warm wishes and sincere gratitude to Camilla Marshall of New Glasgow - citizens like Ms. Marshall, who give so much to others, are not only an example of the special Nova Scotian spirit but of the true meaning of community support, whether their community be in Alberta, Afghanistan or Halifax.

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. 1971

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

Whereas Rebecca Kerr is a Grade 11 student at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford; and

[Page 3422]

Whereas Rebecca has shown leadership and dedication to her sport of ringette, her teammates and our province; and

Whereas Rebecca was given the honour of bearing the Nova Scotia flag at the opening of the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, Yukon;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Rebecca and Team Nova Scotia on their exemplary 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 Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1972

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

Whereas Les Mosher received the Four Avenues of Service Award from the Truro Rotary Club at its 2007 Charter Night which celebrated the club's 81st Anniversary and the 102nd Anniversary of Rotary International; and

Whereas Les Mosher joined the Rotary Club of Truro in 1970, served as club treasurer, secretary, vice-president, president and as a key member of the Yearbook and Auction Committees and as Chairman of the History Committee through which he updated the club's history last year; and

Whereas Les Mosher has served as a member of the club's Adventures in Citizenship Committee, has participated in stay in school programs and school visits, served as Director of International Service, administered his club's emergency medic alert service and served as a member of the club's Centennial Committee through which he helped to both celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Rotary International and to create Rotary House workshop;

[Page 3423]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Les Mosher on receiving the Four Avenues of Service Award and thank him for his service to his community, the Province of Nova Scotia and other countries through the Rotary Club of Truro.

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. 1973

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

Whereas the Town of Kentville has established an environmental advisory committee; and

Whereas this committee was created to help decision-makers and citizens of Kentville deal with the threat of climate change; and

Whereas the Kings County Academy in Kentville and Jeffery Best of local dealership Best Toyota, who provided promotional signage to the school, are recognized by the committee for their participation by teaming together to declare the school's parking area as the first idle-free zone for vehicles in the town;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the community's continued efforts, led by Councillor Eric Bolland, to support this important environmental initiative as a best practice to help reduce this global problem.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3424]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 1974

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

Whereas the Bayview Bobcats boys' basketball team have had a very successful season; and

Whereas the South Shore District Championships were held recently; and

Whereas the Bayview Bobcats boys were the winners of the South Shore District Basketball Championship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate the Bayview Bobcat Boys Basketball Team on winning the South Shore District Championship.

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.

[Page 3425]

RESOLUTION NO. 1975

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 when children do an act of kindness and unselfishness, it should be acknowledged; and

Whereas a girl's hair can be her trademark and part of her personality; and

Whereas Sydney Langille, Morgan Langille and Kelcie Daniels, three students from Newcombville Elementary School in Lunenburg County, recently had their long ponytails cut off to donate to Angel Hair for Kids in Ontario, which is an organization that makes wigs for children from financially disadvantaged families who have lost their hair as a result of burns or cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House give a big thank you to Sydney, Morgan and Kelcie for their act of kindness to help other children within Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 3:17 p.m. and end at 4:46 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM. - BUDGET (CAN.): CHANGES - OUTLINE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be through you to the Premier. Finance Department officials have explained that the federal budget, if it is not changed, will cut Nova Scotia's revenue by as much as $150 million in the next budget year

[Page 3426]

- an amount that is greater than most of the departments of this government. This hit on Nova Scotia is taking place at the very same time that Ottawa is adjusting the equalization formula to give hundreds of millions of dollars more to larger, richer provinces.

Mr. Speaker, this is truly a fiscal imbalance. So my question to the Premier is this, what steps is he taking to change the disastrous federal budget before it can be adopted as legislation by the Parliament of Canada?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I was very pleased today to have all-Party support with respect to the resolution put forward and I know that we supported the resolution from the Opposition as well, which is the correct thing to do because this issue of fiscal imbalance, this issue of the Offshore Accord, goes well beyond political lines. This issue is too important to Nova Scotians and we all must stand together when it comes to this issue.

Mr. Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition is correct. This has significant financial impact on the decision that we will make, a significant financial impact on the budget which is forthcoming. We need to ensure that we do everything we can to persuade Ottawa to change what they've put forward this past week.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I don't disagree with anything the Premier has said but I asked him what steps he was taking. Parliamentary support for the federal budget is based on last-minute tactics in the Quebec election campaign and I believe on the strategy of the Conservatives in the next Ontario election. The parliamentary situation, I believe, can change dramatically after Monday's election. Common sense would suggest that all Parties in the House work together for a fair deal from the federal budget. We know that a minority government is open to reason.

So my question for the Premier is this, why won't he agree to a common front to gain fairness for Nova Scotia and why won't he take steps like asking the senior federal minister, Mr. MacKay, to come to Province House to explain how the federal government could make such a decision?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, we want Mr. MacKay in Ottawa persuading his colleagues to make the appropriate changes. In fact, just at 1:30 this afternoon I spoke with Minister MacKay and both Mr. Keddy and also Mr. Casey, along with other senior government members here and senior officials, to reiterate the impact and to give them a better understanding of what impact this would have on us as a province, and to persuade them to do everything they can to see some change in what we have seen this week. In addition to that, as I said yesterday, in light of hearing this on Monday night we are gathering the appropriate information because we want to put forth the very best case we can to the Primer Minister and to the federal government.

[Page 3427]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I wonder if in Mr. MacKay's conversation, he undertook to the Premier to oppose this budget if it was not changed to reflect the priorities that the Premier has outlined?

Mr. Speaker, rather than taking the federal budget as a done deal and quickly making a very difficult choice imposed upon us by Ottawa, our province could fight for fairness, it could seek allies among the other provinces who took Mr. Harper at his word. It's difficult to see the harm and easy to see the potential gain from delaying our own budget and working to get Nova Scotians what Nova Scotians were guaranteed in the Offshore Revenue Accord. So my question for the Premier and his colleagues is, will they show enough flexibility, enough confidence in Nova Scotia's position, to delay their own budget and concentrate instead on getting the Prime Minister to keep his word?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, indeed the Prime Minister should keep his word and we expect him to keep his word, and we expect our federal government to keep their word with Nova Scotia. What I was surprised at was the Opposition's comments on the night of the budget and the critics for the Oppositions with regard to this issue. Unfortunately, I don't have them here with me, so I can't read them into Hansard - but I was quite surprised at the comments made about the issue of the Offshore Accord. It didn't seem like it was that important on Monday night, to the Official Opposition, which surprised me, but I'm glad now that they're on board.

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

PREM. - BUDGET(CAN):ACTION - DETAILS

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians are still absorbing the news that the federal government has reneged on the commitments reached through the Atlantic Accord. The thought that Stephen Harper would cut one cent in equalization to Nova Scotia, let alone millions, is a clear betrayal of the promises he made to our province. It appears that the Prime Minister of Canada is determined to keep our province from moving forward. My question to the Premier is, can he advise this House as to what action he has taken, since the federal budget, to make our case to the federal government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'll reiterate one of the things, it just came up in conversation with three MPs on the government side in Ottawa, to give them a better explanation as to Nova Scotia's position. Secondly, we put forward the resolution which I am glad to see the support of the Liberal Party on this particular initiative. We are gathering information. We have senior officials in discussions and we are going to do everything we possibly can to ensure that now and in the future Nova Scotia remains, as they should, which is their right, 100 per cent beneficiary of the offshore here in our province.

[Page 3428]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's been an embarrassment for Nova Scotians to read the comments made by Conservative MPs in our province, such as Gerard Keddy in 2004, and to see how their tune has now changed under Stephen Harper . . .

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Gerald, it's Gerald . . .

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Well Gerald Keddy, whichever name you want to give him, it's still embarrassing to see what was said in 2004 and see what was said today. Even more embarrassing was watching the Minister of Fisheries, Loyola Hearn and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay, remain seated during Question Period when asked to stand up for their home provinces. Instead, Prime Minister Stephen Harper stood and dismissed the concerns of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and the citizens of our province here in Nova Scotia. My question to the Premier is what plan have you developed to lobby Ottawa on our behalf?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I indicated some of the steps that have been taken already by the government, and there will be more, but I want to assure you of this - if we rewind the clock back a number of years ago when my predecessor, John Hamm, was fighting the campaign for fairness, there were those in this House who made fun of him for doing such a thing and made fun of our government for doing such a thing, but it's because of the work of this government in the last number of years, and I know the Speaker was personally involved in this too, because of the work done by this government and the government before, we were able to see Nova Scotians get what they rightly deserve and that is the Offshore Accord.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the Premier, it's because of a federal Liberal Government that they were able to get an offshore accord signed here in Nova Scotia. (Applause.) Who signed it? Who signed it? Stephen Harper? No, you know who signed it.

Anyway, as I said yesterday, our caucus indicated that this issue certainly crosses Party lines here in Nova Scotia. The future of our province is here at stake and we all have a responsibility. Resolutions by the Premier today and by the Leader of the Opposition supporting the Atlantic Accord received the unanimous support of this House. Nova Scotians are clearly united in moving our province forward and are prepared to defend our interests that have been achieved through the Atlantic Accord. My question to the Premier is, will you accept our offer made yesterday and again today to bring a united message to Ottawa that we demand the commitments of the Atlantic Accord be maintained by the federal government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think the resolution passed here today with unanimous support of all Parties sends a very strong message of a united front here, of all Parties, here in Nova Scotia.

[Page 3429]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

HEALTH - COLORECTAL SCREENING PROG.: DELAY - EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Minister of Health. Nova Scotia has the second highest rate of colorectal cancer in the country. Despite this high rate, Nova Scotia has not implemented a screening program. Both Ontario and Manitoba have successfully implemented province-wide screening programs for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is 90 per cent curable when detected early. My question to the minister is, why is your department continuing to drag its feet on the implementation of a colorectal screening program in Nova Scotia?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing this very important issue to the floor of this Legislature. As the member opposite knows, and you, Mr. Speaker, we were in receipt of a Cancer Care Nova Scotia report outlining what we would need to do in order to have a true colorectal screening program. We've been looking at those recommendations, finding ways to action them - of course, they do have budgetary implications. And as a matter of fact, the budget apparently is now on Friday.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, regrettably in the absence of a colorectal screening program, we live with the consequences of the high rates of cancer. Jim Connors, who is here today, has colorectal cancer. While Jim himself is able to afford Avastin, he is very concerned about the number of people who cannot. It is estimated that as many as 100 Nova Scotians require the drug, but as few as two are able to pay for it.

The Cancer Systematic Therapy Policy Committee has recommended twice that the province cover Avastin. My question to the Minister of Health is, why does your deputy minister keep asking the review committee to reconsider the decision instead of funding the life-sustaining therapy?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as anyone would understand, this is a very difficult decision when all these wonderful new drugs become available. When they are brought forward from the Government of Canada as they approve drugs for usage in Canada, they come forward for funding from the province. Of course, we have an advisory committee that looks at these drugs. On the further information of that, that group found that Avastin did not have the kind of life-sustaining as it was being proposed.

What we want to do now is that I did have the opportunity to sit with Mr. Connors on a number of occasions now and what I would like to do also is tell the Legislature that we have forwarded the further information that was provided by Mr. Connors from that Cancer Systematic Therapy Policy Committee for further review and we'll see what they say in the next few months.

[Page 3430]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, a review is an excuse to do nothing. That's all it is, an excuse to do nothing.

[3:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, British Columbia covers 20 different life-saving cancer drugs, whereas Nova Scotia covers only four. Newfoundland and Labrador is the only province whose rate of colorectal cancer is higher than Nova Scotia's, but even they cover more than twice as many cancer drugs. My question through you to the Minister of Health is this, why is your government not funding the drugs needed by cancer patients so that all Nova Scotians can access the treatment that has been prescribed by their doctor?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, in the last number of months, the Cancer Systematic Therapy Policy Committee has approved a number of drugs. Some of them actually are more expensive than the Avastin. Herceptin, for example, which is made for the treatment of positive breast cancer, which has a cost of approximately $45,000 per individual. Also, the Valcade and the recommendation was positive on that one as well. The cost on that one is somewhere near $22,000 to $26,000. The information that will show, and I know there has been further information provided to us that we will be forwarding to the Systematic Therapy Policy Committee for further review and hoping for a positive recommendation on Avastin. It is something that is continually open and should more information present itself . . .

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

HEALTH - LONG-TERM CARE: 100 KM RULE - REVIEW

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Premier. I am going to begin by tabling a letter from Becky Scott who is the chairperson of the Lunenburg County Community Health Board and this letter was addressed to the Minister of Health. The letter expresses the community health board's concern with the so-called 100 kilometre rule. It states, "For the elderly residents affected by this rule, the results can be traumatic. Particularly difficult are instances where one spouse is already in care and the second is placed in a distant facility." I am sure the Premier can understand these circumstances.

My question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Premier is, when will his government review the 100-kilometre rule and stop this hardship on seniors and their families?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the Leader of the Opposition brings forward is a very important issue and there are very compelling reasons why we should act upon some of those things, which I know were outlined in their release that they put out just the other day. Certainly those are initiatives that the government is working on. We recognize that there are very difficult situations that spouses are in, and others, and certainly that is part of

[Page 3431]

our continuing care strategy and that is why we have officials in the Department of Health working on those very issues at the present time.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the letter goes on to explain that at a recent meeting the community health board passed a motion that a letter be sent to the Minister of Health voicing disagreement with the 100-kilometre rule. The Lunenburg Community Health Board is expressing concerns that we are hearing with alarming frequency. The need for long-term care is growing, more beds are taking too long to come on line and the hardship on our elderly ill citizens is mounting. My question to the Premier is, why won't his government at least introduce a formal appeals process to insure seniors and their families don't have to endure hardship by this policy.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, under the auspices of the continuing care strategy, we have been working extremely hard since April of last year to bring a number of pieces on line. Part of that was looking at that 100-kilometre rule. At this point, in order to do that, we would, of course, need more facilities, more beds available in local areas so people can move closer to home and are able to get those services that they so much deserve.

Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the day when the 832 beds are in place, the 720-some replacement beds are operational, when we can relook at this 100-kilometre rule. Patient safety, of course, is number one. We want to make sure that we have the correct bed and the correct placement for all seniors in Nova Scotia.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I think as everyone knows, there are many things that could be done in the meantime and certainly the Community Health Board understands that. They conclude their letter with the following, and I'll quote for the minister: "We realize that new long-term care beds are planned for Lunenburg County. It will take time for these facilities to become a reality. However, and in the meantime, more must be done to help elderly residents and their families."

My question, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier is, when will his government bring in measures to bring fairness to seniors and bridge the gap between now and when new beds are up and running?

THE PREMIER: I refer that to the Minister of Health.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I think the benefit of being the Minister of Health is to be able to react to situations that are brought forward to us. I can say that the district health authorities have also already been made aware of some additional funding that would be available for transitional units, ALC patients, to try to expand that piece.

[Page 3432]

We are working with other providers, whether they be RCFs or community-based option homes, to provide interim steps so that we can have services available closer to home and just one step ahead of the NDP always. It is funny how that works.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. & LBR.: RECYLING FEE - JUSTIFY

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is going to be to the Minister of Environment and Labour. In January, the Resource Recovery Fund Board announced that Lafarge Canada will handle the nearly 1 million scrap tires that Nova Scotia has each year. The Resource Recovery Fund Board has stated that recycling fee on new tires will stay in place. I fail to see how the $3.00 fee on new tires that is used for recycling purposes in advancement of recycling technology, and I might also add to cover the partial costs of the salaries of the RFB employees, is good for the environment when Lafarge will burn most of these tires in a kiln to fuel its cement plant. My question is, how does this nearly $3 million in fees apply to recycling when the tires are going to be burnt?

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for the question. Just one small correction or addendum to the Speaker's question, I have not yet received a proposal from Lafarge asking for a change in their industrial approval so while the RFB may have awarded the tender, there is no use of tire for tire-derived fuel right now and will not be until a proposal goes forward and we have a chance to study it.

On the $3.00, Mr. Speaker, there is a cost involved in collecting those tires from across the province, in trucking them to a central depot and in taking care of them. That cost is covered basically by the $3.00.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I'll ask the minister another question then. If the $3.00 is put in place to move the tires, put the tires through a central warehouse - if, indeed, Lafarge gets these tires, is Lafarge going to pay for the tires or are they going to be supplied to them free of charge?

MR. PARENT: Lafarge would not be paying for the tires, Mr. Speaker.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, our office has received e-mails, petitions, telephone calls, letters, people voicing their concerns, telling us to do whatever is necessary to stop the tire burning process that has been made possible by the Resource Recovery Fund Board and possibly this government, as an arm of this government, the Resource Recovery Fund Board.

My question to the Premier is, will you instruct the Resource Recovery Fund Board to cancel a contract with Lafarge Canada and also to eliminate the burning of tires in Nova Scotia totally?

[Page 3433]

THE PREMIER: I refer that to the honourable Minister of Environment and Labour, Mr. Speaker.

HON. MARK PARENT: I need to be perfectly clear. While the Resource Recovery Fund Board has awarded a contract to Lafarge, that does not give Lafarge the permission to use tires for tire-derived fuel. That permission can only come from my office, from my department. Right now I've commissioned a study by Dalhousie. I understand the study is available as of this morning. I have not yet seen it. I will over the next few days take a look at it, make sure that it covers all the things I asked them to cover, including the health concerns of the use of tire-derived fuel. When that study comes to me and I'm able to study it, I will base my decision based upon the scientific data in that study.

MR. SPEAKER: Just before I proceed, I would just welcome all visitors to the House. I would just remind visitors in the gallery that you can neither respond favourably or negatively to any of the proceedings within the House.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - RRFB: TIRE BURNING - ACCEPTABILITY

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. Thirteen years ago, there was a proposal to incinerate Halifax's garbage in a so-called waste to energy scheme at a facility in Burnside. At that time it was decided that this was not an environmentally acceptable solution to disposing of waste. Here with us today are members for Citizens Against Burning of Tires based in Brookfield and others from as far away as Halifax, such as Terry O'Leary who is with us as well. All of these people are concerned because of the possibility and certainly the renewed interest in the possibility of burning waste for energy recovery, possibly at a facility in Brookfield.

Nothing has changed. People certainly haven't changed and if the rates of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have changed in any way whatsoever, they have increased. If it is acceptable, why would the Resource Recovery Fund Board today decide that it is acceptable to burn waste for energy recovery when it was not 13 years ago?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I can't speak directly for the Resource Recovery Fund Board. I do know that they brought scientific specialists of their own in and concluded on the basis of that scientific advice that they got, which is separate from the scientific advice I'm asking, that they could go ahead and award this contract. I think they must have decided that in 13 years the technology has changed that allows things to be done differently now than they were then, but that's speculating on behalf of what their decision was and what it was based on.

[Page 3434]

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, actually I had the chance to speak with a visiting expert on tire-derived funds who had been brought in by the Resource Recovery Fund Board last month when they announced that they could approve the burning of tires as recycling, and I asked him what other industries have expressed interest or actually are burning tires as fuel. He cited pulp mills and electric generating stations in the United States. I don't find this reassuring. The Lafarge cement plant may or may not receive industrial approval for burning tires, but we have no guarantee, as I see it, that our waste tires won't go elsewhere in the province for energy recovery. Have there been any expressions of interest in tire-derived fuels from other industries in Nova Scotia beyond the Lafarge plant?

MR. PARENT: None of which I am aware.

MS. RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, the Lafarge plant at Brookfield was built 35 years ago to burn coal as fuel and even when it is burning its intended fuel, it has experienced numerous kiln upsets when it belches out emissions in a rather uncontrolled way. It's not functioning well and perhaps it won't receive its industrial approval. The tires will still be here, however, as they have been for many years and the RRFB at least seems to believe that burning material counts as recycling. Will this minister commit that tires will not be burned elsewhere in this province for whatever purpose if the Lafarge cement plant does not meet its industrial approvals?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I do want to speak to the first issue that the member brought up. The mandate of the Resource Recovery Fund Board is, first of all, to reduce - which is the first point of attack in any good environmental plan, a good first point of attack in dealing with climate change that my colleague has to deal with, becoming more efficient. The second is reusing and the third is recycling. So it's well within their mandate to look at this and I would like to correct that. In this province, we will base our decisions on whether or not tires can be used in tire derived fuel, on scientific evidence and scientific evidence alone.

[3:45 p.m.]

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

HEALTH: CANCER TREATMENT (N.B.) - COSTS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Health. Today, the minister announced that Nova Scotians will receive enhanced cancer care closer to home as a result of a new medical oncology satellite clinic in Kentville, and expanded services in four other areas. This is a positive step for some, but does not apply to all Nova Scotians. When the Minister of Health was asked about the residents of Cumberland County, he responded that they were very close to Moncton and that they can, and do, travel there for their cancer care. So my question to the Minister of

[Page 3435]

Health is, how much money does your department pay to New Brunswick to treat Nova Scotians suffering from cancer?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say with all certainty that a number of patients do travel to New Brunswick for some of their treatment, but I can say that there is a good majority of people who come from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia for cancer treatment, as well.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): He didn't really answer my question. I guess I'll have to wait for that number when the budget comes out, Mr. Speaker. Telling Nova Scotians that if they live near a county near a border, that they should cross the border to receive health care services is unacceptable. Nova Scotians deserve to receive cancer care close to home, at the very least in their own province. So I ask the Minister of Health, why are you prepared to send Nova Scotians to New Brunswick to access care they should be able to receive here at home?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I have to say once again the NDP are exhibiting not knowing what rural Nova Scotia really wants. You talk to people in Cumberland County, you ask them where they want to travel, they would rather travel that hour to Moncton to receive cancer treatment than drive two and a half hours to three hours to come to Halifax. We had a committee that was made up of the managers of the Cape Breton cancer unit, as well as the Capital Health cancer unit, we put some specialists together on that one to see where it would make sense to invest our money in these clinics. We looked at an expansion with a brand new facility in Kentville, we looked for expansion for that one in Yarmouth, more use of that one, of course for Inverness and Antigonish, more use and more money for that one in Cape Breton, and of course more money and more expansion and more services for that one here in Halifax.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, maybe the Minister of Health realizes or thinks that residents of Cumberland County want to go to New Brunswick, but I would suggest that residents of Cumberland County would like to stay in Cumberland County to be treated for their health care. (Applause)

The minister has spoken numerous times about private health care and how everything is on the table when it comes to the health care system here in our province. I was not aware that one of the things on the table was sending people out of the province to receive that care. So I ask the minister, why won't you accept the responsibility for health care of Nova Scotians by allowing them to receive that treatment and health care services here in Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it would be great if the NDP could take their blinders off and realize they belong in a Maritime context, an Atlantic context, where people from other provinces come to Nova Scotia for their treatment and, in some cases, some of our Nova Scotians go to other provinces for treatment. We make sure on an Atlantic

[Page 3436]

Canadian context, as well as a Canadian context, that all Nova Scotians receive the treatment they deserve.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES. - OHV REGS.: MISINFORMATION - CLARIFY

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Last year the government had a prime opportunity to apply regulations that would have increased safety for riders as well as simplify the process for purchasing and registering their vehicles. Today, outside the Legislature, we had a large number of OHV retailers and supporters who travelled from all regions of the province to talk with government officials about the confusion surrounding ATV regulations. My question to the minister is, what is your government doing to clarify the misinformation surrounding the OHV regulations implemented almost a year ago?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for the question because, as I indicated yesterday in answer to his counterpart from the NDP - the Official Opposition - we didn't get it absolutely right the first time, there is always room for improvement, and today we took a very positive step in that direction in clarifying where ATV enthusiasts can practice their sport.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, quite frankly, the government has neglected to inform the public properly on this matter. We had to wait until they came in droves to the Legislature to get some answers. This government has, once again, mismanaged a fundamental component for many Nova Scotians. Whether it has been a lack of communication or the confusion surrounding ATV registration, the government's autocratic approach has left retailers, distributors and riders with questions gone unanswered for more than a year. My question to the minister is, why have you neglected to clearly communicate ATV regulations to the public?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I am not sure what could be more clear than a regulation but they have certainly been out there ever since they were passed by Cabinet and signed off by the Lieutenant Governor. Today, I am very pleased that we are able to announce that we have made an improvement on those regulations and it would appear that thus far it has been well received by everybody out there, both the ATV organizations and some of the environmental groups that spoke to me afterwards.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, like many issues, the government has let this matter spin out of control and has played crisis management with people. Given ATV-ers roads to drive on is a step but vehicle registration, support for closed courses, liability with written permission is unclear and accurate communicate are still serious problems for ATV drivers. My question to the minister is, will you commit to examine the current ATV regulations,

[Page 3437]

take a more practical approach on some of the straightforward issues such as vehicle registration.

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I am a little surprised to get that question from the Liberal Natural Resources Critic because, in fact, today, though a press release, and as announced on the steps of the Legislature on Granville Street, in fact that was done.

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

HEALTH - HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS: BURNOUT - PREVENTION

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. We all know that the shortage of health professionals in this province is causing wait times for services to increase and the emergency departments to shut down in the province. Not only are services strained, but the hospitals and other health care facilities are short staffed, leaving existing staff overworked.

In the gallery today, Mr. Speaker, we see a group of LPNs from the Capital Health District who are concerned about this very issue. My question to the Minister of Health is, what is your department doing to ensure that the existing health care professionals are not facing burnout in trying to compensate for the need to increase the number of health care providers in Nova Scotia?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that we truly appreciate all the hard work that all our LPNs, all our RNs and all our other health professionals provide to Nova Scotia patients and residents. They do perform well beyond what we ever wanted them to do and we appreciate that dramatically. I can also say that we have been working through the auspices of the department, making sure that we continue our recruitment process, making sure that we have the correct programming in the province, to make sure that we have all of the professionals that we do need. It is a challenge and we continue to work hard to make sure that we have the best service possible for all Nova Scotians.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, the shortage of physicians has caused a situation where RNs and LPNs are increasingly doing more work outside of their scope of practice. The scope of practice for LPNs has expanded to accommodate the new workloads and they accept and recognize the need for those changes, but their salaries have not increased accordingly. My question to the minister is simple, how long are you going to let this imbalance continue?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, just last sitting of the House we had the opportunity to introduce two pieces of legislation. Those two pieces of legislation talked about the expanded duties of LPNs and the expanded duties of RNs, making sure that we have the correct type of boundaries and the correct type of responsibilities for each

[Page 3438]

profession. We will continue to work with the colleges of those organizations as well as working with all interested Parties to make sure that we have the best possible health care in Nova Scotia, as being supplied by these professionals.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, if the government continues to request more from these workers, they need to compensate them for it. They're working extremely hard to provide service for Nova Scotians in health care, here in the province. The minister has said that recruiting health professionals is a priority for his government and his department, yet so far we've seen little to back this up. So my question to the minister is, can he tell this House when we will see a comprehensive plan on recruitment and retention of health care professionals for Nova Scotia.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say again that all nursing professionals in this province, LPNs and RNs are doing their utmost to provide the top quality service for all Nova Scotians. I can say that it's not government that is asking for more work, it is Nova Scotians that are asking for this type of health care and we will continue to provide it as best we can. We will continue to work through the nursing recruitment strategy. We will continue to provide recruitment issues and recruitment programs, in order to have more nurses come home to Nova Scotia. We'll make sure that we have more seats available to train these professionals and I can say we'll continue to do that. We are doing it and we will continue to do that.

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH - ER CLOSURES: REDUCTION - PLAN

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Last year, the highest number of ER closures in this province in the last six years. Emergency rooms were closed over 3,900 hours last year - almost five and a half months. The hardest hit areas: places such as Glace Bay, Digby, Pugwash and Middleton.

Mr. Speaker, there is currently a shortage of ER doctors in this province. It's a problem that is only going to get worse. More and more doctors continue to leave or retire.

This government has no plan on how to retain doctors that we're training. No plan to attract other doctors to the province. No plan to help recognize the credentials of foreign-trained doctors who would love to move to this province and no plan to create, fund or administer any programs that would help our existing doctors fill the vacancies. So my question to the Minister of Health is, I'd like to know what is this government's specific plan to reduce the number of emergency room closures in this province.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can continue to say and refute some of the issues that the member opposite has brought forward. We are doing a lot

[Page 3439]

of the things that he's saying we're not. Maybe if he would like to sit with me some day, I would be happy to explain the information that we're doing. We are supporting the district health authorities who lead the recruitment and we've had some great success. In the last 18 months, we've had 188 new doctors begin working in Nova Scotia. We will continue to have those kinds of numbers begin to work in Nova Scotia and we'll try our best, as we have been doing in the last number of months, to make sure that we have the kind of doctors that are required in Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, if the minister's programs are as wonderful as he says they are, why are emergency rooms still closing across the province? Two years ago, there was a group of dedicated doctors in this province, who put together a Locum Program, where they served in various ER departments to help as many of those emergency rooms stay open as possible. When that group of dedicated doctors approached the government with their proposal and they use it on a regular basis to help fill the doctors shortage, they were largely ignored. The government expressed no interest whatsoever, or inclination to help the doctors administer or to fund such a program. So my question to the minister is, if this government isn't willing to support such a Locum Program, that's proven to work, what does the minister suggest that we do to eliminate the problem, the continuing problem, of so many ER closures in this province?

[4:00 p.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it is very difficult sometimes to do the things that are brought forward to us and there is only certain fiscal capacity within the department, within the province. Out of the $2.8 billion budget that the Department of Health has, three quarters of that budget goes to paying for our professionals. When projects come forward, there a lot of ones that we would love to fund, we just do not have the fiscal capacity to do it. So in the auspices of that, we will continue to work with those district officials to get permanent use and permanent physicians to go to places like Glace Bay, Digby, and Lillian Fraser.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, so far this year, ERs across the Province have been closed over 1,300 hours. We're on pace to have our emergency rooms closed a total of 5,600 hours across the Province for this year. Those numbers are unheard of and those numbers are totally unacceptable. My final question for the Minister is, will the Minister commit to taking action immediately to reduce the number of ER closures in this Province before it is too late?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing this issue forward. We are doing as much as we can to find physicians to work in emergency rooms. It is an issue of patient safety as well and we do not want to have an emergency room open that does not have the correct types of professionals in it. Maybe in some of these places, we may have to look at role changes to roll out to see what kind of services they can offer.

[Page 3440]

I would like to table a piece of information from the Truro Daily News of March 19, 2007 and it is "Doctors Nova Scotia says there are too many emergency rooms." This is from the member for Halifax Clayton Park and she says, "Perhaps it should be beneficial to have more specialized professionals, even if people have to drive further to access them."

ENVIRON. & LBR.-TRENTON GENERATING STN.: EMISSIONS - STANDARDS REVIEW

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East. (Interruption)

Order, please. If the Opposition wants to chew up the clock, that's fine, but the honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. The people of Hillside, near Trenton, have long lived in the shadow of the Trenton Generating Station with fly ash and other particulates spewing from the stacks, covering their homes and vehicles with fine black dust. The fly ash eats away at the paint on their cars and homes, not to mention the impact it is having on the health of people living in the area. (Interruptions) Mr. Speaker, do I, in fact, have the floor.

MR. SPEAKER: Is your mike on? Yes.

MR. MACKINNON: The minister visited the area with members of the Hillside- Trenton Environmental Watch Association and was asked if the Province would change the current standards, making them more stringent. The minister promised to review the standards with his staff to ensure that the province is doing all that it can. My question to the minister is, what has he found in his examinations and will changes be forthcoming to make them more stringent?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. I did review the standards with my staff , with our air quality experts. They have a very good air quality monitoring program there that monitors emissions, not only from the Trenton plant but from all over. I will be offering to the concerned citizens, if they want to meet with them, to hear more about our monitoring program.

I was very pleased that after my visit, in part because of the good work of the department, that Nova Scotia Power decided to put a baghouse on there at a cost of multi-millions of dollars to deal with the emissions. The URB, as you may be aware, Mr. Speaker, wanted them to hold off on that decision until the URB made the decision on whether the plant should be closed and phased out in time and a baghouse would be necessary. I guess the important point is that one way or another, the problem is being taken care of.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Environment and Labour, the Hillside-Trenton Environmental Watch Association is also seeking to have the

[Page 3441]

department carry out independent monitoring of the emissions that are coming out of the Trenton generating station. Today, NSPI is self-monitoring and gives out its own reports. When will the minister listen to the people of Hillside and carry out independent monitoring of the emissions at Trenton?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, our air monitoring system is one that we're very proud of in this province. Recently I had the privilege of going to Cabinet and increasing the funding by hundreds of thousands for the air quality monitoring system that we have. I would invite the member opposite, as I invited the Environmental Critic, to come - we toured the air monitoring system over in Dartmouth and had an explanation of it. I will offer to the citizens who are concerned about the air monitoring to meet with them to get a full picture of the air monitoring we do there so that they can be assured, as I am assured, that the air monitoring system we have in place is second to none in the country.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I'm going to turn to the Minister of Health. My final question is to the Minister of Health. On May 24, 2006, this minister replied to the Hillside-Trenton Environmental Watch Association's concerns over high rates of cardiac and respiratory disease in the community. This minister replied that the Medical Officer of Health for the area, in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Labour, will look into this matter more fully.

My question, Mr. Speaker - as I table this letter to Mr. Peter Boyles, that is almost one year old - what are the results of your department's investigation into this matter?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as I have had the opportunity to converse with Mr. Boyles and the group through the letter and, of course, on another occasion at a meeting set up by the member for Pictou Centre, I said this is under the purview of Environment and Labour and I would refer that question to the Minister of Environment and Labour.

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I am confused and somewhat frustrated. I'm confused and frustrated with the position of the Opposition on this matter. Several days after I visited and talked with the environmental group there, Nova Scotia Power said they'd spent $20 million on putting a baghouse to take care of the particulates. What more do they want?

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

EDUC.: SCHOOLS: BULLYING - DETAILS

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Bullying in our schools is a subject of concern to parents, teachers and students. Last year's suspension figures included over 700 suspensions for bullying; the previous year only 520 distinct suspensions were recorded. That's a 30 per cent increase in just one year. Sadly, we know that these figures do not give us the full story and that's because the department

[Page 3442]

doesn't formally track suspension stats in our schools. So my first question to the minister is, when is she going to be able to tell us the full extent of bullying in our schools?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. We recognize that this is an issue in our schools and we have taken very active steps to try to identify and respond to that. Each individual board has its own discipline policy and they track their own records of numbers of suspension, reason for suspension, and length of suspension. So we have asked the boards for that information and when that information is available it will be compiled, but it is certainly available at the board level.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, Brandon Walker, a Dartmouth High School student, and Robert Frenette of Bathurst, New Brunswick, have collaborated to launch an anti-bullying Web site, www.bullyingkidsspeakup.ca. Both of these young men have been victims of bullying and they are now working together to share their stories with other victims in the hope that it will raise awareness around the issue of bullying. Victims of bullying can post their stories to the site anonymously, which will allow them to vent and learn from the experiences of others. Using this modern technology, Brandon and Robert have indeed done their part to face bullying head on. My question to the minister is, what is your department doing to face bullying head on?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would like to, first of all, congratulate Brandon and Robert for turning that around and making something that was obviously not pleasant for them into a learning experience for others. We have, as this House would know, invested money in a security officer who will work with all boards, and is currently working with all boards, to look at best practices and so those best practices can be shared and all boards and all schools can benefit from that.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, recorded suspensions for bullying in Chignecto Central Regional School Board went against provincial trends and indeed reduced by almost one-quarter in 2005-06. As the minister is no doubt aware, there is an extensive anti-bullying awareness program being conducted there in association with the RCMP. Of course, we don't know for sure whether the two issues are linked, but we can guess that they probably, most certainly are. My final question to the minister is, what has the Department of Education done to ensure that a provincial anti-bullying strategy is established and is properly funded?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite and to the House, I want to repeat that one of the things that we need to do at the department is to identify from the boards and have them identify for us all those best practices. Chignecto Central's anti-bullying policy and procedure will certainly be one that will be a best practice along with others from other boards, so we can all take advantage of those.

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

[Page 3443]

PREM. - GAS REGULATION: SUPPORT - EXPLAIN

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, once again today Nova Scotians are suffering from high gas prices at the pumps due to gas regulation and once again the Liberal caucus stands alone in fighting for lower prices at the pumps for Nova Scotians. For several weeks now, the people of this province have been paying roughly 10 per cent more for gas at the pumps than our neighbours to the north in New Brunswick. The maximum price for regular self-serve in Nova Scotia is $1.145 per litre and in New Brunswick, the price is over 11 cents lower at $1.032 per litre. The tax differences between our two provinces do not account for an 11-cent difference, so there is only one conclusion which can be reached, the Nova Scotia PC Government is forcing our citizens to pay more for gas at the pumps.

Therefore, my question to the Premier is, why do you continue to support a regulated system that makes the residents of Nova Scotia pay 10 cents per litre more than the residents of New Brunswick?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the minister responsible to provide an update on the situation.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member knows, regulation was introduced into our province because the people in Nova Scotia wanted it; indeed about 70 per cent. It was introduced to see that prices were stabilized across the province and that we would not have sharp rises and climbs every second day and also at the request of the Retail Gasoline Dealers Association.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians having to pay 11 cents per litre more than the people in New Brunswick is not what anyone would call price stability here in the Province of Nova Scotia - gouging appears to be more appropriate as to what is going on. New Brunswick is also a regulated market and the tax difference should only account for half of what the difference is today between our provinces. We are now hearing reports from retailers of significant sales increases on the New Brunswick side of the border while on the Nova Scotia side, our retailers are facing significant declines due to the difference in price.

[Page 3444]

[4:15 p.m.]

Mr. Premier, you told the people of this province that gas regulation would help consumers and would help retailers. We now know that it has done neither and has placed our province at a competitive disadvantage. So, again, my question to the Premier, who implemented gas regulation and forced it upon the people of our province - while your government has used the interrupter clause to increase prices on several occasions, why will you not use it now to lower prices for Nova Scotian drivers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'll refer that to the minister.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we probably have the most carefully thought out and best designed formula for determining gas prices in the country. The prices that are determined in Nova Scotia are really mathematically based and, indeed, I know that the Leader of the Liberal Party can't work it out but you know there are others who can. (Interruption)

To be quite frank, if the swing is enough for this government to bring in the interrupter clause, we have done it and we will certainly do it again, either to lower prices or, hopefully, never have to raise prices as well.

MR. SAMSON: Well you know, Mr. Speaker, maybe the minister can tell us as to what Wilsons Fuels' opinion is on gas regulation from the last time he spoke to them and the wonderful remarks he had to make about them here in the House of Assembly.

Mr. Speaker, gas regulation was a bad idea when the Leader of the NDP proposed it and it was a bad idea when the Progressive Conservative Government implemented it. (Interruptions) For some reason, he hasn't taken much credit for gas regulation when it is 11 cents a litre more in Nova Scotia than it is in New Brunswick. He has been kind of quiet on that issue, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

While our current Premier is fond of thanking our former Premier for his work on the Atlantic Accord, he should also thank him for rejecting gas regulation here in Nova Scotia when it was put forward to him by the NDP. Mr. Speaker, the only true beneficiary of gas regulation and its higher prices has been the PC Government coffers.

Therefore my final supplementary, which hopefully the Premier this time will take the opportunity to answer, will be; why do you continue to support gas regulation that forces Nova Scotia drivers to pay more than they should at the pumps?

THE PREMIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and the minister has been very clear. The study is coming forward soon. We have been implementing a gas regulation in the last number of months in Nova Scotia and the facts speak for themselves. We are certainly interested to see what the study comes back with, as I am sure the Opposition is. I will not

[Page 3445]

pretend to be an expert, but I will listen to the experts when I certainly see the report come back.

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

COM. SERV.: WOMEN'S CENTRES - FUNDING

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. Women's centres in the Province of Nova Scotia continue to struggle with inadequate funding, making their work more and more challenging. These centres provide invaluable support and programs for women, especially those living in poverty. As the income gap continues to grow between affluent and poor in Canada, the services are becoming more and more in demand.

My question to the Minister of Community Services: women's centres have been given empty promises of increased funding for several years; when will they receive adequate funding to help women living in poverty and isolation?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my honourable colleague for the opportunity to rise and speak on an issue that is extremely important to my honourable colleague, as well as all members of this House.

Mr. Speaker, I have had the opportunity to make my way around the province and visit with many of the women's centres from one end of this province to the other. They indeed do a phenomenal service for women and children in need and it is for that reason that this government has supported in the past and will continue to support in the future, the fine work done by the individuals in those centres.

MS. MORE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. No one is denying the good work that is being done in the women's centres but their workload is increasing, their staff are inadequately paid and they have been giving this message to the minister and the department for many, many years. The staff at the eight women's centres in Nova Scotia are highly skilled, dedicated and competent individuals. However, they have not had regular salary increases for many years and they are falling further and further behind in the Cost of Living Index. The minister has heard from women's centres about these concerns yet the situation of low pay and insufficient staffing continues. My question to the minister is, when will the underfunding of women's centres finally be addressed?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is absolutely correct when she states that the work they do is excellent work. It's for that very reason that this government, the government last year, and the government again this year, will continue to provide funding to the women's centres across this province. Not only will we continue to provide the core funding, initially, which went to those centres, but, indeed, last year in the

[Page 3446]

budget, there was an increase of $55,000 to each of the women's centres as a formula for core funding, and we will continue with that.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, women's centres are asking - and it's been proven in study after study - for a staff salary increase and for one additional crisis support counsellor program outreach position for each centre. The need for this has been proven time and time again. This is so they can continue to provide a voice and a source of help to over 15,000 women a year in Nova Scotia. So my question to the minister is, how much longer will this inadequate funding continue for a critical service to the women in our province?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, any time someone asks me about resources and financing I'm always very proud to be able to say that this government is a fiscally responsible government while being socially progressive, as well. It's for that very reason that this government committed $155,000 of core funding to each of the women's centres to continue with the fine work they do, and we'll work to continue that in the future.

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

HEALTH: PROTECTION OF PERSONS IN CARE ACT - PROCLAIM

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question this afternoon is for the Minister of Health. Last month Nova Scotians were shocked to hear about the case of abuse that took place at Glen Haven Manor. Two staff taped a resident's mouth shut and drew a happy face on the tape. The staff have been disciplined and their action is being reviewed by the professional body, but there are broader questions that still haven't been addressed. My question to the Minister of Health is, why hasn't the Protection for Persons in Care Act, now over two years old, not been proclaimed?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I have expressed my outrage to this act that happened at Glen Haven Manor. I can also say that there were a number of actions done at that facility. A number of them include further training for all staff to ensure that people understand the issue of elder abuse and understand what constitutes it and how to report it. I know that this issue had been referred to the respective colleges of these practitioners and is being reviewed. I know there was one decision to say they felt everything had been done correctly and that they requested further training for those members.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Health, again, didn't come anywhere near the question that I asked. In this Legislature we passed a piece of legislation, and we would think the government would respect the process that follows when a bill passes through these Chambers. Countless other provinces had no issue enacting similar legislation, and is now enforced, offering protection to residents in special care facilities and nursing homes. It obligates staff to report abuse, but it also protects the staff from retaliation for reporting any abuse.

[Page 3447]

In addition to this Act, nursing homes need appropriate staffing levels, and staff need better training to handle dementia patients. So I ask the Minister of Health, when will these issues be addressed to recognize a growing number of nursing home residents with challenging behaviours?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, throughout this process there has been a lot of consultation with respective unions, respective colleges to make sure the Protection for Persons in Care Act can go congruently with the workplace violence information that I know the Minister of Environment and Labour is working hard upon. Mr. Speaker, this is a two-sided street as well, where we do not want to see things done toward our patients but at the same time there is a fair amount of violence in the workplace that needs to be addressed. We will continue to work with the unions as well as the Minister of Environment and Labour on this issue.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Cobequid-Sackville): Mr. Speaker, it has been two years now since this Act was passed in this House. I hope it doesn't take another two years for this government to act for changes that are needed in this province. Some nursing homes tell us their percentage of patients with dementia is now 75 per cent or more. The Homes for Special Care Act, when it was written, had levels half that amount. The best way to stop abuse is to have adequate staffing, proper training, the Protection for Persons in Care Act, for those rare cases when abuse occurs. My question to the Minister of Health is, when will these measures be addressed to reassure families that their loved ones in care in Nova Scotia are safe?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that I disagree somewhat with the member opposite. I can say that through awareness and through correct training that these issues can be avoided in the future. I can assure members opposite that we will do everything that we can to ensure that this does not happen again.

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

GOV'T. (N.S.) ADVERTISING - POLITICAL MOTIVATION

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. In the 1999 Blue Book, John Hamm promised that his government would not engage in politically- motivated advertising paid for by taxpayers. Now, in 2007, under your watch, under the watch of this Premier, we see the introduction of a so-called government newsletter. I would like to table a copy of that for the record. In announcing the newsletter, the Premier blamed the media for his image problems, saying that they were not representing the government in a positive light. My question for the Premier is, why are you so clearly engaging in politically-motivated advertising at the expense of Nova Scotia taxpayers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, thank you to the member for the question. In fact, the government has a responsibility to the taxpayers of our province to ensure that we provide

[Page 3448]

them with an update regularly with what government is doing with their money, with respect to policies, with respect to initiatives. In fact, the member for Kings West, today, said the government needs to do a better job with ATVs in communicating with people. That is one of the reasons why we are doing the newsletter.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, the Finance Minister announced just before Christmas that the province had misjudged the amount of money left for the year in the surplus and we were down to a razor-thin $3.3 million surplus. Departments were instructed to cut back spending, defer spending and conserve as much as possible. Following that announcement, the Premier announced that he will engage in a $232,000 printing of these glossy brochures at taxpayers' expense. My question to the Premier is, when you decided to do the newsletter, were you aware of the severe financial pressures that the province is under and do you call this essential spending?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I think that we have a responsibility to indicate to Nova Scotians what we are doing with their money. Now perhaps the member, I know she has aspirations, perhaps she has a different view on that but I can tell you, this government, as long as I am Premier, will let Nova Scotians know how we are spending their money.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I don't know how the Premier can justify spending $0.25 million to try to raise his polling numbers when $232,000 could provide for 928 low-income people to get the Keep the Heat program rebate or for 580 seniors to have their Pharmacare premiums paid. The people of this province can see right through this politically- motivated move. My question to the Premier is, will you commit to us to today to withdraw your plan to continue with the quarterly newsletter and put that money toward essential programs and services for Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'm going to take the advice of the member for Kings West and communicate with Nova Scotians. (Laughter)

[4:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

IMMIGRATION: IMMIGRANTS - RETENTION

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Immigration. The Office of Immigration recently stated that Nova Scotia attracted 2,580 immigrants in 2006. That's an increase of one-third on 2005. If the numbers keep rising to the same extent, we will meet provincial targets for immigration early. Despite this progress, as the latest census figures show, we are just barely keeping our head above water. We know that a majority of these immigrants will leave Nova Scotia. My first question to the minister is, what is the Office of Immigration doing to ensure that these people settle in Nova Scotia permanently?

[Page 3449]

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, part of the immigration strategy is to make sure that we are a welcoming community here when our newcomers do arrive. By doing such, we have allocated in last year's budget, $1.8 million, which was a significant increase of over $500,000 alone.

MR. PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, perhaps we're not as welcoming as we should be, when 60 per cent of them leave. I would like to table a news release from the Province of Manitoba, whose population is just a little larger than that of Nova Scotia. Last year, Manitoba received almost 10,000 immigrants, up almost 25 per cent on the year before. Manitoba had almost as many immigrants from the Phillippines as Nova Scotia had in total. When we examined the figures in detail, we see that Manitoba received 6,600 provincial nominee immigrants. Here in Nova Scotia, we issued just 300 nominee certificates. So my second question to the minister is, how many additional provincial nominees is the federal government allowing for Nova Scotia this year?

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, on the current Nominee Program that we have in place, we're allowed 400. That Nominee Program expires this year. It will be under review and our aim is to have the number removed from that all together.

MR. PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, recent Office of Immigration figures show that 80 per cent of the immigrants to Nova Scotia settle in the metro area. This trend is similar to experiences in most other Canadian provinces. However, some rural areas in Manitoba and British Columbia are very successful at attracting and retaining immigrants. So my final question to the minister is, when is she going to address the problem of rural out-migration and skilled worker shortages by increasing the number of provincial nominees allowed by each RDA in Nova Scotia?

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, under the current Nominee Program again, we're only allowed 500. That contract expires this year. It will be under a review. At that point in time, we hope that we will be successful in having those numeric limits removed.

I have been travelling across the province the last few months, talking to communities, encouraging and trying to find out why our immigrant population do not go to rural Nova Scotia. One of the key reasons people do not go to those regions is that they are not employable at that point in time. They go to where the jobs are. Our job is to make sure that there are more jobs in rural Nova Scotia and we are working with Economic Development to see that that happens.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COM. SERV.: MCEVOY INQUIRY - RECOMMENDATIONS

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. Recently a concerned mother of a 15-year-old girl phoned my office because her

[Page 3450]

daughter was in need of help and the mother couldn't find it. Her daughter was, as her mother put it, completely out of control and on the road to complete self destruction, including threats of suicide, running away from home multiple times and being suspended from school indefinitely.

Mr. Speaker, a few months ago, the McEvoy Inquiry report made several recommendations that would enable help and assistance to this family and many others. My question for the minister is, when will your government follow through on these important recommendations?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I thank my honourable colleague for the opportunity to rise today and speak to an issue which is extremely important and one that this government takes very seriously.

Mr. Speaker, when the Nunn Commission came down with the recommendations, I stood proudly with my colleagues from Justice and Education and Health and Health Promotion and Protection and we proudly accepted all of the recommendations of Justice Nunn. It is this government's plan and this government's commitment to indeed do everything that we can do in accordance with Justice Nunn's recommendations to ensure the safety and security of all Nova Scotians, especially those who are in our need.

MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, this young lady has been a victim of sexual abuse, she has had many family members pass away, along with young friends, and this individual is unable to deal with the emotional stresses caused by these situations. When her mother looked for help, she was told it was a Department of Health issue. Despite this, however, it is Children's Aid that continues to deal with her.

My question through you, Mr. Speaker, to the minister is when will her department start accepting responsibility for these cases and deal with them directly, instead of passing them through to other departments and perhaps eventually on to the Justice Department?

MS. STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Indeed, the hard-working, dedicated staff of the Department of Community Services, as well as the Department of Health, the Department of Justice, take these issues very seriously. I again stood proudly with my colleagues when we addressed the recommendations of Nunn, and I made the commitment that as lead minister the silos would come down - I repeat that today in the House for all members present.

We are working on a strategy to bring together all of the resources that we have here in the province - and we have a multitude of resources. It is almost unbelievable when you look at the list, and sometimes it is difficult to manoeuvre your way through which department or which resource it is that you need. I know that my honourable colleague across the way has come to my department, has come to me, and we've worked together to find our way through the myriad of supports. We will continue to do that, Mr. Speaker, as

[Page 3451]

we break down the silos, we bring together the resources, and we offer those resources to Nova Scotians in a timely and dedicated manner.

MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Community Services would not accept this young girl into care because there are no small options beds available. The only way that this woman could get care for her daughter was to have Children's Aid take over her care.

My question, Mr. Speaker, through you is when will the moratorium on small options beds be lifted so that children like this have somewhere to go without entering your custody?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, my honourable colleague brings another issue to the floor, which is near and dear to my heart, and certainly as we move forward on the various options available for high needs, complex cases, for youth in our care, for Nova Scotians who come to us who are at their wit's end, as we move forward with the plans to put in place a series of options for people to be able to maximize, whether it is a small options home, whether it is those complex cases that we have to deal with on a one-on-one basis, this government takes that very seriously. There is a review underway that has been expedited by myself and by the department, and we look forward to those results.

But, Mr. Speaker, I am not waiting for those results to take action. We've already put in place a five-bed home in Dartmouth, we'll continue to move forward with our plans for Cobequid, and I look forward to the day when we're able to provide services for all those who need.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

EDUC.: POST-SECONDARY FUNDING - PLANS

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Education. The federal government recently announced it would spend additional millions for universities and colleges in the 2008-09 year. With Nova Scotia having among the highest tuition fees in the country, the additional funding is viewed as a positive beginning to alleviate the burden most students face in this province.

Mr. Speaker, providing accessible and affordable education is crucial to Nova Scotia as our country moves further to a knowledge-based economy; however there have been no assurances that the new funding for post-secondary education will go directly toward tuition relief. My question to the minister is, will the minister tell Nova Scotians what her department plans on doing with the additional funding?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As this House will remember, when the infrastructure money became available for us last year we met with students, I met with students personally, to see what students were thinking about as the best way to help address their funding issues and their costs for university. We listened to those students and

[Page 3452]

we were able to give them relief in January which was welcomed on their second semester tuition.

One of the messages that students gave us was that they were looking for needs-based dollars to help those students who were in need. And so we are prepared to work with the student body to try to meet the needs of those students who are financially not able.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, this government has not given students in this province the guarantee that the new funding dollars will go directly toward tuition relief. Furthermore, the government has not guaranteed that any of the new funds will go toward alleviating the decaying state of the province's university and college infrastructure needs. My question to the minister is, will the minister guarantee that the new funding dollars will go directly toward tuition relief?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would refer the member opposite to the commitment that was made by this government to bring tuitions for university students to the national average by 2010-11 and we will honour that commitment.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, universities outside of Nova Scotia such as Memorial, offer the lowest tuition fees in the country, moreover the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador made a $25 million a year commitment to keep tuition frozen at $2,550 until at least the 2007-08 academic school year.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There is too much noise in the Chamber.

MR. GLAVINE: Meanwhile, the average annual increase of tuition fees in Nova Scotia is likely to continue at 3.9 per cent for an average of $6,571. It is no surprise that approximately 850 students from the province this year alone have left to study at Memorial University. Furthermore, the $440 tuition relief for only Nova Scotia students is a federal grant that will run out the end of 2007-08. If Nova Scotia is to become more self-reliant, then it must stop depending on the federal government to solve all of our problems and invest in our children's education. How does the minister plan on reducing tuition fees to the national average of Nova Scotia when the new MOU is likely to allow an additional annual 3.9 per cent increase in tuition fees?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, as I said earlier, we are committed to meeting the national average by 2010-11 and any federal dollars that we have at our disposal to help with that reduction will be applied directly to student university tuition.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

COM. SERV.: CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING - FUNDING

[Page 3453]

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. Privateer Co-op in Queens County has offered affordable housing to families for over 20 years. Unfortunately, the co-op has fallen on some difficult times and some of the units being built on low ground and recent construction around the area has led to flooding issues. Two units are particularly affected and are unrentable. If the co-op could only repair these units their situation would improve drastically.

I have met with the co-op board and concerned community members and they are unhappy with the province's treatment of co-op housing. The province makes it extremely difficult for co-ops to find ways of refinancing and they really need more flexibility in order to thrive. If just one mortgage payment is missed, the province takes over the co-ops ending years of democratic governance.

With just a little help, the Privateer Co-op and others like it could continue to provide safe, affordable and sustainable housing to families, but this department seems more interested in putting up roadblocks to true co-op housing than helping it survive. When will the minister's government finally stop favoring private developers and put some affordable housing money into retaining and creating more co-operative housing in Nova Scotia?

[4:30 p.m.]

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to rise and speak about something that this government is extremely proud of and that is a $90 million commitment and investment in affordable housing for the Province of Nova Scotia. Those are some phenomenal numbers when you look at the population of Nova Scotia. We have invested dollars up to this point all across the province, under Phase I. We will continue to invest dollars under Phase II. The RFPs went out for Phase II and they have been brought back in by February 15th of this year, so we will look forward to receiving those proposals and we will see where those projects will go across the province as we move forward with additional commitments and additional investments in affordable housing for all Nova Scotians from one end of the province to the other.

MR. SPEAKER: Actually, Question Period does go until 4:47 p.m. The honourable member for Queens.

MS. CONRAD: I believe the minister. I was talking about co-op housing in the province and I would really like the minister to look at what monies from the housing department can be injected into co-op housing across this province. We have many cooperatives across the province and certainly Privateer Housing Co-operative in Queens is looking for some assistance with their housing concerns so I am trusting that the minister will look seriously into making available some funding for cooperative housing across this province.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 3454]

MS. CONRAD: Question. I would like to have a time line as to when the minister will invest funds into cooperative housing.

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I am extremely pleased to rise and again speak about the commitment of . . .

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the first order of business today will be Resolution No. 1921 but I hope to get unanimous consent of the House to present this resolution because it has not been on the Order Paper for two days. I have spoken to both House Leaders and they are in agreement but I need to get unanimous consent of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The request is for unanimous consent of the House to proceed with Resolution No. 1921.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 1921.

Res. No. 1921, Environ. & Lbr.: Air Quality Regs. - Enforce - notice given Mar.20/07 - (Mr. K. Colwell)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it is with pleasure and dismay that I rise today to speak about this resolution today. The Resource Recovery Fund Board of Nova Scotia was created to ensure that the people of Nova Scotia receive maximum environmental benefits associated with responsible solid waste management.

Well, the Resource Recovery Fund Board, in January of this year, all of a sudden decided that burning tires for fuel at a cement plant would be a great idea. Now that is

[Page 3455]

definitely not anything to do with a sensible approach to getting rid of tires. There are all kinds of possibilities for tires. They could be used in many ways to make products, employ people and do so many things that are so positive. Today, in this regional municipality, if you try to light a brush fire with a tire, the fire department comes along, if you have a permit, they will give you a fine. So what's the difference between getting a fine from the fire department for burning a tire that should be totally illegal than a cement plant burning it for fuel or any place else burning it for fuel. The real question here today is why should we even consider burning tires any time for fuel? That is really the question. You can talk all you like, you can say anything you want and you can put science on either side of it, but probably at the end of the day, somewhere down the road, someone is going to definitively prove that burning tires is a health hazard to the people and an environmental hazard to the world we live in.

We have to find alternative uses and I feel, in this case, the RRFB, the Resource Recovery Fund Board, has done an excellent job in other areas. Unfortunately, when it seems to come to tires, they have turned a blind eye and probably very soon the government will approve the burning the tires at Lafarge based on some scientific evidence and it better be concrete when that time comes if that, indeed, is the case. I would hope it definitely is not the case and that we eliminate burning tires in this province for good, set it to rest and it is the end of the problem that we will have.

We have looked at the Trenton generating plant that burns coal and causes all kinds of problems with the environment and with the health of the people in the area. The more of these things we do, the more at risk we are for health issues. Health care costs in this province are out of control. We see people are now coming forward who need very special drugs to treat programs and if the burning of tires is going to create more of this, more health care costs, more health care problems, more suffering and pain for people, as well as the long-term difficulties for our environment, again I believe we have to stop even considering burning tires.

Just think of the possibility, think of it. The minister said it when he rose earlier on my question in Question Period. Are they going to pay for tires at Lafarge when they get them? No, they're going to get them free. Probably, and the minister can correct me if I'm wrong on this, they're going to get paid to pick them up. Not only are they going to get them free but they're going to get paid to pick them up. That's a pretty good deal for a company when you look at it. I would like the minister to correct me on that if I'm wrong, but I don't think I'm wrong. It means that here we are, as people who pay the fees every time you buy a tire, you're supporting an industry to burn the tire to ruin your health. Does it make any sense? It sure doesn't make any sense to me and that's what appears to me this government is set to do.

When I asked the Premier if he would eliminate the tires being burned, just totally eliminate tires being burned, he passed the question off and didn't answer the question. The answer must be that they're going to allow it and if they allow it here, does it mean that

[Page 3456]

Nova Scotia Power next is going to be burning it in place of the Bunker C that they do now, instead of looking at alternative energy sources and sources that would make our province more competitive in the world market and make us a healthier place to live. Nova Scotia is a wonderful place to live, but you look at our employment stats and there are fewer people working in Nova Scotia now than there were three or four years ago and that number is going to continue to go down. Our unemployment rate is down because fewer people are looking for work and fewer people are employed.

That's another thing we could do with these tires, we could take these tires, turn them into a real industry, and let the RRFB do what it's supposed to be doing, get some innovation into developing alternate uses for tires, for glass, or whatever they collect. Let's eliminate the dumps and let's eliminate these kind of problems. Let's turn them into profit. Let's turn them into profit for the people of the province in jobs and in tax base for the municipalities in the province and the federal government and ensure that people can live healthier. Let's eliminate these things, but there doesn't seem to be a will by this government to be remotely interested in that.

My colleague, the member for Digby, is going to talk about that in more detail, some possible uses for the tires, when he speaks and I'm very interested to see what he's going to have to say, but I have got to repeat again we cannot burn tires in this province. It doesn't make sense to burn tires in this province. If we continue on the path we're on now, we're going to see people get sicker, we're going to have more health care costs and more difficulties. Health care costs don't add to our economy, they actually hurt our economy because people aren't working when they should be working. They're not there being productive when they should be productive and when you've got to go clean these things up down the road, it's a horrendous cost and some things you can never clean up. They never go away.

So I hope when the minister brings forward his long-awaited study from Dalhousie University, that it clearly lays out the dangers of burning tires. I've got some information here that was distributed by the Resource Recovery Fund Board and they talk about all the wonderful things about how tires don't really affect anything and other issues that they bring forward. Again, it just doesn't make sense to burn tires. A few years ago we wouldn't have been talking about this sort of issue of burning tires because before we knew that there was a correlation between chemicals and cancers and other illnesses that we're suffering with every day. Why take a chance? Why take a chance on burning tires to find out down the road that it created some kind of a new cancer or creates a cancer that we already have, or some kind of an illness that's going to affect us, our children, our grandchildren and their children. It doesn't make sense. It just simply doesn't make sense.

So I would encourage this government to stop considering burning tires, direct the Resource Recovery Fund Board to eliminate the burning of tires, take it off the table as an option, cancel the contract that they have in place with Lafarge, and put something in place that will ensure that the people of this province get a good deal on the $3 they're putting but,

[Page 3457]

more importantly, on their health, on the long-term health of this province and our environment. As I close on this issue, it's important to remember that as we move forward and we learn more, and we're always learning more about the hazardous chemicals and the problems and the climate change and things that people weren't even paying attention to even five years ago when the scientists were telling us about it, today it's important to us, it's important to all of us to make sure we can live healthy, safe lives in our communities no matter where our community is. If your community is near a facility that burns this type of garbage - really it's garbage, when you start burning it, it's garbage - how can you ensure that your family is going to be safe? You can't. You simply cannot.

So, in closing, I'd like to encourage the government to stop the consideration of burning tires and look at alternatives that will put Nova Scotians to work in a safe and healthy environment. Thank you.

MR. CHAIRMAN: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for bringing this important matter to the floor of the Legislature. I want to assure the members that the Environment Act and our air quality regulations are strong and are there protecting the citizens of Nova Scotia.

As I stated in Question Period, it is important to understand the process. There is no legal ability for any company to use tires for tire-derived fuel or to burn tires in any way shape or fashion in the Province of Nova Scotia now. I know the member opposite understands the process, but for the elucidation of others, the industrial approval that was given to the Lafarge plant was to use coal and Bunker C fuel mainly for their cement kiln. If they want to use tires for tire-derived fuel, Mr. Speaker, they would have to seek another industrial approval process. That industrial approval process involves public consultation, and the community will have a wonderful opportunity to speak about it if it ever comes to that, but, to date, I have received no such application.

However, in anticipation of that, as I've mentioned before and because I know the issue is an issue that's been discussed in Quebec, in Ontario, down in California, where incidentally, they are allowing the use of it, I asked for a study from Dalhousie. That study, I understand, is finished this morning. I have not yet seen it. If it is not complete and doesn't meet the requirements that I've asked for, particularly in regard to the health implications, I will ask for further updates on that. The results of that report will be made public to all people to see.

I've stated before that any application for the use of tires for tire-derived fuel will have to meet scientific validation. It will have to be supported by the results of sound science. I was pleased to see very recently that the Lafarge company said that they would not proceed with the use of tires for derived-fuel unless the scientific evidence proved that it was not harmful to the environment. That's where the issue now stands.

[Page 3458]

Now, I need to just further state that it's really not up to the Minister of Environment and Labour to direct the RRFB to do this or to do that. We created the RRFB as an arms-length organization. I am the sole shareholder, but we give it maximum freedom, as I do with the Workers' Compensation Board to go about doing their work on behalf of the citizens of Nova Scotia so that there isn't the political interference that perhaps there may have been in the past. So, as an independent board, they have made this proposal, Mr. Speaker. However, as I stated before, it cannot go ahead without an industrial approval from myself, and we haven't received an application for that at this time.

The member opposite talked about the pay for tires, and I just need to point out that used tires are not a benefit. I know of very few people who would consider a used tire as a sort of financial benefit, as some sort of good that they can make money, as opposed, Mr. Speaker, I'll draw the comparison with cardboard, which is something that does sell on the open market and has a use, but tires don't, aside from perhaps using it to pot plants, or maybe a swing, it's a liability. So the $3.00 covers basically the collection, the transportation of it, but when we talk about Lafarge getting some sort of economic benefit that we're giving to them through used tires, used tires are really a liability for the province.

We had a system before, through a different company that was picking up these tires, because they are a liability, they're an environmental hazard, they're an eyesore. That company was not, in the end, able to fulfill its contract, so the RRFB went out to another tender to try to find another company that would be able to deal with these used tires so they weren't stockpiling across the province. That's where we're at right now with this tender given to Lafarge.

[5:00 p.m.]

Again, Lafarge is not burning tires here in the Province of Nova Scotia. Lafarge cannot burn tires here in the Province of Nova Scotia without an industrial approval. That industrial approval has, I think, about 26 days where there's consideration. There is public consultation and there are scientific studies.

While I see the concern of the members opposite, because I value their input and I value their concern about making our environment better, it seems to me that they're jumping ahead of the issue right now, because there is no approval from my department at this stage and there is no application.

As I stated before, the member opposite talked about the health implications and I take those very, very seriously. In fact, one of the mandates that I gave to this Dalhousie study was a very broad mandate, but one of the things I wanted in particular to find out was what are the health implications, what's going on in other jurisdictions. It's of interest that California and Quebec, who are known as leaders in environmental stewardship, actually allow the use of tar-derived fuel in the appropriate technology, in a kiln that burns at a

[Page 3459]

certain temperature, where there are no emissions that are harmful to the residents of those provinces and that state.

The study that I commissioned will be looking at California, looking at Quebec and other jurisdictions to find out what's going on there, because they have had experience in this. In Bath, Ontario, I understand the Ontario Government has allowed a pilot project to go forward, so they've not allowed the use of tire-derived fuel as a whole, as Quebec has done or California, but they said we'll do a pilot project, carefully monitor it and see what happens.

I think we need to be very clear. The protection of the environment will be there. I can assure the members of this House that it will be there. The industrial approval process will make sure it's there, the scientific study will make sure it's there. However, we also need to be open to the possibilities that technology can advance and that things that couldn't be done in the past, in an environmentally sound way, might be able to be done in the future.

To categorically rule out any use of tire-derived fuel without looking at the scientific evidence, I think, is to be somewhat of a Luddite in terms of technological advancement. We need to be able to match our use of technology with our ability to care for the environment. In fact, when we talk about climate change, that's one of the very things that we're involved in, as my honourable colleague, the Minister of Energy, would say - that new technologies are coming forward, coal sequestration, clean coal, things that will allow certain things to happen that in the past couldn't happen.

With tire-derived fuels, the jurisdictions of Quebec and California and, to a much more limited degree, the Province of Ontario, have decided that there are technological kilns that burn at certain levels, certain ways of using the tires for tire-derived fuel, that don't harm the environment.

I want to be very clear, the fact that Quebec and California do it does not mean that if I receive an application, that the industrial approval will be given in Nova Scotia. This will be a Nova Scotia study, that's why I went to Dalhousie University, not out of the province but within the province, to one of the leading universities in Canada, Dalhousie University, to take a look at this because I want Nova Scotia data and Nova Scotia information. However, we will have to depend on other jurisdictions for some of the data because we don't allow for the use of tires for tire-derived fuel now.

So, at this present stage, this motion is, I would say, premature, perhaps somewhat out of order, simply because there is no application to change the industrial approval and the industrial approval process hasn't even kicked in because there is no application. But I can assure speakers and members of the public that this scientific study and the decision that is made if an application comes forward will be based on sound science, on what's good for the environment and also on consideration of people's health, and that was one of the mandates that I gave to Dalhousie in the study. I'm very much looking forward to looking

[Page 3460]

at this study, I hope it has looked at everything I have asked for; if not, I'll make the commitment to the House that we'll go back and ask for more data. Even then, that data will sit there because there is no application at this point, so the data is there more for information than for anything else. I thank the honourable member for the opportunity to speak about this and look forward to further interventions by members opposite.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to do an intervention here. I'm certainly pleased to know that the Dalhousie review will be made public and that if it is not sufficient to deal with the health and environmental implications of the burning of rubber tires at the Lafarge plant, that there will be further requests. I should say, however, that although there are advances in technology, what we're dealing with is a very, very old kiln. We're dealing with one of the oldest cement kilns in operation in North America today, 35 years old. This was built in 1972 and it has proven to be inadequate for the purpose for which it was built, so I think it is very important that we remember that we're not talking about great technological advances at this point. However, it also demonstrates the problem is an old problem, the issue of burning rubber and what to do with rubber tires.

Natural rubber tires and now synthetic rubber tires have plagued the province for at least 14 years. In 1996, the Resource Recovery Fund Board instituted the $3 levy on the sale of every tire in the province and even at that point there were some 900,000 tires a year to be disposed of. We've gone through an awful lot of tires since then and there have been problems in the interim.

If you look back in Hansard and you look back at discussions of this House this is a chronic and ongoing issue: what shall we do with all of these tires? They have been stockpiled, we did have a Tire Recycling Atlantic Corporation in the Valley, which has now moved to New Brunswick and, I understand, feels that they would be willing to receive more tires in fact from Nova Scotia to go through their crumbing process, if Nova Scotia were willing to forego those tires and send them to New Brunswick. That company, in fact, although it was in operation there, it was moved. They had difficulties with stockpiles and stockpiling. There were also a number of more informal dumps which were the subject of ministerial orders for cleanup, because these were fire hazards in the numbers of tens of thousands of tires stockpiled in various patches of woods around the province, particularly in the south end and in the Colchester and Cumberland areas, not that far from the existing Brookfield plant.

I don't actually know what has been the final disposal of those stockpiles. We know that they were piled neatly, but not necessarily that they have been removed. I would actually put to the minister the question of are there, in fact, piles of these older tires as well. Stockpiling is, of course, a problem with many kinds of garbage and as I mentioned earlier today in the House there have been previous proposals for burning garbage for so-called energy recovery or waste to energy.

[Page 3461]

Really, it has to be remembered that it is absolutely the lowest on the hierarchy of waste-reduce-reuse-recycle-recover-energy, the absolute lowest. It is done in other jurisdictions but it is stringently opposed by the residents of those jurisdictions by the science backing the residents of those jurisdictions and wherever there are new proposals they are really running into difficulties, I would refer you particularly to Montana and Vermont, both of which have expressed a great deal of concern for the crop lands in their area. I can't see why we in Nova Scotia should feel that our crop lands are any more invulnerable to the deposition of heavy metals which are emitted as particulates from the burning of tires in kilns.

The Vermont case is interesting and I've mentioned it here before because the State of Vermont has actually sued the State of New York for what was only a two-week trial approval, burning of tires in a pulp and paper plant. That is what reminds us that in fact wherever burning of tires has been approved, once it has been approved there is always the possibility that it will be approved in other industries.

Although the minister may say that it is premature to be talking about this, I would suggest it is not because even if Lafarge, which has certainly invested a great deal of money and energy into this process already, does not receive an industrial approval, we will still have tires which need to be disposed of and, as the minister rightly says, these tires represent a liability to the province.

So how do we dispose of them? Well how do other jurisdictions dispose of them? Crumbing, rubberized asphalt, a variety of rubber products which are produced. I am not aware of this, but I have wondered in fact why do we not do true tire recycling, why do we not produce new tires from old ones? Moulton tires. We, in fact, have a rubber tire manufactory here in this province in the Goodyear plant and I would be interested to know whether they would have use for crumb stock in recycling, because tires receive a lot of their strength in fact from the steel belts inside them, as well as anything else. I don't know whether studies have been done on what can be done with crumb rubber for producing new tires, which would genuinely reduce the amount of raw rubber going into the environment and being used.

One of the arguments which was made - and I'd like to address this as well - by the Resource Recovery Fund Board was that this reduces greenhouse gases. Well how does this reduce greenhouse gases? It is because the tires are not being trucked away to be crumbed in another province and that suggests to me that somebody thinks the environment is only about greenhouse gases; somebody thinks that the only health which matters is the current flavour of the month, which is meeting, complying with, the reduction - a very important reduction of greenhouse gases but it is most definitely not the only element to be considered in looking at human health and safety. There is nothing which says that these tires have to be trucked out of the province. They have, in fact, been crumbed in the province and they can be used elsewhere in the province.

[Page 3462]

TRACC, as I say, has left the province and it would appear that the Kemptown facility which was crumbing tires obviously felt that it was no longer economically viable for them to be receiving tires for true recycling and they stopped receiving those tires many months ago. Gas station operators found themselves piled up with them.

So trucking away is not the only thing to be considered because where do the tires get used, how do they get used, and what ends up in our air and potentially in our soil, our groundwater, our food supply?

One of the things that is most concerning to me in fact is that Nova Scotia has received the very dubious distinction of being - parts of Nova Scotia - one of the mercury hot spots of eastern North America. That puts us on the worldwide map. One of the known particulate emissions from the burning of tires is in fact mercury. Why are we actually proposing to increase our mercury emissions by doing this? It seems to me absolutely foolish, and one of the things we know about mercury is that it bioaccumulates, so not only is it the mercury which ends up in the air but the mercury which ends up in lungs, fatty tissues, milk, dairy products potentially.

This is a very, very real threat and that is only one of the heavy metals which is put into the air when you burn tires.

[5:15 p.m.]

I understand that the Lafarge plant has not yet made an application for industrial approval to burn tires and that it is still burning coal. I do understand that, but I do not understand why it is putting so much time and energy into this if it does not intend to apply. So before the Lafarge farce comes to a head, I would like to see this province make real and substantive commitments that the burning of tires is not acceptable recycling practice and that not only will it not take place at the Lefarge plant, it will not be permitted to take place in order to supply cheap fuel for any fuel needing enterprise in the Province of Nova Scotia. It's absolutely not worth it to the people who live in Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand here today and speak about burning tires. I was just thinking while I was sitting here, when we were children we used to go on the pond at night in the middle of the community and we'd get an old tire and light it afire on the middle of the ice at night. The next day, the people of the community would give us hell all day because of the soot balls that would come off the bonfire at night and drop in their yards, on their cars, on their doorsteps and this was from burning one tire on the pond at night. We always made sure the people next door to the pond weren't home when we did it again. That was one tire and one little bonfire, so I could imagine, if we burned a million a year in the province, what type of calls you would get about soot balls flying around.

[Page 3463]

I want to say something on what the Minister of Environment and Labour said about us over here on this side speaking too early, speaking before this even came to Environment and Labour. I would like to tell the minister we are just trying to be proactive here. If we see something like this coming at us, I think we should talk about it before it hits us, not after it hits us - that's just good common sense to me. He also spoke about other places burning these tires around this country and other countries. That doesn't make it right just because other countries are doing it. I think we as Canadians should know better than that, or at least as Nova Scotians, we should know better than that.

I also believe the Resource Recovery Fund Board was created to ensure the people of Nova Scotia receive the maximum environmental benefits associated with responsible solid waste management. The Department of Environment and Labour is responsible for the air quality standards and must enforce these regulations to keep our environment and air clean. Also, in Resolution No. 1921, our Party believes and urges the government to enforce its air quality regulations and call upon the RRFB to move forward with better and more environmentally friendly initiatives.

Mr. Speaker, I want to give a new meaning to "the rubber hits the road". We have heard that saying "the rubber is hitting the road tonight", well I want to talk about different rubber hitting the road. I believe the Minister of Transportation and Public Works should be interested in this also. I have a document here and took a few things out of it. Rubberized asphalt has been used for more than 20 years to resurface highways and city streets in Arizona when pavement surfaces reach their normal life expectancy. While it helped reduce the disposal of used tires, it recently has been recognized for its reduction of traffic noise also.

Rubberized asphalt consists of regular asphalt paving mixed with "crumb" rubber ground up in used tires that would otherwise be discarded or taking up space in landfills or being burned. Approximately 1,500 tires are used for every lane mile of rubberized paving, that is 900,000 tires in this province that we could put into 600 miles of paving in this province every year, that's quite an amazing number I would say.

The American Department of Transport has used rubberized asphalt as a pavement preservation strategy on major highways throughout the States, but it was the City of Phoenix that pioneered the use of the product in the mid-1960s, almost 45 years ago, and we're standing here thinking about burning these tires. For 45 years, they have been paving the roads in the City of Phoenix. The earliest use of rubberized asphalt by the city was in 1964 when it was incorporated into the chip seal program for the city streets. A rubberized asphalt chip seal which uses a mixture of rubberized asphalt and gravel was applied to a street in 1971 as a temporary measure. However, it performed so well that the street was not reconstructed until 20 years later in 1992.

This product was shown to have a number of advantages. It does not reflect cracks from the existing pavement. It is more durable and skid resistant than conventional asphalt.

[Page 3464]

It reduces the traffic noise and provides a smooth, quiet ride and even possibly giving better gas mileage from less friction - good stuff. Rubber to rubber, not rubber to road, I guess. Noise tests on chip-sealed asphalt rubber pavements on Seventh Street by the City of Phoenix showed a decrease of 10 decibels or about 90 per cent reduction in noise level alone. Research shows reduction in noise levels of 50 per cent to 75 per cent is commonly attained by using this material.

More than 4.2 million tons of rubberized asphalt has been used on Arizona highways since 1988. Those projects have resulted in recycling about 15 million old tires. That is a real good-news story of what we can do with these tires, but I will tell you even a better story and it's right here in this province. It's right here in Digby-Annapolis.

Seven years ago, Mr. Speaker, the South Range Cross Road, in my riding, was applied with this crushed rubber - not crumbed rubber, it was stripped-up rubber. One kilometre was done to this road and I invite anybody to come to Digby and look at this piece of road. On each side of this road in the last seven years, I don't know how many tons of gravel have been dumped on each side of it, thousands and thousands of dollars worth. But on that one kilometre of road where that one-foot deep of rubber is, under two to three inches of gravel, it's perfect. It is just like pavement. We have got it, we have got the example here in Digby-Annapolis.

Why I wanted the minister to listen to this, we have got about 200 miles of road in Digby-Annapolis - dirt road. We will take every tire that this province has in Digby and Annapolis and put them in our roads. That is what we are willing to do because we have got proof of one kilometre down there that has made a beautiful little piece of road. So the problem is solved today. We don't have to burn these tires. We will take them in Digby-Annapolis and put them into the 200 miles of - right now it's one foot deep, the muck on them, and when the rest of the frost comes out, it is going to be two feet. The calls are starting already. So I want to go home, Mr. Speaker, with a solution to this problem of not burning these tires and we will take them in Digby and put them in the roads.

That piece of road, I have talked to the engineer that was involved, I have talked to the manager there. One little bit of a problem, though, I should say, when it gets cold it seems to freeze a little bit faster than the regular road but I believe that's just the same as our bridges are. But it's got one foot of rubber into that road which makes perfect drainage. It is always nice and dry, even after a big rain, even in the Spring when the frost is coming out. This piece of road is just amazing down there. So I can see why in Phoenix, Arizona, that they are going to pave every road in that city with this rubber into it. I daresay, as they are saying, I believe it is even better on fuel.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, with that I just want to say that is why I wanted the Minister of Transportation and Public Works to listen to this because it is something that we can look into and I believe the environment minister can have the answer for Lafarge. Lafarge is into

[Page 3465]

the paving industry. Get them to work with this rubber and put it into our roads and not into our air and pollute it more. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for debate on Resolution No.1921 has now expired. The honourable Liberal House Leader.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 143.

Bill No. 143 - Income Tax Act.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm delighted to be able to stand today and have a chance to discuss Bill No. 143, which is a bill to change the Income Tax Act and offer a tax credit to consumers who choose to purchase fuel efficient vehicles. There are two levels of tax credits that are provided for in this bill - one for vehicles that are fuel efficient and another for hybrid vehicles that meet an even higher rating for city driving and the consumption of fossil fuels.

I believe the time has certainly come for the government to look seriously at this. In our latest federal budget, which was just brought down on Monday, the federal Tories have finally somewhat seen the light and have actually introduced a similar measure to encourage consumers to make the right choice when they're going to buy a new or used vehicle.

In the bill I've introduced, it should be mentioned, this is the third time that I've brought it to the House and introduced it so that it is on our order paper. Up to this point, the government has not embraced it, which I think is unfortunate. In doing so, we had a chance to be one of the first provinces to take measures that would actually recognize the importance of reducing greenhouse gases and the importance of improving our emissions so that we will be contributing less to climate change.

The time is now, the urgency is increasing and I believe the public understands that too, Mr. Speaker. Without a doubt, the public is asking us, I know individually and in our own roles as MLAs and in our critic areas, to get with it, to start making some noise and to ensure that measures are taken to start improving our record here in Nova Scotia.

I think it's something most Nova Scotians would be surprised to hear, that actually, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, Nova Scotians, on a per capita basis, are the highest emitters of greenhouse gases. As a small province, with less than one million people, we are

[Page 3466]

actually, per person, creating more greenhouse gases than any other Canadians. I think, given the urgency and given what we know about climate change now, which is really irrefutable science that says this is a major concern for us, Nova Scotians should want to be in the forefront, in fact leaders, in making this change. Having introduced this bill, I make the point that this is one part of what should be a multi-pronged approach to try to improve our environment.

It starts with individuals and how we consume and how we manage our own lives to try and decrease our footprint in terms of our environmental damage that we each and every one of us cause. In terms of this, the actual percentage of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions from the use of cars is 12 per cent. So you can see, if we make the choice to go to a more fuel efficient vehicle, we can make a dramatic improvement in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases that we are producing.

In the summer of 2005, I had the opportunity to attend the Conference of New England Governors, the group of American governors that meet, and one of the workshops that was held at that convention in Connecticut was on climate change. We had world class scientists come talk to us about the evidence that was out there to support changes in policy. They were asking us, as legislators in our respective states and provinces, to understand the problem so that we could take some constructive action. Believe me, to deal with this problem, we need to have real commitment from the top, from our leaders and that starts with the individuals who sit right here in the Legislature. But, best of all, and most of all, we need the support of our government to move forward. I stress this is just one measure in a whole host of measures that are needed.

[5:30 p.m.]

I believe the cost of a hybrid vehicle in particular is really out of reach for many people buying a vehicle. For that reason, we need to offer some incentive, a little additional reason for people to think twice when they're making that very significant purchase. I know I went through that very decision this summer and I did buy a fuel efficient vehicle but I did not buy a hybrid vehicle and the difference in price was about $6,000 to make that change. So I know that families go through a complicated process of discussion and deliberation about making that decision, and I believe a tax credit will make a difference to people in purchasing.

Right now only about 3 per cent of the vehicles sold are hybrids and I believe, Mr. Speaker, that we need to see that come up significantly and another point of this bill that I think is important is it does offer an incentive if you're buying a smaller vehicle that also has a lower usage of fuel. That would be things like your Toyota Echo and there is a list of cars that would fit into that, Civics as well fit in, but there's a list. I know that it's time for us to challenge the car makers and the purchasers to change. I believe consumer demand will make that difference right up the chain, right back to the technologies that our car

[Page 3467]

manufacturers are using. So we have to start somewhere and this is a very good measure that would begin to encourage people to make the right decision in their car purchases.

At the same time, I believe that there's another aspect of this which could be looked at, and that is to put penalties on people who chose to buy the large vehicles that create a lot of greenhouse gases - that are not fuel-efficient. We have not gone to that point in the bill that I'm introducing. I strongly believe that people can be encouraged and motivated by an incentive. I note that the federal government has now introduced a penalty for certain vehicles that are definitely in the high usage for fuel and will contribute in a very negative way to greenhouse gases but, Mr. Speaker, the time is now and I cannot strongly enough urge the government to please look at this bill. Consider it as one small step in what needs to be a very big process towards improving Nova Scotia's record as the worst greenhouse gas emitters in the country.

While I have the floor, Mr. Speaker, it would be useful as well to encourage the government to look at Nova Scotia Power and regulations that are in place now and I think many more are needed to control the pollution coming from Nova Scotia Power plants. The impact there is 50 per cent of the greenhouse gases that I'm referring to here in Nova Scotia are coming from the coal-burning and other plants of Nova Scotia Power. So we need to definitely look at that as well as we improve our climate record in Nova Scotia, our fuel emissions I should say, and greenhouse gas emissions. I believe that that is one component that needs to be considered very much because, as I say, 12 per cent of greenhouse gases come from our operation of vehicles.

There are other contributing factors as well that I would like to see Nova Scotians be in the forefront of change. Because of our record of having the highest greenhouse gas emissions, I believe we should be at the forefront of adopting change and being ahead of the pack and not always behind. We are too quick to follow in this province and it's time we took the lead and we're able to hold our head high and say in national meetings of ministers that we have done certain measures that are ahead of the curve and are actually leading other provinces. I know that the minister knows what those measures are, I'm sure he has looked at them, and I would encourage him to have a look at actually introducing them.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. WILLIAM DOOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member across the way for her dialogue this evening. We're here today to discuss Bill No. 143, but the member took the liberty to talk about GHGs, greenhouse gas emissions, so I think maybe her point was to introduce this bill to help reduce gas emissions and permit Nova Scotia to play its part in the world's decision of helping our environment.

Mr. Speaker, just this morning Environment reported that this has been one of the warmest winters in history, one of the warmest winters recorded in history, and we know why - because of climate change. Now, with the weather that we've been experiencing

[Page 3468]

lately, we may not believe that things are actually warming up, but there is a difference between our weather and our climate.

The Province of Nova Scotia has put a number of initiatives into play of which I'm very proud, Mr. Speaker. I would like to take an opportunity to touch lightly upon some of the initiatives that we put in place to reduce gas emissions before I talk about the bill that is before us this evening.

The Province of Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, has created an agency called Conserve Nova Scotia. Our government has put $10 million into a fund to promote our people, the people of Nova Scotia, to become more aware about energy efficiency. That's a lot of money to put into a program to promote energy efficiency. We have put programs together to help people to become more energy efficient.

I could stand here in my place today and I could list maybe five, ten or more programs that in the end of the day add up to less greenhouse gas emissions. Also, Mr. Speaker, the Department of Energy is responsible for the climate change. I am proud to say here today that we made it mandatory for Nova Scotia Power to put over 20 per cent of renewables in their mix by 2013.

The member across the way, she said that the province should be taking a leadership role. Mr. Speaker, we are taking a leadership role. I can tell you those are some of the strongest restrictions in Canada, for the Province of Nova Scotia, to go to a utility and I said, make them mandatory. Now we could say, what does mandatory mean? Oh, another minister suggesting that a utility should follow suit. Well, Mr. Speaker, this minister has put a penalty in place and by 2013, if Nova Scotia Power does not adhere to the rules and regulations of the province they pay a penalty of $500,000 a day. (Applause) That proves to Nova Scotians that this government means business when it comes to climate change.

Mr. Speaker, through Conserve Nova Scotia - we are getting to the point - through Conserve Nova Scotia, we are putting programs in place to help Nova Scotians reduce gas emissions. We have wood stove rebates, we have oil furnace rebates, we have insulation programs, on and on and on. But when it comes to the bill that I am standing up and discussing, the bill is quite interesting.

What does this bill mean? Well, the member states that if someone purchases an energy efficient automobile, that they should get a tax rebate or a tax cut. Mr. Speaker, you know I think we should go a little further with that. The Nova Scotia Government agrees with the reduction of gas emissions or greenhouse gases, but we believe that through education and changing the behaviour habits of people and especially the motorists on the highway, will be more beneficial than simply a tax reduction.

Mr. Speaker, we know that most people in Nova Scotia plan to purchase an automobile. If they have recently purchased one and will not purchase one in the next five

[Page 3469]

years and, Mr. Speaker, this incentive will not help reduce gas emissions, but through education, through proper education and behavioural habits, we can help reduce gas emissions. Number one, Mr. Speaker, public transit, this government has and will be providing money to our municipalities to help with transit ideas.

Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you that we put a program in place to encourage motorists to keep their tires inflated properly, to make sure that their engine is tuned up properly. We have asked Nova Scotians not to allow their vehicles to idle on those very cold mornings longer than is necessary. So that I'll tell you, we also - if you want to go down another path - we also are encouraging Nova Scotia to use CFLs. Do you know if each home was to replace one traditional lightbulb with a CFL in Canada that it would be the same thing if we took 66,000 automobiles off the road in Canada. So imagine, if each homeowner was to replace two, I say two, light bulbs - the benefits of that to greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr. Speaker, it is not about forcing people to do things, it is about fairness and through education and through Conserve Nova Scotia and through the will of this government, people will willingly adapt to the new way to reduce gas emissions. I'll tell you, member, I thank you for bringing this up today because it gives me an opportunity to speak. Nova Scotians are very responsible. Nova Scotians care about climate change, they understand the climate change file.

Not too long ago I had an opportunity, on a number of occasions, to view An Inconvenient Truth and through the department, we made sure that children in our educational system, at a very young age, have a clear opportunity to understand the climate file. What a wonderful thing, we put CDs, we put staff members right into the classroom and if you're talking about changing behavioral habits, I tell you, you want to start with our young people because this government believes in the youth of Nova Scotia and they will change the way we go.

Mr. Speaker, I don't know how much time I have but I'm feeling good tonight and I feel like going on forever because I'm talking about the right thing, I'm talking about our government doing the right thing for our environment and for the climate of this world.

As I said earlier, I have a book here but it is not necessary for me to look at it tonight. I want to tell you that as we move along and as this government invests money to educate people to be more sensitive and to be concerned about our environment, I applaud the Progressive Conservative Government of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, this bill is of particular interest to me since I believe I am right in saying that I am the only member in this House who owns a vehicle that would actually qualify for this credit. I have been driving a Toyota Prius for the last two years. The Toyota Prius has the best, bar none, gas mileage of any vehicle on the road in

[Page 3470]

Canada today. I did say I was the only one who owned one because I am aware that the Minister of Energy drives one, but as a matter of fact, his vehicle was bought for him by his department, so one could argue that he received a rather large rebate because he didn't have to pay for any of it.

When I talk to people about my Toyota Prius, the two most common questions are, how much did it cost and do you have to plug it in - those are the questions that I get the most. I think it's very important to dispel any myths there are out there about this vehicle, so let me start first of all talking about the technology behind it.

These are beautiful cars, they drive wonderfully and they are an absolute marvel of engineering because the way it works is there is both a gas engine and an electric motor and the car itself makes a decision about which combination of those two motive forces is most efficient in the circumstances. There are some times when it is driving entirely on electric and there are other times when it's entirely on gas, and sometimes it's on a combination of the two, whatever is best for the circumstances. For example, if the car is going downhill, it would generally be moving entirely on electric and therefore zero emissions. Conversely, if one is accelerating or going uphill, the electric motor is not powerful enough to move the car, so then it moves almost entirely on gasoline, but back and forth - the driver doesn't have to make any decisions.

Unlike older electric car technology, this is not something that has to be plugged in and, in fact, the genius of it, the absolute engineering marvel of it, is that the battery charges itself when you brake or decelerate. The very action of braking or decelerating is what charges and continues to charge the electric battery and that's all it takes.

[5:45 p.m.]

It is, as I say, a real marvel of engineering and it does deliver on superb gas mileage - it does live up to the billing. I find that I'm able to get in the summertime, five litres per 100 kilometres and in the wintertime when the heater and defroster and all that stuff is going, then it runs at about seven litres per 100 kilometres. For those of you who think in a somewhat more old fashioned way of miles per gallon, that works out to between 45 and 45 miles per gallon, day in, day out, month in, month out. Compared to the other cars that we had in my family, which is a 1997 Toyota Camry, it's just about twice as good on gas as the Toyota Camry which is really quite remarkable. One of the other remarkable things about it is when you are driving it, it has a real-time gas usage meter so you can actually see how much gas you are using and so you learn - the car, in essence, trains you about what activities it is you do that cause you to use more gas than others, and so you start to learn about how to accelerate the car to use the least amount of gas because you have a screen that tells you exactly how much gas you are using at any given time. It is really quite marvelous.

So should there be a tax credit for it? Well, we know that in Monday's federal budget, a tax credit was offered. In fact, my vehicle, or to be more precise, people buying

[Page 3471]

a vehicle like mine would qualify for a $2,000 tax credit and the bill that is before the House right now proposes the same thing - if the two governments got together on this, that means anybody proposing to buy a Prius would get a $4,000 tax credit. So then you ask, is it worth it?

Let's talk first of all about the price. I know how much the minister's department paid for his vehicle. It was $34,499 because the department doesn't have to pay tax, so that is the pre-tax price. My price, with tax included, was $36,575. Now I don't mind at all telling people that because I want them to know the reality of the situation. I heard people in the news yesterday saying these are $70,000 or $80,000 cars - that's nonsense, they are not. I paid, all taxes in, $36,575. So this tax credit would take $4,000 off that. Now whether that is enough to make people buy the vehicle, who wouldn't have otherwise, is the real question.

Economists have a term for this. They call it "elasticity of demand", and what it means is, how does demand vary with the price? Of course, it's not just as simple as most people usually believe, whereas the price goes down there is a corresponding increase in purchases. Most things don't work that way. So what is not clear is if we lower the price of cars like a Prius by $4,000, what impact would that exactly have? Is that just a gift to people who would have bought these vehicles anyway, or will it really cause people to buy a vehicle who wouldn't otherwise have bought it.

The real problem with these vehicles, Mr. Speaker, is there is not enough supply. When I went looking for my vehicle, I was told that unless they could find a vehicle on a lot in the Maritimes, I was looking at a six- to eight- month wait. There are not enough vehicles on the road. So it doesn't matter how much of a credit you offer people, if they can't get the car now they are probably going to look somewhere else. Another problem is none of these vehicles, at least the Toyota Prius, is actually manufactured in Canada. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could offer a tax credit for cars manufactured in Canada, creating jobs in Canada? But that's not the situation we are currently in.

Mr. Speaker, we have to remember, also, when we are talking about the price, that you have to factor in the fact that it uses, as I said, half as much gas as comparable vehicles that are 100 per cent internal combustion. So you have to figure out, over the lifetime of the vehicle, you are going to be saving quite a lot of money in gasoline. But it takes a fairly sophisticated consumer to be able to estimate how long they have the vehicle, estimate how much gas they will save, figure in the tax credit and then compare it to a truly comparable car. So it's not at all clear that tax credits, by themselves, are enough to cause people to buy the vehicle - although I do have to say, and the minister will know this, when you are actually driving one of these vehicles, the feeling of environmental virtue that you have is absolutely priceless.

So perhaps we are trafficking here in symbols, because it is not at all clear this bill would actually cause more people to go out and buy actual cars that would actually be on road reducing our gas emissions. It wouldn't be the first time that this House would be

[Page 3472]

trafficking in symbols, and so I can say that our caucus supports the bill and encourages the government to support it as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I am certainly pleased to rise today to speak for a few minutes in support of this bill. This is the kind of legislation that we do need to see here now in the provincial Legislature on a regular basis. Certainly not to tip my hat too strongly here, but we will have a number of pieces of legislation around environmental issues, concerns that need to be addressed in Nova Scotia.

I think this is, again, one small measure that will change the thinking around fuel efficiency which, of course, leads to a reduction of not just greenhouse gases but also I think better environmental health, especially in our concentrated areas. So, especially here in the downtown of Halifax, anything that can reduce the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from emissions, I think, is certainly a step in the right direction.

One of the things that we often see around legislation - and the minister alluded to this, in fact spoke about the need for education and the education component that is so valuable, especially for young Nova Scotians to be exposed to, but very often it is actually legislation which becomes the complement piece to effect real change. Any time government comes up with a policy change, a policy shift, a new piece of legislation, I feel that it is that legislative action which will often bring about the major change and the complement to education.

So I think that's why this bill should be supported by all members of the House. It does go beyond symbolism, and it moves to taking concrete real action and changing consumer habits. It is our adult population that is out buying vehicles, and if a tax credit can be one little measure here, then I think that certainly should be embraced by all members and all Parties of the House.

There's no question that the whole issue around greenhouse gases, climate change is what is driving us to take this action and introduce this piece of legislation, but we're seeing many other things happening, as well. You know, cars, transit, are an essential component of daily life. So we will see some other things happen, as well. Kentville, in the Annapolis Valley, is taking the initiative towards reducing idling in their town, which, again, is going to be an energy saver, and it is going to be less pollution in the concentrated downtown area and, of course, the less greenhouse gas, the less impact on the environment. We're seeing a great endorsement of that by the residents of the town.

So a by-law will in fact start the process of people making a change here. I think the same can be said that if we bring in a tax credit towards hybrid cars, and consumer demand goes up, and it's really consumer demand that will change the course of the day, we will see

[Page 3473]

a much greater percentage than 2 per cent or 3 per cent of our current car stock that will be, in fact, much more energy efficient, and reducing greenhouse gases.

One of the areas - when I was the Environment Critic, we brought in a bill that would encourage greater amounts of transit use, and we had that bill updated by the member for Clayton Park yesterday. It will now give 100 per cent tax credit to families who buy transit passes. I think that's another area that we really have to encourage people to engage in.

While the minister talks about the need, again, for transit as a way to reduce greenhouse gases, it's very interesting that if the transit system on the Eastern Shore had received about $40,000 or $50,000 it would have kept the system going. In fact, very often there are strategic times when a little hand up will be a good measure to, I think, impact the future. In this case, I think it would have been the tipping point towards getting greater consciousness of the transit system and getting much greater ridership for that system. So I think there are many measures around this area that we do need to engage in.

Also, this would be a wonderful time for government, in fact, to have their fleet of cars move to if not hybrid, at least the most fuel-efficient fleet they could possibly put on the road. That's the kind of leadership that Nova Scotians want to see from all of our legislators. I know I personally am being challenged to have a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Before I do close, yes, we are starting to see some things happening around Conserve Nova Scotia, but also I do want to acknowledge the work of the Ecology Action Centre. For 35 years, and especially going back to the energy crisis of 1973, the Ecology Action Centre started to make us aware of ways in which we could be much more fuel efficient and also have a healthier environment. So I certainly wanted to acknowledge their work and their leadership role in Nova Scotia on this very, very important issue of all Nova Scotians engaging in a lighter footprint in terms of greenhouse gases.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for Opposition Business has expired.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for the day. I move that the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m. The House will sit until 6:00 p.m. or until the conclusion of business. Following the daily routine, it will be Public Bills for Second Reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for the House to rise and meet again tomorrow at the hour of 2:00 p.m.

[Page 3474]

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

The motion is carried.

The House will sit tomorrow between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

We have arrived at the moment of interruption. The topic for the adjournment debate is:

"Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly acknowledge government has honoured the Premier's green commitment to acquire significant additional Crown lands."

[Page 3475]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

Nat. Res.: Crown Lands Acquisition - Premier's Commitment

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, what a joy it is to be able to rise and speak to this motion this afternoon. It has been quite an extraordinary year for Crown land acquisitions in Nova Scotia. I'm very pleased to stand today and speak about some of these recent land acquisitions, but I think we have to recognize that $35 million worth of land acquisitions for a province the size of Nova Scotia just does not happen by accident. I would like to acknowledge what I see as the three key criteria that had to come together to make this possible.

First of all, Premier Hamm and now Premier MacDonald have run a very tight fiscal ship, and as a result of that the province has found itself in a position where it can make somewhat discretionary purchases, very important purchases, but still it was up to the discretion of the Premiers.

If it was not for Premier Hamm's fiscal stewardship of the environment, along with his Ministers of Finance, we would never have had the very significant surplus that we had in 2005-06, which not only allowed us to meet our debt management planned targets but, in fact, to exceed them.

Premier MacDonald, as I have said before in this Chamber, very early on indicated the importance of greening this province. Traditionally when people run for leadership you would often hear health, education, perhaps roads or infrastructure, and somewhere in the background there would be a mention of environment. That was not the case with Premier MacDonald and perhaps it's the generational change, but I think it's fair to say that by making the environment one of his four pillars he had certainly set the tone for his premiership.

Following through on that commitment and to also recognize Minister Baker, who recognized that window of opportunity as a result of exceeding our debt management planned targets for 2005-06 and allowed us to make these very significant incremental strategic investments in Crown land acquisitions while still not only meeting the debt management plan, but exceeding those targets. So there was a balance and under the leadership of the Premier and those other people that I mentioned in this preamble, this is how we got to where we are today.

I would tell you that the message I'm getting from Nova Scotians right throughout the province is that they do want to have better access to coastal properties, environmental

[Page 3476]

protection - this is important to them, and this year the government seized that opportunity to dramatically improve our Crown land holdings in those areas.

The Department of Natural Resources has worked closely with a number of landowners and the most significant of the corporate ones would be Bowater Mersey Paper Co. Ltd. and the George Eddy Company. Bowater Mersey is a very large landholder in western Nova Scotia and, interestingly enough, they were perhaps ahead of the curve because as far as 40 years ago they recognized the importance of setting aside some of their land for conservation; in fact 13 per cent of their holdings, a very significant number. It's interesting how close it corresponds with our own target of 12 per cent protected wilderness areas for the province - and they did this on their own because they were good corporate citizens.

It is a great pleasure to be able to take responsibility for some of those fabulous properties in the Crown land base, also the George Eddy Company, which has properties along the St. Mary's River and, again, very significant ecological acquisitions - and I want to say that the companies, I think, have been fair with the taxpayer. At a maximum we paid full appraised value and, in some cases, we were even able to acquire for less than that amount, which is a tremendous reflection on them.

Also community organizations like the Mahone Islands Conservation Association, commonly known as MICA and that is, of course, in Lunenburg County, and the St. Margaret's Bay Stewardship Association. Both of these organizations care passionately about acquiring some of the islands and coastal properties in Lunenburg County for conservation and to increase the Crown land base. They didn't just come to government and say we'd like you to purchase these islands or properties, they came with their wallets that were filled to a very significant extent by the community. It was a great pleasure to be able to partner with them to cover over the difference between the appraised market value, oftentimes reduced by the seller to cover that gap and make those purchases possible.

I would also like to recognize our partners, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. We are working with them, again, to expand efforts, to encourage and educate Nova Scotians about ways that they can protect private properties that support areas of ecological diversity such as wildlife habitat for rare and endangered species and the coastal culture we treasure here in Nova Scotia. The arrangement there is basically a matching one - for every dollar from the Department of Natural Resources, they match it with a dollar, so it leverages those monies and plus they bring in expertise and a familiarity close to the community that I think can only come from such an organization.

I am very pleased that in February we were able to announce the acquisition of a number of properties. This is not news, but I think it bears being put into context - 699 hectares of prime Nova Scotia property including islands in Mahone Bay and St. Margarets Bay, Lunenburg County; North Harbour in Victoria County which, amongst other things, has a heron and tern colony; and parcels of land in Guysborough and Queens Counties, including

[Page 3477]

the McGowan Lake, which is an overwintering sport for the endangered Blanding's turtle. All this for recreation and tourism opportunities, coastal access, inland waterways and wildlife habitat, something valued by all Nova Scotians.

Now, Mr. Speaker, a few years ago we made a purchase of Cape Split, but as part of that purchase there was still an access problem and because of the benevolence of the landowners who owned the property between Cape Split and the parking lot, people were able to access it for hiking. It's a lovely spot. Anybody who has not made that hike, I would certainly encourage them to consider it this summer and, as a result of some purchases in that area, we have now secured the access, so it is now Crown land and we certainly appreciate the community, the landowners who allowed that access to continue until we were able to make these purchases this Spring. So there are 147 hectares at Cape Split and 17 hectares at Inner Sambro Island, off HRM, which was announced last week.

The Bowater Mersey purchases were over 10,000 hectares - that moves us from about 8 per cent to 9 per cent, if the majority of that goes to protected wilderness areas and nature preserves, a very significant improvement. In fact, just to wrap up, Mr. Speaker, because there is a lot more that I could say, but I want to get it on the record that this government has purchased more Crown land in 2006-2007 than all governments before it for the last decade. So, I think that this is a move in the right direction. It is not something that we are going to be able to do every year, but what a pleasure it has been to do it this year and I want to commend all the hard work of the many people who made this happen. I am going to identify Joanne Himmelman - who is my director of the land that is held on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia - for her outstanding contribution and that of her staff.

Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to speak on these exciting developments this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure for me to rise tonight to speak in relationship to the late night debate subject. I think that we have to begin by giving a bouquet to the minister for some of the work he has been doing in relationship to the acquisition of land.

Now this is perhaps very unusual because I did in fact give him a little bit of a bouquet earlier in the day in relationship to the off-highway vehicle situation. That is in contrast to what I would have done last week or the month before, or the month before that, because there was very poor communication in relationship to the whole ATV situation, the off-highway vehicle situation.

However, his work today in regard to that is, in fact, good. Having said that and recognizing some of the recent acquisitions that have, in fact, taken place, I want to say that it will be much more of a joy - the minister spoke of what a joy it was for him to stand today-

[Page 3478]

it will be a much greater joy when he stands in this House and says that the goal of 12 per cent has, in fact, been reached.

I want to have a look at a little bit of the history behind trying to get to 12 per cent. This actually came from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio when Jean Charest, then federal Minister of the Environment, set a goal of 12 per cent of each province's territory as part of a network of protected areas. Now where are we in relationship to that 12 per cent?

I almost look at the government, at those opposite from here, as almost being magicians in one respect. It seems that they have tried to take that Conservative blue and they have done a dip, dip, dip and they try to haul it out as being green and it definitely will not work. The magicians on the other side are not capable of doing that. This situation is one where leadership has been shown by another Party for decades in this province. We are, in this Official Opposition, not adopting something green, we have been green for decades.

Now where do we fit in relationship to the rest of Canada on this matter of trying to reach 12 per cent? None of it is 13.6 per cent but we have to say, it is very much like Greenland, which has one of the highest areas in the world because much of it has no population and a lot of it is ice and snow and areas where no people exist. So looking at the provinces of Canada, where are we? We are: British Columbia, 12.5 per cent. Now how did British Columbia get to 12.5 per cent? Well, that's easy.

The headline: NDP Doubles Protected Land in British Columbia. The B.C. Government has added a huge piece of land twice the size of Vancouver Island to the protected areas list. It includes 600,000 hectares of newly protected areas in Northeastern B.C., including the Laird River Corridor and the Muncho Lake Park.

In making the announcement, the NDP Premier of the day said: The addition of the new land fulfills the NDP promise to protect 12 per cent of B.C.'s land base. This plan creates 10 new protected areas in Northern British Columbia totalling about two-thirds of one million hectares, he says. That's about the size of Banff National Park. The land use agreement took eight years to negotiate involving environmentalists, aboriginal groups and the forest industry.

Next to British Columbia, we have the right-wing Government of Alberta, for some reason, with 12.4 per cent; the Yukon with 11.1 per cent; the Northwest Territories with 10.8 per cent; Ontario, 8.7 per cent; the Canadian average, 8.6 per cent; Manitoba 8.4 per cent; Nova Scotia 8.4 per cent or 8.3 per cent, somewhere in there; Saskatchewan, 8 per cent and then New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador are way behind. So we are doing something right. We are moving in the right direction. We are a little below the middle of the pack but we are making some improvements.

[6:15 p.m.]

[Page 3479]

One of the concerns I have is in relationship to the degrees of protection. The Province of Quebec has 22 classifications of protection. So I ask the minister, how many classifications exist in Nova Scotia, because when we look at some of the information in relationship to areas that are strictly protected and the total area protected, that comparison, the most recent was 2001, we have a strictly protected percentage of 6.32 per cent and the area of protection to some degree of 10.45 per cent. So you see there is quite a contrast in what is strictly protected and what is just protected. So I think that's something that we have to address and address early on in this province.

Now, what I want to do is look at some of the situations. One of the things the minister said and I want to deal with this first, is that the minister talked about the ability to do this because of the fiscal restraints of the Hamm Government and the fiscal restraints of the MacDonald Government. I certainly agree with what is said in relationship to the Hamm Government, but certainly to date we have not seen, in that last year, those fiscal restraints to be so excited about, although what has befallen us in the last day or so, we certainly may be facing some serious restraints with the Ottawa cousins of the Conservatives here in the province pulling the rug out from under the Province of Nova Scotia and I certainly take great exception to that.

So where are we in Nova Scotia? When we look at northern Nova Scotia, the area that I represent in Pictou East, there is no protected area whatsoever. It's interesting to note that the Hamm Government did, in fact, bring in the first area in Pictou County and it spans - the largest chunk of it is in fact in Colchester County, but there is a small portion of that, which we really appreciated at the time, in Pictou County. There was nothing in Antigonish County until the Eigg Mountain scenario, but for the minister to put forward a debate subject: "Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly acknowledge government has honoured the Premier's green commitment to acquire significant additional Crown lands.", I find that to be very self-congratulatory, self-serving, "a pat on my back" type of late night debate.

Now, I want to end by saying that to achieve the 12 per cent goal in Nova Scotia we, in fact, need 55 more Gully Lakes. Gully Lake is less than 4,000 hectares, and we need far, far over 200,000 more hectares.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member's time has expired.

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm certainly pleased today to join the minister and the member opposite in the debate because that's what we're supposed to have here, is an exchange of ideas and a laying out of some areas that, yes, government is moving in the right direction, but also there are a number of significant deficiencies that we do need to talk about. First of all, you know, the Premier in his leadership campaign and in the election of 2006 did talk about a greener Nova Scotia, more sustainable environment, and there were

[Page 3480]

to be a number of steps taken to achieve that. One of them, of course, was to protect more green space for future generations of Nova Scotians. Certainly the purchases over the past number of months have raised the percentage at least a couple of decimal points, not a full percentage yet, but as I say, it is moving in the right direction.

I think the minister did reference the most land purchased in a decade. I would have to go back and check. In 1997, under the Liberal Government, Nova Scotia unveiled a protected areas strategy, and of course that was the time in which the minister of the day, the Minister of Natural Resources, Don Downe, protected 31 areas in Nova Scotia. In fact, it is the most signature and landmark occasion in the history of preserving land in Nova Scotia outside of the national park system. It is on that that we do need to build, and we did have a period of time there in which very little was accomplished, and now we have started to move forward again. I certainly hope this path and this approach will go forward, because the goal of 12 per cent - and the member opposite mentioned that the summit in Rio, which was really both an alternate and a major world conference there, out of Rio, actually along with Canada's commitment of 12 per cent from the minister of the day, there was actually a Nova Scotia commitment that was made at that time. The provincial government committed to protect wilderness lands in each of Nova Scotia's 80 natural landscapes by the year 2000.

Again, it is always worthy to note that that was certainly a major goal. It certainly has not been achieved, but that, to me, would be our target of where we should be aiming for, to have the 12 per cent and to have a network across Nova Scotia that would have some land preserved in the 80 natural places. I did have a few e-mails that said, well, you know, they are buying a couple of islands off the South Shore and off Cape Breton, and some lands that Bowater Mersey will turn over to the province, they are not really that significant. I took the opposite point of view and I said yes, they are significant, because it is when you have archeological sites that should be preserved, when you have very rare species, when you have animals like the Blanding's turtle, that are still on the endangered list, well, those areas, even though they are small, they are significant in the big scheme of things, and this is why protecting some land in our 80 natural landscapes is an ideal that we should continue to strive for in this province.

In terms, I guess, of the greatest deficiency that I have come to realize and has been brought to my attention on a number of occasions but certainly reached the critical point last year when we saw that some of our wilderness area, our protected space, was being clear-cut, and we still have this going on. In fact, we will have a major area in Chignecto that has been granted the approval for clear-cutting.

So I am really concerned about what we have designated as wilderness areas but yet we don't give it that full restrictive measure. In fact, the member opposite talked about British Columbia having a hierarchy of protections. I absolutely believe that if we're going to designate lands as wilderness area that we hold on to them in the most pristine manner in

[Page 3481]

which we can, and we work, in fact, to recovery of some of those areas that have been impacted by the logging industry over a number of generations.

To see that practice happen in our wilderness areas today, I think is indeed unacceptable, and Nova Scotians are starting to speak pretty loud and clear about that. Just a year ago I was very disturbed in this House when the minister of the day, the Minister of Natural Resources said - this is from February 23, 2006: that clear-cutting and wildlife management areas will continue despite calls for better habitat protection, the provincial Natural Resources Department said Wednesday.

My hope is that during this session, with the minister giving his government a slap on the back - but I do also give kudos for what has been done - I am hoping this minister will make a clear departure and put an environmental footprint on what we have established here in this province as pieces of wilderness and of the wild that needs to be protected for generations to come.

I'll just end off with one of the species of animal that in central Newfoundland and Labrador I came to appreciate from a very early childhood, from both its majestic presence to, of course, its live-preserving protein that it provided, and that was the moose. If the mainland moose is going to make a recovery in Nova Scotia, we have to protect its habitat. Some of that habitat is still under immense pressure. If we went to Liscomb today, we would not like what we would see. If we were to fly over that sanctuary today, no Nova Scotian, the enlightened people at Natural Resources, or the average Nova Scotian, would not like what they see. There, in fact, are the pressures of harvesting there that are impacting on what should be one of our protected and preserved areas, and some of those commitments that we have made are limited in their nature. I think the green commitment is falling short if our game sanctuaries are not the great habitat that they should be. So pleased with some progress, but I think we have a ways to go. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. I want to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late debate. A motion for adjournment has already been made.

The House stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.

[The House rose at 6:29 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 1976

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

[Page 3482]

Whereas the ability to compete at a national level event is an enormous accomplishment; and

Whereas fencing is a growing sport in Nova Scotia and takes hard work and diligence; and

Whereas five young Lunenburg County fencers were selected to go to the Canada Games in Whitehorse as part of Team Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sabreists Mason Jordon and Alice Smith, Foilists David Richnitzer and Emma Kinley, and Epeeist Gabe Aliphat and Coach Ed Matchett on this very exciting and memorable opportunity to represent Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 1977

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas waste reduction is a crucial component in our efforts to improve our environment; and

Whereas education and action are essential to promoting an awareness of our environment; and

Whereas Bridgewater Business Chataway Café is Lunenburg Regional Community Recycling Centre's Business of the Month;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bridgewater's Chataway Café for their hard work and dedication to waste management.

[Page 3483]

RESOLUTION NO. 1978

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas participating in sports on a regular basis is a healthy thing to do; and

Whereas participating in a team sport helps develop social, physical and leadership skills; and

Whereas many young people are involved in the sport of bowling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Devin Colp for capturing the award for male high single at the Bridgewater Invitational.

RESOLUTION NO. 1979

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas participating in sports on a regular basis is a healthy thing to do; and

Whereas participating in a team sport helps develop social, physical and leadership skills; and

Whereas many young people are involved in the sport of bowling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Michelle Zwicker for capturing the award for female high average at the Bridgewater Invitational.

RESOLUTION NO. 1980

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas participating in sports on a regular basis is a healthy thing to do; and

[Page 3484]

Whereas participating in a team sport helps develop social, physical and leadership skills; and

Whereas many young people are involved in the sport of bowling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the team members of the Bowl More Lanes Gold Medalists: Co-Captain Eric Wade, Co-Captain Victoria Marcott, Jake Mosher, Kathleen Colp and Ryan Conrad.

RESOLUTION NO. 1981

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas participating in sports on a regular basis is a healthy thing to do; and

Whereas participating in a team sport helps develop social, physical and leadership skills; and

Whereas many young people are involved in the sport of bowling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the team members of the Bowl More Lanes Silver Medalists: Cayden Henderson, Colby Oickle, Alanna Turner, Brandon Demone and Michelle Wade.

RESOLUTION NO. 1982

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas participating in sports on a regular basis is a healthy thing to do; and

Whereas participating in a team sport helps develop social, physical and leadership skills; and

Whereas many young people are involved in the sport of bowling;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the team members of the Bowl More Lanes Bronze Medalists: Sydney Naugler, Michaela Henderson, Jonathan Wade, Devin Colp and Captain Michelle Wicker.

[Page 3485]

RESOLUTION NO. 1983

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, 12-year-old Alexa MacDonald, won a silver medal in the girl's green belt match at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Alexa MacDonald on her excellent achievement and wish her all the best in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1984

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, Cody Lowe, won a gold medal at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cody Lowe on his excellent achievement and wish him all the best in future competitions.

[Page 3486]

RESOLUTION NO. 1985

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, 18-year-old Shaun McManus, won a bronze medal in the men's yellow belt match at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Shaun McManus on his excellent achievement and wish him all the best in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1986

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, 11-year-old Bailey Trip, won a gold medal in the girl's yellow belt match at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bailey Trip on her excellent achievement and wish her all the best in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1987

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

[Page 3487]

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, 17-year-old Joshua Ballard, won a silver medal in the men's yellow belt match at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Joshua Ballard on his excellent achievement and wish him all the best in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1988

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, 11-year-old Sam Robar, won a gold medal in the girl's green belt match at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sam Robar on her excellent achievement and wish her all the best in future competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 1989

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is a sport that requires speed, agility and timing; and

Whereas you have to be dedicated and focused; and

Whereas Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club member, 8-year-old Austin Lee, won a bronze medal in the boy's green belt match at the 2007 Nova Scotia Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Austin Lee on his excellent achievement and wish him all the best in future competitions.

[Page 3488]

RESOLUTION NO. 1990

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas Tae Kwon Do is an artistic discipline, consisting of flexibility, endurance and dedication; and

Whereas students are taught self control and integrity; and

Whereas instructor Vincent Wight of the Bridgewater Club recently lead his club of students ranging from ages 8 to 8 to win 7 medals at the provincial championships held in Windsor, Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate instructor Vincent Wight of Bridgewater Tae Kwon Do Club on his dedication to his students.

RESOLUTION NO. 1991

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas powerlifting is a major national sport and has a growing fan base all over the world; and

Whereas Truro hosted the powerlifting competition; and

Whereas Bridgewater native, powerlifter Stephen Seney, won bronze in his division by lifting 1,179 pounds total for the combination of squat, bench press, and dead lifts;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Mr. Stephen Seney on his outstanding achievements in the sport of power lifting.

[Page 3489]

RESOLUTION NO 1992

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas many Nova Scotian athletes, in numerous sports, are recognized as world-class athletes; and

Whereas many of these athletes demonstrate and develop their athletic abilities throughout their high school and university years; and

Whereas Bridgewater's, Jenna Martin, set a record in the 60 metre run at 7.71 seconds at her University of Kentucky, while her time of 24.51 seconds in the 200 metres was among the top 10 fastest times in University of Kentucky history;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, athlete, Jenna Martin, for her record-breaking runs and her recognition as the top overall freshman for her 60 metre record of 7.71 seconds.

RESOLUTION NO. 1993

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas written records of historic times, places, people and events are essential if we care to better appreciate and understand Canada; and

Whereas historic knowledge from all regions of Canada from sea to sea help us identify ourselves and what it means to be Canadians; and

Whereas Francis Jewel Dickson of East LaHave, Nova Scotia, has authored the non-fiction book "The Arctic, Canadian History" which will be available in April, 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Frances Jewel Dickson for her stories about the Distant Early Warning Liners who worked in northern Canada in the 1950s during the height of the Cold War - these brave Canadians worked in a hostile, remote climate where survival was a daily preoccupation.

[Page 3490]

RESOLUTION NO. 1994

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Immigration)

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

Whereas education and action are essential to promoting an awareness of our environment; and

Whereas recycling is a major component in our efforts to create and maintain a clean environment; and

Whereas Bridgewater's Swwweet Retreats Internet Cafe is Lunenburg's Regional Community Recycling Centre's Business of the Month;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bridgewater's Swwweet Retreats Internet Cafe for their hard work and dedication to waste management.

RESOLUTION NO. 1995

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas Barbara Williams has received the Canadian Association of Social Workers Distinguished Service Award for Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Ms. Williams has been singled out for her dedication to helping children and families in the province where she has worked for more than 40 years; and

Whereas Ms. Williams has committed herself to making the lives of our children and their families better;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly recognize Ms. William's contributions to Nova Scotia and congratulate her on receiving such an honour.

< [Page 3491]

RESOLUTION NO. 1996<

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Rebecca Kerr of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Rebecca demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of ringette; and

Whereas Rebecca's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Rebecca.

RESOLUTION NO. 1997

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Sarah Burry of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Sarah demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of ringette; and

Whereas Sarah's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Sarah.

RESOLUTION NO. 1998

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

[Page 3492]

Whereas Sharon MacIntosh of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Sharon demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of freestyle skiing; and

Whereas Sharon's coaching skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Sharon.

RESOLUTION NO. 1999

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Troy Ryan of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Troy demonstrated excellence in his chosen sport of hockey; and

Whereas Troy's coaching skill and dedication to his sport has been recognized by his sport and his efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations toTroy.

RESOLUTION NO. 2000

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Arielle Petropolis of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Arielle demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of squash; and

Whereas Arielle's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Arielle.

RESOLUTION NO. 2001

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Ben Mayhew of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Ben demonstrated excellence in his chosen sport of curling; and

Whereas Ben's skill and dedication to his sport has been recognized by his sport and his efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Ben.

RESOLUTION NO. 2002

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Brendan Wilton of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Brendan demonstrated excellence in his chosen sport of Alpine skiing; and

Whereas Brendan's skill and dedication to his sport has been recognized by his sport and his efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Brendan.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2003

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Courtney Huestis of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Courtney demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of curling; and

Whereas Courtney's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Courtney.

RESOLUTION NO. 2004

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Allan Mayhew of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Allan demonstrated excellence in management in his chosen sport of curling; and

Whereas Allan's management skill and dedication to his sport has been recognized by his sport and his efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Allan.

RESOLUTION NO. 2005

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

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Whereas Jennifer Medeiros of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Jennifer demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of badminton; and

Whereas Jennifer's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Jennifer.

RESOLUTION NO. 2006

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Julie Anne Wilton of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Julie demonstrated excellence in management of her chosen sport of Alpine skiing; and

Whereas Julie's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Julie.

RESOLUTION NO. 2007

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Meggie Soehl of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Meggie demonstrated excellence in her chosen sport of cross-country skiing; and

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Whereas Meggie's skill and dedication to her sport has been recognized by her sport and her efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Meggie.

RESOLUTION NO. 2008

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas Peter Delmas of Bedford represented Nova Scotia at the 2007 Canada Winter Games; and

Whereas Peter demonstrated excellence in his chosen sport of hockey; and

Whereas Peter's skill and dedication to his sport has been recognized by his sport and his efforts applauded by the community of Bedford;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Peter.