The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 07-44

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

THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2248, Safer Healthcare Now! Campaign - DHAs: Efforts -
Support, Hon. C. d'Entremont 3932
Vote - Affirmative 3932
Res. 2249, Atl. Can. Cultural Export Summit: Participants -
Congrats., Hon. L. Goucher 3933
Vote - Affirmative 3934
Res. 2250, Fish. & Aquaculture: Angling Opportunities -
Experience, Hon. R. Chisholm 3935
Vote - Affirmative 3934
Res. 2251, EMO - CEO/Team: Work - Acknowledge,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 3934
Vote - Affirmative 3934
Res. 2252, Commun. Econ. Dev. Investment Funds - Prog.:
Success - Recognize, Hon. R. Hurlburt 3935
Vote - Affirmative 3935
Res. 2253, Com. Serv. - Early Learning & Child Care Plan:
Gov't. (Can.) Funding - Welcome, Hon. J. Streatch 3936
Vote - Affirmative 3936
Res. 2254, Econ. Dev. - Broadband Serv.: Rural Areas -
Connection, Hon. R. Hurlburt 3936
Vote - Affirmative 3937
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2255, Jeong Jeong Ra: Welcome - Extend, Hon. K. Casey 3937
Vote - Affirmative 3938
Res. 2256, MacInnis, Mike: Foster Care Work - Recognize,
Hon. J. Streatch 3938
Vote - Affirmative 3939
Res. 2257, Rankin, Cecil: Retirement - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Chisholm 3939
Vote - Affirmative 3940
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 163, Human Rights Act, Hon. M. Parent 3940
No. 164, Health Protection Act, Mr. D. Wilson (Sackville-
Cobequid) 3940
No. 165, Environment Act, Mr. K. Colwell 3940
No. 166, Undersea Coal Mines Requisition Act, Hon. M. Parent 3940
No. 167, Mandatory Retirement Elimination Act, Mr. L. Glavine 3940
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2258, Operation Peace: Participants - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 3941
Vote - Affirmative 3941
Res. 2259, Atl. Accord - Liberal MPs: Advocacy - Congrats.,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 3942
Res. 2260, Cormier, J.P.: East Coast Music Awards - Congrats.,
The Premier 3942
Vote - Affirmative 3943
Res. 2261, Operation Peace Junior Club: Participants - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 3943
Vote - Affirmative 3944
Res. 2262, Dion, Stéphane - 2005 Accord: Stance - Congrats.,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 3944
Res. 2263, Frenchvale FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 3945
Vote - Affirmative 3945
Res. 2264, Int'l. Gathering of the Clans (2007): Welcome -
Extend, Mr. D. Dexter 3945
Vote - Affirmative 3946
Res. 2265, Murray-Selinger, Kaitlin: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. K. Colwell 3946
Vote - Affirmative 3947
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2266, Fortress Louisbourg: Savour Food & Wine Fest. -
Congrats., Mr. A. MacLeod 3947
Vote - Affirmative 3947
Res. 2267, Hants East Rural HS: Jr. Achievement Challenge -
Congrats., Mr. J. MacDonell 3948
Vote - Affirmative 3948
Res. 2268, Patterson, Ms. Jere: Accomplishments - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 3948
Vote - Affirmative 3949
Res. 2269, Agencies, Boards & Commissions - Applications:
Gender Inequality - Address, Ms. J. Massey 3949
Res. 2270, Myers, Ransom A.: Death of - Tribute, Mr. K. Colwell 3950
Vote - Affirmative 3950
Res. 2271, Gnemmi, Elizabeth - NSAC: President's List -
Congrats., Mr. C. Porter 3951
Vote - Affirmative 3951
Res. 2272, Scotsburn Black Light Theatre: Organizers/
Participants - Congrats., Mr. C. Parker 3951
Vote - Affirmative 3952
Res. 2273, Simms, Pastors Kristian & Leslie/Courtney, Sgt.
Maj. Fred: Salvation Army/Glace Bay - Dedication,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3952
Vote - Affirmative 3953
Res. 2274, Archibald, Kate: Swimming Accomplishments -
Congrats., Hon. C. d'Entremont 3953
Vote - Affirmative 3953
Res. 2275, Puff, Sherilyn/Amero, Kelsey/Maling, Sheldon:
Bravery - Congrats., Mr. H. Theriault 3954
Vote - Affirmative 3955
Res. 2276, Novokuznetsk: Condolences - Send, Hon. M. Scott 3955
Vote - Affirmative 3956
Res. 2277, Prov. HS Debating Championships: Hfx. Grammar Sch.
Team - Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra 3956
Vote - Affirmative 3957
Res. 2278, Lorraine, Jim & Tricia - Truro & Area Chamber of
Commerce Award, Hon. K. Casey 3957
Vote - Affirmative 3957
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2279, Howse, Trevor: Uteck Award - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Paris 3958
Vote - Affirmative 3958
Res. 2280, Wile, Scott: Heroism - Commend,
Hon. B. Taylor (by Mr. C. Porter) 3958
Vote - Affirmative 3959
Res. 2281, Queens Manor - Adult Day Prog: Establishment -
Commend, Ms. V. Conrad 3959
Vote - Affirmative 3960
Res. 2282, Bedford Warriors Atom Hockey Team:
Weatherby Tournament - Championship, Hon. L. Goucher 3960
Vote - Affirmative 3960
Res. 2283, McRiner, Trinity - Angel Hair for Kids: Donation -
Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 3960
Vote - Affirmative 3961
Res. 2284, Forsythe, Mary - 4-H Ad Campaign Award,
Hon. M. Parent 3961
Vote - Affirmative 3962
Res. 2285, Lismore - Fuel Conservation: Initiatives - Commend,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 3962
Vote - Affirmative 3963
Res. 2286, Rafih, Abdul - African N.S. Commun. (Truro):
Recognition, Hon. J. Muir 3963
Vote - Affirmative 3963
Res. 2287, Ross, Marjorie: Heart & Stroke Fdn. - Golden Pin
Award, Mr. J. MacDonell 3964
Vote - Affirmative 3964
Res. 2288, Byrnes, Chelsey: N. Col. HS - Female Student of Mo.,
Hon. K. Casey 3964
Vote - Affirmative 3965
Res. 2289, Alderney Gate Library - Vol. Fair: Participants -
Success Wish, Ms. J. Massey 3965
Vote - Affirmative 3966
Res. 2290, Dal. Soc. For Corporate Environmental & Social
Responsibility: Fundraising - Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra 3966
Vote - Affirmative 3966
Res. 2291, Hafey, Irish Art: Boxing Achievements - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 3967
Vote - Affirmative 3967
Vote - Affirmative
Res. 2292, Slaunwhite, Craig: Racing Awards - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 3962
Vote - Affirmative 3968
Res. 2293, Lightfoot, Maurice - Wolfville FD: Serv. (60 yr.) -
Congrats., Hon. D. Morse 3968
Vote - Affirmative 3969
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 435, Insurance - Companies: Profitability - Source,
Mr. D. Dexter 3969
No. 436,TPW - Crosswalk Safety: Task Force - Form,
Mr. K. Colwell 3970
No. 437, Insurance - Companies: Profits - Justification,
Mr. D. Dexter 3972
No. 438, Insurance - Log Homes: MacNeil Case - Premiums,
Mr. D. Dexter 3973
No. 439, Gaming Corp. - Chances: Equality - Ensure,
Mr. L. Glavine 3975
No. 440, Environ. & Lbr. - Mine Closings(C.B.): Remediation -
Update, Mr. F. Corbett 3976
No. 441, Health - Horne, Dr. G.: Privileges - Reinstate,
Mr. L. Preyra 3978
No. 442, Environ. & Lbr. : Electronic E-Waste Mgt. Prog. -
Administration, Mr. K. Colwell 3979
No. 443, Agric.: Election Commitment -
Keep, Mr. J. MacDonell 3981
No. 444, Educ. - Jr. High Sch.: Glace Bay - Delay Explain,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 3982
No. 445, Educ. - Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank: Schools-
Fast Track, Mr. P. Paris 3983
No. 446, Com. Serv. - Small Options Home Closure: Patient Transfer -
Details, Ms. V. Conrad 3984
No. 447, Educ. - B. Ed. Progs.: Increase - Plans, Mr. L. Glavine 3986
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON MOTION FOR SUPPLY:
Ms. V. Conrad 3988
Mr. K. Colwell 3991

HOUSE RESOLVES INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:31 P.M. 3996
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 3996
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Seal Population - Control: Humane Plan - Consultation 3996
Mr. H. Theriault 3996
Hon. R. Chisholm 3998
Mr. C. Porter 4001
Mr. S. Belliveau 4001
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 P.M. 4004
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:10 : 4004
[GOVERNMENT BUSINESS]
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
Bill No. 146 - Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act 4004
Mr. H. Epstein 4004
Ms. V. Conrad 4008
Hon. M. Parent 4011
Vote - Affirmative 4012
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Mar. 30th, at 9:00 A.M. 4012
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2294, Bridgewater Vikings: Jr. Boys Basketball Team -
NSSAF Championship, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4013
Res. 2295, Amherst Rotary Club - Physically Challenged Children:
Assistance - Congrats., Mr. E. Fage 4013
Res. 2296, Porter, Matthew/Belliveau, Mary Ann/Black Terry -
Special Olympics Awards, Mr. E. Fage 4014
Res. 2297, Pugwash Panthers Jr. Boys Basketball Team -
Dist. Title, Mr. E. Fage 4014
Res. 2298, Amherst Reg. HS Vikings - HS Basketball Championship,
Mr. E. Fage 4015
Res. 2299, Fuller, David - Chicken Farmers of Can.: Chairman -
Re-Election, Mr. S. McNeil 4015
Res. 2300, Moreau, Michael: Special Olympics - Male Athlete of
Yr. Award, Ms. V. Conrad 4016
Res. 2301, Ryl. Conservatory Exams - Henneberry's Studio:
Participants - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 4016
Participants - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad
Res. 2302, Martin, Jenna - Univ. of Kentucky: Track & Field
Season - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 4017
Res. 2303, Cook, Diane: Entrepreneurial Skills - Recognize,
Ms. V. Conrad 4017
Res. 2304, Queens Quilters Guild: Quilts - Donation
Recognize, Ms. V. Conrad 4018
Res. 2305, Call to Remembrance Comp. - Liverpool Team:
Silver Medal - Congrats., Ms. V. Conrad 4018
Res. 2306, Mouzar Rink: Curling Achievement - Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 4019
Res. 2307, Boisdale FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4019
Res. 2308, Christmas Island FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4020
Res. 2309, Florence FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4020
Res. 2310, Southside Bolarderie FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4021
Res. 2311, Big Bras d'Or FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4021
Res. 2312, Ross Ferry FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4022
Res. 2313, Baddeck FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4022
Res. 2314, Middle River FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4023
Res. 2315, Iona FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4023
Res. 2316, North Shore & Dist. FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4024
Res. 2317, Ingonish Beach FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4024
Res. 2318, Ingonish FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4025
Res. 2319, Neils Hbr./New Haven FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4025
Mr. K. Bain
Res. 2320, Cabot FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4026
Res. 2321, Bay St. Lawrence FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4026
Res. 2322, Georges River FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 4026
Res. 2323, École NDA Smoke-Free Status - Congrats.,
The Premier 4027
Res. 2324, Skeir, Evelina (Posthumous): Achievements - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 4028
Res. 2325, Smith, Deacon Everett (Posthumous): Achievements -
Congrats., Mr. K. Colwell 4028

[Page 3931]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2007

Sixtieth General Assembly

First Session

12:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Cecil Clarke

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we commence the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park:

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Government consult with the fishing industry, the federal government and seal conservation societies to put forward a plan for the safest, most humane form of seal population control.

That will be heard at the moment of interruption this evening.

We will now commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

3931

[Page 3932]

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2248

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

Whereas Nova Scotia's district health authorities and the IWK all value patient safety; and

Whereas they all participated in the national Safer Healthcare Now! campaign to reduce adverse effects in our health care; and

Whereas the South Shore Health, Annapolis Valley Health and Capital Health were nationally recognized for their initiatives in the Safer Healthcare Now! preliminary report released yesterday for results in their hospitals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate these district health authorities for their efforts to reduce adverse events in our health care system.

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.

[Page 3933]

RESOLUTION NO. 2249

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

Whereas the Atlantic Canada Cultural Export Summit took place in Moncton, New Brunswick on March 23rd and 24th; and

Whereas the summit celebrated achievements in cultural export from across Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas 10 Nova Scotian artists and arts organizations were recognized for their cultural exports, including: Mi'kmaq artist Alan Syliboy, author Alistair MacLeod, the Atlantic Film Festival, DRUM!, the East Coast Music Association, songwriter Gordie Sampson, The Mermaid Theatre, Salter Street Films founder Michael Donovan, Nimbus Publishing and Ode à l'Acadie;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating these talented and respected artists and organizations for developing a calibre of product that can compete anywhere in this world.

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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2250

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

Whereas Sunday, April 1st signals the start of the sportfishing season in Nova Scotia and anglers will be heading out to the rivers and lakes to try to catch the big one; and

[Page 3934]

Whereas sportfishing is an outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by family and friends and people of any age and brings significant economic benefits to the province; and

Whereas more than 100,000 anglers can enjoy the peace, tranquility and relaxed pace of sportfishing throughout the year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature encourage more Nova Scotians to experience the variety of angling opportunities such as our free fishing weekend on June 2nd and 3rd.

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 Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 2251

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 Nova Scotia and the other provinces play an active role in national emergency management issues; and

Whereas Nova Scotia plays a leading role in key issues such as public alerting, mitigation strategies and disaster financial assistance; and

Whereas Nova Scotia has been invited to host the next annual meeting of the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for emergency management, to be held in January 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the important work being carried out in advance of this national meeting by our EMO team.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 3935]

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 Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2252

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

Whereas in the past six years, more than 3,000 Nova Scotians have invested over $20 million in 37 Community Economic Development Investment Funds; and

Whereas Nova Scotians demonstrated their faith in the business of this province in 2005 by investing a record of $5.2 million in these funds; and

Whereas these funds are important to the rural areas of our province, where they provide investment dollars for small businesses and job opportunities;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House recognize the success of this important program and applaud those who invest in the economy of rural 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.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

[Page 3936]

RESOLUTION NO. 2253

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

Whereas this government is committed to supporting Nova Scotian families, and part of that commitment is helping quality child care; and

Whereas we have developed a 10-year plan in consultation with various stakeholders, from parents to child care workers, to help us keep that commitment; and

Whereas there is approximately $7 million in new funding from the federal government to support the creation of child care spaces;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House welcome this funding that will be used to complement our 10-year Early Learning and Child Care Plan and continue to provide much-needed help for families in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2254

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

Whereas the government is committed to expanding high-speed broadband access to all Nova Scotians to help ensure our rural areas can reach their full economic and social potential; and

Whereas the pilot project in Cumberland County has already connected more than 20 homes, and continues to connect an average of three homes each day; and

[Page 3937]

Whereas the evaluation results of this pilot project will be used to help build a plan to connect all unserviced areas across the province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the importance of ensuring that our rural and remote areas of the province have the opportunity to be connected by an affordable and sustainable broadband service by the end of 2009.

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.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, if I could, before reading the resolution, do an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes, please do.

MS. CASEY: If I could draw people's attention to the gallery opposite, I would like to introduce Jeong Jeong Ra, a student from Japan, who has been with us for three years studying in our public schools, and with him, Paul Millman, who has been instrumental in building the International Student Program in Nova Scotia. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2255

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

Whereas EduNova, N.S. Business Inc., and the Department of Education partnered a joint mission to Ottawa on February 15, 2007, to inform ambassadors, high commissioners and foreign service officers, of Nova Scotia's excellent educational system and training service; and

[Page 3938]

Whereas Jeong Jeong Ra is a Grade 12 international student from Japan who attends Northumberland Regional High School in Alma, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Jeong Jeong Ra travelled to Ottawa as a representative of the Nova Scotia International Student Program, and won praise and admiration as a speaker and as a role model for his peers from all countries;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend a warm welcome to Jeong Jeong Ra, and express our thanks to him for serving as such an exceptional ambassador for the Nova Scotia International Student Program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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.

[12:15 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2256

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

Whereas Mike MacInnis, a foster care recruitment worker with the Department of Community Services has recently returned from helping Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse; and

Whereas Mr. MacInnis was in charge of Nova Scotia's boxing and badminton programs as well as assisting with the judo and National Artists program; and

Whereas Mr. MacInnis provides a stellar example to Nova Scotian youth through his volunteer activities and through his work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Mr. MacInnis for the leadership and compassion he displays on a daily basis in his job as a Foster Care

[Page 3939]

recruitment worker and congratulate him and the young Nova Scotians on their showing at the Canada Winter Games.

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 Fisheries and Aquaculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2257

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

Whereas Cecil Rankin has given 30 years of dedicated service to the Province of Nova Scotia and has decided to hang up his hat on March 31, 2007; and

Whereas Cecil Rankin has spent all his years in government as a fisheries representative for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, most recently as a supervisor for the eastern region of the province; and

Whereas Cecil Rankin has established many long-standing relationships with industry and government colleagues and his professional work ethics, knowledge of the industry and sense of humour will be missed by all;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature thank Cecil Rankin for his dedication to the province, the fishing industry and his community and offer him best wishes in his retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3940]

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 163 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Elimination of Mandatory Retirement. (Hon. Mark Parent)

Bill No. 164 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 2004. The Health Protection Act. (Mr. David Wilson, Sackville-Cobequid)

Bill No. 165 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1, the Acts of 1994-95. The Environment Act. (Mr. Keith Colwell)

Bill No. 166 - Entitled an Act to Facilitate the Effective Regulation of Undersea Coal Mines in the Province. (Hon. Mark Parent)

Bill No. 167 - Entitled an Act to Eliminate Mandatory Retirement. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

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

The honourable member for Preston on an introduction.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it's with great pleasure that I would like to introduce four very wonderful ladies from my constituency who are members of the Red Hatter Society - the society that considers nobody can have too much fun - and they sure live up to that reputation They're from Lake Echo and surrounding area and I would ask them to stand as I call their names: Ruth Wells, Evelyn Vannier, Eileen Beiswanger and Marilyn Dempsey, and I would ask you to afford them the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Indeed, welcome to our guests and all visitors to the House of Assembly gallery today.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, if I may be permitted an introduction

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

[Page 3941]

MS. MORE: In the west gallery, I draw your attention to a group of remarkable youth who are here from Dartmouth and who are the subject of two resolutions today. I ask them to stand. They are the members of the Dartmouth Operation Peace and Operation Peace Junior Club. If they, their parents and their facilitator, Shannon MacLean, would please stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2258

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

Whereas Operation Peace began when a group of Grade 5 students in Dartmouth wanted to make a difference in the world; and

Whereas three years ago they started fundraising for an orphanage in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where one of the group had spent her early years; and

Whereas these 11-year-old to 14-year-old youth have raised over $6,000 and started an Operation Peace Junior Club for younger girls;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Julia MacLean, Meghan MacLean, Bethany Dickey, Lydia Broderick, Marlene Lovell, Emily Marchand Collins, and Chelsea Shannon-Lamb for their generosity of time, talent and caring and thank them for their leadership and dedication to others through their Operation Peace Club.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[Page 3942]

RESOLUTION NO. 2259

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

Whereas Nova Scotia Conservative MPs have abandoned our constituents in Nova Scotia by allowing the Prime Minister to not honour the original intent of the 2005 Atlantic Accord; and

Whereas Nova Scotia Liberal MPs have openly supported the 2005 Atlantic Accord and have called on the federal government to honour the original intent of the accord; and

Whereas while in Opposition, the Conservative Party of Canada produced a brochure advocating for 100 per cent of offshore revenue which was headlined with a daily proverb: There is no greater fraud than a promise not kept; a proverb that Member of Parliament, Peter MacKay, seems to have forgotten;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate all Liberal MPs for advocating for 100 per cent of Nova Scotia's offshore revenue and condemn the federal government's hypocrisy for forgetting what the Gaelic proverb means.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2260

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 J.P. Cormier has entertained audiences here, at home, and around the globe; and

Whereas this incredible Nova Scotian musician was honoured for his work in February with three East Coast Music Awards; and

[Page 3943]

Whereas each of the awards received were for a different album under a separate category;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate J.P. on the receipt of these latest awards and for continuing to impress audiences wherever he goes with his musical diversity and down home style.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2261

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

Whereas Operation Peace began three years ago when a group of Grade 5 students in Dartmouth wanted to make a difference in the world; and

Whereas this year they have expanded their fundraising initiative to mentor younger girls through Operation Peace Junior Club; and

Whereas the seven-year-old and eight-year-old youth are developing a world vision and learning how to help people in other parts of the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Lena Carriere, Caitlin Pett, Ally Pett, Hannah MacLean and Grace Bowen-MacLean for taking up the challenge of world peace and caring for others through their work in Dartmouth's Operation Peace Junior Club.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3944]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2262

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

Whereas under the leadership of Prime Minister Paul Martin, the previous Liberal Government recognized the significance and necessity of offshore revenue to the future self-sufficiency of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador; and

Whereas current Liberal Party of Canada Leader and future Prime Minister, Stéphane Dion, has openly stated that he opposes any type of cap to offshore revenue and that he would honour the original accord signed in 2005; and

Whereas Nova Scotia federal Conservative MPs have virtually abandoned Nova Scotians and have done little to nothing in lobbying the Prime Minister to keep his word and not place a cap on Nova Scotia's offshore revenue;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion for standing up for Nova Scotians in honouring the original 2005 accord and condemn Stephen Harper's willingness to keep Nova Scotia a have-not province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 3945]

It's not every day that the Speaker has a hard time hearing the member for Cape Breton South in the Chamber. (Laughter) I would ask all members to be mindful of the noise levels, please.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2263

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Frenchvale Fire Department answers a number of local calls annually while always being there ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Frenchvale Fire Department for their commitment to community and their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when requested.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2264

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

[Page 3946]

Whereas the International Gathering of the Clans takes place in Nova Scotia this year, starting in one week with the April 5th official opening in the historic Town of Pictou at the Hector Heritage Centre; and

Whereas the Gathering of the Clans is listed in the province's most recent tourism plan as a high-profile event that will draw visitors to Nova Scotia; and

Whereas early awareness of the major event in July and August can make Nova Scotia a real option for thousands of potential visitors to the Gathering of the Clans;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly shares the pride and extends the welcome offered by the Federation of Scottish Clans to the 2007 International Gathering of the Clans, and urges the government to make this a successful event for the participants and for the important tourism industry.

[12:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2265

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

Whereas 14-year-old Kaitlyn Murray-Selinger passed away yesterday after being struck by a vehicle in a marked crosswalk in Dartmouth earlier this week; and

Whereas this tragic loss has touched the hearts of many Nova Scotians; and

Whereas this loving, giving, spirited young lady will be missed by her family and schoolmates, friends and community;

[Page 3947]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend their deepest heartfelt sympathies to Kaitlyn's family and to everyone who knew her.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2266

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

Whereas Fortress Louisbourg is a National Historic Landmark, with thousands of visitors annually; and

Whereas if you have visited Fortress Louisbourg you are already aware of the excellent hot meals and array of food served by employees; and

Whereas the food is served to the thousands of visitors every year because of the efforts put forth by a team of dedicated staff;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend our congratulations to the excellent team of staff members at Fortress Louisbourg for being a finalist in the category of Best Booth at the 2007 Savour Food and Wine Festival sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia and The ChronicleHerald.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3948]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2267

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

Whereas success in business achievement takes many skills that can't be learned too early; and

Whereas the Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge involves up to twenty-five high schools from around Nova Scotia; and

Whereas on November 2006, a team of students from Hants East Rural High School won the latest competition of the business challenge;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the Hants East Rural High School students and their team advisor on winning the Junior Achievement Titan Business Challenge, and wish them well as they apply their lessons in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 2268

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

[Page 3949]

Whereas New Glasgow resident Jere Patterson recently competed in the Miss Canada International - MCI - pageant, an academic scholarship competition; and

Whereas in August of this year Ms. Patterson joined 40 young women from across Canada and competed for the $10,000 prize - Ms. Patterson currently holds the Miss New Glasgow International title, an award she earned after an intense interview process; and

Whereas Ms. Patterson has become an ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pictou County during her reign and works closely with the organization to advocate the personal fulfilment one can attain when participating in children's mentoring programs;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jere Patterson on her accomplishments and hard work while competing for the MCI Scholarship.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2269

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

Whereas data gathered between April 26 and May 24, 2006, in regards to Agencies, Boards and Commissions bulk advertisements show that there were only 213 applicants for 104 advertised boards; and

Whereas some applicants applied for more than one of the advertised boards, the bottom line being there were only 119 people who actually applied; and

Whereas 28 of the applicants were female and the other 91 male;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the fact that women are not applying at the same levels as men and therefore not being placed with the province's

[Page 3950]

Agencies, Boards and Commissions at the same numbers as males, and that steps need to be taken to address this issue - along with the fact that applications numbers in general are very low.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 3951]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2270

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

Whereas renowned fisheries biologist, Ransom Myers passed away at the young age of 54 after a lengthy battle with brain cancer, on March 28, 2007; and

Whereas Mr. Myers made Fortune Magazine's Top Ten list of people to watch in 2005, had worked to publish more than 100 peer review papers and held the Killam Chair of Ocean Studies at Dalhousie University; and

Whereas Mr. Myers' research had shown that industrial fisheries take 10 to 15 years to diminish any new fishing community they encounter to one-tenth of its original size, research he began at the height of the cod fishery collapse;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly send our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ransom A. Myers.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

[Page 3952]

RESOLUTION NO. 2271

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

Whereas Elizabeth Gnemmi of Hantsport is one of 71 students named to the President's List at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College this year; and

Whereas to be named to the President's List a student must be in the top 10 per cent of their program while maintaining an average of 80 per cent or higher; and

Whereas NSAC President T. Philip Hicks described the 71 students as the college's best and brightest;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in this House of Assembly applaud the significant achievements of Elizabeth Gnemmi of Hantsport for being named to the 2007 President's List at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.

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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2272

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

Whereas the Scotsburn Blacklight Theatre - BLT - had a successful debut on Sunday, March 25, 2007 at the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Scotsburn; and

Whereas this production brought people together from throughout the community that had an interest in amateur theatre using a mix of live characters in luminescent costumes, painted props and puppets; and

[Page 3953]

Whereas the first two plays had a biblical theme, Jonah and the Whale and Peter's Denial with the plays and accompanying material locally written;

Therefore be it resolved this House of Assembly congratulate the organizers and participants of the Scotsburn Blacklight Theatre on their debut performance at the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Scotsburn and wish them continued success in their future theatrical 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.

Before we proceed, I just want to remind all members there is too much noise in the Chamber, bring the noise levels down. Thank you very much.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2273

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 Captains Kristian and Leslie Simms are pastors of the Salvation Army Citadel in Glace Bay; and

Whereas the Glace Bay unit of the Salvation Army, under the direction of Captains Simms and in conjunction with Sergeant-Major Fred Courtney, help raise monies through the annual Red Kettle campaign; and

Whereas the monies raised during this annual campaign are used to assist less fortunate families in Glace Bay at Christmastime as well as for emergencies throughout the coming year;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate pastors Kristian and Leslie Simms and Sergeant-Major Fred Courtney for their outstanding dedication to both the Salvation Army Citadel and the residents of Glace Bay.

[Page 3954]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2274

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

Whereas Kate Archibald from Argyle, a former Yarmouth YMCA Whitecaps swim team member, is now a member of the Dalhousie Tigers swim team; and

Whereas Kate recently won two bronze medals at the Atlantic University Sport Championships held in Halifax; and

Whereas Kate placed third in the 100-metre breaststroke with a time of 1:17:05 and third in the 200-metre breaststroke with a time of 2:46:34;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Kate Archibald of Argyle and encouraging her to continue to strive for the best.

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 3955]

Because there is confusion over the clarity of one of the motions, I'm going to ask the member for Dartmouth East to repeat the therefore be it resolved in her motion and the request for waiver, just so I can effectively hear the request. (Interruption) Please repeat the whole resolution, please.

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

Whereas data gathered between April 26 and May 24, 2006, in regard to agencies boards and commissions bulk advertisement show that there were only 213 applicants for 104 advertised boards; and

Whereas some applicants applied for more than one of the advertised boards, the bottom line being there were only 199 people who actually applied; and

Whereas 28 of the applicants were female and the other 91 male;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the fact that women are not applying at the same levels as men and therefore not being placed with the province's agencies, boards and commissions in the same numbers as males, and that steps need to be taken to address this issue, along with the fact that application numbers, in general, are very low.

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 Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2275

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

Whereas Sherilyn Puff, Kelsey Amero, both age 15, and Sheldon Maling, age 14, came to the aid of 52-year-old bus driver Dale Harris; and

[Page 3956]

Whereas Mr. Harris suffered a fatal heart attack while driving the school bus and all three children were quick to react when Sheldon held up Mr. Harris, Sherilyn took the wheel and steered the bus, which was heading toward the ditch, and Kelsey managed to reach the brakes and turn off the ignition; and

Whereas these three young heroes then used the bus radio to try to contact help, sent someone to a nearby home to call 911, flagged down two logging trucks and the truck drivers began CPR;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Sherilyn Puff, Kelsey Amero and Sheldon Maling, for their bravery and courage.

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 Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2276

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 deadliest mining disaster in Russia since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 has cost 107 miners their lives in a methane gas explosion; and

Whereas the industrial mining town of 6,000, the Siberian Town of Novokuznetsk, which is 3,000 kilometres East of Moscow, now is left to grieve for their loved ones in the aftermath of this tragedy; and

Whereas Nova Scotians have experienced similar mining tragedies across the province from Springhill, to Pictou, to Cape Breton;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the loss of life of the Russian miners, the hardships that now affect their families, reflect upon our mining

[Page 3957]

history in this province, and for the House of Assembly to send our condolences to the Russian City of Novokuznetsk, the miners' families, and the Russian Government, as has been done by Premier Rodney MacDonald and conveyed on behalf of Nova Scotians.

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. 2277

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

Whereas a three-person debating team from Halifax Grammar School won this year's Provincial High School Debating Championship held in Halifax on the weekend of March 24, 2007; and

Whereas Vinayak Mishra, Scott Stirrette and Daniel Lewis competed against more than 20 other teams for the first place distinction; and

Whereas Daniel Lewis will join fellow debaters from across the province at the National Debating Seminar being held on April 26 to 29, 2007 in Ottawa;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Vinayak Mishra, Scott Stirrette, Daniel Lewis, and all the other contestants at the Provincial High School Debating Championship and wish the Nova Scotian team good luck in Ottawa at the National Debating Seminar.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3958]

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.

[12:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2278

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

Whereas each year the Truro and Area Chamber of Commerce presents an award to the most deserving person or business family in central Nova Scotia; and

Whereas through the innovative work of Jim and Tricia Lorraine, their farming venture of River Breeze Farm has turned into an agri-tourism attraction; and

Whereas River Breeze Farm with its famous autumn mazes is another tourist attraction for the area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend their congratulations to Jim and Tricia Lorraine for winning the Truro and Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Achievement Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

[Page 3959]

RESOLUTION NO. 2279

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

Whereas Trevor Howse is a Grade 5 student at Ash Lee Jefferson School in Fall River; and

Whereas 11-year-old Trevor discovered a love of football while playing as a rookie on the Fall River Dragons football team in 2006; and

Whereas Trevor's positive attitude, respect and sportsmanship earned him the 2006 Larry Uteck Memorial Fair Play Award from Football Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Trevor Howse on the receipt of the 2006 Larry Uteck Memorial Fair Play Award and wish Trevor a rewarding second football season beginning in April 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 member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2280

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the member for the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Hilden-area resident, Scott Wile, played an heroic role in saving the life of his neighbour, Fred Turner, on Friday, March 16th, after Mr. Turner's house caught fire; and

Whereas Mr. Wile was on his way home, traveling on the Kennedy Branch Road situated between Hilden and Brookfield, when he noticed the fire and saw the porch of Mr. Turner's house all lit up and the front door on fire; and

[Page 3960]

Whereas following the fire which destroyed Mr. Turner's house, Hilden Fire Chief Scott Fisher credited Mr. Wile for his heroism and for taking Mr. Turner out a back window of his house to safety;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Hilden-area resident, Scott Wile, for his quick thinking and heroic actions in saving the life of his neighbour, Fred Turner, on March 16th.

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2281

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

Whereas Queens Manor in Liverpool recognized a need in the community for a day program for adults; and

Whereas a program is being offered to adults who live at home with a physical or mental disability, a chance to socialize and take part in activities at the manor; and

Whereas the program is offered for a half day or full day providing caregivers a respite period, at the same time it offers participants in the program an opportunity to be stimulated and socialized;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the efforts of Queens Manor in establishing an adult day program within the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3961]

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. 2282

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

Whereas the Bedford Warriors Atom Division hockey team participated in the Hartley Weatherby Tournament; and

Whereas the Bedford Warriors won the championship on March 13, 2007; and

Whereas the Bedford Warriors have shown dedication to their sport of hockey and a shining example of excellence in the Bedford hockey program;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to the Bedford Warriors Atom Division hockey team.

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2283

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

[Page 3962]

Whereas Trinity McRiner of Timberlea decided to donate her beautiful pigtails to the Angel Hair for Kids organization; and

Whereas Trinity, the daughter of Conny and Scott McRiner, is a French immersion student at Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Elementary; and

Whereas Trinity's hair donation will be used by children who would love to have hair like hers;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate and thank Trinity McRiner for her generous and thoughtful gift to the Angel Hair for Kids organization.

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. 2284

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

Whereas Port Williams resident and seven-year member of the Cornwallis 4-H Club, Mary Forsyth, has created a national ad campaign for 4-H; and

Whereas Mary's campaign, Make Your Escape, has been recognized with an award and is currently running on the Internet, many radio stations and in five youth-oriented magazines; and

Whereas Mary was the only Maritimer chosen for the Youth Advertising Team whose task it was to create awareness in the largest campaign in the 4-H's 93-year history;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the outstanding work, enthusiasm and contribution of Mary Forsyth and her family.

[Page 3963]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2285

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

Whereas the Lismore and District Recreation Committee was formed in 1977 and acquired the Lismore Community School and has since been a driving force with a group of dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the Lismore Community Hall collaborates with the Lismore Church by hosting Sunday church services and a weekly event the same day, thereby conserving heating fuel during the winter months; and

Whereas the Lismore and District Recreation Committee, amongst many events, stages a dinner theatre involving a cross-section of the greater community for which tickets are highly sought;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the community of Lismore and all surrounding communities on their community spirit, enthusiasm and initiatives to conserve heating fuel during the winter months and extend sincere wishes to this remarkable group of volunteers in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 3964]

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. 2286

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

Whereas Abdul Rafih was recognized for his community contributions at the 2007 African Heritage Month Banquet hosted by the African Nova Scotian community of Truro; and

Whereas Abdul Rafih founded the Chook Maxwell Golf Tournament which is an annual event that raises money for the Stan Maxwell Memorial Playground; and

Whereas Abdul Rafih has provided leadership in various community organizations including the Truro Tourism Committee, the Truro Police Commission, the Truro Golf Club, the Downtown Development Corporation and the Affirmative Action Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Abdul Rafih for being recognized by the African Nova Scotia community of Truro, thank him for his continuing community service and leadership and extend to him, his wife Donna and sons Jody and Jack, best wishes for the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

[Page 3965]

RESOLUTION NO. 2287

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

Whereas volunteers are an important part of the efforts to combat heart disease; and

Whereas the Heart and Stroke Foundation raises money for research to fight heart disease; and

Whereas Ms. Marjorie Ross of Shubenacadie was recently awarded a golden pin by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia for 25 years of door-to-door canvassing to raise funds;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Marjorie Ross on receiving the golden pin award by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and thank her for her continued fund-raising 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 Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2288

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

Whereas each month North Colchester High School recognizes a male and female student who have made positive contributions to their classes and the life of the high school; and

Whereas Grade 9 student Chelsey Byrnes excels at her artistic, athletic and academic endeavours; and

[Page 3966]

Whereas Chesley is a hard-working, enthusiastic, talented young role model;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House extend their congratulations to Grade 9 student Chelsey Byrnes of North Colchester High School for being selected Female Student of the Month.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2289

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

Whereas during National Volunteer Week, a Volunteer Fair will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2007, from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Alderney Gate Library; and

Whereas the Volunteer Fair will provide people with the desire to share their time and knowledge, and the wish to make a difference in their community, an opportunity to meet with representatives from local agencies in the downtown Dartmouth area; and

Whereas the Volunteer Fair will be able to find the right volunteer fit for someone who has recently retired or found extra time to spare;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly wish all those participating in the upcoming Volunteer Fair at the Alderney Gate Library much success in their endeavour.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 3967]

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. 2290

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

Whereas the Dalhousie Society for Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility is organizing the fifth annual Dump and Run Community Garage Sale and Environmental Fair on Saturday, April 29, 2007; and

Whereas Dump and Run is a student initiative in which reusable goods are collected from student residences and community homes and sold at a giant indoor sale, the proceeds of which to go to non-profit groups and to fund other valuable activities of the society; and

Whereas last year's Dump and Run raised more than $14,000 for non-profit and charitable groups and diverted an estimated 20,000 pounds of materials from landfills;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Dalhousie Society for Corporate Environmental and Social Responsibility on their initiative, and extend sincere thanks to the organizers, especially Heather Boudreau and Kathleen Jones, for coordinating this socially and environmentally worthwhile event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

[Page 3968]

RESOLUTION NO. 2291

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

Whereas Irish Art Hafey, currently residing in Stellarton, was a boxer who reached international success in the late 1960s and early 1970s fighting before crowds of up to 20,000, with the likes of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman on the same card; and

Whereas Irish Art Hafey was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1980; and

Whereas the Westville Academy of Boxing recently honoured Irish Art Hafey, through a celebration of his boxing achievements, on St. Patrick's Day;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Irish Art Hafey on his achievements as a world-class boxer, and commend the Westville Academy of Boxing for celebrating Irish Art and his boxing career.

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2292

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

Whereas Craig Slaunwhite, of Terence Bay, captured the 2006 Scotia Speed World racing title; and

Whereas Craig was presented the Champion's Trophy for the C & R Auto Supply Sportsman Division; and

[Page 3969]

Whereas this outstanding young man has a bright future on and off the racing track;

Therefore be it resolved this House of Assembly congratulate Craig Slaunwhite on being the recipient of the Champion's Trophy for the C & R Auto Supply Sportsman Division and extend sincere wishes on his future racing endeavours.

[1:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources

RESOLUTION NO. 2293

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

Whereas in May 2007, Maurice Lightfoot will celebrate his 60th year with the Wolfville Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas Maurice served in various positions - firefighter, operator, captain and deputy chief - and now serves in the position of radio operator; and

Whereas Maurice has an alarm attendance record second to none, with year after year attendance above 90 per cent;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend this 60-year volunteer, Maurice Lightfoot, for his long-standing dedication to his community and fellow firefighters.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 3970]

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 1:01 p.m. and finish at 2:01 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

INSURANCE - COMPANIES: PROFITABILITY - SOURCE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be through you to the Premier. In 2001, insurance companies threatened that they would leave the province over what they called the profitability crisis. They demanded government assistance and in response, with the help of the Third Party, the Progressive Conservative Government enacted a $2,500 cap on payments for most accident injuries - even some very serious injuries. This legislation has severely limited the rights of accident victims. The result has been that the insurance companies are now making record profits on the backs of accident victims. My question for the Premier is why are you allowing insurance companies to reach new heights in profitability on the backs of injured accident victims?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the plan that we put in place a number of years ago is working for Nova Scotians. As a result of what we put forward, there have been savings by many Nova Scotians across the province. If we had of followed the NDP plan, the people of Nova Scotia would have paid between $100 million and $200 million to set up a public system and would have seen those fees increase.

MR. DEXTER: I think that's a record - that's the first time I think every word he said has been wrong, usually there are one or two in there that are right.

Mr. Speaker, here are some of the numbers - and I'm glad that the Premier is sitting down for this. Canadian property and casualty insurers' operating profits have already increased by 730 per cent since they claimed there was a crisis. Their profits this year climbed to $7.2 billion. Vehicle and home insurers have taken literally hundreds of millions more in profits out of the pockets of Nova Scotians and they have limited the rights of accident victims. My question to the Premier is will the Premier tell the House when his

[Page 3971]

government is going to deliver fairness in insurance for Nova Scotians, the same way that he plans to seek fairness for Nova Scotia from Ottawa?

THE PREMIER: Yesterday, Mr. Speaker, I think in Question Period the NDP spent over $2 billion. Today what they are asking in this question is between $100 million and $200 million and more money from Nova Scotians. The NDP simply don't get it when it comes to fiscal responsibility in Nova Scotia.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, even the Third Party has stated that the cap on compensation for accident victims is a serious and growing problem and that these insurance profits are unjustified. The minister responsible for insurance told this House last November that Nova Scotians are served "by a very good system" of insurance - it is good for the companies, but it is not good for anyone else.

My question for the Premier is why do you continue to stand by this unjust cap on accident victims in the face of these astounding profit figures?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the minister responsible, to bring the Leader of the Opposition up to date.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, in response to the question, I want to make this very clear, that they're mixing apples and oranges. What we're talking about here is automobile insurance. In no part of this country that I'm aware of does the government of a province provide casualty insurance for property other than for automobiles.

Mr. Speaker, we regulate the profits of insurance companies in Nova Scotia to ensure that those profits are reasonable. Furthermore, the cap applies only to minor injuries and thirdly, that cap has resulted in lower premiums for Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

TPW - CROSSWALK SAFETY: TASK FORCE - FORM

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Often we argue in this House of Assembly over issues that matter to Nova Scotians. We may not always agree but I believe that we can all admit we are here for the good of all Nova Scotians. Yesterday afternoon we learned of another young person passing away after being injured in a crosswalk on the evening of March 26th. This terrible tragedy unfortunately brings us here again today to ask a question on this matter. Pedestrians and motorists both are at risk when it comes to crosswalk safety and it is our duty to provide that safety.

My question to the minister is, will your government commit to forming a task force specifically designed to look at crosswalk safety and its awareness?

[Page 3972]

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the concern of the honourable member and I know all honourable members are very concerned about this issue and they are certainly saddened by the events of the accident and what we learned yesterday.

I can say to the honourable member, Mr. Speaker, that yesterday I made reference to the fact that there was a symposium held in HRM that we participated in and that was a wide-ranging conference that dealt with all issues relative to crosswalks. I want to say to the honourable member that I anticipate receiving the report from that conference in the next month and I would want to have a good look at what is contained in that report before I would commit to any other initiatives because if the reports gives us a path forward, then I would prefer to move on the path forward than to delay action while another activity occurs.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I think that the minister was correct yesterday when he stated that installing red lights which turn solid red at crosswalks is not the only answer. We need more awareness of crosswalk safety but other measures could be taken as well, other than installing these red lights, that may help stop another tragedy. This is the second young person in the past 12 months, and the 11th person since 2000, who was fatally injured in an intersection at a marked crosswalk.

To the minister I would ask, as an important start to crosswalk safety, will your government act now and bring forward legislation to equip all crosswalks with flashing red lights that turn red, solid red?

MR. MACISAAC: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I believe that yesterday, in reference to amber lights or red lights, I indicated that the standard across the country is amber, it is the preferred colour with respect to crosswalks.

Mr. Speaker, there are a variety of crosswalks in existence in municipal units throughout the province and many of them are designed according to need and according to traffic volumes and according to pedestrian volumes in those areas. So to say that we were going to go ahead and install flashing lights at every crosswalk would not, in the long run, be a prudent use of resources of the province. I would think some of that money could be used to bolster our education program because in the final analysis, it requires an awareness on the part of the drivers and on the part of the pedestrians, to ensure that the drivers are conscious of crosswalks and that pedestrians are making the effort to ensure that they have contact with the driver so that the driver knows of their intention to use the crosswalk. That in the final analysis is when we will make real progress and bring the numbers toward zero, which is the goal of all of us.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the fact is that people are becoming more and more distracted while driving and at times pedestrians are crossing without paying attention to oncoming traffic. We need to take action and we need to take action now. While the government's raising of fines last year for drivers who commit offences at crosswalks was a positive step, it was a first step in a long set of stairs. Looking at other jurisdictions, as I

[Page 3973]

stated yesterday, and their regulations at crosswalks is fine, but we should be setting the standards, not following standards set by others. My question for the minister is, what is the government's plan immediately to help prevent collisions in marked crosswalks in Nova Scotia?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, again I thank the honourable member for this question. Our plan is to continue making this a very high priority with respect to the department. I think it's appropriate for us to put it in context that the number of fatalities has decreased since the 1960s very significantly. Our goal, of course, is to get rid of all fatalities that occur in crosswalks and that is what we will continue to strive for. As I indicated in answer to the first question, I look forward to the report from the symposium that was held at HRM and from that we will develop a course of action that will allow us to move yet again a further step forward in achieving this objective.

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

INSURANCE - COMPANIES: PROFITS - JUSTIFICATION

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is through you to the Minister responsible for the Insurance Act. Evelyn Bauer is a single mother of three living in Lunenburg. On April 5, 2005, her vehicle was rear-ended by a truck. As a result of that accident, Ms. Bauer received 15 broken ribs, a punctured lung and a severely injured shoulder. After nearly two years of waiting to heal, waiting for an MRI, waiting to be scheduled for surgery on her shoulder, she was operated on two weeks ago. Ms. Bauer continues to have pain in her neck, upper back and lower back as a result of the accident. Yet because of the $2,500 cap passed by this government, her injuries are considered minor.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, what do you have to say to Ms. Bauer to justify the massive profits the insurance companies are now making while she is victimized first by the accident and then by the insurance cap?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first of all, obviously all our sympathies go to anyone who is injured in an automobile accident, in any situation, but particularly if that accident was not that person's fault, but we should also remember that the Act only provided a cap for minor injuries. It is up to the courts to determine whether or not the injuries are minor and I would suggest that anyone who has a problem should seek legal advice and pursue remedies in the courts in Nova Scotia for those injuries.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, that's pretty cold comfort to Ms. Bauer who, of course, would have to have the financial wherewithal to seek legal advice and be able to pursue her claim. Evelyn was a proud, independent, single mother of three before her accident. She worked as an interior painter and provided for herself, her two teenage daughters, and her 10-year-old son. Following the accident, she was laid up in her own home and had to rely on the assistance of her extended family. She has been unable to work since the accident and

[Page 3974]

still has difficulty doing simple tasks such as housework and in her words she says, "I can't do anything." So I want to ask the minister this, will your government finally realize the mistake that it made in 2003 and repeal this unjust cap on accident victims?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I want to address a number of points that were made in the earlier question. First of all, our system always required that people pursue matters largely through lawyers. That is not something that is a new situation that has occurred because of the cap; that is something that has been standard practice for very many years. Secondly, it's the issue of the minor injury cap - the minor injury cap only applies to minor injuries. There's an obligation on insurers, if the injuries are not minor, to pay the compensation as it was before, and I would strongly encourage this person and any other person who is injured in that situation to seek legal advice and their remedies through the courts.

[1:15 p.m.]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, Ms. Bauer is angry, and no wonder. Rules say that her injuries are minor. She says she is still suffering, unable to work, is facing having her benefits cut off and has nearly drained her modest savings account. She feels she will now be forced to seek Income Assistance from the government, and you can imagine what an insult that is to her pride. And can you imagine this, the people of Nova Scotia, through the Department of Community Services, subsidizing the insurance industry that made $7.2 billion last year. So my final question to the minister is when will you stop making accident victims pay to fatten the bottom line of insurance companies?

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, first of all there has not been any change to the law in Nova Scotia with respect to the entitlement of Nova Scotians injured in accidents, to compensation for loss of earning, for loss of any out-of-pocket expense. The only thing that the cap applies to is for claims for pain and suffering kind of expenses. Claims for compensation for the losses of income, that we're talking about here, have not in any way been affected by our changes to the legislation, and it is very important that people understand that. Secondly, there is an ability of Nova Scotians to seek redress of the courts because it only applies to minor injuries and not to serious injuries - anytime that Nova Scotians have serious injuries, compensation is still available.

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

INSURANCE - LOG HOMES: MACNEIL CASE - PREMIUMS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Minister responsible for the Insurance Act. As I just informed the House, the property and casualty insurance industry in Canada had a record profit level, last year, of $7.2 billion. You will understand then why it is extremely frustrating to people like George and Donna MacNeil of Truro. The MacNeils built a modest handcrafted log home in 1997; they intended this to

[Page 3975]

be their dream retirement home. On January 3, 2007, they received a letter from their insurance company that their rates would be going up 400 per cent upon their renewal this year. So I want to ask the minister, how does he expect Nova Scotians to stomach the billions in profits for the insurance industry, while they face massive increases in their premiums?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that the question from the honourable member is relative to property insurance, for houses and similar things. The situation in Nova Scotia is the same as every other Canadian province. We have a competitive environment for insurance companies in this province, and I would suggest, very strongly, that any Nova Scotian who finds that their premiums have risen should shop around, because I think you'll that there are many other options than a single insurer for property insurance in Nova Scotia.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, funny that the minister should say that - the MacNeils have gone back to their insurance company and they've sought quotes from eight other companies. Most of them tell them they do not insure this construction at all. They also wrote to the Provincial Superintendent of Insurance who told them that currently there is no rate approval mechanism in place for homeowners insurance in Nova Scotia. The response is tantamount to telling the MacNeils that they are on their own and not to expect any help from their government. So my question to the minister is how can your government tell retirees like the MacNeils that after a lifetime of paying taxes that their government refuses to come to their assistance at a time in need?

MR. BAKER: As I indicated in answer to the honourable member's question, there is a competitive insurance market out there. That competitive insurance market weighs risks and sets premiums accordingly. That system works for Nova Scotians, provides house insurance across this province - not only across this province, but across this country.

Mr. Speaker, that system is a good system and it is a system that applies all across this country. Again, we should not mix the apples and oranges of automobile insurance and property insurance.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my recollection is that every one of these questions was about property insurance and the minister refuses to address it.

The MacNeils wrote in their letter to me there should be something in the Legislature to protect homeowners against insurance companies. The fact of the matter is everyone knows that you can't get a mortgage without insurance, so this is an essential product for perspective homeowners. I couldn't agree with the MacNeils more - so I am going to ask the minister when can we expect to see legislation that will ensure homeowners have the protection of rates being submitted for approval to the independent board?

[Page 3976]

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, there is a role for government and there is a role for the marketplace in Nova Scotia. In this case for the marketplace to work, I can assure Nova Scotians that that marketplace does work and I would also say that I am not aware of this particular case, but if the honourable member wants to bring the details forward to me I will see what we can do to assist these people get a remedy. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

GAMING CORP. - CHANCES: EQUALITY - ENSURE

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Part II of the Gaming Control Act. We heard on Tuesday that the government's plan to address the high level of retailer wins is to undertake its own review. The minister stated: I myself cannot stand right now and say categorically there is no problem. Until I can do that and this government can do that, it is clear we need to do something more.

It seems the something more is to conduct another internal review to try and sweep this problem under the rug. My question, Mr. Minister, I'm curious, could you say with 100 per cent confidence to the people of this province that all Nova Scotians have an equal chance to win at Atlantic Lottery?

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I don't know what part of the question to tackle, the first part or the second part. The second part - I think in the first part to his question he already answered what I would say, that until I can stand with confidence and say that, we need to do something more. So his second question is answered by the first part of his question. But in the first part - we are doing a review and my department will be reviewing the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation and will be contracting experts as needed, and this is more than any other province in the Atlantic region is doing.

MR. GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I'm still digesting that.

Nova Scotians spend over $200 million a year on ticket lottery. They want to know why retailers and their employees are statistically winning a lot more than they should be. The ALC mission statement states: The opportunity to serve Atlantic Canadians comes with a commitment to the values of integrity and responsibility.

Mr. Minister, it is your job to ensure the ALC is living up to those values, and the buck stops with you. More internal reviews will do nothing to help restore confidence. My question to the minister: Nova Scotians deserve to have full confidence in their ticket lottery system. Only an independent review will give that to them, but will you?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, absolutely, Nova Scotians deserve to know that the integrity of the system is beyond a doubt. That is precisely why we are doing the review through the Department of Environment and Labour, the chief regulatory body of the

[Page 3977]

government, through the Alcohol and Gaming Division of my department, and contracting necessary experts who will give us outside expertise that will augment the expertise that we have within the Alcohol and Gaming Division.

MR. GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We cannot fix the problem if we do not know what is wrong. The Ombudsman's Office has received no directive to take part in an in-depth look into retailer wins and will only monitor the situation in conjunction with this government. Monitoring will not help discover the extent to which possible wrongdoing occurred and will not help build back confidence in the ticket lottery system in our province.

Mr. Minister, some may see the department's review as being self-serving, and for that reason an independent review is necessary. My question: Will you ask our ombudsman to collectively work with the others in the Atlantic Provinces to conduct a high-level review and find some answers for the high level of retailer wins?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, it's my goal to ensure the integrity of the system, to be able to stand in front of the (Interruption) Sounds likes there is a teacher opposite who (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, I am absolutely and totally 100 per cent committed to assuring Nova Scotians of the integrity of the system, and that is why I have launched this review with the direction and support of this government and of our Premier - and this is a leading edge review compared to any other Atlantic Province. The member opposite may not know, but in New Brunswick the ombudsman has decided to absolutely nothing. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. (Applause) Resounding applause.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - MINE CLOSINGS (C.B.) : REMEDIATION - UPDATE

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Environment and Labour - to give him something more to chew on.

Yesterday in the House, the Minister of Natural Resources said - and I quote and I will table this - when asked about strip mining."What the member would appreciate, if he has ever been to the Point Aconi site, is that it is just pocked with open bootleg pits from the last two centuries. In some cases there is all kinds of garbage in them. It is not a healthy or safe environment, and this goes a long way to cleaning up the devastation that has been left from a couple of centuries of coal mining in that area." I will table this and I am sure the member for Victoria-The Lakes would love to use that in his next election brochure.

[Page 3978]

He also assured me that in most cases full remediation is taken under consideration following the closing of strip mines in Cape Breton and the land is brought back to an original pristine condition. I want to ask the Minister of Environment and Labour, can he tell me how the remediation is getting along at the site of the St. Rose and the old Evans coal workings and in Reserve Mines in Cape Breton, both Chisholm locations?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the House, in regards to Point Aconi, that my department has dealt with their requests and we are putting conditions on them that have been publicized on the Internet, that have been made well known to the company, that will result in appropriate remediation and, if it doesn't happen, we will be demanding it from them.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, then since that minister doesn't care about the Premier's riding, I am going to direct my first supplementary to the Minister of Natural Resources. Yesterday we spoke about the rent paid on 61 hectares of Cape Breton land, which is the pricey sum of $3,500 per annum over the lifetime of this strip mine. Today I would like to ask him about coal royalties - in Nova Scotia coal producers pay in the vicinity of $1 per ton in royalties to the people of Nova Scotia. I would like to ask this minister, how much money has been collected in royalties on behalf of Nova Scotians from John Chisholm and Pioneer Coal Mines?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for giving me a chance to point out that through these remediation projects there have been many, many abandoned coal mine sites that have been remediated in this province - and I can tell you if you go to the people of Stellarton and you ask them how much they value the remediation that was done there, I think they would tell you that it was priceless.

MR. CORBETT: Almost as priceless as that answer, Mr. Speaker. My final supplementary will be to that minister because obviously he has no idea of what we collect. They are ready to give these resources to John Chisholm at will. So we want to know if the owner of Pioneer Coal is an ardent financial supporter of his Party and this government? I expect he's fairly easy to find when it comes to election campaigns and leadership campaigns. How come he's so hard to find when it comes time to collect royalties on coal mined in Nova Scotia?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I acknowledge the member opposite's question and I want to say, to the best of my knowledge, Mr. Chisholm is a law abiding corporate citizen in this province and I know nothing of his political activities by way of donations to any Parties.

[Page 3979]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

HEALTH - HORNE, DR. G.: PRIVILEGES - REINSTATE

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. The minister is well aware that Dr. Gabrielle Horne has been waiting for over four years to have her case resolved by the Capital District Health Authority. Dr. Horne's privileges have been reinstated, but the impugning of her professional reputation, the closure of her research program and millions of dollars that the Department of Health has wasted on legal fees remain. Dr. Horne is also still barred from resuming her clinical work, resulting in growing wait times at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic.

My question is, in light of the fact that every single external investigation has found there was no legitimate reason to suspend Dr. Horne's privileges, why is she still banned from resuming her award-winning clinical work in helping to reduce wait times?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, this is one of those unfortunate events that took too long to transpire - decisions, I think, may be done a little incorrectly. But, again, this is a decision that is that of the Capital District Health Authority and it is information that I do not have on how this is being taken care of at this point. I wouldn't mind sharing that with the member opposite at his earliest convenience.

MR. PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, it is unfortunate, especially for Dr. Gabrielle Horne and over four years is too long. I will now table a Daily News story stating that the Capital District Health Authority spent $3.97 million on private lawyers since the Horne case began. Although they haven't come clean on exactly how much of this was on the Horne case, approximately $2 million has been mentioned as the figure. These lawyers' fees could have been paid for hundreds of hip replacements, by-pass surgeries and about 1,000 cataract operations - not to mention a Pharmacare program for low income people. My question is, why does the minister continue to believe that our health care dollars and the taxpayers' money is better spent on over four years of legal fees than on much needed surgeries?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the District Health Authorities are run under the Act that governs them. They provide services to all Nova Scotians. They are responsible for the daily dealings of their district health authorities, including the Capital District Health Authority.

I can also say that I'm very confident of the work and the things they do for all Nova Scotians, especially at the Capital District Health Authority.

MR. PREYRA: So much for ministerial accountability and transparency. We know the total cost of private lawyers, however when the cost of legal fees was sought through a Freedom of Information request, that request was denied. Now, additional scarce resources

[Page 3980]

are being used to fight this disclosure. My question is, why are you hiding the amount of taxpayers' money spent on legal fees from the taxpayers themselves?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, I'm very confident of the work that the Capital District Health Authority does for all Nova Scotians every day.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. & LBR.: E-WASTE MGT. PROG. - ADMINISTRATION

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, (Interruptions), Well, following the next election, I may be the Minister of Environment, so . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order. Order, order, please. Your light is out. I think I'm going to have to name the member just for his own benefit here. The honourable member for Preston has the floor.

MR. COLWELL: Okay. Mr. Speaker, protecting the environment is one of the top . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. (Interruptions) Order, Order, Order, please. Your light is out. (Laughter) I think I'm going to have to name the member, just for his own benefit here.

The honourable member for Preston has the floor.

MR. COLWELL: Okay. Mr. Speaker, protecting the environment is one of the top priorities of the Liberal caucus and part of that is ensuring that the minister and his department are making certain that checks and balances are in place for accountability in their programs. In February, the minister announced his department was implementing an electronic waste management program in a partnership with industry. The details of this program are unclear and I think the minister should explain what this announcement means for our environment. My question to the minister is, who will be held responsible for the administration of this program and what will it cost consumers?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, at the risk of falling afoul of the rules of the House, the answer to the first part of his question is Keith Colwell. But to the second part of his question, the electronic waste regulation and stewardship program is an industry-led stewardship program and industry will be responsible for the program as monitored by my department. They will have to have stewardship agreements that are signed off by me as Minister of the Environment.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, to set the member straight my name is pronounced Colwell. (Interruptions)

[Page 3981]

Mr. Speaker, the anticipated time for this program to begin is February 2008. I believe that this is too long for people in industry to wait for a program that is an important as this. If you look around the province, you'll see large electronic devices like televisions, computer monitors, just sitting on the side of road and in the woods. Obviously, people need a means to dispose of these devices sooner. My question to the Premier this time is, why is your government waiting so long to implement this program, while our roadsides and ditches are being littered with this type of material?

THE PREMIER: I refer that to the minister responsible.

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the member opposite and for the benefit of the House, I too need to correct my name; it is not Parent, but it's Parent. (Interruptions) The reason for the year is not to delay in any way, it's when we work with industry, we provide a phase-in, so that we have compliance. The last thing that we want in this province is regulations that sit on a shelf. We want the companies complying with us. We want to give them adequate notice and we want to phase this in. So they will be phasing in the program within the coming year. Phase one will cover the large items that we talked about. Phase two will cover cell phones. We would expect Nova Scotians, knowing this program is there, will not be dumping these articles in the woods, and if they are, they'll be charged for illegal dumping.

MR. SPEAKER: I'll just remind all members, whether in humour or not, they should not be referring to their own names or other names of members in the House. Anyway, we'll leave it at that.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the government currently works in conjunction with the Resource Recovery Fund Board for administration of used tires in this province, for recycling. All tires purchased are levied a $3 charge to help pay for management of the program. However, we recently learned that these tires may now be burned instead of recycled. So, with that logic, can we expect that all electronic waste to be burned as well? My question to the minister is, can we expect the electronic waste program to be managed in a similar manner as tires, and what will it cost the taxpayers of the Province of Nova Scotia?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the question. We're working with industry. This is an industry-led initiative with stewardship plans signed off by myself, as Minister of Environment and Labour. We know that in other provinces fees are in the range of $5 for a laptop computer, $20 for a desktop computer and $8 for a printer. We don't know exactly what the fees will be yet in this province because they haven't been set, but we expect that those will be similar to the fees which I've just quoted, which come from the Province of Saskatchewan. Also we're encouraging the industry to work in an innovative way with various groups without the province on the dismantling of these products in order to help provide employment to Nova Scotians.

[Page 3982]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

AGRIC.: ELECTION COMMITMENT - KEEP

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Minister of Agriculture. In 2000, nearly 100 experienced marketing crop and livestock experts, technicians and support staff, some with 31 years experience, were cut from the minister's department. During last summer's election the Conservatives promised to replace a mere 10 of that staff that were cut. Last week the government again committed to hire industry liaison officers, so imagine my surprise on Tuesday when I found out the department plans only to hire maybe three this year after committing to hire 10. So my question to the minister is, why is this election commitment not being kept?

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is quite right. That was one of our commitments and it was a commitment that was made in our leadership campaign as well as our last election campaign. It's a commitment that we plan on keeping. This year, in discussions with the Federation of Agriculture, with the people in the industry, it was related to us that, you know, they want to see this done right. It's our proposal, or our intent, to do it right, discuss it with the Federation of Agriculture, all the commodity groups, and make sure that we do.

MR. MACDONELL: Well, I'm glad that the minister wants to do it right, Mr. Speaker. The message we were getting was that he was going to do it right now and that seems to be a different message from what he conveyed the other day.

Mr. Speaker, there are many areas in the industry that could use these supports. I've heard from sheep producers, greenhouse growers, and blueberry producers. However, the minister said that before these three are hired, he's going to consult with the industry which is what he just conveyed in his answer. The promise they made to hire 10 was made May 19, 2006. So my question to the minister is, that in 10 months what has kept you from doing this consultation with the federation?

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, in the last 10 months, in the last 12 months, we have been discussing this with the Federation of Agriculture and other commodity groups - the Council of Leaders of Agriculture we've talked to - and he's absolutely right, there are different commodity groups that are looking for specialists in their field. We have to, as a government, as a department, make sure that all the job descriptions, all that sort of thing is taken into consideration. We're working on that now and when that's in place, we will be making our decision as to when we will be hiring and where we will replace the individuals.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, that was no new information. Delivering on a commitment is proving more difficult for this government than making the commitment. In recent days we've heard yet again that this government is making a commitment to buy local or to a Buy Local program. (Applause)

[Page 3983]

If they like that, Mr. Speaker, wait until they hear the end of the question. The minister has had not months but years to develop this plan as it has been part of successive platforms since 1998. So my question for the minister is, why after years of promises do you not have a plan for your Buy Local program?

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, our Buy Local campaign - he's absolutely right - has been going on since 1999 when we were first elected to government and I agree, you know, there's more to be done. If the honourable member across would discuss it with his colleagues and support the budget, we will have some funding there to help them.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

[1:45 p.m.]

EDUC. - JR. HIGH SCH.: GLACE BAY - DELAY EXPLAIN

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. The people of Glace Bay have been waiting for this government to build a new junior high school now for four years and the promise has not been kept. There is an old Gaelic proverb that says there is no greater fraud than a promise not kept. On several occasions lately, the Minister of Education has stated in this House that the construction of the school was delayed because there were no sites selected. There are two sites selected now, I am told. So my question for the Premier is, will he tell us, please, why his government is making excuses in telling the people of Glace Bay the real reason the construction of that junior high school has not started?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, once the appropriate site is selected, the requirements are done to ensure that it is a safe site for a school and one that makes sense to build upon. When the design is completed, we will move forward as a government. The minister has given an indication of that. The government is committed to building that school but there is a process in place. Once that happens, we will move forward with that new school for the people of Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the Premier and his Education Minister are fully aware of the number one priority of the Cape Breton-Victoria District School Board is the construction of a new junior high school in Glace Bay, nowhere else. We know now that the school board didn't submit the site for an elementary school in North Sydney, it was the Department of Education. We also know now the government doesn't own the land for that school and that land has not been tested. My question for the Premier is, why has the Premier and his government agreed to construction of a school that has no site purchased and that the site has not been tested?

[Page 3984]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will refer that to the Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, as I have said more than once this week, and I will repeat it, in the process of building new schools, the first thing we have to do is make sure that we have a safe site for that school. It's very unfortunate that we have had delays in the situation in Glace Bay and when I toured the site with the member opposite, we were hopeful that we would be able to find a site and we have now, as I indicated, started to do cost analysis on bringing services to one of the sites that has come forward. We are moving along as quickly as we can and I will be glad to announce the day we open the school.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the whole point to all of the questions this week is that another school, in a government riding, has been announced before the school in Glace Bay. Now one would believe that there is something fishy going on here. No testing, no land bought, and the site that was chosen for the new Northside Elementary School, also has a history. An old oil spill occurred on that site. I find it very odd that the minister would approve a site that could put the safety of students at risk. So my question for the minister is, will you tell us why the two sites in Glace Bay are not okay but a site that is in a government riding that could contain an environmental hazard, and could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up, is okay.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is certainly correct when he indicates that I would not be wanting to put a school on any site that would have any harm to any student. I commend him for making that compliment to me. One of the issues that we have and one of the things that we are prepared to do is to go back to the department (Interruptions) and we will discuss with the board what their priorities currently are.

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

EDUC. - WAVERLEY-FALL RIVER-BEAVER BANK: SCHOOLS - FAST TRACK

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Education is the key issue in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. L.C. Skerry School and Waverley Memorial School in Waverley are old, in dire need of repair with a constant flooding problem and asbestos and insulation pipes running below ceilings. The schools do not provide the best possible environment for learning. The people of Waverley are growing tired of waiting for news of a replacement school for their schools, so my first question to the minister is, will you fast-track the replacement of these schools?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, thank you for the question, to the member opposite. As indicated yesterday, and I will repeat it again today, this government has an excellent track record for building new schools. In the year 2000, 17 new schools were announced and they have all been completed and are now occupied. In 2003, 12 were announced, 2 have been completed, 5 are underway and our commitment is to complete the 12.

[Page 3985]

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, Grade 9 students in Waverley-Fall River and Beaver Bank are currently forced to attend a senior high school, instead of the junior high school environment they expect to be learning in. As a result, they are missing out on a very important maturity and leadership role in this important high school year. Instead of being the oldest and most responsible children in the school, they are the youngest. So my question to the minister is, why can't these children finish their junior high education in a junior high school?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, we do have a number of grade configurations in our schools across the province. They could be 7 to 12, they could be P to 12, they could be 6 to 9, and the decision as to what those grade configurations are, are made in consultation with the boards.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, my final question is for the Minister of Community Services. The Department of Education and the authorities at Lockview High have come together to facilitate a food bank in the school. Hundreds of needy students are taking advantage of the food bank. While I appreciate the work undertaken by the school and the Department of Education to make this happen, the need for a food bank in a school in Nova Scotia in 2007 raises many questions of concern. So my question to the minister is, what is her department doing to alleviate the poverty experienced by students in this and other Nova Scotian schools?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my honourable colleague for the opportunity to rise and commend the school community for acting and being involved. We all know that healthy living, healthy eating habits are extremely important, especially at the early ages, in the early days. The Department of Community Services works diligently. For a fourth year in a row, we've increased IA personal allowances, three years in a row shelter allowances, we've worked for child care, we've worked for all sorts of initiatives, and the food banks definitely do serve a valuable service in this province and we commend them for the hard work that they do and all the individuals who participate on a community basis.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

COM. SERV. - SMALL OPTIONS HOME CLOSURE: PATIENT TRANSFER - DETAILS

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. Marilyn Porter is a very high-functioning person who has a brain injury caused by a viral infection 15 years ago. Aside from short-term memory issues and a colostomy, she is self-determining and aware of what is going on around her. Marilyn has lived in a small options home on the South Shore for several years but the home closed recently. Due to a lack of small option beds in her area, she was transferred, against her will, to an adult residential centre in Bridgetown.

[Page 3986]

My question to the Minister of Community Services is, why would a resident of one community be moved so far away from family and friends?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank my honourable colleague for the opportunity to rise and speak about the variety of options available to Nova Scotians. This government introduced, after consultation with community and stakeholders, three very important programs. Programs of direct family support, independent living and alternate family support. Three programs that are extremely successful and extremely beneficial to those in the province who need our help the most.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, those programs certainly do not fit Marilyn's case. As that is the Department of Health's 100 kilometre rule is, there seems to be no distant limit whatsoever for Community Services. Marilyn has a family in the Liverpool area and she went from a small options environment to an institutional setting in Bridgetown. When I visited with Marilyn a couple of weeks ago, I can tell you, this lady is very unhappy. The way she was moved - she knew less than 48 hours that she had to move- very lonely - and she was plucked out of a day program which she has participated in for 10 years in her community. My question to the minister is, why does it seem to be so acceptable to your department to treat people with disabilities this way?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, to my honourable colleague across the way and to all Nova Scotians, the staff at the Department of Community Services work extremely hard to ensure we meet the needs of all of our clientele...

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I asked yesterday there be no electronic devices in the Chamber during Question Period.

MS. STREATCH: Again, to my honourable colleague across the way, the staff at the Department of Community Services work diligently to ensure they meet the needs and in some cases, the very complex needs of some of our clientele. While I would never speak to the specifics of any case, I certainly know there are complex issues out there that require complex plans. I have the utmost faith in the staff in the Department of Community Services, that they do so in a respectful, diligent and accountable manner.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to offer to the Minister of Community Services a proposal for small options homes in Queens County, that would be efficiently operated and would meet the needs of several people with disabilities, like Marilyn Porter, who want to stay in their own community. My question to the minister is, why won't she work with the Queens Association for Supportive Living who have had a proposal in front of the department for many years now, and put more beds in place so Marilyn Porter can come home?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, to my honourable colleague and indeed, to all of my colleagues in the House, we're always welcome to review any proposals that come forward

[Page 3987]

as we provide a continuum of care to review any proposals that come forward. As we provide a continuum of care to all of those who need our assistance in this province, we will continue to do so in a diligent and accountable manner in the future.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

EDUC. - B.Ed. PROGS.: INCREASE - PLANS

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. The cost of post-secondary education in Nova Scotia has risen substantially over the last seven years. What is more troublesome is that year after year, hundreds of bright, young Nova Scotians are forced to leave the province in order to obtain teaching degrees. With a teacher shortage emerging in Nova Scotia, it is time this government takes responsibility for its inaction and finally addresses the need for more B.Ed. program spaces. My question to the minister is, what is the minister's plan to increase the number of enrollment spaces for Nova Scotia's B.Ed. programs?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have that question asked because I have mentioned in other venues and I will say it here. One of the things we are planning to do - in fact, a three person team is currently being put together to undergo teacher certification, teacher review in the Province of Nova Scotia. I absolutely agree that we should have spaces in the province for our own students to take their own program training here and based on the need of the supply and demand issue we currently have, we need those teachers sooner than later.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, well, shorten it up. Other universities, such as St. Thomas University, Fort Kent and Presque Isle, offer one year teaching programs. Universities outside the province continue to attract Nova Scotia students because of more enrollment capacity and one year programs. My question to the minister is, will the minister establish a review committee to determine the feasibility of restoring one year B.Ed. programs in Nova Scotia?

[2:00 p.m.]

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I can't predict the outcome of the review, but it certainly will be looking at where education programs are delivered, how they are delivered, in what universities and what the duration of that training program will be. All of those things are in the terms of reference for that committee and I would certainly be welcoming the results of that committee and if we can do a bid about comprehensive, concentrated program to train teachers, that would certainly be welcome to me.

MR. GLAVINE: Even shorter effort, Mr. Speaker. This government is missing a great opportunity to provide one year B. Ed. Programs in the future, keep the 220 students currently taking their B. Ed. outside Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, will the

[Page 3988]

minister implement the recommendations made by the Shapiro Report and increase the number of institutions offering B. Ed. programs?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite and to all members of the House...

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Government Motions.

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: Before we move to the honourable member for Queens, would you permit an introduction at this time?

The honourable Premier on an introduction.

THE PREMIER: Just very quickly, Mr. Speaker. In the east gallery, we have a friend to everyone in this Chamber and a former representative for the people in Dartmouth-Portland Valley region, Dartmouth South, I guess at that time. I want to welcome Tim Olive, who is very involved, as well, in the business community for the Dartmouth area. Welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education on an introduction.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, if I could, I would draw people's attention to the gallery opposite. I would like to introduce a family friend, Marg Forbes - no stranger to education, member of a school board for a number of years. Marg is here visiting us today. I would like people to welcome her to the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Again, we welcome all of our guests to the gallery today visiting with us.

[Page 3989]

The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to stand and take the opportunity over the next several minutes to give ministers and MLA colleagues a glimpse of some of the movers and shakers and leaders from the riding of Queens. I am going to start with the community group, the Friends of Port Mouton Bay. This has been a group of fishers and community residents and business owners, council representatives and scientists and people who visit our riding of Queens. They have come together collectively to express their opposition against an expansion of a fish farm in the area of Port Mouton, Port Mouton Bay to be exact. These community members, these voices in opposition to this expansion, have clearly demonstrated their collective community will to move forward with their own community destiny.

I want to give them kudos because across this province, when we see community voices come together for a goal, we sometimes fail to recognize all of the hard work that goes into that community collective movement. The Friends of Port Mouton Bay have certainly been not only doing their homework but have been educating members of the community on the potential negative impacts that such an expansion will have on our communities. So they really deserve to be commended for being leaders within their community and demonstrating to the rest of us in Queens and across the province here that with community will and with a community destiny, a want to be part of a community destiny, that action can actually happen. They have drawn a lot of attention to their cause and to that they should be commended.

Another community group that I want to bring your attention to would be the Friends of Sperry's Beach. The Friends of Sperry's Beach have been working collectively for the last five years or six years with the Friends of Crescent Beach. The Friends of Sperry's Beach have been fighting a challenge to reclaim traditional access to Sperry's Beach in Petite Rivière and I can say that the challenge for this group has not been easy. Over the last five years or six years, this group has gone through an exhaustive historical search about land titles within the area. The dispute is with a landowner who is claiming ownership of some of the beach lands and the fight has also taken them to the Department of Natural Resources.

This community committee is so dedicated to ensuring that they are given their rightful access to a traditional piece of water, a traditional beach that has been used by the community and surrounding communities for literally well over 100 years. In fact, some of the historical research that this committee has actually uncovered is that this beach has been used since the days when Samuel Champlain hit the beaches in Petite Rivière, among other beaches, in Queens. So I want to give kudos to that particular community group that has been standing up for what should be rightfully theirs, that traditional coastal access, and I also want to give them kudos for all of the research that they have gathered which is really important to those communities. They have not only been raising the awareness of how important it is to protect some of our coastal access and our traditional waterways, but also

[Page 3990]

they've been giving some great educational lessons out there to the younger community members.

I want to bring your attention now to another dedicated group of individuals whom I've been meeting with over the last several months and this would be the members of the Privateer Housing Co-operative. I didn't recognize that there was such a vibrant co-op in Queens until just a short while ago. I had actually thought that the members of the co-op had perhaps disbanded but I was absolutely wrong.

My first meeting with this group of members belonging to the Privateer Housing Co-op really gave me an insight into their life in the co-op and I'm very, very pleased to see them moving forward on initiatives to try to bring life back into the co-op housing project. They have been very creative in bringing that housing cooperative back to life and they are looking for some assistance, of course, from government to assure them that they can actually move that co-op forward. It has been in existence in Liverpool now for the last 20 years, I understand, and over the last several years they've been struggling financially to see some much-needed renovations to two units that they haven't been able to rent for awhile because of the disrepair of those units, but I'm really impressed by the organizational skills, the dedication and the commitment of the Privateer Housing Co-op in their endeavours to move forward and their commitment to see this particular housing unit move forward and be a success.

They assured me that this particular co-op is certainly a welcome addition and should be considered a welcome addition to our housing needs across this province. So they're hoping that they do get some assistance from government as they move forward in their initiatives. I have given them my full unconditional support to help them realize some of their goals and I will be over the next while raising the profile for the Privateer Housing Co-op unit in the riding of Queens.

Another group that I want to bring your attention to would be the Parents & Tots Association of Port Medway and some of the surrounding communities. The Parents & Tots Association had gotten together several years ago. It started out as kind of a meet and greet, I understand, of moms and dads with younger children not quite ready for the school system, but a chance to get together and communicate and share like stories and like goals for their young children. This Parents & Tots Association has moved on to really be a force to be reckoned with in the community in terms of their resourcefulness and their successfulness in creating all kinds of wonderful activities for the children in Port Medway and surrounding areas. They work very closely with the school system. Just recently they put on a Mad Scientist Day over March Break for a lot of the younger children and it is just fabulous to see parents who have come together, with their children, and are participating in shaping their community. Community values are very important in all of our communities across this province, and so I give kudos to those parents and all of those young children who have so much fun in the activities and all of the events that they put on for the community.

[Page 3991]

Another group that I want to bring your attention to would be the Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Club of Liverpool has been in existence for many, many years. I have been a guest of the Kiwanis Club luncheons from time to time, they ask me to come in and speak with their group. I am always so impressed with all of the initiatives that they are part of in our communities, everything from fundraising to volunteering at some of our festival events. They are reaching out to seniors, giving of their time; they are reaching out to some of our youth. They are consistent in donating the funds that they raise tirelessly every year, year in and year out, and they really do deserve a lot of kudos. Certainly in my riding they are absolutely appreciated for all of the hard work and the dedication and the commitment that they demonstrate to our communities.

The Kiwanis have reached out to some of the young people in our schools and there is now a Key Club that boasts almost 60 students. This is a real, true initiative when you see members of one group reaching out to students and saying hey, come on board, we'll show you what you can do to be part of your community in a volunteer capacity and we'll show you the way. These 60 students have been so involved in their community activities - I've watched them at different events where if they are part of a play, they are acting as stage hands; they are out there doing bottle drives; they're helping seniors; they are helping other youth. They are a very impressive group of students and I give them a lot of kudos for all of the good work they're doing.

Another really important group of people in my community, my riding, would be all of those women who work behind the scenes in the women's auxiliaries. We have women who work with the church auxiliaries, we have women who work with the fire departments, behind the scenes. These women are incredible, they are truly members of our community who have the backbone. They courageously accept all of those jobs that a lot of people will say no, don't put me on kitchen duty. These women are truly amazing and I really respect each and every one of them for what they bring to our communities.

I belong to the Mill Village auxiliary and, unfortunately, over the last little while I haven't had a lot of opportunity to help those women when they're putting on their dinners and suppers on behalf of the fire department. But I can tell you, when I do get opportunity to go in and stand in behind the kitchen or help serve at one of those dinners, I really look up to these women. They are a wealth of information and very strong women, indeed.

The veterans in our community - each day I look at the obituaries and we are losing our veterans at a huge rate, and certainly that is happening in my riding. I just recently became a member of the Legion, about two years ago, and it is soon time for me to drop into the Legion and say hello to the veterans there. They are an amazing group of people and I have the utmost respect for our veterans. I am also the mum of a daughter in the military and a sister of a brother in the military. I have been encouraging our Legion members to reach out to young people who are finding themselves serving overseas. I've been asking veterans to give some of their time, which they do anyway, and it is an ask that always comes back as a yes.

[Page 3992]

Those veterans have so much wisdom and so much to offer your young people who are finding themselves on missions overseas. I just want to commend them and I will be dropping into my local Legion, the Legion I belong to, hopefully maybe on Saturday I'll drop in and say hello.

[2:15 p.m.]

Another group of individuals that I need to give kudos to here today in this time period would be the Municipality of Queens, those councillors who are so dedicated to their districts, and our mayor, who is also very dedicated to the communities in the riding of Queens, and also I want to give kudos to the councillors in the Lunenburg West area of the riding of Queens. I've just started to get to know the councillors on that side of the riding and I'm very impressed with their dedication as well and I have had a chance to watch one of the councillors in action at one of the Lunenburg council meetings here not long ago, where Councillor Dempsey stood up and supported her community in Petite Riviere and the Friends of the Sperry's Beach committee and I was so impressed with her ability to handle herself well and really speak on behalf of the residents of Petite Riviere and the Sperry's Beach committee. What she was able to get for that community was a commitment from the Lunenburg Municipality to look at keeping a piece of land in the public hands forever and a day. So kudos to Karen Dempsey.

I want to thank you and I invite you all to come to Queens and give all of my community residents the kudos they deserve. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It is a pleasure to rise today and talk about an issue that is very near and dear to my heart, as it is to all the people who live outside the central core of Halifax and Dartmouth and the HRM. I am going to talk about property taxes and assessment, and the taxes we pay for services we probably don't receive. Actually it is my belief and it is the belief of most everybody in that area that that is the case.

The Halifax Regional Municipality just announced a wonderful new budget with all kinds of new police officers and all kinds of new spending, wonderful stuff, just really good. Not a single police officer works in a rural area, it is all RCMP, so it doesn't help the rural area. All kinds of other services are going to be supplied to the core that will affect the whole situation.

So when you look at it, a property tax assessment increase, which I can personally attest to - mine this year went up $110,000, which is roughly a $1,500 increase to my property taxes this year, absolutely no increase in services. I don't care about my own but I do care about people in the communities who can't pay their taxes and that's a real serious issue. On a regular basis now I have people coming into my office who are indicating they simply cannot pay their property taxes any more, it is just beyond their capability. They

[Page 3993]

worked all their lives to get a home and to work at a home and build a home - most of them built it themselves - and bang, their house is gone, literally gone, because the municipality took it for property taxes.

I have seen that happen several times and I've worked with people and we've tried to work out payment schedules, but if you're only on a very low, fixed income and you're trying to catch up on interest and principle and the tax increase keeps increasing and increasing, you go further and further behind. There is no way you can catch up with it so ultimately you lose your home or your property or both.

Then what do you do? You have to go to an apartment. I mean, you lost your home that you worked all your life to get. Not only is it the people with very low incomes that have struggled with their properties, but I was talking to a gentleman that I know from an area in a rural area that is quite financially well off. Now he has a beautiful home, he doesn't argue about that, he doesn't mind today the property tax he pays. He did say, however, "If my property taxes keep increasing the way they are, I'm going to have to sell my home."

Now this is a gentleman who makes a very, very good income, way above the average in Nova Scotia and probably way above the average in Canada and that's a reality. So you get faced with property tax bills that are huge, absolutely huge, and in the rural areas, what do you get? You get garbage collection, not the same level of service you get in the city. No, you sure don't. You get blue bag pickup every week in the city. You don't get it in the rural areas but you pay the same amount for garbage. You get police protection, RCMP, which is great. There is really good service from the RCMP but not as many officers around in the area to do things. We have no curbs or sidewalks in the majority of the area.

We don't have sewer or water. I remember when I was on regional council, there was a suggestion put forward by one of the city councillors that maybe with the Halifax Harbour cleanup, it would be a good idea to charge everybody for that, just a real good idea, right? So I got up after listening to that and pointed out that a septic system in the rural area now, just to install one, is anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000, to install a septic system. Then you have to maintain it every year and usually, after 10 years or 20 years, you have to do some major upgrades, which could be anywhere again from $10,000 to $20,000.

Then on top of that, you have to dig a well or drill a well. That is usually around $5,000 to $10,000 by the time you get a new pump and everything. Then you have to run the electricity to run the pump and you have to run all the maintenance on the well to make sure your water is safe to drink and do the water tests and all the other things. So lo and behold, when it is all added up and all done, it costs you more in the rural areas for sewer and water than it does in the city. So if someone gets an $8,000 bill for frontage charge with sewer going by, I can tell you, it's cheap compared to paying $20,000 to put a new septic system in and then once it's in the ground, you only have to worry about the sewer going out to it on your property.

[Page 3994]

So when you look at the overall tax rate and what is happening in the regional municipality, as the taxes go up and up and up, the economy is going to suffer. We are going to suffer badly. What has happened with the 10 per cent hike they have in assessments, it isn't an average of $95 per household, it's probably a lot of households are $1,000, $2,000 and beyond and some have no increase, but it doesn't correlate with the difference in the services you get.

I introduced a bill here in the House, twice now, to make it mandatory for the municipalities to only charge for services you receive, nothing else. That's the way it should be. If you have curbs and sidewalks and sewer and water, you should pay a different rate than someone who doesn't have these things.

What about the guys in the rural area who live on a private road and absolutely have no services and, actually, if they don't keep the road up to a certain level, they don't even have a garbage collection. If the road is in bad enough shape, and it's their own fault if it is by the way, the fire department won't even go in to see them. So if they have a fire - now that would be a rare case that it would happen because our fire department is a fantastic organization in rural areas.

Talk about fire departments. Fire departments in rural areas are composite, volunteer and regular firemen. So we don't even have full-time fire departments in rural areas but we are paying for this on our tax rate.

I remember this on regional council. I brought up an issue about street lights. We had an area rate in our area for street lights. We were paying 4.5 cents for $100 of assessment, area rate for street lights. Downtown Halifax is paying 2.2 cents for the exact same service. You tell me that's fair? Well, luckily council saw the wisdom in that and they changed the tax structure and made it even across the municipality. The service level isn't the same and probably shouldn't be the same so we should not be paying the same amount. In downtown Halifax, there is a light on every pole. We are lucky, in the rural areas, if we have a light on every second pole.

So the service levels aren't the same but the taxes- if you look at a home- and always the big thing was the assessments are higher in Dartmouth as compared to say Porters Lake. I can tell you a comparable house in Porters Lake and Dartmouth, the Porters Lake assessment is higher than Dartmouth for the same house and yet they have the services and we don't. I think it is a real huge injustice to the property taxpayers in the regional municipality, the way this tax structure is struck.

I want to thank the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. We put a lot of pressure on him from our caucus to change the cap on the assessments. That has been the best thing that will ever happen, so far, and I stress so far because many more changes have to be made in capping assessment increases in property taxes.

[Page 3995]

The assessment increase really has to be capped and the capping, even at the Consumer Price Index, is probably a bit high in reality because all of these services have to go back to what you are getting and paying for what you get. The property tax issue in the regional municipality, and I am sure it is all over, is the exact same as taking your car in when you have trouble with your engine. While you are there the mechanic says we had to change the transmission, but there was nothing wrong with it, and then we had to put a new engine in, and they give you a bill for the whole works - not only that, the guy was in with a truck, a big dump truck, before you and he needed a new engine, so you're going to pay for that, too. That's exactly what's happening in this regional municipality. You're paying for services you do not get and I think it's against the law and, if it isn't, we've got to change the law so it will be.

Then we have the UNSM come out and do a big study, a study about this negative impact this new cap on assessments is going to be. Well, if you ask anybody the right kind of question, they'll give you the right kind of answer. I have asked to this day for the terms of reference regarding that study and the study says - and I read the study - it will have a negative impact on the municipalities. The only negative impact I can see it's going to have is the municipal councils are going to have to start taking responsibility for the tax increases they're imposing on the people in the communities. There's no problem with the municipalities, if they need money to do projects in the community or to provide services, to change the tax rate to do what they need, but then they are accountable. Then the taxpayers can decide whether or not that council is suitable for them to continue with, or they want to change councillors.

The way it is now, the assessment hikes are so high and the revenues are so high, especially within the Halifax Regional Municipality, they can actually give a small tax break every year and still have a tremendous amount more money to spend. So, therefore, there's no accountability whatsoever by the municipal councillors. So when you look at those statistics and see how the structure is set, it is not fair to the average taxpayer, the property owner in this province, particularly in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

If you look at seniors who have worked all their lives and they're now looking forward to retirement, the property tax probably, when they built their house, was $150 or $200 maybe 30 or 40 years ago. That same property now is probably $2,500 to $3,000 in property taxes on a very modest home - very modest. So say it's $3,600, that's a $300 a month payment you have to make to the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Think about that, think about it, because when people look at the big number, they don't think about the different costs. You add that to the increase in fuel we've seen lately for gasoline and home heating fuel and all the other costs we see going together - all of a sudden someone who retired, even three or four years ago with what they thought was a reasonable pension, is having a hard time buying their medication, maintaining their home, and doing the things that they should be doing when they're retired. Taking trips and going South is out the window. It just doesn't exist any more for a lot of people. Even if they could

[Page 3996]

go, some of them probably wouldn't because they would rather stay in Nova Scotia, but the point is the more we take out of people's pockets, the less they have to spend on needed food, and drugs, and other things that aren't paid for in other ways.

The municipality was good, they came in with a property tax rebate program - if you make, I think it's $26,000 now, you can get some money back on your property taxes. It's all pro-rated. I think that's a good program. Hopefully they'll improve that but, today, at $26,000 and you're paying $5,000 a year in property taxes, $2,000 a year to heat your house, that's $7,000 gone already. By the time you feed your family and you do a bit of maintenance around your home, buy a few clothes and do other things, you're in a deficit - guaranteed you're in a deficit. So that small amount doesn't help on a property tax rebate.

I think the whole way that we do property taxes in this province has to stop, and it has to be changed, because the real fact is when we look at this situation and we see what you get for what you pay, it may be fine if you're downtown Halifax because you probably get good value for your money, but if you live in a rural area like I do, you don't get good value for your money, I guarantee you we don't. It's not just me saying this. Every single person in my riding says the same thing and every single person outside of my riding who lives in rural Halifax Regional Municipality says the same thing. We can't all be wrong.

[2:30 p.m.]

Then when you look at other issues - look at business, look at the businesses. If you look at business here and look at the property tax that a business pays in the Halifax Regional Municipality, it's huge. It's a huge bill every month they've got to pay and that goes to the break-even point. If you get your break-even point too high, you have to do so much work to pay those taxes and all the other overheads you have, it's not worth doing business in the area. Especially, if you're doing export marketing or anything that doesn't require to be in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Then you talk about this new economic plan they put in place for HRM. Just go outside the border of HRM and you see all these brand new subdivisions set up - lower taxes, all the transportation system to get people to downtown Halifax where they need to work, and guess what? The regional municipality doesn't get a single penny, not a penny, in taxes. Not one penny.

I'm not proposing that these people should pay a thing to HRM. I'm just showing how regressive the development plan has been and how high the taxes are in the regional municipality and discouraging people from developing here. When we don't develop here, it's going to slowly grind to a halt, and it's grinding to a halt in my community, out in the rural area. That means that employers are not employing people, they're not building new homes, the tax rate will actually slow down because there are no homes being built.

[Page 3997]

So I would ask the people here to consider this as we make laws, and hopefully we can change the laws to make it a better place to live and at a cost where people can afford to live here. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The House shall now resolve itself into Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[The motion is carried.]

[2:31 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. The Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: We've reached the moment of interruption. The subject of this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Government consult with the fishing industry, the federal government, and seal conservation societies to put forward a plan for the safest, most humane form of seal population control."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

SEAL POPULATION - CONTROL: HUMANE PLAN - CONSULT

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to stand here tonight and speak about the seals in our waters. First of all, I want to say that I'm not going to speak about the seals in the gulf, which have gone from two million to six million. I want to speak about just the grey seals that are around this province. They've gone from 40,000 to 450,000.

What's happened to this seal population? We're not too sure, but we know it has grown. These seals are 1,000 pound animals that are out there - 450,000 of them, 1,000 pound animals. Imagine if you had 450,000 moose running around Cape Breton Island. You think about that one for a minute and you would understand better what we have.

The people, I believe, who are not out on that ocean do not understand what this is all about - simple as that. I wish that they could, I truly do wish they could understand this better. I've talked about this a few times, and it seems to be hard to get it across to the people

[Page 3998]

who are never out there and never see this. They see this little picture of a little seal, a cute little seal on a page of a paper. I love animals, Mr. Speaker, I think the world of animals. I think the world of a little mouse. Every one of us in this room, everybody in this province has set a trap and caught a little mouse. A little tiny mouse.

We have Disney World that uses Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse for mascots. They use them in Europe for mascots. They're cute little animals. But I went downstairs one morning and opened up my cupboard and there were three or four little mice - they were looking out at me just as cute, with great big ears, but they were eating my crackers up, they were eating everything they could chew up. I had to do something, because if I left them, if I didn't bring the mice down, they would eat me out of house and home.

So, we all do it, we all set traps to keep these mice down. But when it comes to these animals out in the water, people don't understand it. They don't understand that these animals are eating 20 pounds of fish a day. People say they don't eat fish. What do they eat? They're not eating ice cream bars - they're eating fish of some sort.

Scientists will tell you that one of these 1,000 pound animals needs 40 pounds of fish a day. But let's use 20 pounds, let's cut that in half, because that is a lot of food, 40 pounds, but a 1,000 pound animal - think about it - to keep that blubber content built up in the Atlantic to keep it warm, it needs 40 pounds a day.

Let's use 20 pounds; 20 pounds at 450,000 of them. That comes out to 2.9 billion pounds of fish a year. Our fishing industry, the people who work in it, the offshore, the midshore and the inshore, get to catch 200 million pounds, and they're eating 2.9 billion pounds. That's a conservative figure, you can double that, you could talk six billion pounds and still be within what you're talking about.

For years, this stayed at 40,000 animals out there. We saw them all the time - not all the time, but 40,000 animals from Cape Breton down to Yarmouth wasn't bad, no worse than driving in Cape Breton and seeing moose here and there, like we do now. We keep that population down, we keep the deer population down. We hunt 25 per cent of the deer a year to keep it at a 50,000 mark. If you didn't keep that deer population down, you couldn't grow a garden in this province. We keep our rabbit population down. If you didn't, you wouldn't grow carrots - they'd eat the top off every one. So we go out and we catch them and we just catch enough to keep them at that controllable level.

The seals always stayed at that controllable level because the sharks were there. The sharks have been taken out of the water by us, by the Japanese, by China, and it has let the seal population get out of hand and it's growing - 50,000 more were just born. These grey seals, Mr. Speaker, don't need the ice to have their babies on, they just slide on the beach anywhere and have a baby; they can slide up on the street to have a baby. They will be before long - they'll be out here on the street. They're out here in the harbour right now and they'll be up on the streets of Halifax if they keep accumulating - and I don't know how

[Page 3999]

these fish stocks are standing it inshore, I really don't. I'm being told they're not standing it. These seals are moving. They're down off Cape Cod now. They've got 8,000 grey seals down there on an island - they never saw one before in their life there.

They're seeing them out on Georges Bank, 130 miles offshore, a seal - never been seen there before in their life. They've got to go and find the food, so watch out, they're coming up these streets. I'm telling you they'll look for food, and then you'll get your big trap out, a big mousetrap, and you'll be catching them. Now, I guarantee it. We've thrown it out of balance somehow and all we've got to do is try to use some common sense to try to get this back in balance, Mr. Speaker. It's common sense.

They're cute. I don't want to hurt animals. With that many animals out there and that many up in the gulf, we could have a great resource here. If we used that resource right and just bring it down slowly - there are people starving to death in this world, and do you know what's going to happen? It happened in Norway and Iceland. Twenty years ago, this happened. In Norway and Iceland 20 years ago they took their fish stocks down, just the same as we did or have now this past few years. The seals started blooming. The seals were coming just like they are here. After a while they got so many of them over there, after five or ten years, fifteen years, whatever it was, the seals got a disease and died off - 95 per cent died off.

Once those seals died off, there was a mess everywhere. They were all over the beaches dying, they were everywhere, a mess, but once all that got cleared up - the environment cleared it up - the fish stocks started coming back. Once they saw that happening, the seals started coming back too. So they had brains enough to realize we cannot let that seal herd get above that fish stock again. We've got to find that balance there. They found that balance pretty near 20 years ago, and Iceland and Norway have one of the greatest fisheries right now in the world. They're selling them to us because we have no fish. The seals are eating them up. I could go on all night.

Mr. Speaker, I'm just trying to get the point across. We're not out there to destroy the seals, we're out there to find a balance in that ecosystem again that we somehow have thrown out of balance. We've got to find a way to bring that back in balance and, in doing so, we can start an industry here with food, with fur. Danny Williams will tell you - and I'm wearing my seal jacket the next time I come here, if I can find one, and I'm going to bring some seal meat. I've eaten seal meat in Newfoundland and Labrador - it's the best and highest protein that you can ever eat, and if we all ate more of it we wouldn't be getting so sick either because it's full of omega 3, the best in the world.

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

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I can tell you it's going to be a little difficult to be as colourful and as passionate as the previous speaker, the member for Digby-

[Page 4000]

Annapolis, but I'll give it my best shot. I am pleased to stand in my place tonight to speak on this resolution:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Government consult with the fishing industry, the federal government and seal conservation societies to put forward a plan for the safest, most humane form of seal population control."

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to thank the MLA for Halifax Clayton Park for bringing this resolution forward. As many of the members know, the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has been, and continues to be, actively involved with the proper management in the harvest of seals. I would like to point out that this is completely different from a seal cull. In fact, Nova Scotia does not have a commercial seal harvest. We do, however, have a developmental harvest. This is a grey seal harvest. In this instance most of the seal is used for value-added commercial products.

The department has worked with industry on facilitating the development of the grey seal products, including pelts, marine oil and meat products. Mr. Speaker, these markets are promising.

Mr. Speaker, this resolution talks about seal population control and this is an extremely critical issue for our province's fishing industry. As you know, the fishing industry is tremendously important to our economy and to our coastal communities. Whether it be fishing or processing or boat-building, everyone has a stake in a healthy, sustainable fishery. We believe that seals are having a negative impact on fish stocks and creating many problems for our billion dollar industry.

Seals damage gear, they spread worm parasites in fish and interfere with fishing activities. Mr. Speaker, it is widely acknowledged by the industry and the scientists that grey seals are having a negative impact on the health and the quality of our fish stocks. In fact, grey seal herds have tripled since the 1970s and there appears to be no danger to the sustainability of the seal population while fish, on the other hand, may be threatened.

Grey seals are implicated in the downturn of our groundfish stocks and the fishing industry is unanimous in calling for a reduction in the seal numbers. It is a significant issue for our fishermen and the department supports the efforts of Nova Scotia fishermen to develop a viable seal harvest. The federal government, through DFO, also supports the grey seal harvest for Nova Scotia. For example, I understand that the grey seal population of Sable Island, not very long ago was approximately 10,000 seals and now we know it to be over 300,000 seals, just on Sable Island alone, an incredible increase in a very short period of time.

Mr. Speaker, the industry, led by the Nova Scotia Seafood Packers Association, formed the Grey Seal Research and Development Society to explore the potential for a harvest to reduce seal herd numbers and to develop potential markets for fur, meat and oil.

[Page 4001]

ACOA approved a project for market development and our Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture also contributed to that in 2006. That year DFO approved a quota of 10,000 seals over two years.

Mr. Speaker, we are concerned about seafood boycotts because of the Canadian seal harvest. As everyone knows, Nova Scotia seafood continues to offer high-quality products and we are confident that people will continue to choose our seafood. We also know that fish stocks are depleting; however, scientific authorities agree that seals may be playing a part in the lack of recovery.

Mr. Speaker, my department has met with industry on many occasions and we continue to meet with industry and government on the best options for a well-managed harvest and population control. With regard to the seal harvest, I think it is important to note that the federal government determines the seal population control.

[6:15 p.m.]

As noted on their web site, DFO has brought new management measures for 2007 that state fleets that overrun their annual quota will see their allocations reduced by the same number of seals in their overrun on a one-on-one basis the following year. This measure ensures the harvest is managed.

As well, a number of additional measures also went in to decrease the possibility of quota overruns. These include shorter and more controlled opening periods, coordinated regional management and monitoring plants. Monitoring plants at the dockside, among other measures.

The Government of Canada is committed to taking a precautionary management approach whereby the quotas are set at levels that ensure the health and the abundance of the seal herds. DFO makes every effort to ensure the seal harvest is conducted in a safe and humane manner. It is closely monitored and tightly regulated. As a side note, I understand the Canadian Veterinary Journal stated that virtually all seals are taken in an acceptably humane manner.

Many factors, such as ice conditions, pup mortality, natural mortality, incidental catch, and reproductive rates are of course considered when setting quotas for the harp seal harvest. As well, DFO is currently planning an international workshop to examine the effects of harp and the grey seal predation on the fish populations.

While the value of the seal harvest may appear negligible to some, it is tremendously valuable for those individuals who use it as a source of income when economic opportunities are limited. Seals have been harvested for food, fuel, shelter and other products for hundreds of years. This is part of our national culture and our heritage. Most sealers are fishermen who

[Page 4002]

participate in other fisheries. The seal harvest provides them with the income needed to pay expenses such as insurance and buying new fishing gear.

Mr. Speaker, I hope this information helps you and everyone in the House to understand the importance of the seal harvest to our province and many of our neighbours' economies. As I have said previously, we have a developmental grey seal harvest in Nova Scotia that looks at all the ways to use the seal and it is done within the means allowed by government and our government officials. We are in consultation with many interested parties in the population to control the seals. Thank you for the opportunity to say a few words tonight.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West. You have approximately one and one-half minutes.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to stand this evening in my place and speak for a few minutes on sealing in this province. I know that we've had great debate (Interruption) I don't know, there may have been seals in Windsor come up through the Avon River at one time, there probably was, yes. I'm sure the honourable member for Digby-Annapolis would certainly be aware of whether they travel up and down that river. Maybe we'll hear a little bit about that in the coming minutes, I'm sure.

But, I don't know a lot about fish and I remember fishing for trout and things like that, but I often thought those types of fish were put here for a reason, maybe the seals were put here for a reason and we've just yet to figure that out. We do a variety of harvesting in many areas, different fish, maybe there's a way the seal can be harvested to be of some use or of more use than what we see it as today.

We realize there's a problem, it's creating a problem for our fish stocks. We were able to sit in committee with Dr. Boris Worm not very long ago - what a great afternoon that was, one of the most informative sessions I've ever had with regard to fishing. It's quite easy to see he's travelled throughout the world and he's very, very well informed. He has studied many things, talked about any number of things and he did talk a bit about the seals and how they may or may not have some effect on the depletion of our fish stocks.

There are many sciences out there on the seals and I know the honourable member across the way has talked in numerous committees that I've been on and in this House as well. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I see my time is up and I appreciate the opportunity.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to stand tonight and talk about an important issue, particularly to our fishing communities. I want to suggest that I support the particular motion that's in front of us to consult the fishing

[Page 4003]

industry, the federal government, and seal conservation societies to put forward a plan for the safest, most humane form of a seal population control.

As the member for Digby-Annapolis, I think I echo a lot of his comments. I think I support a lot of his comments. It is interesting to note, Mr. Speaker, that between the two of us we have 73 years of commercial fishing experience. I'll let you do the math. (Interruption) Basically I think we're pretty close to each other's term. It's interesting to note that this may be a sensitive issue in a number of circles around Canada. I think it's an important topic that we should be talking about in our coastal communities.

Last year, or most recently, the Fishery Standing Committee from Ottawa made a presence in Shelburne and they were presented with a number of representatives from across Nova Scotia, particularly the Tri-Counties, and there were some interesting pictures there. There was a picture of a 200-pound halibut - if you can visualize that, a 200-pound halibut - that resembled after you eat it, an apple core. This was the result of a halibut, one of the most beautiful fish, high-priced fish, in our ocean that was left on the lines of a long line and the seals, a predator, took advantage of this. The result was a halibut's remains, the carcass resembled an apple core.

I think it's interesting to note the wording of this particular resolution, a "humane" way of controlling the seal population, and I think if you look around Nova Scotia, we talk in this House, we've talked about the problems that the pork industry has, the chicken industry, the cattle, these animals are all harvested in a humane way. We look each year and we have recreational activities, the moose hunt is across Nova Scotia. We participate in the lottery, the deer hunters, thousands of animals are harvested in a humane way.

As a young man, Mr. Speaker, in the 1960s I spent a lot of my time Irish mossing. The older fishermen at the time, most of them carried a single-shot .22, and I think the member for Annapolis will know where I'm going with this one because at that time there was a seal bounty on seals. Our federal government paid the commercial fishermen to harvest and they gave them a reward. There was a management plan in place and there was a balance and the federal government endorsed that. Earlier the member for Digby-Annapolis suggested the numbers in this particular population has tripled in the last 25 or 30 years.

So I think it's very interesting that if you go - and the other key point in this particular resolution is that we're going to consult with the fishing industry. That's a very interesting point because I hope that time will allow us that we'll be discussing the new Fisheries Act and its lack of consultation, and I look forward to that and talking about why we're not consulting with the fishermen. I'm very confident that if we go across Nova Scotia and look at this particular issue and consult with the coastal communities, the evidence is going to be overwhelming that we need a controlled harvest.

[Page 4004]

Mr. Speaker, if I can, the earlier speaker made reference to a particular grey seal brief submitted to the Nova Scotia Legislature Standing Committee on Resources on October 3, 2006, by Debbie MacKenzie, the Grey Seal Conservation Society. I would like to read a paragraph from that and I'll quote from the first page. I'm quoting here now from Mrs. MacKenzie's presentation:

"Please understand that if we believed there was any possibility that removing seals might trigger an ecological shift back towards the previous heyday of the fish and the fishermen, then we would be in favour of the plan. However, no scientific evidence suggests that will be the case, while all the available evidence actually points in the opposite direction."

I took notice of that particular comment because actually it endorsed the seal cull if we could prove scientific evidence that there was a need for it. I think that is a crucial part of this. If I can take you back, and I know you may be curious where I'm going with this, but if we even look at the Bible - the Bible is a good indication about fishermen and having respect for fishermen because that quote right there talks about giving evidence or respecting individuals and there lies the problem, that there is no respect for the fishermen who spent years on this particular water. The biblical reference is that the disciples, the majority of them were fishermen. To me, that is a good example because if that was good enough to give advice at that time, the majority were fishermen - I would think, Mr. Speaker, that if you do the consultation, if you go to the coastal communities, you'll hear loud and clear that there's enough evidence from fishermen to support a seal harvest.

In fairness to Ms. MacKenzie, she goes on to say that she wants scientific evidence. I challenge that because here we are with literally thousands of fishermen around this coast, and I can give you a number of examples of fishermen who go out and tend their trawl lines and come back and have an apple core effect of a high-priced halibut. That is science. That individual has spent 25 or 30 years and they can tell you, to the day, when the lobsters will return to certain depths of water this Spring. I'll suggest it here that a fisherman once told me a number of years ago, in the shoal waters off Seal Island and Mud Island, and I know the secret will be kept in here, on the third day of May, when I was just a young man learning the ropes, you put your traps in 10 fathoms of water and you'll be on the money. He was right. That is scientific evidence.

The point I am trying to make here today is that we look at academics, we look at people who are going to make a decision on this particular resource and say that we need scientific evidence. The evidence is amongst the coastal communities that we represent; the fishermen. That is what we represent (Applause) and it is time that we took these individuals seriously. I can assure you that the numbers will be overwhelming that we should have a harvest.

I look forward, Mr. Speaker, as I conclude here today, to have the debate on the Fisheries Act. There's where it is because we need to consult with people, we need to consult

[Page 4005]

with coastal communities. Like the seal hunt, the coastal communities will tell you that our Fisheries Act needs to be consulted and they'll show you the way, they have the knowledge. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you to all members. The time for late debate has expired and now the House will resolve itself back into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Supply with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. Chuck Porter in the Chair.]

[7:10 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Cecil Clarke resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader on Government Business.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, please call Bill No. 146.

Bill No. 146 - Environment Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, when we adjourned debate two days ago, I believe I had some time left. I wonder if you might oblige me at the beginning by letting me know approximately how much time I have.

MR. SPEAKER: Approximately 20 minutes.

MR. EPSTEIN: Thank you. When we finished two days ago, I had just started to speak about the coming disasters. I don't know if all members got the chance to look through the most recent copy of the Hill Times, dated March 19th of this year that appears in our caucus offices and in our mail slots on a regular basis. The Hill Times had in it this week quite an amazing advertisement or notice. The notice was for an event that is about to take place in Toronto this year. It's for what's noted as the 17th Annual World Conference on Disaster Management.

Just think about that for a minute. A world conference on disaster management. Now, what this suggests to us, of course, is that disasters are sufficiently common that there is a whole range of professions that is oriented towards dealing with them.

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We know, of course, that for many years we've had international organizations like the Red Cross that step in and move to parts of the world when disasters strike. Usually these are so-called natural disasters. We know domestically that things like the Armed Forces are looked to, to move in as an aid to the civil powers, as it's termed under the National Defense Act, as required - again, usually when things that we usually think of as natural disasters, take place.

Typically, what we actually encounter are things like the flooding of rivers and this has been a common thing in Canada. But, the kind of disaster I have in mind here is not something that one can anymore think of as being removed from the activities of human beings in the way we have our society organized.

Think only about some recent disasters that have been very large in their scale and that probably all of us are aware of. Think about the enormous oil leakage from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska. Think about the gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal in India. Think about the enormous consequences of the failure of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. When you turn your mind to those examples of disasters, surely we have to realize that what we are in peril of is not simply something like the flooding of the Red River. As problematic as that is, there are disasters out there that are directly linked to our way of life that are of enormous potential to us.

[7:15 p.m.]

I mentioned earlier the fact that this bill concentrates on global climate change and therefore links our thinking to one of our vital life support systems, the air. We have to think of it in terms of that, we have to think in terms of what it is that we are doing as human beings because of the way we have organized our society and because of the way we live, or choose to live. We have to take the lesson from examples of disastrous occurrences and use what is clearly our main evolutionary advantage - the ability we have to look forward and think and anticipate things going wrong.

If we can do that, then we might stand a chance, we might stand a chance of avoiding or minimizing some of those disasters. I have to say, Mr. Speaker, I have relatively little faith that this will actually occur. I think that there is enough potential imperilment of our life support systems, including our food supply, that there is very good reason to think that there will be many disasters that will strike us in Canada, as well as in other parts of the world. We're not immune here. Think about Avian bird flu. Are we immune from that? Certainly not. Are we immune from other viruses, things that infect the food supply? They move around the world. There's no reason to think that we will be safe from this kind of disaster, which stems from how it is that we have organized our lives.

So the question is do we learn the lessons, do we take effective steps in order to avoid or minimize the consequences? The evidence is simply not good. Indeed, when I look at this bill, and however much I'm happy to see planning being done to deal with some aspects of

[Page 4007]

global climate change, I see things that are missing in this bill. The main thing that I see missing is its failure to try to tackle something that we actually do have constitutional control over at the provincial level, which is land use. There is virtually nothing in this bill that deals with land use.

If you turn to the major Statute that we have in Nova Scotia, the Municipal Government Act, which really says that it's municipalities that are to do the land use planning, we have to recognize that they carry on their functions within a context set by the provincial government. Indeed, there's a mechanism under the Municipal Government Act known as statements of provincial interest, that are attached to that Act, that set out a specific direction for municipalities when they do local land use planning. If you look at that assemblage of statements of provincial interest, they're not nearly strong enough and they're not nearly comprehensive enough.

If you look at the provincial Environment Act, which also to some extent engages with land use, the direction is not strong enough. We don't have provincial-level policies that tell us that we have to save agricultural land; we don't have strong provincial policies that deal with pesticides; we don't have strong provincial policies, or indeed any provincial policies that really have much of a focus on compact urban form. When I think about what this bill has about land use, all I can find in it is a focus, really, on solid waste.

Now, dealing with garbage is a useful thing to do, but I have to tell you that's entry-level environmentalism. I'm all in favour of people diverting their waste, reducing it, composting, recycling, all good things to do - but do you know what? We're dealing with a much more serious array of problems.

Models do exist for what it is that the province could be doing. Models do exist for what this bill fails to do when it comes to land use. I'm put in mind of what occurred in British Columbia a number of years ago under what was known as the core process. The Commission on Resources and Environment was established by the B.C. Government to be a large land use planning exercise led by the provincial government be a large, land-use planning exercise led by the provincial government. The provincial government divided the province up into different areas and led what has become a world-acclaimed, effective and consultative group process for thinking about land use in those areas.

Why don't we have a core process here? Why didn't the minister think to extend his idea of sustainability to a topic that we could move on immediately, instead of setting goals for 5, 10, 15 and 20 years out. I commend to the minister, thinking about examples like the core process from B.C. - we should be engaged in that. Why not take all of Cape Breton Island, for example, as a starting point. That's an area in which we could be doing large, land-use planning exercises as part of nudging ourselves towards the basis of sustainability.

Now I know that we're a small province, I know that we have fewer than a million people here but nonetheless, we can take effective actions here. It is important that we in the

[Page 4008]

west take effective actions. The reason for that is what is known as our ecological footprint. Mr. Speaker, calculations have been done, in fact by leading Canadian scientists, professors Rees and Wackernagle at the University of British Columbia on the concept of what's known as ecological footprint. Here's the question they asked - they said if you look at each individual in our population and you calculate the rate at which they use up resources, how much land do you have to have available to support their activities? How much land do you have to have to generate the minerals, to clean the water, to provide the wood, to grow the food, that will support this person?

Their calculation in Canada is that it is about 17 acres per person. That's an enormous ecological footprint, and our ecological footprint is about 30 to 40 times that of people in India. What that means is that the population of Canada, in terms of ecological footprint, is about the same as the population of India. When you do it on an ecological footprint basis, we're equivalent populations.

Do you know what? Here's the other thing they calculated: if everyone in the world lived with the same kind of ecological footprint, that is using up our resources, as is the kind of level of using up resources that prevails in North America and Western Europe, do you know what we would need to support that way of life? Not one planet Earth, you would need five planets to do that.

You know what? We don't have five planets, we've only got the one and we're using up those resources at a great rate and the southern nations, the developing nations, are moving along at an enormous rate themselves, but because we're so far advanced, it is incumbent upon us to move very aggressively to reduce our ecological footprint. You have to remember that it is 30 to 45 times what it is in some of the very poor parts of the world. That is what unsustainable means; unsustainable means everyone couldn't do it.

So if we're going to shift to a sustainable basis, of course we have to recognize that it's a global problem but we also have to recognize that we have to do our part and that it's an urgent global problem, it's not one that's casual, it's in fact the only way that we're going to success in our quest for survival as a species. It's as simple as that, it's a question of survival. That's the term that many of our leading thinkers have used; think about life support systems, think about coming disasters, think about human survival.

Now the minister has a crucial portfolio and I'm very glad that he came to us with this bill, we're going to support this bill but we have to recognize just how serious it is that we engage with this on an urgent basis.

Now if we recognize that the air and the water and the earth and our food systems are crucial to our survival, then we have to find ways in order to make this sustainable. Now I remind you what sustainability means: sustainability means that we live in a way that does not deprive future generations of their opportunity to live. That's a major undertaking, that's something that we have to do.

[Page 4009]

What are the most effective steps that could be taken? Well, recognizing the problem is the first step. Many of us have spoken for many years in an attempt to remind people of what it is that the problem should be seen as being and to some extent we've had some success. I count it as a success that now members of this House are faced with a government bill - not an Opposition bill but a government bill - that proposes to set target dates for activities for reigning in many of our activities, yet those dates are far in the future.

It is not clear to me that 20-year targets for some of the steps that are proposed here are nearly quick enough. I have great faith in the innovation abilities of the private sector; I have great faith in the scientific abilities and the engineering abilities of educated people who are able to engage with the problems and move. What the government has to do is tell the private sector that it's no longer acceptable to live the way we live. That's part of the government's role, we have to make these changes. If I want to disagree with anything that I heard the minister say when he introduced this bill, and spoke to it at second reading, it's his statement that brought out the connection between the environment and the economy in which he suggested that if we take the appropriate environmental steps, we would become wealthier.

I have to say that is not necessarily the case. In fact, most of the contemporary thinking is towards steady-state economics. It is far from clear that we'll become wealthier, and wealthier is not the measure, survival is the measure. So I would ask the minister to go back and re-think that. I think that he'll find that if he reads environmental economists like Daly and Cobb or Hazel Henderson or Paul Hawken, that there are models out there for achieving steady-state. He should take away from his thinking the idea that we would necessarily become wealthier; if we survive that will be a great accomplishment.

With that said, Mr. Speaker, let me go back to my original point. We thank the minister or we welcome this initiative from the government. We intend to support it. We had hoped for much more aggressive targets but even this is an important step, even this is something that we do have to move ahead with.

So thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to make some comments about Bill No. 146.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand here to speak to Bill No. 146. I, too, am very pleased that the minister has brought this bill forward and I'm pleased that the government is also behind moving this bill forward. I am, though, concerned that this bill doesn't quite go far enough and it certainly is missing a lot of substance in this bill. I am hopeful that with this good move forward the minister and the government will aggressively move on adding more depth to this bill.

[Page 4010]

We're all very much aware of the changing circumstances within our environment and certainly I'm no stranger to having knowledge of those changes. I have been an environmentalist for many, many years so it comes as no surprise to me that people are now joining together and finally recognizing that without the protection that we need around our environment, that really our life species as we know it will change drastically over the next 20, 30, 40 and 50 years to come.

I stand here today not only as the member for Queens but I also stand here as a mother and, as a mother, I am very concerned about ensuring that we do have a sustainable environment, not just for my children but for my children's children and also for all of our members' children. It is important that we act aggressively. I mean we only remember just a few short weeks ago when many scientists had gotten together and finally put the brakes on or ended discussion around was it true or was it not true that global warming and climate change was accelerating across this globe. So it was a real wake-up call for all of the people who negated the fact that, well, we still have time, our environment is not really changing, and we can wait another day to put protections in place.

I'm really hopeful that the minister, as this moves forward to the Law Amendments Committee, will work quickly with stakeholders around his table and within the province, and even outside of the province, to work on really putting some meat on the bones of this bill here. Some of the concerns that I have with the bill as I'm seeing it, and some of the quotes that the minister has made around sustainability, and what comes to mind immediately is wetlands and how we have to be very careful how we treat wetland loss in this province. We're seeing a number of our wetlands disappear. We're seeing a lot of alterations to our watercourses.

I mentioned to the minister just a while ago, in fact, that when we start altering watercourses, as we have seen over the years, that once you alter one watercourse, it ultimately affects another watercourse. We haven't had in this province a real serious look at our waterways - we haven't been mapping them in a substantial way across this province because we don't know what waterways have been altered with development which brings to mind a couple of comments that my colleague before me made, and that is the importance of land-use planning in this province to ensure that we are planning for future development without harming or damaging more waterways in this province and our coastal lines too have to be watched very carefully because in the coming years we will be faced with increasing flooding conditions and the rise of sea level and the loss of coastal land.

This bill has a lot of good starting points here but the environment, we have to understand that our environment is all-encompassing. I, personally, have always felt, and I believe I had this quick conversation with the minister sometime back, where I have always personally felt that the Department of Environment and Labour really should be the lead department in our political structure. The reason I feel very strongly that our Department of Environment and Labour should be the most lead department where every other department

[Page 4011]

feeds into the Department of Environment and Labour because everything we do revolves around our environment and the conditions of our environment.

For example, we can look at the growing health care system - the wait times, the increased respiratory illnesses, asthma on a huge increase in our youth and other environmental illnesses. So, the Department of Environment and Labour really should take the lead, and, working with the Department of Health, in recognizing what types of illnesses are actually a direct cause from our environment.

The Department of Environment and Labour really should be also taking the lead with the Department of Education in looking forward to the future where we are going to need to see a number of our youth starting to be taught in environmental sciences in a way they have never been exposed to before. Our youth, when they become our age, are going to have to be so much more knowledgeable about environmental technologies than we are today. Our youth are going to have to take on the challenges when they get our age; when my 18- year-old-son becomes my age - I won't tell you what that is - but, my youngest son and my oldest son, who's 27, are going to have to take on those challenges that are before us today. They're going to have to be leaders in the technologies of clean water and clean air and new technologies and renewable energies.

So I think it's important that when we look at our education system we also start to include mandatory, perhaps maybe mandatory for now is a bit of a strong word, but certainly start to include many environmental science courses at an early age so that our young people start to get well-versed in the environmental sciences. They are the ones that are going to be faced with most of the crises that we will see happening as a result of global warming and climate change across the globe.

The Department of Economic Development. I really see the Department of Environment and Labour as perhaps taking some lead role with the Department of Economic Development in partnering with them and exploring the green economy, which is very real and it is happening and there are a number of people across this province, across this nation and in other countries that are taking the lead in the green economy. There is opportunity for economic development through the greening of our province and of our nation.

The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture - the Department of Environment and Labour plays a key role and can play an even bigger role with the Departments of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and that's ensuring that we have sustainable fisheries, sustainable agriculture here in this province and beyond.

One fact that came to me some time ago was around food security. I attended a meeting several months ago where the folks that were organizing the meeting had brought us back to September 11th. The information this organization was sharing with us was during 9/11, when our borders were closed, if our borders had been closed for any longer than the

[Page 4012]

time frame that they had been shut down, for 9 to 11 days, we would have lost the ability here in Nova Scotia to be food secure.

I asked them what that meant. What do you mean if our borders were shut down for any longer than 10, 11 days, we would be food insecure here in the Province of Nova Scotia? Well, it's quite simple. We have a food supply here coming into Nova Scotia, coming into most of our province from outside of the province. We export a lot of our agricultural goods and that's why it's so important that we really move forward quickly on the Buy Local Program. One of the reasons, we need to be food secure here because when we start facing crises, whether it's a 911 crisis, or whether it's a total shutdown for a period of time of our grid system, we need to be able to be sustainable in our food here. We need to be looking at better ways of sustaining our agriculture, protecting our agricultural lands, and giving a boost to our farming communities and our fishing communities.

Those are just a few examples of where I see the Department of Environment and Labour taking a lead role and a stronger role within government, and not just here in Nova Scotia but all governments. I would encourage the minister to have a look at New Zealand's model where, actually, the Department of Environment actually does have a bigger lead role. We've always looked in this province to the Department of Environment as kind of not the most important department in the scheme of things when we look at things politically from that perspective. I mean, it has been said, it has been said many times over the years, well, the Department of Environment, they're there to kind of make sure rules and regulations are followed for some things but, you know, it's pretty lax in a lot of firm, solid decision-making.

So I would encourage the minister to continue this move forward in this vein. I am so pleased that he has embraced a lot of ideas that certainly the NDP has been positioned on for a number of years. So many years, in fact, that's why I became a member of the NDP many years ago, when I was probably about 19 years old. Again, I won't tell you how old I am now. Many years ago I recognized the NDP for the strong position on the environment that they had. I knew at some point that we would see some movement forward by other Parties. So I encourage the minister to keep moving forward, and I look forward to this bill going on to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you. (Applause)

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

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much Mr. Speaker. I've listened very carefully to the members opposite. One thing I can't quite understand is how someone who is 30 has an 18-year-old son, but I'll figure that out. (Interruptions) Anyway, I do thank them for their comments on the environment. I move that we close debate on second reading.

[Page 4013]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 146. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House be adjourned, to sit again tomorrow beginning at 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, the House will go into the Committee of the Whole House on Supply.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now rise and meet again tomorrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned.

[The House rose at 7:44 p.m.]

[Page 4014]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2294

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 the Bridgewater Vikings Junior Boys Basketball Team captured the Western Region Junior Boy's Championship against West Hants; and

Whereas both teams represented their school with pride; and

Whereas Coach Cavell Burley worked very hard this year to prepare the team for some very competitive teams;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend congratulations to all the team members and coach of the Bridgewater Vikings Junior Boy's Basketball team on their recent 2007 Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Western Region Junior Boy's Championship. Team members are: Andrew Snyder, Jordan Mullen, Jarrett Hubley, Mason Jordan, Dylan Tufford, Andrew MacDonald, Mike Woodworth, Travis Getson, Kyle Wong, Matt Goldberg, Dryden Tanner, Brandon Minard, Mattias Tuttlies and James Mullen and Coach Cavell Burley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2295

By: Mr. Ernest Fage (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas the Amherst Rotary Club are always up for a challenge and this time they have made life easier for children in wheelchairs to enjoy ice activities; and

Whereas Rotary is supplying a device to be used at the rink for children with disabilities. Dylan LeBlanc, a student at Spring Street Academy, made the inaugural run recently during a class trip to the Amherst Stadium; and

Whereas Dylan reported it was fun because he can slide fast and keep up to his classmates easier than before. It allows him to socialize and hear the sounds skates make on the ice. In past outings, someone pushed his wheelchair and this new slider allows a feeling of freedom, equal to his friends, enjoying ice activities;

[Page 4015]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations and thanks to the Amherst Rotary Club for their continued interest in making life better for our physically challenged children.

RESOLUTION NO. 2296

By: Mr. Ernest Fage (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas Special Olympics handed out awards to Cumberland County athletes for outstanding contributions; and

Whereas Matthew Porter won gold in the running long jump held in Antigonish last summer, Mary Ann Belliveau was awarded Athlete of the Year for 2006 and Terry Black earned silver in soccer; and

Whereas the Special Olympic Amherst team are preparing for the 2007 season where they will again give their all and make Cumberland County proud;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Matthew, Mary Ann and Terry for their awards and wish them well in 2007 competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 2297

By: Mr. Ernest Fage (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas the Pugwash Panthers Junior Boys school basketball team won their second straight district title with an 84 - 49 win over the Springhill Eagles; and

Whereas Shane Stonehouse, Kris Allen, Alex Parker, Matt Duggan, Robbie Osmond, Matt Blaikie, Adrian MacDonald, Justin Pauley and Chris Rushton are the proud team members; and

Whereas this win allows them to host the regional tournament in March, with teams from Colchester-East Hants and Pictou County;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to the Pugwash Panthers for their title win.

[Page 4016]

RESOLUTION NO. 2298

By: Mr. Ernest Fage (Cumberland North)

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

Whereas the Amherst Regional High School Vikings are the 2007 NSSAF Division II high school basketball champions; and

Whereas their championship came with a 45 - 40 win over the Central Kings Gators on March 3rd; and

Whereas Coach Reg Caufield, assistant Coach Don Gamblin and team members Matt Fowler, Alex Brown, Mike Wile, Paul Sumbu, Dwayne Ripley, Dave Siddall, Mike Adams, Ryan Oake, Corey O'Brien, Loren Fawthrop, Lawson McLeod and Jamie Gamblin have made their school and fans proud;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to the ARHS Vikings on their recent win.

RESOLUTION NO. 2299

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas David Fuller, a chicken farmer from Blomidon, has been re-elected to the position of Chairman of the Chicken Farmers of Canada, a position he has held since 1999; and

Whereas David will continue to chair a 15-member board of directors made up of farmers and other stakeholders from the chicken industry; and

Whereas David brings a wealth of experience to his position, having been with the Chicken Farmers of Nova Scotia for more than 15 years and a third-generation farmer, who along with his family now produces 1.4 million kilograms of chicken annually in the Annapolis Valley;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate Blomidon chicken farmer David Fuller on his re-election to the position of Chairman of the Chicken Farmers of Canada and wish him and his family all the best with their successful farm operation.

[Page 4017]

RESOLUTION NO. 2300

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Special Olympics are such an important part of the life of one Queens County resident, a participant in floor hockey, softball, bowling, track and field, soccer and snowshoeing, who also works at Penny Lane Enterprises and takes part in the Adopt-A-Highway Program with his fellow athletes; and

Whereas this Queens County resident was recently awarded the Male Athlete of the Year at the 12th Annual Special Olympics Nova Scotia Festival and Auction in January at the Cunard Centre, Pier 23 in Halifax; and

Whereas he has participated in all provincial Summer and Winter Games and attends bowling tournaments in Shelburne and Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Michael Moreau on his wonderful award and for always being prepared for his sport, playing fairly, encouraging others, and giving his all to the game.

RESOLUTION NO. 2301

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas music and arts are such an important component of a community's life and the education of our youth in the fields of music and arts is so important; and

Whereas Royal Conservatory piano examinations were recently held and a number of participants from Henneberry's Studio took part; and

Whereas these examinations are held in conjunction with the School of Music at Acadia University; and

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Brittany Hatt and Kristen Fancy for having received the Silver Medal for the highest mark in the Province of Nova Scotia, and also, at the Introductory Level, Krysen Collyer, Bailey Selig, Catherine Cook, Jurnee Harlow and Hannah Barnes for their Merit Awards, and with First Class Honours in Grade 1, Mati Williams, Gabriel Long, Joanne Acocella and Kyle MacNeil, and

[Page 4018]

First Class Honours in Grade 2, Cindy MacLeod and Sara Scovil, and First Class Honours in Grade 5, Breanna Miller and Neil Mutsaers, and Neil also earned First Class Honours in Preliminary Rudiments Theory Examination, and I would also like to recognize their teacher, Yvett Henneberry.

RESOLUTION NO. 2302

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas a former North Queens High School track star has been having an outstanding track and field season in her first year at the University of Kentucky; and

Whereas this track star is competing in one of the toughest conferences in the United States and broke the junior and senior records for the 400-metre and finished 6th in the South East Conference Championships final; and

Whereas she also bettered her Nova Scotia Junior 200-metre record in early March;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Jenna Martin from North Queens for her outstanding track and field season at the University of Kentucky.

RESOLUTION NO. 2303

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas a young woman in Queens County offers grooming services, bird care tips, as well as a temporary home for those who cannot keep their parrots; and

Whereas this young woman has been raising money to care for the birds by buying and reselling bird food, raising baby birds and selling them; and

Whereas this young woman has five different species that come from Africa, Australia and Brazil;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Diane Cook fo Liverpool for entrepreneurial skills to set up this business to not only shelter tropical birds but for making the public more aware of the needs of these birds from all around the world.

[Page 4019]

RESOLUTION NO. 2304

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas donating to the community is such a wonderful way to give back to your community; and

Whereas the Palliative Care Unit of Queens County has a need for quilts both in the hospital and in the home, wherever people will derive comfort from them; and

Whereas a very active quilting group with members from Queens, Shelburne and Halifax Counties, as well as the Valley, recently presented 17 quilts of different themes and sizes to the Palliative Care Unit of Queens County;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the Queens Quilters Guild once again for their very generous donation of quilts to the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2305

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the importance of remembering the contribution so many, many veterans from Queens made to the peace process during conflicts all over the world; and

Whereas the Legion 13 Zone recently held playoffs for the Call To Remembrance competition at which the questions are Remembrance related and on Canada's military heritage; and

Whereas during the 2007 competition there were seven teams from Zone 13 competing and the Liverpool team took the silver medal;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Jordan Ingersole, Graham Muise, Milad Awkar, Ryan Whynot, Brandi Roy and their Coach Stephen Nickerson and all the businesses in Queens for their donations for this event.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2306

By: Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Liverpool was recently privileged to be able to host the 2007 Scottie Tournament but more so to be able to watch the Liverpool native, Jill Mouzar, skip her team to the Nova Scotia Provincial Women's title; and

Whereas in their quest for the provincial title, finished the tournament with a 9-0 record; and

Whereas this team will be a very worthy representative for Nova Scotia at the National Women's finals in Alberta;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Jill Mouzar, Meredith Harrison, Teri Lake, Hayley Clarke and spare Mary Mattatall on their athletic achievements and congratulate the team on winning the provincial title and placement at the National women's finals in Alberta.

RESOLUTION NO. 2307

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Boisdale Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Boisdale Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2308

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Christmas Island Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Christmas Island Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2309

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Florence Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Florence Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2310

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Southside Boularderie Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Southside Boularderie Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2311

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Big Bras d'Or Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Big Bras d'Or Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2312

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Ross Ferry Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Ross Ferry Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2313

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Baddeck Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Baddeck Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2314

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Middle River Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Middle River Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2315

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Iona Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Iona Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2316

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the North Shore and District Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the North Shore and District Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2317

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Ingonish Beach Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Ingonish Beach Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2318

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Ingonish Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Ingonish Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2319

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Neils Harbour/New Haven Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Neils Harbour/New Haven Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2320

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Cabot Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Cabot Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2321

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Bay St. Lawrence Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Bay St. Lawrence Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2322

By: Mr. Keith Bain (Victoria-The Lakes)

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Georges River Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would not know to whom they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Georges River Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 2323

By: The Premier

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

Whereas the students of École NDA in Cheticamp have become tremendous role models for students and schools across our province; and

Whereas École NDA is the first school and student body to be 100 per cent smoke-free; and

Whereas with the smoking rates among our youth are at an all-time low of 13 per cent, it is obvious our future leaders are already leaders in understanding the dangers to their health and the health of all those around them of smoking;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the achievement of École NDA and its students and wish them continued success with their leadership on such an important issue.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2324

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas Evelina Ellen Skeir (Posthumously) received the Rev. Dr. William Pearly Oliver Wall of Honour Award on March 3, 2007, presented by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia recognizing her as a leader in human rights, particularly women's issues, her invaluable contributions to the African United Baptist Association (AUBA), the AUBA Women's Institute, and the Congress of Black Women, as well as local women's groups; and

Whereas Evelina Skeir had also been previously honoured by the Women's Missionary Society of Canada with a Lifetime Membership; by the Africville Genealogy Society with an Honorary Membership; by AUBA, in 1992, for her many contributions; and has received a certificate from the East Preston Missionary Society; and

Whereas Evelina Skeir travelled with her husband and shared in ministries at Africville, Guysborough Road, and Windsor Plains Baptist Churches, as well served and ministered for over 40 years at the church in East Preston, Cherry Brook, and North Preston;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Evelina Skeir's achievements in her lifetime and for this recent well-deserved recognition by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia.

RESOLUTION NO. 2325

By: Mr. Keith Colwell (Preston)

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

Whereas Deacon Everett Smith (Posthumously) received the Rev. Dr. William Pearly Oliver Wall of Honour Award on March 3, 2007, presented by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia recognizing him as a member of the St. Thomas United Baptist Church for over 60 years, where he served as usher for 30 years and later took on the role of chairman of the Usher Board and was ordained as a deacon of his church in July 1981, and served until the time of his passing on March 7, 2006; and

Whereas Deacon Smith was an active member for several years of the Baptist Young People's Union (BYPU), which later became known as the Baptist Youth Fellowship (BYF), and he served as chairperson for the sick committee for the St. Thomas Baptist Church Men's Brotherhood group; and

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Whereas Deacon Smith served as trustee for New Road/Nelson Whynder, and Allen W. Evans Elementary Schools, and as chairman of the Trustee Board for over 25 years and served as a trustee for Graham Creighton High School and Prince Andrew High School for several years;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly join me in recognizing Deacon Smith's achievements in his lifetime and for this recent well-deserved recognition by the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia.