The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 08-27

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Alfie MacLeod

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/

Second Session

THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Ser. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Cosmetic Landscape Pesticides - Ban,
Mr. C. Parker 2869
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2535, Intl. Red Cross/Red Crescent: Humanitarian Work - Salute,
Hon. B. Barnet 2870
Vote - Affirmative 2871
Res. 2536, Round the World Clipper Yacht Race (2008): Events -
Participate, Hon. W. Dooks 2871
Vote - Affirmative 2872
Res. 2537, HMCS Toronto: Ship's Co. - Efforts Acknowledge,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 2872
Vote - Affirmative 2873
Res. 2538, Nat. Res. - OHV Conf.: Participants - Congrats.,
Hon. D. Morse 2873
Vote - Affirmative 2874
Res. 2539, Disabled Persons Comm'n - Barrier-Free Office,
Hon. J. Streatch 2874
Vote - Affirmative 2875
Res. 2540, Joggins Fossil Ctr. - Tourism Ind.: Asset - Recognize,
Hon. W. Dooks 2875
Vote - Affirmative 2875
Res. 2541, Sackville Rivers Assoc. - Anniv. (20th),
Hon. R. Chisholm 2876
Vote - Affirmative 2876
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Cosmetic Landscape Pesticides - Ban,
Mr. K. Colwell 2877
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Agric. - Wildlife Compensation Prog., Hon. B. Taylor 2877
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 161, Health Authorities Act, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2880
No. 162, Municipal Government Act, Mr. K. Colwell 2880
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2542, Rawdon Hills Health Ctr.: Bd. of Directors/
Commun. Members - Congrats., Mr. J. MacDonell 2880
Vote - Affirmative 2881
Res. 2543, Democracy 250: Celebrations - Participate,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 2881
Vote - Affirmative 2882
Res. 2544, Victoria Highland Civic Centre - Bd. of Directors:
Work Ethic - Congrats., Mr. K. Bain 2882
Vote - Affirmative 2883
Res. 2545, Crosby, Sidney: Hart Trophy (2007) - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Dexter 2883
Vote - Affirmative 2883
Res. 2546, Cdn. Breast Cancer Fdn.: Screening - Promotion
Congrats., Ms. D. Whalen 2884
Vote - Affirmative 2884
Res. 2547, Windsor Hockey Heritage Museum - Curator/
Commun. Leaders: Efforts - Applaud, Mr. C. Porter 2884
Vote - Affirmative 2885
Res. 2548, Dal./SMU Univ. African Student Associations:
African Night - Congrats., Mr. L. Preyra 2885
Vote - Affirmative 2886
Res. 2549, Bishara, Joe - Reader's Digest Educ. Hero (2007),
Mr. W. Gaudet 2886
Vote - Affirmative 2887
Res. 2550, McCrory, Anna/MacEachern, Jackie: St. Andrew's
Presbyterian Church - Volunteerism, Mr. K. Bain 2887
Vote - Affirmative 2887
Res. 2551, Educ. - Sch. Bd. Elections: Participants, Encourage,
Mr. P. Paris 2888
Vote - Affirmative 2888
Res. 2552, Health: Rec. Progs. - Support,
Mr. L. Glavine 2888
Vote - Affirmative 2889
Res. 2553, Beck, Howard - New Glasgow Rep. Vol. (2008),
Mr. P. Dunn 2889
Vote - Affirmative 2890
Res. 2554, Carver, Sandra: Vol. Efforts - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 2890
Vote - Affirmative 2891
Res. 2555, Watson, Paul - The Farley Mowat: Maintenance - Bill,
Mr. H. Theriault 2891
Vote - Affirmative 2891
Res. 2556, Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2892
Vote - Affirmative 2892
Res. 2557, Gillett, Hannah: HRSB Healthy Living Calendar -
Contribution, Mr. W. Estabrooks 2892
Vote - Affirmative 2893
Res. 2558, East. Marine Ryl. Cdn. Army Cadet Corps 2741:
Staff/Members - Recognize, Mr. K. Colwell 2893
Vote - Affirmative 2894
Res. 2559, Johnstone, Stuart: Vol. Efforts - Recognize,
Hon. D. Morse 2894
Vote - Affirmative 2894
Res. 2560, Cole, Mr. Gene - Mun. Pictou Co. Prov. Vol. Award,
Mr. C. Parker 2895
Vote - Affirmative 2895
Res. 2561, Pickard-Tattrie, Jake - N. Col. HS Male Student of Mo.,
Hon. K. Casey 2895
Vote - Affirmative 2896
Res. 2562, Agric. & Fish. - Cusk: Endangered Species Status -
Review, Mr. S. Belliveau 2896
Res. 2563, MacDonald, Eleanor/Glace Bay Hosp. Ladies Auxiliary:
Volunteerism - Commend, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2897
Vote - Affirmative 2897
Res. 2564, Benkel, Dr. Bernie - CFI Leading Edge Fund Grants,
Hon. J. Muir 2898
Vote - Affirmative 2898
Res. 2565, Autism N.S. - Autism Spectrum Disorder: Support -
Congrats., Ms. B. Kent 2898
Vote - Affirmative 2899
Res. 2566, Walsh, Fred - Order of Can.,
Mr. L. Glavine 2899
Vote - Affirmative 2900
Res. 2567, RCL Br. 23 - Meals on Wheels: Support - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Baker 2900
Vote - Affirmative 2901
Res. 2568, Fraser, Kimberley - ECMA Award,
Hon. C. Clarke 2901
Vote - Affirmative 2902
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 248, LWD: Promotional Hats - Factory Standards,
Mr. D. Dexter 2902
No. 249, Prem: Gas Regulation System - Retention Explain,
Mr. S. McNeil 2904
No. 250, Com. Serv.: Child Care - Fed. Funding,
Mr. D. Dexter 2905
No. 251, Com. Serv.: Early Childhood Educators - Wages,
Mr. T. Zinck 2906
No. 252, Justice - Correctional Officers: Working Conditions -
Plan Implement, Mr. S. McNeil 2908
No. 253, Health: Nursing Home Violence (N.S.) - Reasons,
Ms. M. More 2909
No. 254, Health: Roseway Hosp. ER - Closures,
Mr. S. Belliveau 2910
No. 255, Health: Avastin Funding Details,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2912
No. 256, Nat. Res.: Category 7 Silviculture Prog. -
Funding Deficiencies, Mr. C. Parker 2913
No. 257, Health: IWK ORs Closure - Alternative Plans,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 2914
No. 258, Film N.S.: Film Tax Credit - Coverage,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 2915
No. 259, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - UNSM MOU:
Commitment - Uphold, Ms. B. Kent 2916
No. 260, Educ. - Univ. Study: Intl. Students - Recruitment,
Ms. D. Whalen 2917
No. 261, TIR: Tourist Routes - Dedicated Funding,
Mr. J. MacDonell 2919
No. 262, Environ.: Redmans Island - Coastal Mgt. Plan,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 2920
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
ON SUPPLY MOTION:
Mr. J. MacDonell 2922
Ms. D. Whalen 2926
Mr. C. Porter 2930
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 2:47 P.M. 2935
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 2935
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Environ.: Climate Change - Deferral,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 2935
Hon. M. Parent 2938
Mr. G. Steele 2941
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON SUPPLY AT 6:30 P.M. 2943
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:29 P.M. 2943
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 157, Financial Measures (2008) Act,
Hon. J. Muir 2944
Mr. G. Steele 2946
Adjourned debate 2951
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., May 9th at 8:00 a.m. 2952
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2569, Atl. Jewish Coun.: Israel Independence (60 yrs.) -
Celebration, Mr. S. McNeil 2953
Res. 2570, W. Jeddore Rifle Range: Work - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 2953
Res. 2571, St. James Anglican Church: Head Jeddore -
Anniv. (165th), Hon. W. Dooks 2954
Res. 2572, Windcrest Stables - Riders: Efforts - Congrats.,
Hon. W. Dooks 2954
Res. 2573, Stellarton RCL 28: Robertson Mem. Park Proj. -
Funding, Mr. P. Dunn 2955
Res. 2574, W. Hants Mid. Sch. - Apple Valley Quilters: Quilt -
Applaud, Mr. C. Porter 2955
Res. 2575, Lockeport Reg. HS: Gr. 10 French Immersion Class -
Student Educ. Voyages & Exchanges Can.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 2956
Res. 2576, Bedford Blues Midget Hockey - Wayne Gretzky
Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2956
Res. 2577, Hatter, Mel: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher, 2957
Res. 2578, Baxter, Jillian: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2957
Res. 2579, Whitlock, Katie: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2958
Res. 2580, Armstrong, Kristin: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2958
Res. 2581, Eakins, Heather, Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2959
Res. 2582, Normore, Alex: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2959
Res. 2583, Normore, Marie (Manager): Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2960
Res. 2584, Inman, Jessica: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2960
Res. 2585, Morley, Rita: Bedford Blues Midget Hockey Team -
Wayne Gretzky Fdn. Award, Hon. L. Goucher 2961
Res. 2586, NSLC: "Cheers to Change" Init. - Applaud,
Mr. M. Samson 2961
Res. 2587, Mullins, Alice/Paul/Fam.: Commun. Entrepreneurship -
Anniv (75th), The Speaker 2962

[Page 2869]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There has been a draw for the late debate.

Therefore be it resolved that government bring forward their reasoning for deferring their climate change plan due and discuss what can be done to expedite this important and crucial issue for Nova Scotia.

It has been submitted by the honourable member for Cape Breton South.

We will commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of 293 residents of our province to do with cosmetic pesticides. The operative clause reads:

2869

[Page 2870]

Therefore, we the undersigned residents of Nova Scotia petition the Provincial Government to amend the Municipal Government Act, to grant all Nova Scotia Municipalities the power to ban the use of cosmetic landscape pesticides."

Mr. Speaker, I, too, have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health on an introduction.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. In the east gallery I'd like to introduce a couple of very esteemed visitors, some new faces around health care in Nova Scotia: Betty Mattson, our new Chair for NSAHO - which, of course is the organization that provides help to the district health authorities, the long-term care facilities around the province when it comes to labour issues, negotiations, pensions, et cetera. I know they have a whole raft of things to do - as well as the new President and CEO of NSAHO, who started on March 25th, Mary Lee. I would ask them to stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2535

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

[Page 2871]

Whereas the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement celebrates each year the birth of its founder, Henri Dunant, on May 8th, World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day; and

Whereas across the country and around the world this organization has focused on offering humanitarian assistance and improving the lives of vulnerable people; and

Whereas as just an example of their work they are currently busy with relief assistance and an appeal for funds for flood victims in neighbouring New Brunswick and for funds for those thousands whose lives have been devastated by a cyclone in Myanmar;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the tremendous humanitarian work carried out by the staff and volunteers of this society year-round, and commend the Canadian society which will celebrate its 100th Anniversary of its inception next year in 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 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2536

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

Whereas being a part of the International Clipper Race is a great opportunity to promote Nova Scotia to an audience of over 200 million people; and

Whereas the 10 clipper-style yachts set sail from Liverpool, England, on September 16, 2007, on a 35,000-mile journey that will take them to over 14 ports around the world; and

[Page 2872]

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia has invested a total of $100,000 to sponsor a yacht and host the 2008 Round the World Clipper Yacht Race in Sydney and Halifax in June 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House visit the Web site and get involved in the race and cheer on Team Nova Scotia and participate in events when the race arrives in June.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for Military Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2537

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I wish I had gone before Minister Dooks, but anyhow, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas on April 10th, the 176-metre merchant ship the Sea Venus issued a distress call that reported an engine failure which stranded the ship; and

Whereas Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Toronto, under the command of Commander Alex Grant, with her crew of 200, was conducting a fisheries patrol when it was diverted to assist the disabled ship; and

Whereas the crew of the HMCS Toronto assisted the ship to restore its firefighting capabilities and assessed damage done by the fire;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge and offer a heartfelt Bravo Zulu to the ship's company of HMCS Toronto for their efforts to help their fellow mariners and to maintain the traditions of the Canadian Navy to help those in distress on the high seas.

[Page 2873]

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. 2538

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

Whereas 232 people, dedicated to the safe and responsible use of off-highway vehicles in Nova Scotia, gathered at the Oak Island Resort on May 3rd and 4th for the province's inaugural off-highway vehicle conference; and

Whereas the name of that conference was On the Right Trail - OHV Enthusiasts Collaborate; and

Whereas as the title of this conference indicates, Nova Scotia is on the right trail, thanks in large part to the enthusiastic and committed collaboration and co-operation of a broad spectrum of individuals and agencies;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the participants of Nova Scotia's first off-highway vehicle conference and show continued support for future collaboration.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 2874]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to do an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

[12:15 p.m.]

MS. CASEY: In the east gallery I would like to draw your attention to some folks here from Literacy Nova Scotia. You will remember yesterday that the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development read a resolution and spoke to the very effective and efficient work that this group does in our province - I would like to acknowledge their presence here today. The executive director, Ann Marie Downie, and some of her staff - Jayne Hunter, Marie David and Heather Lauther. I've spoken in estimates about the value of adult literacy and working in our communities. It's folks like this who make those programs happen. I'd like us to give them a warm welcome in the House and please stand. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2539

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

Whereas my role as Minister of Community Services also involves being Minister responsible for the Disabled Persons Commission; and

Whereas the Disabled Persons Commission held an open house in February to celebrate their move to Pleasant Street in Dartmouth; and

Whereas the new office features services specifically designed for the commission's staff and clients such as video phone for the deaf, an accessible library, and a first-floor location;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the Disabled Persons Commission is committed to a barrier-free office and to showcasing a workplace that is fully accessible to persons with disabilities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2875]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2540

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

Whereas the Joggins Fossil Cliffs are one of our province's and one of the world's great natural treasures and a world-class heritage resource; and

Whereas the opening of the Joggins Fossil Centre finally provides us with the opportunity to display this remarkable resource with the world; and

Whereas we have invested a total of $2.9 million to develop the Joggins Fossil Cliffs into a unique major tourist attraction;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the Joggins Fossil Centre as a tremendous asset to our tourism industry, and congratulate all partners involved in ensuring the Joggins Fossil Cliffs remain one of the world's great natural treasures and a world-class heritage resource.

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 2876]

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquiculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2541

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

Whereas the Sackville Rivers Association was formed in 1988, when a small group of concerned citizens undertook to protect and restore the Sackville River by cleaning up the garbage that had been dumped in the river; and

Whereas the association has grown from 13 volunteers who came out one afternoon to clean up the river, to over 300 members who continue to have a vision for conserving and enhancing this important sport-fish resource for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas the Sackville Rivers Association is marking its 20th Anniversary this year and has been a great help to the province by creating fish habitat through the Adopt-a-Stream program, and by coordinating and leading in many province-wide initiatives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate the Sackville Rivers Association on achieving this important milestone, and recognize the hard work and dedication of the association members over the years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask permission of the House to revert to the order of business, Presenting and Reading Petitions and following that, Statements by Ministers.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

[Page 2877]

It is agreed.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I would like to present a petition entitled:

Therefore, we the undersigned residents of Nova Scotia petition the Provincial Government to amend the Municipal Government Act, to grant all Nova Scotia Municipalities the power to ban the use of cosmetic landscape pesticides."

Mr. Speaker, there are 164 signatures on this and I have also attached my signature. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to stand in the Legislature today to announce a new program for Nova Scotia's farmers. (Applause) This program will assist producers in this province manage some of the risks that they face on the farm. The Department of Agriculture, through the Nova Scotia Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission, has introduced a Wildlife Compensation Program. It will assist farmers who experience damage to their crops or livestock as a result of the activities of wildlife.

The program will be administered by staff of the Crop and Livestock Insurance Commission, who have significant knowledge and experience in this area. The commission currently offers insurance on 35 crops and livestock. The agriculture industry has been asking for this type of program for some time and we are addressing their concerns through this program.

[Page 2878]

The introduction of this program recognizes the fact that wildlife are the property of the Crown, and farmers have a limited ability to prevent the damage caused by wildlife. We've consulted with industry and other stakeholders as we've developed the program. The Wildlife Compensation Program will provide financial assistance for specific crops and livestock that are grown or raised for agriculture purposes.

I understand the challenges and difficulties that Nova Scotia farmers face as they do their business. Agriculture plays an important role in our provincial economy and rural communities. The government continues to show support for this industry through many programs.

The Wildlife Compensation Program builds upon our existing Business Risk Management options such as AgriStability, AgriRecovery and AgriInsurance, which are already available to Nova Scotia farmers. This program will add yet another tool to farmers and will help them manage the risks they face on the farm. It is important that we provide timely and effective insurance products to the agriculture sector in response to changes in the industry.

The province is pleased to partner with the federal government in providing this compensation program, which is part of the Agriculture Policy Framework, and I would add that the plan is to go forward with this program in the future - Agriculture Policy Framework II. The program will continue to be part of the new policy as well.

We all know and value the importance of wildlife and natural environments to our province. Indeed we, as a government, have taken many steps to protect this valuable resource. The program introduced today is the first in Atlantic Canada. It recognizes the value of wildlife to our province, while acknowledging that sometimes they can have a financial impact on our farming community.

The willingness of agriculture producers and wildlife managers to work together is key to reducing agriculture-wildlife conflicts. Co-operation is essential if agriculture and wildlife are to coexist in harmony here in Nova Scotia.

The Department of Agriculture continues to identify and address the needs of Nova Scotia's agriculture sector and the farmers who feed us all. We continue to invest in the sustainability of our agriculture industry, and I close by emphasizing that once again Nova Scotia is first in Atlantic Canada bringing this program forward. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East. (Applause)

[Page 2879]

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, first I want to thank my colleague to my left who got that round of applause started. It was a little slow on the uptake but I appreciate it very much.

Mr. Speaker, I guess I really don't want to be all negative against the minister and his statement. You can tell that the minister has had a couple of bad Question Periods lately because the statement really, as much as we recognize ministerial statements are a way for the government to kind of promote themselves, I think this statement goes above and beyond the call of duty, especially in light of the minister's track record for his department.

There are some interesting things in this statement, actually, I must say, because the minister indicates that this is a program that the industry has been after for some time. "The agricultural industry has been asking for this type of program for some time . . ." - that's a quote. Then he also goes on to say, "It is important that we provide timely and effective insurance products to the agriculture sector in response to changes in the industry." So he is admitting on one hand that the industry has been after this program, or something like it for some time, and then saying it's important that we provide timely and effective insurance products, which is a contradiction.

Mr. Speaker, at the Federation of Agriculture meeting in December 2003, we had a fairly newly minted Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Christopher d'Entremont. The federation was actually expecting this announcement in 2003, and now in 2008 the minister makes this statement, he says, "I understand the challenges and difficulties that Nova Scotia farmers face as they do business." How will this help their bottom line? This program - which the province is only contributing 40 per cent toward the cost, and I would say did he consult with the federation? - I am thinking beekeepers and sheep producers are probably glad to see this because I imagine bears and coyotes are the biggest issue when it comes to these types of issues.

I want to say if this helps anybody in the province, we're glad to see it. The minister was a long time coming forward with it - or this government was. We would like to see something far greater for the industry presented. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, as my colleague opposite said, we all know that this has been asked for for some time, but I am pleased that the minister has brought this forward and it will be another one of those assists which we know farmers need many of these days. This is an area that I am very familiar with, especially as the vineyard crop expands in the Annapolis Valley. The problem with deer and vines is, in fact, a very considerable one, and we have a thriving pollination business in the Valley which, again, can get some assist from this - and every year this is an ongoing one that we hear about.

[Page 2880]

I've also had calls from blueberry producers in the Cumberland area who have had considerable damage in a particular year. We all know that their own insurance does not do quite enough coverage. So I welcome this program for the farmers who have a perennial problem with wildlife, and the fact is that acknowledgment of the coexistence with wildlife and farmers does pose challenges. So I'm pleased, Mr. Minister, to stand in my place and acknowledge that this is a beneficial program to farmers across Nova Scotia. Thank you, Mr. Minister.

MR. SPEAKER: We'll revert back to the daily routine.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 161 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 2000. The Health Authorities Act. (Mr. David Wilson, Glace Bay)

Bill No. 162 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Mr. Keith Colwell)

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

[12:30 p.m.]

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2542

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

Whereas rural Nova Scotia sometimes finds it difficult to obtain health services; and

Whereas new health clinics in rural areas are often put in place through the efforts of local residents; and

Whereas in February 2008, the Rawdon Hills Health Centre was finally located in its new and permanent address;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the board of directors of the Rawdon Hills Health Centre and the local community members who have made this addition to the health system in this province a reality.

[Page 2881]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park on an introduction.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where we're visited today by a group of students. They're Grade 8 students from Park West School, a Primary to Grade 9 school in Clayton Park West. With them today are their teachers: Aaron Driscoll, Carolyn Blum, Gloria Butler and Heidi Greene.

I would also like to let the House know that there's a second group that's coming in, probably during Question Period. So you'll see them come and go at that time when I'm not able to introduce them. They'll be with Lisa Mansfield and Lindsay Sheppard, accompanying that group. So I wonder if the group would stand so that we can give you a warm welcome from the House. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2543

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

Whereas in 1758 Nova Scotia established the first representative government in our country; and

Whereas 2008 marks the 250th Anniversary of the birth of parliamentary democracy in Canada; and

Whereas this special anniversary is an important milestone for all Nova Scotians and Canadians to celebrate this year;

[Page 2882]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly encourage all Nova Scotians to participate in this year's celebrations being organized throughout our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2544

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

Whereas the Victoria Highland Civil Centre in Baddeck is a year-round community facility used for everything from hockey to concerts; and

Whereas the Victoria Highland Civil Centre has a strong board of community volunteers and over the past two years has undertaken $40,000 in life-cycle renovations for the facility;

Whereas the Board is led by Chair Jonathan Saul, Vice Chair Annette MacKenzie, Treasurer Kim Cameron, Secretary Edward Carey and other active directors;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislature compliment the dedication and work ethic of the Victoria Highland Civil Centre's Board of Directors for ensuring the community has an active facility all year round.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 2883]

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. 2545

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

Whereas the 2007 Hart Trophy winner for the most valuable player in the National Hockey League and the youngest captain of an NHL team is Cole Harbour native Sidney Crosby; and

Whereas on April 24, 2008, at a special ceremony of family, friends, officials and residents, Sidney Crosby was honoured in his home town of Cole Harbour by the unveiling of two new signs; and

Whereas the new official signs proclaimed Cole Harbour as the home of Sidney Crosby and are located at the corner of Cole Harbour and Caldwell Roads and at the corner of Main Street and Forest Hills Parkway;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Sidney Crosby on winning the 2007 Hart Trophy as the most valuable player in the NHL and commend the residents of his home town of Cole Harbour for conveying on to him this esteemed honour of recognition through signs proclaiming, Welcome to Cole Harbour, Home of Sidney Crosby".

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 2884]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 2546

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

Whereas one in eight Atlantic Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and one in 26 will die from the disease; and

Whereas less than 50 per cent of eligible women are currently screened in Nova Scotia, despite evidence that the best defence against breast cancer is early detection; and

Whereas the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in Nova Scotia has set an ambitious plan to significantly increase the breast screening rates to 85 per cent of eligible women by the year 2010;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for promoting this extremely important screening method to provide early detection which will improve the survival rate for women afflicted by breast cancer in our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2547

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

Whereas Windsor Hockey Heritage Museum curator Carol Peterson has been doing an outstanding job since beginning at the museum this winter; and

[Page 2885]

Whereas recently, well-known hockey veterans Joey Dill, Jim Wilcox and Carl "Chook" Smith and former Hantsport player Merle Carey participated together at a get-together at the museum with younger players; and

Whereas the four veterans played and continue to play an integral role in the local Windsor-West Hants hockey scene, with Joey Dill and Chook Smith's names even being brought up for a short discussion at the head table in Charlottetown during the Atlantic Junior "B" Hockey Championship banquet in mid-April;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly applaud the community efforts of Carol, Jim, Joey, Chook and Merle as community leaders in Windsor-West Hants, where the origin of the game started in the 1700's.

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. 2548

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 and Saint Mary's University African Student Associations serve as voices and homes for African students in Halifax; and

Whereas each year these student associations organize a number of events to showcase African cultural heritage and bring students and members of the community together; and

Whereas on March 15, 2008, as an extended part of Black History Month, the Dalhousie and Saint Mary's University African Student Associations held their 16th Annual African Night where over 500 people gathered to share the African culture in Halifax through dance, song and African food at Saint Mary's Loyola Hall;

[Page 2886]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate both the Dalhousie and Saint Mary's University African Student Associations on continuing to bring the community together for the successful tradition of African Night.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2549

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

Whereas Reader's Digest has named Joe Bishara from the Maple Grove Education Centre as their Education Hero for 2007; and

Whereas the January 2008 edition of Reader's Digest tells the story of Joe's teaching career and the work he has done with the Memorial Club; and

Whereas throughout his career, Mr. Bishara has been dedicated to his students and school, and displayed a remarkable commitment to ensuring the sacrifices of our veterans are honoured by his students;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate Joe Bishara for being named Reader's Digest Education Hero for 2007 and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 2887]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2550

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

Whereas the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church congregation located in North River Bridge, Victoria County, is celebrating their 135th year of worship services in 2008; and

Whereas churches are only as strong as their congregations, and St. Andrew's is blessed with an immense and faithful congregational following; and

Whereas late last year Anna McCrory and Jackie MacEachern, both long-time and devoted supporters of the church, were given a plaque and small gift to recognize their outstanding contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that all Legislative members of this House of Assembly be cognizant of volunteers like Anna and Jackie (especially those bacon and eggs) because worshiping anywhere in Nova Scotia would not happen without people such as Anna and Jackie.

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 2888]

RESOLUTION NO. 2551

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

Whereas October 18, 2008, is election day for municipalities and school boards across the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas voter participation in school board elections tends to be even lower than in municipal elections; and

Whereas a number of information sessions are being held this Spring to encourage increased public participation in municipal elections;

Therefore be it resolved that the Department of Education be urged to hold information sessions jointly with the Nova Scotia School Boards Association to encourage greater public interest and participation in school board elections this year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2552

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

Whereas it is getting to be the time of the year where outdoor recreation gets back into full swing; and

Whereas with childhood obesity rate steadily climbing, it is more important than ever to get the children of our communities involved in activities that encourage a healthy lifestyle; and

[Page 2889]

Whereas whether cycling, skateboarding, running, or playing on a recreational sport team, the benefits of an active lifestyle are something that will continue throughout a person's life;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly support local recreation programs, encourage an active healthy lifestyle not only for children, but for all 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 Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 2553

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

Whereas the Town of New Glasgow proudly presented Howard Beck as its 2008 Representative Volunteer of the Year; and

Whereas Mr. Beck has been instrumental over the years in creating an outdoor rink in the town's north end and has spent countless hours shovelling and flooding ice and helping kids with their skates; and

Whereas it is not only the outdoor rink that benefits from Mr. Beck's energy, but several other events and organizations including local ball tournaments, dances for children and adults, summer programs and the Chocolate Festival. Mr. Beck also keeps the statistics of the John Brother MacDonald Stadium for the Weeks Junior A Crushers, rounding off an impressive list of volunteer commitments;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to New Glasgow's 2008 Representative Volunteer Howard Beck, for personifying what a volunteer means and giving back so much to his Nova Scotian community.

[Page 2890]

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.

[12:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2554

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

Whereas the recipient of the Representative Volunteer Award for 2008 from Queens County has been a volunteer for more than 25 years, having established the Meals on Wheels program in Caledonia in 1992; and

Whereas her many volunteer efforts include the Queens County Learning Network, the South Shore Housing Commission, an Elder in her church, chair of the Ministry and Personnel Committee, secretary of the Official Board, providing worship services at North Queens Nursing Home and the School Breakfast Program, along with many other volunteer efforts;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Sandra Carver of Caledonia, Queens County for all of her years as a volunteer in her community and thank her for all of the time she has given to her community through her volunteer efforts.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 2891]

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. 2555

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

Whereas the black, ghostly ship, the Farley Mowat, captained by Paul Watson has been arrested for harassing fishermen in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; and

Whereas Paul Watson and his ship created disruption for these people trying to earn a meagre income, and has caused great damage by his insensitive comments about the brave men who lost their lives in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; and

Whereas this ship is going to stay tied up at the wharf in Nova Scotia, rusting away, creating additional costs for taxpayers;

Therefore be it resolved that this government demand the federal government ensure that the bill for maintaining this vessel be sent directly to Paul Watson so the taxpayers of Canada do not have to foot the bill for Watson and his crew's dangerous actions.

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. (Prolonged Applause)

The honourable Minister of Immigration.

[Page 2892]

RESOLUTION NO. 2556

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: That's a tough act to follow. (Laughter)

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

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working with Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raising money for a young lady in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them a worthy recipient for such an award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Bedford Blues Midget girls team on winning the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2557

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

Whereas the 2008 Healthy Living Calendar of the Halifax Regional School Board, supported by NHL star Sidney Crosby of Cole Harbour, features student drawings; and

[Page 2893]

Whereas Hannah Gillett's drawing of Balance a Healthy Lifestyle is featured for the month of September; and

Whereas Hannah is a Grade 4 student at Beechville Lakeside Timberlea Elementary;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Hannah Gillett on her contribution to the Halifax Regional School Board's 2008 Healthy Living Calendar.

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. 2558

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

Whereas the 2741 Eastern Marine Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps has been instrumental in teaching young people from ages 12 to 19 such skills as marksmanship, rock propelling, biathlon training and army drills, et cetera; and

Whereas young people are participating on teams that can compete around the world in different divisions; and

Whereas the 2741 Eastern Marine Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps celebrated their 45th Annual Ceremonial Review on Sunday, May 4, 2008, at the Gaetz Brook Junior High School, showcasing to their families and friends what they have learned over the year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the staff and members of the 2741 Eastern Marine Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps for their dedicated work in the community and wish them well in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2894]

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. 2559

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

Whereas Stuart Johnstone is one of the founding members of the Kings Citizen Patrol, starting October 1, 1994; and

Whereas Stuart has dedicated over 5,000 hours to assist his local law enforcement agencies in keeping his community safe and secure; and

Whereas Stuart has always been an ambassador for the Kings Citizens Patrol and a leader of his group;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the commitment of Stuart Johnstone's volunteer efforts to enhance the safety and security for all residents of Kings County.

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.

[Page 2895]

RESOLUTION NO. 2560

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

Whereas Gene Cole of Three Brooks, Pictou County, was named the Provincial Volunteer for the Municipality of Pictou County for 2008; and

Whereas Gene has a long history of giving to his community including volunteering as a scout master, helping Big Brothers and Big Sisters with their Bowl for Millions event and setting up Toastmasters Clubs; and

Whereas Gene now concentrates his considerable abilities towards supporting the Lansdowne Outdoor Recreation Development Association, a unique facility that offers a natural outdoor experience for seniors and the disabled;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend Mr. Gene Cole who is widely admired on his commitment to volunteering for a large number of organizations within the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2561

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

Whereas North Colchester High School recognizes a male and a female student each month who have had great success in their school work, community involvement, and academic studies; and

[Page 2896]

Whereas Jake Pickard-Tattrie has earned Honours with Distinction and is academically at the top of his Grade 9 class at North Colchester High School; and

Whereas Jake is an excellent athlete and dedicated team player, playing both soccer and hockey, and volunteers in his community;

Therefore be it resolved all members of this House extend their congratulations to Grade 9 student, Jake Pickard-Tattrie for being chosen male 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 Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 2562

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia lobster industry is the single most important source of revenue for a great number of fishers across Nova Scotia and the Maritime Provinces; and

Whereas the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife and the Species at Risk Act Committee, have raised the concerns of fishers across Nova Scotia of the potential listing of the cusk as an endangered species; and

Whereas such listing of cusk under the Species at Risk Act would have a devastating effect to the lobster industry in South West Nova and great economic impact because of the potential for closure of some lucrative fishing grounds;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support fishers in our rural communities for requesting further review before the cusk is named an endangered species.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 2897]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 2563

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 members of the Glace Bay Hospital Ladies Auxiliary operate a gift shop on the main floor of the Glace Bay Hospital; and

Whereas the funds generated by the sale of items, some of which are handmade by auxiliary members, are being used to purchase much-needed equipment for the different areas of the hospital; and

Whereas the Glace Bay Hospital Ladies Auxiliary recently purchased and donated a $5,000 exam table to the hospital's emergency department;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate and commend auxiliary president, Mrs. Eleanor MacDonald, and the other members of the hospital's ladies auxiliary for their hard work, generosity and many hours of unselfish volunteerism to both the gift shop and the hospital.

Mr. Speaker I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

[Page 2898]

RESOLUTION NO. 2564

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

Whereas Dr. Bernie Benkel, a faculty member of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College has received a $263,665 research grant from the Canadian Foundation of Innovation Leading Edge Fund; and

Whereas the CFI Leading Edge Fund provides support for the development of major research facilities of international calibre; and

Whereas Dr. Bernie Benkel, Canada Research Chair in Agricultural Biotechnology, and his colleagues, will use the CFI grant to upgrade the facilities and services of the Atlantic Centre of Agricultural Genomics;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dr. Bernie Benkel on receiving a major grant from the CFI Leading Edge Fund and wish him and his colleagues continued success at the Atlantic Centre of Agricultural Genomics.

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2565

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

Whereas the incident rates of autism are estimated to be as high as one in 150 in Nova Scotia; and

[Page 2899]

Whereas the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution designating April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day, starting in 2008; and

World Autism Awareness Day shone a light on autism as a growing global health crisis and Autism Society Nova Scotia, along with the Valley Autism Support Team and the Autism Society of Cape Breton marked this historic day;

Therefore be it resolved that this government congratulate Autism Nova Scotia and other support groups on their ongoing efforts to provide important resources and support to families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2566

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

Whereas on February 22, 2008, Fred Walsh of Rockland received the Order of Canada for voluntary service; and

Whereas Mr. Walsh has given his time and expertise to organizations ranging from the agricultural associations to 4-H Clubs, the Rotary Club, Lions Club and Masonic Lodge, along with various community groups and councils; and

Whereas Fred Walsh is a shining example to many throughout the area;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House congratulate Fred Walsh on receipt of the Order of Canada and thank him for his many years of volunteer service to his community.

[Page 2900]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, before I read my resolution, I'd like to make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. BAKER: In the east gallery of the House today, joining us is Mr. Steven Wolff, who is the new CEO of the Nova Scotia Pension Agency. He is joined by Vicki Harnish, Deputy Minister of Finance. I'd like to introduce them to the House and ask everyone to give Mr. Wolff a warm welcome. (Applause)

RESOLUTION NO. 2567

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

Whereas the Lunenburg Meals on Wheels program has been providing meals to area residents for 30 years; and

Whereas the many meals are prepared at Harbour View Haven Home for Special Care in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Branch 23, Lunenburg, Royal Canadian Legion has been a supporter of the Meals on Wheels Program and has assisted the program this year with a donation of $750;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly thank the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 23, Lunenburg, for its financial support for the Lunenburg Meals on Wheels Program and congratulate the Lunenburg Meals on Wheels Program for 30 years of service in its community.

[Page 2901]

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.

[1:00 p.m.]

The honourable member for Dartmouth North on an introduction.

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is one of two introductions I'd like to make. In the west gallery I'd like to draw the members' attention to a group of very valuable individuals in our community. They are early childhood educators. We are joined today by Suzzanne Singh from Peter Green Hall; Karen Westcott from North End Day Care; Lynn Howse from North End Day Care; Karen Wright from North End Day Care; Joan Delong from the Sackville-Bedford Day Care; and Michelle Cohen, the CUPE national representative.

If I could have all members give them a warm welcome to the House. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to draw the attention of the member to the west gallery where I have a constituent of mine, Mr. T. Mack Petors, who is a member of many organizations and has done some wonderful work in the community of Dartmouth North. So if we could give him a round of applause, I'd appreciate it. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2568

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

Whereas Kimberley Fraser of Sydney Mines has been actively pursuing her music career and is now studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston; and

Whereas at this year's ECMAs, Kimberly won the roots/traditional solo recording of the year for her fiddling release, Falling On New Ground; and

[Page 2902]

Whereas Kimberley continues to expand her music career pursuits and remains true to her Cape Breton roots while exploring new musical heights;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Kimberly for this milestone achievement and wish her continued success with her professional music 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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time is now 1:03 p.m. and we will commence until 2:03 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

LWD: PROMOTIONAL HATS - FACTORY STANDARDS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question this afternoon, to begin, is for the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. On Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development distributed small, hard hat toys to promote his new department. They read "Strength Through Skills and Learning" - and I'll table that since I read from it.

AN HON. MEMBER: Prop.

MR. DEXTER: I think I'm required to table it, aren't I?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes.

MR. DEXTER: Thank you. Our Labour Critic, the member for Halifax Needham, turned the hat over and was disappointed to see that these promotional materials were made in China. The Minister of Labour and Workforce Development is responsible for labour

[Page 2903]

standards, so my question is a simple one, would the minister tell the House what labour standards are in the factory where these hats were made?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I too didn't notice that they were made in China until I turned it over after I got it. What we're trying to do, I guess - the Skills and Learning branch, which is very commendable, is to get the message out that it's Labour and Workforce Development - it's a new department. In the future, we'll make sure we're more careful about that.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is a little ironic that the government has gone overseas for these promotional hats. Clearly the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development didn't talk to the Department of Economic Development. Last year the industrial expansion fund loaned $180,000 to FoamWorx in Cornwallis Park and the CEO, Hailey Garner, was sorry to hear the Department of Labour did not give the contract to the 45 Nova Scotians who work at FoamWorx. Ms. Garner did mention that tourism buys their foam lobsters every year, and if they're looking for anything for Canada Day, here's their catalogue, which I will table. My question to the minister is, why is the Department of Labour and Workforce Development using products made in other countries to promote Nova Scotia workers?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I think I already answered the question that I didn't know either and that in the future we'll be more careful and make sure that doesn't happen. I can repeat my answer from before, but we will do that. I thank the member for bringing it to my attention, but we will make sure that doesn't happen in the future.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the very first line of the Government Party's Web site reads "Putting Nova Scotians First". I'd like to ask the minister, what controls or mechanisms he'll put in place to make sure that if they can find a Nova Scotia product they will and truly put Nova Scotians first?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member just brought it to my attention now, and I told him that I was concerned about it - I just found out about it when I flipped it over yesterday. We will put the appropriate controls in place.

I appreciate the question because it's very, very important that we put Nova Scotia companies first, but do it within fair trading practices as well. So I will report back to the member and let them know what policy we put into place.

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

[Page 2904]

PREM.: GAS REGULATION SYSTEM - RETENTION EXPLAIN

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The government recently released to our office the number of gas station openings and closures since gas regulation took place, and the numbers paint a bleak picture. Since October 1, 2006, nineteen stations have opened and thirty-three stations have closed. Gas stations continue to close in this province and gas regulation simply cannot protect them. My question to the Premier is, if the evidence from your own government shows that gas regulation has been a failure, why are you holding on to this system?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I think my honourable colleague may be being a bit selective on the numbers he's using. I refer that to the minister responsible to update the member.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to dispute the figures that the honourable member has presented. I don't have the most up-to-date information right in front of me, but I can tell you that the rate of closures of rural stations has been cut by about two-thirds since gas regulation was introduced.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I'll table the information for the minster to have a look at. Premier, regulation is costing consumers millions of dollars each year and is simply not working. Stations continue to close and we have the same level of price volatility as we had with a competitive market. Nova Scotians are tired of politicians tinkering with the price at the pumps and they are tired of paying for a failed government program. My question to the Premier is, why do you continue to put political pride and bad public policy ahead of the financial well-being of Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, first of all a formula is used with respect to the price and that's first and foremost for clarity. I represent one of those areas of Nova Scotia which is extremely rural and I'll use the example of the people of Pleasant Bay. They drive about a minimum of 43 kilometres in one direction to get a tank of gasoline; some individuals drive up to 100 kilometres to get a tank of gasoline. The policy in place is to ensure and to do all we can to make sure of not only stability but to help out those small communities in Nova Scotia and the individuals who live in those communities, to provide them with every opportunity to see the service in their community, so that the people of communities like Pleasant Bay will have an opportunity to ensure that they do have a gas station.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this government could help protect those communities without punishing each and every Nova Scotian every time they pull their car into the pumps. This government could not protect the five stations closed in Cumberland County, they could not protect the 10 stations that closed in Cape Breton and the other 13 stations that have closed all across rural Nova Scotia. The evidence is clear - gas regulation is simply not

[Page 2905]

protecting retailers. When will you finally put an end to your expensive, failed gas regulation program?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will defer this question to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is speaking prematurely. As he knows, we committed last year to a full review of the regulatory program, the year's cycle is up in the near future and, indeed, department officials are currently preparing the RFP to review the process, to review their regulatory scheme, as was promised one year ago.

I can tell the honourable member that regulation of gas in this province was intended to protect rural retailers, it was intended to protect wholesalers and middlemen, too and it has done that. You ask the people in the field, it has done that. The cost of regulation to Nova Scotians has been 0.8 cents per litre and we've never hidden that, we never said that regulation was going to lower prices. I can tell you, and I said yesterday in the debate, that the days of cheap energy in the world are over.

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

COM. SERV.: CHILD CARE - FED. FUNDING

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Premier. Affordable, accessible child care is important for Nova Scotia to be a place where young people will live, work and raise a family. This is one of the provinces that has not yet developed its child care system, yet despite the evident needs this government has diverted federal child care funding, both to replace its own spending and into other programs altogether. My question for the Premier is, how can the Premier justify this failure to use all federal child-care money to improve and expand child care in Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I am very proud that we have been able, through our seventh, consecutive balanced budget and through the plan that we have put forward, a 10-year early learning and child care plan with $200 million being invested, so we'll see 1,000 more spaces for our child care across Nova Scotia, so we increase opportunities for those who are low-income Nova Scotians, for those with special needs, those who didn't have the opportunity for space before under our plan will have that opportunity.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I will table the breakdown of how federal child care funds have been spent - this was obtained through Freedom of Information. This government has diverted at least $6 million from improved child care while claiming that it has been proceeding carefully to make sure that every cent was properly spent on better child care. This money should have been used to pay early childhood educators a decent wage and to create needed childcare spaces. So my question for the Premier is this, how could the Premier

[Page 2906]

let child centres close and experienced early childhood educators leave the field permanently, while his government diverted these millions of dollars?

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, like the Premier, I am extremely proud of the investment that we have made, as a government, to the families of Nova Scotia. We consulted heavily before embarking upon this 10-year plan, which will be in place within the first five years and then sustained because that is a key point to the child care plan - the choices for Nova Scotian families, the stability for the sector. We've put in place numerous programs - $5.2 million last fiscal year for the stabilization grants, the operational grants, which go directly to salary and benefits, and 75 per cent of those dollars were specifically targeted for salaries and benefits for our teachers in the child care centres.

MR. DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. What is clear is that both the Minister and the Premier don't understand - they got money for early childhood education and they spent it somewhere else. Families wait anxiously to see if they could find an affordable space or their young children, while early childhood educators find that they cannot make ends meet on their wages, while child care centres can't find or keep trained staff, this government diverted money away from child care, and they did it behind the scenes.

Why doesn't the Premier put families first, by making sure that every cent of this federal money is used to make life better for families that need and seek child care in our province?

[1:15 p.m.]

MS. STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. We on this side of the House believe in making financial fiscal investments for the betterment of all Nova Scotian families. That is the $200 million commitment that we have made in partnership with our federal government. We will invest those dollars wisely, as we have been doing, for recruitment and retention strategy to ensure that the quality child care operators in this province are supported - to the dollars that are going to the operating grants, to ensure that the salaries and the benefits of those teachers are quality salaries and benefits. We will continue to invest in families in this province and give choice to families in this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COM. SERV.: EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATORS - WAGES

MR. TREVOR ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. This government just doesn't get it that early childhood learning educators are doing more than just merely baby sitting. This is reflected in the low wages that continue to haunt the sector. Our early childhood educators are highly trained professionals, yet they are earning only between $8.00 and $11.00 an hour, even with a four-year degree. This is

[Page 2907]

shameful. I ask the minister, this year's business plan includes recruitment of early childhood educators, so why not start paying them now what they're really worth?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I thank my honourable colleague for the opportunity to once again stand in my place and say how very proud we are on this side of the House of the over $200 million investment being made in families in Nova Scotia.

The child care workers in this province are invaluable, that's why we had the operating grant put in place, $5.2 million last year, and when this new budget gets passed, it will be $5.5 million.

MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, this government obviously doesn't understand that this is a plan that is absolutely going nowhere. In addition to the low wages in the sector, the department has changed the funding formula. This change will result in some centres, like the North End Day Care, getting no money this year - no new money in the budget and this centre, along with two others, are in bargaining right now. Rather than ensure that licensed centres have adequate funding, this minister would rather create family-home day cares, which are unlicensed, uninspected and the operators are not required to have formal training.

Mr. Speaker, I ask the minister, why is her department so determined to uproot quality, licensed child care centres?

MS. STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I will attempt to reply to all three of those questions in one, in the short time I'm allotted.

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I recognize there's a labour issue going on in that child care centre. Far be it, Mr. Speaker, for this side of the House to intervene in a labour issue - we would not do that. Secondly, we have invested $5.2 million in the operating grant. As I stated, 75 per cent of that is directed for salaries and benefits. That goes directly to those quality workers.

Mr. Speaker, I would remind my honourable colleague that the families who are using family home daycare in this province need that to go to work to be able to provide for their families and I will not take that away from Nova Scotian families.

MR. ZINCK: Mr. Speaker, many early childhood educators can earn as much or more in the fast food industry - that is shameful, despite the required education and the responsibility of the work. With the new funding formula, there is little hope for improvement - a plan that is going absolutely nowhere again.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister, when will she stop tinkering with the system and lowering the standards of care and put the money where it belongs - in licensed, quality child care spaces?

[Page 2908]

MS. STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, you know, I have the utmost respect for all hard-working Nova Scotians. That includes the fast food workers as well as those quality child care operators and teachers in this province. We will continue to invest in quality child care and provide choice for all Nova Scotian families as we have committed to do.

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

JUSTICE - CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS: WORKING CONDITIONS -

PLAN IMPLEMENT

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Over the past few months Nova Scotians have become increasingly concerned with the state of the correctional facilities in this province. Correctional officers in Amherst and Antigonish are forced to rely on old equipment to ensure their safety and the safety of the public. People's lives are being put at risk because your government refuses to act. So my question to the Premier is, will you immediately put forward a plan to improve the working conditions of correctional officers in this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there are a couple of things happening right now, through you to my honourable colleague, with respect to corrections. We have the external independent audit which is taking place, which the minister has been addressing during the past couple of weeks. As well, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is looking at many of the facility aspects which my colleague would be aware of. This government takes very seriously the need to ensure that our workers work in a good environment which is one that we can stand by and be proud of. That's why we're taking a look at the need for new facilities in various areas and taking a look at the issues of equipment and such.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, we've all heard of corrections staff being forced to use taxies for inmate transfers. We've heard stories of officers being forced to rely on 40-year-old equipment. We've heard stories of a painter's helmet being used as protective gear. Nova Scotians deserve better and our correctional facility officers deserve better. Not only are you refusing to arm these officers during transfers, you are not even giving them the proper tools inside the facilities. So my question to the Premier is, will you show some leadership and provide our correctional officers with the tools they need to do their jobs?

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member and Leader of the Liberal Party. As was indicated, we have $1,500,000 in the budget to deal with the operational adjustments to reflect the concerns that have been raised, to provide for additional staff and operational support. There's a review-by-review facility audit being done as well as operations that will continue to deal with that. As was indicated, we're working with Canada for funding mechanisms to indeed accelerate our construction program. So

[Page 2909]

we're at the forefront, Mr. Speaker, of addressing all the concerns. I think we're being very constructive in that process.

MR. MCNEIL: The Director of Correctional Services told your government that we were in need of new facilities and new upgrades back in 2006. Amherst and Antigonish are old facilities with old equipment. In fact, we learned from the minister a few days ago that neither facility has been provided with riot gear. So my question to the Premier is, will you make an immediate investment in your corrections staff and enhance the equipment at Amherst and Antigonish?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, a couple of the facilities that my honourable colleague mentioned are being reviewed as we already announced publicly. With respect to the possibility of strategic infrastructure partnerships, we have partnered with the Government of British Columbia in that regard.We are doing the proper review, Mr. Speaker, so that we ensure that the previous mistakes made in the 1990s are not repeated.

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

HEALTH: NURSING HOME VIOLENCE (N.S.) - REASONS

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. I will table a report released in February by York and Carlton Universities, comparing violence against long-term care workers in Canada and Nordic European countries. Nova Scotia was among the three Canadian Provinces studied and the results are alarming. Nearly half the Canadian workers, especially women, providing personal care, experience physical violence every single day, seven times higher than the Nordic countries. I ask the minister, why is violence in Nova Scotia nursing homes such a problem?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question on the issue. The Globe and Mail also did a study about a year ago on violence against nurses in hospital settings and it was as a result of much of that data that came forward that we put forward our Violence in the Workplace Regulations. In October last year, they had to assess the risk and on April 1st this year, all of the plans went into effect and we are very proud of that.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I somehow doubt that that plan is going to get to the root causes of this problem. The study indicated that working in long-term care in Nova Scotia is dangerous. The chronic under-staffing is the main cause but poor working conditions also raise the risk with a need to recruit and retain our long-term care workers, this is a significant challenge that needs to be addressed. So I ask the minister, when will your government improve standards of care, staffing, training and reporting in this province?

[Page 2910]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing this very important issue to the floor of this Legislature. As we have been working quite steadily through the Violence in the Workplace Regulations that the minister brought forward just a few moments ago, we have steadily been making changes in the staffing ratios at long-term care facilities. We are, of course, training more CCAs, more nurses, more LPNs in order to better supplement and better staff these areas. We are also constructing brand new facilities and renovating new facilities and taking all this information into context as we develop the new plans to not only take care of our patients, who so need the aid, but also taking care of those people who take care of our loved ones.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, 95 per cent of the workers interviewed were women. So this is as much a women's issue as it is a health and labour issue. Women in Nova Scotia working in long-term care report that they are expected to tolerate physical, verbal and sexual violence as part of the job. They are not encouraged to report these issues. This is unacceptable. So I ask the minister, what steps is your department taking and how quickly will you be able to resolve this horrific situation? How can you reduce the risk to Nova Scotian women working in long-term care facilities in our province?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned, all the Violence in the Workplace Regulations were in place by April 1st. We had extensive consultation with nurses and with nursing homes as these plans were developed and put forward. We incorporated their suggestions and the plan is going to be a very good one that they have in place. It's a complicated process, as the honourable member knows. Some of the abuse that nurses and nursing home staff are subjected to come from people who have Alzheimer's and it is a different way of dealing with them.

But I want to assure the honourable member that we do not tolerate sexual harassment in the workplace. The Human Rights Act in this province has been changed so that no harassment is allowed or is countenanced. So I want to assure the honourable member that the Violence in the Workplace Regulations are having an effect and we will continue to monitor it to make sure that they do the job that we want.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

HEALTH: ROSEWAY HOSP. ER - CLOSURES

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Health. The emergency department at Roseway Hospital in Shelburne is in the midst of a crisis. There is a possibility of six scheduled day-long shutdowns for May and June, and I'll table that schedule. Will the Minister of Health explain what he is doing about this problem?

[Page 2911]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member opposite for his dedication to the residents of Shelburne in bringing this issue to the floor of the Legislature.

Mr. Speaker, I can say that through some hard work of the district health authority, we're making, of course, the public aware of the possibility of closures. I know they are looking for locum opportunities to bring physicians in to cover those back shifts, if need be.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, residents of Shelburne County needing emergency care will be forced to travel to the nearest ER in either Yarmouth or Liverpool for these six days. This is just the beginning of a bad summer for our residents needing health care. The site manager at the hospital says she expects there will be increased closures because they have exhausted all their resources. She said there are currently no doctors coming forward to help out. Mr. Speaker, will the minister explain what his department is doing to attract and retain doctors for Shelburne County?

[1:30 p.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Of course we'll continue to work collaboratively with the department, and of course the district health authorities, on recruiting the doctors that are required. Of course you see the move that we made yesterday when it came to adding more training seats for physicians who can work in rural areas. Of course that's not an immediate solution to this.

Mr. Speaker, there are some dollars in this year's budget to add, enhance locum programs, better ways to flow dollars to physicians to get them to work in areas like Roseway. So I'm hoping that some of these new and innovative ways will limit the closures happening in Nova Scotia's hospitals.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, local municipalities have created incentive packages to attract doctors and other medical professionals, yet this government has allowed the problem to grow. The ER closures are increasing throughout Nova Scotia. Will the Minister of Health assure the residents of Shelburne County that the Roseway Hospital ER will not close, or will he admit that this government has no plan to address the ER closures across Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I think the member opposite should listen to the last answer to my question, talking about the good things that this government is doing to try to limit the closures in Nova Scotia. Maybe he should visit his local ER and get the wax out of his ears.

MR. SPEAKER: The honorable member for Glace Bay.

[Page 2912]

HEALTH: AVASTIN FUNDING DETAILS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. There have been media reports in the past week or so surrounding the issue of the coverage of the drug Avastin. Cancer patients who are looking to access the program need to know that the program will be both fair and accessible. Oncologists require clear, detailed information to pass along to patients and patients need to know that coverage will not be tied to a list of restrictions that have not yet been announced by the government.

Mr. Speaker, my question to the minister is, will the minister assure us here today that there will be no financial restrictions placed on this program, like a cap in coverage, when it comes to the funding of Avastin?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the member opposite for the question. The issue of being able to offer this drug, there are negotiations going on quickly with Roche in order to provide this drug to Nova Scotians. Of course we've had discussions with Cancer Care Nova Scotia and the oncologists who are included in this review panel, and we'll be able to come up with a set of regulations that go with the administration of this drug. I'll make that available as soon as we do have it available.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the government and the minister know - well, they should know - that sometimes the devil's in the details. Cancer patients across this province deserve to know just exactly what the program is going to look like. In January of this year, Saskatchewan announced coverage of Avastin. In order to receive coverage of Avastin, patients with certain health conditions are exempt from coverage for legitimate clinical reasons, but the treatment itself is only covered in two health facilities in the Province of Saskatchewan. My question to the minister is, will he commit here today that coverage for Avastin will be available in all hospital sites where chemotherapy is administered in this province and not just one or two selected sites?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, and just as the distribution of individuals with colorectal cancer who do need this kind of treatment are spread across Nova Scotia, and I can assure the member opposite that it will be available in all oncology divisions around this province.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, on Friday, May 2nd the minister indicated this was a last-minute adjustment to the budget and further indicated that monies would be pulled from at least three different line items in his budget. It's not reassuring, and, honestly Mr. Speaker, it's downright worrisome. My question to the minister is, will he commit to fully covering the costs of Avastin for all patients without jeopardizing or taking monies away from the other Pharmacare Programs in this province?

[Page 2913]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the quick answer to that is yes. The added answer to that, of course there are clinical guidelines that go with any drug like this and as soon as those clinical guidelines are set, I'll make that available to all members of this House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

NAT. RES.: CATEGORY 7 SILVICULTURE PROG. -

FUNDING DEFICIENCIES

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Natural Resources. A lot of woodlot owners in Nova Scotia want to practise uneven-aged management on their properties through the Category 7 Quality Improvement Silviculture Program administered by the Association of Sustainable Forestry, educational programs, field days and a very high level of interest in better forest management. The problem though is the small amount of money - $570,000 - is all gone. Woodlot owners are continuing to register in the program, but are becoming discouraged when there's no further funding. My question is, what steps is the minister going to undertake to correct deficiencies in this badly underfunded program?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for pointing out the importance of Category 7 in our Silviculture Program. It has been well received widely across the province and we are stepping up the funding for this by putting that initial $570,000 in specifically for Category 7. The money is almost all committed, that is true. I would suggest that the best way to recharge the resources for Category 7 would be the speedy passage of the budget.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, we have an opportunity in this province through the transition funding to really shift the direction of forestry, the one that promotes and values healthy, uneven-aged, mixed-species forests that are sustainable and profitable. GPIAtlantic is saying the same thing just today. Woodlot owners want to take advantage of that opportunity through the Category 7 program so my question to the minister is, when is he and his government going to move forward with a shift to truly sustainable forestry and allow woodlot owners to diversify our forest economy?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite would be aware, the vast majority of the wood fibre that is harvested in Nova Scotia comes from private woodlot owners. They have been very receptive to the addition of Category 7 and the monies that have been invested in Category 7 for uneven-aged management and a more diversified species in the Silviculture Program. We are going to continue to support them by investing more monies in that program.

[Page 2914]

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, it's good to hear that more money is going to be invested in that program. It's the first I've heard of that, but right now 96 per cent of the silviculture money is used to develop even-age softwood tree farms, and the government is paying $12 million over the next two years to pay for silviculture on private lands. So my question to the minister: Why couldn't he divert some of that present silviculture money, out of that $12 million, to the Category 7 uneven-age stand management program?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, there was a special allocation in 2007-08 - that's the $570,000 the member spoke of when he introduced his question and framed his question - that was a deliberate step on the part of the department to give a boost to the Category 7 uneven-age management silviculture program. As I've already indicated with my previous answers - and I do appreciate the member's interest in promoting Category 7 silviculture - we will continue to be supportive and we are pleased to see that the private woodland owners are enthusiastic about this program.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH: IWK ORs CLOSURE - ALTERNATIVE PLANS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Media reports today have shed more light on the cancellation of surgeries at the IWK, cancellations that have occurred in the past couple of days. While the presence of asbestos in older building is not a new revelation, it is nonetheless disturbing and does create chaos in scheduling, especially when its presence is located in operating rooms. So my question for the minister is could he please indicate what plans he has put in place to assist the IWK in this situation?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, of course we're looking at the situation right now. We're looking at inspection right now, some testing, trying to do that cleaning. The ORs were closed again today and we'll have a better idea maybe after tomorrow of when those suites can reopen. I can also say to the member opposite that the Class 1 surgeries are still taking place and the emergencies, which will be happening over, I believe, in the women's operating suites that are available to the children. I know this is a situation that we do not want to see but, again, as the member opposite said, having asbestos in an old building is something that does happen quite often.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, we do realize there's a plan in place to deal with emergency surgeries, but the non-urgent surgeries are still there and the families who have children who require them are under a great deal of stress. Given that the hospital is uncertain as to how long the pediatric suites will be closed, my next question for the minister is could he please indicate whether he has done any legwork in determining whether there is any OR capacity in the system that can be used to continue the children's non-urgent surgeries?

[Page 2915]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, we'll monitor this issue very closely. I know there was an added meeting today around 2:00 p.m. and I'm waiting for the report that's going to come from the emergency team right now to see when those surgery suites can reopen, and, again, I'll make that available to the members to make him aware of when those ORs will be opened up again.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): In 2005, the government committed $36.5 million towards a $48 million redevelopment upgrade at the IWK, which as of March of this year was projected to exceed this budget. As a result of that projection, the hospital slowed design work and hired a consultant to determine whether changes or more money were needed. Media reports indicate that the consultant's report is now in the hands of the Department of Health. So, Mr. Speaker, my final question for the minister is could he please indicate when he plans to respond to the consultant's report so that the IWK can continue on its badly needed redevelopment plan?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I know that that information was brought forward to us some time ago. We have made some arrangements with that district health authority, with the IWK, in order to continue that construction. I know there were some decisions that were made by Cabinet to forward some dollars. I will make sure the member opposite knows the extra commitment that we'll be doing towards that renovation project.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

FILM N.S.: FILM TAX CREDIT - COVERAGE

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development, responsible for Film Nova Scotia. One might argue that Nova Scotia has scenery unlike anything in the world. We also have top-notch film professionals, whether that is true, or onscreen talent, yet we are missing out on commercial and music video productions because the film tax credit does not apply. My question to the minister is, why not extend the film tax credit to commercials and videos?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, indeed, the honourable member is correct to point out that there has been tremendous economic advantage brought to this province as a result of Film Nova Scotia and the tax credits that have been provided - indeed expanded by this government and additional advantages provided outside the metropolitan area. We are always looking for ways in which we can improve the delivery of this program and any suggestions that are brought forward will be taken into consideration.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, according to industry professionals, these projects are mini movies that can bring a lot of money into the province. They also provide work for the same professionals who produce movies. Recent Department of National Defence ads, shot in our province, are an example of the kind of productions that would stabilize and grow

[Page 2916]

our industry. I ask the minister, since there is no cost to the province unless someone comes here and spends a lot of money, why not change the rules?

[1:45 p.m.]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, one of the things that I neglected to point out in my first answer, of course, that we extended the tax credit to the digital media industry in this province. That is an example of how this government has been moving forward with Film Nova Scotia in expanding our capacity and our ability to attract industry and, as I said, we are always open to new and exciting suggestions.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we are always ready to give some good ideas to the government. The film industry in our province has fallen on challenging times. Being able to offer tax credits to commercials and videos would help bring more productions here and support local professionals. My question to the minister is, when will his department recognize the great potential of our film industry and extend the tax credit to all film productions?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we have demonstrated very clearly that we recognize the potential of the film industry. You know, given the fact that the Minister of Finance went out and did a fairly significant consultation with the people of this province in the preparation of the budget, it is disappointing that the honourable member didn't bring forward his idea at that time and it might have been incorporated in the budget at this time.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL. - UNSM MOU: COMMITMENT - UPHOLD

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Last November, at the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities' annual meeting, the minister signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNSM. It stated, "Effective cooperation between the province and UNSM enhances governmental performance and promotes public confidence and sound planning." In a release last week, the UNSM issued a release stating that the municipal taxpayers will be short-changed over $2 million by the changes announced by this government on how the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission pays its municipal taxes. My question is, why didn't this minister live up to the commitment he made on the memorandum of understanding with the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I was pleased that this government did sign a memorandum of understanding with the UNSM and it has been very well received. Clearly partners don't always have the same opinion on everything but the memorandum has been a very positive step forward and refers specifically to that. The UNSM had really three year's

[Page 2917]

notice on that thing and zero, zero - you know talking about a phase-in, zero, zero - and then bringing it in would be a reasonable phase-in, I think, for most people looked at as objectively.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, according to the UNSM President, Robert Wrye, this means that municipal taxpayers are going to have to pick up $2.1 million worth of money that used to be paid by the Liquor Commission. Some 25 municipalities will lose all the revenue they expected from the corporation's property tax bill. Advance notification or warning is not consultation. Warning that it may happen in previous years is not the same as dialogue before it is introduced. It is not only the change that UNSM is upset about, it is the process that wasn't followed. There was no consultation this year. My question for the minister is, what is the use of signing and MOU if he isn't going to live up to it?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, this change in taxation has been known to the UNSM and its partners or participating municipalities for three years. Nobody likes to lose revenue. However, we don't like to lose revenue from the federal government, the municipalities don't like to lose revenue from us. The issue is, quite frankly, Mr. Speaker, I don't think the honourable member is really saying that the Nova Scotia Government should continue to pay property taxes on the inventory in liquor stores.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, these changes were sprung upon the municipalities after many had already finalized their budgets for this year, without the consultation promised in the MOU signed in November. My question to the minister is, will he sit down with UNSM to discuss the possibility of those changes being phased-in over a longer period of time.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, nobody in the province pays property taxes on inventory. That's a passé thing and I'm surprised that the member would be suggesting that. One of the things that UNSM fails to mention is the increased revenue they got from all of these agencies stores that the government has put out to serve rural Nova Scotia. There are 40 of these new stores out there from which they have gained a - obviously you put a liquor outlet, the assessment is increased. They haven't mentioned that.

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

EDUC. - UNIV. STUDY: INTL. STUDENT - RECRUITMENT

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. It is quite obvious that universities throughout this province are magnets when it comes to attracting international students. Currently there are about 4,000 international students in Nova Scotia and each of them contribute approximately $25,000 a year to our economy. Our demographic challenges demand that we must do more to attract both immigrants and international students. When these students finish their education here they are able to step

[Page 2918]

directly into professions that we desperately need. My question to the minister is, what steps have you taken to increase the number of international students studying in Nova Scotia?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The question refers to international students, and we certainly welcome and embrace all of the international students who do come to our province. We recognize that they come here because they value the quality programming that we deliver and the excellent reputation that our universities have internationally. Mr. Speaker, we certainly have looked at some steps to help ease the financial commitment for those students. The member opposite will, I hope, understand that in the most recent MOU that was signed we froze tuition for all students, that includes international students.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, international students must pay up to $1,000 extra every year, on top of their already high tuition, for medical insurance. Other jurisdictions, like Newfoundland, eliminated this unfair cost a year ago by providing coverage from the day that the student arrives in the province. Newfoundland is aggressively working to attract students from outside Canada because they understand that this will guarantee their future as a province. My question to the minister is, could the minister please indicate why this barrier, which if eliminated, would make our province competitive with other jurisdictions when it comes to attracting international students, why has this barrier not been removed?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I would repeat the comment that I made, that students from around the world are attracted to Nova Scotia for the quality of programming that we offer, for the lifestyle that they have here, for the communities that they form here, for the respect that we give them here and for the acknowledgment of their diversity and what they add to our economy.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the minister's comments about the students and the attractiveness of our province to students from around the world, but the government can choose today to include international students in health coverage from the time they arrive in the province but the government has chosen not to do so. This is hurting those students financially and it is hurting the effectiveness of the university's recruitment of international students. So my question to the minister is, will the minister commit today that she will speak to her colleagues in Health and Immigration and begin the process of implementing this change for September 2008?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear the member mention other departments within our government and I want to remind all members of this House that these departments do work collectively. We understand each other's role. We work together to make sure that together we can accommodate all of those international students.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

[Page 2919]

TIR: TOURIST ROUTES - DEDICATED FUNDING

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Recently, the minister will be aware, I have been writing his department and last Fall I tabled a petition for the residents along Highway 215 from Moose Brook to Walton in my constituency. This is part of the Glooscap Trail and the province is advertising this route to the rest of the world. Along this route, we have river rafting companies, the Maitland Heritage District, home of Lawrence House, Selma schoolhouse, Anthony Park and Burntcoat Head Park, where the highest tides in the world have been measured. Also the Walton Lighthouse, which is the last remaining original lighthouse in Hants East. Last year I think there were 12,000 signatures on the guest book at the Walton Lighthouse so my question to the minister is, has his department ever considered a dedicated fund for Nova Scotia's tourist routes?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member opposite for the question. I agree with the honourable member. Those routes, those tourist routes, are very important to this province. They are important for local residents, for local businesses and especially for our tourists. I am going to reiterate what I keep saying in this House, this government continues to increase its budgets and it has over the last nine years and I think we should be very proud of the work we have been able to do. Again, I would love no more than to be able to stand in this House and say that we will repave every road in this province this year but the finances do not allow for it. We have shown that we are committed to these roads and we will continue to work toward improving these roads over the coming years.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I am not disagreeing with the minister, it's just an idea that I thought if they could put a lump of money into a fund that wouldn't go anywhere else, that maybe would address the issues on those routes. In my constituency, along Highway 215, it's not just tourists who use that route, it's the residents who live there all year round and they are subsidizing the maintenance of highways by paying for expenses to their vehicles. I wonder if the minister could answer this question for me and tell me why it's not possible to put together even a tentative list that would indicate where people's roads would be in the projections for the future. Even if they were able to project out five years, so that people could actually see that there is a possibility that the issues on their road could be addressed.

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again I thank the member for his question. This past winter has been a particularly harsh winter, particularly on our roads. We have had more fluctuations in freeze and thaw in this past year, I think than in any number of years in recollection. So what that means is that some roads in this province, as a result of that, depending what area they are in, would receive more damage to those roads. Those types of things actually change daily as Department of Transportation crews throughout this province ascertain which roads are the worst and which need to be addressed, given the amount of funding we have to work on those roads.

[Page 2920]

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm aware of that. That's why I said a tentative list, I know there has to be some flexibility with that. In my constituency, the operational supervisors who work out of the highway garages, they make quite a bit of use of RIM (Rural Impact Mitigation) money, but the roads in my area have quite often deteriorated to the point where actually they need reconstruction rather than just maintenance. My operational supervisors are using the RIM money to really kind of counteract the need for reconstruction. I wonder if the minister could tell me if he's going to have extra money for the RIM program this year?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, obviously I'm sure that's a question I'll be asked over the next few days. I can tell you that RIM money has increased over the last number of years from $9 million to $20 million. (Applause) I know across this province, as the honourable member mentioned, that money is well received throughout the counties. I would encourage the member, as I know, he and I have talked in the previous discussions, as all MLAs do to work with their local area managers and OSs to ensure that not only the priorities of the communities and the residents of those areas and of the staff of Transportation, but as well, priorities of members of this House who I know receive concerns from their constituents on a regular basis. I encourage all members here to work with their local DOT employees to ensure that the priorities of not only the communities and the department, but as well, the members and the residents are brought forward. Thank you.

[2:00 p.m.]

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

ENVIRON.: REDMANS ISLAND - COASTAL MGT. PLAN

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Environment. I'll table a photo of Redmans Island near the village of Prospect on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. On December 20th I wrote to the minister's office regarding concerns from local residents - I'll also table a copy of that letter. On January 17th, the minister replied to my letter and he said, I agree that our province would benefit from a comprehensive coastal management plan. So, Mr. Minister of Environment, where does Redmans Island fit in this coastal management plan?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to have an opportunity to talk about the plan that my colleague, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, is leading. I was actually very surprised when I was down in Brazil on an ethanol fact-finding trip and Brazil has 4,000 kilometres of coastline, compared to Nova Scotia, which has 12,000. That struck me, we need to do more to protect our coastline and that's why we have a coastal protection plan, promised by the Premier in the Throne Speech and being delivered by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture with support from me.

[Page 2921]

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, thank you, the question was when, not a tour of Brazil's coastline problems. I'm talking about a Nova Scotia coastline problem and a Nova Scotia island that we're losing control of. In a January 22nd letter to Ellen Ryan, the chair of the Prospect Peninsula Residents Association, the minister wrote - I will table a copy of this letter - he wrote to Ellen Ryan, " . . . a coastal management plan is needed to resolve the complex issues related to development of Nova Scotia's coastlines." At what stage is this government in formulating this important plan for our coasts and our islands, our coastal properties in Nova Scotia?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, we're working hard at this. This was promised in the Throne Speech, we've set up a committee. The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture is working hard on it, I've been in touch with him. Plans take time to be done properly and we, on this side of the House, like to do things properly and not knee-jerk (Interruptions)

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, to that minister opposite, the first question I asked in this House when the Third Party was over there, the first question I asked was coastal management - nothing done. Nine years later, nothing more done. Inexcusable.

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

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park on an introduction.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I did want to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery, where we are visited by a second group of students from Park West School. They are Grade 8 students and they are accompanied by their teachers, Lisa Mansfield and Lindsay Sheppard.

You saw the earlier group about an hour ago. This is a group of students that I did have the chance to talk to about Democracy 250 and I hope they have enjoyed seeing some of Question Period today. So if the students would rise, we'd like to give you a warm welcome from the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton South on a point of order.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Yes, thank you. I wonder if I might beg the indulgence of the House for a moment. I'd like to get unanimous consent of the House to amend the name of the sponsoring member for Bill No. 162, introduced by the member for Preston, to now show the name of the member for Richmond, and that the Clerks be instructed to make the change. That's just a mistake, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed by the House?

[Page 2922]

It is agreed.

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I stand on a point of order. I do want to apologize to the member for Shelburne for the comment that I made during Question Period. I was a little frustrated with the premise of the question because I felt he was really taking into question the integrity of the people within the department who are working very hard to find doctors for the community of Shelburne, as they do work for all areas of the province to find doctors (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I'm trying to stand here and apologize to the member for Shelburne.

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

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Again, I was apologizing to the member for Shelburne. I was a little frustrated. I apologize to the member and I'll take my place.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise on the debate entering into Supply and to speak about my constituency. I'm pleased to welcome the students who are here and their representative chaperones with them. I was a teacher at Hants East Rural High, so it's nice to see students in the gallery.

I want to let people know what an interesting place my constituency of Hants East is. After 10 years of being the MLA I have learned a lot about the people there, about the communities there, and a fair bit of history that I think people may not be aware of. I know

[Page 2923]

members of the House would be familiar with Uniacke House in Mount Uniacke for sure, and the Uniacke family, but there are areas of Hants East they may not be so familiar with.

I grew up in the Village of Enfield . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The chatter is a little high and I'm having trouble hearing the member.

MR. MACDONELL: Thank you. I grew up in the Village of Enfield and I live on the Renfrew Road - actually the house I grew up in was probably the last remaining home that would have been paid for by gold from Renfrew gold mining village. My great-grandfather mined gold in Renfrew in the 1800s, bought this property, roughly 1,000 acres on the northern tip of Grand Lake in about 1877 and then spent $3,000 to build a house there, which was the house I grew up in.

In 1865, 820 ounces of gold were mined in Renfrew and the next year, 4,176 ounces of gold were mined, and by 1867 the amount had doubled to 9,401 ounces, which made Renfrew the leading gold producer in the Province of Nova Scotia. The gold that was discovered there caused quite a boom actually for the area. I mentioned about my great-grandfather purchasing the farm that I grew up on and which originally had been Uniacke property. He milled 1,241 tons of ore and extracted 750 ounces of gold, which led to a 300 per cent increase in the amount of quartz milled in that year.

Obviously, there would be a number of people involved in gold mining in the Enfield area. One of them actually, Edmund Henry Horne, who grew up in Enfield, prospected over the country a fair bit and he is responsible for the gold strike, Mr. Speaker, that led to the nickel and zinc that became what we refer to as Rouyn-Noranda. He came back to Enfield, bought 1,000 acres on the northern end of Grand Lake, and retired there with a beef farm and he actually was a local boy who became a millionaire with gold mining.

I mentioned in my question to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal about Route 215 which goes through my constituency. I indicated some of the things that go on along that route but I want to stop for a second in the Village of Maitland which is a municipal heritage district, Mr. Speaker. If these students - I don't know if they've ever had a chance to get to Maitland, if their teachers have ever had an opportunity to get them there, they may have gone to Lawrence House. Lawrence House was the home of William Lawrence, or referred to in my area as W.D. Lawrence. His picture hangs in our lounge or cafeteria here in the House. He was an MLA for the House of Assembly but he's of note, in particular, because W.D. Lawrence built a ship which was the largest wooden ship in North America, a sailing ship, and it sailed out of Maitland in my constituency.

Mr. Speaker, as you move - well, I'm never sure which way to say this, I think down the shore is the way I say when I head toward Hants West, along the Cobequid Bay, you

[Page 2924]

come to Anthony Park. I was going to speak a fair bit about Anthony Park but actually I guess I'll have to deliberately be sidetracked. The property beside what is now Anthony Park used to belong to the McKiel family. Mr. Rexford McKiel owned it and I was talking with his daughter last evening, Betty O'Toole, and something that I think my colleagues in this House wouldn't know was in 1943 during the Second World War, the Americans came and bought that farm from Rexford McKiel.

The reason they bought that farm is because they had looked along the coast of North America for a site that would offer them an opportunity to test detonators for bombs. The reason they picked this location was because the testing of the detonators was to try to determine at what level above the ground they needed the bomb to explode.

So what they did, they bought this farm, they tore down one of the old houses on the property, and they built a building to house some scientists - I think there were about 20 scientists there at the time and workers. They had an aircraft and they would fly the aircraft over the bay, over Minas Basin, part of the Bay of Fundy, when the tide was high. Then they would drop the bombs, obviously not to explode but with the detonator, and then they would try to use those experiments to determine the proper level. The advantage of this was, I mean they took the bombs - if I can use that term, detonators I guess - back into the lab and they did their analysis there and their testing there.

The tidal action allowed them to actually use the water to drop the bombs from the plane but when the tide went out, at ebb tide, they went out and they picked the bombs up off the mud flats. Then they would evaluate them and then prepare them again for the next time the tide was in. Now, Mr. Speaker, it seems like kind of an odd thing, I think, possibly for them to do, but the only other place that was doing this was in Florida. The problem in Florida was that they had to have divers go to retrieve them, but on the Minas Basin, they just waited for the tide to go out, walked on the mud flats and picked them up.

I think this is probably a little-known fact of something that the American Army was testing, or American Air Force was testing, in Nova Scotia during World War II, and the project ended on August 7, 1945. Members may be aware of what August 7, 1945 was, if I have my dates right, that was the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima in Japan. So that's when all the testing at this site ceased. The McKeils bought the farm property back and it abutted their neighbours, the Anthonys, which is where Anthony Park was created, but none of the Anthony Park land was used. Anthony Park is a beautiful site, a picnic site, and it goes right down to the Minas Basin.

There was also an interesting twist in this story. There was a German spy who was there as well, and he was in the McKeil household on many occasions, had no accent at all, according to Mrs. O'Toole, and he was killed actually being sought by the FBI and jumped out of an 11-story building in, I think, Pawtucket, if I have that right, in the United States. So there are a number of very interesting aspects, different stories.

[Page 2925]

[2:15 p.m.]

Another one I would like to relate to members in the House is that there is a family in Rawdon Gold Mines who I've gotten to know well over the number of years, the Meehan family. They spell their name M-e-e-h-a-n, and I think that the original spelling was M-e-i-g-h-e-n. This was a family from Ireland and, actually, they came over with Samuel Cunard of the Cunard shipping lines. In 1817, Samuel Cunard bought a property on the Glenbrook Road in Upper Rawdon or Rawdon Gold Mines, and he built an estate there for his parents, kind of a retirement estate for his parents.

The Meighens were one of the families that came with the Cunards when they came from Ireland. There were also Hills, Brysons and Purdys. At one point in the future, I think it was after the point at which Samuel Cunard's parents, Abraham and Margaret, passed away, the 2,000 acres that the Cunards had, he divided it four ways and gave 500 acres to each of these families. It has been said that the farms were used, actually, to produce draft horses for work on the streets of Halifax.

I know that home was quite significant, Mr. Speaker, I've seen pictures of it. It was torn down, actually, and a lot of the boards from it went down to Historic Properties, what we refer to as the barn boards that we see in some of the buildings there. When they took the outside sheeting off the building, it was built almost like a fort, I think 12 by 12 timbers standing on their end, side by side to one another. It probably had a significant insulation value, I would think. Anyway, Samuel Cunard's parents are buried there. Margaret passed away in 1821, and Abraham in 1824, and are at St. Paul's Church Cemetery in Centre Rawdon.

I think as the representative for Hants East, I probably can't sit down without mentioning, at least to these students here. There's two significant features of the constituency of Hants East. One is, we produce 30 per cent of the milk consumed in the Province of Nova Scotia - we have a lot of dairy farms; and the other one is, we are the place where the highest tides in the world were measured. Over 17 metres is the height, it's at Burntcoat Head along the Minas Basin. It's a beautiful park if you ever get a chance to go there. It's something that I think Nova Scotia doesn't advertise enough. When I watch television and I hear about the highest tides in the world you would be sure the highest tides in the world are in New Brunswick, they're not. The Bay of Fundy touches New Brunswick but the highest tides in the world were measured at Burntcoat Head in Hants County, Nova Scotia.

I'd really like for as many people as possible if they ever get out that way along Highway No. 215 to take an opportunity to go down to Burntcoat Head Park. They would really find that interesting and there's a possibility that you might find some fossils along there. They talk about Joggins but there were fossils discovered along the shores there in Minas Basin and anywhere along that shore, not just Burntcoat Head. I actually think there

[Page 2926]

was a fossil that was discovered there - I can't tell you what it is but I think it's actually in Joggins and now at the display centre that they have. That's a very minimal introduction to some areas in my constituency.

I do want to mention Courthouse Hill which is supposed to be one of the highest points of land in Hants East. You can stand there and you can see five counties. They are obviously Hants County, Colchester County, Kings County, Cumberland County and Pictou County. That's the location where the original courthouse , municipal council used to meet, it was at Courthouse Hill. So, that's in what we refer to as Gore right now. Mr. Speaker, with those comments I will relinquish my time and listen to the comments of another member.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I look forward to having 15 minutes to speak as we go into the Budget Estimates today. Just for the benefit of the students, before we begin Budget Estimates each day, each Party has an opportunity to have one member get up and speak about local issues or issues of importance to themselves or their riding. Today is my opportunity to speak about the riding of Clayton Park. In particular I would like to speak about an issue that's very important to us, but also important right across the province, and that's the issue of infrastructure for sport and recreation. The members of this House would not be surprised to hear me choose that subject. I have been speaking about that since I was first elected in 2003 and prior to that I have been active as a City Councillor in HRM also pushing for better recreation facilities in our municipality at that time.

Now there is an opportunity before us and it is the facility that is to be built on the Mainland Common. The Mainland Common is a large park area that is very accessible to literally 200,000 people in HRM. By the city's own measurement, 200,000 people can get to the HRM Mainland Common Park within a 20 minute drive. That's pretty significant to anyone of us sitting here in the House today to know that more than 20 per cent of the population of our province could be served by a major recreational facility that would be built there. The reason it's so easy to get to is because it's by Lacewood Drive - it's only a couple of moments from Highway No. 102, it's only a few minutes from Bayers Lake Industrial Park or business park where a lot of people travel anyway.

The plan from the early talk of this recreation facility - and it began in 1997 just after amalgamation - was, where would be the best place in HRM to build a significant recreation facility? The city hired a consultant at that time and they wrote a report because they knew that with a new municipality there was demand in every corner of HRM to get more facilities. They wanted to get some control over where they could spend the money to get the most impact. The result of that study in 1997 was that an aquatic centre, a place with a pool and water sports, should be built on the Mainland Common and it should replace the aging Northcliffe Pool which hasn't been maintained and is falling down. Quite honestly, they just barely keep it together from year to year. The city hasn't spent any money on it in at least five

[Page 2927]

or six years because they know it's planned to be replaced. The feeling was that a better facility could be built on the Mainland Common, but not just to serve the people who live in Fairview and Clayton Park, which the original Northcliffe pool was designed to do, but to build a facility that would serve the broader needs of HRM and actually serve many tens of thousands of people.

It's worth noting that the original Northcliffe was built in the 1970s, and was first built as an outdoor pool. There were very few people living close by - Clayton Park subdivision was very new in the 1970s. It only began in the early 1960s, so it didn't have a big population yet and our area had not developed into the large number of apartments and homes that you see there today.

The outdoor pool was built with very local and with just immediate needs that were required - it was later covered by a bubble that existed for awhile so people could use it into the wintertime. That bubble broke in the mid-1980s and they built a structure around it which the YMCA ran for awhile - and that's the current Northcliffe pool. That's one reason why the pool is no good today, because the ventilation and the facility that was built around that building was never proper, it was never intended to be an indoor pool, and it certainly doesn't meet the needs of our community.

I know there are people in the House today who perhaps swam there and they know that it's way too small. A public swim there often turns away young people who can't get in because it's just too crowded. If you have the fortune of getting in, you're apt to get knocked in the head and pushed around because there's just no space in that pool for the community that it now serves.

In addition to that, to just speak to the need for a new and larger facility, it's worth noting that for every person who gets signed up for a program - that includes all the children learning to swim, the people learning synchro or diving - for every one accepted, they turn two away because there isn't space in the programming in Clayton Park. You know our community has been the fastest growing community, not just in HRM, but in fact east of Montreal for quite a number of years. We've seen exponential growth and so we need better facilities, not only for our immediate needs but for the people who come that 10- and 15- minute drive who could use this facility.

Over the years I have lobbied many levels of government, and I wanted to point out I have written to our Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. I had a meeting with him in August and wrote him in September asking that the province take a role in this very important job. That it's not a facility that should just be of a local interest, it should be a facility that the province takes pride in and recognizes it as the opportunity to do something better.

[Page 2928]

The minister wrote me back and actually said - I would like to quote in fact, and I could table the letter because I think if I read from the letter I should table it, if you suggest - but he did write back and he said, "Staff, provincial and city, are working closely to achieve a solution that will satisfy these goals." The goals, as he stipulates, are, "Our goals are to develop a facility that responds to the recreational needs of the citizens of western Halifax Regional Municipality and to create training and competition opportunities for elite athletes from across Nova Scotia."

Mr. Speaker, that's what I was asking the minister to look at, to build this with a provincial interest. I was pleased when I received the letter back from the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection indicating that in fact the province does see a role for our concerns to be reflected in this regional facility. I stress again it's designed to serve up to 20 per cent of our population - people who live in an area where they need recreation. We talk often about wanting to address health and wellness and trying to provide more opportunities for people to stay healthy - this would be a way to do it.

It's also very important from a justice point of view, because I live in an area where there are a lot of young people - and we've just seen some of them in the gallery today - our schools in the Clayton Park and Fairview area are full and growing. We have a lot of young people without the facilities to keep them busy and active. It's important anywhere in our province that we have activities for our youth. We also have a lot of seniors who need to have facilities like a walking track that will keep them well and help them prevent falls by not being out on the icy sidewalks in the winter and yet still able to keep up their health. Mr. Speaker, it is a priority that we look after all ages in our community and that this facility could be the key to do just that and to have a major impact.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the government has been generous, as of late, making a number of big announcements about spending on recreation facilities. Most recently this week, in Bridgewater, announcing $10 million going towards a facility for the Bridgewater and Lunenburg area. That is wonderful to see because only a year ago in March 2007, the government pulled the plug on a very ambitious bid to host the Commonwealth Games here in our city. Our province was to be a beneficiary of those games. What was interesting in the aftermath of the Commonwealth Games, was to read and hear about the rationale for our first getting involved and why we were so anxious to be the host city for the Commonwealth Games. There is no question that the rationale that was pushing us to do that was the fact that we have such a huge gap and huge lack of infrastructure for sport and recreation. This was seen as a way of leveraging our dollars and getting provincial and federal dollars to build something substantial in our province.

Mr. Speaker, in the aftermath of those games, we have seen a complete collapse in the will to actually replace facilities and we need significant investment. This opportunity in Clayton Park is one way to create one signature facility that would allow our province and our provincial athletes to have a facility that could host a national swim meet. At the

[Page 2929]

moment, none of our pools - and we only have a couple of 50-metre pools - meet the requirements that are now set out for the Canadian standard for a swim meet nationally. So our athletes are at a distinct disadvantage and we are not in a position to invite athletes from around the country to come here and compete.

[2:30 p.m.]

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that having done a lot of research on this subject, we haven't seen pools built very often in our province or in HRM. The last pool to be built in HRM was the Spryfield Wave Pool and that was in the 1970s. It's about 30 years each time between getting a new pool. I think we have to look at this project going in - in the Halifax-Clayton Park riding - as extremely important as an opportunity for us to look at that and say, the scope has to be right for this project. We have the chance to build a facility that will create economic spinoffs by being a host site for sport. It will draw athletes from around the province. It will be a bonus to everybody, whether they are in Hants County, Truro, all of the areas that are close. It will be very accessible to them and it is well-serviced with all the other amenities that you would need in that area.

So this is the ideal location and time and if we miss this opportunity, Mr. Speaker, if we do what HRM is thinking of and this is build a 25-metre pool and later on they say to us, don't worry, we will get back to you and we are going to come back in a couple of years and build you the 50-metre pool - well it is too late and it is wasting money today that could be properly leveraged to build the right thing in the first place.

Mr. Speaker, that is why in our neighbourhood in the last over years, there has been an organization that has been very active and they have been trying to get the ear of government - municipal, provincial and federal - to bring our needs to the attention of government and to let them know that this is a unique opportunity. It would be very easy to turn away and not want to spend any money and perhaps not want to meet the needs of this community. But it is short-sighted and we are calling on the government at all levels to listen to the community. They have experts in their midst, they have people who understand swimming and synchronized swimming and sport. There is a demand, as well, for hockey rinks and skating weeks because we are (Interruption) How many minutes?

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member yield the floor for an introduction, please.

MS. WHALEN: Oh, definitely.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say hello and maybe we could welcome a constituent of mine, Phil Landry, who happens to be the

[Page 2930]

Superintendent for the Tri-County School Board. I would like to say hello to Phil, and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

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

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I believe I just have perhaps three minutes left, am I right?

MR. SPEAKER: Two minutes.

MS. WHALEN: Two minutes. Well, then I do have to make my final points and get on with this. My point is that the community group has been eloquent in making their case for a larger pool and for taking this opportunity to build it right in the first place, not to accept the assurances that if we wait a few years from now we might be able to do it. I believe our tax dollars are best spent to build it the right way in the first place.

Mr. Speaker, this project that I mentioned I worked on for quite a number of years, has come a long way as a result of waiting and planning and better consultation with government and with the municipality. It has grown from an $8 million project to perhaps what might be in the range of $30 million - and I say, might be, because we don't have any confirmation of the amount of money that's committed to the project.

The arrival of the Canada Games in HRM is helping the project as well because it will add a field house component but it's important that I get on the record, Mr. Speaker, that the field house wasn't part of the original plan. It was to build a first-class or world-class aquatic centre and we're not going there by adding the field house, but I will say we're delighted. I thank the minister and whoever was responsible for its coming to the province and to our community, but it wasn't the original plan and should not be seen as part of the original plan. It's a wonderful addition to the province and I appreciate that.

Mr. Speaker, the group Build It Right is eloquent. They would like to speak to government at all levels to bring their point of view across, to make the case for a proper investment and a 50-metre pool at this point in time, and also to talk about the need for arenas in a community that is easily served - as I say, serving 200,000 people in a close area. The other advantage is that this community is so densely populated that it can support a large facility in those many months between major events, that this is the best place in the entire province to build such a facility, and I look forward to further discussions here on the floor of the Legislature in the future.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants West.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today for a few minutes to speak to some concerns and some issues with regard to Hants West and some of the good

[Page 2931]

people there, I'm sure, will get mentioned along the way. Before I get into that, I want to talk about a couple of things, about how this budget this year in 2008-09 impacts the constituency of Hants West and all of this province.

We heard the honourable member, the Minister of Agriculture, this morning, make another great announcement for the people in the agricultural industry in this province and that includes my area, Mr. Speaker. I still have a bit of agriculture, believe it or not, in the Windsor-West Hants area. I know it extends over into the Hants East area as well, and further down the Valley there are still a number of farms that are very active in dairy, beef and so on. So there's great stuff in that budget going on there.

We heard other questions today put by, I think, the Leader of the Opposition actually, Mr. Speaker, with regards to putting families first. Well, there are a number of things in this budget, as there have been in previous budgets, that have put families first in this province. We heard the Minister of Community Services speak to childcare issues and we're always getting questions on childcare. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, and everyone in this House and people in this province who are paying attention, and people in the industry, childcare industry, daycares, know what this province is doing for their facilities. Extra spaces are being created through last year's budget by way of extensions and grants, place space grants for inside and outside, not only licensed.

All licensed daycares, Mr. Speaker, in this province, a lot of them receive funding and certainly I don't know how many are in my area, I think there are seven or eight different, between childcare-type facilities and major daycare centres, and they're growing as well. There's a great need, as we all know, and we continue to work on that. So I think those points are very important to the people of Hants West and to all the people in this province.

The nursing home bed issue, we hear a lot about that. The honourable Minister of Health continues to work at that issue and with an increase in the number of beds in each of the years coming, that is only good stuff. That is looking after our families in this province, Mr. Speaker.

Tuition fees are an issue and we're addressing that issue. Safer and healthier communities, more police on the streets, more police in Hants County I know that, and certainly in other areas, in the cities, in Sydney. We see crime rates being reduced because of that, that's effective governance. The investments in environmental projects, we talked today about the coastal program that's in place. That's a good program, Mr. Speaker. One of the best I think I've seen to date has been the Health Promotion and Protection, Minister Barnet's Office, by way of the B-Fit Program. There are some super things going on there. (Interruption) Yes, I recognized the honourable member and I apologize for that, Mr. Speaker, out of order perhaps. That B-Fit Program, the investments that have happened in this province, all over this province, create healthier active kids and communities, that is a program.

[Page 2932]

The Recreation Facility Development Program, in that same department, money goes to schools for playgrounds, trails. Again we're looking after and putting families first. We hear a lot about culture and heritage and tourism. Investments are being made there - museums, funding this last while, the dollars that went in there. Go to any one of those museums and ask them if they'd like to turn that back. You won't get very many to say yes - they are all very thankful for that funding, and recognize that much-needed funding.

The roads are an ongoing issue. I listened to the member for Hants East speak. It doesn't matter where you go, there are road issues. We listened to the minister speak, there is just not enough money. Sometimes I wonder in this House when I listen to members speak, is there a money tree growing somewhere out back that I've missed? Are we just supposed to go to the presses and crank out new dollars? Well, we wish it was that easy, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker. I know that you sat on the government side of the House some years back, perhaps, and know what it's like to bring dollars to the people. (Interruption) So long ago, says the member. Thank you for the comments opposite.

Mr. Speaker, you know all of these things have an impact in each of our constituencies and we have to carry on and continue to try to put forward good programs in all areas - education for our kids, for our schools. Everybody wants a new school, there's no question about that. We're working away at that list and will continue to do so. I know, I listened to the minister, she is very passionate about our children, our levels, the numbers we see declining. It's unfortunate that we see the numbers of kids that are going to schools declining, but it's a fact of life these days.

It's not like it was when I was a kid. There were seven children in my family and it was like a lineup going out the door. If we see four, as I have today in my family, four children, that's a big family in today's world. Thankfully, I don't have any more than that right now. I love them all to death but the costs and the ongoing issues and keeping them in school and the cost of universities, those are all concerns to every member of this House, not just Opposition members but to every member in this House, and we're working hard to address those.

Mr. Speaker, some of the things I want to talk to you about today are some of the areas, the communities. In my constituency there are many, like there are in most of our rural constituencies, there are a number of communities. I think the honourable member for the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley attempted - he thought he could attempt to name them all the other day. I certainly won't do that but there are a few I want to talk about. One of those would be the Three Mile Plains area. There's a group out there - actually, it would be the Windsor Plains, if you get the community right. There's a very active group of citizens out there who are working toward making their community called a heritage site. They've been doing that for some time and making great progress.

[Page 2933]

They are an active group, they've got a seniors group, they put on a great breakfast out there, and we're all used to going to these breakfasts in this House and we know what that's like. Lonnie States and his wife, Beulah, they are just a driving force behind what goes on out there. They are just one group of many in that community - the Upshaws and the Johnsons and so on.

It is encouraging to see even the elderly folks are becoming involved in making communities work. It's not just the young people who are working, it's those people who have been around for years who know what it's like to make a community work. You need that skill and that ability and that talent to keep the youth alive, to keep them coming out, to give them a reason to come out. Breakfast is just one example - movie nights, they're passionate about church and things like that, and keeping people active and ongoing in their communities.

You know, Mr. Speaker, there are a lot of businesses in my area and, like most areas, we offer pretty much everything going, from paint, parts for cars to you name it. Some of them have been around a long time. Some in this House may remember the old Vic Cleyle Building. Vic Cleyle was the best person - the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank would remember growing up in the area, the old Vic Cleyle store. Now that's a paint store and you can go in there and get pretty much anything you want by the way of paint. So it's nice to see the revision of these buildings and although it has been closed for some time, coming back to life.

MR. PERCY PARIS: What about Steadmans?

MR. PORTER: Steadmans is now a locker room and a restaurant, I believe. It keeps on going. We see things go out but we keep being able to bring businesses to town. The reason we do that, our area has been growing and it has been for some number of years - not fast, it's just growing at a good pace. We have a hotel there now and the Super 8 Motel, Mr. Speaker, that's been a huge addition to the Windsor-West Hants area.

Something that we like to do, of course, in our area is we play a lot of hockey down there and we play a lot of baseball in the summertime, and it was very difficult to bring teams for big tournaments into town because we struggled for places to stay nearby. Well, I'm pleased to say that place, the Super 8 has been doing very, very well, and we've certainly seen an increased number of tournaments in hockey. Being the birthplace of hockey as we all know in this House - Hockeyland coming soon to our area in Windsor. It was great to see last Friday night a reception held for Hockeyland here held in Halifax - the partners that are on board, the communities and the corporate sponsorships that have come on board. Of course our government has come in too to help out a little bit with that at the present time, and I look forward to seeing that come to fruition. That will be a huge tourist attraction, there's no question. They're suggesting something between 75,000 and 150,000 visitors per year. I anxiously wait to see that come to life and what that will do for the area.

[Page 2934]

[2:45 p.m.]

It's interesting to note just on hockey with the hockey museum that we currently have there and the International Ice Hockey Federation. This week alone, a number of bus loads have been down unexpectedly but we assumed that they would be there not only visiting the hockey museum and being very amazed with that place. I had said last Friday night at this event - if Hockeyland were open today, what would that do for the area? The number of visitors that would be attracted along with this size hockey tournament would bring everybody down. Surprisingly enough we're getting a lot of those visitors to the area as it is and that's good to see. They're not only going to the hockey museum - they're stopping at Howie Dill's and they're visiting the Long Pond where we all know in this House that the first game was played. (Applause)

We know where the game was played, we know where the game was developed. It may not have been as organized as they like to claim that it was done in Dartmouth or Kingston or Montreal - we know where the game started. We know what the original name was. We had Dr. Garth Vaughn tell us, we had Howie Dill tell us. They may have a bit of a debate on which pond it was played but we know where the game started and it started in Windsor, we know that. We know that it was called hurley in the early days and there are any number of books that can tell you all about the sport of hurley or hockey or you call it what you want. It started in Windsor and what a more appropriate place for Hockeyland to be put than the home of hockey.

We're anxiously waiting for the sod to be turned and to get underway. As a lot of you would know, last year in September we had quite a fire in the Town of Windsor. The curling club burned to the ground, unfortunately, a fire that was set. They have a great group there, they've done a lot of work over the winter months in getting prepared. Fortunately they had some insurance dollars that came through. As we know, our B-Fit Program certainly fit nicely into that and they're working hard now to raise the balance. That place will be under construction very shortly and opened again. I'm very pleased to say by the sounds of it this coming Fall.

It would be nice to have all of the curlers back on the ice in Windsor. That's a huge thing for Windsor. A lot of people say how could you put money into a curling club. The thing is, they don't realize what it does for the surrounding areas and businesses. There won't be one B&B, the hotel won't complaining, any of the restaurants won't be complaining, they will all be taking and getting advantage of the curling club being opened and hosting many bonspiels throughout the winter.

Again, I'm pleased that we're able to do projects like that and that's just a couple. I know my time's running a bit short so I'll end it there, but I'm pleased today to stand and have an opportunity to speak about the area of West Hants today. Thank you.

[Page 2935]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

[2:47 p.m. The House resolved itself into CWH on Supply with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Alfie MacLeod, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: We have reached the hour of interruption. We will be debating the resolution submitted by the honourable member for Cape Breton South:

"Therefore be it resolved that government bring forward their reasoning for deferring their climate change plan due and discuss what can be done to expedite this important and crucial issue for Nova Scotia."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON.: CLIMATE CHANGE - DEFERRAL

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, you know, 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago, or even five years ago, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. At that time, nobody realized how serious climate change was, not only in this province but in the world. As we do more research and see more negative things happening throughout the world, the change in our climate, seeing the serious hurricanes that would hit us here a few years earlier, things that hadn't happened and don't seem to happen, and weather gets worse and worse and worse, you see disasters all over the world, it begs to wonder, how are we going to stop this? How is this going to be stopped? It's going to take a lot of effort by everyone to slowly slow down this change and reverse it.

Hopefully, we're in time. There's no guarantee we are. If we do one thing, it always seems to affect another, and when it comes to things like global warming and the climate change problems we're having, they didn't happen overnight, and the cure won't happen overnight.

The unfortunate problem is, we feel we have more and more need for fossil fuels, and the more fossil fuels we burn, among other things, the bigger problem we have. As the problem gets worse and worse, it's harder to reverse it.

[Page 2936]

I'm quite disappointed that the government hasn't taken a stronger stand on this and moved a lot faster in that direction. I don't think there's a person in this province who isn't concerned about climate change. One thing that I'm very disappointed in - I've spoken about this here before in the Legislature, climate change - not too long ago the government brought forward a bill for tax exemption on windmills because one of the municipalities, I believe, sent a tax bill to one of the windmill operators for $400,000 for one year. I could be off on the numbers, but it was somewhere around there. The solution from the government was to give a grant to the municipality. The real solution is to eliminate tax on windmills and provide an atmosphere that the people will build them. It will help reverse our climate change over time. It will take a long time, but it will reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and other types of fuels.

Not only that, it's so easy to talk narrowly about many things, but I'm going to talk about the windmill and wind energy today because there are so many other things we can do, but that's one thing. If we don't tackle one item at a time, we'll never cure the problem.

I believe that windmills in this province, number one, should be open to the grid so that they can sell their power anyplace they want. If, indeed, municipalities need the revenue from this, maybe the compromise for that would be to give them a preferential cost for their electricity which would, indeed, save them on that end and offset some of the tax loss they may have. However, the municipality should be able to collect tax on any buildings or infrastructure besides the windmill.

I've never seen a tax bill before that taxes a windmill on its possible capability. In other words, if you sit down and look at a windmill and shut it down for six months, you're still taxed on the label, what that thing can potentially produce. So if you get a breakdown and you have to get a part from somewhere outside the country and it takes a year, you have no income, but yet you still have all the costs. That doesn't seem fair. It doesn't really set the environment for change, and change in that way.

We have to look at things - I'm pleased to see we're looking at some new tidal power projects, again, which will help eliminate some of the problems we're having with climate change. Again, these are only small things. All these small things go together. It's like saving a penny a day - you don't have much money at the end of a week, but over several years you have quite a bit of money.

That's the way we have to think about this. If you look at the garbage and how we've changed our garbage and how we're diverting many more things now, indeed, that has been an improvement for our province. In reality, we shouldn't have a garbage dump. We should not have a dump in this city or anywhere in the province. Every bit of garbage that's produced should be able to be recycled and reused or put to another use, but it should never be buried just for the sake of burying it.

[Page 2937]

We've seen the government seriously consider burning tires at a time when our environment is at such a critical point. That definitely wouldn't help us, but hopefully now they'll come up with a new system to reuse these tires in aggregate, or whatever the case may be, and hopefully some entrepreneurs in the province will come up with some innovative ideas and, indeed, save us a lot of effort and a lot of money in that regard, as well as protecting and helping our environment. Unfortunately, with the society we are, we do need tires and we do have to move forward in that direction.

We're seeing more efficient fuel vehicles - with fuel. I'm still not convinced that the hybrid vehicles are the way to go, yet. I think they will eventually when the technology gets better, but we have to work in that direction. That's a direction we also have to go in. We have to look at other issues such as solar power and make sure we exploit that and get that every bit as industrialized as we possibly can. Also, we have to look at solar panels, heating solar panels.

One thing that the government hasn't done at all, which I'm quite disappointed in - they've done some work with energy efficiency, and I actually had an energy audit done on my own home. It showed me some areas that I can improve on. Now, I'll make those improvements because I can afford to do them, but unfortunately there are a lot of people out there who have high energy costs and can't afford to insulate their homes better, replace the windows, do all the things you need to do to make your home energy efficient.

One thing, if you do make a home energy efficient, that's a long-term gain for our environment because the investment you put in it today goes on for years and years. That's not like an automobile. You tune your automobile up and you check the tire pressure, which indeed will improve your gas mileage, but over time the tire pressure will go down. If you forget to check it, your gas mileage goes down. If the tune goes out of tune in your car, your gas mileage goes down again and there are really no monitors on cars to tell you what your mileage is on most vehicles.

So when you look at that, the best investment, immediate investment, is in homes. If you look at better insulation in homes, better construction techniques, and laws that protect the construction of homes to make sure that they're built to new energy standards, those are long-term investments. That house will pay back for years and years and ultimately reduce dependence on fossil fuel and any other type of fuel. It makes it more appropriate to use solar panels or indeed panels, you know, electricity through windmills, or any other kind of alternate fuel source that can heat a home and not generate greenhouse gases, because if the house is easy to heat, it doesn't take much to heat it.

Now, that's sort of a weird statement to make but it's true. If you make a home extremely efficient, you may pay $3,000 or $4,000 a year to heat your home now, but probably, if you've really got efficient with that home and really watched what you're doing, you could get your heat bill down to $500 to $700, $800 a year. Now, that's a significant

[Page 2938]

reduction in oil, for instance, if you used oil to heat your home, or even electricity, and that's where we have to go. We have to make investments for long-term improvement and if we do those things and we do them properly - I haven't seen this government move in that direction yet, but we have to do this quickly. We would be better off to provide funding, especially to seniors and people with modest incomes, so that they could insulate their homes.

[7:30 p.m.

In the 1970s, we started that process and then the whole program was cancelled when we really found out there was no crisis in the shortage of fuel. It was just something that was generated by the oil companies to make more money. If we continue those things, insulate homes better, and do it properly so they don't rot and have some of the problems when they're not done properly, if we do all those things, plus invest in alternate energy, we would go a long way in starting to address the issue we have. I challenge the government to do that, because we have to do this for every single person.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to speak to this motion. I have already indicated why the climate change plan is coming due in September; in part because consultations with the public were delayed due to inclement weather and had to be rescheduled, and in part because of a little more work that needed to be done on adaptation and on the importance of that adaptation. We know, and those of you who were at the first Power of Green Conference which was an excellent conference put on by the government know, that the experts are saying that we need to do mitigation and adaptation together, that you get the best bang for your buck to use a truism when you tackle mitigation and adaptation together.

We'll be having the Power of Green II this Fall and I invite those in the House and anyone who may be listening to come to it. It was an excellent conference last year. There weren't as many MLA's as I would have hoped for so maybe this year we might be able to encourage a few more to come. We have speakers that were top rate and I've been to a few conferences, not a lot, on environmental issues and this one was second to none. So, Power of Green number two coming up this Fall and I'd like to encourage people to come to that.

The importance of climate change can't be overstated. As the honourable member for the Liberal caucus noted, this is one of the most important things that we as human beings have to deal with. Unfortunately in some ways, it takes some sort of dramatic weather event to bring this to people's attention. We're not sure whether Katrina was directly tied to climate change - certainly there are those who feel and who make the claim that climate change results in more severe hurricanes; not necessarily more hurricanes but more severe ones. We do know that White Juan here in Nova Scotia brought to the attention of many

[Page 2939]

people that something was happening to the climate. It's those sorts of things that need to happen for this challenge to impinge on people's consciousness and that's unfortunate because it's something that we should be deeply concerned about all the time and moving forward on aggressively.

There are misconceptions out there too that stand in the way of further action. Up until about a year ago you'd still hear the sort of wide misconception that climate change isn't happening, that the global temperature is not warming. That seems to have died down from even the most extreme groups but there are still many groups claiming that while the earth is warming, it's due to 150,000-year warming cycles, sunspots and that's there's no sort of human contribution due to greenhouse gases and therefore really nothing to be done about it. That too I think is a misconception.

The international panel on climate change - I've talked to a few of the members on it and one of the leading members on it from Trinidad, from the small island states, who's looking at the effect on coastal areas and coastal islands, which Nova Scotia is. He told me that the consensus has now emerged with the scientists not only that it's happening, but that anthropogenic causes are certainly accepted as being a key factor in climate change. So, we're starting to move forward as a society to deal with this and overcoming those misconceptions which have slowed action on it. It wasn't that long ago that the former Premier of Alberta talked about how it could be dinosaur farts causing climate change. It's that sort of attitude that I think is part of the challenge that we have in getting sustained public attention to this important topic. I'm grateful that it's being raised in this forum and that we're having an opportunity to debate this issue.

The other obvious reason why action isn't happening as quickly as it should is that this is a global problem. It's the tragedy of the commons as it were writ large where any individual nation or jurisdiction - there's no real benefit in that individual jurisdiction or nation taking action. Yet, if no one takes action then we destroy this world, or we at least destroy the ability of human beings to enjoy the world as we know it.

[6:15 p.m.]

The other thing that's challenging about global warming, climate change, if you will, is that it's one of the few pollutants I know of that is not made better by economic growth. In fact, it's quite interesting, Benjamin Friedman and his award-winning book he just published recently called The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth. It was sort of a paean, a praise for economic growth. He does make the admission in that book that all the other pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, volatile organic compounds, ozone even - all of those are proved by a growing economic system which can deal with them through various technological means. The one exception to that is CO2 levels which actually go up rather than down.

[Page 2940]

So we have great challenges, Mr. Speaker, in terms of getting sustained public attention - I'm not talking just about Nova Scotia but worldwide. We've seen that and this uneven response to it is something that causes or undermines any sort of coordinated action, which is what we're going to need on it. For example, I was reading an issue in the Walrus Magazine which my aide has given me as a Christmas present - a very interesting magazine, I enjoy reading it - and the opening editorial of the current issue surveys the reaction to climate change across Canada and makes the observation that any gains that British Columbia is making are more than offset by Alberta. So it's that sort of fact that we need to tackle it globally that makes it a challenging and difficult proposition.

Here in Nova Scotia, we've taken the position in tandem with the New England States and with the eastern provinces, leaders - and I have to note this because leaders in the States were singled out in Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, for being leaders in this regard. We're in lockstep with them in terms of the goals that we've set, which is a 10 per cent reduction from 1990 levels - which would be about a 25 per cent reduction from where we are right now - and a 36 per cent reduction if we allow business to continue as usual.

So we have committed ourselves to some very dramatic changes and we've begun work on that, Mr. Speaker. We've begun work on it in many different ways. The member talks about home efficiency and may not be aware - we may not have touted it as we should have - but my colleague, the Minister of Community Services, has rolled out a program and so far about 150 low income homes have been totally redone. Brought up to top standards, in order to help minimize emissions and in order to help minimize greenhouse gas emissions and also help minimize fuel bills associated with that.

We also have, Mr. Speaker, the program through EGSPA building standards that he was calling for. Building standards are being incorporated in government buildings and being asked for in others.

We also have eco-trust funding and, Mr. Speaker, tomorrow I will be announcing over $1.5 million in funding to various municipal units - about five in total - for five very innovative programs and projects that will help reduce greenhouse gases in those municipalities. We have more rounds of municipal funding to announce. We have about $6 million out of the $7.5 million in that particular pocket, in eco-trust to announce, but we'll be announcing the first of the large grants, I'll be announcing that at the UNSM meetings tomorrow. So we're very, very, aggressive.

I do go back to my member, the Minister of Community Services, who, as I said, had a very innovative program with low income homes, about 150 of them, and we would like to see that expanded. There are many different things we've been doing, Mr. Speaker. The protected areas that we have, one here near Halifax was equivalent to about 50,000 cars being taken off the road a year. So we'll be bringing out our climate change plan in

[Page 2941]

September but we've been doing many things already in anticipation of that. We'll have an aggressive and a good plan, the very best plan that we can come up with.

So I thank the honourable members for discussion this very, very important issue.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, am pleased to rise and talk about climate change tonight. Nova Scotia is a leader on climate change. Unfortunately what we are leader in is rhetoric and there is a yawning gap between the rhetoric of the government and the actual reality of what the government is doing. The fact that the climate change strategy has been delayed for at least six months is just another example of the gap between rhetoric and reality.

The essence of the resolution that is before us is to seek an explanation from the government about why that is. Now we did have a chance to ask the minister about this during the budget debate and I'm glad that he repeated his answer here tonight because, of course, the budget debate over in the Red Room isn't on the record, but this is on the record. I'm going to go into a little bit more detail about what the minister told us over in estimates. He said that when his new-old Department of Environment inherited the climate change file from the Department of Energy, he was presented with a draft PowerPoint.

So the government had announced that the Climate Change Action Plan would be released this Spring and now we are into May and the minister said that he saw this document two or three weeks ago. So at the time the government had announced this plan was going to be released, there was no plan ready, there was no draft plan ready, there wasn't even a PowerPoint presentation ready. The minister described it as a draft PowerPoint. It's clear that when the minister saw it, he was aghast at what he saw because he immediately said we can't release that. So he said he's going to table it for six months. Why exactly? Well, we don't know because the minister won't release the so-called draft PowerPoint presentation.

We understand that part of the reason may be that the Department of Energy, being the Department of Energy, was focused on intensity-based targets. Everybody who knows anything at all about climate change knows that intensity-based targets are the targets picked by people who don't believe in climate change and don't believe that anything needs to be done about it. So if that's the reason, we congratulate the minister for deferring release of the point and clearly that would not do. However, we do not know what was in that draft PowerPoint presentation because the process, at this point, is going on behind closed doors, which is the preferred mode of action of this government.

Mr. Speaker, on the climate change, Nova Scotia is not a leader except in rhetoric. On April 22nd, Earth Day, the Premier's Office announced that Nova Scotia had joined the

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Climate Registry, which is a voluntary registry by which greenhouse gas emissions are monitored and reported. What the Premier's press release didn't say that day is that Nova Scotia was not the first province to join the Climate Registry, or the second, or the third, or the fourth. It was, in fact, the eighth province to join the Climate Registry, joining almost all of the American states. Shell Oil Company had joined the Climate Registry before the Province of Nova Scotia did. So Nova Scotia really joined a bandwagon that was well along the road and yet, they proclaimed this, on Earth Day, as a sign of Nova Scotia's leadership on the issue.

The only two provinces left, Mr. Speaker, that haven't joined the Climate Registry are major petroleum-producing provinces, namely Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, and it seems unlikely that they ever will join. Also, the Premier's announcement that day contained no timelines. There is a great deal of work that has to be done in order to meet the manual of the Climate Registry, which is over 200 pages long. It's very detailed. It has to be verified by an independent third party, all that kind of stuff.

There was absolutely no information in the government's announcement. It seemed clear that the purpose of the news release on April 22nd was to be able to say something, anything, on Earth Day, but like almost all announcements of the government on the environment, when he actually prodded a little bit to see what was actually going on, the rhetoric is far, far ahead of the reality. The same could be said about the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, which the government likes to trumpet as proof of its leadership.

During the estimates debate, I did ask the minister for proof behind his statements that Nova Scotia is a recognized leader on climate change, and I'm still waiting for that, Mr. Speaker. I just want to remind the minister that I asked for it and he promised he would give it to me. But if anybody said it, it was because of the rhetoric in the Act.

Let's remember, Mr. Speaker, that these are distant goals. These are distant goals to be set in 2020 - 12 years from now. Now, who in this House really believes that this government will still be the government 12 years from now, that this minister will still be the minister 12 years from now? The Act was passed last year so between 2007 and 2020, it's 13 years. How many members in the House - of all 52 - how many members of the whole 52 were here 13 years ago? The answer, of course, is four; four out of 52 and a couple of them are over there right now.

Mr. Speaker, four, and we can expect that in 13 years from now probably four of the 52 members will probably still be here, that's the rate of turnover we have in this House. So it's not terribly convincing to hear the government or this minister talk about what they're going to do in 2020 because it's a pretty safe bet that minister and that government won't be sitting over there in 2020. That's why they like setting those distant goals because it sounds like there is accountability but there really isn't.

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Mr. Speaker, not only are the goals distant, the goals are weak. The existing science says that the goals set by our government are not strong enough and who is it who said that? It's our government itself and the Department of Environment business plan acknowledges that current science would indicate that the goals we have set in the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act are probably not high enough. So I asked the minister if the government was planning to amend the Act to set a more ambitious, more necessary goal, and his answer was, no, they would not because it was a minimum goal. So they're going to stay with the goal that they themselves acknowledge probably won't get us to where we need to go. Over and above that, the minister in the estimates debate also acknowledged that the 10 per cent goal is going to be very difficult to achieve anyway.

What we really need to do, Mr. Speaker, is we need to have a government that goes beyond the rhetoric to reality. We need a government that's going to be a leader, not a government that becomes the eighth province in Canada to join the registry. We need a government that's going to be there first. We need a government that's progressive on the environment, on climate change like British Columbia, like Quebec, like Manitoba. Those are the provinces of the acknowledged leaders on climate change, not Nova Scotia. We need a government that is at the table when carbon cap-and-trade systems are being negotiated so that the solution is one that fits the reality of Nova Scotia's economy, where we are in on the design, where people want to know what it is that Nova Scotia is doing and saying because we really are leaders, but instead we are badly trailing other provinces. We are badly trailing other provinces.

What's really going to solve our problem on climate change, Mr. Speaker, is for us to join in the design and then being an early adopter of the carbon cap-and-trade system, an international cap-and-trade system, and the reason that's what we need to do is that will unleash the ingenuity and the innovation of the people of Nova Scotia. If they have the incentive, if business knows what the rules are, knows where we're headed, then it's not the government that has to do it, it is the people of Nova Scotia, the business of Nova Scotia, who will allow their ingenuity and innovation to be unleashed and they will show the way to how this province, and the reality of this province, how we can achieve the targets on climate change. But instead we are content with a government that is a leader in rhetoric.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for the late debate has elapsed.

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

[7:29 p.m. CWH on Supply rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

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

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

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 157.

Bill No. 157 - Financial Measures (2008) Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise this evening to speak briefly on this year's Financial Measures Bill. The Financial Measures 2008 Bill enables us to move forward with our budget plan. It contains a number of tax initiatives to make Nova Scotia more competitive and to encourage business investment. It also puts into legislation significant support for our municipalities across the province and, as the Minister of Finance stated last week, this year's budget is responsible and disciplined. We believe the measures in this legislation will make a difference to families, businesses and communities across our province. The Financial Measures Bill includes amendments to 11 laws.

The government in this province has long demonstrated its commitment to the health promotion. We understand the value of a healthier population. So this year's Financial Measures Bill supports the expansion of the Healthy Living Tax Credit, Mr. Speaker. Starting in 2009, the Healthy Living Tax Credit for sport and recreational activity registration fees will be extended and expanded to include all Nova Scotians. The maximum expenditure per individual will be $500, encouraging all Nova Scotians to participate in healthy lifestyles through fitness. Once fully implemented, the expanded tax credit is expected to save Nova Scotians over $8 million per year.

Mr. Speaker, we have all acknowledged the challenges we are facing, given the price of gas worldwide and we need to think about what measures are necessary to encourage

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efficiency and to help ease the burden. Starting in 2009, the province will match the federal transit tax credit. This non-refundable tax credit is calculated at the lowest personal income tax for the year, which is 8.79 per cent currently, deducted from the amount of provincial tax owed. It will provide an estimated tax relief of $1.5 million to Nova Scotians in 2009.

To the average Nova Scotian who buys a bus pass at $60 a month, the combined savings of the provincial and federal tax credits will be roughly $170 per year. Mr. Speaker, this is a good start. Many people already use public transit as an efficient, cost effective way to commute and we believe this will be a bit more of incentive.

Mr. Speaker, we have a small but thriving film industry. The Financial Measures (2008) Bill will once again increase the tax credits for film and also, as the Minister of Economic Development said today, digital media companies.

The Income Tax Act will also be amended to extend medical tax credits to include expenditures for alternative medical practitioners like naturopaths, effective January 2008. Other minor changes to the Income Tax Act will provide greater clarity, coherence and consistency in provincial tax policy.

One of these, Mr. Speaker, will enable individuals who receive split pension income to claim the provincial pension amount. Now, this is a smart change in line with the federal government's policy that will potentially impact thousands of Nova Scotians. This past year, I believe our government has shown great support to our municipalities across the province. As members of the House are aware, this past Fall, the province and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities entered a memorandum of understanding. This agreement will help ease the financial burden of municipalities.

The memorandum of understanding includes provisions in the Housing Act to phase out municipal funding to public housing over a two-year period beginning in 2010-11, amendments to the Corrections Act that will freeze municipal contribution for corrections at the 2007-08 level of funding for two years. Funding will be eventually phased out over a five-year period starting in 2010-11 and ending in 2014-15. Amendments introduced to the Education Act will index annual increases in municipal education cost to the Nova Scotia Consumer Price Index as opposed to the higher rate of assessment growth. When this MOU is fully implemented, the total annual savings for municipalities will be around $32 million.

Mr. Speaker, as you know, some fees and charges are authorized by legislation and, therefore, legislative change is needed to modify them. The Financial Measures (2008) Bill, includes amendments in the Personal Property Security Act, the Trust and Loan Companies Act, and the Gypsum Mining Tax Act. A number of laws will be amended to implement changes to legislated fees and government charges, as announced in this year's budget, such as those for reinstatement of driver's licences, personal property and trust and loan companies.

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Mr. Speaker, the changes I have highlighted indicate the importance and relevance of this year's Financial Measures (2008) Bill. It represents the force behind a number of pivotal budget decisions. It's a good bill containing good measures, measures that will make a difference to families, businesses and communities across the province. It is a bill worthy of full support of this House and I am pleased, at this time, to move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, as the Finance Critic of the Official Opposition, I'm pleased to rise to speak to the Financial Measures (2008) Bill, the Financial Measures (2008) Bill being that law that embodies all the statutory changes made necessary by the government's budget. So to that extent, it is an essential part of the government's budget. Defeat of the Financial Measures (2008) Bill, would all by itself mean that the government would fall. This makes it an unusually and extraordinarily important piece of legislation.

Mr. Speaker, it is difficult to see how the Financial Measures (2008) Bill addresses the real needs of Nova Scotians in their daily lives. They are looking for some relief, they are looking for some help, they're looking for a better deal from the government - some sign that the government understands the challenges that they're facing. But the centrepiece of this budget is an increase in the electricity bill of every single household in Nova Scotia. As a result of this government's budget, of which the Financial Measures (2008) Bill is a part, every single household in Nova Scotia will be paying more for their power.

Mr. Speaker, on top of that, there are a number of changes to tax laws that Nova Scotians are finding it very difficult to live with. There's one in particular that I want to begin my remarks by highlighting. I'm going to read to the House a very short letter from one of my constituents. I know it's been cc'd to the Premier so it's entirely possible he has seen it or that one of his staff members is currently dealing with it.

It's from one of my constituents who is a senior. He says, Mr. Speaker - this is a letter to me, cc'd to the Premier and to the member for Halifax Clayton Park. As it so happens, this particular individual lives right on the borderline between Halifax Clayton Park and Halifax Fairview. It says: Dear Sir, I've enclosed a copy of my recently received Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency and I am extremely upset. As you can see from the attached assessment, the Nova Scotia tax is $54.53, compared to the federal tax of $0. I am a senior citizen and my income is $11,754. I have lived in Nova Scotia for 75 years. If I were younger, I would move to another province in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, there is another line in the letter which I don't need to read about a Party that he does not intend to vote for in the next election, but I don't think that will add to the debate.

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That is the reality of the daily lives of Nova Scotians. A senior citizen on an income of $11,754 and he pays no federal tax, but because of this government's tax policy, which is embodied in the Financial Measures (2008) Bill, he does have to pay provincial tax. To you and I, the sum of money that he's talking about does not seem like a lot - $54.53 - but to this gentleman, it is a lot, it is everything.

The fact that this Party and this government are the ones who decoupled provincial and federal tax so that the credits don't match anymore - of course, as we all know, the provincial credits are now quite a bit lower than the federal credits - means there are many people on low incomes who pay no federal tax but do pay provincial tax. They are living lives of quiet desperation and yet this government's response is to increase their energy costs - increase their power bills.

In the Financial Measures (2008) Bill, as usual, there is a grab bag of unrelated provisions. The only thing they have in common is that they are somehow connected to the budget, so please excuse me if I take a few minutes to go through and hit the highlights.

Normally, on second reading, we talk about the theme of the bill, but there is no theme really in a Financial Measures (2008) Bill, just like in the Justice Administration Act where it's just bits and pieces all over the place. The first provision of the bill raises fees. Members of the House will recall, not very long ago, the government enacted another across-the-board increase in government fees. This government likes to say that they haven't raised taxes during their time in office, but that's not true. We all know it's not true. The only thing that's correct is that they haven't raised income tax. That's really the refinement that needs to be added because they have relentlessly raised other taxes, other fees during their time in office.

This is not the first across-the-board increase in fees this government has imposed, making life more difficult and more expensive for people like the gentleman whose letter I just read. There are, throughout the Financial Measures (2008) Bill, various Statutes being amended to reflect the increase in fees - except for one category of Nova Scotians for whom fees are going down. Now, who is that, Mr. Speaker? Is that the senior citizen living on an income of $11,000? No, it's a certain category of corporation, known as unlimited liability companies, whose fees are going down.

I'm not sure that's a good choice. In comparison to the relentless increase in taxes and fees imposed on other Nova Scotians, to pick out one category, a certain kind of corporation, it's really a paper creation down in accounting firms and law firms on Lower Water Street. I'm not sure most Nova Scotians would think that was a good choice but, indeed, their fees are going down.

The next clause, the first of several dealing with changing fiscal relations with the municipalities, this really, in its essence, is a good thing, because municipalities have been

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saying, and saying for a long time, that the province has forced them to pick up too much of the tab of the cost of municipal services. So Clause 3, for example, lowers the municipal contribution for corrections, and there's another one for education and so on, another one for housing.

[7:45 p.m.]

But here's the significant thing, Mr. Speaker. For example, with respect to the mandatory contribution on corrections, it's not lowered this year, it's not made retroactive to last year. In fact, this year it stays the same, and the year after that it stays the same, and it only starts going down later. So what the government is doing is what you might call back-end loading all these cost items, the items that represent a real expenditure on the part of the province. But they're not doing it today, they're not doing it tomorrow, they're doing it two years from now so that they can say they're doing it.

I think we may be post-election two years from now. We're already two years past the last election, Mr. Speaker, and I suspect that two years from now we will be - whoever it is who's presenting the budget, it will be whoever emerges from the next election with the most seats. So it's the next government that's going to have to worry about who is going to pay the piper.

This government has chosen its tactic again and again and again, making big announcements, but the actual spending is pushed far into the future. Now, Mr. Speaker, this government, if they don't win the next election, is going to make sure that the cupboard is bare for the next government. They are going to spend money years into the future, and this is an example of how they're going to do it. If it's the right thing to do, to reduce the mandatory municipal contribution to corrections, then it would be the right thing to do it today, not to push it off for a couple of years.

Mr. Speaker, I will resist the urge to talk about the state of corrections in Nova Scotia today, never mind who is paying for it.

Now, Mr. Speaker, as we move on, there's a change in the royalty rate on gypsum mining, although I haven't actually seen any government documents about if this represents an increase or a decrease, it may be one or the other. It certainly isn't evident, just from reading the words of the bill. All we know is that it's a change.

Then we get into a number of changes to the Income Tax Act. Mr. Speaker, we are, of course, pleased to see that the government is matching the federal change that allows people to split their pension income. I have to say that I don't often drag my parents into debates in this House, but the ability to split my father's pension income is the single best tax change that my parents have experienced probably in their lifetime. It is going to be a

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tremendous benefit to senior couples of whom one is receiving a pension and the other person is receiving no pension income, which describes my parents.

I grew up in a fairly traditional family with a working father and a stay-at-home mother, so my father has a pension and my mother does not. This is going to result in thousands of dollars of benefits, Mr. Speaker, to my parents, the federal change will, and we're pleased to see that this provincial change mirrors that because that truly is a benefit to many Nova Scotians.

Then we get on to the Transit Tax Credit, and this is an interesting topic, Mr. Speaker, because on the one hand you have to say, well, it can't be a bad thing, but let's not exaggerate the impact that this is going to have. It represents a few extra dollars a year, but only for those Nova Scotians who buy transit passes.

When I was knocking on doors in the Fall, Mr. Speaker, I came across a woman in the Cowie Hill district who said to me, why can't this apply to bus tickets? She takes the bus a lot but she doesn't take it enough to get a bus pass, but she is going to be left out of this ability to claim a tax credit, however meagre, for her bus tickets. So if there's any ability on the part of the government to consider that change or how it might work, I would commend it to the government's attention.

Let's be realistic, Mr. Speaker, this Transit Tax Credit amounts to a few dollars a year. It is not going to change anybody's behaviour. If people already take the bus, then they are going to get a small benefit on their provincial tax, if they pay provincial tax at all, because it is a non-refundable credit. That's a good thing, because it is going to make up for the $100 a year that the government is taking on their electricity bill. So they are going to get a little bit back, not all of it but a little bit.

Let's face it, Mr. Speaker, if anybody is driving a car and is trying to decide whether to take the bus in Nova Scotia, it's not this tax credit that's going to get them out of their car and onto the bus. The amount of money is minuscule compared to the cost-benefit analysis that would be involved in deciding whether to take the bus rather than taking the car. So although this will provide a small benefit to existing transit users, let's not kid ourselves that this is going to get a lot of people onto the bus who weren't going to be there otherwise. Particularly because, again, it applies only to people who buy monthly bus passes. It doesn't apply to anybody else who takes the bus. You must take the bus essentially every day in order to get the benefit of this credit.

The recreational activity tax credit, Mr. Speaker, now this is an interesting one, because it wasn't that long before the budget that somebody who belongs to the same athletic club that I do - and believe it or not, I do belong to an athletic club, it's a martial arts club, believe it or not. (Laughter) I've got a long way to go to be a black belt, let's just leave it at that. But I haven't been attending much lately because of the long hours that we sit and, of

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course, the classes are during the evening. One of the other young men who is a member of that club said to me, why can't the recreational tax credit apply to me? He's a young man in his 20s. He's a student at Dalhousie University and anybody who has done martial arts knows that there is a fair amount of outlay involved in entering tournaments, paying for tests, paying for the equipment, the protective equipment that we all need in order to spar. I'm pleased to see that young man will get the benefit of this credit.

Now, it will be interesting to see what parameters the government puts around this recreational tax credit because we can assume that, for example, if somebody is going to their local, private golf club for a round of golf, that is not going to qualify for the recreational tax credit - or will it? We see the rules say that the regulations have to say which activities or clubs are allowable and which are not, but we have to assume that it's not going to apply to simply every activity.

There is a question in my mind, Mr. Speaker, based on what I've seen around the community that I represent, about whether the recreational tax credit actually results in more children getting exercise. The same point that I made about the Transit Tax Credit is the kids who are already participating in sports, of course the kids aren't paying tax, but the parents will get the benefit of the recreational tax credit. I'm not sure that the amount of money involved which, when you deal with a percentage of the outlay, which doesn't, at the end of the day, amount to an awful lot of money, whether that would entice families to put their children in recreational programs if they couldn't afford it in the first place. It's a benefit to families who are already there who can already afford it. Is it enough to get people into the programs who aren't there? I don't know. I haven't seen any data on it. It would be good to see what information the government has on that.

I'm a little bit dubious based on what I've seen, as I say, in the community that I represent. The kids who were playing hockey before are still playing hockey, getting the benefit of the credit. The kids who were playing soccer before are still playing soccer, they are getting the benefit of the credit, but is there one child that I can identify who didn't used to play soccer that because of the credit is playing soccer? I haven't seen it. Maybe they're out there, and I have the same concern here, although anything that encourages physical activity among Nova Scotians at any age is to be applauded.

Another income tax change here, Mr. Speaker, is allowing a tax credit for alternative medical expenses. Now this is a good thing. This is something I actually advocated several years ago. There was a gentleman in my constituency who came to me, it was actually his spouse who had incurred a great deal of expense going to a naturopath and wondered why it was that they couldn't get a tax credit for it, couldn't take advantage of the medical expense tax credit. That's because naturopaths were not recognized as a legitimate expense under the medical tax credit. Unfortunately, it's too late, because the person involved has since passed away, which is truly unfortunate. I take this to be a progressive change, that we have to be more open-minded to non-traditional medicines. It's nice to see the government

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recognizing naturopathy as something for which the medical expense tax credit can be claimed.

Then, Mr. Speaker, we have a number of perfectly routine changes to the Income Tax Act. We see the extension of the firefighter tax credit to people involved in volunteer ground search and rescue. Who could oppose that? Not anybody that I am acquainted with. We get to the film industry tax credit, and again this is being boosted in an attempt to retain the film industry here in Nova Scotia, a good industry, which provides solid technical jobs.

Mr. Speaker, every province is trying to race to be ahead of the other. I remember in the days when it was a much lower credit. Every year it seemed to go up another five per cent, then we got into combination deals where if you did three pictures you got a higher credit, if you went outside metro Halifax you got a higher credit. I just wonder sometimes how far the film industry tax credit will go, because now we're raising it again. We know for a certainty that, by this time next year, other provinces will have outdone us and we'll have to increase it again. That's a good thing, it's a good industry, we want to keep those jobs here in Nova Scotia. Some fabulous productions have been made in Nova Scotia and long may that continue.

Mr. Speaker, the last four or five things I've talked about have all been so positive and I want to end on a positive note for tonight. I don't want to go back to the deficiencies of the government, many though they may be. On that note, I move that debate on the Financial Measures (2008) Bill be adjourned.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I move that we adjourn and meet tomorrow. The hours will be from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, we will move into Committee of the Whole House on Supply. Time pending from there, if there's any remaining, Public Bills for Second Reading, the following bills: Bill Nos. 120, 130, 131, 133, 148, 151 and 156.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do rise and meet again tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. The House will sit between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The House stands adjourned until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

[The House rose at 8:00 p.m.]

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NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2569

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Leader of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas May 8, 2008, marks the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel; and

Whereas the Atlantic Jewish Council is celebrating 60 years of Israel's independence; and

Whereas the Atlantic Jewish Council will mark this occasion with a reception and dinner at Pier 21 featuring guest speaker, Alon Pinkas, the former Consul General of Israel in the United States;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the House of Assembly wish the Atlantic Jewish Council great success in tonight's celebrations.

RESOLUTION NO. 2570

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas the West Jeddore Rifle Range is a well-known location along Nova Scotia's Eastern Shore, having been in place for more than 35 years; and

Whereas the West Jeddore Rifle Range is once again opening this Spring after closing in 2006 to address local issues, and is a range appreciated by hunters and firearm enthusiasts alike as a safe place for sighting, while providing a place for lessons to be given to young and new hunters on the proper and safe usage of firearms; and

Whereas rules and regulations are in place to protect rifle-range users as well as surrounding community members;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the work of those individuals involved with the West Jeddore Rifle Range and the work they have done for nearly four decades.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2571

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas the St. James Anglican Church congregation located on Dolby Hill, Head Jeddore, is celebrating its 165th year of worship services in 2008; and

Whereas St. James Anglican at Head Jeddore was consecrated and named on July 9, 1843; and

Whereas churches are only as strong as their congregations, and to celebrate 165 years of continued operation, the local community will take part in a special service with Bishop Sue Moxley on July 6, 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of St. James Anglican Church at Head Jeddore and wish the parish many more birthdays to come.

RESOLUTION NO. 2572

By: Hon. William Dooks (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas based on their equestrian performances in 2007, Windcrest Stables of Grand Desert produced four of the top 20 riders from across Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas the four young riders: Victoria Duggan, a 14-year-old student at Gaetz Brook Junior High; Kelsey Merritt, a 17-year-old student at Eastern Shore High School; 17-year-old Dartmouth High School student, Karin Landva; along with Jackie Merritt, a graduate of Eastern Shore High School and who recently completed her second year of nursing at Dalhousie University, all participated in the prestigious Gastrogard & Eqvalan Gold Show Jumping Clinic for Atlantic Canada in Stanhope, Prince Edward Island in mid-April; and

Whereas the four young riders were instructed at the event by none other than Ian Millar, Canada's most famous and simply the best Canadian competitive show jumper ever, with Grand Desert resident and nationally-qualified level one coach, Anne Merritt, in a local newspaper article describing the experience as a once-in-a-lifetime event;

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Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and applaud the efforts and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2573

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas Stellarton's Cenotaph came closer to becoming the planned memorial park in honour of WWI veteran and Victoria Cross recipient, James Robertson; and

Whereas Stellarton Legion Branch 28 received funding from the provincial government under the Nova Scotia Military Relations portfolio and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage to go towards completing the park, started in 2003; and

Whereas the Town of Stellarton has purchased a replica Victoria Cross and the project committee hope to sell more of the 300 commemorative bricks in support of the memorial - the park is estimated to cost $100,000 and will honour one of the town's bravest sons from the past and recognize the sacrifice that our military make in the present and into the future;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send their congratulations and best wishes to Stellarton Legion Branch 28 on securing more funding towards such an important project, honouring work that can never be forgotten.

RESOLUTION NO. 2574

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Apple Valley Quilters are a creative group of ladies who have just completed an absolutely wonderful project; and

Whereas the Apple Valley Quilters, led by Jean Newcombe of Falmouth and Rhonda Fry of Hantsport, have been working on a quilt for three years, to be viewed by thousands and thousands of students attending West Hants Middle School as the quilt hangs in the middle school's entrance; and

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Whereas this large and rather colourful quilt features the seven elementary schools who send students to the West Hants Middle School after finishing Grade 6, while also portraying educational values and the rural communities where the seven elementary schools are located;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Nova Scotia Legislature applaud the enormous number of hours and overwhelming design work done by Jean Newcombe, Rhonda Fry, and members of the Apple Valley Quilters in their creation of this outstanding quilt.

RESOLUTION NO. 2575

By: Mr. Sterling Belliveau (Shelburne)

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

Whereas the Grade 10 French Immersion class at Lockeport Regional High School is participating in the federal program, Student Educational Voyages and Exchanges Canada; and

Whereas through Student Educational Voyages and Exchanges Canada, the class has been twinned with a second language English class from St. Pamphile, Quebec, where they spent a week with these students in early February learning about Quebec's culture, lifestyle, and learning the language; and

Whereas the Grade 10 French Immersion class will now host these seventeen Quebecois students and their two chaperones from May 10th to May 16th, and during this visit the class will show as much of our local traditions, lifestyle and culture as possible while assisting the French students in developing their English skills;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly commend the Grade 10 French Immersion class at Lockeport Regional High School for their participation in the federal program, Student Educational Voyages and Exchanges Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 2576

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

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Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Meghan Murray for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2577

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mel Hatter for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2578

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 2958]

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jillian Baxter for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2579

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Katie Whitlock for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2580

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 2959]

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Kristin Armstrong for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2581

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Heather Eakins for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2582

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 2960]

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Alex Normore for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2583

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Manager Marie Normore for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2584

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

[Page 2961]

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jessica Inman for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2585

By: Hon. Leonard Goucher (Immigration)

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

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team was recently awarded the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award; and

Whereas the Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award recognizes one team of hockey players in each province who do good things on and off the ice in their community; and

Whereas the Bedford Blues Midget Girls Hockey team demonstrated community leadership by working at Feed Nova Scotia, conducting community hockey camps and also raised money for a girl in Bedford in need of a bone marrow transplant, making them certainly worthy of such recognition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rita Morley for her part in helping the Bedford Blues Midget Girls win the 2008 Wayne Gretzky Foundation Award and for their inspiring work within the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 2586

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Richmond)

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

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Whereas yet another business has started to do its part in making our province environmentally friendly and more sustainable; and

Whereas recently the NSLC announced the launch of their Cheers to Change initiative in which they will focus on reducing their carbon footprint, conserving energy, managing their waste more efficiently and promoting recycling; and

Whereas one of their largest endeavours is the elimination of plastic shopping bags by Fall 2008, a move that will make them the first mass market retail business in Nova Scotia to eliminate plastic bags;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly applaud the efforts of the NSLC in working toward keeping our province healthy, clean and sustainable.

RESOLUTION NO. 2587

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (Speaker)

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

Whereas the Mullins family has a rich tradition of owning and operating general stores in Western Cape Breton County; and

Whereas Peter A. Mullins opened the original family general store near the waterfront in Main-a-Dieu in 1933; and

Whereas today at Albert Bridge, Peter Mullins' daughter, Alice, is celebrating 2008 as a 75th anniversary of a Mullins general store in the local area, with it only being last year that Alice, Paul and staff celebrated the grand opening of a new Mullins RiteStop building at Albert Bridge;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Alice and Paul Mullins and the Mullins family for 75 years of community entrepreneurship.