The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 08-43

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

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4686, Obama, President-elect - Congrats.,
The Premier 4812
Vote - Affirmative 4812
Res. 4687, We'koqma'q Mi'kmaw Sch.: Opening - Congrats.,
The Premier 4812
Vote - Affirmative 4813
Res. 4688, Take Your Kids to Work Day: Importance - Recognize,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4813
Vote - Affirmative 4814
Res. 4689, Nat'l. 4-H Month (11/08) - Recognize,
Hon. B. Taylor 4814
Vote - Affirmative 4815
Res. 4690, N.S. Science Olympics: Participants/Vols. - Congrats.,
Hon . K. Casey 4815
Vote - Affirmative 4815
Res. 4691, Antigonish Sustainable Dev. Grp. - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Parent 4816
Vote - Affirmative 4816
Res. 4692, Crooks, Tim/Phoenix House: Contribution - Recognize,
Hon. J. Streatch 4816
Vote - Affirmative 4817
Res. 4693, Hasey, Nick - Life-Threatening Situation: Response - Recognize,
Hon. K. Casey 4817
Vote - Affirmative 4818
Res. 4694, Nat.'l. 4-H Member Conf. (Toronto): Delegates - Congrats.,
Hon. B. Taylor 4818
Vote - Affirmative 4819
Res. 4695, Prov. Fire Ctr. - Anniv. (60th), Hon. D. Morse 4819
Vote - Affirmative 4820
Res. 4696, Strait-Highlands: Communities/RDA - Collaboration,4820
Hon. M. Parent 4820
Vote - Affirmative 4821
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
N.S. Renal Prog., The Strategic Plan (2008-2011), Hon. C. d'Entremont 4821
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 207, Silver Dart 100 Anniversary Act, Mr. K. Bain 4821
No. 208, Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act, Hon. J. Muir 4822
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4697, Fraser, Margot - Melvin Jones Award,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 4822
Vote - Affirmative 4823
Res. 4698, Prem.: Nova Scotians - Accountability,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4823
Res. 4699, Hants West Wildlife Interpretative Ctr.: Supporters - Commend,
Mr. C. Porter 4823
Vote - Affirmative 4824
Res. 4700, U.S. Consul Gen.: Pres. Election - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Dexter 4824
Vote - Affirmative 4825
Res. 4701, Carbon Tax - Opposition: Prem. - Express,
Mr. H. Theriault 4825
Res. 4702, MacDermid, Jessie: CBU Capers Soccer Team - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Bain 4826
Vote - Affirmative 4826
Res. 4703, Queens Build: Habitat for Humanity Home - Support,
Ms. V. Conrad 4826
Vote - Affirmative 4827
Res. 4704, Halifax Chebucto MLA: Reasonable Gas Prices - Advocate,
Mr. L. Glavine 4827
Res. 4705, Martin, Danielle: African Vol. Work - Recognize,
Mr. P. Dunn 4828
Vote - Affirmative 4828
Res. 4706, Henderson, Wilbert: Commun. Serv. - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Parker 4829
Vote - Affirmative 4829
Res. 4707, Fish. & Aquaculture - Coast Guard Ship Transfer: Min. Explain,
Mr. K. Colwell 4829
Res. 4708, Moore, Jim: Quilt Donation - Applaud,
Mr. C. Porter 4830
Vote - Affirmative 4831
Res. 4709, O'Donnell, Cecil: Speedy Recovery - Best Wishes,
Mr. S. Belliveau 4831
Vote - Affirmative 4831
Res. 4710, Mid. River & Baddeck Vol. Fds. - Finewood Flooring
& Lumber Fire: Response - Thank, Mr. K. Bain 4831
Vote - Affirmative 4832
Res. 4711, Nova Forge Inc.: Steel Mfg. - Congrats.,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 4832
Vote - Affirmative 4833
Res. 4712, Apple Berry Farm Market - Bridgewater Sm. Bus. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4833
Vote - Affirmative 4834
Res. 4713, Bennett, Connor: Fishermen's Cove Cleanup - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 4834
Vote - Affirmative 4835
Res. 4714, Barkhouse, Ira Moody/Whynott, Arnold: Medal of Bravery -
Congrats., Hon. M. Baker 4835
Vote - Affirmative 4836
^Res. 4715, Species at Risk in N.S. Guide:
Mersey Tobeatic Research Instit. et al - Recognize, Ms. V. Conrad 4836
Vote - Affirmative 4837
Res. 4716, Gillis, Dr. J.H. Sr. Boys Golf Team: Efforts - Applaud,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 4837
Vote - Affirmative 4838
Res. 4717, Atl. Fishery: Public Inquiry - Support,
Mr. S. Belliveau 4838
Res. 4718, Muir, Bob - Birthday (89th), Hon. C. Clarke 4838
Vote - Affirmative 4839
Res. 4719, MacDonald, Joyce - Cdn. Mental Health Assoc. Staff Award,
Hon. J. Muir 4839
Vote - Affirmative 4840
Res. 4720, Northeast King Educ. Ctr.: Sr. Boys Golf Team -
Efforts Applaud, Hon. M. Parent 4840
Vote - Affirmative 4841
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 409, Prem.: Power Rate Increases - Tax Addition, Mr. D. Dexter 4841
No. 410, Energy - Stable Sources: Prem. - Inactivity, Mr. S. McNeil 4843
No. 411, Prem. - Power Rates: Increases - Effects, Mr. D. Dexter 4844
No. 412, Prem.: Rate Increases - Tax Reverse, Mr. D. Dexter 4845
No. 413, Prem.: ATV Purchase Prog. - Awareness, Mr. S. McNeil 4846
No. 414, Nat. Res.: ATV Buyback Prog. - Status, Mr. G. Steele 4847
No. 415, Educ.: ATV DVD - Sch. Distribution, Mr. G. Steele 4849
No. 416, Educ.: ATV DVD - Sch. Distribution,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4850
No. 417, Health - Cancer Patients: Supplies - Accessibility,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville- Cobequid) 4851
No. 418, Nat. Res. - ATV Buyback Prog.: ATVANS Contract - Details,
Mr. L. Glavine 4852
No. 419, Health: BTO Prog. - Increases,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4853
No. 420, Health: Autism Prog. - Status, Ms. M. More 4855
No. 421, Econ. Dev. - Rural Cellphone Coverage: Increase - Plan,
Mr. H. Theriault 4856
No. 422, Health: Lucentis - Coverage,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4857
No. 423, Prem.: Flight Attendant Base - Closure,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 4858
No. 424, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel. - Energy Rebate Prog.: Changes -
Notification, Mr. W. Gaudet 4859
No. 425, Educ. - Eastern Passage HS: Approval - Timeframe,
Ms. B. Kent 4861
No. 426, Nat. Res.: ATV Purchase Prog. - Min. Briefing Note,
Mr. C. Parker 4862
No. 427, Environ. - Contaminated Site Mgt. Prog.: Review - Details,
Mr. K. Colwell 4863
No. 428, Nat. Res.: Legislated Uranium Moratorium - Accept,
Mr. G. Steele 4865
No. 429, Nat. Res.: Chignecto Game Sanctuary - Seismic Testing,
Mr. L. Glavine 4867
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 4510 - Prem.: Economic Update - Provide, Mr. L. Glavine 4868
Ms. D. Whalen 4869
Hon. A. MacIsaac 4872
Hon. J. Muir 4874
Mr. G. Steele 4875
Mr. S. McNeil 4878
Res. 4628 - Prem. - ATVs: Accountability - Condemn,
Mr. L. Glavine 4879
Mr. L. Glavine 4880
Hon. D. Morse 4881
Mr. G. Steele 4884
Mr. K. Colwell 4886
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Econ. Dev. - Hfx: Development - Promote:
Hon. B. Barnet 4889
Mr. L. Preyra 4892
Mr. Manning MacDonald 4894
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Nov. 6th at 12 noon 4897
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4721, RCL: Oxford Br. 36 - Salute, Hon. M. Scott 4898
Res. 4722, RCL: Springhill Br. 16 - Salute, Hon. M. Scott 4898
Res. 4723, RCL: Maccan Br. 134 - Salute, Hon. M. Scott 4899
Res. 4724, RCL: Joggins Br. 4 - Salute, Hon. M. Scott 4899
Res. 4725, RCL: River Hebert Br. 14 - Salute, Hon. M. Scott 4900
Res. 4726, RCL: Parrsboro Br. 45 - Salute, Hon. M. Scott 4900
Res. 4727, MacMillan, Tessa: Edinburgh Int'l. Tattoo - Performance,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 4901
Res. 4728, Scarf, Phil - Golf Accomplishment, Mr. C. Porter 4901
Res. 4729, Dalhousie Mtn. WWII Memorial: Comm. - Applaud,
Mr. P. Dunn 4902
Res. 4730, Ferguson, Owen - Gov. Gen's Teaching Award,
Hon. K. Casey 4902
Res. 4731, Leary, Amber: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4903
Res. 4732, Walker, Becky: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4903
Res. 4733, Leary, Bethany: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4904
Res. 4734, Forrest, Cassidy: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4904
Res. 4735, Wentzell, Hayley: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4905
Res. 4736, Wamback, Lisa: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4905
Res. 4737, Power, Caitlin: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4905
Res. 4738, Durling, Kayla: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4906
Res. 4739, Robar, Jay: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4906
Res. 4740, Mossman, Jill: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4907
Res. 4741, Moore, Lauren: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4907
Res. 4742, Langille, Jessica: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4908
Res. 4743, Wamback, Laura: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4908
Res. 4744, Drew, Danielle: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4908
Res. 4745, Cook, Leah: Saints Girls Softball Team - Prov. Title,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4909
Res. 4746, Joudrey, Asst. Coach Sandra: Saints Girls Softball Team -
Prov. Title, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4909
Res. 4747, Buttercups Bra Boutique - Bridgewater CC New Bus. Award
Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4910
Res. 4748, Cardinal Fire & Safety - Bridgewater CC Entrepreneurial
Award Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4910
Res. 4749, CKBW Acadia Broadcasting Ltd. - Bridgewater CC Large
Bus. Award Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4911
Res. 4750, Fairview Inn - Bridgewater CC Entrepreneurial Award
Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4911
Res. 4751, Green Solutions North America Inc. - Bridgewater CC
Innovation Award Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4911
Res. 4752, Nature's Reflections Landscaping - Bridgewater CC Sm. Bus.
Award Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4912
Res. 4753, Northern Sun - Bridgewater CC Grassroots Award Nominee,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4912
Res. 4754, Powerline Poultry Ltd. - Bridgewater CC Grassroots Award
Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4913
Res. 4755, Dog Shop Bathhouse & Boutique - Bridgewater CC New Bus.
Award Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4913
Res. 4756, Nodding Group - Bridgewater CC Large Bus. Award
Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4914
Res. 4757, Wile's Lake Farm Market & Bakery - Bridgewater CC
Sm. Bus. Award Nominee, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4914
Res. 4758, Charles Lantz Cabinetry - Bridgewater CC Grassroots
Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4914
Res. 4759, Julien's Pastry Shop Ltd. - Bridgewater CC Entrepreneurial
Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4915
Res. 4760, Lunenburg C. Winery - Bridgewater CC Export Achievement
Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4915
Res. 4761, Chester Organics - Bridgewater CC New Bus. Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4916
Res. 4762, H.B. Multimedia Studios - Bridgewater CC Large Bus.
Award, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4916
Res. 4763, Walter's Garage and Muffler Shop: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4917
Res. 4764, Moonlight Beach Inn: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4917
Res. 4765, Absolute Home Inspection: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4917
Res 4766, Advance Laboratories Ltd.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4918
Res. 4767, Atl. Dutch Shop: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4918
Res. 4768, Atl. Greetings: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4919
Res. 4769, Belle Kennel: Contribution - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4919
Res. 4770, Beach Niche: Contribution - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 4919
Res. 4771, Brian Myers Transport Ltd: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4920
Res. 4772, Cassidy Nearing Berryman: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4920
Res. 4773, Cascade Developments Ltd.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4921
Res. 4774, Cdn. Seabed Research Ltd.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4921
Res. 4775, Cdn. Residential Inspection Serv.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4921
Res. 4776, Chem Tech Serv.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4922
Res. 4777, Chezz Excavating: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4922
Res. 4778, Clam Bay Tourist Suite: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4923
Res. 4779, Clarity Accounting & Bus. Solutions: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4923
Res. 4780, Currie's Insurance: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4923
Res. 4781, Conrad's Septic Serv. Ltd.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4924
Res. 4782, Daigle Locksmithing: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4924
Res. 4783, Dalrymple Const.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4925
Res. 4784, Forest Hill Drug Mart: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4925
Res. 4785, Fox Fern Cottage: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4925
Res. 4786, Fraser's Wide Plank Flooring Inc.: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4926
Res. 4787, Greentree Recycling: Contribution - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 4926

[Page 4811]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The subject for debate tonight has been submitted by the Honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection:

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House work together to promote future development of our capital for the benefit of Nova Scotians across our province.

We will commence with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

[Page 4812]

4811

RESOLUTION NO. 4686

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

Whereas it is a proud day in history when the world's most powerful country elects its first African American president; and

Whereas this first has given hope and pride to many, and will inspire future leaders here and around the globe; and

Whereas because of the candidates and nature of the 2008 American campaign, voters became more engaged in the political process, a vital part of fostering democracy everywhere;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House offer our sincere congratulations to President-Elect Obama and all who put their name forward for candidacy at every level of government in Election 2008, for our biggest economic trading partner and friends to the south.

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 Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4687

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

Whereas the education of our children is paramount to the future of our province and its people; and

[Page 4813]

Whereas being able to provide a nurturing and inspiring education, in a first-rate facility, is always welcome news; and

Whereas the members of the Waycobah First Nation held the grand opening of their new school on September 10th;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Waycobah First Nation, the teachers and especially the students on the official grand opening of the new We'koqma'q Mi'kmaw School.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission.

RESOLUTION NO. 4688

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

Whereas today marks the 5th year of the Public Service Commission's Take Your Kids to Work Program, designed specifically for Grade 9 students; and

Whereas employees are encouraged to bring their kids to work to introduce them to various careers in government; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Public Service offers many rewarding opportunities and careers;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Take Your Kids to Work Day as an important program that educates students about the many career options in the Civil Service and welcome the student participants today in our offices and also those students who have joined us here in the House today.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4814]

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 Premier on an introduction.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if I might introduce some very special guests who are with us here today in light of the minister's resolution, of course. One is probably no stranger to this House and that's Leanne Hachey who is the Vice President of the Atlantic Region of CFIB. She is shadowed today by Jessica Holman, a Grade 9 French Immersion student at Sackville Heights Junior High, as part of the mentoring exercise for Grade 9 students we are promoting today, as a province. It's tremendous to see our youth and our other youth who are also joining us here today. Also with our two fine guests is Todd Holman, Jessica's father, and I would ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We extend a warm welcome to them and all visitors in our gallery today.

[2:15 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4689

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

Whereas members, leaders and supporters of the 4-H Program across Canada will be wearing green on Wednesday, November 5th, to recognize National 4-H Month; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia 4-H Program has grown to include 2,400 young people and 1,000 adult leaders working together on a variety of livestock and life skill projects; and

Whereas 4-H provides the tools to help young people grow up with confidence in their own skills and talents, and contribute to their communities;

[Page 4815]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House recognize National 4-H Month and the contribution that 4-H members, leaders and supporters make to the province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4690

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

Whereas more than 100 Grade 4 and Grade 5 students from schools across the province participated in the second annual Nova Scotia Science Olympics on Saturday, October 18th; and

Whereas the students applied scientific knowledge learned in their classrooms and worked together to solve a series of problems; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's science curriculum helps all students build a foundation for problem solving, inquiry, decision making and lifelong learning;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the students, parents, teachers, chaperones and volunteers who participated in the Nova Scotia Science Olympics.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4816]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4691

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

Whereas the members of the Antigonish Sustainable Development Group are working to assist the people in their community to identify and set goals related to sustainable development; and

Whereas their efforts will chart a path of success for building a sustainable community; and

Whereas their participation in Green Power Hour in July was evidence that community-based organizations can make a difference, build capacity and inspire environmental change;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating the Antigonish Sustainable Development Group for their leadership in helping to build a prosperous and sustainable 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 Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 4692

[Page 4817]

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

Whereas Tim Crooks, Executive Director of Phoenix Youth Programs, was honoured by the Halifax Chamber of Commerce as Business Person of the Year, Silver Award, for his many years of dedication to helping at-risk and homeless youth; and

Whereas in 2004, Mr. Crooks was presented with the Community Association Leadership Award by the Canadian Society of Association Executive Directors, given to those identified as the next generation of leaders in Canada's association, non-profit and charitable community; and

Whereas I had the pleasure of attending the 20th Anniversary celebration of Phoenix House earlier this year and offering congratulations to the Phoenix Board, staff and volunteers for 20 years of helping at-risk and homeless youth rebuild their lives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly recognize the contribution that Mr. Tim Crooks and Phoenix House have made, and continue to make, on behalf of the at-risk youth and homeless youth in our communities and indeed 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 Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4693

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

Whereas most 10-year-old children play outside, watch television or collect hockey cards, and are eager to learn; and

[Page 4818]

Whereas Nick Hasey, a Grade 5 student at East St. Margarets Elementary School in Indian Harbour, and 20 of his classmates took a first aid course through St. John Ambulance at their school; and

Whereas while visiting with his grandmother in early October, Nick, who is autistic, heard her call out for help as she collapsed and became unresponsive, rushed to her side, checked her, calmly put her in the recovery position and called his parents to get an ambulance;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Nick for his cool, calm, and collected response to a life-threatening situation and express our appreciation for his effort that day.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

RESOLUTION NO. 4694

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the House that the birthplace of 4-H is in Heatherton, Antigonish County, and it's also the birthplace of the honourable Minister of Fisheries and the MLA for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour. Heatherton, Antigonish County, and we've come a long way.

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

Whereas 65 members from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States will attend the 77th National 4-H Member Conference in Toronto from November 5th to the 9th; and

Whereas Hillary Hudgins of Annapolis County, Laura MacDougall of Antigonish County, Carolyn Saunders of Cape Breton County, Matthew Bryson of Cumberland County,

[Page 4819]

Melody Sanford of Kings County, Jason van Kessel of Pictou County, and Michael Withrow of Hants County, are the Nova Scotia delegates attending the conference in Toronto; and

Whereas 4-H national conferences are a valuable networking opportunity for our delegates to promote the Nova Scotia 4-H program, to learn skills, and to learn more about 4-H in other parts of the country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Nova Scotia delegates and wish them well at the conference.

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.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, if I may, I would like to do an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. MORSE: Today we have some guests in the gallery. I'm very pleased that five daughters of DNR employees are accompanying their parents to work today. I believe that they are in the gallery. I would like to ask Jessica Moulton, Erin Hines, Vahide Morina, Catherine MacNeil, and Charlie Lynn Sampson to please stand up and accept the warm greetings of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4695

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

Whereas 60 years ago, the Provincial Fire Centre was built, strengthening the province's wild-land forest firefighting capabilities; and

[Page 4820]

Whereas today Department of Natural Resources forest firefighting retirees, active staff, and special guests will be present at the commemorative banquet to celebrate over a century of forest firefighting history; and

Whereas the contributions of generations of men and women who have protected our province's wildlife, forests, homes, and lives, are a legacy to celebrate;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the significance of the 60th Anniversary of the Provincial Fire Centre and celebrate the noble history of forest firefighting in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, there are department people here who have brought their children to work and rather than single them out I'd like to welcome them all and I hope that it's productive and that this will be an opportunity to encourage them to participate even more fully in the political process, so welcome to the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

RESOLUTION NO. 4696

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

Whereas the Strait-Highlands Green Action Plan is helping to solve issues related to carbon emissions in the Strait area; and

Whereas the Strait-Highlands RDA is currently embarking on a three-year initiative that will involve the building of an energy and emissions footprint, setting a reductions target and an implementation phase to meet those targets; and

[Page 4821]

Whereas their participation in Green Power Hour in July, in Port Hawkesbury, highlighted their plans toward a greener, healthier community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join the people of Nova Scotia in congratulating the communities in the Strait-Highlands Region for working collaboratively with the local regional development authority to take a lead role in sustainability.

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: Yes thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm wondering if I can have the agreement of the House just to revert to the order of business, Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker - yes, it's me again.

Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a report of the Nova Scotia Renal Program, the Strategic Plan 2008-2011.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

[Page 4822]

Bill No. 207 - Entitled an Act to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the First Powered Flight in the British Empire by the Silver Dart in Nova Scotia. (Mr. Keith Bain)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JAMES MUIR: With your permission, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to invite my colleague, the Minister of Environment, to do an introduction before I introduce the bill, please.

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

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, thank you very much,

minister. This is a large day for the environment. I'm excited because something that has been worked on for many years is coming to fruition. I want to thank the minister and his department. There are several people, who have been working for years, who are here to celebrate this occasion. They are in the gallery. I'll name them and then ask them to stand; from the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, Dale Smith, Bonnie Sutherland and Karen McKendry; from the Canadian Protected Areas Wilderness Society, otherwise known as CPAWS, Chris Miller; from the Ecology Action Centre, Raymond Plourde; and earlier we had Nature Conservancy guests as well, but I don't think they're in the gallery. If those people could rise and receive the warm welcome and appreciation of the House. (Applause)

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

Bill No. 208 - An Act to Establish a Tax Exemption for Conservation Property. (Hon. J. Muir)

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be read a second time on a future day.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4697

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 Melvin Jones Award is the most prestigious award in Lions International; and

[Page 4823]

Whereas Margot Fraser was presented the Melvin Jones Award at the annual Charter Night of the St. Margaret's Bay Lions on Saturday, September 20, 2008; and

Whereas Lion Margot continues to make a valuable contribution to our community as the president of the St. Margaret's Bay Lions Club;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Margot Fraser on her Melvin Jones Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[2:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 4698

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

Whereas yesterday in talking with the media, the Premier said that he has "much bigger fish to fry" than his government's inappropriate use of taxpayers' dollars; and

Whereas the following is one of the Tory values listed on their Web site: "Accountability - expecting governments at all levels to answer to the people for the decisions they have made"; and

Whereas how can a government be held accountable when they refuse to give an answer;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and his government follow the advice of his own Party and be accountable to the people of this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

[Page 4824]

RESOLUTION NO. 4699

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

Whereas early last summer, following 28 years of resourceful and diligent work, the Hants West Wildlife Association realized a dream known today as the Hants West Wildlife Interpretive Centre; and

Whereas Hants West Wildlife Association founding president Laurie Saulnier described the project as one that is important to today's environment and something that needs to be shared with today's youth; and

Whereas the centre is in a wooded area located along the Bog Road in Falmouth where endangered lady slipper blossoms as well as newly-laid turtle eggs can be found along the two-kilometre walking trail;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend all current and past executives of the Hants West Wildlife Association, including Mike O'Brien and Gary Marlborough, for their years of arduous work as well as for getting the necessary community support in place to establish this treasured interpretive centre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4700

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

Whereas Senator Barack Obama made history and broke a racial barrier which had existed throughout American history when he won the United States presidential election on November 4th; and

[Page 4825]

Whereas this victory is an inspiration to people here in Nova Scotia, where people of African descent have lived and worked for more than 400 years; and

Whereas the Obama victory renews hope in the principle that individual freedom and dignity can overcome the barriers of discrimination which divide and defeat the common good;

Therefore be it resolved that this House express its warmest congratulations to our good neighbour, the United States of America, on the historic occasion of the election of Senator Barack Obama and that the Speaker convey a copy of this resolution to the Consul General of the United States.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 4701

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 Nova Scotia Liberal Party has never been in favour of a carbon tax for this province; and

Whereas despite the Premier's misleading rhetoric to the contrary, our position on this issue has been firm since day one; and

Whereas instead of making false accusations, perhaps the Premier should clarify his position on the carbon tax that the Prime Minister has proposed in Section 7.2 of the Conservative environmental plan titled Turning the Corner;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier express his absolute opposition to a carbon tax for this province at the risk of straining his rehabilitated relationship with the Prime Minister.

[Page 4826]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-the Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4702

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

Whereas goaltender Jessica MacDermid of Baddeck played a leading role this past weekend as the University Cape Breton Capers captured their fifth Atlantic Women's Soccer Championship in the past six years; and

Whereas Jessica led her Capers team to a 2-0 championship win at the conference final Sunday and also had a shut-out in the Atlantic semi-final on Saturday, as Cape Breton blanked host Saint Mary's; and

Whereas the championship was the Capers fourth consecutive and they now advance to the Canadian Intercollegiate Women's Soccer Final in Langley B.C. in the coming days;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this house of Assembly extend our sincerest congratulations to Jessica MacDermid and her 2008 Cape Breton University Capers women's soccer team on winning the Atlantic title this past weekend and wish them every success in the 2008 Nationals in British Columbia.

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 4827]

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 4703

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

Whereas it is recognized in Nova Scotia that everyone should have a safe and decent place to live; and

Whereas Habitat for Humanity South Shore Chapter now includes a Queens County group, Queens Build, a community-based, non-profit organization which has mobilized volunteers and community partners to build an affordable house and promote home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty; and

Whereas Habitat for Humanity South Shore Chapter Queens Build has acquired the land, begun fundraising and the applications are available;

Therefore be it resolved that the house of Assembly congratulate and support the work of Queens Build on their many hours of volunteer work with the goal of building a Habitat for Humanity home for a family in Queens 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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4704

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

Whereas last week the price of gasoline fell below $1 per litre for the first time in well over a year; and

[Page 4828]

Whereas the member for Halifax Chebucto is on the Legislative record as saying that never again would Nova Scotians see gas prices dip below $1; and

Whereas perhaps his comments were an inside look at what Nova Scotians could expect from an NDP Government - higher taxes continuing with gas regulation and putting Nova Scotians at an overall disadvantage;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Halifax Chebucto advocate for reasonable gas prices in this province and join the Liberal call to scrap gas regulation.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 4705

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

Whereas 18-year old New Glasgow native Danielle Martin wanted to give back, so she recently embarked on a volunteer mission to Africa; and

Whereas Ms. Martin left for Kilimanjaro as a volunteer with outreach program, Cross Cultural Solutions, to help children living at an orphanage there; and

Whereas Ms. Martin spent her summer doing odd jobs, collecting bottles and bagging groceries to raise money for her trip and school supplies for the African children she is now working with and when she returns to New Glasgow at Christmastime, she looks forward to sharing her experiences with other youth who may be interested in the same inspirational work;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the dedication and good work of Danielle Martin on her decision to help needy children in Africa, another fine example of the Nova Scotian character.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 4829]

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4706

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

Whereas Wilbert Henderson of Toney River, Pictou County just loves to sing and has been doing it for most of his 89 years; and

Whereas Wilbert grew up in an era when people would gather around people's pianos and organs in parlours and get together in the churches and community centres and sing together; and

Whereas Wilbert sang for many years in the East River St. Mary's Men's Chorus and the Toney River Church, singing such favourites as Til the Storm Passes Over and Shall We Gather at the River;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Wilbert Henderson for his many years of dedicated service to his community and wish him many more years of enjoyment in singing.

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.

[Page 4830]

RESOLUTION NO. 4707

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

Whereas yesterday we saw yet another example of how there seems to be a bit of confusion on where the government stands on issues; and

Whereas the Minister of Economic Development stated that the position of the Premier and his government is one of opposition to the Coast Guard ships being removed from Dartmouth; and

Whereas on a supplementary question, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture broke rank with colleagues to say that the departure was a "good thing for Nova Scotia . . . a good thing for the people who work on the boats" and that he was "proud of what the federal Conservative Government did.";

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture explain to Nova Scotians on the record how shipping Nova Scotia jobs to Newfoundland and Labrador is a good thing and how it will benefit our economy.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4708

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

Whereas Jim Moore enjoys creating colourful quilts as a simple hobby; and

Whereas each quilt can take up to a week's worth of work, with a recent bright-yellow quilt being donated by Jim to assist Three Mile Plains Grade 1 student Kendra Wile, currently suffering from leukemia; and

[Page 4831]

Whereas the bright-yellow quilt then had tickets sold on it and $852 was raised, with a cheque given to Kendra's family by Three Mile Plains Elementary School Principal David Campbell, to assist with travel to and from the IWK in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs applaud the generosity and the warmth shown by Jim Moore of Falmouth in donating one of his special quilts to assist Kendra Wile of Three Mile Plains in her battle with leukemia.

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. 4709

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

Whereas Mr. Cecil O'Donnell of Clyde River, Shelburne County, was the former MLA for Shelburne and a newly elected councillor for the Municipality of Barrington; and

Whereas Mr. O'Donnell was involved in an accident at his home on Monday, November 3, 2008 and suffered serious injuries; and

Whereas the residents of Shelburne County and across Nova Scotia send Mr. O'Donnell get-well wishes;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly send Mr. O'Donnell best wishes for a speedy recovery from his injuries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 4832]

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. 4710

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

Whereas it is literally impossible to discuss every significant fire call answered by volunteer firefighters across Nova Scotia while the Legislature is in session; and

Whereas in saying this, however, I do want to commend the Middle River Fire Department, with assistance from Baddeck firefighters last June 22nd, when they responded to a serious mid-morning industrial fire at Finewood Flooring and Lumber Ltd. in Middle River; and

Whereas Finewood Flooring and Lumber Ltd. employs 16 people and ended up losing their chip boiler building, which manufactured the plant's heating system, while the adjacent and partly finished wood pellet plant sustained some damage;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly extend their sincerest appreciation to Middle River and Baddeck volunteer firefighters for their instant response, and keeping what turned into a bad structural fire from casting economic ruin upon the plant and allowing the plant's kilns and manufacturing plant to survive.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4711

[Page 4833]

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

Whereas Nova Forge Incorporated, located on the Trenton Works site, is a privately-owned company which operates the largest forge in Canada and thus manufactures very specialized large-scale steel products; and

Whereas Nova Forge is in the midst of an upgrade to install the world's largest oil-fired regenerative furnace at a cost of over $3 million; and

Whereas the workforce has steadily grown to 40 and includes former Trenton Works employees;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate Nova Forge management, administrative staff and members of Local 3172 of the United Steelworkers of America for their commitment to manufacturing specialized steel products in Pictou County, on the actual site of the birthplace of steel in Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[2:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park on an introduction.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the members to the west gallery where we're joined today by two very good friends of mine from Rockingham, which is in the Halifax Clayton Park riding. We're joined today by Kevin Power who is a Grade 9 student at Fairview Junior High and his mother, Eleanor Power. Kevin is here today job shadowing as part of the Grade 9 program. So I wonder if they would rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4712

[Page 4834]

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia's economy; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater and Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the Apple Berry Farm Market on being the recipient of the Small Business Award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, with your permission, I would like to make an introduction as well.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. KENT: I would like to draw attention to the west gallery to two young men from the good riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and students from the Eastern Passage Education Centre. I would ask them to stand, and introduce them as Robert Brown and my son, Matthew Kent, who are both job shadowing today, and I would ask the House to give a warm welcome to Matthew and Robert. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4713

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

[Page 4835]

Whereas Nova Scotians realize there is an individual responsibility to do a small part in protecting our environment through concrete actions; and

Whereas Connor Bennett, a Grade 7 student at Eastern Passage Education Centre, recognized the need for action at a community level by applying for funding to organize a local event to address his concerns; and

Whereas Connor Bennett organized, promoted and presented a community garbage cleanup at Fisherman's Cove, Eastern Passage, to demonstrate his commitment to protect the environment and the need to preserve the beauty of his community;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Connor Bennett for showing leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through the organization and presentation of a local community garbage cleanup at Fisherman's Cove, Eastern Passage.

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 do my resolution, I would like your permission to do an introduction of three special guests we have in the gallery.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. BAKER: Thank you very much. It's my honour to introduce three guests who are with us today in the gallery; two of them at least have been here before. They are students - in the case of one of them, from Bridgewater Junior/Senior High School and the other two are students at Lunenburg Junior/Senior High School. They are: Brennan Bailey, who is from Lunenburg; Daniel Baker, who is from Lunenburg and Stephen Baker who is from outside of Lunenburg. (Applause) Thank you.

Daniel, of course, is my son and has the, I would say, fortune - whether it is good or not, let others speak for themselves - to be my son. Stephen, of course, is my nephew and Brennan has the rare privilege of being here today. His mother, Rachel, was just elected as

[Page 4836]

a town councillor for Lunenburg and so he has a new-found interest in the democratic process; she was just sworn in several days ago. So I'd again like to say how nice it is to have them with us for the Bring Your Child to Work Day.

RESOLUTION NO. 4714

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

Whereas everyday people can do extraordinary things when they are faced with dangerous, life-threatening situations; and

Whereas Ira Moody Barkhouse and Arnold Whynott of Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia are two such people who risked their own safety to help someone in need when they witnessed a plane crash and saved a passenger's life by fighting the fire that had ignited in the wreckage; and

Whereas Ira Moody Barkhouse and Arnold Whynott have been recognized for their selfless act and have been awarded the Provincial Medal of Bravery;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Ira Moody Barkhouse and Arnold Whynott on receiving the Medal of Bravery from the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 4715

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

Whereas endangered species are of importance to all people interested in nature in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

[Page 4837]

Whereas many people did not have a tool available to them to identify species at risk in the province or have any information about those species until Harold and Diane Clapp suggested the creation of a guide; and

Whereas a field guide, Species at Risk in Nova Scotia - Identification and Information Guide, was produced and is now available throughout the province;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute, along with Stephen Flemming, Megan Crowley and Brennan Caverhill of Parks Canada, for all of their work producing the Species at Risk in Nova Scotia - Identification and Information Guide for public distribution.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development

RESOLUTION NO. 4716

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

Whereas the first game of golf for which records actually exist was played at Bruntsfield Links, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in A.D. 1456 and recorded in the archives of the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society, now the Royal Burgess Golfing Society; and

Whereas 552 years later, we can see the game is exceptionally strong by just taking a look at the Dr. J.H. Gillis Senior Boys Golf Team who finished second in a 10-team field at the Nova Scotia High School Provincial Senior Boys Golf Tournament in Truro, on September 29th; and

Whereas the Dr. J.H. Gillis team shot an overall 320 on the day with individual scores being shot by Joe MacIsaac with an 80, Dan Ryan an 85, Marcus Van Oirschot a 77 and Dylan Coady with a 78;

[Page 4838]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the significant efforts of the Dr. J.H. Gillis Senior Boys Golf Team for 2008 and wish them every future success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 4717

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 Department of Fisheries in Ottawa has made decisions that hurt our coastal communities, such as Irish moss harvesters who would love to have access to a resource that washes ashore just outside their present district each year; and

Whereas the Federal Department of Fisheries gave instructions last month of licenses stacking/combining, without any consultation; and

Whereas many decisions surrounding quotas such as crews paying for quotas in order to go fishing and the potential of having cusk and cat fish placed on a Species at Risk list;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support holding a Public Inquiry into the Atlantic Fisheries.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 4839]

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 4718

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

Whereas on November 10th, the honourable Robert Muir of Coxheath and originally of Sydney Mines will celebrate his 89th birthday; and

Whereas Bob Muir served as a member of the Harbourview Hospital for 12 years as a board member and chairman; town councillor for Sydney Mines for a decade; member of Parliament for Cape Breton North-Victoria and the Sydneys-Victoria, winning eight elections and serving 22 years in the House of Commons and then in the Senate of Canada for 15 years with over 50 years in the public service, a record in Cape Breton for public office; and

Whereas he is still a valued member of the Cape Breton North and the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Association;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Bob Muir on his 89th birthday.

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 Sackville-Cobequid on an introduction.

MR. DAVID WILSON(Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the members' attention to the west gallery where we have some special guests with us today. We have Meg McCullen who is the Director of Programs and District Services for the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Cancer Society. Shadowing her today is her daughter Cara and Cara's classmate Mya MacDonald. Not only are they shadowing Meg today, but they've also had some input on educational material for the Cancer Society in regards to the dangers of artificial tanning. I'd like the members to welcome them here today.

[Page 4840]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4719

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

Whereas Joyce MacDonald, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Colchester East Hants Branch in Truro, was one of three recipients to receive a CMHA Staff Award, presented at the Association's national conference in Dartmouth, and the only recipient from Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this award is presented to any individual CMHA employee or team that has shown significant leadership within the Association at the local, regional, provincial, territorial or national level; and

Whereas this is the second award Joyce MacDonald has received for her work in the mental health field, receiving the Provincial Department of Health Consumer Award in 2006, for meaningful involvement in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Joyce MacDonald on receiving the Canadian Mental Health Association Staff Award and recognize and thank her for her tireless work to help Nova Scotians who struggle with mental illness move forward and lead successful lives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, before my resolution the guests I mentioned last time for the department weren't all here. I was trying to get their names but I ran out of time. Perhaps I can ask them to stand as a group in the gallery opposite. They are here to observe the workings of the House and to see the jobs their parents do in the Department of Environment and Labour. If they could stand, we could welcome them. (Applause)

[Page 4841]

RESOLUTION NO. 4720

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

Whereas the first game of golf, as has already been stated, was played in Edinburgh, Scotland and according to the archives was played at the Royal Burgess Golfing Society; and

Whereas 552 years later, the game is still strong as evidenced by the Northeast Kings Senior Golf Team who recently competed in the 10 team field of the Nova Scotia High School Provincial Senior Boys' Championship in Truro on September 29th; and

Whereas the Kings North team shot an overall 356 on that day with individual scores being shot by Xavier Foley with a 79, James Floyd a 90, Greg Bigelow a 93 and Logan Van Blarcom a 94;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the superlative athletic efforts of the Northeast Kings Education Centre Senior Boys' Golf Team for 2008 and wish them every future success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time is 3:01 p.m. and we will go to 4:31 p.m. The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

PREM.: POWER RATE INCREASES - TAX ADDITION

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, today Nova Scotians received the bad news that their power rates will increase by 9.3 per cent. This will be the sixth time in seven years that families are hit with higher power bills. The cost of basic home electricity is going up

[Page 4842]

more this year than it has in a generation. Incredibly, it is not just the power company that increased the rates, so my question to the Premier is, why did the Premier think that a period of fast-raising rates was a good time for him to add 8 per cent cost of basic home electricity?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I know you'll be shocked that I don't agree with the premise of the member's question, but, because of the government's decision to invest an additional $92 million into Heat Smart this year, we will see more low income Nova Scotians get additional help, not only in the short term, but in the long term.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I guess I get it now - the Premier is Mr. Tax, the minister is Mr. Spend. (Applause) The only government east of the Rockies to impose a carbon tax this year is sitting right across from me. Seniors, laid-off forestry workers, people living on modest incomes in small towns and villages know it is hard enough to make ends meet when the cost of energy is so much higher. They expect the government to be on their side and not in their pocket. My question to the Premier is, now that one of the largest rate increases in recent history has final approval, why won't the Premier axe the tax and keep his promise to take HST off of home electricity?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government made a decision through the budget process, a decision which was voted upon in this House, which passed through the budget process, a decision which will ensure those who most need that help, receive that help. Whether it was doubling the amount we invested into the Salvation Army, whether it was providing 0 per cent interest loans to every Nova Scotian, whether it was to provide additional rebates for everything from furnaces to additional work done to their homes, Nova Scotians are getting a benefit, and will get a benefit, when the programs are put forward by the government.

Now, if I took the advice of the Leader of the Opposition, last Thursday, I think in Question Period, he spent about $30 million. Today he wants to spend millions more, but the NDP never say where they would actually get the money. How would they get it Mr. Speaker? They would tax Nova Scotians on personal income tax. They already supported it in the last number of months on the corporate side. Tax, tax, tax, that's what the NDP stand for.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the members on this side voted against tax increases, the members on that side voted in favour of tax increases.(Applause) The Premier is Canada's East Coast carbon tax master, that's what he is. He knows that people want him to axe the tax, not avoid the issue. When this government finally improved the Home Heating Assistance Plan, assistance for those who heat with electricity was not increased. There is no longer any reason to deny the fact that thousands of households now face a much higher home heating cost. My question is this, why won't the Premier increase the maximum heating assistance for those on modest income who just got hit with a rate hike of nearly 10 per cent?

[Page 4843]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the Leader of the Opposition is saying today is that the Province of Nova Scotia should go in a deficit position; that is his position. I can assure you we will not take this province into a deficit position like the NDP wants us to do. We will be fiscally responsible and will do so in a balanced approach which takes this province forward. The raw deal that the NDP wants to give with respect to no development in our capital city, with respect to an increase in corporate taxes as they helped to campaign for in the last federal election, would hurt this province's economy and would not see the growth that the people of this province deserve.

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

ENERGY - STABLE SOURCES: PREM. - INACTIVITY

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this government has not positioned our province to weather the global financial storm. They have failed to move us away from our reliance on coal and oil, toward cleaner sustainable and stable energy sources. Four consecutive power rate hikes demonstrate the government's inaction can no longer be an option and Nova Scotia Power will be back again this Spring. My question for the Premier is, how much longer will Nova Scotians have to pay for your inaction?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, because of the work of the Department of Energy, our Minister of Energy and our Minister of Environment and others, we are seeing investment in Nova Scotia in the area of wind energy, we are seeing the investment in a number of areas, including that of tidal power, which is one of the most exciting projects not only in Nova Scotia but indeed globally, we are a world leader in that regard. We have also seen the MOU signed between our power utility and that of Newfoundland and Labrador. Our minister travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador, I have spoken to Premier Williams about the importance of us tapping into this many months ago. I'm glad to see that the Leader of the Liberal Party now supports the government in the initiatives we have been taking. I would only hope that the Opposition, the NDP, could see the value in that as well.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, world energy prices have plummeted since the public hearings into Nova Scotia Power's rate request. This almost 10 per cent increase will mean millions of dollars of extra costs to an economy that has already experienced the slowest growth of any economy in the country. My question to the Premier is, will you commit today to try to overturn that power rate increase?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if my colleague is suggesting that we should be setting power rates on the floor of the House, I disagree. I believe that the Utility and Review Board is the independent agency which should take a look at the issues. We are on record as

[Page 4844]

opposing an increase, we stand by that, but I'm sure my colleague is not suggesting that we set the rates in a political process here on the floor of the Legislature.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I would take that as a no. Four hundred households and 50,000 businesses across this province are hurting because of tough economic times. This large increase in our energy bills is going to make a bad situation even worse at a time when Nova Scotia Power is posting record profits. My question to the Premier is, why are you choosing to stand beside Nova Scotia Power and not Nova Scotians?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, one of the reasons the government moved forward with the Heat Smart Program and is investing another $92 million into our citizens is to ensure both short-term initiatives and help on the rebate program, up to $450, in addition to the energy-efficiency initiatives is to help Nova Scotians in what is a challenging time.

If I listen to the Liberal Party of this country and here in Nova Scotia, we would have a carbon tax in this province which would see $186 million leaving Nova Scotia and going to Ottawa each and every year. That is not the way to deal with such an issue.

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

PREM. - POWER RATES: INCREASES - EFFECTS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the reality is we do have a carbon tax - one introduced by that Premier and approved by that government. Nova Scotia Power kindly provided my office with a report of residential disconnects going back to 2003. In the last five years there have been more than 12,000 residential power disconnects. This is almost always because they can't afford to pay their bill. This problem is especially acute for low-income Nova Scotians. My question to the Premier is, how well has he analyzed the impact of higher power rates and his 8 per cent tax increase on Nova Scotia families that are struggling to pay their power bills?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to all members of the House, I'm quite proud of the track record of Conserve Nova Scotia and what we've done for Nova Scotians. We've reached out and helped over 300,000 Nova Scotians. We have 50-plus programs in this province to make people be more energy efficient in their homes, and before the end of this year we will have helped over 700 low-income homeowners, with the help of Community Services, to make their homes be more energy efficient. I think that's good planning and that's good leadership from a government.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, last month 355 homes had their power disconnected. That's the highest number of disconnects of any October in the disconnect summary that I received. More and more Nova Scotians appear to be having trouble paying their power bills, and this situation got worse after the latest Tory tax hike. Now, the Premier won't axe the tax and the Premier won't increase the assistance to those with electric heat. So my question

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is, what more evidence of hardship caused by higher power rates and his higher taxes does the Premier need before he will act to help Nova Scotians make ends meet?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, the no development Party - I can assure him that we are working for Nova Scotians. We are putting programs out there that are helping Nova Scotians - not Nova Scotians in one region, Nova Scotians across the province. We've reached out across the whole province and helped numerous Nova Scotians make their homes more energy efficient. I think that's what everybody in this Legislature should be working on.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotia Power and the Affordable Energy Coalition had worked together on a plan that reduced the number of disconnects so that poor people were not left in the cold and in the dark. Yet since the Premier hiked the tax, the disconnects are on the rise. Almost 700 families were cut off in the last two months and relief from high rates is not in sight. The Premier can't pretend that in this issue he doesn't know what's going on right underneath his nose. My question is, let the Premier tell Nova Scotians right now, in light of the latest 9.3 per cent increase, what will he do to reduce higher power costs that his own government has imposed on Nova Scotia families?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, this government, under the leadership of Premier Rodney MacDonald, has made good allies and partnerships, i.e. with the Salvation Army, for example. We're doing things to help Nova Scotians in this province and I can guarantee all members of this House that we will continue to do that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition on a new question.

PREM.: RATE INCREASES - TAX REVERSE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, here are a couple of facts for the Premier. Back in 2002 residential power cost Nova Scotia $8.35 cents per kilowatt hour. With today's increase, we've seen rates leap by an accumulative of 40 per cent. That incredible 40 per cent increase occurred on this government's watch. What did this Premier do? He made it worse. His budget unwisely threw an 8 per cent tax increase on top of people's power bills. So my question to the Premier is, given today's announcement, doesn't he think it's time to reverse the $28 million tax grab?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, one has to wonder where the NDP are going with this issue. We knew that they wanted to nationalize our insurance here in Nova Scotia. I would hazard a guess that the Leader of the NDP is going down that road, wanting to nationalize Nova Scotia Power. Perhaps he can clarify to all of my colleagues here, is that, in fact, where he wants the province to go?

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Premier demonstrates his failed grasp of the reality of the positions of the other Parties in this House - he does it continuously.

[Page 4846]

My question though, Mr. Speaker - raising power rates on power bills cannot be justified, no matter how hard the Premier tries. Yesterday the Premier demonstrated he was out of touch with what was going on inside his own government. It should be no surprise today that he is out of touch with what is going on inside the homes of average Nova Scotians. So my question is, why is he so determined to make power so wildly expensive for Nova Scotia families?

[3:15 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, obviously my colleague is afraid to address that issue, which says to me that in fact is the plan of the NDP, which says to me once again, whether it is going against downtown development here, whether it is increasing corporate taxes in Nova Scotia, whether it is voting against the budget that provided up to $450 for low-income Nova Scotians, additional assistance for programs (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order please. The honourable Premier has the floor.

THE PREMIER: That's what they stand for, Mr. Speaker.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, what we voted against was an incompetent and out-of-touch government - that's what we voted against.(Applause)

Mr. Speaker, if a resident uses 100-kilowatt hours a day, their bill went from $500 per billing period in 2002 to $700 in January and, thanks to the Premier, those same Nova Scotians will pay tax on everything up to 27-kilowatt hours per day.

Mr. Speaker, it was bad enough when the government stood by and let power rates go through the roof. My question is, why is this government continuing to persist with its ill-conceived plan to raise $28 million in taxes on the backs of electricity consumers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I go back to what I was saying earlier - there is a clear difference between the government and the Opposition on this issue. The Opposition want to nationalize power in Nova Scotia, which would lead to higher rates.

Mr. Speaker, the government stands by the process that is in place and unlike the NDP who want to nationalize insurance rates, which would see people's rates go up; unlike the NDP who are against downtown development; unlike the NDP who don't want to see this province move forward, they would rather park the ideas of Nova Scotians, we're moving forward on those ideas and we're going to make sure that this province succeeds - even with these challenges.

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

PREM.: ATV PURCHASE PROG. - AWARENESS

[Page 4847]

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today the Deputy Minister of Health Promotion and Protection appeared before the Public Accounts Committee. The deputy minister stated that he had never been involved in a situation like this before, where a Cabinet Minister had a file ripped from his hands and transferred to another department. The Premier says he didn't know anything about it; the evidence to date says he did. So either the Premier has misled Nova Scotians, or Cabinet has misled the Premier - which is it?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure my honourable colleague is not suggesting that I misled the House.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I gave him two options - he could have picked one or the other.

Today, during the Public Accounts Committee, we learned that both Opposition Parties were denied access to information, but the same information was available to Public Accounts binders for today - clearly there was a directive from somebody to withhold pertinent information from the Opposition Parties. So my question to the Premier is, if you didn't issue that directive to withhold information, then who did?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, again the Leader of the Liberal Party is getting into an area of freedom of information and, again, that does not involve me or other members because, in fact, those decisions are made at arm's length of that, as it should be.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier claims he didn't know anything about the program, but clearly he knew enough to throw his own Cabinet Minister to the wolves. He chastised his minister and then tried to save face by saying he knew nothing about the program.

Mr. Speaker, the axe may have fallen on some sacrificial lamb in Cabinet but the buck stops at the Premier. So my question to the Premier is, if you felt your minister couldn't be trusted with this file, why didn't you show leadership and fire him?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there is a world economic crisis that has been talked about globally and many areas facing challenges. We have meetings with the national government with respect to the economy of this country and the economy of this province. We are dealing with issues of an over $8 billion budget and what is the Leader of the Liberal Party talking about? An issue that has been dealt with already.

Mr. Speaker, the facts speak for themselves. It doesn't surprise me that the Liberal Party want to talk about past issues. It's funny they don't want to talk about the issue that has been driving Nova Scotians forward in the last number of months, that being the carbon tax.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

[Page 4848]

NAT. RES.: ATV BUYBACK PROG. - STATUS

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. This morning the Public Accounts Committee examined the youth ATV purchase program which was announced by the government in mid-June and then denounced by the Premier a short time later. When the government reversed the program they claimed that they had recouped all of the money, which was $230,000. That is the word used in the July 10th news release - recouped. The problem is at that point the government had recouped nothing and we learn today that at this point as we stand here today, the government has recouped only one-third of the money; namely $80,000. The rest of the money will not be repaid to government before 2010. My question to the Premier is, when will the Premier admit that the taxpayers of Nova Scotia are still on the hook for $150,000 for those youth ATVs?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite. It's very important to recognize the good people in ATVANS - the great job they do out there. These are the people that are coming together to bring a sense of calm to the whole question between OHV users and those who choose not to use them. Of course it's the thousands of people that belong to ATVANS that made that written commitment that the money would be repaid to the taxpayers of Nova Scotia. They stand by their position and I have every confidence they will deliver.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, again to the Premier, we learned this morning for the first time that the mysterious donors who stepped forward with the money were in fact the seven companies that manufacture youth ATVs, even though only four of them provided youth ATVs to the government. These seven companies agreed to split the cost evenly - the problem is that the promise to repay the money to the government came from the ATV Association of Nova Scotia, which is not actually putting up any of the money. From the manufacturers the government has nothing in writing - not a word, no contract, no security, no collateral. My question to the Premier is, why did this government agree to a deal with no guarantees, no security, no collateral and in fact nothing in writing from the people who were putting up the money?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I certainly again would like to talk about the good people that were involved in this package. Of course first of all, it flowed through the OHV Ministerial Advisory Committee led by chair Laurie Cranton. A wonderful group of people, they've got everybody from OHV organizations through to environmental groups. All the stakeholders are there, they believe in what's happening in Nova Scotia and as the lead organization, ATVANS did make that commitment. The member is right, the money has been committed from the seven manufacturers and of course that's where it should come from. It should not come from the taxpayers, it should come from those that benefit from the program and clearly the manufacturers stand to benefit.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, the Ministerial Advisory Committee about which the minister speaks gave the government a tongue lashing in writing about the way they were ignored on this issue and that tongue lashing was cut out of the Freedom of Information

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response that that minister's department gave to us on the grounds that it wasn't relevant. I do not remember a previous occasion during my time in this House when the government has entered into such an unusual and dangerous deal, where an industry is given a strong bargaining chip in any future dealings with the government. If the government displeases the ATV industry in any way, they can just walk away and decline to make any future payments because, after all, there is nothing in writing from the industry. So my question to the Premier is, why did the Premier authorize a deal that leaves the government at the mercy of the industry for the taxpayers to get their money back?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, it's very important that the member bring up this question because Nova Scotians have to understand that we were very careful to make sure this was all done at arm's length. It was facilitated through Laurie Cranton's leadership and the Ministerial Advisory Committee, and clearly, if for any reason the manufacturers fail to deliver, it goes back to the Ministerial Advisory Committee to find other solutions. I believe that those seven corporate citizens will deliver on their promise to ATVANS. I have every confidence in them, but should that not be the case, I would still expect ATVANS and the Ministerial Advisory Committee to find some other means of recouping taxpayers' $230,000.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview on a new question.

EDUC.: ATV DVD - SCH. DISTRIBUTION

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. This morning, the Public Accounts Committee examined the youth ATV purchase program which was announced by the government in mid-June and then denounced by the Premier a short time later. One of the interesting but disturbing items that came to light this morning, brought to the committee by the member for Glace Bay, was a DVD whose clear objective is to get kids interested in using ATVs. The video on the DVD features a cuddly cartoon character who talks about the benefits of riding ATVs. The truly shocking thing is that this DVD was distributed to kids in at least one class, in at least one school, in that member's constituency, as part of their Grade 3 grading package. It may have been distributed more widely, we just don't know. My question to the Minister of Education is, what steps will the minister take to ascertain how widely this DVD was distributed and how it came to be distributed within our school system?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, as most people on this side of the House truly understand and respect, we do live in a rural province, we do live in rural Nova Scotia and ATVs are very much a part of the lifestyle in rural Nova Scotia. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, that's appalling. The Minister of Education says it is okay to distribute an industry-sponsored DVD to kids in our school system. Among the material that we have received through Freedom of Information is an e-mail exchange from November, 2006, in which the off-highway vehicle consultant in government says, "We

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definitely need to reach out to youth on a grander scale and the schools are a great place to do it." She also adds, "I think it would be important to be consistent with schools across the province." The DVD produced to us today by the member for Glace Bay would certainly fit within an overall strategy of reaching out to youth in schools on a grand scale. My question to the Minister of Education is, can the minister inform this House whether introducing commercially sponsored DVDs within the school system is part of departmental policy?

[3:30 p.m.]

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to you and to all members of the House, we have proven that one of the best ways to educate our people in Nova Scotia is to work with our children in our schools. If that is safety with respect to ATVs and any other safety issue, then we will do it through our schools.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, the DVD is clearly sponsored by all of the ATV manufacturers whose logos are printed on the back of the package. The ATV industry is not the only one that would love to advertise in our schools, whether by sponsoring a dance or providing giveaways, in order to introduce our children to their products in a supposedly neutral and educational setting.

My question to the Minister of Education is, will the minister state unequivocally that this DVD featuring a cuddly cartoon character sponsored by the ATV industry to promote the purchase of their products will never again be distributed through our schools?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, the decision as to what information is distributed through schools is a local board decision. Boards do ask their administration at their schools to review anything that is to be distributed. That is where that decision would have been made.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

EDUC.: ATV DVD - SCH. DISTRIBUTION

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, during the Public Accounts Committee today - the member for Halifax Fairview is correct - I brought attention to the fact that this government was again asleep at the switch and while asleep allowed some questionable DVDs to be distributed to Grade 3s. Some 8- and 9-year-olds were provided with a free gift from the Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council - that council is sponsored by the manufacturers of ATVs - a DVD where Rascal Racoon states quite proudly that he doesn't have to wear protective gear like long pants or gloves or goggles or even shoes while he rides an ATV because he has fur and he's a superstar. Mr. Speaker, my question to the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection is, what 8- or 9-year-old doesn't see themselves as a superstar?

[Page 4851]

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I will repeat for the member opposite and all others that the decision as to what material is distributed is not a decision that is made by the minister it is made by the administration at the school.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I knew they were asleep at the switch but I thought they'd get the minister right anyway. I asked that question to the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection.

Mr. Speaker, the DVD gets better. One of the segments talks about the fact that you should never drive in pairs; however it shows three people including a small child who is riding on the front of an ATV. So the message of two people riding on an ATV is wrong, this DVD shows three people including a child riding hands free on the front rack of an ATV and that's okay. Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, how could you allow that type of personal DVD to be distributed without consulting the medical community first?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, we work very closely with the medical community as we develop departmental social marketing strategies around health and safety. We're the first province to have an injury prevention strategy. The products that we supply to schools and to all Nova Scotians have a healthy and safe message. They're market tested and I'm proud of the strategy that we've had in place in this province. The DVD the member is talking about is not a DVD from the Department of Health Promotion and Protection.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, you know encouraging young children in this province that it's safe to ride without protective gear and hands free on the front of an ATV is just wrong and that government knows it. My final question is to the Minister of Education. Madam Minister, who is responsible for educating our children - Kawasaki, Yamaha, Honda, or you and your government?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I think it's important to note that we, as a government, and me, as the Minister of Education, can be very proud of the education we provide for our students (Applause) and also pleased to know there are some decisions that we make within our Department of Education, i.e., capital construction and new schools, that are supported by the opposition.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid. Order, please.

HEALTH - CANCER PATIENTS: SUPPLIES - ACCESSIBILITY

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, we believe the Premier and his government are ignoring the economic crisis facing Nova Scotia families dealing with cancer. Many people with cancer are unable to work and are dependent on government programs like the Boarding, Transportation and Ostomy program - the BTO program - to meet their needs. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health this afternoon, what are you doing to

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ensure that all Nova Scotians suffering from cancer have access to the supplies they desperately need?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, over the last number of years, we've been investing heavily in the cancer treatment programs here in our capital city, in Sydney and in other places around this province. to ensure that Nova Scotians can receive the services they need, close to home, and receive the services and equipment that they need to help them out. We're very happy to be providing that for Nova Scotians.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): The Boarding, Transportation and Ostomy program provides a vital service to Nova Scotians; among other things it offers accommodation, transportation for those who have to travel to access care, and prosthesis for those who need it. Too bad the income cut-off is only $15,720 per year, which eliminates the majority of Nova Scotians who need help. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, why, year after year, is your government refusing to increase the income cut-off for the BTO program here in our province?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, quite honestly, maybe the member opposite is missing what we're trying to do. We're trying to offer services closer to home, more comprehensive services. It is why we have oncology in Kentville today, why we have a very, very good program in Sydney. We have one in Antigonish. We're here for Nova Scotians to make sure they have the services closer to home so they don't need the BTO program to begin with.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I wouldn't be standing here today asking these questions if all Nova Scotians have access to the care they need closer to their home. I wouldn't be wasting the members' time here in this Legislature. The minister should know that, nobody recognizes the realities of a budget more than an individual fighting cancer who's on a fixed income. There are people in the gallery today from the Cancer Society and they are saying it's not affordable. Maybe they're wrong too, maybe the minister wants to say that in his answer. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, when are you going to recognize the economic realty of living with cancer and providing Nova Scotians with the services they need?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Again, Mr. Speaker, we are here to make sure that we bring down those wait times, that we bring down those barriers for transportation by bringing the services closer to the individuals who need to receive them. We have one of the best cancer programs in all of Canada and we will continue to support it, and add dollars to it, and equipment to it. We're very proud to be the first province in Canada to sign on to a wait time guarantee in radiation oncology and we will continue to do those kinds of things that will ensure all Nova Scotians can receive the services they require, not only here in the capital city, but all around Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

[Page 4853]

NAT. RES. - ATV BUYBACK PROG: ATVANS CONTRACT - DETAILS

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. Government has received a payment of $80,000 thus far for the total amount of the child-size ATV program, incidentally going from ATVANS, to the Minister of Finance, by way of the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Association. We are told that there is an agreement to receive $75,000 a year for the next two years.

This all sounds a bit flimsy, to be honest, Mr. Speaker, "plans" just aren't good enough. What the people of Nova Scotia demand is a signed agreement between government and ATVANS as to when they will be repaid for the careless and reckless spending by this government. My question to the Premier - do you have a signed contract with the ATV association to ensure that taxpayers' dollars are repaid to the province by 2010?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker, and to the member, yes.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I would like the minister to table that before the House - we were given a different story in Public Accounts Committee. There is still $150,000 of taxpayers' money not returned to the public purse because of government's careless spending. For government to not have a concrete agreement to have this money returned is not only irresponsible, but foolish and negligent. My question to the Premier, why did you not secure an agreement to have this funding returned, fully and immediately, or at least a signed contract?

MR. MORSE: I believe a commitment from an organization like ATVANS, which basically represents those who are trying to advance the way that people use these machines across the province - I mean this is the future of responsible ATV-ing in this province and the thousands of members who stand behind them is a good enough commitment for me. We will endeavour to get the letter before the end of this Question Period, but I certainly have the greatest respect for the people in ATVANS and, indeed, the whole OHV Ministerial Advisory Committee and I stand by them completely.

MR. GLAVINE: Based on revelations at Public Accounts Committee this morning, a very clear indication that the minister and the deputy are not reading the same information. Mr. Speaker, words fail me almost as much as this government has failed Nova Scotians for almost three years. Plain and simple, it is ludicrous for government not to know where this money is coming from. Unfortunately, it is typical of what Nova Scotians have come to expect from this government - poor management and lack of leadership. My question to the Premier is, how can you assure this House today that we will receive the full amount for this reckless program?

MR. MORSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for pointing out the Premier's good leadership on this file. He directed that my department, under me as minister, recoup the $230,000. We had a good working relationship with the all-stakeholder committee and they undertook the task. We had some discussions, it was handled at arm's length so that there would be no difficulties later on. The job has been done and we got a

[Page 4854]

commitment for the $230,000; $80,000 is already in the bank. I congratulate the Premier on the direction that was given.

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

HEALTH: BTO PROG. - INCREASES

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker, again I'd like to ask the Minister of Health a question about a specific program. The income cutoff for the Boarding, Transportation and Ostomy program is $15,720 annually. This does not increase annually with the inflation, or even with changes to the minium wage, in fact, we're unable to find record of when it was last changed or increased. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, when was the last time you increased or he increased, Mr. Speaker, through you, the income cutoff limit for the BTO program for cancer patients in Nova Scotia?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The Department of Health has a number of programs that try to respond to specific issues of different patient groups. As far as I understand, the BTO program has not been changed in a number of years. We continue to work with the Cancer Society trying to find better ways in which to offer the service. We believe that the BTO program is not sufficient and it is more than just dollars, it needs to be a completely new program. Mr. Speaker, maybe we need to roll it into the Pharmacare program which, by the way, the Pharmacare program was never brought forward by that Party or was not supported by that NDP Party.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, the Family Pharmacare Program helps some Nova Scotians with drug coverage - I don't think the minister can hear that, drug coverage - but it doesn't help Nova Scotians with the economic burden of cancer as it relates to travel, special diets and other medically necessary needs that are not drug related. That's what we're talking about, not drug related, not Pharmacare, we're not talking about that. So I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, when are you going to lighten the economic burden of cancer for Nova Scotians?

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I really don't know who was asking that question, whether it was the member for Halifax Needham or for Sackville-Cobequid but I'm going to answer both of them at the same time here. Maybe it's time to get out of our boxes and look at the little programs like the BTO program and try to roll them into a larger program that makes better use of Nova Scotians' dollars and gets to help more Nova Scotians like the Pharmacare Program that they voted against.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I was going to ask the minister when he will increase the cut-off limits for this program but from what we've heard from the minister today it sounds like they're going to even cancel the program. So he's going to have to explain to the people of Nova Scotia who are fighting cancer, who can't

[Page 4855]

make ends meet, who are on fixed incomes, how they're going to get the delivery and the service they need. So I'd like to ask the minister, when is he going to announce to Nova Scotians, especially on low income, when the government is going to be there to help them on travel accommodations and diet when they're suffering this terrible disease of cancer? I'd like the minister to tell Nova Scotians.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, if the NDP had their choice, we wouldn't have a government anyway. We would be in a deficit - we would have paid for all kinds of things and have no way to pay for it. We are here with a Pharmacare Program, we are here with some of the best cancer services of any province in Canada, and that is what we'll continue to invest in. We'll invest for all Nova Scotians.

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

HEALTH: AUTISM PROG. - STATUS

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, yesterday our Health Critic asked the Minister of Health what he plans to do for the more than 1,700 children with autism spectrum disorder in Nova Scotia who cannot access services. The minister's response was to table a report. My question to the Minister of Health, now that the Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention program has been evaluated, what is your department going to do to provide services to all children with autism in Nova Scotia?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as I responded during my questioning yesterday, we would take that report and we would look at the recommendations that are held there within it and we would look at ways to expand this program into the future. Of course with the dollar amounts that are involved here, it is something that's going to have to be considered during our next budget process.

MS. MORE: Well, the families of children with autism are facing enormous pressures and burdens every single day. Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Health also said that it is very difficult to find individuals who can provide the service. Well, New Brunswick has no problem finding resources for their program which is available to all children with autism in that province. My question to the Minister of Health is, when will you look at the New Brunswick program and commit to a similar level of service in Nova Scotia?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can say that the EIBI program that is here in Nova Scotia is the best autism program in all of Canada, so what is the member opposite asking? That we accept a sub-par program, one that will not respond to the needs of our children and one that we're not too sure about? Does the member opposite want us to have a program that responds or not?

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, we've been in touch with Dr. Paul MacDonald; he's one of the doctors who created the New Brunswick program and is professor emeritus at UNB. In New Brunswick, services for children with autism are available to all children and there

[Page 4856]

are no wait-lists. There are seven agencies across the province that ensure geography is not an obstacle to accessing care. My question to the Minister of Health is, why is the Nova Scotia Government only able to help 27 autistic children while New Brunswick provides services to all children who need them?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, the last I checked we lived in Nova Scotia. The last time we checked, we had a program that was the program we felt, and that other Canadians felt, was a program to be proud of, one that responded to over 117 children in the last three years, one that is making sure we're helping children in their natural environment, one that responds to children from one end of the province to the other.

Mr. Speaker, there is a dollar amount though that is involved here, one that I wish I could just make $3 million appear out of nowhere, which is what the NDP tends to want to do - again, wave the magic wand and have money appear. We will look at it again. We will look at it during the budget process as any responsible government would do.

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

ECON. DEV. - RURAL CELLPHONE COVERAGE: INCREASE - PLAN

MR. HAROLD THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. Rural communities in Nova Scotia are suffering due to a lack of cellphone coverage, and this government must make it a priority. If we're to encourage growth in our rural communities, province-wide cellphone coverage is vital, and the lack of cellphone service in these areas presents an economic obstacle for all Nova Scotians. My question to the minister is, what is your government's plan to increase rural cellphone coverage in Nova Scotia?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. He obviously has experienced the lack of coverage in some areas of the province as many Nova Scotians have. This is a matter that comes under the jurisdiction of the Government of Canada and I understand that they are taking steps to address this on a go-forward basis. I would remind the honourable member, and all members of the House, that area for which we have responsibility, which is broadband coverage, we are proceeding to provide complete coverage all the way across this province by the end of 2009.

MR. THERIAULT: Business owners and operators in Nova Scotia are relying on cellphones to attract new businesses to areas of Digby. However, this is not a problem just in southwest Nova Scotia, but all over the province. We need to encourage economic growth outside of Halifax, and providing businesses with better cellphone coverage would help that growth. With government's commitment to have broadband access across Nova Scotia, we must take the next steps and increase cellphone coverage in rural areas also. So my question to the minister is, can we expect action from the government to increase rural cellphone coverage in Nova Scotia in the very near future?

[Page 4857]

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated, we are in fact working to provide the universal coverage with respect to broadband throughout the province and that will put in place (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development has the floor.

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as I was saying, I hope that will help to address the infrastructure deficit with respect to the coverage of cellphone service throughout the province because these additional towers will, in fact, provide additional capacity. If they can be employed to increase the coverage of cellphone service, then we would certainly want to assist in making that possible.

MR. THERIAULT: Mr. Speaker, the business community isn't the only sector affected by the lack of this service. If a motorist has an accident or an urgent situation arises, a cellphone can be an effective tool. Having proper cellphone coverage would help our emergency service providers such as firefighters and paramedics, and we've experienced lately down home that there were two or three incidents where paramedics couldn't get hold of one another because of this problem. My question to the Minister of Emergency Management is, will you commit to taking the necessary steps to increase rural cellphone coverage in Nova Scotia to help our emergency service providers?

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, there are different ways to communicate with our emergency providers in the province, and as cellphones are an essential part of that, we also have the trunk mobile radio system that is used throughout this province.

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

HEALTH: LUCENTIS - COVERAGE

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Macular degeneration results in the loss of vision. It can make it difficult, or even impossible, for people to recognize faces and ultimately it leads to blindness. While there is no cure for macular degeneration, people can maintain and even improve their vision with the use of a drug called Lucentis. Lucentis has been approved in Canada, but is not covered here in Nova Scotia. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, when is his government going to recognize the benefits of Lucentis and the coverage of it here in Nova Scotia?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows that there is a group that makes recommendations to us on what kind of drugs we should be covering or not covering. I know that that group is meeting sometime this Fall, so I would imagine they've either had their meeting or are going to be having their meeting. I'll look through that paperwork to see if they're going to be recommending Lucentis or not, or whether it's being considered during this round of meetings.

[Page 4858]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I'd like to table a letter dated July 24, 2008, from the Minister of Health to Helen Gouthro, who suffers from macular degeneration. The letter states, and I quote, "The drug Lucentis is approved in Canada for the treatment of macular degeneration and we are working with the company and the other public drug plans in Canada to hopefully provide reimbursement in the near future." So I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, when will his government commit to coming forward to Nova Scotians with the possibility of covering this drug?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, the department itself does not make decisions on funding one drug or another. That is left to an expert panel, an expert committee. Mr. Speaker, I'll look back to see if they are going to be considering this drug for coverage or not, or whether maybe they've already put a positive recommendation forward. So I will get back to the member opposite on the drug Lucentis.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you. Mr. Speaker, because the minister does state in his letter that he's going to be working with the company, which I assume is the pharmaceutical company that provides this drug, I hope that the minister is going to report that back to us. Helen Gouthro is a widow, living alone on a fixed income. Her mother is blind, her sister is blind, and she is losing her sight, Mr. Speaker, so she can't wait much longer for a decision on this issue. Can the minister commit today, in the Legislature, when he will come forward with a decision on this drug?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again, I wish I could offer all drugs to all people, but that's not something that we can do. We, of course, only have a fixed budget on what kind of drugs we are offering. Mr. Speaker, I will go back and look to see whether there'll be a positive recommendation or a negative recommendation on the drug Lucentis. Blindness is something that none of us would wish upon anyone, something very difficult to adjust to, one that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. So I will get back on that information on the drug Lucentis for the member opposite .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

PREM.: FLIGHT ATTENDANT BASE - CLOSURE

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question, through you, is for the Premier. In June of this year, Air Canada announced that as of the first of November they would be losing attendant bases in Halifax and Winnipeg. Manitoba has initiated court action in defence of the flight attendant base in Winnipeg, to try to protect jobs and the services in Winnipeg. So my question is why didn't the Premier stand up to protect the jobs of Halifax flight attendants?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the facts of the matter are that the Premier, indeed, did stand up to protect jobs in Halifax and to protect service in Halifax. He had written to the national Minister of Transport; he was in communication with the top

[Page 4859]

officials of Air Canada; we met with the top officials of Air Canada here in Halifax. I conducted several discussions with my counterpart in Manitoba with respect to this issue. We have been on top of this from day one.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the Premier's communication director said that the Premier supports retention of the base in Halifax and would be prepared to "jump on a plane" and lead a delegation to Air Canada's headquarters in Montreal. The Halifax base is closed and all we know is that the Premier placed some calls, wrote a letter to the Air Canada folks and met with them when they were here. Mr. Speaker, 187 families have had the carpet pulled out from underneath them and the Premier has not been effective in leading a campaign to keep this base open. My question is, why didn't the Premier show leadership and follow through on his commitment to fight to keep this base open?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the Premier, in fact, did show leadership on this issue and the Premier did, in fact, meet with officials of Air Canada. But, the Premier was very prudent in his decision, he allowed Air Canada to use their facilities to come here and meet with us, not spend taxpayers' money flying up there.

[4:00 p.m.]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, you know, the flight attendants who are facing the loss of their jobs or moving out of this province and relocating their families, will not be amused at the member's response. They expect the Premier of this province to stand up, to take the fight to where Air Canada is and to show some backbone in protecting the jobs of Nova Scotians. My question to the Premier is, what does he intend to do to show the flight attendants, and the people of this province, that he's prepared to fight for their jobs and fight for their services in this province?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I'm not surprised that the honourable member would attempt to trivialize a prudent decision to save taxpayers' money. The fact of the matter is, the Premier has led a campaign not just with Air Canada, but with Transport Canada, the federal government. We have been on this issue, have had discussions with the flight attendants. I've come to understand the circumstance from their perspective and the Premier has been making that case.

Having said all of that, it is not a publicly owned corporation, it is a privately run business, and they have taken that decision. It's a decision we disagree with, it's a decision that concerns us greatly and that has been communicated.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.- ENERGY REBATE PROG.: CHANGES -

NOTIFICATION

[Page 4860]

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. About three weeks ago, 40,000 Nova Scotian households received some very bad news about Your Energy Rebate Program. The 40,000 households were no longer eligible to receive the 8 per cent rebate automatically by the oil company at the point of sale. Many of these 40,000 households were first notified by the oil company, while their tanks were being filled up, that they must now apply to the government to receive this rebate again. My first question to the minister is, why didn't you notify the 40,000 residents earlier of this significant change in government policy?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I do want to inform the member to begin, there was no change in government policy, that is simply not correct. What had happened in the beginning - I did go through this the other day - when the program was put together, two software programs were merged, unfortunately, there was a glitch in it. The fact is that anybody who was getting this rebate who had a mixed-use property had to apply for it. What happened was when it was implemented, people who were supposed to apply in the first place did not have to apply because of the glitch in the computer program. It was simply making right something that was a little askew.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I fail to understand why the minister, why this government, did not take the time to notify the 40,000 residents throughout Nova Scotia. I can't understand it. In the last two weeks I have received a number of calls and I'm sure I'm not the only MLA who has. One individual is over 90 years of age, he's a widower and has a large piece of property. He found out, at the door, that this rebate is no longer automatically removed at the point of sale, that he must now apply for it. The form the government is asking him to fill out is as complicated as filling your own income taxes every year. I know many Nova Scotians will not be able to fill out this very complicated form; so again to the minister, why are you making it nearly impossible to receive the 8 per cent rebate for the 40,000 households, many of whom are on fixed and low income?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there are some people who are in that situation, who are on fixed and low incomes, and I do understand that sometimes filling out forms is difficult. Furthermore, I said the other day, I certainly apologize to the individuals who now should have been applying and did not have to because of a problem which originated in my department. Similarly, I've received correspondence from the fuel companies - and by the way it was a fuel distributor who pointed this out to us in the first place - that there were people who were getting this rebate automatically at point of sale who were not entitled to it. Mr. Speaker, I know as an MLA a lot of my colleagues have spoken to me, and I'm sure you too, that if somebody really has difficulty in filling out that form, and I understand that some people will, that perhaps as an MLA - and I guess probably you would if they came to you - I know my colleagues are helping some people in that situation fill out forms. Hopefully, once it's done once, that will be the end of it.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, this form that is this complicated is certainly a large deterrent for Nova Scotians who deserve this 8 per cent rebate. I will table a copy of this application for the minister to look at. Energy costs will make this a tough winter for many

[Page 4861]

seniors and refusing to make this program easy for them - and I'll stress easy for them - is going to make their winter even harder. So even if they do manage to get through this form this year, they are worrying whether they will be forced to do so every time they buy oil. My final question to the minister is, for those who do attempt to fill out this form and are successful, will they need to apply every time they buy oil or will it then be automatic for them to get the rebate on their next purchase?

MR. MUIR: My understanding is that once the form has been filled out - the difficulty is if it's a mixed property, if part of it is commercial, only the residential portion is eligible for the rebate. I would think once the form was filled out, probably sending in a copy of that filled out form would be sufficient. You would not have to fill a new one and sit down from scratch every time unless the situation changes.

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

EDUC.- EASTERN PASSAGE HS: APPROVAL - TIMEFRAME

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Education, the Community of Eastern Passage is furious that yet again the Halifax Regional School Board deferred making a decision on a high school for Eastern Passage. The board's Capital Construction Committee said in September that Cole Harbour District High would be maintained "pending further study of a recommended Eastern Passage-Shearwater-Woodside High School." I'm tabling this sheet from their presentation to the Leader of the Opposition and our Education Critic. My question is, was the minister aware of this recommendation before today?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite - we've spoken about a school in Eastern Passage many times and I've tried to help people understand the process that we go through to have schools added to a capital construction list. I'm sure that the member is aware of that and the recommendations that come into the department come from the individual school boards after they've gone through their own process.

MS. KENT: Back in 2006, my predecessor, Kevin Davies, met with the honourable Minister of Education and she made a verbal commitment to him to present to Cabinet a proposal that would include a high school in Eastern Passage and Woodside area. Last Spring in this House in debate on this very issue, the minister said, "I would ask that the member opposite be patient one more time and recognize that I want the best for the students in Eastern Passage." Well, our patience has about run out. So I ask, how many more empty promises from this government am I going to have to take to my constituents?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I do understand the passion that the member opposite has for the students in her riding and I share that for students all across this province. I also do respect the process that's in place for capital construction and one of the conditions, of course, that boards have to look at is the amount of excess space that they do have in their boards and how they are going to justify creating more space when they currently have space

[Page 4862]

that's unused. That is an issue across the harbour that's very well known to all members across the harbour. It's very well known to the folks on the capital construction list and I can say to the member that I have not seen a capital construction list. The Capital Construction Review Committee has not presented anything to me and so I do not get myself involved in the process at this time.

MS. KENT: Mr. Speaker, this has gone on long enough. Will the minister tell me today, and my constituents, how many more studies, how many more deferrals, how many more reports will it take before a new high school is built in Eastern Passage? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, I do want to repeat that there is a process. The directive that the member opposite is giving to me or the request that she's making of me, she should understand that needs to go to the school board - not to the Minister of Education.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

NAT. RES.: ATV PURCHASE PROG. - MIN. BRIEFING NOTE

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Natural Resources. When asked yesterday about a briefing note on a plan to purchase child-size ATPS, the minister responded, "Clearly a lot of things happen in departments. Information is available - if you've got time to read an encyclopaedia, then it's there . . ."

Well, Mr. Speaker, the minister was not presented with an encyclopaedia, it was simply a briefing note and we all know that a briefing note is a normal document prepared for ministers to provide information on important topics. So my question through you to the minister is, how is he supposed to be informed on the issues if he doesn't have the time to read the materials that are provided to him?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. Clearly I expect my staff to make me aware of what's topical in the department as it pertains to the department. This briefing note was done up at a time when the department was not responsible for that program. With the hundreds of briefing notes, indeed thousands, that have been produced since I've been minister, I would expect them to make me aware of things that are pertinent to my responsibilities at the time.

This is now part of my responsibility and so that would change everything if there was a new briefing note today but at that time I was not responsible and neither the deputy nor me has any recollection of being briefed on that subject.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, certainly I think this question is very important because the minister certainly has to be up-to-date. Recently, the department released a plan for the recovery of the mainland moose - I think it was in May of last year. I asked that yesterday,

[Page 4863]

before the interruption of Question Period - this plan and the minister's current actions to allow seismic exploration, they seem to contradict one another. I assume the minister did read his department's plan for preserving the mainland moose and, if so, why did he allow seismic exploration agreements in the Chignecto Game Sanctuary?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday to the honourable member, this is the third time this has taken place in the game sanctuary. It is allowed under the current Act and regulations. In fact, I think what the member is suggesting is that he would like to see more protection put in place for the game sanctuary, to take it beyond being a game sanctuary, which is where you protect animals to where you're protecting plants, trees. Indeed, part of that process is a public process, there has to be a socio-economic assessment done, and it would then go through the Minister of Environment.

[4:15 p.m.]

I would think the honourable member would want to know if there was a huge reserve of oil underneath there before we made such a decision. I certainly think that Nova Scotians would want us to be aware, so this is all very appropriate and ultimately should lead to good decisions.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, currently the minister and his department are carrying out a review through Voluntary Planning on forestry and mining and biodiversity in parks. The results of these province-wide consultations, I'm sure will create volumes of material and I'm sure a briefing note will be prepared for the minister. My question is, with that overwhelming amount of material crossing this minister's desk, how does he intend to get through all that material before making his decision?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, if the honourable member is referring to the decision to make this a protected wilderness area, clearly that would have to involve a public process and ultimately the recommendation would come from the Minister of Environment. I am well aware of the situation with the Chignecto Game Sanctuary. I read various documents and briefing notes and clearly all the factors were considered before we agreed to let the seismic testing take place - which, by the way, is supposed to be completed by the end of this week, if it's not already done.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. - CONTAMINATED SITE MGT. PROG.:

REVIEW - DETAILS

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, last Spring I asked the Minister of Environment about deficiencies in the contaminated site management and the lack of proficient and suitable measures that surrounded this program. However, it is my understanding the Department of Environment is reviewing this program, but we have no idea what the department is attempting to achieve with this review. I would like to get some

[Page 4864]

clarification from the minister. What is the nature of the review and when can we expect to see it?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, the issue is a very important issue as the honourable member knows, having raised the issue with me before, but it's also a very complicated one. The complication is that for us to label something contaminated, we need to have on the other side a process that would label it as uncontaminated if it is clear. Unless you have both processes operating together, what you do is you put landowners under severe economic hardships. That's what we're trying to do is get a process whereby we can list for people to know whether a site is contaminated - which is what future buyers would like to know - but also find some way in which it can be de-listed as well. If we can't do both, then what we do is really restrict and put economic hardship upon homeowners across the province. That's what we're working on. We know that we have to do it, but we know it's a complicated process and I'd be happy to have staff brief the member on what we're doing and how we're going forward with the plan.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, we saw the Auditor's General Report from the Spring of 2008 that the Department of Environment had several problems with efficiency, inspection and enforcement. The statement of the Auditor General reported, "We found instances where required procedures were not performed - approvals were issued without all documentation in place, required inspections were not completed, enforcement actions were inadequate to ensure compliance, and complaints were not followed up." Now, this statement only leads more credence to our case that matters such as contaminated site management are being neglected and the public is not being informed properly by the department's action on this issue. When will your government properly address this issue in order to protect Nova Scotians?

MR. PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the honourable member for the question. As the honourable member mentioned, our activity tracking system needed to be fixed and needed to be made more robust. I want to thank that Party for voting for the budget which allowed us to do that and go forward with the additional money for the activity tracking system. So I thank you for being willing to support what you're calling for here.

The contaminated sites committee, which has representatives from industry, representatives from my department, will be coming up with a plan for 2010. As I said, the issue is really a complicated one. It sounds easy on the surface but if any MLA has dealt with this, as I have, on individual cases, it is complicated because it's very difficult to state at the end that a site is not contaminated. There's no way of definitively proving that and you have financial liabilities, so to state that it's not contaminated at the start, there needs to be this balance. So we're working hard on it and any suggestions the honourable member has, I'd be happy to take under advisement.

MR. COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of the biggest problems with contaminated sites is a lack of accountability amongst site professionals. I've heard from

[Page 4865]

many people that the management of sites contaminated with oil spills and other difficult environmental situations is not being properly handled, and a separate oversight committee is needed to attend to these matters. Now that the department is separate from Labour, when will consideration for a stand-alone, oversight body be put in place to license site professionals and again, for the protection of Nova Scotians?

MR. PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and again I thank the member for this important question. I've given the member the timetable of 2010 as what we're working toward. I also want to add another piece of information because it's important, and increasingly we're trying to do this with both labour regulations and environmental regulations, to have Atlantic harmonization, so we're working at that as well. That adds an extra complicating factor but one that I think the members here would want us to make sure that the regulations are harmonized across the Atlantic Provinces for the good of all citizens and for the good of businesses as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

NAT. RES.: LEGISLATED URANIUM MORATORIUM -

ACCEPT

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Last week the Natural Resources Citizen Engagement Committee released a working paper called The Future of Nova Scotia's Natural Resources. On the subject of the uranium moratorium, the committee said, "While the committee heard several calls for lifting the moratorium, overall the public input received as part of the Voluntary Planning natural resources process overwhelmingly indicated a desire to see the moratorium on uranium exploration and mining maintained and legislated." In the Spring sitting of the House, the minister said he was waiting to hear what Nova Scotians thought before making a decision about a legislated moratorium. Mr. Speaker, the verdict is in. My question to the minister is, when will this minister and this government change its policy and accept that a legislated uranium moratorium is what the people of this province want, overwhelmingly?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the member opposite asking me the question this time. It's the first time I think he's asked me directly. He certainly asked the question of many other people and it has been referred to me. As the member, I'm sure, well remembers, there were three criteria that I put in place. The first one is that the science would have to be right. Clearly this government - and as minister I would not do anything that would endanger the public. This has been well documented by the excellent report of Justice McCleave and the interdepartmental committee that involved people like the Chief Medical Officer of Health, also the people in charge of radioactive materials and, in the Department of Environment, the person in charge of the drinking water strategy - all agreed that it was scientifically safe.

Number two, it would have to be good for the economy and we also can see, based on the exploration in other provinces, that clearly Nova Scotia is not doing as well in that

[Page 4866]

area, and that is cited as the reason, but number three, which is what the member is referring to - and I did give that commitment, and I continue to give that commitment - that until the people of Nova Scotia feel reasonably comfortable with the idea of lifting the moratorium, there will be no change in this government's position and the moratorium will remain.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview . . .

There seems to be a technical problem in the booth, so we will take a short recess so we can make sure we get the question recorded properly - a short recess until we hear from the booth. We will make note of the time.

[4:26 p.m. The House recessed.]

[4:34 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I want to thank all members for their patience. The technical difficulty seems to have been recovered. We have been stopped now for roughly 10 minutes, so we will add 10 minutes on to Question Period. We all need to practice a little bit of calm. I made a mistake, I apologize. When the question was asked, it was 4:25 p.m. There were six minutes left and we will continue now with six more minutes of Question Period.

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, that little malfunction caused me to be the butt of a number of jokes, which I find quite regrettable. The Minister of Natural Resources is clearly not prepared to do the right thing on the uranium moratorium. He asked for public input, he got it, and now he says that other criteria might trump the overwhelming response of the public. I therefore turn, for my next question, to the Minister of Environment. The question of uranium exploration and mining raises important questions about our health and the health of our environment. My question to the Minister of the Environment is, when will that minister and this government change its policy and accept that a legislated uranium moratorium is what the people of this province want, overwhelmingly?

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I'm relieved the microphone is working. The present policy of a ban on uranium mining is in place as the honourable member for Natural Resources has stated. There is a consultative program going on in which we've been asked to hear from Nova Scotians and the Minister of Natural Resources will put together a comprehensive plan. The member opposite wants to subvert that process, in a way, by having a one-off decision rather than coming forward with some sort of concerted response to the issue. I have pushed very strongly that there be some sort of overall look at mining in the province and do it in a consistent coherent way. I think that's the best policy and would stand by it.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, my final question is to the Premier. His Minister of Natural Resources said he wanted public opinion and now that he's got it he said he wants

[Page 4867]

to disregard it. His Minister of Environment attacks the Opposition instead of attacking the problem and says that he will not protect the environment. So my question to the Premier is . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Halifax Fairview has the floor.

MR. STEELE: Mr. Speaker, if the Minister of the Environment won't respect the overwhelming views of the Nova Scotia public and support a legislated moratorium, he is not supporting the environment. My question to the Premier is, when will this government and this Premier change its policy and accept that a legislated uranium moratorium is what the people of this province want, overwhelmingly?

MR. PARENT: Mr. Speaker, this minister and this government have been more supportive of the environment than any minister and any government previously and that's acknowledged from coast to coast to coast. If the honourable member implies otherwise, then he is wrong, dead wrong. If he wants to subvert a planning process and do one-off deals to ride his own agenda then it simply proves that he is not capable of being a minister in the government and should stay in the Opposition. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES.: CHIGNECTO GAME SANCTUARY - SEISMIC TESTING

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Recently we've learned that the Minister of Natural Resources has granted approval for seismic testing in the Chignecto Game Sanctuary. I've asked plenty of questions in the past about the minister's careless decision to allow for logging in the sanctuary, now he's allowing for seismic testing. If the minister continues to allow for these activities in Chignecto, there won't be any game left to protect. my question to the minister is, why are you allowing seismic testing in the Chignecto Game Sanctuary?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, it seems to me I probably answered this question yesterday, I probably answered it about 15 minutes ago, but I guess I get to answer it again. First of all, this is something that has already occurred twice before. It is allowed by the Act and the regulations and there was an application.

Mr. Speaker, before the Department of Natural Resources allowed access - and we're not the ones who issued the initial permit for exploration - the department consulted with our wildlife biologists. We also conferred with the wildlife experts in the Department of Environment. Based on their advice and the terms and conditions that were given, we allowed access, and that was on the assurance that it would not disrupt the activities of the mainland moose.

[Page 4868]

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the minister said that Eastrock's approval to do testing in the sanctuary doesn't mean that it will automatically allow them to drill for oil if it finds some. My question to the minister is, why allow them to perform seismic testing in the first place if you're not prepared to let them drill for oil?

MR. MORSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. During Question Period I undertook to deliver this letter to the House. I think that the substance is pertinent and I think Nova Scotians, and I'm sure members of the House, would be interested in this. It is a letter dated July 9th of this year, from the All-terrain Vehicle Association of Nova Scotia. It is addressed to both Mr. Laurie Cranton, Chair of the OHV Ministerial Advisory Committee, and me. The subject is the purchase of a youth training fleet:

Dear Minister Morse and Mr. Laurie Cranton:

ATVANS is pleased to inform you that we have secured funding for the rider training and education program.

ATVANS, over the next three years, will make payments to the Nova Scotia government, with the initial payment of $80,000.00 being paid in year 2008, $75,000.00 in year 2009 and $75,000.00 in year 2010 for a total of $230,000.00.

We look forward to future opportunities to work with government as we move forward with the youth ATV education and training initiatives.

It's signed by Wayne Rock, President, and James Anderson, Public Relations.

MR. SPEAKER: The letter is tabled.

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of - oh, the honourable Liberal House Leader.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I liked your first introduction better. In keeping with the spirit, I would like to introduce, if I might, some people in the gallery here who are visiting today. They are Liberal nominated candidates for the next election and they're here visiting us today and looking over their seats that they'll be occupying after the

[Page 4869]

next election. So I would like them to stand and be recognized. I'm not sure how many are up there, but everyone stand and be recognized. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 4510.

Res. No. 4510 - Prem.: Economic Update - Provide - notice given - Nov. 3/08 - (Mr. L. Glavine)

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to stand today and talk about Resolution No. 4510, which is a Liberal resolution calling on the government to immediately make us more aware of their plans for updating the budget and where we're at financially in this province as we are in a period of extreme volatility in the markets and economic uncertainty.

This economic uncertainty, Mr. Speaker, as we well know, is world-wide and Nova Scotia is a small province in our country and is not in a position to be sheltered from this. We know that the implications, the repercussions of a global downturn in the economy is going to be felt here with our international businesses, with our exports and with our revenue sources. Everything is going to be impacted.

[4:45 p.m.]

On the first day of the House we called an emergency debate on the economy because we felt very strongly that this is something that cannot be shoved aside. If you read the resolution, we, in fact, point out that the Premier's view, as he has expressed it, was that for six or eight months we're not going to feel this economic downturn and we categorically deny that. This is happening now, today, and in this province. There are businesses already that are at the front line, that are feeling this downturn, and there are many people employed in our province who are fearful and uncertain about where this is going to lead.

What we need from the government is a transparency, an openness and a willingness to share with all Nova Scotians what their plan is, to try and prepare us and move forward. Number one, Mr. Speaker, we need to know what the budget update is going to be. It isn't good enough to wait another three months so we see it only when there's three months left in the year. We have quarterly updates, and I understand the Minister of Finance said so, but the fact is, this is not a business as usual situation. This year there are some exceptional things happening that are of great concern to Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I don't have a long time to speak this afternoon, unfortunately, because I have to share my time with other members of the House, but I want to point out a few things that show that even in the good years, we've not been well managed in Nova Scotia. This kind of mismanagement and lack of concern for the economy is going to come home to roost. We have been spending at a rate that's equivalent to Newfoundland and Alberta,

[Page 4870]

provinces with significant offshore and oil wells, through the tar sands and so on, and we can't afford to do that. CFIB has got us pegged on a per capita spending in the same league as those two provinces with very significant resources.

At the same time, we've had the slowest growth of any province in Canada for the last five years. The government loves to boast about the fact there has been growth, but I don't think that one per cent growth is all that exciting, particularly if you're going to compare it to our nearest neighbours and to the other provinces in Canada and know that we're dead last, Mr. Speaker. We are not doing the right thing by the people of Nova Scotia if we've been managed in that respect.

In 2007 there were more bankruptcies per capita in this province than in any other. In 2006 we actually lost jobs, I don't know where they've gone when the government does their accounting, but we see that we've lost jobs. Fourteen out of 18 of our regions have lost population, according to the 2006 census. The CFIB, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Mr. Speaker - they track business confidence, generally on a monthly basis, but it has been so volatile and so uncertain in the last few months that they have begun to track their membership, across the country and here in Nova Scotia, on a weekly basis, to see how they're feeling in terms of their confidence in spending and investing in their businesses, in terms of growth, or whether they're retrenching and pulling back and trying to conserve their resources.

Mr. Speaker, we need to know the same thing about the government as we can see from businesses. Businesses are telling us how they are preparing for this storm, the government is not. The government is trying to pretend that we have six or eight months to carry on. Well I believe we're feeling it today, I can tell you some businesses that are - construction industry, housing starts, people in those businesses are worried. It hasn't yet hit us on home sales, but there's a lot of fear and uncertainty.

Just to mention one of my favourite industries, the scrap metal industry, Mr. Speaker, the price of scrap metal has literally tanked. There are huge uncertainties in the future, there are large orders that have been sent to Asia, non-payment is coming at the moment because the Asian markets, China and other places, don't want to pay for the scrap metal because copper and iron and the other metals have just tanked in value.

That is one industry that has felt it today - you can go to any scrapyard in this province and you'll see that the business has come to a standstill. I know all the ministers and all the members of the House would be interested in knowing that - it's one that's really a bellwether for the other industries, and that is just one example.

Mr. Speaker, we're saying that this is going to be felt right through the economy. We are a province that is very dependent on exports and has actually thrived any time in our past when our exports have been the key to our success. You can look in our history and see that when we were trading in the world, when we were actually a centre for trade in times gone by, we were the most prosperous that we've ever been. I would hope that the government is

[Page 4871]

not intending to be insular and look only within, because we have to continue to support our exports and move on.

We don't know what the plan is, Mr. Speaker, we have no idea. The government has its head buried firmly in the sand, telling us we have six or eight months to feel the pain. I think every member of this House and every Nova Scotian has a right to know how the budgets are going to be impacted for this year.

To name just a few - we have to know what's going to happen to the revenue forecast, and right now we have forecasts on corporate and personal income tax and how much we'll get from the harmonized sales tax which depends on a lot of activity, on car sales, on retail sales, and we don't know how they are going to be impacted. But we know that if the business confidence is down, that's probably a pretty clear indication of what they are seeing from their customers, what they're feeling for their employees and so on. So we need to have an update on the corporate income tax, personal tax and harmonized sales tax - that's on the revenue side.

Mr. Speaker, those are significant amounts of revenue and we have had good years in the last number of years, even though I've told you about the bankruptcies and our slowest growth in the country. These have been in the years when the rest of Canada is booming and they have been good years, relatively speaking, for Nova Scotia, but we're suffering from a government that has not managed well in the good times, and if you didn't look after things well then, how are we going to manage as we go forward into a period of volatility and uncertainty?

Mr. Speaker, oil and gas prices have just been bouncing up and down now for a number of months quite wildly, but when the budget was set the price of oil was $121 a barrel and gas was $1.25 per litre. Now that has gone much higher during the summer and now it's significantly lower, so we really need to know how this is going to impact the budget. Number one, our royalty revenue is going to be impacted. Last year, we had $400 million in royalty revenue which was an all-time high for this province - and that is great, we've waited many years to see some of that wealth come to the province, but we have spent it. We spent it on operational spending, and we don't have any legacy project from that money, and at the same time we don't know how it's going to be impacted in this coming year and what is forecast for the coming year in terms of the offshore royalties.

In the budget, I believe it is around $585 million that's being planned for in the budget but again, where's the update? It's really important for us to see how these volatile prices are going to affect the revenue of this province, because any change in that is going to be very significant - that $585 million is a large figure for our coffers.

We've talked here today through Question Period about lots of things that are needed in this province. We need that revenue to manage the province, and we don't know what the government's updated revenue forecasts are. So it's very important for us to look at the price

[Page 4872]

of oil and gas, how it's going to affect the cost and how it's going to affect our revenue picture.

Mr. Speaker, we don't know about the impacts of equalization. I feel that is something that we know the Finance Minister has discussions with the other Finance Ministers and the Premier with other first ministers - well we need to know in this House how that's going to be impacted and there isn't any information for us or for our constituents, the people of Nova Scotia.

Debt servicing costs, again, are often on a floating rate basis and we need to know what the update is. Clearly, Mr. Speaker, you can see that the Liberal Party is impatient on behalf of Nova Scotians that we are not seeing any sense of urgency in the government's mind, and we think that the six or eight months may just be the government's way to wait and hope they're not around to deal with the fallout. Well that's not good enough, they should be there, now, taking steps to prepare this province as we go forward. There have to be some positive steps that will show how they intend to deal with all of those issues.

Mr. Speaker, we have an opportunity to tell business that this government has a plan and knows how it will be impacted as we go forward. That has to be articulated so all of us can help to see that this province is on steady ground as we're going to have to negotiate an uncertain future. That takes leadership. It's not the status quo, which is the government's favourite way to carry on at all times, in all weather. This is not a time for the status quo, it's a time for leadership, it's a time to hear what the plan is as we go forward into the future. Again, I believe we were right in saying in the resolution that this House should have an immediate economic update so that we can tell the people how we're going to proceed in the future. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to express our appreciation to the Liberal caucus for bringing forward this resolution. I'm quite pleased the honourable member made reference to the specific wording of the resolution at the conclusion of her speech because when this resolution was brought forward in the House, had we complied immediately with the request that was in the resolution at that date, we would have had to come forward this week and amend the statement that we would have provided then because the Minister of Finance and the chair of the Treasury and Policy Board returned from a meeting with the Finance Ministers with changed and updated numbers with respect to equalization.

The Premier, on Monday, is going to be meeting with the Prime Minister and the other First Ministers across the country. On that occasion, additional information with respect to, first of all, the state of the economy and also the nature of the fiscal relationship between the province and the federal government will become clearer. So again, more and additional information will be provided.

[Page 4873]

It was interesting to listen to the honourable member speak about the fluctuations with respect to the price of fuel and, of course, the royalty figure is impacted by that. If a statement were made several weeks ago, then that statement would have to be amended today because there have been changes with respect to that.

The fact, and the point that I want to make with the House, is that there are indeed changing economic conditions and the appropriate time - I just want to add this one item, the Department of Finance here in the province does, in fact, know the schedule and the flow of numbers that come from the Government of Canada. That schedule and flow of numbers enables us to bring forward a quarterly update and that quarterly update will be coming forward and it will have the most up-to-date numbers associated with it.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, it is appropriate for us to discuss the economy because we are clearly in a situation where there is considerable volatility, there is uncertainty. I have indicated in the past that while our fundamentals are strong in this province, we are not totally and completely isolated from what is happening elsewhere. We are a trading province and the extent to which we are a trading province means that we are very much part of the North American economy and the United States market. What takes place in that country is something that is fundamentally important to what goes on in the economy of this province.

While we're not able to predict the future, I do want to remind Nova Scotians that we are well positioned - both as a country and as a province - to meet the challenges that are coming about as a result of the changing world economic circumstances. We are not isolated, but we are well positioned to face the challenge and we will face that challenge and we will do it successfully.

Nova Scotia's plan for sound fiscal management and debt reduction is on track and showing results. As of our August forecast, we are on our way to producing our seventh surplus . We have legislation in place that requires us to balance the budget and we have done so for the last seven years - that's an extremely good foundation upon which to build. We are relying less and less on Ottawa with equalization as a percentage of total revenue; that continues to decline. We introduced an aggressive debt-reduction plan and we are on track with this plan.

Mr. Speaker, our economic performance remains strong. There are currently 457,000 people employed in Nova Scotia, which is among the highest on record. The latest figures from Statistics Canada show that the province's unemployment rate stood at 7.6 per cent in the month of September - remaining the lowest in Atlantic Canada. Since last September there are approximately 10,500 more people working in the Province of Nova Scotia. Between 2005 and 2008 investments through the Industrial Expansion Fund created an estimated 4,700 incremental full-time jobs, close to $149 million in new annual salaries and wages, $18 million in new tax revenues from new jobs created, and $12 million in one-time revenues from construction.

[5:00 p.m.]

[Page 4874]

In the past several years, Nova Scotia Business Inc. used its tools and business development expertise to create more than 11,500 new jobs and, Mr. Speaker, our GDP is growing on a year-to-year basis. The exports of natural gas, petroleum products and tires have been up considerably in the first half of this year compared with the first half of 2007.

Mr. Speaker, we heard from the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council earlier this week and they have, in fact, pointed to some very positive outlooks with respect to the Nova Scotian economy, as well as articulating some of the challenges that face us. They make reference, APEC does, to the balanced budgets with more diversified revenue sources. Investment spending in Nova Scotia, with Deep Panuke and other projects, will provide extra stimulus to the economy. The demand for labour in this province has been growing and unemployment is lower today than it has been for a long time. It has decreased by 0.3 per cent since the last year. Nova Scotia does not respond as severely as some other jurisdictions in Canada do.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my colleague - the chair of the Treasury and Policy Board - has some additional points that he would like to make with respect to the resolution that's before us, but I want to conclude by pointing out that from an economic basis, we are creating jobs in this province and more and more Nova Scotians are working, and that is allowing us to be in a well-positioned situation to look to the challenges that the current economic circumstances present us with. I will give up the rest of my time to my colleague.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to say a few words today and I just want to begin perhaps to reiterate something my colleague, the Minister of Economic Development, said. This is a tougher time than we've had for some time but the current government has prepared us well over a 10-year period, both the Government of John Hamm and the current government. Once we got the fiscal house in order, it makes it much easier for us as Nova Scotians to deal with these challenges, which are worldwide at this time.

Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to join the Minister of Finance in Toronto earlier this week to meet with our provincial, territorial and federal counterparts. I can tell this House that all Finance Ministers in Canada are concerned about the effect of the current global economic downturn and all pledged to work hard to make sure that Canada's economy is not put at risk by global economic conditions.

All ministers want to equip Canadians with the tools to take advantage of the economic opportunities that are indeed before us but we also know that it's important to assure Canadians that our economy is still strong, particularly relative to other parts of the world. For example, Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, spoke to the Prime Minister and the Finance Ministers on Monday and he explained that Canada's economy, for many reasons, is among the soundest in the world.

[Page 4875]

We are, indeed, fortunate in Canada and in Nova Scotia not to have some of the very deep structural economic problems that they face in other countries. Now that doesn't mean, of course, that we won't have some problems because we will. It will mean, Mr. Speaker, that it will likely be easier to solve them in our country than it is some place else, particularly so if the provinces, the territories and the federal government continue to work together.

We believe that there are some concrete actions that can be taken in Canada, Mr. Speaker. One of the biggest tools we have to stimulate economic activity is to continue to develop our infrastructure. We have infrastructure projects lined up to be cost-shared under existing federal infrastructure programs. However, many of them are slow due to red tape. We did get commitment from the federal Finance Minister that he would do everything that he could do to expedite these infrastructure projects.

Another item that was on the table for us all was pension plans. We know that in addition to our own efforts to improve the funded ratio of our public sector plans, we know that private pension plans are also facing considerable shortfalls. Once again, Finance Ministers are looking at some possible change in national pension rules to give some more flexibility. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to begin by thanking the Liberal Party for bringing forward the resolution today, because what they're proposing is, of course, eminently reasonable. Namely that the government should present to this House an economic statement to take into account changes that have occurred in the world's financial system since budget day, which now seems so long ago.

Mr. Speaker, economic statements, economic updates, mini budgets, whatever term you want to use, have been presented in a number of other Canadian provinces. It is difficult to understand why our government resists so strongly such a small but sensible move. Economic statements, or updates, have been offered in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, yesterday in Quebec, and there may be others that I'm not aware of, but those are the ones of which I am aware.

To give you an idea, Mr. Speaker, and the House the idea of the kind of measures that are contained in those economic statements or mini budgets, let me hit the highlights, for example, of what they did in British Columbia; this is in order to meet and deal with the economic challenges that British Columbians will face. The government in British Columbia announced unlimited deposit insurance for deposits to credit unions, something which we do not have in Nova Scotia; a new pension opportunity for British Columbians who do not currently have access to a pension; an accelerated, retroactive personal income tax cut; school property tax rebates for industry; accelerated tax relief for small business; double commission paid to businesses for their collection on the government's behalf of provincial sales tax and federal sales tax; accelerated public infrastructure projects; a reduction in ferry

[Page 4876]

fares of 33 per cent for the months of December and January; reigning in avoidable government spending and finally, Mr. Speaker, recalling the Legislature.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I'm not suggesting for a second that Nova Scotia's economy or government finances are in such a shape that we could or should do all of those things. The point is that because of the government's refusal to come to this House with an update on the current financial situation, we don't even know what is possible.

In Quebec, just yesterday, the provincial Minister of Finance announced a comprehensive suite of measures under the headings of marge de manoeuvre - I have the news release here in French, Mr. Speaker - the Margin of Manoeuver, de nouvelles mesures pour les ménages, new measures for households; propositions au gouvernement fédéral, propositions for the federal government; de nouvelles mesures pour les entreprises; new measures for business and finally, des mesures déjàs mises en oeuvre, Measures that Have Already Been Put in Place.

To give you an example, the kinds of things that we're talking about don't need to be big things or expensive things - for example, one of the ways that the Government of Quebec wants to put more money in the hands of Quebecers is to have full indexation of social assistance payments, Mr. Speaker, or at least certain social assistance payments. In Quebec, that will put an extra $66 million in the hands of 332,000 households.

The propositions to the federal government include delaying the age from age 71 to 73, the age at which holders of RRSPs are required to take out their money, the idea being that the additional two years may give their plans a chance to recover from the current turmoil and drop in the stock market or, for example, Mr. Speaker, the federal government to suspend for one year the obligation for people to repay to the RRSPs amounts taken up under the Canadian home ownership plan, which allows people to withdraw money from their RRSP as long as they pay it back.

These are small measures, Mr. Speaker, but they will put money in people's hands. It will keep the economy going and, of course, in Quebec there is one difference. As we sat here in this House today, the worst kept secret in Quebec politics became public and an election has been called in the Province of Quebec for December 8th. We have to bear in mind that this economic statement that was delivered yesterday was delivered in the full knowledge that an election would be called the following day. So some of these measures have been pushed off to the future and, of course, would only be implemented if, in fact, the current Liberal Government is returned to power in the election that has been called in that province for December 8th. So we have to take all of this with a grain of salt.

However, Mr. Speaker, the point is not that we should do precisely what the Province of British Columbia has done or the Province of Quebec. The point is that in those provinces and in others, they felt it was important to bring to their Legislature, the people's House, and to put before the legislators and the people, the government's forecasts for the future and certain measures designed to stimulate the economy.

[Page 4877]

Not only that, Mr. Speaker, not just to stimulate the economy but the biggest single issue that the current financial crisis has led to in the economy is the difficulty of businesses in particular to have access to capital. Capital is the lifeblood of business - whether it is working capital just to keep cash flow going, or whether it's for investment in capital projects, businesses need to have access to capital.

What we have heard from businesses here in Nova Scotia, Mr. Speaker, large and small, is that what is happening or what they believe is about to happen is a dramatic tightening in access of business to credit. This credit may show itself in a number of ways. It may be out and out refusals by financial institutions to provide funds; it may be higher interest rates, in some cases dramatically higher interest rates, as banks seek to offset what they perceive to be their increased risk with increased returns; or it might simply be that financial institutions will lend the money but impose more onerous conditions - Mr. Speaker, the principle one being the requirement of personal or commercial collateral that wasn't previously required - all of which puts a squeeze on business.

What other provinces are doing is recognizing that challenge and providing means of opening up the liquidity which, as every business owner knows, is an essential element of a healthy business.

In my remarks on the emergency debate, Mr. Speaker, on Thursday night, I pointed out that there are things that are completely within this government's control. There are many things that are not within this government's control when it comes to fiscal monetary policy but there are some things that are within their control. We would like to see the government meet with, in a collaborative way, representatives of the insurance industry, of our credit unions, of the managers and trustees of our pension funds. We would like to see them meet with, in a collaborative way, our municipalities, other public agencies that depend on access to capital. We would like to see them sit down with Nova Scotia Power, which is a large corporation requiring large amounts of credit in order for them to fund their day-to-day operations and their capital improvements, which we all agree that we want.

We need to make sure that anyone thinking of building in this province has access to capital, and we've already heard of at least one project here in Halifax that has been put on the shelf because the developer no longer has access to the capital that they needed in order for the project to go forward.

[5:15 p.m.]

We have heard of one of Nova Scotia's largest companies, the Clearwater Seafoods Income Fund, which has had to put on the shelf a privatization of their business because they no longer have access to capital that they need to buy back their shares, which are currently publicly traded. In order to ensure the health of that company they felt that was the right thing to do, that is no longer possible - and why? Principally because of the difficulties currently

[Page 4878]

being experienced by banks in Iceland. One of those Icelandic banks was going to be the principle funder of that privatization, so it's that kind of thing that is already going on.

Mr. Speaker, we could use an update from the government to talk to this House about the unilateral changes announced by the federal government to the equalization program. Now, when the Minister of Finance was questioned on this the day before yesterday, our own Minister of Finance said it was complicated, he was waiting for a briefing from his officials, in order to understand the full impact in what options we had. He is not the only one who would like to know the impacts and the options. I believe the members in this House would like to know and the people of Nova Scotia would like to know.

Mr. Speaker, in closing - and I say this in the face of a Progressive Conservative Government that has demonstrated obsessive secrecy in a desire to exert control over all aspects of government operations with very little collaboration. When Robert Stanfield was first elected he created something brand new, the Voluntary Planning Board, which was designed to be a forum for all interests, all stakeholders to come together, to share information, to talk about what needed to be done and what they could do together, We could certainly use some of that spirit here again. Thank you.

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

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and add the closing remarks on Resolution No. 5410, which is a request to government to bring forward an updated financial statement to the House of Assembly so that we can collectively move forward to deal with the economic crisis that the province is feeling today and how we can deal with the anticipated challenges that will be faced by our economy in the future.

It was discerning to listen to the Minister of Economic Development talk about the issues around saying that everything was going to be fine, the budget was on task, yet the Premier is now telling Nova Scotians to brace for a tough Spring. Those two things don't add up. Once again this government is talking in two different directions. All of us know the challenges that we're going to be facing this Spring. What we're asking from this government is to now give us a financial update.

Every Nova Scotian knows there will be an update in December, but every Nova Scotian also knows that when you're faced with tough challenges personally, you anticipate those and you put together a plan as early as possible. That's what we're asking this government to do. Give us an idea of where the finances of this province are today and then we are prepared to help move forward. Mr. Speaker, the business community in this province has their confidence in our economy and their confidence of being able to spend is at an all-time low. The CFIB's recent survey has shown it at an all-time low.

What we're asking for is for this government to lay out a financial update so that those businesses can be reassured that we do not have our heads buried in the sand. When this Premier says this crisis won't hit us for six to eight months and yet the business

[Page 4879]

community is feeling the crisis now, they want to know we understand that. We no longer can say that the fundamentals are okay, things should be good.

The fact of the matter is when the chairman of the Treasury and Policy Board stood up and said that our national Finance Minister said Canada's economy was solid, we had the lowest growing economy in this country for the last five years. That is not solid and we are going to continue to decline if we do not put in place measures so that we can deal with the challenges that are presently facing us and are coming forward. It's ludicrous to suggest and say everything is fine, let's step back, let's wait, let's see what happens.

We all know the challenges, how the price of oil has been changing, we know the price of gas has been changing, the issues around natural gas, we know that. All Nova Scotians know that. We know that it will change between now and December, but what we need is a snapshot of the finances today. This government acknowledged today in the presentation by the Minister of Economic Development that people in the Department of Finance have constant updates from our federal government. Why then are they unwilling to share those with Nova Scotians? Why then are they unwilling to share with the elected people of Nova Scotia so that collectively we can build a road map forward so that we can help cushion the Nova Scotian economy from the challenges that we're being faced with?

Mr. Speaker, in 2002 we had a trade surplus. We now have a $2.5 billion trade deficit because we've been unwilling to anticipate, look towards the future and build an economy that can withstand the challenges. We as a province are being left behind, not in Canada but in Atlantic Canada. We are being out-performed by our neighbours and it is completely unacceptable. When you look at our capital city, when you look at the advantages that we have here, the things that we have to offer, if you look at our institutions that are graduating and educating young Canadians who are coming to this province because they believe in our educational institutions, they want to stay and work here. Why are we not capitalizing on that? We're not because we're burying our heads in the sand. We announce, don't worry, everything will be okay.

Mr. Speaker, that's not good enough. That's not good enough for Nova Scotians. All we're simply asking is for this government to give us an update so that we can then help plan how we anticipate the next six to eight months, which will be challenging, and how do we build for the next 10 years, so that we can take our rightful place in Atlantic Canada which is building and leading the economies of Atlantic Canada. The Premier spoke today about talking with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. I would like to have that conversation. That's the same Premier who turned his back on the Premier of Newfoundland and sold him out on the Atlantic Accord. How do you think he's going to build any co-operation? He needs help. He needs help, this government needs help and we're prepared to offer it to him. All he needs to do is ask. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The time for debate on Resolution No. 4510 has now expired.

The honourable Liberal House Leader.

[Page 4880]

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 4628.

Res. No. 4628, Prem. - ATVs: Accountability - Condemn - notice given Nov. 4/08 - (Mr. L. Glavine)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to rise to speak on this resolution regarding ATVs and the issue that has come back before the Legislature this Fall. I can't help, however, but reflect for a few moments back to 2005 when government received recommendations from its own OHV Voluntary Task Force. In fact, this document that was put together, that had 39 recommendations, could have made Nova Scotia a leader in a very, very controversial area.

However, the minister of the day decided to cherry-pick six of the recommendations only. Six of the recommendations only were accepted and this was a thoughtful document. It was one that was going to develop a pathway for this recreation, this potential tourism sector, to take on a whole new face along with protection of the environment and the safety of young Nova Scotians. The OHV Voluntary Task Force put together that kind of a document. It was a perfect opportunity for government to take leadership of what in Nova Scotia had become known as a recreation, an activity that was out of control. So what took place of course, when the document came forward, so little was accepted it was confusing for Nova Scotians. Unfortunately, and I really need to reiterate and ask the question - why didn't government listen to the OHV Task Force from three years ago and set out a direction that all Nova Scotians would have been pleased with, would have had a balanced position? Like so many things with this government it takes protest, it takes petitions, it takes challenges and unfortunately in this situation, it took a tragedy for government to stop and review what was going on in the province.

In the Spring of 2006, government changed legislation on ATVs with respect to where children under the age of 16 could drive an ATV, restricting where certain age groups could drive and of course what they could drive. Also as part of that, government handed the OHV file from DNR to the Office of Health Promotion and Protection. I guess in some ways it was saying that DNR really wasn't adequate, didn't have the resources to be able to adequately manage this particular file. We never ever did receive a concrete answer as to why it was done in the first place. Of course we all know what has transpired since which I will refer to a little later on.

Then in the Spring of 2007, just last year, government changed legislation again causing more confusion for ATV drivers as well as everyone in the province. The change in legislation led to many instructors who - under government's advice, under government's direction - had said build courses, put in place a means of instructing Nova Scotians and especially young Nova Scotians in safe practices for ATVs. So this substantial amount of

[Page 4881]

money that some of the instructors had invested, in fact, has not been able to be used productively. So it also caused mass confusion for ATV riders with respect to where they could drive, funding for trails, costs to riders for trail fees, et cetera.

Then we have the current situation that has been a complete debacle and proof that this government and Premier are having great difficulties managing this file and - I would extrapolate on many days - the province. Paying $230,000 for 66 ATVs to train children across Nova Scotia brought the scorn of Canadians from coast to coast. All you had to do was pick up the national paper of the day, take a look at provincial papers and the question arose, what in the world was this government thinking about? I had university students in other parts of the country trying to explain to Canadians in other provinces the mismanagement - the ill-directed plan of spending taxpayers' dollars on kiddie ATVs. We know that the public outcry was immense, the Premier buckled to pressure and he threw his Minister of Health Promotion and Protection under a bus and stripped him of the ATV file. Once again the file was back in the hands of DNR. Why it was ever moved in the first place, maybe, is something that the minister will comment on this evening.

The question around this file is one of course that many Nova Scotians now are talking about the question of trust in government. They're talking about lack of leadership

and how can we trust a Premier who so flippantly tosses his Cabinet Minister to the wolves just to save himself because there's no question, from the document that was given to the Executive Council almost two years ago, all Cabinet and the Premier were informed of what was going to be taking place. In fact, in the very last bullet in the memo it says: We understand the issue will be addressed in the very near future through the purchase of small-size machines by Nova Scotia Health Promotion and Protection through regular market forces.

Regular market forces? Not likely. It was not put out to tender. There was no best, normal procurement practices put in place for the purchase of these ATVs; again, something Nova Scotians were hoping for.

[5:30 p.m.]

The question of the day, which we still don't have answered is, why can't government tell us where the money returned to the public purse is coming from? We know that while there may be an agreement on paper with ATVANS, we don't see any agreement from the phantom manufacturers or somebody of goodwill to put the money back in the public purse.

Why won't government listen to its own advisory committees? Government would not have gotten into this difficulty if it had listened to the advisory committee. There is one thing in common about this file, the nominee file and the state of tourism in this province, and that is the Premier was a minister in all three departments.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

[Page 4882]

HON. DAVID MORSE: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, I think it's important to set the record straight at the outset here. I want to be very clear that when the Premier became aware of this situation, contrary to what was suggested by the previous honourable member, he showed very clear leadership. He gave a directive that I, as the Minister of Natural Resources, in conjunction with my department and the means that are available to us - which primarily would be the OHV Ministerial Advisory Committee - were to recoup those tax dollars. I think Nova Scotians were well pleased when this was done in a few short days.

That did not happen by accident. That is something that was a relationship that was building up with this multi-stakeholder advisory committee and the relationships with the people on that board, which ranged from environmentalists to the manufacturers and everybody in between - all stood behind wanting the action plan in Nova Scotia to be a success.

I also want to make it clear that the focus of this government - and we should never forget this - and the objective of both the Departments of Natural Resources and Health Promotion and Protection remains the same: we want all Nova Scotians, young and old, who choose to ride ATVs to be safe and we want them to be responsible. I want to acknowledge that the Department of Health Promotion and Protection, under the leadership of their minister, championed this message and were very passionate about the health and safety of all Nova Scotians, especially young Nova Scotians.

We know that actions, to initiate a youth training program, were taken in good faith. Nova Scotia today has some of the strictest legislation for OHVs in the country. We are a leader with changes brought about under this government. Health Promotion and Protection helped to put in place the requirement for youth under the age of 14 to only be able to ride OHVs on a closed course with a helmet, parental supervision and only with a vehicle that is appropriately sized for youth and many other conditions to protect those young riders.

Today, I'm pleased to say that we have two closed courses operating in the province, with two more on the verge. They are training Nova Scotians, young and old, to ride safely and responsibly, which I think is what all Nova Scotians want to see. In 2005, we announced our action plan and we continue to implement that plan. The Department of Natural Resources was the lead on the off-highway vehicle action plan, which was developed in collaboration with nine other government departments.

The action plan was prepared with the assistance and input of staff from a number of departments, including the Department of Natural Resources, Health Promotion and Protection, Environment and Labour, and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. That action plan addressed off-highway vehicle enforcement needs, infrastructure for OHV use, safety, land use and protection of land, habitat and wildlife, as well as vehicle standards.

We, as a government, feel that we have made great strides to implement this very ambitious action plan. Mr. Speaker, as I've already referenced earlier today in Question Period, I want to acknowledge the importance of the Off-Highway Vehicle Minister

[Page 4883]

Advisory Committee. An OHV Minister Advisory Committee was struck, playing a vital role in the development of OHV use in Nova Scotia; 17 organizations and sectors are represented on the committee, which advises government on matters related to OHV use in the province. I want to put it on the record that I greatly value their advice and the work, in particular, of their Chair, who does an excellent job.

The committee is made up of OHV and trail organizations, as you would expect, but also representatives from tourism, environment, landowners, safety and training, the OHV industry, enforcement, as well as members at large, and ex-officio members from government departments. They give invaluable, broad-based advice - good advice which we rely on and I depend on. They have provided recommendations to us that really work for Nova Scotians. The recouping of the $230,000 for youth-size vehicles, while keeping the training running, is no exception, and it was done carefully, through the committee, at arm's length.

I cannot emphasize enough how important I believe the work of this committee is and can be. Because of its widespread membership, because it is made up of dedicated and concerned citizens, it is an invaluable forum for discussion and negotiation. They try to work by consensus, Mr. Speaker, this is not done by vote, so that everybody has their say.

We believe that continued collaborative efforts of government and private citizens, with leadership and commitment to safe, environmentally sensitive, responsible, off-highway vehicle use, we will make the best decisions for all Nova Scotians, closing the gap between motorized and non-motorized communities. An additional 12 enforcement officers were hired to complement the existing conservation officers in the province. These OHV unit officers are dedicated, dedicated to the enforcement and education of the OHV Act and regulations.

Mr. Speaker, we made a great deal of progress and we will continue to monitor the progress that these conservation officers are making. The goal of Nova Scotians who choose to ride these machines is to be in compliance with the regulations. We feel that these regulations, if followed, will keep youth, and all riders, as safe as possible. Our off-highway vehicle unit is doing an outstanding job in education and enforcement. Since April, 2008, we have issued 211 warnings and 112 charges for offences, including failure to wear a helmet, driving on a highway, lack of insurance, and driving on a beach amongst others. We are enforcing the Act and it is making a difference, it is changing the behaviour of the sector.

DNR, in collaboration with the RCMP and municipal police, have been focusing their efforts on safety, trespass, trails and environmental issues. We encourage the public to contact our off-highway vehicle unit, or other enforcement agencies, regarding any issues involving OHVs.

We have produced the Off-Highway Vehicle Rider's Handbook. This is a great tool for users, a 92-page resource guide for riders and parents of riders, that provides quick and reliable answers to many questions about training, supervising children and youth, safe riding practices, code of conduct, vehicle equipment and inspections, where you can ride and much

[Page 4884]

more. We want as many people as possible to read and learn from this handbook, so we have made it available at all Access Nova Scotia Centres, Department of Natural Resources Field Offices, OHV Clubs and OHV dealers. It can also be requested by toll free calling or from the DNR website. It will also be provided to each and every participant of OHV safety training. Mr. Speaker, we are also working to build those trails through the infrastructure fund financed by the users of the machines. A lot of good things are happening with OHVs in Nova Scotia.

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

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I am going to bring to the attention of the House a visitor, a very esteemed visitor, sitting with his father. Jean Laroche is here with his son Samuel. I would like to welcome Samuel to the House of Assembly, let him rise and receive the warm welcome of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I welcome this opportunity to lay out what went wrong on the youth ATV purchase file. In the course of dealing with this in the Public Accounts Committee, I had occasion to go through a great deal of material that was obtained by us through the freedom of information Act. I think I have some insight into the government's decision making process in what went right and what went wrong. After all, the purpose of the Public Accounts Committee in examining these matters is to see where things went wrong, specifically to make sure it doesn't happen again, but also if things have gone right, to make sure that kind of practice is repeated.

There are four things that went wrong in this file. Let's be very clear. Health Protection and Promotion carefully, in a stepwise manner, brought forward the youth ATV purchase file over the course of almost two years. They did it in a very thorough and professional way, involving all of the stakeholders every step of the way. We have counted at least 30 people, in seven different departments, who were aware that the youth ATV project was moving forward. For example, Economic Development had to be consulted on the procurement of the vehicles, Justice had to be consulted on the contract being signed dealing with the government's commitment to the ATV association with respect to youth training, and the Department of Environment was involved, Natural Resources and so on, at least 30 people, over seven departments, not to mention all the stakeholders on the Ministerial Advisory Committee, in the industry, and so on.

That is why it is very difficult for me, or frankly anyone else, to swallow the government's story after they denounced and reversed the program. That really Health Promotion and Protection was off on a frolic of its own, that they shouldn't have done it, nobody knew and they didn't really have authority to go ahead and do it. Clearly, it had been taken forward in a very careful stepwise way involving people throughout government. I for one will say that it seems to be very unfortunate that the finger of blame here has been pointed by the government towards the Minister of Health Protection and Promotion and the

[Page 4885]

Deputy Minister of Health Protection and Promotion because they are being held responsible for things that they didn't do, namely for doing things without authority or knowledge of other people in government. That is why it is so hard for us, for the media, for the public to swallow the government's line because so many people inside and outside government knew that this purchase was going forward before it happened.

Here's the second problem, the problem was announced on June 18, 2008, and it was reversed a few days or a week later when the Premier returned from overseas and denounced the purchase in light of quite virulent public reaction and then announced that it would be reversed. On July 10, 2008, the government issued a news release saying that it had recouped the money. Now, that news release was very carefully worded to imply that the government had, or was about to get, all of the money back.

We now know, Mr. Speaker, that that was not true. We now know that on the date that news release was issued saying government had recouped the money, the government had recouped nothing - not one cent, not one nickel of the $230,000. It was only two months later that the first cheque for $80,000 arrived. As I stand here tonight, the government is still out $150,000, and the government has nothing in writing, not one word in writing from the manufacturers who are putting up the money that they will follow through on the commitment. It is a verbal promise and nothing but a verbal promise.

Mr. Speaker, that is the second problem with the way this program unfolded. The third, how many times does the government have to learn the lesson that the procurement policy is there for a reason. They call it public tenders for a reason because it's public. If this had been put out to public tender, then we all would have known that this was in the works. If it was a bad thing, then the government could have reversed its decision then, before any money was spent, but the government decided they were not going to go through the regular procurement process and put it out to tender. What happened was that internally they worked out a deal with all the manufacturers, at least the ones who were willing to participate, in which they allocated certain amounts to certain manufacturers and asked them to name their price.

[5:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it is the same justification that we heard in the immigration fiasco where civil servants with the best of intention thought they had the best deal, nobody could improve upon it, and so they handed out the contract to the people who they were already dealing with. We know now that was the wrong decision, and it was the wrong decision on youth ATVs. One of the manufacturers, namely Kawasaki, bitterly complained about the government's decision not to go through tender. We have no idea whether the government could have got a better price and we found out, of course, that when pressed, when things went wrong, the manufacturers offered the government the best price of all, which is providing the machines at no cost.

[Page 4886]

Well, let's be clear on this, Mr. Speaker, this youth ATV training program is good for the manufacturers because it introduces young people to the machines of people who want to sell machines of that kind to their families. So let's not be under any illusion here that the manufacturers are doing this out of some sense of altruism. They're in business to sell machines and when push came to shove, they were ready to give the machines to the government at no cost, but the government never knew that because they decided they were not going to go through the regular procurement process. That's the third thing that went wrong here and, as I said, I don't know how many times the government has to learn and relearn the lesson that the procurement policy is there for a reason.

The fourth thing, Mr. Speaker, the Ministerial Advisory Committee that the Minister of Natural Resources praises so highly, they also bitterly complained to the minister after all this had happened, that they had been sidestepped on this issue. They wrote to the minister and said, you've done this to us before, you've just done it to us for a second time, and there better not be a third time. That is in the minutes of the committee. That is their first recommendation, because these people do good work, they put in a lot of time and effort, and the government sidesteps them and the minister says he pays attention to the recommendations. The truth on this file - and we have the paper to back it up - is that that committee was ignored and marginalized and they are not happy about it.

Mr. Speaker, as if that's not bad enough, that paragraph where the committee gives the minister a tongue lashing was removed from the documents under FOI, on the grounds it wasn't relevant. What I would say is, it's embarrassing. Those are the four lessons the government needs to learn from this misadventure.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. This issue is a very convoluted one. We had the Premier in the House of Assembly, in Question Period, saying he knew nothing about this deal, nothing was going on except - and then we get a document which was tabled today by the Opposition Leader that says "advice to Executive Council." Now I used to be on Executive Council and the Chair of the Executive Council, if I recall correctly, is the Premier. So definitely he would have been aware of this ATV thing some years prior to this fiasco actually happening.

I can tell you that when I talk to people in my area, they are very upset about the fact that $230,000 of taxpayers' money was put into ATVs where, indeed, probably the ATV manufacturers would have provided these machines for the very reason that my honourable colleague has stated - it's good marketing, it's something that the ATV companies down the road will reap major benefits from as these children grow up and probably buy the larger, more expensive machines as time goes on.

So it begs a question - the $230,000, we've seen a letter that was tabled here by the Minister of Natural Resources, today, indicating that ATVANS is going to pay back this $230,000 with no indication where the money is coming from. That's a lot of money for a non-profit organization in the province, so it seems to me that someone is paying the bill.

[Page 4887]

Hopefully it is an industry that is paying the bill, or it is through fundraising, which I doubt because I don't know any organization over that period of time that can raise $230,000 or the remainder of the $150,000 they have to raise to pay it back.

This smacks of government - it's an interest-free loan and if, indeed, the ATV manufacturers are going to pay this off, it's a nice way to help finance huge companies at Nova Scotians' expense; basically an interest-free loan. I wonder, by the time this is all over, if it won't be a forgivable interest-free loan, like we've seen in Magic Valley and Potatogate that we discussed in this Legislature and we discussed at Public Accounts. You just wonder where all of this is going.

If you look at the money spent on this - and it's a lot of money - what could the money have been used for? The money could have been used for improving proper care for seniors. We've just seen the government increase the cost in the care of seniors in nursing homes go up substantially - that money could have been used to divert some of that cost. It could have been used to help reduce wait times; it could have been used to help seniors and people with modest incomes to reduce their energy costs. And the list goes on and on, what the money could have been used for. But no, the province decided to come along and spend $230,000, which there was absolutely no need of doing, because indeed, without question, the manufacturers would have stepped forward and provided these machines on the basis of the marketing.

I'll just give you some information as well which you may not be aware of. When I was on regional council, we had a really big problem with ATVs, so I worked with the RCMP and we worked with council to come up with training some RCMP officers and provide them with equipment to go after these ATVers and charge them for inappropriate activities. And lo and behold, at least two of the manufacturers of these ATVs provided ATVs to the RCMP free of charge - free of charge. They did all the maintenance on them, they installed the equipment for the lights, the radio setups and everything else that the RCMP everything that needed, at their own cost.

They would have these machines for a year and at the end of the year they would be provided with another brand new machine - a brand new machine. Now these machines were not bottom-line machines, they were very, very expensive ATVs. The industry realized that they couldn't tolerate this type of activity in the community.

I had reports from residents in my riding of driving along the highway, with young people doing "wheelies" passing them when they're doing 70 kilometres an hour in the 70 kilometre zone - doing wheelies on a corner, young people. Now that was very irresponsible on their parents' behalf, using the large ATVs to do this. That's one reason that all this issue with ATVs came forward and, indeed, there is a better situation in Nova Scotia than there was.

You know when you look at the whole thing it just doesn't make sense. Training for young people is a good idea, it's an excellent idea, and that's something industries should do.

[Page 4888]

Are we going to say we're going to start training 13-14 year olds to drive cars and the province is going to supply cars to do it? I don't think so. It's never happened in the past and hopefully it will never happen in the future. It will be an expense that the government could never afford and the taxpayers of Nova Scotia can't afford.

As everyone knows, we're heading into some really tough economic times and, again, we're giving an interest free loan to some big manufactures and these are big manufactures. They're not small little Nova Scotia companies we're talking about - we're talking about some of these companies that are located in Japan and all of them outside of Nova Scotia. The only revenue we get from these machines is the small amount of tax that the dealers collect and turn into the province to use for general revenue for the province. It really has no real positive impact on the province when it comes to the machines themselves and the sale of machines.

It does have some important factors with other outside activities, which is important, and I think that is important for our community. I'd like to get a list of the people's names who are providing these closed circuit courses and find out who these people are, what qualifications they have and how they decided to get into this thing. I give those people a lot of credit for doing that and providing, hopefully, a business that can make some money. But why was the government so anxious to supply these machines to a business operation when, indeed, if you are in the manufacturing business in this province, or if you are trying to do something else, it's extremely difficult to get money from the government, or any organization, to upgrade your manufacturing equipment which would employ people long-term, but yet the government decided to buy ATVs. They really have a very limited impact on our economy as far as our economy grows and job creation grows. Why couldn't those companies, who wanted to do closed circuit tracks, approach the ATV companies and have them supplied free of charge? No, they didn't do that.

The Premier, again, says he didn't know anything about this and here's a document that proves that he absolutely did know about it two years prior to this ever happening and was continually updated on this. being the Premier. So how can you explain that? How can he say that he didn't know? It smacks of all things like the scandal we have seen in immigration. Again, as my honourable colleague has said, who was the minister? He was the Minister responsible for the Immigration file, he was the Minister responsible for Tourism and every other department that he's touched prior to that has had these problems. Then he tells us that he didn't know about this, in this House, in this place, in Question Period, so I really question the credibility of our Premier. Thank you.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that completes the Liberal Party business for today. I would now ask the Deputy Government House Leader to give us the business for tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

[Page 4889]

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, I would move that we now adjourn to meet again tomorrow. The hours will be from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. After the daily routine we will move into Public Bills for Second Reading. Bill numbers are No. 186, No. 187, No. 190, No. 191, No. 193, No. 194, No. 195, No. 196, No. 199, No. 200, No. 201, No. 203, and No. 204.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn.

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 house will sit again tomorrow at 12:00 noon.

We have arrived at the moment of interruption. The adjournment debate has been chosen and announced earlier.

The adjournment motion was submitted by the honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection:

"Therefore be it resolved that members of this House work together to promote further development of our capital for the benefit of Nova Scotians across our province."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

ECON. DEV. - HFX.: DEVELOPMENT - PROMOTE

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, the be it resolved section of the motion speaks for itself - members work together to promote further development of the capital for the benefit of Nova Scotians across the province.

Mr. Speaker, members opposite will likely know that I spent a great deal of time as a former municipal councillor. I was elected in 1993 and re-elected to Halifax Regional Council in 1995. During all of that time, I sat as a council representative on the Municipal Planning Advisory Committee and I chaired the Halifax County Planning Advisory Committee for a short period of time. The important work done by a municipal councillor is during that time when you're developing a new planning strategy.

[Page 4890]

I want to take a moment to explain to the House, to members and Nova Scotians who may be watching, that today we have come to a point in this Legislature where we have two Parties with completely philosophical different approaches as to how this province should progress. On this side of the House, we believe in growing our economy and developing our province and moving forward and on that side of the House, the Opposition Party is the Party that is opposed to development. I intend to lay out my support for this argument by providing some historical references with respect to members opposite and their position with respect to development.

In the beginning, I want to read a quote from an October 24th press release from the leader of the second Party. It says, "The Premier's intrusion into planning processes of the Halifax Regional Municipality is blatant interference of HRM's right to discharge the responsibilities within their jurisdiction." It's ironic that he says that when members of his own caucus on a routine basis have, for decades, done exactly what he's accusing this side of the House of doing. I'm going to lay it out.

The member for Halifax Chebucto has been interfering in HRM development process for over a generation. His appeal of council votes ended the Midtown project. His appeal of United Gulf's twin towers project consumed 12 days of hearings, three days of final submissions, a visit to Citadel Hill, a written document that could be stacked as high as the ceiling. That project, after days of delays, still hasn't broken ground and that is from the Chronicle-Herald, September 14, 2007. The developer's lawyer says, any delay is desirable for opponents; opponents will be able to tie procedural knots anytime they want.

United Gulf first brought this project forward in January of 2005 - 14 months later council approved it at a 15-5 vote. After staff approved the project, the Heritage Trust headed appeals of the council's vote for 18 months after that the appeals process sauntered along, the URB sided with city staff and the majority of the councillors and approved the project.

Now, the member for Halifax Chebucto also interfered with the Midtown project. After a 3-1 favourable vote by the community council, Councillors Uteck, Fougere and Bloomingthal voted in favour and Councillor Sloan voted against. The member led an appeal group opposing the Midtown development, not only as the MLA for Halifax Chebucto, but also as a lawyer. June 24, 2005, the Daily News says that the member argues that Halifax Councillors Uteck and Bloomingthal failed to abide by policy set out in the MPS and council lost its jurisdiction because it failed to do the fundamentals required to the statute to do, which applies to the MPS. This is the member's one and only victory.

The member for Halifax Chebucto played a role in delays plaguing the United Gulf Twisted Sisters project. Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia and the MLA jointly asked the Nova Scotia Supreme Court to quash Halifax Regional Municipality's decision to approve the development application for the project slated between Hollis and Granville Street. The Daily News, March 7, 2006 - at last week's hearing, Halifax NDP MLA for Halifax Chebucto

[Page 4891]

warned council to reject the United Gulf project on the risk of losing power to make these types of decisions in the future.

I can only speculate that the member opposite was expecting to bring forward a piece of legislation to strip the municipality's power away from them and threatening the weight of this House to resolve this decision in his favour.

Mr. Speaker, an opinion piece from Robert Stapells, March 7, 2006 in The ChronicleHerald, said that the delays caused by the Heritage Trust tactics and repeated appeals cost developers and private interests millions of dollars. This is money that otherwise would be spent and invested in this city to help grow not only the city but our province. He went on to say that HRM taxpayers had been shortchanged on millions in tax revenues and thousands of hours of HRM planning staff and legal department staff.

March 19, 2008, the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, in The ChronicleHerald, regarding the twin towers said: I am opposed to this proposed development. He also went on to say: Why don't we build a scaled-down version of the twin towers at the Cogswell Street interchange? It just so happened that this developer didn't own that piece of land, Mr. Speaker.

I go on to bring your attention to an article that appeared in The Daily News from October 2006: Developer caught in procedural limbo. Heritage Trust lawyer, Howard Epstein, and the United Gulf has taken the blame for some of the delays. The judicial review was ready to go in August when the developer failed last minute challenges to the standing of some opponents, said the member for Halifax Chebucto.

The ChronicleHerald on October 23, 2006: Although regional council approved United Gulf's $150 million high-rise, hotel and condo development, after a lengthy public hearing heritage groups appealed the decision. Again on December 8, 2006, in The ChronicleHerald: Because of the opposition, United Gulf's Granville Street lot, about 30,000 square feet and commercial assessment of $1.98 million, has been empty since the summer of 2004."

So that shows you what the impact is of these kinds of interventions. Heritage Trust, represented by the member for Halifax Chebucto again, is appealing the city council's approval of the development which was approved on a 15 to 5 vote. A quote here, The ChronicleHerald, December 8, 2006: United Gulf's lawyer says any delay is desirable for the opponents. Opponents will be able to tie us in procedural knots any time they want. Mr. Speaker, that is exactly what the members opposite are doing.

March 2007, the Heritage Trust and the member for Halifax Chebucto again lost the court case to hold more hearings on the Twisted Sisters project. The member for Halifax Chebucto reacted to this loss and I quote: Construction could only start if our appeal to the Utility and Review Board is unsuccessful and if no further appeal after that. So, no, he said,

[Page 4892]

I don't think there's going to be construction any time soon on that site. That's what the member for Halifax Chebucto said to The Daily News on March 2, 2007.

So, Mr. Speaker, it's not about whether you're right or wrong, it's about appealing and delaying and deferring development in this province and in this city. September 14, 2007, in The ChronicleHerald: The Twisted Sisters foes lose their appeal. The URB threw out the appeal. The member for Halifax Chebucto still wants to scuttle the project, suggesting that the city should buy back the land that United Gulf has paid $5.3 million for earlier and he told The Daily News that we would all be better off if we bought back the land and put out a call for proposals for a much lower building on the site. That's what he said on September 14th.

The member for Halifax Chebucto writes The Daily News: The denser peninsula could exist. In the 1970s, 50 per cent more people lived on the peninsula, all prior to building of any but a few tall buildings here. Mr. Speaker, this speaks exactly to what the Minister of Tourism, Heritage and Culture was talking about where the member has a philosophy that he wants to bring everybody from the country into the city and, you know, what confirms the hypothesis of the member was the silence of the member for Halifax Chebucto.

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

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm delighted to rise here and speak to the honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection and his motion tonight. It appears that he hasn't really read his own motion. His own motion says that members of this House work together to promote further development of our capital for the benefit of Nova Scotians across this province.

Mr. Speaker, the honourable minister no sooner had finished reading that motion, when he proceeded to launch an unprecedented attack on the Leader of the Opposition and devoted the rest of his time attacking the member for Halifax Chebucto and the Heritage Trust. It's just a supreme irony that the minister would waste his valuable time, when we're in the middle of a major economic crisis, to launch an attack on another member of the Legislature and in a motion that calls for greater co-operation among the members of this House, and I hope he notes the irony in that.

Mr. Speaker, the minister talks about co-operation with members of this House. The minister should begin by looking for co-operation from the members on his own side of the House. He should talk with the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection - he is the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection - sorry, he should speak to the Premier for starters. The Premier talks about co-operation with council. The Premier talks about co-operation with ministers of the community and he proceeded to attempt to veto a decision of council. That's not co-operation, Mr. Speaker; that's not co-operation, Mr. Minister.

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He should begin by talking about this with his colleague, the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. For almost two years the Downtown Halifax Business Commission has asked the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to use the Mary E. Black Gallery on Barrington Street as a viable, commercial space that would not destroy the streetscape of Barrington Street, that would remain open on the weekends and in the evening. The minister has refused to do so and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission says that this would be a simple way for the government to demonstrate its commitment to economic development and the revitalization of Barrington Street.

The Minister of Health Promotion and Protection should talk to the Minister of Justice about the Infirmary lands issue. If he's really committed to development downtown, he should make it possible for that process to go ahead, and perhaps the Minister of Justice should look at that land for development purposes instead of building a courthouse and holding facilities in the middle of prime real estate in the city. The Department of Justice is standing in the way of that very important economic development program and the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection should ask the Minister of Justice and he should ask the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal why that is happening there.

He should talk to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations as to why the Barrington Street Heritage District Plan has not gone ahead, why it has proven so difficult for him, in the face of a consensus in the downtown community, that we need tax incentives to stimulate revitalization of that street, to promote economic development, to encourage businesses to save heritage districts, why it has proven so difficult when we have consensus, when people are working together to get a project to move ahead.

The Minister of Health Promotion and Protection talks about the Twisted Sisters. Mr. Speaker, that project has laid dormant, nothing has happened since then, along with a whole number of other projects that have been approved and that have been frozen. There is no opposition for that, there is no holding up in court for this, Mr. Speaker. It's being held up by this government's inactivity, and ignorance of downtown Halifax, and sheer incompetence. (Interruptions) Well, the Minister of Immigration should not talk about incompetence, Mr. Speaker. I want to say a little - well, we can both get testy.

Mr. Speaker, Halifax is a great city with great potential. In the words of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, the downtown - and downtown, however you define it, includes Gottingen Street, that fantastic street that has this great cultural vitality, that's trying desperately to develop itself despite the government's inactivity and incompetence. The downtown needs to be the cultural, architectural, business, transit, tourism and retail centre of the city. It is the place that adorns postcards, attracts visiting CEOs, and defines the city like no other place. It is the heart, the soul and the smile.

[6:15 p.m.]

[Page 4894]

Mr. Speaker, economic development doesn't mean that you launch attacks on members on the other side of the House as a substitute for good public policy. Economic development means leveraging our assets and what are our assets? Our post-secondary education - we have world-class teaching, research and innovation going on right here in Halifax in the HRM. We know that innovation and productivity lie at the heart of our economic development. Innovation and productivity provide us with skilled workers. Innovation and productivity give us the creative community that we are looking for. Innovation and productivity help us commercialize our research so it can be served in the public interest and get returns on our investment in post-secondary education. If we really wanted to, if the government cared about economic development, it would pay more attention to the state of our universities and invest more in infrastructure and graduate research and innovation.

Tom Traves, the president of Dalhousie, was speaking this morning, Mr. Speaker, at a Nova Knowledge breakfast and he said, I believe we have not really leveraged the full potential of having such a knowledge powerhouse in our province. He was talking about the universities. He said Halifax has one of the largest concentrations of Ph.Ds. in Marine Science and Oceanography in the world with the presence of Dalhousie, the universities, the Bedford Institute, the National Research Council, an active consulting and engineering community, a host of ocean-based industries from the fisheries to offshore gas, not to mention the port, and he said, for all this activity, it has always struck me that we have never brought all of this talent and potential together as effectively as possible to create new or expanded opportunities. If this government cared about economic development, it would establish a centre for excellence in oceans research and oceans management and oceans technology in Nova Scotia.

Tom Traves also talked about health care. We have hospitals, we have research and health related facilities here. We should use our health industries for health promotion and protection, something the minister might be more interested in focusing on; development of our life sciences industry, a BioNova. Not to mention the arts, Mr. Speaker, this huge asset that we have that's at the heart of our creative community here. We need to nurture the arts. We need to develop it. We need to develop Nova Scotia as a place where people will come to, and visit and practice their craft.

I mentioned the Port of Halifax, Mr. Speaker, this huge asset that we have inherited for hundreds of years, the same port that gave us the Bluenose and the Cunard Line and made us dominate the waves. The port is facing a challenge in container traffic, in cruise traffic. We need to develop the port. We need to find out why our port is not being used, how we can make our port more competitive and how we can put ourselves, again, at the forefront of ocean traffic.

In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, the government really must get its own act together. The government has to address infrastructure issues in the universities, in the arts community and the port. As Tom Traves said, we have not really leveraged the potential of our economic

[Page 4895]

powerhouses. There's still a lot of untapped potential. As the global economy shrinks around us, this is the time to leverage our assets for new opportunities and economic development.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, it's always nice to be last in these debates at this time of day because you get to get the perspective from the two other Parties first on this issue. I must say that the issue promoted this evening by the honourable Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, that members of this House work together to promote further development of our capital for the benefit of Nova Scotians across our province, I don't know how you can say on the one hand you're going to develop the capital and then not talk about the rest of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I would hope that any development that we're talking about in the Halifax Regional Municipality, this government would also turn its attention to the lack of development in the rest of this province - particularly in Cape Breton and rural Nova Scotia. I would hope that any economic development strategy that would be put in place by this government - and we've seen very little of it lately - would extend to all of Nova Scotia, thereby strengthening the economy throughout the province.

The Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, the only thing he said that was right - and I listened to him very closely - was the NDP's policy on development. I like to refer back home to the NDP as a "nothing doing" Party or a "no development" Party. And there are all kinds of other euphemisms you can put on the NDP. However it seems the NDP are against any and all development that would see somebody make a profit in this province.

That word "profit" is totally foreign to the NDP - they would like to run everything of government, regulate everything, tax and spend into deficit here in the province, and certainly would not be the masters of their own house should they ever, Heaven forbid, become government in this province. We've seen examples of that; we've seen examples of what happens when the NDP get hold of the purse strings. It's not nice and in this particular case we've seen examples - some of them were outlined by the minister - of members who are in this House against every and all development that seems to come up in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

So I think what we have to do here is put this into perspective. Now the minister talks about developing the economy of this province and he talks about the statistics that the Minister of Economic Development talked about earlier, that the province is growing. But that is not the case - what's happening is the economy in this province is stagnant, the economy right across the country is in the tank right now, and Nova Scotia is worse off than most.

These aren't my figures that we talked about the other day here in the House, these are Stats Canada figures that say the growth in Nova Scotia has been the worst in Canada in the past year. Those figures came from the Department of Finance, the government's own

[Page 4896]

Department of Finance. They're not my figures, but the Minister of Economic Development got up earlier today and talked about the growing number of jobs - Mr. Speaker, that's just not the case in Nova Scotia.

We have to realize that we need a long-term strategy in this province to grow the economy, to project out for a number of years, perhaps a 10-year plan, to strengthen the economy throughout Nova Scotia and including of course the anchor of this province, the major city, the Halifax Regional Municipality and all it has to offer Nova Scotia. You can't do it by doing what this government has done. For example, in the Halifax by Design, which should have gone through this House last Spring, if that would have happened we wouldn't be sitting here these last few days talking about the debacle that happened with the recent development initiative in downtown Halifax. That initiative would probably be underway by now, or at least the ground rules for that would have been set - but no, the government didn't go through with that.

So here we are back debating HRM by Design right now, and also debating a city charter for the City of Halifax which, by the way, I might say in my opinion, in this particular case that municipality is certainly big enough to have its own charter in Nova Scotia. I don't have a problem with that. When I was mayor of the City of Sydney, a city that was much smaller than this one, we had our own charter prior to amalgamation. It enabled us to do some things that we felt, the city council felt, were in the best interests of the people that we served at the time. We weren't subject to this outside influence almost on a regular basis, as we see in what's going on now. There are people who are provincial legislators now who have never left their municipal job behind, as councillors, and feel they still have to get involved in the workings of the Halifax Regional Municipality on a regular basis.

A lot of the people who I watch and hear complain about development in the Halifax Regional Municipality, particularly downtown, are people who are catering to special interest groups and not looking at the overall good of the city, the economy, the people who work here, the people who live here and the people who want to enjoy the city. Halifax could be a great city, but it can't be if we don't develop the city in an orderly fashion in the future.

The minister made reference to the fact that, leave us alone and we'll do it. But I think the government is doing it too slowly. I think it's typical that everybody's trying to lash out and blame somebody else as to why the city's not being developed, and government is certainly not helping the issue. Somebody recently said that the last major commercial development was the Purdy's Wharf towers. That's 20 years old. That, to me, is a terrible situation, where we go for 20 years without new major commercial space in downtown Halifax.

There is a need for Halifax to take its rightful place as a world-class city. In my opinion, it has the potential to do that and if it's good for Halifax, it should be good for the rest of the province. Indeed, where we stand and do our presentations from this very location, we should be able to look out and see development that's going to provide jobs and a stable economy in the future - happening all the time, but we're not seeing that. Yes, we're seeing

[Page 4897]

some hotels go up, not without problems in some areas. We see there are lots of people out there who want to stop development. I would like to see more initiatives coming from the people who want to promote development in terms of convincing us, as legislators, that it's a very good thing for the province and for this city.

I can tell you there's an incident happening right now that's not good for this city, and I would plead with the government once again to intervene with Nova Scotia Power and stop the insanity of power rate increases in this province. There is no reason why Nova Scotia Power should be given that kind of an increase - over 9 per cent - and I think somebody said they were back five times in the last five years, or four times in the last five years, and coming back again next Spring.

This corporation has to do what everybody else is doing. It's best to try to make this city move, it's best to try to encourage business development in this area, to encourage people to use their products, to encourage people to develop other sorts of energy options in this city and indeed, by extension, the province. Increasing power rates is only going to stifle development. With the way the world prices are going now with oil and coal, there's no reason why Nova Scotia Power shouldn't be made to look inward. If they need to save money, if they need to cut back on their profit margins, then so be it. But to tell the consumers in this province once again that they're going to get it in the wallet is not the right way to promote development.

I think this government has a responsibility. For the government to say that they will not intervene in decisions of the URB - they've already done it, the precedent has been set. The Premier had no problem intervening with the Halifax decision recently on development, or trying to intervene - I'm not sure how he's going to accomplish that - but I think it's time for the Premier to stand up to Nova Scotia Power and say to them, in the best interests of the economy of Nova Scotia, you guys aren't getting any more increases. If he needs to come to this place with legislation to do that, this Party will certainly support it. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The time for debate on this resolution has now expired. I want to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late debate.

The motion for adjournment was made earlier. The House stands adjourned until 12:00 noon tomorrow.

[The House rose at 6:28 p.m.]

[Page 4898]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4721

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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

Whereas Oxford Branch 36 of the Royal Canadian Legion is again making preparations for their annual Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying ceremonies to remind all Canadians of the supreme sacrifice made by so many; and

Whereas this and all other Legions have taken the gauntlet passed to them so many years ago, a commitment immortalized in the beautiful, yet haunting words of Dr. John McCrae: "To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high."; and

Whereas Oxford Branch 36 of the Royal Canadian Legion and members across Nova Scotia not only provide leadership in ensuring that we "never forget", but also give back to their communities through their many activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute Oxford Branch 36 of the Royal Canadian Legion for its continued community work, and thank its members for their efforts to ever remind us of the too many men and women who gave their lives for this great country to retain the freedoms we hold so dearly.

RESOLUTION NO. 4722

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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

Whereas Springhill Branch 17 of the Royal Canadian Legion is again making preparations for their annual Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying ceremonies to remind all Canadians of the supreme sacrifice made by so many; and

[Page 4899]

Whereas this and all other Legions have taken the gauntlet passed to them so many years ago, a commitment immortalized in the beautiful, yet haunting words of Dr. John McCrae: "To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high."; and

Whereas Springhill Branch 17 of the Royal Canadian Legion and members across Nova Scotia not only provide leadership in ensuring that we "never forget", but also give back to their communities through their many activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute Springhill Branch 17 of the Royal Canadian Legion for its continued community work, and thank its members for their efforts to ever remind us of the too many men and women who gave their lives for this great country to retain the freedoms we hold so dearly.

RESOLUTION NO. 4723

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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

Whereas Maccan Branch 134 of the Royal Canadian Legion is again making preparations for their annual Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying ceremonies to remind all Canadians of the supreme sacrifice made by so many; and

Whereas this and all other Legions have taken the gauntlet passed to them so many years ago, a commitment immortalized in the beautiful, yet haunting words of Dr. John McCrae: "To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high."; and

Whereas Maccan Branch 134 of the Royal Canadian Legion and members across Nova Scotia not only provide leadership in ensuring that we "never forget", but also give back to their communities through their many activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute Maccan Branch 134 of the Royal Canadian Legion for its continued community work, and thank its members for their efforts to ever remind us of the too many men and women who gave their lives for this great country to retain the freedoms we hold so dearly.

RESOLUTION NO. 4724

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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

[Page 4900]

Whereas Joggins Branch 4 of the Royal Canadian Legion is again making preparations for their annual Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying ceremonies to remind all Canadians of the supreme sacrifice made by so many; and

Whereas this and all other Legions have taken the gauntlet passed to them so many years ago, a commitment immortalized in the beautiful, yet haunting words of Dr. John McCrae: "To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high."; and

Whereas Joggins Branch 4 of the Royal Canadian Legion and members across Nova Scotia not only provide leadership in ensuring that we "never forget", but also give back to their communities through their many activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute Joggins Branch 4 of the Royal Canadian Legion for its continued community work, and thank its members for their efforts to ever remind us of the too many men and women who gave their lives for this great country to retain the freedoms we hold so dearly.

RESOLUTION NO. 4725

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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

Whereas River Hebert Branch 14 of the Royal Canadian Legion is again making preparations for their annual Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying ceremonies to remind all Canadians of the supreme sacrifice made by so many; and

Whereas this and all other Legions have taken the gauntlet passed to them so many years ago, a commitment immortalized in the beautiful, yet haunting words of Dr. John McCrae:"To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high."; and

Whereas River Hebert Branch 14 of the Royal Canadian Legion and members across Nova Scotia not only provide leadership in ensuring that we "never forget", but also give back to their communities through their many activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute River Hebert Branch 14 of the Royal Canadian Legion for its continued community work, and thank its members for their efforts to ever remind us of the too many men and women who gave their lives for this great country to retain the freedoms we hold so dearly.

RESOLUTION NO. 4726

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

[Page 4901]

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

Whereas Parrsboro Branch 45 of the Royal Canadian Legion is again making preparations for their annual Remembrance Day service and wreath-laying ceremonies to remind all Canadians of the supreme sacrifice made by so many; and

Whereas this and all other Legions have taken the gauntlet passed to them so many years ago, a commitment immortalized in the beautiful, yet haunting words of Dr. John McCrae: "To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high."; and

Whereas Parrsboro Branch 45 of the Royal Canadian Legion and members across Nova Scotia not only provide leadership in ensuring that we "never forget", but also give back to their communities through their many activities;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute Parrsboro Branch 45 of the Royal Canadian Legion for its continued community work, and thank its members for their efforts to ever remind us of the too many men and women who gave their lives for this great country to retain the freedoms we hold so dearly.

RESOLUTION NO. 4727

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Energy)

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

Whereas each year the International Tattoo held at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, on August 1 to 23, 2008, and this international outdoor event has an audience of over 217,000, with performers from all over the world being chosen to participate; and

Whereas Yarmouth resident and MacKenzie School of Dance student Tessa MacMillan was one of four Nova Scotia dancers out of 45 Canadians chosen to perform in this world-class spectacular; and

Whereas Tessa and all Nova Scotia dancers represented this province extremely well, dancing and performing many excellent routines, often during periods of heavy rain;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tessa and the other dancers for the honour of being chosen to perform at the international event, and thank them for representing our province so well.

RESOLUTION NO. 4728

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

[Page 4902]

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

Whereas if one golfer were to shoot three holes-in-one on the same course in a single round, the odds are forecast at one in 488 billion; and

Whereas Phil Scarf kept his shooting prowess to a single hole-in-one this summer at Avon Valley Golf and Country Club when he took his 9 iron and shot a drive 129 yards for a hole-in-one on the 5th hole; and

Whereas despite not scoring three holes-in-one, Phil still conquered odds of about 12,500 to one with his once ace;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs in the House of Assembly applaud Phil Scarf for his 129 yard-9 iron shot on Avon Valley Golf and Country Club's 5th hole this summer, and wish him another fantastic 2009 season of golf.

RESOLUTION NO. 4729

By: Mr. Pat Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas a community group working towards a special memorial on Dalhousie Mountain were finally able to see it completed in August of this year; and

Whereas the Dalhousie Mountain WWII Memorial Committee was pleased to dedicate a memorial to five Air Force servicemen who lost their lives 66 years to the day after the tragic accident happened; and

Whereas the four Canadians and one Australian perished on the night of August 10, 1942, after crashing into Dalhousie Mountain on a routine night training mission, and the group secured some government and community funding and the rock upon which the plaque stands was donated by the owner of a Scotsburn quarry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the Dalhousie Mountain WWII Memorial Committee for its dedication to honouring the sacrifice made by five servicemen one night in 1942 and, subsequently, the brave men and women serving Canada today.

RESOLUTION NO. 4730

By: Hon. Karen Casey (Education)

[Page 4903]

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

Whereas Canada's National History Society recognizes the outstanding contributions of Canada's history teachers, ranging from elementary grades through to secondary schools; and

Whereas one example of the exceptional teaching style of Owen Ferguson, a teacher at Redcliff Middle School in Valley, was a creative and interactive lesson plan to gain meaningful knowledge of our country's past and colourful future; and

Whereas Owen designed a project the All Canadian Tree that depicted aspects of Canadian culture and history, and whereas the tree served as a symbol of the diversity of Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Owen Ferguson for receiving the 2008 Governor General's Award for Excellence in teaching Canadian History.

RESOLUTION NO. 4731

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Amber Leary of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4732

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

[Page 4904]

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Beth Walker of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4733

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Bethany Leary of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4734

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

[Page 4905]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Cassidy Forrest of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4735

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Hayley Wentzell of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4736

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Lisa Wamback of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

[Page 4906]

RESOLUTION NO. 4737

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Caitlin Power of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4738

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Kayla Durling of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4739

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

[Page 4907]

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Jay Robar of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4740

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Jill Mossman of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4741

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

[Page 4908]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Lauren Moore of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4742

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Jessica Langille of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4743

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Laura Wamback of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

[Page 4909]

RESOLUTION NO. 4744

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Danielle Drew of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4745

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging teammate Leah Cook of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4746

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

[Page 4910]

Whereas the New Germany Rural High School Saints senior girls softball team won the regional championships; and

Whereas the Saints beat teams from Bridgetown, North Queens, Digby and finally Bridgewater, to bring the regional title to their school; and

Whereas the Saints then followed this up with bringing home the provincial title;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in acknowledging Assistant Coach Sandra Joudrey of the New Germany Rural High School Saints girls softball team on winning the provincial title.

RESOLUTION NO. 4747

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Buttercups Bra Boutique for being chosen as a nominee for the New Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4748

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

[Page 4911]

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cardinal Fire & Safety for being chosen as a nominee for the Entrepreneurial Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4749

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate CKBW Acadia Broadcasting Ltd. for being chosen as a nominee for the Large Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4750

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

[Page 4912]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Fairview Inn for being chosen as a nominee for the Entrepreneurial Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4751

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Green Solutions North America Inc. for being chosen as a nominee for the Innovation Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4752

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Nature's Reflections Landscaping for being chosen as a nominee for the Small Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4753

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

[Page 4913]

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Northern Sun for being chosen as a nominee for the Grassroots Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4754

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Powerline Poultry Ltd. for being chosen as a nominee for the Grassroots Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4755

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

[Page 4914]

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate The Dog Shop Bathhouse & Boutique for being chosen as a nominee for the New Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4756

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate The Nodding Group for being chosen as a nominee for the Large Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4757

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas the Town of Bridgewater is home to numerous small businesses employing hundreds of people; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

[Page 4915]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Wile's Lake Farm Market & Bakery for being chosen as a nominee for the Small Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4758

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia's economy; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Charles Lantz Cabinetry of Garden Lots, Lunenburg County on being the recipient of the Grassroots Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4759

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia's economy; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Julie's Pastry Shop on being the recipient of the Entrepreneurial Achievement Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4760

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

[Page 4916]

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia's economy; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lunenburg County Winery, Newburne, Lunenburg County on being the recipient of the Export Achievement Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4761

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia's economy; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Chester Organics on being the recipient of the New Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4762

By: Hon. Carolyn Bolivar-Getson (Human Resources)

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

Whereas small businesses are the backbone of Nova Scotia's economy; and

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

Whereas the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 5th Annual Lunenburg County Business Excellence Awards;

[Page 4917]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate H.B. Multimedia Studios of Lunenburg on being the recipient of the Large Business Award.

RESOLUTION NO. 4763

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 Walter's Garage and Muffler Shop is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Walter's Garage and Muffler Shop and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4764

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 Moonlight Beach Inn is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Moonlight Beach Inn and wish them continued success.

[Page 4918]

RESOLUTION NO. 4765

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 Absolute Home Inspection is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Absolute Home Inspection and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4766

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 Advance Laboratories Limited is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Advance Laboratories Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4767

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 Atlantic Dutch Shop is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4919]

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Atlantic Dutch Shop and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4768

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 Atlantic Greetings is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Atlantic Greetings and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4769

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 Belle Kennel is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Belle Kennel and wish them continued success.

[Page 4920]

RESOLUTION NO. 4770

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 Beach Niche is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Beach Niche and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4771

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 Brian Myers Transport Limited is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Brian Myers Transport Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4772

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 Cassidy Nearing Berryman is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4921]

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Cassidy Nearing Berryman and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4773

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 Cascade Developments Limited is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Cascade Developments Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4774

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 Canadian Seabed Research Limited is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Canadian Seabed Research Limited and wish them continued success.

[Page 4922]

RESOLUTION NO. 4775

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 Canadian Residential Inspection Services is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Canadian Residential Inspection Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4776

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 Chem Tech Services Limited is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Chem Tech Services Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4777

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 Chezz Excavating is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4923]

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Chezz Excavating and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4778

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 Clam Bay Tourist Suite is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefited greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Clam Bay Tourist Suite and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4779

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 Clarity Accounting and Business Solutions is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Clarity Accounting and Business Solutions and wish them continued success.

[Page 4924]

RESOLUTION NO. 4780

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 Currie's Insurance is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Currie's Insurance and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4781

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 Conrad's Septic Services Limited is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Conrad's Septic Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4782

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 Daigle Locksmithing is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 4925]

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Daigle Locksmithing and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4783

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 Dalrymple Construction is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Dalrymple Construction and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4784

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 Forest Hill Drug Mart is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Forest Hill Drug Mart and wish them continued success.

[Page 4926]

RESOLUTION NO. 4785

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 Fox Fern Cottage is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Fox Fern Cottage and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4786

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 Fraser's Wide Plank Flooring Inc. is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Fraser's Wide Plank Flooring Inc. and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4787

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 Greentree Recycling is an asset to the Eastern Shore; and

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Whereas this business provides a valuable service to the residents of the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with the skills and training of their employees, our communities have benefitted greatly;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Greentree Recycling and wish them continued success.