The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 08-47

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://www.gov.n s.ca/legislature/HOUSE_BUSINESS/hansard.html


Second Session

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
SPEAKERS RULING, Threat and Intimidation by Minister During Debate
(Pt. of privilege by Mr. F. Corbett [p. 5262, 13/11/08]) 5263
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
TIR: Millbrook Rd. - Repave, Mr. C. Parker 5265
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
N.S. Health and Research Fdn. Anl. Rept., 2007-08, Hon. C. d'Entremont 5265
NSCC Anl. Rept. 2008, Hon. K. Casey (by Hon. J. Muir) 5266
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 5127, Right to Vote - Hist. Struggles,
The Premier 5266
Vote - Affirmative 5267
Res. 5128, MacDonald, Mitch: Musical Success - Congrats.,
The Premier 5267
Vote - Affirmative 5268
Res. 5129, Power, Chris: Military Serv. - Commitment,
Hon. R. Hurlburt (by Hon. David Morse) 5268
Vote - Affirmative 5269
Res. 5130, Nat. Res./Econ. Dev./TCH/CREDA: Joggins Fossil Cliffs - Dev.,
Hon. D. Morse 5269
Vote - Affirmative 5270
Res. 5131, Bandage Int'l. - Health Care: Expertise - Sharing,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5270
Vote - Affirmative 5271
Res. 5132, EMO: Conf. (10/15-10/17/08) - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5271
Vote - Affirmative 5272
Res. 5133, Strait Area Transit Co-operative - Accessible Transportation Serv.,
Hon. J. Streatch 5272
Vote - Affirmative 5273
Res. 5134, WDC: Sail Training Conf. - Congrats.,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 5273
Vote - Affirmative 5273
Res. 5135, Upper Clements Park - Black Bear: Search - Best Wishes,
Hon. David Morse 5273
Vote - Affirmative 5274
Res. 5136, EMO - Atl. 911 Conf.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5274
Vote - Affirmative 5275
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 219, Wait Times Accountability Act,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5275
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 5137, Van Gorder, Bill/Cameron, Keith & Susan/CARP:
Efforts - Congrats., Ms. Maureen MacDonald 5275
Vote - Affirmative 5276
Res. 5138, Econ. Dev. - Min.: Predictions - Refrain,
Mr. L. Glavine 5276
Res. 5139, Mid. River Rec. Assoc.: Commitment - Recognize,
Mr. K. Bain 5277
Vote - Affirmative 5278
Res. 5140, Hasey, Nick - Med. Emerg.: Response - Commend,
Ms. V. Conrad 5278
Vote - Affirmative 5279
Res. 5141, Grassmarket: Album Release - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 5279
Vote - Affirmative 5280
Res. 5142, Wear Well Garments/MacLean, Stirling: Success - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 5280
Vote - Affirmative 5280
Res. 5143, Prem.: Carbon Tax - N.S. Response,
Mr. D. Dexter 5280
Res. 5144, Prem. - Econ. Slowdown: Plan - Lack,
Mr. K. Colwell 5281
Res. 5145, Three Mile Plains Elem. Sch.: Stand Up Against Bullying Day -
Participation, Mr. C. Porter 5282
Vote - Affirmative 5282
Res. 5146, Laffin, Dr. Mike: Speedy Recovery - Wish,
Mr. F. Corbett 5282
Vote - Affirmative 5283
Res. 5147, NDP Oil Reserve Plan: Flaw - Admit,
Mr. K. Colwell 5283
Res. 5148, Baddeck Acad. Sr. Boys Golf Team: Championship -
Compliment, Mr. K. Bain 5284
Vote - Affirmative 5284
Res. 5149, Hardwood Lands Presbyterian Church - Anniv. (75th),
Mr. J. MacDonell 5285
Vote - Affirmative 5285
Res. 5150, Avalon Sexual Assault Ctr. - Anniv. (25th),
Ms. D. Whalen 5285
Vote - Affirmative 5286
Res. 5151, Milbury, Sandra - Hants Learning Network: Work -
Compliment, Mr. C. Porter 5286
Vote - Affirmative 5287
Res. 5152, McCarthy, Dr. Ian - Amherst: Return - Congrats.,
Mr. E. Fage 5287
Vote - Affirmative 5288
Res. 5153, Friends of Redtail Soc. - Commend,
Mr. C. Parker 5288
Vote - Affirmative 5288
Res. 5154, Lobster Fisher - Liberal Explanation: NDP Venue -
Provision Thank, Mr. L. Glavine 5288
Res. 5155, Woodville (Kings. Co.): Military Monument - Unveiling,
Hon. M. Parent 5289
Vote - Affirmative 5290
Res. 5156, MacKenzie, Ethel - Birthday (97th),
Ms. B. Kent 5290
Vote - Affirmative 5291
Res. 5157, NDP: Fiscal Decisions - Unfitness,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5291
Res. 5158, Corcoran, Keith - Media Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5292
Vote - Affirmative 5292
Res. 5159, Kelly, Steven and Justine: Karate Championships -
Representation, Mr. P. Paris 5292
Vote - Affirmative 5293
Res. 5160, NSAC: Research-Intensive Univ. - Rating,
Hon. J. Muir 5293
Vote - Affirmative 5294
Res. 5161, Mt. A: Maclean's - Undergrad Ranking,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5294
Vote - Affirmative 5294
Res. 5162, Collins, Bruce: Heights at Shubenacadie - Dev.,
Hon. B. Taylor 5294
Vote - Affirmative 5295
Res. 5163, Robart, Bessie - Cancer Soc. Award,
Mr. S. Belliveau 5295
Vote - Affirmative 5296
Res. 5164, Chisholm, John: Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame -
Induction, Hon. A. MacIsaac 5296
Vote - Affirmative 5297
Res. 5165, Cole Hbr. Comets Softball Team - Achievements,
Mr. D. Dexter 5297
Vote - Affirmative 5297
Res. 5166, Uranium Mining: Permanent Ban - Support,
Mr. S. Belliveau 5297
Res. 5167, Small, Mayor Robert: Amherst - Election Congrats.,
Mr. E. Fage 5298
Vote - Affirmative 5299
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 463, Health: Adolescent Mental Health Cases - Increases,
Mr. D. Dexter 5299
No. 464, Prem.: Fiscal Update - Provide, Mr. S. McNeil 5300
No. 465, Health - Children's Mental Health: Treatment - Wait Times,
Mr. D. Dexter 5302
No. 466, Health - Youth Court Referrals: Assessments - Wait times,
Mr. D. Dexter 5303
No. 467, Com. Serv.: Poverty Reduction Strategy - Recommendations,
Mr. S. McNeil 5305
No. 468, Prem.: Cabinet Comments - Control, Mr. F. Corbett 5306
No. 469, Health: Colorectal Screening Prog. - Implementation,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5307
No. 470, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Cap Assessment Prog. - Renters,
Ms. D. Whalen 5309
No. 471, TIR - Secondary Rds.: Brush Cutting - Funding,
Ms. V. Conrad 5310
No. 472, Nat. Res.: Chignecto Game Sanctuary - Seismic Testing,
Mr. L. Glavine 5311
No. 473, Nat. Res.: McNabs & Lawlor Islands - Mgt. Plan,
Ms. B. Kent 5312
No. 474, Fish. & Aquaculture: Cape Sable Island Lobster Fishery -
Damages, Mr. S. Belliveau 5314
No. 475, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: 211 System - Implementation,
Ms. D. Whalen 5315
No. 476, Nat. Res.: Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle - Damage Info
Mr. C. Parker 5316
No. 477, Health - Private Companies: Investment - Explain,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5317
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 187, Child Pornograph Reporting Act (Hon. C. Clarke) 5319
Hon. C. Clarke 5319
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5321
Mr. M. Samson 5323
Hon. C. Clarke 5337
Vote - Affirmative 5338
No. 196, Beneficiaries Designation Act (Hon. C. Clarke) 5338
Hon. C. Clarke 5338
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5338
Mr. M. Samson 5339
Hon. C. Clarke 5342
Vote - Affirmative 5342
No. 201, Counselling Therapists Act (Hon. C. d'Entremont) 5342
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5342
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5344
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5344
Hon. M. Parent 5346
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5346
Vote - Affirmative 5346
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Gov't. (N.S.): Coastal Mgt. Strategy - Develop 5347
Ms. V. Conrad 5347
Hon. M. Parent 5349
Mr. L. Glavine 5352
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Nov. 14, 2008 at 9:00 a.m. 5354
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32 (3):
Res. 5168, Keith, Jamie - MS: Efforts - Applaud,
The Speaker 5355
Res. 5169, Cdn. MS Soc. (C.B. Chapter)/Vol. Executive - Commend,
The Speaker 5355
Res. 5170, Godwin, Catherine: Book Launch - Congrats.,
The Speaker 5356
Res. 5171, Morris, Norman, Sr./Googoo, Brenda - Entrepreneur
Awards, The Speaker 5356
Res. 5172, Glace Bay Kinsmen: Glace Bay Elem. Sch. Breakfast Prog. -
Donation, Mr. D. Wilson (Glace Bay) 5357
Res. 5173, Allen, Ron: Fundraising - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5357
Res. 5174, Allen, Ron: 100 km Bike Tour - Participation,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5357
Res. 5175, Bridgewater PD - Bike Helmets: Michelin Tire - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5358
Res. 5176, Mullen, Skye - Garfield Weston Scholarship,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5358
Res. 5177, Dibbin, Janice: Charity Chef Dinner - Participation,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5359
Res. 5178, Hayward, Michelle: Charity Chef Dinner - Participation,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5359
Res. 5179, Ogilvie, Chef Rick: Charity Chef Dinner - Participation,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5359
Res. 5180, Hebb, Treasurer Ralph: Golden "K" Club - Contributions,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5360
Res. 5181, Speth, Secretary Fred: Golden "K" Club - Contributions,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5360
Res. 5182, Shupe, Vice-Pres. Bob: Golden "K" Club - Contributions,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5361
Res. 5183, Memens, First Vice-Pres. Stan: Golden "K" Club -
Contributions, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5361
Res. 5184, Speth, Past Pres. Fred: Golden "K" Club - Contributions,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5362
Res. 5185, McInnis, Coun. Bill: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5362
Res. 5186, Publicover, Mayor Carroll: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5362
Res. 5187, Mitchell, Coun. David: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5363
Res. 5188, Walker, Dep. Mayor David: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5363
Res. 5189, Ritcey, Coun. Greg: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5364
Res. 5190, Hirtle, Coun. Patrick: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5364
Res. 5191, Bell, Coun. Jim: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5364
Res. 5192, Oickle, Coun. Basil: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5365
Res. 5193, Zwicker, Coun. Don: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5365
Res. 5194, Fawson, Coun. Frank: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5366
Res. 5195, Countway, Coun. Milton: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5366
Res. 5196, Statton, Coun. Sandra: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5367
Res. 5197, Carver, Coun. Wade: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5367
Res. 5198, Moore, Coun. Cathy: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5367
Res. 5199, Veinot, Coun. John: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5368
Res. 5200, Young, Coun. Arthur: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5368
Res. 5201, Nauss, Coun. Lee: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5369
Res. 5202, Bell, Coun. Martin: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5369
Res. 5203, Hustvedt, Coun. Eric: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5370
Res. 5204, Seymour, Herbert: S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd. Rep. -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5370
Res. 5205, Downe, Mayor Don: Election - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5370
Res. 5206, Forbes, Marg: S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd. Rep. -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5371
Res. 5207, Kinley, Karen: S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd. Rep. -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5371
Res. 5208, Reinhardt, Karen: S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd. Rep. -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5372
Res. 5209, Broome, Wanda: S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd. Rep. -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5372
Res. 5210, Mailman, Gary: S. Shore Reg. Sch. Bd. Rep. -
Congrats., Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5373
Res. 5211, Orangedale Station Railway Museum - Anniv. (122nd),
The Premier 5373
Res. 5212, Strait Area Transit Cooperative: Vols./Staff - Congrats
The Premier 5373
Res. 5213, Margaree Kinsmen & Kinettes - Anniv. (30th),
The Premier 5374
Res. 5214, Beaton, Dawn & Margie: CD - Congrats.,
The Premier 5374
Res. 5215, St. Matthews United Church (Marble Mountain) -
Anniv. (105th), The Premier 5375
Res. 5216, Inverness Hosp. Fdn.: Capital Campaign - Commend,
The Premier 5375
Res. 5217, MacDougall, Mike - NSSAF Award,
The Premier 5376
Res. 5218, Ceiligh Trail CB Club: Work - Applaud,
The Premier 5376
Res. 5219, Shaw, James Bennett: Lun. Folk Hbr. Fest. Songwriting
Contest, The Premier 5377
Res. 5220, Cheticamp: Fest. Jeuness de l'Acadie - Hosting,
The Premier 5377
Res. 5221, MacDonald, Mary Janet: Celtic Colours - Award,
The Premier 5377
Res. 5222, Chisholm, Lynn: Recording - Release, The Premier 5378
Res. 5223, Mattie, Basil/Strait Engineering - Strait Area CC Award,
The Premier 5378
Res. 5224, Van Zutphen, J & T, Const. - Strait Area CC Award,
The Premier 5379
Res. 5225, Vienneau, Nathan - Strait Area CC Award,
The Premier 5379
Res. 5226, Port Hood Area Dev. Soc. - Strait Area CC Award,
The Premier 5380
Res. 5227, Causeway Electrical Supplies - Strait Area CC Award,
The Premier 5380
Res. 5228, AllSteel Coatings - Strait Area CC Award,
The Premier 5381
Res. 5229, Robertson Automotive - NAPA Auto Parts,
The Premier 5381
Res. 5230, Beaton, Raymond: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (25 yrs.),
The Premier 5382
Res. 5231, Beaton, Gregory: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (25 yrs.),
The Premier 5382
Res. 5232, MacDougall, Michael: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5383
Res. 5233, MacDonald, John Alex: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5383
Res. 5234, Jeromel, Hebert: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5383
Res. 5235, Cummings, Edmund: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5384
Res. 5236, Beaton, Stanley: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5384
Res. 5237, Beaton, John D.: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5385
Res. 5238, Beaton, Gerard: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (30 yrs.),
The Premier 5385
Res. 5239, Mabou Vol. FD - Anniv. (40th),
The Premier 5386
Res. 5240, MacPhee, Brian: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (20 yrs.),
The Premier 5386
Res. 5241, MacLean, Gary: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (20 yrs.),
The Premier 5386
Res. 5242, Rankin, A.J.: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (25 yrs.),
The Premier 5387
Res. 5243, Murphy, Danford: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (25 yrs.),
The Premier 5387
Res. 5244, Feetham, Gerald: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (25 yrs.),
The Premier 5388
Res. 5245, Beaton, Larry: Mabou Vol. FD - Serv. (25 Yrs.),
The Premier 5388
Res. 5246, All Day Towing & Recovery: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5389
Res. 5247, Manor Hill Flags Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5389
Res. 5248, Old Anderson House Craft Shop & Gallery:
Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5389
Res. 5249, One Life Surf School: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5390
Res. 5250, Ora's Guest House: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5390
Res. 5251, Pacesetter Sales: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5391
Res. 5252, Parachute Enterprises: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5391
Res. 5253, Periwinkle Photographic: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5391
Res. 5254, Peter Conrod Const. Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5392
Res. 5255, Power Accounting Serv. Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5392
Res. 5256, Precision Sm. Auto Repair: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5393
Res. 5257, Pro Doors Commercial & Residential: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5393
Res. 5258, R & B Gutter Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5393
Res. 5259, Randell Travel: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5394
Res. 5260, Robert's Truck & Autobody: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5394
Res. 5261, Rose's Esthetics: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5395
Res. 5262, Ruff Stuff Woodworking L & R: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5395
Res. 5263, Russell's Hardwood: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5395
Res. 5264, Rutledge Stairways: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5396
Res. 5265, S. Bennett Construction: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5396
Res. 5266, Seaboard B & B: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5396
Res. 5267, Seacoast Escapes: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5397
Res. 5268, Seaforth Canvas Marine & Rec. Canvas Prods.:
Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5397
Res. 5269, Searise Fisheries (1988) Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5398
Res. 5270, Serenity by the Sea Guest House & Cottages:
Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5398
Res. 5271, Shear Advantage Hair Design: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5398
Res. 5272, Sheltered Cove Marine: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5399
Res. 5273, Sherry's Fish & Chips: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5399
Res. 5274, Ship Hbr. Auto & Excavating: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5400
Res. 5275, Shop the Shore: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5400
Res. 5276, Shore Consultants: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5400
Res. 5277, Showbizz Promotions Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5401

[Page 5261]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, yesterday during Question Period, the Leader of the Official Opposition raised some questions in the House with the Premier, with the government, and particularly my department, in regards to Highway 104 Western Alignment Corporation in regard to bond holders. In fact, he raised some issues around a company, CIT, their financial difficulties today and their involvement with this company.

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring some information forward that I committed yesterday to bring today. I'll table this document. It talks about who the bond holders are with that corporation. It's Canadian Life Assurance Company that own 37 per cent; Great West Life Assurance Company owns 16 per cent; London Life Insurance Company, 20 per cent; Sun Life Insurance Company of Canada, 20 per cent; and Brand Investments, 7 per cent.

Mr. Speaker, I'll table that document and I would like to say as well that my understanding is that to pay off the outstanding debt at this time would still be in the $100 million range, for this province to take care of it, if we were to get out of that arrangement.

[Page 5262]

5261

MR. SPEAKER: The information is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to receive the information from the minister, which was not available prior to yesterday. We did a diligent search for it. I would just point out that the matter that was raised yesterday was not with respect to paying out a bond. It was with respect to the matter of being able to refinance that debt which was the substance of my questions yesterday.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, during questioning yesterday the member for Glace Bay alluded to a letter that I had not replied to and I just wanted to say that that was replied to on September 18, 2008. It talks to the wait time reduction fund and I want to table that document for the House's perusal.

MR. SPEAKER: The document is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I rise to outline a point of privilege regarding these remarks made late yesterday by the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture and recorded in Hansard on Page 5234: "Staff right now are currently working on the lending rules in process for the new program. Our target date to have this program up and running is April, 2009. We're on target and we are very confident we will have money going out the door to lobster fishermen. I'm not sure we're going to give any money to the lobster fishermen in the areas that the NDP represent but, anyway. (Interruptions) Well, maybe a little bit, maybe a little bit. Yes, that's good."

The minister had earlier listed a number of constituencies with major fishing communities that are represented by NDP members of this House. It is a fundamental privilege for members to be able to go about their business without menacing or intimidating behaviour. Marleau states on Page 84, "Speakers have consistently upheld the right of the House to the services of its Members free from intimidation, obstruction and interference."

The raw, blatant threat to the representatives of a large number of important fishing communities - made on the floor of this House by a Minister of the Crown - was a direct threat and an attempt to intimidate members. The fact that the threat was related to a vote in this House just makes it worse since it is so clear that votes in this House should not be influenced by intimidations by the government of the day. If this were the only instance of

[Page 5263]

a member of the Crown making direct threats to the members of the Opposition, it might have gone unnoticed. However, the tone and degree of threatening remarks from this present government seem to have been increasing.

[12:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to move a motion censuring the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture or referring the matter of the intimidation to the Internal Affairs Committee for the immediate consideration should you find for a prima facie matter of privilege. I also encourage you to take any other steps necessary to convince the government that such breaches of privilege will not be tolerated by you as the elected defender of the rights of the members of this House. I thank you, Mr. Speaker. (Applause)

SPEAKERS RULING: Threat and Intimidation by Minister During Debate. (Pt. of Privilege by Mr. F. Corbett [p. 5262, 13/11/08])

MR. SPEAKER: The member for Cape Breton Centre had notified me earlier. I have reviewed the information supplied by him with the Clerks and others and it is not a point of privilege. Privilege relates to the special rights of members that are in this House. I cannot see where this is a case of privilege, but I consider this to be a matter of importance.

I think the best way for us to address this is to offer the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture a brief opportunity to address the House with respect to his comments.

The honourable Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I guess yesterday, when I was doing my speaking on behalf of the issue of stacking of licences, I did make those comments, but I can tell you they were made in jest. I mean, there were barbs being thrown back and forth by all sides on that issue and I can assure the honourable members on all sides of the House that as the Minister of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, all applications that come before our loan board - whether it be for boat loans or licence loans - will be given all due consideration regardless of what constituency they come from. It had absolutely nothing to do with politics. I could probably say a bit more but it's probably best I don't, but if I offended anybody, I certainly apologize. (Applause)

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

MR. CORBETT: Well, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our caucus, we accept the member's apology, with thanks.

MR. SPEAKER: I want to thank all members for their participation in this discussion.

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 5264]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to clarify, since there's an opportunity to speak to this type of matter, that indeed, in recognizing this and, as the Hansard does reflect in there as well, it wasn't stated there were interruptions. Indeed, from time to time, as we all know, with debate in the House, there can be a level of debate and also the banter that goes back and forth. I do know at that time that there was a sense of levity around that. Indeed, we, within government, if there was a matter of that seriousness - and I think the member has detailed that - is something that we take very seriously as a government to uphold the rights and the privileges of all members of this House.

From time to time we do disagree, but fundamentally in the case that was stated, there was a levity to the House at that particular time and we support our colleague and I'm very thankful for his standing today and the time that has been considered.

MR. SPEAKER: The draw for the late debate has taken place. It has been submitted by the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage:

Therefore be it resolved that the government develop a comprehensive coastal management strategy through consultation with all the appropriate stakeholders.

We will now commence with the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I don't have a petition but I was wondering if I could make an introduction.

MR. SPEAKER: You should know better.

MR. SCOTT: If you're upset, Mr. Speaker, I'm sure you'll get over it. But anyway . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal on an introduction.

MR. SCOTT: Thank you, sir. Yesterday I did a resolution in the House regarding Operation Red Nose, which is a very important service provided by volunteers joining partners with police and the Insurance Bureau of Canada, NSLC. Yesterday the Insurance Bureau put $0.25 million into this very important program, Mr. Speaker. It gets impaired drivers off the road.

[Page 5265]

Today in the House I'd like to introduce some of those folks who are involved in this program and I hope I pronounce their names correctly. The first one we have is Corinne MacLellan, the second one is Denise Grandy, Erin Esiyok of the Insurance Bureau of Canada and Marlene Landry, Insurance Bureau of Canada. I ask that they would stand and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome those and all visitors to our gallery here today. I'm going to try this again.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I beg leave to table a petition from 124 residents in Millbrook, Pictou County. The clause reads:

"WHEREAS the driving service [sic] of Millbrook Road has deteriorated significantly since it was last paved in 1982, and requires significant improvements to ditching, culverts, and the removal of trees that have encroached onto the right-of-way;

THEREFORE, WE, the undersigned residents and users of the Millbrook Road, hereby petition the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal to repave the aforementioned road which is 7kms in distance."

Mr. Speaker, I have affixed my signature as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I beg leave to table the Nova Scotia Health and Research Foundation Annual Report, 2007-08.

Also, I'd like to introduce a few people who are in the House: Deborah Langille, Director of Performance Accountability; Jennifer McNutt, Manager Health Research and Matching Grants Program; Carolyn Marriott, Financial Administrator and Shawn Ward,

[Page 5266]

Database and Systems Coordinator. I'd like them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House as I table this report. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, with your indulgence, I'd like to do an introduction prior to tabling a report.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I turn the attention of the members of the House to the east gallery where the President of the Nova Scotia Community College, Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair, is sitting. As all members will know, there has been exciting growth and change in the past few years in that college and a very bright future ahead.

Anyway, Dr. McArthur-Blair, you're really no stranger, but thanks for coming and congratulations on what you and your colleagues are doing. I'd ask the members to give a warm welcome. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Education, I beg leave to table the Annual Report of the Nova Scotia Community College, which is known as the NSCC's Report to the Community, 2008.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 5127

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

Whereas the celebrations around Democracy 250 have taught us just what a long struggle it was to lay the foundation for the democratic system we have in place today; and

Whereas it was just over nine decades ago this week, during what is known as the Night of Terror, a group of women in the United States were beaten and jailed simply for protesting in their capital for the right to vote; and

[Page 5267]

Whereas Remembrance Day is also a grim reminder of the tremendous human sacrifices made to ensure we continue to live in a free and democratic society;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House salute the many in our history who have taken a stand to secure cherished rights like the vote, and continue to encourage all citizens to remember how fortunate we are to freely exercise that right while still others sitting around the globe continue to be denied.

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. 5128

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

Whereas the list of Nova Scotian musicians making a name for themselves nationally and internationally grows each year with more and more talented youth taking centre stage; and

Whereas CTV's Canadian Idol has become one more avenue for our gifted Nova Scotians to showcase their talents on the national stage; and

Whereas Port Hood's own Mitch MacDonald is one of those up-and-comers, placing second in the 2008 competition, but remaining first in our hearts by staying true to his musical roots;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mitch on his recent musical success and obvious talent, and wish him all the best in the next steps of his musical career.

[Page 5268]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5269]

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, I am doing this on behalf of the Minister responsible for Military Relations, but before I read this resolution, may I please make an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, in your gallery today, we're pleased to be joined by Chris and Jan Power - up here in the Speaker's Gallery, again, if you could please stand. As you can see, Chris is a proud member of our military and I would ask the House to give them a warm welcome. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5129

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Legislature is pleased to have in attendance this afternoon Chris Power, a member of the Honour Guard for Canada's last living Victoria Cross recipient, Ernest "Smokey" Smith, yet still a very active member of the Canadian military; and

Whereas Chris' initiation into the military was when he joined the Naval Reserve as a boatswain, before sailing the next three years on the HMCS Nipigon and the HMCS Kingston, and while posted on the Kingston he took part in Operation Persistence, the recovery operation following the crash of Swiss Air Flight 111; and

Whereas Chris has also been deployed in Bosnia after a tour of duty at CFB Edmonton before relocating to CFB Greenwood in the summer of 2006, returning to Edmonton in the Spring of 2007 for training that saw him deployed to Afghanistan in February of this year as part of the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team;

[Page 5270]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the tremendous commitment of Chris Power in serving Canada's interests here at home and around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5130

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

Whereas the Department of Natural Resources, along with the Departments of Economic Development, and Tourism, Culture and Heritage, worked collaboratively with CREDA - the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Authority - to promote the development of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs and its acceptance as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 7, 2008; and

Whereas a number of employees within these organizations worked tirelessly to provide an impressive nomination application, which undoubtedly led to this prestigious recognition; and

Whereas this designation now allows us to protect, preserve and promote the rich natural and cultural heritage of this unique area of our province;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House take a moment now to show Nova Scotians' appreciation for the energy, passion and commitment CREDA, these departments, and their employees have shown in helping to bring the world's attention to our unique and spectacular natural assets.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5271]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, if I may do an introduction before I do the resolution?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, in your gallery today, I would like to introduce four people: Dr. John Gillis, co-medical director for Bandage International. He is also an emergency room physician at the Dartmouth General Hospital and, of course, a physician at the Pain Clinic. As well, paramedic Robert Braund, who has been a volunteer with Bandage for about 18 months. He lives in Dartmouth and is currently an EHS paramedic at the Halifax Infirmary. As well, Bart Strak, who has been with Bandage for about four months, he's from Bedford and he's a critical care paramedic with EHS at the Halifax Infirmary. Joining them as well is Nancy Sheppard who is doing some work with them, of course. So I want them to receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

[12:30 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 5131

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

Whereas Bandage International is a Nova Scotia founded non-profit organization made up of emergency medical professionals who are committed to teaching basic and advanced first-responder skills in under-developed countries; and

[Page 5272]

Whereas during their recent trip to Belize, Central America, the organization's volunteers travelled to seven regions training a diverse group of local people ranging from high school students to registered physicians and interested citizens; and

Whereas the total number of people trained on this mission topped 197 individuals, a 100 per cent increase over the last mission;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Bandage International for their efforts in demonstrating Nova Scotia's high standards of emergency health care and sharing the expertise of our emergency health care professionals to help save lives around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 5132

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

Whereas the Emergency Management Office hosted its first-ever joint meeting of municipal emergency management coordinators and provincial departmental emergency planning officers from October 15th to October 17th in Yarmouth; and

Whereas participants in the conference formed new relationships, strengthened old ones and shared best practices; and

Whereas the lessons learned at the conference will assist municipal emergency management coordinators and provincial departmental emergency planning officers in working together for the safety and security of citizens in response to emergencies;

[Page 5273]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate the Emergency Management Office and the conference participants for this important step forward for emergency management 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 Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 5133

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

Whereas the Strait Area Transit Cooperative Ltd. has launched an accessible, inclusive transportation service in the areas of Richmond County and the Town of Port Hawkesbury; and

Whereas the Strait Area Transit Cooperative Ltd. will have an opportunity to foster immediate and long-term social and environmental benefits; and

Whereas the Department of Community Services is proud to partner with the Strait Area Transit Cooperative Ltd. and other community partners in the provision of a community-based transportation concept;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Strait Area Transit Cooperative Ltd. for their commitment to support sustainability within rural and urban communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5274]

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5275]

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 5134

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

Whereas Halifax will host the first joint Sail Training International and American Sail Training Association annual conference and the first conference to be held outside of Europe; and

Whereas up to 300 delegates from nearly 30 countries are expected to attend the conference beginning November 13th, including representatives from countries and ports that host Tall Ships events; and

Whereas this is an important event for the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. regarding hosting the Tall Ships 2009 festival that has been named the number one Canadian destination by the American Bus Association;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to the Waterfront Development Corporation Ltd. for attracting this world-renowned 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.

RESOLUTION NO. 5135

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

[Page 5276]

Whereas in 1991, Department of Natural Resources staff rescued a black bear cub named Teddy, after his mother was struck and killed by a car near New Glasgow; and

Whereas Teddy arrived at Upper Clements Park 17 years ago on the same day as his lifelong friend and fellow black bear Penny, who together became famous for sharing their daily afternoon meals sitting at their picnic table; and

Whereas Teddy, one of the park's most popular attractions, recently passed away, leaving Penny and the park visitors feeling a great loss;

Therefore be it resolved that this House send its best wishes to the management of Upper Clements Park as it searches for another companion for Penny through the Adopt an Animal Program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Emergency Management.

RESOLUTION NO. 5136

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 911 call-takers and emergency service administrators from throughout Atlantic Canada gathered in Halifax from October 27th to 29th, as the Emergency Management Office hosted the 2008 Atlantic 911 Conference; and

Whereas the theme of the conference was "first in line" recognizing the vital role 911 call-takers often play as the first line of contact for citizens in need of emergency assistance; and

[Page 5277]

Whereas 911 call-takers work in a high-stress environment and help save the lives of Nova Scotians every day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank 911 call-takers for the dedicated service they provide to 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.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 219 - Entitled an Act to Provide Accountability in the Reporting of Wait Times in Nova Scotia. (Mr. David Wilson, Glace Bay)

NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 5137

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

Whereas CARP, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, is a non-profit, non-partisan national organization with 350,000 members across Canada, which works in a variety of ways toward achieving its vision of a society in which everyone can live active, independent, purposeful lives as they age; and

Whereas CARP recently held a very successful public event in Halifax on the theme A New Vision of Aging in Canada; and

Whereas local members of CARP are currently forming a chapter in HRM to enhance the organization's ability to represent aging residents of HRM and promote their interests;

[Page 5278]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate HRM residents Bill VanGorder and Keith and Susan Cameron and all members of CARP throughout Nova Scotia for their dedicated efforts to make ours a better society for all of us as we age.

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.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If you could permit an introduction first, please?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. GLAVINE: Well I'd like to introduce to the House today my friend Honeycrisp, as part of my Buy Local Campaign. I brought one along for all of the members. These were grown by well-known Valley grower Doug Nichols. You know, sometimes with debate coming up, these have a mellowing effect so, Mr. Speaker, maybe you could permit a bite before Question Period today.

MR. SPEAKER: I would remind the honourable member that we're not supposed to use props in the House. However, we may have to eat the evidence.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5138

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

Whereas the Minister of Economic Development joined an exclusive club yesterday with his comments during Question Period; and

[Page 5279]

Whereas his stating that the fundamentals of the economy are strong, he joins a club of other misguided politicians who did not understand where the economy is headed; and

Whereas the minister should be proud of joining a club which includes such famous members as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, President George W. Bush and Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Economic Development refrain from making such bold predictions unless he feels comfortable in supporting such claims in the coming weeks and months.

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. 5139

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

Whereas the Middle River Recreational Association showed immense interest in getting off to a fresh start in 2008; and

Whereas the Middle River ball field came back to life in 2008, with assistance from Keith MacCuspic, local councillor, and the Municipality of Victoria, in helping the ball field purchase a new lawn mower; and

Whereas the Middle River Recreational Association, behind President Corine Phillips, Treasurer and Recognized Agent Kim MacIver, Secretary Michael Monteith and Directors Cindy MacKinnon, Christopher Oakley, Francine Rouillard, Sandra MacRae, Donna MacGregor and Thomas Fazekas are all looking at a wide array of initiatives that will see the residents of Middle River be given the option of participating in some form of recreational activity;

[Page 5280]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the outstanding commitment of the Middle River Recreational Association in doing their utmost to keep their community active.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5281]

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.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. If I can ask permission first to make an introduction to the House.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. CONRAD: Thank you. If I can draw the attention of the members to the Speaker's Gallery, I have here with me today a young gentleman, Nick Hasey. Nick is a student of East Saint Margaret's Elementary School, a school that I attended from Primary to Grade 7 many years ago. With Nick today are his parents, Angela and Ron Hasey and also his grandparents, Velma and Jim Saunders, who I haven't seen for years, and spent many hours with my parents many years ago, visiting in their home. My heart is warm today to see them. With that, if I could ask the House to extend a warm welcome. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 5140

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

Whereas East Saint Margaret's Elementary School in Indian Harbour and St. John's Ambulance instructor Elaine Saunders, provided a six-hour emergency first aid course to 10-year-old Nick Hasey and 20 of his fellow classmates; and

Whereas Nick Hasey, who has also been diagnosed with autism, was faced with a medical emergency several months after, involving his grandmother, Velma Saunders; and

Whereas Nick's quick thinking and use of the first-aid skills he learned, remained calm, assisted his grandmother to lay on her side, reassured her and sought immediate help;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize and commend Nick Hasey for his valiant efforts and quick thinking in coming to the rescue of his grandmother during a medical emergency.

[Page 5282]

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. (Applause)

[12:45 p.m.]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 5141

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

Whereas Grassmarket is a Halifax band made up of three multi-instrumentalists who have a passion for traditional music, rooted in their love of early American folk music, southern Appalachian and Cape Breton fiddle tunes; and

Whereas Grassmarket released its first recording Waiting in October 2007 and was nominated for a 2008 Music Nova Scotia Award in the category of Country/Bluegrass Artist/Group Recording of the Year; and

Whereas Grassmarket will be releasing a much-anticipated full-length album in the coming months;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate Penelope Jackson, Dan MacCormack and David Bradshaw of Grassmarket on their success to date and wish them all the best in their future musical endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5283]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 5142

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

Whereas Wear Well Garments have marked 30 years in business; and

Whereas workers, family members, management and friends gathered at Wear Well Garments on Acadia Avenue in Stellarton to celebrate; and

Whereas this company is a good, solid Nova Scotia company which makes customized work clothes for institutional, food services, industrial and corporate markets, and at the same time continuously becoming more automated and competitive;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate company president Stirling MacLean and his competent staff for their consistency as a very successful Nova Scotia business and for making smart investments for the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 5143

[Page 5284]

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

Whereas federal Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion justified his carbon tax proposal by stating that the revenue would be used to help those who needed it; and

Whereas the Premier and other Conservatives have justified their own carbon tax - the 8 per cent added to basic home electricity - by stating that the revenue would be used to help those who needed it; and

Whereas neither Stéphane Dion nor his Nova Scotia echoes in the current government can actually justify a higher tax on electricity for seniors, people who have lost their jobs, or for that matter anyone else;

Therefore be it resolved that the House suggest the Premier's carbon tax will receive the same cold response from the large majority of Nova Scotians that was given to Stéphane Dion's carbon tax.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 5144

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

Whereas in a time when businesses and families are struggling to make ends meet, it is important that government be prepared to offer guidance through the economic hardship; and

Whereas in recent weeks the Governments of Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have stepped up and provided an economic update to show where their province's finances stand; and

Whereas despite numerous requests from the Liberal Party, the Premier and his government refuse to be accountable to the people of this province and provide an updated economic outlook;

Therefore be it resolved that it is becoming clear that the Premier and his government have no plan for the impending economic slowdown in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5285]

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. 5145

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

Whereas Three Mile Plains elementary school students took part in a Stand Up Against Bullying Day on September 11th with an organized peace walk; and

Whereas Three Mile Plains principal, David Campbell, said while students did not have to wear pink shirts, numerous students did anyway; and

Whereas Grade 6 students Kyle Morris and Jasmine Trider both spoke in support of this significant initiative with Trider being quoted as saying, "Bullying is not nice";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the spirit of students at Three Mile Plains elementary school in their stand against bullying.

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 Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 5146

[Page 5286]

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

Whereas Dr. Mike Laffin, a long-standing member of this House from Cape Breton Centre and a member of the Executive Council was recently hospitalized due to an accident; and

Whereas Dr. Mike was a prisoner of war in World War II and served his country with distinction; and

Whereas Dr. Mike is greatly respected by all people in Cape Breton Centre, whatever their political stripe;

Therefore be it resolved that this House send our best wishes to Dr. Mike Laffin for a full and speedy recovery.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 5147

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

Whereas on July 17th of this year, the NDP put forward an idea of establishing an oil reserve in Cape Breton in case of an emergency or shortage; and

Whereas at the time of their announcement to stockpile oil, the price was hovering around $150 per barrel; and

Whereas yesterday a barrel of oil was trading for approximately $56 per barrel;

[Page 5287]

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP admit that their plan was flawed and would have wasted millions of taxpayers' dollars in this endeavour.

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. 5148

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

Whereas the 2008 Nova Scotia High School Senior Boys Athletic Golf Championship was played in Truro on September 29th; and

Whereas the Baddeck Academy team, comprised of golfers J.C. Kaiser, Willie Gillis, Mark Trickett and Tyler MacLeod, took part in the day's competition; and

Whereas the Baddeck Academy team shot a 408 on the day with individual scores being Kaiser with an 86; Gillis, 93; Trickett, 106; and MacLeod, 123;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House compliment the Baddeck Academy Senior Boys Golf Team for 2008, wishing them every success this school year and into the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 5288]

I would just remind the members that although I said we could eat the evidence, I would suggest that the evidence should be eaten outside the Chamber.

[Page 5289]

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 5149

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

Whereas our forebears who worked close to the land and sea felt a need to express themselves spiritually; and

Whereas churches were often the first buildings erected in Nova Scotia communities where the public could congregate; and

Whereas on October 18, 2008, Hardwood Lands Presbyterian Church celebrated its 75th Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate the congregation of Hardwood Lands Presbyterian Church on the 75th Anniversary of their church and wish them well for the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 5150

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

Whereas for the past 25 years the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre has supported, empowered and advocated for survivors of sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse; and

[Page 5290]

Whereas the centre has done extraordinary work, including establishing the only community-based Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program in Canada; and

Whereas Avalon's specialized therapeutic counselling and support has been shown to play a key role in survivors' recovery;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the executive director, Irene Smith, her staff and members of the board on their tremendous tenacity in reaching their 25th Anniversary.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5151

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

Whereas Hants Learning Network Co-chair Sandra Milbury of Ashdale, Hants County was recognized in September during International Literacy Day celebrations; and

Whereas Sandra's work over the past six years has been absolutely outstanding in working on a variety of projects such as transportation, enabling individuals to access lifelong learning opportunities; and

Whereas Sandra's work was formally recognized by the Skills and Learning Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Workforce Development;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House compliment Sandra Milbury for her continued and arduous work with the Hants Learning Network over the past six years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5291]

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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 5152

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

Whereas dreams do come true, just ask Dr. Ian McCarthy who has returned home to Amherst to practice optometry; and

Whereas Ian, at the young age of 16, worked his co-op school program with Dr. Alan Baldock, a practising optometrist in Amherst and from that experience Ian knew what he wanted to do when he finished his education; and

Whereas his study would include an optometry degree from the University of Waterloo and a work term at a hospital in Dallas, he stayed in touch with Dr. Baldock and his window of opportunity brought him home to Amherst to start his career with his mentor and his friend; and

Whereas his parents and his MLA are now clients;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Dr. Ian McCarthy, for reaching his dream and coming home to Amherst, Nova Scotia to live and practice his profession.

Ms. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5292]

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. 5153

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

Whereas the Friends of Redtail Society located on the MacBeth Road in Pictou County recently hosted a picnic in the forest to bring attention to its plan to purchase and preserve 313 acres of woodland; and

Whereas more than 100 people came out to show their support and learn about nature and healthy forest systems from respected biologist Bob Bancroft and local land steward Steve Harder; and

Whereas the Friends of Redtail Society are pleased to have the opportunity to purchase this property and to educate others in ecologically-friendly and sustainable land use;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature commend the Friends of Redtail Society for their initiative and wish them much success in their endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5154

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

[Page 5293]

Whereas new guidelines for lobster fishing could lead to fewer people in this industry in the very near future; and

Whereas this new policy of stacking lobster licences allows for two lobster licences to be on the same boat; and

Whereas while the NDP attempted to address this important issue, it took a Liberal MLA to explain why this new policy is harmful to the lobster fishing industry as well as the economy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly thank the NDP caucus for providing a venue for the MLA for Digby-Annapolis to explain the issues facing this important coastal industry.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 5155

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 village of Woodville, in Kings County, recently unveiled a new monument honouring those who have served with the Canadian military during wartime and during the Cold War; and

Whereas this small community of roughly 200 people has an extraordinary legacy of service, with nearly 100 names on the monument, and unlike many monuments, pays homage to those who are still alive; and

Whereas residents were 100 per cent supportive of the endeavour and helped raise half the money needed to complete the monument;

[Page 5294]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the remarkable contributions of one small Nova Scotian village to all of Canada and the freedom, peace and prosperity all are lucky to enjoy as a result of such selfless service.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[1:00 p.m.]

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

MS. BECKY KENT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. With your permission, I'd like to do an introduction first.

MR. SPEAKER: Please.

MS. KENT: It's my pleasure today to introduce some lovely ladies in the west gallery who are visiting from the Dartmouth area, from the Recycled Teenagers Red Hatters Club. They are visiting today, they are going to have a tour, but I know that they would like me to take the opportunity to introduce a very special member, although they are all special to me, Ethel MacKenzie is here. She has celebrated her 97th birthday this year and we'd like to give a special, warm welcome to her and her friends. (Standing Ovation).

RESOLUTION NO. 5156

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

Whereas Ethel MacKenzie is an active member of the Recycled Teenagers Red Hatters Club in Dartmouth; and

Whereas on July 21st Ethel MacKenzie celebrated her 97th birthday, which was celebrated on July 31st at a surprise party hosted by her friends in the Red Hatters Club in Cole Harbour; and

[Page 5295]

Whereas Ethel MacKenzie enjoys living life to the fullest along with her family and friends, and is a role model to all Nova Scotians at 97 years young;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Ethel MacKenzie on her 97th birthday, and wish her many more years of enjoyment with the Recycled Teenagers Red Hatters Club and community involvement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 5157

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

Whereas the NDP live by the philosophy that a day's worth of media coverage is worth putting forward a terrible idea; and

Whereas it was the NDP that suggested, this past July, that we stockpile oil in Cape Breton immediately, in fear of a shortage or an emergency; and

Whereas their plan would have left Nova Scotia with a reserve of overpriced oil, due to the $90 per barrel difference in price between then and now;

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP acknowledge that they are unfit to make any decision concerning how this province should spend taxpayers' dollars.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5296]

I hear several Noes.]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5158

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 community newspapers have a long and proud tradition of providing information to Nova Scotians; and

Whereas it takes talented individuals to put a story or a series together; and

Whereas Lighthouse Publishing reporter Keith Corcoran was honoured with a Media Award by the Province of Nova Scotia for contributions to fire safety and education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate reporter Keith Corcoran of Lighthouse Publishing on receiving this award and wish him well in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank

RESOLUTION NO. 5159

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

Whereas the 19th Junior Pan-American Karate Championships were held in September 2008 in Santiago, Chile; and

[Page 5297]

Whereas siblings Steven Kelly and Justine Kelly earned the chance to participate in the games after admirable performances at the Canadian Karate Nationals where Steven won gold and Justine won bronze; and

Whereas Fall River residents, Steven, 19 and Justine, 17, have spent much of their teenage years honing their skills as karate athletes;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize Steven and Justine Kelly's outstanding sportsmanship and congratulate them on representing Nova Scotia at the 2008 Junior Pan-American Karate Championships.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 5160

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College was recently recognized as the most research-intensive university in Atlantic Canada in 2007; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College's 60 full-time faculty members averaged more than $113,000 per person in sponsored research income; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College continues to establish its reputation as one of Canada's leading universities and its new governance structure will further enhance the NSAC's ability to attract research dollars;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Nova Scotia Agricultural College for earning the position as the most research-intensive university in Atlantic Canada in 2007 and wish it success in attracting research dollars in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5298]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 5161

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

Whereas Macleans Magazine has published its annual national ranking of universities in Canada; and

Whereas undergraduate universities are evaluated through this national standard; and

Whereas Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, was named the number one undergraduate university in this country;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the students, professors, administration, alumni and old football players of Mount Allison on its first place ranking for undergraduate universities in Canada. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. ESTABROOKS: 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.

[Page 5299]

RESOLUTION NO. 5162

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

Whereas ground has been broken on a three-phase project known as Heights of Shubenacadie which could eventually see the construction of up to 500 homes on a 394-acre property while doubling the number of homes in Shubenacadie over the next 15 years; and

Whereas the new construction calls for single family homes, an apartment complex for active seniors, and housing for retired people over 55 looking to downsize, as well as plans for an acute care facility; and

Whereas developer Bruce Collins says as well, a small commercial area along with walking paths, a conservation area developed with Ducks Unlimited and a large play area for children will also exist;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House applaud the initiatives being shown by developer Bruce Collins and wish him every possible success with his three-phase project known as Heights at Shubenacadie.

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. 5163

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

Whereas Bessie Robart of Sable River, Shelburne County, received a Life Time Achievement Award for her dedication to the Cancer Society in 2008; and

Whereas Bessie either walked or biked her 60 house route throughout East and West Sable River for the last 50 years; and

[Page 5300]

Whereas Bessie believes young people are vital for the future of volunteering;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Bessie Robart of Sable River, Shelburne County, for receiving the Life Time Achievement Award for her dedication to Cancer Society in 2008.

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. 5164

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

Whereas Antigonish resident John Chisholm, owner of the Riverside Speedway in James River, will be inducted into the Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame on November 15th in Moncton; and

Whereas Chisholm earned the nod in the builder and promoter category for stock car racing; and

Whereas John Chisholm initially built Riverside Speedway; opened it in 1969; began driving in 1970; in 1989 Chisholm sold Riverside; he regained ownership in 2005 and rebuilt the facility which reopened in August, 2006, and is now rated among the finest in Canada and the United States;

Therefore be it resolved all members of the House join me in congratulating John Chisholm on being inducted into the Maritime Motorsport Hall of Fame.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5301]

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. 5165

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

Whereas the Cole Harbour Comets softball team successfully completed a round robin tournament with a perfect 4-0 record during this past season; and

Whereas this team of 12 young girls from the Cole Harbour area went on to secure a gold medal in the Girls Squirt Softball Provincials held in Stellarton in August; and

Whereas the Cole Harbour Comets went on to complete a successful year by competing in the prestigious Invitational Squirt Eastern Canadian Tournament in Saint John, New Brunswick;

Therefore be it resolved this House of Assembly recognize the Cole Harbour Comets softball team for their outstanding achievement and congratulate the entire team, coaches and parents for a successful softball season.

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. 5166

[Page 5302]

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

Whereas residents of Shelburne County have expressed objections to the lifting of the moratorium on uranium mining; and

Whereas modern technology has not altered the dangers from uranium mining and it still remains a radioactive substance that will not only endanger the lives of people living today, but for generations yet unborn; and

Whereas a legislated ban on uranium mining is widely supported by environmental groups across Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly support a permanent ban on uranium mining in Nova Scotia.

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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 5167

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

Whereas the citizens of Amherst chose a new mayor in the recent municipal elections; and

Whereas Robert Small served on town council from 1994 to 2000, and is a 23 year employee with IMP Aerospace Components as director of new business development; and

Whereas Mayor Small had a 27 year history with the Amherst Lions Club and contributes to his community in a very large way;

[Page 5303]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Mayor Robert Small and wish him well in his new role as Mayor of Amherst.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[1:15 p.m.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time is now 1:15 p.m. and we will go to 2:15 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

HEALTH: ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH CASES -

INCREASES

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, today I would like to bring to the attention of the House information that most Nova Scotians will find very troubling. In September, the CEO of the IWK stated that her hospital had seen a surge in mental health cases among adolescents. I will table the news report in which the CEO states that matter. In following up her statement, we have learned that in the last three years, 169 children between the ages of nine and 17 have presented at the IWK as a result of a suicide attempt. This issue cannot be left unaddressed, so my question to the Premier is, what is his government's specific plan to deal with the surge in adolescent mental health cases?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government takes this issue very seriously. Indeed, if my honourable colleague will look back to see some of the investments the government has made, they have been made directly to ensure that we deal with some of the situations that we have with regard to mental health, specifically amongst our youth here in the HRM and other parts of the province. In addition, we are the first province -and I may have to check that out for sure - but we are one of the only provinces with a strategy to deal with

[Page 5304]

suicide, which is a very serious issue in our country, but in fact, we were one of the first provinces to have such a strategy.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, perhaps the Premier will elaborate on the element to this strategy, but I can tell him this - the number of adolescents age 15 to 17 who have presented at the IWK emergency because of a suicide attempt is growing significantly over the three years. There were 20 suicide attempts in 2006; this year there have been 45. Although suicide attempts are not always the best measure, this statistic seems to confirm that Anne McGuire, CEO, was quite right. My question is this, given the surging number of cases, can the Premier tell Nova Scotians what degree of importance and priority his government is giving to adolescent mental health care?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I will defer to the Minister of Health to provide an update to the House about some of the initiatives underway.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we are making some changes, of course, with the IWK to address this issue that unfortunately is happening within our province. Of course, the IWK received some more funding this year to expand their service by six beds, or the ACT service by six beds. As far as we understand from our discussion with the IWK, this expansion is on time and on budget. In some cases the wait on this service has been far too long and this government is looking at bringing that wait list down so that they can get service in a more timely manner.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the CEO of the IWK and the Deputy Minister of Health both recognized the crisis in mental health services. My office has spoken with school board officials in Halifax and with the Mental Health Association who recognize that more needs to be done. In fact, school board officials tell us that they would support expanded mental health programs in schools, just as an example. My question for the Premier is, will the Premier tell Nova Scotians when they can expect his government to meet with stakeholders and ensure that the province is doing everything it possibly can to address a serious and growing problem in adolescent mental health services?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I'll defer that question to the Minister of Health.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we're continually meeting with individuals, of course, working with our district health authorities to make sure that they have the services available to them. I can say that over the last year or so we've made some good headway when it comes to mental health services. Waits for care at Capital Health's community mental health clinics are now within standards and our urgent cases are triaged and seen immediately at all clinics. There has been an expansion where the Family Health Program has expanded to Cape Breton, so we are trying to incite some different ways of thinking in order to provide mental health services, especially when it comes to suicide prevention strategy, to have that available for all Nova Scotians.

[Page 5305]

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

PREM.: FISCAL UPDATE - PROVIDE

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Premier. Yesterday in Question Period the Premier again refused to deal with the emerging economic crisis of our province by refusing to commit to an updated business plan or comprehensive fiscal update.

Mr. Speaker, governments in British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec have all brought forward fiscal updates, some with updated business plans, and I'll table those now. So my question for the Premier is, why do you continue to hide our current economic and fiscal challenges from the people of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: In fact, the very premise of the Leader of the Liberal Party's question is incorrect. I indicated yesterday that we would provide the fiscal update, as we are supposed to, by the end of December.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, this government is completely out of touch with the economic realities of our province. We have a premier who believes that tough times are months away, and yesterday the Minister of Economic Development said, and I quote, "The fundamentals of Nova Scotia's economy are strong."

Mr. Speaker, we are last in economic growth for the last five years, we have the highest bankruptcies per capita and bankruptcies as of September grew by 27.5 per cent from the year before. So my question to the Premier is, when are you and your government going to abandon your business-as-usual approach and admit that Nova Scotians are feeling the effects of this economic crisis?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I believe that the Leader of the Liberal Party should check some of his facts because, indeed, I believe that some of his facts are incorrect. What I can say is that because of the work of this government, because of balanced budgets, because of investments made through NSBI and Economic Development, over 10,000 more jobs, more Nova Scotians are working this year compared to last year. That growth has continued, Mr. Speaker, during the past number of years, and we will continue to work with the business community of our province - we've already started meeting with them - to meeting with our financial institutions and having discussions about the impacts to ensure that our businesses are prepared going forward.

Will there be challenges, Mr. Speaker? The answer is yes. But do I have confidence in Nova Scotia's ability to deal with those? Obviously I have much greater confidence in the people of this province to deal with these situations, and businesses of Nova Scotia deal with these situations, than the Liberal Party does.

[Page 5306]

MR. MACNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Liberal Party has all kinds of confidence in the business people of this province and the people of Nova Scotia; it's this government that we're losing confidence in. It seems that every day there's a new story in the newspaper about Nova Scotian job layoffs, expansions being held back, companies closing down their operations. Nova Scotians are scared of their jobs, for their retirement savings and for their livelihood. So my question to the Premier is, why will you not commit now to putting an economic update on the table on the floor of this House immediately, not at the end of December?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Well thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The Leader of the Liberal Party continues to paint as negative a picture as he possible can, with respect to the Nova Scotian economy. I pointed out yesterday in the House that the unemployment rate for Nova Scotia dropped last month, the only province in Atlantic Canada to experience that, Mr. Speaker.

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

HEALTH - CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT -

WAIT TIMES

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question will be for the Minister of Health. Nova Scotians know that young people face many difficulties when they seek mental health service. The 2008-2009 IWK Business Plan outlines important concerns about long waits and inadequate funding. For example, about one-half of all referrals for outpatient services will take longer than the standard of 90 days. Well, 90 days is long enough, waiting more than that for an outpatient referral is simply unacceptable. So my question for the Minister of Health is, can you explain why you have allowed the wait times for children's mental health to remain so unacceptably long?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I've spoken on this a number of times, in this House and outside this House, on having more services for mental health patients in this province. We need to find mechanisms in which to treat these individuals. Unfortunately, of course, they have competing priorities within the Department of Health, whether it be cancer care, whether it be compression bandages, whether it be mental health services. So I know that the department does its best, as well as the district health authorities, to find mechanisms in which to provide the services that are so needed by Nova Scotians.

MR. DEXTER: Well, Mr. Speaker, early intervention is also the key for youth with mental illness, yet the wait time for the Adolescent Day Treatment Program is six months. The IWK states that youth will often remain in a hospital bed, on the inpatient unit, waiting for space in day treatment. So they are there instead of being at home or in the community with their friends and with their families. So my question to the Minister of Health is this,

[Page 5307]

why is it that the government is not expanding the day treatment so that these children and young people can be properly treated instead of being isolated in a hospital bed?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, it is to find the right mechanisms in which to do this. We have put in place - in conjunction with our mental health partners - a program called The Incredible Years, which is being introduced for parents with children ages 12 and under. Groups are to be set up on a rotating basis between September and June, lasting for 14 weeks. It's anticipated between 150 and 200 families will be served. This early intervention will result in little or no followup required on an individual basis which, in turn, will free up clinicians to see more clients. So I can thank the Mental Health Association, I can thank the IWK and the clinicians for coming up with programs just like this one that do work on early intervention for our children.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this is not what we hear in the mental health community. In fact, the Minister of Health knows full well the importance of early intervention and many, many voices have been raised to highlight the poor state of mental health services, especially those for children and youth. Yet the minister continues to allow for the underfunding of adolescent mental health services. So my question to him, through you, Mr. Speaker, is, can he explain why he does not ensure that these children and young people receive the treatment they need in a timely fashion to help prevent them from avoiding more serious mental illnesses as adults?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, when it comes to the budgeting of the Department of Health, of course, as I said, there are many competing priorities whether it be for one issue or another. This one is, when it comes to mental health services for our children, one that we work in conjunction with the IWK, and all districts in this province, and one that we'll continue to pay particular attention to over the next budgeting cycle.

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

HEALTH - YOUTH COURT REFERRALS: ASSESSMENTS -

WAIT TIMES

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm going to quote from the forensic section of the 2008-09 IWK Business Plan and I will table the relevant sections: Our wait times for assessment exceed the court deadlines 80 per cent of the time. Youth requiring the services of forensic health care are very vulnerable. They need rapid assessment so they can receive medially necessary treatment. It is completely unacceptable for these youth to be forced into excessive waits just for assessments 80 per cent of the time.

Mr. Speaker, my question through you to the minister is, can the minister explain why he has failed to ensure that the IWK can provide timely forensic assessment of the youth who are referred to it by the courts?

[Page 5308]

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, not being able to speak to the justice side of things, not knowing what restraints the justices or the judges are putting on these assessments, I can't really comment on that. I know that it is a question of having the right kind of individuals in order to review this, whether it be psychiatrists, psychologists or others. That is a recruiting issue as well, to make sure that we have the right types of professionals available to do these assessments within the IWK.

[Page 5309]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this is all about a healthy society. It is about fighting the causes of crime. These same youth require rehabilitation to prevent them from committing more serious crimes. I'll quote again from the IWK Business Plan: The wait time for regular referrals for adolescent rehabilitation, those with severe, disruptive behaviour disorder, is between 8 and 10 months. My question again, through you to the Minister of Health is, why is your department standing in the way of these children and young people receiving the mental health services they require?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has it a little bit wrong, which is, in my estimation, no big surprise. There are other competing priorities when it comes to the mental health services and those people that need to access it.

[1:30 p.m.]

When it comes to the Justice system, I think this government has been more than clear in its direction with the addition of the mental health court. Within that mental health court, we'll be addressing the issues required by the Justice system by allowing people to be seen in a different manner - whether it be by mental health nurses, by psychologists and caseworkers that will be able to address the needs of those individuals.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, children with mental health issues are waiting for forensic assessment and they're waiting, again, for rehabilitation. This government seems to have missed the whole point of the Nunn Report. The government is failing to attack a root cause of youth crime because it has failed to provide the necessary rehabilitation and mental health care. My question - again, to the Minister of Health - is, why is your government refusing to help these children get the treatment they need to get on a better path in life and avoid becoming serious offenders?

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I do want to concur with the seriousness of the matter of mental health as it affects individuals. That is why, through our crime prevention strategy and our response to the Nunn Commission, we recognize it crosses over many jurisdictions - not just Health or Health Promotion and Protection or the Department of Education or the Department of Justice.

That's why, with our new mental health court that will be in place for April 1st, it will provide an opportunity for that encompassing care model that will be there for rehabilitation so that you will deal with the Crown Prosecutor, Legal Aid, nurses, social workers, community outreach workers and probation officers to make sure we do respond in the manner appropriate. It's another important step forward in dealing with the youths unfortunately that mental health does inflict on them and we are responding as quickly as we can.

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

[Page 5310]

COM. SERV.: POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY -

RECOMMENDATIONS

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Premier. On June 26, 2008, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Working Group released its recommendations to address poverty issues affecting many Nova Scotians. In response to the report, the government announced it would take a full year to develop another strategy to tackle poverty reduction. My question to the Premier is, why didn't you implement the recommendations that the Poverty Reduction Strategy Working Group brought to your government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the government is reviewing the recommendations of the departments which are impacted and are taking a look at those recommendations as we put forward the strategy. We want to ensure that we not only review the appropriate information, but make decisions based on all the relevant information to help those who require help to the greatest degree possible. (Applause)

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the government had no problem accepting the 103 recommendations from the Corpus Sanchez Report in a blink of an eye. One has to wonder why this government wouldn't immediately accept the recommendations put forth by the Poverty Reduction Strategy Working Group and begin to make real progress on this issue facing many Nova Scotians. My question to the Premier is, why are you waiting a full year to come up with a strategy to reduce poverty when one has already been put in front of you?

HON. JUDY STREATCH: Mr. Speaker, I thank my honourable colleague for bringing forth this issue that I know is very near and dear to his heart. Indeed, it was the bill from that side of the House which brought forward the Poverty Reduction Strategy Working Group.

As the Premier has indicated, we received those 60 recommendations June 26th. The Department of Health, Health Promotion and Protection, Education, Justice, Economic Development, Labour, Workforce Development and Community Services have an interdepartmental committee that are reviewing those recommendations. We'll be bringing forward a strategy that is long term, a strategy that will address the very root causes and a strategy that will ensure that we provide the maximum amount of assistance to those across the province. However, we're not standing still while we are bringing that strategy forward. Indeed, the $92 million Heat Smart program brought in by the government this Fall, the over $200 million child care plan that is long-term and sustainable, the family Pharmacare program. Just a few of the examples that we continue to use day in and day out as we work our way toward a long-term solution.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, the Poverty Reduction Strategy Report included recommendations that would ensure the goals for poverty reduction, and had measurements to evaluate those goals. So my question to the Premier is, can you tell this House when we can expect to see a concrete report to deal with the issue of poverty in Nova Scotia?

[Page 5311]

MS. STREATCH: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Again to my honourable colleague, we've received those recommendations. That interdepartmental group continues to work on the very issues that my honourable colleague brings forward, to ensure that we have measurable methods to ensure that the programs that we have in place are doing what they need to be doing. We've committed to the people of Nova Scotia that we'll be bringing forward that poverty reduction strategy as soon as possible and we'll do so by the end of the year.

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

PREM.: CABINET COMMENTS - CONTROL

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question through you is to the Premier. The province this year is celebrating the 250th Anniversary of representative democracy in this province. We have a committee on democratic participation, but recent comments from the government benches appear to be taking us back to the Dark Ages of rewarding government ridings. The most recent comment came last night when the Minister of Fisheries said and I quote, "We will have money going out the door to lobster fishermen, but I am not sure we are going to give any money to lobster fishermen in the areas the NDP represent." So through you, Mr. Speaker, my question to the Premier is very simple, why do you support these comments, Mr. Premier?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, obviously the member doesn't agree with the ruling of the Speaker nor with the Minister of Fisheries. He stood in his place and already addressed this issue.

MR. CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We did accept the apology and we accepted the ruling you made. Obviously the Premier isn't listening, or somebody isn't listening. We are all elected here to represent the ridings in which we were elected. We are also here to do what is best for all Nova Scotians. Last week, it was the Minister of Agriculture threatening to take away a community school from Glace Bay and last night, it was a threat to leave fishermen in non-government ridings out of the fishery loans. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

MR. CORBETT: A threat, Mr. Speaker, to take a school away from Glace Bay by the Minister of Agriculture. Last night it was to leave the fishermen out of the non-government ridings in the fishery. So I'm asking the Premier a very simple question, why do you condone these comments? You have not mentioned one word in trying to control your own Cabinet.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the only threat to Nova Scotians is the NDP and what they would do to the finances of this province. The fact that they would destroy the economy

[Page 5312]

of this province in the blink of an eye, that they would spend this province into oblivion, the fact that the NDP - yes, the No Development Please Party - are against development in the downtown core of the City of Halifax. They voted against the loans to our fishermen in our rural communities in the Spring budget. They voted against the lobster fishermen in Shelburne. They voted against the crab fishermen in Inverness County, in Cheticamp. They voted against the people of Louisbourg. They voted against the people of Pictou County. That is the difference between that side of the House and this side of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. CORBETT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Well, the saying goes, when the truth is on your side, you pound on the truth; when the law is on your side, you pound on the law; when you have neither, you pound on your desk, and that's exactly what these guys are about. (Applause)

You know, Mr. Speaker, he talks about spending money and that's exactly what it is - it is these guys over here, you hear the Minister of Health chattering on about looking after their own backyard. They do this, they want to bring us back to the dark Buchanan days, that's exactly what they want to do. So I want to ask this Premier, will he get control of his Tory backbenchers, the few who are there, and the other ones who are in Executive Council? Will he get them under control and say that they represent all Nova Scotians and not just a bunch of Tory hacks?

THE PREMIER: It's obvious, the priorities of the NDP during this session of the House. It certainly isn't about growing the economy of Nova Scotia. It certainly is not about protecting our seniors, and our loved ones, and making our streets safer. They're more interested in petty politics than they are about the people of Nova Scotia.

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

HEALTH: COLORECTAL SCREENING PROG. -

IMPLEMENTATION

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, let's talk about colorectal cancer for a moment. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'll table the Department of Health briefing note I obtained through the freedom of information dated April 30, 2008. It states: "Colorectal cancer is the third most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and women in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia has the second highest rate of colorectal cancer in Canada. Many colorectal cancers are preventable if detected through early screening. Indeed if caught in an early stage, there is a 90 per cent chance of cure." So I would like to

[Page 5313]

ask the Minister of Health, can he explain why, despite knowing this information, and making repeated commitments for a program, we still do not have a province-wide colorectal screening program?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, well, I've got to say that question was better researched than the last one, but not well researched. Through Cancer Care in Nova Scotia (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I don't know, I think someone thinks he. . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Health has the floor - not anybody else.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As I said, a relatively good question, the colorectal screening program will be fully implemented, as we had said. Dollars have gone into that in this year's budget and it will be a program that will be fully operational as of the Spring. By the way, that was in the budget that they voted against.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, through the same freedom of information request I received an e-mail from the Department of Health saying that the first parts of the program would not be rolled out until 2009. The e-mail did not, however, say anything about when the final stages of the program would be in place. So I would like to ask the Minister of Health: Will he tell the House today why, despite repeated commitments from his government, Nova Scotians are still waiting for a colorectal screening program?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, as the member alluded to, the first phase of development is being finalized under the program. Cancer Care Nova Scotia, of course, submitted the implementation strategy in consideration to December, 2007. The first phase approach will be the distribution of the screening tools by direct mail to Nova Scotians aged 50 to 74. There is a fair amount of work that has to go in here by our clinicians, by our health care workers, in order to be ready for a colorectal screening program. So the size of this program is one that does take time to implement to make sure that it is done correctly.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): The unfortunate thing, Mr. Speaker, is that I've been speaking about this issue, and on this issue, for well over three years. That's a long time and every day we go without a screening program, another Nova Scotian is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, another Nova Scotian may die. The Minister of Health knows that Nova Scotians have the second highest rate of colorectal cancer in the country and he knows that this same cancer can be prevented and cured if caught early. So I would like to ask the Minister of Health, why are Nova Scotians still not being screened for colorectal cancer in time to prevent and cure their disease?

[Page 5314]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I've been speaking about this for three years as well. I have been doing the work to make sure that the colorectal screening program will be in place. This government has made sure that this screening program will be in place. We are doing the work while they continue to criticize and stand in the way. We will make sure that this program will be there for all Nova Scotians. Once again, the NDP feel that they can wave a magic wand and make programs appear. That is not the case. There is a strategy that has to go in place, there are health professionals who need to be in place; there is a true procedure. The member opposite is a paramedic and knows full well that these things take time.

[1:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would just remind all members of the House, when an honourable member is on the floor and speaking, whether they're asking or answering a question, it is very comforting to be able to hear them.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: CAP ASSESSMENT PROG. - RENTERS

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. In 2004 when the Cap Assessment Program was brought in, apartment buildings were left out of that program. Originally, condominiums were also excluded, but under pressure the legislation was amended in 2006 to rectify that oversight. My question to the minister is, can the minister explain why renters have been singled out and excluded from the assessment cap protection?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the honourable member at the beginning that our understanding is, we did do some research in response to questions, that in no place in Canada do apartment buildings that are above four units have assessment capping.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, there are over 60,000 families in this province that live in apartments and the two largest demographics of renters are young people and the elderly. Over 80 per cent of young people under the age of 25 rent their accommodation and 40 per cent of those who are over 75 rent. Those two groups have lower incomes on average, and are more vulnerable than the rest of the population. Increases in assessment lead directly to higher taxes, which in turn can be passed on to tenants as rent increases. My question to the minister is, can the minister explain why those who are most in need of the cap are being left out?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the apartment buildings that are greater than four units are deemed as commercial properties. As the honourable member would know, for example,

[Page 5315]

things like the HST are input tax credits, so to say that not capping their assessments is affecting them more than somebody else may not be entirely accurate.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, in the Clayton Park riding alone, there are 8,500 families living in rental units. All of them are excluded from the protection of the cap. We know for sure through IPONS and the Investment Property Owners Association that there are many increases in costs, realty taxes alone having gone up more than 85 per cent in the last five years. I believe we have to protect the people who live in apartments just as we protect those who own their own homes from assessment increases. My question to the minister is, will the minister commit to ending this discrimination against renters and extend the cap to apartment buildings?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member would know, as well, that the assessments for apartment buildings, these commercial enterprises, are not necessarily like they are for homes. The assessment is determined on the rate of return - in other words the rent paid and all of the expenses, then there is an assessment value. It's assessed basically on income as opposed to property value.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

TIR - SECONDARY RDS.: BRUSH CUTTING - FUNDING

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Recently I corresponded with the minister about the poor state of brush clearing on the sides of secondary roads in rural Nova Scotia, the main concern being safety. The overgrowth reduces visibility and also narrows the driving lanes. I will table a photo from the Italy Cross Road as an example of this encroachment. The minister replied, which I will table, that there was insufficient funding to the RIM program to meet the brush-cutting needs. My question is, when will sufficient funds be made available to meet this basic safety measure on our rural roads?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for bringing this question forward. I know it's something that she's talked to me about quite often and I know it's a real important issue for all the MLAs and all the residents in rural Nova Scotia.

As I've said in the House before, this government has increased our RIM money each year - this year it was $20 million which would include RIM patching, spreader patching, ditching, brushing, as the member is talking about. I would certainly encourage the members - I have before, and I will all members in the House - now is the time of year to be working with the local LSs and area managers and I would hope that she would have met with those folks prior to them making their commitments in their priorities for each individual member's riding so those priorities that the member has can be addressed and looked at when they're doing the priority list.

[Page 5316]

I can tell you there's a lot of great work being done throughout Nova Scotia with regard to the RIM money. That's exactly where this type of work should be done, and I encourage the member to work with her local LS and area manager to have that done.

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, it is about priorities and it is about safety, which should be a top priority. Unfortunately, knowing there are insufficient funds, those priorities aren't being met. I recognize this and so do the local residents.

In fact, local residents have been taking it upon themselves to improve this dangerous situation. One resident of Aulenback Road in Lunenburg County grew tired of waiting for the department to do the job and spent 50 hours doing the work herself. Another resident of Midville Branch has been lobbying for years. I will table the two recent articles. My question is, when can local residents expect the minister to make road safety a priority?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I do recall receiving the honourable member's letter and I can tell you I did ask the staff of my department to speak to the local staff down there and have them look at the issues she's bringing forward to see if it could be addressed. I guess what I would like to ask is, when the priority list was done for this year in the honourable member's riding, did she meet with the LS prior to that to identify that as a priority?

MS. CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, this is not an isolated problem and it's not isolated just to the riding of Queens, it's all over rural Nova Scotia, throughout many ridings along secondary roads, and the documents I tabled were in Lunenburg County. The minister knows that brush-cutting is so far behind in his own department that they will issue breaking-ground permits to residents to do the work themselves. My question is, why is this minister depending on residents to do this job for him?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I think everyone in this House would agree and I think across this province, we have quadrupled the budget for transportation. (Applause) By the way, in the budget earlier this year that the honourable member's Party voted against, we have quadrupled the budget for transportation - whether it's paving, new construction, bridges, culverts or the RIM money the member is talking about.

I think people have to agree in this House, this government has been very serious about rural Nova Scotia, about roads and road safety. Whether it's legislation, enforcement or education, I do take that very seriously and I can tell the honourable member that it really depends on the local MLA to work with the local members of the department to ensure they understand what the priorities are and I'm sure the work will get done.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

NAT. RES.: CHIGNECTO GAME SANCTUARY - SEISMIC TESTING

[Page 5317]

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. Last week, the minister had this to say during Question Period when asked about seismic testing in the Chignecto Game Sanctuary, ". . . I anticipate that the seismic testing is in fact going to be concluded by the end of this week." My question to the minister is, has the testing been completed and if so, what were the results?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, to the honourable member, I'm advised the seismic testing was completed last week. Of course, it was not the province who was carrying out the seismic testing, so he would have to go to the company that was carrying out the tests.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm not much better off; we'll try again. On October 24th of this year, the minister said that East Rock's approval to do testing in the sanctuary doesn't mean that it will be automatically allowed 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: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is quite correct. There is a very rigorous approval process that any proponent has to go through if they want to undertake drilling in Nova Scotia. Indeed, East Rock would be subjected to that same process. A lot of it would involve the Department of Environment, environmental assessments and anybody who comes here and wants to drill for oil understands that there is a process they have to go through in order to get approvals.

MR. GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, the only game here is the game the Minister of Natural Resources is playing with our wildlife and resources. This government needs to step up when it comes to protecting wildlife and habitat, rather than allowing for logging, mining and seismic testing in game sanctuaries. We are still far from reaching the national goal of 12 per cent protected lands, and government could make a landmark decision by giving the Chignecto sanctuary, or even part, the full protection it requires. My question to the minister is, will you commit to prohibiting logging, mining, and other such prescribed activities, in the Chignecto Game Sanctuary?

MR. MORSE: Yes, and thank you, Mr. Speaker. The member opposite should be aware that I have been absolutely passionate about making sure that the animals in the Chignecto Game Sanctuary are protected from hunting and trapping. That is why you have game sanctuaries, that protection is in place. I've been very clear that that will remain so.

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

NAT. RES.: MCNABS & LAWLOR ISLANDS - MGT. PLAN

MS. BECKY KENT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Natural Resources. In 2005, the then-Minister of Natural Resources signed the management plan for

[Page 5318]

McNabs and Lawlors Islands. A dozen volunteers had worked hard for five years on that plan.

Mr. Speaker, Michael Tilley of Eastern Passage runs the McNabs Island Ferry and he knows the islands better than most and has watched with dismay as the department has apparently ignored the provisions of the management plan. He and fellow volunteers have offered to do trail rebuilding and maintenance for free, which they used to do back in a time when the department had a volunteer agreement in place. Yet the department hired contractors this year to do that trail work. My question is, why did the minister allow his staff to refuse to put the volunteer maintenance agreement back in place after Hurricane Juan?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Yes, and thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I want to thank the member opposite for her interest in McNabs and Lawlor Islands. We're very pleased that we designated it as a provincial park. Clearly there have been a lot of investments that have been made on the islands. It is an enormous project financially because its different from any of the other provincial parks, because they are islands, but we will continue to make those investments as resources are available and we look forward to working with the community to complete the management plan.

MS. KENT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I guess we would argue the difference between a lot and a little. I'd like to describe in detail just one of the issues that has been brought to our attention. The management plan clearly states that existing buildings on McNabs Island should be maintained and used. I'd like to table this photo of a crumbling historic building taken one week ago. Instead of using the existing buildings for storage, the department helicoptered buckets of concrete to the island to build a 24 foot by 36 foot slab for a proposed service shed. Captain Tilley estimates the cost to be roughly $72,000. I'll table that photo as well. So I ask, why is the department letting existing buildings fall apart and, instead, spending money on a shed it couldn't finish?

MR. MORSE: Yes, thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. As the member opposite would be aware, we have been working on the wharves over at McNabs Island to make the island accessible. We are concerned to make sure that there is a means of dealing with the equipment that has to be kept on the island. We continue to work with the community. We enjoy the relationship with the community and we will continue to make investments in bringing this forward to full provincial park status.

MS. KENT: I guess I would again argue what the difference between working on, and not removing wharves and doing nothing more than that, I would disagree is work. Many people in my community and beyond care deeply about McNabs and Lawlor Islands. The department can use their help. Will the minister instruct his deputy to sit down with the Friends of McNabs Island and other community members and work out an agreement to get things back on track on these beautiful islands?

[Page 5319]

MR. MORSE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. The department has made thousands of dollars of investments over the last few years in bring McNabs and Lawlor Islands up to provincial park status. We are going to continue to make those investments. We continue to work with the Friends of McNabs and Lawlor Islands and, as the member opposite is fully aware, that is an ongoing rapport with the community.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

[2:00 p.m.]

FISH. & AQUACULTURE: CAPE SABLE ISLAND LOBSTER FISHERY -

DAMAGES

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. This past summer, fishermen across Shelburne County in District 34 maintained a peaceful protest near Cape Sable Island Causeway to draw attention to the damaged lobsters many fishermen observed in the past season. When damaged lobsters are caught, their price is reduced with the current market. Reduced prices are not something any fisherman can afford. My question to the minister is, what assistance will be forthcoming to help this group deal with this issue?

HON. RONALD CHISHOLM: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and to the honourable member across the way, that is an issue that has been brought to my attention and brought to the department's attention earlier in the summer. It's an issue that DFO has made the decisions on that, you know, the lobster damage that they were seeing wasn't only in that area of Shelburne, it was right up the coast, right up into Herring Cove actually where similar damage was. So DFO didn't believe that actually all the damage was caused by scallop draggers. So as far as I know, there will be no compensation from DFO or anyone on that issue.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, on their own initiative these fishermen have created a remote underwater camera project to gather information showing the damage done to lobster during their fragile molting process as well as lobster habitat. I will table a letter dated August 18th from the minister stating that he cannot support this project. My question is, why has the minister turned his back on fishermen who are trying to protect this valuable resource?

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I know the issue of the damaged lobsters and I know it very well. As I said before, DFO has considered that a storm damage issue. It had nothing to do actually with the scallop dragging in that area. We all know that softshell lobsters are found on the sand bottom. They go to the sand bottom to molt. The scallops were fished on rock bottom. So DFO tells me that they consider that whole shore, one storm caused a considerable amount of damage to lobster and that was their explanation for that. So he will have to refer to DFO for more information.

[Page 5320]

MR. BELLIVEAU: I can't resist, Mr. Speaker. After last night's debate, I think he was wrong. (Interruptions) This minister has funded other research projects in other areas of this province but has turned his back on these fishermen. Why is the minister not supportive of Shelburne County's underwater camera project when in the past his department has funded projects to the Fishermen and Scientists Research Society

[Page 5321]

MR. CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, that issue is not a mandate of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Province of Nova Scotia. That's an issue for DFO and when he talks about he figures I was wrong. I figure he was wrong when he voted against the fishermen in the last budget on our loan through licences program. That was the biggest single investment in the fishery in the Province of Nova Scotia since 1936 and he decided to vote against it.

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

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: 211 SYSTEM - IMPLEMENTATION

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. Nova Scotia's United Way agencies have been trying to convince the province for years to establish a 211 service. A central agency where a single phone call would connect people to services would be especially valuable to newcomers, seniors and people with disabilities. It would help people navigate the complex maze of government and non-profit agencies to find the services that they need. My question through you, Mr. Speaker, is what is your department doing to advance the implementation of a 211 system for Nova Scotia?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I think the House will remember, I think it was two years ago, that the department actually provided $100,000 so the 211 system, and its potential for Nova Scotia, could be assessed.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I am discouraged to hear that that was a full two years ago because we want to see some action in this province and not just a lot of talk. Success hinges on access, and Nova Scotians do not have access to the information that they need to access services. Residents in big cities like Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary have such a system and smaller cities like Niagara Falls, Windsor and Simcoe have access, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to a 211 system. The Province of British Columbia announced last Spring that they will actually introduce a province-wide system. My question to the minister is, does your government support a province-wide 211 service for Nova Scotia?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, when the 211 proposal was put to government, it was going to be a cost entirely borne by the government and I think the operating costs were $1 million a year. At those times, government had to assess its priorities and 211 was not deemed to be a top priority so the government did not proceed.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, the costs that the minister refers to are certainly very affordable, especially when you compare it to the money wasted on the ATV program which had to be rolled back very recently. There are a lot of things we can point to in this province that have been ill-founded and not thought out. But a 211 system has been proven in other places and its value is clear, the benefits far outweigh the cost. In Nova Scotia, 187 companies have offered to help, those are health organizations, companies and community

[Page 5322]

groups. They have offered to support this system because they know how much it's needed. My question to the minister is, when will your government stop dragging its heels and introduce real solutions like the 211 service for Nova Scotians?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, it was about two months ago that I met with representatives of 211 again to discuss it and I can say that their proposal has moderated from the first time they came to government. If this service should ever be implemented here, they are prepared to get some private partners. I did ask the United Way at that time, to be quite frank, if this was their No. 1 priority, would they fund it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

NAT. RES.: BROWN SPRUCE LONGHORN BEETLE - DAMAGE INFO

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Natural Resources. The brown spruce longhorn beetle was recently discovered in the Town of Pictou and notices have been received by local residents outlining restrictions on the movement of spruce round wood. I will table a copy of the letter that was received by the residents. In a presentation to the resources committee in May 2007, Gregg Cunningham of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said that this insect was initially found in Nova Scotia, but misidentified as early as 1989. My question is, since we have been living with this insect for almost 20 years, can the minister explain to this House what threat this pest poses to healthy red spruce trees.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his interest in this alien insect that has invaded our shores, we assume it was through the Port of Halifax. In Europe and Asia where it is native, it attacks the Norway spruce, but it has adapted since it has come to Nova Scotia, and is attacking the red, the white and the black spruce, as well as the few Norway spruce that may have been planted in the province. Typically it just attacks those that are under some stress, but the main concern, from the point of view of the province, is that it potentially makes things more difficult for us to export our wood products from Nova Scotia, and clearly we want to do everything that we can, in conjunction with the CFIA, to make sure that the markets remain open.

MR. PARKER: Certainly we've had many woodlot owners affected by this pest and it appears that the insect continues to spread. I know woodlot owners are justifiably worried. If this insect has been present for at least 20 years and officially identified since at least 1999, I assume there is lots of research that would have been done by the minister's department or by CFIA. My question, through you, Mr. Speaker, is, what research, then, has been undertaken to establish that this insect is any more damaging than our native species of beetles?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for his questions and his concerns and the member opposite is right - there are certainly lots of indigenous beetles that

[Page 5323]

are equally as damaging as the brown spruce long-horned beetle. The concern here is that because it's not an indigenous insect, we want to make sure that we contain it so that there would be no impact on our ability to export Nova Scotia forest products.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, knowing the hardships that took place in the current zone where it's quarantined and there are certainly many unanswered questions - how wide-spread is the insect in the province, are present forest practices contributing to its spread, does it actually attack healthy spruce trees? My question is, when is this minister going to review the scientific research to get the real facts and on the actual risk of the brown spruce long-horned beetle and whether it can or cannot be contained within the areas?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, of course, the lead for this file does rest with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the federal government, but we're very pleased to have been able to work constructively with them, the Maritime Lumber Bureau, the Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia and, indeed, the whole industry and all the other stakeholders through a committee. We feel we have some of the best entomologists in the world studying this insect and how to best contain it. As we work through the management plan and have taken the appropriate steps to try to at least slow the spread of the beetle. Ideally, we'd like to eradicate it, we know that is going to be a challenge.

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

HEALTH - PRIVATE COMPANIES: INVESTMENT - EXPLAIN

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, this government has shown a flair for private health care and we know the minister in the past has said everything is on the table. This is evident from the use of private staffing agencies for nursing staff and investments in private companies. Our public health care system is in crisis right now. Your government is having difficulty recruiting and retaining health care professionals and Nova Scotians cannot always access the care they need when they need it. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, why he is still making investments in private companies instead of strengthening our public health care system?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I can also underline the issue that we brought out yesterday with the press release about wait times, about the people that are receiving services, the reduction that we've had in wait times, whether it be for long-term care or whether it be in orthopaedic surgery. I can say that today 250 patients have been able to have their services through a service like Scotia Surgery and have thoroughly appreciated that service and have a 99 per cent approval rate.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I'd like to table a page printed from the Copeman Healthcare Centre Web site, another private health care company which clearly states that they are planning to build a facility here in Halifax. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, can he explain to this House and all Nova Scotians what services he plans to privatize next that would encourage Copeman Healthcare Centre to build a private clinic here in Halifax?

[Page 5324]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I'd like to privatize the Opposition, but since I can't do that I can say we have not been addressed, we have not been approached by this company to provide services in Nova Scotia.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, we're not for sale - maybe they are, but we're not for sale. We all know that there are underutilized hospital operating rooms in our province.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): We know in our province today there are underutilized operating rooms throughout this province. But the Minister of Health continues to seek the private sector to address issues this government should address under a public health care system. They refuse to do that. We're eroding our public health care system, our professionals who work in that system. They are eroding it. So I'd like to ask the Minister of Health - and I hope he can answer the question - through you, Mr. Speaker, why isn't your and his government utilizing the public system before turning to the private sector to deliver health care in our province, why? (Applause)

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we couldn't possibly give away the opposition, we can't even give them away. We're doing it because it is the right thing to do. We're going to serve patients when they're just going to sit on their hands and do nothing. Look at them, they can't do anything.

[2:15 p.m.]

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

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party on an introduction.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery where Claude Poirier is here from Cheticamp. Claude is a small business person in Cheticamp. He's been actively involved in municipal, provincial and federal elections for some time and this is his first visit to Province House. So I would ask all members t give him a warm welcome. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Would you please call Public Bills for Second Reading.

[Page 5325]

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 187.

Bill No. 187 - Child Pornography Reporting Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am very pleased today to rise in the House and move second reading of Bill No. 187, the Child Pornography Reporting Act. I'm very proud that we're joining other provinces in our efforts to do our part in Nova Scotia to prevent the proliferation of child pornography. Manitoba and Ontario are well on their way to supporting police in their investigations with provincial legislation and I, for one, am proud that we also recognize that need and are acting on it.

In September in Quebec, provincial and territorial Justice Ministers agreed that Canada's response to child pornography could be enhanced by federal legislation requiring any agency whose services could be used to facilitate the commission of online child pornography offences to report suspected material.

Some people may ask, Mr. Speaker, why we need this legislation at all. I wish we did not, but sadly, and even in this province, we do. Child pornography is a world-wide issue with the increased use of the Internet and it is incumbent upon all of us to do our part to track down those who are exploiting children. It is our responsibility to protect Nova Scotia children, and our government will do everything we can to do that. With this law, we're asking Nova Scotians to do their part as well. We cannot leave it up to the victims, children, to report abuse, just as we cannot expect children to report physical abuse.

Let me be clear, Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the Child Pornography Reporting Act is not to punish Nova Scotians but to empower them to step forward and report this horrendous crime. If someone sees something they find disturbing, even if it is on a computer at their work, they'll now be protected from repercussions for reporting this to police.

According to the RCMP, who are in favour of this bill, presently there are organizations, businesses and persons out there that believe, based on privacy mechanisms within their organization, they cannot release certain information to police.

The benefit of the new Act is that it will give protection to those who do come forward, including these Internet service providers, to report to police what might otherwise be considered by them to be personal information and facilitate the increased reporting of this deplorable crime. I'm told, Mr. Speaker, there are times when police do an investigation, and strongly suspect that information is available that would further an investigation, but face challenges in getting that information because of privacy issues.

[Page 5326]

This new piece of legislation would make it clear to those organizations, businesses and persons that they are now being supported by the government in supplying the proper authorities this information. As well, some Nova Scotians may not know what to do if they come across these exploitive images. To quote Sergeant Mike Burns of the Halifax Regional Police, who was told when we introduced the bill, "This is an incremental step to try and lay out, in no uncertain terms, to the general public, that if you see these images, or you come across them accidentally, you can't just turn a blind eye of indifference to it."

Some may question why we are bringing in this bill, but I want every Nova Scotian to know, it is because our government does believe in fighting crime together. We've been very clear through our crime strategy, Time to Fight Crime Together. That plan has helped us focus on some very specific crimes that affect everyone in this province. Today's legislation is a good example of government doing what it can to intervene when crimes are affecting our children and putting them at risk. If this bill helps even but one child who is being lured through the Internet, it will have been worth it. We must act to prevent child abuse, and indeed, that is what child pornography amounts to. This is also about being a deterrent. It is about a concerted effort to do what we can, where we can, in the interest of the protection of children.

I know that those who work within our ICE Units here in Nova Scotia, for those men and women who take on that task, it is not a pleasant one at all. It's one that requires counselling, it requires a rotational basis. When we talk about the reporting and the people who deal with this, they are trained experts in their field who are out there when they have to view these images and not know necessarily where a child who is being exploited may be.

The fact that we see the numbers that we do, statistically suggesting that there are over 5,000 active accounts of viewing child pornography in this province, that is something of concern to one and all. This is not about vexatious or frivolous claims that anyone would make, it's about having a designated unit of professionals. It's about recognizing, as well, that we at the national table are working to respond and that the Government of Canada, hopefully, in their legislative mandate, will bring forward encompassing legislation to deal with this. I do want to applaud the efforts within Manitoba, as well as the Province of Ontario, as we work together to deal with this If we achieve protecting but one child, then this legislation will have been worth it.

I hope that the House will see the wisdom to move this forward; that I do welcome any of the comments from our colleagues here in the House; that if there are areas that they feel could be addressed, or items in the legislation they would like to have clarity on, I'm more than pleased to work with our officials, with our policing community and to recognize as well that what we're responding to is a national initiative in something that we, in Nova Scotia, can take action on rather than waiting for Ottawa to deal with our jurisdiction in the Province of Nova Scotia. Indeed, we'll work with other governments; the Government of Ontario, led by a Liberal administration; and in Manitoba, with regard to an NDP Government there, Mr. Speaker, we have a pan-Canadian response and I truly hope that the Parliament of Canada will deal with this issue as quickly as possible, but in the interim, we can act and we can act now.

[Page 5327]

As well, there is an national, non-government organization, cybertip.ca that collects that information and if collectively we can put all of our efforts together to protect children, then I think we will have done well by this legislation. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I look forward, over the next few moments, to making some comments and passing on some suggestions that I have received from various people in the policing forces of our province. In particular, I want the minister to know that I have a number of my past students who are police officers, both with the RCMP and municipal forces across the province. The question they have been asking me is, is this a well-thought out piece of legislation that will encourage more charges that stick and convictions that follow? That's the question that some of my past students who are in the police forces are asking me, as a legislator. The answer I give back to them is, well, we'll have to wait and see. But in the meantime there have been various people who have been having their say on this and I'm sure when we proceed to the Law Amendments Committee we will hear from other members of the community, the police force, lawyers and various other people who are looking at what this piece of legislation is going to do to protect children in this province.

In particular, I think I should begin by tabling the Sunday Herald of November 2, 2008, and that is, of course, from the editorial page. It jumped out and grabbed me. I made it in bold print and I have it available for members who would like to have a look at it. I encourage all members of this House to look carefully at this editorial. The headline says, "It's a bill with no bite. The Provincial Tories have introduced a new child-porn mandatory reporting bill, but whom is it aimed at, really?" If I can quote from this for a moment, it has already been tabled, "The computer technician who stumbles across filth on someone else's computer? The Internet service provider that doesn't do enough to bar access to illegal websites? The bystander who happens upon a pervert at an Internet café? The babysitter or the spouse who discovers a family member's cache of horrifying pictures?" All questions that are asked in the editorial in the first six lines of the editorial. "Potentially, all of the above. The real answer, however, . . ." the editorial goes on to say, ". . . is the voters of Nova Scotia."

Now, this is no time to play politics with the justice system. I've been to enough of the minister's announcements to realize there is lots of politics when it comes to dealing with the justice system as is being delivered by this particular minister. There's no need to have any more photo ops. If we're looking at a piece of legislation that's going to work, let's make it work. Let's make sure that the stakeholders have been consulted and they know of which we speak.

So I want to take the minister back to those comments and he quoted from Mike Burns but I'm going to quote Chris Gorman who is a detective constable, a Halifax Regional police officer, who has been dealing with child pornography cases for four years. Constable Gorman said, and I'll table a copy of this, David Jackson's article in The ChronicleHerald: "he couldn't recall any case in which someone was aware of child pornography and didn't

[Page 5328]

report it." This is a police constable who has expertise on the spot and knows of what we are going to be dealing with in this House.

Let's see what Mike Burns says. Of course, Mr. Burns is another HPD Superintendent, these are comments from Paul MacLeod who is writing in the metro paper here in Halifax, "The bill would punish people who falsely and maliciously report someone accessing child pornography. But Halifax Regional Police Superintendent Mike Burns said he wasn't aware of such a case ever happening." Here are two front-line police officers, they are at the briefing, they are at the announcement, and neither of them are saying they're aware of cases of this nature. They have lots of experience.

Mr. MacLeod goes on to quote in this particular article, "Minister Clarke also could not specifically name any police agency that had requested this new bill." Now, as legislators, it's important to recognize that on certain occasions we do step up. We make sure that we're ahead of the curve and maybe this is one of those examples. When we go to the Law Amendments Committee, we might realize this government might just be a little bit too far ahead of the curve but let's wait and see.

I would like to draw the minister's attention, and I urge him to consult Kevin Burke, Kevin Burke once was a constituent of mine. He lives in East Dover. Kevin is still alive and well - they just changed the boundary, Mr. Speaker, so Mr. Burke is now a constituent of the member of Chester-St. Margaret's. Kevin Burke is a very well known lawyer in our community and Mr. Burke immediately brought up the whole situation of jurisdiction. Who is responsible for this particular piece of jurisdiction? Now, having taught Kevin Burke's children and knowing Mr. Burke and his politics, Mr. Burke takes it upon himself to make sure that he is going to get out there and have his say. Mr. Burke, of course, is concerned with the jurisdiction with federal legislation.

I encourage other people who are in the legal profession to come forward on that topic but I would like to table and take this opportunity to table a very helpful bill, Bill C-214. I'm going to read it if I may, just for a moment, if the Page can stand there for a minute, please, An Act to prevent the use of the Internet to distribute pornographic material involving children. The author of that particular bill is the good member for Sackville-Eastern Shore, Peter Stoffer; he happens to be of the Party that we belong to, but we're above politics in this situation. There's a particular piece of legislation that is dealing with the issue in the right federal Parliament. That's something I hope the members of the Justice Department have looked carefully at and realize there is something that we should be listening to.

[2:30 p.m.]

In the meantime, I've heard from a number of other people, not just police officers, not just men and women involved with ICE, and I share the comments of the minister opposite - a horrendous crime takes place and these professional officers have to deal with the issue, particularly when the ICE division is involved. I've cherish the work they do. If this legislation can help out ICE, if this legislation is the sort of thing that police officers can say, that will help us with more charges and more convictions that will stick, you will see no

[Page 5329]

member in this House stand in the way of this particular bill. No member at all will stand in the way.

I want to, however, share with the minister opposite what I heard from a public librarian in one of the libraries here in the HRM who's very concerned there's been some kind of insinuation that he and his staff would not do the right thing and report this. As he said, as a Nova Scotian - he'd like to remain anonymous if he may - he knows his duty and he is certainly willing to report, and step up, and if such a thing happens in the public library where he works and he's responsible, the HPD, the RCMP would be contacted immediately. That's the insinuation, that there are Nova Scotians out there who are not doing that.

Those are some of the types of calls that I've received. It's a piece of legislation that this caucus looks forward to supporting and going on to Law Amendments. I hope it's a piece of legislation aimed in the right direction, aimed at this key factor - more charges, more questions than answers, but more importantly, more convictions, more convictions for these horrendous crimes. With those comments, I will take my place. I look forward to having various people appear in front of Law Amendments and at that time I'm sure we'll hear more from the public of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honorable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Thank you. It's a pleasure to rise and make a number of comments on Bill No. 187, the Child Pornography Reporting Act. I'd like to start off my comments by referring to the same editorial that the previous speaker spoke to, on November 2, 2008, in The ChronicleHerald with the headline, It's A Bill With No Bite. In that I'd like to quote where it says, "Political posturing is the only point in bringing in a law that will seldom result in prosecutions. Premier Rodney MacDonald set the trap for Opposition Parties last week saying if they vote down this piece of legislation, it will demonstrate their lack of zeal for child protection and public safety. That suggestion is ridiculous. It will merely demonstrate their belief that this is a futile exercise in legislating common sense or basic acts of citizenship. No one is turning a blind eye to child porn."

In my 10 years in this House, to have heard the Premier of this province tell the media that any member of this House who does not support or question this bill is somehow sympathetic to child porn, or soft on child porn, is one of the most offensive and reprehensible comments I have ever heard in my 10 years. I do hope that the Premier, who I know is a decent person, will take the opportunity in this House to withdraw those remarks. Even though they were not made in this House, they were made just outside this Chamber. Such a suggestion to legislators, from the Premier of a province, as I said before, is absolutely reprehensible and the decent thing for the Premier to do would be to withdraw his remarks.

The Premier would see not only what The ChronicleHerald has said, but other media outlets and Nova Scotians have said - they have questioned the legitimacy of this bill and whether it will achieve any results. Those Nova Scotians are decent people and are not soft

[Page 5330]

on child porn, nor do they not care about the issue of child porn. Again, I hope the Premier will take the opportunity to withdraw those remarks.

I also want to start off by quoting my own comments which were reported in The ChronicleHerald on Friday, October 31, 2008, where it said, "But Liberal Justice Critic Michel Samson said he thinks Nova Scotians are doing the reporting now and he's not sure what a new law would achieve. 'We want to make sure that the government is actually focused on getting real results here, rather than just thumping their chests and making it look like they're doing something' he said at Province House. 'Anything that we can do, as legislators, to diminish, or to punish, or to catch people who access child pornography, or posses child pornography, we are in full support of. The question today is will this bill actually achieve that or is it merely a smokescreen to give Nova Scotians the impression that the government is actually doing something.'"

Mr. Speaker, that was the question that I had, as a Liberal Justice Critic, on Friday, October 31, 2008, and it is the same question that I have today, as Liberal Justice Critic, November 14, 2008 - will this bill actually achieve more prosecutions and will it actually apprehend more individuals who either access, or possess, child pornography?

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, since this bill has been tabled, I have not see anything to give me a sense of confidence that this is actually going to make a difference in the battle against child pornography.

Mr. Speaker, I've suggested before in my comments that I quoted, was this merely a smokescreen? A ruse? A political ploy? An attempt to get media attention? In questioning that, I would submit to Nova Scotians and to members of this House that this Minister of Justice and, in fact, his predecessor as Minister of Justice - I would compliment that in their last number of sessions, they would have their staff meet with us, the Opposition critics, review the legislation, and be available to answer any questions we had.

Now if the Minister of Justice is to say this is not about politics, this is a sincere belief I had, and I want the Opposition support to get this done, why was that opportunity to be briefed beforehand not made available to us. What was done instead, Mr. Speaker? It's bad enough when there isn't the opportunity to be briefed for the Opposition critics when there was basically a pattern that had been established. What makes this even more suspicious is that it was leaked to The ChronicleHerald before it was even tabled. The front page of The ChronicleHerald, who broke the story, on October 29, 2008, when it said "Tough new child porn law coming. Tories to make it mandatory to report abusers to police".

So no discussion with the Opposition, no attempt to seek our report, no attempt to answer our questions, no attempt to provide us with information that might convince us that this was actually going to achieve results. Instead, not only do we not get the briefing, it gets leaked out to The ChronicleHerald. It says, "'It speaks to the MacDonald Government get tough on crime agenda', the source said. 'It follows along the theme of putting more boots on the street, hiring more police officers and this is giving those police officers another tool in trying to track down predators.'"

[Page 5331]

So was it all for optics? Nova Scotians will have to render their own conclusions, but the question that we often have, as legislators, when legislation is brought before us, is who is pushing for this legislation? If it's meant to address an existing problem, then who is it that is asking for this legislation to be brought forward? It's very telling at times to see who is bringing about changes.

I remember the previous Minister of Justice had brought in changes to our court system and when the question was asked, well who is pushing for these changes, it ended up that it wasn't who it should have been. It wasn't the Barristers' Society, it wasn't the Society of Nova Scotia Judges. It was actually an idea that had been put together and it was brought to the floor of the House.

What happened in that case, Mr. Speaker? The right thing was done, the bill was withdrawn, because obviously it had not come from those it should have come from and the idea was something that was not universally supported, or shared, by those in the judicial community.

So we asked - or I shouldn't say we asked - I had the opportunity, Mr. Speaker, to attend the minister's press conference where he was flanked by police officers - RCMP, Halifax Regional Municipality Police Department officers. The press conference - needless to say, the fact that it lasted almost 40 minutes, it didn't go as planned for the minister, but the question was asked repeatedly, who asked for this bill? If you're saying it's a tool for enforcement officials, is it the RCMP that asked for it? Is it the Halifax Regional Police Department that asked for it? Is it another municipal police force here in this province? Is there a society that made the request? Who asked for this?

The answer, Mr. Speaker, as we all recall, is - and I can again quote the Friday, October 31, 2008, copy of The ChronicleHerald where it states, "Mr. Clarke confirmed after several questions during a news conference that police in Nova Scotia didn't ask for a new law, though they support it and are working with the government on the details." So at that point it became clear, this was an idea that came from the minister and from his department, or from his government, maybe the Premier, based on the comments he has made, maybe he was the one who had this idea. But at that point we then knew this was not coming from the police. So that was interesting. So this is the government telling the police what's good for them, and what will work and what will not work, rather than the individuals who the minister spoke of before, those who work in this unit. How does one even describe the work that they do?

Yet rather than have them come forward and say here's what we think will help us, the Minister of Justice instead said, no, no, I'm the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, I'm going to tell you what's going to help you get your job done. So that's fine and I believe the police were there and they said, well, you know, it's another tool, you know, maybe it will work. So then the question was asked to one of the police officers - after four years of working on child pornography cases, the question was asked - have you ever encountered a situation, in your four years, where you have charged someone with child possession, only

[Page 5332]

through the investigation to find out that someone obviously knew about this and chose not to take action? Basically exactly what this bill is meant to address - Bill No. 187.

Again in The ChronicleHerald on Friday, October 31st, it says, "Det. Const. Chris Gorman, a Halifax Regional Police officer who has been dealing with child pornography cases for four years, said he couldn't recall any case in which someone was aware of child pornography and didn't report it."

So again, Mr. Speaker, when legislation comes forward, as I said, one of the questions that we ask is, who's pushing for the bill? Now, we know the answer to that, it's the Minister of Justice and the government, not the men and women who work in this field every day, trying to bring forward charges and prosecutions. So the other question we ask is, what specific problem does this bill mean to address? One would have to conclude that the minister feels that Nova Scotians, whom I believe are good, decent, honest and truthful individuals, the Minister of Justice and his government are basically saying we don't trust Nova Scotians. We think they're turning a blind eye to child pornography, that they're aware of it, they're turning a blind eye, and now we're going to get them with this bill.

What kind of message is that sending to Nova Scotians? The minister is basically saying, I'm going to legislate Nova Scotians into doing the right thing. Now, I have a hard time accepting that because, as I said before, I think Nova Scotians are good and honest people and if they see a wrong that is taking place, especially one as horrific as child pornography, they're going to do the right thing. I don't think any Nova Scotian is scared of the consequences of doing the right thing when it comes to child pornography. I have a hard time accepting that anyone would be scared of that, because how could you be wrong, or how could you be in any sort of trouble if you were to report such a thing? But obviously this government feels that Nova Scotians aren't responsible enough and need to be told, through legislation, that they need to do this.

So the question becomes - and we know this is not an idea that has come from this minister or from Nova Scotia, it has been tried in other jurisdictions. Manitoba has had it in place for a full year. Ontario has just recently adopted similar legislation. So the question at the press conference - one of the officers, I'm trying to remember if he was with the Halifax Regional Police Department or the RCMP, but he had been in Manitoba for a number of years. So the question was asked to him, since the law, this mandatory reporting law, has been put in place in Manitoba, how many convictions or how many charges have been brought forward under that law? The answer, Mr. Speaker - none.

So what is this really meant to achieve, Mr. Speaker, is the question. Is the problem the fact that the minister truly believes that Nova Scotians won't do the right thing? I have a hard time believing that this minister would actually believe that. But what other conclusions are we to reach when we see this type of legislation, when we see the fact he did not share it with the Opposition critics beforehand?

[2:45 p.m.]

[Page 5333]

May I also suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that based on my own comments in the media, based on the comments from the Justice Critic of the NDP, both expressing concerns of this legislation, may I also share with you, and share with members of this House, and share with Nova Scotians, that there has been no attempt by the Minister of Justice to address our concerns, or to offer us to meet with his departmental staff, or to meet with anyone else, to address the concerns we have raised, or to try to somehow convince us that this legislation should be supported.

That leads me to conclude that he follows along the same line of thinking as the Premier in saying that anyone who questions this bill, or would not support it, must be soft on child porn. Again, I say shame on the Premier for even making such a suggestion, because at the end of the day, Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians look to us, as legislators, to deal with the real issues facing them. If we're going to pass legislation, one should do so in the belief that it is actually going to make a difference. What is lacking in this bill is any sort of an indication that it would make a difference.

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, my comments would be completely the opposite if the minister had stood here and said that individuals such as Detective Constable Chris Gorman of the Halifax Regional Police, who has worked for four years on this, has asked for this tool, or the RCMP, who have been working on this, are asking for this tool, then my comments would be completely different because obviously they are experts in dealing with this, in a very tough profession, under difficult circumstances. Yet, after four years, they haven't asked for this because they haven't seen it as a problem.

I believe that they share my view that Nova Scotians are good, decent people and they would do the right thing, should they come across this. We've also heard of service technicians with computers who've indicated that they have already reported to the police when they've come across such a situation.

So who are we really going after and what are we trying to achieve here with this bill? Again, one of the other questions would be, will this bill actually make a difference? Will we see prosecutions on this bill?

Here's the other question that was raised, Mr. Speaker, during the press conference, which I think is a legitimate one because there are only a limited amount of officers who deal with child pornography. One of the questions was, do we want those officers focusing on individuals who access and possess child pornography, or do we want them to focus on chasing down innocent Nova Scotians who are being accused of having seen, or having witnessed that someone may access this or possess this, and didn't report it? Is that what we want the police to be doing? I think it's a legitimate question.

One of the questions I have, Mr. Speaker, is that if the government is truly sincere about this, will the minister, prior to asking us to vote on this legislation, commit additional officers and resources to combat child pornography in this province? That, in itself, would be an indication that the government is serious, that this is not just about another platform to put in their next campaign to say, look how tough we are on child pornography, we passed

[Page 5334]

a bill. Because without resources, and without additional monies, this will not really achieve anything. As I mentioned before, there's only a very limited amount of officers who are actually working on this, and therefore, if this is a sincere effort by the government to get tough on child porn, I believe that this bill, without more officers and without more money, is a really difficult bill to support, without that being a condition of it.

I would hope that the Minister of Justice would take time to reflect, if he is serious about this, after the concerns I have raised, the concerns that the member for Timberlea-Prospect has raised, that the minister will come back and discuss with us what type of options and what type of support will be given to the police, other than just a piece of paper, that they will be given additional officers and additional resources to assist them in combating child pornography here in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, being that we are talking about justice, I think it's an important time to remind Nova Scotians of some of the concerns that we have raised about justice in this province. In order for Nova Scotians to have a well-functioning justice system, they need to have absolute confidence in our police forces, absolute confidence in our courts, in our court system, in our penitentiaries here in Nova Scotia.

Let me start with our penitentiaries. Nova Scotians, starting this Spring, started hearing of wrongful releases. People who had been brought to jail only to be let go. The minister at the time said it was a paper error, we're going to fix it. Fine. Then we had a second release, the minister said another paper error, we're going to fix it. Then a third release and then this Fall, a fourth release.

Yet, the minister says, I'm not going to go on a witch hunt for someone who made an administrative error. Mr. Speaker, he missed the point. He told Nova Scotians in the Spring after the three wrongful releases that he had put the changes in place to make sure this wouldn't happen again. But it did happen again. Even better than that, he turned around and said, I've learned my lesson and we're taking care of this because now we've promised to let Nova Scotians know when someone is wrongfully released.

Quite cold comfort, I must say. That's what we're going to get, rather the minister gives us assurances that he is going to do everything in his power to make sure this doesn't happen again, he turns around and tries to console us by saying, don't worry, from now on, I will at least let you know when it happens. Needless to say, that does not give us much confidence at all because we all recall the tragic incident with Theresa McEvoy and the fact that there again was an example of where our justice system had failed and that a young offender who should have been kept in custody was not kept in custody because of a paper error, because of a faulty fax machine.

We were told by the Minister of Justice that we had learned from that, those problems would be fixed and yet here we are seeing wrongful releases from our prisons. One of the individuals, when he was captured, had a loaded pistol in the car with him. Are these the types of individuals we want walking the streets of Nova Scotia? The minister and his government on one hand says, we're putting more boots to the streets, but I never thought

[Page 5335]

they also meant that those more boots would be to assist in finding these inmates that were wrongfully released. That's not the way our system should work. There's obviously a problem within our penitentiary system.

The Minister of Justice's response is, I'm going to have a report. I got a report coming. Don't worry, report's coming. I think the Leader of the NDP indicated that the minister is more interested in reading reports than in taking action and I have to reach the same conclusion, because just yesterday the Leader of the Liberal Party once again raised this serious issue of another stabbing of an inmate at the Burnside correctional facility.

The Minister of Justice said, no, no, it was a stabbing but it was only a broken CD case, that's not a real stabbing. I'm curious to see what the victim has to say about that, if he thinks it's not a real stabbing because it was just a broken CD case. But he said it wasn't a knife, it was a broken CD case - a sharp piece of plastic, that's not a knife. I'm almost thinking of - what's his name, the Australian character who talked about it not being a real knife . . .

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Crocodile Dundee.

MR. SAMSON: Crocodile Dundee. I think our Minister of Justice must have been reflecting on watching Crocodile Dundee movies and saying, that wasn't a real knife, it was just a broken CD case that he was stabbing someone with.

I truly believe that Nova Scotians have a great deal of confidence in our correctional workers here in Nova Scotia and our jail guards. They work under difficult circumstances and they are part of a justice system to keep our streets safe. Yet when they come to us and continually say that they now fear for their safety in their work environment, the Minister of Justice says, we have an Occupational Health and Safety Committee to deal with that.

These people have already gone through that process. Yet, while the government drags its feet when they're asking for stab-proof vests, the government found a way to allocate $230,000 for child-sized ATVs. Yet they tell the jail guards, deal with it in your committee, we have a report coming, we don't have the money to buy you the equipment you're asking for. What kind of message is that - $230,000 for kiddie-sized ATVs, yet cannot find the money to keep our jail guards safe.

Now, Mr. Speaker, when the Burnside facility was first built, it was a modern facility in its day, the whole idea being that the outlay of the facility was such that it was going to be very safe for the inmates and for the staff. Yet we all know that this is the government and not only this Premier - I must point out that he was just a minister at the time when this started - but his predecessor Premier Hamm, starting in 2001, closed rural jails throughout Nova Scotia. In Guysborough, six beds were closed; in Lunenburg County, 23 beds were closed; in Truro, 50 beds were closed; and in Kings, 59 beds were closed - a total of 138 less jail cells here in Nova Scotia. Yet somehow the minister and this government didn't draw the link that if you're going to get tougher on crime, you can't be closing 159 cells.

[Page 5336]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm listening to this debate with some degree of interest, but he neglected to say that the new Burnside jail was the creation of his government and that's what led to the closure of these other things.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you for the point of information.

The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, the revisionist history that we get from the good Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations never ceases to amaze me, because they were actually in office for two years when they closed down these rural jails.

So again as I was saying, government is saying, let's get tough on crime, put more people in jail, yet they closed 159 cells and didn't replace them. So what happened, we have overcrowding in our jails. So the Burnside facility, which was initially built to be a single cell facility, a single inmate per cell - suddenly the government said, well, hold on now, we can make it into double occupancy because we can put these portable beds on the floor.

Now, Mr. Speaker, if it was the intention that the Burnside facility should be able to house two inmates per cell, it would have been built that way. You would have had two beds per cell, but that was not done because it was never meant for that. The government found a clever way of saying, let's put two inmates in the same cell. Now, I'm sure knowing this government and their get tough on crime that they continue to tell us, said who's going to have sympathy for inmates in a jail, like who is going to come and say the poor criminals, they're stuck two people to a cell, you know, who's really going to say that?

They're right. There's probably very little sympathy for those inmates, but I'll tell you where there is sympathy and where there is concern, it's for the men and women who are paid by the Province of Nova Scotia to keep peace and security within those institutions. When they come forward and they say we fear for our lives and we fear for our safety, that's not something that the minister should stand in this House and say, they've got a committee to deal with that. They deserve more respect than that. They deserve better and they haven't gotten it from this minister. When you see stabbings, when you see these shanks being built and jail guards being threatened with them, and the minister says they've got a committee to deal with that, that is simply not acceptable. Again, as I pointed out, when they wanted to find $230,000 for kiddie-size ATVs, they found it. Yet somehow, now, there's no money to protect our jail guards.

But there's a history of this from this minister, Mr. Speaker, because we'll all recall the escape of Mr. Carvery when the jail guards who were escorting him to a hospital visit, under this government, were not permitted to bring with them the tools which they are trained to use within the correctional facility, that being pepper spray and batons. After that

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high profile escape, the gentleman still not in our jurisdiction, we naturally said, why would you allow jail guards within the jail to be able to use pepper spray and batons for their own protection and the protection of others, yet you don't allow it the minute they walk out the door with these dangerous criminals, and we all know Mr. Carvery's rap sheet. This is not the type of person that we would consider to be a routine transfer, yet that is the situation the government put these jail guards under.

Yet even after that incident the Minister of Justice refused to budge - no way. He said, we'll get the sheriffs to come in and transfer them if the jail guards won't do it. He would not arm them. So what does it take? It takes the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development, a reasonable person, who looks at the situation and says, it doesn't make any sense not to arm them. If you're going to have them trained within the facility, why would you not allow them to use this during escorts. So, fortunately, a bit of common sense from the government, from the Minister of Labour and Workforce Development. The Minister of Justice was forced, embarrassingly, to admit that these jail guards should be given the same tools which they have within the jail facility. It is my understanding, there is a period of training that is going on before that's going to become a reality, so it's not fully implemented just yet.

[3:00 p.m.]

There seems to be an issue between the jail guards and this Minister of Justice. Maybe the minister can share with us what the problem is. I can tell you, we don't find it acceptable to hear stories of jail guards saying that they fear for their safety because of the double bunking, because of the fact that they don't have enough staff for the amount of inmates that they're responsible for, and then we hear these incidents of violent behaviour in the jails and yet the minister says, send it to the committee, the Occupational Health and Safety Committee. We expect much better than that from this minister.

It's not only the jail guards. This minister, for some reason, seems to have a problem with assuring the safety of his own employees. Just last week and this week, we had the Crown Prosecutors saying they do not feel safe working at the Spring Garden courthouse facility. They gave examples of how the guards who were there have seized weapons, knives, all sorts of things that cause a danger to them.

So, what does the Minister of Justice do? I fully expected he would have a report. It gets better this time because he said, I'm going to get to the bottom of this, I'm going to walk right down to the Spring Garden courthouse and I'm going to check it out for myself. Apparently, that's what he did. He said, there's no problem with safety here, I don't know what they're talking about. Again, why is the Minister of Justice always against providing the necessary safety and caution for his own employees? Instead he hides behind reports and decides on his own, arbitrarily, that this is not necessary.

Again, I ask, what would the cost be of putting in full-time metal detectors at the Spring Garden courthouse? We know the Spring Garden courthouse is one of the busiest courthouses there is in this Province. Drive by it any day and you're going to see people coming in and going out. It's a very busy place and unfortunately it deals with some sensitive

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matters and some individuals who, at times, I think Nova Scotians would consider to be dangerous and yet, right now, they do not have a permanent metal detector at that facility.

How ironic that the Minister of Justice comes to work here in this Legislature knowing that everyone in the gallery, and everyone here, has gone through security and gone through a metal detector. Ironic, I would say, some might point out some hypocrisy with that as well. Clearly, I cannot understand how the minister can talk about wanting to have safer streets, and more boots on the street, when he turns around and neglects the men and women who are part of that justice system.

Yes, it's important to have more police, but we cannot forget about those who are working in our prisons, those who are working in our courthouses, those who are within the administration of justice in this province. They simply cannot be cast aside and that there be no attention paid to them at all. These are issues which cause us great concern when it comes to justice issues here in this province.

I could talk as well about the issue of tasers in this province and how when this first became an issue, the minister was given an opportunity to put a moratorium, and yet he refused. Then we had the unfortunate story of what happened to Mr. Hyde, which I now understand is going to become part of an inquiry, an inquiry which I'm sure, knowing what past inquiries have cost, will be a significant cost to taxpayers.

The question is, will action be taken as a result of that inquiry and will the minister actually learn anything from that experience? It's now become clear through media reports that even the RCMP are acknowledging that there is not sufficient training for their own members when it comes to the use of tasers, and that they wish to see changes being made there. Yet, the Minister of Justice response is, I'm going to ask for a report. That's another report. I think he has three or four on the go right now; we're having a hard time keeping track of which report is which.

One of the requests, one of the reports, apparently that was done on the Burnside jail has now been presented to the minister. The union has rightfully asked, can we sit down with your officials, review the report, review his recommendations, and see how we can work together to move forward. Maybe the Minister of Justice can indicate to us whether he intends to do that. I haven't seen anything, any reply to their correspondence which would indicate that the minister has any intention of doing such a thing. But that certainly would be an indication to us that the minister takes these concerns seriously, because I would hope that when he stands he will tell us exactly - other than these reports and other than these committees - what concrete action has he taken to address the safety concerns that have been brought directly to his attention?

Mr. Speaker, I should point out that there's actually a number of other Justice bills which are before us and again, they all touch on our justice system and there will be another opportunity to discuss these justice issues further. I do hope that we are going to be given some indication of exactly how the minister expects to address some of the concerns that we have pointed out here today. I should point out, as well, that we have had concerns with this

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government's approach to justice issues for quite some time. You'll recall a few years ago, where we had the issue of a rash of home invasions in the Province of Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, for the most part, these home invasions were being committed by young offenders.

So what was this government's response to this rash of home invasions? They sent out a DVD to seniors, a video tape, where they told seniors how to lock their doors and lock their windows. That was the government's response to home invasions. They didn't look at what were the root causes of these home invasions, why were young people breaking into homes, in some cases very violently, causing damage and personal injury to those who were mostly seniors in the homes? They didn't look at that at all. Somehow they turned it around, saying seniors have to learn how to lock their doors better at night and that's going to fix these home invasions.

Now, needless to say, anyone with any interest in justice would question that type of an approach. We have continually been talking to the government and encouraging them to deal with youth at risk, here in this province. Mr. Speaker, one youth lost to criminal behaviour is one too many. We need to find ways, both through our school system and through our communities, to identify youth who are at risk and be able to provide them with the necessary counseling and support to make sure that they avoid a career of crime.

Instead of speaking of that, we have a Minister of Justice who would rather go to Ottawa and say, you need to give us more penalties under the Youth Justice Act so we can throw more of our young people in jail. What kind of an approach is that? Rather than saying, I want try to make sure there are less young people getting in trouble with the law, my focus is going to be on nailing those young offenders who continue to get in trouble with the law.

Yes, no Nova Scotian wants to see young offenders who are continuing to get in trouble with the law to not be dealt with. But where are the efforts, on the other hand, to try to prevent this in the first place? That is where, in my opinion, and in the opinion of our caucus, that the government has been lacking. Instead of giving us concrete examples of what can be done, the minister instead went on a tour with a petition. He wants Nova Scotians to sign a petition. He's going to bring that to Ottawa and expect Ottawa to accept the petition.

What's ironic about that, Mr. Speaker, is that this is the same minister who once sat exactly where you're sitting, as Speaker of this House, and when my colleague, the good member for Halifax Clayton Park, tried to have electronic petitions accepted in this House, he refused, yet his Department of Justice had a Web site where Nova Scotians could sign an electronic petition to be accepted in Ottawa.

Again, Mr. Speaker, you have to question the sincerity when you see these kinds of events happening, where the minister, when he was Speaker, refused electronic petitions but yet wants Nova Scotians to sign one now so he can take it up to Ottawa. Not only that, the minister decided to go on a road trip, touring the Province of Nova Scotia, speaking to whatever group would hear him, about the issues of youth crime and signing his petition.

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Was that a good value for taxpayers' dollars, or would that money have been better spent on youth programs for youth at risk?

It gets even better than that, if we look at your cable station and you turn to your Eastlink, for example, on the channel where there's ads, you see the Minister of Justice and hear him talking about crime and working together to fight crime in this province, yet jail guards are asking for stab-proof and knife-proof vests and he says, send that to a committee. We're going to make our streets safer, but as far as those pesky jail guards, we'll just send that to a committee, the committee will deal with it.

Mr. Speaker, any of the Justice bills that are being brought forward here, I believe, need to actually have support for our justice system if they're actually going to be effective in making sure that we have a well-functioning justice system in this province. I can tell you, I believe the member for Timberlea-Prospect indicated that Nova Scotians' confidence has been shaken under this minister, seeing these wrongful releases, seeing the Carvery situation, now hearing of jail guards concerned about stabbings, now hearing about the Crown prosecutors who work in a dangerous environment on any day, now saying that they're concerned about working at the Spring Garden courthouse because of the instances of dangerous weapons which have been found by police in that specific facility.

Mr. Speaker, we need to make sure that everything that we do is going to be to strengthen our justice system. One of the issues when talking about wrongful releases was the issue of the paperwork, that the minister said look, you know, I'm not going to go on a witch hunt for someone who had a problem with the paperwork. Well, I think there's a bigger reason than that. It's not just that he wasn't going to go on a witch hunt because if he did he would have had to accept and acknowledge the fact that the clerical staff and administrative staff at our prisons are overworked. They have too much paperwork to do and they cannot handle the volume of paperwork that is being put on them, especially now that there's double bunking.

So if the minister had said, I'm going to get to the bottom of this and find out why the paperwork wasn't done right, it would have come out that, wait a minute, these people are being asked to do almost twice the amount of work they were before and no additional support is being provided in light of that. So the easiest thing for the minister to do is say, I'm not going to listen to the Opposition, I'm going to protect my employees. Well, that was a ruse that it didn't take us long to see through. That was the real reason why the minister didn't want to pursue this, because he would have had to admit the problems that existed within the system and the absolute need for more support for this.

Mr. Speaker, it leads me to question that maybe the Minister of Justice is unable to get more money from the Minister of Finance. If that's the case, you know, obviously, that would address a lot of the concerns we have and it would certainly provide answers to this that if he has been told that he will not be given more money to protect the safety of jail guards and sheriffs, Crown prosecutors, then he can certainly stand in his place and tell us that. That certainly, to me, would be a more legitimate answer than the minister's approach to date because I do believe him to be a reasonable person but to hear someone tell you

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they're afraid to get stabbed and your response is send it to a committee, that does not fall under reason to me and it's not a reasonable approach.

Yes, we do have Occupational Health and Safety Committees, Mr. Speaker, in many of our workplaces in Nova Scotia. How many of those workplaces have to deal with the concerns over stabbing and their personal safety? I would submit to you that there are probably a limited amount of workplaces that deal with that. So it's one thing to tell a certain department to go to your Occupational Health and Safety Committee, it's a whole other thing to say it to men and women in a correctional facility who say that they fear for their lives. That's simply not acceptable.

Mr. Speaker, it is our hope, and I believe the hope of all members and all Nova Scotians, that no jail guard or personnel at our correctional facilities, no Crown prosecutor and no sheriff, ever fall into harm's way but we have a responsibility as legislators and the government has the responsibility to be able to say we undertook all reasonable steps to ensure their safety and we can't guarantee there won't be incidents but at least we can say we did everything that was reasonable in protecting our employees. I would question whether the minister can stand in his place and say that today, that he feels that he has done everything in light of the concerns that have been brought to him to ensure the safety of what in essence are his own employees - the men and women he has employed to work in our justice system.

[3:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, during the estimates earlier this Spring, the minister did speak to us about the government's desire to build new correctional facilities; lo and behold, finally, but yet we don't have a construction date. I'm not sure if we have a site and we don't have a completion date. Yet we continue to tell the jail guards at Burnside not to be concerned about double bunking and the extra concerns that that brings with it. So hopefully the Minister of Justice will take the opportunity to inform us what the status is of this new correctional facility. I believe there are two that are planned, one to replace the Antigonish facility and a new one in Central Nova Scotia, if I'm not mistaken. Where are they and when will they be ready? It is hypocrisy to suggest we're going to get tough on crime, yet we closed 150 actual jail cells and we haven't replaced them yet. You can't do one and not do the other, in essence, Mr. Speaker.

When it comes to Bill No. 187, our question again becomes, is this bill actually going to make a dent in child pornography here in this province, or is it merely a smokescreen to somehow try to convince Nova Scotians that something is being done?

Mr. Speaker, I believe that when it comes to the issue of child pornography, we have a duty, as legislators, to do whatever we can to combat it. I believe that all members of this House would support efforts to combat it, but clearly, based on the discussions that we've had, based on the response from the media, and based on the response from Nova Scotians, there are significant questions being asked. Are we really achieving anything with this bill?

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Will we see more prosecutions? Will we be sending the message out that anyone who accesses, or possesses child pornography, now has a better chance of being caught? That is the question that we have here.

If the Minister of Justice can stand in his place and say absolutely, equivocally, yes, that certainly is a whole different story. Providing a tool to the police that has no bite is no tool at all. That's why we're a bit suspicious of this bill and the fact that the police never requested it. They did not ask for this tool. It was the Minister of Justice who said, I am going to give it to you. If that's the case, and he wants our support, I would suggest to you as a minimum, there need to be resources put to assist police in combating this most horrific crime. Other than that, it is a mere bill which I am sure the government will use during the next campaign as part of their justice platform. The question at the end of the day, for all of us and for all Nova Scotians is, what did it achieve?

The way this bill was brought forward, being leaked to the ChronicleHerald, not being shared with the Opposition Critics, the Premier going out and suggesting that anyone who doesn't support this is soft on child pornography, Mr. Speaker, that's right up there - I know his idol up in Ottawa, Stephen Harper, made the same comments when Opposition members raised questions about the Afghanistan war, the Prime Minister would accuse him of being Taliban sympathizers.

What the Premier of this Province said about this bill, and about members of the Opposition, is no different. It is just as reprehensible as what the Prime Minister said when members of the Opposition would ask questions about the men and women who have lost their lives and who are fighting over there on behalf of our country. It falls right into the same line and again, I do hope the Premier will show the decency of retracting those comments which he made.

Again, Mr. Speaker, it will be interesting to see whether we have groups that come forward at Law Amendments Committee to say they fully support this, here's the evidence of how it works, here's the evidence of what results it will have. I'm still of the belief that Nova Scotians are good, decent people, who know when to do the right thing. This government has a different approach. Will their approach be successful? Only time will tell, but it would be much easier to support this bill on final reading if we had some confidence that there's actually going to be convictions, and an actual dent be made in child pornography here in Nova Scotia.

So, Mr. Speaker, with those brief comments, I look forward to this bill moving on to Law Amendments Committee, having the opportunity to further discuss it at both Law Amendments Committee and possibly back here in the House, should it make its way back to this Chamber. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. If I recognize the Minister of Justice it will be to close debate on Bill No. 187. The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise to close debate on Bill No. 187. The issue at hand is a serious one and if I thought, through the

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intelligence that we have, that we would be targeting innocent Nova Scotians needlessly when we know that our intelligence says that there are at least 5,000 active accounts from people of this Province of Nova Scotia, very regretfully and sadly, accessing child pornography on a regular basis - 5,000, honourable member - then I would not come forward when we deal with that. I do want to note to the member for Richmond that our last allocation of police was to target more police for the ICE Unit here in the province, to provide more capacity and work them as we roll out our policing complement for this province. Again, we are dealing with an issue that has been at the national table in terms of where does this come from - it comes from a national concern to deal with a global problem that we have.

As I started out, there are questions or concerns that have been raised to which there are no answers about how many people do you know. By virtue of this debate in the House, Mr. Speaker, we may have helped a Nova Scotian by deterring somebody from accessing child pornography. If anyone has known of anyone as a child who has been the victim of child abuse, of which child pornography is, they would say anything you can do, if it's a public education piece - by virtue of this debate alone it tells me that the bill is worth it, because we're talking about something that other people find very disturbing to deal with and don't know how to deal with it.

So for the men and women who work in our system, in terms of where does this come from, well, we have responded to them to provide additional resources for policing, to make sure we address those things through a due process. As was indicated in the debate, indeed the Province of Manitoba, the Province of Ontario, and here in Nova Scotia, it wasn't just something thought up, it is about a thoughtful process to try to deal with that issue.

I am sincere in what I've said to any of the questions that have been raised, Mr. Speaker, we'll be glad to provide that - if throughout the process of the Law Amendments Committee, or in third reading - indeed to present more statistics, and very troubling statistics, but I also know this province went and changed legislation with regard to reporting of child abuse through the Child Protection Act, indeed to have that in place, this builds on this because it's a form of child abuse, because there is an effort, and hopefully will be legislation for the country that will be supported. There is a reason why we put it in separately here in Nova Scotia, because I hope that there will be national criminal co-legislation associated with this.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I do offer sincerely to all members of this House that we will provide the level of information that will make it possible for others to see the value in this piece of legislation, that is to protect those who are the most vulnerable, the children of this province, and indeed for those individuals out there, for them to be aware that we as Nova Scotians do not accept it. We're prepared to act on our disdain for this abuse by putting in legislation, to use the public education piece, that indeed we can build on that and if the Parliament of Canada can act quickly and swiftly, then indeed I would be happy to see this legislation superceded. But in the interim I hope to move forward with our colleagues because it's not something I'm going to politicize or trivialize. It is something I think we

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need to take in the seriousness of what this legislation attempts to address. With that, I close debate on second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 187. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 196.

Bill No. 196 - Beneficiaries Designation Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise again to move second reading of Bill No. 196, an Act to Amend Chapter 36 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Beneficiaries Designation Act.

Mr. Speaker, this is one of those items that helps protect individuals and their assets. This allows for a new - it adds a tax-free savings account to the equivalency of a savings plan such as an RRSP. The most important factor of this, with a tax-free savings plan, is to provide those individuals an ability and a vehicle that allows them to make that investment and allows them to make that investment and allows it, as well, to be transferred to a beneficiary and not be caught up in the probate process and/or the fees from probate. Again, as another vehicle, especially as we've all been talking about and debating uncertain economic times for those with financial assets that they want to invest and protect, this is a means for them to do that. We see it as a positive step forward and it indeed expands the investment options of Nova Scotians.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise in moving this for second reading.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Thank you. I want to make a few comments on Bill No. 196, amendments to the Beneficiaries Designation Act. This particular piece of legislation makes some sense, particularly when you look at my new role as a grandfather - when my granddaughter Ella was born on May 11th of this Spring, immediately my wife and I said we have to make sure that we have some things in our place so that if and when the time comes in our lives, our granddaughter will have the finances to, of course, attend the best university in Canada, making sure when her time comes at the age of 18, from the University of Alberta, she'll be attending Mount Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick.

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So I certainly am supportive of this particular piece of legislation. From what I understand, this piece of legislation will be consistent with federal legislation and that's a key thing. People who have the wherewithal and the finances of whatever amount now can make sure this is not going to be caught up in probate court, it won't be caught up with further difficulties, but at the time of passing, you can pass on these dollars in the allocation which you desire. It's a piece of legislation this caucus supports. It's based upon some good common sense, we look forward to it going to the Law Amendments Committee with our support. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to make a few comments on Bill No. 196, the Beneficiaries Designation Act. The purpose of this legislation is to deal with the new program that was announced by the federal government in the budget of 2008, which is known as the tax-free savings account.

The tax-free savings account is a flexible, registered, general purpose account that will allow Canadians to earn tax-free investment income. What does that mean? How will this account work? Well, starting in 2009, Canadian residents aged 18 or older will be eligible to contribute up to $5,000 annually to a tax-free savings account with unused room being carried forward.

With this tax-free savings account, the contributions will not be deductible. So it's different from an RRSP - Registered Retirement Savings Plan - in that you cannot deduct this on your income tax. Capital gains and other investment income earned in a tax-free savings account will not be taxed. That's your main difference between your RRSP because your RRSP you will be able to claim a deduction up front but the difference is that with an RRSP you will be taxed when you withdraw it, whereas the difference with the tax-free savings account is that you will not be taxed based on any monies it earns or when you wish to withdraw that money.

As well, under the tax-free savings account, withdrawals will be tax-free. As well, neither income earned within a tax-free savings account nor withdrawals from it will affect eligibility for federal income-tested benefits and credits. One of the questions I would have with that is, is that going to apply to Nova Scotia benefits? We all know the problems with how the government here deals with the Child Tax Benefit and people who are clients of Community Services, so while this bill doesn't specifically address that issue, I'd be curious to see whether our province is, as well, going to put in the protection that any withdrawals from these tax-free savings accounts will not be part of the income tests for any provincial government programs.

Withdrawals will create contribution room for future savings. That being that if you put money in and you take it out, you will still have that room available to you at the end of the day to put more money in should you choose to do so. As well, under the tax-free savings account, contributions to a spouse's or common-law partner's tax-free savings account will

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be allowed and tax-free savings account assets will be transferable to the tax-free savings account of a spouse or common-law partner upon death.

Qualified investments include all arm's-length Registered Retirement Savings Plan qualified investments and, as well, the $5,000 annual contribution limit will be indexed to inflation in $500 increments. So that annual contribution is obviously going to increase.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I'm certainly not a financial analyst or anywhere close but the whole intent of the tax-free savings account was, number one, to encourage not only Nova Scotians but to encourage Canadians to save. Unfortunately, in Canada and even here in Nova Scotia, a very small percentage actually save money for the future. We see that the rate of people who put money into RRSPs is still very low and so this is another tool meant to encourage Nova Scotians to save money.

[3:30 p.m.]

One of the groups that will benefit from this, Mr. Speaker, more directly, is anyone who is involved in a pension plan because when you are making contributions to a pension plan, it does limit your ability at the end of the day to put money aside into an RRSP. This tax-free savings account is irrelevant as to whether you have a pension plan or of your income. It is a set amount that is available to you, the idea being that the money will grow and it will be tax-free and you can withdraw it at any time.

So the purpose of this bill, after hearing this in the budget, is to make sure that upon someone's passing, if they held any money in these tax-free savings accounts, they can identify a beneficiary and that beneficiary will receive that money tax-free, outside, as well, of any probate of the estate which will take place. So, needless to say, Mr. Speaker, I believe all members of the House would be supportive of that.

This also gives me an opportunity, as well, to remind Nova Scotians, as I've done before on a number of estate issues, that once again I've seen a recent example where Nova Scotians seem to be confused when it comes to writing a will and when it comes to any insurance policies that they have. Nova Scotians need to know that whoever they put as the beneficiary on their insurance policy is who will receive those benefits, regardless of what their final will and testament says.

I have seen numerous examples of where husband and wife will separate and 20 years later, the husband has either remarried or moved in with someone and yet upon his passing, his life insurance goes to the first wife, which obviously clearly was no longer the intention after being separated for 20 years. Nova Scotians and Canadians forget that when they change their status, whatever their status might be, they must recall that even though they changed their last will and testament, they must also change the beneficiaries on any insurance policies that they have.

I would submit to you that without getting the exact details of how the tax-free savings account will work, as far as designating beneficiaries, it will be curious to see

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whether that same policy will apply to the tax-free savings accounts as would apply to life insurance policies here in Nova Scotia. So, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Justice in closing debate on the other bill said, well, if this debate today has given one Nova Scotian concern over accessing child porn - let me say if this debate today reminds one Nova Scotian that if their status has changed, they would be wise to go and amend the beneficiary who is designated under their insurance policies because regardless of what their last will and testament says, that is who will actually receive the benefits at the end of the day which, needless to say, can cause a great deal of heartache for the family left behind and it is certainly not a situation that anyone likes to see.

Obviously with this bill, Mr. Speaker, the government is addressing a need which clearly exists and this is going to provide a result with a clear outcome, very much unlike the previous bill we discussed, this one is much easier to understand the purpose behind it and the results that it will achieve. Those are not to be questioned.

So, Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not note, as well, that this is another Justice bill which was not brought to the attention of myself, or the critic from the NDP, before this House sat which, again, is in breaking with the tradition established by this minister and his predecessor of giving us the opportunity to find out what these bills are and answer any questions that we might have on it. So I simply would want to remind the minister that it may be much easier, and the debate on these bills may be much shorter, should we have been given the opportunity of advance notice on this legislation and have the opportunity to address any of the concerns that we have and any of the questions that we would have with that.

Well, Mr. Speaker, I do hope that while the federal government has announced these tax free savings accounts, that there will be a significant awareness campaign that will be undertaken on this because this is an opportunity, a good opportunity, for Nova Scotians to save money, but there certainly needs to be a level of awareness that goes with it because, as I mentioned earlier, there is a great deal of confusion as to how it applies for an RRSP and how different this tax free savings account will be.

It's my understanding, Mr. Speaker, that financial planners have been given the details surrounding the tax free savings account and I have no doubt that the financial industry will soon, in itself, be undertaking an awareness campaign and offering this as a plan to their clients, as another tool for them to be able to save their money. I think it will be important as well, should Bill No. 196 have successful passage in this House, that the minister would undertake to make sure that these financial planners and Nova Scotians themselves are aware of the changes being made around the beneficiaries' designation for these tax free savings accounts. How the minister will communicate that, I'm curious, and maybe he's able to give us some indication of that in his closing remarks because, again, this is legislation which is important that Nova Scotians are aware of, not just part of a political platform, but that they're actually aware of why we've brought this bill forward, how it's going to make a difference in their lives, and what result it is going to be able to achieve.

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So again, Mr. Speaker, anyone curious about the tax free savings account, can go to the Web site of the federal budget which is www.budget.gc.ca and will be able to obtain more information on the tax free savings account should they wish to explore it further based on the discussion that we have had this afternoon. With that, I do look forward to Bill No. 196 moving to the Law Amendments Committee where, if there are any concerns that go along with the bill, those could be shared with us at that point in time.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my honourable colleagues for their intercessions with regards to this bill, again something that we can provide as another mechanism and tool for Nova Scotians in responding to our side of a federal bill and process. However, as we go forward, if there are any questions that arise, we can address them and with that said, I close debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 196. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 201.

Bill No. 201 - Counselling Therapists Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to stand today and open second reading on Bill No. 201, the Counselling Therapists Act. Counselling therapists throughout the province are committed to providing Nova Scotians with high quality care and counselling services.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation is a result of the collaborative effort and hard work of the Department of Health and the Nova Scotia Association of Counselling Therapists. This legislation will regulate the practice of counselling therapists who become members of the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists.

The bill will establish a complaints and discipline process to enforce the standards and requirements and deal with concerns from the public. The legislation protects the public by requiring a counselling therapist who uses the professional titles counselling therapists, registered counselling therapists, registered counselling therapists candidate or RCT or any

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derivation or abbreviation thereof, to meet the standards set out by a self-regulated, professional body.

Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Association of Counselling Therapists, soon to be called the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists, have worked very hard to develop this legislation that will improve accountability to the public and improve the disciplinary process.

Mr. Speaker, I know that many of us have been lobbied by the Association of Counselling Therapists and I do thank my colleagues for bringing this to my attention and, of course, I thank the association for the hard work that they've done bringing this issue forward.

I know in my local area, and as I thanked during the introduction, one of my friends and previous teachers, Wendell d'Eon, for the work that he did towards this. I know the service that he does provide to the public is a very good one, whether it be through educational counselling, he is a teacher by profession - retired, by the way now, but still provides that kind of service, works with children quite regularly. My first contact with counselling therapists was on the Critical Incident Stress Committee, basically a group of therapists that get together, depending on a call for a fire department or what have you, when something tragic happens that they have to deal with.

I remember one time meeting with a group of therapists at that time, as we had witnessed a tragedy when it came to a couple of young boys who had passed away by drowning. Mr. Speaker, they do provide a wonderful service to Nova Scotians, one that should be supported by a college, one that should be supported by practice guidelines, one that should be supported by a truly reactive system that will govern the practice of counselling therapy.

Mr. Speaker, I know over the last number of days we have been starting to receive some letters from another couple of organizations and we will try to take that information that they're providing with us, to see if there are ways to address it within the existing legislation or maybe something that might be able to be brought forward during the Law Amendments Committee process, to maybe even strengthen this bill even more, to take in all therapists within this province, whether it be addictions counsellors or whether it be others.

So, Mr. Speaker, I believe there is a good basis for this bill. Again, I thank the Association of Counselling Therapists for the work that they've done and I look forward to the comments of the members opposite towards this bill. So it is my privilege to move second reading of Bill No. 201, an Act Respecting Counselling Therapists.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's always a privilege to stand in this Chamber to talk about pieces of legislation that are important to Nova Scotians and, like this piece of legislation, I know those individuals who have worked

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a number of years to get to this point hope to see this process go through the process that we have in the Legislature here.

I know, as the minister stated a few minutes ago, that there have been some letters of opposition to this piece of legislation. I've made note and have talked to many of the counselling therapists and those who have worked so hard to have this piece of legislation in place and I don't take away from anybody who has any opposition to any piece of legislation that comes through this House and hopefully that they have opportunity, like at Law Amendments Committee, to voice their concerns and, of course, through that process you can always listen to those organizations to see what their concerns are and make a rational decision at that time.

I know, as I said earlier, this piece of legislation has been in the works for a very long time and I hope that the government and the minister and his department have done the broad consultation that is needed with any piece of legislation. I know first-hand about creating a regulatory body or a college, to represent a health care profession. I've been through that process myself, as a paramedic, encouraging government at the time, and working with government as an MLA, to see legislation for that profession, the profession of paramedicine here in this province. I can honestly say, it takes a long time. As I stand here today, we still don't have a Nova Scotia College of Paramedicine operating in the province. It's been in the works for close to seven years, but I know there's been broad consultation on that. Every interest group that works with paramedics, or has any kind of interaction with paramedics, has been consulted, has been asked about their opinion. I would hope, with this piece of legislation, that has happened.

[3:45 p.m.]

As I said earlier, we're starting to hear some negative comments about this piece of legislation and I hope the government can come forward and explain to those individuals what the process is going to be and what's going to transpire over the next little while in the process of seeing this piece of legislation go through the process and into Law Amendments.

With those words, I hope that the government has done their job to the best of their ability to ensure that all interest groups had an opportunity to give their say prior to the introduction of this piece of legislation. I look forward to those organizations coming before Law Amendments and voicing their opinions about this piece of legislation through the process that we have in this Legislature. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Thank you for the opportunity to rise and speak to Bill No. 201, the Counselling Therapists Act. If you take a look at the practise of this government, there seems to be some real extremes when it comes to the preparation of legislation. We have pieces of legislation that have never had any consultation with stakeholders, case in point being the Fair Access to Regulated Professions Act, which was tabled in the Spring. Then we have pieces of legislation such as this legislation - (Interruption) Pay attention - we have this piece of legislation which has been several years

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in the making. This bill, in our opinion, is one of importance to Nova Scotians because what it will do, it will clearly spell out the academic credentials and supervision that you have to have, as an individual, to acquire the use of designations such as registered counselling therapist and counselling therapist.

A discipline process, along with a complaints process, is also established in this legislation. Counsellors provide professional, confidential counselling therapy services to individuals, couples, and families, and it's on a wide range of issues, including, for instance, trauma, suicide, loss, grief, just to name a few. Nova Scotians, I think, deserve to know that the therapist they choose, whether it be a therapist who deals with personal issues, or one who deals with mental health or emotional issues, has met a certain set of qualifications as defined in the Act.

It's also important for Nova Scotians to have a recourse should they wish to file a complaint against someone who will soon be registered under the Nova Scotia College of Counselling Therapists. Also, there's a disciplinary process in place should it ever need to be used. At present, there is a huge gap in the statutory regulation of mental health professionals in Canada and as MLAs, we should be commending the Nova Scotia Association of Counselling Therapists for their efforts, both professionally and ethically, to try and close that gap in this province.

Some clear guidelines and scopes of practice serve to protect quality patient care and this particular piece of legislation, as drafted by the association, we feel will address those issues in the best interests of the patient. The prevalence today of e-therapy makes this issue all the more important here in this province. Today, anyone can establish an online therapy business and provide therapy to individuals via e-mail. Gone are the days when therapy only happens face to face, in an office, where people can view credentials and such on the walls of offices, and where people can judge quickly when or if there's a good fit between the person seeking support and the therapist themselves.

It's important to know these individuals are meeting the academic credentials and supervisions as will be required under this Act, why we feel this Act will clearly help. We cannot stress enough the importance academic credentials mean when it comes to being able to practice under this bill and if we are truly to ensure that the best interests of the public, from a safety perspective, is being met, then academic credentials are paramount. We look forward to the Law Amendments Committee process when it comes to this bill. As my colleague from the NDP has stated, there has been some opposition to it. We know that.

Mr. Speaker, to this day, it has not changed our mind. We think this is a good piece of legislation and we are looking to see this piece of legislation go forward, as tabled, and become law in this province. So we want to congratulate all the efforts of the members of the Nova Scotia Association of Counselling Therapists in the development of this legislation and we in the Liberal caucus commend them for their diligence and their patience. We feel what they have presented here will serve the people of this province well and we are most supportive of their efforts.

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MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak in support of this bill. Both the Minister of Natural Resources and myself share a constituency where many different people are educated in the counselling services through the excellent facilities at Acadia University, so it has been an issue that we've both been lobbied on. I personally have a friend who's working out West who feels that if this bill had been in place and its designation had been protected earlier, she might be able to be working here in the Province of Nova Scotia, and is waiting eagerly to see this bill passed. So I'm very happy to support it, and want to commend the minister and the Parties opposite for the support of their bill.

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank all members for their comments on this and, of course, for our members to have kept that short.

Mr. Speaker, again, we think this is a good piece of legislation, although we are receiving few letters in opposition to it. I think we'll review those to see how we can address those, maybe during the Law Amendments Committee process. I think that's what this Legislature is all about, to bring in good ideas and good pieces of legislation, and if they need to be adapted, then they can be. Therefore, I'm very happy, again, to bring this bill forward. I want to move second reading of Bill No. 201, the Counselling Therapists Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 201. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for today. I would move we do now adjourn to meet again tomorrow and the hours will be from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. After the daily routine, Public Bills for Second Reading, the following bills: Bill Nos. 199, 200, 203, 204, 210, 211, 212, 215 and 217.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do rise to meet again tomorrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m.

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Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

We have arrived at the moment of interruption. The Adjournment debate was chosen and announced earlier and won by the honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage:

"Therefore be it resolved that the government develop a comprehensive coastal management strategy through consultation with all appropriate stakeholders."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

GOV'T.(N.S.): COASTAL MGT. STRATEGY - DEVELOP

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to speak on this important resolution where I'm asking the government to look at developing a comprehensive coastal management strategy and consulting with all appropriate stakeholders. Coastal management is very important, I believe, to the Province of Nova Scotia and certainly it's an issue that has been batted around for many, many years.

I just want to indicate how many years that coastal management strategy has been discussed, not only in this province, but also federally. Over 30 years ago the federal Department of the Environment commissioned a study through Dalhousie University on coastal zone management for the Atlantic Provinces. That study identified then the need for a solid coastal management plan for the Atlantic Provinces, which obviously includes the Province of Nova Scotia.

They identified many recommendations and the importance of a comprehensive coastal management strategy. They recognized that there would be an ongoing threat of climate change at the time, that the Province of Nova Scotia, and all Atlantic provinces, would experience, over the coming years, coastal erosion, rising sea levels, frequent storms resulting in storm surges all around our coastal areas and also within our fresh water courses throughout the province.

Development plays a huge role in coastal management. It was identified that much development was happening on our coastal lines, which sometimes would see development encroaching on sensitive wetlands and vulnerable ecosystems.

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It's just so important, and it's unfortunate that that study of 30-some years ago has sat on a shelf for that long, with those recommendations never implemented. During the past 30 years as well, this province has seen many studies fall by the wayside, and those recommendations were never implemented, on the importance of a clear, strong, concise and comprehensive coastal management plan.

I also want to let the House know that for three years I sat on the Planning Advisory Committee with the Region of Queens Municipality, a few years back. My time spent on that committee saw much discussion around coastal management for the coastal communities and also inland waterways throughout Queens County. It was recognized then, at this committee level, and also with the understanding from the Region of Queens, that coastal management, especially for developers, was very important, and that Planning Advisory Committee, through that recognition of a good coastal management plan, drew up a number of zoning bylaws that would see buffer zones for new development along our watercourses.

The planning committee with the Region of Queens is still working diligently at seeing that planning document completed and moved forward through all of Queens County. The province, though, should really be taking the lead on coastal management strategy for the province. Giving that role to the municipalities, while the municipalities certainly recognize the importance of coastal management, unfortunately, where the province has not taken the lead with good coastal management strategy for the province, what we will eventually see is a mismatch of plans across the province. One municipality may certainly have clear coastal management for one particular area of the province, where another area may not have addressed those same types of needs. So a property owner owning property in different municipalities may be facing a different set of guidelines, in terms of any development or property ownership they may have on the coast.

I also want to indicate that a coastal management strategy also should include not only the environmental protection that coastal management would offer, but also coastal management strategy could include zoning and development conditions for industry, setting up shop in coastal communities.

In the Region of Queens, and in one of my coastal communities of Port Mouton, we see a community, and over 3,000 members of Queens, in distress because of an aquaculture operation that is looking to expand in a coastal community, in the coastal waters off the community of Port Mouton Bay. Because there is no zoning, or no industrial zones, around the province, or around the coastline of Nova Scotia, what we see is industry facing opposition in communities and there are no clear guidelines for either industry or communities that either support industry or don't support industry coming into their communities.

It certainly would make sense for industry when they're setting up shop around coastal Nova Scotia that they can look at a zoning plan that they could say this is where we can set up shop, this is where industry is welcome, or this is where industry will work. For example, there are many areas around the coast of Nova Scotia that perhaps may not necessarily be the best place for certain industry to be setting up shop. An industry may not

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know that and may go to a lot of expense in trying to develop their industry and then realizing that for whatever reason that particular part of the coastline or waterway is not really supportive or conducive to their particular operation.

[4:00 p.m.]

Through a coastal management strategy that not only protects our coastline from all of the environmental concerns that we see happening all across the province and the country and in different coastal areas across the world, we can also see some benefit to industry if a coastal management strategy was to embrace looking at industrial zones, for example.

Of course, any of these discussions or any of this debate needs to be within consultation with all of the stakeholders. It doesn't need to be a reinvention of the wheel. As I pointed out earlier, there have been many studies on the need for coastal management - some studies that have been done well over 30 years ago, we just need to, I think, pick up those studies. Some of them perhaps would be redundant, but those studies should certainly be part of any consultation process or a starting point.

I would encourage the government to look seriously at the benefits for a coastal management strategy. In these challenging times, with climate change being a serious issue, it's really important. I've seen in my communities some serious floods over the past several years along our rivers and rising sea levels along our coastlines and erosion of a lot of our sand dunes and some of the beaches around Queens. A coastal management strategy would certainly offer some protection with that.

I want to go back to industrial zoning around our coastal communities, it certainly may be something that industry may want to discuss. Perhaps maybe industry would put their hand up and go, hey wait a minute, we're not interested in having any zoning that would put conditions on where we develop. But certainly it's a discussion that should take place somewhere and communities should be part of that process because I see what's happening in my community where industry is looking for a huge expansion and communities weren't consulted and feel that they should have been part of that process that would include them in their own community destiny in terms of what they see as economic development for their particular community.

So a coastal management strategy can encompass both of those areas of concern around our coastline. With that, I will take my seat, and thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and that may well be the case here with this resolution since it calls upon the government to come up with a comprehensive coastal management strategy - something the government is already well on the way to doing.

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Be that as it may, I respect the sincerity of caring for the coastline and the importance of working to preserve the coastline of Nova Scotia. In fact, some years ago I was one of the ones who pushed very hard for our government to initiate a coastal management strategy in the province. I was appalled at that time when I found out in my department that we didn't have a coastal management strategy. I was appalled because we're a coastal province.

I had the opportunity to go to Brazil on a holiday. I had always wanted to visit Brazil since when I went down to Bolivia and stopped in Manaus, in the middle of the night - and Manaus is a town in the middle of the Amazon jungle which, during the days of natural rubber was one of the largest towns in South America and, Mr. Speaker, had one of the nicest opera halls, they say the nicest opera hall outside of Italy - and I had an opportunity to go down there last summer and to visit the Amazon, to visit Manaus.

On my preparation I looked up various facts about the country of Brazil since I haven't been there before and one of them that struck me was that it had 7,431 kilometres of coastline. It is the fifth largest country in the world, borders the Atlantic Ocean like we do and yet it has less coastline, as the fifth largest country in the world, than the Province of Nova Scotia has, which, if you include the Bras d'Or Lakes, comes in somewhere around 8,000 kilometres of coastline, and yet we had no coastal strategy.

So, Mr. Speaker, I was quite active in pushing the government to move in this direction and was delighted when the Premier, in his Throne Speech, said that we'd have a coastal management strategy. In February 2008 this commitment by the Premier was put into action as there was a decision by Cabinet that a coastal management framework would go forward, a two-year process and it would be led by Fisheries and Aquaculture, with Environment and Labour being backup to them.

In June 2008, the management framework was publicly released. It was released on International Oceans Day and government has been working across several departments, Mr. Speaker, 12 departments in all, in order to implement the new coastal management framework to define the vision and strategic direction, to coordinate and strengthen coastal management in Nova Scotia, because we are defined by our coast. That is something that is common to all the MLAs in the Legislature, that every riding that I know of, except for a very few, have a coastline in them.

The importance of having a coordinated strategy can't be underestimated. One of the things that I found out, having the opportunity to be Minister of Environment, is that environment is one of those issues that cuts horizontally across many different departments. Some issues can be handled by one department and handled well, but when you care for the environment it can't be done by any one department. In fact, when you look at the issue of climate change, which the honourable member raised, it can't really be done by any one political jurisdiction. It's a global problem and needs global solutions.

So we have 12 departments working together on this coastal management framework and of course, Mr. Speaker, we need to work very closely with the municipal units because they have the primary management of land use and zoning and that will remain. The coastal

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management strategy will not usurp that, it will work with that mandate that the municipalities have because being closer to the people, in a sense, they have perhaps a better perspective on land use.

Because of our coastline, because we are defined as a coastal province and because of the importance of it, I say I'm delighted that this strategy is going forward, delighted that the Party opposite is supportive of this move and that we're all on the same page in seeing the need for a coastal management strategy.

The coastal priorities, the issue priorities that were identified by that committee and by the strategy, the framework for the strategy that's being developed, were coastal development and, of course, the issue of development along the coast because everyone wants to, when they build, they want to build along the coast, a beautiful spot and you can't blame them for that. Yet that needs to be managed in some sort of sustainable fashion and in a way in which the coastline doesn't disappear so that Nova Scotians who have lived here for generations have no access to the coast. That was certainly a concern that I heard expressed and that I expressed myself.

So coastal development, the honourable member has mentioned the impact of sea-level rise and we now suspect that sea-level rise and we now suspect that sea-level rise has been underestimated, the extent of it, by the International Panel on Climate Change, which took a very conservative approach to sea-level rise and simply measured evaporation from the Greenland Glacial System and from Antarctica and didn't take into account the phenomena we're seeing of these moulins that flow underneath the icebergs, lubricate it so the iceberg slides off of the land mass, the ice disappears at a much faster rate and the extent of the rise of the coast is something that will increase, from the latest scientific studies.

When you have as much coastline as we do in a small province, as the honourable member mentioned, that is a significant issue that we need to look at. It's not only the rising sea-level, but quite rightly the storm events that happen upon it. My department was preparing a report for me, and it showed a slide from about 100 years ago in Louisbourg where a gentleman was standing and the sea-level rises at his shoulder and now it's above his arm, from storm surges. That is an issue we want to take into account.

Public access to the coast - as the federal government devolved wharves to anyone who would take them over, some communities stepped forward. The community of Kingsport, in my area, was very innovative. I know there are other communities, but I speak of Kingsport, and they secured this as a community access and created a very nice canteen, a little beach front, steps going down to the wharf and then a boat launch that the public could use. So the public has access.

But there are other areas where they don't have access to the coast. Working waterfronts, coastal water quality, and I think the honourable member talked about some of the salt marshes, wetlands that are so important for the health of the environment, and then the sensitive coastal habitats.

[Page 5358]

One thing I'd like to see happen is we have protected areas on land, and I've been pushing the federal government to see if we could have protected areas in the water off the coast. They have it up North, they have one out in B.C. I suggested that if they want to do that in Atlantic Canada, I certainly would welcome it. Some of the water right off Digby Neck has been identified by the Canadian for Parks and Wilderness Society as being valuable in that regard. So where the coast and the ocean interact, in protecting the ocean you protect the coast as well.

These six issues have been identified as the key priority issues that the framework will work on and come to some sort of suggestions that will be passed on to all of us and then we can make decisions on how to best protect our coastline. It will be developed by 2010, and there will be a report this Spring of the state of Nova Scotia's coast. I encourage all members to look at that and to provide feedback as we move forward to a sustainable coastal strategy.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you. I'm pleased to join the debate today with my honourable colleagues from Queens and Kings North. This is a debate that I know my colleague for Digby-Annapolis would like to be here today to address, but he is away at a fishing conference. He has raised this issue in the House on many occasions, done a number of resolutions as he has lived his life along the Nova Scotia coastline and is therefore very conscious of what is taking place in the physical environment, and equally, what is happening with development, loss of population and lack of what today's debate is all about, which is a comprehensive coastal management strategy.

While this is a topic in late debate, I do commend the member for bringing this forward today to speak about. I know that all provinces that touch upon the seacoast in Canada are very concerned about developing either a strategy, a framework, a working document, to make sure that we presently but also are planning for the next generation as to how we will leave our coastal environment.

[4:15 p.m.]

So I'm pleased that as a province we are moving in that direction but again, you know, it requires that all people affected, as the honourable member pointed out, need to have a voice. This isn't the work of one department or even a couple of departments although we know that there is more collaboration that does go on but hearing from Nova Scotians throughout our communities, people who have lived there for many generations have a sense of what is going on, what is the continuity needed for their fishing villages and for their communities to have a future. As well, in our university community there is a great deal of expertise and a great deal of study whether it be the salt marshes, whether it be the impact that climate is having on our communities.

So perhaps there is no greater threat, however, at the moment than what is happening to our global climate, what is happening as our climate changes, and the Arctic and

[Page 5359]

Greenland, the ice shelves start to melt, and we start to see some increase in our water levels around the coast. I believe it's something along the fact of about 80 per cent of the Atlantic Region's coast is considered to be highly sensitive to sea level rise. So that is a real cause for concern. I know the Speaker - who remains, and must remain to listen to us this evening - is aware of when an extremely high tide and a storm surge and the kind of impact that it had on a community like Weymouth just a few years ago. We are likely to see much, much more of that occurring as the level of the sea indeed does rise.

I think of great concern in this whole coastal management strategy and, in fact, a related topic this week on how we're going to manage our lobster fishery, I think what we need to be looking at again is how the fishing industry will survive and will be part of that future because that has been the mainstay. If we take a look at a map of Nova Scotia, you know, pre-1800, even pre-1900, we were dotted by fishing villages around Nova Scotia. This was our development area. It wasn't roads and railway at that time. So these are the communities that, in fact, have been the very backbone and reason for existing in this province. So to see the decline of the oldest industry in our province, it is indeed worrisome. We've already seen the impact on communities like Canso and the consequence of that, of course, has been a tremendous out-migration of young people. We are left now with only five of our counties that continue to maintain or increase their population.

So having a coastal management strategy will allow for the kinds of economic development that will keep families living in those communities, making a living, and wanting to continue a great part of our heritage. One of the areas where I think there will be an opportunity for economic development, it's a two-edged sword, again as the member for Queens knows all too well, and that is aquaculture. We know that it can have a place, it can have a sustainable place but, again, it must be done in the best practices.

So one of the areas that we were taking a look at in our caucus as part of rural economic development, an area researchers have been talking about for some time, is to invest in rural economic development through the concept of working waterfronts. A working waterfront consists of sites or facilities which provide physical access to the sea for ocean-dependent users and businesses, as well as all related infrastructure and services, which may or not occur at the water's edge, for example, processing plants, lighthouses.

Working waterfronts, as we know, have played an important role in the economy of Nova Scotia. However there is tremendous pressure, as we know, from residential development, and a shifting government policy away from public ownership and maintenance of infrastructure to allowing more private investment and therefore, less accessibility. So there's a need to ensure that working waterfronts continue to be an important part of Nova Scotia's coastal community, by providing access for citizens to enjoy and make a living from the sea.

Now Prince Edward Island has been very progressive and has had a policy for at least the last 25 years on foreign ownership of their coastlines. It's been unfortunate that here in Nova Scotia, we haven't made the same aggressive steps to make sure that Nova Scotians and all who come to visit and want a seacoast experience do have access. I believe it's an

[Page 5360]

area where our tourism has a great possibility to not just hold where it is now but to actually expand.

I think government needs to take a lesson from Nature Trust, which is actually buying up some of the islands as they become available, so that these remain in the public domain, the same way as our beachfront, and our coastal communities as well.

So maintaining good coastal access supports local economic development and an integral part of the quality of life for all Nova Scotians. Coastal development is perhaps the most visible and obvious transformation occurring along Nova Scotia coastline and there's definitely an appetite that Nova Scotians get it right.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I'll take my place.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allocated for late debate this evening has how expired. I'd like to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late debate. The motion for adjournment was made earlier, the House will now rise to sit again tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. Thank you.

[The House rose at 4:22 p.m.]

[Page 5361]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32 (3)

RESOLUTION NO. 5168

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (The Speaker)

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

Whereas Jamie Keith's personal battle with multiple sclerosis resulted in Jamie writing a book using voice-recognition software on his computer; and

Whereas Jamie was first diagnosed with MS in 1992, at the age of 25, and eventually moved into the Cove Guest Home in 2001; and

Whereas Jamie is truly wishing that his new autobiography serves as an inspiration to those who suffer from this crippling disease;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the dynamic effort of Jamie Keith for wanting to assist others with their personal struggles with MS.

RESOLUTION NO. 5169

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (The Speaker)

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

Whereas 1,000 new cases of multiple sclerosis are diagnosed each year in Canada, which averages out to three new cases every day; and

Whereas multiple sclerosis an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system; and

Whereas support mechanisms are vital to individuals when they get word from their doctor that they have been diagnosed with this neuromuscular disorder;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend the Cape Breton Chapter of the Canadian Multiple Sclerosis Society, including president, Carl MacLeod; past president, Shirley MacNeil; treasurer, John Wyslowski; and secretaries, Thornton and Margaret Keith for their volunteer time and work with this exceptionally worthwhile charity.

[Page 5362]

RESOLUTION NO. 5170

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (The Speaker)

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

Whereas Anne Godwin was the first female ever elected as a municipal councillor in Cape Breton, serving five years on what was then Dominion Town Council; and

Whereas Godwin served between 1953 and 1958, during a critical juncture in Dominion's history when the small mining community was facing rumours of industry closures; and

Whereas Anne Godwin died in 1985, but her daughter, Catherine, has now written a biography about her mother's life entitled The Girl From The Mines, with the book recently being launched at the Dominion Library;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly applaud the authorship of Catherine Godwin for noting an important piece of Cape Breton history, and for writing about the many wonderful memories she shared with her mother.

RESOLUTION NO. 5171

By: Hon. Alfie MacLeod (The Speaker)

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

Whereas two Cape Bretoners were recent winners at the forth annual Atlantic Aboriginal Entrepreneur Awards held in Charlottetown; and

Whereas the entrepreneur awards provide aboriginal residents in Atlantic Canada the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate their business successes; and

Whereas Norman Morris, Sr. was recognized in Charlottetown with a Lifetime Achievement Award for operating his construction and trucking company for more than 30 years, recently undertaking a multi-million contract at the Sydney tar ponds cleanup project, while Brenda Googoo, owner of Brenda's Giftware and Smokeshop in Eskasoni, won in the New Start Up Business Category;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly compliment Norman Morris, Sr. and Brenda Googoo on winning their recent awards while wishing them every future success.

[Page 5363]

RESOLUTION NO. 5172

By: Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)

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

Whereas the Glace Bay Kinsmen made a donation to the Glace Bay Elementary School; and

Whereas this year's donation was in the amount of $3,500 for the Glace Bay Elementary School Breakfast Program which helps to make it possible for the children attending the school to have breakfast, which is considered the most important meal of the day; and

Whereas this cheque was presented to Debbie Madore, dietitian for the Cape Breton Victoria School Board, by Ken MacLennan and Terry MacKenzie of the Glace Bay Kinsmen Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Glace Bay Kinsmen Association for their work on behalf of the community.

RESOLUTION NO. 5173

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 triathletes are in a class of their own; and

Whereas it can take years of hard work and dedication to compete at that level; and

Whereas Ron Allen of Bridgewater cycled 1,000 kms to raise money for cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank triathlete Ron Allen for his dedication to raise funds for the cancer society.

RESOLUTION NO. 5174

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 staying healthy is everyone's goal; and

[Page 5364]

Whereas there are many levels of exercise; and

Whereas triathlete and cyclist Ron Allen of Lunenburg County participated in the Annual Heartland Tour to raise awareness of heart disease;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Ron Allen on his participation in the 100 km bike tour in order to raise awareness for heart disease.

RESOLUTION NO. 5175

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 bicycle safety is everyone's concern; and

Whereas proper safety gear is a must; and

Whereas Michelin Tire's Health and Safety Committee recently donated 30 bike helmets to the Bridgewater Police Service to be provided to kids unable to afford to buy the safety devices;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Michelin Tire for their generous supply of bike helmets, and to the Bridgewater Police Department who are distributing them to children in need.

RESOLUTION NO. 5176

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 high schools take pride in the achievements of all their students; and

Whereas many students receive special recognition at their year-end graduation; and

Whereas Skye Mullen of Bridgewater High School received the Garfield Weston Merit Scholarship;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Bridgewater High School graduate Skye Mullen for his success in being awarded the Garfield Weston Merit Scholarship.

[Page 5365]

RESOLUTION NO. 5177

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 breast cancer is a serious disease that affects the lives of thousands of women across Nova Scotia and Canada; and

Whereas regular screening leads to early detection; and

Whereas Janice Dibbin of Bridgewater recently participated in a Charity Chef Dinner to raise money toward helping create a world-leading breast health centre in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Janice Dibbin on her participation in this very worthwhile cause.

RESOLUTION NO. 5178

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 breast cancer is a serious disease that affects the lives of thousands of women across Nova Scotia and Canada; and

Whereas regular screening leads to early detection; and

Whereas Michelle Hayward of Bridgewater recently participated in a Charity Chef Dinner to raise money toward helping create a world-leading breast health centre in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Michelle Hayward on her participation in this very worthwhile cause.

RESOLUTION NO. 5179

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 breast cancer is a serious disease that affects the lives of thousands of women across Nova Scotia and Canada; and

[Page 5366]

Whereas regular screening leads to early detection; and

Whereas Chef Rick Ogilvie of Bridgewater recently participated in a Charity Chef Dinner to raise money toward helping create a world-leading breast health centre in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Chef Rick Ogilvie on his participation in this very worthwhile cause.

RESOLUTION NO. 5180

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 Community Service Clubs provide excellent support to their communities; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Kiwanis Club of Bluenose Golden K are noted for their exemplary volunteer support; and

Whereas Ralph Hebb was recently elected the 2008-2009 Treasurer of the Golden K Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Treasurer Ralph Hebb for his contributions to the Golden K Club and to the various communities being served.

RESOLUTION NO. 5181

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 Community Service Clubs provide excellent support to their communities; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Kiwanis Club of Bluenose Golden K are noted for their exemplary volunteer support; and

Whereas Fred Speth was recently elected the 2008-2009 Secretary of the Golden K Club;

[Page 5367]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Secretary Fred Speth for his contributions to the Golden K Club and to the various communities being served.

RESOLUTION NO. 5182

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 Community Service Clubs provide excellent support to their communities; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Kiwanis Club of Bluenose Golden K are noted for their exemplary volunteer support; and

Whereas Bob Shupe was recently elected the 2008-2009 Vice President of the Golden K Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Vice President Bob Shupe for his contributions to the Golden K Club and to the various communities being served.

RESOLUTION NO. 5183

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 Community Service Clubs provide excellent support to their communities; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Kiwanis Club of Bluenose Golden K are noted for their exemplary volunteer support; and

Whereas Stan Hemens was recently elected the 2008-2009 First-Vice President of the Golden K Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate First Vice-President Stan Hemens for his contributions to the Golden K Club and to the various communities being served.

[Page 5368]

RESOLUTION NO. 5184

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 Community Service Clubs provide excellent support to their communities; and

Whereas the Bridgewater Kiwanis Club of Bluenose Golden K are noted for their exemplary volunteer support; and

Whereas Fred Speth served as President of the Golden K Club during the 2007-2008 year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Past President Fred Speth for his contributions to the Golden K Club and to the various communities being served.

RESOLUTION NO. 5185

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Bill McInnis was once again the successful candidate and was re-elected as a member of the town council for the Town of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Bill McInnis as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5186

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

[Page 5369]

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Carroll Publicover was acclaimed as the Mayor of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mayor Carroll Publicover as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5187

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas David Mitchell was once again the successful candidate and was re-elected as a member of the town council for the Town of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor David Mitchell as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5188

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas David Walker was once again the successful candidate and was re-elected as Deputy Mayor of the Town of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate David Walker as he, once again, begins his work as Deputy Mayor on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater

[Page 5370]

RESOLUTION NO. 5189

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Greg Ritcey, of Bridgewater, ran a successful campaign and is a newly elected member to the town council for the Town of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Greg Ritcey as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5190

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Patrick Hirtle ran a successful campaign and is a newly elected member of the Town Council for the Town of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Patrick Hirtle as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5191

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 elections were held in the Town of Bridgewater recently; and

[Page 5371]

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Jim Bell was once again the successful candidate and was re-elected as a member of the Town Council for the Town of Bridgewater;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Jim Bell as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5192

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Basil Oickle ran a successful campaign and is the newly elected municipal councillor for District 1;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Basil Oickle as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5193

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Don Zwicker was acclaimed as Municipal councillor for District 2;

[Page 5372]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Don Zwicker as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5194

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Frank Fawson ran a successful campaign and is the newly elected Municipal councillor for District 3;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Frank Fawson as he begins his work on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5195

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Milton Countway was acclaimed as municipal councillor for District 4;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Milton Countway as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

[Page 5373]

RESOLUTION NO. 5196

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Sandra Statton was the successful candidate and was returned as municipal councillor for District 5;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Sandra Statton as she begins her term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5197

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Wade Carver ran a successful campaign and is the newly elected municipal councillor for District 6;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Wade Carver as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5198

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 5374]

Whereas elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Cathy Moore was the successful candidate and was returned as municipal councillor for District 7;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Cathy Moore as she begins her term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5199

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas John Veinot was the successful candidate and was returned as municipal councillor for District 8;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor John Veniot as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5200

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

[Page 5375]

Whereas Arthur Young was acclaimed as municipal councillor for District 9;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Arthur Young as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5201

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Lee Nauss was the successful candidate and was returned as municipal councillor for District 10;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Lee Nauss as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5202

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Martin Bell was the successful candidate and was returned as municipal councillor for District 11;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Martin Bell as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

[Page 5376]

RESOLUTION NO. 5203

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Eric Hustvedt ran a successful campaign and is the newly elected municipal councillor for District 12;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Councillor Eric Hustvedt as he begins his term on behalf of the citizens of the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg.

RESOLUTION NO. 5204

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Herbert Seymour was acclaimed and returned as the South Shore Regional School Board representative for District 6 where he will represent the students in his area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Herbert Seymour as he continues his work on behalf of students.

RESOLUTION NO. 5205

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 5377]

Whereas elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas history was made when the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg elected their first Mayor, Mr. Don Downe;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Don Downe as the new elected Mayor and wish him all the best and success for the next four years.

RESOLUTION NO. 5206

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Marg Forbes, of Bridgewater, was once again the successful candidate and was re-elected as the South Shore Regional School Board representative for District 4;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Marg Forbes as she continues her work on behalf of the students of Bridgewater.

RESOLUTION NO. 5207

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Karen Kinley was acclaimed and returned as the South Shore Regional School Board representative for District 5, where she will represent the students in her area;

[Page 5378]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Karen Kinley as she continues her work on behalf of students.

RESOLUTION NO. 5208

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Karen Reinhardt was acclaimed and returned as the South Shore Regional School Board representative for District 8, where she will represent the students in her area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Karen Reinhardt as she continues her work on behalf of students.

RESOLUTION NO. 5209

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Wanda Broome was acclaimed and returned as the South Shore Regional School Board representative for District 9, where she will represent the students in her area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Wanda Broome as she continues her work on behalf of students.

[Page 5379]

RESOLUTION NO. 5210

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 elections were held in the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg recently; and

Whereas it's always nice to see so many candidates put their names forward, in hope of a successful campaign; and

Whereas Gary Mailman was acclaimed and returned as the South Shore Regional School Board representative for District 7, where he will represent the students in his area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Gary Mailman as he continues his work on behalf of students.

RESOLUTION NO. 5211

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas Nova Scotians continue to do their part to preserve important ties to our proud past; and

Whereas as an example, the Orangedale Station is the only remaining Intercolonial Railway Stations built on Cape Breton Island and has been meticulously restored and preserved; and

Whereas the Railway Museum celebrated its 122nd Anniversary in September 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate the volunteers, staff, and the community of Orangedale on this anniversary and thank them for continuing to work so hard on maintaining this very special part of our transportation history.

RESOLUTION NO. 5212

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

[Page 5380]

Whereas providing an inclusive, accessible and affordable means of transportation to all residents is the goal of the Strait Area Transit Co-operative; and

Whereas meeting the expectations of those who have had transportation barriers in the past and of those seeking an environmentally-conscious alternative means of transit brought the need for this service to the forefront; and

Whereas the Strait Area Transit service was officially launched this September;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the volunteer board of directors, staff and all who aided in providing this much needed service to the Strait Area.

RESOLUTION NO. 5213

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas communities across this province rely, more often than not, on the generosity and hard work of volunteers; and

Whereas the Margarees in Cape Breton are no different; and

Whereas the Kinsmen and Kinettes in the Margarees recently celebrated their 30th anniversary, an accomplishment of which we all should be proud;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Margaree Kinsmen and Kinettes on their many years of dedicated community service.

RESOLUTION NO. 5214

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas sisters Dawn and Margie Beaton have been entrenched in Cape Breton's unique culture, especially its music; and

Whereas this talented duo have used their acquired knowledge and talent to produce their first recording, Taste of Gaelic; and

Whereas their combined talents have produced a CD that all Cape Breton music lovers will enjoy;

[Page 5381]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Dawn and Margie Beaton on their outstanding accomplishments and wish them great success with their first CD and in all their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5215

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas Marble Mountain's defining feature is its white sand and gravel beach below the lakeside cliffs; and

Whereas St. Matthew's United Church in Marble Mountain celebrated its 105th Anniversary with a special service held on Sunday, August 17, 2008; and

Whereas the survival of St. Matthew's for over a century is a prime example of a community and its people coming together and doing what had to be done for its survival out of love;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend the fine efforts of the people of Marble Mountain and congratulate St. Matthew's United Church on this momentous milestone.

RESOLUTION NO. 5216

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas the staff and volunteers of the Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital are its heart and soul; and

Whereas through the hospital these individuals serve over 12,000 people and have been a vital part of the community for over three decades; and

Whereas to support a needed expansion, the Inverness Hospital Foundation kicked off its first capital campaign this fall, reporting that already more than 50 per cent of its financial goal has been raised;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the work of the foundation and all hospital staff for their commitment to this campaign and for their devotion to the community they serve.

[Page 5382]

RESOLUTION NO. 5217

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas the Hugh A. Noble Distinguished Service Award is the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation's highest honour; and

Whereas the award is presented once every four years among each of the four NSSAF Regions; and

Whereas former member of NSSAF Board of Governors, past Chair of the NSSAF and the staunch community volunteer, Mike MacDougall, was honoured with the Hugh A. Noble Distinguished Service Award at a ceremony this past June;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mike MacDougall on this deserved recognition and thank him for his dedication to the advancement of high school athletics.

RESOLUTION NO. 5218

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas volunteers across our province contribute a great deal to the beautification of our communities; and

Whereas the Ceilidh Trail CB Club of Inverness helps needy organizations and individuals with donations they receive and also help maintain the community park, erect community welcome signs and tend to the overall flair of the community; and

Whereas this past summer club members celebrated their 25th Anniversary;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the hard work and dedication of this fine community group who help to instill pride in their community and congratulate them on this significant anniversary.

[Page 5383]

RESOLUTION NO. 5219

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas it has been said that the source of all the musical talent in and around Inverness County must be found in the water; and

Whereas yet another example from that rich talent pool is James Bennet Shaw; and

Whereas he was recently named one of three winners of the 2nd Annual Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival song-writing contest, performing his winning song, Can You Hear Me Now, on the main stage of the festival, in August 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate James on this significant recognition of his tremendous talent.

RESOLUTION NO. 5220

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas Festival Jeunesse de l'Acadie celebrated its 20th year in 2008; and

Whereas the festival is an important vehicle for bringing together young Acadians ages 12 to 18, from across Atlantic Canada, to share and celebrate their culture; and

Whereas for the first time, the community of Cheticamp played host for the event, this year drawing together approximately 80 Acadian youth;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the people of Cheticamp and the organizers of Festival Jeunesse de l'Acadie on representing Nova Scotia, and in particular Inverness County, so well

RESOLUTION NO. 5221

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas Cape Breton is rich with a legacy of fine step dancers; and

[Page 5384]

Whereas the Celtic Colours International Festival paid tribute to Scottish dancers and their significant contributions; and

Whereas Mary Janet MacDonald was honoured by the festival for three decades of educating others on step dancing here, at home, and around the world;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate Mary Janet for her enormous contributions to so many and thank her for helping to sustain this beloved Celtic dance form.

RESOLUTION NO. 5222

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas Inverness County is proud of its rich musical heritage and the entertainers that have come from its communities; and

Whereas Mabou native, Lynn Chisholm, recently returned form Nashville, Tennessee, releasing her new recording, Follow Your Heart; and

Whereas the release of this compilation by yet another talented Nova Scotian has been met with rave reviews;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate Ms. Chisholm on this tremendous personal and professional achievement and wish her every success in her future musical endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5223

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently named its Excellence in Business Award winners; and

[Page 5385]

Whereas Basil Mattie and his company, Strait Engineering, was honoured for 25 years of service in the local area;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud Mr. Mattie and the employees of Strait Engineering on their success and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5224

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently named its Excellence in Business Award winners; and

Whereas J & T vanZutphen Construction Company was honoured with the Business Development Bank Excellence in Business Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the owners and employees of J & T vanZutphen Construction Company on their success and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5225

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently named its Excellence in Business Award winners; and

[Page 5386]

Whereas Port Hawkesbury Central Building Supplies' employee Nathan Vienneau was recognized for his Outstanding Customer Service and presented with the Eastlink Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud Nathan Vienneau on his success and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5226

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently honoured the Port Hood Area Development Society for a quarter century of service; and

Whereas the Port Hood Area Development Society works hard to continuously make improvements and instill pride in the community's heritage and achievements;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the members of the Port Hood Area Development Society for its work and successes and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5227

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently named its Excellence in Business Award winners; and

[Page 5387]

Whereas Stuart Robertson's firm, Causeway Electrical Supplies, was honoured for 25 years of outstanding achievement in the Strait Region;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the owners and employees of Causeway Electrical Supplies on their success and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5228

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently named its Excellence in Business Award winners; and

Whereas AllSteel Coatings was honoured for 25 years of outstanding achievement in the Strait Region;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the owners and employees of AllSteel Coatings on their success and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5229

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas a Cape Breton Post Editorial described the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce as a business development organization that promotes, improves, and protects trade and commerce, and in so doing, ensures that the Strait Area is one of the best regions in which to invest, live, work and conduct business; and

Whereas the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce recently named its Excellence in Business Award winners; and

[Page 5388]

Whereas Robertson Automotive-NAPA Auto Parts, was honoured for 25 years of service in the Strait Region;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud the owners and employees of Robertson Automotive-NAPA Auto Parts on their success and commend the members of the Strait Chamber of Commerce for promoting area businesses and helping to foster further growth for the region it serves.

RESOLUTION NO. 5230

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Raymond Beaton is one of those volunteers who has devoted 25 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Beaton for his quarter century of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5231

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Gregory Beaton is one of those volunteers who has devoted 25 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Beaton for his quarter century of selfless service and bravery in action.

[Page 5389]

RESOLUTION NO. 5232

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Michael MacDougall is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. MacDougall for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5233

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas John Alex MacDonald is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. MacDonald for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5234

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

[Page 5390]

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Hebert Jeromel is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Jeromel for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5235

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Edmund Cummings is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Cummings for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5236

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Stanley Beaton is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

[Page 5391]

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Beaton for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5237

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas John D. Beaton is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Beaton for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5238

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Gerard Beaton is one of those volunteers who has devoted 30 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Beaton for his decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

[Page 5392]

RESOLUTION NO. 5239

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas volunteer fire departments play an active and vital role in communities throughout Nova Scotia; and

Whereas their members selflessly protect lives and property and contribute in many other ways throughout our province; and

Whereas the members of the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department recently celebrated four decades of service to their community;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate all members of the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department on this significant milestone and thank them for their many years of brave and dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 5240

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Brian MacPhee is one of those volunteers who has devoted 20 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. MacPhee for his two decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5241

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

[Page 5393]

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Gary MacLean is one of those volunteers who has devoted 20 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. MacLean for his two decades of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5242

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas A.J. Rankin is one of those volunteers who has devoted 25 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Rankin for his quarter century of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5243

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Danford Murphy is one of those volunteers who has devoted 25 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

[Page 5394]

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Murphy for his quarter century of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5244

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Gerald Feetham is one of those volunteers who has devoted 25 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Feetham for his quarter century of selfless service and bravery in action.

RESOLUTION NO. 5245

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (The Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers serve as the backbone of our community organizations, especially in our rural areas; and

Whereas our many volunteer fire departments rely on the dedication of their members who, in fact, risk their lives for the safety and security of our communities; and

Whereas Larry Beaton is one of those volunteers who has devoted 25 years of active service as a volunteer firefighter with the Mabou Volunteer Fire Department;

Therefore be it resolved that all the members of this Legislature congratulate and thank Mr. Beaton for his quarter century of selfless service and bravery in action.

[Page 5395]

RESOLUTION NO. 5246

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like All Day Towing and Recovery provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of All Day Towing and Recovery and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5247

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Manor Hill Flags Limited provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Manor Hill Flags Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5248

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Old Anderson House Craft Shop and Gallery provide a valuable service; and

[Page 5396]

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Old Anderson House Craft Shop and Gallery and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5249

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like One Life Surf School provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of One Life Surf School and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5250

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Ora's Guest House provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Ora's Guest House and wish them continued success.

[Page 5397]

RESOLUTION NO. 5251

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Pacesetter Sales provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Pacesetter Sales and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5252

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Parachute Enterprises provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Parachute Enterprises and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5253

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Periwinkle Photographic provide a valuable service; and

[Page 5398]

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Periwinkle Photographic and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5254

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Peter Conrod Construction Limited provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Peter Conrod Construction Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5255

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Power Accounting Services Limited provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Power Accounting Services Limited and wish them continued success.

[Page 5399]

RESOLUTION NO. 5256

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Precision Small Auto Repair provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Precision Small Auto Repair and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5257

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Pro Doors Commercial & Residential provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Pro Doors Commercial & Residential and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5258

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like R & B Gutter Services provide a valuable service; and

[Page 5400]

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of R & B Gutter Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5259

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Randell Travel provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Randell Travel and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5260

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Robert's Truck and Autobody provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Robert's Truck and Autobody and wish them continued success.

[Page 5401]

RESOLUTION NO. 5261

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Rose's Esthetics provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Rose's Esthetics and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5262

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Ruff Stuff Woodworking L & R provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Ruff Stuff Woodworking L & R and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5263

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Russell's Hardwood provide a valuable service; and

[Page 5402]

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Russell's Hardwood and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5264

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Rutledge Stairways provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Rutledge Stairways and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5265

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 small business strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like S. Bennett Construction provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of S. Bennett Construction and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5266

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:

[Page 5403]

Whereas small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Seaboard Bed and Breakfast provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Seaboard Bed and Breakfast and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5267

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Seacoast Escapes provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Seacoast Escapes and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5268

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Seaforth Canvas Marine and Recreational Canvas Products provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Seaforth Canvas Marine and Recreational Canvas Products and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5269

[Page 5404]

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Searise Fisheries (1988) Limited provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Searise Fisheries (1988) Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5270

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Serenity by the Sea Guest House & Cottages provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Serenity by the Sea Guest House & Cottages and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5271

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Shear Advantage Hair Design provide a valuable service; and

[Page 5405]

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Shear Advantage Hair Design and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5272

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Sheltered Cove Marine provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Sheltered Cove Marine and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5273

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Sherry's Fish and Chips provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Sherry's Fish and Chips and wish them continued success.

[Page 5406]

RESOLUTION NO. 5274

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Ship Harbour Auto & Excavating provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Ship Harbour Auto & Excavating and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5275

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Shop the Shore provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Shop the Shore and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5276

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Shore Consultants provide a valuable service; and

[Page 5407]

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Shore Consultants and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5277

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 small businesses strengthen communities along the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas businesses like Showbizz Promotions Limited provide a valuable service; and

Whereas residents of rural communities along the Eastern Shore have benefited from having these services available;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Showbizz Promotions Limited and wish them continued success.