The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 08-48

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

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Gov't. (N.S.): Electricity Tax (8 per cent) - Cancel, Mr. D. Dexter 5403
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Surplus Crown Property Disposal Rept. 2007-08, Hon. M. Scott 5404
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 5278, TIR - C.B. Rainstorm (01/09/08): Repair Work -
Acknowledge, Hon. M. Scott 5404
Vote - Affirmative 5405
Res. 5279, World Diabetes Day - Mark,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5405
Vote - Affirmative 5405
Res. 5280, Health Lifeworks Proj. - Partners: Contribution -
Recognize, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5406
Vote - Affirmative 5406
Res. 5281, Cdn. Interagency Forest Fire Ctr. -
Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreement, Hon. D. Morse 5406
Vote - Affirmative 5407
Res. 5282, TIR Cumb. Co. Rainstorm (09/08): Repair Work -
Acknowledge, Hon. M. Scott 5407
Vote - Affirmative 5408
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 220, Judicature Act, Hon. C. Clarke 5408
No. 221, Household Energy Tax Rebate Act, Mr. D. Dexter 5408
No. 222, Cancer Therapy Committee Act, Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5408
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 5283, World Diabetes Day (11/14/08): Vols. (N.S.) - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 5409
Vote - Affirmative 5409
Res. 5284, Prem.: Fiscal Update - Bring Forward,
Ms. D. Whalen 5409
Res. 5285, Greene, Cst. Dave - Terry Ryan Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5410
Vote - Affirmative 5411
Res. 5286, Cousin's Rest.: Champion Liver & Onions Award -
Congrats., Ms. Maureen MacDonald 5411
Vote - Affirmative 5412
Res. 5287, Gas: Motive Fuel Tax - Lower,
Mr. K. Colwell 5412
Res. 5288, Porter, Tamara/Cormier, Matt - Amherst CC Award,
Mr. E. Fage 5413
Vote - Affirmative 5413
Res. 5289, Cape to Cape Walking Trail: Vols. - Congrats.,
Mr. C. Parker 5413
Vote - Affirmative 5414
Res. 5290, Robar - DeCoste, Twila: Commun. Contributions -
Recognize, Mr. L. Glavine 5414
Vote - Affirmative 5415
Res. 5291, Adopt-a-Library Prog.: Founders/Administrators -
Congrats., Mr. P. Dunn 5415
Vote - Affirmative 5416
Res. 5292, WDC: Sail Training Conf. - Congrats.,
Ms. M. Raymond 5416
Vote - Affirmative 5416
Res. 5293, MacIntosh, Frank: Digby Mayor (Former) - Accomplishments,
Mr. H. Theriault 5417
Vote - Affirmative 5417
Res. 5294, Centre Bras d'Or - Garnet Rogers Concert: Exec. - Applaud,
Mr. K. Bain 5417
Vote - Affirmative 5418
Res. 5295, Lamrock, Howard - Barrington Mun. Vol. of Yr.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 5418
Vote - Affirmative 5419
Res. 5296, Ciccarelli, Riccardo: Loran Award - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 5419
Vote - Affirmative 5419
Res. 5297, Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Auth. -
Top 10 Employees (N.S.) List, Hon. A. MacIsaac 5420
Vote - Affirmative 5420
Res. 5298, White, Neil - Pipe Band Assoc. Award,
Ms. B. Kent 5420
Vote - Affirmative 5421
Res. 5299, Madeline Symonds Mid. Sch. - Terry Fox Nat'l Sch. Run,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5421
Vote - Affirmative 5422
Res. 5300, Mid. River Vol. Fire Ladies: Efforts - Applaud,
Mr. K. Bain 5422
Vote - Affirmative 5422
Res. 5301, Prem./Fin. Min.: Update - Bring Forward,
Mr. L. Glavine 5423
Res. 5302, Baker, Councillor George: Election - Congrats.,
Mr. E. Fage 5423
Vote - Affirmative 5424
Res. 5303, Illsley, Ron (Deceased) - Book Publication: Fam./Friends -
Congrats., Hon. M. Parent 5424
Vote - Affirmative 5425
Res. 5304, New Minas Baptist Church: Leadership - Applaud,
Hon. D. Morse 5425
Vote - Affirmative 5425
Res. 5305, Hbr. View Hosp. Ladies Aux. - Anniv. (100th),
Hon. C. Clarke 5425
Vote - Affirmative 5426
Res. 5306, Carroll, James CP01 - Cdn. Forces: Contribution -
Recognize, Hon. J. Muir 5426
Vote - Affirmative 5427
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 200, Human Rights Act, Hon. C. Clarke 5427
Hon. C. Clarke 5427
Ms. M. Raymond 5427
Mr. L. Glavine 5428
Hon. C. Clarke 5428
Vote - Affirmative 5428
No. 203, Hospitals Act, Hon. C. d'Entremont 5429
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5429
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5430
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5432
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5433
Vote - Affirmative 5434
No. 204, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5434
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5435
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5435
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5440
Mr. L. Preyra 5441
Ms. D. Whalen 5447
Hon. C. d'Entremont 5451
Vote - Affirmative 5454
No. 210, Education Act, Hon. K. Casey 5454
Hon. J. Muir 5454
Mr. P. Paris 5456
Mr. L. Glavine 5459
Hon. J. Muir 5462
Vote - Affirmative 5462
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Nov. 17th at 3:00 p.m. 5462^^^
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 5307, Blenkhorn, Pat: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5463
Res. 5308, Lithgow, Pat: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5463
Res. 5309, Hubbard, Greg: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5464
Res. 5310, Rainforth, John: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5464
Res. 5311, Braden, Rodina: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5465
Res. 5312, Anderson, Marge: Commun. Contributions - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 5465
Res. 5313, Ritcey, Jed: Col. Co. Sport Hall of Fame - Induction,
Hon. J. Muir 5466
Res. 5314, Henderson, Jans (Wilson): Col. Co. Sport Hall of Fame -
Induction, Hon. J. Muir 5466
Res. 5315, Hale, Gerry: Col. Co. Sport Hall of Fame - Induction,
Hon. J. Muir 5467
Res. 5316, Halverson, Joyce: Col. Co. Sport Hall of Fame - Induction,
Hon. J. Muir 5467
Res. 5317, Wilson, Dave: Col. Co. Sport Hall of Fame - Induction,
Hon. J. Muir 5468
Res. 5318, Collins, Clobie: Col. Co. Sport Hall of Fame - Induction,
Hon. J. Muir 5468
Res. 5319, Multicultural Assoc. of Pictou Co.: Formation - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 5469
Res. 5320, Bear Den: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5469
Res. 5321, A & L Concrete Forming Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5470
Res. 5322, A 1 Lakeview B & B: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5470
Res. 5323, Abbecombec Ocean Village: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5470
Res. 5324, Aqua - Advantage Water Treatment Ltd.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5471
Res. 5325, Ascon Paving Contractors Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5471
Res. 5326, Atl. Plumbing & Heating Inc.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5471
Res. 5327, Atl. Chimney Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5472
Res. 5328, Auto Wheels in Motion: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5472
Res. 5329, Big Fries & Fish & Chips: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5473
Res. 5330, Cdn. Ground Water Assoc.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5473
Res. 5331, Day's Groceries: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5473
Res. 5332, Demand Logistics: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5474
Res. 5333, Digihome Structure Wiring Systems: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5474
Res. 5334, East Coast Antiques: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5474
Res. 5335, Eastgate Information Sourcing: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5475
Res. 5336, Elite Cleaning Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5475
Res. 5337, Entrepreneur Source: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5476
Res. 5338, Fitzmorris Maintenance Serv.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5476
Res. 5339, Fieldco Serv. Inc.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5476
Res. 5340, Frank's Lawncare: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5477
Res. 5341, Franken NA Equip. Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5477
Res. 5342, Gadus Associates: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5477
Res. 5343, Gaetz DF Lumber: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5478
Res. 5344, Gazoo's Takeout: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5478
Res. 5345, GT Fire Protection Engineering: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5479
Res. 5346, Hunt Brothers Painting Plus: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5479
Res. 5347, H & H Floor Finishers: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5479
Res. 5348, Interface Training & Dev.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5480
Res. 5349, IAD Int'l. Ltd.: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5480

[Page 5403]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We will commence the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition. The operative clause is:

"WE the undersigned hereby petition the Government of Nova Scotia to CANCEL THE 8% TAX ON BASIC ELECTRICITY . . .".

There are 10,034 signatures on this petition collected from citizens from one end of the province to the other. I have proudly affixed my signature and I have put them in this box for ease of handling. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

[Page 5404]

5403

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

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

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table the Surplus Crown Property Disposal Report for the period April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5278

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

Whereas the unusually heavy rainstorms in Cape Breton on September 1st caused widespread road and bridge damage in this region of the province; and

Whereas our workers and contractors worked tirelessly to rebuild approximately 10 kilometres of local gravel roads, installing approximately 80 culverts and re-doing over eight kilometres of shoulder work on Trunk 19, the Cabot Trail and other paved roads; and

Whereas our workers and contractors were able to complete this roadwork in a matter of weeks;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the diligent work of our staff and contractors in repairing our roads after the rainstorm.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5405]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 5279

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 diabetes affects more than 67,000 adults and 750 children in Nova Scotia, numbers that will grow by 20 per cent in the next five years; and

Whereas the province has invested directly to keep Nova Scotians with diabetes healthier through the Diabetes Assistance Program, Family Pharmacare, and our own provincial Diabetes Care Program; and

Whereas diabetes markedly increases a person's risk of cardiac disease and stoke, kidney failure, amputation and eye disease;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in marking World Diabetes Day, show leadership by modelling healthy lifestyle practices, and support the organizations that support people with diabetes.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission.

[Page 5406]

RESOLUTION NO. 5280

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 Government of Nova Scotia supports efforts to increase the health and well-being of its employees; and

Whereas the Public Service Commission and the Department of Justice partnered with the Atlantic Health and Wellness Institute, Pfizer Canada, AstraZeneca Canada, and Sun Life Financial to conduct the four-year Healthy LifeWorks project; and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia is proud to be a leader in workplace health with the Healthy LifeWorks project, which is the first project of its kind in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contributions of the Healthy LifeWorks partners to improve workplace health in the Nova Scotia public 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.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5281

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 Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, with its Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreement, enables Canada's fire resources to be used to greatest advantage; and

Whereas no single province or territory has all the resources required to deal with a widespread series of fires, the centre and the agreement, established in the early 1980s,

[Page 5407]

ensures that all provinces and territories will receive help if forest fires become too big for them to handle alone; and

Whereas during the Porter's Lake/Lake Echo fire this agreement allowed New Brunswick, Quebec, and Newfoundland and Labrador to quickly respond to our request for air support, with water bombers on the scene within hours;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank our partnering provinces for their efforts and assure them that we will also be available in their time of need.

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 Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

RESOLUTION NO. 5282

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

Whereas the extremely heavy rainstorms in Cumberland County in early September caused widespread road and bridge damage in this region of the province; and

Whereas our workers and contractors acted with determination to rebuild approximately 12 kilometres of local gravel roads, eight kilometres of shoulder work, and repaired and replaced 35 culverts, three of which were significant box culverts; and

Whereas our workers and contractors were able to complete this work in a matter of weeks;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the tremendous work of our staff and contractors in repairing our roads after the rainstorm.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5408]

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. 220 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 240 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Judicature Act. (Hon. Cecil Clarke)

Bill No. 221 - Entitled an Act to Amend the Household Energy Rebate Program to Provide a Rebate of Tax in Respect of All Residential Use of Electricity. (Mr. Darrell Dexter)

Bill No. 222 - Entitled an Act to Provide for Transparency in Drug Therapy Approvals. (Mr. David Wilson, Glace Bay)

[9:15 a.m.]

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, if you might permit me to do an introduction prior to my resolution?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to draw the attention of the members of the House to a special guest in the west gallery - Mr. Brian Wentzell, the senior vice-president of the International Diabetes Federation and former president of the Canadian Diabetes Association. Mr. Wentzell is a native of Halifax and lives in East LaHave. The International Diabetes Federation is based in Brussels, Belgium, and represents 200 national diabetes associations from over 150 countries around the world. There are nearly 250 million people in the world who have diabetes, a disease that affects over 50,000 Nova Scotians in all

[Page 5409]

aspects of our society. So please join me to welcome Mr. Wentzell on World Diabetes Day. (Applause)

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5283

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

Whereas the Sixty-First Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, on December 20, 2006, adopted Resolution 61/225 that recognizes November 14th as World Diabetes Day; and

Whereas the International Diabetes Federation and the Canadian Diabetes Association work tirelessly on behalf of people with diabetes and for people at risk of developing diabetes, including Nova Scotians; and

Whereas dedicated Nova Scotians serving as volunteers have worked diligently to create public awareness of the impact of diabetes upon all aspects of our society for over 50 years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly, on this World Diabetes Day, commend and congratulate the volunteers in Nova Scotia for their important contributions to the raising of public awareness about the need to understand and to provide care to people affected by diabetes in our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 5284

[Page 5410]

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

Whereas in a time of economic uncertainty, Nova Scotians have the right to know the state of the province's finances; and

Whereas in recent Question Periods the Premier has suggested there is no urgency and that he will provide a regular, quarterly update in due time; and

Whereas in such volatile economic times, withholding such pertinent information shows a serious lapse in judgment from this Premier and his government;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier follow the lead of his fellow Premiers in B.C., Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec and bring forward a fiscal update immediately.

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 Human Resources.

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to do an introduction with your permission.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. BOLIVAR-GETSON: In the east gallery today we have Constable Dave Greene of the South Shore Traffic Services in Bridgewater. Constable Greene comes from a military family and has lived in every province in Canada except for Manitoba. He joined the RCMP in 2002 and his first posting was in the Lunenburg office. He lives in Bridgewater with his wife, Darlene, and two daughters, Emma age 12 and Abby age 4. Also joining Constable Greene today is Constable Gallagher. I would ask them both to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 5285

[Page 5411]

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 Constable Dave Greene of the South Shore Traffic Services has stopped more impaired drivers than any other RCMP personnel on the South Shore; and

Whereas MADD Canada selected Constable Greene as the Maritime Region and National recipient of the Terry Ryan Award for Excellence in Policing; and

Whereas the award, named after an officer killed by an impaired driver in 2002, recognizes an officer's efforts to reduce the incidents of impaired driving and to promote safer highways through enforcement and education;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House congratulate Constable Greene on his well deserved award and applaud the role he has played in the fight against impaired driving 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. (Standing Ovation)

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 5286

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

Whereas Cousin's Restaurant has been an institution in the North End of Halifax for decades; and

Whereas each year the Halifax Fringe Festival honours a food legend in Halifax; and

Whereas this year the 18th Atlantic Fringe Festival Award for the Champion Liver and Onions in Halifax was presented to Cousin's Restaurant;

[Page 5412]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Cousin's Restaurant on serving the Champion Liver and Onions in Halifax and express their hope that Cousin's will continue to serve award-winning food for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice. I defy anybody to "Nay" that one.

MR. SPEAKER: I'm actually living proof of that resolution.

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. 5287

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

Whereas Nova Scotians are waking up today to higher gas prices than our neighbours in New Brunswick; and

Whereas while New Brunswick motorists are paying 80 cents per litre, Nova Scotians are stuck with a price of 86.1 cents per litre due to our higher motive fuel taxes and our failed system for gas regulation; and

Whereas this 6 cent difference for gasoline puts Nova Scotia business at an unfair disadvantage, it's especially troubling given the overall state of the Canadian economy;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and all members of this House of Assembly support the Liberal call for lower motive fuel taxes by 4 cents per litre and scrap this failed system of gas regulation immediately, which costs us another cent per litre for administration fees.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5413]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 5288

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 Amherst & Area Chamber of Commerce held their gala awards at the Wandlyn Inn on October 23, 2008, where they recognized the business achievers in various categories; and

Whereas Business of the Year was presented to Tamara Porter and her brother, Matt Cormier, who together with their parents, Karen and Don Cormier, own and successfully run Dayle's Department Store in downtown Amherst; and

Whereas this recognition rewards this family's hard work and phenomenal customer service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to the Cormier family for their great achievement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5289

[Page 5414]

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

Whereas on August 23 and 24, 2008, more than 50 volunteers of all ages came together in Millsville, Pictou County, to start clearing the Cape to Cape Trail; and

Whereas the vision is for this walking trail to eventually span the Cobequid Range from Cape Chignecto in Cumberland County, through Colchester and Pictou Counties, to Cape George in Antigonish County; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Trails Federation has endorsed the project as a means of encouraging physical activity in a natural setting;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate all those working on the Cape to Cape Walking Trail and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5290

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

[Page 5415]

Whereas November 16, 2008, is the unveiling of the Twila Robar-DeCoste limited edition painting, to officially end this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions Twila Robar-DeCoste has made to her community and thank her for the many years of dedication she has made to Feed My Lambs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 5291

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

Whereas a Pictou County literacy program that was started 10 years ago has been the recipient of a prestigious award in Ireland; and

Whereas the Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program received the Excellence in Local Government Award from Clare County Council, making it the overall winner in the arts and culture category this year; and

Whereas the western Irish county learned of the Nova Scotia program last year and the competition to see which students in Canada, Ireland and the U.S. could read the most books, and the program has raised more than $3 million across Canada, has prompted students to read more than 1.5 million books, and directly funded the building or renovations of three public libraries;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to all those involved with the conception and the administration of the Adopt-a-Library Literacy Program, showcasing just one of Nova Scotia's innovative programs for youth.

[Page 5416]

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 Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 5292

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

Whereas the discipline of sail has, for millennia, cultivated seamanship, teamwork and a practical understanding of physics and the natural world; and

Whereas many of the world's few surviving tall ships are now used to sail training vessels associated in Sail Training International and the American Sail Training Association, which are holding their first joint conference ever, from November 13th to 15th, in the historic Port of Halifax this year; and

Whereas hundreds of delegates from about 30 countries are expected this weekend, in preparation for the major gathering of tall ships here next year, which will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Her Majesty's Dockyard at Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Sail Training International, the American Sail Training Association, their dedicated volunteers and the host Waterfront Development Corporation on this conference, wishing them all success this weekend and when the tall ships arrive next year to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Her Majesty's Dockyard of Halifax.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[9:30 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5417]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

[Page 5418]

RESOLUTION NO. 5293

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

Whereas after 29 years of serving the residents of Digby, Digby Mayor Frank Mackintosh did not re-offer in the recent municipal elections; and

Whereas of his 29 years on town council, Mr. Mackintosh spent 20 years as the town's mayor; and

Whereas his many contributions to the Town of Digby will be remembered for years to come;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly recognize the accomplishments of Frank Mackintosh as mayor of Digby and wish him well in his retirement from political life.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 5294

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

Whereas earlier this summer, Centre Bras d'Or with a new executive organized a Garnet Rogers show that was described by Centre Bras d'Or chair Megan Morrow as a grand success and Rogers as a fantastic artist to work with; and

Whereas artist Rogers truly showed a genuine and caring feeling for the Centre Bras d'Or, donating five of his CDs for a raffle which helped the Centre raise additional funds,

[Page 5419]

while also asking everyone coming to his show to bring an item for the food bank that resulted in $180 worth of groceries donated to the South of Smokey food Bank; and

Whereas board members Megan Morrow, Donald Hamm, Ernie MacAulay, Lorna Reid, Jane Peatfield, Tim Brooks, Robert Chapman, Penny Chapman, Deryck Chapman and Tanis Delaney did a superlative job in organizing this wonderful artistic event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the exceptional efforts of Centre Bras d'Or executive in making this concert one not to be missed.

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. 5295

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

Whereas Howard Lamrock of Bear Point, Shelburne County, was selected by the Municipality of Barrington as the Volunteer of the Year for 2008, where he attended the provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony on April 24th, 2008; and

Whereas Howard coached the Barrington Black Hawks, a recreational division men's hockey team, for seven years; and

Whereas Howard has been fundraising for the Barrington Lions Club and was the president of the Barrington Municipal Exhibition for four years;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Howard Lamrock of Bear Point, Shelburne County, for being selected by the Municipality of Barrington as a Volunteer of the Year for 2008, where he attended the Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony on April 24th, 2008.

[Page 5420]

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. 5296

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

Whereas Riccardo Ciccarelli, a graduate of Halifax West High School and resident of Clayton Park West, has recently received a Loran Award worth up to $75,000 over four years, for undergraduate study; and

Whereas the Loran Awards are the most prestigious undergraduate awards in Canada and only 30 students out of 3,800 were selected; and

Whereas Riccardo received this award based on demonstrated service, leadership and strong academics;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly recognize Riccardo Ciccarelli on his outstanding achievement and wish him well in his studies at Dalhousie University and beyond.

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 5421]

The honourable Deputy Premier.

[Page 5422]

RESOLUTION NO. 5297

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

Whereas the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority recently received the distinction of being named one of the top 10 employers in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this recognition was based on a review conducted by an independent firm, Mediacorp Canada Incorporated, and the review focused on eight key areas: physical workplace, work atmosphere, health, financial and family benefits, vacation and time off, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development and community involvement; and

Whereas GASHA has received this recognition because of the efforts put forth by all the wonderful staff along with the CAO, Kevin MacDonald and the GASHA Board;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority on being named one of the top 10 employers 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 member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 5298

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

Whereas Neil White began playing the bagpipes in Grade 3 with the Dartmouth and District Pipe Band after being exposed to the sounds of the bagpipes at the Nova Scotia International Tattoo; and

[Page 5423]

Whereas Neil is now a Grade 11 student at Auburn Drive High School and enjoys midget hockey when he's not playing his bagpipes; and

Whereas Neil was a member of the Dartmouth Grade 4 band in 2007, placed second in the North American Championships with a first-place showing in bagpipes and has recently received the Grade 3 Atlantic Canadian Pipe Band Association Champion Supreme Award;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Neil White on the award of Grade 3 Atlantic Canadian Pipe Band Association Champion Supreme Award and wish him every success in his future piping and all that he does.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 5299

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

Whereas on September 25, 2008, Madeline Symonds Middle School in Hammonds Plains took part in the Terry Fox National School Run for the fourth consecutive year; and

Whereas before Terry Fox died, he knew that the annual event would be held to commemorate his Marathon of Hope; and

Whereas the Madeline Symonds Middle School community has been very generous for the last three years, raising more money for cancer research than any other school in the Halifax Regional School Board;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Madeline Symonds Middle School community for raising over $25,000 in the years they've been contributing to the Terry Fox National School Run.

[Page 5424]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 5300

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

Whereas within any volunteer fire department, a successful ladies auxiliary exists to help with community projects while raising funds for the local fire department; and

Whereas no exception exists in Middle River where the volunteer fire ladies held a raffle this summer on a digital camera package; and

Whereas President Lynn Myers was forever grateful to the Victoria Farmer's Co-op and the local Nova Scotia Liquor Commission, which allowed the Middle River Volunteer Fire Ladies Auxiliary to sell tickets on this significant fundraising initiative;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly applaud the efforts of the Middle River Volunteer Fire Ladies Auxiliary for their ongoing community work in support of the fire service while extending our congratulations to the winner, Brenda Nicholson, on purchasing the winning ticket.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 5425]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 5301

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

Whereas businesses are filing for bankruptcy, jobs are being lost, and families are faced with tough decisions on how to make it through the winter months; and

Whereas at a time like this, citizens of this province depend on the government to be honest and forthcoming about the province's fiscal situation; and

Whereas this government's failure to bring forward a fiscal update shows they follow the "no news is good news" philosophy;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and his Minister of Finance be accountable to the people of this province and bring forward this much needed update immediately.

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. 5302

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

Whereas Councillor George Baker of Amherst recently won his fourth term for municipal council and with the largest number of votes of all candidates running; and

Whereas Councillor Baker's term of office has now been a total of nine years; and

[Page 5426]

Whereas Councillor Baker is a well known business owner and community volunteer for various organizations in Amherst;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Councillor George Baker for his large win and continued service to the people 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.

The honourable Minister of Labour and Workforce Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 5303

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

Whereas on August 12th at the Apple Capital Museum, Commercial Street, Berwick, a book was launched; and

Whereas the efforts of a lifetime of information, pictures and stories of this Boy from Berwick were bound; and

Whereas Ron Illsley had previously recorded this information for all to share;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the efforts of friends and family of Ron Illsley for the posthumous publication that he so dedicatedly recorded.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5427]

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. 5304

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 New Minas Baptist Church held its ribbon cutting this past Sunday, November 9th, for its impressive $1.5 million expansion; and

Whereas Pastor Bob Knowles leads a large and dedicated congregation who pledged an impressive $1.126 million toward this needed expansion before they broke ground; and

Whereas the New Minas Baptist Church is one of many churches in the Annapolis Valley who provides guidance in how we might better treat each other;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the leadership of the New Minas Baptist Church and indeed all churches for offering us the moral bedrock so needed in society today.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 5305

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

[Page 5428]

Whereas the ladies auxiliary of Harbour View Hospital in Sydney Mines has provided years of dedicated service to the hospital, patients and visitors; and

Whereas on May 28, 2008, the ladies auxiliary marked 100 years of service; and

Whereas they marked this grand achievement with an open house with friends, community and health care partners;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating the ladies auxiliary of Harbour View Hospital on this milestone event and wish them continued success with their service to the Northside community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

RESOLUTION NO. 5306

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

Whereas Canadian Forces Esquimalt Seamanship Division Building N67 has been renamed to honour the career of the late CPO1 James D. Carroll, OMM CD; and

Whereas CPO1 Carroll had a distinguished 38-year career with the Canadian Navy and for his last four years was the Canadian Forces Chief Warrant Officer; and

Whereas 12 years after his death, CPO1 Carol is remembered many times in leadership qualification courses as the best example of leadership, and in Truro a Navy League core for 10 to 13-year olds march in his name;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the outstanding contribution made at the Canadian Forces by CPO1 James Carol, including the positive impact he had on young sailors, and extend congratulations to Marilyn, his widow, and their family on his most recent honour.

[Page 5429]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

[9:45 a.m.]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 200.

Bill No. 200 - Human Rights Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm very pleased to rise in the House today to move second reading of Bill No. 200, an Act to Amend Chapter 214 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Human Rights Act.

Mr. Speaker, this is not a complicated or long Act. In fact, it deals with two matters, one is a grammatical error for correction, the second is to bring the title of a position in line, one that is currently striking out the Coordinator of Race Relations and replacing it with the appropriate title of Manager of Race Relations Equity and Inclusion.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

[Page 5430]

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise today to speak to this bill which certainly is not either long or complicated, since it does nothing more than fix a grammatical error and bring into line the title of one division with something which had already been prepared for in the pre-existing text.

I am surprised, perhaps, that we need to concern ourselves with things which have actually been prepared for and in fixing grammatical errors but since this is all we have to do, I would be happy to see this move forward. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am pleased to rise on Bill No. 200 just to add a few points to the conversation. The bill is a simple housekeeping measure, of course, that renames a position and a division of the Human Rights Commission, former named Coordinator of Race Relations, Division of Race Relations and the proposed amended name Manager, Division of Race Relations Equity and Inclusion.

There are a few questions, of course, around the bill insofar as does it mean the position will have an expanded role? Does it mean more resources for the division if the role is expanded? Does this indicate a renewed focus for the Human Rights Commission? Has the Human Rights Commission asked for this change and does this reflect the focus of other Human Rights Commissions around Canada? So these are a number of questions that I think, by implication, need to be answered. So with those few questions around the bill, I will take my place, Mr. Speaker.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker and to my honourable colleagues, again, to the member for Halifax Atlantic, I don't know of any other process than the legislative one to deal with a matter that is affected by legislation. So if she has other ideas, let me know.

Again, to my colleague from the Annapolis Valley, I can say as well that indeed, this was at the request of the Human Rights Commission to deal with it as a housekeeping item, so respect that and with those comments, if there's further discussion as we go through the legislative process, I'd be happy to have those addressed.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I now close debate on Bill No. 200.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading on Bill No. 200. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 5431]

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Minister of Human Resources on an introduction.

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the members of the House to some special guests who have joined us today in the east gallery. Visiting us today we have Dr. Lydia Makrides, president and CEO of Creative Wellness Solutions; Peter James and Fred Honsberger from the Department of Justice; Susan Brown of Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada; Martin McNeil from AstraZeneca Canada Inc. and Gerry McCarron from Pfizer Canada Inc.

These individuals and their companies have been instrumental in the success of a four year Healthy LifeWorks Project that the Public Service Commission has been pleased to sponsor with the Department of Justice. We will be participating in a news conference at 10:00 a.m. on this project. If we would extend a warm welcome to our guests. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 203.

Bill No. 203 - Hospitals Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health. (Applause)

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, a very eager bunch here today. Ultimately we're here to open up second reading on Bill No. 203, the Hospitals Act. I'm very pleased to rise today and talk about this amendment. Providing the right health care services in communities across Nova Scotia is important. We want to have teams of health professionals and providers working in communities supporting, of course, moms and families. Accessibility to primary maternity care is integral to ensuring healthy mothers and babies, which translates into healthy communities.

Since the Midwifery Act received Royal Assent in November, 2006, work has been ongoing within the Department of Health to integrate midwives into primary maternity care teams. As you know, midwives who are valued members of the health care team collaborate with other team members, including family physicians, ensuring mothers and families have timely access to maternity care.

This amendment to the Hospitals Act will allow midwives to admit their patients to hospital for care at the time of birth, and will allow discharge of a mother and her newborn baby following birth. Access to diagnostic services consistent with those interventions described in the Midwifery Act are also possible once the amendment is passed. The district

[Page 5432]

health authorities will establish policies and processes appropriate to allowing midwives to admit patients to hospital care.

The quality of care provided by primary maternity care teams in Nova Scotia is second to none and adding full-scope midwives . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The chatter is getting a little on the high side and it's very hard to hear the speaker.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: The quality of care provided by primary care maternity teams in Nova Scotia is second to none and adding full-scope midwives in this province ensures a full spectrum of services to Nova Scotian women and their families, similar to those ones available to the majority of Canadian provinces and territories.

Again, I'm very happy to bring this amendment in, which is sort of another building block in bringing midwives to the practice here in Nova Scotia following the Midwifery Act that we brought forward in 2006. I can also update the House that the proclamation of that Midwifery Act will happen, I believe, in December, when all regulations and pieces like this are all in place.

Because of the challenge that we have where we only have a certain number of midwives practising in this province, we don't want to exclude anyone before this is proclaimed. We want to make sure the regulations are done, the training components are done and have everything ready. I can say that it's my commitment to this House that bill will be actually proclaimed in December. This is, again, another building block to that practice in this province and I'm very happy to open second reading on Bill No. 203, amendment to the Hospitals Act.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to stand to talk about a bill that deals with such an important issue and an important group of individuals in our province. It's not the first time a member of our caucus has stood up to talk about and to advocate on behalf of midwifery here in this province. I know the good member, my colleague for Halifax Needham, on her election back in 1998 started to talk about this issue and bring it forward. It's kind of sad that we're here so many years later still talking about it, a little bit happier that we're seeing a process in place that would allow midwives in our province to deliver such important care in our province.

Midwifery and midwives go back a long time. I couldn't guess the date but midwives have been a key component to births in our country from the early days and it's great to finally see in our province the recognition they need, the tools they need and the legislation they need to perform their jobs under the law that we have here in this province.

[Page 5433]

I would have hoped that this piece of legislation that allows midwives to have admitting privileges in our province should have been, I think, part of the package of legislation that we saw back in 2006, like the Minister of Health stated when we first saw the midwifery piece of legislation that regulates their profession here in this province. As I've said before on many pieces of legislation, especially dealing with the regulatory body and creation of a regulatory body for health professions, it's a long process. I would think by the sheer number of times we've talked about this in the House and how many times the government has attempted to bring forward legislation like this, that we would get it right and we should know how it's done and it should happen in a quicker manner, a quicker process.

The longer we wait and the longer we see pieces of legislation like this needing to be changed and amended, the longer it is that people in our province can benefit from midwives, for example. Individuals, mostly females - I don't believe there are any males currently who are midwives - it has basically been females in our province who have taken up that role that has been a big void in our province, especially in rural communities. In rural communities, when we've seen a downgrade or decrease in the number of professionals, especially specialists around gynecology and of course, childbirth, it's so important that government recognize they have to try to get legislation in place, try to get regulations in place to improve the services delivered in rural communities. This is a prime example of one that has gone on for too long that government, this government for 10 years and I think previous governments, have not really paid enough attention to, to ensure our citizens can get the service they need.

We all know the environment we currently have in the health care system. We know there is a crisis right now with emergency room closures and a lack of services, especially in our rural communities, so the importance is heightened when we see a group of professionals like midwives wait so long to first get recognized in the province, but secondly, get the legislation and the regulations needed to allow them to practice under the law of our province. It also shows the importance of continuing to implement a collaborative practice approach to health care delivery in our province.

We know there is a shortage of doctors and we can just look back to the early 1990s, with the federal government cutbacks, with provincial governments here. We know back in the 1990s the provincial government at the time, the Liberal Government, did some serious cuts to our health care and especially to our professionals like medical seats at Dalhousie, nursing seats. That really have amplified the current conditions we have today where it's so hard to find medical personnel, health care professionals to practice in our province because we're competing across the country and, of course, we're competing globally for these individuals. That is why I think it's so important that we recognize individuals and professions like midwifery here in our province and ensure that they can get out and practice to their full scope of practice under their profession, so they can deliver services. We can't continue to look at the past and continue delivering the services that Nova Scotians need in the same way. We need to ensure that collaborative practices have an easy access of being given the green light to open up, for example.

[Page 5434]

I know the Minister of Health and I recently attended the opening of a collaborative practice in Hantsport. I mentioned to the Minister of Health, just prior to him going in, that it was a great thing to see and he agreed with me. It was great to see a nurse and a nurse practitioner opening a clinic in a community that has found it hard to attract physicians.

[Page 5435]

[10:00 a.m.]

I told the Minister of Health at that time that it was almost a year ago to the day that we standing there in that collaborative practice and those individuals - the nurse practitioner and the doctor - came to me asking to see if we could help in any way to try to push along the process of them being able to open a collaborative practice in our province. I think there were no less than nine individuals that both the physician and the nurse practitioner had spoken to over a six month period, to try to figure out how they could go about opening this important collaborative practice in a community that desperately needed services. So we were glad to see it. The minister said we do have to try to streamline it, we do have to try to ensure that . . .

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The minister agreed with me that the government has to do a better job at ensuring that individuals like a physician in this province, who wants to open up a collaborative practice, can do it in a timely manner. To think almost a year later - and I can honestly say that that physician almost threw in the towel and said, this is too much for me, I'll just go back to servicing and providing the services to the clients, to the patients that I have, and if the government doesn't recognize the importance of collaborative practices, I'm just going to give up.

I'm glad to see the government finally getting involved, to ensure that this community of Hantsport was able to finally open that clinic. It's just an example of how government needs to recognize the importance of getting health care collaborative practices off the ground, making sure that when you have a physician in this province eager to open up a practice, to deliver better service to the people in their community, or in her community, that the government is there to help them, assist them and do it without all the red tape, and ensure that that individual continues on practicing here in our province. The last thing we want to see is one more doctor leave this province, Mr. Speaker.

So with this Bill No. 203, we're glad to see this because as I said before, it's so important for midwives to practise in this province and to have the admitting privileges is so important to the continuity of care when those midwives give their service and provide their service to Nova Scotians. So we're very glad to see this, we're very glad to support this through this process and glad to have this piece of legislation go to the Law Amendments Committee and hopefully get through that process in a timely manner, Mr. Speaker. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise and speak to Bill No. 203, a little bit surprised, to say the least, that we're debating this bill a

[Page 5436]

couple of years after we actually debated the Midwifery Act. I'm equally surprised that the Midwifery Act that we debated and passed almost two years ago to the day, has yet to be proclaimed.

Mr. Speaker, I would suspect anyway - I'll give the minister the benefit of the doubt - that there are very valid reasons as to why that would be the case today, two years later.

Mr. Speaker, more and more physicians in this province are actually leaving the business of delivering babies for a whole host of reasons, so the role of a midwife is becoming less of a choice issue for women; it's more of a necessity, actually. All the more reason that we should have been debating this particular amendment maybe a couple of years ago and all the more reason why today we should have a proclaimed Midwifery Act.

At that time, two years ago, we were the seventh province in the country to regulate the profession of midwifery and then when the government brought forward legislation regulating the profession, they didn't commit any money to ensure that the services provided would be paid for and then once a commitment for the dollars came along, they wouldn't exactly commit to an amount. That goes back to 2007.

Well, Mr. Speaker, we in the Liberal caucus, have been and will continue to support the practice of midwifery in this province. We support the amendment brought forward today. We're in support of the regulation for midwifery for several reasons because midwives offer community-based care throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and - even more importantly - for six weeks after the birth of a child as well. They practice as part of a health care team and are able to refer their patients when and if necessary, and by improving birth outcomes in this province and reducing the number of premature births and low weight babies, as well as reducing the number of medical interventions that are needed during childbirth, actually then midwifery is cost effective both in the short and long term.

Mr. Speaker, the delivery of services is flexible and can be provided in a number of settings. So it is our opinion that we owe midwives in our province not only this amendment that we're debating here today, we owe them a great deal more as a result of all the benefits that they will bring to their clients and our health care system as a whole. Having said that, we look forward to hearing presentations at the Law Amendments Committee and supporting this amendment as it makes its way through the process.

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 thought maybe I could use this opportunity to explain some of the questions that the members opposite have posed during their debate. Really when it comes to the Midwifery Act and the proclamation of it, the reasons we've been a little late on the proclamation piece is because as the development

[Page 5437]

of the regulations and the college and the training pieces have gone along, we find that when we do proclaim it, and if we did it now, there would be a number of midwives who are practising in this province who would be basically caught off-guard and not be able to continue their practice.

So we wanted to make sure that all training pieces are in place before we proclaim that bill so that all midwives can be available to Nova Scotians. So there has been that challenge of not making someone illegal (Interruption) Well, making sure that someone is not illegal the second that we proclaim something. So we wanted to make sure everybody was ready to go.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to talk a little bit about the collaborative practice that I know the member for Sackville-Cobequid brought forward. I know he tries to take credit for things but ultimately I want to thank the member for Hants West who did bring this to my attention on a number of occasions, and I want to say that the work he did in bringing it to my attention, that we got the job done. I can say that even though I appreciate the input (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of Health has the floor.

AN. HON. MEMBER: You struck a chord with that one.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: I know I did, I'm glad I struck a chord, but ultimately I know that through the work of the local MLA that we were able to make a difference for the people of Hants West.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the members opposite for their other comments and look forward to this bill passing. So I close second reading of Bill No. 203.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 203. 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 Acting Government House Leader.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Thank you for the title, Mr. Speaker. Would you please call Bill No. 204.

Bill No. 204 - Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act.

[Page 5438]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased this morning as well to stand and speak to second reading, and move second reading, of the lands necessary for the expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act, or Bill No. 204. This bill will enable the Halifax Regional Municipality to transfer the Queen Elizabeth High School property to the province to allow for the expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre's emergency department, which by the way is three-quarters built.

The Halifax Regional Municipality made a reasonable request for legislation to enable that transfer of these lands and we agreed to act upon it. The Halifax Regional Municipality has had legal advice that they must have provincial legislative approval in order to transfer any land which was part of the original Halifax Common land grant to the city. This land transfer includes the area already under construction as part of the new emergency department, as well as the rest of the Queen Elizabeth High School property.

The existing emergency department is seeing twice as many patients as it was designed to accommodate and we look forward to the opening of the new, state-of-the-art emergency department that this land transfer will enable. Again, as we look at the future of the CDHA, of the services being offered by the hospitals in Halifax, whether it be the HI site, whether it be the VG site, whether it be Dartmouth or Cobequid, we need to find more opportunities. In this case there will be some land requirements for the continued expansion of the QE II. So I believe this is a good move on behalf of patients and citizens of Halifax, to secure that land for the usage of the hospital as it evolves into the future.

Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 204.

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, it's kind of strange to be standing up and talking about Bill No. 204, an Act to Enable the Transfer of Lands Necessary for the Expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.

I'm trying to think how more backward a process we have in this province when yesterday I purposely took a detour home and drove up Bell Road by Robie Street. There we have, as the minister said, the new expansion to the QE II Health Sciences Centre nearly completed, it's there. Today I'm standing - we're required to stand and talk about a piece of legislation that allows the municipality to allow the province to build there. It's kind of strange to see that. It's not uncommon, especially from this government, I think, to have pieces of legislation like this dealing with things that have already happened.

[Page 5439]

We know the government has a record of bringing legislation forward that usually requires us, several years later, sometimes months later, to stand up and amend that legislation because it wasn't done right in the first place. I guess here's another example of something that probably should have happened last year or the year before. Nonetheless, it's an important project, the expansion at the QE II was needed from the day the facility opened.

I was working as a paramedic at that time, I was working the day the new Halifax Infirmary opened up. I was amazed that first call I did, when I brought a patient into that facility, drove back into the ambulance bays, unloaded my patients, walked through the door and looked around and I thought, is this the entryway? Where's the rest of the emergency room? To my astonishment, that was it. We had one big common area. We had some major beds on one side. We had one or two small private areas in the facility, no real transfer area for the paramedics and for the ambulance services, so I was amazed from day one. I knew from that day that there were going to be some serious problems at the QE II around wait times, especially for the paramedics and ambulances that come from all over our province to the QE II because of the tertiary care designation. I knew at that time that we were going to have problems, and we've had problems.

I don't know the exact date, but I believe it was the late 1990s, when it opened up and was originally a replacement for the old Halifax Infirmary off Spring Garden Road. I remember vividly going in there and recognizing the need to replace that hospital because of its age, so that was originally supposed to be a replacement for that hospital. We still had the Victoria General emergency room in Halifax on South Street, but during that time the government made the decision to tear down the old HI - the old Halifax Infirmary - and replace it with the QE II, or the new HI.

But then they also had another great idea, or what they thought was a great idea, how about we close the VG Hospital down too and we'll just merge them into one. We'll have one major tertiary care point of entry here in this province, and maybe we'll save some money. I think that was the logic, or the reasoning they said at the time, that we could save some money. We're cutting back in health care, let's just close both emergency departments here in the city and have one.

[10:15 a.m.]

But, Mr. Speaker, as I said at the start of my comments, when I walked into the facility, I was amazed at the size of the facility and now that we had just one emergency department, everything from across the province had to funnel through that one emergency department. In the past, when we had the old Halifax Infirmary and the VG, there were choices for paramedics, and for ambulance crews across this province, to choose which hospital to go to. Usually the old Halifax Infirmary was known as the hospital to be the specialist for ENT - ear, nose and throat - so any injuries dealing with that, the paramedics, the ambulance crews, knew to go to the old Halifax Infirmary. Of course, anything else, the major traumas that happened, heart attacks or anything else - not to say that the old Halifax

[Page 5440]

Infirmary wouldn't handle them and if you were across the street from them, you would take a patient there - the old VG would handle those cases.

So there was not this merge of all these traumas and injuries that we saw throughout the province, ending up in one door, or one bay, in one emergency room. From the start I knew that we were in trouble, that the new QE II emergency room was too small, the flow that should happen there doesn't happen because of the backlog - I'll get into that in a few minutes. I knew from then that there were some serious problems and since I was elected, I have stood up many times with this Minister of Health, with the previous Minister of Health and the Minister of Health before that, talking about the need to address the problems at the QE II emergency, or the new Halifax Infirmary.

The backlog that we see there - we have patients coming into the emergency department, in the City of Halifax, with one emergency department, who are waiting an enormous amount of time. They're waiting four, six, eight, 12 hours - some are waiting even longer than that. From the day I was elected, I started to look at the figures to see what was transpiring at that emergency department, and other emergency departments around the city. What we recognized was that there were longer wait times, an increasing number of patients were leaving without being seen - not only at the QE II, but you were seeing it at the Dartmouth General and of course, one of the highest rates for a long time was at the Cobequid Centre in Sackville, the area I represent.

I knew from early on in 2003 that there were problems, there were issues there. There had been so many examples even prior to when I entered this job. The government should have recognized a long time ago that the mistakes of the past, from the previous Liberal Government, needed to be addressed. The current government has been in place for nearly 10 years now and we're finally seeing some changes over at the QE II with the expansion.

But the expansion is not going to solve all the problems because there are some key areas that haven't been addressed, and I've questioned the Minister of Health on this a number of times. Just building a new facility, adding, I think, seven more beds, is not going to help the problems we see over at the QE II and the wait times we see, not only for the patients who are walking in seeking assistance but, most importantly, the paramedics.

Why that group of individuals, those professionals, the paramedics, why I want to concentrate some time on that is not just because I was a paramedic myself, but because those paramedics who are waiting down the street here come from all over this province. They come from the riding of the Minister of Health, they come from Truro, Antigonish, Cape Breton and what happens when we have a single-entry hospital is that they end up at the QE II. You can go down on any given night - I'm sure the minister is aware of this - and you see three, four, five, six, nine ambulances lined up and all of them with two paramedics on the ambulance, with a patient on their stretcher, waiting to transfer care over to the QE II.

[Page 5441]

So what happens then, Mr. Speaker? Then there is a domino effect - that ambulance from Antigonish is no longer in Antigonish where it belongs, providing emergency services. So if someone in Antigonish is having a heart attack, it's going to take longer for an ambulance crew to get there to help that person because it has to come from the next community. If there's an accident in Truro, it's going to take longer for a paramedic crew to get there because now you might have the crew from Milford responding to that call.

What we have are communities in this province going unserviced for a long period of time. I don't think the general public realizes the urgency to address the issue of a quicker turnaround rate for ambulances at the QE II hospital, Mr. Speaker, it's so important.

We know, and the minister knows - we talked about it and all Parties talk about it, or the Opposition Parties - about the closures of emergency rooms. So when the closure at Roseway Hospital happens, the Minister of Health, when we questioned him on that, says don't panic, don't worry, we have the best ambulance service in the country - and I agree - they'll come to your door.

What happens if that ambulance crew is waiting at the QE II to transfer a patient over? Sometimes it's not a serious issue - maybe it's abdominal pain - but yet there's someone who would need to go to Roseway Hospital who is having chest pain, who is having a heart attack, who is having a stroke. Mr. Speaker, that's the severity of it and that's why I try to continue to bring awareness around it and the importance of recognizing that we can build a new emergency room but if we don't address the reasons why our ambulance crews are waiting hours on end, then Nova Scotians are being put at risk with the closures we see, the sheer number of closures.

We recognize it's a human resource issue, it's an issue of trying to get physicians to service, especially rural communities, Mr. Speaker, then we need to address other issues that will help with that issue. One of them is getting our ambulance crews back to the community where they're needed. They're there if you need them but they're needed there because far too often we're seeing communities go without emergency room coverage or we see communities going without the access to a physician. Some communities don't even have a family physician, so not only do they rely on the emergency room that might be closed but they don't have a family doctor to go to. There's no family walk-in clinic to go to and sometimes there's no paramedics to call.

We've been very fortunate in this province, very fortunate, that at times of need or crises of extreme disasters, Mr. Speaker, like Swissair or White Juan. We've been very fortunate that we haven't had a serious accident or incident somewhere in the province. I'll give you an example of what could have happened or what potentially could happen. During Swissair, Mr. Speaker, we were unsure if there were survivors so the ambulance system all drew from communities far and wide to try to hopefully assist anybody who survived that terrible crash. That left an emptiness throughout pretty much most of the province.

[Page 5442]

On that day, if there was, for example, Mr. Speaker, and I would never wish this to happen but for this debate - what happens if there was a bus accident on Highway No. 104 or down near Hantsport, for example? We know there was a tragedy yesterday, a sad case near the Hantsport exit; what happens if there was a bus accident, then, with 20 or 30 people on that bus injured, what would happen? I don't know. We were lucky that day to not have any emergencies that night.

I wasn't on shift that night, Mr. Speaker, but I was called in to go to the local fire department and ride on the fire apparatus as a paramedic, just in case something happened. But it was a quiet night, and thank God, thank Heavens that it was a quiet night. That's an example of what could happen when we have an incident like that and we don't have the coverage in our communities.

That can happen on a daily basis, a nightly basis, when we see paramedics down here at the QE II Emergency, when a community doesn't have coverage that they should have and that most people in that community think they have, because no alert goes out to the public when the couple of ambulances in Truro leave the community to do calls in the outlying areas. Mr. Speaker, the public don't know that. All they know is that they can call 911 and say, I have a medical emergency, I need an ambulance. That's all they know and then they sit and wait. A lot of times, there are times when people wait extremely long lengths of time to get the coverage, or the call, or the service they need.

So with the expansion of the QE II, we need to address more than just adding several more beds. The minister has to know and recognize the importance of addressing other areas in that facility, especially the flow, and especially the transfer of care from the paramedics of this province to that hospital because paramedics can't just bring in a patient to the QE II, say we're here at the hospital, hand over the patient and away they go. They're required under our registration, under our legal right, to continue to maintain care to the patient until they actually transfer care over to the hospital.

They're usually waiting in the hallway, Mr. Speaker, or out in the bay where the ambulances are usually parked. Now what they do is they pull all the ambulances out, close the doors, and then the patients are all on stretchers there. I'm not saying if anything critical happened, where the cardiac arrest would happen, of course, the hospital staff will come in and help you out with that. But you have patients there who are in severe pain, who might be suffering some discomfort - angina and that - but the paramedics are maintaining the treatment there, giving oxygen, giving medication in the ambulance bay.

It's kind of strange to think, you know, paramedics who are trained to deal with emergencies, to get in the ditches, to go in car accidents, into houses and people's bedrooms to give the care, paramedics are still giving care when they're in the emergency room down at the QE II, or in any hospital that has a backup, when they can't transfer care over. It's kind of strange to think that for paramedics that's part of their care now. Just since my departure

[Page 5443]

from the service a little over five and a half years ago, I'm amazed at how long the wait times are for the turnaround rates for paramedics.

Back before I left, Mr. Speaker, to wait at the QE II Emergency or the VG before that, maybe 20 minutes or a half hour was pushing it, but currently right now there are paramedics who work a 12-hour shift and they could go and do two calls and spend 10 hours at the QE II - 10 hours. They're doing shift change down there. We have a supervisor who has a big, nice SUV Expedition who goes around trying to make sure that the paramedic crews have the gear they need, any additional support, and do you know what a large portion of his job is now? He goes to the bases, for example out in Sackville, picks up the two paramedics who are supposed to be on shift now, brings them into Halifax. They meet the crew that they're supposed to relieve. They do an exchange of what the patient has, what the patient presents, what treatment they gave them, and those paramedics now have taken over care from the two paramedics who initially did the call.

Pretty strange, isn't it, Mr. Speaker? That stuff shouldn't happen, I don't think, in the system we have today. Then that supervisor drives the two paramedics back, they get in their cars and go home and they do it all over again. It's strange to see the great service that we have - and I agree 100 per cent with the Minister of Health, with anybody over in the government who say we have the best service in the world, we do - but we don't need them sitting idle in our emergency departments. We need them ready to respond to any emergency, like Swiss Air, like White Juan, like that bus crash that might happen, that's where we need them. We need them in our community.

So I hope with this piece of legislation - and that's why I wanted to bring up some of the concerns around the expansion of the new hospital, great to see that, but there are other issues that need to be addressed there. I know when we continue to bring issues up from time to time, the minister states that, well, CDHA, they control the hospital, they control the flow. But ultimately the Minister of Health, the government, they have the role of ensuring the safety of Nova Scotians throughout our province, Mr. Speaker. This is a system that the taxpayers fund, and the government allows CDHA and the other districts to provide that service, but ultimately the Minister of Health and the government are responsible for the safety so they need to start to play, I think, a more active role in ensuring the flow of our hospitals throughout our province. The issues that they see there, the government needs to come forward and assist CDHA's, district health authorities, hospitals, wherever they are in this province.

So, with those few words, I'm glad to see this piece of legislation, I guess, even though I think it should have happened before three-quarters of the emergency department down the road here was completed. But we're glad to see it and I look forward to this piece of legislation going through the process here in the Legislature. Thank you.

[10:30 a.m.]

[Page 5444]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and speak on Bill No. 204, the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act. My understanding is that we're debating this bill as a result of a legal opinion that was rendered by the Halifax Regional Municipality, that legislative authority to transfer the land was required.

Our caucus has no problem supporting this bill given that the facility is well underway and it will be finished next year. I can't see us going anywhere else, to be perfectly honest. I will take this opportunity to say that my colleague and my friend for Sackville-Cobequid, is indeed a fine example of what the profession of paramedics means to this province. He's a great example of exactly how important they are in this province and we all hope that someday he'll return to that profession, as a matter of fact. (Applause) Because he's needed, he is needed in that profession. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): The QE II Health Sciences Centre expansion is a facility that was badly needed. That's agreed. It's one of the busiest emergency and trauma facilities in Eastern Canada. The current emergency department accommodates between 55,000 and 70,000 patient visits per year.

Our sincerest appreciation goes out to Dr. John Ross, all the emergency staff and personnel for providing top quality care to all of those patients in a facility that really was built to only accommodate about 35,000 people a year. Indeed, all Atlantic Canadians deserve the very best when it comes to the availability of trauma and critical care at that facility and we are truly blessed to have a great team of emergency department personnel to deliver that.

I wish to state for the record that this new expansion cannot and should not be a replacement for the necessary changes required in our primary health care system. No one wants to see - Dr. John Ross included - a bigger, better facility holding more people who would be better treated in a more appropriate health care setting. Sadly, the ER department in Halifax has become more and more of a drop-in clinic. People in peninsula Halifax and further abroad have had no where else to go in the evening, should they find themselves ill. That presents challenges to the emergency room staff who need to see everyone in a timely fashion. We need to see improvements in this province in primary health care.

I wish Dr. John Ross and his staff well, once the new facility is completed. Their dedication to making changes within the centre itself to better address the needs of emergency patients will be facilitated much easier with the new ER department and it's now up to the minister to ensure that systemic changes in primary health care help them complete

[Page 5445]

the task of providing the best possible trauma care to Nova Scotians and, indeed, Atlantic Canadians.

Mr. Speaker, we obviously agree with this bill and we look forward to it coming to the Law Amendments process. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island.

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise here and say a few words about Bill No. 204. On the surface it's an innocuous little bill. It's an Act to enable the transfer of lands necessary for the expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.

We can't disagree with the general principle of this bill, but it does say something about this government's inability to control its impulses, its predisposition to speak first and to think later. The construction on this $17 million project started well over a year ago. It was started without a building permit, it was started without the government having any ownership of that land, and now it's three-quarters built and they're coming to the Legislature and asking for authorization to negotiate with the municipality to transfer this land now.

I had a look at the discussion at the HRM about this transaction and it's very interesting. The in camera discussion has just been released recently and the minutes show that the approval does not presuppose the outcome of negotiations currently underway for the balance of the Queen Elizabeth High School lands. In other words, the council sees this as a discussion that's currently underway.

The council minutes say (Interruption) It was released - the council minutes say, "If approval is not granted at the fall sitting of the Legislature, HRM will not have another opportunity for such approval until spring of 2009." Here's what HRM says about the failure to get this deal negotiated, it says, "This would prove to be problematic in terms of completion and occupancy of the new emergency wing . . ."

In other words, if this bill is not passed, if these negotiations are not successful, it would prove problematic in terms of the completion and occupancy of the new emergency wing. So this is an important piece of legislation, Mr. Speaker. Apart from just what it says about the government's competence, it does say something about spending $17 million without seeking the proper authorization.

I would like to also say something about the background - I'll table that document, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Honourable member, would you entertain a question?

MR. PREYRA: No, Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions)

[Page 5446]

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order . . .

MR. PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, you haven't ruled on that yet.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Immigration on a point of order.

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I'm sorry to interrupt the speaker but I still have to ask the question. The comment was raised . . .

MR. SPEAKER: It's a point of order, not a question.

MR. GOUCHER: The comment was made by the speaker, Mr. Speaker, that the document referenced was an in camera document. Where did the speaker get access to an in camera, private, confidential document?

MR. SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island - you were going to table that, you said.

MR. PREYRA: Yes, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island has the floor.

MR. PREYRA: I'm delighted that the Minister of Health is asking for a copy of it now, Mr. Speaker. He should have seen it a year ago.

In any case, the minutes say, "The approval does not presuppose the outcome of negotiations currently underway for the balance of . . ." these lands, and as I was saying before I was interrupted, that if approval is not granted at the Fall sitting of the Legislature, HRM will not have another opportunity for approval until the Spring of 2009, and this would be problematic in terms of completion and occupancy of the new emergency wing.

So, Mr. Speaker, I would like to say something about the context of this bill. This bill is, in fact, part of a larger package of land. It describes the lands involved as - sorry, let me just quote the bill itself, "The Halifax Regional Municipality may, upon such terms and conditions as the Council of the Municipality may determine, convey to Her Majesty . . .", et cetera, "lands owned . . . bordered by Robie Street, Bell Road, Summer Street and Veterans Memorial Lane."

It is quite a large chunk of property, Mr. Speaker, and it is something that the minister should say a little bit more about. The same minutes that I referred to earlier say that the

[Page 5447]

balance of the Queen Elizabeth site - in other words, the site that is described in the legislation, is being considered for inclusion among a series of concurrent land transactions to take place between the province and HRM. In other words, it's not just about a slight expansion of the QE II emergency. The properties listed include - the minutes say that, "the Province seeks to acquire from HRM the Truscan/Birks site for future provincial office accommodations;. . ." the rest of the QE II site for a future health care expansion.

HRM seeks to acquire from the province the Bellevue site at the corner of Spring Garden Road and Queen Street for a new central library and the former Infirmary lands on Queen Street for future urban development. In other words, this is not just about expansion of the QE II site, it is a large land transaction that involves important developments in the City of Halifax. So this transaction, if it's approved then, will allow a number of other things to happen. At the very least there's something to be said about transparency, to let us know what the agenda is behind this bill and what the government's priorities are as it relates to the swap of land.

Mr. Speaker, if this land is being swapped, if common land is being swapped, then we would like to ensure that if it's used for a hospital - no one can object to it being used for a hospital, no one can object to it being used for emergency purposes, but if it's not going to be used for hospital purposes down the road, we believe that we should respect the letter and the spirit of the 1763 transaction that made this land a Common and made it part of the Common to be used by the people of Halifax, by the common people.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to provide some background to this issue of the Common because it sets an important context for this legislation. Many really don't know what the Common is in Halifax and what's being done here. The Common is about 235 acres of land granted in 1759 and 1763. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. It's getting difficult to hear the speaker.

The honourable member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island has the floor.

MR. PREYRA: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Here are the key words that are part of this grant, it says: I, Jonathan Belcher, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, by virtue of the power and authority given to me by our present majesty, King George, grant this land lying in the peninsula of Halifax and containing the whole 235 acres for a common, for the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax forever. Later on he goes on to talk about the need for green and open space.

So this land, Mr. Speaker, has a great history. It's bordered by Robie Street and North Park, that's between Cunard and South Street in Halifax, and today a lot of this land is occupied by hospitals, the CBC TV, the remains of Queen Elizabeth High School, the new Citadel High School, Camp Hill Cemetery, part of Dalhousie campus, the Public Gardens, Victoria Park, the Museum of Natural History, and All Saint's Cathedral.

[Page 5448]

In 1994, Mr. Speaker, when the municipality tried to pave part of the Common, there was an outcry, and the outcry really reflected much of this debate which has been going on since the 1800s about the need to preserve commons, green space and open space in Halifax. As a result of that outcry in 1994, there were new initiatives put in place to protect the Common, and the Halifax Common plan was born out of that debate.

The effective part, the result of that Common plan was that they came up with some general goals for the Common. It says: The Common will remain a vital living part of the city and continue to serve the needs of citizens in the spirit of the original grant. It will provide a diversity of high-quality public uses and spaces, and be a place where special physical character, beauty and history will be emphasized. These were the overall goals for the Common that were set out at that time.

Specific policies were designed to develop the Common in 1994. It said that the amount of public open space in the Halifax Common will not be decreased, the amount of land owned by the City of Halifax will not be decreased and the city will seek to increase the amount of land, under city ownership, through recapture of this land, Mr. Speaker. So in other words, the city and the people of Halifax have made it very clear, that is what they want. They would like this land to be used principally for commons even though they would not object to it being used for public purposes like schools, hospitals - perhaps even the CBC.

[10:45 a.m.]

But what we've seen happen since then is that most of these lands that have been given over to hospitals, in particular, have been converted into parking lots. In 1966 the former Grace Maternity site on University Avenue has become a Dal parking lot for 300 cars. The former Civic Hospital site (Interruptions) That's right, I know we're not allowed to have props in here, but there's no ruling on props outside. Half of the former Civic Hospital site on University Avenue has become an IWK parking lot for 600 cars. The former School for the Blind site is being used as a parking lot and there's a huge parking lot in front of the VG Hospital.

In other words, we don't disagree with the use of these sites for hospitals and for hospital care and for schools, but there's something wrong with converting common space and green space and open space into parking lots. We hope this conversion, this grant or transfer of land to the hospital site doesn't mean that we're going to have yet another large parking lot there. (Interruption) As my honourable colleague says, they're paving paradise to put up a parking lot.

I will table some of the documents relating to the history and background and I'd like to thank the Friends of the Halifax Common for reminding us of our obligations to protect the Common and to preserve it and to expand it. I'd like to table that. I'd also like to table

[Page 5449]

along with it an article which appears on the editorial page of The ChronicleHerald today that talks about the history of the Halifax Common and our obligations to it.

This bill seeks to enable then, at least on the surface, it seems to enable the transfer of lands from the Halifax Regional Municipality to the province. We can't disagree with that, we can't disagree with the need to expand the space in overcrowded emergency rooms. We can't disagree with the need for state-of-the-art emergency departments. This emergency room was built to care for 35,000 patients per year and instead it serves 60,000 patients today. The emergency room is so crowded that patients have to wait in hallways, on stretchers and gurneys for two or three days - and those are the lucky ones because they have an emergency room and they can wait and perhaps even they'll have a hope of being seen.

But to call it a room is a misnomer, it's more like Grand Central Station there on most days. There are people waiting there for days. At least in Grand Central Station there's hope the train will arrive and sometimes it never comes. Many patients leave without being seen. Many communities just don't have emergency services.

I want to commend the staff at the QE II Emergency Department for the work they do under stressful conditions. But building this $17 million expansion, adding seven beds is not going to deal with the problems we have in our emergency rooms, especially not the problems that we have at the QE II emergency centre.

In part, the problem lies with the closure of emergency rooms in Halifax, with the Halifax Infirmary, in particular, and later the Victoria General, and the closure of emergency rooms in surrounding communities like the Roseway Hospital. It effectively is big box emergency room medicine, Mr. Speaker. Big box medicine has meant that we've concentrated our emergency services in one location and the Queen Elizabeth II has become the centre to receive all of those people who are coming from areas where they no longer have emergency services.

In part this huge increase in numbers serving, and the huge increase in wait times, is a result of a lack of doctors, people not having family doctors. The emergency room has become the substitute for the doctors' waiting rooms in local communities, for the lack of nurses, the lack of technicians and other health care professionals. Adding extra beds is not going to add to those numbers, Mr. Speaker, it's not going to improve the flow, it's not going to increase the number of nursing home beds or acute care beds.

Yesterday I heard the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations say that he had no interest at this time in establishing a 211 system, but a 211 system may help us divert people away from emergency rooms to other faster, more effective avenues of receiving treatment, treatments that people can get closer to home. That might help transfers reduce some of the wait times in the emergency themselves, so that the people in emergency rooms can deal with the job that they've been trained to do and they can deal with it in a timely manner for the people who need help right away. Perhaps we should use more nurse

[Page 5450]

practitioners, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps we should add locums for overworked doctors so that we can have family doctors in the late evening or on weekends, for doctors who need respite.

So $17 million is not going to serve the needs of our community. It's not going to deal with wait times, it's not going to end hallway medicine, and big box medicine is not going to meet the needs of our communities. We need to get measures that would bring in more doctors, more nurses, more health care professionals. Certainly I would urge the government to look again at Bill No. 1 and the climate that Bill No. 1 is creating for doctors and health care professionals and whether it's making Halifax a more attractive place for them.

In summary, Mr. Speaker, we are appalled at the way in which this bill is being handled but we're not surprised that the government has once again put itself in a position to seek authorization after the fact, after the work has been started. We'd like to know more about the government's larger agenda regarding these lands and the lands that are being swapped. We'd like to have the government honour the letter and spirit of the charter that created the Common, the objective of the Common. Most importantly, we'd like to see the government come up with a real plan to deal with emergency room wait times and the lack of emergency facilities in rural communities. That would be something that we'd look forward to, Mr. Speaker, and we look forward to dealing with this bill in Law Amendments. Thank you.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Just before I begin I'd like to make an introduction, if I could.

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. WHALEN: In the west gallery we're joined by three nurse practitioners who have been at the Legislature over the last two days and last week as well, doing cardiac health checks for MLAs and for staff from our offices and from the Legislature. We want to thank them very much for doing that on our behalf. I was one of the patients who came in to visit them. They are Jackie Jayasinghe, Rosalind Benoit and Jennifer Schmaltz. I wonder if you would stand and receive the warm welcome of the Legislature. (Applause)

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

MS. WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I will get right to the point here about Bill No. 204, which we are debating this afternoon on second reading. It's the Act to Enable the Transfer of Lands Necessary for the Expansion of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. It's got a good title this time, it really says it all.

[Page 5451]

Mr. Speaker, there have been some interesting points raised today. I certainly wanted to talk about the HRM Council report which was, in fact, made available to all Parties in HRM's visit. They have a book called HRM's Legislative Requests and it was one of the items in that and the in camera report was included in that as well, so all of us have had access to that. The report was, I guess, from June, 2008, so it's fairly recent, and talking about the transfer of lands, I was particularly interested in the fact that this particular small piece of land that we're talking about, and it has already been said that the expansion is underway, the building is nearing completion, and this is really going back in time to try to fill up, you know, a legislative need that wasn't addressed in the right time period and so we're going back, which seems a little bit strange, a little ludicrous, but nevertheless we want to make sure everything is done right so that when the emergency room expansion is complete, everything will go smoothly on the transition to its use.

Mr. Speaker, a lot has been said about the size of the emergency room and the need to expand it. The current one was built for 35,000 patients and approximately 55,000 to 70,000 patients a year are visiting it, so needless to say the waits are enormous. People, and a lot of elderly people, are waiting up to 12 hours for service. I've had calls from them and it really is awful to think of the conditions because people are not going there unless they're very sick and that means very sick people waiting all that length of time. But we have before this Legislature - we've seen a new report, a $1 million report, the Corpus Sanchez report, that suggested very strongly that we've got to move aggressively towards other primary care initiatives.

We talked about a telephone delivery service for health, but we also need 24/7 clinics in this province. They should be provincially funded 24/7 clinics, and they're not available, Mr. Speaker. I know that for years the doctors have been trying to urge people not to go to emergency. In fact, the hospital and government has had a program quite a number of years ago where there were signs in the emergency room saying, you should go to your doctor first, don't come here unless it's an emergency. But people are appearing anyway at emergency rooms because they don't have a doctor or because they don't have primary health care available in their community.

Mr. Speaker, today I would like to suggest that we have a solution and that is that you build a primary health care clinic that would serve the people of the western part of Halifax, and that's the Clayton Park mainland north part of Halifax, where over 100,000 people live in very close proximity to each other. If there were a place where people could go on a around the clock basis, you know, for all the small things that are troublesome and worrisome and they end up going to emergency, it would make a huge difference to the people who live there and it would take an enormous amount of pressure off the main emergency room because everybody who lives in my riding and in Fairview, and certainly in Timberlea-Prospect, they're going downtown to that central facility.

If we built a service in an area like Clayton Park, which is the ideal location, Mr. Speaker, for such a facility, especially if we're piloting it, if we're trying to see whether it

[Page 5452]

makes a difference in the system, it is an area where HRM has finally realized the need for a large recreation centre. I've been telling them repeatedly, within a 20-minute radius of the Mainland Common, there are 200,000 people living, and that's by HRM's own studies. So if you want to take pressure off the central emergency room, the time has come to make serious efforts to build a 24/7 clinic.

Mr. Speaker, speaking as a mother, I can tell you I've gone to the emergency room on a number of occasions over the years. My children are now much older, they're in university, but I've gone in the middle of the night at different times - and I'm sure almost any parent can say the same - when in fact it probably was not an emergency, but we were worried enough that we packed up and went to the emergency room because we had fears for what was wrong and not understanding what it might be. So we've gone in and sat in the emergency room with many other parents. If I had had access to a 24/7 clinic, I would have gone there to have their ears looked at, or their throat looked at, or to listen to their breathing, rather than line up with so many other people in the emergency rooms. I think it's just common sense, and I think every member of this Legislature knows it. I see the Minister of Health knows, he's a parent, he understands what this is about.

Mr. Speaker, I really would like to signal to the government today that it is essential that we get moving on the recommendation for these clinics that would have the ability to do an x-ray, to see if you needed a cast on your arm, and could, in fact, put that cast on if it was a simple fracture, and just give advice to patients who don't need to be lined up with the really acute and serious emergencies. I know that in the past we've heard that as many as 80 per cent of the people arriving at emergency rooms really are not considered emergencies and could probably wait to see their doctor, or a doctor. (Interruption) Perhaps 70 per cent, I've just been informed by the Minister of Health; 70 per cent really don't belong there. Yet we understand why they go because we're parents and we're responsible for our own parents and relatives. So we take that step and go to the emergency when we're unsure.

It is essential that we start to look at the recommendation for these clinics that is in the Corpus Sanchez report that suggests this would make a huge difference. I can assure you it would be a much cheaper choice to do that rather than to build and expand on these emergency rooms. This is a very expensive project. I think I heard mention of $17 million to expand this emergency room and before that announcement was made, there was no discussion about where we could build some smaller clinics that would take the pressure off the big emergency room. Our QE II Health Centre is a new hospital, it is a very new hospital, so either it was improperly designed in the first place - which may be - or it hasn't been serving the needs that are there.

[11:00 a.m.]

We have to look at how we can get around that. I'm disappointed we never had any debate about whether the emergency room should be expanded over what that $17 million could have done in other ways to take the pressure off the existing emergency room. That's

[Page 5453]

why I say, before we do anymore expansions of emergency facilities, let's look at what people need in their community for primary health care. Again, the community of Clayton Park is ideally located for just such a service. When the Keshen-Goodman Library was open, they found that it is drawing people from North End Halifax and the peninsula as well because it's only 10 minutes away. It's very convenient.

I can tell you, as a parent and a health care consumer, people would far rather go somewhere in their community, and that's why the drop-in clinics are enormously popular, but even they close usually by 9:00 p.m. They're not open 24 hours a day, you have to be a patient of those clinics to drop in and I know at different times the one in our community has not been willing to take new patients.

I feel it's important that we see this expansion of the emergency room as a signal that it's time for us to do something about providing primary health care in our Halifax region. I believe the Clayton Park area is the ideal location to serve that whole swath of the city, which really is in close proximity to 100,000 people. I think that is very important. That's what this bill says to me.

In addition to the report, I think it's important to note the connection to the swath of land, which is mentioned in the HRM report, saying this is not a stand-alone issue for HRM. This has to do with a reciprocal arrangement to gain control of provincial lands that are on Spring Garden Road and Queen Street to allow for the development of a new central library. That is certainly a very important issue to people right across HRM, that we have a flagship, proper, modern, central library.

We are very blessed in HRM with a great library system, but probably the biggest need is that we replace the old central library which is, in fact - members of the House may not be aware - the old library is very unsafe. Right now it has walls that are being supported . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The noise level again is creeping up. The honorable member for Clayton Park has the floor.

MS. WHALEN: Thank you. As I was saying, the current library building, which members of the House may not be aware of, is actually very unsafe. Some of the uses had to be curtailed. They don't allow people to use or access the upper floors, only staff access those. We've been told by the structural engineers that the walls are supported by the stacks of books themselves, that if you moved those books, you would destabilize the building. So it is really not fit as a central library anymore, and is not serving the needs that we have in terms of technology. I fully support the HRM and the Halifax Regional Library Board in looking at ways to expand and build that new facility which is so needed.

Of course, with the this land deal being attached to that, it's important we make that connection and see this is not happening in isolation. Again, the common lands are very

[Page 5454]

important to the people of Halifax and I think we have to recognize the purpose of the common lands in the very beginning. They were to be given to the people of Halifax for their own use, for common use, and it is really important that we not lose that to the public.

I notice that HRM's report originally provided wording that they wanted to see in the legislation. It said that the lands that would be conveyed, either sold or leased or conveyed to the province. I will quote here from their suggested wording, which is not in the wording of this bill before us. They asked that it say that these ". . . be used solely for the purpose of a hospital to which the Hospitals Act applies, and shall not be sold, let or otherwise disposed of by Her Majesty in Right of the Province, and upon breach of any of the provisions hereof the same shall revert to the Municipality. . ." because this is part of a much larger area of common land and people in Halifax value that. The only buildings that are allowed on those lands have been for common, public use, like the CBC, the museum, the hospitals. We want to make sure that if that land is then later no longer needed for a hospital, it should revert to the city and to the municipality and the people of HRM.

[Page 5455]

Now that may not be possible if other lands are being sold and conveyed to Halifax, if we get the lands for the library. I think it's important to reinforce what was said by the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island about the importance of common land to the people of Halifax.

Again, Mr. Speaker, my main concern as we look at the expansion of the emergency room is that 70 per cent of the people going to emergency rooms in HRM could be served in their community, if there were a 24/7 clinic available and that would triage and decide who could stay there and who needed to come downtown to the bigger hospital setting. It would be cheaper, it would be more convenient, it's recommended by the Corpus Sanchez Report and it needs to start now. Too often in this House we talk about issues that are sensible, that in fact reflect common sense and good judgement and nothing happens. I think it's time that we stopped that talk, and I'd love to hear the minister say that he's moving on these 24/7 clinics, that they have addressed that need and that he's not just looking at expansions of big, expensive, central facilities like this emergency room represents. With that, Mr. Speaker, I look forward to the comments we may get at the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the members opposite for their interventions during this debate on Bill No. 204, the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Expansion Act.

Mr. Speaker, this is before us on a request from HRM. I think when we originally went down the road of constructing the new facility, I was under the estimation that it was well within our right to build on that site. We did, and from further work with our solicitors, we felt that this bill should come forward in order to legitimize the construction that is going on there.

Mr. Speaker, I hear the members opposite when they talk about the utilization of the new emergency room that is being constructed there. What the members opposite see is, of course, a larger ER, but not only that, different services, having the mental health intervention teams available right there on-site, rather than having to wait for them to come in, so that they can be identified differently. So there are a number of different services that will be available at that site that are not available today.

The land that you see as you corner Robie Street, Bell Road, where that construction is going on, I think is very adaptable to the utilization of the health system, whether that be for the hospital construction, maybe some ancillary services that might be needed for the hospital system, but, Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that it will be used for the utilization of Nova Scotians, utilization of citizens of Halifax.

[Page 5456]

Mr. Speaker, I know the member for Halifax Citadel questions the issue - and Sable Island, I can't forget the Sable Island part. Maybe one day he'll go out to Sable Island, but anyway. Actually, I'd love to go with him to Sable Island because it is a lovely place.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, he brought up the issue of parking lots and it is a concern of mine not to have too many parking lots, but then again, if somebody comes from the Eastern Shore or the person comes from Antigonish or comes from Yarmouth County, by God, they've got to have somewhere to park in order to get the services.

AN HON. MEMBER: Get your services there.

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows full well that all services cannot be offered in a regional area. There are some specialties . . .

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

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the members opposite know full well that Halifax is our tertiary centre where the specialized - where the special specialists are, where cancer patients come, children with sicknesses that cannot be treated in the regional areas. We will never have those kind of services available in the rural areas because (Interruption) That's true, if they want to give it up, we'll take it, but ultimately this is where the specialties will remain. If it is the requirement of a parking lot, you know, we can't necessarily know because it is to the interaction of that hospital for the running of that hospital.

Mr. Speaker, you know, even to talk offside on this one just a little bit, if we do travel around the world, we find parking lots hidden here, there and everywhere. I mean I've seen some pretty good historic monuments that are there. You see them and, by gosh, there's a parking lot underneath, you know, like Citadel Hill would have a parking lot under it, go figure. So why could we not look at something like that for the HI site if a parking lot is required? I don't know if it is but ultimately at this point we're looking at the construction of a $17 million emergency room.

Mr. Speaker, the member for Halifax Clayton Park did bring up the issue of the utilization. Again, 70 per cent of people being seen at that hospital or that emergency room are there for non-emergency reasons. So the Halifax, HRM is abound with services whether that be walk-in clinics, whether that be other facilities, and I think what we need to do is make people aware of those other services. I was talking to someone the other day who said, well, I've got this, I need to go down to the emergency room, and I redirected them off to the walk-in clinic. So we need to have maybe more of a marketing program available to Nova Scotians, especially people in this area, to know what their options are. There are a tremendous amount of options here in HRM when it comes to health care and I think maybe we should do a little better job on that one and that will bring off, I believe, the wait and the amount of people being seen at the emergency room.

[Page 5457]

Mr. Speaker, the other thing the member for Halifax Clayton Park brought up as a part of it is the availability, you know, 24/7, and we've talked on a number of occasions about the addition of the teletriage line, the call-a-nurse line, that we've said that we will bring to this province. That will be a service that's available that when a parent, you know, like myself - and I know I've done it on occasion, I don't know if any of the other parents in this room have done it too - that in the middle of the night and there's a fever with your child and they're breathing kind of funny, what do you do? You opt to head off to the emergency room to see a doctor but, heck, why couldn't you call the 1-800-number or 811 number, or whatever the heck the number is going to be, and say, this is what we're seeing, so should I come in now, you know, or what is it?

I think, Mr. Speaker, in provinces where we've had this 1-800 call-a-nurse line, we've brought down the visits to the ER by a substantial amount. So there are some very, very good primary care pieces that we can put in place that will be available to all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, the added problem I think we're having at the emergency room here on the peninsula really has to do with flow at that hospital and the flow, when that hospital was constructed, it ended up being a replacement for the HI site, for the Halifax Infirmary. They didn't necessarily look at the slate of services that could be developed and amalgamated in one site and that's the challenge that we have today where we have two surgical programs on the peninsula and really we should only have one - where we have in-patient beds in different places around the province rather than just in one. So there wasn't, I don't think, a lot of thought that went into the construction of the HI site originally. That really needs to be looked at again.

By looking at those things again, we're going to realize that there are going to be some other space requirements, which is why it is so important to have the site or the lands that the Queen Elizabeth High School sits on. So I know the members opposite are speaking of other land swaps that are happening, but we are here simply talking about the land swap or the approval to convey that land to the province at that site.

Mr. Speaker, I thank the members opposite again for their interventions on this one and I look forward to this bill going through the legislative process of the Law Amendments Committee and maybe some further discussions can happen there. Oh, there was one other item that I wanted to talk about. I know the member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island brought up the issue of why did we start constructing the building before a building permit was issued. The member opposite should know that the province does not require building permits. We have our own engineers who sign off on the engineering for buildings. Even though we do work quite closely with the towns that we do work within, we have our own engineers who do that work. We make sure they're built to current codes and all that stuff.

So, Mr. Speaker, we did not require the Building Code as we went to build that hospital. We felt that it was important to get the construction going now and have that

[Page 5458]

building ready. Had we basically taken the NDP approach, the hospital would not be under construction still, there would be no development because, let's not forget that the NDP stands for - what is it? - no development please.

Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 204, an Act to Enable the Transfer of Lands Necessary for the Expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre.

[11:15 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 204. 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 Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 210.

Bill No. 210 - Education Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Acting Minister of Education.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's my privilege this morning to stand in support of Bill No. 210, which is an amendment to the Education Act that will prohibit school boards charging fees for lunch supervision. The legislation at the same time will address a number of housekeeping matters, which I will speak to after I talk about lunch supervision.

First, the charging of fees for lunch supervision, as members will know, is an issue that has been the centre of considerable public discussion for more than a year. Now, as the members would know, school boards have a responsibility to provide lunch supervision for students who are transported by bus. That supervision is free and the Department of Education provides funding for it.

The amendments to the Education Act are about extending the no-charge lunchtime supervision to those students who are not bused to school. Mr. Speaker, this amendment will ensure that all students, regardless of where they attend school in this province, or attend public school in this province, are able to eat their lunch at school without having to pay a fee.

In the Halifax Regional School Board, some families of walking students are paying $200 a year per student to enable their children to eat lunch at school. This fee has been in

[Page 5459]

place for almost eight years in the Halifax Regional School Board, and I can say, Mr. Speaker, it was a concern to families in 2000, when it was introduced, and it remains so today. The idea was that non-bused students live close enough to their homes to be able to walk home at lunch. If they chose to stay, then they would have to pay for their own supervision.

Mr. Speaker, there are some problems with this. For example, some students whose families choose not to pay the fee, either choose not to pay it or cannot afford to pay it, barely have time to walk home for lunch and back to school. These students are rushing home, eating quickly and then rushing back, which is probably not a good thing on many accounts. For other families, a parent just cannot be at home during lunch hour to prepare a meal or to supervise their child, and there is no alternative available. So these families pay a fee, in fact, more than 6,600 students in metro are paying a fee to the Excel program to stay in school over the noon hour, and hundreds more students are using other providers for supervision.

Now, it is the belief of government that hard-working parents should not have to spend hundreds of dollars extra simply so their child can stay at school during lunch break. The charging for lunch supervision, I believe, puts an unreasonable and sometimes unfair burden on these families, and the intent of this bill is to stop it.

Mr. Speaker, I do not believe that we want to continue a two-tiered system where some children pay for service that others get for free. We do not want this in our classrooms and we do not want it in the lunchroom.

Now the debate over lunch fees is not new to members of this House. We debated it in the Fall of 2007, when we passed Bill No. 51, which was introduced by the honourable member for Kings West. With that bill our intention was to end the practice of charging fees at lunch, effective in September 2008. We followed that bill with regulations to support a new Halifax Regional School Board lunch policy, which expanded no-cost supervision to more students in HRSB, notably those who could not make it home and back over the lunch hour and for those students who were given out-of-area approval for educational purposes.

However, Mr. Speaker, because of the operational challenges faced by the board, our regulations also extended the deadline for our universal, no-fee service to September 2009, to enable the Halifax Regional School Board additional time to prepare. It also became clear, after the House passed Bill No. 51, that the amendment needed to be more succinct to ensure that the service would be provided to the benefit of all students. The legislation before us today will ensure that all school boards across Nova Scotia provide their students with no-cost lunchtime supervision.

As I said at the beginning, Mr. Speaker, this bill is not just about lunch fees, it also addresses a number of important housekeeping matters. For example, it will remove all references to the now non-existent Southwest Regional School Board. It will also eliminate

[Page 5460]

the requirement for a Mi'kmaq Band Council to have a tuition agreement in place before having representation on a regional school board.

I might add, Mr. Speaker, just to remind people of the momentous occasion that occurred in the Red Room last Friday morning where an agreement was struck between the province and the MK, to see that some of the issues with tuition agreements will now disappear and there'll be basically a uniform tuition agreement across the province.

Additionally, this will mean that the province's largest regional school board, the Halifax Regional School Board, will now be able to have a Mi'kmaq voice at the table, representing the interests of First Nations students attending schools under its jurisdiction.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation will also clarify the minister's existing authority to approve any commercial activity undertaken by a school board. It will ensure that boards do not undertake any activities that are beyond its powers under the Education Act. Quite simply, government believes that school boards should only be involved in activities that are complementary to education.

Finally, we will be repealing an unproclaimed provision of the Act that will permit municipalities to continue to recover board election costs from school boards. With those comments, I look forward to hearing members on the opposite side of the House. I would move second reading of Bill No. 210. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I just want to rise briefly and stand in my place and comment with respect to Bill No. 210. My first comment is to say congratulations to the governing Party with respect to the agreement that was signed last week with the Mi'kmaq communities of this province, which I was privy to witness with the Mi'kmaq communities of this province. I think it was a piece of work that was in the works for a number of years and it was just great to finally see the fruit of one's labour. I'd like to move in more specifically with respect to the lunch fees and how this bill relates to the elimination of lunch fees throughout the Province of Nova Scotia.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the good people of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank because I believe it was actually Ash Lee Jefferson School in Fall River that first raised this issue when I first came into the House of Assembly. I think I would be somewhat remiss if I didn't bring to the attention of the House the important role that the then HRM councillor, Krista Snow, played. I'm sure the former Councillor Snow, the good residents of Fall River and the whole constituency are very pleased to see this bill at this stage.

It goes without saying - I almost don't want to acknowledge the quick reaction of the member for Kings West. It goes to show that when we first raised this issue in the House, I

[Page 5461]

will agree with the Acting Minister of Education that lunch fees did gather great attention right across the province, and it did go on for some time. I again acknowledge the member for Kings West, who put forward this bill, who was obviously listening and watching very closely.

Lunch fees, lunch fees, lunch time. Lunch time is a very important part of the school day. It's somewhat unfortunate that as we reach this point in time - I hope we can cease to debate the point on whether or not lunch time is part of the school day. I personally feel it's an important part of the school day. It's when we learn and develop - especially at a particularly young age - some of those human interaction skills that will best stand us in good stead for the future years.

It's at this time that some schools have intramural programs, which allow our children and our grandchildren to participate in athletic sports and other activities - it could be debating, chess team, a number of initiatives that go on at lunchtime and they wouldn't normally have the opportunity to hone their personal interaction skills. So any attempt by anyone to partition off any part of the school day as to what is the responsibility of the school and what's not, in my estimation, would be completely wrong and unfair to do.

The unfairness of the school lunch fees have been around, as the acting minister said, for several years. What history has indicated to me is that originally, when this was agreed upon for Ash Lee Jefferson, this was supposed to have been a temporary step. If my facts are correct, I think it was for one year - at the very most it was to be for two years - and at that time they were to be eliminated. As with a lot of things, it went on and on and on for years.

With the passing of this bill, one of the things the Nova Scotia Education Act proclaims is that public education in Nova Scotia is free. Well, what this bill does, it brings home that whole concept of what being free does mean. There is some history here with respect to lunch fees, certainly in the jurisdiction of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

When I mentioned about how we cannot get caught up in the debate of trying to partition off the school day - because I know that in some school boards, even with lunch times, we can't have it both ways, we can't be disciplining our students for events that happen off school property during lunchtime that could be maybe a kilometre or two kilometres away and at the same time saying that school lunchtime is not part of the school day. It seems rather contradictory when we try to address things from both those angles.

Times have changed. At one time - I think many, many years ago, certainly when I was going to school - walking to and from school if the time allotted was reasonable, it was certainly a lot safer. I think the passing of this bill will certainly ensure the safety of our children under the supervision of school. I think today there are just too many risks at hand for our children when it comes to walking distances from school and that applies more I think, particularly in suburban and rural Nova Scotia, I think it's more of an issue and more of a concern.

[Page 5462]

[11:30 a.m.]

I had mentioned about the partitioning off of the school day and I mentioned that for specific reasons because one of the things that I'm looking forward to is the Law Amendments Committee and members from the public coming forth and speaking with respect to Bill No. 210. I certainly hope that anyone who may be listening at home that we don't fall into that category of pitting rural students against suburban students and those in downtown Halifax because one of the things that I'm fearful of is that if we start to divide ourselves like that, and we all know how we can individually divide and collectively divide and conquer. So I'm really looking forward to public input with respect to Bill No. 210.

One of the fears I think that was put forward when this bill was first introduced was the fact that classrooms would suffer. I would like to think and I would certainly like the record to indicate that it would not be the intent of this bill to take away from anything that's existing or that betterment of those services and resources that we provide in our classroom. This bill, it's my fear that many individuals, especially in the public, may have the wrong interpretation with any costs that may be associated with this bill, that classroom contribution from resources is going to suffer, and I certainly would like to emphasize and get the assurances of the government that that will not happen.

One of the things, when parents first approached me two years ago about the lunch fees that they were paying - and one of the things that I just briefly touched upon was the risk that their children are placed at, but I also would like to mention another factor. In Nova Scotia, because of differences and because we are at all different levels of income, different status of jobs, different levels of either one or two family incomes coming into the family household, $200 to a maximum of $400 per year may seem like an insignificant number to many residents of the Province of Nova Scotia. But I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, that I've had people who have approached me, not only from Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank but from around the . . . (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank has the floor.

MR. PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I've had constituents from all over the province e-mail me, telephone me, with respect to, just simply saying that, Mr. Paris, we can't afford the $200 and in many cases it was $400 because it involved two or more children. They were talking about, what were they going to do and what was the recourse of the Province of Nova Scotia and one of them was somewhat afraid they would start getting collection agencies on their case and therefore damage their reputation when it came to borrowing money; there was also that risk factor.

I can tell you, I know parents that actually got letters from schools advising them pay up or else and that or else would mean that they could face the possibility of a collection

[Page 5463]

agency getting in touch with them shortly. It caused a great deal of stress in many people's lives.

I think one of the greatest fears as this bill does move forward on to the Law Amendments Committee is the one I mentioned and that's the fear now that many parents will be thinking how this is going to impact the resources that are in the classroom today. I think as legislators, our role is not to take away from the classroom but to add value to the classroom. I would like to think that any financial costs that are going to erupt from this piece of legislation will be and will be able to be absorbed by all the school boards. I think probably for the majority of school boards - since the majority of school boards were already in line in doing it, it's not an issue. But for one school board, particularly, it would be somewhat problematic. I hope that does work itself out and I have all the confidence, not only in the legislators in this House, but also the members of the respective boards right across the province that this issue will not be a major concern of residents.

It gives me great pleasure to stand here today because I think when we talk about lunch fees, again, I have to emphasize the role that the good residents of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank played in this piece of legislation. With that, I look forward to Bill No. 210 moving on to the Law Amendments Committee and I look forward to hearing the input from residents right across the province. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to rise on Bill No. 210 which is a little bit of a change from Bill No. 51, which I introduced in the House last year. I do want to thank the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank for being one of a number of people who definitely brought this matter to the attention of the House.

I had started to get some e-mails about this particular issue but there were some schools in particular where parents were truly under the gun and under pressure around paying for the Excel program, but also the distance of going home and the short noon hour provided a complication as well for their child to get safely home, have lunch and back to school in plenty of time. I also want to thank the Minister of Education who is not present today for a

SOME HON. MEMBERS: You're not allowed to say that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member realizes . . .

MR. GLAVINE: Yes, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Yes, and I said that in a complimentary fashion only, of course, knowing her situation.

Anyway, that being said, the Minister of Education did respond and say, why should this inequity exist? We have seven boards across Nova Scotia that have found ways for

[Page 5464]

adequate lunch supervision, some having large urban areas, none of course comparable to the HRSB and the large communities of Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, where the arrangement was somewhat different. In fact, when I first became the Education Critic, I was surprised to discover that some combination of teachers and teacher assistants didn't cover lunch supervision, even though it's not a requirement of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

In fact the union over the years worked to have a noon hour, an adequate break time for teachers, that would better support their teaching time. However, I think members who are in the teaching profession - the member for Pictou Centre, the member for Truro-Bible Hill, the member for Timberlea-Prospect - all teachers in fact were probably a little bit of the old school, like myself, and saw noontime supervision and time with students as actually a critical part of the school day. Leaving, as a teacher, to leave the school and students are kind of on their own and hopefully there's enough supervision was a pretty foreign thought for many teachers. In fact, as the member opposite has pointed out, noon hour is, in fact, a very vibrant part of the school day in the vast, vast majority of schools in Nova Scotia.

The amount of activities, the nature of the activities that extend the curriculum constantly are, in fact, a significant part of a child's school day. At the elementary level, the time for play, the time for interaction, the time for socialization and the beginnings of friendships. Then, as they move up through the grades, these are times of important sports and activities, clubs and organizations and many teachers have used that time over the years for doing extra teaching, extra time one-on-one with students. Teachers, for example, who will do some counselling during that time and again, we have a number of teachers here, one further who just entered the Chamber, a teacher formerly at Hants East.

We all know that the noon hour is an important part of the school day. Yes, some children, who have the time and distance, go home for lunch and a parent or a grandparent or guardian is there to provide lunch for them and they can be back to school in plenty of time, that is another option and it will remain an option. There's no question, that will remain one of the options for some families, not just in HRSB but in other urban areas and even in rural areas, where home is situated very close to school.

So there was an Excel Program. This did provide, for nearly 7,000 students, good supervision. The program had good people associated with it, the cost ranging from $200 to $400, again doesn't seem to be that extravagant and many parents adequately handled the fee. However, for some families, the $400 was, indeed, a burden and in some cases not paid. In some cases teachers and staff helped students with getting the adequate monies for supervision when extra pressure was put on a child to pay the fee. However, there were three or four calls that I took directly that perhaps propelled me more than any other to say the Education Act can use an amendment here and that universal access, that's what public education is all about. That's what we've stood for in this province, that each child has an equal opportunity at one of the services provided by public education. But there were three or four people who called me, who had lived in an outlying area of HRM, and their children went by bus to school, so, therefore, supervision was looked after.

[Page 5465]

[11:45 a.m.]

In the three or four cases, they were single parents. They had an opportunity for a job and so they moved closer to the job as they didn't have their own transportation. Then they discovered, when they moved their child to a new school, they discovered that the child had to come home for lunch. They were now within the distance that they could not stay at school and be supervised, and it compromised their ability to hold onto a job. I mean that hit me pretty hard when I thought that either a parent had to give up the job or try to find somebody to supervise their child for an hour, again taking monies from them that they needed for their family welfare. So those were the two striking cases but the universality of public education should mean exactly that, and a number of hardships here in the HRSB school system as a result of paying for supervision.

So as this bill moves through the legislative process, I look forward to hearing from HRM parents because one of the real concerns that has been raised is whether or not the largest school board - that takes in 40 per cent of the school population of Nova Scotia- whether or not they will have adequate funding within their current annual allotment to cover supervision There was certainly never any intent here to have this provided through supplementary funding, or through any kind of extrapolating funds from the classroom and from the delivery of the PSP. So, it may be an area that will have to be reviewed, one that may in fact require government - the Department of Education - to adequately provide for the cost of supervision.

I think many of the growing pains this Fall that we've gone through - there were a few schools that did run into some difficulties this year around having enough people to come in and do the supervision. It's not an excessive problem, but there are some isolated situations. So now it comes down to whether or not we actually have the funding that will allow for this program to go forward on a full basis because government has said that they will not provide new money for this program. To say that the other boards have handled this well is indeed true, but we've had that history and tradition in the boards that take in mostly rural communities of Nova Scotia, that we have always made the allotment for it. But when we look at the size of the HRSB, the school population, then there may be some exception that will have to be accounted for.

One of the changes in the bill I felt came about because - again, another problem that we hope to get settled this session and that is a bill around governance. I know I can't speak to that today, but we all know that Bill No. 51 didn't quite go where it wanted to go, the old bill, Bill No. 51, it didn't go quite where it wanted to go because the spirit of the bill was not honoured by the one-man school board, the appointed school board, with Howard Windsor, who found a loophole, who found a way of getting around and had the harshness to say that we'll just cancel the Excel program, we'll just cancel any kind of supervision except for bus students, which was a requirement.

[Page 5466]

It was unfortunate that the intent of the bill, the spirit of Bill No. 51 was not honoured, but I'm pleased to support Bill No. 210 and our caucus will support it. I look forward to hearing from the public when it goes to the Law Amendments Committee (Interruption). With that I will adjourn debate. Yes, I will take my place then and let the acting minister close debate.

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

The honourable Acting Minister of Education.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleagues on the opposite side of the House for their comments on Bill No. 210, the Education Act. Mr. Speaker, I would ask you to call the question.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 210. 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 Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, that concludes the government's business for this day. I move that the House do now rise and meet again on Monday from the hour of 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Following the daily routine, Government Business will include consideration of Bill Nos. 211, 212, 215, 217 and 220.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that we now adjourn and meet again on Monday from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

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 are adjourned

[The House rose at 11:52 a.m.]

[Page 5467]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 5307

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

Whereas Pat Blenkhorn has demonstrated leadership and passion to make a difference in the lives of children through this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions Pat Blenkhorn has made to her community and thank her for the many years of dedication she has made to Feed My Lambs.

RESOLUTION NO. 5308

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

Whereas Pat Lithgow has demonstrated leadership and passion to make a difference in the lives of children through this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

[Page 5468]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions Pat Lithgow has made to her community and thank her for the many years of dedication she has made to Feed My Lambs.

RESOLUTION NO. 5309

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

Whereas Greg Hubbard has demonstrated leadership and passion to make a difference in the lives of children through this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions Greg Hubbard has made to his community and thank him for the many years of dedication he has made to Feed My Lambs.

RESOLUTION NO. 5310

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

[Page 5469]

Whereas John Rainforth has demonstrated leadership and passion to make a difference in the lives of children through this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions John Rainforth has made to his community and thank him for the many years of dedication he has made to Feed My Lambs.

RESOLUTION NO. 5311

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

Whereas Rodina Braden has demonstrated leadership and passion to make a difference in the lives of children through this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions Rodina Braden has made to her community and thank her for the many years of dedication she has made to Feed My Lambs.

RESOLUTION NO. 5312

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas Feed My Lambs has been a successful fundraiser to aid the Kings County School Nutrition Program as well as provide a summer camp experience to disadvantaged youth; and

[Page 5470]

Whereas through the sale of collectible pewter Christmas ornaments designed by Twila Robar-DeCoste, Feed My Lambs has had 10 successful years of helping children in Kings County by raising over $150,000; and

Whereas Marge Anderson has demonstrated leadership and passion to make a difference in the lives of children through this outstanding poverty reduction initiative by the Feed My Lambs action and advocacy team;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize the contributions Marge Anderson has made to her community and thank her for the many years of dedication she has made to Feed My Lambs.

RESOLUTION NO. 5313

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas Jed Ritcey is a 2008 inductee into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Jed Ritcey coached minor football, baseball and hockey and also coached the Truro Junior Bearcats from 1977-80, but is best known as a hockey administrator who in 1996 was named Volunteer of the Year by Hockey Canada; and

Whereas Jed Ritcey has served as president of Hockey Nova Scotia, vice-chair of Hockey Canada, a member of the 2003 Wold Junior Executive Committee, chair of Accreditation for both the women's and men's World Hockey Championships, is currently a vice-president of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jed Ritcey on his induction into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame, thank him for his exemplary contribution to hockey locally, provincially and nationally and wish him and his wife, Betty, continued health and happiness.

RESOLUTION NO. 5314

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

[Page 5471]

Whereas Jans (Wilson) Henderson is a 2008 inductee into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Jans (Wilson) Henderson starred in basketball, track and field, ice hockey, field hockey, skiing and tennis; also taught and provided provincial leadership in tennis; and

Whereas Jans (Wilson) Henderson and her partner, Carolyn (Flemming) MacDonald won the Nova Scotia Junior Ladies Double Tennis Championship in 1949, 1950, 1951 and in 1952 she won the Maritime Intercollegiate singles title in badminton;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jans (Wilson) Henderson on her induction into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame, thank her for giving back to the sport she loves and wish her well in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 5315

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas Gerry Hale is a 2008 inductee into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Gerry Hale starred in rugby, football and softball but is best known as a builder coach and administrator in minor football and baseball; and

Whereas Gerry Hale, a member of the Pictou County Hall of Fame, who has been a Truro Sport Heritage Society Coach of the Year and a Merit Award winner, has been a director and media coordinator with the Truro Junior A Bearcats for the past 12 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Gerry Hale on his induction into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame, thank him for his outstanding contribution to minor sports and wish him and Vonnie, his wife, continued health and happiness.

RESOLUTION NO. 5316

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

[Page 5472]

Whereas Joyce Halverson is a 2008 inductee into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Joyce Halverson was an all round athlete who excelled in soccer, badminton, volleyball, basketball, softball, track and golf and competed nationally twice as a member of the provincial broomball team; and

Whereas Joyce Halverson is one of the top female golfers in Nova Scotia with four club and numerous field day championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Joyce Halverson on her induction into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame and wish her continued success in her athletic pursuits.

RESOLUTION NO. 5317

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

Whereas Dave Wilson is a 2008 inductee into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Dave Wilson, in his youth, was a multi-sport athlete excelling in hockey, rugby, track, basketball, swimming and sailing; and

Whereas Dave Wilson is best known as one of the founding fathers in the evolution of skiing in Atlantic Canada as a skier, as a builder, as the owner-operator of Ski Wentworth and Crabbe Mountain, as one who helped start the first Canadian ski patrol in Atlantic Canada, and as a partner in establishing the first Nova Scotia Canadian ski instructor course;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dave Wilson on his induction into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame, thank him particularly for his many contributions to the sport of skiing, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 5318

By: Hon. James Muir (Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations)

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

[Page 5473]

Whereas the late Clobie Collins, a Truro native, is a 2008 inductee into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame; and

Whereas Clobie Collins played senior hockey for three years with the Truro Bearcats in the APC league before joining the Quebec Junior Citadels; and

Whereas Clobie Collins played senior hockey in Newfoundland and led the Grand Falls Andcos to five successive provincial championships and then helped Corner Brook to three championships in a five-year span;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the family of the late Clobie Collins on his induction into the Colchester County Sport Hall of Fame and recognize the outstanding contributions this outstanding African Nova Scotian athlete made to reducing racial barriers, both in hockey and in society.

RESOLUTION NO. 5319

By: Mr. Patrick Dunn (Pictou Centre)

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

Whereas Pictou County has recently formed its first support group for newcomers to the area; and

Whereas the Multicultural Association of Pictou County was formed just over two months ago and aims to provide new residents with one central location to help them settle into their new home, or indeed, new country; and

Whereas group board members Brenda Guest, of Alabama, and Javad Dedekhani, originally of Azerbijan, recognize the importance of attracting immigrants to the area in an effort to stimulate growth and the group has five committees thus far addressing facility search, social activities, education, communications and a welcoming committee;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations and best of luck for the future to the brand new Multicultural Association of Pictou County and support all of the important work that it can and will do.

RESOLUTION NO. 5320

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 5474]

Whereas small businesses strengthen rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like the Bear Den offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of the Bear Den and wish them continued success.

[Page 5475]

RESOLUTION NO. 5321

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like A & L Concrete Forming Limited offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of A & L Concrete Forming Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5322

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like A1 Lakeview B & B offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of A1 Lakeview B & B and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5323

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Abbecombec Ocean Village offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 5476]

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Abbecombec Ocean Village and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5324

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Aqua-Advantage Water Treatment Limited offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Aqua-Advantage Water Treatment Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5325

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Ascon Paving Contractors Limited offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Ascon Paving Contractors Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5326

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

[Page 5477]

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

Whereas small businesses strengthen rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Atlantic Plumbing and Heating Inc. offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Atlantic Plumbing and Heating Inc. and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5327

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Atlantic Chimney Services offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Atlantic Chimney Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5328

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Auto Wheels in Motion offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

[Page 5478]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Auto Wheels in Motion and wish them continued success.

[Page 5479]

RESOLUTION NO. 5329

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Big Fries & Fish & Chips offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Big Fries & Fish & Chips and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5330

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Canadian Ground Water Association offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Canadian Ground Water Association and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5331

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Day's Groceries offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 5480]

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Day's Groceries and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5332

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Demand Logistics offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Demand Logistics and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5333

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Digihome Structure Wiring Systems offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Digihome Structure Wiring Systems and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5334

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 5481]

Whereas small businesses strengthen rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like East Coast Antiques offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of East Coast Antiques and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5335

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Eastgate Information Sourcing offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Eastgate Information Sourcing and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5336

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Elite Cleaning Services offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Elite Cleaning Services and wish them continued success.

[Page 5482]

RESOLUTION NO. 5337

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Entrepreneur Source offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Entrepreneur Source and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5338

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Fitzmorris Maintenance Services offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Fitzmorris Maintenance Services and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5339

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Fieldco Services Inc. offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

[Page 5483]

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Fieldco Services Inc. and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5340

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Frank's Lawncare offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Frank's Lawncare and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5341

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Franken N A Equipment Limited offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Franken N A Equipment Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5342

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 5484]

Whereas small businesses strengthen rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like the Gadus Associates offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Gadus Associates and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5343

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Gaetz DF Lumber Limited offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Gaetz DF Lumber Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5344

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Gazoo's Takeout offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Gazoo's Takeout and wish them continued success.

[Page 5485]

RESOLUTION NO. 5345

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like GT Fire Protection Engineering offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of GT Fire Protection Engineering and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5346

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Hunt Brothers Painting Plus offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Hunt Brothers Painting Plus and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5347

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 rural communities; and

[Page 5486]

Whereas businesses like H & H Floor Finishers offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of H & H Floor Finishers and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5348

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like Interface Training & Development offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Interface Training & Development and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5349

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 rural communities; and

Whereas businesses like IAD International Limited offer service to the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas with rural businesses like these our communities will continue to grow;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of IAD International Limited and wish them continued success.