The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 08-50

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

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2008

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Mun. Gov't. Act: Transit Facilities (Dart.) - Amend, Mr. K. Colwell 5569
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. No. 5419, Com. Serv. - Bridge Workshop: Determination - Recognize,
Hon. J. Streatch 5570
Vote - Affirmative 5571
Res. No. 5420, Nat. Res. - Lake Echo Fire: Pilots/Engineers - Thank,
Hon. D. Morse 5571
Vote - Affirmative 5572
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. No. 5421, Donner Award Finalists - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 5572
Vote - Affirmative 5572
Res. 5422, MacPherson, Gordon: Retirement - Well Wishes,
Mr. S. McNeil 5573
Vote - Affirmative 5573
Res. 5423, LWD: Job Numbers - Growth, Mr. P. Dunn 5573
Vote - Affirmative 5574
Res. 5424, Wilcox, Joe (Deceased): Fundraising Efforts - Congrats.,
Mr. F. Corbett 5574
Vote - Affirmative 5575
Res. 5425, Grant, Lloyd & Robert: Bus. Serv. - Commend,
Mr. K. Bain 5575
Vote - Affirmative 5576
Res. 5426, Oakley, Borden - Enfield & Dist. Vol. FD Serv. (50 Yrs.),
Mr. J. MacDonell 5576
Vote - Affirmative 5576
Res. 5427, Lake Echo Fellowship Baptist Church - Anniv. (20th),
Mr. K. Colwell 5576
Vote - Affirmative 5577
Res. 5428, Dragon Boat Fest.: Organizers/Participants - Congrats.,
Mr. P. Dunn 5577
Vote - Affirmative 5578
Res. 5429, W. Pictou Cons. Sch.: Thespian Initiatives - Commend,
Mr. C. Parker 5578
Vote - Affirmative 5579
Res. 5430, Belliveau Motors: Fundraising - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 5579
Vote - Affirmative 5579
Res. 5431, Com. Serv. - Bridge Workshop: Facility - Opening,
Mr. E. Fage 5580
Vote - Affirmative 5580
Res. 5432, Lowe, Gwen & Lloyd - RCL Br. 038: Vol. Work - Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5581
Vote - Affirmative 5581
Res. 5433, Prem.: Prime Min.'s Fiscal Plan - Oppose,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 5582
Res. 5434, MacKenzie, Mabel - Birthday (90th),
Mr. K. Bain 5582
Vote - Affirmative 5583
Res. 5435, Pictou Landing First Nation, et al: Mi'kmaq Language/Culture -
Preservation, Mr. C. MacKinnon 5583
Vote - Affirmative 5584
Res. 5436, Prem. - Economic Advice: Prem. - Campbell Enlist,
Mr. L. Glavine 5584
Res. 5437, Gnemmi, Elizabeth - Academic Success,
Mr. C. Porter 5585
Vote - Affirmative 5585
Res. 5438, Jones, Nicole & Natalie: Int'l. Dory Races - Win Congrats.,
Mr. S. Belliveau 5585
Vote - Affirmative 5586
Res. 5439, Gas Regulation: Liberal Plan - Support,
Mr. K. Colwell 5586
Res. 5440, Citadel Phoenix Football Team - NSSAF Championship,
Hon. L. Goucher 5587
Vote - Affirmative 5587
Res. 5441, Holley, Chief Bill/Eureka FD - Anniv. (63rd),
Mr. C. MacKinnon 5587
Vote - Affirmative 5588
Res. 5442, Lobster Fishermen: Gov't. (N.S.) - Plan Develop,
Mr. H. Theriault 5588
Res. 5443, Hatheway, Dr. Ron: Heartland Bike Tour - Participation,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5589
Vote - Affirmative 5589
Res. 5444, McInroy, Harry: HRM - Retirement,
Ms. B. Kent 5590
Vote - Affirmative 5590
Res. 5445, Meteghan Pharmasave - Angel Stitches: Fundraising - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 5590
Vote - Affirmative 5591
Res. 5446, Sheffield Mills Veterans Mem.: Commun. - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Parent 5591
Vote - Affirmative 5592
Res. 5447, Prem.: Prime Min.'s Deficit Plan - Oppose,
Mr. L. Glavine 5592
Res. 5448, Blomidon Inn: Victorian Garden - Opening,
Hon. D. Morse 5593
Vote - Affirmative 5593
Res. 5449, Janes, Bob/Windjammer Windows - Amherst & Area CC Award,
Mr. E. Fage 5593
Vote - Affirmative 5594
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 224, Emergency Room Closure Prevention Act,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5594
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 478, Justice: Burnside Correctional Ctr. - Problems,
Mr. D. Dexter 5595
No. 479, Prem.: Deficit Position - Status,
Mr. S. McNeil 5596
No. 480, Health: ER Closures - Cessation,
Mr. D. Dexter 5598
No. 481, Health: Roseway Hosp. ER: Closure - Effects,
Mr. D. Dexter 5599
No. 482, Health: ER Closures - Wait Times Reduction Fund,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5601
No. 483, Health: Wait Time Strategy - Success Measurement,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 5602
No. 484, Health: IWK - Funding,
Ms. J. Massey 5604
No. 485, Fin.: Tobacco Companies' Penalties - Settlement,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5605
No. 486, Advisory Coun. on Innovation - Recommendations,
Mr. C. MacKinnon 5606
No. 487, TIR: Bridges/Overpasses - Inspection Sched.,
Mr. W. Gaudet 5608
No. 488, Educ.: Tri-Co. Reg. Sch. Bd. - Funding,
Mr. S. Belliveau 5609
No. 489, Serv. N.S. & Mun. Rel.: Mobile Home Park Advisory Comm. -
Recommendations, Mr. P. Paris 5611
No. 490, TIR - Hwy. No. 101 (Berwick): Passing Lanes - Update,
Mr. W. Gaudet 5612
No. 491, Agric.: Agric. Sector - Action, Mr. J. MacDonell 5613
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 199, Enforcement of Court Orders Act, Hon. C. Clarke 5615
Hon. C. Clarke 5615
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5615
Mr. M. Samson 5616
Hon. C. Clarke 5618
Vote - Affirmative 5618
No. 220, Judicature Act, Hon. C. Clark 5618
Hon. C. Clarke 5619
Mr. G. Steele 5620
Mr. M. Samson 5622
Hon. C. Clarke 5624
Vote - Affirmative 5625
No. 212, Homeowner Protection Act, Hon. J. Muir 5625
Hon. J. Muir 5625
Ms. B. Kent 5632
Ms. D. Whalen 5634
Mr. L. Preyra 5646
Mr. K. Colwell 5649
Hon. L. Goucher 5652
Mr. J. MacDonell 5655
Mr. L. Glavine 5658
Hon. J. Muir 5659
Vote - Affirmative 5660
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 213, East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act, Mr. J. MacDonell 5660
Mr. J. MacDonell 5660
Hon. J. Muir 5661
Hon. L. Goucher 5661
Hon. B. Barnet 5662
Mr. J. MacDonell 5665
Vote - Affirmative 5665
No. 216, Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act, Hon. M. Parent 5666
Hon. M. Parent 5666
Vote - Affirmative 5668
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 189, Miners' Memorial Day Act, Hon. M. Scott 5668
Hon. M. Scott 5668
Mr. F. Corbett 5672
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5675
Mr. C. MacKinnon 5677
Hon. C. Clarke 5680
Mr. C. Parker 5682
The Premier 5684
Mr. P. Dunn 5685
Hon. M. Scott 5685
Vote - Affirmative 5688
No. 207, Silver Dart 100th Anniversary Act, Mr. K. Bain 5689
Mr. K. Bain 5689
Mr. G. Gosse 5690
Mr. L. Glavine 5690
Hon. L. Goucher 5692
Hon. B. Taylor 5692
Mr. K. Bain 5693
Vote - Affirmative 5694
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 193, Municipal Grants Act, Hon. J. Muir 5694
Hon. J. Muir 5694
Vote - Affirmative 5695
No. 195, Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act, Hon. J. Muir 5695
Hon. J. Muir 5695
Vote - Affirmative 5696
No. 191, Motor Vehicle Act, Hon. M. Scott 5696
Hon. M. Scott 5696
Ms. V. Conrad 5698
Mr. M. Samson 5698
Hon. M. Scott 5700
Vote - Affirmative 5701
No. 208, Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act, Hon. J. Muir 5701
Hon. J. Muir 5701
Vote - Affirmative 5702
No. 196, Beneficiaries Designation Act, Hon. C. Clarke 5702
Hon. C. Clarke 5702
Mr. M. Samson 5703
Hon. C. Clarke 5704
Vote - Affirmative 5704
No. 200, Human Rights Act, Hon. C. Clarke 5705
Hon. C. Clarke 5705
Mr. M. Samson 5705
Hon. C. Clarke 5706
Vote - Affirmative 5706
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 154, Education Act, Mr. L. Glavine 5707
Mr. L. Glavine 5707
Hon. K. Casey 5709
Mr. P. Paris 5710
Mr. L. Glavine 5711
Vote - Affirmative 5711
No. 93, Motor Vehicle Act, Mr. D. Dexter 5711
Mr. D. Dexter 5711
Hon. M. Scott 5712
Mr. D. Dexter 5713
Vote - Affirmative 5713
No. 26, Environment Act, Mr. K. Colwell 5713
Mr. K. Colwell 5713
Hon. M. Parent 5714
Mr. K. Colwell 5714
Vote - Affirmative 5714
No. 118, Residential Tenancies Act, Mr. P. Paris 5714
Mr. P. Paris 5715
Hon. J. Muir 5716
Mr. P. Paris 5716
Vote - Affirmative 5716
No. 158, Gaming Control Act, Mr. L. Glavine 5716
Mr. L. Glavine 5716
Hon. M. Parent 5717
Mr. L. Glavine 5717
Vote - Affirmative 5717
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Air Can. Flight Serv. Base (Hfx.): Importance - Recognize,
Ms. D. Whalen 5718
Hon. J. Muir 5721
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 5723
PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 78, Assessment Act, Mr. K. Colwell 5725
Mr. K. Colwell 5725
Hon. J. Muir 5726
Mr. W. Estabrooks 5727
Mr. K. Colwell 5728
Vote - Affirmative 5728
HOUSE RECESSED AT 6:43 p.m. 5729
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:11 p.m. 5729
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. C. Clarke 5729
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. C. Clarke 5730
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 7:13 P.M. 5731
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:16 P.M. 5731
CWH REPORTS 5731
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 190, Co-operative Associations Act, Hon. J. Muir 5731
Vote - Affirmative 5732
No. 203, Hospitals Act, Hon. C. d'Entremont 5732
Vote - Affirmative 5732
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., Nov. 19th at 2:00 p.m. 5733^^
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 5450, Acker, Sonya - Bowling Medals,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5734
Res. 5451, Quigley, Mathew - Hockey Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5734
Res. 5452, Lunn, Morgan - Hockey Medal,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5735
Res. 5453, Lun. Co. Beta Sigma Phi Xi Sigma Chapter -
Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5735
Res. 5454, Corkum, Linda/Zinck, Sherri/Bonin, Melissa -
Joints in Motion Marathon, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5736
Res. 5455, Crouse, Josh - Volleyball Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5736
Res. 5456, Frier, Moira - Hockey Achievements,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5737
Res. 5457, Woodworth, Shawn - Baseball Award,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5737
Res. 5458, Brisson, Maureen SuperWalk for Parkinson's,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5738
Res. 5459, Theriault, Bernice/Hirtle, Susan - Support Our Troops Proj.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5738
Res. 5460, Evan, Heather: Volunteering - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5739
Res. 5461, McDonald, Kelly: Thailand - Volunteer Prog.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5739
Res. 5462, McLain, Naomi: Volunteering - Thank,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 5740
Res. 5463, Mouzer, Hazel: Vol. Serv. - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5740
Res. 5464, Reynolds, Janice & Mark: Queens Commun. - Support Congrats.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5741
Res. 5465, Reeves-Horton, Tim - Atl. Writing Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5741
Res. 5466, Dexter, Delphine - Golf Trophy,
Ms. V. Conrad 5742
Res. 5467, Nickerson, Cheryl - Golf Awards,
Ms. V. Conrad 5742
Res. 5468, Hemeon, Betty Lou - Golf Trophy,
Ms. V. Conrad 5742
Res. 5469, Smith, Rosalee - Golf Trophy,
Ms. V. Conrad 5743
Res. 5470, Doucet, Paula - Golf Trophy,
Ms. V. Conrad 5743
Res. 5471, Arthur, Marsha - Golf Trophies,
Ms. V. Conrad 5743
Res. 5472, Dexter, Judy - Golf Trophy,
Ms. V. Conrad 5744
Res. 5473, Tomlin, Tea: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5744
Res. 5474, Cutler, Mel: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5745
Res. 5475, Callahan, Charlotte: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5745
Res. 5476, Tomin, Bob: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5746
Res. 5477, Ross, Robert: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5746
Res. 5478, Cutter, Jacki: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5747
Res. 5479, Ediger, Mary: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5747
Res. 5480, Callahan, Howard: Beach Cleanup - Thank,
Ms. V. Conrad 5748
Res. 5481, Whynot, Nicholas - Special Olympics Softball Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5748
Res. 5482, Belong, Jamie - Floor Hockey Special Olympics Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5749
Res. 5483, Wamboldt, Freeman - Special Olympics Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5749
Res. 5484, McGinnis, Crystal - Special Olympics Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5750
Res. 5485, Shankel, Alex - Special Olympics Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5750
Res. 5486, Dexter, Adam - Special Olympics Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5751
Res. 5487, Harding Wesley - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5751
Res. 5488, Weir, Wendell - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5752
Res. 5489, Whalen, Ty - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5752
Res. 5490, Harding, Sam - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5753
Res. 5491, Crabbe, Mike - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5753
Res. 5492, Whynot, Lucas - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5754
Res. 5493, Harvey, Lucas - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5754
Res. 5494, Orme, Joel - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5755
Res. 5495, Weagle, Candace - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5755
Res. 5496, Whalen, Coach Barry - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5756
Res. 5497, Everette, Adrian - Baseball Silver Medal,
Ms. V. Conrad 5756
Res. 5498, Thompson, Bronwyn - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5757
Res. 5499, Wamboldt, Zack - Soccer Award,
Ms. V. Conrad 5757
Res. 5500, Joudrey, Shakira - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5758
Res. 5501, MacNeil-Dixon, Rachel - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5758
Res. 5502, Townsend, Nick - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5759
Res. 5503, Acocella, Nick - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5759
Res. 5504, Doucette, Megan - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5760
Res. 5505, Muise, Matt - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5760
Res. 5506, Comeau, Logan - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5761
Res. 5507, LaRocque, Jessica - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5761
Res. 5508, Howard, Jessica - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5762
Res. 5509, Wilcox, James - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5762
Res. 5510, Chandler, Jacob - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5763
Res. 5511, Knapp, Jaclyn - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5763
Res. 5512, Zwicker, Hayley - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5764
Res. 5513, Muise, Graham - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5764
Res. 5514, Younkers, George - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5765
Res. 5515, Theriau, Felicia - Swimming Comp.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5765
Res. 5516, Simpson, Flt. Sgt. Chase - Pilot Scholarship Prog.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5766
Res. 5517, Samson, Sgt. Ben - Pilot Scholarship Prog.,
Ms. V. Conrad 5766
Res. 5518, Selig, Bailey: Skate N.S. Dev. Team - Selection,
Ms. V. Conrad 5767
Res. 5519, Porter, Emily & Jayma: Angel Hair for Kids - Donation,
Mr. C. Porter 5767
Res. 5520, Celebration of Hockey Prog.: Scotiabank Staff - Warm Wishes,
Mr. C. Porter 5768
Res. 5521, Pumpkin Regatta Food Drive: Participants - Applaud,
Mr. C. Porter 5768
Res. 5522, Windsor Hockey Heritage Ctr.: Prom. Efforts - Applaud,
Mr. C. Porter 5769
Res. 5523, Cdn. Liver Fdn.: Contributions - Recognize,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 5769
Res. 5524, Simons, Tina & Justin - Hallowe'en Fundraising,
Hon. M. Scott 5770
Res. 5525, Banks, Cst. Dale: RCMP - Long-Serv. Award (30 Yrs.),
Hon. M. Scott 5770
Res. 5526, Lattie, Bo: CFB Greenwood Camp - Staff Cadet,
Hon. M. Scott 5771
Res. 5527, Milligan, Joni: Debert Camp - Staff Cadet,
Hon. M. Scott 5771
Res. 5528, Patriquin, Ann - Advanced Can. Paint Expert Title,
Hon. M. Scott 5772
Res. 5529, Ryan, Cpl. Joe: RCMP - Long-Serv. Award (25 Yrs.),
Hon. M. Scott 5772
Res. 5530, Thompson, Dawn: Oxford Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5773
Res. 5531, Dill, Mayor Allan: Springhill - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5773
Res. 5532, Adshade, Wade: Oxford Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5774
Res. 5533, Dobson, Doug: Springhill Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5774
Res. 5534, Fisher, Cathy: Springhill Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5775
Res. 5535, Harrison, David: Parrsboro Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5775
Res. 5536, Howe, David: Parrsboro Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5776
Res. 5537, Jenkins, Mayor Lloyd: Oxford - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5776
Res. 5538, Jones, Paul: Oxford Town Council - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5777
Res. 5539, MacDonald, Jack: Springhill Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5777
Res. 5540, McNally, Arnold: Oxford Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5778
Res. 5541, Reid, Dawn: Parrsboro Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5778
Res. 5542, Robinson, Mayor Doug: Parrsboro - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5779
Res. 5543, Rushton, Norman: Springhill Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5779
Res. 5544, Smith, Lois: Parrsboro Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5780
Res. 5545, Stewart, Trish: Oxford Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5780
Res. 5546, Swan, Peter: Oxford Town Coun. - Election,
Hon. M. Scott 5781
Res. 5547, General Dynamics Can. - Anniv. (60th),
Ms. B. Kent 5781
Res. 5548, Barkhouse, Jackie: HRM Coun. - Election,
Ms. B. Kent 5782
Res. 5549, Nicoll, Lorelei: HRM Coun. - Election,
Ms. B. Kent 5782
Res. 5550, Warren, Elsie: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5783
Res. 5551, McKinnon, Myrna: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5783
Res. 5552, MacIntyre, Kathleen: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5784
Res. 5553, White, Dorothy: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5784
Res. 5554, Miller, Judy: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5785
Res. 5555, Baines, Sheila: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5785
Res. 5556, MacLeod, Cynthia: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5786
Res. 5557, Morash, Barbara: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5786
Res. 5558, Mills, Joyce: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5787
Res. 5559, Thibeault, Evelyn: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5787
Res. 5560, Thompson, Christine: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5788
Res. 5561, Thompson, Robert J.: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5788
Res. 5562, Van Den Heuvel, Coleen: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5789
Res. 5563, Knudsen, John: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5789
Res. 5564, Knudson, Thelma: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5790
Res. 5565, McDow, Marilyn: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5790
Res. 5566, White, Dianna: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5791
Res. 5567, Riles, Ken: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5791
Res. 5568, Larkin, Steve: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5792
Res. 5569, Arsenault, Ruby: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5792
Res. 5570, Crosby, Florence: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5793
Res. 5571, MacDonald, Nancy Lynn: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5793
Res. 5572, Morash, Carol: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5794
Res. 5573, Johnston, Elsie: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5794
Res. 5574, Eddy Jeanette: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5795
Res. 5575, Warren, Elsie: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5795
Res. 5576, Sullivan, Helena: RCMP Seniors Acad. - Congrats.,
Ms. B. Kent 5796
Res. 5577, Scruff to Fluff Certified Dog Grooming: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5796
Res. 5578, Serenity Landscapes: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5797
Res. 5579, Siggie & Tammy's Hairstyling: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5797
Res. 5580, Sir Knatten Cottage: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5797
Res. 5581, Songsmith Recording: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5798
Res. 5582, Stat Manufacturing Ltd.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5798
Res. 5583, Stellar Advertising - Eastern Gazette: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5799
Res. 5584, Stephen Levy Masonry Roofing Certified Masons: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5799
Res. 5585, Steve Bakers Quality Carpentry & Const.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5799
Res. 5586, Stonewater Homes Inc.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5800
Res. 5587, Sunlicious Tanning: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5800
Res. 5588, Sunshine Hair Styles: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5801
Res. 5589, Sunset Marine Ltd.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5801
Res. 5590, Tanner's Home Design: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5801
Res. 5591, Techtronics Machine Works Ltd.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5802
Res. 5592, The Fish Line: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5802
Res. 5593, The Chimneyman: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5803
Res. 5594, The Inn House Musical B & B Gallery &
Paisley Palace Boutique: Contributions - Applaud,
Hon. W. Dooks 5803
Res. 5595, The Lift Salon & Day Spa: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5803
Res. 5596, The Recycle Market: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5804
Res. 5597, The Spinner's Loft: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5804
Res. 5598, Theresa & Heather's Country Store & Craft Supplies:
Contributions - Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5805
Res. 5599, THI Const. Ltd.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5805
Res. 5600, Through the Looking Glass Child Care: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5806
Res. 5601, TM Bargain Ctr.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5806
Res. 5602, Top Notch Quality Woodworking: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5806
Res. 5603, Top to Bottom Cleaning Serv.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5807
Res. 5604, Toulany's Market: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5807
Res. 5605, Toulany's Old Post Office Convenience & Pizza: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5808
Res. 5606, Travel Professionals Int'l.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5808
Res. 5607, Trider's Glass & Door Repairs: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5808
Res. 5608, Trimmers Studio & Spa: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5809
Res. 5609, Tri-Track Excavating: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5809
Res. 5610, Trueman Investigations Serv.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5810
Res. 5611, Try Young's Carpentry & Roofing: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5810
Res. 5612, Ultimate Pure Water Specialists Ltd.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5810
Res. 5613, Hilltop Childcare Ctr.: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5811
Res. 5614, E.J. Webber Surveying: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5811
Res. 5615, Porters Lake Dental Clinic: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5812
Res. 5616, Webber Enterprises: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5812
Res. 5617, Taylor Tim-Br-Mart: Contributions -
Applaud, Hon. W. Dooks 5812

[Page 5569]

HALIFAX, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2008

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Session

10:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Alfie MacLeod

DEPUTY SPEAKER

Mr. Wayne Gaudet

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The draw for the late debate has taken place and was submitted by the honourable member for Clare:

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Government recognize the importance of Air Canada flight service base in Halifax Regional Municipality and attempt to rectify closure issue as soon as possible.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to introduce a petition on behalf of the Amalgamated Transit Union, it reads as follows:

"We, the undersigned, urge you and your fellow Legislative Members to move quickly during this setting [sic] of the Legislature to approve the following amendment to the Municipal Government Act . . .

[Page 5570]

5569

[Page 5571]

b) The municipality may build, expand or improve:

i) transit facilities, fronting on Nantucket Avenue; and

ii) parking lots for the Sportsplex

on the Dartmouth Common to a Maximum of 6 acres."

It's signed by 650 individuals and I've also affixed my signature to the petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 5419

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

Whereas the Bridge Workshop in Amherst provides meaningful life skills and employment support to persons with disabilities; and

Whereas the board and staff of the Bridge Workshop, along with tremendous support from the surrounding community, responded to rebuild the workshop after a fire two years ago; and

Whereas the new workshop was officially reopened on October 28, 2008;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the determination and accomplishments of the Bridge Workshop employees, staff and board members on the opening of the workshop in Amherst.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5572]

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. 5420

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

Whereas Department of Natural Resource's helicopters responded to the Porters Lake-Lake Echo fire within minutes of the first report; and

Whereas during fires, where possible, helicopter pilots managed their valuable air time to save homes in danger of burning by dousing the surrounding areas with water; and

Whereas because of the efforts of these pilots and engineers, along with help from many other agencies, all but two houses were saved from this enormous forest fire;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the seven helicopter pilots: Bill Burtt, Ken Corkum, Dave Farrell, Bob Large, Daniel MacLeod, Ian Moore and Mason Watt; and four engineers: Les Newton, Peter Nurse, Doug Stallard, Bob Cansfield and the director of fleet management, chief pilot, Ross Wickwire, for their diligent and heroic actions during the Porters Lake-Lake Echo fire.

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 5573]

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5421

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

Whereas three Nova Scotian organizations have been short listed in different categories as 2008 Donner Award finalists from 600 Canadian applicants; and

Whereas the 11th annual Donner Awards will be announced November 19th to recognize excellence and innovation in management and service delivery within 10 key areas of performance; and

Whereas Nova Scotia's non-profit sector provides critical programs and services in a challenging climate of scarce resources and increasing need;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Nova Scotia's 2008 Donner Award finalists: Alice Housing, Dartmouth; the Elizabeth Fry Society Mainland Nova Scotia, Dartmouth; and the Educational Program Innovations Charity Society, North Sydney; and thank them for their many contributions to our citizens and for exemplifying such high standards of operation.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

[Page 5574]

RESOLUTION NO. 5422

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

Whereas staff, colleagues, family and friends will be gathered for a Cape Breton kitchen party in Lawrencetown, Annapolis County, Thursday, November 20, 2008, to celebrate the career and retirement of Gordon MacPherson, regional director of Housing Services; and

Whereas since Gordon began his career in Housing Services in 1973, many positive changes have occurred under his capable leadership including the creation of McGee Drive in Middleton, Nova Scotia, a complex boasting 15 affordable housing units as well as an office building that houses over 30 staff members; and

Whereas Gordon has been an advocate for housing in the western region as well as an active community member involved in hockey, curling and school board;

Therefore be it resolved the members of this House of Assembly join me in wishing Gordon health and happiness in his well-deserved retirement and wish him all the best as he embarks on a new chapter in his 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 Pictou Centre.

[10:15 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 5423

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

[Page 5575]

Whereas at the present time there are more than 458,000 people employed in the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Nova Scotia was one of only five provinces in Canada to see the unemployment rate decline in the month of October; and

Whereas in the face of uncertainty within the global economy, positive job numbers are a good sign as government continues to look for ways to grow the economy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the significance of the continued growth in job numbers for Nova Scotia and applaud the phenomenal workforce that remains a constant drawing card for new business to this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 5424

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

Whereas the late Joe Wilcox was a giant of a man when it came to supporting the New Waterford Consolidated Hospital with his ticket sales efforts; and

Whereas Joe walked from one end of the community to the other selling these tickets; and

Whereas the Cape Breton Health Authority honoured Joe by having his shoes bronzed;

[Page 5576]

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the late Joe Wilcox, not only for his efforts in helping the New Waterford health care system, but for all the health care systems throughout the Province of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-the Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 5425

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

Whereas when Grant's General Store in Boularderie Centre first opened in 1927, two pounds of tea sold for $1.10, two pounds of shortening for 30 cents, and a pound of cookies cost 8 cents; and

Whereas William Duncan Grant opened the store before turning it over to his two sons, Lloyd and Robert, in 1953, who then operated it for the next 55 years before closing it for good on October 4th; and

Whereas Lloyd Grant said the store is a lifetime of memories to him and his brother and both agree it's the people they now miss the most;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly commend Lloyd Grant and his brother, Robert, for 55 years of exceptional business service at Boularderie Centre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 5577]

It is agreed.

[Page 5578]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 5426

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

Whereas the vast majority of fire departments are dependent on volunteers; and

Whereas new recruits to volunteer fire departments greatly benefit from the experience of the veteran firefighters; and

Whereas 2008 marked 50 years of continuous service to the Enfield and District Volunteer Fire Department by Mr. Borden Oakley of Enfield;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank Borden Oakley for 50 years of service to the Enfield and District Volunteer Fire Department and on his excellent example of 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 member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 5427

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

[Page 5579]

Whereas the Lake Echo Fellowship Baptist Church was founded in 1987 by a group of people from the Eastern Shore communities who travelled to Dartmouth for church services and decided to have a local church; and

Whereas the members first met at the Bell Park Academic Centre in Lake Echo and then built their first building in 1990 in Mineville; and

Whereas the members celebrated the 20th Anniversary with a family fun day, live concert and celebration service in September;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Pastor Kohler and the members of the Lake Echo Fellowship Baptist Church on their outstanding achievements since opening their doors 20 years ago, and wish them well in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 5428

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

Whereas last summer thousands of paddlers raised thousands of dollars toward cancer research and amateur sport; and

Whereas the Dragon Boat Festival's four beneficiaries - Women Alike Breast Cancer Survivors Society, the Pictou County Prostate Cancer Support Association, Nova Scotia Special Olympics, and the Nova Scotia Amateur Sport Fund - each received a cheque from the proceeds that totalled $113,000; and

[Page 5580]

Whereas the popular fundraiser has garnered roughly $730,000 in its seven years of operation, with all the money raised being sent directly to the charities, and every year the event relies on sponsors and scores of volunteers that mobilize teams to race on New Glasgow's East River;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send congratulations to the organizers and participants of this year's Dragon Boat Festival on the funds raised to benefit cancer research and amateur sport.

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. 5429

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

Whereas Grade 3 and Grade 4 students at West Pictou Consolidated School had two successful shows of their comedy play, After Hours, on November 17 and 18, 2008; and

Whereas the students have been working on the play since September and it was co-directed by Principal Chris Boulter and actress Stacy Smith; and

Whereas West Pictou Consolidated School will soon be preparing for their Spring musical Back to the Eighties;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature commend the students and staff of West Pictou Consolidated School for their thespian initiatives and wish them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 5581]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 5430

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

Whereas the 14th Annual Belliveau Motors Charity Golf Tournament in 2008 was held at the Clare Golf and Country Club; and

Whereas a grand total of $22,210 was raised with the generosity of the business community and the citizens of the area; and

Whereas this money raised will go toward the purchase of telehealth equipment for the education/training room in the new Clare Health Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly congratulate all staff, volunteers, and Belliveau Motors for raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.

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 Cumberland North.

[Page 5582]

RESOLUTION NO. 5431

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

Whereas Amherst was a place of celebration on October 28th when the Bridge Workshop held its grand opening, with Lieutenant Governor Mayann E. Francis in attendance to share the pride and the joy with everyone involved; and

Whereas the Bridge Workshop was destroyed by fire two years ago and Executive Director Susan Thibodeau, clients and employees continued in temporary quarters, which was not an easy task; and

Whereas moving into their brand new, beautiful building is very rewarding and much deserved after the devastating fire and inconvenience experienced by staff and clients for the last two years, while planning, funding and building their new home;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to the Bridge Workshop on the grand opening of their new facility.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, if I could have your permission to make an introduction to the House?

MR. SPEAKER: Please do.

MS. CONRAD: Thank you. If I could draw the members' attention to the west gallery. Here today we have Lloyd and Gwen Lowe of Milton, Queens County. Lloyd and Gwen are also members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 038. With Lloyd and Gwen today are Larry and Joan Weagle. Larry is the first vice-president of the Royal Canadian

[Page 5583]

Legion Branch 038 and Joan, his wife, is the second vice-president of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 038. If the House could given them a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 5432

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Legion, Mersey Branch 038, recognized the volunteer work of two of their most dedicated people, Gwen and Lloyd Lowe of Milton, Queens County, on November 11, 2008; and

Whereas the Legion requires volunteers to run the Friday night meals, the Saturday cribbage, the garden party, the canteen for bingo, be the sports representative for the Legion, sell tickets for the dances, be a member of the colour party, and a floor walker for the dances; and

Whereas the Lowes have given selflessly for well over five years for these many positions in the Legion and they continue, as well, to work in their community serving for their church and community hall in Milton;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Lloyd and Gwen Lowe of Milton, Nova Scotia, on having been recognized as volunteers and outstanding members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Mersey Branch 038, on November 11, 2008.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

[Page 5584]

RESOLUTION NO. 5433

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

Whereas this past weekend, Prime Minister Harper stated he is considering short-term deficit spending to boost Canada's economy; and

Whereas this change in policy shows that the Prime Minister's guarantee of a deficit-free future was nothing short of an empty election promise; and

Whereas considering they have such a close relationship, it makes Nova Scotians wonder if our Premier will follow his mentor down this troublesome path;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier publicly voice his opposition to the Prime Minister's new fiscal plan and guarantee Nova Scotians that we will not follow suit.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 5434

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

Whereas Mabel MacKenzie of Middle River, Victoria County has spent most of her life teaching and influencing the lives of those she has taught; and

Whereas Mabel, for many years, was both classroom teacher and principal of Big Bras d'Or School and later Boularderie School until her retirement; and

Whereas many neighbours and friends will gather at the Middle River Community Hall on Sunday, November 23rd to celebrate Mabel's 90th birthday;

[Page 5585]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mabel MacKenzie on her 90th birthday and wish her good health and happiness in the years ahead.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 5435

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

Whereas the elders of Pictou Landing First Nation have protected and preserved the Mi'kmaq language and culture; and

Whereas many elders sit on an advisory committee overseeing language protection, its use within the curriculum of the First Nation school, and its development throughout the community; and

Whereas the elders of Pictou Landing have the support of the Pictou Landing First Nation Band Council in this most valuable work;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate the elders of the Pictou Landing First Nation, the Band Council, and all those who preserve and protect the Mi'kmaq language and culture in northeastern Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5586]

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. 5436

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

Whereas when it comes to dealing with the country's economic crisis, British Columbia and Nova Scotia are on opposite ends of the map; and

Whereas Premier Gordon Campbell recalled the B.C. Legislature to publicly address the problems facing their economy, proposing a 10-point business plan; and

Whereas in sharp contrast the Premier of this province has rejected calls to provide an economic update and refuses to discuss in this Legislature the best possible way for Nova Scotia to deal with its sinking economy;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier enlist the help of Premier Gordon Campbell in hopes that he would provide guidance on how to guide a province through these tough economic times.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[10:30 a.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants West.

[Page 5587]

RESOLUTION NO. 5437

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

Whereas Elizabeth Gnemmi of Hantsport graduated from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College in 2007; and

Whereas during her graduation Elizabeth was named to the president's list, recognizing her academic achievement; and

Whereas Elizabeth graduated from the Animal Science Technician program at the Agricultural College in Truro;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly compliment Elizabeth on her outstanding academic success, and wish her every future success and prosperity.

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. 5438

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

Whereas Nicole and Natalie Jones of the Queen of Hearts Dory Club won first place in the women's division at the International Dory Races between the United States and Canada, on June 21, 2008; and

Whereas the Jones sisters showed great perseverance in executing a come-from-behind victory against the Gloucester team at the State Fish Pier; and

[Page 5588]

Whereas Nicole and Natalie continue to train for the Canadian eliminations on August 30th in Lunenburg;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Nicole and Natalie Jones for winning first place in the women's division at the International Dory Races between the United States and Canada, on June 21, 2008.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 5439

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

Whereas during these tough economic times the Progressive Conservative's and NDP's gas regulation alliance wants to ensure that families are spending every last cent; and

Whereas the failed gas regulation system ensures that families will be paying more for gasoline in Nova Scotia than they would be in a neighbouring province; and

Whereas instead of working to fill the government's coffers, the Progressive Conservatives and NDP should be working to ensure that all Nova Scotians are able to pay their bills this winter;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly support the Liberal plan to scrap the gas regulation and lower the motive fuel tax by 4 cents per litre.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

[Page 5589]

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Immigration.

RESOLUTION NO. 5440

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

Whereas in two short years the Citadel Phoenix have made their mark in the Nova Scotia High School Football Program; and

Whereas on November 16, 2008, the Citadel Phoenix captured the NSSAF Football League championship over the Cobequid Cougars by a score of 25-10 at Huskies Stadium; and

Whereas this marks the first football banner for the school since the amalgamation of Queen Elizabeth and St. Pat's High Schools in 2007;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Citadel Phoenix on winning the provincial championship and wish them success in future seasons.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 5441

[Page 5590]

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

Whereas the Eureka Fire Department was incorporated in 1945 at the end of World War II and has operated ever since, serving the village and a large section of the East River Valley; and

Whereas the Eureka Fire Department has operated with volunteers committed to the safety and security of the community; and

Whereas volunteers and auxiliary members give up their time to attend training, respond to fire emergencies in their own district, provide assistance to neighbouring districts, maintain equipment and continuously fundraise to purchase equipment;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly commend Chief Bill Holley and the volunteer firefighters of the Eureka Fire Department for their dedication to their community, and congratulate them on 63 years of service to Pictou County.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 5442

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

Whereas in these uncertain economic times, Nova Scotia businesses are struggling to turn a profit; and

Whereas this is especially true in southwestern Nova Scotia where Nova Scotia lobster fishermen are facing a rough season; and

[Page 5591]

Whereas with lobsters commanding very little money per pound in the United States, lobster fishermen will struggle to pay their bills;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier and his government develop a plan to steer Nova Scotia's lobster fishermen through this period of economic turmoil.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 5443

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 staying healthy is everyone's goal; and

Whereas some health care providers practice what they preach; and

Whereas cardiologist Ron Hatheway, of Bridgewater, participated in the annual Heartland Tour to raise awareness of heart disease;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House acknowledge Dr. Ron Hatheway on his participation in the 100-kilometre bike tour in order to raise awareness for heart disease.

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 5592]

The motion is carried.

[Page 5593]

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 5444

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

Whereas Harry McInroy of Cole Harbour has represented his community on municipal council, both in the former County of Halifax and the Halifax Regional Municipality, for over 27 years; and

Whereas during those 27 years Harry demonstrated passion, commitment, leadership and caring for the people and community he represented; and

Whereas Harry McInroy has most recently retired from his seat as councillor of District 4, Cole Harbour;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly thank Harry McInroy for his public service and extend sincere best wishes on his retirement from Halifax Regional Municipality.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 5445

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

Whereas the employees of Meteghan Pharmasave have raised $850 to help a local group of seamstresses; and

[Page 5594]

Whereas the funds raised will help Angel Stitches, a group from Clare who stitch handmade quilts for the IWK; and

Whereas for seven years this group has made over 5,000 quilts for the children at the IWK Hospital;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate the employees of the Meteghan Pharmasave for helping such a worthwhile cause, Angel Stitches.

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. 5446

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

Whereas November 11th each year has been set aside as a time of remembrance to those who have given military service to our country; and

Whereas the community of Sheffield Mills this year constructed a veterans memorial to those who served from their community; and

Whereas this memorial was dedicated on October 5th to the many men and women of this fine community who have served both their province and their country;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the community of Sheffield Mills on the construction of this memorial and the contributions this community has made in military service, both in the past and currently, for this province and country.

[Page 5595]

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. 5447

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

Whereas the old saying goes, Tory times are tough times; and

Whereas Prime Minister Harper has frittered away a $12 billion surplus left by the Liberal Party and is now seriously considering deficit spending; and

Whereas the Premier of this province has been supportive of the Prime Minister's reckless spending the entire time;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier oppose the Prime Minister's plan to enter deficit at the risk of hurting their close relationship.

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 Natural Resources.

[Page 5596]

RESOLUTION NO. 5448

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

Whereas September 28, 2008, was a milestone for the Laceby family, owners of the Blomidon Inn in Wolfville, with the official opening of the Blomidon Inn Gardens; and

Whereas seven spectacular Victorian gardens were created on four acres at the Blomidon Inn; and

Whereas the Blomidon Inn was further voted one of Canada's 10 Best Inns;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize that the Blomidon Inn is greatly enhanced with their new Victorian gardens, which is a true testament to the Laceby family's considerable contribution to attracting more tourists to the historic Town of Wolfville.

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 Cumberland North.

RESOLUTION NO. 5449

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 23rd, where they recognized business achievers in various categories; and

[Page 5597]

Whereas Windjammer Windows and Doors were the recipients of the Excellence in Customer Service Award, and business owner Mr. Bob Janes credited his staff for dedicating themselves to customer service because they're having fun taking care of their customers; and

Whereas Mr. Janes was pleased to accept the award, along with employees Lindsay Lucci and Diana Hurley;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Bob Janes and staff of Windjammer Windows and Doors for this achievement award.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, with the consent of the House, could we please revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills?

MR. SPEAKER: The Deputy Government House Leader is looking for consent to revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 224 - Entitled an Act to Prevent Emergency Room Closures in Nova Scotia. (Mr. David Wilson, Glace Bay)

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

[Page 5598]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: The time is now 10:45 a.m. and we will go to 11:45 a.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

JUSTICE: BURNSIDE CORRECTIONAL CTR. - PROBLEMS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: My question will be through you to the Premier. When faced with serious concerns over overcrowding, poor equipment and understaffing at the Burnside Correctional Centre, the government's response has been, use the proper channels. When the next health and safety meeting is, is not on top of the minds of correctional officers when they find themselves dealing with a high-risk situation.

[10:45 a.m.]

For example, two nights ago, all available staff at the centre and others called in from home were needed when inmates in two day rooms refused to be locked down for the night. I'm going to table an e-mail that I have received with respect to this situation. A lone correctional officer was left on duty in an area that houses 84 inmates. My question to the Premier is, when will the Premier ensure that his government is dealing effectively with the problems that they have created at the Burnside Correctional Centre?

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, it is not about problems that are created. As anyone would know, within these correctional facilities we're dealing with people who are there for a specific reason. Most importantly, we have men and women who are professionals that deal with those environments and the volatility that can occur, in a very professional manner. Indeed, from time to time, there are incidents that do occur and in those instances we respond appropriately.

To the Leader of the NDP who has said about previous items about dismissing, there is an established process that we respect through the joint occupational health and safety. The concern previously about protective vests has been brought forward, that is being examined by the committee and if they recommend it, they will be provided.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the Burnside Correctional Centre was planned, built and staffed as a single-bunk facility. The government did not sit down with correctional officers to plan whether and how Burnside could safely be converted to a double-bunk facility. The government ignored issues like training to deal with dangerous offenders on remand. Today, correctional officers are still waiting for answers to requests for stab-proof vests, for one-way glass that will prevent inmates from communicating their plans, as

[Page 5599]

happened on Sunday night. My question for the Premier is, when will the Premier ensure that officers have the equipment, the upgrades and the training that's essential in the more dangerous environment the government has created in the Burnside Correctional Centre?

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, there are two aspects that we have dealt with in terms of processes to act on operational issues. There's been an internal audit that was done last year, there's an implementation team that's in working with staff and management on that. As the honourable Leader of the NDP knows, we have the Deloitte audit which is dealing with all facilities and that will be forthcoming; again, it's meant to deal with improving our system. Also, we continue to provide a level of response when issues are raised. We take every item seriously and we'll continue to do that. If there are specific items he wants to raise, we will deal with them in an appropriate manner as we always do.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, in fact, that's what we are doing - raising specific issues. One correctional officer believes the government still thinks they're dealing with a county lock-up, failing to recognize that a series of decisions have created a very different and more hazardous environment at the Burnside Correctional Centre. It should never have been necessary for the Department of Labour and Workforce Development to come in and order safety improvements, as they had to do last year. Correctional officers should feel they have the support of their government. My question for the Premier is, when will correctional officers at this important facility have the proper support and competent planning they deserve from this government?

MR. CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as our honourable colleague would know, a risk assessment is done on a continuing and ongoing basis to deal with the inmate population - identifying why they are there, the reasons for that, the potential threat they have. He referred to the issue of double-bunking of which there is an operational response between central Nova Scotia and southwestern Nova Scotia that has been put in place, that we resourced. When he says we have not responded, well, we have provided an additional $1.5 million for the operational requirements associated with that. Again, if he would follow due process, as we are committed to, he will see we indeed have the integrity and the safety of all individuals in the system at the heart of all of this.

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

PREM.: DEFICIT POSITION - STATUS

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: My question is for the Premier. For the past month, the Premier has refused to provide Nova Scotians with a fiscal update or a comprehensive business plan similar to other provinces. However, late last week the Premier gave us a glimpse into the economic and financial situation in Nova Scotia. The Premier mused that a $28 million cut would bring our province very close to a deficit position. My question to

[Page 5600]

the Premier is, if you think that $28 million will bring us close to a deficit position, can you tell the House today just how close?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, as was the commitment of the government, we will provide a forecast update by the end of December. I've said that time and time again here in the House, I have said that publicly. Part of what we're doing is not only gathering information from the federal government before providing a proper picture to the people of the province, but also meeting with groups such as economists - as I did yesterday - and meeting with groups such as the CFIB - the Nova Scotia chamber last week and the Halifax chamber a couple of weeks ago - to ensure that we gather as much feedback and information before putting that forward.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, if the Premier knows that $28 million will bring us close to a deficit, then he knows enough to update this House. Four other Premiers have shown leadership, even in the face of bad news. B.C.'s Premier announced that he would specifically call back the Legislature to deal with the economic crisis. Ontario's Premier didn't run away and hide from the crisis - he provided an update, even in the face of a deficit. My question to the Premier is, why are you afraid to reveal to Nova Scotians the economic update?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member is right, the Liberal Government in Ontario is projecting a deficit. I want to make sure that we provide an accurate picture to the people of the province, and that means gathering all of the relevant information from the federal government and other sources before doing so. To do otherwise would be to do an injustice to the people of Nova Scotia, the business community and the citizens of our province.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, leadership requires dealing with the issue head on, not running away and playing politics with the economy of Nova Scotia. The Premier keeps saying that we will see an update the end of December. The Premier continues to apply his policies of stagnation, business as usual and the status-quo approach. My question to the Premier is, when will you finally be open and accountable with Nova Scotians and provide us with a fiscal update?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, my colleague is right on one thing. If we continue down the path of what the Opposition in this province wants us to do, the NDP last week putting forward a bill to spend $28 million at a time when we realize what is happening in the global community in the marketplace. Those sort of suggestions show the lack of knowledge of the budgetary process and that is the sort of initiative that the NDP would like this province to do - push us into deficit, push us in that direction. I can assure the people of this province and this House that this government will balance the books of Nova Scotia.

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

[Page 5601]

HEALTH: ER CLOSURES - CESSATION

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, one thing is obvious from the Premier's response - once he gets his hands on your taxpayer dollars, you're not getting it back, that's for sure. A fundamental expectation of government is that people will receive health care when they need it, but this government fails the test, it sits on its hands as emergency room closures become routine across the province.

This month, the Digby emergency room will close for part of 15 days. It is particularly difficult for seniors and people with disabilities, who have a government that cannot provide proper emergency services. The people of Digby deserve better. My question to the Premier is, why have you been so unsuccessful in your attempts to end the emergency room closures in Digby and other hospitals?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health and the minister have been working closely with the district health authorities around ensuring that we provide the very best services to all hospitals, in all parts of Nova Scotia. At the same time, the PHSOR Report included 103 recommendations which included taking a look at rural health care strategy. These recommendations were rejected by the NDP when every CAO across this province suggested that is the direction this province should go. At the same time, the NDP are stuck in the past, and while we're focused on ensuring that our rural communities get the services they require, the NDP continue to speak out against rural Nova Scotia and ensuring that they see the services that they deserve to have.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I don't know when the Premier is going to show these people these services. He has had three years to do it and there are still these closures. Instead of spending the last three years recruiting and retaining doctors and nurses, this government seems to be suggesting that some emergency rooms are just not necessary.

Mr. Speaker, let's take a look at just how important emergency rooms are in Nova Scotia. I will table a freedom of information response that shows that from October, 2007, until September, 2008, 12,300 people went to the Digby emergency room. Can you just imagine if it were open, how many people would have shown up there. My question to the Premier, who promised good health care to Nova Scotia, is this, what is the impact on the health of the people in the Digby area from the frequent closures of their emergency room?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, we know that we've been having challenges in certain ERs across this province. I'm very happy to inform the House that tertiary care in regional ERs have been open 100 per cent of the time. I want to say that the smaller ERs like Digby and Shelburne are open 98 per cent of the time, and even a better story is with 75 per cent of people presenting themselves at ERs, when it comes to the case in Digby, the nurse practitioner clinic that we set up in Digby is now open five days a week. Even a better piece of news is that we have a new practitioner hired for Digby Neck. So it

[Page 5602]

is looking good for the individuals, it's looking good for the citizens of Digby, because the other services that they require are available to keep them away from the ER in the first place.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure what definition the minister is using but an emergency is by its nature an emergency. This minister is not up to the job of keeping emergency rooms open. He has had almost three years to fix the problem and all he has done is make excuses. In the last year, up to 60 people a day were treated at the Digby emergency room. Most were considered semi-urgent or worse. Medical guidelines say that they should receive attention in less than an hour but they're told to drive an hour, or wait until their emergency room reopens. So my question then for the minister is this, when will the people who need urgent and emergency care receive that care when and where they need it, instead of being forced to travel or to wait far too long?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has it all wrong but that doesn't surprise me. When somebody is in distress, when somebody is having a cardiac issue, when somebody is having a stroke, they call 911 and they get the best ambulance system, the best emergency service in all of Canada.

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

HEALTH - ROSEWAY HOSP. ER: CLOSURE - EFFECTS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, what we get instead of the actual care that people need are just more excuses. The Premier and the minister have failed the people of Digby, the people of Shelburne, and for that matter the people of Nova Scotia. Instead of giving them an emergency room, they give them excuses. The Roseway emergency room will close for parts of 10 days this month. I will table a document showing that 14,500 people went to the Roseway emergency room in the past year; 10,400 of them were considered semi-urgent or worse. So my question to the Minister of Health is, does the Minister of Health have a report or study that he can table with this House today, that shows what happened to those people who could not attend the Roseway emergency room because it was closed?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, again the member opposite has it wrong. The South Shore District Health Authority has been working hard to recruit doctors. This is an issue of human resources. This is trying to find people to move to communities like Shelburne, or move to communities like Digby. We have the highest ratio of doctors per capita of any province in Canada. We will continue to work to make sure (Interruption) Well maybe the members opposite want me to move the doctors from Halifax into the rural areas. So what would they say to their constituents when they stood up and said listen, you don't need a doctor in Halifax so we're going to move you to Digby?

[Page 5603]

So, Mr. Speaker, we have to have a coordinated approach. We need to be fair to all districts in this province and the districts are stepping up. There have been challenges in some ERs in this province.

MR. DEXTER: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This is not about trading shortages in one area for shortages in others - it's about resolving the problem. Perhaps the minister could just post a list of his excuses on the emergency room doors and see how people feel when they show up.

[11:00 a.m.]

As many as 70 people a day use the Roseway Emergency Room. Every day that the Roseway is closed means that up to 70 people go without emergency care or have to travel long distances to receive it. My question is simply this, Mr. Speaker - why doesn't the minister understand that after three years, the people in Shelburne and across the province think that routine emergency room closures are, in fact, his government's policy?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Again, Mr. Speaker, large ERs, ERs in regional areas like Bridgewater and Yarmouth and Kentville, are open 100 per cent of the time. ERs in the smaller areas are open 98 per cent of the time.

Mr. Speaker, the member opposite has spoken time and time again in this House and he has heard me say it as well, that over 70 per cent of people presenting themselves at ERs in this province are not there for emergency reasons, which is why we've invested in nurse practitioner clinics like we did in Digby, that are now open five days a week. We've invested in nurse practitioners across this province to make sure that they're available to replace those needs. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians need other options. They have to stop looking back in the past and find new solutions for today. He stands time and time again in this House and says what's wrong. It's time he stands there and gives us a darn solution.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the solution is to get rid of that crew over there - that's the solution. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition has the floor.

MR. DEXTER: I am surprised, Mr. Speaker, because that member, that minister is from the South Shore and he knows how far it is from Roseway Hospital to Bridgewater. that's a poor response to the people of Shelburne who look for the services that they need when they need them. People who require treatment within less than an hour expect that the emergency room will be open and ready to help them. My question to the minister is, does

[Page 5604]

the Minister of Health understand that his excuses are not acceptable to the people of Shelburne and that they expect the Minister of Health to provide them with an emergency room that has an open sign on the door?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I will continue to work my best, as Minister of Health, to find solutions for rural ERs, to find solutions for Nova Scotians. If it means opening primary care clinics in communities to make sure that there's availability for the citizens, if we make sure the expansion of the contracts for emergency services, whether that be ambulances, whether that means in putting in the 1-800 call-a-nurse line, the call line where people will be able to call for services - those are true solutions that this government will continue to provide to all Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH: ER CLOSURES - WAIT TIMES REDUCTION FUND

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Health. As we all know, emergency room closures are an issue of great importance to the people of this province, especially seniors who live in rural areas. Unfortunately it does not get the same level of concern and attention from this government. When a local emergency room closes, pressures are experienced by ER departments at regional hospitals and, because of that, wait times increase. So even though ER closures at the local level continue to contribute to wait times, this province continues to see record level closures of ERs again this year. My question to the minister is, why did the minister fail to implement any meaningful solutions when it comes to ER closures with his $106 million that he received over the past four years, through the Wait Times Reduction Fund?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. Again, ERs in this province, the tertiary care in our regionals, are open 100 per cent of the time. The smaller ones, the ones in places like Digby, Shelburne and Glace Bay, are open 98 per cent of the time. Not a bad average compared to other provinces in this country.

Mr. Speaker, the Wait Times Reduction Fund that the member opposite speaks to was not just for ERs. It was for other issues when it comes to wait times, wait times that we have seen some changes in. I think it was a balanced approach to the dollars that were brought forward by the federal government.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, those figures and statistics given by the minister are cold comfort to the people of Tatamagouche, of North Sydney, of Digby, of New Waterford, of Glace Bay. This year alone in communities throughout this province, Nova Scotians have had to endure record levels of emergency room closures, scheduled to date this year - 8,675 hours of ER closures. Last year - 6,299.5 hours. The year before that - 3,900 hours.

[Page 5605]

Mr. Speaker, in case the minister can't tell, the trend is going that way and it's not getting any better. So my question for the minister, did the minister just ignore this issue, hope it would go away, or did he really want to implement some solutions and just didn't get around to it? Which is it, Mr. Minister?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, none of the above. We continue to work with our district health authorities. This is about the basics of recruitment, of trying to find individuals to move to communities. We are confident that with the regional centres that are open 100 per cent of the time; the tertiary, or the secondary ones, which are open 98 per cent of the times; with the addition of an EHS system, which is second to none; with the addition of nurse practitioners and other primary care clinics, Nova Scotians are very well covered.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Well, Mr. Speaker, we're tried of hearing the same old answers and, as we all know, leadership starts at the top. The Premier has been on record on this issue saying that emergency rooms won't close but district health authorities, who now control the budgets for community hospital ERs, are musing otherwise. My final question for the Premier is, can the Premier please tell the people of Glace Bay, of New Waterford, of Tatamagouche, of Lunenburg, of North Sydney and Digby - just to name a few - what initiatives he thinks can be introduced to reduce these unacceptable emergency room closure numbers in this province?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, there are a number of initiatives outlined by the government in the PHSOR report, which was an independent report completed. Those recommendations were supported by our district health authorities - people like the CAO of the District Health Authority for Cape Breton Island, John Malcolm, who I have complete faith in, along with our other CAOs. They recognize that yes, the health care system in our province faces many challenges. At the same time, we are willing and able to work towards solutions, and those solutions will deal with some of the challenges that we see in our rural health care settings.

The government will continue to ensure that when a Nova Scotian goes to a hospital in Nova Scotia, when they require assistance, when they require health care, they will get top notch care.

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

HEALTH: WAIT TIME STRATEGY - SUCCESS MEASUREMENT

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Last week, the Minister of Health told Nova Scotians that wait times are decreasing and Nova Scotians are accessing health care faster, but when he was asked about this by reporters, his response was that he couldn't back up his numbers because they are built on hearsay and exit surveys.

[Page 5606]

It sounds like the government is using the CNN approach. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health, how can you tell if your wait time strategy is working without doing the research necessary to provide results that are not based simply on hearsay?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I'm very glad to stand today and maybe clarify some of the information I provided last week. In the House last week it was my intention to say that we're hearing from surgeons that parts of the orthopaedic wait times are improving. The ones that are participating in the clinics, the assessment clinics, are seeing a change from 18 months to have a consult to four months to have a consult. To me, that's a wait time that's getting better.

We have wait times for long-term care that are getting better. We have wait times for continuing care services that are getting better. All those are booked upon a true system that can track data. Many of the other systems within our province are ones that are not all coordinated, we're bringing in a new system that will be up and running by 2010.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, hearsay is no way to address the health care issues here in this province. Senior staff at the Department of Health say they have not compiled numbers to see whether the wait times for orthopaedic surgeries have, in fact, been reduced. So they have no way of knowing if the wait time strategy is effective. I'd like to ask the Minister of Health again, why isn't tracking wait times a priority for this government?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the point is, there is a lot of information that's available and it takes some time for our statisticians to put this information together. I can say from the stuff that I'm seeing, I'm seeing wait times getting better in certain areas. That means we need to focus in other areas, as well, to make it happen. I would like nothing better than to have a computerized system that would track wait times, but there are other issues that are important to Nova Scotians, as well, that we have to address.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I don't know how the Minister of Health can say that in the House when the Department of Health staff say that they don't compile the numbers. They just don't know the answer to that question. Reducing wait times is one of the government's five immediate priorities for improving the economic and social well-being of Nova Scotians, yet they don't actually track them. I don't understand how the minister can stand in this House and give that answer when they don't track the numbers. I ask the Minister of Health, when will the government show leadership on health care wait times and actually make it a priority for this province?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is commenting on a comment that I'm not too sure where it comes from. We do track the data but it is combined with lots of other data so it needs to be taken out of those particular issues. It takes time for

[Page 5607]

our statisticians, for the individuals in our department, to pull the information that the member opposite is asking for.

But I will make that information available when it is available. We're hoping within the next few weeks we can have it available for all Nova Scotians to make their own opinions on whether wait times are getting better in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH: IWK - FUNDING

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is for the Minister of Health. The IWK and now the Kids Help Phone both indicate there has been a surge in adolescent mental health crises. When we asked the Minister of Health about wait times for specific programs and rising attempted suicide rates, the question was ignored. The Minister of Health responded that there are many competing priorities for health care dollars. My question to him is, why are you refusing to provide the IWK with the resources necessary to fund the specific programs requested in this year's budget?

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I need to correct one thing. The one thing is that suicide rates among adolescents in Nova Scotia are not rising. Working with our individuals within IWK, things are, of course, challenging as it is in all times. There has been substantial investment in new beds for the ACT program, an expansion of our mobile crisis teams. We will continue to put investments where they need to be and that is with this particular issue.

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, I just would like to tell the minister I was talking about attempted suicides and that they went up from 20 in 2006 to 45 in 2008. The IWK asked you, Mr. Minister, for more funding for day treatment, rehabilitation, forensics, crisis services and early intervention, among many other things. All of these programs are needed to deal with the surge in adolescent mental health cases. My question is, why is the mental health of our children not a priority for this government?

[11:15 a.m.]

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, but it is a priority and let me tell you why. In the 2008-09 budget we committed $1.5 million in new funding to expand the Adolescent Centre for Treatment, the ACT program. We've expanded the Mobile Crisis Service with additional funding of $220,000 (Interruptions) They voted against it, that's right. An annual funding was allocated to the Youth Forensic and Mental Health Services in 2008-09 budget to recruit professionals to reduce waits for court ordered assessments. We continue to expand the community mental health clinics at Capital Health this year with an additional funding of $358,000. We put programs in, we have the dollars available. We should ask the same

[Page 5608]

question of them, do they not care about the care our children are getting by voting for a budget that had these things in it?

MS. MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, the ACT program put in six new beds. One in five Nova Scotians do suffer from mental illnesses. Adolescents dealing with mental illness cannot wait for supports and programs. The Minister of Health knows this yet he refuses to commit to making the changes that are needed. My question is, how can you possibly think that adding a few beds, six of them, to only one program, while ignoring the IWK's plea for assistance with others, will make a significant difference to mental health services and wait times?

MR. D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, you have to look at the system as a whole. The district health authorities, of course, have their mental health programs as well. We believe that as people are identified, as they presented themselves to an emergency room, as they presented themselves to a family doctor, that they are within the system, they are being seen in one of the over 50 programs that we help fund in the province. We have expanded our ACT program, we will continue to make dollars available to programs just like that one as funds become available.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

FIN.: TOBACCO COMPANIES' PENALTIES - SETTLEMENT

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection. On August 1st of this year an article appeared in a New Brunswick newspaper indicating the Province of New Brunswick will receive $22 million over 15 years, the result of civil and criminal penalties levied against two big tobacco companies. The same story went on to state that New Brunswick will receive the lion's share of its settlement this year, about $6.5 million. Given that Nova Scotia was also a recipient of monies from that same court case, I find it odd that the province did not make any formal announcement, or release, or issue a press release telling about our share of the penalties. My question to the minister is, could he indicate whether Nova Scotia has or will receive this year, $8.1 million as a result of that same court case?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I will defer that question to the Minister of Finance.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, the answer is yes, we will receive money with respect to that settlement. I haven't the exact figure with me, but it would be in that vicinity. Thank you.

[Page 5609]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm not sure why there's so much secrecy surrounding this. Maybe it's because the amount the government is going to receive is less than expected and they didn't really want people to know? Maybe it's because the money has come in and went directly to the Minister of Finance, without the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection even being aware of it? Maybe that file was transferred to Natural Resources, too, I'm not sure. Whatever the case (Interruptions) We know it happens. Whatever the case, we know that nicotine replacement therapies in the South West District Health Authority have been discontinued due to increased demand and no budget left.

Mr. Speaker, I'll table a press release issued by the South West District Health Authority issued September 26th of this year, indicating that to be the case. My question to the minister is, why is the South West DHA being forced to stop providing those nicotine replacement therapy programs when this minister and this government is going to receive $8.1 million as a result of tobacco litigation?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other, but I would say this, the approach that we've used in this province with our tobacco strategy has shown results. We now are the lowest youth smokers in the country. We've gone from worst to first, so our approach has been successful, but we will continue to move forward to renew that strategy so that we can have even better health in this province and Nova Scotians can live healthier and safer lives.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, the minister and the government like to talk tough when it comes to tobacco control. When it comes to supporting programs and providing the money for tobacco control strategy in any meaningful way, the words are nothing but cheap that come from the minister. So my question to the minister is, could he indicate then what tobacco control funding initiatives will be undertaken this year with his court windfall of $8.1 million?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, we're not only seen as leaders across the country, but we're seen as leaders here in Nova Scotia by stakeholders who believe in the progressive approach that we've taken with respect to tobacco strategy. I can tell the member opposite that we invest over $1.2 million in nicotine treatment replacement programs here in the Province of Nova Scotia, but that's just a portion of what it is we do. That's why we've had success and that's why we will have even further success in the future.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

ADVISORY COUN. ON INNOVATION - RECOMMENDATIONS

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, in 2003 Premier John Hamm formed the Advisory Council on Innovation in recognition that "Innovation is always key to economic success." In 2005 the council provided an interim report which included a number

[Page 5610]

of recommendations. The report recommended a change to a provincial tax policy in order to spur business research and development activity in Nova Scotia. My question is to the Premier, why has your government ignored a very important recommendation designed to advance business research and development activities in Nova Scotia?

[Page 5611]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, in fact, the council that he's referring to talked about the life sciences, amongst the many other investments that the government should make, and I'm very pleased to indicate to the House that the government announced, just a few short weeks ago, an investment in the new bio-science centre, a significant investment which will continue to see job growth in Nova Scotia.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, the fact is for the past five years Nova Scotia's economy has underperformed the Canadian average and was tied with New Brunswick for last place for percentage growth. In part this is because this government ignores the advice of people like those on the Advisory Council on Innovation. The interim report notes, "Council believes that innovative use of tax-policy changes to help advance business R&D activity in Nova Scotia is of fundamental importance." To the Premier, why has your government failed to understand the fundamentals of spurring innovation, research and development?

THE PREMIER: In fact, Mr. Speaker, that particular member and his caucus voted against additional investment in life sciences. They voted against what the council suggested that we should do and that's move forward on 100 per cent broadband for all of Nova Scotia. They voted against moving forward on the economy of this province and as a result of this government's decisions, we are seeing historic highs in Nova Scotia on growth and development. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, we voted against an underperforming government. The council clearly states that the 15 per cent scientific research and development tax credit should be increased to make Nova Scotia a leader in research and innovation. To the Premier, why does your government commission reports just to have the recommendations gather dust on the shelves?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the NDP, what do they speak out against? They spoke out against investing in research in the offshore of this province, in the Spring of this year; they spoke out against investing more money into the biosciences and life sciences when they voted against the budget - in fact, Mr. Speaker, when they look at the results of inNOVAcorp they will see that we've helped 250 early-stage companies; they will see annual revenue generated by current and graduate client companies topped $225 million; and they will see the client satisfaction rate is at 92 per cent. This is a government that recognizes where we need to go as a province, not like the NDP who are stuck in the past.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

[Page 5612]

TIR: BRIDGES/OVERPASSES - INSPECTION SCHED.

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. On Saturday fragments from a highway overpass fell and damaged a vehicle in Halifax, as well as causing a serious traffic delay for a number of motorists. While we are fortunate that no one was hurt - it only caused a traffic jam - it does raise concerns, however, of Nova Scotia's aging infrastructure. My first question to the minister is, how often are our bridges and overpasses inspected in Nova Scotia?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for the question. It is a very good question and I would say that there are annual inspections on bridges and then every third year there is a more in-depth assessment of all the bridges and overpasses.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, according to Statistics Canada, the average age of public infrastructure has been falling almost steadily in most provinces for the past number of years. While Ontario has the youngest public infrastructure system in the country in 2007, Nova Scotia has the oldest, so my question to the minister is, what is your government doing to repair and advance Nova Scotia's antiquated infrastructure?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again I want to thank the member opposite for a very good question. He's right, we talked about the aging infrastructure and my predecessor talked about the huge deficit this province has in regard to infrastructure. The honourable member mentioned about Ontario - there's a huge difference between the way that the federal government even looks at providing funds when it comes to infrastructure in Nova Scotia versus Ontario. As you know, Mr. Speaker, we in this province maintain a large percentage of those provincial highways - where in Ontario it's maintained by the municipalities and they qualify for federal money, where we don't, as a province.

I can say, Mr. Speaker, I think the record speaks well for itself. This government has increased the budget substantially over the last number of years in regard to infrastructure, particularly highways and bridges. I'm very pleased and proud of the job they've been able to do.

Back to the issue the honourable member raised today, though - that sliver of cement that fell, he's absolutely right, we are fortunate that no one was hurt. Mr. Speaker, I want to say that that particular design of a bridge actually allowed for an overlap of cement, when the bridge was constructed, to seep out past the steel. We're doing an assessment now to see how many bridges in Nova Scotia are of the same design and we'll move on that very quickly. I am quite sure in saying today that the number is very small, but as we determine over the next few days how many bridges there are, we'll move on those immediately and make sure as best we can that that doesn't happen again.

[Page 5613]

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, we've seen disastrous events in recent years with bridges and overpasses collapsing in other parts of our country and in the U.S. We cannot allow for such accidents in Nova Scotia. We need to know what infrastructure is in need of repair and what the appropriate timeline is for maintenance. My final question to the minister is, will the minister provide us with a priority list of bridge maintenance and repairs for Nova Scotia?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again to the member opposite, I thank him for a very important question, it is very important to all Nova Scotians and I will endeavour to get that information for the honourable member opposite.

The honourable member mentioned about a bridge collapse in other areas, Mr. Speaker. I think he's probably speaking about the one in Quebec we saw some time ago. I will say there's only one bridge in this province that is of the same design and likeness of that and that's the one in Fairview, and we will have that bridge replaced in 2009.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Shelburne.

EDUC.: TRI-CO. REG. SCH. BD. - FUNDING

MR. STERLING BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Minister of Education. The Tri-County School Board has half the school psychologists, technology support staff, and literacy teachers as do other boards its size. It is the only one in the province that cannot afford a French reading recovery or sports animator. Only two high schools of 11 have senior music and band and only one manages to have senior art. Will the Minister of Education explain why students at the Tri-County School Board have so much less than many other students in Nova Scotia?

HON. KAREN CASEY: Mr. Premier, to the member opposite - Mr. Speaker, that was your promotion, OK?

MR. SPEAKER: Thanks anyway.

[11:30 a.m.]

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, and to the member opposite, thank you for the question. We want to make sure and, as minister, I want to make sure that every student in this province has access to equitable services and supports. I do want to speak briefly about core professional services of which the member asked the question because we have set standards, targets for all boards across the province to meet with respect to those core services - speech language, school psychologist, resource, guidance. I'm pleased to report that most boards have met the targets that we've set, including the Tri-County board.

[Page 5614]

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, let's look at what's happening in the Tri-County school classrooms. Only a couple of the high schools offer elective courses that are common in other parts of this province. High school math, which is hard at the best of times, winds up in combined classes - Math 11 and Math Advanced 11 are being taught at the same time to kids with very different learning abilities. Science classes are on a rotation, chemistry and physics are offered only once every three years. Good luck to you if you change your mind going into Grade 12. To the Minister of Education, is this fair?

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, we certainly do look at the funding we give to all boards across the province and as a result of some of the concerns that have been brought forward from Tri-County, my department, my deputy and I have visited that board many times, we visited municipal units in the area to try to help them understand the formula and to try to help them understand that no part of the application of that formula ever disadvantages students in Tri-County.

But I do want to mention when we're talking about funding and we're talking about Tri-County, in particular, the funding to Tri-County over the last four years has increased by 11 per cent. Each year, that funding goes up and I have to tell you that 11 per cent is a greater increase than to other boards. What I'm saying to the board and to the member opposite, we believe we have provided adequate funding and we are wanting to make sure, the same as the member opposite is, that the funding that board has is used to the best advantage of its students.

MR. BELLIVEAU: Mr. Speaker, the minister's deputy cannot explain a $2 million shortfall to the Tri-County School Board which would address many of these programs. The Hogg formula is now fully implemented. It's needs to be evaluated to see if it is working the way it is supposed to, as you would any other new program. Will the minister promise her department will determine if programs are being delivered fairly to all Nova Scotia students.

MS. CASEY: Mr. Speaker, the member makes reference to the Hogg Formula. The Hogg Formula, for those people who are not aware, was the formula that was designed and devised to provide fair and equitable funding to all boards across the province. Superintendents and board chairs were very much involved in the consultation and the finalization of that formula. It has been applied for the last two years, but as with every formula, we always watch to make sure that the application of that is not disadvantaging any students in our province and we will continue to monitor that. We do not believe Tri-County or any other student is disadvantaged because of the application of that formula.

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

[Page 5615]

SERV. N.S. & MUN. REL.: MOBILE HOME PARK ADVISORY COMM. -

RECOMMENDATIONS

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, five years ago, the Progressive Conservatives committed to create a mobile home park advisory committee to wrestle with contentious issues facing tenants and landlords in land-leased communities. The committee was struck more than four years ago, June 2004, but since then we haven't heard a peep from it. The committee, so I'm told, met regularly and provided up to 40 key recommendations to the minister and all that hard work appears to be going nowhere. Mr. Speaker, why is the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations not acting on these recommendations which could make life better, not only for tenants, but for landlords as well, in mobile home parks, sometimes referred to as land-leased communities?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm not entirely sure where the honourable member is getting his information, but the committee is active and it does provide advice to the government. The advice is analyzed and indeed a number of suggestions it has put forth have been acted upon.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, there are 650 homes in Woodbine Mobile Home Park in Beaver Bank. I regularly get calls with complaints such as unfair eviction notices, refusing tenants and other unreasonable requests by their landlord. The recommendations of the Mobile Home Park Advisory Committee could help solve some problems for the residents of Woodbine, only we wouldn't know because no one besides the minister has seen the recommendations. If anything has been implemented, we haven't seen it yet. Why won't the minister release these recommendations so tenants and landlords can comment on them?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there is really nothing secretive about the recommendations. Of the items that the honourable member has mentioned, none of them have to do with the Residential Tenancies Act. One would put on my political hat for a minute and one might understand, particularly with that group on the other side of the House, to try to make major changes to the Residential Tenancies Act in a minority situation is probably going to be very, very difficult.

MR. PARIS: Mr. Speaker, after four years of hard work and nothing to show for it, new members are being sought for this committee. My question through you, Mr. Speaker, why would the minister bother to recruit new members when he didn't act on the recommendations of the previous ones?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I didn't catch the first part of his question, I'm sorry, I wonder if he could repeat it.

[Page 5616]

MR. PARIS: I'll go right from the start. After four years of hard work and nothing to show for it, new members are being sought for this committee. My question is, why would the minister bother to recruit new members when he didn't act on the recommendations of the previous committee?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the committee that is in existence does provide valuable advice to the department. Like many committees, not all advice is accepted or acted upon. It does not mean it's not good advice but that committee does provide a valuable role and clearly, if the honourable member thinks that that committee should be disbanded, then he should just, perhaps, stand up and say it should be disbanded.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

TIR - HWY. NO. 101 (BERWICK): PASSING LANES - UPDATE

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. Last Spring I asked the minister about the construction of passing lanes in the Berwick area along Highway No. 101. In response the minister told us that, "We are in the design stages now of those passing lanes." So my first question to the minister is, it has been six months, have you advanced past those design stages?

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for that question, it is a very good question. I will get the information for him momentarily as to the status of that. My understanding is that we are past the design part of looking at how we'll acquire the proper funding to make that happen, but I know the honourable member has brought that to my attention in the past. I know it's very important to him and I'll endeavour to get that information for him as soon as I can.

MR. GAUDET: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Highway No. 101 is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in our province and the government must address this issue. So again, when can we expect construction of passing lanes to begin along the stretch of Highway No. 101?

MR. SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, again thank the member opposite for the question, I will get that information. I do want to say, Mr. Speaker, that we've done a lot of work on Highway No. 101 in the last number of years; we're working on the next section now. There's a section that's going to open within the next few days, I believe, actually later this week - the section of Highway No. 101, the next section that will be open to the public. It's been repaved and ready to open. We're working on the next section, the grading and getting ready to actually pave that next year, so that section will be open during the next construction season.

[Page 5617]

As you know, Mr. Speaker, we're working on the issue, the environmental issues around the Windsor issue and hope we'll have something to say in the Legislature soon about that. I want to say that I know this issue is very dear to the heart of the honourable member because he talks about it on a regular basis and I will endeavour to get the information. I want to assure him and the House that we're doing everything we possibly can to ensure that we do as much work as we possibly can on Highway No. 101 to make it as safe as possible.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the department is responsible for over 23,000 kilometres of road in Nova Scotia. I'm only asking about a few kilometres of highway on Highway No 101 that was announced by the government a year ago. So my final question to the minister - will you commit to begin construction of passing lanes between Berwick and Kingston as soon as possible?

MR. SCOTT: Yes.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

AGRIC.: AGRIC. SECTOR - ACTION

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. My question is for the Minister of Agriculture. Opposition members, farmers and others from across Nova Scotia have come to this House many times over the last 10 years to raise the issues causing the perfect storm of events that have been facing our farmers. In 2001, a GPI Atlantic Report showed that if the then-current trends continued, major parts of the province's agriculture sector would disappear. The GPI's report this summer showed that the downward spiral is continuing, so my question for the minister; how decimated must the agricultural sector be before you take action?

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question and I would remind the honourable Agriculture Critic with the NDP that in fact this government, in a per capita production basis, invests more money in agriculture than any province in Canada.

MR. MACDONELL: Well I guess, Mr. Speaker, that's evidence there is the ability to do something and also the ability to do it well, neither of which the minister has. Mr. Speaker, in response to the GPI Atlantic Report this summer, farmers and their representatives did not react with surprise, they saw this coming. The minister's response was one of shock and he stated, and I quote, "The results of the Atlantic GPI are more worrisome and most of us would recognize farm incomes are in decline but their numbers are staggering". So my question to the minister is, how could you find these numbers staggering when the industry and the Opposition have been warning your government of this impending decline for 10 years?

[Page 5618]

MR. TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, this government has put forward, implemented a number of programs in support with the stakeholders, the farmers and their families. I would remind that member that he and his Party voted against $750,000 additional dollars for the agriculture industry vitalization program; $350,000 for our Buy Local Select Nova Scotia Program; $3.8 million over four years to help fruit and grape industries grow in the Province of Nova Scotia; Mr. Speaker, $500,000 for the hog industry; $1.9 million for the cattle industry. You name the commodity, this government is here working with the stakeholders, the farmers and the NDP. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order please.

MR. TAYLOR: The House convened, Mr. Speaker, on October 30th and here we are, into our fourth week, and today, they ask their first question on agriculture. Where's their priorities? (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, the NDP priorities are the same as Nova Scotians' priorities, which was the reason we voted against a government of which the people have no confidence. (Applause)

For eight years farmers have engaged industry stakeholders in what can only be described as a comprehensive approach at planning for the future. Farmers have a plan, they have said repeatedly there's enough money in the system now and they just need a plan to use it better. My question for the minister is, when are you going to bring forward a made-in-Nova Scotia agricultural policy that will firstly stop the decline of the industry and secondly, help it grow?

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations on an introduction.

[11:45 a.m.]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I would request members turn their attention to the east gallery where we are joined today by 26 students from a Grade 11 Canadian History class at the Cobequid Education Centre; they are regular visitors. Robert Langille is one of the teachers, as well as Peter Keavney and I know they've been here over the last three or four years anyway - by the way, Robert Langille is the son of the member that used to be over here from Colchester North - and Jennifer Hunter. I would ask all of the students - and I hope

[Page 5619]

you're enjoying your time in the House - to stand, along with your teachers and receive the warm welcome of all the members. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 199.

Bill No. 199 - Enforcement of Court Orders Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, indeed I am pleased to rise this afternoon to move second reading of Bill No. 199, the Enforcement of Court Orders Act. This amendment to legislation also helps out consumers who buy secondhand cars. Until now, under the Enforcement of Court Orders Act, the Registrar of Motor Vehicles had refused to transfer ownership of a vehicle if the owner had unpaid fines under a federal enactment such as the Criminal Code. If someone had been caught drinking and driving, for example, they often are penalized with stiff fines and appropriately so. This puts some innocent car buyers in a frustrating situation. After handing money over to buy a car, they then find themselves unable to register it because the previous owner hadn't paid all of their fines. With this change, that will no longer be a problem; the transaction can now be completed. This may also help people who do owe fines because they will now be able to sell their vehicle and perhaps use some of the proceeds to pay the government what they owe.

As a government we're dedicated to doing all we can to help and protect consumers. this amendment, we hope, will help to ease the burden for Nova Scotians. So with that I believe the intent and the purpose of the legislation are relatively self-explanatory, as a consumer protection piece and again, I'm very pleased to rise and move second reading.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I compliment the minister for responding to a very common-sense idea. Speaking personally, having had a daughter with her first car buy, at the time she was in that innocent situation where she purchased a secondhand vehicle that had a history. The history of these vehicles, of course, is going with

[Page 5620]

them particularly if there are outstanding fines or for other reasons. This will close a loophole that is necessary, making sure that the consumer is protected. It's a piece of legislation that the NDP caucus can support and we look forward to it going through to the Law Amendments Committee. It's based on common sense, it's a good idea and it has our support. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise and speak for a few moments on Bill No. 199, the Enforcement of Court Orders Act. As has been mentioned by the minister, the purpose of this amendment is to, in essence, protect Nova Scotians who, without their knowledge, purchase vehicles from an individual who may have outstanding fines against them, and this was creating some difficulties. At no point would anyone expect that someone purchasing a vehicle from another individual who owed fines and had not paid them, would somehow be now required to assume those fines.

So obviously, as has been mentioned, this is a commonsense change, but, Mr. Speaker, there are a few issues that do come to light when we talk about this. Unbelievable to me, there are still many Nova Scotians, apparently, who believe that if they don't pay their speeding tickets, or pay their parking fines, or any other fines against them, that somehow these fines disappear and that they go away, they turn back into dust and return to the ground and then it's all over. Now, I'm being facetious when I say that, but the calls I get to my office from people who say, well, I went to renew my licence and they want me to pay $300 in parking tickets that I had never paid and why should I have to pay a parking ticket I got five years ago or more.

Well, Mr. Speaker, it took awhile to get the system in place but I think all of us knew deep down that eventually they were going to figure out a system of attaching these parking tickets, and any other fines given, to a means of ensuring that you are going to pay for it. That's now in place. I use this opportunity because anyone who is watching may want to now look upon whether they do have any outstanding fines and realize that they are going to be forced to pay them once they go to renew their vehicle, or renew their licence, or try to transfer a vehicle. So it is going to get caught up to them and they probably would want to deal with this now rather than making it wait any longer and having the unpleasantness of arriving at the Registry of Motor Vehicles to be told that they have an ungodly amount of money to pay.

At the same time, Mr. Speaker, I'm curious as to whether the government has done enough to educate Nova Scotians and make them aware of the new system that is in place for the collection of these outstanding parking tickets and fines in our province. So I simply share those remarks here today in the hopes that government will take it on notice that maybe a better education campaign, or means of making Nova Scotians aware of how the new system works, will be undertaken at the same time.

[Page 5621]

One of the other issues, Mr. Speaker, when we talk about vehicle transfers and sales, an issue that I often hear in my own riding, and I'm sure that members in the House have heard as well, it's the whole issue of transferring a vehicle to a family member and not having to pay taxes. This is a very popular mechanism used in my area but the issue becomes, who falls under the definition of being a family member? It's felt in many ways - I believe right now how it currently works is it basically has to be parent to child. I'm wondering if the government has taken any opportunities to review whether it would be possible to extend that to include, for example, brother to brother, sister to sister, and look at other means of expanding the definition of family under the Act so that when family members - and in some cases in very tight financial situations - are trying to help one another and it's not uncommon, especially in rural Nova Scotia, that a family member might want to give their vehicle to another family member who can't afford to buy their own. Should we be expanding that definition so that they don't have to pay taxes?

I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, in many of these cases, it's not family transferring a Cadillac to another family member. Let's be honest, in most cases they're very modest vehicles of modest value. It's usually, in many cases, an act of kindness that they're undertaking and, unfortunately, our province rewards them by taxing them when they do come to make that transfer even though no money was exchanged. So I do hope that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, whom I do believe would be responsible for this, would take these comments and ask his staff, possibly, to review whether there is an opportunity to expand the definition of family member when it comes to transferring a vehicle in Nova Scotia.

Even, Mr. Speaker, to start off with - because there might be the concern, oh, well, now we're going to allow families to go out and buy vehicles and escape taxes - even if we started by putting a cap on what the value of the vehicle can be that would even apply to this. I think there are reasonable ways to do this, but I think what a great message it would send, especially in the cases where families are trying to help out another family member by giving them their vehicle, that the government would say, we accept this and we're not going to tax you on the transfer being that there was no actual money exchanged in light of this. The member for Timberlea-Prospect says this is a common-sense bill and I think that's a common-sense suggestion and one that I think would be a popular one and that it's one of those that wouldn't have a big cost to the government but I think would certainly send a strong message of support for Nova Scotians who undertake such acts of kindness within their own family.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I take the opportunity to share that thought and I will probably follow it up in writing to the minister for his consideration and his department's consideration on possibly expanding that definition, but certainly Bill No. 199 makes it clear now that if you are going to purchase a vehicle where the previous owner did have outstanding fines, it is not going to impact the transfer and certainly no one expects that you

[Page 5622]

would be paying the fines for anyone else. So it is a common-sense bill and does deal with the matter.

[Page 5623]

Again, Mr. Speaker, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that we're happy to see the government and the Minister of Justice present these as stand-alone bills, rather than seeing these as part of the usual bills that we used to have presented to us. I think, if I am not mistaken, it has been a while so I almost forgot about them but I'm pretty sure that they used to be called the Justice Administration Act, where these issues were all bundled together and it made it a bit more difficult for us to debate and explain clearly to Nova Scotians what their intention of this legislation was.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, we do look forward to this bill going on to the Law Amendments Committee and any further suggestions that may come out of debate on Bill No. 199. Thank you.

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 I do want to thank my honourable colleagues for their intercessions here this afternoon on Bill No. 199. I believe that both have offered what were trying to be common-sense interpretations of practical next steps that we can make and improvements and for the civil procedures.

Mr. Speaker, I do encourage my honourable colleague, as he notes ideas that we would welcome, as he says, he's going to write to government and we welcome that effort on behalf of the member for Richmond and we'll look at that. Of course, if it's practical and, indeed, reduces red tape and needless burden, then that's worthy of looking at.

So, again, I want to thank the members and if there are questions that arise or suggestions as we move through the legislative process, we can discuss them further, but with that, I close debate on Bill No. 199.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 199. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 220.

Bill No. 220 - Judicature Act.

[Page 5624]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise and move Bill No. 220, the Judicature Act. The amendment ratifies and confirms the new Civil Procedure Rules. These rules regulate the court proceedings or procedures for the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

Mr. Speaker, they were last revised in 1972 and for the past five years, through the rules revisions project, the judges of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal have been working on these rules to update them. The new rules represent the culmination of years of painstaking, detailed analysis and review by judges, members of the private bar, public servants and volunteers.

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased today to be able to recognize their excellent work and thank them for that effort. This group took this job on in 2004, in an effort to examine the rules in detail and rewrite them where required, in the interest of efficiency, effectiveness and clarity. This very good work will improve the administration of justice in Nova Scotia.

With these new rules we expect fewer delays and more satisfactory results, thereby improving access to justice. Mr. Speaker, I'm hoping that my colleagues from all Parties in the House will give this legislation their support and recognize the significant and considerable effort taken by our judiciary.

I'd also note, in the process of revision, a very substantive and focused effort was put into making sure that plain language and the structure of the rules were such that a person that is representing themselves, or self-represented, would be able to navigate through those rules in a much better way than the other more formalized process that was often difficult for them to understand. That, as well, there will be means and ability to provide plain language guides for people about how to use the new Civil Procedure Rules and hopefully provide a greater efficiency.

[12:00 noon]

As we all know, our courts are pressured on all fronts with regard to the proceedings and the matters before them, so anything we can do to work with the courts is very important. In 1972 there was legislation brought forward and I would note that, as part of that, those rules are a delegated power to the courts. Having them considered by the House and the request of the judiciary to have it formalized through legislation is, in part, an effort to make sure that in any matters of appeal that it does have the recognition and authority of legislation and not just a delegated power. However, there are also colleagues in the House that are members of the Bar and I'm sure they will be able to speak to this as well. With that, I'm very pleased to move second reading.

[Page 5625]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, very briefly on behalf of my colleagues in the NDP caucus, we support this bill moving through second reading. What it does is approve the rules drafted by the judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. It's an interesting historical fact that the Civil Procedure Rules do require the approval of the Legislature before they come into force, which is why this bill is before us.

In fact, the Judicature Act says that these Civil Procedure Rules are supposed to be tabled in the House and if a member of the House objects to any of the rules, they can say so, and the rules don't take effect if there's an objection from any of the members. That procedure is probably from a different day and age, however, it is still on the books and that's why we have a law before us today to approve the Civil Procedure Rules.

For members who aren't sure what the Civil Procedure Rules are, they're simply a distinction of the Criminal Procedure Rules. Criminal cases are dealt with according to a procedure laid down in the Criminal Code of Canada, which is federal law, but all non-criminal court cases are civil cases, so the Civil Procedure Rules are simply the rules that apply to all non-criminal cases.

They do have an extraordinary importance because the justice system, in order to be fair, must make sure that cases move through in an orderly manner and also a speedy manner. If the rules are working well, the decisions that come out will be fair and speedy. It is true the existing Civil Procedure Rules were written in another time. They were written in 1972 under the leadership of former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Gordon Cowan, a very wise man who is widely credited with, essentially, single-handedly writing the rules. But they were written in a different era, long before the electronic filing of documents, long before electronic case management, long before a worrying trend in the justice system, which is a sharp increase in the number of people representing themselves.

I say that's worrying because the obvious reason for that sharp increase is because people can no longer afford a lawyer. There's a whole, large, growing section of the population who, if they get involved in a court case, can't possibly afford a lawyer and so they go before the courts with no legal advice about the substance of the case or the procedure. I know the judges of the court are very concerned about this trend. It ties up an inordinate amount of court time when you have people in a courthouse who, not to put too fine a point on it, don't know what they're doing.

Contrary to what people might think, when you have unrepresented litigants, it actually slows things down. When you have a lawyer, when you can afford a lawyer to take your case through, it actually speeds things up because they deal only with relevant matters, they don't deal with irrelevant matters. All the issues get dealt with in a thorough way and when you have an unrepresented litigant, you have just the opposite. You have people who

[Page 5626]

don't know the procedure. They don't know what's relevant from what's not relevant. They don't know how to marshal their case and present it to the court in an orderly way that makes sense to the court and the other parties. So an unrepresented litigant ultimately takes up more court time, not less.

While the minister points out that these rules have been written in a plain language format, which is a good thing, the reason that's necessary is precisely because there are so many people who have to go to court on their own. That's something that we need to think about and worry about, because legal aid rates, for example - the qualifying income for legal aid is so low now that essentially anybody who's working doesn't qualify for legal aid. Even if you're working full time at minimum wage, you would still earn too much to qualify for legal aid. So you have this whole stratum of society that doesn't qualify for legal aid and yet can't afford a lawyer, and there's an enormous gap in between those two. So it's good that the Civil Procedure Rules are written in plain language, but it's a sign of a worrying trend.

Now, having said that, Mr. Speaker, good, modern, up-to-date rules should help our justice system deal with the cases that are before them and that's good for everybody. We have heard some indication that there will be at least one presenter before the Law Amendments Committee with a specific rule that they disagree with for a specific reason. I'm not sure at this point in the process that it's open to the Legislature to identify a specific rule and say we, the Legislature, think the rule should read differently, it's probably far, far, far too late in the process for that to happen.

It seems to me that the only power realistically available to the Legislature is either to say yes to all of the rules, or no to all of the rules, and not start to pick them apart and say, well, we like most of the rules but there are some we don't like. Frankly I'm not sure that the members of the House have the ability to get into that level of detail in the court system, to know exactly what the practical implications of this or that rule would be, but it will be interesting to see who comes before the Law Amendments Committee.

In closing, Mr. Speaker, I just want to point out one thing that I personally find annoying in government bills - it has nothing to do with the substance of the bill - and that is the proclamation date. We know when these rules are coming into force, it's January 1, 2009, and yet the bill says that what has now become standard legislative language, the default position, it comes into force on the date that the government declares by proclamation. There is absolutely no reason why this bill, which has a definite date for the rules coming into force, needs to be subject to proclamation. Either it comes into force on January 1st or it doesn't, but we have gotten so used to this language that we often overlook it and forget to point out that this is actually a relatively modern development, that in the old days it either came into force on Royal Assent, which was normal, or there was a specific date specified that it would come into force.

[Page 5627]

Now we just seem to accept as a matter of course, all bills, no matter what they say, are subject to proclamation by the government, and this is just another example - and there are dozens that I could point to over the years - where there is absolutely no reason why this bill needs to be subject to proclamation, but the House essentially, Mr. Speaker, seems to have given up on that point. What we have, and what we see, are dozens and dozens and dozens of bills that are debated in this House, passed by the House, approved by the House, and then the government decides they're not going to be the law of the province and they simply don't proclaim them.

The only way to stop that is for the House to stop putting in this clause, what has now become the standard clause, that the bill is subject to proclamation. But, Mr. Speaker, clearly that's not an important enough point to hold up this bill. I just wanted to point it out because this bill is a perfect example of where it needs to come into force on Royal Assent or on January 1, 2009, but instead the government says, well, it's whenever we declare it, it will come into force, and I think that's a mistake. Having said that, we should close, I think, by congratulating the Judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal for what is a great deal of hard work that has gone into the modernizing of the rules. We certainly support speedy justice in this province and we believe this bill will help to go just a little way toward achieving that.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise as the Liberal Justice Critic to say a few words on Bill No. 220, the Judicature Act. As has been mentioned by the Minister of Justice and the member for Halifax Fairview, the last time the civil procedures rules were revised was 1972. Obviously there have been many changes in our court administration system since that time and it was important to update the exact rules that would be applied to our civil court system today.

Many times we accuse the government or others of trying to rush things through, but I don't think anyone would accuse the new Civil Procedure Rules of being rushed because the work started back in 2004 and I'm sure there were some decisions even prior to that which led to some of the changes which are being presented to us here today. Certainly, I want to take this opportunity as a member of the Bar myself to commend the judges of both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the members of the Nova Scotia Bar and the many other volunteers who worked on preparing the Civil Procedure Rules which are being presented to us today.

While I won't list off all of the members of the committees who were involved, I thought it useful to add to the record, just to give members a sense of the work that was involved here, just the actual list of the committees that were involved. If you look under committee members you had the Rules, Reform and Revision Project Steering Committee; the Supreme Court Drafting Subcommittee; Supreme Court Family Division Drafting

[Page 5628]

Subcommittee; and the Appeal Court Drafting Subcommittee. Then you had what was called the committee reports and you have the Appeals Working Group; Judicial Review Working Group; Discovery and Disclosure Working Group; Evidence Working Group; Early Dispute Resolution Working Group; Determinations Without Trial Working Group; Small Claims Working Group; Management of Litigation Working Group.

Needless to say, the input that was received in bringing together these new rules came from people with various backgrounds in our legal system. Obviously, not only for those who are in the legal system and understand it but those outside too, it's quite complicated and certainly a great deal of work went into making these new rules a reality. As the minister indicated, the intention of these new rules is to make our court system more efficient and easier to understand for Nova Scotians, should they find themselves involved in our court system.

While we are certainly supportive of the changes, I would take the opportunity as Justice Critic to remind the Minister of Justice that we still have a problem in human resources in our court system. When you go to court and you hear them setting dates for a year into the future, that is not acceptable. It is clear that we need more judges here in Nova Scotia, especially in specific areas of this province. I note that the minister and his federal counterpart has made some appointments recently, but clearly there is still a problem because the old adage which we've all heard - justice delayed is justice denied - is still a problem here in Nova Scotia. It is not only a problem for those involved and those accused, but it's certainly a big problem for victims who have to wait months and years to see matters finally dealt with.

We read in the newspaper where someone finally has come up for sentencing for something that happened in 2005, 2006. There are certain elements of our system which do take time. The whole discovery process - if there's any sort of evaluations that are asked for prior to the proceedings, we realize that takes time. But, there certainly seems to be still a problem in securing court time, to have these matters heard.

Civil Procedure Rules and updated rules are certainly an important step, but to make our court system more efficient we need to have the right amount of judges, lawyers and staff ready to hear these cases. I would hope that the Minister of Justice would acknowledge this in his remarks and would even give us an indication of what steps are being taken to address the backlog that still exists in courtrooms throughout our province, so that we can make sure that our justice system doesn't only seem to work, but that in reality it works and it works as efficiently as possible. So I take this opportunity, on this bill, to remind the minister of that and urge the government to follow up and support these new rules. If they're serious about wanting to make our system more efficient, more user-friendly, we need to have the proper people in place to allow that to happen. I would suggest to you, there are still a number of gaps here in our system in Nova Scotia and, as such, our system is not working as efficiently

[Page 5629]

as it should, for either the accused, or the victims in our province, or those who are involved in any other type of disputes in our Nova Scotia court system.

[Page 5630]

So with that, Mr. Speaker, we certainly will be supporting Bill No. 220 moving on past second reading, to the law amendment stage, where we look forward to any presentations that come forward there, and any other amendments which may need to be undertaken to this very lengthy document. So with that, Mr. Speaker, I appreciate, again, everyone who has worked so hard in making this a reality today, thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

[12:15 p.m.]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise and close debate on Bill No. 220, the Judicature Act, and I do want to thank my honourable colleagues for their intercessions today and comments that they have made. As members of the Bar, they have a level of appreciation for what this process and the impact of such rules are. Indeed, for our colleagues, as we said, this is about efficiency and streamlining in the process, not just for those who work in the court system for civil matters, but also for those who have to access the court system for civil matters. This is an important aspect for them and one that we hope will take away some administrative burden. As my honourable colleague for Richmond has indicated, in terms of the processes - and he is correct - there have been appointments at the federal and the provincial level as we move forward to addressing filling vacancies and also looking at other pressures that are within the system.

We're also working with the judiciary and other justice partners to look at how we streamline processes. Mr. Speaker, we are looking and working with the judiciary, with the opportunity where Video Court, for instance, will assist inefficiencies; and doing a pilot, for instance, in Ingonish and Cheticamp, so that there can be video conferencing; looking and working with the judiciary at video conferencing with regards to the arraignment process, which helps not only in the administrative burden, but also in the flow and the number of individuals in and out of facilities. So all of those are part of recognizing that there's no one solution in its entirety, but many aspects that come together.

I do agree with my colleagues who recognize the detailed level of work by the people within the justice system, the judiciary specifically and all those who have been part of the many committees that my honourable colleague for Richmond has listed. In fact, this has been a very large effort and they are committed to having the most efficient, modern, updated system in Nova Scotia that meets not only the needs of today, but well into the future, and that utilization of the new Civil Procedure Rules, in conjunction with technology, as well with looking at new processes. Some people would say thinking outside the box but mostly we're looking at, how do we improve levels of services and reduce administrative burden so people are on to hearing the cases that matter most and that people do have access to justice in a timely manner?

[Page 5631]

So, Mr. Speaker, I do recognize that and I would note, to my honourable colleagues, we continue to look - and I would reiterate - at other areas that we're going to have to address in providing resources to the judiciary and one of those aspects is looking at the compliment and number of judges. We also, in the last number of appointments, have looked at the balance of judges that have been in place, in terms of when you consider that two of the recent appointments would provide as well, from their own personal expertise coming into the system, are also providing French language services for individuals. I would note that one of our appointments comes from within an ethnic community, also fluently bilingual and that's been an asset in that appointment. Our most recent appointment - the individual appointed will also be taking the program that is in place for judicial French language training to build on that and provide that level of service to the people in the Annapolis Valley area for Family Court division.

These are all positive things and shows we are trying to meet the needs of individuals, recognizing as well that there needs to be diversity on the bench. That's something we will look at as we go forward and try and make sure we have that balance that is so important in this day.

I would say to my colleagues and members of the House that, indeed, we do hear what they've said and I think working with the courts and bringing in this bill is another step along that way. With that, I'm pleased to close debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 220. Would all those in favour of the motion, please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 212.

Bill No. 212 - Homeowner Protection Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and talk for a few moments about Bill No. 212, the Homeowner Protection Act. What this bill is - it's the first in a series of measures the province will be taking to improve homeowner protection, particularly in reference to new residential unit construction. One of the interesting things that has happened

[Page 5632]

during the past 10 years is the expansion in the number of housing units, particularly here in the metro area. I'm not going to say that's directly responsible - it coincides with the time the Progressive Conservatives have been in office, but . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: It is what it is.

MR. MUIR: But, anyway, as everybody knows, this has been a period of unprecedented growth in Nova Scotia, particularly here in metro in the numbers of housing units that have appeared. Particularly, people also moving from single family residences to the condo market has been really tremendous. I can tell the House that in my community, which is a community in and around Truro, we actually had our second condo project operational and the units are all filled now and, by the way, without consumer complaint. There are a couple of other projects on the books.

I know in Baddeck they are talking about building condos up there and I think there is part of a condo project already taking place on the Cabot Trail - I'm going to look to the member for Cape Breton Centre to nod his head if that is correct. He is standing now, I'm sorry, I didn't see him back there, but that is correct. The issues that primarily came to the forefront had to do with condos but the fact is that this method of housing is now and has moved from the metro area into other parts of the province.

The unfortunate thing that happened in some cases, there were primarily in the metro area here some unfortunate examples of buildings that didn't work very well once they were constructed. As a matter of fact, they leaked and some other deficiencies with them and the other unfortunate part of that is that those who owned the properties after a certain period of time, they had a very limited warranty and in some cases, the residents, the owners of these properties were forced to pick up some very expensive repairs.

Indeed, one which I personally was in, a friend owns it and I believe her bill in the first couple of years after purchasing the unit was $60,000 for repairs and there was no recourse on that.

Government had formally received a number of - it started formally about a year ago - complaints about new home construction in this area, primarily relating to condos. Government did act. We had consultants go out and try to find out if there was the problem we were hearing about and, if so, what was the scope of the problem and, lastly, to make some suggestions - if there is a problem that needs to be fixed, what would be some of the steps that government could take to fix it? What this bill does represent is the first of the steps that the government will be taking to try to remove, for homeowners, some of the deficiencies that they have been saddled with for the past number of years.

Members will remember that - I believe it was last Friday - I tabled the New Homeowner Protection report, and this report contains the results of the recent

[Page 5633]

comprehensive review of the protections currently in place for owners of new homes in Nova Scotia, and it also includes recommendations to improve protection in this area.

I'd like just to begin - I've said a few things, but I want to take just a couple of minutes to talk about why government felt it was important to review protections in this area.

Just over a year ago the government formally received some complaints, in relation to new home construction, which included insufficient purchase deposit protection, poor workmanship which resulted in water penetration and other construction deficiencies, and obviously the perceived lack of recourse for home buyers. These concerns were raised by new home and condominium owners, as well as the industry itself. Clearly, we have a construction industry here, for the most part, a very good construction industry and they, along with people who were purchasing their work, were interested in protecting the integrity of the home-building industry here in Nova Scotia.

As I said, our response was to assess and define the problem by hiring an independent consultant - in this case it was the Novus Consulting Group - to investigate the whole issue of homeowner protection. They were to find out if the problem actually exists; if the problem exists to define it; to talk with people in industry, homeowners and a whole variety of other people; and to take a look at what was happening in other jurisdictions as well. What they were charged with was that if there was a problem that needed fixing, to suggest how the problem could best be fixed.

Mr. Speaker, I'm going to mention that the concerns voiced by Nova Scotians over deficient buildings are not unique to this province. There are other provinces - and I think the one that would be most widely known is B.C., which introduced legislation for homeowner protection - are concerned with this and are taking measures as well.

This was a comprehensive review and it contained eight recommendations for improving homeowner protection. Among the recommendations that have been made were a call for the creation of a registry of builders and developers. Most of the people who are builders in this province, who are developers, they obviously are incorporated businesses and they are in the Registry of Businesses in the province, but at the particular time, as far as I can ascertain, there is no sole registry of builders and developers which a person could refer to.

Mr. Speaker, that was one of the things suggested and certainly one of the things we're looking about. Now the question, of course, would come along, if this registry is developed or created, and it seems to me to be a reasonable thing, who would create the registry? Would it be something perhaps included in one of the branches of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, or would it be a list that was compiled by the industry?

Mr. Speaker, one which we are working on is that of a mandatory home warranty program, for at least all newly-constructed condominiums and potentially single-family dwellings. Now I should say that when the consultants went out in the field, they didn't just

[Page 5634]

look at condos and apartments, they looked at all residential construction and, by and large, they found that the problems were - I was going to say contained to the condominium developments and I should say a few condominium developments, Obviously there are a number of them out there that were first-quality workmanship, like the ones in my area and no problems for the owners at all.

[12:30 p.m.]

There were, to be quite frank, a few people whose projects really weren't up to scratch, in terms of what we would think as being acceptable standards, that if you spent a lot of money in a property, it shouldn't leak after two years, neither the roof nor the walls, and there were some cases where this happened.

What we are talking about is a mandatory home warranty program for at least all newly-constructed condominiums and perhaps extending that to single-family dwellings. Mr. Speaker, the nature of that, the reason we haven't done anything on that right now is we've got to work with people to determine what type of warranty would it be. Would it be an insurance warranty? Would it be run as an insurance program? Would it be run as another type of warranty program? I'm told that there are a variety of these across the country and exactly how we would work and clearly once we get into this, we want a program that works for Nova Scotians.

Another thing that was recommended that we will be moving forward on in hopefully the not-too-distant future is that under the current regulations for building, that the people who are involved in the construction project are often able to sign off on the construction elements, in other words if things have been done correctly or not. A lot of people were upset about that, saying simply that, you know, it's very difficult if somebody is an engineer or an architect who is employed by a developer, it appears, whether there is really or not, certainly it would give the appearance of a conflict of interest, if they were asked to sign off on the product that was being developed.

So one of the suggestions was that there would be two of the big issues with condos, buildings with water penetration and building envelope failure. So the suggestion from this group, and we hope to move forward on it before too long, is that there would be mandatory inspections by independent inspectors of condominium buildings of more than three stories for water penetration and building envelope failure. So it would remove the perceived - in some cases - conflict that those who were part of the building project, if they were doing the assessments, by bringing in an independent person.

One of the things, Mr. Speaker, that we were able to act on immediately and, of course, to be quite frank, this is the substance of this bill, is deposit protection for purchasers of pre-construction and in-construction residential units. One of the ways that buildings have been constructed here by some developers is that, for example, if the member for Halifax

[Page 5635]

Needham decided that she wanted to buy a condo and somebody had a project that was ongoing, the developer would say, well, if you pay for your unit up front, I'll guarantee you a price and I will use that money and use it as operational cash. In other words, I'll use your money to help build the building. Well, we really didn't have any recent examples of buildings going bankrupt and people losing, effectively, their deposits, but it was a concern mentioned by those who made presentations to the reviewers.

What this legislation really does now is say that if you provide money to a developer, or a builder, to build you a house, or in the case of a condominium, that money must be placed in trust and cannot be used as operational funds for the building of the building. In other words, your deposit is safe until you take title to your unit, and that's what this bill is all about, Mr. Speaker. It's an element of homeowner protection and it was one that - although we haven't had recent examples of that being a problem - it is one that people felt should be done.

To be quite frank, Mr. Speaker, we moved on it very quickly. It was the one which we could do. We knew that we could do it because we have the example - if you go to a real estate agent and put a deposit down on a house, or put a deposit down on a property and it goes to the lawyer, that is put in trust until the sale is completed. That's exactly what this legislation is trying to do, to provide the same protection for people who are buying in-construction or pre-construction units, to see that they get the same protection that would be afforded to a person who buys property through a realtor and goes through a lawyer. The money would be treated exactly the same way.

Another thing which we have already begun in conjunction with the industry, Mr. Speaker - or I should say we'll begin very quickly - is new-home buyer protection. Now, I think the dream of just about everybody in our country is that sometime in their life they'll own their own home, as a good many people in here. I don't know how many people in here do own their own homes, but I know sometimes you just learn by experience. If you're fortunate to have good people around you when you make that very major decision, then you're probably going to have a satisfactory experience. But there are people who get into this process who don't have good people around them to give them advice, who sometimes get into difficulty.

Mr. Speaker, it was felt that one of the things that was needed - information that the consultants got from the field when they did the study, as well as from the industry - is to work together and develop a better education program for people who are considering purchasing, not only new homes, but to buy homes that are already constructed.

So that's another one of the recommendations which I guess, you know, you would say, well, gee, it's funny that that hasn't been around. There has been no formal organized program, although I know that some of the financial institutions that lend money are interested in protecting their investments too, so they do put out information. But sometimes

[Page 5636]

I'm not sure how many people actually read that, or they do read it after they've made the decision to go ahead and buy a home rather than seeing some of the things that should be looked at before you make that significant decision.

[Page 5637]

Mr. Speaker, there is a steering committee consisting of staff from my Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and HRM that is currently analyzing all of the recommendations that are in that report, to determine the full implications of each one. They are pretty straightforward if you look at them but if you don't dig down and get people who know the business to give you some good advice, or perhaps some bad advice - I don't know, mainly good advice - then you're liable to get yourself into a little bit more difficulty. So we felt it was better to go a little bit slower and to study the full implication of all these recommendations before we move ahead full bore.

So we have that committee now, the steering committee consisting of people from my department, from the Department of Labour and Workforce Development and HRM, analyzing the recommendations to determine the full implication of each one. Part of the thing will be with these recommendations - and government, as I say, has accepted them all in principle - is that if these recommendations are all put into force, what would be the agency that is responsible for it? Should it be the industry or should it be, for example, Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations?

Clearly government doesn't want to get involved in things that it doesn't have to be involved in and if the industry can look after these recommendations, some of them better than we can, certainly that would be our wish, to let the industry, because for the most part, we've got a very good industry here in the province. I've met with them on a number of occasions, they are concerned about the quality of the people who are in their industry, they promote education of tradespeople, they want their tradespeople to be properly certified. They don't want people working on the projects who aren't particularly well qualified.

From a layperson's point of view, because I am certainly no expert on construction, it seemed to me that one of the things that happened, probably in HRM where the home building market was so hot that there probably were not sufficient skilled tradespeople to do all the projects that needed to be done and, similarly, trying to get the inspections done. Whether there was time to get all the inspections done as well as they should have been is the question and that was really, I guess in some ways to me, probably because it was so hot.

You hear the statement, well I can't get a plumber, I can't get a carpenter, I can't get an electrician and sometimes when these people who have the certification aren't available, what you do is you get somebody who probably says that they can do the job but doesn't necessarily have the certification and sometimes you're lucky and these people are excellent, excellent tradespeople but sometimes they aren't. The greater the demand, then I guess the greater opportunity to get people doing those jobs that probably there would be people who could do them better.

Anyway, Mr. Speaker, the province is taking immediate action on one of these recommendations and that forms the basis of the Homeowner Protection Act. What it does

[Page 5638]

is, it proposes measures to provide deposit protection to Nova Scotians who enter new home construction agreements. If the legislation is passed, and it seems to me to be very good legislation, Nova Scotians who purchase residential units that are in the construction phase or actually in pre-construction phase, will see their deposits placed in trust, which thereby reduces the potential financial loss to consumers.

As I said, Mr. Speaker, this has not been a major problem in the industry but the consultants and those who provided input to consultants felt that there were dangers out there and this is something that could be kind of headed off at the pass and that's the essence of this legislation.

Mr. Speaker, I'm sure you could appreciate that for most families, the purchase of a home is the largest single investment they'll likely ever make. In developing this legislation, we listened to Nova Scotians and industry concerns. We had independent people do the research and it's clear from the findings that it was best to implement a mechanism that would protect consumers' purchase deposits on homes, residential units, that were not yet completed.

[12:45 p.m.]

As I've said, this is only the first step in developing a comprehensive approach to protecting new home buyers. The other recommendations that stem from the new homeowner protection report will, we hope, be fully implemented in the upcoming months. As I said, we felt it was better to move slowly and make sure the way these recommendations were going to be implemented was done in the best interests of all Nova Scotians and that would include the industry as well as home buyers.

We are already working with the industry to develop educational materials for new home buyers. We hope that will be available, probably in the Spring, to get it out there to people who are considering buying a home that has not yet been fully constructed, to help them in their decision making. The fact is that the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is working with industry and also with HRM where a good many of the problems actually arose - the ones that led to this study and this legislation. I think the input will be valuable and we will be doing something else in the area of consumer protection that will meet the needs of many Nova Scotians and once the report recommendations are fully implemented, hopefully, we will . . . I'm not sure we'll ever be able to make the problem totally go away because a warranty period is a warranty period and if you are somebody . . .

I can remember buying a car one time where the transmission broke down about 5,000 kilometres after the warranty (Interruptions) do you want to know about that?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: No, no.

[Page 5639]

MR. MUIR: No, eh? Anyway, I'm saying that for the most part, fortunately, that doesn't happen, but if you are a consumer and if that were to happen to you, in new home protection, obviously what we're doing is, the steps that we're taking won't cure all that if something happens right after warranty. But, we think the steps we have taken and will take will go a large way to making this problem go away for people in Nova Scotia.

I might add, just before I move second reading of this bill is that the condo owner groups, with whom our officials have met, as well as the consultant , are pleased with the direction that we are moving with this. I think with their support and the support of the industry, we are going to make this whole issue - I'm going to use the word condos because that's really where the problems were, although we're looking at all new homes, it would be more comfort for people who are investing in those units as a place, quite often, to spend out the rest of their life.

With those few words, I move second reading of Bill No. 212, the Homeowner Protection Act.

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

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the west gallery. Today we are blessed to have some of the finest Grade 12 students here from Lockview High. They are accompanied by teachers Neal Cody and Jill Hurshman. I'd like to see them rise and get a warm welcome here from the House. (Applause)

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

MS. BECKY KENT: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand today and offer my initial support to Bill No. 212, Homeowner Protection Act, deposit protection for citizens of Nova Scotia. This kind of protection is a must-do. It is something that certainly in my riding, in an area like Eastern Passage and Cole Harbour, that on a daily basis we are seeing new homes go up, exponentially within the community we are developing at a rate that I don't know that is shared across the entire province but certainly we want to see opportunities and development opportunities for families to move into their new homes, whether it be a higher density option like a condominium, or into a single-family home.

I'm pleased that the minister has taken the steps to start this progress, the stakeholders group, the discussion groups. The report that they received is a beginning and certainly this bill, but more work does need to be done, absolutely. The stakeholders group with these recommendations that have come forward did offer a number of scenarios. I really would encourage the government to continue the effort in this regard, such as the builder registration, an important aspect to the accountability, the knowledge, the empowerment that these kinds of registration lists offer new homebuilders, offer the citizens of Nova Scotia to

[Page 5640]

look to, to know that there's a body, a list of builders that are prepared to take the steps to be registered and be accountable for the work that they've done.

Mr. Speaker, the warranty program that the minister has spoken about is of particular interest to me most recently, and I'd like to reference a scenario that in my riding we experienced - actually during the by-election when I had the honour of being elected to this role as MLA for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage - a young family by the name of Pat and Nicole Gallant were building, were taking that extra step, that very, very large monumental step as the minister spoke of that some families do when they build their home, they took that step and they moved into their home, their young family, their young children, a beautiful, picturesque piece of property across from Fisherman's Cove, across from the provincial park, looking at the islands. What they didn't anticipate was the kind of damage, as it has been mentioned here, the water damage, the envelope damage that came with it afterwards. It's an experience that no one should have to deal with, Mr. Speaker.

Unfortunately, during that particular scenario, it was only at that point, my good colleague, the MLA for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, had to bring it to the attention, unfortunately, at the time that the then Minister of Energy had a principal interest in the company that built that home and it was only at a time of raising it in the media that it was dealt with. Frankly, that kind of shame tactic shouldn't be required, it shouldn't be, but the Gallants - beautiful home, they were looking forward to their first Christmas in their home, watching the water pour into their home, knowing that there was a $9,000 price tag attached to an already huge investment that they had in their property and getting nowhere with their warranty. They had that warranty; in a lot of cases they are there but those warranties, those regulations, the policies around that need to be tightened up because no family should have to face that.

Thankfully, the company came through, they've resolved their situation. To my knowledge it hasn't been an ongoing situation with that but if it is, I hope they'd be dealt with expeditiously. However, no family should have to go through that and I see this as progress. I see that as where do these kinds of Acts and changes and regulations will go.

Potential regulations and potential discussions on bills that would come forward regarding inspection regulations are equally important, Mr. Speaker. We hear about that a lot. Certainly in my time on council and again speaking from the numerous homes that are being built in the riding of Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and in the Cole Harbour area around the Morris Lake area, no doubt many of you have the same scenarios in your communities. An ongoing problem that we hear about is the inspections, frustrations with the inspections around that, frustrations with what they feel may be a biased situation. It's unfortunate. It doesn't happen all the time but it is something that's worth protecting. It's something that's worth tightening up. So I would encourage the government to continue those dialogues, continue that, tighten this up and bring it forward in as quick a manner as they can.

[Page 5641]

Mr. Speaker, Nova Scotians work hard for the money that they do earn, we know that. There's not a citizen of Nova Scotia who is not out there working to earn money to provide for their families and when they take on a decision such as this, it is not done lightly. It is not done without a lot of worry, concern, stress, and anything we can do to help them resolve and be able to go into this next stage of their lives in a more secure fashion, protection for them as homeowners, as consumers, it's the right step. So this is a good bill. This is a start.

The deposits in trust certainly address the risk factor and I think that's an important element to the concerns that homeowners have when they are building. It has been suggested that perhaps it's another layer of red tape, bureaucracy, that builders and homeowners will have to invest energy in but I think it is a valuable one. It's one that is there with a great purpose and I would like to see that one move forward.

I look forward to any presentations that might come forward at the Law Amendments Committee. We are prepared to move this to the Law Amendments Committee. Again, I would encourage, while I stand here, the minister and his department to carry through with the suggestions that he has made today on the other recommendations. It's an important aspect for all of us. We know that our province is growing. We know that certainly within this area, the 25-year plan, the high-density development opportunities that are out there, this is the start to help protect those who want to invest in that and I look forward to the next stage in our process.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to say a few words on Bill No. 212 which is the Homeowners Protection Act. This bill has a long history and the minister did bring some of it to light in talking about the difficulty that people have had, particularly condominium owners. I will say that when the minister decided to call a review of homebuilding and to look at suggestions, I was disappointed that he expanded it to cover new homes as well as condominiums because there are virtually, well, there are very few. I know the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has mentioned one but there are very few. I've been an MLA and a councillor for eight years now consecutively and have had virtually no calls on homes.

There's no area in this province that has had faster and I guess, more dense and more consistent home development than Clayton Park. It was the fastest growing community east of Montreal for a number of years. That may now be moving over a bit towards Bedford because most of our land is fully developed but it unfolded very quickly in about a 10-year period. Literally thousands of people moved to Clayton Park, moved into new homes, and they were not calling with issues around a single- family home construction. The problem arose around multi-unit buildings and from my discussions with the Home Builders Association, it occurred because of the complexity of those buildings, new building

[Page 5642]

materials, new building techniques, and far more complexity than you find in a standard single- family home. This is where the complaints have come and this is where many people have suffered tremendously. They've had financial hardship and have been let down, seriously let down by the systems they believed were in place to protect them. It was mentioned that buying your home is the single largest purchase that you will have, likely, in your lifetime, for every one of us. We have more regulations and control on the person who cuts your hair than we do on the person who builds your house or your condominium.

We believed, as all of us do, there were inspections in place, there's a building code, that you have financial protections, and what people found in these condominiums particularly - I'm going to focus on condominiums because people have not been nearly as impacted by home building - but what we found were people moving into a condominium that on average will cost you $200,000 or more, and within a few short months being asked to cough up another $20,000 or $30,000 per unit, I've heard in my riding, in order to cover building envelope deficiencies that were left when the builder finished or when the trades had gone away.

[1:00 p.m.]

The current warranty only covers one year. If they had a warranty, which is not mandatory, but they probably thought they were covered because they had a warranty, it's only one year for structural defects. What would happen was if you noticed leaks in one unit, you'd report it to the builder or whoever is responsible, they would come and make some corrections; another unit, perhaps another floor away or down the hall, had their little problem and that was addressed when you called; but nobody recognized that the problem was throughout the building and was really a much larger issue than a leaky window. That doesn't come to light until the year has passed and then the full responsibility for the repairs would fall to the condominium corporation.

I think a lot of people are unaware of their responsibility when they do buy into a condominium. You become a joint owner with all the other unit holders, and you're responsible for all of the building problems, for the grounds and all the common areas. These costs were tremendous on top of the large amounts of money that people had already paid to buy their condos. This has caused tremendous difficulty for people and they have felt very let down by a system that should have been there to protect them.

Certainly, the warranties need to be changed. But before I even go into all of the difficulties and all the challenges that we have before us to try and make this system better for condominium owners, we should look briefly at this bill itself. This bill does one thing only and that is to protect your deposit when you buy a building that's not yet constructed. This is quite common, particularly in the condominium market. I don't hear of it very often with houses, and perhaps we'll talk more about what happens in houses.

[Page 5643]

But, with condominiums, often a developer will own a site, and they will not start construction until they have pre-sold about 40 per cent of the units, that sort of tests the market, that the demand is there, they have 40 per cent sold and that gives them the financial footing to start all the very costly construction. Those 40 per cent of owners, however many unit holders that may be, have put down a sizable deposit to ensure that unit is theirs when it's completed. My mother did this for her condominium and she waited two years for the building to actually be open and for her to move into that.

This is a common practice and there is a concern that during that period of time, the builder may go bankrupt, and perhaps the minister may be thinking even now, with the financial crisis that's looming and some of the uncertainty in the market place, that this is even a better time to ensure this protection is in place for the new buyers of condominiums. This will ensure their funds are not left in the hands of the builder, but actually put into trust, so that if there's any financial collapse of that company, the money can be returned to those people who, in good faith, put down money to secure a new condominium unit for themselves.

I think that is important, but it is only one of eight recommendations in the report that was done for the minister and that's called the New Homeowner Protection Final Report, which was done by Novus Consulting Group Ltd. and that has come about because of these severe problems. The minister mentioned he'd only heard of this about a year ago and I would like to just table, while we're talking right now, a resolution that I read on November 22, 2006, and it finished with: "Therefore be it resolved that the government should address this problem through amendments to the Condominium Act or strengthening of the new home warranty program in order to protect condominium owners in new buildings from costly building deficiencies."

That particular resolution was voted down in November 2006. However, there were some Noes, we hear that a lot at the start of every day, when we're reading resolutions, but

the reason I table that today and raise it in the House is that I was aware of this problem, particularly during the 2006 election when I went through numerous condominium buildings in my riding, many of them brand new. I hadn't had the chance to go in them before because they had just been built. I heard time and again that there were problems.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Just on a point of clarification. Like the honourable member, I did hear these things anecdotally. Our first formal notification came - it was not that we hadn't heard some rumblings.

MR. SPEAKER: On a point of information, okay.

[Page 5644]

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. WHALEN: I appreciate that, Mr. Speaker, and I'm sure the minister was listening but it was more than anecdotal. There were actual buildings we could point to, there were costs involved. If we want to talk - and they're not anecdotal, I've seen them. There's a building in my riding that had an entire face of the building - a large, five-story condominium - that all the brick work had to be redone, an entire face. The building was two or three years old, at most. I mean that's not anecdotal when you have to pay literally hundreds of thousands of dollars to rebrick an entire side of the building. Leaks that were extreme, there's been law suits in my riding - a recent one that was over $1 million law suit to get repairs done because of the leaks in the building.

So it's not anecdotal, it's not fictitious. We know it's real, and the condominium owners themselves could not find an advocate for their views. I mean, we raised it here in the House; we tried to get more discussion but government wasn't listening. In fact, the condominium owners had to form their own association in order to really get their voice heard and to bring their issues squarely before the minister. The minister has met with them the moment they were formed. They are called the Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia and they probably officially kicked off about a year ago but they had begun to meet before that. They met government in July of 2007 and made recommendations and had written down their suggestions. They have over 100 members right now representing many of the condominium buildings in HRM and beyond and they certainly are trying to expand even further.

I think we can thank that organization and their president and vice-president, whose name Lorne Verabioff is the president and Ray Hunt is the vice-president of that organization. They really had felt, and in consultation with me and with others, realized they had to have an organization to have their voice heard. I had strongly recommended that because I know that if you join together with people who have the same issues and the same concerns, you have a lot more clout when it comes to talking to government. They did just that, so it went beyond a few people sending individual complaints to the Registrar of Condominiums. It became then a concerted effort to lobby government for these very important changes that are needed.

That organization, as I say, can be thanked by us here in the Legislature and I'm sure that many people who have contacted them are very happy because I've had calls now, in the meantime, from people who are experiencing problems, particularly going back to what I was speaking about in that first year of occupancy. I have told them, you have got to move fast because that year is going to be gone in no time and the onus on those repairs is going to be back onto you, as an individual owner and your fellow owners.

I had put them in contact with the organization. I should mention that the organization's initials are CONS and that very much expresses how they felt; they felt conned by the whole process. They felt that they had been so severely let down. Mr. Speaker,

[Page 5645]

we think that we have home inspections, for example, and we know that HRM has inspectors who are supposed to look at building sites and to understand building construction. What we've discovered, in asking questions and trying to find and assign some responsibility here, is that HRM has what really should be called plan checkers. The plans come into HRM and people - they have building experience, but really their role is to sit in their office and check the plans . They're checking them against the Canadian Building Code, which would say the door frames should be so wide or there has to be a certain number of exits for fire safety. They can easily check that on the plans and they'll make sure that everything is written in the plan but they're not on site. They're not looking at the quality of construction, the materials that are being used, whether or not things are appropriate in that regard.

So these buildings that are leaky and these buildings whose brick work is falling off, these buildings are fine according to the Canadian Building Code. So what we found was there isn't a hands on building inspection and I note that is one of the recommendations that is in the report that has come back, that we need independent building evaluations done and inspections done as the building is going up. That's certainly needed, Mr. Speaker, but it's not in this bill. There's nothing in this bill that's touching these quality issues that I'm talking about. We're protecting the deposit of people who are buying in advance of a building going up. That's what we're doing today.

I'm glad that the minister has found time to get one of the items on the agenda here today for this short sitting of the Legislature, but there are many more pressing issues and I'm feeling the frustration of people because every day new condominiums are going up and we hope they're going up, because if they stop going up it means our economy is slowing. We want to see development and we want to see people having new home opportunities, but not if it means that we haven't put the protections in place, and every year this passes more people are in those buildings. I can name buildings that have gone up this year where people are having water problems, so we need to know that there is a serious effort at play to get these protections in place.

As I say, Novus Consulting Group has identified most of them. I know that I was among the people who were interviewed when they were doing their research. They definitely interviewed a lot of people who had bought units. They talked to the Home Builders' Association, to the development community, they spoke to tradespeople, they spoke to government people - it's pretty exhaustive and it's a good size report too and it's readable on top of all that, after all their research. But they were very specific in what needs to be done and I don't see this before us today - and I think it's something that really must be seen as an urgent matter for all members of the Legislature.

The idea of condominiums had been largely an urban form of living but, as the minister pointed out, there are condominiums in Truro, there's a new condominium that I've had calls about from one of my constituents, in Liverpool, and there are condominiums in Sydney and all over the province. So it's becoming a more popular form of living,

[Page 5646]

particularly as people either buy them as their first home or live in them when they sell their family home and don't need that amount of space.

As I said, Mr. Speaker, they are not inexpensive, they are expensive to buy and I just feel that we need to do a lot more to look after those needs. I wanted to make sure that we had all recognized that the condominium owners of Nova Scotia are filling a tremendous need in this province by coming together, by becoming a voice for the condominium owners, which wasn't there before because the other organizations that purported to look after condominium owners also represented builders, realtors, and people with other interests, lawyers and real estate agents who did work around condominiums. They didn't have the same interests - some of them had the interest of selling and promoting the unit rather than protecting the buyers. They had to actually form their own group and do their own lobbying.

In 2006 when I was going through the buildings in my riding, the condominium buildings, I was really appalled by the number of problems that I ran into. On one rainy day, I was in a lovely apartment on the top floor that had buckets out collecting water as it was coming through the roof and by the windows. That's just unacceptable when people have put their life savings into an expensive new unit that they hoped to make their home. That's no way for people to live, and that same building is one that did ultimately have a lawsuit trying to recover the money.

As I said, the report before us - that was the New Homeowner Protection - itemizes a lot of the things that are needed. We're not seeing it being done and I would like to go through a few of those things. I've mentioned the home inspection which, as I say, is just not doing what it should do. It's not good enough that we had professionals creating these plans and plan checkers back somewhere in a municipal office ticking off whether or not they have the main components of home-building standards. We needed somebody to look at the complexity of these buildings and at the innovations in building and the different materials they are using, and it just wasn't being done and it hasn't been done, and that's just not acceptable. I mean things are happening, like certain things happening on a building site when the weather is wrong.

When I was a councillor, in one building they poured all the concrete for the underground parking in very cold weather. It didn't set right and they had to go back in and jackhammer the whole thing out again. If you had somebody who could oversee what's being done at which stage and whether or not the conditions are right, that would be an awful lot better than having to go back and redress the problem later.

Mr. Speaker, I just feel that the co-operation and work with the municipalities is really important around the inspection piece. Maybe the answer is, as the consultants have suggested, that we should go to an independent inspector coming to the site and making those recommendations. I think that would serve the purpose, because it's either that or changing the role of the municipal inspectors, because they've been very clear.

[Page 5647]

I've been at meetings with the CONS group when they've had representatives from HRM there, as well as their board and members of the Legislature. The people who are responsible for HRM's inspections have been very clear that they are concerned about this issue, they are certainly worrying and they came about the impact on people, but they have been doing their job as it is prescribed. So it obviously isn't broad enough.

One of the recommendations outlined in the report - and I'm just going to look for it directly so I can let the members know which one it is - but one of them has to do directly with the professional bodies. I think it's Recommendation No. 4, it actually talks about the professionals' role in these buildings, and that would be the architects and the engineers because they are actually the ones who prepare the plans and stamp and approve them and, by so doing, again give the buyer the impression that this has been duly vetted, that people have looked at all the details.

[1:15 p.m.]

We put a lot of confidence in the professional integrity and standards that they do abide by but if the plans are in any way deficient, how are we to know? We don't know. So basically what this is suggesting, in Recommendation No. 4, is that we have to work with those professional bodies to absolutely ensure that - it says here: Professional governing bodies should be required to report compliance failures to the relevant provincial and municipal authorities.

These professional bodies were aware of complaints because, again, desperate home buyers, condo buyers, were going to the professional bodies. They were trying to find anybody who might be responsible, who could help them go through this nightmare that a lot of them were experiencing. They have raised these issues and they had pointed out areas where there were deficiencies that could be related back to, perhaps, a standard of compliance that their professional members had abided by.

I will say, as the minister did say, the majority of our professionals are exemplary in Nova Scotia. I have the greatest pride in our professionals and the regulatory bodies. I know they work hard and I know that they take their professional standing very seriously, as do we all. When you are a member of a professional association, there is a code of conduct, there are many rules that determine how you conduct yourself and that is very important.

These societies were aware of areas where there wasn't compliance and it's important that they play a greater role in bringing that to our attention, so that the authorities know, so that we can really rectify the deficiency in this whole system. To some degree, it did start with those plans that were being approved.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I think that is one that we should see some movement on right away. Recommendation No. 3 said very clearly that single-family homes essentially are not

[Page 5648]

the problem and that's why I said, in the beginning of my talk on the second reading of Bill No. 212, that I'm not going to address homes because the report itself said this really isn't where the issue lies. Again, I go back to the fact that it would have been better, perhaps right from the start, to focus right in on what is the issue and the issue is condominium construction and condominium quality.

We have to have a market where there's confidence in that quality. Mr. Speaker, after saying that most of us would have a home, or a condominium, as our largest purchase and our biggest investment where we're putting our money, imagine the insecurity of knowing that there is now a bad reputation around condominiums. That means your investment isn't secure because it's more difficult to sell. That has been part of the problem within even bringing this whole issue to light. What would encourage them to bring this to light publicly when, in fact, it meant that people might then be suspect of buying a unit in your building? It actually means you're hurting yourself, in terms of the resale value of your own home, and so people were very reluctant.

There was a question of trying to deal with it quietly and let's not make a big issue. It even made it more difficult for a group like CONS to come together, because people were frightened to make too much of an issue over these very major problems because it would, in fact, threaten their investment and threaten the one thing that they have invested their largest amount of money in. That is really unfortunate and I think that's where, again, banding together as a group allowed them the strength to speak on behalf of themselves as a large group with the same interest, rather than narrowing it down and singling out any particular building which obviously they did not want to do because it was counter to their best interests. We need to have a way to address their issues.

There are two other recommendations that I wanted to go to right away. The first one is the licensing of the construction trades. About a year and a half ago, we had - at one of our legislative committees - a group in that was the Atlantic Home Building Council, I think was their name, but they represent the building industry and they had come in to tell us about the shortage of the trades, the fact that we're having difficulty in Nova Scotia to retain young people in the trades and how we need to professionalize the trades.

They talked about licensing the people who are active in the building trades, creating more of a career path, making it more professional so that young people, if they choose a building trade, would know that they were recognized for the extra study they've done. Right now, anybody can call themselves a carpenter, there's no real incentive for you to take the extensive training that would be required to be a fully certified carpenter. We need to have some registration and some sort of levels of training so that we can recognize people for their study and for their level of expertise that they're bringing to this. That means professionalization.

[Page 5649]

Despite the fact the industry has brought forward the recommendation, has laid out how this could be done and has asked the government to please do it - they've even drafted a bill that would allow the actual legal wording of a bill so that we could move this forward - there has been no interest. The government has not pursued it. I don't know why. That is something that, for us to stand here today, two years after I read the resolution saying there's a problem in condominiums, and believe me, that wasn't the only call they received. People were calling government offices asking for help even then and even before. We still have no movement on this trades and professionalization and licencing of construction trades. I think there is no excuse to hold back unless we have some serious lack of confidence in the proposal that has been made to government. I think we should today, as a group, look at that and say, why isn't that moving forward? I think on behalf of Nova Scotians who are buying homes and condominiums, we should be doing that.

Again, it's great to see it in here as one of the recommendations, but I would like to see the government moving on it. This is not a new idea. The industry is way ahead of us on this and they want government to move, so we should be doing that. Registering the builders and developers, I think again, is another great idea. I think it would help to improve responsibility and standards. We don't see that in this bill. Where is that? It's something we're going to study some more, I gather. This report has been accepted by government, so why are we not moving in an urgent manner to bring these changes in? I just find it beyond perplexing that that's being left on the back burner, essentially, when it's so important. I want to see those move forward.

Working with the professional bodies is important, as I've said. We need to work with the municipalities so that we get the inspections done that should have been done from day one. If they're not equipped or required to do it, then we need to put people in place that are and that may well be what the minister has suggested as an independent person coming forward to take that role.

It's very important these issues become front and centre for this Legislature and I'm disappointed the bill before us has taken such a narrow slice of the options that are presented in this report. I know we've only just received the report, but the minister and his staff have had months, in fact, well over a year to understand the urgency of this. Yet, we're still really just tinkering, barely tinkering on the edges of this issue. That's why I think we have to get a lot more serious on where we're going to go with the eight recommendations that are before us, not just taking the smallest and the easiest of all of those to look at. It's disturbing to me that that's where we are today.

I would like to see more of these recommendations in legislation. I had actually brought in a bill myself which was intended - I don't have the exact name of it here - but it was intended that the builders would have a holdback or a bond which they could - again somewhat similar to the bill before us which is a protection of the new home buyers, this would hold back some of the purchase price to cover any of the deficiencies that would come

[Page 5650]

to light in the first five years. The people who are expert in building say that for some of the structural deficiencies, you need a five-year window to see if they develop, to see whether or not there's going to be something major that goes wrong in that outer envelope of the building.

I had suggested that there be something in the way of a 5 per cent or 10 per cent holdback so that that money would be left in trust, and at the end of the five years, if nothing major had occurred, then the money would go back to the builder and to those people who had provided the building. That would be fair, but that would take us away from the issue that I spoke about, which is that right now the warranty program is only for one year. Having said that, it's also a very weak warranty program, so good luck to you proving that anybody else is responsible for the problems that you're experiencing, even if you bring it up in the first year. So it's a lame duck program right now and it's only one year long. So that's a reason why we really have to look at that.

Mr. Speaker, I note that isn't one of the recommendations to move forward with the idea of a holdback, but my intent was to try to do something in the near term that would provide security to the people who are moving into brand new buildings, because we don't have that in place now, and this bill before us doesn't provide it. So you know, again, I'm sorry to see that there isn't something that would ensure that the funds are available if there's a major deficiency in the building, some major collapse of, you know, what people would expect when they move into a new home. As we said, a lot of the problems relate to water. That can be extremely damaging, to have water coming into a building, you can have mould problems. It undermines other parts of the building and it's something that really needs to be looked at, sooner rather than later. So if that one wasn't the preferred option, I believe we should be looking, today, at something that would provide that security for the people moving into the new building.

Mr. Speaker, the minister spoke about a review of the Condominium Act that's going on at the same time. I believe there's a committee that has been formed for that so that we can be looking at it. My understanding is that members of the Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia are also sitting on that. I believe the president and vice-president are members of that committee. There are a lot of things that have come to light, as well, that should be looked at as it relates to the governance, and the roles and responsibilities, of both the Registrar of Condominiums and the owners of condominiums.

We talked about education and I know that is one of the recommendations, that people get more education as they buy homes. I would say they desperately need it when they buy condominium units, because when you buy a condo, whether it's a multi-unit building or a townhouse condominium, you have a responsibility then to be part - you're part of the ownership, obviously you're a member of the corporation, and you have a role to play. A lot of people don't want that role. They don't realize that they are actually responsible for helping to govern the building and that is important that they understand that, that if they have disputes with their neighbours, this can become a difficulty because you're all joint

[Page 5651]

members. It's like you're all shareholders of the same building and you have to resolve those disputes.

[Page 5652]

Mr. Speaker, I have seen a number of these over the years that have been extremely emotionally taxing and financially exhausting to the people who have been involved. One of the reasons is that in Nova Scotia, if you have a dispute in your condominium corporation, you have only one recourse and that is to go to arbitration. I have seen individuals take on the task of doing that themselves. The Registrar of Condominiums will tell you that you don't need a lawyer to go to arbitration but you can be darn sure that your corporation - if that's where your dispute is - your corporation has a lawyer and they're well trained and well experienced with condominium disputes. So if you go in there as a single individual trying to represent yourself, it's extremely difficult, and it's an exhaustive process to do the research and work required. Certainly it is very legal and it is expensive. As I say, it not only takes an enormous amount of time, it actually pits you in a conflicting role with your neighbours. Imagine how that is.

Mr. Speaker, most often people who run into serious disputes with their condominium board will sell and move. That's because they can't live there in any peace because they are, in fact, as they're challenging something with the condo board, they're costing all their neighbours money because their neighbours have to pay for the legal recourse, the arbitration and the lawyers who will go with that, so that creates some pretty bad blood among neighbours.

We need a better system to deal with disputes because it shouldn't have to escalate to that level. I notice in Newfoundland and Labrador at the moment they are doing a review of their Condominium Act and they had a discussion paper out which actually pointed out Nova Scotia's legislation does not speak to mediation. In their discussion paper they want people in Newfoundland and Labrador to look at that as an alternative; other provinces have mediation as a way to go and I think that we should be doing that right now in our Act, considering other ways where you can take your disputes forward. As it says right now, the disputing parties are responsible for the fees and costs of the arbitrator and that is not a very good system, especially when, if you had a skilled mediator, you could probably come to a reasonable compromise without this cost and without the necessity for one family or another having to move, which again is an enormous cost.

[1:30 p.m.]

I'm sure a lot of us have looked at moving from where we live now and put it off just because it's such a cost to relocate, it's better to stay where we are. It costs a lot of money, it's disturbing and creating an uproar for the family. It means changing schools. I've seen this happen because of very reasonable requests that an individual might have to the condo board, they're not complied with and they end up in arbitration. Even members of CONS have raised this, they've said that if you have any, even a small dispute with another unit owner, you have no other alternative but to seek legal advice, and I don't think that's right at all.

[Page 5653]

There's a lot more work to be done on the Condominium Act and, as I say, the role of the Registrar is another disappointment. I know that the Registrar is very good and I realize - I believe that the amount of work assigned to the Registrar has now been streamlined, so she can spend more time on this issue because the number of condominiums that are being registered has increased so much. The minister did talk about that initially.

Condominium No. 1 is in Clayton Park, it is a townhouse condominium built in 1971, I believe, and since that time we've had many, many condominiums come on the market. It is a preferred and very much desired form of ownership, despite the issues that I have raised today. So as it became more of a burden, we needed somebody to give it more time and attention so that the condominiums can be registered more quickly and the work be done to do that. The Registrar's role has been exactly that, just to register them, to gather the information in and say okay, your building is built, they make a site visit and see that it has the number of units you said and the size of the units that you said. But once that's built and in the hands of the condo corporation and those owners, people with problems were busy calling the Registrar saying, I've got a problem, this or that is happening, I'm having a dispute.

Well, the Registrar's job wasn't even to record those complaints. There isn't even any listing of all the complaints. The minister speaks about anecdotal issues, that's right, they're all anecdotal because there was no formal mechanism to let the government know when there was something going wrong. The Registrar of Condominiums does know because they have received a lot of these calls.

Again, when I had asked at one point whether there was any record of the number of calls and complaints, the number of buildings that might be involved, that wasn't kept and it wasn't their job, so I'm not criticizing. I realized after asking those questions, that this was never intended to be the role or the function of that office. We need to look at that and, again, expand it so that we have some mechanism to track and understand the issues coming up in this really fast-growing form of ownership.

I very much believe we need to look at that. We need to look at the education of the condo buyers so they understand the governance and the issues around being a joint owner of a large building. Because if that isn't for you, you should know it up front and make that decision, rather than buy it, and then understand what it is that you have to do. So I think that's very important as well.

Mr. Speaker, in my comments today I hope that it's been clear that this issue is urgent, not only in the Clayton Park riding and all through metro, but right across this province. It's a growing form of home ownership, it needs to be addressed. We have allowed the problem to continue because really, government was not listening when owners were saying that there were problems. They were being seen as one-off difficulties when, in fact, they really were system-wide. We're lucky that it hasn't come to the point where it did in

[Page 5654]

British Columbia where they had really, truly a crisis. I think that by moving now and introducing some of these protections that are in the consultant's report that was given to us just this month, if we could move on the other recommendations, we'd be doing something substantive. But, if we only pass this bill as it stands, it will certainly be a good measure, and it will help some people somewhere, but the minister said himself that he's never heard of an issue where somebody lost their deposit in Nova Scotia. I've never heard of an issue where somebody's lost their deposit on a new building.

I'm not exactly sure how really effective this will be. It's good for the future, but we're not addressing a real problem with that. The real problems lie in the integrity of the building and protecting consumers who buy condominiums. There are a lot of very good suggestions in this report and I don't see why it will take so long to move forward and adopt some of these in legislation. In my call today, I would just like to urge government to take the knowledge they have now, and their understanding of the issue, and to please move more quickly in other recommendations.

With that, I look forward to the Law Amendments Committee. I'm sure that people will approve of this small, narrow piece of legislation that's before us, and I hope that others will echo my concern that there should be a lot more done in the way of improving consumer protection for condominium owners. Thank you.

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

MR. LEONARD PREYRA: Mr. Speaker, it's my privilege to rise and to speak here on Bill No. 212, an Act to Protect the Deposits of Purchasers of Newly Built Residential Units. This bill addresses an urgent and important issue. We do need to do more to protect the investment of purchasers of newly-built units. It is a growing problem in my constituency of Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, more so in Halifax Citadel than Sable Island.

Our population is aging and many seniors are downsizing, they're moving from larger units, their families have gone separate ways, or their spouses have passed away, and they're moving into smaller units and closer to town. More and more people are living alone, their families are smaller or they choose to live alone. People are cutting transportation and energy costs, living closer to town, and small condos are also seen as more affordable. It's a form of affordable housing and, for a variety of reasons, more and more people are moving into condos.

Unfortunately, this great demand for condos is combined with skill shortages that we have in the construction and trade industries. Many condo owners are cutting costs. In cutting costs and in the cuts to government services, especially in building inspections, people are facing more and more problems with their condos. Many condo owners find themselves living in places, especially a year down the road, with buildings that have significant deficiencies and challenges. They face big repair bills. They see a depreciation in the value

[Page 5655]

of their property. They face health hazards from mould in their windows from lack of proper insulation to prevent the infiltration of water, they're facing higher energy costs, et cetera.

This is an important problem, this is an urgent problem, this is a growing problem, and I'm glad the minister has come forward with this bill, at this time. Of course, this bill doesn't address those problems. This bill takes a very small step in the direction of addressing another problem, and that is the problem of protecting the deposits of potential purchasers of newly-built homes.

I want to say a little bit about this bill because there is a fair amount of confusion in terms of the scope of the bill. The bill addresses newly-built homes and it's not clear what one means by newly-built homes, whether it extends to single-family dwellings and townhouses. I received a media release from Paul Pettipas, the CEO of the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association, who says this bill applies to single-family homes and townhouses, and there really isn't a problem there. Almost all people who buy their homes use a broker or a lawyer to buy those single-family homes and this imposes another layer of bureaucracy and it might force some people who are transferring land through some other means to retain the services of a broker or a lawyer just to transfer money.

Nevertheless, this bill does err on the side of caution and certainly anyone who buys a single-family dwelling or a townhouse without putting some legal protections in place, either through a real estate broker or a lawyer, is just poorly advised. The bill really speaks to condominiums and newly-built condominiums, and that's where most of the challenge lies.

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Pettipas from the Nova Scotia Home Builders' Association says, and he is referring here to the minister's recently released report on home buyers' protection, that there haven't been recent cases in Nova Scotia of buyers losing a deposit because a developer packs up and leaves town. Here he's talking about new homes and townhouses. So we're dealing with a problem there that doesn't exist but to the extent that it provides some protection for new home buyers or purchasers of new condominiums, we support this bill.

I would like to say, Mr. Speaker, about what this bill doesn't do. It is a first step but it's a very small step. There are bigger steps to be taken. I wanted to say something about the kinds of complaints that I have received in my office. There have been growing complaints about people who buy condominiums and a year after they find themselves dealing with some major problems. In particular, I want to commend Mr. Lorne Verabioff, president of the Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia. It's a group that has done a really great job of bringing this issue certainly to my attention and I believe he has met with the minister, and other people as well, to talk about issues that condo owners have faced. There has been a growing stream and a steady stream of complaints from buyers who have been left paying

[Page 5656]

for repairs after the one-year warranty expires. The main problem, as I said earlier, is water infiltration because of incompetent installation of windows, siding, doors and windows.

Mr. Verabioff and the Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia, and numerous others, have essentially distilled the problem down to four other changes that need to be made, Mr. Speaker, and I would like to speak to those four changes directly. The first one is to extend the warranty of condos beyond the current one year. It takes longer than one year for some of these problems to emerge when condo owners are settling in, or they discover mould in their carpets and in their windows. I think it is reasonable for the condominium owners to expect a certain level of quality and perhaps one year is too short. They've been calling for five years, and perhaps five years is too long, but there is something to be said for extending the warranty for these dwellings.

Now, Mr. Pettipas has said in an earlier comment and the homebuilders have said that this will add to the cost of condos. That's something that we need to look at - what is a reasonable expectation, what is a reasonable compromise in this case, and who should pay for the extension of these warranties - but in principle, Mr. Speaker, the extension of this warranty from one year to something longer is not unreasonable.

There is a call from the CONS association to make developers post a bond to ensure the quality of their workmanship. Again, Mr. Speaker, there is a certain expectation that people are getting what they've been promised and sometimes they don't. I should say that the homebuilders of Nova Scotia are doing a fantastic job. The vast majority of them are building great, quality housing in a timely manner. The homebuilders themselves support this legislation to protect themselves because their reputation rests on their ability to construct quality housing. So this legislation deals with those homebuilders who really are less than caring about the quality of their work and about their reputation.

The Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia have called for an increase and to do more thorough inspections of those buildings. Mr. Speaker, Mr. Pettipas says that single-family dwellings receive up to 12 independent inspections in HRM alone. Building inspections include footing, foundation, framing, pre-drywall and final. All of these inspections are performed by municipal officers who are independent of the builders or the homeowners.

This is not the case in condominium construction where letters of undertaking are the norm. In other words, the home builders are saying they're quite willing to live with the standards that are set for single-family dwellings. They're quite willing to live with that, they're quite willing for the government to require condominiums to be built by reputable home builders, they are quite willing to see municipalities improve their own capacity to inspect buildings.

[Page 5657]

[1:45 p.m.]

I just want to talk a little bit about the fourth point, Mr. Speaker, about using only licensed builders. It's quite surprising that you can build a condominium and you can use tradespeople who don't have the licences to perform the important work that they're doing. Mr. Pettipas of the Home Builders' Association says that for a plumber you have to be licensed, for an electrician you have to be licensed, if I go across the street and get a haircut that person has to be licensed. But that same person could build you a house, as long as they followed the National Building Code and no one would say anything. Adding the building codes are a minimum standard of construction.

So there is a fair amount of harmony of interest here, Mr. Speaker, between the condominium owners and between the condominium builders. They would like to see longer term guarantees, they would like to see more thorough inspections and they would like to see licensed builders only that are used for home construction.

These are standards that have been established in other provinces, Mr. Speaker. So I was surprised to hear that in the recent discussion paper or report that was issued by the minister on the homeowner protection report, that there wasn't any great discussion with the condominium owners or with the condominium builders. It surprises me to read in Mr. Pettipas' media release today that the province consulted only with provincial and municipal employees and not with anyone else when they're looking at challenges faced in the condominium industry. That's not really consultation, Mr. Speaker, and it really undermines the legitimacy of a report that will eventually, we hope, lead to measures aimed at addressing these deficiencies.

Just as a first measure, I would say that I would urge the minister to go back to the drawing room, go back to the discussion table and talk with Mr. Pettipas and the Home Builders' Association and talk with Mr. Verabioff and the condominium owners of Nova Scotia. Say to them, we are willing to listen to the issues and the challenges that you face and we're willing to work with you because there appears to be a consensus here and we all want to make sure that we can protect the investment of purchasers of new homes.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I'd like to commend the minister for bringing this bill forward. As I said it is a step forward, it is a baby step forward, but we need to do more to protect the investments of new condominium buyers. We need to do more to consult with the homeowners and the home builders, to see that we can come up with better legislation and deal with it in a more effective and meaningful way. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm just going to say a few words around this issue of newly-built homes. I think this is a good idea, it's only a

[Page 5658]

small step in the direction it has to go to protect people, particularly people with condominiums. There are also many other issues around new-home ownership, single-dwelling units, and also new-to-you homes as well.

I want to talk about one particular case that I've seen in my area where a young family struggled to make a down payment on a home, like it normally happens, and usually they take and spend every single penny they get to get into the home and then very carefully calculate how you are going to make the monthly payments and how you're going to make sure you maintain the property, usually plan some minor upgrades, and paying the insurance and all the new costs that you have with the home. Lo and behold, this one family found out, after they got in the home, that the septic system was malfunctioning. Now, the form that the real estate agent fills out indicates on that form that you're supposed to identify anything that's wrong with the property - indeed this form was filled out, but this was not identified. It was not identified.

So as you go through the process - and again the young family with a couple of children, they are now faced with a $11,000 bill to fix the septic system. So they approach our office and said, we talked to the lawyer and the lawyer just walked away from it - their lawyer, their own lawyer, who was suggested by the way by the real estate company - just walked away and said no, it's not my responsibility, you should have known about that, goodbye. Then we talked to the home inspector, and guess what? The home inspector said no, we don't check septic systems, no, it's not our responsibility. So that's fine. In the meantime the young people started checking with the neighbours. Well, this has been an ongoing problem for five years, a five-year problem - this is not a new problem. So they decided they would talk to the lawyer again and the lawyer said well, you'll have to sue the guy who sold you the house, and they find out that the gentleman who sold them the house is not someone you're going to get anything out of if you sue.

So here's a young family with a septic system that doesn't work that immediately has to be repaired. It's not something you can put off for a couple of years and save some money and slowly go at this, but immediately has to be repaired in their home or else it's going to back up in their basement, and they've had some problems with that as well - and everybody, everybody walks away from them. Nobody has any responsibility for anything. I know the new septic system laws that are enforced by the Departments of Labour and Workforce Development and Environment protect against new installations for a one-year warranty, and this is an older home so it wouldn't have applied to this home, and probably if the system would have been installed many years ago under the guidelines that are there now this problem would not have resulted, but the fact is the problem did result.

When you look at a family that is trying to come up with another $11,000 - and typically this could be a scenario that could happen to anybody, it could happen to anybody - usually when someone is buying a home they put every cent they have into the purchase, the

[Page 5659]

down payment, the moving costs and all the things that go with that, and then to be faced with this kind of a cost.

Usually when homes go through, the home inspector comes in - which they did have in this case and they checked the roof and a lot of different things, but they never checked the septic system. I think it's time that the government started looking at ways to - if people are going to come and inspect the home, this would be one of the things on the list they should inspect, and if they miss a thing they should be libel for it. If they don't inform the homeowners that indeed this is a problem, and let the homeowners make a decision - if the homeowners decide they're going to buy the property, that's fine. If they decide they're going to reduce the offer to buy the property or just walk away from the property, whatever the case may be - at least to have that information to make an informed decision.

But it's a hard thing to find out a few weeks after you move into a property you're faced with another huge bill that indeed you should not have had - and you've done everything by the book. You went through the bank, you did your mortgage the proper way - the mortgage insisted that you do certain things. Your insurance company comes out, they typically want to know how old the roof is on the building in case the roof has to be re-shingled, all kinds of information they want to know. It's odd that everybody can just walk away from this one problem. In the rural areas, this is a really potential serious problem.

You talk about other things that we've talked about, too. We worked on some cases with people who bought homes with oil pollution that they didn't know was there on their properties - and that's even a bigger risk. That happens occasionally because people are unscrupulous when they sell properties and they don't report things - and indeed the new homeowner is on the hook and that problem is if an individual gets in that mess, sometimes the house, you can't resell it. You can't live in it, sometimes you can't sell it and even the cost to repair it, if it can be repaired - and hopefully it's not in the neighbour's yard - then you're usually into hundreds of thousands of dollars. I think there has to be a new system, and along the lines of this sort of bill. I think this bill is a tiny little step in the direction of protecting some people, but there are so many more things that need to be protected here.

It's unfortunate there are unscrupulous people in our world, that we have to make laws to protect people who unfortunately don't get the opportunity to see all the problems before they find out it's going to cost them money. Indeed, that's why we make laws here, that's why we try to protect people and ensure people are protected down the road.

As we go through all these scenarios and you see different people hurting from different things, you realize how important it is to make the laws and make them properly. Again, with this bill, with the condominiums - fortunately or unfortunately, I don't have any condominiums in my riding - a lot of these things can apply to homeowners who are buying properties for the first time, whether that's a new home or a used home. I think we'd better start paying attention to this and ensure that as our economy gets worse, and people try to get

[Page 5660]

away with less and less expense, more and more of these things are probably going to happen.

Japan announced yesterday that they're in a recession. Japan is the most powerful economic country in the world next to the U.S., and when Japan's having a problem, I'm sure we're going to as well. Unfortunately, that's a fact. As the economy gets worse, and job losses come in place, and people are forced to sell properties and do things that they probably wouldn't do otherwise, I think this kind of problem is going to get worse and as it gets worse, it's going to be even more devastating.

If you get someone who can't afford to pay their mortgage because they had to put a new septic system in for 10, 11, 12, 15, maybe even up to $30,000 to repair their home, they'll lose their home too and then the whole thing multiplies and it just gets worse and worse. Hopefully our economy stays well in the province, I'm not convinced it will. I don't think anybody is, but let's hope these things don't perpetuate and cause a problem.

I look forward to the government coming up with some kind of solution to protect people against this sort of situation, and make the people who are doing the work and the professionals who are trying to work deals with the real estate people, the lawyers, the home inspectors and anyone else who's dealing with the home, held accountable for their work. If they're not held accountable, they shouldn't be doing the work; it's just that simple. It's overdue that accountability is brought into a lot of these issues and people are held accountable and financially responsible.

If someone is held financially responsible, all of a sudden they'll do the checks a little bit more closely. They'll make sure they do it right. They'll make sure the people they're supposed to be protecting are protecting, rather than fill out a form and then pass it to the person, get the cheque from the mortgage company and walk away. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Immigration.

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and speak for a couple of minutes on Bill No. 212, the Homeowner Protection Act and our government's first step in providing protection for purchasers for freehold, single family residences.

I represent an area - as I've said before, my area is probably one of the more rapidly developing areas. We have enough land, currently, that is under either contract or planned to more than double the population of my area. I think right now, in the Bedford area, there are about 20,000, and there are probably 30,000 people in the constituency. On the development books right now there are well over 3,000 acres of land. You calculate that at 20 persons per acre, less parkland, and you're well over doubling that particular area.

[Page 5661]

I think it's also important to clarify a couple of things up front. As a government, we are not, for one second, saying that all construction is bad, because it's not. The majority of construction, the majority of developers in Nova Scotia provide good, sound work that provides long-lasting housing for the people who purchase them.

Mr. Speaker, in Bedford and in the Bedford-Birch Cove area there is a strong growth of condo units. We have a large growth in the number of retirees in this province and if you look at the numbers within the province and the average age, it's growing. Those individuals are moving from single-family homes into the condominium-type of environment. In my constituency one of the strongest growth areas has been the development of condominium corporations and actually an explosive development, really, if you want to say.

[2:00 p.m.]

During the election in 2006, Mr. Speaker, as I was going through and doing my door-to-door, I ran across an individual, Ray Hunt, and Ray lived in my area and Ray, along with his group of individuals, brought forward some of the concerns that they had. Now, just to clarify an issue here. There was a comment made by one of the members of the House here that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations wasn't really available during those times for individuals. Ray Hunt and a group of individuals met with the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations within, I think, probably the first six months of this government taking office.

From that meeting, Mr. Speaker, the formation of the Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia took place. Ray brought together - I may as well at this point in time also thank Councillor Debbie Hum and also former councillor, deceased, Gary Martin, and both Gary and Debbie were just instrumental in bringing these groups together. From that meeting, Lorne Verabioff, who was also a former resident of my community, along with Ray Hunt who was the vice-president, they formed the CONS group. Condominium Owners of Nova Scotia is critical in the process to bring their issues forward.

Mr. Speaker, in my area there have been problems not only with water, we've had structural problems. One of the structural problems that we had in the area was actually about a $1.6 million structural problem. It wasn't a small one and that issue alone brought the need for some type of government intervention to deal with the issues of construction. Some of the meetings that I attended, Ray Hunt actually brought forward a piece of pipe, just a piece of water pipe from the hot-water heating system, and in that pipe it looked like a porcupine. There were nail holes from air guns all the way along the water pipe. That water pipe held the water for probably 18 months, and then all of a sudden it broke. The water flooded. It did a lot of water damage. So it's not only water damage from windows, it's water damage that occurs from construction that has been - and I don't want to use the words "improperly inspected" - that hasn't been inspected close enough really.

[Page 5662]

So there are a lot of issues here and the owners of the condominiums right now should be able to go into these buildings with the full knowledge that there is some protection for them. I believe, Mr. Speaker, this particular first step that has been brought forward by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is in that vein. One of the issues, of course, is warranty. I guess in my experience one of the problems with condo construction in the HRM area - and that's what I can speak of - and in my area, is that many of them are built by companies holding numbered companies. Those numbered companies last a year and once the numbered company is gone, there is no recourse.

So our government I know right now - and I know through the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations - is looking at that issue. That is a very, very significant issue and it has been brought up by most speakers. There is a need for some type of warranty that protects the buyers of the condos anywhere in Nova Scotia for a period of time. Now, I know that has been suggested five to seven years, I don't know what the number is, there's no magic number to this, and that's something that will come along as we go through this process.

Mr. Speaker, there's also the issue of registration of developers, registration of trades. Another one that really is a significant one for me personally is the whole issue of sign-off and who can sign off on the structural integrity of a 20- and 30-storey condominium. In many cases right now, from what I understand - and no disrespect, because architects provide an incredibly important part in the development of these buildings, but is an architect a structural engineer? No.

I think, as we go through these issues, you're going to see that issue of sign-off is going to be a critical one for our government as we try to deal with some of the outstanding issues with regard to the condominium development.

Mr. Speaker, if I may say so at this point in time too, there was another comment made that, well, the single-family home isn't really that important and you really don't have that many that have issues. I disagree. I've been involved in municipal government for a long time, probably as much or more than most people in this House, and over my 15 years there I have seen houses that have had to be dismantled, actually taken down because of structural failure. I've seen other houses, single-family homes, usually to do with the foundations, that have been plagued from day one, and 10 years later they are still plagued with the foundations either cracking, failing or dropping.

This bill - and I'm so glad to see the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations acknowledging the fact that it's got to deal with all residents. In my area, without question, the largest focus is condominiums, because that is, at this point in time, the largest supplier of freehold residences that we have. In my area it's not just a case of a few hundred that have been built, it's a case of several thousand that have been built and still many are under construction.

[Page 5663]

There's also the issue of inspections, Mr. Speaker, and what should happen during the construction phase. Who should be doing the inspections? I think that really is going to be a critical question that we've got to answer, as the next phase of the bill comes forward.

Dispute resolution is also one that is, as was brought forward today, a very, very difficult one, especially when you're living next door to your neighbour, and several other neighbours, and you may be the odd person out in an issue. It makes it very difficult for people who live in this type of condominium environment to actually bring forward something that may be bothering them and that may be totally in violation of the Condominium Corporation Act, under which they live. So that is something that I know we've been talking about and I know that the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations is on top of that and we are discussing that particular issue. I know that hopefully in the Spring, as the new legislation is brought forward, the amendments will be brought forward to deal with that.

Mr. Speaker, I know that we've had a lot of speakers on this issue, but I think it's not an issue, it is not something that is going to be resolved, we'll say, by HRM. I know that Halifax Regional Municipality has inherited the majority of condos in this province and I can tell you that, either through the Planning Act or through the contract development agreement process, they are handicapped from the standpoint of not being able to address the issues that are being brought forward here. I know that they do their best with the tools that they have available, Mr. Speaker, but this is something that is going to need the co-operation of Halifax Regional Municipality and ourselves, the development community, the trades. We can go right on down the list.

Mr. Speaker, before I take my seat I, again, want to thank the members of CONS, in particular Ray Hunt - I believe Ray was probably the spearhead in bringing this issue forward, at least to me, and I know to the minister as well. He's been an incredible gentleman to deal with. Lorne Verabioff , who has been just great, is the new president of CONS, and again, I also want to mention Councillor Debbie Hum from District 16, who has always been there for the condominium group, and myself, and for those people she represents and, again, Gary Martin, who we all miss very much. With those few words, I will take my seat and I look forward to this bill as it moves forward through the Law Amendments Committee.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I only have a few comments. I was really interested in the comments made by members and by the minister who moved second reading. I want to say the member for Halifax Clayton Park talked about the growth in her area at one time being one of the fastest growing areas east of Quebec. Well, I think it's a toss-up now between Hants East and the constituency of my colleague, the member for Timberlea-Prospect. In 10 years of doing this work, I've had very few calls on complaints

[Page 5664]

around the condo development and actually I think the amount of it in East Hants is minimal to none.

[Page 5665]

I have to say that the section in the bill, when it tries to define residential units, would tend to lead me to think of a freehold residential property as a house. So I find that, you know, I'll give credit to the minister if that's what that actually means. By and large I would see this bill not to accomplish much in that regard and only insofar as I think most people would use lawyers and trust accounts for their deposit, and this bill basically is doing that. I want to say that what I do see as some issues, and other members have raised it, and that's around the issue of the warranty so that you have protection for a longer period of time. I think you can get a better warranty on a refrigerator in this country than you do on a house. I would say that when you look at the cost of a refrigerator compared to that of a house, common sense would tell you you're probably getting short-changed on the warranty side on the home.

I think some things that the minister might want to think about that would be helpful in this regard, and I think most members have indicated, it's the issue of the quality side and the construction that really is the concern which is not really addressed in this piece of legislation. Recently the Department of Agriculture has a Web site now that you can inspect or have a look at the restaurants to see how they're being appraised by the department and maybe that's what we should have in terms of construction companies, or whatever, that we can get a feel for what the public's view of particular contractors are when choosing who may build.

I can't say that I oppose the notion of licensing. I mean we certainly want qualified people who are electricians, plumbers, et cetera, but I want to say that doesn't necessarily guarantee perfection. The gentleman who did the plumbing in my house wasn't a trained plumber and after 20-some years we have never had a problem. I also think about, and maybe this is my rural Nova Scotia bent, but when I think about people in my constituency, at least some years ago, who would build their own houses or, you know, if a couple was going to be married, the father-in-law, the father of the groom, they would all get together and they would build a house and maybe none of them had any papers for anything. They would probably hire an electrician and they may hire a plumber or not, but certainly they could build a house and it wouldn't leak. It would be a good job and one of the things that they could do is that they could actually go and cut the timber on their own land, have it sawed, and it didn't have the Maritime Lumber Bureau stamp on it. Well, now you have to. Lumber has to have a Maritime Lumber Bureau stamp.

So things that I would see that would reduce costs for people and certainly, if somebody is going to do 5,000 homes in a subdivision, they're not going to the back forty and cutting the logs. So we tend to accommodate.

I don't want to see us move down a road where people in rural Nova Scotia are actually shut out of what they could do by using their own land and their own resources and being able to build in a perfectly competent manner and, as a matter of fact, sometimes being overly fussy. But certainly those homes didn't leak and we have a history in Nova Scotia of

[Page 5666]

people who were probably as much shipbuilders as they were anything, who built homes and they did it all mortise and tenon, craftsmanship. They didn't have any piece of paper to tell anybody that they were good at it or not.

[2:15 p.m.]

So I just worry that we throw out the baby with the bath water in trying to make the world so perfect. Really what this comes down to is some mechanism of accountability so that when people spend their money, they get a product that is worth the dollar. Somebody should ensure that. Actually to me, it might mean having more inspectors on the ground to see that during the construction process those buildings are built the way they should be.

One of the problems that I run into more often in my constituency than any other problem - it's not necessarily the question of a leaky roof or windows or whatever, Mr. Speaker, it's the question of, we have a development that carries on in two and three and four phases and it may go over 20 years from the time the first house was built until when the last house was built. What we find is that as new streets and whatever are being added to the development, we run into issues of water problems and so on for the homes that were there originally, problems that didn't exist, simply because we've cut the timber around to make the new lots and so on. We get more runoff and we have water problems.

Members would know, I think, that the Shubenacadie River is the line between me and the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley and also borders the HRM part of his constituency. Quite often I think if you were to have a transit shot, if a surveyor was to take a shot on the footings of a lot of the basements through Enfield-Elmsdale-Lantz, you would find those footings aren't much higher than the Shubenacadie River. I think that this is an issue that I'd like to see a little more attention put to, that when developments are planned that it's not just the culvert on the street is designed for the 100-year storm. It's that those houses that we think will be there for 100 years are going to be able to withstand fairly average rainfall, et cetera. and maybe the 25-year storm, rather than the 100-year storm, when it comes to the movement of water throughout those developments.

So, Mr. Speaker, those are the concerns that keep coming back to me on developments and on housing that has been around in my constituency for some years and which seems to have, over time, more problems seem to be created as more development goes on, and not that the homes weren't built well in the first place, that's not the issue. Sometimes the construction of the development didn't accommodate for future development.

Anyway, I see this bill, an Act to Protect the Deposits of Purchasers of Newly Built Residential Units, I would agree with the minister that it has some application. I don't see it as having great application but I would see the issue of quality and warranty to be the bigger issue for people spending money for homes or condominiums. I will be interested to watch the bill proceed through the House and actually see what the impact is, in the future,

[Page 5667]

from the legislation, in the real world in the Province of Nova Scotia. So with those comments, I'll take my seat. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to join the debate today on this Bill No. 212, the Homeowner Protection Act. I just have a few comments, before addressing a couple of the substantive issues the bill raises. As MLAs, we hear in our offices from time to time, situations where somebody has a home built or somebody buys a home and they're coming to our office because, during that first year or even a short time later, they are discovering deficiencies with the home. We have all come across that at one time or another.

I think improvements upon the Home Warranty Act and the Condominium Act are areas that we, as legislators and government, need to be advancing because this is generally one's largest purchase in a lifetime and we do need to have a guarantee of quality, and if it isn't there, those who invest have some particular recourse.

Just listening to the honourable member for Hants East, who I have great respect for, especially in his role as Agriculture Critic, I found it a little bit surprising that he was talking about the uncertified tradespeople. I'm not sure if he was trying to promote the underground economy, but I was even more surprised to hear him talking about the value of non-unionized labour. Those are interesting points that the member is making.

I had a couple of points to pass on to the minister - this is directly from a lawyer friend in my riding who has 15 years of experience dealing with home buying, land ownership and I think he makes a couple of pretty valid points. First of all, he applauds the government's goal of protecting homeowners, who contract to purchase a new home on land which they do not own, until construction is complete. I think all of us here in the House do value that specific point of this bill, although we all see areas in which it needs to go further.

However, the particulars of who is to be protected is left to the Governor-in-Council and his submission here obviously is that it may leave too much discretion to the government on the real substance of the legislation. This is a point which he makes and I think many of us would well take, as well.

Also, if the legislation is applied to the construction of single family homes, it will fundamentally alter the current way in which those construction contracts are carried out. For example, he points out that with many single family home construction contracts, they're paid on a draw basis and not upon full completion. These latter-type contracts are called turn-key contracts. So on a draw basis, the contractor is paid a deposit and usually several draws based on the work completed such as the foundation and roof-tight stage.

[Page 5668]

The bill does not prescribe when such arrangements are appropriate, but again, leaves it to be determined by regulation - that is a worrisome piece. Here's a lawyer who is bringing 15 years of experience to this, and he says he's contacting me because he has a concern this bill may adversely affect small contractors who rely on the draw system to build homes for third parties. So, unless it is spelled out in the legislation that it should not apply, then there is some real concern around this aspect of the bill.

I wanted to bring those two points to the attention of the minister and government that they should get strong consideration as this bill moves through the House. I think it's another point that we'll hear when this bill does go to Law Amendments. I look forward to a wider discussion around those two points that have been presented. With that, I'll take my place.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, clearly, the issue of consumer protection is very important to members on all sides of the House. This debate has occupied approximately two hours and very valid points. I'd like to thank the members on the opposite side of the House as well as my own colleague, the member for Bedford-Birch Cove who was very instrumental in putting this whole issue of the protection needs of condo owners in metro in front of me and in front of government.

The member for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island had referenced the lack of consultation. I was a little puzzled by that because I went back to the Novus report which was tabled here the other day and the input from Nova Scotia stakeholders - with your permission, Mr. Speaker, I want to quote a little bit from this. In the early stages, investigation of the investigation, numerous stakeholder groups were interviewed to gain a better understanding of the current situation. Among them, representatives of the construction industry, building trades organization, developers, inspection organizations, regulatory bodies, design professionals, engineers and architects, warranty, insurance and bonding companies, the real estate industry, the legal sector, consumer protection groups, homeowner associations and other interested parties.

In addition, there was an on-line survey available that was completed by new home buyers and there were 131 completed responses to that survey - 80 per cent of those came from condominium owners, 20 per cent from newly constructed post-freehold owners and three not identified. In addition, among those people, there were focus groups. So, I'm not sure the honourable member understood the extent of the consultation that was made as a result of this.

[Page 5669]

Anyway, I do want to thank everyone who spoke on it. It is clearly an important first step in improving homeowner protection for new home buyers, particularly those in the condo market. The other thing, when something like this becomes public, quite often without having to put additional regulatory things in place, the industry itself steps up to the plate and says we do have a problem and this whole idea of education for prospective buyers would be very effective.

The other thing, the honourable member for Kings West talked about the report he got from the legal profession. He's right, these things will be clarified in the regulations and I think Novus Consulting did consult with the legal profession, I'm very confident these are not issues that are going to take away from the potential of the bill and subsequent steps. I now ask you to call the question on Bill No. 212.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 212. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 213.

Bill No. 213 - East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move second reading of Bill No. 213, an Act to Authorize the Municipality of the District of East Hants to Aid in the Funding of a Multi-purpose Sports Complex. I would guess from the title that members would be pretty much aware of the intent of this legislation.

The member for Halifax Clayton Park, the Minister for Health Promotion and Protection, the Minister of Agriculture, definitely constituents from the Minister of Agriculture's constituency, certainly make use of that present facility. I mentioned the member for Halifax Clayton Park because I went to an opening of a tournament, and actually

[Page 5670]

I think her son was playing in that tournament, and she was there. The member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, I know a fair number of his constituents come there on occasion to play hockey.

[Page 5671]

[2:30 p.m.]

I have to thank the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection for a commitment that he made on behalf of the government, I think $5.2 million toward that expansion - I think it was $5.2 million or $5.3 million. I know the community there is very pleased with that. I'm not sure, to this stage, if they've gotten anything in writing from the minister on that. I think they're kind of concerned that they get something a little more nailed down than the photo op that they got with the announcement.

This bill is basically a housekeeping bill at the request of the council for the Municipality of East Hants. It allows them to fulfill a commitment to help fund the expansion of the sportsplex and outlines alternative strategies that they may wish, roads they may wish to go down in doing that. So, Mr. Speaker, with those few comments, I thank the government for calling this bill which I would see as an indication of support for this legislation. So with that, I move second reading of Bill No. 213.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and very briefly speak about this bill. I want to speak, in some ways, on behalf of my colleague, the Minister of Agriculture, who as a resident of an adjacent municipality which uses that facility on a regular basis was very, very supportive of the money that came from HPP to go to support it. I've been in that present facility, I used to spend a fair bit of time in there when I wasn't doing this, and was able to go around and watch hockey games at various parts of the province, and I'm very familiar with that.

Also earlier in the discussion, the member for Hants East talked about how rapidly growing that community is. Clearly the expansion of that sportsplex is a very important thing to that community, not only the community of East Hants, but the adjacent parts of Halifax County and actually going down into West Hants as well.

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the council, if this legislation is passed, will be able to use municipal monies to help with the expansion of that sportsplex. It's a very good thing and I speak for this side of the House - we're very happy to see that legislation go forward.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Immigration.

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to be able to rise in support of Bill No. 213, the East Hants Sportsplex Expansion Act. It's wonderful to see these community groups looking for support from their municipality. I know I live in a community right now where we are, as well, trying to supplement - I hate to use the word lack of recreation facilities but that's exactly what it is - through the construction of rinks, artificial-

[Page 5672]

turf soccer fields and also field houses for basketball and other indoor sports. I think it's critical for municipalities to be able to jump in, to be able to work with groups and private groups, to be able to support construction of facilities like this.

I know that we've all talked about the growth in our communities and I know that several people on this side of the House, as well as on the Opposition and the Third Party, also live in areas with significant growth, where we're in very difficult times for access to recreation facilities. I know in the Halifax Regional Municipality, and probably in many other municipalities as well, there's a serious shortage right now for ice surfaces. I know in my own community we have been very supportive of a volunteer board in their efforts to try to construct a single ice surface at this point in time - hopefully to see a triplex or quadruplex in the near future.

So I'm pleased to see this bill before the House, and pleased that the member has brought it forward. I think it's a very critical piece of legislation for that community and I hope that in the future we see more of them here because we really, really do need support from within communities and support within government to ensure that communities and municipalities can work together.

So, Mr. Speaker, with those few words I'll take my seat. Thank you very much.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: I, too, am pleased to take a few minutes of the time of the House today to speak about this particular bill. The member who introduced the bill had a question as to whether or not a written commitment was given to the society. I would point out to the member that a written commitment was given to the society and it was handed to them at the announcement earlier in the summer as we announced that particular project, as we do with all projects, Mr. Speaker.

I want to, though, pay particular attention and respect to the community that is doing a great job of raising funds to help construct this facility. As members would know, we announced last year - not this most recent budget, but the budget before that - our new B-FIT program, which is building facilities and infrastructure together, and an important component of that is community engagement in the construction of recreation facilities.

When we rolled out the program a year ago, initially it was a $5 million commitment from the Province of Nova Scotia being matched by two-thirds from other partners, other levels of government. We've since expanded that to $8 million, Mr. Speaker, and over the period of 10 years we'll see an investment with all partners of $240 million in recreation infrastructure in the Province of Nova Scotia. It's something that we, on this side of the House, are extremely proud of, and we recognize the fact that we are meeting and taking care

[Page 5673]

of one of the obstacles that many communities have with respect to becoming a healthier and safer society, and that is the obstacle of access to recreation facilities.

I'll tell the member opposite who introduced the bill that I've been in that facility a number of times. I participated this year in their golf fundraiser and had an opportunity to meet with the board of directors and others as they talked about their project, raised money. It was a very successful fundraiser, held at a local golf course and I think the largest I've ever seen, but it shows the support of community groups and organizations and businesses who embrace this facility but also embrace a culture of becoming fitter, healthier and safer, one that we believe is important for us to tackle that burden of an unhealthy province, Mr. Speaker.

When I first became the minister I gave my staff a broad and substantial goal, and that is the goal of making Nova Scotia the healthiest and safest province in the country. It's one that they have embraced, Mr. Speaker, but they've embraced it because they know the importance of it - but more importantly to me and the part that I guess that I believe is important to all Nova Scotians is the fact that Nova Scotians have embraced the concept of becoming the healthiest and safest province in the country, and this particular project is a prime example of that.

I know that the hard work from people like Tom Hunter, who has worked hard on behalf of the board of directors to lead this project, people like Steve Pottie, who is the manager of the facility out there who works very hard to make that facility a viable facility, is just one reason why they have been so successful and will continue to be successful. I know many people, people I went to school with, that I've since met, re-met, as a result of that announcement, who've put their heart and soul into that facility, not only for themselves but for their family members.

This is just one example of many examples where we've been able to go across the province and meet that unmet need and help municipalities and community groups develop very important recreation infrastructure, so we can achieve that goal of becoming the healthiest and safest province in the country. As I have moved around the province on behalf of the government as the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, it makes me so proud that we have community groups and organizations that have picked up the challenge that has been laid out before them and are doing what they need to do to help address those unmet needs.

I can tell you we've been to communities like Bear River and Weymouth where they're developing the Bear River-Sissaboo Trail, a multi-use trail that will enable many people to be able to participate in outdoor physical activity. We've been to Acadia University, for example, where we were able to invest in their field and their track around the grounds of Acadia University.

[Page 5674]

Some would wonder, why is it we're investing in university sport? In that case, it's not just university sport. They've signed a community-use agreement where that facility can be used by communities and others. I can point to a real example - the Special Olympics recently held their summer Olympics at Acadia University. But there are many, many examples where we've been able to go out with our one-third investment - and in some cases smaller than that - leverage another two-thirds, and meet those unmet community needs.

As I continue to tell municipalities, it's ultimately their responsibility to provide these kinds of infrastructure, but as a province, I think without the kind of help that we've been able to supply through our B- FIT program, these projects might not otherwise have occurred.

East Hants, I can remind the member, he wasn't sure of the exact amount, it was actually $5.632 million the province committed. We've also committed an additional $3 million to Cape Breton University. That's funding that will help provide for indoor soccer, an artificial track and field as well as a wellness centre, which is an important initiative. We provided $350,000 to a church memorial arena - and I believe that's in the constituency of Chester - to provide for major mechanical and electrical upgrades that otherwise would not have occurred. The Kings Trail Society, we were there not that long ago and announced trail development in Cambridge to the Annapolis County line. The South Shore-Annapolis Recreation Trail Association, $185,000. St. Francis Xavier University, the contribution toward the development of a track and field, $700,000 toward what I believe was more than a $2 million project.

Hants Aquatic Centre in the riding of Hants West - my colleague, the member for Hants West, very proud of the fact that we were able to make a contribution to that particular project - $180,000. Cape Breton Regional Municipality - and the list goes on and on and on. These are projects that are very valuable to the community, I want to talk a little bit about one, the Dartmouth YMCA. We were there this summer and announced $153,000 - these are the kinds of projects that impact communities. With that being said, I do support the bill. I think it's the right approach to involve municipalities, community groups and the province through our B-FIT program and other levels of government to help work together as a team to address the unmet needs.

The ability for us to be able to provide facilities is taking care of one obstacle. As a government we've addressed other obstacles like the cost of sport by investment in KidSport, by our program that now provides up to a $500 tax credit for children and now it's expanded to all Nova Scotians who enrol in physical activity programs. These were initiatives brought forward during the budget process. I don't want to spend a whole lot of time but I would like to remind the members opposite, particularly the New Democrats, that they didn't support that budget and therefore didn't support those initiatives.

I think these are the kinds of initiatives that will go a long way to help make Nova Scotia a healthier and safer province. It's a mandate that our department has been given, it's

[Page 5675]

one that we will fulfill with the hard work of one million Nova Scotians who are dedicated to the exact same commitment that we have.

With those few words, I want to say that I, too, will be supporting the bill. I support the community initiative in East Hants and I know so does the council. I've spoken directly with councillors in the area and the warden and I know so does the community, Mr. Speaker. That's why I believe it's the right approach. With that, I will now take my seat.

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

The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the members on the government side who spoke. I appreciate their comments very much. It gives me an opportunity to . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Hants East has the floor.

MR. MACDONELL: It gives me an opportunity to thank the Minister of Health Promotion and Protection for his announcement in my constituency, and the government for their commitment to funding. I guess when I asked about a written commitment, I was just wondering about the process of when he gets the cheque written, but anyway, I'll pick his brain on that a little bit later.

[2:45 p.m.]

I do want to say, because members may not be aware, the East Hants Arena Association, which is really the board that controls the management of the sportsplex there, this is a facility that has no debt. They have money in the bank and this is a very well-managed facility in this province. It gets a lot of use, as a matter of fact the comment about ice time, it's just about impossible, it's booked all the time. So they deserve credit for what they've been able to do. They've stuck well to their agenda and they've shown people that they could run this facility and do it well and they deserve congratulations for what they've been able to do, Mr. Speaker. So with those comments, I close debate on Bill No. 213.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 213. 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 Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

[Page 5676]

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 216.

[Page 5677]

Bill No. 216 - Crosbie Memorial Trust Fund Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. MARK PARENT: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and thank you for the opportunity to speak for a few minutes on this bill. I beg the indulgence of the House as I speak a little bit about some of the history of the Crosbie Centre, since it is pertinent to the bill.

The Crosbie Centre, as some members will know, is an addiction treatment facility. When I first was elected in 1999, it was housed in the old sanatarium which, due to mould problems, was due to be torn down. This, of course, caused an enormous problem for both the Crosbie Centre and for Fidelis House because both of them were housed in this facility and both had free rent.

So, Mr. Speaker, it seemed like my first term in office was tied up, in large part, with both those institutions - the Fidelis House and Crosbie Centre. Fidelis House, Mr. Speaker, just to give you some historical background on that as well, is an organization whose main task was to provide low-income housing for patients who came to the Valley Regional Hospital from other districts. It had about 100 volunteers in our area and although it was my people who were volunteering at Fidelis House and putting in the time and effort, really the people they were caring for were coming from the Yarmouth area, from Clare, from Argyle, from areas like that.

I was fortunate because of the reality of that, to get the Minister of Finance at the time to help, because a lot of the people being helped at Fidelis House were being helped from his area, and we were able to get a loan guarantee and they erected a building on the grounds of the Valley Regional Hospital owned by the district health authority and the Fidelis House, with the loan guarantee, was back in operation. In fact, it has paid off the loan guarantee because some of the beds that they constructed in the facility were for visiting physicians who were working at Valley Regional and they were charging the rent back for that. So it all worked out well for Fidelis House. For Crosbie Centre which was also located in that same building and had to find new facilities, it was a far more rocky road that they had to go along.

So one of the things that we did in order to help out Crosbie Centre was when the Crosbie Centre closed down because they had no facility to be in, we created the Crosbie Centre Foundation, Mr. Speaker, and this was with the help of John Crosbie who was a relative of Martha Crosbie, brother-in-law of Martha Crosbie, and the late widow of Dr. Crosbie, in whose name this facility was established. The Crosbie House Foundation was set up with a private member's bill, but because at that time there was no Crosbie Centre operating, the bill simply stated that the money would go to fund addictions training within the Annapolis Valley Health Authority, we named the people who would be on the board and one who would be in perpetuity would be Martha Crosbie, or someone from the Crosbie

[Page 5678]

family, since most of the money that was given to the Crosbie Centre was given really in recognition and honour of what her husband had done in setting up this centre.

The feeling at the time - and I was really off-side with my government on this one a bit, but I understand what they were moving towards because when the Crosbie Centre no longer had a facility to operate in, the government shifted its focus and attention to the addiction centre for the Annapolis Valley Health Authority, which was then in Middleton at the time. They shifted models as well. There was an emphasis at the time and the Premier, Dr. Hamm, as a physician, agreed with this emphasis on harm reduction in addiction treatment.

The Crosbie Centre model, Mr. Speaker, was not a harm reduction model, it was an abstinence model. There were two models here and I was arguing that we really needed both models to serve the population of Nova Scotia well, and the argument that came back to me, not articulated very well for a long time, but finally at least they articulated it, was that if you look at addictions on a pyramid, with the majority of population not being addicted and then moving up to the pyramid, that the harm reduction model really targets the middle of that pyramid and so, therefore, to use a rather colloquial expression, you get more bang for your buck in putting your money into harm reduction.

That does make sense if you're talking simply about risk management and about efficient use of funds. The problem is that those at the very top of the pyramid, those who suffer the greatest addictions, are not helped by the harm reduction model. They're helped by the abstinence model. It's the only model that has proven to be of any help to them. Anyway I'm going on quite awhile, my House Leader would like me to elucidate fully but the Opposition would prefer me to tone it down. I think I'll take my cue from the Opposition rather than from my House Leader, I may get in trouble for that, but the point is thank you very much, the honourable member for Yarmouth. The honourable member for Yarmouth is chiming in as well.

Let me just get then to this bill. The Crosbie Centre which focused upon abstinence is a model that we have to have in Nova Scotia. It complements, it's not the only model, the harm reduction model is good, but the abstinence model is absolutely necessary. So I was delighted when Crosbie Centre was reborn in a different location. They managed to buy a property in New Minas. I was there with the member for Kings West and the member for Kings South, when the new Crosbie Centre was inaugurated, dedicated, whatever you want to use. There was a huge crowd, Mr. Speaker, because this Crosbie Centre had been used by companies such as Michelin, by the Membertou Band, by 14 Wing Greenwood, by many different businesses because it is the only model that works for certain people.

I was delighted when it came back into operation and so having been in operation now, I'm not sure that the member for Kings West might remember, I think it's about two years now where we're at, it seems a propitious time to revisit the Private Member's Bill.

[Page 5679]

What we're changing is really that the funding be used for the Crosbie Centre, which is now up and running once again. So that's really the change to the bill, to the Private Member's Bill, and I just wanted to give a little bit of that history to the honourable members and with those few words, I shall take my seat. I move second reading of Bill No. 216.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 216. 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 Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 189.

Bill No. 189 - Miners' Memorial Day Act.

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

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank the honourable Deputy House Leader for calling this bill, Bill No. 189, Miners' Memorial Day Act.

At the outset I want to indicate to the House, as a result of discussions with my colleagues, the member for Cape Breton Centre and the member for Glace Bay and another lady that I'm going to mention here in a moment, that I'll be introducing an amendment at the Law Amendments Committee that we will rename this bill. It will be called The William Davis Miners' Memorial Day Act.

I certainly want to thank my colleagues opposite for their intervention and for ensuring that the Davis family had their wishes reflected in this bill. This morning we spoke to the granddaughter of Mr. William Davis, Norma MacDonald, I believe she lives in New Waterford, sorry, she lives in Dominion. I spoke to this fine lady this morning to assure her that when I first tabled this bill it was to bring some formal recognition to all miners in Nova

[Page 5680]

Scotia and certainly, respectfully looked to her input in regard to what this bill was officially named. Mr. Speaker, I believe Ms. MacDonald, the granddaughter of William Davis, will be pleased and is pleased as a result of this bill now being named the William Davis Miners' Memorial Day Act.

Mr. Speaker, I know there are members opposite who are from mining communities and I'm sure want to have some comments in regard to this bill. I do want to say that being born and raised in Springhill, a mining community that is known around the world, that has seen many disasters over the years, as have two other communities that I represent, River Hebert and Joggins, we've had disasters where many lives have been taken and we've had disasters where young men and boys on their own have died in mining accidents, sometimes singly.

A good neighbour of mine, Mr. Chub McMaster, I know died in 1969 and although we don't officially recognize on a regular basis those miners who died on their own, such as Chub did, I spoke to his wife here a while ago and you know any death like that is as important as when we have a great many disasters such as we've had.

So, Mr. Speaker, I believe that this bill will now formally recognize and pay tribute to all miners in Nova Scotia who have died over the years. In Springhill, for example, in 1891, a disaster at that time saw 125 men and boys die. In 1956 there were 39 who died in the explosion at Springhill and in 1958 there were 75 who died in the "bump" and a "bump" as many from mining communities would know, is where the floor in the coal mine actually goes up and hits the roof, and you can imagine the devastation in a coal mine as a result of such a tragedy.

Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending some ceremonies in Springhill where a group of volunteers came together. They were led by such people as Valarie Alderson who is a lady that I grew up with, her maiden name was Tabor. Her dad was killed in the mines, in the "bump". Jim MacDonald, his dad was killed. Brenda Boran's father died and Bill Kempt, his dad died. These folks, along with many others, had been working for a number of months - it was called Remembering 1958, and it was 50 years since the "bump" in Springhill. I have to say, I have to give full credit to them because they brought together a very emotional time for a lot of people, but I believe it's an opportunity to bring closure to some people's lives in regard to the events that happened in communities across the province, and especially in Springhill.

[3:00 p.m.]

At that time, on a Thursday, the 23rd, there was actually an unveiling of plaques at the pithead, No. 2 and No. 4 pithead. Then later that evening there was a candlelight vigil service. It was attended by in excess of 11,000 people in our community centre. Then later on the next evening, Peggy Seeger, who was well-known in our area for writing songs

[Page 5681]

regarding the mines, and as well the Men of the Deeps from Cape Breton were in attendance, and around 1,400 people attended that event.

Mr. Speaker, my communities of Springhill, River Hebert and Joggins have a deep history regarding mining, particularly coal mining, and they're very appreciative of the efforts of volunteers to bring this together. Sunday evening there was an ecumenical service that was held. (Interruption) It could have been economical. Actually what I'm going to say, it actually turned out to be quite an economic benefit for a lot of organizations and individuals.

There was a lady who spoke that evening. Her name is Cheryl Curtis and I asked Cheryl if I could just mention a few of the comments she made that evening, with her permission. Mr. Speaker, one thing she talked about that night that I wasn't aware of, I grew up in Springhill and didn't know this, 50 years ago, in the year of the "bump", the Anglican Church actually started bringing a lot of money (Interruption) The honourable Minister of Health says it's before my time - not quite, I wish it were.

But the Anglican Church, as a result of the "bump" in Springhill, had a lot of money donated, and they quickly realized they didn't have a process to be able to help disburse those funds. So at that time the Anglican Church developed what was called the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund. She mentioned that night how that was started 50 years ago and how, as a result of that tragedy in Springhill, it has turned into such a benefit for not only communities and individuals in Canada, but around the world.

Mr. Speaker, she talked that night about where the money goes for such things as children, and AIDS and things throughout the world. I think that it speaks well to the lives of these miners who gave their lives, and as a result of that tragedy, such a positive thing happened. Some of the comments she made - she said the memories you have of the courage of those who faced death, the men who struggled, the draegermen who faced impossible odds to rescue friends and neighbours, the work of the funeral directors, the ministers, the care of the doctors and nurses, the care of each neighbour, all of these memories have brought courage to the hearts of untold others - courage, hope and connection.

Mr. Speaker, she went on to talk about a miner's code. I know those from mining communities would know well that the code within miners, particularly when there's a tragedy like this, is that no miners are left behind. I can tell you some of the stories that I've heard about the "bump", the heroic events that took place and the personal commitment by miners who returned time and time again underground, to digging holes that would be barely two and a half feet to three feet square, and would dig through literally hundreds of feet of debris and coal to save their brother miners. Some of the stories are just beyond belief.

Cheryl mentioned this night, she said that danger is part of a miner's reality. In what other conditions do you tag in and out as an indication of your location or survival, and in

[Page 5682]

what other working conditions do we require a lunchroom that is also a safe place stocked with food and water, and what other working conditions are earthquakes a regular occurrence? So it goes to follow, the miners show up for each other and know the depth of solidarity. A mining community is a connected community - one that shares food, shares grief, shares history, shares a danger kept at bay and the danger that claimed its members. Danger is our livelihood, it's part of our Maritime history. Mining, fishing and forestry are evidence of this.

She went on to say that while grief and memory of that moment, the "bump" is still with us, I want to tell you of another way. She goes on to talk about what I just mentioned a moment ago that she said out of the tragedy has come the remarkable hope, story of the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund is a great example. I guess to say that after 50 years the Anglican Church of Canada has contributed $90 million to development and relief through this fund and to think that it started as a result of the tragedy in Springhill that was recognized a few days ago.

I'm not going to talk long on this because I know some of my colleagues want to speak about mines and what this legislation means for their community. I do want to say though that I was fortunate enough not to have a father or grandfather or brother lost in any of these tragedies, but certainly a lot of friends of mine did - one of my best friends growing up, his name was Norm LeBlanc. I think Norman had seven or eight brothers and sisters and their dad, Eddy, died, there were 75 miners that died in Springhill during that year. You can imagine, a one industry community such as Springhill that relied solely on coal mining, a population at the time of several thousand, to have 75 fathers and brothers die, to have so many mothers left to deal with the raising of families, big families at that time,

I think the House would agree that back then we certainly didn't have the resources or the supports in place that we see today. Many of these folks were left to basically fend on their own, to find ways to provide for their families, their children and they did it. They were very creative in ways to prepare for their children to ensure they raised them to be good community people. Mr. Speaker, you remember a few weeks ago we brought in three of the last survivors who were trapped, there were more than the three, but the three that were trapped the longest for almost nine days, we introduced in the House here - Mr. Herb Pepperdine, Mr. Garnet Clark and Harold Brine. They were brought in, they were introduced to the House and they were survivors of that "bump" and actually attended those festivities.

But there were other people that did survive that they were known across this province and outside this country. People like Maurice Reddick, who died a few years ago, but who was known as the singing miner and he kept the spirits alive of these men and boys underground for days and days at a time. So much we owe to people like that.

The other thing I'm very proud of is that earlier this year we named Highway No. 104 as the Miners Memorial Highway. I was just told today that the permanent signs are ready

[Page 5683]

to be placed up now. That will be a reminder forever of the mining history and heritage of Nova Scotia for people who travel on that major highway throughout Nova Scotia. I think it's something that is long overdue and I'm very proud of that.

As I said, I know there are others who want to speak today about mining and heritage and what it means to their community. So I just want to end up by saying that I believe this legislation is something that has been long overdue that will pay respect to men and boys who went underground for many years to provide for their communities, their families and a lot of them ended up paying the sacrifice with their lives. I'm sure that after the discussion with my colleagues, I know there's support for this legislation and I look forward to it moving forward so that we'll now officially, in Nova Scotia, know that June 11th every year will be known as William Davis Miners' Memorial Day and I look forward to that and to the comments from my colleagues. Thank you very much.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, first, let me thank the minister for being thoughtful in the way he approached this bill and looked for consensus and it was not a one-off bill, it was not a bill to upstage anybody. What it was, the intent of the bill is as advertised, if you will. It was to really point out a pinnacle time in our history about a man - especially where I come from - that really, the family name strikes a chord with everybody.

Before I get too far into that, I want to thank the grandchildren of William Davis for their input. They were very cordial and respectful of what we wanted to do and certainly were encouraged, and when the minister talked with some of the family members this morning, they understood the intent and were extremely gratified that the proposed amendment, that hopefully will get passed - I'm sure it will - will reflect their grandfather's name and I appreciate the minister doing that.

You know this is something that means a lot, as a son of a coal miner and being active in the trade union movement, because many would tell you that that day was the day that the concrete was poured for the foundation of the labour movement in Nova Scotia. The day that, sad to say, William Davis was killed.

It's a day that still evokes a lot of memories to people who weren't even alive on that day. I heard the minister speak about the camaraderie of coal miners and it's like no other. I can remember - probably around the time that someone said about the minister that he wasn't around then, around the time of the "bump" - but roughly somewhere around 1958, 1960. We grew up in New Waterford in a place called Twelve Square. Now in and around those coal mining towns, you were known by the area you came from, where the colliery was related, so there was like 16 and 12, 14, 17, these were all names of collieries. As kids, that was as much our playground as what kids would see today with green fields and so on. We would actually hang around these things, as unsafe as that may seem.

[Page 5684]

We knew the miners, the miners would - most of them didn't have cars then - so they'd walk through people's yards, up to the three o'clock shift and then come home from there at eleven o'clock and they'd be passing miners who would be going out on what I refer to as the back shift, the 11 to 7 shift. I can remember in the area where I grew up, 12 Square - Mr. MacPherson, who lived on the bottom of Convent Street, was killed while working at No. 12. What was done at that time was that if the accident was not too disfiguring, if I can use that term, they would lay the miner out in what would be the medic's room and allow his fellow workers to pay their respects to their fallen brother. I remember that was probably the first time, as someone who was five or seven years old, seeing that and seeing the death, and there was this bare faced miner, still dirty from the awful work he was doing and that was like wow, when you saw that, and you understood it.

Back then times were different. It was more common that they would allow the remains to go home and that's where the wake would take place. I remember miners would be coming, now they lived, again, at the bottom on Convent Street and miners who would be coming off the shift, cutting through the back yards there would actually stop in to MacPherson's and pay their respects and move on from there.

Clearly that forged in my mind a lot of what I have done in my adult life in representing working women and men and the hazards that they faced. That was all so easy and, by the by, I had a father who was a coal miner for almost 48 years and it was tough work. I remember, as they said in the early 1960s, there were more supper times than suppers. There were 15 of us in our family and mining wages weren't that great. You know, as great as the miners were, I have to say that the miners wives were spectacular. You could make a pot of soup go a long way and that's what mother did for our family. We survived on miner's wages and we survived by the type of work and the type of community you lived in because of that. Not only were miners and their fellow workers thick but it brought the whole community together. You rode that rise of exhilaration and you dipped with that depression with it, but you did it all together. There was nobody out in the community freelancing, if you will, it was certainly a community that had an interest.

[3:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, when you think of it the tragedies and loss of life and when you think to it - and I understand when we talk about energy needs today and people say well we have to watch CO2 and green and I understand that and I support that. But I also want people to remember that when this nation was facing crisis during war, whether it was the First or Second World War, who fueled the economies? Who fueled the boats going overseas? Who did that? It was Nova Scotia coal. In the 1970s, when we had the oil crisis so to speak, who stepped in to keep the lights on in Nova Scotia? It was Nova Scotia coal miners. So whatever a person may think of the fuel, let's not ever lose sight of the real cost of that fuel. A term

[Page 5685]

that I'm sure the minister knows much better than I do - blood out of coal - and there was plenty of it.

There's the tragedy of those that their lives were taken instantaneously in the mine but we still in my community have literally hundreds of workers who are dying a slow death whether it's through silicosis or some form of pulmonary disease because of working in coal mines. When you talk to these people who can barely string three words together because they do not have enough air capacity in their lungs and you ask them, you know, I guess you would never want to do that again. They shake their head and say no way, that they've never met a finer bunch of people in all their lives - God gave me what God gave me but I'd never back off an inch. For the friendship they made, for the time that they supported their families, these are workers that will show you when you go in their house they have sons and daughters, now grandchildren, who have gone to universities who are doctors and lawyers and all kinds of interesting opportunities because of what they figured they gave to them by being a coal miner. They're proud of that because it was good honest work, tough work.

I'm not going to gloss over the fact that clearly in a time not only in Nova Scotia but throughout North America when workers were taken advantage of and were made to work in unsafe conditions for poverty wages. That's what brought William Davis to the power plant at Waterford Lake that infamous day. There was a strike going on and as you are no doubt aware, Mr. Speaker, that the companies owned everything, the stores that gave miners credit down to the basic electrical needs. During the strike, the employers cut off the power at the power plant at Waterford Lake and a group of miners went out to re-establish that and they were met by provincial police at the time. William Davis, who had joined the group to go out there, had left a young son at home, went out through Scotchtown to Waterford Lake, was shot and killed at that time. Truly a tragedy of unspeakable terms because as I said earlier it reverberates today.

You go to these commemoration ceremonies whether it's New Waterford, Glace Bay, as it was this year in Port Morien, throughout Pictou County and through Springhill. You know you can't help but get that shiver in your spine when you hear some of these tragic tales retold. So it's very good to see this bill but, minister, it's necessary. This bill is necessary to recognize a segment of our workforce, that brought us and made us the province we are today in many, many ways. I would say that for sheer paying the ultimate sacrifice, the only thing that's in front of them would be our fine military. Outside of that, these people - if you look at what was extracted from them by this province, as a group of employees, I don't think they can be compared with anybody else.

This is not a time to take away from any other group of workers but if you think about what they did and how they supplied us with the needed energy - we don't have to go too far back in the history books to think about Westray and what was paid for there.

[Page 5686]

We talk about certain things that the miners fought for in this Legislature, automatic assumption through the Workers' Compensation Board, just a truly needed piece of legislation.

So, Mr. Speaker, while I wholeheartedly support the bill, I do it very humbly because I will never be the person my father was but if this bill pays him any homage, I say thank you. Thanks. (Applause)

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MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and say a few words regarding Bill No. 189. I am extremely happy to hear that the minister has decided to name this bill William Davis Miners' Memorial Day. I agree with my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, that the minister did this in a consensus sort of manner and spoke to both myself and my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, but also took the time to call a member of the Davis family. That member was his granddaughter, Norma MacDonald, who has been very active in Davis Day ceremonies back at home for years now and at any Davis Day ceremony that I've been able to attend, I know that Norma and her family have been there to lay a wreath in his honour. So it means a tremendous amount to them.

I want to congratulate the member for Cape Breton Centre who quite eloquently has stated that he is, indeed, the son of a coal miner. I am not the son of a coal miner, I've been called the son of a . . . (Laughter)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I've been called the grandson of a coal miner, as a matter of fact, which I am and quite proudly so. My grandfather, Fred Yates, spent some 46 years mining coal in Cape Breton; came over from Wales when he was 12 years old because he had a great job in the coal mines of Cape Breton, at a great salary. You can imagine what it was. He was glad to be here and glad to be working in the mines.

You talk about the fabric of a coal miner and again my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, made reference to what kind of special people they are. This was a man who got up when it was dark and walked about five miles, to go down in a coal mine for the entire day and came outside when it was dark again and walked five miles back home, for 46 years. I think that says something about the fabric of coal miners.

You know June 11th, and again when my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, made reference to indeed the foundation of the labour movement in this province, was, unfortunately, sparked by the incident on June 11th and the shooting of Bill Davis. It's not a part of history that we like to put out there as something that was favourable. It was a black mark on the history of Nova Scotia. It should never had happened, but it did.

In naming this bill William Davis Miners' Memorial Day, that ensures that that will never be forgotten. It also ensures that the several hundred miners who have lost their lives throughout this province over the years will be remembered forever as well.

Mr. Speaker, I can remember vividly when I was a Grade 12 student of Morrison High School in Glace Bay, our Grade 12 history teacher religiously with every Grade 12 class

[Page 5688]

would take us down underground in a coal mine so that we would know exactly what it was like to be underground. On this particular occasion our history teacher, Evan Kennedy, took us down in what was called No. 26 Colliery because all the collieries had their numbers and again my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, is right, that's how the communities were called because of the number of the collieries that were there, but he took us down to the face of No. 26 Colliery, an actual working coal mine during an actual shift. When you got down there, I think his purpose was, and it served a purpose, you either decided whether or not you wanted to work in a coal mine or whether or not you never wanted to be in a coal mine again.

Mr. Speaker, that would have been in 1974. In that very same coal mine five years later there would be a fire - 12 men would lose their lives in that fire in that coal mine. I can remember recalling, I was working in the media at the time, that when I reported on that story of that fire at that mine, vividly remembering being down in that coal mine, that very same coal mine, believe me, reality hit home at that point as to whether or not it was a dangerous occupation.

We all know that, Mr. Speaker, we all know that what the minister is doing is going to ensure that their memories will live on forever. There's a tremendous facility in Glace Bay that I would urge all members of this House, and everyone in this province, to pay a visit to it at one time or another. It's called the Cape Breton Miners' Museum. It's located in Glace Bay. It has an actual coal mine, not a working coal mine but an exhibit coal mine that you can go down underground and get a little taste of actually what it's like. It has exhibits there from coal mining history throughout the decades and it also has an actual ride on a car, or a rake as they used to call it, that you can sit on and get some sort of a sensation as to what it was like to go underground.

Mr. Speaker, it was with a great deal of honour and pleasure that - although we haven't made the official presentation, but I was able to, thanks to Democracy 250 and to the funding that we were given for Democracy 250, it was with a great deal of honour and pleasure that - I chose as my legacy project the Miners' Museum. I was able to give $10,000 to the Miners' Museum to ensure that their exhibits, every exhibit from now on in the Miners' Museum, will be translated into French. Previous to that it had only been in English and they were having a few, well, more than a few, complaints from visitors from Quebec and elsewhere who said there's no French translation for us to enjoy this museum tour. That will now be done. The process is already underway thanks to the funding from Democracy 250 and I'm glad to have participated in that legacy project.

Again there's not much you can say when you grow up in a mining community as I have, when you grow up in a community as my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, and my colleague, the member for Cape Breton North, grew up in a mining community as well and, of course, the minister who grew up in mining communities, you know the importance of coal mining. You know the importance that it was to the economy

[Page 5689]

of Nova Scotia over the years. You know the role it played and you know the tremendous people who have been involved in the history of coal mining.

Mr. Speaker, we all know that if you spend 40-some years in a coal mine, it's not the same as if you spent 40-some years in some other job, or perhaps another industry. They are hard years and again, as my colleague from the NDP has stated, they've taken their toll on the men who worked in those mines for many years and our thoughts are always with them but, again, this is a very proud moment. The minister took the initiative to name a highway in his area Miners' Memorial Highway. The highway is Highway No. 104. Mr. Minister, we have a Highway No. 104 in Cape Breton, too, and other highways. Perhaps you want to take a look at naming some of them. I'll leave that thought in your mind. Perhaps you want to continue Highway No. 104 right through to Glace Bay, it would be fine by me. If you wanted to name that one (Interruptions) We'll plant a seed there and leave it with you.

Again, it's something that - the minister brought this to light, and Davis Day, as the minister rightly pointed out, has been celebrated across this province. Davis Day in Cape Breton to this very day is recognized by the Cape Breton Regional Municipality to the effect that in mining communities in Cape Breton, you still get a half-day off school - the schools and businesses actually close for half a day on June 11th each year. The last ceremony that I attended was in Port Morien, my colleague, the member for Cape Breton Centre, was there as well and there was a huge crowd that attended the church service - I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker, you were there as well. I know that's in your constituency. I didn't mean to leave you out, you were front and centre.

[3:30 p.m.]

The tremendous crowd that was there and the church service and the crowd that took part in the ceremonies as well, I think it speaks rather loudly to the fact that people still remember, still honour Bill Davis and how he lost his life and what it means to Cape Breton and to coal mining across this province.

I don't want to speak any longer, I just wanted to again congratulate the minister. We're happy to work with you on this and, again, to commemorate the history of coal mining, the loss of coal miners and the loss of Mr. Davis by naming this bill and introducing the William Davis Miners' Memorial Day Act. Thank you very much.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou East.

MR. CLARRIE MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, it's with pride and humbleness and just a great pleasure for me to stand in this House and commend the minister for the way he has handled bringing in this bill, Bill No. 189, and the fact that he did make an amendment in it, because I, too, remember mentioning in the corridor to him about the importance of Davis Day and keeping William Davis' name in the Memorial Day.

[Page 5690]

For me, this is a time when we remember certainly the William Davis incident, but it is also a time when we remember so many people who were lost in the pits and certainly lost in the pits in Pictou County. Mr. Speaker, it's hard to imagine that Pictou County lost more men in the pits than it did in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Pictou County, certainly by proportion, by ratio, contributed to those wars, but the number of losses in the pits have been phenomenal. They are spread out over almost 200 years, and the Allan Shaft explosion and the Drummond explosion and so many others that occurred - and Westray, the last, on May 9, 1992, when 26 miners were killed in that very tragic methane gas incident at Plymouth, which is in my constituency.

I think part of the pride that I have there today is the fact that my father on the day that William Davis was killed, shot dead in Cape Breton, my Dad was an 18-year-old coal miner in Pictou County. My grandfather, Seymour MacKinnon, was a 39-year-old coal miner in Pictou County. My mother's father was a 40-year-old coal miner in Pictou County. Together they spent over 100 years in the pit, 100 years-plus. Certainly my remembrances are one of a young boy coming home from school and finding my dad, on several occasions, had been smashed up in the pit. I remember one incident as a young boy going with him after he had his foot badly smashed. He took us fishing on the days that he was off and the blood was oozing up through his sneaker eyelets and so on. I have so many memories.

Certainly the heyday of mining was over when I was growing up. There weren't the hundreds and hundreds of people in the pits of Pictou County. I do remember the once in a long time - and they had been very frequent over the years - when a knock would come to a classroom door and someone would be told that his or her father had been killed in the pit. I remember some cries from the hallways when I think back to that. Just going back even more years, my grandmother's kid brother, 14 years old, killed in the pit. My great-uncle was killed in the pit at the age of 14, and I could recite so many incidents that happened over the years. Certainly my dad and my grandfathers could probably not remember or count the number of friends that they lost over that 100 years-plus collectively that they spent in the pit.

One of the things that I have great pride in is that my father when he was 30 years old, in 1936, was a bare-faced rescuer at Moose River and received a citation from this House. I was presented a medal by the Premier of the day, Angus L. Macdonald, and certainly the citation, the resolution from this House, and the medal for conspicuous service for bravery are proud possessions that I have today, probably the proudest possessions that I have in this world today. Certainly the camaraderie was mentioned, the camaraderie that existed in the pit, but there was also tremendous competition between the towns of Springhill and my hometown of Westville. The competition in baseball that used to take place . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MACKINNON: . . . the competition in track and field.

[Page 5691]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The chatter is growing. The honourable member for Pictou East has the floor.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, even today in my hometown of Westville, all of the teams are called the Miners, the Westville Miners, all of the teams - hockey, baseball, Westville Miners. They became quite famous in a lot of respects for sure.

Mr. Speaker, I just want to repeat the feeling that I have toward this bill and how important it is. I have attended Davis Day celebrations or remembrances, certainly celebrating the lives of those people, but remembrances, for quite a few years. Looking back as well, when the mines were dying in Pictou County before Westray came along, I remember back in the 1970s, as a very young municipal councillor, being the chair of the Save the McLean Mine Committee and going down into the McBean Mine on a number of occasions, trying to keep that mine open with the seams that were so small in that mine and to see people still digging on their hands and knees in some of those seams was really something.

We reflect back to the days of our youth and I remember as a 12 year old, a 13 year old, a 14 year old, 15 and 16 - no TV, no computer games, but our summer activity was opening bootleg coal mines. It's hard to believe that young people would set up a tripod and dig down 8 or 10 feet into the earth and then start tunneling in. It took three people to do this - you had to have someone on the surface with the buckets, dumping them into the wheelbarrows and so on and bracing the timbers and so on. I have so many reflections of times in my youth when the coal miner - all we heard was coal mining talk in our homes. We would try to emulate our fathers and go out and start a little bootleg coal mine.

The personal reflections that I have running through my mind at the moment, I'd just like to go on record on how things have actually changed over the years. My father, after 33 years in the pit was smashed up very badly trying to protect a couple of his buddies from a coal car that had slipped away and was going down the track. He was smashed up very badly and ended up in hospital in Halifax and in New Glasgow for long periods of time. In those days, Workmen's Compensation - as it was called back in those days - ended up sending a cheque to him for $1,000 for 33 years of work in the pit, with a note saying that if the cheque were cashed it would be deemed to be final payment.

Again, I am humbled and proud to speak on this and I think of the miners and how they related one with the other. I reflect on a friend saying to me one time, your dad really must have loved my uncle because when he came to the house to see his remains, he cried. I mean, the camaraderie that existed between these miners was really something. Sometimes they would fight among themselves, but they loved and respected each other and would do anything for each other. I remember when people were lost in the pit, the collections that were taken were significant to help the families out. That kind of spirit is something I relate

[Page 5692]

to and I think back to how my dad and others loved Clary Gillis, the CCF Member of Parliament who fought for miners for years and J.B. McLaughlin who led the miners in Cape Breton for so many years and so on.

When it comes to coal mining, I could go on for a long time. This bill is something that is very important to me. It was handled magnificently by the minister and I commend him for it. I hope this gets very quick passage and that there will be continued reflection on June 11th for those who served in the coal mines, and kept things going, and certainly their contributions to the war effort and so on, as mentioned before, were so significant.

Mr. Speaker, having certainly rambled somewhat, but having reflected on my own personal feelings, I want to see this move on as quickly as possible. I want to say that there is almost a renewed interest in Davis Day. Since Westray, there is a renewed interest in Davis Day in Pictou County, and certainly there is a separate remembrance for Westray itself.

[3:45 p.m.]

Certainly looking at the 26 who were killed in Westray, I would be remiss if I did not point out that my wife's cousin was the youngest killed, 22 years old, Robert Stephen Doyle. Certainly on June 11th, I will be remembering him and all the others who I can personally think of, as I speak here today. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

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

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Well thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I, too, am very pleased and also very proud to rise on the occasion of the second reading of this bill to mark William Davis - as Miners Memorial Day here in the Province of Nova Scotia. As we know, we all come from - and interestingly the composition of mining communities can be reflected in the composition of this House as we have representatives from all three Parties, who sit in this Chamber. They have come from, have been affected by, or involved with a mining community. It also speaks to the dynamic of our communities.

I know for myself, on the Northside of Cape Breton, it is a very proud tradition and one that is echoed in my family's history and involvement with the coal mining industry. As you know, Mr. Speaker, literally, there are some of us who can say we grew up on the ash pile in the back yard, let alone in my early days, growing up right across the street from the Princess mine and an area of Sydney Mines known as Bog Row. People are very practical with their naming and nicknames and people in the mines all had a very keen affection for one another, and in a time when for working families, it was tough, and that speaks to the reality of William Davis and the incident that occurred from that time, a time when unions were very core and integral to the family and communities.

[Page 5693]

I also know of a resolve by the citizens and the workers in those coal mines. As tough as life was, many of us would also know that those very people who were on fixed income, working very long hours in very difficult circumstances, also did what was called the checkoff, that they gave back to their community. They checked off and provided money, from a very limited income, to go back to their communities.

I know in our communities, Mr. Speaker, on the Northside, churches have been built because of the mining community. Hospitals were built because of the mining community. Schools were built from within the mining community and those individuals themselves were part of that construction of the very infrastructure of a community. I do recognize the comments made by my honourable colleagues that reflected on the importance of Cape Breton and the coal mining, the importance of Nova Scotia and the coal mining, and the coal mining communities from across this province that were part of a tremendous effort when the world needed Canada, they needed Nova Scotia to fire the engines of a war and, indeed, of industry that supported that. We were there and Cape Bretoners, whether they served overseas or they served at home, everyone had their role to play.

I know in my area you hear the stories of the mines and of the steel mill, and everyone who came together, and we see the culmination of that to this day in Sydney Harbour where you still have the remnants of infrastructure from the war years and indeed that were there to protect our harbour and the convoys that came back and forth. So as we celebrate democracy, as we celebrate those who have served and continue to serve this great nation, we also have to be mindful of those that in their own way have stood up and taken up the cause for service - without any regard for themselves or their safety - to provide for a safer community and to provide for their families.

I am also aware that we've had more recent incidents when the tragedy of a mining disaster can affect us. I know the honourable members from Pictou County would know of that in a current day context but we're also very hopeful as we go forward. For those who are looking, with enthusiasm for the development of the Donkin Mine, Mr. Speaker, in your constituency, and the support you have from within that community and all of the region to see a major investment. With that development and our keenness toward it, we always have to be ever mindful of the threats and risks associated with coal mining. Subsurface coal mining is a very dangerous business and that is why through the environmental and safety processes and now with occupational health and safety standards - that never existed when my father or grandfather would have been in the mines and their colleagues and friends and neighbours - will be part. Thankfully for those future miners, they will benefit because of those that have come before them and have paid a dear price in doing that.

In that we've always seen people who have served. We always know that the draegermen in Nova Scotia were infamous for their ability and skill and prowess when it came to doing that and it became a competitive thing. We think of the Men of the Deeps and the music tradition, keeping alive the culture of the area; that's very important. As we go forward with enthusiasm about the development and the prospects for investment and job

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creation and its contribution to our energy mix that the Donkin Mine offers I know you're mindful also that we have to ever remember that the safety and the security of the labour force is utmost. That will be adhered to as we go forward in a much different way than it had been before.

I know, Mr. Speaker, as we reflect on the past we have to look to the future and as we go to the future we must never forget William Davis, his legacy and the impact, and us marking miners memorial day with his name. Also I'm very pleased that the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal brought forward Miners' Memorial Highway and to always have on our highways for those that will travel through our lands that may not know the level of history that was shared here today, but will always then have a reminder that indeed we do remember. We're thankful for our heritage and indeed we're a proud people because of that. In fact, we are here in no short measure because of those roots that have allowed us to grow and sustain ourselves as Nova Scotians.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I want to add my voice and echo all the speakers today and all of those that have had a mining community heritage. I know we're very proud of our roots and often times it's said my father probably came from more of a labour background than necessarily a conservative background, but the point being is (Interruption) - well with time comes all things and a Tory membership card for my father too. The point is while we all come from different political ideologies we all come from a common community and it's called the great province of Nova Scotia and what our coal miners have provided us that we should ever be mindful of and thankful for.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I too am pleased to have a couple of minutes to rise and speak on this Bill No. 189, the Miners' Memorial Day Act. I certainly commend the minister for bringing this forward. I've had the opportunity on a number of occasions to attend June 11th services, I guess the Davis Day as we called it.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The noise level is just crawling up a little bit. The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, as I was saying I had the opportunity to attend what we have always called Davis Day Ceremonies in Stellarton on a number of occasions. I had the opportunity once or twice to go to Springhill and attend their June 11th ceremonies there and it has always been a privilege, I guess coming from a county where coal mining is such an important part of our past, and still there are people employed there in the coal mining industry, even though it's mostly above ground now at this point. There are still a number of people employed in the strip mine activity in Stellarton getting the remnants of the coal that still remains in that huge pit, the Ford Seam there in Pictou County.

[Page 5695]

But really, the history of coal mining in this province has been a part of the fabric of our communities, part of the history of our life here in this province, and it has been for more than 200 years. Unfortunately, through all that time, there have been hundreds of men and boys who have lost their lives in their struggle in Pictou County, hundreds more in Cape Breton and in Cumberland County. So it's thousands of people overall who have given the supreme sacrifice to working to make a living for their families in the mining industry in our province.

I had the privilege, Mr. Speaker, of attending the 50th Anniversary services on October 23rd ,which were held in Springhill, and to remember that tragedy there of the "bump" of 1958, in the minister's riding. I was there that night with the member for Cole Harbour, the Leader of the Opposition. One gentleman who I had the privilege of meeting that night was Dr. Arnold Burden who was the doctor on-site and attended, went underground and participated in the rescue of a number of the miners there at that time. He's a very interesting gentleman, I think he's about 86 years old now, and he was telling us some stories about that particular time in 1958 when he and others went underground and had to dig through very narrow little passages, through narrow tunnels, to try to rescue their fellow brothers who were trapped there underground for a number of days.

So it's people and stories like that that we remember and we know that are very important to the communities there in that area, and then certainly in Pictou County. I remember all too well, May 9, 1992, I was up early that morning, I think about 6:00 a.m. or 6:15 a.m. I heard on the radio that there was something happening at the mine but on the radio they didn't know just what it was. By 6:30 a.m. or 6:45 a.m. they had news of the tragedy that occurred there. I guess it's something you never forget. It's like people know or if they can remember far enough back, where were you when President Kennedy was shot? Well, what were you doing when the May 9th Westray tragedy occurred? So you never forget just where you were and when you first heard that news. It's just one of those lifetime events that stays with you.

In that mine disaster, in May, 1992, I lost a good friend, a neighbour of mine. His name was Mike MacKay. He lived just a mile down the road from us. At the time he was 38 years old and one of the 26 miners who lost their life that night or that early morning. Our province is filled with that history of tragedy through the 1800s and the 1900s, and let's hope it doesn't occur any longer in this century. There are lessons to be learned certainly from the Westray disaster. There was a full report commissioned. Judge Richard had a number of recommendations that came forward and as the member previous to me was speaking, the member for Cape Breton North, I would like to hope that some of those lessons will be carried forward and we'll benefit from that to protect lives in the Donkin Mine as that one gets ready to open.

So it's important that we remember our past and as we move forward, we recognize that the history of coal mining is a history of grit. It's a history of determination, it's a history

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of camaraderie amongst the workers, and certainly a history of sacrifice. So I commend the minister again for bringing this bill forward. I'm pleased to know that it's now officially going to be the William Davis Miners' Memorial Day and it's just an honour that we're remembering him and remembering all miners who have given the sacrifice over time. So with those few remarks, Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to support this bill and I look forward to it going on to the Law Amendment Committee stage. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm very pleased to stand in my place to also add my support for the bill, and also with respect to what the minister has indicated around the name change, which I think is very appropriate, and what he'll be putting forward.

I have the good fortune of representing a number of communities where the tradition of coal mining is extremely important, places like Port Hood, Mabou Coal Mines, Inverness of course, which has a long history of coal mining. All one has to do is look at the company houses along the main street in Inverness, or some of the other homes in Inverness, and you can truly appreciate the red rows and other homes. In fact, the Minister of Justice, a couple of years ago, came to Inverness with me along a parade route with our veterans and as we walked along the parade route, he looked at me and said, I could be in Sydney Mines right now because it was so similar.

[4:00 p.m.]

I see the same when I go to places like New Waterford and other communities where there is that coal mining heritage. But it's not just about the buildings, it's the people. This bill is appropriate because we're not only remembering those who have lost their lives during what were, perhaps, very difficult and challenging times in their work day, but we're recognizing how our communities have been built and there is a difference. When you go into a coal mining community there is a difference in the people. They are hard-working, they are tough, they pull together in times of need and they pull together at all times. It's one of the things I'm most proud of when thinking about places like Inverness, and my colleague from Pictou mentioned 1958, the "bump", and I think of people like Wally Hayes, who works for the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. He was a young media person at the time, one of the first people on the site, as a media person, when they found the last number of survivors, and it was interesting listening to his story.

I still have friends today, many young people in my community follow the mines, people like Trevor McLean, who goes all over the world. In fact I was with his father on the weekend - what were we talking about? We were talking about mining, and I can go on and on. In fact his uncle, unfortunately, was one of the individuals at Westray, Angus MacNeil, but the list goes on. I have many, many friends who either work in the mines, many of whom have been hurt in the mines, still today many of them - and we're not talking about

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individuals who are older individuals, we're talking young men who are in their 20s and still, to this day, follow the mines and will continue.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I think this is a very important bill. I'm pleased to add my comments to this. In fact, my great grandfather got hurt in the mines and died as a result - in the Mabou coal mines. So there's a history of coal mining in my own family and I can appreciate just how important this is for them, and their families, and it is important for our province to recognize them. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. The honourable member for Pictou Centre.

MR. PATRICK DUNN: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I think it would only be right, coming from Pictou County, with the rich coal-mining history in the county, to stand here and say a few words about coal mining in the area. I can remember - and it's hard to believe, being so young - but I can remember travelling with my father on Saturdays, delivering coal in the basements of many, many homes, going to the Albion shaft in Stellarton, filling up the truck and delivering coal to many residents who lived in the area on Saturday. Once again, I'm not so sure if I had a seat belt on at that particular time, but I certainly enjoyed the trips with my father going from the coal mine into the various residences in the county.

Mr Speaker, the town's prosperity depended on the acquisition of coal during these times and coal mining was the backbone of many towns' economies. Working in the coal mines certainly wasn't an easy job, as many of our members here have said today. Those who dared to go into the darkness of the mine to claim this bounty, lived with the fear of explosions and cave-ins. That was something that was always on their minds, but still this hardy brand of men and boys ignored that and were very happy to work in these mines.

Working conditions, of course, often included dampness, cold and dust which caused many problems as the miners continued to grow older. The Miners' Monument which is located on Drummond Road depicts the mine explosion of 1873. I did have some family members who were killed in that mine explosion - one or two in the first explosion and a third who was in the rescue crew to go down to rescue men who perhaps survived the first explosion. The second group that went down were also killed in a second explosion.

It's a constant reminder of this legacy, coal mining, a legacy that is not without a price. I commend the minister for bringing this bill forth, the William Davis Miners' Memorial Day Act. Everyone in the House certainly will be supporting this particular bill. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

[Page 5698]

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you. Mr. Speaker, I couldn't help sitting here listening to the debate today and I think everyone would agree, often times there's a debate in this House about many issues through legislation - issues that affect communities, individuals, various Parties' perspective, but I couldn't help but notice this afternoon the level of debate today I believe is something our forefathers - whether military, the miners, who gave their lives, leaders in this province and country, I think would be very proud of what they've heard here this afternoon from all sides of the House. I want to commend all the members who took the time who are from those communities to get on their feet and to express very emotionally and very passionately from their own perspective, about their communities and their family and about what mining has meant to the Province of Nova Scotia.

As was indicated, for many communities, it goes beyond just a job, it was a way of life. I think we would all agree that solidarity that was mentioned in the article I mentioned earlier by Cheryl Curtis talked about that very issue of solidarity and I think there's none other like it than in the mining communities.

The Premier mentioned about when you go into mining communities, how you can feel, there is a sense of feeling of a mining community. My son married a girl from New Waterford and I had the opportunity to go down there for a celebration. Her name is Rochelle but her grandfather's name is Jack Tighe. Jack, I believe, was a councillor there at one time, worked the mines for years.

AN HON. MEMBER: Her great grandfather as well.

MR. SCOTT: Her great grandfather. Anyway, Jack Tighe, he couldn't wait, knowing where I was from, coming from Springhill, we got up the next morning and he was waiting for me. He couldn't wait to take me out through the community of New Waterford and show me the sights, where the collieries were and where the activity and coal mining that happened over the years. You know, I remember driving around the community and thinking this reminded me so much of my home town and I could close my eyes and listen to him talk and I could see an activity he talked about - the same issues and challenges those families faced back then, were identical to my community of Springhill.

So I agree with the Premier that there is something special about communities and I think there's a special bond between the Town of Springhill, River Hebert, Joggins as well, but in the communities of Cape Breton. In fact, in church on Sunday, I drove a friend of mine home who had worked the mines in Springhill and Cape Breton. That's what he talked about, what it was like during those mining days in Cape Breton. I know there are many other individuals who worked between the two communities, Cape Breton and up my way, who worked in mines and shared that experience back and forth, in fact moved back and forth, and married and raised their families in those communities so there is a special bond between these communities.

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Again, Mr. Speaker, you know it shows that when we come to this House with an issue that affects all of us or so many, that we can really set aside the partisan issues that we face on a daily basis and talk positively about issues that affect this province. We owe so much to these individuals, the history and the heritage in this community of ours of Nova Scotia. It shows the kind of things that we can accomplish together if we are willing to work together to look at what is so important, I believe, to Nova Scotians and our communities.

[Page 5700]

Mr. Speaker, from now on on June 11th when we celebrate William Davis Miners' Memorial Day which is what this bill will be called, I am going to think about today, I'm going to remind my own communities in my area, in River Hebert, Springhill where I attend ceremonies every year - they make sure that the ceremonies are at different times throughout the day so that as many people as possible in the communities can come together - I'm going to remind them not only about this bill but about some of the comments I heard here today in the Legislature that will mean so much to those individuals.

The honourable member for Pictou West mentioned Dr. Arnold Burden, Mr. Speaker, I will probably get myself in a little bit of trouble at home when I say this but it's with my wife, it's okay, she's away this week, she gets upset with me but I always tell her she gets over it. My wife was a Grade 3 schoolteacher who just retired but she and her children took on a project a few years ago to interview veterans. It became as a result of the Year of the Veteran. They videotaped experiences of veterans in my area, there was quite a number, I forget the number now, but as a result of that a lot of editing went on so the DVD then became available to families. They had a big night at one of our churches and families came and viewed this and there was hardly a dry eye in the house. What it meant was that the experiences of these veterans was something that was shared with the families and that will now be shared for generations - children, grandchildren and so on.

Then her group went on and they did the same thing with war brides, did the same thing with peacekeepers and now they started with miners. The first one they interviewed just this past week was Dr. Arnold Burden. They did about an hour interview and as the honourable member mentioned earlier if you could take the time to speak to some of these miners about the experiences they had, about the challenges they faced, about what it's like to be trapped underground - can you imagine for nine days what it would be like with no food, no water? I've heard a lot of them say they wouldn't see daylight again, they were going to perish underground, thought about their families and who was going to look after the families for them.

Mr. Speaker, I would encourage members from other areas to maybe consider looking at groups doing the same things because these stories will be preserved forever and when they're gone they are gone. Unfortunately since they began the project three or four years ago some of the veterans and war brides have passed away. In fact this week Mr. Harold MacDonald who was going to celebrate his 80th birthday coming up passed away this past weekend. He was one of those veterans who was interviewed and now his family- I talked to his son at the funeral home yesterday actually- they now have this DVD and his dad was interviewed and they now have that personal experience to share with their families forever. I'm really looking forward to the miners through this very same process of having their experiences preserved and shared with their families forever.

The other thing, Mr. Speaker, is that in Springhill, the 1958 "bump", that was the first time that CBC broadcast live worldwide, that was the first live broadcast worldwide anywhere and it was in Springhill at the 1958 "bump". What this did 50 years later was bring

[Page 5701]

together the community again. The honourable member for Glace Bay mentioned the Miners' Museum in Glace Bay and there's a miners' museum in Springhill as well; a lot of artifacts have been donated, there is an underground experience there. What happened as a result of remembering 1958 and all of the work - in Springhill, as well there's the old lamp cabin building, I believe it's one of the last or the last in the country, certainly one of the oldest - as a result of this group coming together, and this building has been standing for years basically untouched, deteriorating and, as a result the honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage provided some money that will allow for a study to be done at the facility, to see, first of all ,whether that building can be preserved because of the condition and the results of the consultants report has been that indeed it can be.

Now this committee wants to ensure that building remains intact for generations to come to be able to experience and appreciate what coal mining has meant for the Town of Springhill. I know that they're working very hard now regarding that and we'll be coming back to see the honourable minister regarding what we may further do to preserve that facility.

The last thing I wanted to mention before I take my place and before I move second reading, is a lady in Springhill, her name is Mary Willa Littler. There were many grave sites that were commonly known in my area as the unknown miners and she took it upon herself, over a long period of time, to identify the graves of these miners and to raise money to erect monuments so that their names would be placed on monuments alongside of other miners who have been recognized over the years. I just want to pay respect to Mary Willa today for the great work that she has done over the years. It means so much to our community, and now those families of those miners can go to a place where they can see their relatives' names engraved on these monuments forever.

Mr. Speaker, with those comments, again I want to thank all the members today for the level of the debate, and the comments, and their support of this bill. I can tell you I'm very proud and honoured today to move second reading of Bill No. 189 - the William Davis Miners' Memorial Day Act. (Applause)

[4:15 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 189. 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.

I must say that listening to everybody on this debate was very moving because I actually spent a year working underground, and hearing what everyone had to say was quite interesting.

[Page 5702]

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 207.

Bill No. 207 - Silver Dart 100th Anniversary Act.

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

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to rise in my place to move second reading of Bill No. 207. Before I talk on the bill, I would like to inform the members of the House that because there are many differing opinions as to whether or not this was the first flight in the British Empire but, most importantly, to ensure this celebration gets the recognition it so rightfully deserves, I will be appearing before the Law Amendments Committee to change the name of the bill to An Act to Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the First Controlled Powered Flight in Canada by the Silver Dart in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, in the 2007 Throne Speech, Her Honour raised the issue of the incredible achievements of the citizens of this province now and throughout our history. She said, "Our government, along with all those who wish for a better future, will leave the beaten track . . . and make new in-roads on the path to the new Nova Scotia. It is what Nova Scotians have always done to succeed. It is what Nova Scotians will continue to do."

As I stand here today, I'm so proud to cite just one of the many examples of Nova Scotians making incredible strides and firsts for this province and nation. Mr. Speaker, next year we will mark a century since that cold afternoon in February when J.A. Douglas McCurdy flew the Silver Dart from the ice-covered Bras d'Or Lakes, marking the first powered flight in Canada. This accomplishment is thanks to the visionaries who formed the Aerial Experiment Association, headed by Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel Bell, along with Frederick W. "Casey" Baldwin, Mr. McCurdy, Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge and Glenn Curtiss.

Mr. Speaker, these individuals had an idea and pushed it through their association to become a reality. They had Mabel Bell's financial backing and enthusiasm, aviation knowledge and skill, and incredible ingenuity to do something no one else in Canada had, to that point, been able to do, and took us into the age of flight. This bill is important to me to remind Nova Scotians of the significance of this moment in history and to encourage people to take time out next year to take part in the celebrations.

These celebrations will be year-long celebrations and not just on February 23rd, although the main celebrations will be February 20th to 24th. The Silver Dart Centennial Association is the Baddeck-based organizing committee struck to plan and deliver the events and activities associated with the 100th Anniversary of man-powered flight in Canada in 2009. Canada's first lady of space, Roberta Bondar, has agreed to be the honorary chair of the Silver Dart Centennial Association. The Silver Dart Centennial Association has been

[Page 5703]

meeting for over two years planning the event and are to be commended for their tireless efforts.

Nova Scotians are a modest lot and this group of citizens that made up the AEA is no exception. However, as we know through our Democracy 250 celebrations, it's important for all to remember milestones in our history as positive examples for our citizens today who are also doing their part to raise the bar and take flight in innovative ways. Their ingenuity and bravery and willingness to step out and take a risk is something I happily applaud for my bill.

I know I speak on behalf of the good people of the beautiful Village of Baddeck, the beginning and end of the famed Cabot Trail, when I say how thrilled we are to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of this famed flight and the entrepreneurial spirit. Thank you for the opportunity to rise and speak to this bill.

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

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I'm just going to be very brief and say that I too, being a Cape Bretoner, I'm very proud of the accomplishments of the committee and what they've done to make sure we all know in Nova Scotia and in the Country of Canada, about this most important event that happened 100 years ago next year in 2009.

There has been a lot of preparation on restoring the Silver Dart for the flight again. I've seen it recently on television and it's looking very good that we will have a great celebration in Cape Breton in the year 2009 to celebrate this historic event. I think Cape Breton has many firsts, but this is one of the top priorities on Cape Breton Island and in the Province of Nova Scotia. I, too, look forward to this bill passing and again bringing notoriety and a first for the people of Cape Breton Island. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise this evening and say a few words about this bill. I applaud the member for Victoria-The Lakes for bringing this Private Member's Bill forward, in what is a milestone in our province and in Canada to commemorate 100 years of flight.

I think the bill will draw attention to what will be an extraordinary celebration. I know plans have been in the works for well over a year, especially with an organization like CAPA which I am familiar with because of the Greenwood Aviation Museum. Speaking about a museum, it's a real gem in our community, the Greenwood Aviation Museum, the dedicated people there that continue to add to that particular museum as I'm sure we see in Baddeck at the Graham Bell Museum as well. To think about the restoration or the building of a model of the Silver Dart in this year that will come back to Baddeck is indeed a remarkable achievement.

[Page 5704]

But I want to reference CAPA first and the work that they've been doing now for perhaps a couple of years. They are organizing vintage aircraft to fly across Canada in legs of flight and many of them will actually be continuing on to Nova Scotia to participate during the summer months, culminating in the air show in September.

There's also a book that has been developed and published and will be distributed to schoolchildren to commemorate this remarkable achievement here in Nova Scotia. Also, there will be a television production and a following of these flights across the country and, of course, we all know that Baddeck, starting in February, will have monthly events commemorating the flight of the Silver Dart. So this Back to Baddeck initiative and celebration is one that I feel needs to be supported strongly by the province. It could be a remarkable tourism event and we all know Event Tourism, of course, does have a great success record, where we set up an event and we push that to bring tourists to the province. So in each month of the next year, 2009, there will be commemorative events in Baddeck, and I think many Nova Scotians, and those well beyond our province, are looking forward to those celebrations.

So, in fact, it's a remarkable achievement when you think about it - even going out on the Bra d'Or Lakes in February alone, and to think that we mastered flight on the Bras d'Or Lakes and living in an aviation community and seeing aircraft like the F-18 and the C-17 airlifter now come and go as routine. So to think of the remarkable achievement of Nova Scotians, Alexander Bell and McCurdy, and all those who collectively accomplished that first flight.

So it is a significant year and I'm pleased that this Private Member's Bill, I'm sure, will move through the House without delay. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Immigration.

I'll try again. The honourable Minister of Immigration. (Interruptions)

There are technical problems?

Okay, the House will recess for a few minutes.

[4:27 p.m. The House recessed.]

[4:31 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. We'll resume with the second reading of Bill No. 207.

The honourable Minister of Immigration.

[Page 5705]

HON. LEONARD GOUCHER: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It's a great privilege to rise on Bill No. 207, the Silver Dart 100th Anniversary Act. I guess most people in here know my background, it is 30 years in the airline industry. This particular bill - every time you see an airplane taking off, you look up in the sky and you wonder, it's absolutely amazing to see.

I had an opportunity, Mr. Speaker, about two years ago when I was down in Baddeck, to actually fly over the same area that J.A.D. McCurdy took off from on the lakes. It's absolutely the most beautiful area and it's a wonderment to think that 100 years ago this intrepid group of individuals, with Mr. McCurdy taking the controls of the Silver Dart, actually experienced flight on this frozen body of water.

Mr. Speaker, I'm sure that today J.A.D. McCurdy would be in absolute awe of what has happened in the last 100 years, when you think of where we've gone with regard to powered flight. I even think of my Dad, born in 1919, and everything that he has seen over his life and he is still alive. I'm sure Mr. McCurdy would be in the same situation, where we've gone from powered flight with bi-wing aircraft from the Second World War, to single-wing aircraft, to rockets, to space on the moon in 1969, and it continues on.

The 100th Anniversary of the Silver Dart, I think, Mr. Speaker, brings out the child in all of us, really, when you look at powered flight and the (Interruption) Yes, I'm lost for a word - and it mystifies everybody, it mystifies the individuals when you see an aircraft taking off.

Mr. Speaker, in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, currently, there is a display of aircraft down there and you look at the F-86 Sabre and you look at the B-29 Lancaster, all these aircraft have come along after the Silver Dart in 1909, on the Bras d'Or Lakes with J.A.D. McCurdy. They were the pioneers, they were the people who allowed all of this development that we now, in our lifetime, take advantage of.

Mr. Speaker, it's a great privilege to stand in support of this. I want to mention just a couple of other things, too. There are several aviation museums and when I was Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, I had an opportunity to tour the Greenwood facility with the honourable member for the area and those individuals were so anxious to help and participate in this 100th Anniversary; also the people at the Halifax Aviation Museum and the Shearwater Aviation Museum. All these individuals have come together to try to help ensure that this 100th Anniversary of the Silver Dart and the first powered flight in the British Empire which happened in 1909 is a success this year. With that, I'll take my seat and thank you and support this bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture.

[Page 5706]

HON. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I welcome an opportunity to say a few words on this piece of legislation as well. You know that little airplane that the honourable member for Kings West was referring to, it certainly created quite a stir back then and today I think we have to acknowledge that it is the forerunner of, in fact, the Stanfield International Airport.

You may say I'm drawing a long bow, Mr. Speaker, but the fact of the matter is that one of the major employers, if not the major employer in my constituency, is the Halifax International Airport or the Stanfield International Airport as we now call it since it has been renamed. I would like to acknowledge the people at the airport and the fact that, literally hundreds of people on a daily basis, seven days a week, go about their business at that airport and do very, very important work on behalf of the airline industry and on behalf of the province and this Country of Canada. I haven't this year at least, but I know the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage follows statistics and things of that nature quite diligently - the last documents that I had regarding the number of passengers alone that go through our terminals at the Halifax International Airport was in the vicinity of three million. You know, that is absolutely phenomenal, very significant, and the changes that have taken place at the international airport are just incredible.

In fact, you can go back and take a walk down memory lane at the Stanfield International Airport and you can see some of the old vintage air craft and, of course, we move along year by year by year, yes, and I'm getting lots of encouragement and coaching from the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage because he does become quite excited about the international airport. We have a number of regional airports across the Province of Nova Scotia and I'm very pleased that Premier Rodney MacDonald and the government provided some financial support to our regional airports across the province and in the small communities where the airports reside, that's very important that government recognize and invest in the facilities and the infrastructure.

So I didn't want to belabor this piece of legislation, Mr. Speaker, but I certainly did want to point out the significance of that little airplane and the fact that it did make that historic flight. It's very important to the history and to the culture and to tourism and to business in the Province of Nova Scotia.

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

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

MR. KEITH BAIN: Mr. Speaker, I would like at this time to thank all the members for their kind words and their support of this bill going forward to the Law Amendments Committee.

Mr. Speaker, the Silver Dart Museum in Baddeck is promoting the flight of the Silver Dart, has promoted the flight of the Silver Dart for years, and also the many inventions of

[Page 5707]

Alexander Graham Bell. Alexander Graham Bell and Mabel Bell played an integral part in the history of Baddeck and their descendants continue to do so. So it's only fitting that the Bells be recognized as being a part of this centennial flight. I would like to remind members as well that the kickoff to the centennial celebration will be held on December 31st. So if anybody wants to spend New Year's Eve in the beautiful Village of Baddeck, they're more than welcome to do that. I will certainly be there myself.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I would move second reading of Bill No. 207.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 207. Would all those in favour of the motion, please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 193.

Bill No. 193 - Municipal Grants Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand on my feet to speak a little bit on third reading to the Municipal Grants Act amendments. As I had mentioned during the second reading, amendments to the Municipal Grants Act will combine a process for obtaining grants with financial reporting required under the MGA.

The amendments in Bill No. 193 will streamline and integrate municipal reporting on one system. This is going to make it easier and faster for municipalities to receive payment for grant in lieu of taxes on provincially-owned property. Streamlining the process brings with it a number of other benefits including improved timeliness of payments to municipalities, improved forecasting of total grant payments and, on the other hand, improved accountability. I'd like to add that these amendments support the province's better

[Page 5708]

regulation initiative by improving the quality and the efficiency of regulations which makes it easier for municipalities to do business with the province.

I should add that there seems to be widespread and general support for these amendments. The amendments were reviewed at the Law Amendments Committee, without representation. Because of that, Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 193.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 193. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 195.

Bill No. 195 - Partnerships and Business Names Registration Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand on my feet once again to speak on Bill No. 195 which is the Partnership and Business Names Registration Act. As I mentioned during second reading, the Partnership and Business Names Registration Act currently requires Nova Scotians to gain Cabinet approval if they wish to use the words, royal or imperial in their partnership or business name.

To be quite frank, this is an outdated regulation, one which makes it time consuming and difficult for people who wish to register their business with either of those two things in the title. In fact, the Companies Act previously contained the same requirement, but it was removed in the recent amendments to the Companies Act and they were proclaimed on June 1, 2008. The Partnership and Business Names Registration Act should follow suit by removing the requirement for Cabinet approval of these names.

This change will streamline processes and make it easier for people when registering their business or partnership name. This amendment shows that government is committed to continually reviewing its business legislation to make sure that it is as straightforward as possible for Nova Scotians, particularly those who are wishing to start up businesses.

Again, Mr. Speaker, there appears to be general support for this amendment and it went through Law Amendments Committee with no changes and was referred back to the House for third reading. With that, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank members from all sides of

[Page 5709]

the House for their support for this legislation and with that, close debate and move third reading of Bill No. 195.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 195. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 5710]

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

[4:45 p.m.]

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 191.

Bill No. 191 - Motor Vehicle Act.

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

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. It's a real privilege to rise today to move third reading of Bill No. 191, changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. These amendments introduced in Bill No. 191 are intended to improve road safety in our province. These amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will require all vehicles in Nova Scotia at all times to be using daytime running lights. It has been proven and shown that daytime running lights can reduce daytime injury crashes by 3 to 10 per cent and I think that if we could reduce accidents in our province, daytime accidents by that much, I think it's certainly important and its incumbent upon us to attempt to reach those types of achievements.

Mr. Speaker, daytime running lights provide significant benefits at a very low cost. Since 1990, Transport Canada required all vehicles sold in Canada to have daytime running lights installed as standard equipment on all those vehicles. However, there have been a number of vehicles on Nova Scotia's roads purchased prior to 1990, and therefore most of these vehicles, if not all, would not have daytime running lights. The Clerk would have a vehicle prior to 1990 - I think his is a 1971 vehicle that wouldn't have those. This legislation will require drivers to use their low beam headlights in that case so, when we meet the Clerk on the highway now, we'll expect to see the Clerk with his low beam headlights on, in the name of safety, and I'm sure he'll adhere to the new law.

Mr. Speaker, it simply means that people who don't have those daytime running lights will simply pull on their low beam headlights, in that case. There will be an exemption, and that's antique vehicles, registered as antique vehicles won't have to have it. I don't know if the Clerk has registered his or not but if he did, then he would be exempt from this new law.

Mr. Speaker, the issue of bringing before the House today with these amendments are part of several pieces of legislation to improve road safety in Nova Scotia and several that we brought forward over the last number of years and they certainly include things such as

[Page 5711]

a ban on handheld cell phones. I think it's a good bill and I was asked this morning by a young lady who is in the journalism class, she did an interview, and she asked me if I actually used a hands-free cell phone. I told her yes, I do, I have a Bluetooth that can be voice activated and I also have OnStar in my vehicle, that can be activated by voice as well. So I can speak to constituents and to my office hands-free and not be deterred by distractions inside the vehicle, such as holding a cell phone to my ear.

Mr. Speaker, we've also introduced stronger penalties and expanded penalties for issues such as street racing. Also, we've doubled the fines for speeding in work and school zones and I know these passed through the House with the support of the Opposition. I want to say at this time that I thank the Opposition members, the Critics, for their support in these issues. I know you and I talked about many of these and I know you raised in this House on a regular basis about the importance of road safety in Nova Scotia and I appreciate your comments and we always try to consider those as we introduce legislation in this House.

I also want to say in regard to road safety that it includes more than just legislation, it's around education. We have to educate the public in regard to road safety and how important it is to have respect for each other on our highways. Certainly this issue of driving with daytime running lights is something that I believe will lead to safer highways in Nova Scotia.

Also, this legislation allows for regulations that will permit some vehicles to cross our highway medians. I'm sure on many occasions you've driven along the divided highways and seen the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal snowplows or other emergency vehicles cross through the median to turn around and go the opposite way. Well, my department, along with municipalities, on different occasions may engage the services of private contractors. The way the present legislation stands, those private contractors, even if they're in the employment of the province, or the municipalities engaged in the duty of plowing snow, are not legally allowed to use those medians to turn. So this legislation that's before the House today will allow for those private contractors to use those median turnarounds like other emergency vehicles and as the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal vehicles do.

Again, Mr. Speaker, I just want to reiterate that I'm very proud of my department, and the government, and the members of this Legislature who have supported changes to our legislation around the Motor Vehicle Act and others in regard to speeding, impaired driving, that ultimately will lead to safer roads in Nova Scotia. I think that is something that we all support and I'm sure something that we will all look forward to being able to say that we were part of to ensure that Nova Scotians, and those who visit our province, are able to travel on the highway safely.

Mr. Speaker, with those few comments, it's my honour to move third reading of Bill No. 191.

[Page 5712]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Queens.

MS. VICKI CONRAD: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise in my spot to speak very briefly on Bill No. 191. This is a good bill, it is about safety and the last few days we have heard many questions come before the House and come before the Minister of Transportation, talking about safety issues. Certainly this bill speaks to some of the safety concerns on our highways.

Requiring all vehicles and all drivers in the Province of Nova Scotia to turn on their daytime running lights is just a common sense bill, and as I had said during second reading, certainly I would hope that - and I understand from the minister - part of the lead up to this bill becoming law will be awareness and education for drivers in Nova Scotia so that they have some time to get used to the new change. I mean obviously we all know that many of our newer vehicles already come equipped with automatic daytime running lights, but many of the older vehicles on the highway are certainly not equipped with those features. So awareness of this bill will be so important and also allowing visitors to the province to know that it is required by law here in Nova Scotia, for those drivers visiting the province, to also have their daytime running lights.

Another important feature of this bill, and I'm very pleased that the minister brought it forward, is giving access to certain vehicles such as emergency vehicles, Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal vehicles, and construction vehicles, to allow them to have access to cross and turn around on those medians on our series highways. That's very important. Sometimes there are unforeseen circumstances that certain vehicles in certain positions need to use those turnaround places, so that's a very important feature of the bill.

Again, I want to thank the minister for bringing this forward, I'm pleased that it has been approved by the House. Safety is very important on our highways and if we can reduce one death on our highways due to this good piece of legislation, ensuring that all motorist in the travelling public are safe, it's very important. I thank you for giving me the time to speak on it, and again I thank the minister for bringing this forward.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Unfortunately I didn't have the opportunity to say a few words on Bill No. 191 prior to this stage but this, as you would know, Mr. [Deputy] Speaker, is an issue which has been an interest of mine for quite some time. As one of my caucus colleagues, you would have heard me speak about this issue for a few years . Unfortunately, while I always wanted to bring forward such amendments, it was suggested that it may not be received well. So I was certainly pleased to see that the minister himself was bringing forward these amendments.

I'll tell you the reason why, Mr. Speaker. Like so many of my colleagues here in this House who travel the roads of Nova Scotia on a regular basis, I think I've averaged

[Page 5713]

approximately 50 trips a year for going on almost 11 years now. So that's quite a few trips from Halifax to Cape Breton and there is a lot of mileage there. Sometimes it hasn't always been the best of roads to travel on but it's improving, it's improving. Allow me to be positive by saying that, but what doesn't usually change is Nova Scotia weather. You can leave Halifax and arrive in Cape Breton only to go through about four different weather patterns before you arrive.

What was always of great concern to me is that vehicles, which I consider to be newer vehicles, anything less than five years old, were being put out on the market and were not having the full daytime running lights as an automatic option when those vehicles were started. Manufacturers slowly started moving toward that because then you would see vehicles that would have the small little orange lights in the front that would be on. But one of the concerns that I have - and maybe the minister when he closes comments will be able to address it - it's one thing to talk about headlights and the importance of headlights, but we must not forget that it's also important to have your tail lights visible.

Mr. Speaker, I can tell you I don't know how many times, whether it's in the fog, whether it's in snowy conditions, whether it's in heavy rain, where you arrive upon a vehicle and you just simply do not see that vehicle at the very last moment when you're coming up on them because they don't have their tail lights on. Or their tail lights might be covered with mud, or they might be covered with dirt, or it's just almost impossible to see them to start off with.

Now, some might suggest, well, maybe you're driving too fast coming onto that vehicle but when you're driving on a 100-Series Highway and the vehicle in front of you is driving 70 kilometres per hour, you're not the one who's driving too fast. One could turn around and say maybe that vehicle was driving too slowly, but that's one of the dangers there and I'm curious, when the regulations are going to be put forward about the daytime running lights, whether it's only going to impact the actual headlights or will there also be the condition that it also has to impact the tail lights. Because when these newer vehicles would come out with just small little orange lights, they weren't that visible to start off with but most of them I observe, the tail lights were never illuminated which doesn't address the issue.

This is an issue which I've noticed myself is addressed in other jurisdictions because a number of years ago when attending a conference in New York State, I noticed that they had signs along the side of the road - I'm not sure of the exact wording, but the message basically was if you need to use your wipers, you have to have your full headlights on. So basically that would mean if it's raining, if it's foggy, if it's snowing, and you need your wipers, you need to have your full headlights on. So it was a bit of a different way to get to the same objective but the idea being, especially in inclement weather, it's important that all vehicles be able to see you, both your headlights and your tail lights as well.

[Page 5714]

So, Mr. Speaker, it goes down to road safety which we know is a vital concern to all of us and especially when you look at Nova Scotia weather - this is not Florida, it's not called a sunshine state, it's Nova Scotia. We love it for what it is but it brings its challenges to start off with. So anything that we can do and that the minister can do to improve road safety and make sure that vehicles are highly visible as much as possible, I think it's in all of our interests and it's such a simple thing to do.

I know I've gotten in the habit that the minute I start my vehicle, I simply turn the full headlights on. It's just a force of habit now and whether the vehicle is going to do it on its own in some circumstances or not, I don't take the chance. I simply put them on to make sure that vehicles can clearly see both the full headlights and the full tail lights. So I do commend the minister and his committee that has been working on a number of recommendations to improve road safety here in our province and I think as the member for Queens said, if this helps save one life or if it has helped to save one accident, then we've certainly done a good thing here.

My only concern is it doesn't go far enough - should we have put in that you have to have your full headlights on all the time, that's the only issue. Because I can share with the minister that just the other day I noticed two pickup trucks, Z71s, which I'm sure are now more than three or four years old, and it was coming on nighttime and yet both of them didn't have any running lights on at all. That was unbelievable to me, that a vehicle that's manufactured that recently would have no daytime running lights on them. Whether somehow they had been disengaged, that might be the case as well, but they were obviously company trucks because they were identical and they were one behind the other, but neither had any sort of lights on them at all.

So this is an issue that concerns all of us and I'm sure, having a brother who drives long-haul, it is certainly a great concern for long-haul drivers as well, who make their living on the roads of Nova Scotia and the roads outside this province, to make sure that they can clearly see other vehicles on the road and help improve safety.

Again, I thank you, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to share that. I'm more than happy to see the minister move forward on it, even though I never did act on bringing this issue forward. But I will certainly raise it with my caucus colleagues tomorrow morning at caucus, that it was a good idea, the government did move forward on it, and congratulations to them for having made this a reality. Thank you.

[5:00 p.m.]

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

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.

[Page 5715]

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and again I want to thank my colleagues opposite for their intervention in regard to Bill No. 191. It's been mentioned about how important road safety is in Nova Scotia and again this shows that when we work together collectively, and I don't mind if the honourable member for Richmond - we can say it was his idea, it was just a little while getting here, but certainly I want to give him credit for his support. I know the critic for the New Democratic Party spoke to me about this. Two things that she was concerned about obviously was the signage, which we're going to ensure will happen, and a period of education for the public to ensure that those who - this will be a change for a lot of people but I think it's a good change and I think that will help.

I mentioned the statistics that were shared with me, 3 to 10 per cent. If we could save 3 per cent at a minimum of daytime crashes, who knows whose life we may have saved or a serious injury, so I think it goes a long way.

The honourable member for Richmond mentioned about - a couple of things he mentioned about people disengaging their daytime running lights. Well, it would be illegal to do that, so hopefully, as a result of this legislation, it will point that out to many people, that they either have the daytime running lights on or, if not, they'll have to have their full, low-beam headlights on, which when activated will bring on those tail lights that the honourable member mentioned.

I don't know if regulations we can do anything about the rear lights, I guess I'll have to have staff or someone, at least the legal department, look at that and see if that's possible or not, we'll at least explore it. If not, maybe it's something to be brought on a future date, it will come back to the House - the honourable member said it was his idea, maybe he'll bring that back sometime to further enhance the legislation we're passing here today.

I do want to thank both members opposite for their support in this bill. I think it's something we can be proud of and, Mr. Speaker, with those comments I'd like to move third reading of Bill No. 191, the Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading on Bill No. 191. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 208.

Bill No. 208 - Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act.

[Page 5716]

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise before the House to speak on Bill No. 208, the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Bill. As I mentioned during second reading, the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Bill was going to allow landowners who opt to protect their land, to be eligible for a property tax exemption on that land. The province will also provide municipalities with grants in lieu of the property taxes, thereby ensuring that municipalities will see no loss of revenue. The bill will give landowners the opportunity to conserve the land, without placing them or the municipalities at a financial disadvantage.

During the Law Amendments Committee process, the following organizations made presentations supporting the bill: the Ecology Action Centre, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and the Crown Share Land Legacy Trust. As I said, each and every one of these organizations voiced their support for this bill and believe that by making conservation an attractive option to landowners, the conservation property tax exemption will significantly contribute to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for our province.

I want to thank members from both sides of the House for their support for this legislation and, with that, I move third reading of Bill No. 208, the Conservation Property Tax Exemption Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 208. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

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

Bill No. 196 - Beneficiaries Designation Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise and move third reading of Bill No. 196, the Beneficiaries Designation Act. I'm very proud that we are

[Page 5717]

joining other provinces in our efforts to help Nova Scotians any way we can in these difficult economic times.

With this amendment to the Beneficiaries Designation Act, it will now be easier for Nova Scotians to leave money in their new tax-free savings account to loved ones after they die. The federal government introduced the tax-free savings account earlier this year. It is the single most important personal savings vehicle since the introduction of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan, or RRSP.

The new account will allow Canadians to set money aside in eligible investment vehicles and watch those savings grow tax-free throughout their lifetime. Savings can be withdrawn anytime for any purpose - to purchase a new car, renovate a house, start a small business, or even take a family vacation. We want to ensure that those who have money in a tax-free savings account can pass the money along to their loved ones without penalty when they pass away, and today we are seeking to amend the legislation to allow that to happen. We're now including the new tax-free savings account within the definitions of savings plan in the Beneficiaries Designation Act. That means designated beneficiaries can receive tax-free savings accounts outside of a will in the same way that beneficiaries can receive the proceeds of an RRSP. This will allow an easier transfer of funds at a difficult time in life.

We're making this change to show that we are a government that responds quickly to changes in the economic climate and that we're looking out for Nova Scotians and want to ensure everyone's money is protected. I do know, as we went through second reading, my colleagues in their comments in the House - and I also know the member for Richmond, with any of these accounts, as we've talked before in any legal matters, as he had in second reading, to take the opportunity to reiterate, especially being a member of the Bar and from that profession, dealing with clients, have an appreciation for the need for proper planning and vehicles that deal with matters affecting the estate of any individual. It's important; it's putting us in concert with other jurisdictions for this federal ability and so with that, I'm very pleased to move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, just very briefly on Bill No. 196. Anyone who has interests a bit more in these tax-free savings accounts, I believe I did give a comprehensive description of these tax-free savings accounts and how they work, so anyone interested in that I would encourage to look through Hansard during the second reading process where I took the opportunity to speak a bit more about what these accounts are, how they work, and how they're going to be administered, so I'm not going to repeat all of that now.

As the minister indicated, it is again an opportunity to remind Nova Scotians that when you're designating your beneficiary - whether it be your tax-free savings accounts or your life insurance policy - these instruments pass outside of your will. The main reason I

[Page 5718]

point that out is that there are many times - and unfortunately I've seen a number of situations where people will be in a relationship and they will designate the person that they're with in that relationship as their beneficiary at that time. During the course of their life they may change relationships once, twice, or a number of times, and unfortunately they fail to realize, while they're updating their will each time, the responsible thing at least in some cases, they fail to change who the beneficiary is on their insurance policy, or on other instruments such as this new tax-free savings account.

Again, I take the opportunity to remind Nova Scotians that when you are doing the responsible thing of putting your affairs in order and making sure that your final instructions are going to be met, to take the opportunity to meet with the lawyer who can talk to you about all of these issues and make sure that, at the end of the day, you are leaving the monies that you wish to leave to the right person and not someone you may have been dating 10 or 20 years ago.

I say it tongue and cheek but it has happened too many times and, unfortunately, it certainly leaves a sour taste on your loved ones while they're grieving, to find out that you've failed to change the beneficiary. This is just one more instrument where you could be causing a great deal of grief to your family at a time when they are mourning your loss. So I encourage Nova Scotians to do the responsible thing, make sure that you're updating these important matters as you go along so that your final wishes to your family are actually able to be processed as you would have wanted.

With that, Mr. Speaker, obviously this is a win for Nova Scotians in making sure that what's meant to be a tax-free savings account remains tax-free, that they will not be taxed even after the holders passing and the beneficiary will continue to enjoy them on a tax-free basis. So I do commend the minister for this change in making sure that this matter is properly addressed here in Nova Scotia. Thank you.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I do want to thank my honourable colleagues for moving this piece of legislation forward. I think it's been self-explanatory and I've spoken to the importance and need for this. So with that, again, I would reiterate my thanks and also welcome the opportunity for us to provide further information for the consumers of this province, and those with investment accounts, to utilize them to the upmost and to make sure they're passed on, as indicated by the member for Richmond, in the appropriate manner. With that I close the debate.

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

[Page 5719]

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: 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: Mr. Speaker, again I'm very pleased to be able to rise in my place and to move third reading of Bill No. 200, the Human Rights Act. As we know, Mr. Speaker, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act is a provincial law that affirms every person is free and equal in dignity and rights without regard to age, race, colour, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, ethnic, national or aboriginal origin, their family or marital status, source of income or political belief, affiliation, or activity. The act also prohibits sexual harassment in all areas of public life.

It is imperative that this essential document be kept as accurate as possible and that is why we're making some minor amendments to the language of the Human Rights Act, on the request of the Human Rights Commission. We're also amending the title of one of the positions in the office. Staff in the Race Relations and Affirmative Action Division provide programs and services on a range of diversity topics, policy development and preventing or dealing with sexual harassment. The job descriptions must accurately reflect the good work they do. In one instance, a job title is being changed from coordinator of race relations to manager of race relations equity and inclusion. These changes may seem minor and by process are but are important.

I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this bill and, Mr. Speaker, as was referenced previously with regard to these bills that, in fact, they're not part of a Justice Administration Act - as my good colleague, the member for Richmond referenced earlier today - but in fact have been left separate so that people will know that the Human Rights Commission is working forward and staying on top of the administrative and not only the operational matters they deal with. With that, I'm very pleased to move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond.

[5:15 p.m.]

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, just very briefly on Bill No. 200 and, as the minister said, we are pleased to see that these type of changes are coming forward as stand-

[Page 5720]

alone bills which makes it easier for us as legislators and it makes it easier for us to explain to Nova Scotians when they're wondering what is our position on these bills. It makes it easier to explain exactly what changes are being made. Needless to say, the changes in this case are mostly cosmetic type changes to the Human Rights Commission with the naming of a few change of names and a few positions.

I would only take the opportunity to remind the Minister of Justice that there has certainly been a much greater awareness amongst Nova Scotians about the role and the objectives of the Human Rights Commission. That has certainly brought an increased demand on the part of the Human Rights Commission and always a challenge for them, to keep up with some of the new problems that they're faced with and that Nova Scotians bring forward to their attention.

So I do hope that we're going to see at some point some significant changes to the Human Rights Commission to strengthen it, to make it even a more efficient organization. Certainly, Nova Scotians are much more aware of their rights and they're exercising them on a more and more regular basis. I do hope that we'll be seeing even some more substantive changes at strengthening our Human Rights Commission in the future. Again, this bill is very cosmetic in nature and makes some minor changes but we do look forward to some more substantial changes at strengthening it in the future.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, again I want to, in the spirit of cooperation, agree with my honourable colleagues in the fact that we do want to continue to advance the work of the Human Rights Commission. We have an excellent team in place there, both at the operational and management level, at the board level, who are committed and have the interests of all Nova Scotians at heart. To make sure that we have the best balance and protect the rights of individuals and organizations. In the process we, as I say, this may be seen as minor but it shows that the commission is on top of their work and are cognizant of any changes that are required and we can count on them to bring any of their recommendations before us in this House. With that, I am very pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 200.

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

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

[Page 5721]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek the consent of the House to revert to the order of business, Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 5722]

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, for second reading I would propose Bill Nos. 26, 78, 93, 118, 154 & 158 with the concurrence of the House.

Bill No. 26 - Environment Act.

Bill No. 78 - Assessment Act.

Bill No. 93 - Motor Vehicle Act.

Bill No. 118 - Residential Tenancies Act.

Bill No. 154 - Education Act.

Bill No. 158 - Gaming Control Act.

MR. SPEAKER: With the total consent of the House, the motion is to propose, for second reading Bill Nos. 26, 78, 93, 118, 154 and 158. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I do count on our ability to be officious here in the House, but I do believe that it's important that we hear from more of our honourable colleagues and their purpose and intent behind their bill. However, at this point I would ask you to call Bill No. 154.

Bill No. 154 - Education Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion that was before the House is to have these bills read for a second reading. The first bill is Bill No. 154.

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to speak on Bill No. 154, an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1995-96, the Education Act which reads "No student shall use a cellular telephone or other communications device in a school classroom." That bill has come about because hearing from the teaching profession, related to instructional time, it has become a major challenge for teachers to deal with cell phones interrupting class, texting

[Page 5723]

during class and even during periods of testing and exam time. Also of course the iPod can be used for music, but in particular now we know that cell phones could also be used to video and to photograph in the classroom.

There have been occasions when the cell phone has become a vexing piece to challenge teachers with, where a teacher will get irrate at a cell phone going off, have a strong reaction, have that actually videoed by somebody in the class and then played over the Internet. This has become a big concern for the teaching profession, one which seems to be growing and one that has presented a number of difficulties.

This bill is not intended, by any means, to have cell phones banned from coming to school because we all know that they can be important devices for parents to have contact with a child. Sometimes they have a cell phone because they will be staying after school, or going to a friends place, and it becomes a means of checking in and checking up on their son or daughter. So it does have a place, however, during instruction time is not the place for these.

Now some jurisdictions have gone to what I consider the extreme. New York City and Detroit are two examples. In schools in New York the cell phone has been banned from going to school and of course it caused a tremendous outrage from parents and from the community generally. We acknowledge that it is a technology that is part of what teenagers have with them today for all kinds of purposes, but there's no question that for instruction time, the focus of the student should be on the class, on the lesson that is being delivered, and these should not be used and be of distraction for students. So it was with this intention that this amendment to the Education Act was brought forward.

I think, very often, there are many educators, of course, here in the House and we all know that new technologies came along during our careers. Who would have imagined that we would have laptops, that students would have laptops where they would be recording some of the lesson that is going on? (Interruption) I'm being teased here a little bit about having a slate that I started out with - well, it wasn't quite that far back. Technology has come along, but I think it's very important and one of the quotes I would like to make to the House today which I read recently, "There will always be a new technology."

It's about teaching students to live with technology in a way that makes them good citizens. So a piece of technology that is disruptive to the classroom is not about good decorum in the classroom, it's not about the focus that students need. I was surprised when the Toronto School Board again, Canada's largest urban centre, where families use the cell phone to track and to have it as a lifeline to their children in the anonymity of the city, going to large inner schools. It is an important means for parents to communicate with their children.

However, they have allowed it to be in the school, to be on the playground, to be at team practices - in other words, other activities associated with school life, but not during the

[Page 5724]

instruction time. I think if this bill perhaps needing some amendment or change, is a piece that will be welcomed by teachers and students as well, once they see that it's not being taken from them as we saw in some jurisdictions, but can play its rightful place.

One of the areas that I've had some feedback on - perhaps the minister has as well - which we may not have the same jurisdiction to present through the Legislature and that is in regard to private schools. We may have to take a look at that particular aspect of the bill which was presented when the bill was entered here in the Spring session.

So, I guess that's the overview that I would like to leave. It's a case here of what's appropriate and inappropriate is the balance that I see this bill working to achieve. I think on first blush when it came forward, students thought it was an outright ban of the cell phone - in other words, it had to be left at home. No, that is not the case whatsoever.

Appropriate use is what this bill is designing to put forward. Inappropriate use is what the bill will try to curtail. We all know that schools and school boards, some currently have some protocols in place that do work to control the cell phones in classrooms. But there are great differences across the province and so this bill will create consistency while allowing schools and school boards to administer what the penalties will be in terms of detention, confiscation for a week or a month of the cell phone. I know some of the schools in Ontario confiscate the cell phones for a semester hoping to teach again that lesson of what is appropriate and inappropriate.

So with those remarks, I look forward to hearing from my colleagues and also from those who may come to the Law Amendments Committee. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. KAREN CASEY: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise and speak briefly to the cellphone bill that is being introduced. Not to be as harsh as some others are with the Liberal Critic, I'm sure he doesn't remember the slate, but I would suggest he might remember passing notes around and sending messages throughout the classroom.

I guess as we've progressed into a new era of technology, students still want to send messages to their friends in the classroom. The difficulty here, of course, is that the use of technology now is much more sophisticated, much more than a simple message on a piece of paper can be transmitted, and it has been suggested it can be actual photographs that are taken, and used, and shared around the world. So there certainly is a need for this to be addressed.

[5:30 p.m.]

We have individual school boards that have taken this on as a policy within their board because it certainly is disruptive to the classroom teacher to have his or her students

[Page 5725]

distracted with the use of messaging, and text messaging, and receiving messages, as the teacher is trying to hold their attention and deliver a message. There are educators in this room who can sometimes relate to the challenge of holding everyone's attention during an important lesson delivery. So the fewer things in the classroom to distract students, the greater the likelihood of learning and teaching will take place.

Boards have, as I said, established their own policies, or individual schools have established policies about the use of cellphones. I think with this legislation what we need to do is look at the balance, Mr. Speaker, the balance between what is very much an important part of the lifestyle of our young people, and very much an important communication link, not only and not necessarily with their classmates around the classroom, but with their parents. Many parents check on their children and many children have to send messages home to their parents. Sometimes that line of communication is important and it's not for us to take that line of communication away, but it is to make sure that its use is appropriate. So making sure that there is legislation which will provide that balance, which will allow instructional time in the classroom to focus on instruction, and which will limit the number of distractions there, is what I believe is good legislation

So we have to be cautious with the wording, we have to respect the rights of the individuals, the students and their parents with respect to that communications link and also make sure that teachers, who I believe will welcome this, as trying to allow for more time on task and more attention during the instructional period.

It has been mentioned, and the member opposite and I have talked about how far our jurisdiction is with respect to this. I'm looking forward to this going to Law Amendments Committee and believe that it will be a stronger bill when it returns. So, as I say, I support the concept. Thank you.

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

MR. PERCY PARIS: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I don't want to start the brief words that I have to say with respect to this bill by talking about passing notes and about the slate, I think those were well before my time, but I will say I do have a daughter. I have a daughter who is in high school. This is her graduation year and I've got to add she's also employed. She has been employed now for the last number of years and now she has her driver's licence, and part of that employment is oftentimes she takes the car to school because she has to work at the airport. One of the things that she does have is a cell phone. She has a cell phone so that her mother and I can have constant contact with her. It's not about trust, it's about knowing that she's safe, as parents .

Times have changed and one of the things that we've had when we look at today's technology is that it's hard to keep pace. I think the intent and the spirit of this bill is a worthy one. I think what we're talking about here is to enhance the learning environment for

[Page 5726]

our students in the classroom, to rid of those distractions. Those distractions can come in many forms and I know that with all of the devices and the technology that we have today with the various ways that we can communicate, I know even in this House of Assembly it's common practice, a golden rule, that devices be turned off at appropriate times. We can only use laptops at certain times during the day; certainly during Question Period all electronic devices are to be turned off. So I think there's a time and a place for electronic devices. When a teacher is in a classroom trying to instruct and educate our children, cell phones and all of the capabilities that they have is not an appropriate time for them to be active.

I think the spirit of this piece of legislation is well intended and I think it's going in the right direction. I think our goal is not to prohibit or not to punish students by taking away cell phones but it's all about enhancing the learning environment for those very students we are working for. So we, the NDP, look forward as this bill goes on to the Committee on Law Amendments and who's to say maybe at the Committee on Law Amendments we may get presentations from the student body. I certainly would welcome that and I certainly recognize and I reiterate the spirit of this bill. With that I will take my seat as this moves on to the Committee on Law Amendments.

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

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to hear from the minister and her comments confirming that there is value in reducing the electronic distractions in our classrooms, as well as the critic for the NDP again seeing there is value in this piece of legislation. So with that I move second reading of Bill No. 154.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 154. 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. 93.

Bill No. 93 - Motor Vehicle Act.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it is my pleasure to move second reading of Bill No. 93, an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Motor

[Page 5727]

Vehicle Act. I think this is essentially a two-clause bill. I think it represents common sense amendments for this province. We are a province that has many military personnel who pass through the province on temporary duty taking courses at Stadacona, at Greenwood. What it provides for is, if you're in the Armed Forces and you bring your vehicle to the province for the purposes of being here on a temporary assignment, you're not bound by the same rules that say after 90 days you have to get a new licence and you have to re-register your vehicle. This just makes sense.

What it does is provide a cushion of six months for somebody who's, for example, posted here for a six-month period in order to take a course so that they don't have to get a new license or re-register the vehicle. Then the normal 90-day period attached to that requirement runs after the six months expire. It essentially gives military personnel, if they're going to be in the province, up to nine months on a temporary posting, before they have to transfer them. It's an accommodation for the many military personnel who we have in the province that allows them to continue to drive, continue to operate their vehicle. What happens is that many of them are not going to go through that process, so it means they may have to park their vehicle and not drive, if they're going to be here for a six-month period.

I think the more practical effect is that you can't tell just by looking at the licence when somebody came into the province and you can't tell how long the car's been in the province. It might well be that they would continue to drive anyway, but that's really beside the point. The point is, we shouldn't be making it illegal for someone who's in the province, as part of their duty, as a member of the Armed Forces, in taking training to assist them in doing their job, we shouldn't be making that more difficult. We should be making it less difficult for them so they continue to be able to drive their vehicle.

I guess the other precaution I would have, and I would mention this - in theory, if your vehicle was insured outside the province and you were in violation of that 90-day period, you might run some risk around whether or not you would still be able to recover under your insurance policy, for example, if you were in an accident where you were actually injured as opposed to someone else.

I think this is a benefit for members of the Armed Forces. It's a perfectly legitimate one. It's one that makes sense and I want to thank the government for allowing me to bring this bill forward for second reading. I'll be happy to hear if there is anything at the Law Amendments Committee, but my bet is that most people will recognize the wisdom of the legislation. Thank you.

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

HON. MURRAY SCOTT: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party for bringing forward this legislation.

[Page 5728]

I guess anything we can do to assist our military - we have many in our own communities that are serving elsewhere in other parts of this country and other parts of the world. I think we've certainly done a lot in this province to recognize the military and the efforts they make on our behalf. When it comes to the Military Relations Office, which was the first in the country, the honourable Leader was part of and I know that it's meant a lot to those folks. Again, they're faced with challenges on a regular basis that most of us would never ever think of - movements, leaving their families behind, sometimes temporary postings where they leave their family behind in a permanent home location so they end up leaving a province such as ours and doing temporary duty for various reasons, or they could be doing peace keeping duties in other parts of the world.

We think it's something we support at this point. We would want to take a closer look at it. We look forward to it moving to the Law Amendments Committee so our staff can have a good look at it to see what implications there may be. I'm sure the honourable member wouldn't want to put any added stress on the members of the military themselves. We want to ensure that it's workable, we can make it happen, but on the outset it looks to us like a good piece of legislation. We're willing to support it at this point and to see it move to the Law Amendments Committee where we can take a closer look with the honourable member's agreeance. We'll support it at this point.

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

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of the minister and I know exactly what he's talking about. He knows there are institutions like the Fleet School here at Stadacona where people would be posted on temporary duty, so thank you for this. With that, I'll close the debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 93. 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. 26.

Bill No. 26 - Environment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

[Page 5729]

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 26 is a really important bill. It was more important when the Resource Recovery Fund Board made a very bad decision to burn tires in this province and that's where this bill came from. Thanks to the Minister of Environment on sober second thought, the government decided not to burn tires to make cement. That was a very positive move in the province.

[5:45 p.m.]

This bill is important because if there's a cheap fuel supply available, for sure some business will come along and say they want to burn almost a million tires a year and create all kinds of environmental problems for the province and for our grandchildren as time goes on. So, hopefully, this bill will pass and move forward and guarantee that our environment will be safer for our children to come and our grandchildren as we move forward. I would move second reading of Bill No. 26.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment.

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak very briefly about this bill. I do want to thank the member opposite because he was the one who spoke passionately and he spoke with authority and strongly about the need to find some other use for tires, that burning tires was going backwards in the environment and it was something that we needed to abandon and to set in legislation that we wouldn't do that. Fortunately, we're working hard on alternative methods that will see our used tires used in a way that's constructive and the honourable member has been very helpful in this. So I'm very pleased on behalf of the government to support the member not only on this bill but to thank him for his hard work in the past where he raised the issue and was almost alone in the House in raising it and won the House over to his point of view.

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

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of Bill No. 26.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 26. 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. 118.

[Page 5730]

Bill No. 118 - Residential Tenancies Act.

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

[Page 5731]

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise in my place to speak very briefly before moving this bill. This is a very important bill. This is an important bill for all of those residents in land-leased communities. Certainly my riding in Atlantic Canada is home to probably the largest, not probably, it is the largest land-leased community in Atlantic Canada. I get literally phone calls every week about someone within that land-leased community who is in the process of trying to sell their home or someone who's trying to purchase the home in a particular land-leased community and it's wrought with problems. I see these problems every day, I deal with them every day, constantly.

Mr. Speaker, it probably makes up the largest single component of my work as an MLA. What this bill does or will do, it will restrict - it's a fairness for all. We use the words what is considered as reasonable and unreasonable and it eliminates that particular grey area that sometimes landlords use to an advantage, much to the detriment of a potential buyer or to the tenant in the land-leased community.

When I say this, I think I have to add that I've spoken to many owners of land-leased communities, certainly in Nova Scotia and I certainly do not want to stand here in my place and for one minute have anyone think that I paint all landlords with the same brush because that is not the case. Here in Nova Scotia and certainly in the metro area, we have many owners of land-leased communities that I consider very good citizens. However, there may be the odd one who knows the rules, the regulations and the laws well enough that they can use them to their advantage, much to the detriment of the homeowner.

People choose to live in land-leased communities for a number of reasons. One of the things that we, as legislators, have to respect and should respect is that those who reside in land-leased communities, that's their home. I know many residents in a particular land-leased community who have been there for 30, 35, 37 and 40 years. I also know owners, homeowners who have lived in land-leased communities that they're there for a much shorter time. For some it's a starter home, for some it's a home that they're going to stay there as long as they can. For some it's a retirement home. So people purchase homes in land -leased communities for various reasons.

What this bill is seeking is the word that I've often heard in this House and what we are seeking here is fairness. We are seeking fairness, something that is reasonable and fair, not only just for the tenants but for the landlords as well.

Mr. Speaker, I think that this piece of legislation goes a very long way towards that. I don't want anyone to forget about how important - I can't stress enough how important - this piece of legislation is to a large number of taxpayers in the Province of Nova Scotia who live in these communities. With that, I look forward to hearing comments from my colleagues within the House, as I move second reading of Bill No. 118.

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

[Page 5732]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased just to say a couple of words and just to begin with I'll say that our caucus will support this bill going to the Law Amendments Committee. We support the spirit of the legislation. As the honourable member knows and actually he did speak about it today, there is an advisory committee that deals with such matters on behalf of both tenants and landlords. They have suggested a bit of an addition to that, which I will bring forward at a later date, probably in Committee of the Whole House on Bills when it gets back here. Thank you.

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

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

MR. PERCY PARIS: Mr. Speaker, I move that we close debate on Bill No. 118 and I move it for second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 118. 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 House will recess for a couple of minutes.

[5:54 p.m. The House recessed]

[5:55 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Deputy Government House Leader.

MR. CHUCK PORTER: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 158.

Bill No. 158 - Gaming Control Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Mr. Speaker, thank you for your tolerance of waiting for me and for the support from my colleague the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. This is a bill which came about from being the Gaming Critic for my Party, having a number of calls and e-mails, as well as a case that the Speaker presented to me. There are three parts of the process whereby scratch tickets and break-open tickets can have a delayed

[Page 5733]

process whereby, when a person goes to bring in a winning ticket and all of a sudden they're told the year is up, but how does the buyer, the purchaser, of the ticket know that when there's nothing on the ticket to indicate that there's actually an expiry date.

From the time they're printed they can be in a warehouse for a period of time, they can be at the corner store vendor for a period of time, people buy them as gifts well in advance of a Christmas, of a birthday, anniversary and so on and people don't open them until those occasions. They take them and turn in a winning ticket only to be told that it's expired and you do not get the winning prize. So again it's another consumer protection. I feel somebody who purchases a ticket adds to the revenue of ALC or the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation and revenues for the province that in fact consumer protection should also be part of that process as well. Rather than just be concerned about the revenue let's look after the person who has invested, whether it be a dollar or two dollars or whatever it is, in break-open and scratch tickets in particular. In fact all tickets should have an expiry date so that the buyer is truly aware of the expiry date and you can turn in a winning ticket. Thank you.

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

HON. MARK PARENT: Mr. Speaker, I want to speak in support of this bill. We have been working through committee on ticket lotteries on many different aspects of ticket lotteries that there needs to be some more enforcement on. This is one piece of it which I think is a very good piece. I commend the member for bringing it forward. The member for Kings West, who is a neighbour of mine, is a person who cares deeply and passionately about the issues and seeks to do his best to help not only his constituents but the people in the Province of Nova Scotia. This is an example of his selfless leadership and his ability to represent his constituents well. So this is a good idea, one that is well worth the support.

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

The honourable member for Kings West.

MR. LEO GLAVINE: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, and I am pleased to hear from the minister in charge of gaming for the province, that he sees value in this. It is consumer protection and hopefully it will go through the House successfully, but we do also have Law Amendments Committee to hear from people, either in support or against this bill. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 158. 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.

[Page 5734]

We have arrived at the moment of interruption - it was planned. The Adjournment debate has been chosen and announced earlier and won by the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Government recognize the importance of the Air Canada flight service based in Halifax Regional Municipality and attempt to rectify closure issue as soon as possible."

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

[6:00 p.m.]

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

AIR CAN. FLIGHT SERV. BASE(HFX.): IMPORTANCE - RECOGNIZE

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The issue that we're going to discuss tonight in our late debate is very important not only to the people of HRM but, in fact, to our entire region, not just Nova Scotia but the Atlantic Region, because it's going to impact the service that we receive from Air Canada. It's going to impact the flights that we have, the potential for longer delays and more delayed flights or cancelled flights, because in June of this year, the senior vice president of Air Canada had actually asked that we close the base completely for our air traffic flight attendants who are here in Halifax and they also closed it, I believe, in Winnipeg. So the two bases would be closed completely.

It's going to affect 187 flight attendants here in Halifax and their families. That is a lot of people whose lives really have been thrown into turmoil. As I say, my bigger concern, and my equal concern, is that our region is being overlooked by the government of this country by allowing this to go forward, by Air Canada not caring about the service in this region, which is an important part of the country as far as we are concerned here in Halifax, and that the people who work here and have made their careers and lives here in Halifax have a right to be able to continue to serve Air Canada from this base.

The base was opened 32 years ago, Mr. Speaker, with the idea that it would guarantee more reliable air service to the passengers who fly through this area. Before then, flights were subject to frequent delays and cancellations, primarily due to the inclement weather that we suffer in this area, in this region, and the crews based in Toronto or Montreal could not get to Halifax in a timely fashion to service those flights.

This past summer, as I said, Air Canada announced their plans to permanently close the local flight service base and layoff those 187 flight attendants here in Halifax. It is a

[Page 5735]

travesty, Mr. Speaker. Members of Parliament from this area have written to ask that this not happen. They asked the minister to do whatever he could. That hasn't really happened. There's been a mediator who has worked on what will happen to the crews.

One of the things that they did come up with in their solution was that there is a recall notice for anybody who loses their position because they can't relocate, that they would be recalled in the next five years if either of the two bases - Winnipeg or Halifax - were to open again. That is something that would certainly be a ray of sunshine.

Mr. Speaker, that's what we're here talking about today - to try and overturn this decision, to see that this base would remain open. As it stands now, it is closed, and those 187 workers have had to choose either to relocate to Toronto, or Montreal, or to retire. That's the choice that they were presented with and it's really an untenable choice when your family is here, when your life is here in Nova Scotia. I know for many of those families, they have chosen to commute, so that they will be flying from Halifax in order to get their work assignments elsewhere. I think that's an undue hardship on those many people, to take a 1,000-plus kilometre commute to work at Air Canada bases in Toronto and Montreal.

The choice would have been very difficult in these times to sell your home or to relocate your family and we feel that this is something that the Nova Scotia Government should be fighting strenuously to see overturned because it is going to impact our viability as a transportation hub. It's going to impact our future in terms of economic growth for this region and I know that that is particularly a concern now where we're looking at perhaps more uncertain economic times. I don't like to sound the alarm too much but we know that we are in a period of volatility and uncertainty.

I have a letter here that was written by the Minister of Labour in Newfoundland. Now, just a minute, here's the Newfoundland one, I have one from Quebec as well, that was talking about the impacts on this and, in fact, it's a letter that's written to the Honourable Geoff Regan who is the MP for my area, Halifax West. Geoff had written to Premier Williams to say that this has wider implications than just the people living here in Halifax and he asked him as well to bring the clout of Newfoundland and their government to this argument. What they do say very clearly here, and I think it says a lot, he says: I agree that the plant closure will have significant impact not only on your region through the loss of direct employment and associated expenditures but also on the delivery of timely reliable air service to Newfoundland and Labrador as well as Atlantic Canada as a whole. I think that shows very clearly and I would be happy to table that. I don't know we'll bother to table it at this time but I think it's a good idea for the record.

It shows that it goes well beyond our own province and if Newfoundland and Labrador which is a growing economy and an economy that this year it will no longer receive equalization payments because of their industry and growth in terms of offshore oil, they're going to feel this as well and so will we. I think we need to be very cognizant of the fact that we've lost more than these jobs. More than having a permanent base for our flight attendants

[Page 5736]

in Nova Scotia, this is going to hurt us as a region economically as well. So we have every reason to fight for these jobs to be reinstated here.

As I say, when we're talking about the service, in addition to threatening the reliability of more than 30 daily flights that carry over 3,600 passengers to other parts of Canada and beyond, Air Canada is also planning to reduce the frequency of some flights and this seems to be in line with their move to leave Halifax as a base. For example, flight 860 to London's Heathrow Airport - which is the region's main scheduled passenger and cargo line to the U.K. and Europe - will be reduced by 40 per cent and, again, think of the cargo that we ship through Halifax. We've talked about our fishing industry and other things and that's going to reduce the opportunity for exports as well.

Closing the air service base will mean a minimum direct loss of $8 million in salaries for Halifax and the surrounding communities. There's your direct absolute dollar figure. There's also the multiplier effect of $8 million when you have those salaries here in this area. My hope is that many of the people will chose to stay here and I know some of them are commuting, but it's still putting an undue pressure on them and we will certainly lose some of those salaries as this goes forward. As I say, the spinoff effects are significant. I don't know the amount but it's often four times what you would originally receive in dollars or many more.

So Halifax, as I say, is a growing city, Mr. Speaker, and it's a dynamic part of this region. It's the largest city in Atlantic Canada and as such, it needs to have better and consistent contact in terms of transportation links and infrastructure. This undermines a lot of the positive things that have been going on at the airport where we've got pre-clearance for American flights and we've worked very hard to be really in the forefront of transportation links. This is going to put us back quite some distance and, you know, I feel that it's going to have a tremendously negative impact on us as a city because it's an important thing to be a base for a national airline. To be their regional base is a very important move. So we would like to certainly see more of that as we go forward and not less.

That's the reason why today we wanted to bring this to the floor of the Legislature, Mr. Speaker, so that all three Parties could discuss the importance of those jobs in our community, our recognition of the contribution of those individuals who work for Air Canada, who are flight attendants; 187 people, as I said, and their families impacted by this decision. It has been a very difficult time for them. The members will be aware that the flight attendants have been supported by CUPE. They have had some rallies in the city and they have tried very hard to express their views about how difficult this is for them.

In fact, in the Liberal platform in the recent election had a clause in it for their Atlantic platform saying that we would work and endeavour to reinstate those jobs, and Halifax as a base for Air Canada flight attendants. We believe that without that, the region will suffer because of a diminished service, more delays in flights, perhaps more cancellations. Bearing in mind this is an area of the country that has difficult winter weather,

[Page 5737]

we know it's going to be hard for us to maintain the service level without the many flight attendants who are right here in our city and on call to move in whenever there were needs. We will now have to wait for people to come from 1,000 kilometres away, if there are flight delays and the need for more attendants.

Mr. Speaker, I thank you very much. I look forward to hearing what the other speakers will have to say this evening on the very important issue of the Air Canada loss of jobs. Thank you.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, to begin, I want to thank the speaker, the person who originated this resolution for putting this very important topic on the floor of the House.

Like the honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park, government does recognize the importance of that flight attendant base to Halifax, and to all of Atlantic Canada. We have in the Halifax International Airport, one of the best airports certainly in Canada and maybe the best airport of its size in North America or maybe any place. Anything which detracts from it (Interruption) I hear my colleague who was an airline employee saying, for its size, best airport in the world. I think we should be very proud of that.

I think it's a compliment not only to the people that run the airport but to the fact that we have had services like a flight attendant base here that enables this being, really, in many ways, the economic centre of Atlantic Canada to serve our neighbouring provinces and of course, being the eastern departure point now for Europe. In a recent study by the Fraser Institute that compares transportation infrastructure across the 10 Canadian provinces, Nova Scotia ranked first on air passenger transportation and second for the best overall transportation infrastructure.

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is the largest airport in Atlantic Canada and it's a key transportation link for the four Atlantic provinces as part of the Atlantic Gateway. It is the region's principal full-service airport, which includes both passenger and cargo clients and has access to markets across the country. We have direct flights and pre-clearance to the United States. We also depart for Europe and it is indeed the only airport in Atlantic Canada to offer that pre-clearance to the United States. I can remember how long and how hard people in this province and at the airport and in government - both federally and provincial politicians here in Nova Scotia of all Parties - worked to get that pre-clearance to the United States and what a boon it has been.

Halifax Stanfield welcomes almost 3.4 million passengers annually and is an internationally recognized leader in customer service, having received first place awards in the Global Airport Service Quality program for the past four years - in each of the last four years, the Halifax Stanfield Airport has been first in the Global Airport Service Quality

[Page 5738]

program and I think that is a significant accomplishment and speaks volumes for the work which goes on at that airport and the people who make it operate, including the flight attendants.

Operated by the Halifax International Airport Authority, the airport contributes $1.15 billion to the provincial economy and is responsible for almost 12,000 direct and indirect jobs. Of course 187 of those jobs are held by flight attendants who worked out of the Air Canada flight attendant base here in Halifax. We are very grateful for the 32 years of service these employees have provided to the travelling public in Atlantic Canada.

This base is essentially a regional operating centre for these flight attendants. Having a base here in Halifax means flight attendants are able to provide service for flights originating out of Halifax, obviously without having to fly from another city to begin their workday. Mr. Speaker, we have maintained as a government that maintaining Air Canada's flight attendant service base here in Halifax is important not only to the individuals who provide the valuable service from the base, but it is also crucial to sustaining and building a competitive business climate in Nova Scotia.

[6:15 p.m.]

As members will understand in recent times the fluctuating cost of jet fuel has resulted in significant capacity reductions throughout the entire airline industry and the inclusion of fuel surcharges by many airlines on most flights. Now I know as a result of this airlines have had to make tough decisions to remain competitive in what has become a volatile time in our global economy. As a result airlines have had to make tough decisions, and one of these decisions that Air Canada made was its plan to streamline about 2,000 jobs, including more than 600 flight attendants from its 24,000 employee workforce.

Mr. Speaker, your Nova Scotia Government is taking Air Canada's decision very seriously, out of concern for the individuals and their families who are impacted, and also for the impact that is going to have on our local economy. The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park gave some figures when she made her comments about the impact on families and the economic impact on Halifax. These are not only jobs that keep people in our community, they are well-paying jobs and they contribute significantly to our economy.

Premier MacDonald has sent letters to the federal Minister of Transport in July about this issue. Also, and I apologize for using the name, I think somebody picked me up on it, the Premier talked with the CUPE leader Lisa Vivian Anthony - and I think I'm allowed to use that - a flight attendant herself and the local president of CUPE, and since then she and other union representatives have met with senior representatives in the Premier's office.

Again, on October 27th, the Premier spoke with Mr. Dee and the Premier reiterated his concern, that the province certainly disagrees with the decision that Air Canada has taken. Premier MacDonald and his senior staff also met with this Mr. Dee, Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and the CAO for Air Canada here in Halifax, and the

[Page 5739]

Premier was very clear in expressing his concern about the decision and looking for a way to save this valuable service for Atlantic Canadians and also to protect the jobs of those people who live in this area.

Despite all of our efforts as a government, Air Canada has remained firm in its position; however, at the Premier's request Economic Development has also taken initiatives to have our legal experts explore any options within the current legislation. The Minister of Economic Development has spoken with his counterpart in economic development with the provincial Government of Manitoba on this issue to learn more about that province's legal action. As I understand it, the case brought forth by the Province of Manitoba is based on the premise that Air Canada's operational centre in Winnipeg includes its flight attendant base. As these operational bases are protected under legislation, Manitoba maintains Air Canada's decision to close the flight attendant base was illegal.

Halifax, unfortunately, is not designated as an Air Canada operational centre and therefore, its flight attendant base cannot be addressed in a similar matter. However, Mr. Speaker, again, the Premier has met with senior officials of Air Canada and we will do all we can do, working with the union and with the employees to seek the support of our federal colleagues to see if this decision can be stayed. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I'm pleased to rise in my place to participate in this debate this evening as the Labour Critic for our caucus. I want to thank the honourable member for bringing forward this important resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I was at the first meeting that the flight attendants organized back in June or July, I can't remember exactly, it was toward the end of June or maybe early July - when they had gotten the devastating news. I was there, I was joined by the Leader of the NDP here in Nova Scotia, as well as the Member of Parliament for Sackville-Eastern Shore and the member for Halifax and I believe Ms. Sheila Fougere from HRM was there as well.

We were all very shocked and we were very angry, frankly, to see the way that Air Canada was treating a very fine group of employees. Employees who, I think we all need to recognize, had already given up many concessions in previous rounds of collective bargaining in order to help Air Canada meet some of the financial challenges that that airline was meeting. Air Canada had, in 2003 and 2004, in fact, sought bankruptcy protection and their workforce was willing and prepared and followed through on opening up their contracts and looking at wage reductions in the amount of 3.5 per cent, as well as significant benefit cuts. The way that they have been repaid for that was to see these kinds of actions, closing a flight base here in Halifax that would affect 187 of their members, as well as the families of those members.

[Page 5740]

Mr. Speaker, this is really very shameful and they made clear that day that it was particularly shameful in the face of the fact that the CEO and President of Air Canada had, in the last fiscal year, earned $1.2 million in salary, a $3.9 million bonus and $11.2 million in stock option gains from Air Canada.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I have to say every member here in this Chamber will remember that there was a time when Air Canada was a public asset, it was a public corporation. The services were tremendous services from one end of this country to the other and we have seen nothing but a whole scale downsizing, downplaying of the services that this airline offers to Canadians since the privatization of that public asset. You know it costs more to fly between Cape Breton and Halifax today than it costs to fly from Halifax to Vancouver. The airport in Yarmouth is non-existent. We have lost routes, we have seen the escalating costs of routes that were very important to maintain and now we see a further erosion of a very important service not only in our province, but our region. I can only ask, what other services will we see?

We've heard in the news recently the concern in our fishing industry, our lobster exporters are concerned about the reduction in flights out of our local airport to their European market. There is no public control over this airline, and in a country this size, we really need to have an airline that's responsive to the needs of the people on the ground and their transportation and business needs. I can't help but wonder where the provincial government has been in all of this.

I attended the first meeting of the flight attendants the day after they received word. I was at the Grand Parade when they organized the rally and there was a member there from the government, the member for Eastern Shore was there, and he spoke, but I remember very clearly in his speech to the participants at that delegation, he offered no action plan on behalf of the government. He told people they were valuable and valued to the province, but did not at all indicate what plans the government might have, what actions they would take, to seek a reversal of this decision. The time for action was then, not now.

At this stage, that flight base has been closed. A significant number of those flight attendants have already made the difficult choice to leave the industry. Another group is now working out of another base. They are packing their bags, leaving their families and travelling thousands of miles away to start their working day, sometimes flying back into this region. It strikes me as an extraordinarily unbelievable situation that we would have had this developing and the government sat on its hands and it didn't take the necessary action at the time it was most required.

I had an opportunity to ask a question in Question Period last week, I believe, to the Premier, because at one point the Premier indicated that he would mount the barricades, he would organize and lead a delegation, hop on a plane and lead a delegation to meet with Air Canada. That hasn't occurred. It almost looks as if Air Canada led a delegation and came here and met with the Premier.

[Page 5741]

We have no response from this government in terms of what other measures they intend to take to attempt to have this decision overruled or reversed. Any discussions with the federal government are unclear. But trying to keep this base open after the fact is the most difficult thing. The time for action was two months ago before the base had closed.

I am disappointed that there was so little done by the government with respect to this base, but I'm not surprised that there was so little done. It seems that this government misses many opportunities. Here is another opportunity and, unfortunately, it is the workers from that flight school, the people of this province and the people of Atlantic Canada who will ultimately pay the price. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The time allotted for late debate this evening has now expired. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the honourable members for having taken part in tonight's late show.

We will now continue with Private Members' Public Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 78.

Bill No. 78 - Assessment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

[6:30 p.m.]

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it's with great pleasure that I rise to speak about Bill No. 78, an Act to Amend Chapter 23 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Assessment Act. The idea of this bill is to make amendments that would allow, or make it necessary, for the assessment notices that are sent out every year by the Assessment Department to include a five-year history of the tax assessment on your property. Assessments have been increasing dramatically in HRM and probably in other parts of the province as well.

Oftentimes when you get those assessment notices, you look at it and say, oh, my house has gone up in value, or you may not even realize it has snuck up another $10,000 or another $5,000 a year, and in some cases dramatically increased. Without having that information on the notice, you have no way to know what the history has been over the five years unless you take the time to dig out the documents you've had from the last five years and compare each one and go through it.

[Page 5742]

I think this will, number one, inform people of the potential increase in their property taxes, which is substantial, and as you see more and more people in the province having more and more problem paying their property tax, this will become more important. A lot of people look at it and say, oh, well, it's only a small increase this year over last year, and they may not bother appealing their property taxes, but indeed if you look over a five-year history of it, and continue to get the five-year history, as years go on, you'll see the dramatic increase that you're getting in your property taxes and, indeed, those dramatic increases will result in a higher property tax bill.

The higher the bill is, the more difficult it is to pay it. I see people in my office all the time with difficulties paying their property taxes, and now with the amendment that was put forward by the present government some time ago, after three years, if your property taxes aren't paid, the municipality has to sell your property unless someone comes and pays, or you manage to pay your property tax. Chances are after three years, if you haven't been able to pay your property tax, you're not going to be able to come up with $3,000 or $4,000, $5,000, or maybe even more to pay your property tax before a sale is upon you and your property is sold.

So I think this will help inform people much better and it will give them more information so they can look at their situation with their assessments and see if, indeed, they're going up too much in value. Most people have spent their whole life buying a home and improving it to the point where they can enjoy it, and when they become seniors, oftentimes it's difficult to keep that home. So this at least will give people information and encourage them more to appeal their assessments and hopefully keep their taxes to a level that they can afford. I would be interested to hear from my colleagues on any comments they have on that.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to say a few words about Bill No. 78, the Assessment Act. Let me begin by saying that government will support this bill going through to the Law Amendments Committee. However, the dramatic increases that the honourable member did speak about in his comments, at least for a certain period of time, are a thing of the past because of the assessment capping legislation that was introduced.

So the particular piece of legislation that is in place that does cap residential assessments doesn't have an end date in place so, I guess it would take another act of legislation to do away with that. Of course, Mr. Speaker, since that thing was in the assessment services and have now moved over to an arm's length corporation, the Property Evaluation Services Corporation, and they've been in operation for about a year now. I meet quarterly with the president of that organization and the executive director and by all accounts the first year was indeed, a successful one. Much credit has to go to the people in

[Page 5743]

the Department of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, the UNSM and others who engineered the creation of that new structure. It was able to continue to do its job.

I don't know about other members but certainly I have not noticed any change in the service delivery, at least people have not complained to me since that new structure was set up, highly unusual for that to happen in the first year. I want to tell you that is a tribute to those who are operating that particular agency and the management team and as well, as I said, those people who sat together for that long period of time and actually went through three ministers. It began, I believe, under Minister Barnet or MacIsaac, I'm the third one. The idea came along (Interruption) fourth, sorry I forgot about Minister Hurlburt too, so it went through four ministers - anyway it was done. Also talking to the staff, we had to work with the unions as well, the transition seemed to be a smooth one. People will know that we have a rather large assessment centre in Truro and I see a number of employees who I know and I don't get any complaints.

The person who was kind of head of the Property Service Evaluation Corporation was the Warden of Guysborough County, Lloyd Hines. Lloyd was there from the beginning and he worked right through it. Unfortunately, Lloyd has had to tender his resignation so there will be a new chair of that particular organization. The reason that Lloyd tendered his resignation is that he is now the president of the UNSM and will be assuming different responsibilities because of that position which just won't leave him the time which is needed to do that. (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the confidence of the number one designation for me by the people across the House.

AN HONOURABLE MEMBER: Well, you are number one.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the idea of putting five years of assessment on the notices is something we support going through to the Law Amendments Committee. I will be quite frank, my staff will be consulting a little bit further with the service delivery agency to see if there is some practical reason that this could not happen. Certainly in principle we support it and I thank the honourable member for bringing it to the floor of the House.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite, the good member for Truro Bible Hill, for the endorsement of a good idea from the member for Preston, my compliments. I want you to know many times it's been an issue in my constituency where I've gone to appeals for assessments and it's always such a key onus when it comes back to the people who are doing the appeal. Do you have enough information? Do you have enough background information? You have to get out and get that on your own for these folks, you have to make sure they are aware of some of the history. This piece of legislation is going to provide that history right there for the constituents so that he or she can be made aware of what actually happened to assessments.

[Page 5744]

I also want to point out that Mr. Lloyd Hines was a very valuable person the many years that he worked in that particular department. He will be missed but I'm sure that he will have great challenges ahead of him as the as the president of the UNSM.

Finally, I want to add this one word of caution, that when you have appeals for assessment, it means that people don't understand the process at times and we, as legislators, have a responsibility to help people through this. This piece of legislation is going to also make it more informative for people, when it comes to these assessment appeals, and if it can in any way help Nova Scotians to understand the assessment process in this province, the NDP is for it, and I compliment the member for Preston on a good piece of legislation. With those comments, I'll take my spot.

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

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I appreciate the comments from my colleague in the NDP and the minister on this bill. When you first look at the bill it seems like a pretty innocuous bill, it doesn't really do very much but, indeed, it does give people the opportunity to see what the history was on their assessments. I can tell you, living in HRM, it's a grim history, because your assessments go up so rapidly. I know when I was on council, our total budget at the time I left council was about $450 million a year. At a briefing from Dan English who is the CEO in our caucus, I guess about two and a half years ago - in two and a half years, their value of their total budget went up to $750 million.

Now that wasn't from new construction, most of it, most of it was from assessment increases. That means that every man, woman and child who owns property, or family that owns property in this municipality, has an increase in their property taxes, and substantial increases. Some people have recorded increases of double, triple or quadruple in their property taxes, and it comes from assessment.

Typically what's happened in the past, with the assessments the way they've been, with the rise in assessments, the municipality never had to put taxes up. Indeed, when I was on council, we actually put taxes down every year a slight amount, because the assessments put it up so much that indeed, the revenues for the municipality increased substantially. People didn't realize that you must appeal these taxes, and must get after regional council to make sure that they don't put your taxes up and indeed, force people with modest incomes, families with children, or seniors, or someone who is on a fixed income of any kind - a real potential chance of losing their homes.

I think this will give people information to make them realize what's happening to their taxes so when they get the shock bill, the tax bill that comes, they'll know where it comes from, so at least they've got an avenue to appeal it and the information to work with.

[Page 5745]

With those few words, I move second reading of Bill No. 78. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 78. 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: Yes thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. The Law Amendments Committee process is underway at this time, and I know they are in the process of wrapping up with some extra presentations, so I wonder if can have the concurrence of the House to recess until 7:00 p.m. and then continue with our deliberations.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed.

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The House will recess until 7:00 p.m.

[6:43 p.m. The House recessed.]

[7:11 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to seek the consent of the House to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

[Page 5746]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 179 - Halifax Regional Municipality Charter.

Bill No. 181 - HRM by Design.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 190 - Co-operative Associations Act.

Bill No. 203 - Hospitals Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that these bills be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to seek the agreement of the House to consider the Committee of the Whole House on Bills for the purpose of considering Bill Nos. 190 and 203 only this evening.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 5747]

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and that the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 5748]

[7:13 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[7:16 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Alfie MacLeod, resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 190 - Co-operative Associations Act.

Bill No. 203 - Hospitals Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

Ordered that these bills be read for a third time on a future day.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I would ask for the concurrence of the House to revert to the order of business, Public Bills for Third Reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 190.

Bill No. 190 - Co-operative Associations Act.

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

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise before the House to speak on Bill No. 190 which has been amended, the Co-operative Associations Act. What I would say normally would be very similar to what I said in second reading. (Interruptions) All I want to say is that this particular piece of legislation will make it a lot easier for co-operatives to

[Page 5749]

do business in this province by giving them a fourth avenue of raising capital and the other thing is it will bring co-operative legislation in Nova Scotia in line with most of the rest of the country, and I move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 190. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

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.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, c'est vraiment bien que je parle au troisième lecture de déclaration no.203. Mr. Speaker, I will speak in English just for your benefit. Quickly put, this was to allow (Interruption) I can count three or four of you who can catch along here. I am pleased to speak to third reading of Bill No. 203. Quickly put, this has allowed privileges for midwives in our hospital system, and there was of course the amendment that will allow the access of dentists to have the same privileges as they originally had to coordinate with a family doctor who did have privileges. I'm very proud to have this bill before us and I move third reading of Bill No. 203.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third 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 do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure it's regrettable for all, that concludes the government's business for this day. I move that before the House do rise, I would defer to my honourable colleague, the House Leader of the New Democratic Party for Opposition Business.

[Page 5750]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Official Opposition House Leader.

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, after the orders of the day tomorrow and Question Period we will be calling Resolution No. 5383 and No. 5357. I move the House do now rise to meet at the hour of 2:00 p.m. tomorrow.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion before the House is to now rise and meet tomorrow between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 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.

The House is adjourned until tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 7:21 p.m.]

[Page 5751]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 5450

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

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

Whereas participating in a team sport helps develop social, physical and leadership skills; and

Whereas many young people are involved in the sort of bowling; and

Whereas Sonya Acker of New Germany Rural High School captured the junior girls' high single of 151 and high average of 117.8 and the senior girls' high single of 143 and high average of 124.6 at the Nova Scotia Youth Bowling Association Championships and brought home a total of 7 medals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Sonya Acker for capturing the awards for girls high single and high average.

RESOLUTION NO. 5451

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

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

Whereas minor hockey season is upon us once again; and

Whereas some players work very hard to master their hockey skills; and

Whereas Mathew Quigley of Lunenburg County recently played for the Nova Scotia Selects Atom Major team and brought home a gold medal from the Canada's Wonderland International Hockey Tournament in Toronto; and

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mathew Quigley on this outstanding achievement and wish him well in his future endeavours with hockey.

[Page 5752]

RESOLUTION NO. 5452

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

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

Whereas minor hockey season is upon us once again; and

Whereas some players work very hard to master their hockey skills; and

Whereas Morgan Lunn of Lunenburg County recently played for the Nova Scotia Selects Atom Major team and brought home a gold medal from the Canada's Wonderland International Hockey Tournament in Toronto;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Morgan Lunn on this outstanding achievement and wish him well in his future endeavours with hockey.

RESOLUTION NO. 5453

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

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

Whereas in March, 2006, Stephen Lewis launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign; and

Whereas this was done to raise much-needed financial assistance for grandmothers in Africa; and

Whereas presently the Grandmothers campaign has 213 registered groups, with one registered on the South Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the Lunenburg County based Beta Sigma Phi Xi-Sigma Chapter on their continued support for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign.

[Page 5753]

RESOLUTION NO. 5454

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

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

Whereas Lunenburg County residents Linda Corkum, Sherri Zinck and Melissa Bonin are all fundraising for Joints in Motion; and

Whereas these three ladies will participate in the Joints in Motion marathon in Maui; and

Whereas Ms. Corkum has a personal reason for participating as her seven-year-old granddaughter suffers with juvenile arthritis;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank these three ladies from Lunenburg County on their participation in this worthwhile cause and wish them well in the marathon.

RESOLUTION NO. 5455

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

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

Whereas Josh Crouse from Lunenburg County was part of the 2008 Eastern Elite Volleyball championships; and

Whereas these games took place in Moncton, N.B.; and

Whereas Josh was named the team MVP All Star player of these games;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Josh Crouse on this great accomplishment and wish him well in his future volleyball ventures.

[Page 5754]

RESOLUTION NO. 5456

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

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

Whereas Parkview Education Centre hockey player Moira Frier made Team Nova Scotia's female under 18 squad; and

Whereas Moira also made the Midget AAA girls' team in Halifax; and

Whereas Moira is a natural team leader and portrays a positive attitude to those who look up to her;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Moira Frier on her outstanding awards and wish her well in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5457

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

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

Whereas Shawn Woodworth of Bridgewater is a member of the Bridgewater Bulldogs baseball team; and

Whereas he was named the loop's all-star shortstop after hitting 439 with a league-leading 31 runs and 35 RBI; and

Whereas he has been also named the 2008 Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League Manager of the Year and earned the league's MVP award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Shawn Woodworth on his outstanding awards and wish him well and continued success in the future.

[Page 5755]

RESOLUTION NO. 5458

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

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

Whereas more than 100,000 Canadians live with Parkinson's; and

Whereas Parkinson's is a chronic neurological disorder; and

Whereas Maureen Brisson of Bridgewater dedicates her time and energy to the SuperWalk for Parkinson's to raise money to help ease the burden of those suffering from this disease;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Maureen Brisson of Bridgewater on her dedication to the cause of Parkinson's and continued success with the SuperWalk for Parkinson's.

RESOLUTION NO. 5459

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

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

Whereas our troops are doing their best to bring peace to Afghanistan; and

Whereas Canadians are very supportive and proud of their troops; and

Whereas Comfort Inns in Atlantic Canada are fundraising for the Military Family Fund;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Bernice Theriault, Manager of the Bridgewater Comfort Inn and Comfort Inn employee Susan Hirtle for their efforts in the "Support Our Troops" project.

[Page 5756]

RESOLUTION NO. 5460

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

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

Whereas volunteers contribute significantly to the well being of their communities; and

Whereas volunteers can be found devoting their time and energy in every facet of the community; and

Whereas the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater has been fortunate to have Heather Evan of Bridgewater as a volunteer for the past 20 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Heather Evan of Bridgewater upon her retirement from volunteering at South Shore Regional Hospital after 20 plus years.

RESOLUTION NO. 5461

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

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

Whereas children in many countries rely on Canadian volunteers for financial and social support; and

Whereas International Volunteer programs bring awareness to Canadians about the challenges faced by children in less fortunate countries; and

Whereas Kelly McDonald of Bridgewater has volunteered as the sole Canadian representative to work with children in communities in Thailand who are often sold for sex trafficking;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Kelly McDonald for her willingness to trade the safety and comfort of Atlantic Canada for the opportunity to volunteer her services to help children in Thailand.

[Page 5757]

RESOLUTION NO. 5462

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

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

Whereas patient care often involves more than medical care; and

Whereas personal care for patients can give them an emotional boost; and

Whereas Naomi McLain of Bridgewater has provided over 22 years of volunteer service helping patients to feel good about themselves, by doing their hair for them;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Naomi McLain of Bridgewater upon her retirement from volunteering at South Shore Regional Hospital as a Red Coat after 22 years of dedicated service.

RESOLUTION NO. 5463

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas volunteering in our communities is such an important component on how our community based programs succeed; and

Whereas one Queens County resident has recently stepped away from her 16 years of long service as a board member for the Queens Home for Special Care Society; and

Whereas this person continues to volunteer in her community through her work with Meals on Wheels, her church and a door to door canvasser for a number of charities;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and recognize Hazel Mouzer for her outstanding volunteer service in the past and her continued volunteering in the community of Queens.

[Page 5758]

RESOLUTION NO. 5464

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Reynolds Pharmacy has been a very important part of the Liverpool, Nova Scotia community for well over thirty years; and

Whereas their standards for service and quality products reflect a high level of professional commitment to the community of Queens; and

Whereas their customers can count on familiar and trusted people for professional service and wellness advice as our population ages;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Janice and Mark Reynolds for their years of support in their community of Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 5465

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas writing is such an important part of learning and some members of our community do it so well they win competitions; and

Whereas placing second in the 2008 Atlantic Writing Competition with his first novel manuscript which he began many years ago was so exciting for a Port Medway resident; and

Whereas the winning manuscript had never been published and won the H.R. (Bill) Percey Prize for unpublished novel category;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize the Tim Reeves-Horton of Port Medway, Queens County on placing second in the 2008 Atlantic Writing Competition.

[Page 5759]

RESOLUTION NO. 5466

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Delphine Dexter, winner of the Advance Cup.

RESOLUTION NO. 5467

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Cheryl Nickerson, winner for the 10th time of the women's Club Championship, winner of the Hemeon Bowl as Senior Champion and co-winner of the Willis and the John Jackson competitions.

RESOLUTION NO. 5468

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

[Page 5760]

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Betty Lou Hemeon, co-winner of the Marion's Jug competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 5469

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Rosalee Smith, winner of the Mosher competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 5470

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Paula Doucet, winner of the Fairway competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 5471

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

[Page 5761]

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Marsha Arthur, co-winner of the Willis, co-winner of the John Jackson and co-winner of the Marion's Jug.

RESOLUTION NO. 5472

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas golf has been an important part of summer sporting activities at White Point Golf Club for many years; and

Whereas each year the women of White Point Golf Club compete throughout the season fo a number of trophies; and

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Judy Dexter, winner of the Worthmore competition.

RESOLUTION NO. 5473

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Tea Tomlin for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

[Page 5762]

RESOLUTION NO. 5474

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Mel Cutler for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

RESOLUTION NO. 5475

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Charlotte Callahan for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

[Page 5763]

RESOLUTION NO. 5476

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Bob Tomin for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

RESOLUTION NO. 5477

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate cleanup site coordinator Robert Ross for taking on this project and helping to keep it going over the past three years.

[Page 5764]

RESOLUTION NO. 5478

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Jacki Cutler for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

RESOLUTION NO. 5479

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Mary Ediger for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

[Page 5765]

RESOLUTION NO. 5480

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Carters and Wobamkek Beaches, located on Port Mouton Bay, are two of the most desirable beaches in Queens to go for a walk; and

Whereas for the third year in a row local residents have undertaken the cleanup of these beaches through the TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup; and

Whereas the cleanup team has noticed a substantial decrease in the amount of beach side litter but the yearly cleanup is still required;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly thank and congratulate Howard Callahan for participating in this project and helping to keep Carters and Wobamkek Beaches clean.

RESOLUTION NO. 5481

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Special Olympics is a global movement that stands as the leader in the field of intellectual disability allowing them to improve their physical fitness, motor skills, gain greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image; and

Whereas Special Olympics Lunenburg/Queens holds sporting activities year round for persons with intellectual disabilities of many ages and from various backgrounds; and

Whereas each year an awards banquet is held to recognize the athletes for their achievements and their community partners for their contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Nicholas Whynot, winner of the Most Valuable Player for softball in the Special Olympics for 2008.

[Page 5766]

RESOLUTION NO. 5482

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Special Olympics is a global movement that stands as the leader in the field of intellectual disability allowing them to improve their physical fitness, motor skills, gain greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image; and

Whereas Special Olympics Lunenburg/Queens holds sporting activities year round for persons with intellectual disabilities of many ages and from various backgrounds; and

Whereas each year an awards banquet is held to recognize the athletes for their achievements and their community partners for their contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Jamie Belong, winner of the Most Valuable Player for floor hockey in the Special Olympics for 2008.

RESOLUTION NO. 5483

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Special Olympics is a global movement that stands as the leader in the field of intellectual disability allowing them to improve their physical fitness, motor skills, gain greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image; and

Whereas Special Olympics Lunenburg/Queens holds sporting activities year round for persons with intellectual disabilities of many ages and from various backgrounds; and

Whereas each year an awards banquet is held to recognize the athletes for their achievements and their community partners for their contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Freeman Wamboldt, winner of the Most Improved Player for the Masters Program in the Special Olympics for 2008.

[Page 5767]

RESOLUTION NO. 5484

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Special Olympics is a global movement that stands as the leader in the field of intellectual disability allowing them to improve their physical fitness, motor skills, gain greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image; and

Whereas Special Olympics Lunenburg/Queens holds sporting activities year round for persons with intellectual disabilities of many ages and from various backgrounds; and

Whereas each year an awards banquet is held to recognize the athletes for their achievements and their community partners for their contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Crystal McGinnis, winner of the Stephanie Lowe Memorial Spirit Award in the Special Olympics for 2008.

RESOLUTION NO. 5485

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Special Olympics is a global movement that stands as the leader in the field of intellectual disability allowing them to improve their physical fitness, motor skills, gain greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image; and

Whereas Special Olympics Lunenburg/Queens holds sporting activities year round for persons with intellectual disabilities of many ages and from various backgrounds; and

Whereas each year an awards banquet is held to recognize the athletes for their achievements and their community partners for their contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Alexander Shankel, winner of the Most Valuable Player for snow shoeing in the Special Olympics for 2008.

[Page 5768]

RESOLUTION NO. 5486

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Special Olympics is a global movement that stands as the leader in the field of intellectual disability allowing them to improve their physical fitness, motor skills, gain greater self-confidence and a more positive self-image; and

Whereas Special Olympics Lunenburg/Queens holds sporting activities year round for persons with intellectual disabilities of many ages and from various backgrounds; and

Whereas each year an awards banquet is held to recognize the athletes for their achievements and their community partners for their contributions;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly congratulate Adam Dexter, winner of the Most Improved Player for bowling in the Special Olympics for 2008.

RESOLUTION NO. 5487

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Wesley Harding of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

[Page 5769]

RESOLUTION NO. 5488

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Wendell Weir of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish a the provincials in August.

RESOLUTION NO. 5489

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Ty Whalen of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

[Page 5770]

RESOLUTION NO. 5490

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Sam Harding of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

RESOLUTION NO. 5491

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved hat the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Mike Crabbe of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

[Page 5771]

RESOLUTION NO. 5492

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Lucas Whynot of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

RESOLUTION NO. 5493

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Lucas Harvey of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

[Page 5772]

RESOLUTION NO. 5494

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Joel Orme of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

RESOLUTION NO. 5495

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Candace Weagle of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

[Page 5773]

RESOLUTION NO. 5496

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Coach Barry Whalen of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

RESOLUTION NO. 5497

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas sport is so important for the growth and well-being of our young people in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Provincial Baseball championships are the competitions very few of our young athletes get to participate in; and

Whereas the young baseball team from Liverpool brought home a silver medal from their competition in the provincials held in August;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Adrian Everette of the Liverpool Pee Wee Team 1 for their silver finish at the baseball provincials in August.

[Page 5774]

RESOLUTION NO. 5498

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Bronwyn Thompson for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Short Free, Breast, Fly and Individual Medley races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5499

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas Queens Under-16 Boys had an athlete that worked very hard to be selected as an Offensive Playmaker of the Year; and

Whereas a very successful summer of soccer was held on the South Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Zack Wamboldt for having been named the South Shore District Soccer Association's Offensive Playmaker of the Year in the Queens Under-16 Boys soccer League.

[Page 5775]

RESOLUTION NO. 5500

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Shakira Joudrey for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in Long Free, Breast, Short Free, Fly and Individual Medley races

RESOLUTION NO. 5501

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Rachel MacNeil-Dixon for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in Long Free, Short Free, Fly, Back and Individual Medley races.

[Page 5776]

RESOLUTION NO. 5502

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Nick Townsend for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Short Free, Breast, Fly, Back and Individual Medley races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5503

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Nick Acocella for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Short Free, Breast, Fly and Back races.

[Page 5777]

RESOLUTION NO. 5504

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Megan Doucette for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Short Free, Breast, Fly, Back and Individual Medley races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5505

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Matt Muise for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Short Free, Breast, Fly, Back and Individual Medley races.

[Page 5778]

RESOLUTION NO. 5506

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Logan Comeau for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Short Free, Breast, Fly and Back races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5507

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Jessica LaRocque for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Breast, Fly, Individual Medley and Back races.

[Page 5779]

RESOLUTION NO. 5508

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Jessica Howard for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Breast and Fly races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5509

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize James Wilcox for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free and Short Free races.

[Page 5780]

RESOLUTION NO. 5510

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Jacob Chandler for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Short Free, Fly, Individual Medley and Back races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5511

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Jaclyn Knapp for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Short Free, Breast, Fly, Back and Individual Medley races.

[Page 5781]

RESOLUTION NO. 5512

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Hayley Zwicker for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Breast, Short Free, Fly and Back races.

RESOLUTION NO. 5513

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Graham Muise for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Breast, Fly, Back and Individual Medley races.

[Page 5782]

RESOLUTION NO. 5514

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize George Younkers for his competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free race.

RESOLUTION NO. 5515

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas summer physical activity is so important for the health and well-being of our youth in Queens County, and swimming is one of those wonderful activities; and

Whereas the Dambusters swim team from Milton in Queens County spent three days at the final event of the year, held in Halifax in late August; and

Whereas over 15 competitors waged war at the provincials and came home following many great performances;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Felicia Theriau for her competition in the 2008 Swimming Provincials in the Long Free, Short Free, Individual Medley, Fly and Back races.

[Page 5783]

RESOLUTION NO. 5516

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and the Air Cadet League of Canada offer a pilot program every summer; and

Whereas the program requires cadets to complete a training course which would normally take six months in a seven-week training session; and

Whereas the program provides participants to learn leadership skills, self-control and self-worth, along with the chance to explore practical sciences and to experience new places and people;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Flight Sgt. Chase Simpson of the 545 Privateer Squadron for having participated in the Powered Pilot Scholarship training program.

RESOLUTION NO. 5517

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas the Royal Canadian Air Cadets and the Air Cadet League of Canada offer a pilot program every summer; and

Whereas the program requires cadets to complete a training course which would normally take six months in a seven-week training session; and

Whereas the program provides participants to learn leadership skills, self-control and self-worth, along with the chance to explore practical sciences and to experience new places and people;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize Sgt. Ben Samson of the 545 Privateer Squadron for having participated in the Powered Pilot Scholarship training program and earn his pilot wings.

[Page 5784]

RESOLUTION NO. 5518

By: Ms. Vicki Conrad (Queens)

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

Whereas Skate Nova Scotia's development team selects skaters from around the province who maintain a certain level of accomplishment; and

Whereas the development team has called themselves Edge, which stands for enthusiasm, dedication or determination, goals and excellence; and

Whereas the development team of nine will take part in off and on-ice sessions and training throughout the year with their eye on the 2011 Canada Games in Halifax;

Therefore be it resolved that the House of Assembly recognize and congratulate Bailey Selig of Liverpool on her selection to the Skate Nova Scotia development team.

RESOLUTION NO. 5519

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas sisters Emily and Jayma Porter of Wiley Avenue in Windsor showed an extraordinary giving spirit recently in donating their hair to Angel Hair for Kids in Ontario, an organization which ensures children impacted by cancer or burns and who can't afford to purchase a wig, will still have one available; and

Whereas Emily had her 12-inch ponytail and Jayma her nine-inch ponytail both cut, in order for less fortunate children to be able to have donated hair made into wigs; and

Whereas Emily and Jayma both received certificates of appreciation for their kind donation;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly congratulate Emily and Jayma Porter of Windsor for wanting to assist other people in their time of need.

[Page 5785]

RESOLUTION NO. 5520

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas as many Nova Scotians are aware, each player and coach on a Stanley Cup winning team gets to keep the Stanley Cup for one day during the summer, after a victorious season like Detroit Red Wings Assistant Coach Paul MacLean did last summer in Antigonish; and

Whereas despite being the town where the origin of the game began and producing some fabulous hockey talent, Windsor has yet to produce a player with a lengthy NHL career or able to win a Stanley Cup; and

Whereas this did not matter on Sunday, November 2nd as the downtown Windsor Mall Scotiabank branch and Manager Wendy Allen arranged through their Celebration of Hockey Program for the Stanley Cup to be on display for four hours at the local branch and for hundreds, if not thousands of local children and adults to have their picture taken with it;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly extend our sincerest warm wishes to Windsor Scotiabank branch and manager Wendy Allen and her entire staff for organizing such a wonderful event and to the variety of individuals involved in minor hockey who staged a series of road hockey games next door to the bank while the Stanley Cup was on display.

RESOLUTION NO. 5521

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas the Utata Gallery and Art Centre situated at Avonian Place in downtown Windsor played a monumental role in assisting Feed Nova Scotia during Windsor's fabulous Pumpkin Regatta on October 12th; and

Whereas Utata founder, Catherine Jamieson, said in early October, "What better way to celebrate the Regatta's 10th Anniversary than for Windsor to show their true orange pumpkin colours by giving to those individuals in need"; and

[Page 5786]

Whereas Utata, with the essential support of Aquarius Construction and aided by a 401-pound aerodynamic pumpkin for the race, residents of Hants West attending the pumpkin festival were being asked to donate whatever food items they might be able to spare and put them in a large pool at the regatta site;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this House of Assembly applaud the courageousness and thoughtfulness of those involved in the Pumpkin Regatta food drive - Megan Cyr, Kelsey Lane, Taylor Starratt, Gerald McKee, Tyler MacKinnon, Marca MacKinnon, Rhianna Robinson, Martign See, Georgia MacKinnon and Brittany MacKinnon - for their outstanding effort while wishing them every future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5522

By: Mr. Chuck Porter (Hants West)

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

Whereas if the Stanley Cup visit wasn't unique enough for Windsor, the busloads of visitors to the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre brought a special feeling to the entire town last May during the 2008 World Hockey Championships that were played in Halifax; and

Whereas museum manager Carole Peterson and Heritage Centre Executives worked tirelessly greeting individuals from every pat of the world that included Latvia and Slovenia; and

Whereas the CBC National News even did a story about Windsor's influx of visitors when the National appeared in town on May 2nd;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly applaud the efforts of museum manager, Carole Peterson and the Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre's board of directors and all Windsor hockey enthusiasts for doing so much to promote Windsor-West Hants at such an opportune time while making additional plans to lure even more tour buses to the local area.

RESOLUTION NO. 5523

By: Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay)

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

Whereas 1 in 10 Atlantic Canadians will be affected by a liver or biliary tract disease in their lifetime; and

[Page 5787]

Whereas the Canadian Liver Foundation is devoted to providing support for research and education into the causes, diagnoses, prevention and treatment of all liver disease; and

Whereas on November 21st, the Canadian Liver Foundation will host a masquerade ball with the theme, The Many Faces of Liver Disease, as a fundraiser for the foundations' many projects;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly recognize th important contributions of the Canadian Liver Foundation and wish them great success in their upcoming masquerade ball.

RESOLUTION NO. 5524

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

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

Whereas Springhill residents, Tina and Justin Simons, have been frightening children and adults for 13 years and were recently awarded CTV's Maritimer of the Week for those efforts; and

Whereas the Simons have been hosting an annual haunted house for the Halloween season since 1996, free of charge, only accepting food donations for the food bank or monetary donations towards the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community's teen centre; and

Whereas the Simons haunted house began in the basement of their first home, and after building a new home they continued the tradition and held the haunted house in the garage of their home on Valley Road, thrilling hundreds of kids and adults alike each year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Tina and Justin Simons on hosting this festive event for their community, for raising monies for such worthwhile causes and wish them continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5525

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

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

[Page 5788]

Whereas Oxford RCMP Constable Dale Banks attended the inaugural awards ceremony in Halifax on October 21, 2008, where the Province of Nova Scotia honoured 240 police and RCMP officers with the Police Provincial Long Service Awards; and

Whereas Premier Rodney MacDonald and Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Cecil Clarke, presented RCMP Constable Dale Banks with a medal for 30 years of service to communities as an RCMP officer; and

Whereas Constable Banks' police service includes postings in the counties of Lunenburg, Queens and Cumberland with extra duties performed in Halifax and Shelburne area;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Constable Dale Banks with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on receiving his Long Term Service Award and thank him for 30 years of dedicated service to his community, province and our country.

RESOLUTION NO. 5526

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

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

Whereas members of the 689 Handley Page Air Cadets Squadron from Parrsboro, Cumberland County, attended various camps over the summer, ranging from basic camp for new cadets to other more specialized programs such as physical education training, survival, introduction to aviation and advanced aviation; and

Whereas Bo Lattie, a 17-year-old who has six years with the cadets, has attended many camps but none compared with being a staff cadet; and

Whereas Bo was on staff for the recreation camp at CFB Greenwood and held many responsibilities spending many hours per day in the gym teaching different sports to cadets;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Bo Lattie on being a staff cadet at CFB Greenwood this summer and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5527

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

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

[Page 5789]

Whereas members of the 689 Handley Page Air Cadets Squadron from Parrsboro, Cumberland County, attended various camps over the summer, ranging from basic camp for new cadets to other more specialized programs such as physical education training, survival, introduction to aviation and advanced aviation; and

Whereas Joni Milligan worked as a staff cadet, had attended many camps, nothing compared with being staff cadet and Joni held the highest rank at her school in Debert, was in charge of every single cadet there and was also responsible for dress and deportment, morale and discipline; and

Whereas Joni Milligan was a huge asset to this camp because of her previous experience at other camps that helped her in her role as staff cadet;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Joni Milligan on her work as a staff cadet at Debert and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5528

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

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

Whereas Oxford Home Hardware's paint expert, Ann Patriquin, is now an advanced Canada paint expert and has earned the prestigious title following training at the Beauti-Tone Paint University in Ontario; and

Whereas Ann was the only one from 139 Maritime stores chosen by Beauti-Tone's Maritime paint representative to attend the four day course; and

Whereas the participants received invaluable information that will help her continue to give her customers outstanding service as she offers expert advice on all painting matters where Ann also provides in-home consultations for all interior painting projects;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Ann Patriquin on receiving this prestigious title of advanced Canada paint expert and wish her continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5529

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

[Page 5790]

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

Whereas Oxford RCMP Corporal Joe Ryan was honoured at the inaugural awards ceremony in Halifax on October 21, 2008, where the Province of Nova Scotia honoured 240 police and RCMP officers with the Police Provincial Long Service Awards; and

Whereas although Corporal Ryan could not be in attendance at the ceremony, Premier Rodney MacDonald and attorney General and Minister of Justice, Cecil Clarke presented the medal for Corporal Ryan for 25 years of service to communities as an RCMP officer; and

Whereas Corporal Ryan has served in many different locations over his 25 years of service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Corporal Joe Ryan with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on receiving his Long Service Award and thank him for the 25 years of dedicated service to his community, province and our country.

RESOLUTION NO. 5530

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

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

Whereas Dawn Thompson of Oxford celebrated a victory as she was elected to council for the Town of Oxford on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Dawn Thomson ended the evening with 334 votes that placed her on the Oxford Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Oxford are Mayor Lloyd Jenkins, along with six councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Dawn Thompson and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

RESOLUTION NO. 5531

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

[Page 5791]

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

Whereas Allan Dill celebrated a victory as he was elected mayor of the Town of Springhill on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Allan Dill has previously sat on the Springhill Town Council and will bring much experience and enthusiasm with him as he takes the mayor's seat; and

Whereas Allan Dill will serve as mayor on the council with four councillors: Doug Dobson, Cathy Fisher, Norman Rushton and Jack MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mayor Allan Dill on his successful campaign and wish him and his council all the best of luck in their endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5532

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

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

Whereas Wade Adshade of Oxford celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Oxford on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Wade Adshade ended the evening with 394 votes that placed him on the Oxford Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Oxford are Mayor Lloyd Jenkins, along with six councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Wade Adshade and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

RESOLUTION NO. 5533

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

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

[Page 5792]

Whereas Doug Dobson celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Springhill on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Doug Dobson ended the evening with 989 votes that placed him on the Springhill Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Springhill are Mayor Allan Dill, along with four councillors: Doug Dobson, Cathy Fisher, Norman Rushton and Jack MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Doug Dobson and the rest of the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Springhill.

RESOLUTION NO. 5534

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

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

Whereas Cathy Fisher celebrated a victory as she was elected to council for the Town of Springhill on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Cathy Fisher ended the evening with 871 votes that placed her on the Springhill Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Springhill are Mayor Allan Dill, along with four councillors: Doug Dobson, Cathy Fisher, Norman Rushton and Jack MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cathy Fisher and the rest of the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Springhill.

RESOLUTION NO. 5535

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

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

Whereas David Harrison celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Parrsboro on October 18, 2008; and

[Page 5793]

Whereas David Harrison ended the evening with 441 votes that placed him in a seat on the Parrsboro Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Parrsboro are Mayor Doug Robinson along with four councillors: Lois Smith, David Harrison, David Howe and Dawn Reid;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate David Harrison and the rest of the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Parrsboro.

RESOLUTION NO. 5536

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

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

Whereas David Howe celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Parrsboro on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas David Howe ended the evening with 407 votes that placed him in a seat on the Parrsboro Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Parrsboro are Mayor Doug Robinson along with four councillors: Lois Smith, David Harrison, David Howe and Dawn Reid;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate David Howe and the rest of the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Parrsboro.

RESOLUTION NO. 5537

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

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

Whereas Lloyd Jenkins celebrated a victory as he was elected as mayor of the Town of Oxford on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas the people of Oxford have placed their confidence in Mayor Lloyd Jenkins for another four years when they re-elected him to represent their town; and

[Page 5794]

Whereas Mayor Jenkins was re-elected along with six councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mayor Jenkins and his council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

[Page 5795]

RESOLUTION NO. 5538

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

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

Whereas Paul Jones of Oxford celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Oxford on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Paul Jones ended the evening with 151 votes that placed him on the Oxford Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Oxford are Mayor Lloyd Jenkins along with six councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Paul Jones and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

RESOLUTION NO. 5539

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

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

Whereas Jack MacDonald celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Springhill on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Jack MacDonald ended the evening with 697 votes that placed him on the Springhill Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Springhill are Mayor Allen Dill along with four councillors: Doug Dobson, Cathy Fisher, Norman Rushton and Jack MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jack MacDonald and the rest of the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Springhill.

[Page 5796]

RESOLUTION NO. 5540

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

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

Whereas Arnold McNally of Oxford celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Oxford on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Arnold McNally ended the evening with 402 votes that placed him on the Oxford Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Oxford are Mayor Lloyd Jenkins, along with six councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Arnold McNally and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

RESOLUTION NO. 5541

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

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

Whereas Dawn Reid celebrated a victory as she was elected to council for the Town of Parrsboro on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Dawn Reid ended the evening with 394 votes that placed her in a seat on the Parrsboro Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Parrsboro are Mayor Doug Robinson, along with four councillors: Lois Smith, David Harrison, David Howe, and Dawn Reid;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Dawn Reid and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Parrsboro.

[Page 5797]

RESOLUTION NO. 5542

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

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

Whereas Doug Robinson celebrated a victory as he was re-elected as mayor for the Town of Parrsboro on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Mayor Robinson who has held the position of mayor for the past 11 years, won this time with 342 votes; and

Whereas Mayor Robinson will serve as mayor with four councillors: Lois Smith, David Harrison, David Howe and Dawn Reid;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Mayor Doug Robinson on his successful campaign and wish him and his council all the best of luck in their endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 5543

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

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

Whereas Norman Rushton celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Springhill on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Norman Rushton ended the evening with 608 votes that placed him on the Springhill Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Springhill are Mayor Allan Dill, along with four councillors: Doug Dobson, Cathy Fisher, Norman Rushton and Jack MacDonald;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Norman Rushton and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Springhill.

[Page 5798]

RESOLUTION NO. 5544

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

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

Whereas Lois Smith celebrated a victory as she was elected to council for the Town of Parrsboro on October 18, 2008; and

Whereas Lois Smith ended the evening with 491 votes that placed her on the Parrsboro Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Parrsboro are Mayor Doug Robinson, along with four councillors: Lois Smith, David Harrison, David Howe and Dawn Reid;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Lois Smith and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Parrsboro.

RESOLUTION NO. 5545

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

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

Whereas Trish Stewart of Oxford celebrated a victory as she was elected to council for the Town of Oxford on October 18th, 2008; and

Whereas Trish Stewart ended the evening with 371 votes that placed her on the Oxford Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Oxford are Mayor Lloyd Jenkins along with six councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Trish Stewart and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

[Page 5799]

RESOLUTION NO. 5546

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

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

Whereas Peter Swan of Oxford celebrated a victory as he was elected to council for the Town of Springhill on October 18th, 2008; and

Whereas Peter Swan ended the evening with 315 votes that placed him on the Oxford Town Council; and

Whereas the elected members of the council for the Town of Oxford are Mayor Lloyd Jenkins along with four councillors: Arnold McNally, Wade Adshade, Trish Stewart, Paul Jones, Dawn Thompson and Peter Swan;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Peter Swan and the council on their successful campaigns and wish them all the best as they take on the responsibility of representing the Town of Oxford.

RESOLUTION NO. 5547

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas General Dynamics Canada is celebrating 60 years of leadership, innovation and commitment in Canada; and

Whereas General Dynamics has opened a new software support engineering centre in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this facility demonstrates a new partnership between General Dynamics and Millbrook First Nation, as well as the Department of National Defence;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate General Dynamics on the celebration of their 60th Anniversary and the official opening of the software support engineering centre for the Maritime Helicopter Project.

[Page 5800]

RESOLUTION NO. 5548

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Halifax Regional Municipality was formed in 1996 and includes communities from the Eastern Shore, through Eastern Passage, to the shores of Peggy's Cove, and as far as Fall River and Waverley; and

Whereas in October of this year the municipality saw 57 people put their names forward in the 2008 municipal election; and

Whereas Jackie Barkhouse was re-elected to represent the best interests of District 8 Woodside-Eastern Passage;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Councillor Jackie Barkhouse, District 8 Woodside-Eastern Passage, on her re-election to Halifax Regional Municipality.

RESOLUTION NO. 5549

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Halifax Regional Municipality was formed in 1996 and includes communities from the Eastern Shore, through Eastern Passage, to the shores of Peggy's Cove, and as far as Fall River and Waverley; and

Whereas in October of this year the municipality saw 57 people put their names forward in the 2008 municipal election; and

Whereas Lorelei Nicoll was elected to represent the best interests of the residents of District 4 - Cole Harbour;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Lorelei Nicoll on her election to Halifax Regional Municipal Council as councillor for District 4 - Cole Harbour.

[Page 5801]

RESOLUTION NO. 5550

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Elsie Warren on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5551

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Myrna McKinnon on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5802]

RESOLUTION NO. 5552

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Kathleen MacIntyre on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5553

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Dorothy White on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5803]

RESOLUTION NO. 5554

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Judy Miller on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5555

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Sheila Baines on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5804]

RESOLUTION NO. 5556

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Cynthia MacLeod on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5557

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Barbara Morash on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5805]

RESOLUTION NO. 5558

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Joyce Mills on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5559

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Evelyn Thibault on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5806]

RESOLUTION NO. 5560

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Christine Thompson on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5561

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Robert J. Thompson on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5807]

RESOLUTION NO. 5562

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Coleen van Den Heuvel on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5563

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate John Knudsen on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay

[Page 5808]

RESOLUTION NO. 5564

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Thelma Knudson on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5565

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Marilyn McDow on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5809]

RESOLUTION NO. 5566

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Dianna White on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5567

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Ken Riles on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5810]

RESOLUTION NO. 5568

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Steve Larkin on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5569

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Ruby Arsenault on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5811]

RESOLUTION NO. 5570

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Florence Crosby on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5571

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin, and the community police office volunteers, worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Nancy Lynn MacDonald on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5812]

RESOLUTION NO. 5572

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Carol Morash on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5573

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Elsie Johnston on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5813]

RESOLUTION NO. 5574

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Jeanette Eddy on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5575

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Elsie Warren on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

[Page 5814]

RESOLUTION NO. 5576

By: Ms. Becky Kent (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas safety in the communities is on the minds of all Nova Scotians and is of particular concern for our most vulnerable citizens, including our senior citizens; and

Whereas RCMP Constable Mark Larkin and the community police office volunteers worked tirelessly to coordinate a seniors police academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay; and

Whereas the seniors police academy is meant to educate and enable seniors to better protect themselves, as well as make them aware of the various programs available to them;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia House of Assembly congratulate Helena Sullivan on the successful completion of the RCMP seniors academy in Eastern Passage/Cow Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 5577

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Scruff to Fluff Certified Dog Grooming; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Scruff to Fluff Certified Dog Grooming and wish them continued success.

[Page 5815]

RESOLUTION NO. 5578

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Serenity Landscapes; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5579

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Siggie and Tammy's Hairstyling; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5580

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 5816]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Sir Knatten Cottage; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Sir Knatten Cottage and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5581

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Songsmith Recording; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5582

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Stat Manufacturing Limited; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

[Page 5817]

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

[Page 5818]

RESOLUTION NO. 5583

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Stellar Advertising-Eastern Gazette; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Stellar Advertising-Eastern Gazette and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5584

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Stephen Levy Masonry Roofing Certified Masons; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Stephen Levy Masonry Roofing Certified Masons and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5585

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 5819]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Steve Bakers Quality Carpentry & Construction; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Steve Bakers Quality Carpentry & Construction and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5586

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Stonewater Homes Inc.; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5587

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Sunlicious Tanning; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

[Page 5820]

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

[Page 5821]

RESOLUTION NO. 5588

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Sunshine Hair Styles; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Sunshine Hair Styles and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5589

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Sunset Marine Limited; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5590

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 5822]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Tanner's Home Design and Home Analysis; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Tanner's Home Design and Home Analysis and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5591

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Techtronics Machine Works Limited; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5592

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like The Fish Line; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

[Page 5823]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of The Fish Line and wish them continued success.

[Page 5824]

RESOLUTION NO. 5593

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like The Chimneyman; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5594

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like The Inn House Musical B & B, Gallery & Paisley Palace Boutique; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of The Inn House Musical B &B, Gallery & Paisley Palace Boutique and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5595

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 5825]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like The Lift Salon & Day Spa; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of The Lift Salon & Day Spa and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5596

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like The Recycle Market; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of The Recycle Market and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5597

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like The Spinner's Loft; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

[Page 5826]

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5598

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Thereas & Heather's Country Store & Craft Supplies; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Thereas & Heather's Country Store & Craft Supplies and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5599

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like THI Construction Limited; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

[Page 5827]

RESOLUTION NO. 5600

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Through the Looking Glass Child Care; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Through the Looking Glass Child Care and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5601

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like TM Bargain Center; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of TM Bargain Center and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5602

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 5828]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Top Notch Quality Woodworking; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Top Notch Quality Woodworking and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5603

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Top to Bottom Cleaning Service; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Top to Bottom Cleaning Service and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5604

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Toulany's Market; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

[Page 5829]

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

[Page 5830]

RESOLUTION NO. 5605

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Toulany's Old Post Office Convenience & Pizza; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Toulany's Old Post Office Convenience & Pizza and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5606

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Travel Professionals International; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5607

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 5831]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Trider's Glass & Door Repairs; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Trider's Glass & Door Repairs and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5608

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Trimmers Studio & Spa; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Trimmers Studio & Spa and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5609

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Tri-Track Excavating; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

[Page 5832]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Tri-Track Excavating and wish them continued success.

[Page 5833]

RESOLUTION NO. 5610

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Trueman Investigations Services; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5611

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 along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Try Young's Carpentry & Roofing; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Try Young's Carpentry & Roofing and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5612

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 5834]

Whereas along the Eastern Shore you will find many small businesses like Ultimate Pure Water Specialists Limited; and

Whereas many small business owners not only work, but some also live on the Eastern Shore; and

Whereas these businesses provide valuable services along the Eastern Shore;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Ultimate Pure Water Specialists Limited and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5613

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 like Hilltop Childcare Centre provide valuable services; and

Whereas small businesses like these help to strengthen rural communities; and

Whereas without these services, our communities would be at a disadvantage;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Hilltop Childcare Centre and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5614

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 like Webber EJ Ted Surveyor provide valuable services; and

Whereas small businesses like these help to strengthen rural communities; and

Whereas without these services, our communities would be at a disadvantage;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Webber EJ Ted Surveyor and wish them continued success.

[Page 5835]

RESOLUTION NO. 5615

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 small businesses like Porters Lake Dental Clinic provide valuable services; and

Whereas these businesses also provide employment opportunities to residents in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Porters Lake Dental Clinic and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 5616

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 small businesses like Webber Entreprises provide valuable services; and

Whereas these businesses also provide employment opportunities to residents in the community; and

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

RESOLUTION NO. 5617

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 strong communities are built on the backbone of small business: and

[Page 5836]

Whereas Taylor Tim-Br-Mart provide employment opportunities for local residents; and

Whereas through training and hard work small businesses provide valuable services; and

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud the contributions of Taylor Tim-Br-Mart and wish them continued success.