The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

HANSARD 03/04-52

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

Published by Order of the Legislature by Hansard Reporting Services and printed by the Queen's Printer.

Available on INTERNET at http://nslegislature.ca/index.php/proceedings/hansard/

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

First Session

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2004

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2278, Order of N.S.: Inductees - Congrats.,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 4415
Vote - Affirmative 4416
Res. 2279, Agric. & Fish.: Farm Water Prog. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4416
Vote - Affirmative 4417
Res. 2280, Dalhousie Univ.: Research Environment - Ranking,
Hon. J. Muir 4417
Vote - Affirmative 4418
Res. 2281, United Way/Gov't. (N.S.): Efforts - Commend,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 4418
Vote - Affirmative 4418
Res. 2282, Agric. & Fish. - Open Farm Day: Participants - Congrats.,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 4419
Vote - Affirmative 4419
Res. 2283, Amherst Reg. HS: Track & Field Team/Coach - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 4419
Vote - Affirmative 4420
Res. 2284, C-Vision: Job Creation - Congrats., Hon. E. Fage 4420
Vote - Affirmative 4421
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 93, Gas Distribution System Municipal Taxation Act, Hon. B. Barnet 4421
No. 94, Motor Vehicle Act, Mr. C. Parker 4421
No. 95, Land Registration Act, Hon. B. Barnet 4421
No. 96, House of Assembly Act, Mr. R. MacKinnon 4421
No. 97, University College of Cape Breton Act, Hon. J. Muir 4421
No. 98, Municipal Government Act, Hon. B. Barnet 4421
No. 99, Vital Statistics Act, Hon. B. Barnet 4421
No. 100, Municipal Government Act, Mr. L. Glavine 4421
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2285, Marchand, Roy: Death of - Tribute, Mr. G. Gosse 4422
Vote - Affirmative 4422
Res. 2286, Marchand, Roy: Death of - Tribute, Mr. R. MacKinnon 4422
Vote - Affirmative 4423
Res. 2287, Tatamagouche Elem. Sch.: Ranking - Congrats.,
Mr. W. Langille 4423
Vote - Affirmative 4424
Res. 2288, Econ. Dev.: Out-Migrataion - Cessation Plans,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 4424
Res. 2289, Nat. Res. Min. - Min. Code of Conduct: Violation -
Investigate, Mr. Gerald Sampson 4425
Res. 2290, N.S. Lighthouse Preservation Soc.: Efforts - Commend,
Mr. R. Chisholm 4425
Vote - Affirmative 4426
Res. 2291, Hfx. Reg. Sch. Bd.: Student Representation - Congrats.,
Ms. J. Massey 4426
Vote - Affirmative 4427
Res. 2292, ALS Soc.: Staff/Vols. - Congrats.,
(by Mr. Manning MacDonald) Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 4427
Vote - Affirmative 4428
Res. 2293, Int'l. Burn Camp Conf. - Participants: Efforts - Thank,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 4428
Vote - Affirmative 4428
Res. 2294, Car Free Day: Organizers - Commend, Mr. H. Epstein 4428
Vote - Affirmative 4429
Res. 2295, Health: Care Plan - Absence, Mr. L. Glavine 4429
Res. 2296, Pictou County Firefighters Assoc.: MD Fundraising -
Congrats., Mr. C. Parker 4430
Vote - Affirmative 4431
Res. 2297, Agric. & Fish. - Open Farm Day: Participation - Encourage,
Ms. S. McNeil 4431
Vote - Affirmative 4431
Res. 2298, Worden Family Association: Reunion - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 4432
Vote - Affirmative 4432
Res. 2299, Mahone Bay Waste Reduction: Efforts - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Baker 4432
Vote - Affirmative 4433
Res. 2300, Morden Christ Church: Anniv. (150th) - Congrats.,
Mr. L. Glavine 4433
Vote - Affirmative 4434
Res. 2301, Environ. & Lbr.: Outdoor Wood Burning Appliances -
Review, Mr. J. Pye 4434
Res. 2302, Williams, Tyler: Hockey Achievements - Congrats.,
Mr. S. McNeil 4435
Vote - Affirmative 4435
Res. 2303, Cheema Canoe Club: Olympic Participation - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4435
Vote - Affirmative 4436
Res. 2304, Campbell, Barbara: MANS Service - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Colwell 4436
Vote - Affirmative 4437
Res. 2305, Environ. & Lbr. - Emissions Clinic: Participants - Congrats.,
Ms. J. Massey 4437
Vote - Affirmative 4437
Res. 2306, Florida Hurricane: Cdn. Red Cross Assistance - Thank,
Hon. E. Fage 4438
Vote - Affirmative 4438
Res. 2307, Educ. - Consolidated Hfx. HS: Auditorium - Include,
Mr. H. Epstein 4438
Res. 2308, Pottie, Donica - Cambodian Ambassador: Appt. - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 4439
Vote - Affirmative 4440
Res. 2309, Johnson, Gary: Pres. Mar. Paper Products - Commend,
Mr. J. Pye 4440
Vote - Affirmative 4440
Res. 2310, C.B. Search and Rescue Assoc.: Anniv. (35th) - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 4441
Vote - Affirmative 4441
Res. 2311, Murphy, Joyce: Birthday (80th) - Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 4441
Vote - Affirmative 4442
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept. of Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia, Hon. M. Baker 4442
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 90, Highway 104 Western Alignment Act 4443
Hon. R. Russell 4443
Mr. C. Parker 4443
Mr. R. MacKinnon 4445
Hon. R. Russell 4445
Vote - Affirmative 4446
No. 92, Motor Vehicle Act 4446
Hon. R. Russell 4446
Mr. C. Parker 4448
Mr. R. MacKinnon 4450
Mr. G. Steele 4453
Ms. D. Whalen 4457
Ms. M. Raymond 4460
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 4462
Mr. K. Colwell 4463
Mr. K. Deveaux 4466
Mr. D. Graham 4467
Mr. J. Pye 4468
Hon. R. Russell 4469
Vote - Affirmative 4471
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Mon., Sept. 27th at 4:00 p.m. 4471
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 2312, Creamer, Alex: Cdn. Millennium Scholarship - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 4472
Res. 2313, Arthurs, Terry: Rotary Club Award - Congrats., Hon. E. Fage 4472
Res. 2314, Kikuchi, David: Olympic Performance - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4473
Res. 2315, D'Alessio, Jillian: Olympic Performance - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4473
Res. 2316, Dalton, Richard: Olympic Performance - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4474
Res. 2317, Furneaux, Karen: Olympic Performance - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4474
Res. 2318, Latorovski, Laszio (Csom): Olympic Performance - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4474
Res. 2319, Scarola, Mike: Olympic Performance - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Hines 4475

[Page 4415]

HALIFAX, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2004

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

9:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. James DeWolfe, Ms. Joan Massey, Mr. Russell MacKinnon

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2278

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

4415

[Page 4416]

Whereas five Nova Scotians, chosen from a field of 137 nominations, will soon be invested into the prestigious Order of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the 2004 recipients include Anne Marie Comeau of Saulnierville, Donald Michael Julien of Truro, Major Marial Mosher of Halifax, Oscar Shiu-Yuet Wong of Glen Margaret, and Sherman Zwicker of Lunenburg; and

Whereas the Order of Nova Scotia, established in 2001, is the highest honour bestowed by the province and once again recognizes very diverse yet significant contributions made by exceptional Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House salute those Nova Scotians chosen as this year's inductees into the Order of Nova Scotia and applaud their lasting contributions to our province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 2279

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

Whereas to help meet the water needs of Nova Scotia's farmers, a $3.26 million, four-year federal-provincial plan was announced in August; and

Whereas under the program, farmers can apply for infrastructure such as irrigation systems, wells and ponds; and

Whereas the province's farming community has been calling for assistance, especially after three years of drought and after a year of floods;

[Page 4417]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the advent of the program which will offer needed support to our farmers to compete with the trials of unexpected weather extremes which have hit Nova Scotia in recent years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2280

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

Whereas this Spring, the journal The Scientist conducted a survey of postdoctoral fellows called the Best Places for Postdocs; and

Whereas under the non-U.S. institutions category, Dalhousie University was ranked number one and was ranked fourth overall in a competition which rated universities across the U.S., in western Europe as well as in Canada; and

Whereas a principal reason cited for the high standing was Dal's emphasis on teamwork;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and congratulate Dalhousie University for the high ranking it received in The Scientist's survey on the environment offered to research teams.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4418]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2281

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

Whereas the United Way of Halifax Region invests in community development programs and initiatives to build our extraordinary community; and

Whereas the provincial government's 2004 United Way campaign was officially kicked off this week with the United Race and the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage team won this event, along with an award for the most sportsmanlike team; and

Whereas provincial government staff continue to build on the success of each annual campaign by surpassing their financial goals;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the efforts of provincial government staff and the United Way for making a difference in our community and extend best wishes for a successful 2004 campaign.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

[Page 4419]

RESOLUTION NO. 2282

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

Whereas farmers are constantly adapting new technologies and improving their skills as business managers, exporters, environmentalists, in order to provide safe, high-quality food; and

Whereas farmers make an important contribution to our economy; and

Whereas this Sunday, 46 farms in Nova Scotia will participate in Open Farm Day, a day when the general public is invited to visit a local farm and learn about agriculture;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the participants of this event and encourage people to take every opportunity to visit a farm this weekend.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2283

HON. 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 Regional High School track and field team took their 11th straight Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Division II Provincial Banner in June; and

Whereas Coach Mike Roach has retired from teaching at the end of June this year, having spent the last 11 years building a strong track and field program that has continually paid dividends; and

[Page 4420]

Whereas Mike reflected on his 11 years, saying he had a lot of fun and "I do everything for the kids, nothing else matters.";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to the Amherst Regional High School track and field team of the 2003-04 season and all the best to Coach Roach on his retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization.

RESOLUTION NO. 2284

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

Whereas C-Vision, located in the Amherst and Area Industrial Park, purchased the assets of the former Celestica operation two and a half years ago, starting with no employees, no contracts and no government assistance; and

Whereas just days after announcing the creation of 60 new jobs to it's present workforce of 40, C-Vision has signed a contract with Canlyte, one of Canada's largest lighting manufacturers; and

Whereas this added to a recent contract with Sikorshy Aircraft led maritime helicopter team to replace the Sea Kings at their new facilities.

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join with me in sending our congratulations to C-Vision President Chuck Cartmill and his employees, and wish them continued growth and prosperity.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4421]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 93 - Entitled an Act Respecting the Municipal Taxation of a Natural Gas Distribution System. (Hon. Barry Barnet)

Bill No. 94 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Motor Vehicle Act. (Mr. Charles Parker)

Bill No. 95 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 2001. The Land Registration Act. (Hon. Barry Barnet)

Bill No. 96 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 (1992 Supplement) of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The House of Assembly Act. (Mr. Russell MacKinnon)

Bill No. 97 - Entitled an Act to Change the Name of the University College of Cape Breton and to Amend Chapter 484 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The University College of Cape Breton Act and Related Statutes. (Hon. James Muir)

Bill No. 98 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Hon. Barry Barnet)

Bill No. 99 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 494 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Vital Statistics Act. (Hon. Barry Barnet)

Bill No. 100 - Entitled An Act to Amend Chapter 18 of the Acts of 1998. The Municipal Government Act. (Mr. Leo Glavine)

[9:15 a.m.]

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

[Page 4422]

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2285

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

Whereas working in the steel industry has been a dangerous and hazardous job for many years; and

Whereas in the closure and cleanup of Sydney Steel, another worker's life has been lost to the industry; and

Whereas retired steelworker Roy Marchand lost his life in an industrial accident while securing steel beams for a hoisting crane;

Therefore be it resolved that this House send along its deepest condolences and sympathies to the family of Roy Marchand and all workers who have lost their lives in industrial accidents in 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 West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2286

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I will put this in for my constituent. I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas yesterday in a tragic workplace accident, retired steelworker Roy Marchand of Dutch Brook was killed on the Sydney Steel demolition site; and

[Page 4423]

Whereas Mr. Marchand was trying to secure a load of steel beams being hoisted by a crane; and

Whereas this tragedy highlights the importance of workplace safety;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House pass on their condolences to Sharon Marchand and all members of the Marchand family.

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 Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2287

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

Whereas Tatamagouche Elementary School was one of two Nova Scotia elementary schools selected by Today's Parent Magazine as one of the top 40 great schools in Canada; and

Whereas a child psychiatrist nominated Tatamagouche Elementary School because of the school's success in assisting children with special needs; and

Whereas Tatamagouche Elementary School has a devoted learning centre staffed by a special education expert and a reading specialist;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly congratulate the staff and students from Tatamagouche Elementary School for being chosen in the Top 40 after Today's Parent Magazine received 300 nominations from more than 150 schools.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4424]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 2288

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

Whereas over a year ago the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council staff and governors met for a day-long session on the economic prospects and policy priorities for Atlantic Canada; and

Whereas discussions at this session focused on concerns that Atlantic Canada is slowly slipping behind other provinces as a place to invest and prosper; and

Whereas among the specific concerns requiring attention is the continued out-migration of well-educated young people and a concentration of employment in low-wage sectors;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Economic Development explain to the people of Nova Scotia what exactly he plans to do to stop the exodus of many of our best and brightest youth and young adults who emigrate elsewhere in search of jobs that pay a living wage with the possibility for real advancement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 4425]

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 2289

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

Whereas the Minister of Natural Resources has written to me saying that he has asked the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to examine his conduct as a Cabinet Minister, and that he is prepared to abide by any decision of the commissioner; and

Whereas, however, the Ministerial Code of Conduct, Section 8, indicates that only a resolution of the House of Assembly or a request of the Executive Council may call upon the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to investigate a complaint under the code; and

Whereas such an investigation will clear the air and attempt to assure Nova Scotians that the minister is not in a real or perceived conflict of interest with regard to the awarding of a government tender to Trico Holdings;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House unanimously call upon the Conflict of Interest Commissioner to initiate an investigation as to whether the minister is in violation of the Ministerial Code of Conduct, and that the commissioner write back to the House with his findings.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice, and recorded vote.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2290

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society began preservation of the Queensport Lighthouse in 2000; and

[Page 4426]

Whereas, presently, the Guysborough Municipality is working to preserve the lighthouse as a historical monument; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Society is a non-profit society set up to protect and preserve 150 of the lighthouses in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House commend the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society on their efforts to protect and preserve lighthouses across the province, and wish them continued success 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 Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2291

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

Whereas the Halifax Regional School Board is the only school board in Nova Scotia to create a permanent seat for students at the board table; and

Whereas Jivesh Parasram, a student of Prince Andrew High School, will serve as a student advisor, and Jordan Warford, a student at Millwood High School, was elected as deputy advisor; and

Whereas they succeeded Christina Clark of Auburn Drive High School and Nichole Delaney of Halifax West High School, the first students to serve on the board;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank Ms. Clark and Ms. Delaney for representing students while on the Halifax Regional School Board, and also wish Mr. Parasram and Mr. Warford all the best as they represent students at the school board level.

[Page 4427]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2292

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

Whereas ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease is a progressive neuromuscular disease that can strike anyone irrespective of age, sex or ethnic origin; and

Whereas ALS is the most common cause of neurological deaths in Canada claiming the lives of 2 or 3 Canadians everyday; and

Whereas on September 25, 2004, Walk to D'Feet ALS events aimed to raise funds for research and local support services will be held in Halifax, Sydney and Truro;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate staff and volunteers of the ALS society for the dedication and support year round, and extend our best wishes for successful Walk to D'Feet ALS events throughout all of Nova Scotia on September 25, 2004.

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 4428]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2293

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

Whereas on September 11 for the first time in Canada, the seventh International Burn Camp Conference was held in Sutherland's River, Pictou County; and

Whereas volunteer support from the Pictou County Firefighters made this event possible along with camp counsellors and volunteers from England and the United States who met to discuss ways to improve local camps, crisis intervention and training; and

Whereas during the conference a red maple was planted by members of the Nova Scotia Firefighters Burn Treatment Society in memory of the firefighters who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks; and

Therefore be it resolved that members of this house join me in thanking the Pictou County Firefighters, the Chairman of the Nova Scotia Firefighters Burn Treatment Society Dave Collier, and camp volunteers for their dedication and courageous efforts to educate and update the community.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 2294

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

[Page 4429]

Whereas Wednesday, September 22, 2004, was International Car Free Day; and

Whereas the use of cars, trucks and motorcycles accounts for approximately 30 per cent of provincial greenhouse gas emissions; and

Whereas Car Free Day has been celebrated since 2001, and forums and alternative transportation events were organized this year by TRAX, a project of the Ecology Action Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that the organizers of Car Free Day be commended by this House on their efforts to inform Nova Scotians of the need to use fewer petroleum-based fuel burning vehicles and to encourage Nova Scotians to cycle, walk, run and even rollerblade to their destinations whenever possible.

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. 2295

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

Whereas yesterday in Question Period the Premier was asked to produce his plan for health care and the associated costs, given that he can no longer point fingers at Ottawa for not properly funding health care; and

Whereas neither a plan nor costs were revealed as a result of the request; and

Whereas one would assume that a government would have developed a prioritized plan ready to be implemented as soon as additional funding was made available from the federal government;

[Page 4430]

Therefore be it resolved that the absence of a plan speaks volumes about leadership on the issue of health care and does not bode well for much needed improvements in the health care system.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2296

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

Whereas this year marks the 50th Anniversary of firefighters raising money for muscular dystrophy in Canada; and

Whereas the Pictou County Firefighters Association has been named the number one fundraiser for muscular dystrophy in the Atlantic Provinces; and

Whereas already this year the association has raised $15, 750 for muscular dystrophy through a boot drive in April, the first Walk, Wheel or Run Atlantic Rally held earlier this summer and most recently through a car wash at the Highland Square Mall in the Aberdeen Business Centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate all the volunteer firefighters as members of the Pictou County Firefighters' Association for their great efforts in raising needed funds for muscular dystrophy in Canada.

[9:30 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 4431]

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 Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2297

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

Whereas the agricultural industry of Nova Scotia contributes over $1 billion to the economy of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas on September 26th the industry will host the third annual Open Farm Day as part of the Canadian Agriculture and Food Celebration; and

Whereas 46 farms across our province will be open to the public on Sunday in celebration of Open Farm Day;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contribution that farmers make to Nova Scotia and encourage all Nova Scotians to participate in Open Farm Day.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South-Portland Valley.

[Page 4432]

RESOLUTION NO. 2298

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

Whereas Peter Worden left England to settle in Cape Cod in 1638; and

Whereas some of his descendants came to Nova Scotia as Loyalists; and

Whereas the Worden Family Association, representing family members from across North America, is having its biannual reunion this coming weekend at the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature extend congratulations to the Worden Family Association and wish all its members a very enjoyable family reunion.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Justice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2299

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

Whereas Nova Scotia has been recognized for its waste reduction initiatives; and

Whereas the Town of Mahone Bay is looking to further its waste reduction by encouraging recycling in public places and has implemented a pilot project to reduce the amount of waste going to the local landfill; and

[Page 4433]

Whereas the Town of Mahone Bay has installed new waste containers around the town which are built to encourage the public to separate their garbage, which promotes recycling and reduces landfill waste;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Town of Mahone Bay on their waste reduction effort and promotion of recycling within the town.

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. 2300

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

Whereas on August 29, 2004, the Morden Christ Church celebrated its 150th Anniversary; and

Whereas the members of the Morden community came together in rebuilding after the initial church suffered a disastrous fire in 1905; and

Whereas the church has been a symbol of both family and friendship in the community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House acknowledge and celebrate this 150-year milestone with the members of the Morden community, and hope that Christ Church will be enjoyed for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4434]

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 Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2301

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable ministers for allowing this motion to be reconsidered.

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

Whereas some outdoor solid wood-burning appliances are notoriously inefficient because of their method of operation, which creates a slow-burning or smoldering fire that results in large amounts of combustion by-products being released; and

Whereas many of these by-products are hazardous or toxic, causing a worsening of existing heart and respiratory conditions, eye, nose and throat irritation, and headaches; and

Whereas some of these outdoor solid wood-burning appliances are used for heating facilities and are burning construction debris without regard for the surrounding neighbourhood;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Environment and Labour, in consultation with the Minister of Energy, consider reviewing the use of outdoor solid wood-burning appliances and their effect on the environment.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 4435]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2302

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

Whereas 14-year-old Tyler Williams of Middleton has played hockey for 10 years with both Middleton Minor Hockey and the Western Valley Minor Hockey Association; and

Whereas through hard work and dedication to his training and skill development, Tyler Williams has honed his hockey skills;

Whereas Tyler Williams has been invited to play for the Nova Scotia's Under 15 hockey team;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Tyler Williams and wish him success in his hockey career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 2303

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

Whereas the couches, club members and supporting families of the Cheema Canoe Club of Waverley represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece by sending four competitors and a coach; and

[Page 4436]

Whereas paddlers Mike Scarola, Karen Furneaux, Jillian D'Alessio and Richard Dalton, along with award winning coach, Csom Latorovski represented the Cheema Canoe Club, Nova Scotia and Canada at the 2004 Olympics; and

Whereas these competitors represented our community with distinction by qualifying for the finals in all of their respective competitions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to the Cheema Canoe Club and wishing them continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2304

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

Whereas the Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia came into existence on July 1, 1975, and successfully worked toward creating a sense of belonging and respect for all cultures; and

Whereas Barbara Campbell has served as Executive Director of the Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia since July, 1975, successfully raising a profile of multiculturalism during here three decades of service; and

Whereas Barbara Campbell will be retiring on November 25, 2004;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House honour Barbara Campbell for her long and dedicated service to the Multicultural Association of Nova Scotia and wish her well in her well-earned retirement.

[Page 4437]

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 Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2305

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

Whereas on August 5th, I was the first participant to have their vehicle tested at the "Let's Drive Green" emissions clinic in HRM, which was offered by the Ecology Action Centre and Environment Canada; and

Whereas the event was a great success with 170 vehicles tested, of which 90 per cent passed the emission test; and

Whereas all participants learned how they could reduce the level of harmful emissions they emit, thus improving air quality for all;

Therefore be it resolved that this House commend the Ecology Action Centre, Environment Canada and all those who participated in the Let's Drive Green emissions clinic.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 4438]

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2306

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

Whereas Floridians spent their last summer days recovering from the massive damage inflicted by Hurricanes Charley and Frances; and

Whereas millions of state residents, including many Nova Scotian snowbirds were severely affected by the hurricanes, inflicting significant damage to their homes, their possessions and their lives; and

Whereas Atlantic Canadians, always at the ready to help their neighbours, did so once again as the Canadian Red Cross Society sent volunteers from our region and from across Canada in August and September to assist with efforts to help those affected;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House offer our gratitude to the volunteers of the Canadian Red Cross Society, including many ham radio operators, who reached across the border to our friends to the South to lend a helping hand and also wish those ravaged by the hurricanes all the best as they begin to rebuild their lives.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 2307

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

[Page 4439]

Whereas there will be consolidation of the two major high schools located on the Halifax peninsula; and

Whereas both previous high schools, St. Patrick's High School and Queen Elizabeth High School had auditoriums which were separate from their gymnasiums; and

Whereas the new school will be a major community facility;

Therefore be it resolved that the Department of Education include an auditorium in the plans for the new school and cover the cost of its construction.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 2308

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 Lunenburg County, in particular, and Nova Scotia, in general, take pride in their well-educated students; and

Whereas Nova Scotia students have been very successful at home and abroad; and

Whereas Donica Pottie, a former student in Lunenburg County, has been named Ambassador to Cambodia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Ambassador Pottie upon her recent appointment and wish her well in her exciting career.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 4440]

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 Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2309

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

Whereas Maritime Paper Products Limited was one of the first tenants of the Burnside Industrial/Business Park in Dartmouth when it opened in 1967; and

Whereas the company continues to be a key employer in metro - providing employment for 170 skilled employees producing quality paper products; and

Whereas in July 2004, Maritime Paper Products Limited embarked on an $18 million capital expansion project as part of an ongoing modernization program which will keep the Burnside production plant competitive;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature commend President Gary Johnson of Maritime Paper Products Limited for his confidence in the local skilled labour force and the Dartmouth location of the company to invest $18 million in expansion.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 4441]

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2310

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Search and Rescue Association is celebrating its 35th Anniversary on Saturday; and

Whereas volunteers are the cornerstone of ground search and rescue in Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia is very fortunate to have such skilled and dedicated volunteers who will make themselves available at a moment's notice; and

Whereas the Cape Breton Search and Rescue Association is the oldest search and rescue association in Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the valuable efforts of all those involved with the Cape Breton Search and Rescue Association and thank them for their dedication to helping others throughout the years.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 2311

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

Whereas on September 26, 2004, Joyce Murphy, a longstanding resident of Whitney Pier, will celebrate her 80th birthday; and

[Page 4442]

Whereas Joyce arrived in Canada as a beautiful young war bride; and

Whereas despite the fact her husband passed away at an early age, she showed tremendous perseverance and raised eight children who have made their mark across this great country;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislative Assembly extend their heartfelt congratulations to Joyce Murphy on this momentous occasion and wish her many years of health and prosperity in the days 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.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, before we carry on with Government Business, could we have, with no objection, the reversion to Tabling Reports, Regulations and Other Papers.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, it's my honour to table the 13th Annual Report of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia for the period from April 1, 2003, to March 31, 2004.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

[Page 4443]

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call the order of business, Public Bills for Second Reading.

PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 90.

Bill No. 90 - Highway 104 Western Alignment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, there are several bills that come before this House where they are described by their proponent as being strictly housekeeping. I can assure you this one is strictly housekeeping. It simply orders that the Highway 104 Western Alignment Corporation submit on an annual basis a report to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works who, in turn, will table that report in the House. The reason for this bill, because that has been common practice, is simply that the matter was raised by the Auditor General and we are complying with that particular request. I move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I rise for a few minutes to speak here on Bill No. 90, An Act to Amend Chapter 4 of the Acts of 1995, the Highway 104 Western Alignment Act. Bill No. 90 makes me think of an infamous Bill No. 90 that was in the House here a few years ago but I guess it doesn't have the notoriety of that particular bill. Anyway, as the minister indicated, this is a housekeeping bill but still, nonetheless, important.

[9:45 a.m.]

It is important that the report of the Cobequid Pass toll highway corporation be given to the minister on an annual basis and I'm really not quite sure why this hasn't been done in past years, these number of years since the toll highway was set up. But it is a good move to have it in the minister's hands, finally, although I'm sure, one way or another, he has had access to it. But certainly the Auditor General has had reason to see it on an annual basis but now it's good that officially, at least, the minister will also have it. So I certainly support that particular aspect of the bill.

[Page 4444]

Perhaps, also, now that the minister has it, he will have a chance to look at it carefully and really look at this whole issue of the money that's coming in on the toll highway. Every indication is that it is more than adequate, more than enough money is coming in to pay off the debt of the corporation. I know that it's a 30-year payback period - I think 2026 is in my records here that it will be paid off - but every indication is that it's going to be paid off much, much sooner and the sooner the better, absolutely. There is nowhere else in Canada where there is a toll highway, that I know of on the Trans-Canada Highway. Now, there is one north of Toronto, I think, but that's in the City of Toronto, I think it's Highway No. 407, but it's not on the TCH that I'm aware of. So we have the distinction or the misfortune of having the only toll highway on our Trans-Canada Highway system, right from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

When that report comes to the minister, hopefully he will have a chance to look at it thoroughly and decide that perhaps there is some way that we can get rid of this thing once and for all. It's scheduled to be paid off in another 22 years but there is every indication that it is going to be paid off long, long before then.

Mr. Speaker, as you will know, personally from your riding of Cumberland South, I'm sure there are many travellers, many workers in your riding who have to travel across the toll every day to get to and from work, perhaps living in Springhill or Amherst and then they have to travel down to Truro or elsewhere to find employment, so they're paying twice a day, going back and forth, and it is especially difficult for local residents who depend on their employment back and forth.

It is also hard on everybody, it's certainly hard on the trucking industry; $3 an axle, I think, is the price right now. That's a lot of money and eventually the consumer is paying. Tourists are not accustomed to paying tolls in Canada and then all of a sudden they see a sign that five miles down the road there is a toll and as they get there they think maybe it's 50 cents or whatever - you are perhaps used to toll highways in the U.S.A. - and all of a sudden they have to dish out $4, hopefully they have it in their wallet or purse. So it's a lot of money, a lot of revenue coming in.

While there has been some discussion that the feds have some role or responsibility in this - well, they did put money into it initially - my understanding is that this Highway 104 Western Alignment Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Province of Nova Scotia. It's owned by the province. You have control over it and I think the sooner you can take a good look, Mr. Minister, at that annual report when it comes to you and decide that it is time to get rid of the toll, the better it will be for Nova Scotia, the better it will be for the trucking industry, for the tourists of this province and, certainly, for the local residents who live within the area. So I hope the minister, now that he will have the report in his hands on a more timely basis, will take every move and consideration to get rid of the toll once and for all, so that the whole province and the whole country will have a Trans-Canada Highway system that is toll-free.

[Page 4445]

With that, Mr. Speaker, I support this bill moving on to the next stage in the legislative process and I look forward to it going to the Law Amendments Committee.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, I will be brief on this particular piece of legislation. This legislation is obviously quite precipitous, I'm sure, from the minister's perspective. But the only thing I would add with regard to this particular piece of legislation is the fact that this annual report will now be provided to the minister. I hope that will not preclude the minister from making it available to all members of the House, as has been the practice in the past, because there seems to be a kind of inference that it will - well, legislatively it will - be provided to the minister, but there is no assurance that it will be provided to all members of the House and indeed to the people of Nova Scotia in the future, which has been the custom. So I will lay that before the minister and perhaps he could give some quality assurance on that, that that will continue as has been the practice.

With that, Mr. Speaker, our caucus will certainly be supporting it going on to the Law Amendments Committee and hopefully for ratification on a future day.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works it will be to close the debate on Bill No. 90.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the interventions by the two members opposite on this bill, in particular perhaps I should mention that the tolls collected on Highway No. 104, of course, are going to pay off the bondholders for that particular highway, and there are agreements in place between the bondholders and the Province of Nova Scotia, which do require certain things to happen with regard to the tolls on the highway. However, the financial situation of the Highway 104 Western Alignment Corporation is very sound. They have money in the bank, and there is every indication, at the present time, anyway, that the bondholders will be paid off long before the time allotted in the original agreement. I'm sure everybody will breathe a sigh of relief when we pay off those bonds and we no longer have a toll highway.

Mr. Speaker, having said that, I would also like to address the matter of tabling the report in the House, which is the intent of the bill, in point of fact, that the report is to the minister and the minister reports to the House, the same as we do with the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission. That report will be made available to all members of the House on an annual basis, and will be tabled in the House by the Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

Mr. Speaker, I now move second reading of Bill No. 90.

[Page 4446]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 90. 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. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 92.

Bill No. 92 - Motor Vehicle Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, Bill No. 92 enacts a number of amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act, and they deal with various matters. I won't elaborate on them more because some are simply changes that are of very little consequence in reality. But, there are a number of things in the Motor Vehicle Act amendment that I think are of some importance. For instance, it incorporates our legislation respecting transit priority signals, and that is not presently addressed in the present Act.

This amendment, I would suggest to you, will indirectly support the transit systems across Nova Scotia, particularly in HRM, and it will provide some incentive, perhaps, for more riders to travel by public transit. Cole Harbour and Sackville have been identified as the two priority transit corridors in HRM. They will provide corridors to and from those particular regions to downtown Halifax. There will be a system of dedicated lanes and dedicated signals to expedite that traffic, Mr. Speaker. If we can get more people riding the transit systems, obviously we're going to get cars off the highways, and that is a most desirable thing.

The second part of the bill deals with roundabouts and it is one that is of great interest to the media anyway, it seems, but in point of fact the roundabout is simply a transition from an intersection system that we call a rotary to a more streamlined system with different rules applying to expedite traffic through that intersection. Roundabouts are the main mode for intersections in Europe - as those of you who have driven in Europe already know. We've been very slow in North America to adapt to the modern roundabout, which is quite different to the original concept of a roundabout which was, indeed, a rotary.

Having mixed that up, I can tell you that in North America the modern roundabout is being accepted, and now in the U.S. you'll find many, many of them as you journey around the highway system in the U.S. In Canada they're becoming in vogue in Ontario and out West

[Page 4447]

in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We are at the present time envisaging at least three roundabouts in Nova Scotia . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: "Rondabout".

MR. RUSSELL: Rondabout, yes. (Laughter) We are envisaging three in the immediate future in Nova Scotia. One would be the Armdale Rotary - I don't know when that's going to occur, that's up to HRM; however, the Armdale Rotary will eventually become a roundabout - the intersection as you come off the Canso Causeway and you get into that spaghetti, the lanes of roads and . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: That allows you access to a motel, that's why it's like that.

MR. RUSSELL: The honourable member says it was designed for ease for the travelling public to reach a certain motel. That could well be, Mr. Speaker, but I'm sure everybody will agree that is an intersection that does need attention - and when we twin the section of Highway No. 101 between Falmouth and Avonport, at Avonport we'll be putting in a modern roundabout as well.

Roundabouts are here and they are becoming in vogue. As I mentioned yesterday, we are being innovative in one way in that we are going to use a space in Greenwood, at the airport, to actually paint a roundabout on the tarmac there so that the traffic advisory people can take a look at it, we can make adjustments to it, and we'll have traffic in that roundabout as a training ground for police, firefighters, the trucking industry, et cetera. I'm sure it will be as successful in Nova Scotia as it presently is in Europe.

Included in the amendments is an agreement regarding the adoption of standards for securing loads on commercial vehicles. This will be a North American standard. It is hoped that all States in the U.S. and the provinces in Canada will have signed this agreement by the end of 2005 and, in the meantime, have put in place standards through legislation for the securing of loads on trucks.

There's one more item and that deals with - to modify reset provisions under the graduated licence program. When a person is on a graduated licence, on that program for two years, if they commit certain infractions, at the end of the penalty period for that infraction they go back and start again - another two years. There is one penalty in there though that seems to be rather harsh and that is if a person has been called to report to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles for any particular reason and fails to keep that appointment, then they lose their licence and they have to start off on the two years again. That simply takes that out and says at the end of whatever the suspension period is for missing that appointment, they go back and carry on for their initial two-year period for the graduated licence.

[Page 4448]

[10:00 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There is too much noise in the Chamber and it's very difficult to hear the honourable member. The honourable member has the floor.

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, with those few remarks I would move second reading of Bill No. 92.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to have a few minutes to speak on Bill 92, An Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, the Motor Vehicle Act. In a roundabout way I guess I'm concerned about the minister still talking in circles, but anyway we'll have a few comments to some of the aspects of this particular bill.

One item that I saw in the bill that I thought certainly was good was improving the public transit system here in HRM and a provision for bus priority lanes and the proper signal systems that go with that. I must comment that recently when I was at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference in Quebec City, there were priority lanes for buses there on the main street heading into Old Quebec, into the downtown, and certainly it seemed to work quite smoothly. The bus lanes were running faster than the regular traffic on the right-hand side of the street and so I assume that would be similar to what's there in that city.

So I would certainly support that idea and it also encourages more people to use the public transit system and knowing that they're going to get to work as fast or perhaps faster than they would in their own vehicle. So anything to get more vehicles off the road and to encourage more public transit certainly I would support and I'm sure there are other cities in North America and elsewhere that probably have this type of system. Certainly a lot of mornings we have congested highways coming into work here, or into the downtown core in our city from the outlying areas such as Cole Harbour and Sackville, some of these areas. So it's a good measure and I support that.

A couple of other aspects of the bill, Mr. Speaker, that I think also are good, there's one section in there about securing loads on commercial vehicles. Everybody wants to see secure and safe trucks on our highways and make sure their loads are secure, but the fine at the present time is only $15 if somebody is caught in violation of that and that's a ridiculously low figure and, hopefully, that's going to be upped to a level that's much more reasonable and in line with other fines in the industry.

There's also a section there around graduated drivers' licences, about the stop time, I guess, if they don't show up for an appointment. That's good. There's just one thing I'll add to that, I know in a particular case in my riding where I had a call around graduated licences

[Page 4449]

and it involved a volunteer fireman. As you know, volunteer firemen can be called out at any time of the day or night to fight a fire, including after midnight. In this case that's exactly what happened. A young person who had a graduated licence was a volunteer fireman and he was pulled over and told, you're past your time.

He was told that he could go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and get a special permit that would allow him as a volunteer fireman to go, but the difficulty was he had to pay $35 in order to do that and that, to him, seemed a little contradictory that, you know, he's doing a public service. He's out fighting fires on behalf of his community and obeying the law, but then he has to pay a fee in order to do that. So that seemed wrong. So I will just point that out to the minister that perhaps there's something that could be done to accommodate volunteer firemen who wouldn't have to pay extra money.

As far as rotaries and roundabouts, I guess the one I'm most familiar with is in the Town of Pictou. We've had a rotary there for a number of years. I'm not sure, it must be 20 years or 30 years now it has been there and that's the one that I hear a bit about from time to time. There have been accidents there on occasion as vehicles enter and meet each other and there's always some uncertainty as to who has the right to come into the rotary - especially when there's a lot of ferry traffic coming from Prince Edward Island. There's a whole stream of 50 or 60 vehicles rolling on Highway No. 106, into the rotary. From time to time there have been accidents.

The present system is supposed to be one-on-one, you yield one-on-one as they come into the rotary, but some are not doing that. Maybe it's a lack of education, they're not aware that they're supposed to yield as they come in, on a one-on-one basis. This new system with the roundabout seems like a good idea in that traffic would have to yield to traffic already in the circle, and I think that would probably be better than the system where now it's every second vehicle coming in and yielding to each other.

So, overall, Mr. Speaker, I think the idea of a roundabout is good. I know there's been interventions from my area, in particular about the Pictou Rotary. I think the Municipality of Pictou County has sent letters to the minister, and I know individuals have sent letters of concern about the danger of the rotary, the way it was set up, and asking if there could be a better way. In fact there was a study done this Summer, looking at how it could be improved. Basically I think they came to the conclusion that a roundabout is the better system that would work. I'm supportive of anything that would improve safety and allow drivers to be in the position to know what they're doing. I think that's the second aspect of this bill, that there should be some public education. People should know what a roundabout is, they should know how to enter it, what they're supposed to do as they come to it. So I think public education is an important part of letting people know how it should work.

[Page 4450]

Overall this bill has a variety of aspects to it, but I think it's generally good with those couple of changes that I've recommended. Again, I'm looking forward to it going to the Law Amendments Committee and will support it from there.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on this particular piece of legislation, Bill No. 92, an Act to Amend Chapter 293 of the Revised Statutes of 1989, The Motor Vehicle Act, one particular aspect, with regard to the issue of standards on trucking, particularly as it relates to interprovincial, I would like to raise a number of issues. Number one, the increasing concern by Nova Scotians on the number of inspections or the lack of inspections on the trucking industry in Nova Scotia. I've received a number of complaints over the last year that the number of inspections has actually decreased in the Province of Nova Scotia, particularly for trucking operations coming from outside of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I think that's an issue that I would like to leave with the minister during the course of this particular piece of legislation, the reason being, particularly, that other provincial jurisdictions, as I'm advised, do not necessarily have as high a standard as we have in Nova Scotia. So the reference in Clause 16 to this type of inspection and standardization across - and I believe that's what the minister was referring to in his opening remarks - will kind of provide for a more national standard. That's very good, that's very positive, however, if we're not doing the inspections, it's very difficult for us to measure whether we're achieving that level of comfort and safety on Nova Scotia's highways that we like to project. Perhaps if the minister could provide some more detail on that, that would certainly be helpful.

With regard to the issue on the roundabout, well, I would respectfully submit I hope it will be a more smashing success than the MicMac Rotary was in Dartmouth, because it wasn't until they did away with that rotary and put (Interruptions) It wasn't a smashing success, that's the inference. (Interruptions) Yes, that's why they did away with it. Yes, excuse me, Mr. Speaker. The minister and the Minister of Education knows full well what I'm referring to and what we have there now is very uniform safe driving conditions and the reference has been made to the Armdale Rotary, while I would respectfully submit that if the minister or the officials within the Department of Transportation and Public Works, were to formalize the rules of engagement at the Armdale Rotary, then, in fact, there would be little need for this roundabout issue that the minister is referring to.

Because, quite frankly, I don't have enough evidence or information to support or oppose it, and other than what the minister has put before his press conference yesterday and what he has laid before the House here today. I mean, we have over 300,000 Nova Scotians driving every day and a certain percentage of those individuals will undoubtedly be using this roundabout on a future day.

[Page 4451]

By direct comparison, if you look at the Armdale Rotary where, for the most part, it's an honour system, where one vehicle goes in, the next vehicle is coming from a different direction, it's one in, one out. So everybody has essentially the same time sequence entrance and exit to that process. Whereas with the roundabout, what will happen is, somebody during heavy traffic hours, whether it be in let's say early morning traffic rush or 5:00 p.m. traffic, a driver could be there for anywhere from 30 seconds up to five minutes, because the rules of engagement are such that you have to wait until there's a break in that traffic, and if everyone is going continuously through, from one traffic flow, that makes it very difficult. It's not like a regulated light or intersection fashion as we have over in Dartmouth now, since we've eliminated the MicMac Rotary.

Perhaps if the minister could give us some more detail on that, I think it would be very helpful because it's good to be able to train all our municipal officials, our policing agencies and traffic officers and inspectors and so on, on the issue of this roundabout, but what about the people of Nova Scotia? I mean, is it going to be on a trial and error basis? Is this what this is going to be all about? I know we're looking three, five, maybe 10 years down the road before it really kicks in, but one has to wonder the merit of the way this whole issue has been approached. I suppose if they are going to be an issue in the future, well that's fine, but there's very little evidence that suggests that it'll be user friendly at this point.

It seems to be on a trial and error basis, and that's really what the minister has put before the House here, asking for just officials to go down and examine and try out the issue on a tarmac down in Greenwood, doesn't seem to be very user friendly to the 300,000 Nova Scotians who are driving every day. The minister himself indicated yesterday he wouldn't want a rush of traffic going down to Greenwood because that in itself would create quite a consternation.

The brochure that he's put out, it's nice and glossy and quite colourful and it looks nice on paper, but try and put it into reality. If it's anything like the MicMac Rotary, I would respectfully submit that it's not going to be the smashing success that the minister anticipates that it will. Perhaps if the minister could ask the officials within (Interruption) The Minister of Education is a little concerned about the word "smashing" because that infers accidents and insurance liability.

We know what the government has already done on the issue of insurance to the people of Nova Scotia, and I don't think he would want me to go down that road, Mr. Speaker. It might be well advised for the Minister of Education to kind of focus on some educational matters, rather than insurance or safety matters on Nova Scotia's highways, because the people of Nova Scotia have already had one bad deal last year, they don't want another bad deal this year. (Interruption) Mr. Speaker, rabbit tracks are really not what we are going to focus on here today.

[Page 4452]

[10:15 a.m.]

With that, I will conclude my remarks and allow the more eloquent orators from the socialist Party to explain why they would support these roundabouts when there's little evidence to support. I believe we should certainly support it going on to the Law Amendments Committee. Obviously, the officials within the department wouldn't do this without some considerable thought and expert analysis into it but certainly, the people of Nova Scotia do need some more detail, particularly here, in metro.

The minister already has a piece of legislation before this House and called it Capital Transportation Authority. What are the implications of this piece of legislation vis-à-vis HRM? Who's going to pay for it? Is it going to be the provincial taxpayers, is it going to be the property taxpayers of HRM, or who is going to pay for it? The minister has not provided enough detail, everything seems to be general frameworks and almost a platitudinal approach to certain issues, in somewhat of a fuzzy manner so as to make it appear very user-friendly to the people of Nova Scotia, and good news legislation, when in fact there is very little detail and very little substance to these pieces of legislation. I believe the minister owes an explanation, particularly to the people in the Halifax Regional Municipality, as to how this will impact on themselves - not just from a driving point of view, not just from a safety point of view, not just from an environmental point of view, but also, who is going to pay for it and how is it going to be paid for?

I will leave that and those other issues that I referred to with regard to the trucking industry because that is a major concern, particularly in view of the fact that the container terminal business is supposed to increase by upwards of 50 per cent over the next 10 years from the Port of Halifax - that, in itself, will create considerable pressures on the traffic flows here, in metro. The issue of that increased truck traffic down through the main corridors and commercial sector of Halifax has not been addressed, it's an issue that has been addressed by the greater Halifax partnership and a number of other stakeholders. The number of domestic vehicles, cars and small trucks that will be using the main streets in the corridor of Halifax, I believe, is estimated to increase by another 75,000 vehicles over the next 10 to 15 years. There is no long-term strategy to deal with that, there is no material, there is no evidence, there's no detail of any form to be able to deal with that, either through the Capital Transportation Authority or through this particular piece of legislation.

This ad hoc approach to some very serious and long-term issues will have a major impact on rural Nova Scotia. To give you an example, this proposal on Highway 113 that is being proposed to alleviate the traffic problems between Hammonds Plains - and I forget the other street but it is essentially from Highway No. 103 to Highway No. 102, and this new proposed highway - which is supposed to reduce the amount of time for truck traffic coming into metro, and alleviate the pressure on the residential areas, and that's supposed be a big cost savings for people, particularly on the western and southwestern part of the province.

[Page 4453]

Mr. Speaker, who is going to pay for this $30 million project? That was the initial cost estimate and now, some estimates are upwards of between $50 million and $60 million. Is that going to be the Halifax Regional Municipality taxpayers who will pay for that, or is it going to be part of a federal-provincial agreement? What are we really looking at?

All of these issues do tie in to issues such as these roundabouts that the minister is referring to. Now, I don't know how he plans on dealing with the Armdale Rotary or if, in fact, it's just the three that he has referred to yesterday during his press conference.

With that, Mr. Speaker, there will be considerable time and opportunity to further debate on these particular issues, not as they impact specifically on the taxpayers and the motorists within the Halifax Regional Municipality but, indeed, for all Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I know that second reading is intended to be a debate on the principle of the bill, however, this bill is a grab bag of amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act which have no one thing in common, they're really about a whole variety of different topics. So I'm going to beg the Speaker's indulgence as I stand to address one specific section. I know that's not common on second reading but what I would like to address is this issue of the roundabouts, the rotaries that have been addressed by the minister, mentioned by my colleague, the member for Pictou West, and also from the last speaker.

Mr. Speaker, I know that rotaries can work, I've lived in Europe, I've driven in Europe. They are, in Great Britain, which I'm most familiar with, the preferred method for dealing with intersections and when you have a whole country that's used to dealing with traffic flow that way, they can work quite well. They're not perfect and anybody who gets stuck in the gridlock around London can tell you that there's more to traffic flow than just how you deal with intersections.

In Nova Scotia, as far as I know, there are three rotaries. There is one up in Port Hastings just right beside the Canso Causeway and there is the one in Pictou County, which my colleague, the member for Pictou West, referred to but I've never driven on either of those at a time when traffic was heavy, so they never posed any particular issue. The third rotary though is one that is mostly in my riding. So that's the one that I would like to address to discuss how this bill might impact on the Armdale Rotary.

The Armdale Rotary is a small piece of land. As traffic circles go, considering the volume it deals with it is actually relatively small, surely, a land area that's not much greater than the width of the property of Province House and yet it deals with a great deal of traffic. That rotary is the junction of three different ridings, so that tiny little piece of land is actually in three different provincial constituencies, about 60 per cent of it is in my constituency of Halifax Fairview and about 20 per cent of it is in the riding of my colleague, the member for

[Page 4454]

Halifax Atlantic, and the other 20 per cent is in the riding of my colleague, the member for Halifax Chebucto.

So this rotary is very important to the quality of life of the people who live in our constituencies. I'll mention, in particular, my constituency because among the very busy roads that join there are Joseph Howe Drive, St. Margarets Bay Road and the Herring Cove Road. All of which are busy roads in their own right and they all feed into this rotary, not to mention the other very busy roads, Chebucto Road and Quinpool Road, which also feed into the rotary. So no wonder the Armdale Rotary has been a bit of a nightmare.

Mr. Speaker, I remember my first experience driving on the rotary, you drive into this circle and, of course, I'd never seen one before, because where I grew up there were no rotaries and so when you move to Halifax and you hit this thing, you're not really expecting it. There are no signs telling you that it is up ahead and then you hit this thing and the first thing that you see is a signal, a traffic signal you've never seen in your life before, which I hope never to see again. The red light with a straight green arrow. So what it's telling the person who's new to this rotary is stop and go at the same time. No wonder people get confused. So, you're on the verge of this rotary and you're not quite sure what you're supposed to do - I had had some previous experience with British roundabouts so I thought I was supposed to yield, so I did - until you get honked at from behind and you realize the people behind you expect you to go, but then there are people in the rotary who don't look like they're about to slow down, so it's very confusing.

Of course, Mr. Speaker, now, all these years later, I consider myself a veteran of the rotary, now I laugh at others, now I know who the strangers and the visitors and the tourists are by the confused way that they deal with the rotary. It is very obvious when people are dealing with the rotary for the first time.

We need to do something. But what is surprising to most people, Mr. Speaker, is what the current law of Nova Scotia actually says about rotaries. Some people assume the law either says nothing or that it embodies the one-on-one rule, but it does neither; in fact the change the minister is proposing is actually a very small change. What the law of Nova Scotia says today - I'm not going to read it, but if I can summarize it - it is that if you are in the rotary and it's safe to go, then you go; it says if you are entering the rotary and it is safe to go, then you go. That is the law of Nova Scotia today and has been the law of Nova Scotia for a long time.

What Nova Scotians have done is take this somewhat confusing law, which is if it's safe to go then go, and they've turned it into the so-called one-on-one rule, the give-and-go rule, which I think is an embodiment of the finest traditions of Nova Scotians. Mr. Speaker, it is an embodiment of good manners on the road, it is the embodiment of politeness, which is you go and then I will go. There is no other country on Earth that I know of that has developed this rule. It is a rule based on experience, and it is a rule based on - if I may say -

[Page 4455]

the personality of the Nova Scotia driver, and it works. No, it is not perfect, but it works. You know if everybody knows the one-on-one rule - and of course that's the problem, not everybody knows it or not everybody respects it - if you know it, then the traffic flows.

Now the traffic engineers come to us and say there's a better way, we should do this differently. Mr. Speaker, maybe there is a better way, but we are going to have a problem. Now that everybody is used to the one-on-one rule at the Armdale Rotary, now we are going to have to get them used to a completely different rule, which is that if you are in the circle you have the right-of-way until you get out of the circle, and anybody waiting to get on has to wait. Okay, that is a good rule, but it is a change.

It reminds me of what I was told happened in Newfoundland when they joined Confederation. Of course in 1949, when they joined Confederation, they were a British Colony so they were driving on the left side of the road, and they were joining Canada, which drove on the right side of the road, so they had to do the switch. But they felt there was going to be an issue with public education, so they thought they would phase it in with trucks the first year and then cars. (Laughter) - at least I know who's paying attention to me, Mr. Speaker.

Seriously, there is a problem with public education here because this stuff only works if everybody is following the same rule. I think more important than that, Mr. Speaker, is will this fundamentally make traffic flow better on Nova Scotia's busiest traffic circle? I don't believe that the answer is yes; I simply don't believe it. I am far from convinced that this small change in the rule - because don't be mistaken, no one in this House should be mistaken that the change in the rotary rule is actually a big change, it is actually a very small change. The only thing that is being changed - the only thing - is where the law now says that if you are in the circle you can only proceed if there is no immediate danger, that is being removed. Otherwise the law is essentially staying the way it is today. Instead of saying both of you yield to each other, it just says everybody coming in has to yield to the person going around.

This is a very light change, Mr. Speaker. This is not, in my opinion, going to solve the problem of the Armdale Rotary. The fundamental problem is a lot bigger than that. It is one that this province needs to deal with, it's one that HRM needs to deal with before they are going to convince anybody that this is going to make traffic move better. The problem fundamentally is one of development.

There are two reasons why I'm not convinced that this rule is going to be of any benefit to the people of my constituency, and I want to focus in particular on the people of the St. Margarets Bay Road, Mr. Speaker. I've talked to people who have lived on that road and they would tell me that 40 years ago there might be one car every half-hour. These are people who have lived in the same house for 40 years. Forty years ago there was maybe a car every half-hour - now it is the major gateway for people coming from the western mainland to the Halifax peninsula. It is still, to all intents and purposes, a country road which is what

[Page 4456]

it used to be. It is still that. It's narrow, it's twisty, there are houses close by on both sides and it is now a major traffic artery to the chagrin of everybody living on that road.

[10:30 a.m.]

What is HRM doing? Do they talk about maybe limiting development out in the Timberlea-Prospect way until they've got a global solution to our traffic problems? No, they talk about changing the rules at the rotary, essentially changing the traffic signals.

Recently HRM approved 8,000 new residential housing lots out in the Timberlea area - 8,000 - a substantial number of whom are going to come pouring down the St. Margarets Bay Road making a bad traffic problem even worse. What is HRM talking about? They're talking about moving traffic more quickly through the Armdale Rotary.

That's the first problem - one of rampant development. It's not just out on the western side, but it's also down the Purcells Cove Road. There's a controversial development proposed down that way, down in the Williams Lake area, a substantial development out on the Herring Cove Road area, Ketch Harbour, Sambro - all of which have become popular places to live. But if those people want to get to the Halifax peninsula, they have one choice and one choice only and that's to go through the Armdale Rotary.

Why can't HRM deal with this as a global issue as development equals traffic rather than saying, here's the development issue, here's the traffic issue and acting as if they're not connected. That's the first reason why I don't believe this change is going to do one bit of good for people who need to get through the Armdale Rotary, which I might add that I avoid at all costs during rush hour - morning rush hour, afternoon rush hour. I wouldn't go near the rotary because it is such a difficult spot to get through. So development is the first reason why it won't work.

The second reason is the well-known traffic phenomena that if you make traffic flow more smoothly, all it does is encourage more people to take that route. Even if the theory turns out to be true and we change the rules and it moves traffic more smoothly through the Armdale Rotary, even if that's true, moving them more quickly to the bottlenecks at Chebucto Road and Quinpool Road, even if it's true which I don't believe, all that does is send a message to people that now it's okay to go to the rotary. So, people who avoided it will now say, okay, I'll take my chances on the rotary because traffic is moving better. Instead of solving a problem, all you do is get more traffic moving faster and you have the same problem or worse. Nobody in this House - I assure the members of this House - would want to live on the St. Margarets Bay Road because of the traffic volume, the traffic noise, dust, vibration, all the problems those people have to put up with and they sure wouldn't want to live on St. Margarets Bay Road if we changed the rotary just so more traffic moved through faster.

[Page 4457]

I would like to see the province look at this and look at all of the issues. I'd like to see HRM do that. I'd like to see the councillor who was quite happy to get all the media attention on the eve of a municipal election promising big changes to the Armdale Rotary, I'd like to see them explain to the people on the Bay Road how it is that these changes are going to improve their quality of life. That is why I approach this particular provision which has gotten a lot of media attention, certainly has the minister's attention - he handed out to every member of the Legislature today a glossy brochure on roundabouts which doesn't address these development issues, these traffic flow issues at all, pretty pictures just saying theoretically this will make things move faster - it'll make things move faster if you don't end up having more cars trying to move through and if everybody learns the rules.

So, I think we all need to approach this particular proposal with a certain degree of skepticism. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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

MS. DIANA WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, I'm happy to rise and talk on this bill, Bill No. 92 just briefly as it affects the City of Halifax and all residents, whether or not we have a rotary or a roundabout in our area. As has been mentioned, there are only five different routes on which to reach the peninsula from any of the outlying areas. As Clayton Park is in the Mainland North part of Halifax, we do have all of our people having to travel in througheither the Fairview interchange or the rotary, or perhaps going further afield, but there are only five entry points, and all of them tend to get very backed up in the morning. For some reason September is worse than any other month of the year, so we've been experiencing it first-hand lately.

The Armdale Rotary, as I understand it, the city has looked extensively at alternatives to what could be done in that area, especially in light of the increased traffic that is coming from a lot of new subdivisions that have been approved. As has been noted, there are literally thousands of new sites approved for homes in that area. So, we know that something has to be done, and the cost to convert the Armdale Rotary area into a proper interchange is exorbitant. I think that the city has looked carefully at it. It might be a preferred solution, but the cost, perhaps, is not justified at this point in time.

I do applaud the government for looking at providing the city with the means to make this change, so that they can change the way that the rotary currently works and improve it, really, in its safety. At the moment there are multiple times when cars are really going forward on good faith or just on the hope that the other person in the rotary knows what the rule is, which, again, is very hit and miss, literally. So I think that it's an important thing for us to be making this change and adopting what is really an international standard for roundabouts. I was impressed to see in the brochure that the safety has been measured by as much as a 76 per cent reduction in injuries and accidents in the United States where this was introduced,

[Page 4458]

with similar figures in Great Britain and Australia. The safety factor of it, I think, is paramount and important to recognize.

On the bill itself, one of the things that is of interest, of course, is that it is a collection of different measures that are being proposed, different changes to the Motor Vehicle Act. What I think is missing here, and I would like to raise it today, is the power that the municipality does not have to control speed limits on residential and, in fact, on just city streets. This has been a big issue in the Clayton Park area as two of the streets in our area have - actually four streets have recently undergone a trial where they were allowed to lower their speed to 40 kilometres per hour from the regular 50 kilometres per hour.

The way the Motor Vehicle Act reads at present, you cannot lower the speed below 50 kilometres per hour on any city or municipal street. Of course it doesn't go below 50 kilometres per hour on any provincial highway, so that's pretty much the lowest official speed limit allowed. Now where there's dangerous corners or steep inclines, there are cautionary yellow signs that are posted, which encourage people to go slower, to be more cautious. In the municipalities where there are school and playground signs, those signs, again, are only cautionary. They indicate you're in a special zone, be careful, but in other provinces they are an immediate signal that you slow down. In fact, I know that in Alberta the speed limit is 30 kilometres per hour in playground and school zones, and it's heavily enforced.

I think that for safety we should be looking at speed control, and I think, again from the quality of life issues for Nova Scotians, particularly in urban areas, we need to be able to control speeds and try speeds below the standard 50 kilometres per hour. Now the speeds that were tested last Summer, that would be a year ago in the Summer of 2003, actually the authority to try this trial was given by Order in Council, and it applied to Bayview Road and Flamingo Drive and two feeder streets that come in, one to each of those streets, Meadowlark and Gateway. Those four streets were posted for 40 kilometres per hour to test to see whether or not that would make a difference to the actual speed.

But the trial was very flawed, in my opinion. The HRM was given the authority to try it, and then they were not allowed to educate the public or to draw attention to the trial. Now, I don't know how you can succeed when you're told that you could not have any additional signage, you could not have any additional policing and, in fact, extra signs that the city had posted throughout the distance down Bayview and Flamingo, they were forced to remove. They were only allowed one sign at the top of the street and one at the bottom, despite the fact that there were a number of entry points along the distance of both those roads.

So it was minimal signage, and instruction, Mr. Speaker, for minimal policing, that in those areas they were to get no more traffic attention, in terms of policing, than any other street. We couldn't do any kind of real patrols or even education. We couldn't have a time where people who were exceeding the speed limit were pulled over and even given warnings, so that the word would spread that this was indeed a serious infraction, that this was a serious

[Page 4459]

attempt to lower the speed limits on those streets. So with very minimal policing, you know, as I say, normal policing on those streets, no public education and minimal signage, what we found was the speed limit just decreased only marginally during that period. The main speed had only gone down a very small amount and was still over 50 kilometres or around 50 kilometres.

So what was determined by the province was that that was a failed attempt and that we wouldn't try any more lower speed limits and I would like to say that I really thought it was doomed to failure from the start because of the rules that were applied to that trial. HRM has countless streets which are residential and very heavily travelled where speed is an issue, and the quality of life for the people who live on those streets. Numerous other provinces have provided their municipalities with the authority to determine themselves, where there's a judicious need, to lower the speed limit.

I think that through legislation this is really something that would ideally have been included in this bill before us because this would have been an ideal opportunity to divest ourselves of that control. I don't think that our provincial traffic planners need to be involved in issues that are really quite, you know, it's minutia in the scheme of the province and yet very important to residents in an individual community like Clayton Park and again, as I say, there are numerous places in Dartmouth, Bedford and other areas where this would be very helpful.

The city traffic planners have only a few tools basically to apply to lower speed limits or to slow speed and they haven't had the use of this ability to actually lower speed limits so they're using other methods, like chicanes, or speed bumps, or three-way stops, four-way stops, but those things again are very controlled by what the city traffic authority will permit given the circumstances. So I think the tool of lowering speed limits should be given to the municipality because it will really help them to address some very serious concerns of the residents.

So I would call on the province to review that as perhaps a future bill because I think the need is tremendous and I would also chastise the province for interfering in the way the city did test that lowered speed limit to see if it would work, because the trial was not given a proper chance to succeed. As I say, after six months it was pulled out and we're back to square one with many other streets really, you know, even in my own riding many people asking for lower speed limits which the city doesn't have the power to give. So I would call on the Minister of Transportation and Public Works to perhaps consider that for a future amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act because I think it's tremendously important.

Again to go back to Bill No. 92, I think as written, the idea of improving the flow within these roundabouts, changing the rules in roundabouts is something that certainly merits study and I think introducing it and allowing it to be tried here is important. The idea of public education has been mentioned and I think it's tremendously important that we do just that.

[Page 4460]

Now, today we were given a very nice-looking brochure on how rotaries and roundabouts work, but I'm not sure who exactly would receive this kind of a brochure and, in fact, whether the cost of something like this is really justified. I think it is important that members of the House of Assembly do understand what the change is about, but I sometimes question when we produce these nice-looking documents exactly what purpose they will serve and whether they will be of any use to the public.

I think our best way of informing the public is through the media and I know that HRM has tried to do that in their initial unveiling of this project and I think it is a sign that the councillors and HRM Council have been trying to grapple with the severe congestion on the one rotary we do have, the Armdale Rotary, and trying to say how can we improve this at a minimal cost, you know, without looking at major construction of an interchange and, therefore, I think that that's showing that they're being prudent in terms of trying to manage the city's money.

I think it's certainly worthy of a trial and we're anxious to hear of anybody who might have various viewpoints on this at the Law Amendments Committee. As I sit on the Law Amendments Committee, I will be looking for that and I would hope that HRM will come forward and indicate their support of these changes. With that, Mr. Speaker, I will conclude my remarks.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this bill with many very valuable changes, some small, but many useful, although perhaps they need a little more refinement. The major thing, however, which gets everybody's attention is, of course, the distinction between the rotary and the roundabout. To some degree I will be sorry to see changes if they actually work. I'm not sure that that's going to be a danger though.

The fact of the matter is that the rotary is a magnificent health promotion device and a tremendous source of conversation as well as the origin of multiple religious conversions. Most people get through the rotary by closing their eyes and praying briefly and I know that because I'm not the only one. There are the other ones who get around the rotary by walking. I see people walk huge distances to town every morning to avoid doing it. I think we should be funding it as a Health Promotion initiative, Mr. Minister.

The worst thing that could happen to me when I was a child on my way to school, being driven by my father, was to get caught behind old Mr. Keating who was driving his horse and wagon from the St. Margarets Bay Road down that winding country road, to collect slops for his pigs, from the city restaurants. You saw him get on that rotary before you, his turn came before yours and you knew your number was up, you were going to be getting a late slip by the time you got there. It was bad news. The story's the same now.

[Page 4461]

[10:45 a.m.]

What amuses me though, as much as anything, is that nobody knows exactly how big the rotary is. Nobody knows exactly how many roads into the rotary there are, and it's always a subject for conversation. Any party, you can jumpstart immediately by saying the words, Armdale Rotary. As I say, we don't know how big it is. We don't know how many roads there are into it, although we know very clearly how many roads there are out of it, and worst of all, is the fact that on some of those routes you go in on a three-lane road and the lanes have yet to be painted because there's a spot on each of those routes where those three lanes suddenly become two, but the lines have never been painted. Nobody has actually gone in to figure out where, I was going to say where the rubber hits the road, but that's not what hits what. Anyway, somebody is going to have to make some decisions about the physical construction. Just the lane marking, no amount of rule changing is going to make a difference there.

Still, the rotary is a good thing, in many ways. I often hear it referred to as a bottleneck. I think it's more of a choke valve, because you can get around the rotary, as my colleague pointed out, as quickly as you want, but the rotary is not the problem, it's the other side of the rotary that's the issue. You're on a peninsula. You are on something that was built to be defensible. Once you're there, where do you go? I hear stories, people say, oh, that Armdale Rotary, and then they tell me that it took 13.5 minutes to migrate the three blocks from the rotary to Quinpool and Oxford, or Quinpool and Connaught. The problem is not the rotary. The rotary is a salvation.

I don't know quite what the answer is going to be, but it's probably something about putting a few less cars on to the peninsula, and that's where another piece of this bill - although it doesn't actually give the entire piece of the picture - it does do one useful thing, which is that it includes buses in the transit priority system. There has been talk at various times about changing the lanes at Quinpool Road to allow for roads to adjust for the time of day. It'd be nice to change the transit priority signals and then put transit buses on that would in fact follow those, and that may help to reduce the traffic around the rotary.

As my colleague pointed out though, there is that phenomenon of induced traffic, which is, put simply, build it and they will come. You improve the roads, make them easier, faster to travel and more people will enjoy the easier, faster-to-travel roads that you've built. That's going to be a problem for the peninsula and as long as we're putting literally thousands of new houses on the outskirts of the peninsula and intending the people in those houses to conduct their commercial, social and administrative lives on the peninsula, we are going to have a bottleneck at the rotary and I say long live the bottleneck. Thank you, Mr. Minister.

[Page 4462]

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

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville -Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, I'll have brief comments on Bill No. 92. Living in and representing the area of Sackville, it's amazing to see the growth in that area and the potential growth and the future growth that's going to happen over the next several months and years. One of the things that's important to a lot people in that riding and the surrounding riding is the public transportation system.

As we see it presently, it is a chore to enter the city using public transportation methods and the system itself. I'm encouraged by the government's proposed legislation to change or allow changes in the public system throughout HRM and in the province, especially when it comes to the priority lanes for buses. I think they recognize two important areas in HRM, such as Cole Harbour and, of course, Sackville. It's not just the people in Sackville or just the people in Cole Harbour who use those areas to access public transportation into the city.

If you enter or leave the city early in the morning you notice the numbers of vehicles that come from the Valley, especially those that cut through Sackville. If we make it more accessible or quicker for them to use public transportation from areas like Sackville, I think it's important that we can ensure a reduction in emissions through vehicles and hopefully improve our environment.

Growing up out in Sackville, using public transportation to come into the city for education and for work purposes, there was always a need to recognize that priority lanes needed to be in place. If you go to any large city throughout Canada, you see these used mostly in areas where the traffic flows are increased in the metropolitan areas. I think it is important that we allow this change to take place, and I think it's important to people who live, especially, in my riding, to see that, potentially, using public transportation will be a quicker means to enter into the city.

On a Sunday drive from Sackville to the city, it could take you about 15 minutes to get into the city, but during those rush hours and peak hours where many vehicles are trying to manoeuver their way into the city, it could take you up to an hour, an hour and a half to enter the city. Changing the legislation to allow these priority lanes to be implemented is important, and I'm looking forward to that.

The other thing this legislation talks a little bit about is rotaries and roundabouts. Over the years I have had interactions with the rotaries, when it came to my profession as a paramedic. There have been many times over the years that I have gone on a call to a rotary, especially the Armdale Rotary, where the vehicles are significantly damaged when they do have a collision there. The thing that's important about the rotary is that, as my colleague was mentioning earlier about the one-on-one rule, if you're from the city, we recognize the need to allow one person to go and then you go. But people from away, tourists coming into the

[Page 4463]

city or people from other provinces or even people from other parts of the province coming into the city and finding themselves descending upon the Armdale Rotary, that's when the accidents occur.

One thing I do want to stress is that if there are going to be changes to that area of the city and that rotary, if we go to the roundabout system, public education needs to be a high priority not only for HRM but for the province. I think you may see an increase in the collision rate there if you all of a sudden just change the rules. Public education, I think, is going to be the key when you make changes like this, especially to roundabouts or rotaries. I'm encouraged by the safety statistics in the brochure that the minister distributed. If collision rates are down and injuries are down in other parts of the country or other parts of the world, such as in the U.S. and Great Britain, because they've changed things, then I think that's a great move and I hope these stats do come true if there is a change there and I'm encouraged by this piece of legislation and look forward to it going to Law Amendments and seeing if there's anything that needs to be changed on it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a few words on Bill No. 92. I'd like to start off with the roundabouts. I've a long memory about the MicMac Rotary in Dartmouth, the two-hour and three-hour waits through the middle of the day when you were trying to get through that engineering - I won't say the proper words for that - blunder I suppose that was put in place when that rotary was installed. Today when you drive through it, the terrific amount of traffic that goes through the Parclo, it really shows that putting the investment in place to start with really pays off.

There's been some discussion about putting roundabouts in place because it will save some funds in the short term for the municipalities and probably the province on these things, but it's actually more expensive to put a roundabout in place and then find out in 10 or 20 years later you have to put an interchange in that you should have put in place to start with.

The other thing that concerns me, the minister indicated they're going to paint an airstrip and try this out. I would have thought they would have tried it out before they brought it to the Legislature to see if it's really going to make sense. It scares me a little bit when the engineers come up with this beautiful, glossy brochure - dear knows what that cost the taxpayers of Nova Scotia - trying to sell us on this roundabout theory. Anyone who lives in Halifax or Dartmouth who has gone through the rotaries and these aren't a whole lot different than the rotaries, although they do appear to have some advantages - the long wait times and the problems with that.

It's a serious change in the way the traffic is going to flow. You can look at the intersection points here where people on the modern roundabout that they have here, the vehicle-to-vehicle conflict and the vehicle-to-pedestrian conflicts, you can easily see that if

[Page 4464]

a couple of pedestrians get in one of these crosswalks, it can stop the whole interchange. It can stop the whole thing. It'll stop if you get enough cars trying to go in that same direction.

It's going to be interesting to see how they work if indeed they go ahead. I still remember the MicMac Rotary and sitting there for hours and hours and hours in the middle of the day, not even rush hour, trying to get from one side to the other. It just simply didn't work. That was an engineering fiasco, to say the terminology properly, and I hope we're not going to create some more engineering fiascos long after the engineers that design these ones are gone and the people are still struggling to get traffic moving, that they have to rebuild this thing again. What would be the sense of spending money twice?

I think it's time in this province that we started to realize that our population is growing, our traffic patterns are growing and it's time that we really looked at proper engineering for interchanges and facilities that will allow traffic to move. I have a little bit of a problem too with the engineers. We have a problem on Highway No. 107, down over the hill where it meets at the Highway No. 111 intersection. The municipality had approved a third lane to allow traffic to go into Cole Harbour. They started construction this Spring and lo and behold, what are they putting in? Curbs and sidewalks. They didn't even take any consideration for a third lane which would have seriously alleviated the traffic patterns which is going to affect all of us who live in . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: No third lane?

MR. COLWELL: No, third lane. It's sidewalks and curbs now so that means when they rip up the sidewalks and curbs - which they will have to do to put a third lane in there - eventually when it finally gets back to downtown Dartmouth which is heading in that direction now with the traffic backup, with people trying to get through the intersection, they'll have to rip all that up again, put pavement down, probably put the sidewalks back down you very seldom see pedestrians in that area. There's really no reason for them to travel there, although sidewalks are a great thing and a great safety thing for people in a community and very important. They could have easily just moved the curb back a little bit further, put the sidewalks in and the third lane and had it so it could handle a lot more traffic.

So, I'm not convinced that the engineers always do the things they should do to make traffic move easily. Also, when traffic moves easier, there's less frustration, probably less accidents and you can extrapolate that to all kinds of additional scenarios.

When you look at this roundabout, I'd say it's just a modification of a rotary that doesn't work. We know they don't work. They are expensive to build, not as expensive as an interchange, but they are more expensive if you build them first and then have to put in an interchange like they did at the MicMac Rotary. Nobody will ever forget that rotary, even early in the morning when traffic was going through that, before rush hour it was jammed up. It was a horrible thing.

[Page 4465]

[11:00 a.m.]

Now they are talking about putting more of these things in and it just doesn't seem to make sense. It really disturbs me that the department hasn't even done their homework that they said they are going to do now with the airbase, they are going to paint this thing out, which won't tell you anything because it doesn't really give you the full flow of traffic going through there because people are driving on it that understand how it works. It will work, of course it will. It's like anything, you train somebody it'll work. If you get people moving into this who don't maybe understand how it is, and it's stopped in the middle, all the traffic will stop again and you're finished.

You are taking four lanes of traffic and turning it into one lane. Any time you take four lanes of traffic and make it into one lane, they all won't mesh. It's just that simple. You are slowing things down. It would be the same as taking a four-lane highway down to one lane and see how fast the traffic backs up, and that's just straight going, with no turns, and no pedestrians in the middle of it. You add pedestrians to this and make it one lane, which is basically what is going to happen here, it is going to slow traffic right down to almost a stop.

It looks like - by this fancy brochure again that there has been a reduction in some accidents and injuries which are really good, I am pleased to see that, but it doesn't talk about how it affects traffic flows and what kind of conditions that you would typically use this type of an interchange. Maybe in some areas of really low traffic and no potential high traffic it may work well, it may work well indeed. There has been no information presented to us today to indicate that's the case. I'd like to get some more information on this, some more detailed information. More studies on it to see exactly under what conditions that can be used and probably set some conditions.

We are looking at taxpayers' dollars here. We are also looking at an economy. You slow the traffic down, you slow the abilities for businesses to get their merchandise back and forth, people to get to work, and all the other things that make the economy roll. This could have a negative effect if it doesn't work properly. Also it could have a major effect on the taxpayers of this province if you build this thing for dear knows what cost and depend of course on the location. Then five years, 10 years, 20 years down the road you put an interchange in as they did in Dartmouth with the Parclo, then you are talking multi-million dollar change to change what you've got. Redirecting the traffic and doing everything all over again is doing it twice.

I think we've got to start looking in this province that the reality is that we are approaching 1 million people and we've got to start building roads to handle the vehicles travelling, and if we don't do that properly, we are going to be held back, and the economy is going to be held back. It's that simple. You can't take the economy out of transportation and transportation out of the economy. If the transportation works well, then the economy

[Page 4466]

goes well. If the transportation system isn't in place to support an economy, then it won't happen. It's just that simple.

It's the same as taking all the telephones out of Nova Scotia. If you take them all out the economy would drop immediately. It's that simple, it's all a matter of the elements that you have to have to make the economy. I'm very concerned about this, I'd like to see some more information on it. I'm not sure - from my limited experience of seeing what happened in Dartmouth, in the Armdale Rotary, that's beyond belief, that doesn't allow traffic to get in there, it would be better to do a proper study on that instead of rebuilding the Armdale Rotary. That is something that probably won't work, maybe it will; who knows.

To put a proper interchange again and do a proper traffic study to see what can be done to alleviate the traffic, there can be all kinds of things. It can be better bus service, it could be an interchange, it could be upstream from the Armdale Rotary, improvements in the traffic so it flows easier, it could be all kinds of things. If you just dump this thing in place, spend a whole bunch of money on it again and find out it doesn't work, you're right back where you started, except you are out a lot of money and it really hasn't helped. I'm not convinced that these things are going to improve anything.

They say they work well in London. I've been in London in one of these things. I was there working. I remember one day, and I saw one car sitting in the roundabout there for two hours, one spot, never moved two whole hours. So it really works well in that particular location and it just makes you wonder what the situation was. I was doing business at the time, when I was there, I left for a meeting and I came back and lo and behold the same vehicles were still in the same spot. So it makes you wonder where this information was done, and I'd like to know what wonderful engineer decided that the Armdale Rotary and the MicMac Rotary were such a wonderful thing. I wonder if it's the ancestors of these people suggesting in the same darn thing again. You never know, or the same professor at the university saying this is a great idea, let's go forward with it.

I prefer this thing to wait until the departments have time to paint their lines on the asphalt and see if it really does work, which is really not a good study anyway, but I guess it's a study. So it would be a lot better to find out exactly what's going on with these, and I'd like to see some more information. I would ask that the minister - and I know he will because he's very co-operative - provide us with a lot more detail than this glossy, expensive brochure that really doesn't do anything for me or the people of Nova Scotia. Thank you.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I just want to speak for a minute. I guess I might want to say that from some of the comments from the Liberal caucus, I assume they might be voting against this piece of legislation, but I want to speak on one particular issue, which is the issue of the need for the rapid transit from the suburban areas, and I know that

[Page 4467]

there are particularly a couple of projects being developed, as my colleague, the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid noted, from Sackville and from Cole Harbour that will allow for the buses to become rapid buses or express buses, and this legislation will allow them to be able to proceed prior to the cars at certain traffic lights, presumably on Portland Street, I guess. I think that's a good thing.

I'm glad to see the government is doing its part in making sure that this comes to fruition. Anything we can do to encourage mass transit, to ensure that people are able to access their work, whether it be in Burnside or in downtown Halifax or wherever it may be in metro, from areas like Cole Harbour, I think is important. I think there's a lot of traffic congestion, particularly in the Portland Valley that needs to be addressed. I hope that this legislation is one small component of that. I will leave much more detailed comments for Bill No. 64, when we call it for debate again. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Citadel.

MR. DANIEL GRAHAM: Mr. Speaker, my comments will be brief in relation to this bill. Obviously some of the matters that have been outlined in this bill are positive changes. I think that the ones highlighted by the member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, are obviously positive changes. Rapid transit to the centre of the city is something that's a real priority. I also note that the comments in here, the changes with respect to the possibility of revoking for people who have received absolute and conditional discharges are a step in the right direction. There are other things that obviously deserve our favourable consideration.

I am, however, not clear yet on why it is that we need to deal with rotaries in relation to this piece of legislation and perhaps over time it will become clearer to all the parties involved. We've had, from my memory, four notable experiences with rotaries in this province. One with respect to the MicMac Rotary was largely a disaster. The parclo that replaced it has obviously demonstrated that this was an engineering mistake to have gone with the rotary at that time.

The ones however, in Pictou County and at the Strait - and this is entirely anecdotal - don't appear to have created much concern or a problem. They seem to operate reasonably effectively. The traffic movement through those rotaries are, generally speaking, lighter. It's nice to get off the causeway and to be able to go directly to where you're wanting to go when you hit Cape Breton Island and not to be stopped by a red light, heaven forbid.

The matter of concern to my constituents will relate to potential changes to the Armdale Rotary. I lived on the other side of the Armdale Rotary, at one time went through it and I may be the only person in the Legislature who had the unfortunate incident of actually having an accident in the Armdale Rotary, Mr. Speaker. Entirely of my own making, a single car accident and I'll say no more. (Interruptions) No, I didn't end up in court for that one. I

[Page 4468]

did limp to my hockey game, however, that was to be held - that may be a clue as to how the accident happened in the first place.

In any event, Mr. Speaker, the Armdale Rotary matter will be something of great concern to the residents of HRM, particularly on the west side of HRM - this is a central place for traffic to flow in and out of the peninsula. There has been much discussion about creative options, and I want to be certain that we have exhausted all of those other creative options before we move to this particular approach because the others may be more expensive, but from an economic perspective and from a safety perspective there may still be other solutions to the Armdale Rotary challenges that ultimately give us a better result than this one.

The glossy brochure that we received today outlines some indication of how accidents are reduced when one moves to a roundabout as opposed to a rotary. I think that we need to have more detail with respect to the research that supports those assertions and if the minister is able to provide the research that supports those assertions, or officials in his department could do that, I think it would be a welcome development. The other relates to the efficiency of a roundabout as opposed to a rotary, and nothing in this glossy brochure seems to give us a clear indication of whether or not this is going to increase or reduce the bottleneck that exists at the Armdale Rotary. I think before the people in my constituency, and I think for the people on this side of HRM, are going to be warmed to the idea of a roundabout, I think they would want to have some reassurance that this is not going to create increased bottlenecks, and ultimately not only will safety be improved but the efficiency on the road will be improved. Those are my remarks. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I had intended to speak at length on Bill No. 92, particularly with respect to transportation, because I believe that this is a very important issue and I would have hoped that we would have had a Capital Transportation Authority in place many years ago and we in the Legislature would not have been talking about such a proposal as this. The bottom line is that I certainly hope that we don't look at this as a piecemeal part of studying transportation. I do know the traffic management groups throughout the municipality - and each city and town at one time or another had its own traffic management group, each conflicting with each other on how they were going to deal with the traffic issues in their municipalities, and I certainly know from serving on a transportation committee of the City of Dartmouth, and Halifax had one and the Town of Bedford had one and so on, and it was a mishmash of transportation matters that would come forward. Each I don't think had the dialogue that was needed to address the overall picture of metropolitan transportation.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that with a growing population of some 300,000 to 400,000 people in this municipality, and knowing that many of the developments for communities are going outside the city into the suburbs, yet people are employed and working

[Page 4469]

in the city, and when I look out the Legislative Assembly in downtown Halifax here and I see Hollis Street with tractor-trailers and so on and so forth moving back and forth through the major part of downtown, I know that we have not done a good job. I know that we have not done a good job at looking at transportation, and I do know that if we decide tomorrow to build a roundabout at the Armdale Rotary and not address the issues with respect to my colleague, the member for Halifax Atlantic, who said about Chebucto Road, the streets of Quinpool Road, the Purcells Cove Road, the Spryfield road, where the backup of these bottlenecks take place after you go on the rotary, then in fact you're right back to square one, you have not addressed the issue.

Each time that I went through the Armdale Rotary, Mr. Speaker, if it was to go to Spryfield, if it was to go to Howe Avenue, or wherever, when I hit that rotary I'm not in the rotary proper for more than three minutes. It's the length of time that it takes you to get there and the length of time that it takes you to come out of there that is the major problem.

Now I had intended to speak at length on this, but I do know that this is going to the Law Amendments Committee and I do know that a number of sage remarks will be made at the Law Amendments Committee with respect to how to address this particular issue, but I certainly hope that with our growing population, we don't continue to gear our streets and roads network solely to the automobile that carries one person, but the public transit and alternate modes of transportation, because in another 10, 15 years, the kind of transportation that we see ourselves driving today will change significantly.

[11:15 a.m.]

Mr. Speaker, that's where the crux of the issue needs to be directed. Traffic management groups and authorities across the province, not only in the metro area, have to look at those modes of transportation that are going to happen 10 or 15 years down the road. I profess to know nothing about roundabouts. I have not been in England, Sweden or anywhere else, or in the United States, where they have them. I do see the brochure. I have some semblance of how it might work, but I really don't have the factual evidence of how it will work. Maybe if I go to Greenwood and I do the testing, as a citizen, on the design or the layout of the roundabout, then I'll have a better understanding, a better knowledge of it, but until then I can only wait until this goes to the Law Amendment Committee and listen to the citizens who, in fact, will be directly affected.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works it will be to close the debate on Bill No. 92.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, before moving third reading of this bill . . .

[Page 4470]

MR. SPEAKER: Second reading.

MR. RUSSELL: Second reading - I keep trying to push these bills through a little faster than perhaps I should, Mr. Speaker - of Bill No. 92, I think it's only fair that I should comment for a moment on the business of roundabouts, circles, rotaries and what have you. I remember well the MicMac Rotary. Some of the people speaking in the House I don't think really do remember because they were probably not born at the time when the MicMac Rotary was the blight on the landscape. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, it certainly was a mess, and it wasn't even a rotary in point of fact, it was just a meeting of a number of streets that all happened to converge on the same spot on Earth, and then everybody had to sort out how they were going to get out of the centre of that particular convergence of roads. In fact, when the examination was made of the MicMac Rotary, if I remember correctly, they looked at one time at putting in a series of bridges across the lake. That, fortunately, was discarded for the arrangement that we have now, which is not a rotary, not a circle, and it's certainly not a roundabout. That solution, though, was very expensive. I think it cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of about $41 million back in 1980-something, whenever it was that we did that particular construction. So it was a very expensive solution for what was really a very complex problem.

Let me just tell you about a roundabout. I know the honourable member for Preston says that he was stuck, or somebody else was stuck, on one like the gentleman who was stuck on the Boston subway, and that is a tune back from the 1970s, I guess. Anyway, it's impossible for traffic to stop on a roundabout because the core of the roundabout keeps moving continuously. Any stopping that would occur is for traffic coming onto the circle. In fact, Mr. Speaker, there is very little even pausing of traffic coming into a roundabout. I've had the good fortune or bad fortune to have driven on some English roads and some German roads and some French roads, and I can tell you that the traffic does move smoothly and does move swiftly and, indeed, it is an accepted transportation methodology to move traffic through an intersection with a minimum amount of stopping, with a minimum amount of collisions.

Mr. Speaker, this is not an experiment, this is something that is in fact, at the present time, perfectly acceptable in most places in the world. The reason that we're putting in what's been described as a training ground down in Greenwood is simply to check the layout of every roundabout that we build to make sure that the geometric design is going to work. That's simply what that's all about. I should also mention that the rotary is the responsibility of HRM not the province. If a roundabout is built there, it will be built by HRM not by the province.

Mr. Speaker, I think this legislation cures a number of impediments that we have in the Motor Vehicle Act at the present time. As I say, the portion on roundabouts is simply there because there is a change in the rules of driving when you enter a traffic circle or a

[Page 4471]

roundabout. With those few words, I move second reading of Bill No. - I better get it right - 92.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 92. 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. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again on Monday at the hour of 4:00 p.m. The House will sit from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. The order of business on Monday will be Public Bills for Second Reading. We'll be dealing with the Electricity Act, the bills introduced today by the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, and any other bills that are available for second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House adjourn until 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

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 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

[The House rose at 11:22 a.m.]

[Page 4472]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 2312

By: Hon. Ernest Fage (Economic Development)

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

Whereas Amherst Regional High School student Alex Creamer won a prestigious Canada Millennium Scholarship Excellence Award; and

Whereas Alex is one of 33 laureates in Nova Scotia receiving this year's scholarship and he plans to use it towards his bachelor's degree at McGill University and from there to medical school to become a surgeon; and

Whereas Alex was also chosen Amherst's Youth Volunteer for 2004, having served as chairman of Students Against Drunk Driving, a member of St. John Ambulance and the Amherst Drug Awareness Committee and head of the Teen Health Committee, as well a being a lifeguard serving at the YMCA and Heather Beach Provincial Park this past summer;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Alex Creamer and wish him well with his studies and his future career choice.

RESOLUTION NO. 2313

By: Hon. Ernest Fage (Economic Development)

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

Whereas Rotarian Terry Arthurs of Amherst received the Rotary Club's highest honour when he was presented with their Distinguished Service Award this past summer; and

Whereas Terry has, for a number of years, made an outstanding contribution to the club and his community, joining the Rotary Club 13 years ago and serving as Chairman of the Easter Seals Committee and Co-chairman of the Auction Committee and volunteering for the income tax clinics for seniors and Camp Tidnish Committee; and

Whereas Terry is an active community member who has been a member and chairman of the Stewardship Committee, a member of the Investment Committee at Trinity-St. Stephen's United Church, a treasurer of the Tantramar Investment Club and a member of the

[Page 4473]

St. Charles Elementary School Advisory Council as well as president of the senior's curling league and treasurer of the Amherst Golf Club;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Terry Arthurs and thank him for his continued community service.

RESOLUTION NO. 2314

By: Mr. Gary Hines (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas David Kikuchi, an Olympic gymnast and Fall River resident, represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas David competed in rings, parallel bars, high bar, pommel horse and floor exercise; and

Whereas David was the top Canadian male in parallel bars and pommel horse;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to David Kikuchi on his impressive Olympic performance and wish him success in his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 2315

By: Mr. Gary Hines (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Jillian D'Alessio of the Cheema Canoe Club of Waverley represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas paddler Jillian D'Alessio competed in the C-4 500 metre event; and

Whereas Jillian served Canada with distinction by qualifying for the Olympics and then for the finals in her respective event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Jillian D'Alessio and wish her continued success.

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RESOLUTION NO. 2316

By: Mr. Gary Hines (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Richard Dalton of the Cheema Canoe Club of Waverley represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas Richard competed in the C-2 1,000 metre and the C-1 500 metre events; and

Whereas Richard represented Canada with distinction by qualifying for the Olympics and then for the finals in his respective events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Richard Dalton and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2317

By: Mr. Gary Hines (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Karen Furneaux of the Cheema Canoe Club of Waverley represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas Karen competed in the C-4 500 metre category; and

Whereas Karen represented Canada with distinction by qualifying for the Olympics and then for the finals in her respective event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Karen Furneaux and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2318

By: Mr. Gary Hines (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

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Whereas Laszio (Csom) Latorovski of the Cheema Canoe Club of Waverley represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas Head Coach Latorovski's leadership, dedication and encouragement to his charges inspired them to reach the finals in all of their respective events; and

Whereas Coach Lataorovski represented Canada with distinction by coaching his athletes to an exceptional level that enabled them to qualify for the Olympics and then for the finals in their respective events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Laszio (Csom) Latorovski and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 2319

By: Mr. Gary Hines (Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank)

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

Whereas Mike Scarola of the Cheema Canoe Club of Waverley represented Canada at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece; and

Whereas Mike competed in the C-2 1,000 metre category; and

Whereas Mike represented Canada with distinction by qualifying for the Olympics and then for the finals in his event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Mike Scarola and wish him continued success.