The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 03/04/05-90

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/

First Session

THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
INTRODUCTION OF VISITORS 7919
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Environ. & Lbr. - VISION: Use - Ban, Ms. J. Massey 7920
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Health Prom. - Smoke-free Places: Ban - Proclaim,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 7920
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4285, Hazelton, Janet - NSNU: Pres. - Congrats., Hon. A. MacIsaac 7924
Vote - Affirmative 7924
Res. 4286, Leslie, Maureen - Paramedic of the Yr., Hon. A. MacIsaac 7925
Vote - Affirmative 7925
Res. 4287, S. Queens JHS: Green Team - Congrats., Hon. K. Morash 7925
Vote - Affirmative 7926
Res. 4288, Sutherland, Rev. Donald: Ministry - Applaud, The Premier 7926
Vote - Affirmative 7927
Res. 4289, Delaney, Martin - TPW: Serv. - Thank, Hon. R. Russell 7927
Vote - Affirmative 7928
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 220, Trade Union Act, Mr. F. Corbett 7928
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4290, East. Pass. Educ. Ctr.: Wrestling Team -
Jr. Boys Championship, Mr. K. Deveaux 7928
Vote - Affirmative 7929
Res. 4291, Kelly Fam.: Karate Championship - Congrats., Mr. G. Hines 7930
Vote - Affirmative 7930
Res. 4292, Cameron, John Allan - Celtic Music: Godfather - Confirm,
Mr. F. Corbett 7930
Vote - Affirmative 7931
Res. 4293, Gallant, Donna - Richmond Vol. of the Yr.,
Mr. Michel Samson 7931
Vote - Affirmative 7932
Res. 4294, Porter, Lucas - World's Fair: Performing - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Parent 7933
Vote - Affirmative 7933
Res. 4295, Adams, Chris/Dillon, Michael: Auburn HS -
Ozmon Trophy, Mr. D. Dexter 7933
Vote - Affirmative 7934
Res. 4296, Samson, Réal - Acadians/N.S.: Contribution - Recognize,
Mr. Michel Samson 7934
Vote - Affirmative 7935
Res. 4297, Cook, Pauline - Birthday (100th), Hon. M. Baker 7936
Vote - Affirmative 7936
Res. 4298, Cummings, Dr. Joan: Hon. Deg. - Dal. Univ.,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 7936
Vote - Affirmative 7937
Res. 4299, Snow, Mr. Morgan - WKDHS Wolverines:
Volleyball Medals - Congrats., Mr. L. Glavine 7937
Vote - Affirmative 7938
Res. 4300, d'Entremont, Chris & Anne - Anniv. (10th), Mr. W. Dooks 7938
Vote - Affirmative 7938
Res. 4301, Ormond, Jeff/MacNeil, Michael: Courage - Congrats.,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 7939
Vote - Affirmative 7939
Res. 4302, Knockwood, Noel/Michael, Joe - First Nations Soldiers:
Mem. Service - Represent, Mr. J. MacDonell 7939
Vote - Affirmative 7940
Res. 4303, Whalen, Mike - Birthday (50th), Ms. D. Whalen 7940
Vote - Affirmative 7941
Res. 4304, Surette, Mary: Death of - Tribute, Hon. C. d'Entremont 7941
Vote - Affirmative 7942
Res. 4305, Dart. Choral Soc. - Anniv. (50th), Ms. J. Massey 7942
Vote - Affirmative 7942
Res. 4306, TCH - Lighthouses: Protection - Support, Mr. S. McNeil 7943
Vote - Affirmative 7943
Res. 4307, Whynot, Maurice Eugene: WWII Serv. - Thank,
Hon. K. Morash 7943
Vote - Affirmative 7944
Res. 4308, Schmitt, Lothar/White, Doug: Overseas Aid - Fundraising,
Mr. C. Parker 7944
Vote - Affirmative 7945
Res. 4309, TPW: Hwy. Workers Act Bd. - Extend, Mr. Gerald Sampson 7945
Res. 4310, Edwards, Glen: Blood Donation - Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 7946
Vote - Affirmative 7946
Res. 4311, Gen. Motors (Can.): Commun. Wheels Prog. - Congrats.,
Ms. M. More 7946
Vote - Affirmative 7947
Res. 4312, Kane, Barbara: Commun. Contribution - Acknowledge,
Ms. D. Whalen 7947
Vote - Affirmative 7948
Res. 4313, Brown, Garnie - Birthday (75th), Mr. G. Steele 7948
Vote - Affirmative 7949
Res. 4314, Sydney Mines Storyteller Comm.: Vols. - Contributions,
Hon. C. Clarke 7949
Vote - Affirmative 7950
Res. 4315, Prospect Rd. Bulls - Boys Basketball Title,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7950
Vote - Affirmative 7950
Res. 4316, Parkview Educ. Ctr.: Field of Dreams Fundraiser - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 7951
Vote - Affirmative 7951
Res. 4317, Sydney - Toronto Reunion Comm.: Whitney Pier Commun. -
Congrats., Mr. G. Gosse 7951
Vote - Affirmative 7952
Res. 4318, Bedford FD: Serv. - Best Wishes, Hon. P. Christie 7952
Vote - Affirmative 7953
Res. 4319, Twin Cities Boxing Club - Coach Tapper/Members:
Benefits - Acknowledge, Mr. J. Pye 7953
Vote - Affirmative 7954
Res. 4320, Mason, Dutch - Order of Can., Hon. J. Muir 7954
Vote - Affirmative 7955
Res. 4321, UBCJA (Loc. 1588) - Anniv. (100th), Mr. F. Corbett 7955
Vote - Affirmative 7955
Res. 4322, Gaelic Awareness Mo. (05/05) - Recognize,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 7955
Vote - Affirmative 7956
Res. 4323, Moriah, Rev. Lionel - Cornwallis Street Baptist Church:
Serv. (10 yrs.) - Congrats., Ms. Maureen MacDonald 7957
Vote - Affirmative 7957
Res. 4324, Nat. Res. - Forest Strategy: Vol. Planning Task Force -
Establish, Mr. J. MacDonell 7957
Res. 4325, Penny, Wayne: CBRM - Retirement - Congrats.,
Mr. G. Gosse 7958
Vote - Affirmative 7959
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 929, Com. Serv. - EAPD: Educ. - Departmental Impediments,
Mr. D. Dexter 7959
No. 930, Health - Spending: Control - Lack Explain,
Mr. Michel Samson 7960
No. 931, Nat. Res. - Game Sanctuaries/Wildlife Areas:
Delisting Review - Plans, Mr. D. Dexter 7961
No. 932, Gaming - N.S. Gaming Corp.: Great Cdn. Gaming Corp. -
Agreement Details, Mr. Michel Samson 7963
No. 933, African N.S. Affs. - Africville Residents: Grievances -
Settlement Details, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 7964
No. 934, Com. Serv.: Sunrise Manor - Safety Concerns, Mr. F. Corbett 7965
No. 935, TPW - Marine Atl. Advisory Comm.: Layoffs - Prevent,
Mr. Gerald Sampson 7966
No. 936, Educ. - School Libraries: Prov. Coordinator - Appoint,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7967
No. 937, Aboriginal Affs. - Treaty Issues: Umbrella Agreement -
Details, Mr. H. Epstein^ 7969
No. 938, Health - Pharmacare Prem./GIS: Seniors - Inform,
Mr. S. MacNeil 7970
No. 939, Health - Prevnar Vaccine: Cutoff Date - Explain,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 7971
No. 940, Educ. - Rankin Sch.: Delay - Explain, Mr. Gerald Sampson 7972
No. 941, TPW - Ceilidh Subdivision: Residents - Assistance,
Mr. G. Gosse 7973
No. 942, TPW: Scotch Lake/MacDonald Rds. - Repair,
Mr. Gerald Sampson 7974
No. 943, Com. Serv. - Port Hawkesbury: Commun.-Based Housing -
Need, Mr. G. Gosse 7976
No. 944, Health - Richmond Villa: Costr. - Time Frame,
Mr. Michel Samson 7977
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 221, Environment Act, Mr. J. DeWolfe 7978
PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 203, Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act 7978
Mr. J. Pye 7978
Adjourned debate 7984
No. 219, Trade Union Act 7984
Mr. D. Dexter 7984
Hon. K. Morash 7985
Mr. D. Dexter 7986
Vote - Affirmative 7986
No. 212, Health Insurance Protection Act 7987
Ms. M. Raymond 7987
Vote - Affirmative 7987
No. 169, Farm Registration Act 7987
Mr. S. McNeil 7987
Hon. C. d'Entremont 7988
Mr. J. MacDonell 7988
Mr. S. McNeil 7989
Vote - Affirmative 7989
No. 181, Occupational Health and Safety Act 7989
Mr. Manning MacDonald 7989
Mr. F. Corbett 7990
Mr. Manning MacDonald 7990
Vote - Affirmative 7991
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 216, Beechville Baptist Church Act 7991
Mr. K. Colwell 7991
Mr. W. Estabrooks 7991
Mr. K. Colwell 7993
Vote - Affirmative 7993
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. M. Baker 7993
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 3:04 P.M. 7994
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 3:16 P.M. 7994
CWH REPORTS 7994
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 153, Public Service Act 7996
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 7996
Mr. K. Deveaux 7996
Vote - Affirmative 7996
No. 168, Securities Act 7996
No. 173, Bee Industry Act 7997
Hon. R. Russell 7997
Mr. J. MacDonell 7997
Hon. C. d'Entremont 7998
Vote - Affirmative 7999
No. 162, Public Utilities Act 7999
No. 197, Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act 7999
Mr. D. Dexter 8000
Mr. Michel Samson 8000
Mr. D. Dexter 8001
Vote - Affirmative 8001
No. 207, Provincial Finance Act 8001
Mr. D. Dexter 8001
Mr. Michel Samson 8002
Hon. J. Muir 8003
Mr. D. Dexter 8004
Vote - Affirmative 8004
No. 174, Auditor General Act 8004
Hon. M. Baker 8005
Mr. G. Steele 8005
Hon. M. Baker 8006
Vote - Affirmative 8006
No. 177, Financial Measures (2005) Act 8006
No. 179, Self-managed Support-care Act 8007
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 8007
Mr. J. Pye 8008
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 8008
Vote - Affirmative 8008
No. 180, Municipal Government Act 8008
No. 191, Municipal Law Amendment (2005) Act 8009
No. 192, Alexander Graham Bell Day Act 8009
No. 198, Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission Act 8010
Hon. P. Christie 8010
Mr. K. Deveaux 8010
Hon. P. Christie 8010
Vote - Affirmative 8011
No. 202, Children and Family Services Act 8011
Hon. D. Morse 8011
Ms. M. More 8011
Mr. Manning MacDonald 8013
Hon. D. Morse 8013
Vote - Affirmative 8014
No. 205, Securities Act 8014
No. 206, Camp Bill Foundation Act/Victoria General Hospital
Foundation Act 8014
No. 208, Workers' Compensation Act 8015
Hon. R. Russell 8015
Mr. K. Deveaux 8015
Mr. K. Colwell 8015
Mr. F. Corbett 8016
Hon. K. Morash 8016
Vote - Affirmative 8016
No. 210, Health Authorities Act 8016
No. 79, Petroleum Products Pricing Act 8017
Hon. B. Barnet 8017
Mr. F. Corbett 8017
Mr. Gerald Sampson 8018
Hon. B. Barnet 8018
Vote - Affirmative 8018
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Law Amendments Committee, Hon. M. Baker 8019
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 4:15 P.M. 8019
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 4:16 P.M. 8019
CWH REPORTS 8019
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 169, Farm Registration Act 8020
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Sysco - Employees: Pensions - Index:
Mr. G. Gosse 8021
Mr. D. Dexter 8023
Mr. Manning MacDonald 8024
HOUSE RECESSED AT 4:37 P.M. 8027
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:05 P.M. 8027
ARRIVAL OF THE ADMINISTRATOR 8027
BILLS GIVEN ROYAL ASSENT:
Nos. 79, 117 8027
Nos. 134, 145, 146, 147, 148, 152, 153, 158, 159 8028
Nos. 160, 161, 162, 165, 168, 169, 173, 174, 177, 179, 180, 191, 192 8028
Nos. 197, 198, 202, 205, 206, 207, 208, 210 8029
No. 215 8029
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again at the call of the Speaker 8030
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4326, Health - Nursing Homes: Digby-Annapolis - Locate,
Mr. H. Theriault 8031
Res. 4327, Woodbury, Christine - Lake Charles Acad.: Sch. Prep. -
Congrats., Mr. G. Hines 8031
Res. 4328, Nicholson, Ted - New Minas: Commun. Serv. -
Acknowledge, Hon. D. Morse 8032
Res. 4329, Messon, Marvin - New Minas: Commun. Serv. -
Recognize, Hon. D. Morse 8032
Res. 4330, MacDonald, Lida: Death of - Tribute, Hon. D. Morse 8033
Res. 4331, Nat. Res. - Geoscience Conf.: Delegates - Welcome,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 8033
Res. 4332, Dauphinee, Dave/Owen, Tim - Trout N.S. Award,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 8034
Res. 4333, Argyle Mun. Dist. - Anniv. (125th), Hon. C. d'Entremont 8034
Res. 4334, LeBlanc, Anna: Commun. Contribution - Recognize,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 8035
Res. 4335, LeBlanc, Anna: Communauté Contribution - Reconnaître,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 8035
Res. 4336, Astral Dr. JHS - Athletics: Season - Congrats.,
Mr. K. Deveaux 8036
Res. 4337, Nickerson, Stephen: Teacher of the Yr. -
S Shore Dist. Sch. Bd., Hon. K. Morash 8036
Res. 4338, Young, David: Blood Donations - Congrats.,
Hon. K. Morash 8037
Res. 4339, Dean, Cecil: WWII Serv. - Applaud, Hon. K. Morash 8037
Res. 4340, Titans Gymnastic & Trampoline Org.: Trampoline &
Tumbling Championships - Host, Mr. D. Dexter 8038
Res. 4341, Heritage Buildings (N.S.): Hist. Significance -
Understand, Mr. J. DeWolfe 8038
Res. 4342, MacMillan, Anne: Commun. Serv. & Dev. Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8039
Res. 4343, Abdelmagid, Shayma - Multicultural Awareness Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8039
Res. 4344, Farmer, Walter - E. Hants Mun. Shining Star Award,
Mr. J. MacDonell 8040
Res. 4345, Ramsey, Walter - E. Hants Mun. Shining Star Award,
Mr. J. MacDonell 8040
Res. 4346, Travers, Scott: Atl. Can. Top CEOs - Ranking,
Hon. R. Russell 8041
Res. 4347, Lun. Co. United Way: Fundraising Campaign - Congrats.,
Hon. M. Baker 8041
Res. 4348, Lun. Reg. Recycling & Composting Facility/
Donna Sampson's Gr. 6 Class: Efforts - Congrats., Hon. M. Baker 8042
Res. 4349, Kappa Laureate Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi -
Cdn. Cancer Soc. Award, The Premier 8042
Res. 4350, MacKay, Anita - Cdn. Cancer Soc. Award, The Premier 8043
Res. 4351, MacDonald, Gordon "Bookie" - Cdn. Cancer Soc. Award,
The Premier 8043
Res. 4352, Lipton, Mary Eva: Death of - Tribute, The Premier 8044
Res. 4353, McLean, Maren - New Glasgow Music Fest. Award,
The Premier 8044
Res. 4354, Aucoin, Sheila - New Glasgow Music Fest. Award,
The Premier 8045
Res. 4355, Creighton, Wilf - Birthday (101st), The Premier 8045
Res. 4356, MacCulloch, Bill - Jack Pink United Way Vol. Award,
The Premier 8046
Res. 4357, Canso Causeway - Anniv. (50th), Mr. Michel Samson 8046
Res. 4358, MacInnis, Jodi: Glow Magazine - Comp.,
Mr. Michel Samson 8047
Res. 4359, Samson, Leonie/Duann, Wilfred: Queen/King -
St. Anne Commun. Nursing Ctr., Mr. Michel Samson 8047
Res. 4360, MacPhee, Cyril - ECMA Participation, Mr. Michel Samson 8048
Res. 4361, Stora Enso: Production Milestone - Congrats.,
Mr. Michel Samson 8048
Res. 4362, Strait Reg. Sch. Bd.: Tsunami Fundraising - Congrats.,
Mr. Michel Samson 8049
Res. 4363, Burke, T.J. - Archibald Award, Mr. Michel Samson 8049
Res. 4364, École Beau-Port: Race Against Drugs Prog. - Participation,
Mr. Michel Samson 8050
Res. 4365, Malcolm, Capt. Scott - Tsunami Relief: Involvement -
Recognize, Mr. Michel Samson 8050
Res. 4366, Springhill HS: Graduates - Congrats., The Speaker 8051
Res. 4367, Simpson, Kyle - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8051
Res. 4368, Bragg, John - Mt. A Chancellor: Installation - Congrats.,
The Speaker 8052
Res. 4369, Springhill Parrsboro Record - Springhill Rotary Club Award,
The Speaker 8052
Res. 4370, Kaluza, Cdt. Tyrel - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8053
Res. 4371, MacDonald, Cpl. Korri - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8053
Res. 4372, Duggan, Cdt. Matthew - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8054
Res. 4373, McLaughlin, Brittany - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8054
Res. 4374, Cole, Naomi - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8055
Res. 4375, Perrin, Cdt. Casey - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8055
Res. 4376, Visser, Robert - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8056
Res. 4377, Matthews, F/Sgt. Ryan - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8056
Res. 4378, Bennett, Sgt. Clifford - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8057
Res. 4379, Paris, F/Sgt. Josh - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8057
Res. 4380, Campbell, AC Malcolm  - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8058
Res. 4381, Yorke, AC Martina - Cadet Award, The Speaker ^Res. 4382, Shaw, Cpt. Alysa - Cadet 8058
Award, The Speaker 8059
Res. 4383, Robert, Cpl. Matthew - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8059
Res. 4384, McCulley, LAC Andrew - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8059
Res. 4385, Milligan, LAC Joni - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8060
Res. 4386, McCulloch, LAC Malcolm - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8060
Res. 4387, Ward, Sgt. Tasha - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8061
Res. 4388, Warren, LAC Hanna - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8061
Res. 4389, Muldoon, LAC Victor - Cadet Award, The Speaker 8062
Res. 4390, N.S. Intermediate Baseball League: Exec. - Commend,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8062
Res. 4391, Myra, Jim & Jamie: Stan's Dad & Lad - Anniv. (50th),
Hon. M. Baker 8063
Res. 4392, Blue Nose Int'l. Marathon: Sponsors/Organizers/Vols./
Participants -Thank, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 8063
Res. 4393, Goulden, Paul: Kingstec Serv. - Thank, Mr. L. Glavine 8064
Res. 4394, Atwood, Ms. Jerry - SW Shore Dev. Auth.: Retirement -
Congrats., Mr. C. O'Donnell 8064
Res. 4395, Moses, Anne - Educ. Wk. Award, Hon. R. Hurlburt 8065
Res. 4396, Doucette, Greg - Powerlifting Championships,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 8065
Res. 4397, Yarmouth Vanguard - Newspaper Assoc. Awards,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 8066
Res. 4398, Reid, Bob/Murphy, John: Serv. (50 yrs.) - Congrats.,
Hon. R. Hurlburt 8066
Res. 4399, Field, Renee - Commun. Serv. & Dev. Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8067
Res. 4400, Young, Cst. Mark - Educ., Training & Youth Dev. Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8067
Res. 4401, Mason, Don: Hfx. Reg. Water Comm'n.: Chairman -
Appt., Ms. D. Whalen 8068
Res. 4402, Miller, Chris - Environ., Conserv., Heritage and
Animal Welfare Award, Ms. D. Whalen 8068
Res. 4403, Devanney, Burris - Health & Well-Being Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8069
Res. 4404, Robinson, Darrell: Scotia Tire - Anniv. (35th),
Ms. D. Whalen 8069
Res. 4405, Kean, Jerry - Commun. Serv. & Dev. Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8070
Res. 4406, Sidney, Krista - Educ., Training & Youth Dev. Award,
Ms. D. Whalen 8070
Res. 4407, Cdn. Lebanese Chamber of Comm.: Founders - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 8071
Res. 4408, MacDonald, Angus: Ambac Lumber -
Forestry Stewardship Recognition, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8071
Res. 4409, Blue Valley Mills & Dist. FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8072
Res. 4410, Port Hood FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8072
Res. 4411, Port Hastings FD: Exec./Firefighters - Commend,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8073
Res. 4412, NE Margaree FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8073
Res. 4413, Lemoine FD Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8074
Res. 4414, Judique & Dist. FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8074
Res. 4415, Lake Ainslie FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8075
Res. 4416, Cheticamp FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8075
Res. 4417, W Bay Rd. & Dist. FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8076
Res. 4418, Whycocomagh FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8076
Res. 4419, Port Hawkesbury FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8077
Res. 4420, Pleasant Bay FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8077
Res. 4421, Margaree FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8078
Res. 4422, Mabou & Dist. FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8078
Res. 4423, Inverness FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8079
Res. 4424, Blue Mills & Area FD: Exec./Firefighters -
Commend, Hon. Rodney MacDonald 8079
NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS:
No. 13, Environ. & Lbr.: Pictou Causeway - Area Visit,
Mr. C. Parker 8080
No. 10, TPW - Hants East: Operations Sheds/Crews -
Reduction Explain, Mr. J. MacDonell 8081
No. 11, TPW - Pictou Hbr.: Bridge - Consider, Mr. C. Parker 8082
No. 3, Hum. Res. - PSC: Post-Sec. Grads - Employment Opportunities,
Mr. G. Gosse 8082
No. 2, Health - Arthritis Medication: Formulary - Coverage,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 8083
No. 5, Com. Serv.: ESIA Calculation - Details, Ms. M. More 8084
No. 6, Com. Serv.: Shannon Pk. Housing Stock - Update, Mr. J. Pye 8086

[Page 7919]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2005

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

12:00 NOON

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. James DeWolfe, Ms. Joan Massey, Mr. Daniel Graham

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased today to introduce to the members of the Legislature, a Grade 9 French immersion class from Sackville Heights Junior High School. Along with them are teachers and leaders Georges Lanoue, Michelle Luff and Mrs. MacKenzie. They are in the east gallery opposite. This is my former junior high school and I'm very proud of the students that Sackville Heights Junior High School produces.

I would like to say, before I take my seat, Mr. Speaker, that I would like to have made this introduction in French but after five classes of French, I recognize I'm not able to do that yet but soon. I would ask the members of the Legislature to afford the guests in the east gallery the usual warm welcome and I ask them to rise as they receive that warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our special guests to the gallery today and hope they enjoy the proceedings.

7919

[Page 7920]

Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Hants East:

Therefore be it resolved that this government commit to indexing pensions for former Sysco employees to the consumer price index, representing a true cost-of-living increase.

This will be debated this evening at 6:00 p.m.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

MS. JOAN MASSEY: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition entitled Ban the Use of Vision on Crown Land. It has 127 signatures and the operative clause reads, "The Dalhousie Environmental Law Students Society (ELSS) and the undersigned Dalhousie Law School faculty and students give their full support to Resolutions 2252 and 2254, banning the use of Vision (glyphosate) on Crown land and in Nova Scotia generally." I have affixed my signature.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health Promotion.

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as promised, I rise today to speak to the issue of smoke-free places and protecting Nova Scotians from tobacco. We have always kept an open mind when it comes to this issue. We have heard loud and clear from the province's community health board that they want a 100 per cent ban. The government has been clear that we want a 100 per cent ban. We have heard from the Opposition that they want a 100 per cent ban. The fact of the matter is, there is nobody in this government who doesn't want to see better protection from tobacco smoke for all Nova Scotians. As the Premier has said, a complete ban is not a matter of if but a matter of when and I stand today to tell you that on December 1, 2006, we will institute a complete, 100 per cent ban.

[Page 7921]

Mr. Speaker, we have made significant progress in this province when it comes to tobacco control. Not that long ago, Nova Scotia had the highest smoking rate in the country. In 2001, 30 per cent of our population was smoking. Today our smoking rate is 22 per cent. While this is positive progress, there is still much work to be done. Our tobacco control strategy was launched in October 2001. That's when we really started making progress. We started breathing easier. Our Smoke-free Places Act came into effect January 2003, and was one of the strongest pieces of anti-smoking legislation in Canada. Our primary goal was to protect young people against tobacco smoke.

This legislation was fair, effective and workable. It was a huge step forward in terms of protecting people, particularly our children, from the dangers of second-hand tobacco smoke. At that time, people asked why we weren't implementing a full ban, and the Minister of Health, my colleague, now the Minister of Education, indicated that the partial ban was a significant step forward and that attitudes towards smoking are changing, and that he believed that one day we would see a 100 per cent ban.

[12:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, it was never a matter of if, but a matter of when. Many other provinces have since introduced anti-smoking legislation. Many municipalities across the province have enacted smoke-free bylaws above and beyond the provincial law. I commend them and invite others to join them should they do so. Legislation is just one part, and here in Nova Scotia we're tackling smoking from every angle. The tobacco control strategy is a comprehensive strategy that includes seven key components: taxation, legislation and policy, community-based programs, cessation programs, youth prevention, media and public awareness, and evaluation.

Our investment this year in the tobacco strategy is $2.2 million. We are continually assessing the progress being made by the public awareness campaign, legislation and the strategy as a whole. We are committed to keeping this strategy among the top priorities in Nova Scotia, and working toward a healthier, smoke-free province. In January, National Non-Smoking Month, we released our tobacco strategy progress report. Mr. Speaker, the report highlighted the fact that our overall smoking rate has decreased by 8 per cent since 2000. In addition, children's exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke in the home has declined. One of those youth prevention activities was introduced in February of this year. You Choose is a tobacco education resource for teachers and students. It encourages high school students to think critically about the tobacco industry advertising.

Mr. Speaker, we are tackling smoking from many fronts. This step that we are announcing today is a tangible step in the right direction. I never speak about the tobacco strategy without recognizing our many stakeholders. They've been working on the smoking issue for many years, and they came together to develop the provincial tobacco strategy. In the Speaker's Gallery, I would point out Dr. Robert Strang, Smoke-Free Nova Scotia, also

[Page 7922]

our tobacco coordinator, Nancy Hoddinott, our Executive Director of Health Promotion. I would ask them to receive the warm welcome of the House, so I might as well while they're here. (Applause)

The progress we've seen is a result of combined efforts, the strategy, the support of the stakeholders, and the work of many dedicated organizations, like Smoke-Free Nova Scotia, Cancer Care Nova Scotia, and many others. It shows what can happen when we have a community of interest rallying around a particular issue. Though we have made progress, our push for a smoke-free province will not slow down. Our fight against tobacco use is ongoing and December 1, 2006, will be marked as a milestone in our work towards a healthier Nova Scotia. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to start by thanking the honourable minister for providing me with a copy of his ministerial statement prior to arriving here in the Legislature this morning. Indeed it is a good announcement and the minister is to be congratulated for bringing this forward. It's something certainly that I and members of the NDP caucus have been in favour of since the first day I arrived in this Legislature. I remember very well raising this matter here in my first term in the Legislature, with a different government and a Minister of Health in the Liberal Party, and encouraging that government to take some initiative and provide some leadership.

Mr. Speaker, when the government did introduce smoke-free places legislation back in I think the Spring of 2002 or possibly the Fall of 2002, the position of the NDP caucus was that the bill did not go far enough and that bill, you will remember, had exemptions for the casino. It has exemptions for a variety of public places and bars, for example, after a particular time at night were exempted. We expressed strong reservations about the lack of protection for workers in these places who are being subjected to second-hand smoke and the terrible toll that this can take on their health.

Mr. Speaker, we were very concerned that restaurants and bars would invest in ventilated rooms which have not been empirically established as providing any level of significant protection from exposure to second-hand smoke, not only for patrons but also for workers in these establishments. If there is anything that I regret about the manner in which the government has gone about introducing smoke-free protection in the province, it's that they didn't make the hard decision back in 2002 and, in fact, put restaurants and bars in a position where they invested a significant amount of resources into what we all knew at the time would eventually have to go because the public will is for a complete ban in this province. The right thing to do in terms of people's health is a complete ban in this province.

[Page 7923]

At that time as well what the government's legislation did was it left municipalities really on their own and they saw a patchwork of municipal bylaws. The Smoke-free Places Act and the government's anti-tobacco strategy have had a positive impact, and I think we have to give credit where credit is due. The number of young people who are taking up smoking has dropped significantly. But it's not all good news, there is a growing number of young adults who are smoking and this is something we really need to tackle.

I've raised in this House point-of-sale regulations so that children's videos and treats are not sold in Superstores and other grocery stores beside tobacco displays. We've had a Supreme Court of Canada ruling on legislation in other provinces - Manitoba - that has upheld the provincial government's jurisdictional right to implement point-of-sale legislation and I would encourage this government to consider doing this. It's certainly something we're very committed to.

With those remarks I will say to the minister that this is a good announcement, we will look forward to the actual details if the Smoke-free Places Act is amended in the very near future, and I can guarantee the minister that, pending the actual detailed reading of that legislation in principle, the NDP caucus fully supports a 100 per cent smoke-free ban in Nova Scotia. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I would also like to thank the minister today for providing an advance copy of his remarks before he made his announcement in the Legislature today.

I'm pleased to respond to that statement and look forward to commenting further as well. It's a positive step the minister has made today. It models leadership that has been shown by other jurisdictions throughout the country. It makes sense, given that other municipalities have shown leadership quite some time ago. They've introduced bylaws that would make 100 per cent indoor smoke-free places. There are now 12 out of 55 municipal units in Nova Scotia that have smoke free legislation. There are some municipal units which have shown vision - for instance the Cape Breton Regional Municipality some time ago moved ahead with 100 per cent smoke-free legislation within the municipal unit, as well as in HRM, there's been vision there as well.

The announcement today ties in nicely with how other municipalities across the province are moving. It's something that we have supported for quite some time - the fact that Nova Scotia should have a 100 per cent indoor smoke-free places was part of the Liberal Party's 2003 election platform. We're proud of that, we're proud to continue saying that Nova Scotia should indeed be 100 per cent smoke free.

[Page 7924]

The minister states himself that it was never a matter of if but a matter of when. We in the Liberal caucus will make sure that the minister lives up to that statement because the lives of Nova Scotians are at stake, there's nothing more important. I look forward to future initiatives from this minister and I welcome and congratulate him on his announcement here today.

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 4285

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

Whereas Antigonish native Janet Hazelton worked as a nurse at the Colchester Regional Hospital for many years before assuming her first term as president of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union in 2002; and

Whereas Ms. Hazelton has worked diligently, since then, to represent the interests of 5,500 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who work in acute and long-term care, with the VON and Canadian Blood Services; and

Whereas the members of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union have reaffirmed Ms. Hazelton's leadership at their annual general meeting this week;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contribution nurses make to the health of our communities and congratulate Janet Hazelton for winning another term as president of the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union.

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 Health.

[Page 7925]

RESOLUTION NO. 4286

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

Whereas Maureen Leslie, a 28-year-old paramedic, works every day to save lives in the communities stretching from Musquodoboit Harbour and Noel, Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Ms. Leslie is an active volunteer in her community, raising funds and awareness of health issues including diabetes, and she spends time helping children and the public understand Nova Scotia's emergency services system; and

Whereas Ms. Leslie contributes to the knowledge and education of her colleagues in paramedicine by helping to develop on-line continuing education courses;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House applaud Maureen Leslie who was named Paramedic of the Year by the Nova Scotia College of Paramedics.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 4287

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

Whereas the theme of our province's solid waste-resource management strategy is Nova Scotia - Too Good to Waste; and

[Page 7926]

Whereas students and staff at South Queens Junior High School are taking that theme to heart by forming a Green Committee to educate students on how to ensure garbage is being sorted properly; and

Whereas students Daniel Brooks, Walter Fisher, Damon Whynot and Christian Wilkins have formed a Green Team that collects and cleans the recyclables from the school to raise both money and awareness;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate students and staff at South Queens Junior High School, and in particular to members of the Green Team, for their dedication to helping the environment of Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 4288

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

Whereas a man who is known for his infectious laugh, his incredibly kind and giving spirit and devotion to both the church and the many other causes close to his heart, Reverend Donald Sutherland was recently honoured in his community; and

Whereas Reverend Sutherland was recently presented by the Salem United Church with the honorary title of Minister Emeritus; and

Whereas this proud Pictou County resident was presented with a certificate of acknowledgement from the session, the congregation and the Presbytery of Pictou County for his many years of faithful service to the United Church of Canada and for his many outstanding accomplishments in his many charges which have included River John, Trinity

[Page 7927]

United in New Glasgow, as well as Whycocomagh-East Lake Ainslie and St. Stephen's, New Brunswick;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the tremendous life and faith of Reverend Donald Sutherland whose ministry, especially the many years in Nova Scotia, has touched the lives of so many and wish him well as he continues in that role as Minister Emeritus.

[12:30 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

RESOLUTION NO. 4289

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

Whereas Martin Delaney, Executive Director of Highway Operations with the Department of Transportation and Public Works, has worked on behalf of the people and Province of Nova Scotia as a member of our Civil Service for 35 years; and

Whereas Mr. Delaney, a professional engineer, has helped improve the transportation network of this province, serving with dedication and commitment, earning the respect of his staff and colleagues within both the public and private sectors; and

Whereas Mr. Delaney is retiring from the Civil Service on May 31st;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly extend its appreciation to Martin Delaney for his years of service and wish him well as he moves on to the next stage of his life.

[Page 7928]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 220 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 475 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Trade Union Act. (Mr. Frank Corbett)

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

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4290

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

Whereas Eastern Passage Education Centre has a strong tradition of excellent athletic teams and has become a formidable force in junior high school athletics in its short history; and

Whereas at the recent Nova Scotia Athletic Federation Wrestling Championship, Eastern Passage Education Centre won seven individual gold medals in both boys and girls junior and intermediate divisions; and

Whereas Eastern Passage Education Centre won the Halifax Regional Junior High School Wrestling Championship for the sixth straight year;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Eastern Passage Education Centre wrestling team on winning its sixth straight junior boys championship and thank Coach Derek Bridgehouse and wrestlers Christian Maillet, David Jakeman, Travis England, Bryant

[Page 7929]

Kennaley, Shawn Day-Finlay, Dylan Straus and Samantha Baker on winning the provincial wrestling championship in their weight class.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

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 Leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia and members of the Liberal caucus have voted to support Bill No. 79, the Petroleum Products Pricing Act; and

Whereas the next step in giving relief to independent gas retailers and protection to consumers is for government to recall Bill No. 79, which is now in the Law Amendments Committee; and

Whereas independent retailers and consumers have voiced their concerns many times on this issue;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House do what is necessary to find a solution in the best interest of all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is out of order. It is about a bill that is before the House at this time, requesting that the House take certain measures with regard to the bill.

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

[Page 7930]

RESOLUTION NO. 4291

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 National Karate Championships took place last month in Halifax with the Dave Kelly family from Fall River placing strongly; and

Whereas parent Dave was the volunteer project coordinator of the national event and is also a member of the 2005 National Championship Committee; and

Whereas Dave's children, teenagers Steven and Justine took home national team medals with Steven leading the Nova Scotia team to the gold medal round before settling for a silver medal, while Justine competing in her first national event combined with her teammates to take home a bronze medal in Juvenile Girls Kumite;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House extend their best wishes to Dave, Steven and Justine Kelly for their devotion and dedication to the sport of karate and wish them nothing but 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 Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 4292

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

Whereas John Allan Cameron is considered by many to be the Godfather of Celtic Music; and

[Page 7931]

Whereas tonight at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium there will be a tribute concert held in his honour; and

Whereas some of Cape Breton's greatest talents will be there such as Rita MacNeil, members of the Rankin family, and the Barra MacNeils, just to name a few;

Therefore be it resolved that this House thank John Allan Cameron for bringing our music to the world stage and showing everyone with his talent and generosity that he is truly the Godfather of Celtic Music.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 4293

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: M. le Président, à une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que Donna Gallant a récemment été choisie comme bénévolé représentant la municipipalité de Richmond et qu'elle a été reconnue banquet provincial des bénévoles; et

Attendu que Donna, une résidante de Petit-de-Grat, a passé une grande partie de sa vie à faire du bénévolat pour divers organismes, particulièrement ceux qui sont associés à la communauté acadienne de l'Isle Madame; et

Attendu que ses activités de bénévolat incluent plus de 25 ans auprès du Festival Acadien du Petit-de-Grat et 20 ans auprès des Femmes Acadiennes en Marche,et qu'elle est actuellement membre du conseil d'administration de la Co-opérative de la Radio Richmond et bénévole auprès des Amis de la Picasse pour l'organisation des nombreuses réceptions et activités communautaires du Centre la Picasse;

[Page 7932]

Qu'il soit résolu que l'Assemblée législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse reconnaisse Donna Gallant, choisie bénévole de l'année à Richmond, et la félicite pour son dévouement continu et le leadership don't elle fait preuve dans sa communauté.

M. le Président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas Donna Gallant was recently chosen to be the representative volunteer for the Municipality of Richmond and was recognized at the provincial volunteer banquet; and

Whereas Donna, a resident of Petit-de-Grat, has spent most of her life volunteering with various organizations, especially those dealing with the Acadian community on Ile Madame; and

Whereas this has included over 25 years with the Festival Acadien du Petit-de-Grat, 20 years with Les Femme Acadiennes en Marche, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Co-opérative de la Radio Richmond, while also volunteering with Les Amis de la Picasse, dedicating her time to the many community activities and receptions hosted at Centre la Picasse;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly recognize Donna Gallant for being selected as the Richmond Volunteer of the Year and commend her for her constant dedication and leadership to her 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 Kings North.

[Page 7933]

RESOLUTION NO. 4294

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

Whereas in late September, Lucas Porter of Port Williams will become part of a select group of Canadian musicians to play at the World's Fair in Japan; and

Whereas 13-year-old Lucas who plays classical piano will join Canadian luminaries such as Alanis Morissette at the World's Fair in Aichi, Japan; and

Whereas Lucas is one of three applicants chosen to play from more than 1,000 submitted applications, and presently is working on the most advanced diploma offered by the Royal Conservatory of Music, while taking lessons from one of North America's top piano teachers, Marc Durand;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House extend their sincere congratulations to Lucas on his immense success and wish him the very best as he prepares to perform in Japan this Fall.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4295

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

Whereas teams of students from high schools across the province annually come together at Saint Mary's University to compete for the coveted Ozmon Trophy; and

[Page 7934]

Whereas the Ozmon Trophy is awarded to the high school whose students can solve the most number of challenging computer problems in the least amount of time; and

Whereas students Chris Adams and Michael Dillon from Auburn High School in Cole Harbour, successfully defended the school's title and won the computing programming competition for their school for the third consecutive year;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Chris Adams and Michael Dillon on winning the computer competition and the Ozman Trophy for Auburn High School and extend thanks to the organizers and sponsors of this annual event.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 4296

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: M. le Président, à une date ultérieurere, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu qu'en juillet 2005, Réal Samson prendra une retraite bien méritée après trente années de service en tant que fonctionnaire dévoué au service de la Nouvelle-Écosse, et plus particulièrement de la communauté acadienne; et

Attendu que depuis 2002, M. Samson a occupé avec distinction le poste de conseiller spécial au ministre des Affaires Acadiennes et que son engagement envers l'amélioration des services en français au sein du gouvernement est digne de reconnaissance; et

Attendu que sous la direction de Réal, la première loi sur les services en français a été proclamée, des politiques internes pour l'amélioration de la prestation des services en français ont été élaborées et maintenant, des négociations sont en cours avec notre gouvernement fédéral en vue de l'augmentation du financement pour les service en français;

[Page 7935]

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les membres de cette assemblée reconnaissent la contribution de Réal Samson à l'amélioration de la qualité de vie des Acadiens ainsi qu'à la province de la Nouvelle-Écosse, et lui souhaitent de nombreuses années de santé, de bonheur et de succès dans ses projets futurs.

M. le Président, je demande l'adoption de cette résolution sans préavis et sans débat.

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

Whereas in July 2005, Réal Samson will begin his well-deserved retirement after 30 years as a dedicated public servant, serving Nova Scotia, especially the Acadian community; and

Whereas since 2002, Mr. Samson has served as a special advisor to the Department of Acadian Affairs with distinction, his commitment to improving French services throughout government is to be commended; and

Whereas under Réal's guidance we have seen the first French language legislation, a development of internal policies to improve the delivery of French services, and are now in negotiation with our federal government to increase funding to this area;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contribution made by Réal Samson to improving not only the lives of Acadians, but to Nova Scotia as a province, and wish him many years of health, happiness and success in his future endeavors.

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.

[Page 7936]

RESOLUTION NO. 4297

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

Whereas Pauline Erma Cook, mother of Barbara Gerhardt and Armenia Corkum, grandmother of Krista Locke, Kent Gerhardt and Scott Corkum, celebrated her 100th birthday on May 17, 2005; and

Whereas Pauline has been a long-time resident of Lunenburg County; and

Whereas Ms. Cook's birthday gives us an opportunity to celebrate a dedicated family and community member;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House send Pauline Cook best wishes for her 100th birthday.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 4298

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

Whereas Dr. Joan Cummings has had a long and distinguished career as a social worker, academic and researcher, including her long service as a faculty member of the Maritime School of Social Work; and

Whereas Dr. Cummings has been and continues to be a tireless and effective advocate for disabled persons, which has included serving as the vice-chairman, chairman and past chairman of the Nova Scotia Disabled Persons Commission; and

[Page 7937]

Whereas Dr. Cummings will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University at their Health Professions Convocation on May 26th;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Dr. Joan Cummings on receiving this honorary degree from Dalhousie University and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4299

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

Whereas the members of the Senior Boys Volleyball Team at Western Kings District High School in Auburn have achieved medals at the provincial level for seven consecutive years under the coaching of Morgan Snow; and

Whereas the skills and dedication to the team, the game of volleyball have resulted in the team obtaining five gold medals and two silver medals in the Division I Provincial Championships; and

Whereas the team has achieved gold medals for three consecutive years, 2002 to 2004, at the highest level of competition in the province;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House acknowledge and congratulate Mr. Morgan Snow and members of the Senior Boys Volleyball Wolverines for their many successes.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 7938]

[12:45 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Eastern Shore.

RESOLUTION NO. 4300

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

Whereas 10 years is a milestone in any arrangement; and

Whereas 10 years ago tomorrow, May 20th, Chris and Anne d'Entremont of Belleville will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary; and

Whereas 10 years of marriage must have meant an ample amount of patience, of understanding and of dedication on Anne's part;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Chris and Anne d'Entremont on their 10th Anniversary, and commend Anne for her heroic and outstanding commitment. (Applause)

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 7939]

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4301

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

Whereas on Monday, March 28, 2005, an accident occurred on the Louisbourg highway, Route 22, involving two motor vehicles and seven persons; and

Whereas Michael MacNeil and Jeff Ormond arrived on the scene and helped pull the injured from the vehicles, before one of the vehicles caught fire; and

Whereas the quick action of Michael MacNeil and Jeff Ormond was instrumental in saving the life of Arlene Campbell while attending to others at this accident;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House of Assembly congratulate Michael MacNeil and Jeff Ormond for their act of courage on March 28, 2005, risking their own health to save Arlene Campbell.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4302

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

Whereas recognition of veterans, especially in this Year of the Veteran, has been seen as a most appropriate action; and

[Page 7940]

Whereas Canada's First Nations people offered and too often gave their lives so that all Canadians could enjoy the freedom our democracy stands for; and

Whereas Mr. Noel Knockwood and Mr. Joe Michael who represent the Indian Brook First Nation, accompanied by other First Nations representatives from across the country, will participate in ceremonies this June to honour the spirits of fallen First Nations soldiers;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the ultimate sacrifice that First Nations soldiers made for this country, and wish Mr. Knockwood and Mr. Michael best wishes as they embark on this pilgrimage of respect for fallen First Nations soldiers. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 4303

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

Whereas on May 10, 2005, Mike Whalen of Halifax celebrated his 50th birthday with close family and friends; and

Whereas Michael has met this milestone with his usual mixture of stoicism and humour; and

Whereas Mike and his family are blessed with good friends, good fortune and many blessings in their chosen home of Halifax;

[Page 7941]

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and in particular the member for Halifax Clayton Park, congratulate Mike Whalen on this important milestone in his life and wish him continued success in his work and personal life. (Applause)

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. 4304

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 four weeks ago, on April 22nd, Mary Surette, mother to my friend and executive assistance, lost her battle with cancer; and

Whereas many of us within this Chamber and, indeed, many Nova Scotians are touched by this dreadful disease; and

Whereas Mary was a devoted mother, raising six children and taking care of one other, while her husband, Ralph, earned a difficult living as a lobster and scallop fisherman;

Therefore be it resolved that this House join me in sending its condolences to Mary's husband, Ralph; children, Paul, Gary, Marilyn, Lisa, Kevin, Dana and Amber; to her sisters Greta and Florence; and, indeed, to all Nova Scotians who have lost loved ones to cancer.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 7942]

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. 4305

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 Dartmouth Choral Society has been a part of the long-established musical tradition in the community; and

Whereas on Saturday, June 4, 2005, the Dartmouth Choral Society celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a gala concert at St. Thomas More Church in Dartmouth; and

Whereas this celebration in concert will feature members of Symphony Nova Scotia performing Cherubini's Requiem in C-minor under the direction of conductor Shawn Whynot and selections from the first concert in May 1955, by the choir with accompanist Pam Burton;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Dartmouth Choral Society on its 50th Anniversary celebration and thank the members of the choir for their contribution to this musical tradition.

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 Annapolis.

[Page 7943]

RESOLUTION NO. 4306

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

Whereas in 1996, the Canadian Coast Guard announced at a public meeting attended by tourism operators and provincial government representatives that lighthouses were soon to become redundant as navigational aids; and

Whereas in 1999, the Atlantic Lighthouse Council was formed as a partnership of tourism operators and relevant provincial and federal departments to develop a sustainable strategy to preserve lighthouses through a lighthouse trust; and

Whereas in 2003, the Lighthouse Council proposed implementation of said strategy which was supported by both the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia and the South Shore "Lighthouse Route" Tourism Association;

Therefore be it resolved that the Department of Tourism recognize the importance of lighthouses to the economy and well-being of all Nova Scotians and support efforts to save Nova Scotia lighthouses.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 4307

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

Whereas Maurice Eugene Whynot joined the Royal Canadian Army in 1939 at the age of 24 and was later posted to the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps; and

[Page 7944]

Whereas Mr. Whynot took part in the June 6, 1944, D-Day landing at Juno Beach and subsequently participated in the Liberation of the Netherlands; and

Whereas Liverpool war veteran Maurice Whynot was chosen to represent the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps as part of the official overseas delegation, and was among the thousands of Canadian veterans and their families who took part in the celebration marking the 60th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the House thank Maurice Whynot for his dedication and bravery during World War II, and also for representing the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps through the 60th Anniversary celebrations in Holland.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4308

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

Whereas Doug White of Seafoam, and Lothar Schmitt of Toney River, Pictou County, are donating 10 hectares of hay crop to raise funds for aid projects overseas; and

Whereas the money raised from the sale of this hay crop will go to support the good works of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a coalition of 13 Christian development agencies providing food to famine-stricken countries; and

Whereas while Mr. White has recently lost his sheep barn in a fire, and Mr. Schmitt is recovering from brain surgery, they both still count their blessings and have stated, "charity begins at home, but it doesn't end there";

[Page 7945]

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature congratulate Lothar Schmitt and Doug White, and offer its heartfelt thanks for their project which will help to feed families in places where famine threatens.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 4309

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 Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Public Works has decided as of May 10th that the highway workers Act board would cease to exist, as the members' terms have expired; and

Whereas this situation poses great concern for the union and its membership, as there is now no way of addressing any labour relations problems; and

Whereas problems may arise between now and when a new panel of board members is appointed;

Therefore be it resolved that the employer, the Department of Transportation and Public Works, agree to extend the life of the current highway workers Act board until a new board is appointed, as done on past occasions.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 7946]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4310

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

Whereas Glen Edwards, a Colchester County Councillor, has recently donated blood for the 121st time; and

Whereas Glen Edwards began the practice of giving blood in his late teens after his mother required a transfusion, and he is one of only 1,103 Nova Scotians who have donated blood 100 times; and

Whereas every donation of blood has the power to save three people's lives, and therefore more Nova Scotians should follow Glen's lead and become regular donors;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate and thank Glen Edwards for his exemplary record as a blood donor, and encourage more Nova Scotians to follow his example.

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.

RESOLUTION NO. 4311

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

[Page 7947]

Whereas General Motors of Canada announced April 26, 2005, that it was donating six new vans to agencies of the United Way of Halifax Region; and

Whereas the Community Wheels Program also covers the gas, maintenance and insurance costs, often barriers to transportation programs delivered by non-profit organizations; and

Whereas O'Regan Chevrolet Cadillac hosted the launch, which included people of all ages who will benefit from the increased access to programs and their community;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate General Motors of Canada and their dealers, United Way of Halifax Region, and the successful non-profit organizations on the launch of the Community Wheels Program, and encourage both its expansion and further corporate support of the voluntary sector in Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 4312

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

Whereas Barbara Kane of Clayton Park has been a member of the Halifax Port Authority since 2003; and

Whereas the Port of Halifax creates over 9,000 direct and indirect jobs, and has an economic impact of over $700 million and is an economic powerhouse for the region; and

Whereas Barbara has recently been appointed vice-chairman of the board of directors in recognition of her business acumen and knowledge of the community;

[Page 7948]

Therefore be it resolved that this Legislature acknowledge the contribution that Barbara Kane makes to our community through her continued service as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Halifax Port Authority.

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 Fairview.

RESOLUTION NO. 4313

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

Whereas Alexander Garnet Brown, known to his many friends as "Garnie", served honourably in this House of Assembly, from 1969 to 1978, as the member for Halifax Eastern Shore; and

Whereas Garnie held a series of Cabinet positions, including Minister of Public Works, Minister of Highways, Provincial Secretary, and Canada's first Minister of Recreation, and was very well-regarded on all sides of this House; and

Whereas Garnie recently celebrated a milestone birthday when he turned 75 on May 2nd of this year, and this weekend will be receiving friends and family at his home in Halifax Fairview;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly remember a distinguished former member, Garnie Brown, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, and wish him many happy returns.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 7949]

[1:00 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Energy.

RESOLUTION NO. 4314

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

Whereas the Sydney Mines Storytelling Committee has presented 29 storytelling sessions, involving more than 3,000 people since September 2001, highlighting the people of Sydney Mines and surrounding areas; and

Whereas topics covered are wide and varied, including local history, music and culture, including personal stories and life experiences; and

Whereas storytelling brings people together, helps them talk to each other, celebrates who they are, strengthens their community and makes them proud, thereby playing a role in promoting a healthy community;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in recognizing the valuable contribution being made by volunteers to the community of Sydney Mines and surrounding areas through the presentation of the Sydney Mines Storytelling series.

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 7950]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 4315

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

Whereas the Prospect Road Bulls Bantam 5 Boys Basketball team captured the provincial title for Bantam Boys; and

Whereas this team has had a successful season, finished off with a four-game winning streak; and

Whereas coaches Steve Sampson, Scott Wade and Greg Parsons and all involved enjoyed a great season;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the Prospect Road Bulls on their provincial basketball championship.

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.

Just before we go on to the next resolution, I'd ask the honourable members to bring their attention to the Speaker's Gallery. We have 12 Grade 10 History students from the Oxford Regional High School and they're accompanied here by their teacher, Mr. Keith Hunter, with chaperone parents Jane Brookins and Andy Moore. I'd like to say that the Page that was on the floor here, Meghan Bragg, is also a graduate of that school as well. There's Meghan. We'd like to welcome students, their teacher and the support people here today and I hope you enjoy the proceedings. I'd ask the members of the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause) We hope you enjoy your stay.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

[Page 7951]

RESOLUTION NO. 4316

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 getting what you want usually means getting involved and doing what is necessary; and

Whereas the students, staff and parents at Parkview Education Centre in Bridgewater wanted to develop a field for soccer, football, a six-lane running track, and field jumping pits; and

Whereas additional funding was required to complete the plan;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the students, staff, parents and community volunteers of Parkview Education Centre for holding a very successful Field of Dreams walk/run which raised $22,000 for the realization of their plan.

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. 4317

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

Whereas the Sydney-Toronto Reunion will celebrate its 5th Anniversary from July 30 to August 6, 2005; and

Whereas this year's theme will be celebrating pride in the African-Canadian community of Whitney Pier, where the cultures and experiences of growing up will be shared; and

[Page 7952]

Whereas friends from far and wide, young and old, will be reunited to rekindle the fires and memories of the days gone by;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislative Assembly congratulate the Sydney-Toronto Reunion for their ongoing efforts in strengthening the values of the Whitney Pier community, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in North America.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park on an introduction.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: I'd like to draw the attention of the House to the Speaker's Gallery where we're joined by another group of students who are from Halifax, from Kingsview Academy. Joining us today are Madonna Parris, Natasha Root, Nathan Donahue, Geoff Stuart, Aven Fischer and Michelle Saperstein and they are with their teacher, Tracey Devereaux, who does make a point every year of visiting the Legislature with students from his school. I'd like for you to give him a warm welcome here today. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I welcome our guests to the gallery today and I hope they enjoy the proceedings.

The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 4318

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

Whereas the Bedford Fire Department quietly celebrated their 65th year of operation in 2004, and are now going strong in year 66; and

Whereas the Bedford Fire Department's first station was constructed in 1939, but the role of the fire service in Bedford can be traced back to 1922; and

[Page 7953]

Whereas Bedford uses a combination of paid and volunteer firefighters, with Ed Conway, Gordon Long and Doug Tidgwell presently being the longest-serving volunteers with 35, 31 and 21 years of service respectively;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their best wishes to members of the Bedford Fire Department, both paid and volunteer for their outstanding service, and wish them nothing but 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 Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 4319

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

Whereas Robert (Bob) Tapper, coach and general manager of the Twin Cities Boxing Club, realizing there was community interest in boxing and training, opened a boxing club in Dartmouth North; and

Whereas Bob's love for professional boxing allowed him to witness first-hand the benefits of sparring and boxing, to teach local children and adults the positive attributes of exercising, without the peer pressures they are often exposed to; and

Whereas the Twin Cities Boxing Team of Bob Tapper, Charlie Beals, Doug Cromwell and Phen Marshall have dedicated their time and professional services to the community and club members;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature acknowledge the professional benefits gained through boxing, and congratulate coach Robert (Bob) Tapper, assistants and members for a job well done.

[Page 7954]

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. 4320

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

Whereas Norman "Dutch" Mason, a Lunenburg native and Truro resident, has been named to the Order of Canada; and

Whereas Dutch Mason, for more than 40 years, has been one of our country's most talented and best-known blues musicians; and

Whereas Dutch Mason, known as Canada's Prime Minister of Blues, has played with blues greats such as B.B. King, John Lee Hooker and Oscar Peterson, as well as leading his own band;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate Dutch Mason on earning membership in the Order of Canada, and wish that he will continue to entertain for many years to come.

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 7955]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

RESOLUTION NO. 4321

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

Whereas this year is the 100th Anniversary of Local 1588 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; and

Whereas this local has been involved in building most of Cape Breton's commercial and industrial infrastructure; and

Whereas this local has shown true leadership with education for its membership and its many acts of support for the whole community;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Local 1588 on its 100th Anniversary, as it helps to build the future of Cape Breton.

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 Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

RESOLUTION NO. 4322

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: A Dhuine Chòir:

Air Tàilleabh Gàidhlig a bhi 'ga bruidhinn ann an Alba Nuadh an déidh dà cheud bhliadhna;

Air Tàilleabh gu bheil mìos na Gàidhlig 'na urram do na Gaidheil;

[Page 7956]

Air Tàilleabh móran daoine anns a'mhór-roinn a bhi camail suas na Gàidhlig;

Tha mi ag iarraidh oirbh uile cliù a thoirt do 'n mhìos Mhaigh mar Mhìos na Gàidhlig an Albainn Nuaidh.

Tapadh leibh. (Applause)

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

Whereas the Gaelic language has been a significant part of Nova Scotia's cultural identity for more than 200 years, and thousands of people are learning and speaking the language in our province today; and

Whereas this month is Gaelic Awareness Month, a month aimed at educating Nova Scotians about the link between linguistic development, and its indispensable role for preserving living cultures; and

Whereas Gaelic organizations throughout Nova Scotia are planning activities, lectures and ceilidhs throughout the month of May to celebrate the Gaelic language, culture and traditions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize May as Gaelic Awareness Month, and acknowledge the importance of preserving and promoting the Gaelic language and culture for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

[Page 7957]

RESOLUTION NO. 4323

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

Whereas Reverend Lionel Moriah has been the pastor at the historic Cornwallis Street Baptist Church for the past 10 years; and

Whereas during that time Reverend Moriah has served the church and the larger community with dedication, and has received many accolades and honours; and

Whereas the church will hold a celebration in Reverend Moriah's honour on Saturday, May 21st, which will also mark the 173rd Anniversary of the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Reverend Lionel Moriah on his decade of service at the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church and wish him and his wife all the best as they prepare to take up a new challenge at Acadia University.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 4324

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

Whereas over the next 18 months the Department of Natural Resources will be creating a new forest strategy and plan to consult with the public as part of this process; and

Whereas concerns have been raised with having yet another internal departmental consultation; and

[Page 7958]

Whereas I believe a more meaningful and more effective consultation will be best served by a Voluntary Planning task force on forestry;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urge the Department of Natural Resources to establish a Voluntary Planning task force with a mandate to conduct a series of public meetings and report the results back to the public and to this Legislature.

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 Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 4325

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

Whereas Mr. Wayne Penny will retire on June 30, 2005; and

Whereas Wayne Penny commenced employment at the old Sydney Forum, in the City of Sydney, along with his remaining years of service following amalgamation, a total of 31 years; and

Whereas Wayne Penny has also been a member of the executive of CUPE Local 759 for the past 11 years;

Therefore be it resolved that the Members of the Legislative Assembly congratulate Wayne Penny on his retirement from the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 7959]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 1:13 p.m. and end at 2:13 p.m.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

COM. SERV. - EAPD: EDUC. - DEPARTMENTAL IMPEDIMENTS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, in spite of a learning disability and a serious health problem, Anil Dastidar is pursuing an education degree at Acadia University to become a resource teacher. Mr. Dastidar receives assistance through Employment Assistance for Persons with Disabilities, EAPD, as you may well know. When his student loan was increased this year to meet his special needs, his provincial assistance was cut by the same amount. So my question to the Minister of Community Services is, why does your department make it so difficult for people who want to get an education to increase their independence?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, because this case falls under employability assistance for people with disabilities, I think that it does not follow the same criteria as somebody who would normally be under the program. I believe that the honourable member or somebody has perhaps written me about this case because it rings a bell, and I have referred that back to the employment support caseworker.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, let me give you another example of what happens to people with disabilities as a result of the policy of this department. Mr. Dastidar's mother was chastised for helping him with tuition and when she opened a small RRSP for her son, Community Services confiscated half of it. Nova Scotia prohibits people with disabilities from having money set aside in trust to help with their needs. So if Mr. Dastidar wants any help with his disability, he must go without a savings or trust account for the rest of his life. So I ask the Minister of Community Services, why are your government's policies toward the disabled so regressive?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated in my first answer, with regard to helping clients with disabilities get an education, they are eligible for this federal-provincial cost-shared program, and we do make special provision for them to allow them to maximize their abilities so that they can pursue a career and hopefully do the best they can to enjoy a full life.

[Page 7960]

[1:15 p.m.]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the minister avoided answering the question. This has to do with trust accounts for individuals suffering with disabilities. In fact, it has nothing to do with whether or not they attend university or any training program for that matter. B.C., Alberta, Ontario, and Manitoba allow trust funds up to $100,000 for the disabled that do not affect other supports, including social assistance. These fund special needs in a way that Community Services cannot, they are for families to provide for their disabled children over the long term. My final question for the minister is, why won't he stop discriminating against disabled Nova Scotians and change the legislation to allow for these funds?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the Leader of the Official Opposition for bringing that up. In fact, there is a meeting scheduled today to review that program.

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

HEALTH - SPENDING: CONTROL - LACK EXPLAIN

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it took awhile but we finally got the Premier to admit that there is a health care crisis in this province. Ironically, it was the day after the budget vote that the Premier said he wished to remain on longer to fix the health care crisis, which he only then admitted actually existed. This is the Premier who, in 1999, told Nova Scotians he could fix health care without having to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to do so; $1 billion later, we know that our health care is still growing at an unsustainable rate. The budget is now $2.5 billion, which is consuming 47 per cent of our entire budget. The Premier himself has told us that at this rate, health care will consume the entire provincial budget in the next 20 years. My question to the Premier is, can he explain to Nova Scotians why he has failed to control health care spending during his mandate?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, one of the accomplishments of this government has been the ability to provide significant additional revenues for not only health, but education, at the same time balancing the budget, which was no easy task. I hope in the weeks and months ahead, when there will be, I anticipate, a national debate on the sustainability of health care, that the Leader in the House of the Liberal Party will participate and support this government as it moves forward in developing a sustainable health care delivery system for Nova Scotians.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect, Nova Scotians expect the Nova Scotia Premier to find a Nova Scotia solution to a Nova Scotia problem. In 1999, the Premier didn't talk about national problems and finding national solutions, he said he had the answers. He said he could fix health care - he has failed to do so.

[Page 7961]

Our Party has suggested that it's time that we look to find savings within health care. That has been interpreted by both government and the NDP to mean cuts, which is a most simplistic answer to such a proposition. We have talked about better home care, in-home support, people who are sitting in ICU beds who should be at home, such as Joey MacDonald - real savings. Our Party has asked this government to engage in discussions to try to find real savings in health. My question to the Premier is, what plan can the Premier give Nova Scotians today that our health care system will be sustainable for the future?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite appears to have accepted the premise of the government that there is a challenge before all of us in Canada to deliver health care to an increasingly aging population, within a cost envelope that the country can sustain. I would hope that the acknowledgement by the Leader in the House of the Liberal Party will encourage him to go to his Party Leader and suggest that we not rip out $140 million from the health care budget, adding to our crisis.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, when you allow Nova Scotians to stay at home longer than go into long-term care facilities, when you allow people who suffer from Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, to be able to be home with their family rather than sitting in a nice new bed, that's savings, that's common sense. It's not cuts, there are no nurses being fired, no beds being closed, it's common sense. Either we're going to apply common sense to the Department of Health and work together to review it or we can continue to do what these people over here on my right wish to do, which is spend, spend, spend, which is what your government has been doing.

We can't continue down that road and the Premier knows it so my question is, when will the Premier start a real discussion about the future of health care so that Nova Scotians can know that health care will be there when they need it and, more importantly, it will be sustainable for the future of this province?

THE PREMIER: This is a thought-provoking discussion because the member does bring to the attention of the House an issue that must be of concern to all Canadians, and certainly to all Nova Scotians. We must find a way to improving health care for an increasingly aging population within the envelope of provincial revenues. It is something that no province in this country has yet achieved, but there must be a debate, Mr. Speaker, and this government wants to be part of the debate.

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

NAT. RES. - GAME SANCTUARIES/WILDLIFE AREAS:

DELISTING REVIEW - PLANS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: My question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. On January 17th, this minister's department announced an assessment of Nova Scotia's game

[Page 7962]

sanctuaries and wildlife areas, a review with such preconceived notions as delisting areas such as Liscomb, Chignecto and Blandford. As you know, Mr. Speaker, it was flawed from the very beginning and my caucus and many Nova Scotians fought unrelentingly to have it stopped. In fact, under pressure, the minister announced that none of these areas would be delisted. At the time, of course, I congratulated the minister for his decision, but also urged him to recognize that this was just a first step. So my question for the minister is straightforward, what's next?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: I will tell that member and all members, it was not pressure, it was listening to the concerns of Nova Scotians that made me make my decision. The review is still ongoing until the 31st of this month.

MR. DEXTER: That'll come as a surprise to many of the residents who have met with the minister and who understood him to say that that review was at an end and that no delisting would take place. He met with residents surrounding Blandford, Chignecto and Liscomb and they were here in the House to make their argument. They know, and we know, that these areas are still in danger; in fact, as we speak, logging is occurring on the Liscomb Game Sanctuary. So giving habitat to wildlife is useless if they have no trees. My question is, after taking the initial first step in maintaining what little protection these areas have, what plans does this minister have to offer these and other areas real protection?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Leader of the Official Opposition, I can tell that member that what he cannot understand is that this government is open and transparent and we listen to the concerns of citizens. That's why we have a review going on, the first time since 1920 that there has been a review for our sanctuaries and we are listening to the concerns of Nova Scotians.

MR. DEXTER: If they keep logging on the Liscomb Game Sanctuary it'll be transparent too - you'll be able to see for miles. My question therefore is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. On May 16th, the Minister of Environment and Labour announced amendments to the Special Places Protection Act to make it easier for government to designate new nature reserves for Nova Scotians to enjoy for generations to come. My question to the Minister of Environment and Labour is, when are you going to sit down with the Minister of Natural Resources and use these powers to designate Blandford, Chignecto and Liscomb as nature reserves?

HON. KERRY MORASH: The minister and I discuss these things on a daily basis.

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

[Page 7963]

GAMING - N.S. GAMING CORP.: GREAT CDN. GAMING CORP. - AGREEMENT DETAILS

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister responsible for the Gaming Corporation. When the option to purchase Nova Scotia's two casinos came up, the going price was about $120 million. We now know that the Nova Scotia casinos were actually sold for $74 million. Nova Scotians have expressed concerns as to what the arrangements will be with the new operator of the casinos. According to the Minister of Finance it appears that Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has bought the casinos without knowing the exact contractual obligations they will have with the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation. My question is, is the Minister of Finance absolutely sure that the Gaming Corporation has, in fact, no agreement in place with the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation?

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday to the honourable member for Halifax Citadel, this is a transaction between two corporations. Clearly, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has done their due diligence, they've looked at the various contracts, they've looked at the implications and they've come to an arrangement with the person who owned it. It's an arrangement between two companies.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, we know the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation clearly has a role to play in the administration of Nova Scotia's casinos. What Nova Scotians are asking is exactly what role the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation is playing in the purchase of the casinos by the new owner and wondering if there is going to be any changes in the agreement that was in place with the previous owners. My question to the minister is, are there negotiations taking place between the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation and Great Canadian Gaming to amend or alter the previous agreement that was in place?

MR. CHRISTIE: Yes, Mr. Speaker, there are discussions going on between the Gaming Corporation and Great Canadian. What I indicated the other day is that the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation indicated they want to work in the spirit of co-operation and consultation. They're very clear and they know where this government is going with its gaming strategy. They know that, so, yes there are discussions going on - at some time in the future they'll be concluded.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a bit bizarre that someone would buy casinos without knowing what the rules of engagement are going to be with the controller of gaming in this province. We're basically to believe that Great Canadian Gaming has purchased casinos and are gambling on what the actual agreement is going to be with the Province of Nova Scotia. We know that in the previous agreement there were a number of initiatives in there in which Caesar's was committed to using Nova Scotia products, Nova Scotia services and doing its best to use what could be purchased here in Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, what assurances can he give us that whatever agreement that's finally reached

[Page 7964]

between the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation and Great Canadian Gaming Corporation will actually again protect the interests of Nova Scotians?

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, that is a good question the honourable member raises. We do know that there has been progress made in the last few years with the owners of the casino as to using Nova Scotian products and moving in some of those directions. But what I indicated to the House the other day is that we'd have to have an opportunity now, in the spirit of co-operation, with the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation to work on those and to work on a number of issues. They've indicated, as they said in their press release, they're prepared to work with Nova Scotians, they're prepared to work with the Gaming Corporation to come up with something that's workable for both parties. They're doing that in the context of the gaming strategy that we've laid out for the Province of Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

AFRICAN N.S. AFFS. - AFRICVILLE RESIDENTS:

GRIEVANCES - SETTLEMENT DETAILS

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs. Last year the minister said at a public meeting and also in the press, that he was prepared to take a leadership role in resolving the outstanding dispute between former residents of Africville and HRM. His comments came after the release of the report from the United Nations special rapporteur recommending that Canada settle this outstanding grievance. Well, it's been 30 years since the destruction of Africville and over a year since the minister's comments, and still no solution is in sight. I'd like to ask the minister if he'd tell the House, what steps has he taken to settle the grievances of the residents of Africville since he promised to act one year ago?

[1:30 p.m.]

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to tell the House the steps that I've taken. I can tell the honourable member and the House that as Minister responsible for the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, our staff immediately convened a meeting between ourselves, the federal government and the municipal government. We also attempted to convene a meeting between ourselves, the federal government, the municipal government and the Africville Genealogical Society. Unfortunately, the municipality refused to participate in that meeting. In the meantime, we have held several meetings with the president of the Africville Genealogical Society, as well, independent meetings with the municipality and with the federal government to see if we can broker a solution to this 30-year-old problem. We believe it's a problem that needs to be resolved, and we are committed to resolving that issue as quickly as possible and working with the parties to do so.

[Page 7965]

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the minister. I want to ask the minister if he would tell the House whether or not his government is prepared to be more than a convenor of meetings and a broker between governments, but, in fact, is his government prepared to commit some resources to actually getting this long, outstanding dispute settled?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member opposite would know that it was the municipality that was involved in that ongoing dispute in that issue 30 years ago. We continue to provide the leadership that is necessary. We believe that this dispute needs to be resolved. We believe it's in the best interest of Nova Scotians, as well as Haligonians and, particularly, those former residents of Africville. Therefore, we have continued and will continue to find a resolution that will be acceptable to all parties.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, that doesn't sound like leadership to me, it sounds like the runaround. The mayor of HRM, yesterday, in a news release, which I'll table, invited the Premier of Nova Scotia to enter into trying to get this dispute settled. My question, through you, is to the Premier. I would simply ask the Premier, what is his response going to be to the mayor of HRM?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, if the good member opposite would refer back to the answer that was delivered by the minister responsible, this government is very prepared to play a significant role in bringing this issue to a conclusion.

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

COM. SERV.: SUNRISE MANOR - SAFETY CONCERNS

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I have raised the issue of the 11 men living in unsafe conditions at Sunrise Manor in this House before. Today, I'll continue that. I'll also table with that the Occupational Health and Safety Committee report filed this month at Quest. The incident reports include damage and stolen vehicles, being asked to buy drugs, and swarmings. Security has been hired, and police have asked to come to the area during shift changes. Cameras have been installed, staff are being told to travel in pairs, to use cell phones, and to leave itineraries at the desk. Through you, Mr. Speaker, to the Minister of Community Services, if being in Sunrise Manor is so dangerous for the staff, why does he allow these vulnerable residents to stay there?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, the department launched an initiative, the Community Supports for Adults Renewal initiative, a little over a couple of years ago, and, as a result of that, there have been many things that have come forward. This is just one part of the concerns, and as we move forward on that report, these issues will be given the appropriate consideration.

[Page 7966]

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, this is the condition that this minister and this government has allowed to exist for almost four years now. Staff members are afraid for these residents. These unsafe conditions have affected the ability for the residents to participate in the community and its activities, the lack of safe outdoor space that means these residents are confined for days at a time. This is just flat-out inhumane because these people have a disability. I beg the minister, would he answer this question in an appropriate way, when is he going to admit that Sunrise Manor is no place for these very vulnerable residents and find them a permanent home after four long years of broken promises?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member for bringing this up and, as has been already covered in the House before, as we moved forward on this renewal initiative, we identified some areas where there were gaps. We brought in three new programs. The issue that the member brings up is still under consideration and I look forward to a successful conclusion to the whole program.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, it's embarrassing how far away the minister is from answering this question. It is a very serious question and it has been ongoing now for almost 12 years if you take into consideration when they were closing all those residential homes so it's a long time. To say you're studying it for two years just doesn't cut it, minister. You know, Quest has a proposal in, you've not responded to it. So, minister, when are you going to get your act together, approve this proposal, and allow these people to live in dignity?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that the member opposite has brought this up. The conditions that they were living in before were not appropriate. They were moved to Sunrise Manor. Over $0.5 million was invested in it to improve those facilities and what the member is looking for is under active consideration by this government.

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

TPW - MARINE ATL. ADVISORY COMM.: LAYOFFS - PREVENT

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The advisory committee report on Marine Atlantic has people in North Sydney very concerned. The report recommends eliminating the drop-trailer service. The recommendation alone could mean the loss of 38 jobs. The drop-trailer service represents 50 per cent of the company's commercial traffic. My question to the minister is, what representation has the minister made to ensure that there are no layoffs at Marine Atlantic as a result of these proposals?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, we are reviewing the report at the present time and we're working with the local MPs as well.

[Page 7967]

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, North Sydney jobs are at risk of being moved to Newfoundland. Will the minister make a full effort to protect Nova Scotia jobs in North Sydney instead of the casual approach that we see here today?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, this is not a casual approach, I can assure the honourable member and, yes, indeed, we'll make every representation we possibly can.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, the minister has an obligation to advocate for North Sydney. Trucking companies will see increased costs and the competitive position of North Sydney is being compromised and I might remind the honourable minister that this area is in the Minister of Energy's riding. So I implore the minister, what is he going to do to fight for the jobs in North Sydney?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm sure the honourable member for Cape Breton North, the Minister of Energy is quite capable of looking after affairs in his own area, but I can assure the member that the Department of Transportation and Public Works will do everything it possibly can to protect the jobs and to protect the service for the interests of not only Nova Scotians, but also for Newfoundlanders.

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

EDUC. - SCHOOL LIBRARIES:

PROV. COORDINATOR - APPOINT

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. Last week I met with a group of hard-working school librarians. They're concerned because they don't see any direction coming from the Department of Education. Every year they see students performing poorly on literacy tests, but there's no plan to make good use of the best tool we have when it comes to fighting illiteracy - our school libraries. It has been proven that students with active libraries and library staff perform better. The professionals that I met with said there used to be a provincial coordinator to organize and supervise school libraries, and to lobby for services, but that position has been cut. My question to the Minister of Education is very simple, will you undertake the hiring of a new provincial coordinator with a library background as part of the literacy strategy that we hear so much about from this government?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I want to tell you that we recognized that libraries are an important part of students' educational experience. We also know that they need support. I want to just remind - and perhaps a little bit of a history lesson for the honourable member and other members of the House - there has been a change in how you get information in the past decade. Of course, the big thing now, to be quite frank, is to go on-line. You know, as well, the federal government provided a considerable amount of money to put technology into the public schools.

[Page 7968]

In addition, back in 1996 - particularly at the high school level - the course outlines were changed and many of the skills that would have been done by teacher-librarians or people in libraries before, were incorporated into the roles of regular classroom teachers. The honourable member will also know that as part of our Learning for Life II strategy, we have committed to develop a policy on school libraries.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I don't need a history lesson from that minister. The Department of Education needs to get a handle on this situation when it comes to literacy. Two months ago on March 8th, I wrote a letter to the minister asking for some clarification and I'd like to table that letter at this time. I have not received a response to that letter. I wrote to the minster asking details about what school libraries are closed, what libraries are only open part-time and a breakdown of who's staffing libraries. To date, still no answer. My question to the Minister of Education is, are you not responding because you don't know the answers and if so, will you undertake a survey of our school libraries?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I regret that letter has not been responded to yet, but I want to assure the member that with your question, it will be answered very soon. I also want to remind the member this government has put 1 million new books into the school and committed 2 million more.

But in answer to your specific questions, yes, I do have that information. About 95 per cent of the 428 schools in the province have a school library facility and this covers about 82 per cent of the students.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, it will even be better to get those responses in writing. It's too bad I had to bring it to the attention of the House. With all the staff at Trade Mart, that a March 8th letter can't be responded to unless the critic brings it up here on the floor of the House. There's a contradiction here, we need to improve literacy and communication in our province, but many of our school libraries are only open part-time. In fact, some are absolutely closed. Never being used - in junior highs in particular. The Department of Education needs to take the lead here. My question for the minister is, quite simple, when are you going to bring forward a provincial plan for our school libraries as part of the overall strategy of literacy for the young men and women in our school system?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, with the funding which was made available for Learning for Life II: Brighter Futures Together, the department has committed to develop a policy on framework and guidelines and improved library resources for all the schools in the province as well as setting standards for school boards.

[Page 7969]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

ABORIGINAL AFFS. - TREATY ISSUES:

UMBRELLA AGREEMENT - DETAILS

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs. Nearly two years ago, the province began discussions with the Mi'kmaq community pursuant to the so-called umbrella agreement to deal with a comprehensive range of Aboriginal treaty issues. Last year I asked the minister about the status of these negotiations, although he did not have much to report except that work was continuing. I do want to be clear that we wish all parties to the negotiations very well, but my question to the minister is, does the framework agreement for negotiations include, or have the negotiations perhaps reached a point that there is any agreement for a freeze on problematic actions such as cutting on Crown land while the negotiations are ongoing?

[1:45 p.m.]

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: I'm very pleased that the honourable member brought the matter up. I can indicate that a draft has been prepared by the negotiation team on both sides. That draft is being circulated, as I understand, among stakeholders in the Aboriginal community because we all believe that it's important for the communities to have an opportunity to review that. It's not been formally approved by either side but there is a draft and, obviously, assuming that the consultations, both government consultation and Aboriginal consultation, go well, we're hopeful of signing an agreement.

MR. EPSTEIN: I did notice that my first question wasn't answered, although I respect what the minister says about following his constitutional obligation to consult the Aboriginal community.

Mr. Speaker, of course one of the principal aims of these negotiations is to avoid costly and prolonged litigation in the pursuit of fairness for the Aboriginal peoples. There have been some very high-profile court decisions in recent years dealing with fishing rights, as we know, and the harvesting of wood on Crown lands, but many people continue to have concerns around another topic, namely, gaming issues. I would ask the minister whether access to gaming rights has been a subject of discussions during any of his negotiations to date?

MR. BAKER: The agreement that has been negotiated is one around process. It does provide a framework for addressing issues of particular concern to either side, and it deals with issues of how the parties would address litigation and those kinds of things in the future. So it does deal with those procedurals, but this is not a substantive agreement around a particular policy issue.

[Page 7970]

MR. EPSTEIN: I thank the minister for clarifying an important point, that these negotiations are about process and not about substance - I think we'll want to pursue that at another point.

I'd like to ask the minister about another point. The minister will know that there's a group of people in southwestern Nova Scotia who are claiming that they deserve recognition as having Métis status, and of course under the Supreme Court's 2003 Powley decision a process has been established to deal with these claims. I wonder if the minister can tell us, what is the current status of these individual's claims and assertions within his department?

MR. BAKER: For the honourable member's attention, the primary decision making, of course, around the Powley case rests with the Government of Canada, particularly the interlocutor who is responsible for Métis affairs. I can indicate to the honourable member that we obviously have done an analysis, and to date our analysis does not demonstrate a proof of Métis status, but of course we continue to receive information and analyze that in accordance with the Powley case.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

HEALTH - PHARMACARE PREM./GIS: SENIORS - INFORM

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: My question is for the Minister of Health. Yesterday, I questioned the minister on the issue of some seniors in our province paying a Pharmacare premium when they are in receipt of the GIS. The minister acknowledged that he would review the application process and ensured all members of this House that if changes were needed they would be made - and that commitment is very much appreciated.

We are all aware that there are seniors in this province who are not paying a Pharmacare premium, the question is how many more are paying a premium when they should not be? My question to the minister is, what specific action is the minister going to take to inform all seniors in this province of this situation?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: On an ongoing basis we take action through the Senior Citizens' Secretariat. Through the Department of Health, the Pharmacare section, we take every opportunity we can to communicate with seniors in this province to make them aware of the services that are available through the Pharmacare Program.

MR. MCNEIL: What we could be looking at is a very small number or a very large number - the point is, we simply just don't know. As early as this morning, I received a call from another constituent who has been paying a Pharmacare premium for the last five years while in receipt of the GIS. That is why I believe it's incumbent on the minister to be proactive on this issue. After all, it is unfair for one senior in this province to be paying a

[Page 7971]

premium when they should not be. My question is, will the minister commit today that he will contact his federal counterparts to determine just exactly how many seniors in this province are in receipt of the GIS?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, that is information that may prove to be very useful. I will certainly keep it in mind when we're doing the review that I committed to yesterday.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I thank the minister. In the meantime, the minister has all sorts of resources at his disposal to right a wrong. He can use the Senior Citizens' Secretariat to organize information sessions in rural Nova Scotia, he can also use the local media to get the word out through public service announcements and press releases that seniors in this province do not have to pay a Pharmacare premium if they are in receipt of the guaranteed income supplement. My question is, will the minister commit today that he will undertake an active communications strategy to inform seniors of this situation at the same time he is reviewing the application process for deficiencies?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, we want to take every step that we can to ensure that those who should be receiving benefits indeed receive those benefits. The suggestions made by the honourable member will be taken into consideration as we address that concern.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

HEALTH - PREVNAR VACCINE: CUTOFF DATE - EXPLAIN

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister of Health. The vaccine, Prevnar, protects small children from dangerous bacteria that causes ear infection, pneumonia, blood infections and meningitis. Last year, the minister announced that children born on January 1, 2005, or after, would be eligible for this vaccine. However, parents whose children were born prior to January 1, 2005, must pay in the range of $350 if they want to get their children vaccinated. My question to the minister is, why did his department announce a cut-off that would leave many families with toddlers unprotected?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, what we announced was the beginning of a program, and every program has a beginning date. We're very pleased we are able to bring this program forward, and we're applying the resources we have available as we bring it forward. The date in question is the point of beginning, not a cut-off date.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, maybe all of those parents who have been flooding my office with letters, who are very upset, will see it a bit differently than the minister. They feel they've been unfairly cut out of this process, and they want the vaccine to protect their children, but they simply find the cost prohibitive. The highest risk is for children under two. So it would make sense to extend this vaccine as a one-time expense to

[Page 7972]

all children who are two and under as of January 1st. I want to ask the minister, why didn't his department simply extend the vaccine to all children two and under?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, all honourable members of this House know that we live in a world where there are indeed limited resources, and when we have programs that we want to bring forward, it is necessary for us to bring those forward prudently and within the available resources that we have. We're pleased that we have been able to start this program, and indeed had we not started it, the questions being asked today would not be asked.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the one-time expense of adding in all children at risk would be far outweighed by the benefits. Fewer infections leading to emergency room visits would also help offset the cost. My final question to the minister is, it's not too late to extend this vaccine to all children under two, so why doesn't he just listen to concerned parents and just do it?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, again, you can see the fundamental difference in approach with respect to a government that understands the limits of its resources, understands the need to bring in balanced budgets. Indeed, had we not brought forward the balanced budgets we had, we would not have had the resources to begin the program which we have begun. So we will, as resources become available, expand all worthy programs within the department.

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

EDUC. - RANKIN SCH.: DELAY - EXPLAIN

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Rankin School in Iona was announced by this government over a year ago. In fact, the Minister of Education turned the sod at the school and it was going to be a model for energy efficiency. Last night we learned that the school has been delayed yet again. Could the minister inform the House why the promise to build this school is being broken?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member is right, there has been a delay in that school and I regret that. The main reason was that when the tenders closed two months ago, that the low tender that came in, at 45 per cent over the budget allowed. It was actually $200 per square foot versus the typical $125 per square foot we spend on schools, such as the one that was to be constructed in Iona.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I believe the minister is quoting figures that are today's figures. What we have is a community that has been promised a school for five years. The sod was turned and now the school is delayed. The figures that they were hoping it would come in at are five years old. We all know that the cost of things has escalated. My

[Page 7973]

question to the minister is, is the minister still committed to building Rankin School or will it be delayed indefinitely?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the province is still committed to building a school in Iona. However, as the honourable member knows, there was a meeting between the board and the school steering team last night to discuss what really now an appropriate project would be. For example, it's projected now that there would be 27 high school students in the new building.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I believe the honourable minister indicated that the delay is probably to cut the school down from a P to 12, to be lower, by quoting the number of high school students that are in there. We're not talking about the number of students, we're talking about the school. The community, the students, the teachers, need an assurance that this school will be built. The minister turned the sod and now the site is being reseeded. So my final question to the minister is, will the minister make a firm commitment that the school construction will start on Rankin School, in Iona, this year?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the meeting last night between the school steering team and the board was to try to come ahead with a go-forward plan. It is the department's intent to have a redesign ready so there can be a tender called this Fall.

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

TPW - CEILIDH SUBDIVISION: RESIDENTS - ASSISTANCE

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Roads are as important in Cape Breton as they are anywhere else in Nova Scotia. The residents of the Ceilidh Subdivision in Albert Bridge have sent numerous complaints about their roads to our caucus office. They are stuck in a bureaucratic limbo brought on by the forced amalgamation of the County of Cape Breton. These people are upset, confused and angry. I will table one letter we received. The roads are in deplorable condition and, no matter who they ask for help, the response they receive is that no one knows who is responsible. What is the minister going to do to help these residents?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I've had numerous letters myself, and e-mails, et cetera, about Ceilidh Subdivision. Ceilidh Subdivision is a subdivision that has J-class roads, and therefore the responsibility, I would suggest, lies primarily with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

[Page 7974]

[2:00 p.m.]

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, that may be the right answer, but the CBRM is a cash-strapped municipality that had amalgamation forced upon them. The Liberals rushed to amalgamation back in the 1990s, and had many victims, not the least of which were the J-class roads in Cape Breton. This lack of vision has hindered further development in rural Cape Breton. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova has the floor.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, what we need here is a real influx of infrastructure capital in rural Cape Breton to solve this. Is this government willing to do so? (Interruptions)

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the J-class road program that the provincial government brought in in the year 2000, I believe it was, the first year that this government came into power, is a good program, and it's equitable right across the province. It applies to all municipalities. I would suggest that the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, if they decide that they want to get those roads paved, they know the process.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, the people of Ceilidh Subdivision are not alone. Many roads fell victim to the Liberals' forced amalgamation of these areas without the proper service of agreements and maintenance and infrastructure updates. My question to the minister is, when will you sit down with whatever counterparts on that side of the House you have to and come up with a solution to help these people?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I know that the Liberal Government of the day brought about the forced amalgamation, and shame on them. (Interruptions) But don't blame Ceilidh Drive on this government, because we are prepared to pave it, providing the municipality will come forward and request that we pave it.

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

TPW: SCOTCH LAKE/ MACDONALD RDS. - REPAIR

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is also for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The Scotch Lake Road and the MacDonald Road are in shambles. The residents of Georges River and Scotch Lake have been demanding that something be done to the state of the roads for a long time. There are 31 homes on the MacDonald Road, and these people pay taxes like everyone else. So my question to the minister is, when are these people going to get the service they are paying for and ensure the road is no longer neglected?

[Page 7975]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I know Georges River, but I don't know those two particular roads. I know the Georges River Road, and that's paved. These two roads, I take it, are gravel roads running off Georges River Road. It's not the policy at the present time to pave gravel roads, except J-class roads. We have instituted this particular policy simply because of the fact that it is to the advantage of all people in Nova Scotia to keep our present paved road system up to scratch, and if we divert money to paving unpaved roads, we can't do that.

I'd bring to the honourable member's attention - Mr. Speaker, if I have just one minute - that next year we will be starting a limited pilot project to pave some gravel roads.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to remind the honourable member that I quoted Mr. Burt MacDonald on several occasions last week when we were talking in estimates on Transportation and Public Works. The MacDonald Road, as Mr. MacDonald has told me, in 1960, it was on the priority list, in 1980 it was guaranteed. I guess that was by honest John, and he was in at some time or other. Anyway, now they seem to create a class called a K-class road. Well, I think today we should recreate a new class called a Z-class road. Nothing is ever going to be done with it, because it's been a priority since 1960.

Mr. Speaker, I know the minister says he's going to start a limited program. I guess it's on the priority list. When can we expect the minister to pave the road for the residents so they don't need to continue to suffer?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I may look pretty old, but I wasn't the minister back in 1960. (Laughter) I know where the honourable member is coming from. The roads in Cape Breton are no different than they are in any other part of Nova Scotia. Certainly we will do our best to catch up on those streets that need repaving, and we'll do so whenever we get an opportunity.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, it's rather ironic - I used the analogy the other day when the minister was telling us about the (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes has the floor.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, as I said, it was ironic, in estimates the other day, when I used the analogy about the test vehicle that the department has. In Cape Breton we have our own test vehicle, and it's these Ram Chargers that when the horns fall off the Ram, we know that the road needs to be paved. It's ironic that the honourable minister drives a Dodge Ram. I would like a commitment from the minister today that he would move the MacDonald Road to a priority list, follow through, and make it one of the first ones next year, when you do your program, you pave that road - will the minister commit to that today?

[Page 7976]

MR. RUSSELL: There's a marvellous opportunity for an answer to that one, Mr. Speaker. We'll give it consideration.

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

COM. SERV. - PORT HAWKESBURY:

COMMUN.-BASED HOUSING - NEED

MR. GORDON GOSSE: My question is for the Minister of Community Services. The government's unfair treatment of people with intellectual disabilities in need of housing continues. Many communities do not have small options or group homes where these disabled adults can go to live. There is no community-based home in Port Hawkesbury and the disabled people must go to Antigonish, Sydney, or New Glasgow, if they need a place to live. I ask the Minister of Community Services, why are the intellectually disabled people in his area left without a local place to live?

HON. DAVID MORSE: There's a lot of interest in the community supports for adults renewal initiative. One of the things that everybody can agree on is that we need to do more for people, in particularly at the end of the spectrum that need some support but perhaps not as much support as some of our clients. That is why we launched the Direct Families Support program. We're expanding the supervised department program and we are planning to introduce the Alternate Family Support Program.

MR. GOSSE: For several years now, the ROC Society in Port Hawkesbury has been trying to get approval to open a community-based options home to house local people with intellectual disabilities. They feel they are getting the runaround from this government and the Minister of Community Services. Meanwhile the people there continue to go without services. I ask the Minister of Community Services, how much longer will the disabled in this area be shipped away from friends and family if they need a place to live?

MR. MORSE: Perhaps the honourable member's not aware but there was a delegation that came down from Port Hawkesbury. It was arranged by their MLA who is a very attentive gentleman and my seatmate. I had a very positive meeting with Tom Gunn and Billy Joe MacLean, the Mayor of Port Hawkesbury and they seem to be very satisfied with the outcome of the meeting. I thank the member opposite for allowing me to share that with Nova Scotians.

MR. GOSSE: I'm glad they had a positive meeting but it doesn't put a roof over their heads. Mr. Speaker, because of the lack of group homes and small options homes in other surrounding areas such as Guysborough, the demand on existing services in Antigonish and New Glasgow is extremely high. People have to wait for years to access a bed in one of these residential facilities. I ask the minister, when can these community members expect a straight answer on their proposal to provide a group home environment in Port Hawkesbury?

[Page 7977]

MR. MORSE: I will answer the member's question with a straight answer - they were given that answer a month ago and I understand they were pleased with that answer.

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

HEALTH - RICHMOND VILLA: CONSTR. - TIME FRAME

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, as you are well aware, health care continues to be a major concern for the residents of Richmond County. Since the year 2000, I've risen in my place in each session to question the minister on Richmond Villa and the construction of a new facility. The residents, the staff and the community have had frustration, but at the same time have shown great patience in waiting for this much-anticipated facility. My question today - this being 2005 - can the Minister of Health tell us when his government will finally announce the awarding of the tender for the construction of the new Richmond Villa?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, indeed, the time is drawing very near when we will be able to make that. I want to thank my predecessor, the Minister of Education, for all of the wonderful spade work he did on the Richmond Villa project because, as has been suggested by the honourable member, it's been a long time coming to fruition. I can tell the honourable member for Richmond that tomorrow we will make a public announcement as to the awarding of the contract and the beginning of the construction of the Richmond Villa and I'm very pleased to make that announcement.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it looks like we're on a roll, so let's see if we can keep going for the people of Richmond. Will the minister tell us when we can expect a doctor for the closed emergency room at the Strait-Richmond Hospital?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, this week we were part of the launch of a very important program - the CAPP program - which my colleague, the honourable Minister of Health Promotion, attended with Doctors Nova Scotia and the College of Physicians and Surgeons to launch that program. That will provide many rural areas of this province with the opportunity to entice and recruit international medical graduates to their communities. I certainly hope that the honourable member for Richmond will be able to help convince one of those graduates to stay in Richmond County and practise medicine.

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I'm more than happy to continue to work with the recruitment committee and, hopefully, the minister and his department will make the Strait-Richmond one of the priorities for getting a doctor to that. My final supplementary is, when can the good people of Richmond expect the minister to show up with his shovel for the sod-turning of the new Richmond Villa?

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

[Page 7978]

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources on an introduction.

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, to you and all members of the House, I'd like to introduce in the east gallery a personal friend of mine and a very dedicated and hard worker for the Municipality of Clare, Warden Jean Melanson. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: Order please.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, could I have the concurrence of the House to revert to the order of business, Introduction of Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 221 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 1 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Environment Act. (Mr. James DeWolfe)

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

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

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 203.

Bill No. 203 - Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the members of the Legislature and, particularly, Nova Scotians who might be watching the debate of this particular bill, particularly those individuals who are . . .

[Page 7979]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would ask the honourable members to take their conversations outside, please.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North has the floor.

[2:15 p.m.]

MR. PYE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This bill is extremely important, so I think it warrants some very serious discussion. I want to say that when I left off on this bill I was talking about what this bill does with respect to protecting those individuals who might be subject to involuntary psychiatric treatment. I want to go back and I want to acknowledge the expertise that was provided by our Health Critic, the honourable member for Halifax Needham, and she quite adequately articulated the very serious component of this bill that is around community treatment orders and that is the whole, very significant portion of this bill in which we need to recognize and understand the significance of these community treatment orders.

I also want to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that was put in by the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto for providing us the legalese and the expertise around this piece of legislation. It is often that pieces of legislation come before this House that have a significant effect on individuals of our society, and we need to know that the legislation coming before this Legislative Assembly is legislation that does the right thing for the people of Nova Scotia, particularly if those individuals are vulnerable Nova Scotians.

This particular Act - and all Nova Scotians should know - is dealing primarily with individuals who have a mental health disorder. I do recall the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto talking about his expertise, primarily in the Province of Ontario, working with civil libertarian Alan Borovoy, who worked very closely on mental health issues, guided, I believe, or had indicated that he had substantial involvement in crafting a piece of legislation in the Ontario Legislature known as the Mental Health Act. I do know that back then there was a tremendous effort to make sure that the pieces of legislation in the Mental Health Act of Ontario were, in fact, going to make sure that it protected those individual Ontarians of the day who needed to be protected.

Again, this is a very serious piece of legislation because it calls into question the rights of those individuals. With the hour-long debate that both of those members of this Legislative Assembly have brought forward, they have informed me, and I'm sure enlightened other members of this Legislative Assembly, on just exactly the components of this piece of legislation and why this piece of legislation needs to be discussed in this Legislative Assembly and why it's important to look at sections of this legislation, bring it forward, dissect it and make sure that when this piece of legislation crosses this legislative floor to the Red Room that there is legitimate reason why it requires the kind of debate it should rightfully have.

[Page 7980]

I want to say to the Minister of Health, who spoke briefly on this piece of legislation although it was introduced by his government and he had indicated that there were many Nova Scotians who supported this piece of legislation, I would say that he indicated that there were many consumers of the mental health community who had supported this piece of legislation and that they had consulted with some 200 groups. I want to say that the minister and his government have always indicated that consultation was a foundation by which his government was bringing legislation forward and that his government believed that the very principle of consultation was significantly important and that that was a foundation of his government making the decisions that, in fact, would protect Nova Scotians. It's also, Mr. Speaker, I would say to you and other members of this Legislature, the important foundation of consultation, making sure that the right piece of legislation crosses this legislative floor and into the Red Room where the public gets the opportunity to debate.

I was a little startled and taken aback by the Third Party and its comment that we were stalling this piece of legislation and that somehow this piece of legislation was very good legislation and that it didn't warrant the debate. I can say to you that there are two sides to every piece of legislation that comes through this Legislative Assembly. There are two different and often divergent views on legislation that crosses this floor and that's the reason why we go through this process of bringing the bill through a procedure to this Legislative Assembly, discussing that bill, and then forwarding it on if required - not if required, it must be required, it's part of the process - going into the Legislative Red Room and then be open for debate and that is when public consultation, unlike many other provinces across this country, is allowed to take place.

I would say to the honourable critic in the Third Party that it's important that Nova Scotians know that this is a piece of legislation that cannot be sped up, that it's important to debate this piece of legislation because it is not supported by all the mental health consumers out there in the community. I do want to say that with respect to some of those individuals in the mental health community who may, or have indicated to the government there is support for this piece of legislation, that I have sympathy for them and understand their very particular reason for wanting to push pieces of legislation through quickly.

I want to speak briefly of one group in particular, and I believe that this is supported by this organization, the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia, and I know that they understand how difficult it is living with individuals who have mental health disorders who do not have the appropriate treatment and services provided to them by their government. I do understand their frustration when a person with mental health disorders becomes out of control and the family is at its wit's end and calls the government agencies and organizations to assist them and help them in addressing this issue.

I also know, Mr. Speaker, that there are other organizations in this community that are watching very, very closely this piece of legislation and that may not support the piece of legislation primarily because of some of the components of this legislation. I would like to

[Page 7981]

hear from them and that organization is the Canadian Mental Health Association. I have not, as a Member of the Legislative Assembly, heard from those individuals and those organizations that are in place in Nova Scotia, and in communities across this province, as to how they view this piece of legislation that is before the House. As I've said, there are always two sides to an issue, but the significant most important side of this Legislature is to make sure that when legislation is crafted, that it is legislation that will stand the test of time, that it will protect the individuals this legislation was designed for, and that in fact this legislation will come with the services that are needed for those organizations and people in the community.

I want to go back to the issue of protecting people's rights. It is so striking I think and significantly important that when you craft legislation, that the legislation must be seen to be protecting the rights of individuals. I have to say in this particular case, Mr. Speaker, we, as a political Party, have difficulty and wondering where the proper checks and balances might be with respect to delivering these community treatment orders. It is one thing to say that you are going to impose a community treatment order upon an individual and you don't provide the individuals with the rights.

Now under this piece of legislation, I do believe there had been some talk that the bill would enshrine within it the right for individuals to communicate or to consult with or talk to advisors. Now, Mr. Speaker, that's a far cry from expertise. Who will be the advisor? We don't know who the advisors will be. We don't know what kind of expertise, what kind of training will be required by the advisors. Who in fact will be advising not only the individual, who is subject to the involuntary psychiatric treatment, but also the member of the family or relative or caregiver who might be seeking that kind of advice as well.

Mr. Speaker, we need to know if the advisor who will be advising the individuals, might even be caregivers - forgive me for saying that because there are a number of caregivers who provide this caregiving service. This is simply because members of the family have found it extremely difficult under the present services provided, so what they do is they seek help in providing caregiving services outside their domain. I think it's important to recognize and know that when the advisory service becomes available to the individuals, will it come accompanied with the training and the expertise that will be required?

Then we need to know, Mr. Speaker, upon having the rights of the individual solely to an advisor, will this bill allow for legal consultation? Will there be legal advocacy available to the individuals who might inquire about their rights, and how the involuntary psychiatric treatment certificate or the community treatment order came about? It's simply not good legislation.

I say to you, members of government, you have to make sure that the rights of our most vulnerable in this province are, in all essence, protected. A single denial of a right of an individual through a piece of legislation can throw a whole wrench into the delivery of that

[Page 7982]

treatment service that is provided. I had listened intently to the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto who spoke once again on the legalese of this piece of legislation, and wondered if in fact the language would be crafted within the community treatment orders that would stand the test of time.

I mean, will that stand the test of time around the Charter of Rights? Will it infringe upon the rights of individuals within the Charter to the fair and equitable treatment? Will it protect those individuals, the right not only to have advisors on this special circumstance but also to have the legal advocacy available to them when this comes forward?

I think that what we need to recognize is that this piece of legislation - although there are agencies and organizations out there that might be championing this piece of legislation on behalf of the government, I would say the reasons for their championing this piece of legislation are because it's solely out of frustration. Out of frustration that government does not provide the expertise and the services available to Nova Scotians who have mental health disorders. I think that what we have to recognize and acknowledge is that sometimes legislation is quickly crafted because a government might run on that in the platform. They might say to a community that they will introduce this piece of legislation and not really give it the in-depth thought and study that it requires.

[2:30 p.m.]

The honourable member for Halifax Needham, in her professional experiences, has indicated and told us in our caucus and has told this Legislative Assembly all about the community treatment orders, the problems that surround the community treatment orders. We know that when people might be endangering themselves or might be endangering others. The Hospitals Act now gives that right to individuals to have that service. Now there is a facility available to them. Now the individuals do have some sort of protection. Not the best in the world, and it's time for the Mental Health Act to be changed, and we know that.

We want a comprehensive piece of legislation that addresses mental health issues in this province. We don't just want one piece of legislation coming forward in a piecemeal manner to satisfy a government that might have run a political campaign on supporting or addressing one issue or component of mental health. It's far more important, and it's far more significant to make sure that this piece of legislation is the kind of legislation that will meet the test of time.

I say to you that the important thing here is around qualifications. Who is going to be qualified to administer these programs? Who is going to be qualified to administer the community treatment orders? Who is going to oversee that? We don't see that in this piece of legislation. We need to have a comfort level, and so do Nova Scotians out there with mental health disorders who are often, in some cases, left on their own simply because there is no government department to address the issue of mental health disorders. I don't mean

[Page 7983]

that this should be a stand-alone ministry, Mr. Speaker, but I do mean that it can be a component of the Department of Health, which it rightfully is, and the proper qualified individuals are in there who can convince the government that their piece of legislation is right.

I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, that's my concern when I listen to the honourable member for Glace Bay, who happens to be the Health Critic for the Third Party, offer some criticism with respect to our position in this Legislature on how we were talking about this piece of legislation. He said that it was supported by the community, the community wanted this piece of legislation and we were just following a good piece of legislation going through this Legislative Chamber.

Mr. Speaker, I would say to you that I have listened to that honourable member and other members of his Party debate pieces of legislation that I might have considered did not warrant the kind of debate in this Legislature, but nonetheless, I have never implied that legislation that comes before this Legislature should never be openly and seriously discussed.

I want to say that if we do that then we, as a government, are asking for a whole host of problems because we, as a government here in Nova Scotia, I believe we're somewhat different than other governments across the country, that members of the public can come and speak before the bills while they're at the Law Amendments Committee.

I just want to say that's why the Law Amendments Committee is there and that is the reason why we can hear from those proponents who support this piece of legislation and why we can hear from those proponents who are opposed to this piece of legislation. I want to say that, as a member of this Legislative Assembly, I have listened to the Minister of Health in his presentation to this bill. I have listened to the Opposition and their position on Bill No. 203, and I have listened to the members of my caucus who have spoken prior to myself on this piece of legislation that has come before the Legislature.

I know that it's a difficult piece of legislation, and it's an extremely complex piece of legislation. I, for one, would like to see this legislation at least have the kind of community debate that it rightfully should have.

So at this point in time, Mr. Speaker, I would like to make a motion to move adjournment of debate on Bill No. 203, an Act Respecting Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate on Bill No. 203.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 7984]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 219.

Bill. No. 219 - Trade Union Act.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, it's my pleasure to move second reading of Bill No. 219, an Act to Amend Chapter 475 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Trade Union Act.

First of all, I would like to start by congratulating the government for having the foresight to bring this bill forward today and to see to it that it will move on through to the Law Amendments Committee. It essentially has two pieces to it; one, it has to do with expedited arbitration. Very simply, it just provides a process whereby disputes can be concluded in a fashion that is more acceptable to, I think, all parties to the dispute. It provides that they will be addressed in a reasonable time frame so that the parties can, in fact, get on with the business that they're involved in which, of course, is the employment and the administration of the workplace.

This is sometimes referred to as rapid fire arbitration. It's a mechanism that already exists in other jurisdictions around the country and basically it's a good piece of legislation that will really help not just workers, but also it will help businesses. It means that these things will be concluded in a more timely fashion and I'm very pleased that the government will be bringing this forward. I might point out it applies only under Part I of the Trade Union Act and the reason for that is that I believe, in fact, the expedited arbitration already exists under Part II. So in that regard it deals with something that in some sense is just missing from the Act.

The second part is something called the duty of fair representation. Mr. Speaker, again, that is something that I think is quite valuable to members of a union and essentially provides that if a member of a trade union should have a dispute with his or her own union, that there is a mechanism to deal with that dispute. Currently, as the members might know, there is no mechanism to have that happen. So this is again a common sense piece of legislation that exists in many other jurisdictions across the country and I must say, and I will say again, that I'm very pleased that the government saw it worthwhile to bring forward this piece of legislation at this time. I think in the long run, if we can get through the consultation process and we can hear from people and these come into law, that in fact our province will

[Page 7985]

be better off and the people who fall under the jurisdiction of that Act, both employers and employees, will be ultimately be better off for it.

So, Mr. Speaker, with those very brief comments, I would like to move second reading of Bill No. 219.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to discuss two important labour relations issues that have been addressed in the Opposition Bill No. 219.

I'll begin by discussing expedited arbitration and then move on to the duty of fair representation.

Effective arbitration is an important issue for all labour/ management parties and we're pleased to consider the bill and to discuss the merits of an expedited arbitration option being added to Part I of the Trade Union Act. Expedited arbitration is a mechanism to resolve disputes commonly known as grievances. The system is designed to reduce delays by moving matters to a hearing and by issuing a timely and binding award. In some cases, expedited arbitration may also reduce costs.

Currently, under the Trade Union Act, only the construction industry can avail itself of the expedited arbitration option. If enacted, the expedited arbitration would apply to everyone. The details of the process would be different for the two sectors, recognize the particular need for urgency in the construction sector and if expedited arbitration becomes an option under Part I of the Trade Union Act, the time frame for getting a rights dispute resolved could drop by weeks and possibly even months. At the same time, it's important that a balance is struck between the value to the parties of quicker resolution and their mutual interest in a decision-making process that is fair.

Labour arbitrators decide and resolve important and often very complex issues and sometimes this will involve issues such as human rights and constitutional matters. The labour arbitrators need to do so in a way that allows both parties a full opportunity to address the complexity of the issues and to feel that at the end of the process they were truly heard. It's important that the arbitration process works well for both public and private sectors, unions and management. We need to understand more about this situation before we could consider the legislation. We need to know what Nova Scotians think about the bill, we need to consider the resource implications of expedited arbitration. We certainly look forward to hearing from my colleagues and from stakeholders during the Committee on Law Amendments process.

I'd like to turn my attention to the second main issue raised in the bill and that's the duty of fair representation. Currently, there's no duty of fair representation contained within Part I of the Trade Union Act. However, employees do have the right to challenge their union

[Page 7986]

representatives through an internal process set out on their constitution and bylaws. In addition, they can bring legal action against their union in the civil court system.

The government is willing to consider the duty of fair representation in the Trade Union Act, provided the statutory process is crafted to mitigate the very significant administrative implications and resource issues. It's also important that the process be a fair one to all concerned, including the employers. The addition of a duty of fair representation will significantly increase both the volume of cases and the operating costs for the Labour Relations Board based on the comparative research data we currently have. As well, these amendments would also have implications under the Highway Workers Collective Bargaining Act, the Civil Service Collective Bargaining Act, and the Corrections Act, which will all have to be considered.

Both of these issues will have to be taken into account if we decide to enact this bill. As well, if the bill proceeds, the process should address issues that other jurisdictions have identified as being problematic. It's important to note that jurisdictions have consistently reported that a minimum number of these complaints are ultimately successful.

We will carefully consider these amendments that the Opposition has brought forward. I'm certainly interested in what my colleagues have to say about the amendments, and I'm very interested in what stakeholders feel as well.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to be able to stand and say a few words on the bill at this time.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition it will be close the debate.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise to close debate on this bill. I look forward to the hearing before the Law Amendments Committee.

[I move this bill for second reading.]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 219. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

[Page 7987]

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 212.

Bill No. 212 - Health Insurance Protection Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

MS. MICHELE RAYMOND: Mr. Speaker, I'm extremely pleased today to be able to stand to speak and move second reading of Bill No. 212. I'd like to thank all members of this Legislature who have shown their interest in seeing this move forward for the comments of the public. As I've said before, I believe this is an extremely important issue for the people of Nova Scotia. This bill has two essential functions: one of them is to ensure continuity of health insurance protection for Nova Scotians who are having to leave group insurance programs; and the other is to ensure that pre-existing conditions are, to some degree, limited within a lifetime. I realize that this is a complex subject, and because of this I will be very brief indeed and look forward to the comments of members of the public and of the Legislature.

I would like to close debate at this point and move second reading of Bill No. 212.

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

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 169.

Bill No. 169 - Farm Registration Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand and move second reading of Bill No. 169, an Act to Amend Chapter 3 of the Acts of 1994-95. The Farm Registration Act.

As I'm sure, many of you know and remember last Fall this Farm Registration Bill was before the House and we did some housekeeping amendments to that bill. One of the loopholes we felt, and I think the industry has been feeling over a length of time, is the fact that when it comes to the registration of farms and farms being able to register with the

[Page 7988]

department and then, in turn, ask for a rebate and ask for their registration fee back, there has been a flaw in that in respect to the fact that that is the only way the federation is able to fund itself, and I think that's extremely important, Mr. Speaker, because that funding is outside of government, it's the industry funding itself, and it's a way for them to lobby and promote agriculture in Nova Scotia.

The changes that are in this bill, that Subsections 8(4A) and (4B) would be removed, and it would take away the clause, so farmers would not be entitled to ask for a refund for their registration fee. I think this is critically important. As I said earlier, it gives the federation an opportunity to be able to fund themselves and lobby on behalf of the industry.

As all of you know, agriculture is critical to the rural economy of this province, and the entire economy. With this lobby and with them out there promoting not only certain sectors, but the entire sector of agriculture, I think this is a first step in being able to reform the agricultural industry in the Province of Nova Scotia.

With that, I move second reading of Bill No. 169.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a couple of words on this one.

Yes, this has been asked for by the federation for a very long time, trying to fix up this loophole. Quite honestly, the loophole was there to allow folks who didn't believe in the federation, didn't believe in belonging to such an institution, it would give them the opportunity to opt out. That is exactly what it was for - and that they would be able to get their funding back. This, in effect, makes them responsible to pay their dues. Of course farm registration is important for farmers; in order to access the funding through our department you do need to be a registered farm, so that's sort of the impetus to register your farm.

But what will also be happening here is that we will be pushing for an amendment in the committee to make sure that people can opt out, the funding, of course, will continue on to the federation, but the member or the farmer has that opportunity to say, I don't want to participate in the federation and his or her information will not flow through to the federation. I want to thank the member opposite for bringing this forward, and I hope that the farm community will accept it in its entirety.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to stand and make a few comments on this piece of legislation. I want to congratulate the member for Annapolis, this was a job well done I think. Actually I think it was the Agricultural Administration Act last

[Page 7989]

Fall that we were dealing with and farm registration was part of that Act. I think the member for Annapolis and I both told the minister that we would support this movement and we had been told that it was in that Act and it never showed up.

I think that it is very important the federation is able to obtain funding that allows it to do the work it needs to do, allows it to be a voice for the agricultural community, not connected to government. And if it turns out that the province is funding the federation, then there could be the criticism of being beholden to the government. I would say that recent history would indicate that the federation has had a pretty rough ride, actually, at the hands of this administration. So I'm pleased that the minister and the government are supportive of this and that the hurdle they encountered has been overcome and I look forward to seeing this bill move through the House.

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

The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member for Hants East for his comments and for the dedication that he has shown to the agricultural industry since being elected to the Legislature. I also want to acknowledge the minister who has, quite frankly, been given a tough job when he was first elected to be Minister of Agriculture and I think has shown to the industry his compassion and caring for the industry itself. (Applause) I respect the amendments that may come as we move this bill forward. So I close debate on Bill No. 169.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 169. 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. 181.

Bill No. 181 - Occupational Health and Safety Act.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the government for allowing this bill to be read a second time here today. Bill No. 181 was introduced to address a serious and growing problem in the workplace. The problem is employees being

[Page 7990]

bullied by other employees or by their employer. We all know what bullying is, it can be physical or psychological, or it can be overt or subtle. Regardless of its form, it does exist and needs to be addressed because many people don't know how to handle it.

The bill would require employers to institute a workplace bullying program with or without government guidelines. It also enables the government to create guidelines that an employer must follow in creating a bullying prevention program and I will say that it enables the government to do it, it doesn't insist that the government do it, it enables the government if they feel it necessary.

The concern is real, Mr. Speaker, we hear the concerns of employees on a regular basis. Workers often feel helpless to do anything about it. Current mechanisms to deal with the bullying, such as grievance procedures arbitration, are often slow and blunt tools and are not always the most efficient way to deal with the problem and they don't often deal with the prevention. What could a workplace bullying prevention program look like? It could encompass warning signs, complaint protocol, possible solutions, and mechanisms to ensure the problem is appropriately dealt with. The main issue is that employers who may not have the foggiest idea that bullying is an issue, they'll now have to turn their minds to it and have a program in place. Steps will be required to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place and with those few remarks, I would move second reading.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, I will not be speaking long. I will say at the outset that I support this bill going through. It's a good bill. I believe it's a very small step towards the real problem and that's violence in the workplace regulations to go forward and I would ask government to start looking at those seriously.

This is in no small way associated with violence in the workplace because those types of incidents, such as bullying, as the honourable member for Cape Breton South has brought forward, are the things that escalate into violence in the workplace, whether it's a worker against a worker or maybe someone in a management position with somebody lower. These are the types of things that we need to send a message, it is enabling legislation, certainly it is one that says that workers in the workplace are respected and that you have to respect one another. With those few words, I will take my place and I look forward to seeing this bill go forward.

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I so move this bill for second reading.

[Page 7991]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 181. 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 the order of business, Private and Local Bills for Second Reading.

PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 216.

Bill No. 216 - Beechville Baptist Church Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: I'd like to move second reading of Bill No. 216, this is a very important bill to the community of Beechville and their right to exercise the traditional religious ceremonies that they've had in the community for generations. I would move this bill for second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: I understand that things are being expedited today for various reasons but this is a community that, let me tell you, I can speak at great length on. I want to celebrate, for example, March 24th, 1998, it was a great day for me and on that particular evening, I know we were elected, but on March 24th of this year, my wife and I had to put our usual celebration of that event off because on March 24th, I had the opportunity to attend a community meeting in the Beechville church.

Let me tell you, here's a community of historic roots and on that particular evening, besides the fact that I had to put up with Cecil Wright and his comments about the Boston Bruins, it was like a high school reunion as I saw all these wonderful young men and women who've come back to the community to reinvigorate historic Beechville - Carol-Ann Wright, Curtis Jarvis, Blain Hamilton. It was a wonderful event to attend because it was at that particular event, where it was really put to all of us, that Beechville was a community that had a bright future and has had a great past.

[Page 7992]

I know the honourable member for Preston in this very well intentioned bill will certainly have our support because this community and its historic roots have been under attack from developers as they continue to pursue developments around and in the community of Beechville. The people of this historic community want the opportunity to be consulted, they want the opportunity to be listened to and there are many people that I can congratulate for their energy and their commitment. I want to particularly recognize Reverend Clarence Armstrong. Anyone present who wants to attend a wonderful church service where you will begin to actually feel the religion, I urge you to attend a ceremony of the Beechville Baptist Church.

Clarence Armstrong delivers the message and delivers it in a fashion that is invigorating, exciting and involves all present. I can tell you that one of the greatest events that I've had at the Beechville Church and I think the Speaker would agree with me on this particular event - maybe the Speaker isn't aware of the fact but I'm not the greatest singer in the world, and I know that maybe some members opposite have heard me on occasion try to carry a tune, but let me tell you, when I attend the Beechville Baptist Church, I have to participate in the singing of the wonderful songs that are brought forward by Reverend Clarence Armstrong. It is an event, it's an engaging, powerful event and I want you to know I'm not going to take up the offer that has been made here but I want you to know that in those particular days when I have the chance to point out to members opposite the importance of attending events in the historic community of Beechville.

It's a community where it's always a privilege to go into the Munroe Subdivision, to knock on the doors along the main road of the St. Margaret's Bay Road, to drop in to see the Wrights or the Hamiltons or the Jarvis' because the reception that you receive as a politician is always very positive. They believe that we have something we can help them with, with this particular piece of legislation. It's a piece of legislation that has the support of the NDP caucus, it's a piece of legislation that we're looking forward to supporting as it moves through to the next stage. It's a piece of legislation that will allow the historic community of Beechville and its church to celebrate the baptism in the traditional way it has been done in that community for so many wonderful years.

[3:00 p.m.]

I would be remiss if I didn't go back to point out to you that the other day in our House at that time were a number of prominent citizens of Beechville. When you see a young woman like Carol Ann Wright-Parks stand in front of a TV camera and speak with such passion about her community and her church and her family you begin to realize how fortunate you were as a teacher to be able to say, maybe just a little bit, I had something to do with where Carol Ann Wright-Parks is today. It's a valuable lesson for all of us, in spite of Cecil Wright's comments about my choice of hockey teams or his choice of baseball teams, I'm proud to say that I represent the community of Beechville. I'm proud to endorse this

[Page 7993]

piece of legislation and I look forward to the support of the other members of the House on this particular bill. Thank you.

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

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the bill be read a second time.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 216. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of Private and Local Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, could I have the concurrence of the House to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees?

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 79 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

I also would mention that it's the intention to call the Committee on Law Amendments back to consider a bill that has just received second reading from members of the committee. Thank you.

[Page 7994]

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

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

[The motion is carried.]

[3:04 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Acting Deputy Speaker Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

[3:16 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 162 - Public Utilities Act.

Bill No. 177 - Financial Measures (2005) Act.

Bill No. 179 - Self-managed Support-care Act.

Bill No. 180 - Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 191 - Municipal Law Amendment (2005) Act.

Bill No. 192 - Alexander Graham Bell Day Act.

Bill No. 197 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

Bill No. 198 - Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission Act.

Bill No. 202 - Children and Family Services Act.

Bill No. 205 - Securities Act.

[Page 7995]

Bill No. 206 - Camp Hill Foundation Act/Victoria General Hospital Foundation Act.

Bill No. 207 - Provincial Finance Act.

Bill No. 208 - Workers' Compensation Act.

Bill No. 210 - Health Authorities Act.

Bill No. 79 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

Also, that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 174 - Auditor General Act.

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

When should these bills be read for the third time?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Now.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 153.

[Page 7996]

Bill No. 153 - Public Service Act.

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

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 153.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I didn't get a chance to speak on this in second reading because of some of my Opposition House Leader duties, so I wanted to take a couple of minutes, just a couple of minutes, on third reading. This bill enables the development of an Office of Immigration, which anyone in this province would say is a good idea. I would actually suggest that a department would have been better. It would have been nice to have a few more bodies, a little more investment of money to make sure that we could actually have legislation, have a department, a full department that is actually going to promote this province with immigrants so that we can get and retain and keep more immigrants in this province.

Unfortunately, we are not at that stage, I guess, mainly because this government has created a privatized form of a Nominee Program that I have consistently condemned as one that I think is a scheme that will, in the end, even though this government is not paying a dime for its Nominee Program now, will cost this province a lot in the years to come. We can pass all the legislation we want to create an Office of Immigration, but as long as this government is willing to sacrifice the future of this province by allowing the privatization of its Nominee Program for a company that's using it as a venture capital scheme, I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, the future doesn't look so bright for immigrants in this province. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 153. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 168.

Bill No. 168 - Securities Act.

[Page 7997]

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

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Minister of Environment and Labour, I move third reading of Bill No. 168, the Securities Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 168. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 173.

Bill No. 173 - Bee Industry Act.

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

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 173.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to have a few minutes to speak on this bill. The industry has been keen to see this legislation get through the House. I think that like so many things that happen in a world outside this Legislature, there are those occurrences that affect people's lives in a very real way and, in particular, when it affects people's lives in a monetary way they would like to see some action.

This legislation for a registry of beekeepers, number one, is very important and the thrust of this is for the control of disease as much as it is for anything else. There are a couple of diseases, Mr. Speaker, European and American foul brood which affects young bees and Varroa mite - which is a parasite that bees contract. So I think the industry wants to know that when somebody is going to import bees, they actually have to get a permit to do that. This will identify those areas that are identified with diseases. In particular, there are very few drugs that will work on some of these conditions and in some areas the bee colonies there have developed resistence - I think New Brunswick is one of those areas, Alberta is one, and part of Ontario is the other.

[Page 7998]

So these are the areas that keepers would be interested to know about, and when they're importing queens in particular, Mr. Speaker - this is actually the bee that's most often imported because queens are necessary to set up new colonies - I think it's about $21 for a queen bee, a whole hive is worth about $300, and beekeepers don't want to be losing their investment depending on the number of hives they want to make up in the Spring of the year in particular - they would use whatever of their bee colonies that survive the Winter, and use those queens to hive off some of those bees and to set up new colonies.

Mr. Speaker, for them, whether large or small, this investment is an important one to them and they want to have some assurance that they're going to be able to have good healthy bees brought into the province and, in particular, even if some of these beekeepers are not importing, they want to know that their neighbours, or beekeepers in the surrounding area, or beekeepers in the province, period, who are importing are going to bring in good healthy bees that will not impact their business. I think for all those who actually hire beekeepers to put hives in whatever crop it is that they're trying to produce - and we would have to say for flowering crops, blueberries being the largest horticultural product in this province, so a good rate of pollination is important for blueberry producers, and there are a number of other complications you might say that all farmers face, but certainly late frosts and drought are two conditions that impact the volume of the crop.

So they don't want to throw something else into this mix that would impact the ability to get a good crop in one year. So good pollination is very important to them and they make a lot of use of bees, and naturally without pollination you're not going to have any fruit produced. I think that by and large most farmers have given up the notion that natural pollination would be enough, that there are enough bees to do pollination - and I think maybe I'll throw my environmental side into this, this is an area that perhaps members should think about when it comes to the use of pesticides and the impact on the natural bee population, that it may actually be resulting in a greater need for imported bees and bee keepers. So we're very pleased to see this legislation move through third reading and we're quite supportive for the legislation and for the industry.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries on an introduction.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: J'aimerai prendre votre attention à une groupe qui est dans notre gallerie au moment. C'est une bande d'élèves de l'Étoile de l'Acadie, en Sydney, qui viennent içi pour les Jeux de l'Acadie qui va prendre place en Dartmouth.

Ladies and gentleman I would like to bring your attention to the East gallery. There are a bunch of students from l'Étoile de l'Acadie that are here in Halifax and Dartmouth for les Jeux de l'Acadie that are happening this weekend. Of course, l'Étoile de l'Acadie is in the good riding of Cape Breton Nova and that's why our member's sitting next to me and not in

[Page 7999]

his usual place over there, I'm sure he's feeling a little uneasy being here. I would ask the group, s'il vous plait, de vous lever et de reçevoir la grande merci. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome our guests to the gallery today.

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

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, I would like to close third reading on Bill No. 173.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading on Bill No. 173. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 162.

Bill No. 162 - Public Utilities Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Energy.

HON. CECIL CLARKE: Mr. Speaker, I move this bill for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 162. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 197.

Bill No. 197- Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

[Page 8000]

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I move this bill for third reading.

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Just for the record I have expressed some concern when this bill was first introduced, I did so again at the Law Amendments Committee. For the record, there were no representations at all at the Law Amendments Committee on this bill from either fishermen, fishery organizations or members of the general community that may have wished to make input on this. I have raised concerns with the minister and I've even spoken with some of his staff who I know also have reservations about this bill and whether it will actually achieve anything in addressing some of the concerns that exist in the fishing community.

The price of fishing licences and fishing enterprises now are beyond the financial means of most Nova Scotians living in rural communities. The tradition of deck hands or family members who've been able to purchase fishing licences has become to the point now that is cost prohibitive. We do need to have a review of our Fisheries Loan Board, which up to date, has refused any sort of financial assistance for buying of fishing licences. We all know that our private banks do not allow for any sort of financing for fishing licences. So I certainly hope this bill is not going to push that debate aside in the belief that something has been achieved to address those most serious questions.

I do want to reiterate having experience with trust agreements, it's important we know that many of these are amongst family members, they are not all between individuals and private corporations as some would have led us to believe. I can tell you, Mr. Speaker, coming from a fishing community and a fishing family myself, I can certainly attest to how fishermen are private about their livelihood, about their catches, about their income, about their success or about their lack of success. I certainly question just how many in the fishing community will embrace the thought that the agreements that they may have in place will now be made public because I'm not quite sure of how many other resource-based industries are required to make any sort of commercial agreements that they have public as well. I wanted to just put those concerns on the record. Again, it's still not clear as to how this could possibly even be enforced. I know I certainly, as it now stands, wouldn't encourage anyone to register because there's really no sort of requirement to do so.

[3:30 p.m.]

With those comments, I do hope this House and this government will have a comprehensive debate about the future of the fishery here in Nova Scotia and the future of the survival of our many rural communities and coastal communities that rely so heavily on

[Page 8001]

the fishery. I do not believe that Bill No. 197 is going to take much of a step in addressing some of those concerns I've raised. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition it will be to close debate.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I understand the reservations of the member with respect to this matter. I think all this has been adequately canvassed and I'm pleased to see this is moving forward and I'd like to close debate.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 197. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 207.

Bill No. 207 - Provincial Finance Act.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to rise and speak for just a few seconds on this bill and to move third reading.

I think the importance of this bill grows as we near the confidence vote that's coming this afternoon in the House of Commons, the budget vote and the vote on the amendments to the bill, Bill C-48 which is actually the bill that is credited with the large investment of money that's going to take place in post-secondary education.

I wanted to make this point in respect to it. The amendments that exist in Bill C-48 with respect to post-secondary education will represent the largest single investment in post-secondary education since Tommy Douglas forced the Pearson minority government to introduce the Canada Student Loan Program. That is how significant this investment is going to be in post-secondary education. It's going to mean that money is going to flow through to the young people of our province and, indeed, to the young people of the nation. It's going

[Page 8002]

to flow through in tangible ways. It's going to reduce tuition. It is going to go into needs-based grants. It's going to go into apprenticeship training.

How much more important could it be than preparing the young people of our province and our nation to prosper? How much better could a piece of legislation be than to engage in a process where the money that's going to be spent is actually going to make the foundation of our province stronger? This is, I think, a great statement of principle in this particular legislation and should the budget be fortunate enough to pass this evening in the House of Commons, many untold number of students in this province will be better off and I'm proud to have played my part in bringing this forward, I'm pleased the government agreed to bring it forward at this time as well. I would move third reading.

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Very briefly, we certainly have indicated our support for this bill. What I find most unfortunate is that we are still in this House questioning whether the federal budget is going to pass. When we think of the advantages there are for Nova Scotians, the Leader of the Opposition has spoken about students and universities and higher learning, but we all know the advantages there are for cities, for childcare, for the Atlantic Accord and for investments in all Canadians and all Nova Scotians.

It's most disingenuous to hear the Leader of the Official Opposition indicate that he's now prepared to vote for the original budget, which contains the Atlantic Accord, but he has indicated he and his Party and the separatists intend to vote against the agreement that was reached, C-48 between Jack Layton, who clearly showed leadership on behalf of his Party through very difficult times. I certainly am pleased that the Prime Minister was able to reach agreement with him. At the end of the day, it is an investment that will be made that will strengthen our province, that will strengthen our country. As a recent university graduate, who just recently finished paying off his student loans, I'm proud to say, I can certainly attest to the financial difficulty that our current student loan system - the financial burden it places on our students, because of the high debt load they are forced to endure.

It is certainly our hope, especially now when we talk about this bill, I would certainly hope that the Premier and the Minister of Education would be able to stand in their place and say that they've asked the three Tory members from Nova Scotia, the MPs, to support not only the first budget but the second one as well, to make sure that Nova Scotians are ensured of this money. Maybe they'll take their opportunity once I sit down to indicate that they've asked for that support. Maybe Mr. Peter MacKay is feeling better today and is going to finally put the interest of Nova Scotians first so that Bill No. 207 will actually be a bill that will hold this government accountable on this money and that we won't have to fear that this bill will have no effect, because that aspect of the budget may be voted down.

[Page 8003]

I'm pleased this bill is moving forward, and certainly look forward to any assurances that the government can give us that they've made their views known to their federal colleagues in Ottawa.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise and say a few words about this bill. First of all, as we've said in the House, I know, in response to a direct question from the Leader of the Official Opposition, that clearly if money flowed from Ottawa that was intended to go for the benefit of post-secondary students, then it would flow there.

Having said that, one of the things I was a bit concerned about, and I spoke to the clerk the other day, was that this particular piece of legislation is not exactly consistent with that of the bill which was tabled in Ottawa. I have been informed - I see the honourable member nodding his head, he understand that - that the bill in Ottawa would take precedence. For example, Bill C-48 in Ottawa talks about Aboriginal students, and we have not included that in this. I was concerned about that.

The other thing that I just want to draw to the members' attention is that I'm really pleased that we're going to get more money to benefit post-secondary students, but I don't want anyone to think that this is just going to be a slam dunk to do this appropriately. It's going to be a lot of work, and we're going to need some advice on how to do it. Just to give you a couple of examples. The honourable member mentioned in his comments, the Leader of the Official Opposition, about apprenticeship. That was not mentioned in this particular piece of legislation. We also have the community college students, as well as university students.

We're talking about grants and we're talking about reductions of tuition. For example, the tuition at Acadia I think is roughly about $6,500, the tuition at the Nova Scotia Community College is $2,500. You get into a sliding scale, how do you work it? As long as people understand that there are going to have to be some details worked out in this, assuming that money comes, then we're certainly prepared. We welcome any influx of money from the federal government.

The other thing where I would like to enlist the support of the other two Parties, and I mentioned it the other day, is that it appears that if the budget passes, and that passes in Ottawa, the amount that Nova Scotia would gain annually would be between $22.5 million and $34.5 million, depending on how you count the students. Really, what we would like, and I had mentioned this on the floor of the House the other day, we've been lobbying as a government since we've been in power to get the federal government to give the money for higher education based on a head count, as opposed to the population count, a per capita count. It makes a tremendous difference and not only count the university students but the community college students, the training students who are in the apprenticeship programs and

[Page 8004]

we also have to recognize the valuable role in post-secondary education that some of the private career colleges play.

All I'm saying is we welcome that, and we've made this commitment outside the legislation, we have the money, it would flow through to the students, and I just want to make sure that people understand that we are talking about a wide variety of students. There's going to have to be a process worked out - actually when the bill was tabled the other day, I had staff put together some preliminary figures and possible scenarios, which I have, and we will have to select one of those.

The other thing is that it's critically important for us, in Nova Scotia, for the members particularly in the Third Party who have their Ottawa cousins who they talk about all the time. (Interruption) They're not cousins? Whatever they are in Ottawa. I just want to tell you that I hope the honourable Leader in the House of the Liberal Party will get on the phone and call his Ottawa cousins and say, folks, if you're still in government at the end of the night, if that budget passes, we want Nova Scotia's money to flow into Nova Scotia on our percentage of students, not on the population of our province.

MR. SPEAKER: If I recognize the honourable Leader of the Official Opposition it will be to close the debate.

The honourable Leader of the Official Opposition.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I think the exchange has something to do with Belinda Stronach, I'm not sure what it's about.

I move this bill for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 207. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 174.

Bill No. 174 - Auditor General Act.

[Page 8005]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: This will be for third reading, I'm sure, Mr. Speaker?

MR. SPEAKER: Third reading.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank again, for the record, the members of the all-Party committee who have worked with me on the selection of the new Auditor General, the honourable member for Halifax Fairview and the honourable member for Halifax Citadel. It has been a very co-operative environment. All Parties are interested in making sure that we have the very best process possible to ensure that Nova Scotians have the benefit of the very best Auditor General in the future and that it serves the interest of all Nova Scotians and all members of this House. With that, I would move third reading of the bill.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak for just two minutes here on third reading of the Auditor General Act. Mainly I would say in my capacity as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, which in a sense is the committee of the Legislature that works most closely with the Auditor General, I think we all know how important the Office of the Auditor General is, to the proper functioning of government in Nova Scotia and, especially at the federal level, we see what a profound effect the Office of the Auditor General had.

The bill that's before us is a good bill, it makes two substantive improvements to the Office of the Auditor General, namely that it says that this House will approve the next person to be appointed; because we have a minority government, it means that, in effect, the government has given up its absolute right to appoint the next Auditor General. It also sets a term limit. There are problems that arise when you have anybody appointed to any position for an unlimited period of time. This bill says that the next Auditor General will be appointed for 10 years, which certainly meets the national standard.

I did want to rise today to make note of a couple of additional amendments that were recommended by our Auditor General in the Law Amendments Committee, amendments that will not be going forward. I think it's important to put this on the public record so that when we are looking for the next Auditor General 10 years from now, that people will know what happened this time.

The current Auditor General appeared before the Law Amendments Committee and recommended two things. He said, first of all, his remuneration should be stipulated in the Auditor General Act. Right now the remuneration is not stipulated, it simply says it's within the control of the Governor in Council. There are many people, and I happen to be one of

[Page 8006]

them, who believe it is not appropriate for the Auditor General's remuneration to be entirely within the control of the Cabinet.

[3:45 p.m.]

Second of all, the current Auditor General said that he believes that there should be a different process for his office's budget to be established by the House, not to be treated like just any other department, but if his office is to function adequately, he needs some assurance that there is no hint of any politics or partisanship in the setting of its budget. He suggested that, in fact, his estimates be referred, for example, to the Public Accounts Committee for approval to try to give his office yet one more layer of independence from the government.

I would say, without doing a dissertation on these two amendments, Mr. Speaker, that we were not able to achieve all-Party agreement on these proposed amendments. We went into this bill having agreed that there would be no more amendments to the bill on which there was not all-Party consensus and certainly we're not interested in sacrificing the good for the perfect and this is a good bill and we're pleased to support it.

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

The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments of my honourable friend and I would move third reading of Bill No. 174.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No.174. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that the bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 177.

Bill No. 177 - Financial Measures (2005) Act.

[Page 8007]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to move third reading for Bill No. 177. This, of course, captures a number of issues from a variety of departments, but having said that, I will move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 177. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Minister of Natural Resources on an introduction.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, through you to all members of the House, I'm very pleased to rise to introduce a person from my community who is very dedicated to my community, he has brought a lot of business to my community, the CEO of the Southwest RDA. He is the leader who brought Register.com, 570 jobs, to my community, and that would be Frank Anderson. I would ask all members to give a warm welcome. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We certainly welcome Mr. Anderson to the gallery today and hope he enjoys the proceedings.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 179.

Bill No. 179 - Self-managed Support-care Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to say, before moving this bill, that there are a couple of people I would like to mention, in particular, the MLA for Annapolis who, as mentioned before, has championed this bill and moving this through. I would also like to give thanks to all of the Members of the Legislative Assembly for their support, in particular, the honourable Minister of Health for his support as well on this bill.

Mr. Speaker, there comes a time when, as legislators, we can recognize a very good piece of legislation that will benefit Nova Scotians. I think by moving forward on this bill that

[Page 8008]

we have accomplished that with this legislation and, having said that, I would move third reading of Bill No. 179.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I'm just going to take a minute and the reason I'm going to take a minute is because I want to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that has been done by my Party in bringing this issue before the Legislature over a number of years. I also want to say thank you to the member for Glace Bay for making this piece of legislation come forward. I note that the member for Glace Bay did not mention the tremendous amount of work that this individual has done over the years, but I do want to say thank you so very much. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. If I recognize the honourable member it will be to close the debate.

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Not to be remiss, Mr. Speaker, but let's also mention the honourable member for Dartmouth North. (Applause)

Having said that, I would like to move closure of the debate, and move third reading of Bill No. 179.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 179. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 180.

Bill No. 180 - Municipal Government Act.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 180.

[Page 8009]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 180. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 191.

Bill No. 191 - Municipal Law Amendment (2005) Act.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased, as well, to move third reading of Bill No. 191. I would take a second, however, to recognize the hardworking staff of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, who have worked tirelessly on this file for a year. This is an issue that government has worked on for a decade, and I believe it's the right thing to do. So, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 191.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 191. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 192.

Bill No. 192 - Alexander Graham Bell Day Act.

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

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Cape Breton West, I move third reading of Bill No. 192.

[Page 8010]

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 192. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No.198.

Bill No. 198 - Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to move third reading. This will be the first time in 50 years that this Act has been amended, since 1952. There's some changes that were required for people to service the travelling public more efficiently. Having said that, I move third reading of Bill No. 198.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, briefly on this bill, the bill originally, as it was presented at second reading, provided a clause that would allow Cabinet to take the profits from the MacPass and use it for whatever purpose Cabinet thought was appropriate. That was deleted on a motion from the NDP at the Law Amendments Committee, because we believe it's important that those particular commuters who are using that bridge on a regular basis, who are using the MacPass are ensuring that any profits from that program go back towards the bridges that cross the harbour, and are going to be used either to improve the service, improve the infrastructure or reduce tolls, and as a result we think this is a better bill and we can support it.

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

The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his comments, and with that I move third reading of Bill No. 198.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 198. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 8011]

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 202.

Bill No. 202 - Children and Family Services Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 202, the Children and Family Services Act.

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

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to rise today to speak on Bill No. 202, which proposes changes to the Children and Family Services Act. These amendments would entrench open adoption in legislation and also make necessary changes, so children in the care and custody of the minister have an opportunity to be adopted if it is in their best interests. This has been quite a journey. When the bill was first brought forward, it caused a great deal of concern with respect to the impact on birth parents and other family members of children in permanent care.

We were concerned, and so were groups and individuals we consulted, that a parent who doesn't have custody but who has access could have their child literally adopted away from them, with no notice or recourse. A series of discussions and meetings and further consultations followed, and I'd like to thank the Community Services staff for their help and patience as we worked through each concern expressed to our caucus.

One of the biggest concerns expressed to us centres on the ability of the minister to place a child in an adoptive home, which would cancel any access orders. The problem is that there was no provision for family members with an access order to be notified in advance of the pending adoption placement. This would have prevented people with access to the child from exercising their rights to apply to restore their custody of the child or request an open adoption agreement and continued access following adoption.

An amendment put forward by our caucus copies a provision in the legislation of Newfoundland and Labrador that ensures anyone with an access order is notified 30 days in advance of the adoption placement, at a point where they still have the ability to participate

[Page 8012]

in the process. This means that parents, grandparents, siblings and other people important to the child will have the opportunity to make their desires known and be part of the process.

People we consulted about the proposed changes to the bill also felt the wording of the open adoption section limited open adoption agreements to parents who voluntarily give up their children, freezing out parents who lose custody of their children to the minister. We were able to clarify with staff that open adoption agreements will be available to any family member who has access to a child, in addition to voluntary adoptions.

Another concern we were able to resolve was the question of what happens to siblings in the event the family is separated into different adoptive homes or living arrangements. We would hope that this almost never happens and that siblings will be kept together whenever possible. Department staff listened to these concerns and responded with the assurance that siblings are covered by the wording of the open adoption provisions and they would be considered as part of the pre-adoption procedures.

Having worked closely with staff on these issues, I am satisfied that the legislation as it is now presented for third reading provides a better balance among the best interests of the child, the rights of biological parents and family members, and the rights of adoptive families. I feel that entering the openness agreements into the legislation we are formalizing a process that has been taking place in an informal way for a number of years. By doing this we are giving everyone clear rights.

This is very gratifying, because we have heard the concerns of grandparents' rights advocates on the issue of placement of grandchildren who are taken from their parents. While this legislation doesn't address all of the complexities of grandparents' access to grandchildren, it does give them a formal standing in this process and that is a step forward.

The important thing is that this legislation is going to allow several children presently in the care of the minister to enter into stable adoptive homes. We all know that a stable, loving home is always in the best interests of the child, and I hope these changes will allow children who were previously ineligible for adoption to find permanent homes.

Having said that, I must admit I am a little disappointed too. Rather than changing the Children and Family Services Act that is over 15 years old, I would be much happier if we were voting on a proper adoption Act today. Newfoundland and Labrador made the difficult but important move of passing an adoption Act in 2003 that not only allows open adoptions, but it allows improved access to adoption information for adoptees and birth parents.

I know that is a controversial subject and I have it on pretty good authority that this government has no intention of ever revisiting adoption information. In a way I can understand because the last attempts at dealing with it were very heated and difficult for everyone involved. However, Ontario, BC, and Newfoundland have now made major changes

[Page 8013]

to their legislation to allow improved access to adoption information while still respecting the rights of parents who gave their children up for adoption in a different era.

[4:00 p.m.]

I know it would not be an easy path to address this aspect of adoption but I don't think that we, as legislators, should shy away from the difficult choices. Sooner or later, given the UN convention and what other provinces are doing, we will have to revisit this issue. My only other regret is the speed with which the legislative process for this particular bill was handled. It didn't allow the word to get out soon enough for groups and individuals with an interest in these changes to come forward at the Law Amendments Committee. I know the minister is anxious to move forward with adoptions for children who are waiting, however, I suspect, despite the department's earlier consultation and the feedback to my caucus, there will be more concerns coming forward as this bill becomes better known by the public.

I hope that the Department of Community Services will undertake a widespread education campaign for family lawyers, women's organizations, parents rights' groups and others, so that everyone is clear on the intent and interpretation of these changes. Thank you, once again, to all staff at Community Services that worked so hard on this bill, with that I'll take my seat.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Certainly it's a pleasure to rise in support of this bill today. Our Party throughout this session and throughout the year, actually, the past year, have had many difficulties with the Department of Community Services and they have been well documented over the past year, but we don't have any difficulty with this particular initiative. I think that it's time that I thank the minister for this particular bill, I think the minister and his staff, in particular, Deputy Minister Marian Tyson and her staff and the people from Justice who were involved with this particular bill have done a great job. I want to commend the minister on bringing this bill forward today and I just hope we'll see some other major initiatives on the positive side coming from that department in the future.

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

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the comments from the two Opposition critics, this bill was an accumulation of a lot of consultation and research with the various stakeholder groups. It does entrench, into practice, the notice provision that is out there, but the friendly amendment from the NDP caucus brings this into the legislation and I think that is what makes it a better bill. I appreciate the comments from both Critics and I

[Page 8014]

appreciate the fact that the Opposition Critics made use of the opportunity to consult with staff and to have input into this bill. I would move this bill for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 202. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 205.

Bill No. 205 - Securities Act.

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

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move this bill for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 205. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 206.

Bill No. 206 - Camp Hill Foundation Act/Victoria General Hospital Foundation Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I move this bill for third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 206. Would all those in favour of the motion say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 8015]

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the titles be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 208.

Bill No. 208 - Workers' Compensation Act.

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

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Minister of Environment and Labour, I move third reading of Bill No. 208.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Briefly on this, Mr. Speaker, workers' compensation legislation, as you know, often comes in this House and sometimes gets passed, sometimes gets stalled at the Law Amendments Committee, sometimes deals are cooked in back rooms, but this is one that I'm happy to stand here and say this is a piece of legislation on which there was thorough consultation with all the stakeholders, injured workers, organized labour and management.

Employer representatives agreed to these changes prior to introduction and can I say we see the difference in how this legislation has sailed through this House because we had consensus and I dearly hope that not only will these changes mean that we'll have all the stakeholders at the table at Workers' Compensation so that a lot of those issues can be resolved there, but also I hope it's a precedent that we can set that consensus will be developed by stakeholders and Workers' Compensation before we have governments introducing legislation and trying to ram it down the throats of some stakeholders. I hope this is a precedent that we can set for the future and we're more than happy to support it.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise on this bill. It's a very positive bill and, as the honourable member of the Opposition has said, it's one that was through consultation with the communities all involved. The Workers' Compensation Board has had, in some areas, a reputation of not working very well and some real serious concerns about the governance of it over the years and I think this is the first step towards changing that and making a very positive change for all the people in the province who have to resort to workers' compensation when they're injured at the job. Also, it's the ability for employers

[Page 8016]

to know that their contributions to the system are well looked after and, indeed, it's a system that we can afford and at the same time providing reasonable benefits to injured workers in the community. With that, we support the government's bill and I want to thank the minister for his support as we've worked and gone through that as well.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, just a few short words, it's with great pleasure I stand here today and talk about this bill because it is the basic foundation of the Dorsey report, if nothing else came of Dorsey to start, it is that we have governance. The governance has to be the foundation on which WCB moves forward and we are so appreciative of the stakeholders who stood by and moved this forward - the injured workers' groups, labour, business, Department of Labour, and indeed the board itself - where they recognized that this is the starting point. This is where real change is going to start to happen at WCB. It's a newfound respect for everybody who's in that system.

So, Mr. Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to support this bill going forward to provide a new style of board and new style of governance for that very important insurance system that we have protecting workers in this province.

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

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, I'm very pleased to be able to stand and close debate on the bill. I certainly do appreciate the comments that were made. I know there has been a lot of hard work and there has been a lot of co-operation and hard work together.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 208. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 210.

Bill No. 210 - Health Authorities Act.

[Page 8017]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 210 - An Act to Amend Chapter 6 of the Acts of 2000, the Health Authorities Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 210. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 79.

Bill No. 79 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

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

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 79, Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

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

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank the minister for bringing this bill forward. Indeed, it was a bumpy road to get here, to say the least, and I think we had to stop more than once for gas. In true fashion, the ones who supplied the real fuel for this vehicle to get through all the hurdles was the Retail Gasoline Dealers Association. They're the ones to be thanked. (Applause)

Mr. Speaker, I would say that I would have liked to have seen our bill come through, but that's fine, that's part of give and take. It's on all sides of this House that we realize the vital role that these hardworking women and men play in rural Nova Scotia, and how they're a vital part of that commerce that goes in those areas. I'm particularly glad to have a little bit of support from various areas, but indeed a whole lot of support from the retailers. I take my place and look forward to Bill No. 79 going through.

[Page 8018]

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

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, I, too, rise with pleasure to see that Bill No. 79 is passed, after being a member of the committee and travelling around the province last Summer and seeing the hard times that business operators were having just to make a living. In this day and age, we're elected to support our members, and I feel quite confident that we have done so with this. I really appreciate the members coming forward today, those who are in the gallery, the operators bringing their concerns forward, they were mentioned at all our meetings. Some of them were listened to, some of them felt that they weren't being listened to, and it was through their undying efforts to come forward today to cause this to happen.

I was very pleased to introduce the resolution stating that we would be supporting this in today's session. Mr. Speaker, I'm looking forward to seeing the results of this, on a positive basis, in the Fall when we sit again, that these independent dealers will still be with us and will be glad that we passed this legislation today. With that, I'm pleased that this legislation is coming forward.

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

The honourable Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, in closing debate I want to remark that the member opposite was correct, it was a bumpy road and we did run out of gas at one point in time, but luckily enough we revived this piece of legislation. I want to thank both Parties on the opposite side for their support and co-operation in being able to bring this piece of legislation forward. I believe this legislation will provide for an opportunity to government to provide some protection for rural Nova Scotia, particularly the operators of service stations and consumers. I think it's the right direction for us to move forward in, and having said that, I move third reading of Bill No. 79.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 79. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried. (Applause)

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I would ask for the concurrence of the House to revert to the order of business, Presenting Reports of Committees.

[Page 8019]

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, as Chairman of the Committee on Law Amendments, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 169 - Farm Registration Act.

and the committee recommends this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, with certain amendments.

MR. SPEAKER: Ordered that this bill be referred to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that you do now leave the Chair and the House resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

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

The motion is carried.

[4:15 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker, Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

[4:16 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills reports:

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and considered the following bill:

Bill No. 169 - Farm Registration Act.

[Page 8020]

and the chairman has been instructed to recommend this bill to the favourable consideration of the House, without amendment.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

MR. SPEAKER: When shall this bill be read a third time?

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Now.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 169.

Bill No. 169 - Farm Registration Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 169.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 169. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

Ordered that this bill do pass. Ordered that the title be as read by the Clerk. Ordered that the bill be engrossed.

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 8021]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that completes the government's business for today. I move now that the House do recess until 6:00 p.m. and that the moment of interruption should be considered to be 4:17 p.m.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

We've reached the moment of interruption.

[Therefore be it resolved that this government commit to indexing pensions for the former Sysco employees to the consumer price index, representing a true cost-of-living increase.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

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

SYSCO - EMPLOYEES: PENSIONS - INDEX

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I rise in my place today to speak about the indexing of pensions for former Sysco employees. I received much information on this since I've been elected, the last 19 months, from Mr. Allan Griffiths and Mr. Frank Corbett, who at that time were on the negotiating team for that deal.

This deal came about when the whole idea of indexing in the contract was as if to say that if the indexing of the Sysco pensions was based on the Duferco deal, but we all know now that the Duferco deal has been gone and whatever else, so these men who have worked and spent their lives on the steel plant have no indexing of their pension. Mr. Speaker, it's probably one of the only pensions in Nova Scotia that doesn't have any indexing of the cost- of-living allowance based on consumer price indexing.

Mr. Speaker, there were 800 employees at the time of the closure of Sydney Steel, 600 of those employees received enhanced pensions and the other 200 employees were into the severance package and are still working. I'm just talking about how I feel myself, personally, as a former steelworker. I had a phone call from a Mr. Robinson who will turn 90 years of age in September, who went on pension in the 1970s, and to this day he still makes the $300 that he made back then, and that's what he has to live on. He will be 90 years of age in September. This government is responsible for the closure of Sydney Steel and the mismanagement of the pension fund.

[Page 8022]

Mr. Speaker, the right thing to do here is to sell a few loads of the scrap that's on the ground down there and make sure the price of scrap today is top-notch, the price of a couple of loads of the scrap would probably be enough to put into the fund so that the fund can be upgraded. Another issue that some of these pensioned steelworkers have is the whole thing about the pension plan being fully funded - it can never be fully funded if there is nobody paying into it. Members are passing away all the time, so it seems like this is an injustice that has been done to these men, and some of these guys have spent their lives, their years - their families, their grandfathers, their fathers, for many years paid into this, but they could live to be 90 years of age and their pension will be still the same as it was in 2001 when the steel plant closed.

I think that any kind of pension should be based on the cost-of-living allowance, based on the consumer price index, you know this year we saw it at 1.9 per cent, even that is a modest little increase, but any kind of help as the time goes by and these men are getting older and they're in their 50s and 60s, the cost of home heating oil, the cost of gasoline, the cost of electricity, the cost of insurance, all these costs are rising around these people and they have nothing but their pension that they had since the closure of the plant to help to defer some of these costs. I mean by the time, in another 10 or 15 years time, a lot of these people will be living in poverty. These were the people who produced all the steel for World War II, people that produced the steel for many years - every piece of rail in this country from Cape Breton to British Columbia, mostly produced for CP Rail and CN Rail was produced at Sydney Steel. More lives were lost at Sydney Steel over the years producing this. The widows of these pensioners with no indexing of their pension - what they got 40 years ago. I think there has to be something done here.

When I read the contract it said contingent on the zero cost to the province. We're talking about people's lives here. We have to take care of these men. I just think it has been an injustice, the steel plant's gone. The whole campaign of this government was to get rid of Sydney Steel. Who can forget those famous postcards with a big "X" right through the middle of the steel plant and you flip the card over and it was, open more hospital beds.

We know now in this province there are no more hospital beds opened, but we do know one thing, there's no more Sydney Steel. It's a shame to see these workers struggling to provide for their families on a pension plan that has no indexing. They worked hard their whole lives. I'll give you a quote of an employee of the so-called tar ponds agency, Parker Dunham said in his column when this happened, before he became a communications consultant for the government, these are not generous pensions. This is by a person whose company is employed to provide communications for this government. This is what he said, these are not generous pensions.

A lot of these men are on pension at $1,300, $1,400 and the rate goes up the more seniority that they had. I just feel it's an injustice and I think the government has to - they're putting $20 million into Sysco this year, investing in that. Take some money and invest it into

[Page 8023]

their pension plan so we can actually see that pension plan get invested, so we can get some indexing on those pensions for those men. They've been suffering from the day they went on pension, this deal was slapped on the table at the union hall and said, take it or leave it.

I would like to give some time to my Leader, the member for Cole Harbour and I would like for him to have his say on this matter too. Thank you.

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

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: One of the great privileges one gets from being the Leader of the Opposition or the Leader of any Party is the opportunity to travel throughout this province and to meet our citizens. I must say, no place in this province is that privilege greater than when you travel to Cape Breton, because the people of Cape Breton are so entirely enthusiastic about the communities in which they live, about the province in which they live, about their Island. I have to say that it's on many occasions that I have been there and spoken with former steelworkers and they've toiled in that steel plant to help build this province.

When they retired, they retired with pensions that were, essentially, frozen on the date at which they retired. Many of them have, for years, tried to find ways to survive while their pension income has remained stagnant. As my colleague for Cape Breton Nova pointed out, as the cost of everything has continued to rise, the burden on them and their families has grown greater and greater. I think there's an obligation on behalf of the government, on behalf of the members of this Legislature to look at the plight of these steelworkers, the plight of these men and women - I guess there would have been some women who worked in the office who would be in the same position, I assume, but mostly, we'll say, it has been the men, steelworkers who I've run into who have raised this issue with me.

I have to say they make such a compelling case, and I think it's up to the members of this Legislature to understand and to try to do something for these people. If there was any indication on behalf of the government that they were willing to look at some formula that would recognize that the pensions that were decided upon, in many cases, 20 or 25 years ago, need to be adjusted in order to take into account the increase in the cost of living over those years. I know that the members of 1064, the steelworkers and their families would be eternally grateful to the members of this Legislature.

I'm appealing, Mr. Speaker, on behalf of our caucus and on behalf of those families, because I believe that this is just the right thing to do, it's just the fair thing to do to recognize their contribution to this province and to the Island of Cape Breton and to their communities.

[Page 8024]

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I rise to say a few words in support of this resolution. At the outset, I want to thank the member for Cape Breton Nova for bringing this matter forward here today for debate. Actually this pension issue with Sydney Steel workers is an issue that is both past and present. When you're dealing with the issue of indexed pensions, you're also dealing with a current issue for members who are now laid off Sydney Steel who have been expecting a pension and have not been able to convince the government, the current government, that indeed they're owed particular monies for pension.

I'll spend a few seconds talking about the indexed pension. I'm one, like the member for Cape Breton Nova, who has a great deal of interest in Sydney Steel, and not only in the company itself but the people who worked there. Having said that, we both have had relatives who worked at Sydney Steel for many years, including my father who was there for 42 years. When he retired, he didn't get much time to spend his pension, unfortunately, but his pension was the grand sum of $375 a month after 42 years of work at Sydney Steel. I'm sure that the member for Cape Breton Nova knows of similar situations in his relatives and people he knows in the Whitney Pier and Ashby area.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, that the workers at Sydney Steel have been much maligned over the years. They did not deserve that. There are people working in the management of Sydney Steel over a number of years who are getting very nice pensions, I might add, very nice pensions, while the steelworkers have been trying to get some justice here. People forget that the Sydney Steel workers, at least since 1967, I believe it was, or 1968, have become government employees and are not treated the same as other government employees in this province. They were employees of a Crown Corporation - as my friend, the member for Cape Breton Nova, so rightly pointed out - the place is closed, so they're not now members of the government employees, but they were members of a Crown Corporation.

Other members of Crown Corporations in this province have pensions that are indexed. The steelworkers do not. I think that's a shame, Mr. Speaker, that this government has not addressed that matter. When you look at what's happening down there now, the government put $20 million into Sydney Steel this year, even though the place is closed, to make their bottom line look good. As my friend, the member for Cape Breton Nova, pointed out, that could have gone to some indexing of pensions, or some pensions to members who are still struggling to get a pension out of Sydney Steel.

I also want to remind Nova Scotians, through you, Mr. Speaker, that the government is spending millions on the decommissioning of Sydney Steel. Companies are making millions of dollars off of the closure of Sydney Steel, with nothing to show for it. They're not producing anything, they're closing the place down. Ernst & Young are making millions. They were sent in there about four years ago as a liquidator, and they're still there. They've made millions off it, Zoom has made millions off it, other contractors, there's political

[Page 8025]

appointments there making big salaries, who the government have put in there. The only people who aren't benefiting from the decommissioning are the steelworkers.

[4:30 p.m.]

I think some attention should have been paid to the plight of these people who have worked there for many years and still are without indexed pension. People call me and they ask, when are we going to get justice on the pensions? Mr. Speaker, do you know what I've told them? When the government changes in Nova Scotia. That's about the only chance you're going to have, because the pleas have fallen on deaf ears with this government. This government is not interested in the plight of the Sydney Steel workers, either past, present or in the future. There's no question in my mind about that. I think their interest today is evidenced across the way here today. I know I shouldn't point out the fact, so I won't, but I sound like I'm playing to an empty house here today, when I look over there. I do appreciate the members of the Official Opposition listening to me, anyway.

I have to tell you, Mr. Speaker, there's an injustice here that has to be corrected. There's an injustice here that cries out. I remember the Minister responsible for Sydney Steel and the Premier coming to Sydney, and they said, don't worry, the steelworkers will be looked after. We have a buyer for the Sydney Steel plant, and you people are going to be looked after. If this sale falls through, don't worry about it, we'll look after you. That never happened. That never happened at all.

The minister of the day stood in front of the Steelworkers Hall and promised steelworkers they'd be compensated, their pensions would be safe, and to this day they're still fighting for justice, Mr. Speaker. They're still fighting for justice. There are issues out there. What's going to happen to these steelworkers in another few months or maybe even a year or two, when the government gets tired of paying off all its friends, the contractors, for large contracts there? What's going to happen? The continuous caster, the u-mill, all the important ingredients for railmaking, for example, were fire saled for $4.5 million, and then the company it was sold to sold it for $25 million in Iran. They made a quick $21 million profit for that equipment, equipment, by the way, that was worth 10 times what the government sold it for.

I'm saying shame on the government for allowing that to happen. That money could have been used for steelworkers. As a matter of fact, Mr. Speaker, if they had left the equipment on the site, I'm sure that some private sector operator would have decided, with the expertise that's available, to operate a small rail mill in the Sydney area, in private hands, because of the world shortage of steel, particularly in rails, that we're seeing.

Now what's going to happen is the government has fire saled the equipment, and Iran will probably make rails and sell them back to the Canadian Government, or to CP and CN. That's what's probably going to happen here. Instead of the rails being produced by people

[Page 8026]

in Sydney, they'll be produced by somebody in Iran, and the Government of Nova Scotia will have given them a free ticket to do it.

There's no question in my mind that the government set out to win the last election on the backs of the Sydney Steel workers, and they accomplished that. I again refer to my opening statement, the steelworkers were much maligned and did not deserve that. Lots of people should have been maligned there, but not the steelworkers. I can tell you that the only people who are hurting there, Mr. Speaker, the only people are the steelworkers who are on pension, as I said to you earlier, people like the people who worked with my father at the plant who are out there right now, they're in their 80s and 90s now and they're still only getting $375 or less a month.

AN HON. MEMBER: Or $310.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Whatever it is, $310, some of them are getting even less than that.

There's a new group of pensioners who are down there now, who are going to be in the same position as they grow older, no indexed pension. To me, that cries out for somebody to do something about it, because every single person that I know working for a Crown Corporation - and that's a problem, because the government has never admitted that steelworkers were government employees. The day that the government took over the operation of Sydney Steel, they became government employees, through the Crown Corporation called Sydney Steel. The government has never acknowledged that, nor has the government acknowledged the plight of the steelworkers who were promised justice by the Premier of the day and the Sysco minister, who was the Minister of Economic Development at the time.

I can be a little kinder to the Premier with regard to his statements because he did his usual dance around the issue, but I can't be kind to the Minister of Economic Development who did not tell the truth at the time to the Sydney Steel workers. Did not tell the truth and got the first plane out of Sydney the same afternoon and that was the last they saw of him after he made that promise, to keep them quiet at the time. It worked for awhile but now they're realizing they were duped. They were duped and it's a shame, some of these people are living on very limited incomes and they worked hard over the years.

Anybody who's worked at the Sydney Steel plant would know that's no piece of cake to work, for example, in the coke ovens. We all know the industrial hazards of working there over the years. That's another matter that history will address at some point down the road, as well as the environmental problems at Sydney Steel - that's going to have to be addressed.

[Page 8027]

But right now there's an issue that the government can do something about - providing adequate pensions for Sydney Steel workers including a renewed look at the indexing problem for the pensioners at Sydney Steel. I hope the government will listen to the steelworkers. I have a meeting scheduled with Roger Faulkner, I believe it's next week, he's with the United Steelworkers of America, to discuss this issue. I hope we all can get together and convince the government to do something about it. Thank you very much. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: I thank the honourable members for taking part in this debate this evening, a very important debate. The House will recess until 6:00 p.m.

[4:37 p.m. The House recessed.]

[6:05 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: His Honour the Administrator is without.

MR. SPEAKER: Let His Honour the Administrator be admitted.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[The Administrator, the Chief Justice, Hon. Michael MacDonald, preceded by his escort, and by Mr. Noel Knockwood, the Sergeant-at-Arms, bearing the Mace, entered the House of Assembly Chamber. The Administrator then took his seat on the Throne.

The Sergeant-at-Arms then departed and re-entered the Chamber followed by the Speaker, the Honourable Murray Scott; the Chief Clerk of the House, Roderick MacArthur, Q.C.; Assistant Clerk Arthur Fordham, Q.C.; and Assistant Clerk Neil Ferguson. They took up their position at the foot of the Speaker's Table.]

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: It is the wish of His Honour that the ladies and gentlemen be seated.

MR. SPEAKER: May it please Your Honour, the General Assembly of the Province has, in its present session, passed certain bills to which, in the name and on behalf of the General Assembly, I respectfully request Your Honour's Assent.

THE CLERK:

Bill No. 79 - Petroleum Products Pricing Act.

Bill No. 117 - Emergency Health Services Act.

[Page 8028]

Bill No. 134 - Yarmouth Marketing and Promotions Levy Act.

Bill No. 145 - Elections Act.

Bill No. 146 - Cross-border Policing Act.

Bill No. 147 - Youth Justice Act/Motor Vehicle Act.

Bill No. 148 - Justice Administration Amendment (2005) Act.

Bill No. 152 - Liquor Control Act.

Bill No. 153 - Public Service Act.

Bill No. 158 - Paramedics Act.

Bill No. 159 - Université Sainte-Anne - Collége de l'Acadie Act.

Bill No. 160 - University College of Cape Breton Act.

Bill No. 161 - Special Places Protection Act.

Bill No. 162 - Public Utilities Act.

Bill No. 165 - Education Act.

Bill No. 168 - Securities Act.

Bill No. 169 - Farm Registration Act.

Bill No. 173 - Bee Industry Act.

Bill No. 174 - Auditor General Act.

Bill No. 177 - Financial Measures (2005) Act.

Bill No. 179 - Self-managed Support-care Act.

Bill No. 180 - Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 191 - Municipal Law Amendment (2005) Act.

Bill No. 192 - Alexander Graham Bell Day Act.

[Page 8029]

Bill No. 197 - Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act.

Bill No. 198 - Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission Act.

Bill No. 202 - Children and Family Services Act.

Bill No. 205 - Securities Act.

Bill No. 206 - Camp Hill Foundation Act/Victoria General Hospital Foundation Act.

Bill No. 207 - Provincial Finance Act.

Bill No. 208 - Workers' Compensation Act.

Bill No. 210 - Health Authorities Act.

THE ADMINISTRATOR:

In Her Majesty's name, I Assent to these Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Your Honour, having been graciously pleased to give your Assent to the Bills passed during the present Session, it becomes my agreeable duty on behalf of Her Majesty's dutiful and loyal subjects, Her faithful Commons of Nova Scotia in General Assembly assembled, to present to Your Honour a bill for the Appropriation of Supply granted in the present Session for the support of the Public Service and to request Your Honour's Assent thereto.

THE CLERK:

Bill No. 215 - An Act to Provide for Defraying Certain Charges and Expenses of the Public Service of the Province.

THE ADMINISTRATOR:

In Her Majesty's name, I thank Her loyal subjects, I accept their benevolence and I Assent to this Bill.

[The Speaker and the Clerks left the Chamber.]

[The Administrator left the Chamber.]

[Page 8030]

SERGEANT-AT-ARMS: His Honour, the Speaker.

[The Speaker took the Chair.]

MR. SPEAKER: Please be seated. Just before we close, I want to take the opportunity to thank all members for their working together during this session. It has made it quite enjoyable for myself. I'd like to thank the members and wish all the members and their families a very happy and safe Summer. I would ask all honourable members to please join with me in the singing of the national anthem.

[The national anthem was sung by the members.]

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you. Please be seated. I think that gets better each time.

The honourable Premier.

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, and members of the House of Assembly, I move that this General Assembly be now adjourned, to meet again at the call of the Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The House is adjourned until the call of the Speaker. (Applause)

[6:14 p.m. The House adjourned.]

[Page 8031]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4326

By: Mr. Harold Theriault (Digby-Annapolis)

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

Whereas the population in Digby-Annapolis is growing older every year and our nursing homes are becoming overfilled, leaving us with no place to put our beloved seniors; and

Whereas we have to send many of our seniors from their homes to nursing home facilities which are located in other counties; and

Whereas I have had many concerns raised within my riding from the seniors and their children regarding the burden of travelling long distances and the discomfort of being uprooted from their counties;

Therefore be it resolved that this government renew its plan to place more nursing homes in the riding of Digby-Annapolis and within the entire province.

RESOLUTION NO. 4327

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 the early development of children can only lead to a more healthy and educated learning environment for children upon entering Primary; and

Whereas Lake Charles Academy in Waverley is a terrific place for pre-Primary students to begin learning prior to beginning school; and

Whereas Lake Charles Academy, with the addition of two new staff this year, believes strongly in instilling the written word into all students in a variety of ways, from reading and writing poetry to "Hands on Learning" involving math and science;

[Page 8032]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House extend their best wishes to Christine Woodbury, owner of Lake Charles Academy, and her staff, for the successful graduation of 10 more students in 2005, and for their creative ideas in preparing children for what many youngsters refer to as "big school".

RESOLUTION NO. 4328

By: Hon. David Morse (Community Services)

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

Whereas the chairman of the New Minas Village Commission accepts the primary responsibility for directing and representing the affairs of the village; and

Whereas Ted Nicholson has just concluded an extraordinary run of six consecutive three-year terms totalling 18 years, during which he was elected to be the chairman for 16 of those years; and

Whereas his congenial and welcoming nature set the bar high for all future chairmen as New Minas' ambassador;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge and thank Ted Nicholson for his exemplary service to the citizens of New Minas.

RESOLUTION NO. 4329

By: Hon. David Morse (Community Services)

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

Whereas village commissioners are often the consummate volunteers, being very generous with their time and local knowledge to help shape the future of their village; and

Whereas Marvin Messon is one of those special people, concluding his sixth term for a total of 18 years as a member of the New Minas Village Commission; and

Whereas Marvin Messon's steady guidance and friendly nature has endeared him to all of the citizens in New Minas;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank Marvin Messon for his significant contribution to the people of his community.

[Page 8033]

RESOLUTION NO. 4330

By: Hon. David Morse (Community Services)

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

Whereas having been greatly blessed to have Lida MacDonald as one of our leading citizens, New Minas residents are saddened by her recent passing; and

Whereas Lida MacDonald showed courage, wisdom and warmth to all those fortunate enough to have known her; and

Whereas my family was one of the many to have the good fortune to call Lida a friend;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and celebrate the life of Lida MacDonald and all that she brought to our community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4331

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas geoscientists from around the world are gathering in Halifax this week for the Atlantic Geoscience Society and the Geological Society of America's Northeastern Section; and

Whereas members of the Department of Natural Resources Mineral Resources Branch have provided invaluable assistance in coordinating and organizing this conference; and

Whereas mining in Nova Scotia has a long and proud history, longer than Confederation itself;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House welcome the delegates to Halifax and to Nova Scotia, and wish them every success as they explore major issues of geoscience of the past, the present and the future.

[Page 8034]

RESOLUTION NO. 4332

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Dave Dauphinee, a conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources Regional Services, received an award of recognition from Trout Nova Scotia for his role in co-operative enforcement work protecting native brook trout in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Officer Dave Dauphinee conducted a joint back country canoe patrol with federal Fishery Officer Timothy Owen to detect illegal activity, and followed up the patrol during the next few days with vehicle checks in the area, and they successfully apprehended and convicted two suspects of possessing 62 native brook trout; the legal limit was 10 fish; and

Whereas Dave's and Tim's work and case preparation resulted in fines totalling $3,000; this being one of the highest fines received for this type of offence in the Province of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dave and Tim for their work and successful prosecution of these offenders. The success of their efforts has sent a strong message that this type of illegal activity will not be tolerated, and that this government is serious about protecting our natural resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4333

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont (Agriculture and Fisheries)

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

Whereas the Municipality of Argyle is commemorating its 125th Anniversary of Incorporation; and

Whereas a committee has been formed to plan activities throughout the year; and

Whereas as part of the celebrations, a ceremony was held to unveil a wooden carving of the municipality's new bilingual log designed by Bruce Jacquard of Arcadia;

[Page 8035]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending congratulations to the Municipality of the District of Argyle for its 125-year history, and wish them much success throughout this special year.

RESOLUTION NO. 4334

By: Hon. Christopher d'Entremont (Agriculture and Fisheries)

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

Whereas Anna LeBlanc, a member of the Canadian Air Force from 1941 to 1945, was the only female legionnaire for 40 years; and

Whereas Mrs. Anna LeBlanc was also the first woman to hold the title of president of the Canadian Legion Branch 155 in Wedgeport, and was also one of only three women from Wedgeport to join the Air Force; and

Whereas Mrs. LeBlanc, now 86, still participates in the Legion and is also involved in other organizations such as the veterans spouses group that have over the years brought much support to local Legions like the one in Wedgeport;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Mrs. LeBlanc's contribution to her community and to our country, first by serving in the war and the decades she has spent in the Canadian Legion, as well as numerous regional and national organizations.

RESOLUTION NO. 4335

De: Christopher d'Entremont (Député)

À une date ultérieure, je demanderai l'adoption de la résolution suivante:

Attendu que Anna LeBlanc, qui était member de l'Aviation canadienne de 1941 à 1945, fut la seule femme légionnaire pendant 40 ans;

Attendu que Mme LeBlanc est ainsi la seule femme à avoir occupé le poste de présidente de la succursale 155 de la Légion royale canadienne de Wedgeport, et elle est aussie l'une des trois seules femmes de Wedgeport à se joinder aux Forces armées;

Attendu que Mme LeBlanc, maintenant âgée de 86 ans, participe encore aux activités de la Légion et s'est jointe aux éspouses des anciens combattants qui apportent un soutien important à la Légion de Wedgeport;

[Page 8036]

Par conséquent, qu'il soit résolu que tous les members de cette assemblée reconnaissent la contribution de Mme LeBlanc à sa communauté et son pays, par sa participation aux Forces d'armées, a la Légion et par les années consacrées à de nombreuses organisations régionales et nationales.

RESOLUTION NO. 4336

By: Mr. Kevin Deveaux (Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage)

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

Whereas Astral Drive Junior High School has a long tradition of excellence in athletics in both the capital region and at the provincial level; and

Whereas Astral Drive Junior High School participated in numerous capital region and Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Championships in the past school year; and

Whereas Astral Drive Junior High School won a number of Akerley Zone and Capital Region Championships, including cross-country running, girls' soccer, and chess, and a second-place finish in the provincial championship in badminton;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate all those students, staff and parents at Astral Drive Junior High School for another successful year in athletics, and in particular those teams that won zone and regional championships.

RESOLUTION NO. 4337

By: Hon. Kerry Morash (Environment and Labour)

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

Whereas George Bernard Shaw once said "To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching"; and

Whereas Stephen Nickerson, a Grade 8 teacher at South Queens Junior High School, was named Teacher of the Year by the South Shore District School Board; and

Whereas Mr. Nickerson has a passion for social studies that is passed on to his students through animated descriptions and re-enactments of historical events;

[Page 8037]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the difference that Stephen Nickerson has made to his students through his passion for teaching.

RESOLUTION NO. 4338

By: Hon. Kerry Morash (Environment and Labour)

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

Whereas every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood; and

Whereas less than 4 per cent of Canadians donate blood; and

Whereas David Young of Queens County has been a regular blood donor, making over 100 contributions in just under 25 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the commitment that David Young has made to saving lives in Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 4339

By: Hon. Kerry Morash (Environment and Labour)

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

Whereas Royal Canadian Navy veteran Mr. Cecil Dean of Brooklyn, Queens County, served as a Petty Officer Calligrapher during World War II, and for his service was decorated with numerous medals, including the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal, the Atlantic Star, the Canadian Forces Decoration, Victory Medal, and the 1939-1945 Star; and

Whereas Mr. Dean served as part of Canada's D-Day invasion force at Juno Beach, as well as in the North Atlantic Convoy abroad HMCS Outremont, ensuring vital supplies were delivered safely to the Allies in Europe; and

Whereas Mr. Dean also served as Petty Officer in charge of radio communications on the Murmansk Run which, because of its strategic importance, fierce German resistance, and extreme weather conditions, was considered among the most dangerous and important missions during World War II, causing many to consider the sailors who participated in these convoys "some of the bravest veterans in history";

[Page 8038]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House pay tribute to Mr. Cecil Dean who served for nearly the entire length of World War II and who was part of a small delegation of Canadians who returned to Murmansk, Russia, in May 2005 to mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

RESOLUTION NO. 4340

By: Mr. Darrell Dexter (Leader of the Official Opposition)

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

Whereas the Titans Gymnastics and Trampoline is the largest GymSport organization east of Quebec; and

Whereas the Titans Gymnastics and Trampoline organization and the Dartmouth Titans Gymnastics Club will host the 2005 Eastern Canadian Trampoline and Tumbling Championships May 27th through May 29th; and

Whereas this is the first time this event has been held in Nova Scotia and will bring together about 300 amateur athletics from the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the Titans Gymnastics and Trampoline organization, the Dartmouth Titans Gymnastics Club, and all the sponsors and the athletes who will participate in this event over the coming weekend.

RESOLUTION NO. 4341

By: Mr. James DeWolfe (Pictou East)

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

Whereas the mysterious fire at the Pictou Bar Lighthouse ranked as one of the top five heritage losses in Canada in 2004; and

Whereas the executive director of the Heritage Canada Foundation, Brian Anthony, said such a list is combined annually to show how quickly significant historical and heritage buildings can disappear; and

Whereas Anthony believes in the importance of shining the national spotlight on such horrendous losses to generate support for the preservation of Canadian heritage;

[Page 8039]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House understand and appreciate the historical significance of Nova Scotia's many great heritage buildings.

RESOLUTION NO. 4342

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city and our province; and

Whereas Anne MacMillan has worked tirelessly to improve her community, and she is always willing to give her time and her expertise to both improve and protect Mainland North; and

Whereas in recognition of the commitment Anne has made to her church and community, the 2005 Community Service and Development Award has been presented to Anne MacMillan by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Anne MacMillan, recognize the commitment she has made to her community, and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4343

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city and our province; and

Whereas Shayma Abdelmagid has given over 200 hours to the Halifax West High School Multicultural Club, and has worked tirelessly to make HWHS and the surrounding community a place where all cultures are welcomed; and

Whereas in recognition of the commitment Shayma has made to her community, the 2005 Multicultural Awareness Award has been presented to her by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

[Page 8040]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature congratulate Shayma Abdelmagid, recognize the commitment she has made to her community, and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4344

By: Mr. John MacDonell (Hants East)

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

Whereas volunteers often donate skills that were obtained in their former place of employment; and

Whereas Walter Farmer, a retired teacher, donates his knowledge and time helping elementary children at Enfield District School; and

Whereas on May 27th, on Volunteer Awards Night, Walter Farmer will be recognized by the Municipality of East Hants with the Shining Star Award for his ongoing involvement with the education of our children;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Walter Farmer on his Shining Star Award from the Municipality of East Hants, and thank him for continuing to care about the elementary school children at Enfield District School enough to help.

RESOLUTION NO. 4345

By: Mr. John MacDonell (Hants East)

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

Whereas veterans continue to serve volunteers, visit the sick and lonely; and

Whereas Walter Ramsey, a WWII veteran, continues to serve his country by visiting the sick and lonely, as well as helping out his Legion, Shubenacadie Branch 111; and

Whereas on May 27th on Volunteer Awards Night, Mr. Ramsey will be recognized by the Municipality of East Hants with the Shining Star Award for his part in making life easier for those who need a friend;

[Page 8041]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Walter Ramsey on his Shining Star Award from the Municipality of East Hants, and thank him for continuing to serve his community through the Shubenacadie Branch 111 Legion.

RESOLUTION NO. 4346

By: Hon. Ronald Russell (Transportation and Public Works)

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

Whereas the president and CEO of Minas Basin Pulp and Power in Hantsport, Scott Travers, has been named one of the Top 50 Chief Executive Officers in Atlantic Canada by Atlantic Canada Business Magazine; and

Whereas this year's list marks the seventh annual compilation of Top CEOs in Atlantic Canada by the magazine; and

Whereas the Top 50 named for 2005 operate companies with combined annual revenues of $18.4 billion while employing 80,000 Atlantic Canadians;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs commend Minas Basin Pulp and Power CEO Scott Travers on his prestigious ranking, and wish him every success as he finishes the year as chairman and president of the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada.

RESOLUTION NO. 4347

By: Hon. Michael Baker (Justice)

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

Whereas the Lunenburg County United Way offers programs and services that assist families and youth within our communities; and

Whereas the United Way has had a very successful fundraising campaign having exceeded their 2004 fundraising goal by 40 per cent, largely due to the support of many Lunenburg County businesses; and

Whereas the 2004 United Way Campaign has raised $90,357.03 which it will use to support initiatives which will improve the communities we live in;

[Page 8042]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate the Lunenburg County United Way on their successful fundraising campaign and on the assistance it provides to our communities.

RESOLUTION NO. 4348

By: Hon. Michael Baker (Justice)

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

Whereas composting plays an important role in reducing the amount of waste at our landfills; and

Whereas Lunenburg Regional Recycling and Composting Facility has been recognized for its waste reduction initiatives and for its production of quality compost; and

Whereas Donna Sampson's Grade 6 class at Lunenburg Jr./Sr. High School has been presented with a composter by the Lunenburg Regional Recycling and Composting Facility in recognition of their efforts to promote composting at their school;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Lunenburg Regional Recycling and Composting Facility and Donna Sampson's Grade 6 class for their efforts to educate others about the benefits of composting.

RESOLUTION NO. 4349

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers are an essential resource for our province, providing countless hours of their time and talents to assist their fellow citizens through the many charitable organizations which exist today; and

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division, is just one of those organizations which relies on assistance from a team of dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the society recently paid tribute to several of its outstanding volunteers, including the members of the Kappa Laureate Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, who were presented with the National Special Recognition Award;

[Page 8043]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate the members of the Kappa Laureate Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi on being recognized for their contributions in helping the society continue to move forward in the fight against cancer.

RESOLUTION NO. 4350

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers are an essential resource for our province, providing countless hours of their time and talents to assist their fellow citizens through the many charitable organizations which exist today; and

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division, is just one of those organizations which relies on assistance from a team of dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the society recently paid tribute to several of its outstanding volunteers, including Anita MacKay, who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate Ms. MacKay on being recognized for her contributions in helping the society continue to move forward in the fight against cancer.

RESOLUTION NO. 4351

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas our volunteers are an essential resource for our province, providing countless hours of their time and talents to assist their fellow citizens through the many charitable organizations which exist today; and

Whereas the Canadian Cancer Society, Nova Scotia Division, is just one of those organizations which relies on assistance from a team of dedicated volunteers; and

Whereas the society recently paid tribute to several of its outstanding volunteers, including Gordon "Bookie" MacDonald, who was presented with the Pictou East Unit, National Special Recognition Award;

[Page 8044]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature congratulate Mr. MacDonald on being recognized for his contributions in helping the society continue to move forward in the fight against cancer.

RESOLUTION NO. 4352

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas while Mrs. Mary Eva Lipton - a former Stellarton resident - passed away in Truro in March, her legacy lives on through her extensive family; and

Whereas at the age of 105, Mrs. Lipton will be remembered fondly by her surviving children, her 68 grandchildren, 136 great-grandchildren and 43 great-great-grandchildren, along with the residents and staff of the Mira Nursing Home and her former community, for her love of life and music; and

Whereas, through her incredible life, in addition to raising a large family, Mrs. Lipton gave back to her community through extensive efforts with the C.W.L. for which she was honoured with a 25-year and 50-year pin, proclaimed the Catholic Women's League Woman of the Year while living in Saskatoon, and finally being honoured with a lifelong C.W.L. membership;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature honour the life and legacy of this phenomenal woman who epitomized what life should be all about - family, community service and happiness.

RESOLUTION NO. 4353

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas for the 67th year, the New Glasgow Music Festival showcased the fine talents of our young singers and musicians; and

Whereas the Junior Cup went this year to Eureka resident Maren McLean who competed in 10 solo performances and six duets in piano, voice and brass; and

[Page 8045]

Whereas Ms. McLean not only won the Junior Cup and the $400 prize that accompanies that honour, she also received the Northumberland Regional High School Band Auxiliary Award and the Shirley Bent Memorial Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the tremendous showing of Ms. McLean in this year's festival and wish her well as she continues her musical training.

RESOLUTION NO. 4354

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas for the 67th year, the New Glasgow Music Festival showcased the fine talents of our young singers and musicians; and

Whereas the highest award - a Rose Bowl - went this year to New Glasgow resident, Sheila Aucoin, who competed in both piano and voice classes; and

Whereas Ms. Aucoin not only won the Rose Bowl and the $600 prize that accompanies that honour, she also received the $100 award for outstanding senior performance in musical theatre, the Vivian Brand Memorial Scholarship and the Harry Murray Memorial Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the tremendous showing of Ms. Aucoin in this year's festival and wish her well as she continues her training in both voice and piano.

RESOLUTION NO. 4355

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas in a wonderful profile written by Bill Spurr, the amazing life of Pictou County native Wilf Creighton was outlined for all to read; and

Whereas this now Halifax resident marked his birthday this month, celebrating 101 years and a life filled with adventure, hard work and personal achievement; and

[Page 8046]

Whereas Mr. Creighton enjoyed travelling the world, international hockey games, his first Model T, felt the sting of the Depression and witnessed the horrors associated with the rise of Hitler, became Nova Scotia's first forester and eventually a Deputy Minister for the then Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forests for two decades, and contributed to groundbreaking work on sustainable forestry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature wish Mr. Creighton a Happy 101st Birthday and continued good health, thank him for his contributions to this province, and applaud his good living habits which he attributes as part of his longevity.

RESOLUTION NO. 4356

By: Hon. John Hamm (Premier)

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

Whereas the United Way of Pictou County announced this March the creation of two perpetual awards to honour outstanding volunteers; and

Whereas one of those awards is named the Jack Pink United Way Volunteer Award, to go to a Pictou County resident who has shown exceptional volunteer leadership with the local United Way, devotes considerable time and effort in a volunteer capacity as a community leader and chooses to give of their time freely for no personal gain - characteristics of the very individual for whom this award is named; and

Whereas the first recipient of the award is Bill MacCulloch, a long-time supporter of the United Way, who has donated countless time and considerable talent to many campaigns and has shown true leadership abilities in his community and with the United Way;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud Mr. MacCulloch and thank him for his tremendous contributions to his fellow citizens, and commend the United Way of Pictou County for their work and for honouring, through this award, the considerable contributions of a tremendous volunteer for our county, Mr. Jack Pink.

RESOLUTION NO. 4357

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

[Page 8047]

Whereas a Canada Post stamp commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Canso Causeway in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, will be unveiled; and

Whereas the building of the Canso Causeway was a great engineering accomplishment, especially during the year of 1955; and

Whereas this structure is one of the most important in the Strait area, and its importance will be recognized on its 50th Anniversary by an official Canada Post stamp commemorating the event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the Canso Causeway on this 50th Anniversary, and also recognize Canada Post for introducing a stamp in its honour.

RESOLUTION NO. 4358

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Jodi MacInnis, a 21-year-old resident of Louisdale, Richmond County, was chosen as a finalist in a national competition headed by Glow Magazine to be on the cover of the issue; and

Whereas Jodi entered into the competition by submitting a brief article on her battle with Crohn's disease and a picture of herself; and

Whereas Jodi's story about her Crohn's disease may reach out to other young people struggling with this disease;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jodi MacInnis on becoming a finalist in the Glow Magazine national competition, and wish her luck throughout the duration of the contest.

RESOLUTION NO. 4359

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

[Page 8048]

Whereas Leonie Samson and Wilfred Duann were chosen as Queen and King of the Winter fun day at the St. Anne Community and Nursing Care Centre in Arichat; and

Whereas the Winter fun day was organized by the centre for the various residents of the St. Anne Centre and their families; and

Whereas Leonie and Wilfred are to be commended for receiving their titles as King and Queen of this special event;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Leonie Samson and Wilfred Duann for their participation and recognition in the Winter fun day at St. Anne Centre, and wish them well in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4360

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Cyril MacPhee participated in the ECMA 72-hour music festivities as a performer and soloist; and

Whereas this is one of many of Mr. MacPhee's appearances at the ECMAs as he has also participated as a soloist and member of the musical band Brakin' Tradition; and

Whereas Cyril MacPhee is a member of the community of St. Peter's and continues to contribute to the East Coast musical community by participating in various events, and who continues to be an inspiration to so many young musicians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Cyril MacPhee on his involvement in this year's ECMA celebrations, and wish him continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4361

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Stora Enso achieved another important milestone at their Richmond facility; and

[Page 8049]

Whereas the supercalendered paper machine, purchased by Stora Enso on April 15, 1998, which has broken various daily world production records and has recently produced its two-millionth ton on February 12, 2005; and

Whereas Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury Ltd. has been operating in Nova Scotia since 1962, and remains a major producer of supercalendered paper in North America, and currently employs 575 full-time employees in the Strait area;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend their sincerest congratulations to the staff and management of Stora Enso Port Hawkesbury Ltd. in achieving yet another production milestone.

RESOLUTION NO. 4362

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas the Strait Regional School Board staff and students have raised approximately $31,000 for tsunami relief; and

Whereas this is an extremely large sum of money for students to raise within a region where there are considerable employment issues in various communities; and

Whereas this amount reflects the initiative of the staff and students of the various schools throughout the Strait Regional School Board to aid in the effort to help tsunami victims abroad;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the contribution made by the staff and students of the Strait Regional School Board in raising $31,000 for the Asian tsunami relief effort.

RESOLUTION NO. 4363

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas T.J. Burke of River Bourgeois has received multiple academic accolades from Dalhousie University for his performance as an outstanding student; and

[Page 8050]

Whereas T.J. has been awarded the Archibald Award as a top student in the Physics Department for obtaining the highest academic average and has also received a membership to the Golden Key International Honours Society as a result of his achievements; and

Whereas these successes represent the hard work and dedication that T.J. Burke has invested into his studies as a student at Dalhousie University;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate T.J. Burke for being the recipient of the Archibald Award for academic achievement and for obtaining membership in the prestigious Golden Key International Honours Society, while wishing him continued success in his academic pursuits.

RESOLUTION NO. 4364

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas staff and students of École Beau-Port in Arichat recently received a plaque of participation from the RCMP for their involvement in the Race Against Drugs Program; and

Whereas drug prevention continues to be an important tool to educate children on the effects and consequences of substance use; and

Whereas increasing drug awareness by participation in such programs may reduce the occurrence of future drug use among students attending École Beau-Port;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the staff and students of École Beau-Port for contributing to drug awareness and prevention by participating in the Race Against Drugs Program.

RESOLUTION NO. 4365

By: Mr. Michel Samson (Leader in the House of the Liberal Party)

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

Whereas Captain Scott Malcolm, a Lower River native, served with the Canadian Force's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) in Sri Lanka following the tsunami disaster of December 26, 2004; and

[Page 8051]

Whereas Scott Malcolm received his Bachelor of Science degree from Harvard University and continued his education as a medical student with the Canadian Forces through Dalhousie University; and

Whereas Scott is a Canadian who has employed his expertise as a medical doctor in a selfless manner by providing his services to another country at a time when it is truly needed;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Scott as an outstanding Canadian for his noble involvement in the tsunami relief effort in Sri Lanka.

RESOLUTION NO. 4366

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Springhill High School will hold its graduation ceremonies on Thursday, June 23, 2005; and

Whereas approximately 64 students will be graduating from Springhill High School and beginning the next phase of their lives; and

Whereas the graduation will be held for the first time at the new Richard Calder Arena in the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre, where Principal Bill Campbell will be honoured as well on his retirement;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the graduating students of Springhill High School, thank the families of the students for their encouragement and support and especially thank the staff of Springhill High School for their dedication to educating our youth, and wish them the best in all of their future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4367

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. WO Kyle Simpson of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005, and was presented the National Certification Standard and Cadet Long Service Medal (six years); and

[Page 8052]

Whereas Kyle was also commended for his job as Parade Warrant Officer for Cadet Corps 2553; and

Whereas Kyle will be entering Grade 12 in the Fall at Oxford Regional High School and has been an asset to the Cadet Corps since joining in Grade 6;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Kyle Simpson on these outstanding achievements, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4368

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas John Bragg, Nova Scotia businessman and distinguished Allisonian, was installed university chancellor during Mount Allison's reunion and convocation celebrations; and

Whereas John Bragg is an excellent ambassador and supporter of Mount Allison, and university officials are very gratified that someone of John Bragg's stature is volunteering his time in this important role; and

Whereas John Bragg is a Mount Allison graduate and holds honorary degrees from Mount Allison and Acadia University, a long-time Board of Regents member and is president, chairman and co-CEO of Oxford Frozen Foods Ltd., as well as president of several affiliated companies and is a director for several prominent Canadian companies including Sobeys Inc., the Empire Company Ltd., TD Financial Group, and Canada Bread, all of which has earned him the title of Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Atlantic Lifetime Achievement award and so much more;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate John Bragg for his outstanding and prestigious appointment, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4369

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

[Page 8053]

Whereas The Springhill Parrsboro Record was the recipient of the Rotary Club of Springhill's Vocational Service Award; and

Whereas the President of the Rotary Club, Rod Potter, presented manager Kevin Cummings with the award; and

Whereas The Record received this award in recognition of devoted and valuable service to the community and for furthering the principles of the Rotary way of life;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate The Springhill Parrsboro Record on this outstanding achievement, and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4370

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. Tyrel Kaluza of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Tyrel was presented with the National Certification Honours; and

Whereas Tyrel has been an asset to the Cadet Corps and his family, fellow students and friends are very proud of him and his accomplishments;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cdt. Tyrel Kaluza on these outstanding achievements, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4371

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. Cpl. Korri MacDonald of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Korri was awarded the Angela Crowley Memorial Trophy for Best All Round Cadet; and

[Page 8054]

Whereas Korri has been an asset to the Cadet Corps and his family, fellow students and friends are very proud of his accomplishments;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cdt. Cpl. Korri MacDonald on these outstanding achievements, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4372

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. Cpl. Matthew Duggan of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Matthew was presented with the Bruce Hunter Award for Most Improved Cadet; and

Whereas Matthew has been an asset to the Cadet Corps and his family, fellow students and friends are very proud of his accomplishments;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cdt. Cpl. Matthew Duggan on these outstanding achievements, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4373

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. Brittany McLaughlin of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Brittany was presented with the award for the Best First Year Cadet; and

Whereas Brittany has been an asset to the Cadet Corps and her family, fellow students and friends are very proud of her accomplishments;

[Page 8055]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Brittany McLaughlin on these outstanding achievements, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4374

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas MWO Naomi Cole of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Naomi was this year's Parade Commander and was presented with the Parade Commander's Award and her Cadet Long Service Medal (6 years); and

Whereas Naomi has been an asset to the Cadet Corps and her family, fellow students and friends are very proud of her accomplishments;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Naomi Cole on these outstanding achievements, and wish her continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4375

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. Casey Perrin of Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Casey was presented with the award for Physical Fitness by the Corps; and

Whereas Casey has been an asset to the Cadet Corps and her family, fellow students and friends are very proud of her accomplishments;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cdt. Casey Perrin on these outstanding achievements, and wish her continued success in the future.

[Page 8056]

RESOLUTION NO. 4376

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cdt. Cpl. Robert Visser of the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps No. 2553 in Oxford was honoured at the Ceremonial Review on May 9, 2005; and

Whereas Cdt. Cpl. Robert Visser was presented with the best 2nd Year Cadet and Marksmanship Pin; and

Whereas Robert has been a asset to the Cadet Corps, and his family, fellow students and friends are very proud of his accomplishments;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Robert Visser on these outstanding achievements, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4377

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas F/Sgt. Ryan Matthews of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas F/Sgt. Ryan Matthews received a certificate for perfect attendance with his squadron, Veteran's Memorial Citizenship Trophy, and earned the Cadet Medal of Excellence; and

Whereas F/Sgt. Ryan Matthews is an asset to the 689, and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate F/Sgt. Ryan Matthews on this achievement, and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

[Page 8057]

RESOLUTION NO. 4378

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Sgt. Clifford Bennett of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas Sgt. Clifford Bennett received a certificate for perfect attendance with his squadron, the General Curleigh Trophy, and was also the winner of the Kettle Boiling Contest; and

Whereas Sgt. Clifford Bennett is an asset to the 689, and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sgt. Clifford Bennett on this achievement, and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4379

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas F/Sgt. Josh Paris of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas F/Sgt. Josh Paris was presented with his Graduation Certificate, the Robinson Fellowship Trophy, and was awarded with a $1,000 Canadian Cadet Scholarship Fund; and

Whereas F/Sgt. Josh Paris was an incredible asset to the 689, and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate F/Sgt. Josh Paris on this achievement, and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

[Page 8058]

RESOLUTION NO. 4380

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas AC Malcolm Campbell of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas AC Malcolm Campbell received a certificate for perfect attendance with his squadron; and

Whereas AC Malcolm Campbell is an asset to the 689, and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate AC Malcolm Campbell on this achievement, and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4381

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas AC Martina Yorke of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas AC Martina Yorke received a certificate for perfect attendance with her squadron; and

Whereas AC Martina Yorke is an asset to the 689, and her fellow cadets, friends and family hold her in high regard for her accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate AC Martina Yorke on this achievement, and wish her continued success in all of her future endeavours.

[Page 8059]

RESOLUTION NO. 4382

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cpl. Alysa Shaw of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas Cpl. Alysa Shaw received a certificate for perfect attendance with her squadron as well as receiving her Orienteering Award; and

Whereas Cpl. Alysa Shaw is an asset to the 689, and her fellow cadets, friends and family hold her in high regard for her accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cpl. Alysa Shaw on this achievement, and wish her continued success in all of her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4383

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Cpl. Matthew Roberts of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas Cpl. Matthew Roberts received his band certificate at the review; and

Whereas Cpl. Matthew Roberts is an asset to the 689, and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Cpl. Matthew Roberts on this achievement, and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4384

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

[Page 8060]

Whereas LAC Andrew McCulley of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas LAC Andrew McCulley received his band certificate at the review; and

Whereas LAC Andrew McCulley is an asset to the 689, and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate LAC Andrew McCulley on this achievement, and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4385

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas LAC Joni Milligan of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas LAC Joni Milligan received a certificate for perfect attendance and her band certificate with her squadron; and

Whereas LAC Joni Milligan is an asset to the 689, and her fellow cadets, friends and family hold her in high regard for her accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate LAC Joni Milligan on this achievement, and wish her continued success in all of her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4386

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas LAC Malcolm McCulloch of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas LAC Malcolm McCulloch received his band certificate at the review; and

[Page 8061]

Whereas LAC Malcolm McCulloch is an asset to the 689 and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate LAC Malcolm McCulloch on this achievement and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4387

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Sgt. Tasha Ward of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas Sgt. Tasha Ward received the award for Most Improved Cadet; and

Whereas Sgt. Tasha Ward is an asset to the 689 and her fellow cadets, friends and family hold her in high regard for her accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Sgt. Tasha Ward on this achievement and wish her continued success in all of her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4388

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas LAC Hanna Warren of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas LAC Hanna Warren received a certificate for her Orienteering Award; and

Whereas LAC Hanna Warren is an asset to the 689 and her fellow cadets, friends and family hold her in high regard for her accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate LAC Hanna Warren on this achievement and wish her continued success in all of her future endeavours.

[Page 8062]

RESOLUTION NO. 4389

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas LAC Victor Muldoon of the 689 Handley Page Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron was honoured at the 20th Annual Ceremonial Review on May 14, 2005; and

Whereas LAC Victor Muldoon received a certificate for winning the Kettle Boiling Contest; and

Whereas LAC Victor Muldoon is an asset to the 689 and his fellow cadets, friends and family hold him in high regard for his accomplishments with the squadron;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate LAC Victor Muldoon on this achievement and wish him continued success in all of his future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4390

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Intermediate Baseball League begins a brand new season this Sunday, May 22nd; and

Whereas eight teams are returning to the fold from Port Hawkesbury, Maccan, Amherst, Pictou, Bible Hill, Sackville, Hantsport and Windsor; and

Whereas the league has announced they will be holding their first all-star game and home-run derby this year on July 16th in Stellarton at the Albion Field;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs commend returning President Jamie Hutt-Semple, Vice-President Jason Hanes and Secretary-Treasurer Laurie Johnston for their leadership in ensuring good quality intermediate baseball can be watched by enthusiasts across Nova Scotia this Summer.

[Page 8063]

RESOLUTION NO. 4391

By: Hon. Michael Baker (Justice)

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

Whereas Stan Gibson opened Stan's Dad & Lad, a men's clothing store, in Lunenburg on May 12, 1955; and

Whereas Jim Myra began working for Mr. Gibson in 1960 and took over the store operation in 2000, along with his son, Jamie; and

Whereas Stan's Dad & Lad is celebrating its 50th year as a quality clothing retailer in Lunenburg;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the House of Assembly congratulate Jim and Jamie Myra on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Stan's Dad & Lad.

RESOLUTION NO. 4392

By: Ms. Maureen MacDonald (Halifax Needham)

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

Whereas Blue Nose International Marathon is becoming an annual favourite Spring weekend event in Dartmouth and Halifax, featuring participants from across Canada, the United States and various other parts of the world; and

Whereas Blue Nose International Marathon, featuring a full marathon, half-marathon, a 10k run, a team relay and a youth run, will attract over 6,000 runners and 1,000 volunteers; and

Whereas this year's marathon will be held May 20th through May 22nd, and is expected to raise about $100,000 for the official charity of the event, the YMCA;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House thank all the sponsors, organizers, volunteers and participants of the Blue Nose International Marathon for the support, dedication and commitment to this magnificent event.

[Page 8064]

RESOLUTION NO. 4393

By: Mr. Leo Glavine (Kings West)

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

Whereas this year, Paul Goulden is about to retire after 33 years with Kingstec; and

Whereas Mr. Goulden became principal in 1996, and also served as vice-principal of Extension Services, vocational technician counsellor and department head for Trades and Technology; and

Whereas Mr. Goulden's commitment to Kingstec and his exceptional dedication will be missed by all those who've had the pleasure of working with him over the past years, including college faculty, staff and students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank Paul Goulden for his 33 years of service, and wish him every success in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4394

By: Mr. Cecil O'Donnell (Shelburne)

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

Whereas Jerry Atwood has provided 10 years of exceptional service in the offices of the South West Shore Development Authority in both Shelburne and Barrington since June 1995; and

Whereas Jerry's immense knowledge of both the community and citizens has been a vital asset in her work; and

Whereas Jerry Atwood's dedicated service has helped the authority succeed in creating opportunities and economic growth for communities in southwestern Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislature applaud Jerry Atwood as she retires from the South West Shore Development Authority on May 31st after 10 years of faithful service.

[Page 8065]

RESOLUTION NO. 4395

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas Anne Moses, a Tri-County Regional School Board member, has received the 2005 Nova Scotia School Boards Association Education Week Partner Award; and

Whereas Anne is described by Nova Scotia School Boards Association President, Ron Marks, as a person who exemplifies the spirit of the Education Week Partner Award, and her devotion to the education of our young people is nothing but exemplary;

Whereas Anne has been a school board member for the past 14 years and has received the award which honours those who make significant contributions to the lives of young people, particularly in the area of the Education Week theme;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislature congratulate Anne Moses for her strong work ethic and her commitment to education.

RESOLUTION NO. 4396

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas following an intensive performance at the National Power-lifting Championships in Calgary, Greg Doucette of Yarmouth returned home to win the Nova Scotia title in Sackville; and

Whereas Greg, who competed in the 181-pound division, lifted 550 pounds in the squat position while bench pressing a Canadian record of 480 pounds while doing a dead lift of 644 pounds for a total weight lift of 1,674 pounds - a new Canadian record; and

Whereas Greg is now slated to participate in the North American Championships in Miami in June as well as the World Championships in Miami this Fall;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislature commend Greg Doucette of Yarmouth for his recent exceptional performances and wish him every success in Miami.

[Page 8066]

RESOLUTION NO. 4397

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas the owners and staff of the Yarmouth Vanguard have reason to be proud following their recent accomplishments at the Atlantic Community Newspapers Association Awards Convention in St. John's, Newfoundland; and

Whereas the Vanguard was honoured for being the number one newspaper in Atlantic Canada in its circulation class while winning three other first place awards and two second place awards; and

Whereas one of the second place awards captured by the Vanguard's news staff was in the best news coverage category for the work produced by the Vanguard during a record-breaking snowstorm;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislature commend Yarmouth Vanguard publishers and staff for their outstanding work, knowing it will continue like it has since the Vanguard's formation in 1966.

RESOLUTION NO. 4398

By: Hon. Richard Hurlburt (Natural Resources)

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

Whereas last October 2nd was an exceptionally special evening for members of the Yarmouth Fire Department; and

Whereas it was during this evening that firefighters Bob Reid and John Murphy were both recognized for 50 years of tremendous service to the Yarmouth Fire Department; and

Whereas both Bob and John witnessed numerous changes over 50 years, far too many to mention in this resolution, but John did say that particular evening that when you consider the volunteer fire service, "It is the finest way that you can contribute back to your community, your neighbours, and your area.";

[Page 8067]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs in this Legislature applaud the gracious services provided by Yarmouth firefighters Bob Reid and John Murphy over the past 50 years

RESOLUTION NO. 4399

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city and our province; and

Whereas in an effort to improve her community, Renee Field has worked to establish the Rockingham Residents Association and to secure funding for the DJ Butler Playground which will ensure the community has a safe and fun place to take their children; and

Whereas in recognition of the commitment Renee Field has made to her community, the 2005 Community Service and Development Award has been awarded to Renee by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Renee Field, recognize the commitment she has made to her community and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4400

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city and our province; and

Whereas Constable Mark Young has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty in his work and volunteerism to support young people and children at risk to grow up to be fully functioning members of our society; and

Whereas in recognition of the commitment he has made to our schools and to other community groups, including the school advisory committees of volunteers and as a Community Police Officer, the 2005 Education, Training and Youth Development Award has been presented to Mark Young by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

[Page 8068]

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate, Mark Young, recognize his strong commitment our community and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4401

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Don Mason, a long-time resident of Rockingham, has served his community with distinction in a variety of capacities; and

Whereas throughout his career, Don has been an active member of many community committees and organizations and used his engineering and management experience to help ensure that Halifax reaches its full potential; and

Whereas as of April 1, 2005, Don has been appointed as the Chairman of the Halifax Regional Water Commission where he will continue to serve the commission and his community to the full extent of his abilities;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Don Mason on his appointment as Chairman of the Halifax Regional Water Commission, and wish him every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4402

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city and our province; and

Whereas Dr. Chris Miller volunteers his time in raising the profile of environmental issues through speaking engagements, visiting local schools, conducting guided walks, and encouraging children and adults alike to become interested in the preservation of our unique natural heritage; and

[Page 8069]

Whereas in recognition of the commitment he has made to the preservation of the Blue Mountain and Birch Cove Lakes and other natural areas in Nova Scotia, the 2005 Environment, Conservation, Heritage and Animal Welfare Award has been presented to Chris Miller by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Chris Miller, recognize the commitment he has made to his community, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4403

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city and our province; and

Whereas both past and present students of Halifax West High School can attest to the commitment that Burris Devanney has demonstrated to making our world a better place, as a teacher, principal and through his work with the Nova Scotia Gambia Association; and

Whereas in recognition of the commitment he has made to both the local and international community, the 2005 Health and Well Being Award has been presented to Burris Devanney by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Burris Devanney, recognize the commitment he has made in his community, and wish him continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4404

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas Darrell Robinson and his family are celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Scotia Tire Service and the grand opening of their fourth and largest outlet located in Cole Harbour; and

[Page 8070]

Whereas Darrell took the plunge and bought his first outlet in 1970, and, today, with the help of his family, Scotia Tire has grown to four successful and prosperous outlets; and

Whereas Mr. Robinson says he owes his success to the fact that he treats people the way he would like to be treated, and has instilled in his children and long-time employees the importance of customer service;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Darrell Robinson and his family on the 35th Anniversary of Scotia Tire, and wish them continued success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4405

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of any society; and

Whereas Jerry Kean has served as president of the Rockingham Residents Association since its inception and has given countless hours of his time to improve his community; and

Whereas in recognition of his dedication to the Rockingham community, the 2005 Community Service and Development Award has been presented to Jerry Kean by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Jerry Kean, recognize the commitment he has made to his community, and wish him every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4406

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas volunteers and community workers are the backbone of our city, and Krista Sidney has worked tirelessly as a volunteer at École Grosvenor Wentworth School; and

[Page 8071]

Whereas Krista is to be commended for the countless hours she volunteers as president of the Parent-Teacher Group, chairman of the annual Spring Fair, class mother, and coordinator of the safe arrival program; and

Whereas in recognition of the commitment Krista has made to her community, the 2005 Education, Training and Youth Development Award has been presented to Krista by the Mainland North Volunteer Recognition Committee;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Krista Sidney, recognize the commitment she has made to her community, and wish her every success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4407

By: Ms. Diana Whalen (Halifax Clayton Park)

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

Whereas as people from other countries and cultures choose to move to Nova Scotia, our province benefits greatly by positive cultural, social and economic impacts; and

Whereas over the past century, the Lebanese community has certainly made its mark on the Province of Nova Scotia, and this continues to this day with the recent founding of the Canadian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce in Halifax; and

Whereas this new organization confirms the vitality of the Lebanese community and serves to strengthen their business ties both within Nova Scotia and abroad, as they seek to promote Nova Scotia for tourism, exports and commerce;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the founders of the new Canadian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce for their vision of strengthening our economy and community.

RESOLUTION NO. 4408

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

[Page 8072]

Whereas earlier this Winter, Inverness County resident Angus MacDonald and his Ambac Lumber company were recognized for achieving the highest level of forestry stewardship; and

Whereas Mr. MacDonald and Ambac Lumber were recognized by the Forest Products Association of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas Mr. MacDonald's recognition came along with 10 other members because of their complete compliance with the association's forestry stewardship principles;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs commend Angus MacDonald and Ambac Lumber company of Inverness County for their outstanding work, and wish them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4409

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the Blue Valley Mills and District Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Blue Valley Mills and District Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4410

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

[Page 8073]

Whereas the Port Hood Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Port Hood Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4411

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the Port Hastings Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Port Hastings Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4412

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the North East Margaree Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

[Page 8074]

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the North East Margaree Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4413

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the Lemoine, Inverness County District Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Lemoine Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4414

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the Judique and District Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Judique and District Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

[Page 8075]

RESOLUTION NO. 4415

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the Lake Ainslie Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Lake Ainslie Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4416

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are summoned in times of need, regardless of the time of day or night; and

Whereas the Cheticamp Fire Department answers a number of alarms annually; and

Whereas a community without the dedication of volunteer firefighters would be a community at great risk because of the uncertainty of when an emergency can arise;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters from the Cheticamp Fire Department for their excellent responses in times of need, while wishing them continued success.

[Page 8076]

RESOLUTION NO. 4417

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the West Bay Road and District Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually, while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the West Bay Road and District Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 4418

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Whycocomagh Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually, while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Whycocomagh Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

[Page 8077]

RESOLUTION NO. 4419

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Port Hawkesbury Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually, while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Port Hawkesbury Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 4420

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Pleasant Bay, Inverness County Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually, while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Pleasant Bay Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

[Page 8078]

RESOLUTION NO. 4421

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Margaree Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Margaree Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 4422

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Mabou and District Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually, while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Mabou and District Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

[Page 8079]

RESOLUTION NO. 4423

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Inverness Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Inverness Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

RESOLUTION NO. 4424

By: Hon. Rodney MacDonald (Tourism, Culture and Heritage)

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

Whereas firefighters are the lifeblood of rural Nova Scotia communities, who are called out at any given time of the day or night; and

Whereas the Blue Mills and Area Fire Department answers a number of local alarms annually, while always being ready to assist fellow fire departments with mutual aid assistance; and

Whereas a community without the devotion of volunteer firefighters would be a community living on the edge, not knowing who they could call at a time of peril or distress;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs of this House commend the executive and firefighters of the Blue Mills and Area Fire Department for their passion and zeal in responding to alarms when required.

[Page 8080]

NOTICE OF QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWERS

Given on October 18, 2004

(Pursuant to Rule 30)

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 13

TO: Mr. Charles Parker (Pictou West)

FR: Hon. Kerry Morash (Environment and Labour)

DATE: Dec. 1/04

Dear Mr. Parker:

Thank you for your question submitted under rule 30, on October 18, 2004, regarding odors in Lyons Brook, Pictou County.

The Pictou Harbour Environmental Protection Project and the Pictou County Rivers Association hosted a workshop on November 5, 2004, respecting this issue. Various government agencies participated in the workshop including staff from our local office in Granton, Department of Fisheries & Oceans, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture & Fisheries, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Transportation & Public Works and the local area EMO coordinator.

The Workshop was productive and helped to clarify the role of this Department as a regulatory agency, operating under the authority of the Environment Act and Regulations. The Pictou Harbour Environmental Protection Project, in conjunction with the Pictou County Rivers Association will be reviewing the results of the workshop in an effort to determine a path forward. This Department will continue to participate and work cooperatively with the various agencies who attended this workshop.

Should you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact Penny McLeod, District Manager in our Granton Office at (902) 396-4194.

Sincerely yours,

Kerry Morash

Minister

cc: Roderick MacArthur, Q.C. Chief Clerk

Penny McLeod

[Page 8081]

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 10

TO: Mr. John MacDonell (Hants East)

FR: Hon. Ronald S. Russell, CD (Transportation and Public Works)

DATE: Dec. 13/04

Dear Mr. MacDonell:

Thank you for your letter dated October 21, 2004, in response to your written question, submitted under Rule 30 on the closing day of the House, concerning staffing levels and highway maintenance and construction activities in the Constituency of Hants East.

The Department continues to provide winter snow and ice control services to the roads in Hants East from the three bases located in Noel, Rawdon and Milford. During the summer period, in order to deliver the most cost effective and efficient summer maintenance programs, the resources have been consolidated primarily to the Noel and Milford Bases. Staffing levels for both the summer and winter seasons are established such that planned maintenance activities can be achieved, taking into consideration the available funding.

As I had indicated to you in previous correspondence, our Snow and Ice Control Program is being evaluated on a provincial basis to ensure that we are properly positioned and equipped to deliver winter services in the most efficient, cost effective manner, while at the same time meeting our current winter service standards.

With respect to routine maintenance and roads repairs, I can assure you that decisions in this regard are made at the local level by the Area Manager and Supervisors. The larger construction and the paving projects are submitted as District priorities to be considered in the Capital Program. Each project is assessed based on its own merit and compared against similar type projects from across the Province.

Unfortunately, the limited funds available in the Capital Program does not allow us to address all the legitimate needs as quickly as we would prefer.

Thank you for your questions on behalf of the Constituents of Hants East.

With personal regards,

Honourable Ronald S. Russell, CD

Minister

cc: Roderick MacArthur, Chief Clerk of the House

Peter Merritt, District Director - Central

Dave Kelly, Area Manager - Hants

[Page 8082]

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 11

TO: Mr. Charles Parker (Pictou West)

FR: Hon. Ronald Russell (Transportation and Public Works)

DATE: Nov. 10/04

Dear Mr. Parker:

Thank you for your written question dated October 18, 2004 regarding the Pictou Causeway and the presence of E-coli in some areas near the causeway. You asked if the Department of Transportation and Public Works would consider a bridge to allow more tidal flow in the estuary at Lyons Brook to help solve this problem.

Certainly the existence of the causeway has affected the flow of the West River and the flow may be altered by the placement of a bridge, but the problem would appear to be the existence of E-coli. Therefore I cannot commit to placing a bridge in the causeway but I will have my staff meet with Fisheries and Oceans and Nova Scotia Environment and Labour to discuss the situation and hopefully the source of the problem can be identified and discussion can take place on what, if any, steps can be taken to improve the situation.

With personal regards,

Hon. Ronald S. Russell, CD

Minster

cc: Roderick K. MacArthur, Q.C., Chief Clerk

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 3

TO: Mr. Roderick K. MacArthur, Q.C. (Chief Clerk)

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

DATE: Nov. 24/04

Dear Mr. MacArthur:

Thank you for forwarding the written questions that were tabled by Gordie Gosse on the closing date of the House, October 18, 2004. We would like to take this opportunity to address these questions.

Question 1: Why is the government only providing 16 spaces for post-secondary graduates to enter and get experience in the Public Sector?

[Page 8083]

Response: In accordance to the Blue Book Commitment in 1999, the Post Secondary Internship Program was doubled from 8 to 16 interns. A proposal is being developed for requesting additional interns in the future.

Question 2: What is the rationale for limiting the available placements largely to the Halifax area, at the expense of the rural areas?

Response: Over the past five intern sessions (2000-2004) approximately 1/3 of the intern positions have been outside the Halifax area. Some of the areas interns have been placed are Sydney, North Sydney, Amherst, Truro, Kentville, and Bridgewater. Since the majority of the Province's government workforce is located in the Halifax area, it follows that the majority of department requests for intern positions come from the Metro region. Placement selection is based on proposal merit and no geographic limits are imposed.

Question 3: What is the average age of public servants in Nova Scotia, and what is the government's projected need for staff due to retirement vacancies over each of the next five years?

Response: The average age for the Public Service as defined in the Public Service Act is 46 years. The estimated vacancies due to retirement eligibility over the next 5 years is approximately 1,700. This is based on the earliest retirement date provided to HRMS from Pension Services in approximate year 2000.

I hope this information will be of assistance.

Yours truly,

Carolyn Bolivar-Getson

Minister

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 2

TO: Ms. Maureen MacDonald (Halifax Needham)

FR: Hon. Angus MacIsaac (Health)

DATE: Nov. 30/04

Dear Ms. MacDonald:

This letter is in response to your question tabled in the House of Assembly on October 18, 2004, regarding the funding of prescription drugs for arthritis.

The Nova Scotia Formulary is managed by an expert advisory committee (EAC) consisting of clinicians, drug information specialists, and pharmacists. Prior to any addition to the Nova Scotia Formulary, a thorough literature review is conducted, clinical studies are evaluated,

[Page 8084]

and outside experts are consulted to ensure that the formulary in Nova Scotia remains evidence based.

The province of Nova Scotia funds most drugs for the treatment of arthritis, including Enbrel® and Remicade®. Therefore, I assume your question is directed at the reimbursement policy for the class of drugs known as the COX-2 inhibitors (Vioxx® and Celebrex®).

Our EAC has reviewed the COX-2 inhibitors on a number of occasions. Members of this committee are not convinced these drugs offer an additional overall benefit when compared to the traditional agents yet they are 2-3 times more expensive. It would now appear that there are significant safety concerns with this class of drugs, as one of the COX-2 inhibitors, Vioxx®, was recently removed from the world-wide market.

I appreciate you bringing your concerns to my attention. I hope the information provided is helpful.

Yours truly,

Angus MacIsaac

cc: Roderick K. MacArthur, Q.C., Chief Clerk, House of Assembly

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 5

TO: Ms. Marilyn More (Dartmouth South-Portland Valley)

FR: Hon. David M. Morse, MLA (Community Services)

DATE: Jan. 14/05

Dear Ms. More:

Thank you for your questions which were tabled on October 18, 2004, regarding the Nova Scotia Child Benefit and the Employment Support and Income Assistance Program (ESIA).

The well-being of children is an important consideration when program changes and policies are developed within the Department of Community Services. As part of the effort to address child poverty, the children's portion for personal allowance was removed from the ESIA program and incorporated as a combined benefit through the Nova Scotia Child Benefit and the National Child Benefit Supplement.

The following information is in response to your questions:

[Page 8085]

In 2001, by removing children's benefits from the Employment Support and Income Assistance program, the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement was eliminated. The National Child Benefit Supplement is now indexed to the annual cost of living and all families, including those in receipt of financial assistance from the Department of Community Services, benefit from the annual increases.

The intent was to increase the amount of allowances for children to low-income families through the combined National Child Benefit, which was not considered as income. The shelter portion of the allowance remained within the ESIA budget.

Eligibility for the Employment Support and Income Assistance Program is based on income, whereas the standard children's benefit goes to all low-income families regardless of their source of income. This includes approximately 15,000 families receiving social assistance and 20,000 low-income working families with a total of 60,000 children.

Nova Scotia continues joint efforts with the federal, provincial and territorial governments to reduce the incidence of child poverty through supports to families. The information provided by the three recently released studies will be reviewed by the Department and considered in the ongoing review of programs and policies which impact on the well-being of children and low-income families in Nova Scotia.

The National Child Benefit changes occurred in July 2001. At that time and since then different approaches were taken by other provinces and territories (e.g., Manitoba) based on their existing program structure. Nova Scotia, for example now provides enhanced supports to families, such as assistance with child care and transportation expenses.

In addition, the ESIA program provides for those families who temporarily do not receive the combination of the Nova Scotia Child Benefit/National Child Benefit by providing an amount of $133 per month for children under the age of 18 until the family receives the federal funds.

Although children's benefits are provided to families outside the ESIA program, families receiving income assistance continue to be eligible to receive special needs and Pharmacare coverage for their children.

[Page 8086]

The Department of Community Services provides support to low-income Nova Scotians. The ESIA legislation, introduced in August 2001, was a major step in improving the overall Income Assistance program. Like other jurisdictions who have made program changes best suited to meeting their own jurisdiction's needs, Nova Scotia developed a program that would best support Nova Scotia children and their families.

Again, thank you for your questions on this matter.

Sincerely,

Hon. David M. Morse, MLA

cc: Mr. Roderick K. MacArthur, Q.C.

WRITTEN ANSWER NO. 6

TO: Mr. Jerry Pye (Dartmouth North)

FR: Hon. David M. Morse, MLA (Community Services)

DATE: Feb. 7/05

Dear Mr. Pye:

I am pleased to respond to your questions of October 18, 2004, submitted under Rule 30 regarding Shannon Park.

As previously noted, the Department of Community Services has formally expressed an interest in the Shannon Park property to the Federal government. We would like to see the property developed to provide various forms of affordable, transitional, and/or supportive housing in the redevelopment of the site.

I recognize that it is very important for the Department to partner with other department agencies, the community and the Municipality to explore ways to create sustainable community based, mixed-income housing.

I also recognize that other parties have expressed an interest in the site. Shannon Park is a large property, and contains apartment buildings, an arena, pool, two churches, two schools, four storage facilities, and a community centre. A collaborative effort of many partners, through a community-based approach, will be required to make the redevelopment of the site possible.

I will continue to work to pursue our interest in Shannon Park.

[Page 8087]

Thank you for your continued interest in the community.

Sincerely,

Hon. David M. Morse, MLA

cc: Mr. Roderick K. MacArthur, QC

Chief Clerk, Office of the Clerk