The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House adjourned:
October 26, 2017.

HANSARD 03/04/05-101

DEBATES AND PROCEEDINGS

Speaker: Honourable Murray Scott

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

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

Annual subscriptions available from the Office of the Speaker.

First Session

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2005

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Nat. Res.: Lovett's Gen. Store - Hunt. & Fish. Licences,
Mr. K. Colwell 9111
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Justice - Gov't. (Can.): Crim. Code of Can. - Conditional Sentences,
Hon. M. Baker 9112
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4902, Commonwealth Games 2014: Hfx. Bid - Endorse,
Mr. Michel Samson 9116
Mr. D. Dexter 9116
The Premier 9116
Vote - Affirmative 9117
Res. 4903, Agric. & Fish. - NSAC: Applied Science Educ. - Contribution,
Hon. C. d'Entremont 9117
Vote - Affirmative 9118
Res. 4904, Canada's Healthy Workplace Wk. (10/24-10/30/05)
Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 9118
Vote - Affirmative 9119
Res. 4905, Educ. - Science Fairs: Participants - Congrats./Thank,
Hon. J. Muir 9119
Vote - Affirmative 9120
Res. 4906, Lobsters in the City - Abilities Fdn.: Fundraising - Congrats.,
Hon. A. MacIsaac 9120
Vote - Affirmative - 9121
Res. 4907, Status of Women, Advisory Council - Partners: Work -
Applaud, Hon. C. Bolivar-Getson 9121
Vote - Affirmative 9121
Res. 4908, Environ. & Lbr. - Phone Book Const.: Kroeker, Prof. Richard/
Students - Commend, Hon. K. Morash 9122
Vote - Affirmative 9122
INTRODUCTION OF BILLS:
No. 272, Student Aid Act
Ms. D. Whalen 9123
No. 273, Off-highway Vehicles Act
Mr. J. MacDonell 9123
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 4909, Balkans/UN Security Coun. - Peace: Res. Support,
Mr. K. Deveaux 9123
Vote - Affirmative 9124
Res. 4910, Educ. - Student Loans: Parental Contribution Calculation -
Eliminate, Ms. D. Whalen 9124
Res. 4911, Hubbards Barn & Community Pk.: Participants - Congrats.,
Ms. J. Streatch 9125
Vote - Affirmative 9126
Res. 4912, Juniper Hollow Golf Course: Peters, Roy - Congrats.,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 9126
Vote - Affirmative 9126
Res. 4913, Deng, Jacob - Wadeng Wings of Hope: Efforts - Congrats.,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9126
Vote - Affirmative 9127
Res. 4914, Belliveau Motors - CIBC Run for the Cure (Church Pt.):
Sponsorship - Thank, Mr. W. Gaudet 9128
Vote - Affirmative 9128
Res. 4915, Hubley, Blaine - Atl. Can. Truckers Championship,
Mr. R. Chisholm 9128
Vote - Affirmative 9129
Res. 4916, Health - Lyme Disease: Threat - Min. Review,
Mr. D. Dexter 9129
Res. 4917, UNSM: Annual Meeting (100th) - Congrats.,
Ms. D. Whalen 9130
Vote - Affirmative 9131
Res. 4918, Hobson, Steve & Carolyn: Grand Lake Rescue - Commend,
Mr. G. Hines 9131
Vote - Affirmative 9132
Res. 4919, Dominion Town - Anniv. (100th),
Mr. F. Corbett 9132
Vote - Affirmative 9132
Res. 4920, Econ. Dev. - Weymouth Sawmill: People - Assist,
Mr. H. Theriault 9132
Res. 4921, Shelburne - Mi'kmaq Cultural Event: Organization - Congrats.,
Mr. C. O'Donnell 9133
Vote - Affirmative 9134
Res. 4922, Enfield in Bloom: Participants - Congrats.,
Mr. J. MacDonell 9134
Vote - Affirmative 9135
Res. 4923, Savoy Theatre - MIANS Venue of the Yr.: Mgr./Staff -
Congrats., Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 9135
Vote - Affirmative 9136
Res. 4924, Nat'l. Science Award: C.B. Students - Commend,
Hon. C. Clarke 9136
Vote - Affirmative 9136
Res. 4925, MacMillan Fam.:Northumberland Fish. Museum - Donation,
Mr. C. Parker 9137
Vote - Affirmative 9137
Res. 4926, NSAC - Anniv. (100th),
Hon. J. Muir 9137
Vote - Affirmative 9138
Res. 4927, N.S./Nunavut Command: Headquarters - Opening,
Mr. J. Pye 9138
Vote - Affirmative 9139
Res. 4928, Cohen, Sam: Death of - Tribute,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 9139
Vote - Affirmative 9140
Res. 4929, Amherst Natural Gas Comm.: Distribution - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 9140
Vote - Affirmative 9141
Res. 4930, Louisbourg Crab Fest.: Vols. - Congrats.,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 9141
Vote - Affirmative 9141
Res. 4931, Goss, Barbara: Hansard Serv. - Recognize,
Mr. G. Gosse 9142
Vote - Affirmative 9142
Res. 4932, Haugg, Morris & Bette: Rotary Recognitions - Congrats.,
Hon. E. Fage 9142
Vote - Affirmative 9143
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 1043, Environ. & Lbr. - Nat'l. Gypsum Strike: Continuation Explain,
Mr. D. Dexter 9144
No. 1044, Nat. Res.: ATV - Age Restrictions,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 9145
No. 1045, Environ. & Lbr. - C.B.: Strip Mining - Halt,
Mr. D. Dexter 9146
No. 1046, Environ. & Lbr. - Boularderie Island/Northside: Strip Mining
Decision - Time Frame, Mr. Gerald Sampson 9148
No. 1047, Health: Ambulance Fee Review - Details,
Mr. David Wilson (Sackville-Cobequid) 9149
No. 1048, Econ. Dev. - Beer Prod.: N.S. - Protect,
Mr. H. Epstein 9150
No. 1049, Environ. & Lbr. - Inglewood Farms Lagoons: Emptying - Cost,
Mr. K. Colwell 9151
No. 1050, Nat. Res. - Dominion Beach: Opening 2006 - Plans,
Mr. F. Corbett 9152
No. 1051, TPW - Fed. Gas Tax: Hwys. & Bridges - Obtain,
Mr. C. Parker 9154
No. 1052, Health - EMO: Special Care Homes - List Provide,
Mr. S. McNeil 9155
No. 1053, Health: Nicholson Case - Nursing Home Application,
Mr. G. Gosse 9156
No. 1054, Health - Flu Vaccine: Shortage - Explain,
Mr. David Wilson (Glace Bay) 9158
No. 1055, Nat. Res. - ATVs: Age Restrictions - Min. Response,
Mr. D. Dexter 9159
No. 1056, African N.S. Affs.: Toll-Free Number - Provide,
Mr. K. Colwell 9160
No. 1057, Com. Serv. - Child Care: Corporate Takeovers - Prevention
Provisions, Ms. M. More 9162
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PRIVATE AND LOCAL BILLS FOR SECOND READING:
No. 267, Cape Breton Island Marketing Levy Act 9164
Mr. Manning MacDonald 9164
Mr. G. Gosse 9165
Mr. R. MacKinnon 9165
Mr. Manning MacDonald 9165
Vote - Affirmative 9166
No. 172, Rocky Lake Commons Ice Rinks Act 9166
Mr. G. Hines 9166
Mr. W. Estabrooks 9167^^
Hon. P. Christie 9182
Adjourned debate 9186
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 5:14 P.M. 9187
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 9187
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)
Nat'l. Gypsum: IUOE Local 721B - Negotiate:
Mr. J. MacDonell 9187
Mr. Gerald Sampson 9189
Hon. K. Morash 9192
Mr. G. Steele 9194
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:30 P.M. 9194
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 7:08 P.M. 9194
CWH REPORTS 9195
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., Oct. 28th at 9:00 a.m. 9196
NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3):
Res. 4933, Saunders, Joe: Chester Commun. Commitment - Commend,
Mr. S. McNeil 9197
Res. 4934, CORE 2005: Participants - Thank,
Hon. C. Clarke 9197
Res. 4935, Sydney Mines Heritage Museum/Bd. of Dir./ Vols.: Designation -
Congrats., Hon. C. Clarke 9198
Res. 4936, Harrietha, Natasha: Harvard Book Prize - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 9198
Res. 4937, Sawchuck, Matthew: DeGeneres Show - Appearance,
Hon. C. Clarke 9199
Res. 4938, Kenney, Wayne & Gail: McDonald's McHappy Day -
Fundraising, Hon. C. Clarke 9199
Res. 4939, Northside Youth Health Ctr. - Open House: Staff -
Congrats., Hon. C. Clarke 9200
Res. 4940, RCL Breton Br. 008 - Prov. Convention: Hosting - Congrats.,
Hon. C. Clarke 9200
Res. 4941, Fulmore, Michelle: Can.-Wide Science Fair - Honourable
Mention, Mr. J. DeWolfe 9201
Res. 4942, MacNeill, Olivia: Can.-Wide Science Fair - Bronze Medal,
Mr. J. DeWolfe 9201
Res. 4943, Young, Jason: NFB Doc. - Congrats.,
Mr. M. Parent 9202
Res. 4944, Porter, Lucas: Musical Career - Commend,
Mr. M. Parent 9202
Res. 4945, Kentville Mosquito Wildcats: Baseball Title,
Mr. M. Parent 9203
Res. 4946, Foote, Mason: Coach/Anna. Valley Running Club - Nat'l.
Track & Field Championships, Mr. M. Parent 9203
Res. 4947, Tufts, Alex: Jr. Elite Baseball Camp - Invitation,
Mr. M. Parent 9204
Res. 4948, Wark, Melissa - Cumb. Health Care Careers Bursary,
The Speaker 9204
Res. 4949, Curry Doug - Hockey Can. Award of Merit,
The Speaker 9205
Res. 4950, Gooding, Chris - Springhill Record: Editor - Appt.,
The Speaker 9205
Res. 4951, H.S. Terris: GOVRC - Fundraising,
The Speaker 9206
Res. 4952, Wade, Norman & Angela: Antique Store - Opening,
The Speaker 9206
Res. 4953, Scopie, Megan - Cumb. Health Care Careers Bursary,
The Speaker 9207

[Page 9111]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2005

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. James DeWolfe, Mr. Charles Parker, Ms. Diana Whalen

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Cape Breton Centre:

Therefore be it resolved that this House insist National Gypsum go back to the bargaining table for meaningful negotiations with Local 721B of the International Union of Operating Engineers to get a collective agreement which gives workers the dignity they deserve.

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition with 806 names on it. I have affixed my name, as well. The operative clause is:

9111

[Page 9112]

"We the undersigned, petition the Department of Natural Resources and the Minister of Natural Resources to reinstate Lovett's General Store to sell fishing and hunting licenses. The withdrawal of the hunting and fishing licenses has had a serious detrimental effect on this very important small business in the local community. We encourage the minister to reinstate the ability of Lovett's Store to sell both these licenses immediately."

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, with your leave, I would like to make an introduction before I read my statement. Attending today in the Speaker's Gallery opposite are a number of the members of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association who joined me earlier today for a funding announcement. Members of the association are here in the gallery. I have a list of those present and I would like to make it available to members of the House.

They are, of course, Chief Ken MacLean, Truro Police Service, who is the President of the Nova Scotia Chiefs of Police Association; accompanying him is Deputy Chief David MacNeil, Truro Police Service; as well, Chief Charles Rushton and Deputy Chief Ian Naylor, Amherst Police Department; Chief Ross Campbell, Annapolis Royal Police Department; Chief Brent Crowhurst, Bridgewater Police Department; Chief Mark Mander, Kentville Police Service; Chief Lorne Smith, New Glasgow Police Service; Chief Gary Copeland and Deputy Chief Dean Ruddick, Springhill Police Service; Chief Ambrose Heighton, Stellarton Police Service; Chief Robert White, Trenton Police Department; and Chief Donald Hussher, Westville Police Service. Can we all give them a warm welcome. (Standing Ovation)

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I rise on a public safety issue that I know will be of interest to all members of this House and, indeed, to all Nova Scotians. It's been a long time coming, but I'm proud to say that the Government of Canada today took a major step in responding to a long-standing concern in this province, and that is the inappropriate use of conditional sentences. Federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler introduced legislation only minutes ago that will make significant changes to the Criminal Code of Canada to limit the use of conditional sentences by the courts. In fact, I will table a copy of his news release at the end of my statement.

[Page 9113]

Mr. Speaker, we have fought long and hard, and it has paid off. Under the proposed legislation the courts would not be able to hand out conditional sentences in the following circumstances, unless there were exceptional situations: a serious personal injury offence, which includes indictable offences that involve the use or attempted use of violence, and this includes sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon or aggravated sexual assault. It will also cover conduct that is likely to endanger the life of another person.

The bill would allow a conditional sentencing order to be suspended if an appeal is launched in a proceeding. It would also clarify that mandatory minimum penalties also apply to those convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm or death. Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Speaker, under the proposed federal bill, conditional sentences would not be an option for those crimes that would lead society to express condemnation or denunciation. This is now something that judges must consider. Society's reaction, according to the legislation, would be important enough that it should take precedence over other valid sentencing objectives. One other proposed amendment to the Criminal Code would require a judge to spell out, for the record, any exceptional circumstances that he/she would use to support the use of a conditional sentence.

Mr. Speaker, as my colleagues are aware, we have proposed a slightly different approach, an outright ban on the use of conditional sentences for certain crimes. Notwithstanding that, I believe today's announcement is a major achievement. These proposed amendments would lead to safer communities. It was not very easy to achieve a national consensus on a subject like this, but along with Alberta, we brought it to the national stage and stuck with it. I'm very happy to report a very high degree of success.

[2:15 p.m.]

I commend Minister Cotler for taking this step. He and I agree that these would be important steps to help maintain public confidence in the administration of justice. We'll be speaking further about such important criminal justice initiatives as this and youth crime at our annual meeting in Whitehorse beginning November 7th. I look forward to keeping Nova Scotians informed on our progress on these important criminal justice matters. (Applause)

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I'm glad to have an opportunity to respond to the Minister of Justice with regard to this statement. I want to start by saying that when the minister originally said he was going to go to Ottawa to address the issue of conditional sentences and banning the use of them with regard to certain crimes, I said at the time it would be very difficult to get a consensus with regard to his position because there are certain provinces and there are certain Members of Parliament from certain Parties that may actually have specific concerns with that.

[Page 9114]

We supported it and we still do, unfortunately what we see coming from the federal Minister of Justice is a half measure - a good step in the right direction, but not enough. I agree with the minister that we do need to be banning the use of conditional sentences with regard to certain crimes. What the minister has introduced in the federal Parliament today does not do that. It does allow wiggle room for our judges and, as far as I'm concerned, as long as we have given them that wiggle room there are going to be a lot of conditional sentences still being issued.

Mr. Speaker, I also want to say that I'm not sure why the federal piece of legislation doesn't deal, for example, with child pornography. It does talk about sexual assault, but we still have predators who may be dealing with child pornography issues in our communities - and I'm not sure why the bill does not do that, but I want to stop this by saying that, as I have said consistently since this session opened a couple of weeks ago, this minister still has a lot of things he can do here in Nova Scotia.

It isn't all about the federal Criminal Code, it isn't all about the municipalities and the operation of their police departments, it's about doing things that he can do as the Minister of Justice. Whether it is asking for weapons prohibitions against certain individuals involved in criminal activity involving weapons, whether it is shutting down centres of criminal activity, drug havens, bawdy houses, in communities, these are things this minister could be doing. I am still waiting for the day that he will get up in this House and talk about what he is prepared to do, as the Minister of Justice in Nova Scotia, to make our streets safer. (Applause)

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

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, it's a pleasure to rise, as Justice Critic for the Liberal caucus, to speak on the important announcement made here today and I, too, join with the Minister of Justice in thanking federal Minister Cotler for bringing about these important changes. I think Canada is recognized throughout the world as being a leader on the issues of justice and looking at ways to try to deal with justice in a sense that gives our society comfort, that justice is probably being given and that people are properly being given an opportunity not only to rehabilitate themselves, but to be able to give back to their communities which they may have offended.

Some of the programs that have been adopted over the years have worked, others have worked less. Today, I believe it's an indication that the government has been willing to review and revisit some of the decisions made over the years to try to strengthen our justice system based on what Canadians have said from one end of the country to the other. I think Nova Scotians have also spoken about a level of discomfort in the amount of conditional sentences that were being given and, at the same time, for the type of offences that those sentences were being given as well.

[Page 9115]

Certainly this is an important step and I believe it's an indication that we will continue to see reviews being undertaken at the federal level, as regards our justice system. It's also important that we remember that this is the same Minister of Justice here in Nova Scotia who is responsible for having closed many rural courthouses throughout our province, and is also responsible for having closed many of the rural jails throughout our province. Less conditional offences means more people going to jail. So I would hope that the minister and his government are properly preparing for that. I know that the rural communities that have lost those facilities certainly have not forgotten what they used to have that this minister has taken away.

Let me finish with this, Mr. Speaker. I had the opportunity last week to visit a country that had little or no crime and when I asked why, it was not because of their laws. It was not because of conditional sentencing, whether they had it or not. It was because every half block there was a police officer. It might be time that this minister finally answer Nova Scotians' concerns by giving the police chiefs who are here today and police chiefs throughout this province more staff and better equipment so that they can properly protect Nova Scotians so that we can have truly safe communities by having more police officers in our communities.

MR. SPEAKER: As all members would know, the Chief of Police from Springhill is here today and actually he's in the place he is, thanks to me, for steering him for a number of years. I always told him I would have him in a position where I could get him. (Applause)

For all the members' information, Deputy Chief Ruddick, who is here, his dad was the famous singing miner who was trapped underground for many days in the Springhill mining disaster. There's a play tomorrow night at the Eastern Front Theatre - it's called the BUMP. (Interruption) Yes, it starts tonight, but tomorrow night is Springhill night and we actually have a busload of Springhillers coming down. Dean will be on that bus with his 11 siblings and his mom, Norma, who will be recognized tomorrow night. So I would ask the House to give him a special warm welcome and thanks for that. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to do a special introduction of a dedicated group of people in our gallery. All of those who attended the noon rally in Grand Parade know, the following individuals are playing a key part in Halifax's bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

It is my pleasure to introduce to the members of the House: Francis MacKenzie, Leader of the Liberal Party; Mayor Peter Kelly; Fred MacGillivray, Chair of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Bid Committee; the members of the Commonwealth Games Executive Committee, including Wayne Adams, a former member of this House; Duff

[Page 9116]

Montgomerie, Director of Community Relations for the Province of Nova Scotia; Dan English, Acting CAO for Halifax Regional Municipality; Scott Logan, Assistant Deputy Minister of the Office of Health Promotion; Jamie Ferguson, CEO of Sport Nova Scotia; Ken Bagnell, President and NCI Director of Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic; Dale MacLennan, Director of Finance, Halifax Regional Municipality; Mickey MacDonald, President of MICCO Ltd.; Lloyd Johnson, Band Councillor, Millbrook First Nations and Economic Development Officer; and two athletes - Valerie Hould-Marchand, a manager with EastLink and a former synchronized swimmer; and Will Njoku, a motivational speaker and professional basketball player. I would ask that our guests rise and receive a warm welcome from the House. (Standing Ovation)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I guess we're going to divert a little bit from the normal routine. There has been an agreement by the three Parties. For the resolution, I will call upon the honourable member for Richmond to start it off.

The honourable member for Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 4902

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

Whereas the Commonwealth Games Bid Committee has created a bid submission of superior quality, excellence and substance that places Halifax, Nova Scotia, in the world's spotlight for 10 days of sport and cultural events in August 2014; and

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Whereas this bid submission reflects a highly successful partnership among the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of the Halifax Regional Municipality, Sport Nova Scotia, Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic, Nova Scotia's Aboriginal and African communities, as well as trade unions and many other corporate and sport organizations; and

THE PREMIER: Whereas the shared commitment in the bid submission encompasses human resources, fiscal support, and cross-government and cross-sector involvement at the most senior levels;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House unanimously and enthusiastically endorse Halifax, Nova Scotia's bid submission.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9117]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried. (Applause)

True co-operation.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

RESOLUTION NO. 4903

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 the Nova Scotia Agricultural College will be honouring outstanding academic performance during its 2005 Autumn Assembly program, with the presentation of scholarships and bursaries to 265 deserving students; and

Whereas the Autumn Assembly provides an occasion to recognize scholarship students and acknowledge contributors to the university's awards program, where more than $1 million in awards will be presented throughout the evening; and

Whereas the NSAC boasts one of the best scholarship to student ratios of any university in the region, with one in three students receiving a scholarship, bursary or other academic award, including 178 Nova Scotia students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House acknowledge the university's important contribution to applied science education, and the generous support of the agricultural industry and Nova Scotia's business community to the NSAC's awards program.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9118]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Opposition on an introduction.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I'd just like to recognize in your gallery the President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, Mr. Rick Clarke, and I'd just also point out that Rick was a participant this morning in the launch of the Commonwealth Games bid as well. Welcome to the House.

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome another Springhiller to the gallery today. Thank you.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

HON. CAROLYN BOLIVAR-GETSON: Mr. Speaker, I'd also like to do an introduction before I do my resolution. In the east gallery I have one of my constituents, Ken Edwards, and I would ask him to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House.

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome our guest to the gallery today.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4904

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 employees of the Nova Scotia Government must be assured of a safe and supportive workplace if they are to live up to their full potential and respond most effectively to their public service roles; and

Whereas the government's Corporate Human Resources Plan has resulted in the establishment of a Health Workplace Advisory Committee with representatives from across government, the beginnings of departmental committees, consultations to create a healthy workplace policy, creation of a dedicated healthy workplace coordinator, and capacity building through awareness and training throughout government; and

Whereas we must assure current and future employees that this is a workplace where safety strategies take us beyond OH&S compliance to a model where employee health and well-being are our measures of success;

[Page 9119]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in recognizing Canada's Healthy Workplace Week which runs from October 24th to 30th by helping to create a workplace culture that results in improved outcomes and performance for both employees and our organizations as a whole.

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. 4905

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

Whereas more than 10,000 secondary students in Nova Scotia participate in school-based science fairs, with more than 1,000 of them moving on to participate at a regional science fair each year; and

Whereas 30 young Nova Scotians represented this province at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Vancouver, British Columbia, winning one silver and four bronze medals in competition; and

Whereas Truro and area will host 450 young scientists from across the country, being the venue for the 2007 Canada-Wide Science Fair;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate their students and thank science teachers and school boards across the province for encouraging their students to demonstrate their considerable science skills in regional, provincial and national science fairs.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9120]

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.

[2:30 p.m.]

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 4906

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

Whereas the lobsters that adorned the streets of Halifax for the past several months have been sold; and

Whereas the unique fundraiser - Lobsters in the City - saw 22 decorated lobsters auctioned off last night, netting the Abilities Foundation $65,000 in support of its continuing efforts to help Nova Scotians with physical disabilities to enhance their quality of life by realizing their individual potential; and

Whereas not only did the lobsters entertain all passersby, they showcased the local artists who created them and helped raise awareness and funds for this great cause;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature congratulate all those involved with this tremendous fundraising campaign in support of the Abilities Foundation and commend the foundation for all the incredible work they do in our communities.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9121]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Human Resources.

RESOLUTION NO. 4907

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

Whereas the effect of public policy on women's economic well-being is still relatively new territory for governments at all levels; and

Whereas Women, Work and Care: Policy at the Crossroads, is three events focusing on the effects of family-friendly policy and the availability of child care on women; and

Whereas today policy-makers and policy-influencers are hearing from Nova Scotia women affected by their decisions and talking about how women can influence public policy- making;

Therefore be it resolved that the House applaud the work of the advisory council and its partners in community organizations, unions, and the federal and provincial governments, as well as the women who are giving up time from busy schedules to discuss these vital issues.

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 9122]

The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 4908

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 challenge of what to do with 7,000 surplus phone books can leave a few people thinking; and

Whereas a dozen architecture students from Dalhousie University did just that this past Summer and decided to construct a four-metre by four-metre phone booth/house on land owned by a Sackville recycling centre; and

Whereas Dalhousie Professor Richard Kroeker, who led the project, said the books from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are tightly stacked to make up the walls and the rafters;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend gracious thoughts of ingenuity to Professor Kroeker and his students who contend the books are surprisingly resistant to fire and water, but must still pass a Nova Scotia Winter.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, in the west gallery, I would like to introduce some individuals, concerned citizens of RR 1 Truro: Barb Rockwell, Kathy Hanna and Fred Blois as well as Jim Rockwell from Halifax. I would ask them to rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

[Page 9123]

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

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

Bill No. 272 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 449 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Student Aid Act. (Ms. Diana Whalen)

Bill No. 273 - Entitled an Act to Amend Chapter 323 of the Revised Statutes of 1989. The Off-highway Vehicles Act. (Mr. John MacDonell)

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

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

MS. DIANA WHALEN: I wonder if I could interrupt with an introduction?

MR. SPEAKER: Yes.

MS. WHALEN: Mr. Speaker, in the west gallery we are joined by some student leaders and representatives today. I would like to introduce Matt Currie and Chantal Brushett from the Mount Saint Vincent University Student Executive, which is in the Clayton Park riding; Alex Aboud who is with ANSSA, Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations; and also Danielle Sampson who is with the Canadian Federation of Students. I wonder if they would rise and receive the warm welcome of the House. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome our guests to the gallery as well.

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4909

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

Whereas Kosovo is a province of Serbia and Montenegro that has been under the administration of the United Nations since 1999; and

Whereas the United Nations Security Council recently passed a resolution to initiate talks between Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro on the final status of Kosovo; and

[Page 9124]

Whereas the resolution of final status for Kosovo is an important stage in bringing lasting peace to the Balkans after 15 years of turmoil;

Therefore be it resolved that this House send best wishes to all parties involved in final status negotiations between Kosovo and Serbia and Montenegro and our hope for lasting peace in the Balkans.

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. 4910

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

Whereas student loans play an essential role in providing access for students to post-secondary education, especially in this province, where student tuition levels are far above the national average; and

Whereas parental income is currently a key consideration in calculating eligibility for Nova Scotia student loans, and many students are penalized because of the income of their parents or guardians; and

Whereas the parental income cut-off levels deny student loans to students from middle-income families, leaving them with financial shortfalls and threatening their access to post-secondary studies;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature recognize the acute financial pressures that exist for middle-income families and eliminate the parental contribution calculations as a criterion for student loans.

[Page 9125]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's.

RESOLUTION NO. 4911

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

Whereas Hubbards Barn and Community Park officially opened their doors last month; and

Whereas the opening was made possible through the hard work of many volunteers and the generosity of government and local businesses alike; and

Whereas the citizens of Hubbards can now enjoy a new place to gather for community events, browse the market, and enjoy many more special occasions;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Lynn Cahill, the Hubbards Barn and Community Park Board of Directors, the many volunteers, local businesses, and government for creating a community meeting place for all the local residents to enjoy.

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 9126]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4912

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

Whereas Roy Peters, a resident of Hills Road, Mira, originally from Mira Road, Cape Breton County, is constructing a nine-hole public golf course; and

Whereas this 1,500-yard course, due to open in Summer 2006, and named Juniper Hollow, is located behind the Mira Road Volunteer Fire Department; and

Whereas because of its geographic location, Juniper Hollow Golf Course will draw many people to Cape Breton Island in 2006 and in particular, to the Mira Road;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Roy Peters for his commitment to strengthen the economy of rural Nova Scotia by attracting more visitors to Cape Breton Island for many years to come, with a 100 per cent private sector investment.

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. 4913

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

Whereas Jacob Deng is a young man from southern Sudan who now lives in Halifax; and

[Page 9127]

Whereas Jacob Deng has founded Wadeng Wings of Hope, a non-profit, fundraising organization to bring education to the children of southern Sudan; and

Whereas Wadeng Wings of Hope is currently raising money to build a school in the Upper Nile region of Sudan;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate Mr. Deng and the other members of his organization for their efforts and extend our best wishes for the success of their mission to bring education to a region where it is desperately needed.

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 on an introduction.

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, in the east gallery, we are joined today by Jacob. I would also like the members to know that Jacob's entire family was killed in the Sudanese civil war when he was seven. He spent the rest of his childhood and adolescence in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. He's here today with friends from his organization, asking for our support as he lobbies the federal government for funds to make Wings of Hope a reality.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask members of the Legislature to extend a warm welcome to Jacob and his friends. (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: We welcome these special people to the Legislature today.

The honourable member for Clare.

[Page 9128]

RESOLUTION NO. 4914

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

Whereas on September 24, 2005, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation held its 6th annual CIBC Run for the Cure in Church Point, West Pubnico and Yarmouth; and

Whereas Belliveau Motors co-sponsored the annual Run for the Cure again this year; and

Whereas this year's run raised $10,000 for breast cancer research, education programs, as well as diagnosis and treatment;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly extend our gratitude and best wishes to Belliveau Motors for their active role, as well as the countless volunteers and participants who make the national campaign against breast cancer possible each year.

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 Guysborough-Sheet Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 4915

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

Whereas Blaine Hubley from Liscombe took first place in the Atlantic Canada Truckers' Championships this past June; and

[Page 9129]

Whereas trucking is a family tradition for Blaine Hubley; his grandmother, Elsie Bezanson was one of only two female truckers in Nova Scotia during the early 1970s; and

Whereas Blaine Hubley competed and won the B-Train Competition held in Debert;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Blaine Hubley on his first prize trophy, and wish him future success in all of his competitions.

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 Opposition.

RESOLUTION NO. 4916

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

Whereas the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation is a federally registered charitable organization providing information to those battling the ever-increasing threat of Lyme disease; and

Whereas in August 2005, The ChronicleHerald published a series of articles on Lyme disease, prompting many families to come forward to share their stories about exposure to the disease in our province; and

Whereas despite findings from the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation that there is a decided increase in incidents of Lyme disease in the U.S. states close to Canada, health officials in this province continue to downplay the threat;

Therefore be it resolved that the minister review how health officials address the real threat Lyme disease poses to the well-being of the people of this province, and that the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation be included on the Lyme Disease Working Group to

[Page 9130]

assist in preparing a plan of action on how this province intends to proceed to deal with the disease.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Clayton Park.

RESOLUTION NO. 4917

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 August 15, 1906, the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities was established at a convention of the Union of Canadian Municipalities; and

Whereas the annual conference held this month in Halifax marks the 100th annual meeting of the UNSM; and

[2:45 p.m.]

Whereas the UNSM has maintained its original vision and mandate to protect the interests of Nova Scotia municipalities and to work with other levels of government to ensure their needs are addressed.

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House recognize the commitment the UNSM has made to making Nova Scotia a better place to live, and wish them continued success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 9131]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

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

RESOLUTION NO. 4918

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

Whereas rapid action by Grand Lake volunteer firefighter Steven Hobson and his wife Carolyn saved the lives of two swimmers near Laurie Park in August; and

Whereas Hobson, who was not even acting in an official capacity with the Grand Lake Volunteer Fire Department, because he and his wife were tying their boat up at a dock at Carolyn's father's house on Mill Lane, when screams of panic were heard from two men off shore; and

Whereas Hobson immediately looked around and saw two men in trouble and swam out to them, followed shortly by his wife in their boat, but they quickly realized one had already sunk beneath the water, they were able to get one man aboard the boat, but with Hobson tired out from the swim and unable to reach the second individual, his wife, suffering from multiple sclerosis, dove into Grand Lake and brought up the second man who officials believe had been underwater for five minutes;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend the heroic efforts of Steve and Carolyn Hobson in their rescue of the two gentlemen and be thankful that the Sunday afternoon in August didn't turn out to be an afternoon filled with tragic drowning deaths.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9132]

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. 4919

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

Whereas 2006 marks the 100th Anniversary and Incorporation of the Town of Dominion; and

Whereas the Town of Dominion has been a leader in sports, social and industrial life of Cape Breton; and

Whereas Dominion continues to lead by example by its volunteerism spirit and a sense of community that helps everybody within the Cape Breton Regional Municipality;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Town of Dominion which will be celebrating their 100th year of Incorporation in the year 2006.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Digby-Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 4920

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

[Page 9133]

Whereas the imminent closure of the sawmill in the Village of Weymouth will place almost 40 people out of work; and

Whereas the Minister of Economic Development has done virtually nothing on this issue critical to the people of Weymouth; and

Whereas the minister has not responded to my letter sent to him regarding this issue more than two months ago;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House of Assembly and the Minister of Economic Development work to help the people affected by this closure in the community of Weymouth.

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 Shelburne.

RESOLUTION NO. 4921

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

Whereas the first Mi'kmaq cultural gathering took place in Shelburne County in late June; and

Whereas Zone 13 of the Native Council of Nova Scotia hosted the event at the Shelburne Civic Centre; and

Whereas the event featured everything from a large wigwam setup in the parking lot to a colourful medicine wheel along with traditional craftspeople;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Zone 13 of the Native Council of Nova Scotia for their organization of Shelburne County's first Mi'kmaq cultural event.

[Page 9134]

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. 4922

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

Whereas the beautification of our communities promotes tourism and local pride; and

Whereas the Communities in Bloom movement has provided inspiration for local community-minded groups; and

Whereas Enfield in Bloom, a local beautification process, begun by concerned citizens Anita Stringham and Ian McKenzie, with the support of local individuals and businesses by hanging 30 flowering baskets from power poles throughout Enfield this Summer past, to much praise;

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly congratulate Anita Stringham and Ian McKenzie and the people of Enfield on their noteworthy civic efforts and wish them success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9135]

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Hants East on an introduction.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I want to draw members attention to guests in the west gallery. These are workers from National Gypsum with Local 271B of the International Unit of Operating Engineers. They have been to the House previously to draw attention to the strike they have been involved with that started in August. I ask the members of the House to give them a warm welcome. (Applause)

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

The honourable member for Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 4923

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay has a rich history of hosting performances that feature the greatest talent from Cape Breton Island, throughout our region, as well as national and international artists; and

Whereas this entertainment venue plays an integral role in showcasing Cape Breton's world-renowned cultural talent; and

Whereas Sunday, September 25, 2005, the Savoy Theatre was named Venue of the Year by the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the manager of the Savoy Theatre, Donald Ferguson, and his staff on this well-deserved honour and wish them all the best in the times ahead.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 9136]

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. 4924

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

Whereas seven Cape Breton students recently completed their National Science Research Awards; and

Whereas Membertou's Carola Knockwood, Kathleen Aiken of Leitches Creek, Jennifer MacDonald from Bras d'Or and Sheena Townsend, Andrew MacDonald, Paul Bonner and Jennifer Easterly, all from Sydney, were each awarded $5,625 to conduct their research; and

Whereas the research projects included studying insect population in pasture management, recording and analyzing the effect of the environment on bird nestlings as well as the molecular interaction of liquids;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in commending Carola, Kathleen, Jennifer MacDonald and Jennifer Easterly, along with Sheena, Andrew and Paul for their outstanding work and for being chosen for National Science Research Awards.

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 9137]

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4925

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

Whereas the residents of the wonderful community of Pictou Island have been very supportive in fundraising for the Northumberland Fisheries Museum; and

Whereas the MacMillan Family have been living on and fishing from Pictou Island for generations; and

Whereas in memory of Arnold MacMillan, a long-time fisherman and champion boat racer, his widow Lorraine MacMillan, a former cookhouse worker, and son, Bill, also a fisherman, donated $1,600 on September 14th of this year to the Northumberland Fisheries Museum;

Therefore be it resolved that this Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the MacMillan family of Pictou Island for their generous donation to the Northumberland Fisheries Museum.

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. 4926

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia Agricultural College was established in 1905 to keep farmers abreast of agricultural advances and to train new farmers, and now also offers both

[Page 9138]

undergraduate and graduate degrees in science, and diploma studies in various technologies; and

Whereas the NSAC is one of the three oldest centres of agricultural education and research in Canada, it is also internationally recognized for its research into broader fields of science and technology; and

Whereas throughout its history, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College has been a forward-thinking institution of higher learning, offering ahead-of-its-time innovations such as home economics, women's institutes, rural science, youth training and aquaculture;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of the Legislature congratulate the students, alumni, faculty and administration of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College on its 100th Anniversary and for a century of service to agriculture in Atlantic Canada and for the advances in science and technology it has given to the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

RESOLUTION NO. 4927

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

Whereas the Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command headquarters have been located at 5621 Rainnie Drive in Halifax since 1942; and

Whereas approximately two years ago a building committee was formed consisting of members, Steve Wessel, Clarence Dawe and Jack Hatcher to search for a new location and build a new headquarters; and

[Page 9139]

Whereas the building committee has made an excellent choice by choosing 61 Gloria McCluskey Avenue in Dartmouth's Burnside Business Park as the location for the new headquarters;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly congratulate the executive, members of the building committee and others who played a role in building a headquarters which has been dedicated to all those who have served and wish them continued success in their new location in Dartmouth.

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 Glace Bay.

RESOLUTION NO. 4928

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Mr. Sam Cohen of Glace Bay, a well-known and respected businessman, passed away October 25, 2005; and

Whereas Sam Cohen worked in the family grocery business on York Street until his retirement in 1973; and

Whereas thousands of Glace Bay youth have spent countless hours, over many years, talking with and being counselled by Sam in all his wisdom;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their condolences to the family of Sam Cohen and honour the memory of Sam Cohen.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9140]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 4929

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

Whereas Heritage Gas celebrated Amherst's first natural gas distribution system on September 22nd past, bringing natural gas to the Town of Amherst; and

Whereas residents of Amherst will benefit from a cleaner burning fuel source resulting in cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHG); and

Whereas the Government of Nova Scotia commends the Town of Amherst for their keen interest in natural gas which positions Amherst as a strong competitor with its neighbours who are already using natural gas, in New Brunswick, and will help attract more businesses to the area and provide more jobs to Nova Scotians;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Amherst Natural Gas Committee for their hard work in bringing natural gas to the Town of Amherst.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

[Page 9141]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 4930

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

Whereas the 13th Annual Louisbourg Crab Festival was held on July 29 and July 30, 2005; and

Whereas the festival is a way to showcase local talent and demonstrate Cape Breton hospitality; and

Whereas each year many volunteers participate in the festival which features fresh mussels and crab dinners along with down-home traditional music;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the efforts of the many volunteers for continuing their commitment and dedication to the Louisbourg Crab Festival.

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.

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to do an introduction before I read this resolution. In the west gallery today we have my brother, Harold, and his wife, Cathy, enjoying the proceedings. So I would like them to receive a warm welcome from the House today. (Applause)

[Page 9142]

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

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 4931

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

Whereas on September 30, 2005, Barbara Goss retired after a career spanning 26 and a half years with the Province of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas 25 of those years were spent in the Hansard Office - serving as a transcompositor, transcriber, and finally as an editorial assistant; and

Whereas Barbara, through her dedication and loyalty, played a major role in making the Hansard Office what it is today;

Therefore be it resolved that Members of the Legislative Assembly recognize Barbara Goss for her exemplary service and wish her all the best in her retirement.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 4932

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

Whereas Morris Haugg was presented with a True Rotarian Award by Rotary District Governor Duncan Conrad recently for more than 30 years of service to the Rotary Club and his community; and

[Page 9143]

Whereas Bette Douglas was presented a governor's citation for her work at the district level over the last several years; and

Whereas Morris and Bette, being Rotary members, make dreams a reality helping to rid the world of polio and bring independence and dignity to the underprivileged along with opportunities for economic independence;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending our congratulations to Morris Haugg and Bette Douglas for their rotary recognition.

[3:00 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 member for Timberlea-Prospect on an introduction.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I'd like to take a moment of the House to introduce an international student who's with us today. She's accompanied by a member of our staff, Lori Errington. We have an international student here from Germany who's currently studying commerce at Saint Mary's University. I'd ask her to rise and receive the welcome of the House, Jördir Semengen, could you stand and be recognized in Nova Scotia.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 3:01 p.m. and end at 4:01p.m.

[Page 9144]

The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - NAT'L. GYPSUM STRIKE: CONTINUATION EXPLAIN

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question this afternoon is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. On August 10th, workers at the National Gypsum mine in Milford and the Burnside loading facility represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 721B were forced onto the picket lines. These workers were doing a tremendous job that we and all Nova Scotians should be proud of. The workers increased production by 25 per cent over the previous year providing National Gypsum with huge profits. That wasn't enough. Instead of rewarding them for increased productivity, the company wanted to seriously reduce pension benefits, safety and overtime. My question for the minister is, why is this minister allowing the National Gypsum strike to continue instead of seeking a resolution?

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. While we appreciate the attendance of the visitors in the gallery, I'd ask you not to respond either positively or negatively to what's happening on the floor, please. Thank you.

HON. KERRY MORASH: Thank you, Mr. Speaker, we've certainly been involved with this process as it has unfolded and certainly are monitoring it, which is our role, and we will continue to do so.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, these workers have been on the picket line now for two and a half months. Everyone knows with the current exception of the minister that National Gypsum employees want to get back to work; however, they wanted a fair and just negotiated settlement, not a take it or leave it settlement that is jammed down their throats by a large U.S. company. On October 13th, our Labour Critic wrote a letter urging the minister to appoint an industrial inquiry to look into all aspects of this strike. My question is, why has this minister not become involved and offered the assistance of his department to foster a fair settlement of this dispute?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, the department is available to assist both parties to get back to the table and negotiate a contract which is what they certainly would like to do. As the member opposite mentioned, this is a negotiated process and I'm certainly not a negotiator.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, the issues these workers brought to the table are important to the safety, security and well-being of all Nova Scotians. If this company succeeds in breaking the union and stripping benefits at the very same time that other provinces are luring workers with higher wages and better conditions, it will send a very dangerous signal about labour relations and employment prospects in Nova Scotia. My final

[Page 9145]

question for the minister is, when will this minister stand up for all the Nova Scotian workers and take action aimed at bringing this labour dispute to a fairly negotiated conclusion?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, this certainly is an important and very serious issue. As I said previously, the department is monitoring the situation, we are there on the capacities that we are legally available to be there to assist both parties to come together to the table and negotiate a fair and honest contract.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

NAT. RES.: ATV - AGE RESTRICTIONS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the CEO of the IWK spoke out how disappointed she was with respect to the lack of leadership this government is exhibiting on the issue of ATV use and age restrictions. Last evening during a CBC interview, the first announced candidate for the Tory leadership indicated that we should be more strict with children and ATV use and that he would go further than the Hamm Government when it comes to age limits. It must be becoming abundantly clear to the Minister of Natural Resources and his government that they missed the boat and by doing so they are endangering the lives of children. My question to the minister is, in light of comments from both the CEO of the IWK and the first candidate for the Tory leadership, why does the minister continue to put the lives of children at risk?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, I can tell that member opposite and all members of this House, this government is taking action on the off-highway vehicles and we've implemented 37 of the 39 recommendations.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, this minister constantly amazes us. He receives a task force report that brings forward recommendations with respect to safety and age restrictions - he ignores them. Surgeons and others provide the government with horror stories of having to hold the hands of dying children who are injured in an ATV accident because there was nothing else they could do. Yesterday - let's just say yesterday was the icing on the cake - when the minister came out and stated to the media there were medical staff at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital who support the province's decision to allow children to continue riding ATVs. If the minister is so confident and believes so strongly in the course of action that he has taken to date, will the minister table, before the end of Question Period, the names of the medical staff at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital who agree that children of all ages should be riding ATVs?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, it's very typical of that member opposite to always mislead this House. What I said yesterday is that I was at the Yarmouth Regional Hospital last weekend, my niece was having a baby and there were some medical professionals there who said that we had a balanced approach to the off-highway vehicles.

[Page 9146]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, all the minister has to do is provide us with the names. He said there were people there who supported his decision, so do we assume that now they don't exist? They were medical staff. Maybe the minister's a bit testy, maybe he's unable to sleep at night, that he made the wrong decision regarding this. Unbelievable what this minister is portraying to this House. My final question for the minister is, given that injury prevention is supposedly important to this government and safety is the theme of this House session, could the minister please outline then his justification for not acting on recommendations that will save the lives of children?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, I can tell the member opposite I sleep very well at night and I'm very proud of this government's stand on off-highway vehicles - 37 of 39 recommendations. That's showing Nova Scotians that this government cares about the health and safety of Nova Scotians.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - CB: STRIP MINING - HALT

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is going to be (interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. Recently, an assessment of the effects of surface coal mining in CBRM was released by your department. It very thoroughly outlined the arguments against strip mining and there were far more arguments against than in favour. It demonstrates that residents of the community as well as the regional government have good reason to oppose strip mining in Cape Breton. The report unfortunately reaches no conclusion on whether or not more strip mining should be allowed. In the opinion of local residents, such as those in the gallery here today, the negative effects outweigh any positive spin this government may put on strip mining. Our caucus has listened to, and fully supports the local residents. Mr. Minister, will you make a commitment to listen to the concerns of local residents and put a halt to any future strip mining in Cape Breton?

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, with regard to the cumulative effects, the study is something we commissioned because we felt we needed additional information with what was being proposed on the Island area. It wasn't the mandate of the study to come up with a yea or a nay. It was there to look at public concerns, issues, hydrogeological concerns and issues and give information for the department to make recommendations on.

[Page 9147]

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this government claims that its primary intent with regard to strip mining in Cape Breton is reclamation of the natural landscape. Other types of mines in this province in need of reclamation have simply been filled in with topsoil by excavators. If reclamation is indeed the goal of government, then a reasonable idea would be to cap these underground workings with topsoil, instead of permitting more mines that would dig a hole 16 storeys down.

More mines and new mines, as the government has proposed, will inevitably destroy hundreds of hectares of Nova Scotia forest and farmland, creating an unwelcome blight on these Cape Breton communities. My question for the minister is, why? Why are you intent on allowing even greater damage to this environment than has already been inflicted?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, as the member opposite would appreciate, we have legislation in place that says the responsibility of the Department of Environment and Labour is to look at proposals that come in from proponents, with regard to mining and numerous other things, to weigh them out with regard to the information we have at hand and available, to look for additional information like cumulative studies, and for staff to assess them carefully, take in public input, and make a decision.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, what is so striking is the minister's lack of interest in what the residents have to say. They have offered to take the minister of a tour of the sites but he has not taken the time to see the area first-hand on a tour with local residents. I can tell the minister, from personal experience, that tour would be very worthwhile. The residents of Boularderie don't understand why this minister and this government pretend that it is necessary to destroy this land so that someday it can be reclaimed in a version of its natural form. So my question to the minister is, since it's obvious that reclamation can't be the real motivation for allowing more strip mines, why won't the minister explain his government's real motivation?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, with regard to a visit of the site, it is something I had committed to some time ago and I haven't been able to get down to this point in time. I have been to visit one other plot that was down there at an earlier date and it was most educational, I'm most appreciative, and certainly I look forward to doing that on this site as well.

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

[Page 9148]

ENVIRON. & LBR. - BOULARDERIE ISLAND/NORTHSIDE:

STRIP MINING DECISION - TIME FRAME

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. The people of Boularderie Island and on the Northside have been waiting for some time now on a decision regarding strip mining in their area. My question to the minister is, what is taking so long to come to a final decision on this critical issue?

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, at this point in time we have one application in to the department and there's a request for additional information to the proponent, and until that information comes in to the department nothing is triggered, so there's no decision process. At this point in time we are waiting for information from people to bring in to the department.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, this important issue - which includes the loss of water for the people near the strip mining location - first came to light at a public meeting in Point Aconi in February 2005. This means that after nine months the government has taken this matter lightly and once again has shown little concern for the residents of rural Nova Scotia. My question to the minister is, has your government taken any action concerning the beginning or cancellation of strip mining in this area?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, as I mentioned earlier with regard to the cumulative effect study, it's certainly a tool that we currently have - we have it out on the Web site - we are reviewing it; we haven't completely finished that process yet. We are working with DNR to make sure that we are in concert with them, with regard to the recommendations that are in place in the cumulative study, and we have performed a great deal of work with regard to any potential applications that may come in for consideration.

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Mr. Speaker, simply put, the citizens of Boularderie Island have been living in distress wondering about the status of this matter and are growing impatient at this government's indecisive nature. My final question to the minister is, will your government take action and relieve the stress and trepidation of the citizens on Boularderie Island by announcing this government's decision on strip mining in this jewel on the Bras d'Or Lakes?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, there is a process entrenched in law that says once all information is in and the request is in, the clock ticks for 25 days and a decision will be made. However, as I stated previously, all the information that the department has requested has not been gathered, has not been turned in, so at this point in time we are waiting for that information to come to us.

[Page 9149]

[3:15 p.m.]

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

HEALTH: AMBULANCE FEE REVIEW - DETAILS

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): My question today is for the Minister of Health. In the Spring sitting of the Legislature, the Minister of Health stated that his department would undertake a review of the ambulance fees in this province, but we waited and waited and still no word about the ambulance fees review, so we were surprised this week to learn that the review already started.

Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health issues a news release every time the minister coughs, but in the case of ambulance fees, there was no news release, no news conference and no information. So my question to the Minister of Health is, how long has the ambulance-fee review been going on and why did it start without any public notification?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we had agreed that we would cause to have put in place a review of fees by an accredited individual and we have a firm hired in order to do that and that process is now underway. That's what we committed to do and that's what is underway. I think the fact that we had committed to do so would suggest that it was going to happen.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, this review was needed because of the many people who have come forward and told the stories about unfair and unreasonable user fees when it pertains to ambulance rides in this province. We have heard stories of double billing, triple billing, collection agencies, calls to children, exorbitant fees for refugees and other vulnerable people and a host of other stories. These people and the people who have been advocating on their behalf, like my colleague, the member for Halifax Fairview, expect and deserve an opportunity to participate in this fee review. So my question to the Minister of Health is, how can the public participate in this user fee review if they don't even know the review is happening?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, all of the matters to which the honourable member referred will, in fact, be addressed by the review process.

MR. DAVID WILSON (Sackville-Cobequid): Mr. Speaker, this government has continued to increase user fees, year after year, and the people who use that service should be involved in this review. I think it's only fair for the people of Nova Scotia. The public has a right to be heard and the review will mean nothing if they are not heard or involved in the process. We wonder what the government and the Minister of Health are trying to hide, without involving the people who use the service.

[Page 9150]

So I ask the minister, will he do the right thing and commit to the people of Nova Scotia, a public input review so the people's rights could be heard and the information from the Department of Health hear the whole story about user fees and the people who are absorbing a huge amount of costs with unfair fees?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the purpose of the review is to address all of the issues that members have brought forward in this House and elsewhere and that, in fact, is what we are asking the firm that is doing the review to do, is to look at those issues. They have been raised. They have been raised by members opposite, raised by other individuals and that is what is taking place currently.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

ECON. DEV. - BEER PROD.: N.S. - PROTECT

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, this will be for the Minister of Economic Development. Let's talk beer. More importantly, let's talk jobs in manufacturing and bottling beer. We learned the other day that Moosehead has made an agreement with its rival Labatt to bottle some 200,000 hectolitres of Labatt beer for them at Moosehead's Saint John, New Brunswick plant. Now, hectolitres is the technical term used in the industry. I've done a calculation, that's 1.5 million two-fours. That's a lot of beer. That's a lot of work, a lot of jobs. Now at the same time, as that work has been added to the plant in New Brunswick, there is a corresponding cutback in volume of work at the Labatt-Oland plant in Halifax. It looks more and more as if Nova Scotia is going to lose out to New Brunswick in these traditional jobs as the big companies consolidate their plants. So I'm wondering, can the minister tell us if there's anything he can do to make sure that Nova Scotia is not the big loser in the local beer wars?

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member would be aware of the unemployment statistics for Nova Scotia - last month, 7.2 per cent. So certainly the economy is moving forward and doing well. In the particular case of the beer-brewing industry, private companies such as Labatt, Moosehead and others across this country do reciprocal agreements amongst themselves routinely, they do not consult government to see if they can do a reciprocal deal.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I don't think that the unionized workers at the plant that manufactures beer are going to go after jobs at the call centres. The problem of consolidation in the beer industry is not just a Nova Scotia/New Brunswick problem. Big plants, plants of enormous size and capacity exist in central Canada that could wipe us out here. At the same time we do have some microbreweries that produce a very good product but have a tiny percentage of the market. I wonder if the minister can tell us whether there is anything at all that he could do to expand the market share for the microbreweries so brewery workers who

[Page 9151]

are getting displaced from the bigger plants can perhaps find jobs here in the specialized breweries, so they don't have to leave Nova Scotia or become unemployed?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, certainly under this government's administration, the promotion of microbreweries, as well as the NSLCs work with the major breweries, has resulted in a stable and growing demand for the product produced here in Nova Scotia. The same thing is happening with wines produced here in Nova Scotia, consumption is up and the production is up as well.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, the hard fact is that there's a serious cutback in production at the main plant and we have to look down the road and worry about whether there is a possibility that the plant might close completely. Will the minister undertake to speak directly, personally, with the Labatt-Oland management to ascertain their intentions for their metro plant and report back to this House?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, one of the things as the Minister responsible for the NSLC is you have regular discussions with producers of fine quality beer, wine and certainly single malt scotch in this province. We are very much concerned about being able to grow the amount of volume they produce and that they continue to be a viable and expanding part of our economy. Those discussions are held routinely.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

ENVIRON. & LBR. - INGLEWOOD FARMS LAGOONS: EMPTYING - COST

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Environment and Labour. The spreading of biosolids on our fields is a grave issue that the Minister of Environment and Labour has not been addressing properly. Once again, a licence was granted to apply biosolids at Inglewood Farms in Truro. In February 2005 the minister indicated the biowaste lagoons at Inglewood Farms would be emptied of material and sent to Ontario at a cost of $120,000. Could the minister indicate the exact cost of emptying these lagoons and shipping the waste to Ontario?

HON. KERRY MORASH: Mr. Speaker, some of that material certainly stayed in the province with regard to it being composted and otherwise. I don't have the exact amount of the cost, but it was certainly in the range or above the number that was quoted.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, the minister knows full well that Ontario would not accept this waste. Small amounts went to Amherst and Pictou, and the bulk of the material wound up in Fundy Compost. My question to the minister is, why has the minister again signed this agreement with Inglewood Farms when Ontario will not even take the waste, when they're better equipped to handle this type of solid material?

[Page 9152]

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, this material is very acceptable to go to a compost facility and be processed in that manner and be used as compost in the future. Our problem when we went through this actually was capacity. We had a lot of this material we were trying to move and some of the compost facilities certainly couldn't take that amount of material. We had to do it in smaller batches so that it could be processed.

MR. COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, well, the minister has not properly handled this issue. The opposition to this activity is growing and growing. I wish to table a signed letter today from Millbrook First Nations Chief Lawrence Paul who is definitely opposed to this as is all his council. When is the minister going to treat the concerns of the residents seriously, including the concerns of Chief Lawrence Paul?

MR. MORASH: Mr. Speaker, we certainly have taken this very seriously. As everybody would know, this has been an item that's been in the news on a regular basis. We've reviewed our regulations to make sure we have regulations that are comparable or above anywhere else in North America. I did see the letter that was mentioned, we've yet to respond to that. We've also dealt with the farmer who has been using the material. We had a one day forum in Truro where we brought in experts from across this country and beyond which was well attended by all those people - the community at large as well as other individuals. We feel we're making progress on the file. We have a community liaison committee and an advisory committee that we're developing to make sure we move ahead in the future. This is not finished, it's continuing on and we have additional work to do.

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

NAT. RES. - DOMINION BEACH: OPENING 2006 - PLANS

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Natural Resources. As the minister likely knows by now, the Town of Dominion - one of the finest communities in this whole province - will be celebrating their 100th Anniversary as an incorporated town in 2006. This is a very important date and it's fast approaching. The very jewel in that town is the Dominion Beach. Last year it was closed due to sewage outfalls and other concerns. I want to ask the minister, what are his plans to have that beach opened for Summer 2006, so that it will be open for all the residents and the many visitors who will arrive in that town for them to enjoy?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the honourable member, I thank you for bringing the question to the floor here today. The member brought that to my attention last year in this Legislature. I have been to the site, we have had dialogue with the municipality - their engineering department. There's an issue there, the health and safety of the people using that beach. The municipality has the responsibility to deal with the effluent that's going into the harbour. I know my colleague from Service Nova Scotia and

[Page 9153]

the Minister of Environment and Labour has been working on this file. I will endeavour to keep working with the member and the municipality to see if we can rectify the problem.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, then I will move on to the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. We know what caused the closure, it was the sewage outfalls and the contamination of the water in and around that beach. I want to ask the minister if he will tell this House today what talks has his department had with the municipality and what is his proposal to fix those outfalls for this coming Summer?

HON. BARRY BARNET: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite, last Winter we offered Cape Breton Regional Municipality a fairly large sum of money to co-operate in repairing that sewage outfall. They weren't able to participate at that time. Since then they have written to us requesting us to contribute towards engineering design studies and we have contributed to that. It's my understanding that those design studies are underway right now.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, in my never-ending attempt to speak to as many ministers as I can across the way with one question, I will now talk to the Acting Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage. We have been engaged through community groups within the Town of Dominion in putting together huge groups of volunteers that will be looking after the many celebrations and parties that will be going on within that great town for this Summer project. Volunteerism is great, but at the end of the day you need capital to make it move forward. So I want to ask the acting minister if he can tell me if the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage is acting in a sincere way and will move forward with adequate financing so these many volunteers can get on with their work and make this gala event the great event that it should be for that great town and those great citizens?

[3:30 p.m.]

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, the member raises a very good point. It's important for communities, when they're moving forward with celebrations that highlight their culture, their heritage and their traditions, as well as promote economic development, that departments of government are there to support them. I'm sure the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage will be there to work closely with the community. I would also suggest to the honourable member that many communities take advantage of our student employment program with their applications in the February, March period under Economic Development to get Summer students to help support those projects as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

[Page 9154]

TPW - FED. GAS TAX: HWYS. & BRIDGES - OBTAIN

MR. CHARLES PARKER: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. On September, 2005, the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce held a Roads and Highways Symposium in Truro. One of the recommendations from that forum was to be more aggressive in obtaining federal gas tax for our highways and bridges. New Brunswick has set a great example, they've received hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government for their highways in recent years. My question to the minister is, why are we so far behind our sister province, and what is New Brunswick doing right that we are not?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, perhaps it's because the Liberal members are more aggressive in the Province of New Brunswick than they are in the Province of Nova Scotia. The fact that we haven't received as much funding from the federal government for our highways in the Province of Nova Scotia is a matter that distresses me, because we had a highway system that was probably the best in the country for a number of years. In fact, we had the first regular highway system in Canada. (Interruptions) I wasn't there, no. I wish I was. (Interruptions) I think that can be evidenced from the point of view that we have a number of bridges in this province that date back - one of them was put in place 120-odd years ago, indeed.

Mr. Speaker, we need money from the federal government. We are pursuing that as actively as we can.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, I don't remember those bridges from the 1800s, perhaps the minister might. One of the suggestions that came out of the forum in Truro was from a number of municipal councillors and wardens who were there, they want more openness, more accountability and more local input into setting road priorities. The conditions of the roads that we drive on are best known by the people who travel over them every day. Again to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works, when will this government allow for more meaningful input from our rural municipalities and local people in determining which roads are going to be fixed next?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, it's surprising that that question should come from the member for Pictou West, because according to my caucus he's doing pretty well. (Laughter) But getting back to my tale of woe with regard to the federal government (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable minister has the floor.

MR. RUSSELL: The biggest problem we face, and in all seriousness the honourable member deserves a straight answer, is simply because of the fact that, today, the federal Department of Transport no longer makes agreements with provincial Departments of Transportation. They all come through the Department of Infrastructure, which comes under

[Page 9155]

John Godfrey. So we are in competition for road money with those who build sewage systems, water systems, hockey rinks, various other matters. There's nothing wrong with that. However, the Department of Transportation and Public Works should have a federal component coming from the federal Department of Transportation, the way it was.

MR. PARKER: Mr. Speaker, what we really need more than kind words is a plan, a plan to aggressively lobby the federal government for our fair share of the gas tax dollars, a plan for openness and transparency in fixing the worst roads first and a plan to include municipalities and local people in decision making. We have some of the worst roads in Canada, so when is this government going to raise its head from the potholes and come up with a plan?

HON. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works has the floor.

HON. RUSSELL: I'm delighted that the honourable member mentioned potholes because as you know, the Liberal Party had a program on the television, the Pothole of the Week. You know something, they haven't found a pothole since August.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works has the floor.

HON. RUSSELL: I'm told that's enough, okay.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Annapolis.

HEALTH - EMO: SPECIAL CARE HOMES - LIST PROVIDE

MR. STEPHEN MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. In 2003, the Department of Health signed an agreement with EMO which would see comprehensive review and evaluations each year of emergency plans and emergency exercises for special care homes licensed by his department. According to the audit of EMO performed by the Auditor General in 2004, it was found EMO was unable to perform these reviews because they had not received the list of homes from your department. Today, in a Community Services Committee meeting, the executive director of EMO said he was still waiting for that list. My question for the minister is why is EMO still waiting for that list?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank the honourable member for the question. Members should know by virtue of obtaining a licence, a nursing home must put forward their plan with respect to emergency preparedness. That plan is something that is reviewed annually and it is something that the nursing home also goes over

[Page 9156]

with the local EMO officials. The honourable member is quite right to point out that the list that provincial EMO was to receive was not presented for the past two years. I have assured the honourable Minister of Emergency Measures Organization for the province that the list will in fact be presented to him in the very near future.

MR. MCNEIL: Mr. Speaker, it's interesting to know that agreements between departments really don't mean anything. I wonder why we sign them. This is an issue of safety for some of our most vulnerable citizens, our seniors. That same agreement was also signed by the Department of Community Services, which would see homes under this department's responsibility evaluated. Again, Mr. Speaker, the executive director of EMO stated that he had not received a list from the Department of Community Services. My question is to the Minister of Community Services, why has your department not complied with this agreement?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Thank you, Mr. Speaker and I thank the member opposite for his question. He's brought it to my attention and I will inquire of the department as to the answer.

MR. MCNEIL: An agreement is signed and yet no evaluations have been done. We are talking about the safety about our most vulnerable citizens, our senior citizens, a supposed theme of this House session. My question to the Deputy Premier, will you commit by the end of this week that your government will comply with the agreements signed with EMO around homes for special care and provide EMO with the list they require?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, the only thing that I can promise is to take the matter under advisement.

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

HEALTH: NICHOLSON CASE - NURSING HOME APPLICATION

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Health. Recently a constituent of mine, George Nicholson, applied for a bed in a nursing home due to numerous health problems. In spite of two doctors strongly supporting his need for nursing home care, the regional manager denied him access stating he did not require 24-hour care. Care coordinators use a one-size fits all, fill-in-the-dots form to assess patients asking for help and most are not medically trained. I ask the Minister of Health why were two doctors' recommendations for nursing home care completely ignored by continuing care staff?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the honourable member for the question. Obviously, I can't comment on the specifics of the question that the honourable member raises this afternoon, but I can tell you that the criteria which is applied

[Page 9157]

with respect to making the determination as to whether or not a person is a candidate for long-term care is something that is done at a professional level. It is criteria that's established by professionals and great care is taken in the process of making those recommendations.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I should point out that the minister's attention to this case is no longer required, because Mr. Nicholson passed away last week still waiting for the care he needed. This seems to be coming the rule rather than the exception. The family was put through unnecessary stress in an already difficult time. My question to the minister is, he has had a report on his desk as to the needs and long-term care in Cape Breton for months, why has his department been so slow to take action?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, for the honourable member to suggest that we're slow in taking action is for him to have buried his head during the entire budget debate last year, because in that process we did commit to an additional 25 beds. That process is underway and they're going to be provided in the Cape Breton area. We also indicated that we would be providing an additional 100 beds for the Cape Breton area. That process is well underway and that is ongoing. To suggest that we are ignoring the needs of Cape Breton, I suggest the honourable member should listen more carefully when the budget debates are taking place.

MR. GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, maybe somebody else should take his head out of the sand.

We've known for years that more beds were needed in Cape Breton and if this government hadn't stalled so long with needless consultations, those beds could be up and running by now. Even with new beds in the system - whenever that happens - it won't completely meet the deficit in Cape Breton. There are people who are waiting and this case I'm bringing today, it's somebody who passed away while they were waiting. So my final question to the minister is, when will he admit his government's plan to deal with the need for nursing home beds is to stall while they continue to ration services - denying care to people like George Nicholson and his family?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the honourable member should recognize that decisions taken with respect to individuals going to nursing homes are taken by professionals; they follow guidelines that are established by professionals, and that takes place in every situation. Now, the honourable member, to suggest that we're not addressing the needs in Cape Breton, I believe is not fair to all members of this House because we, in fact, announced and the process is underway for the construction of 25 new beds and as well, the planning is well underway for the additional 100 beds that were announced in the budget - and when we receive the report in March, with respect to continuing care, a further evaluation will be done with respect to not only Cape Breton but the entire province, and the province's needs will be met.

[Page 9158]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Glace Bay.

HEALTH - FLU VACCINE: SHORTAGE - EXPLAIN

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, yesterday the Minister of Health was waving a memo around stating that flu vaccines would be provided in multiple instalments. For the doctors at the Woodlawn Medical Clinic that practice is no different than last year. They ordered 2,000 doses of vaccine, and three days later, if more was required they would order another 1,000. They never had a problem obtaining the additional 1,000 in any given week and, more importantly, they were never rationed.

Today we hear the minister has a new culprit to blame. This time it's the Province of Quebec. So my question for the minister is, why is the health of Nova Scotians being compromised because Quebec happened to be on the ball and started its flu clinics early?

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the actual fact is that Quebec finally decided to start their flu clinics at the same time we did, because they were starting them later in previous years. As a result of that there is a national distribution problem not unique to Nova Scotia, and in the memo that was dated November 13th all physicians in this province, were notified that they should plan to schedule their flu clinics in a manner that would allow them to ration and put out the vaccines as the supply became available. They received ample advance notice of this situation. Planning on their part could have avoided the situation to which the honourable member is referring and complaining about now.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, this government, simply put, was outsmarted by Quebec, and by Ontario, by the way, who had no problem receiving 1 million vaccines. Yesterday the minister stated and I quote, ". . . physicians who suggest that they are getting less than what they received last year are misleading Nova Scotians." More of the blame game. Doctors at the Woodlawn Medical Clinic were told they would get 1,000 doses per week, for eight weeks. Last year they had 9,000 patients. This year they anticipated 10,000. Now, even if the minister did the math, it means fewer vaccines than last year. So my question to the minster is, why did the minister blame doctors yesterday, when it's clear they were right when they said they will be receiving fewer vaccines this year?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, the fact is, the memo that was sent out to the doctors did explain to them that the flow of the vaccines would take place over a period of time and that they should plan accordingly with respect to the planning of their clinics. The memo also indicated that there will not be a shortage of vaccinations in the province this year in order to address those most at risk. That's pretty plain English and I think people should respond and plan accordingly.

[Page 9159]

MR. DAVID WILSON (Glace Bay): Mr. Speaker, you want plain English, the CBC quoting doctors at the Gladstone Professional Clinic in Halifax, saying they ran out of vaccine yesterday morning and they can't get a new supply from the Department of Health. You blame Ottawa, you blame the doctors, you blame Quebec. Who is next? The health care system is going to pay the price because it's possible that individuals in this province are going to get the flu because they didn't get their flu shots in time for flu season. Again, Mr. Minister, why did Quebec beat us to the punch? Why has the minister left us without the ability to deliver the same amount of vaccine in the same amount of the time as last year?

MR. MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, we're referencing a national situation. As a result of the national situation, all provinces are affected by this. The physicians in this province were told they would have the same amount of vaccine as they have had in previous years. That would be available to the province. They were also told that they should plan for that flow of vaccine to occur in stages. That was told to them in September 13, 2005. Now, that is reasonably plain and I believe the honourable member is trying to play politics with a very important issue and (Interruptions)

Well, Mr. Speaker, my responsibility is to ensure that there is vaccine available to all citizens of this province, not just to a few clinics in one part of the province. All physicians received the same notification.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the Opposition.

NAT. RES. - ATVs: AGE RESTRICTIONS - MIN. RESPONSE

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, my question will be for the Minister of Natural Resources. We've heard a great deal in recent days about the opinions of members of the public, the medical community and health care administrators when it comes to ATVs. On Monday we heard from front-line health care workers about the frustration they feel over the government's decision to allow those younger than 16 to ride ATVs, instead of following the recommendation of the Voluntary Planning task force. Yesterday, the CEO of the only children's hospital in the Maritimes, took the unprecedented step of criticizing this government decision around children's use of ATVs. So my question for the minister is this, given all of the expert medical advice and the possible ramifications for the province's children of this wrong-headed policy, why do you stubbornly refuse to do the right thing?

HON. RICHARD HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member opposite and to all members, the member I just spoke of has her opinion and she is entitled to her opinion. This government is taking a directive and an action plan with 37 of the recommendations that were presented to the government and we're moving ahead on those.

[Page 9160]

MR. DEXTER: The flood of criticisms from medical experts is continuing unabated. I will table a letter written yesterday signed by Dr. Romesh Shukla , the President of Doctors Nova Scotia. In this letter he urges the government, "every year physicians in this province see far too many severe injuries and deaths as a result of ATV related accidents. Doctors Nova Scotia urges the government to reconsider their position and only allow those at least 16 years old to be fully licensed to operate an ATV." Mr. Speaker, up against the entire community of doctors in this province, I ask the minister this, will he finally admit his government's mistake and change this harmful policy?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, I will admit that we are doing the right thing for all Nova Scotians, mandatory certification, mandatory registration and mandatory insurance on their off-highway vehicles. Moving ahead with the plan and educating our youth is the key and we're staying on our plan.

MR. DEXTER: It's unbelievable, this is the organization that the Premier used to be the president of. I can't believe that I'm standing in this House faced with a government that refuses to listen to such unassailable advice. Minister, the time for the stubborn defence of this policy is over. No one on this side of the House will criticize you for doing the right thing. I'm asking you, through the Speaker, why is it good enough to say that these decisions will be reviewed in three years, why not now strike the balance and take this advice?

MR. HURLBURT: Mr. Speaker, through you to the member and all members, we are moving ahead on our action plan, we are enforcing the regulations of the action plan, the 37 recommendations, we're implementing those. That member knows as well as all members of this House know that we have to educate the population and we are doing that. We will see the benefits in time with this new plan.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

AFRICAN N.S. AFFS.: TOLL-FREE NUMBER - PROVIDE

MR. KEITH COLWELL: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of African Nova Scotia Affairs. The minister indicated last week that his office, the new Office of African Nova Scotia Affairs, had a toll-free number. I'm going to ask this minister if he will step outside the Chamber this afternoon upon the completion . . .

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

MR. KEITH COLWELL: . . . of Question Period, in front of the press and give a toll-free number to his office?

[Page 9161]

HON. BARRY BARNET: Well, that's the first time I've been called out, Mr. Speaker. What I will say to the member opposite, there is a government-wide toll-free number where constituents and residents of Nova Scotia can contact any government department.

MR. COLWELL: Well, this is going to be quite a feat, Mr. Speaker. We, this morning called the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs and guess what, there is no toll-free number set up. It was stated last week in Hansard the minister indicated there was indeed a toll-free number, as he said, "We do have a toll-free number that is available to all Nova Scotians so they can access our office." Well, why did the minister mislead this House when it comes to the important issue of all Black Nova Scotians being able to access the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs no matter where they live in this province?

HON. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, the member obviously didn't listen to the answer. As I indicated to him first, there is a government-wide toll-free number that all Nova Scotians can reach all departments of government. It's available to the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs, it's available to the Department of Natural Resources, to the Department of Finance, the Department of Health, Economic Development, Human Resources, it's available for Education, it's available for the Premier's Office, it's available for Transportation and Public Works; Community Services; Energy; Tourism, Culture and Heritage; and for every department, including the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

MR. COLWELL: Well, the minister clearly stated here the other day, as part of the process this government has, to service Black Nova Scotians . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please.

The honourable member for Preston has the floor.

MR. COLWELL: To properly service Black Nova Scotians, they were going to set up regional offices, way out, five-years' time. He said they're going to have a toll-free number directly to that office to address the issues of Black Nova Scotians in this province. He misled this Legislature stating that there was a toll-free number directly to this office, an office that should be addressed directly by Black Nova Scotians here. When is this minister going to take the concerns of Black Nova Scotians in this province seriously and address their issues and open these offices immediately and set up the telephone number immediately so they can go directly to that office, instead of some call centre they have to call and wait for someone to call them back?

MR. BARNET: Mr. Speaker, what I would like to say is that . . .

[Page 9162]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs has the floor.

MR. BARNET: What I would like to say, Mr. Speaker, is that we in the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs have spent a great deal of time and effort consulting directly with African Nova Scotians on how we would establish this office. I told the member opposite and this House that the last time I answered this question. What I'll say, as well, is that the feedback that we're getting directly from African Nova Scotians is that the office is working very well. They're very happy, very satisfied with the office and what we're doing.

The last thing I would like to say, Mr. Speaker, for the information of members opposite, the 1-800 number is 1-800-670-4357. So if he would like to write that down - 1-800-670-4357.

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

COM. SERV. - CHILD CARE:

CORPORATE TAKEOVERS - PREVENTION PROVISIONS

MS. MARILYN MORE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. Recently Lynne Wannon, a child care policy expert from Australia, was in Halifax with a clear message - don't make the same mistake we did. In 1991, Australia opened itself up to big corporations running child care, and the experience has proved far from positive. Corporations have gobbled up 70 per cent of child care centres and are making millions of dollars in profits from public dollars, while this sector falls apart. My question to the minister is, what specific provisions does he intend to put into place to prevent large corporations from taking over the child care sector in Nova Scotia?

HON. DAVID MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the member opposite for her question. I think Nova Scotians should be aware that about half the child care spaces in Nova Scotia are provided by non-profits and about half are provided by commercial. It seems to me that it's parent choice that is driving that allocation. I would suggest that in future, parent choice is the best way of deciding what type of child care is best for their children.

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to suggest to the minister that our small and family-run commercial centres in Nova Scotia are just as much at risk of buyouts and takeovers if there's a threat to the expansion of the non-profit centres. Eddie Groves is the owner of ABC Learning. It's the largest child care corporation in Australia. Mr. Groves was born in Canada. He has openly said that he has his eye on Canada for expansion. The Australian experience resulted in poor access to child care for immigrants, special needs children, and rural and low-income families. Workers are so poorly paid there that they're

[Page 9163]

leaving the sector in droves. My question to the minister is, will his plan contain measures to prevent Nova Scotia from repeating this mistake?

MR. MORSE: Mr. Speaker, I first of all want to assure all Nova Scotians that all child care centres - all regulated child care in Nova Scotia - have to abide by the same regulations. So there should be no discrepancy between them and, if there is discrepancy, the very capable inspectors in the department will come in and catch it and make them address it.

[4:00 p.m.]

The other point that I want to make is that it makes it sound like childcare is some sort of lucrative business. I can tell you that the people who operate these childcare centres, whether non-profit or commercial, are not in it for the profit. It is a very modest income for anybody involved in childcare. If we could only do more for them, because they are wonderful people and they devote their lives and their careers to children.

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

MS. MORE: Mr. Speaker, ABC Learning Australia makes a profit of $100,000 a centre - one-third of that from government funding - so I suggest that is the picture of what's going to happen here in Nova Scotia unless he changes his . . .

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

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PRIVATE MEMBERS' PUBLIC BILLS FOR SECOND READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 267.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

[Page 9164]

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, the Government House Leader called Private Members' Public Bills, but I think he wants to call Private and Local Bills.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Yes. Sorry. 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. 267.

Bill No. 267 - Cape Breton Island Marketing Levy Act.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I want to, at the outset, thank the Government House Leader for allowing this bill to be called today for second reading. I'm only going to be a few moments on this bill, but there are a couple of things I would like to say.

First of all, all Parties in this House had representation at a meeting with Destination Cape Breton on this proposal that will assist in marketing all of Cape Breton - I repeat, all of Cape Breton - as a destination area for visitors nationally and internationally. My colleagues in the Legislature from all Parties have expressed support for this bill by including the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, and also the Minister of Energy, who is also the member for Cape Breton North. I thank them for that as well as the New Democratic Party member for Cape Breton Nova who has also expressed support for this bill at that particular meeting that was held in Sydney. I want to thank them all for their interest in promoting Cape Breton as a premiere destination of choice.

It is marketing that benefits all events in the tourist industry on Cape Breton Island and hopefully, the current trend of declining numbers and visitors to Cape Breton for tourism and other related activities will be reversed with the passage of this bill.

Finally, I want to thank the members of the Destination Cape Breton group who so strongly supported this all through the piece. They've been meeting for over a year on this and canvassing municipalities throughout Cape Breton Island and I want to say to you, Mr. Speaker, and to members of the House that all municipalities on Cape Breton Island have been canvassed thoroughly on this and they all have expressed support for this particular bill.

[Page 9165]

I wanted to thank the members of the board of Destination Cape Breton and in particular Sandra MacDonald, who is the general manager, and her staff for their tremendous zeal in making sure this bill got to the House and eventually, hopefully, it will get passed so that Cape Breton will have a tool at its disposal in the future to actively market the tremendous potential of Cape Breton Island. Mr. Speaker, I move second reading of this bill.

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

MR. GORDON GOSSE: Mr. Speaker, I follow up on the words of the member for Cape Breton South and I, too, was at the meeting with the members of Destination Cape Breton. I travelled a little bit this Summer myself with the Canadian Parliamentary Association and realized there was a levy in Newfoundland when we stayed there. There's also a levy here in Halifax and I think this levy will go a long way in marketing Cape Breton and all the money will go towards Cape Breton tourism.

Again, I'd like to say that at that meeting with the member for Cape Breton South and myself, it was a great, interesting meeting. We saw a video, we listened to what they had to say. They did a lot of research on this. They looked into this for well over a year. I support them wholeheartedly in this levy because it's more money to market Cape Breton to bring tourists and tourist dollars to this province. I think it's important that we, as members of the Legislative Assembly, support Bill No. 267 and also congratulate Sandra MacDonald and her staff for the hard work they've done on this bill. Again, this is a step forward in the tourism industry in Cape Breton. Thank you.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I, too, would echo the comments that have been made. While I didn't attend that particular meeting that was referenced by the two previous speakers, I did have occasion to meet with Mrs. MacDonald who is a constituent of mine and I discussed this at great length with her organization, as well as a number of tourism operators throughout my constituency. While the support was not universal, there was considerable support in general. With that, I'll certainly be supporting it.

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

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I would just like to thank the members of the House and move second reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading of Bill No. 267. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 9166]

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 172.

Bill No. 172 - Rocky Lake Commons Ice Rinks Act.

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

MR. GARY HINES: Thank you for allowing me to bring this bill forward. I'd just like to make a few comments before I move it for second reading. It's important to note that back some years ago the Halifax Regional Municipality commissioned a study, a study called the Burke/Oliver Report. In the Burke/Oliver Report it indicated that the necessity for ice rinks - not only did it indicate the necessity, it indicated the areas where they should be located. Mr. Speaker, St. Margarets was the recipient of the first request and the second request was in the community of Bedford. In the community of Bedford there was an organization formed known as the Rocky Lake Development Association, a non-profit organization. The non-profit organization has a membership of 10, representing Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and the area of Bedford. Their efforts are to develop sports facilities for that particular area. The first thing they did, as anybody doing their planning would do, is they indicated the location. The location that was chosen was the Duke Street site or the property we know as the Rocky Lake site.

AN HON. MEMBER: Is that your riding?

MR. HINES: No, it isn't for your information. That area, a 50-acre plot of land, was privately owned by the St. Pauls Group. The St. Paul's Group have worked with this Rocky Lake Development Association to identify the 50 acres. In that 50 acres we have requested to create a number of sports facilities - ice rinks being one of the facilities. I brought this bill to the House last year. Since that bill was brought to the House last year and we didn't get the support of HRM on it nor did we get the support of the House, therefore, I left the bill and let Rocky Lake Development Association work on new development.

Last year they were working on a private sector agreement. Private sector is no longer in the equation. It is now a non-profit organization, a non-profit organization looking for tax-free status only for the ice rinks, not for the 50-acres that are involved in the total package. Mr. Speaker, those are the new dynamics, it's a non-profit organization looking for the opportunity to create rinks to serve my residents and the residents of that area in particular.

[Page 9167]

Mr. Speaker, the community needs ice rinks. We presently haul them down to St. Margarets as far as Enfield, all hours of the day and night, to serve the people of the area. The Rocky Lake Development Association has come forward with a proposal that they do their designs and start their opportunities to raise funds and get this program off the ground because we've been working at it for some four and a half years.

The HRM have recently had conversation in their council regarding this bill. It was taken to the grants committee. The grants committee has approved it to go forward for application, which will happen sometime next year in conjunction with their budget planning.

Mr. Speaker, it's the wishes of the Rocky Lake Development Association to immediately begin providing those rinks that are needed for our community. Also, I want to point out that the CAO of Halifax Regional Municipality has indicated to the people opposite as well as our people and to HRM that it is consistent, and I emphasize consistent, with the policies of Halifax Regional Municipality in carrying it forward. It is an agreement similar to the one presently in place recognizing the Sackville Sports Stadium and the Cole Harbour facility as well.

So with that, Mr. Speaker, I am going to wait to move this for second reading at the end of debate, but I want it to be recognized that today was a good day to bring this forward because we recognized athletes in this House today. Those opportunities can exist for other children in my area and in Peter Christie's area, and in the area of the honourable member opposite if we could pass that motion today.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I will remind the honourable members not to call members by their names in the House but by their constituencies. As well, the honourable member will be moving second reading when you finish the debate.

MR. HINES: Mr. Speaker, thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for second reading?

MR. HINES: Yes.

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

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I'm going to take the next few moments to point out to the member opposite there is a way of doing things in this House and there is a way of not doing things in this House. Tradition and our relationship with municipal councillors. Tradition and our relationship as provincial MLAs, with municipal, regional councillors in the case that we have here in the HRM. So I can turn to my good friend, the member for Cape Breton Nova, and my good friend, the member for Cape Breton

[Page 9168]

Nova, is in need of a replacement for the Whitney Pier Arena. An opportunity will soon come forward when the Bay Ducks will be in Whitney Pier to play the Canadians. I look forward to going to Whitney Pier. I look forward to the fact that supporting the working relationship between the council and the CBRM and the MLA for Cape Breton Nova. So we now have the precedent so that if you want an area, then you bring a bill in front of this House, you let it wait and wait, meanwhile we go through the semantics of whether there is going to be the proverbial staff report.

I don't know if any members present watch the Tuesday Night Gong Show - I call it that with some degree of sarcasm - but the Tuesday Night HRM Council, when you see these members pop up and down then you begin to realize everybody is protecting their turf. Everybody is protecting their turf and when they don't know exactly where they are going on an issue, inevitably it happens, it comes up and the resolution or the recommendation is, let's turn that over to staff, and away they go into the bottomless pit of a staff report.

Well, I am under the impression that on Tuesday of next week, the HRM Council is going to receive a staff report on this particular proposal. At this stage the working relationship that the MLA - I was going to say for the area but that's not true - for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, endorsing a facility in an adjoining constituency and we shouldn't just be looking at lines on the map because I know the Duke Street location, because of its close proximity to C.P. Allen High School, does make some sense. I don't know what the students at Lockview think of it, the high school in the community that this member represents, but let me point out to you that when we wait for this staff report it will be of some significance to understand exactly what the recommendation is and that's the precedent that we have to deal with in this House.

Mr. Speaker, I want to point out to members opposite that when it comes to recreation and when we look at the Burke/Oliver report - and I was one of those people who submitted information to the Burke/Oliver report, which looked at recreation all across the HRM and the need for outdoor facilities, the need for facilities that we're talking about when it comes to arenas or swimming pools - that Burke/Oliver report identified the areas that were in need of facilities.

I must point out that the Burke/Oliver report fairly identified that the constituency that I am fortunate to represent and the member for Chester-St. Margaret's represents, we have been blessed with a second ice surface, a gymnasium, meeting rooms, a facility that on Saturday night of this past week, hosted an indoor soccer tournament in its junior high school gymnasium, hosted a Junior B hockey game featuring the new entry - the St. Margaret's Bay Ducks - had a family skate going on at the old arena surface, as we call it - and it's not that old, it was built in 1988 - and in the Lions Community Centre there was an auction at that time for the Sir John A. Macdonald football Flames.

[Page 9169]

[4:15 p.m.]

You couldn't get a parking place and many of the people who came to those events said isn't this wonderful, we might have had to walk up the hill from Tim Hortons, we might have had to walk up the hill and get a little bit of exercise ourselves because of so many events taking place in that growing community that I represent. But along the way, through all those struggles and all those years and all those volunteer hours, at no time did any of my predecessors - and I would like to mention them by name, of course they're previous members so I can acknowledge their contributions to our community - at no time did Jerry Lawrence, the MLA at the time, have to introduce a Private Member's Bill in this House, that was not necessary; at no time did Bruce Holland, who was the Liberal member for a short period of time, introduce anything in this House dealing with the St. Margaret's Centre that we currently are blessed with in our community.

So I ask the member opposite why this dangerous precedent should be allowed to proceed because, after all, if we are in a situation of a working relationship with our municipal councillors - and I can use some examples if I may. I want to protect a particular lighthouse. Now the example is not far-fetched - and I've talked about it with my good friend, the member for Sackville-Cobequid - lighthouses in certain portions of my constituency are going to be eventually released by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and, when these lighthouses are made available, one of the first levels of government that they're going to be made available to is the municipalities. So HRM is going to be now working with the possibility of picking up a couple of historic lighthouses.

So now I, as the MLA, have to have a working relationship with the councillors that I represent, the coastal communities in particular - Councillor Gary Meade, and I have to work with them if we are going to go ahead with some kind of legislation. But I'm working with them, Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to be working out of step with them. I'm not going to be putting them in the situation where I'm going to bring a piece of legislation here in front of the House that I recommend that this particular piece of legislation say that the Sandy Cove Lighthouse is now going to be under a different form of control and I'm going to do it for the reason that it's under private ownership. That isn't how things work between the municipal councillor and the MLA and I would hope the member opposite, based upon his experience, would have known that's how it's done; that's how it should be done instead.

Now, I see the fact that the MLA from the area, and again I've made the error, I'm the MLA from the area where the arena was proposed, I see that the MLA is in attendance at council meetings on Tuesday nights, it was reported that he was there at a recent meeting and I begin to realize that by him sitting in the audience and his working relationship with councillors - is that how we are supposed to move ahead when it comes to important recreational facilities? Based upon Jerry Lawrence's relationship, based upon Bruce Holland's relationship, and now based upon the current MLA for Timberlea-Prospect, if I want more recreation facilities - and I could use a prime example of that - the growing

[Page 9170]

community along the Prospect Road, whose students now go to Halifax West, are in dire need of recreation facilities, and the Burke/Oliver report recommended that the next indoor facility, a gymnasium and meeting rooms, much on the scale as in the community of Preston that has just been built, should proceed for the communities along the Prospect Road.

Now, we have patiently waited for that. Kelly Morrissey, Barb Allen and the volunteers in the Recreation Association for the Prospect Road have patiently worked with the council, they have worked with Recreation at HRM, they have worked with the MLA in terms of the fact that this recreational facility is necessary. So was my role to bring in a bill in this House allowing that particular organization that has a piece of land, that is going to give them tax-free status, that they are now going to be put in a situation ahead of others when it comes to this? Now that isn't how we do business. That isn't how we co-operate with volunteer groups, as advocates for them when it comes to one particular cause or another.

So I want to point out a couple of concerns as we go through this issue, because a number of members of this House have very strong opinions on it. I know there are members opposite over there, members who will dutifully sit in their place and not speak on the bill. They're looking at the fact, wow, I would like to have another facility in my community too. I know there are members of my caucus, our caucus, who are going to stand, and they are going to speak on this issue because it is a very dangerous precedent. It's an extremely dangerous precedent that has been brought forward here - the working relationship between a municipal council and this historic Legislature is one that we have usually treasured and it's not one where we should be in conflict or one where we should necessarily be forcing the staff report that will be forthcoming on Tuesday.

The member opposite could take note - I'd like to point out first of all that recreation in all of our communities is of real importance. The member for Inverness, the Minister of Health Promotion, I know the Minister of Health, and I know all members of this House, agree with the fact that facilities are of some real consequence when it comes to making sure that we have enough of the real things that will attract children and people of all ages but young people in particular, to participate in all kinds of recreation. Recreation is needed in many parts of our communities; in fact, it surprises me, if I hear correctly, the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, is bringing forth and supporting a piece of legislation for a facility that isn't even going to be in his constituency.

I ask the member rhetorically because I'd rather him not interrupt me for the next 50 minutes that I've got remaining, I wonder how Councillor Snow feels about that. I wonder how the MacDonalds in Waverley feel about that? Having had the opportunity to serve as the Principal of C.P. Allen, I want you to know that particular location and C.P. Allen, at that time included the students from the Waverley-Fall River area, and they all came to CPA. Now there is a new high school - it's not new anymore, it's been there for a while now - Lockview High School. I wonder what the students at Lockview say to themselves. It's so

[Page 9171]

convenient for the CPA students, it's so convenient for the Cheetahs that now they can just go up the road on Duke Street and they'll have a facility right there next to their high school. I'm sure that the phys. ed. teachers - I'm sure that Anne MacKinnon and other members of the staff are going - the LeBrun Centre is a bit of a ways from the school and it's an old arena that should be replaced and built onto perhaps. It doesn't have the space for whatever reasons but Anne MacKinnon, the legendary phys. ed. teacher at C.P. Allen is probably saying that is a wonderful place to have a new facility.

I wonder if the phys. ed. teachers at Lockview would share the support of their MLA when the fact is of course that perhaps if the councillor for the area, the MLA for the area were working in the tandem, there could have been perhaps a better location for this facility. Even if this facility was in the riding of the member opposite, the member opposite has to be very aware of the fact that this is not the way to have a particular facility financed and brought through this Legislature. It's just not the way we've done business in this House.

The Speaker of this House and I have had the wonderful opportunity, and I believe we'll have the opportunity again in December, to go to the historic mining town of Springhill where we will put our hockey skills on display again - it's not a pretty sight some nights let me tell you. That new facility, which that has been so well received in Springhill, has resulted because of a lot of long hours of volunteered time and I'm sure that the municipality, and I'm sure the municipal councillors for that area worked very closely with various levels of government. The MLA for Cumberland South did not have to put himself in a situation that he had to bring a member's bill to this House.

The question would be if this is the situation for the Rocky Lake Commons then Whitney Pier would be next as the MLA for Cape Breton Nova replaces other facilities. I know the young member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage, one of the fastest growing communities in this province, not only doesn't have a new high school, which he has pushed for many times, but also the fact that it would be great if, in the community of Eastern Passage, he had a facility for his children, his young fellow in particular, who's of hockey age and loving the sport. His choice of teams I will come to later in my comments, I want you to know. The member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage has to travel all the way over to the Cole Harbour facility, which is an inconvenience for that particular young father on those many days.

We have to look at the fact that he would have to go to other areas within the municipality. We could expect, if this precedent follows, that the MLAs from around the province could be introducing legislation. We could be introducing legislation because if this is how we're going to build facilities in this province from now on, this dangerous precedent is not one that we want to follow.

[Page 9172]

I want to give the member opposite a bit of a history lesson. I know at times I can get carried away with a history lesson or two, but I think it's of some consequence to review the need for facilities in the constituency that I represent. In Timberlea-Prospect at the time, as the hockey coach at Sir John A. Macdonald High School, I had to, along with my team, practise in the Saint Mary's Arena. The Saint Mary's Arena, let me tell you, was one of those facilities - it has since been upgraded, to the credit of the university - that was in bad need of repair at the time. We practised at Saint Mary's, we played our home games in the Fairview Arena. Neither of these facilities were in our community.

Then in the 1970s we received news that Exhibition Park was going to be built down the Prospect Road. Exhibition Park, which we can also refer to as the Atlantic Winter Fair site. The resulting uproar in the community was wonderful to witness. We were so pleased that Exhibition Park was going to be built on the Prospect Road. It was a little distance from the high school where I coached, but it would be convenient for the players and convenient for the community. Exhibition Park proceeded, and you will see, of course, the results are there still today.

Exhibition Park sits on the Prospect Road. It might as well be in Cole Harbour, because of the difficulties we have with travel when it comes to traffic once in a while. Really, the community has no identification with that particular set of buildings. I know Mr. MacGillivary is working to have the rolls of the community more involved - the Prospect Room, the Goodwood Room are good ideas. It's a great place to have a high school graduation. What a disappointment it was when we realized we would not have an ice surface at that facility.

No ice surface. The decision made by the private people involved at the time with support from other levels of government decided the communities along the Prospect Road, along the St. Margarets Bay Road, all the way to Hubbards, would not have any kind of indoor skating arena. We were disappointed, to say the least.

Then, Mr. Speaker, after a number of years of influence, I would say, from various very important people in the community and with the support of an important member of our community, Lester Hubley, it was decided that we were going to proceed with the building of a facility - which is in Upper Tantallon at the juncture of Highway No. 103 and the Hammonds Plains Road. Then the community got organized. The Lions Club got involved; a valuable service club that gave years and years to that particular project.

Volunteers, of course, I could fill my remaining time with the list of volunteers. I'm only going to mention a few. I mention in particular Rennie and Danny Smith, Lions Club members who for years sold Coca-Cola on the side of the road, who held community events, lobster suppers, who had ticket draws, and who held variety shows. All those things contributed eventually to the fact that the MLA for the area, one Mr. Jerry Lawrence, approached us and said you guys are getting serious about this, aren't you? The good

[Page 9173]

politician that he was, God bless Jerry, said I want to be involved and I want to support this project.

[4:30 p.m.]

Then there were other people who became involved. I want to draw recognition particularly to, God bless him, Mike Ardenne, the legendary convener of wonderful entertainment events across this province for years. Mike Ardenne, who since passed on, and Nancy, of course, his legendary school teacher wife who taught school in our community for many years. Mike Ardenne was involved with the board of directors before we had that facility built, and Mike Ardenne made it very clear, volunteers were going to build this facility, volunteers were going to control it. But it was important that it wasn't just an ice surface, that it also had a community centre, meeting rooms, that it would be used by people of all ages. It would be used by seniors. It would be used by young men and women as they planned their events. It would be used by the Lions Club. That particular suggestion - I remember sitting late and long, in fact, at my kitchen table with Mike Ardenne and saying to him, I don't think we can afford it, Mike. I just don't think we can afford it. We want recreation. We want an arena, a couple of dressing rooms. We need a parking lot. Let's just get this thing built for the high school kids. Let's get it built because we have people in the community, many young people in the community who need that opportunity to be involved athletically not just in sports, but for use during the Summer when it comes to Lacrosse, for other events that we could host in that community.

Mike Ardenne persisted, in fact I can say in his memory - and I don't think his wife Nancy would be offended by it - his persistence at times near drove other members of the Board of Directors at the St. Margaret's Arena to distraction, because he made the point, if we're going to build this facility and we as volunteers are going to build it, we our going to make it our facility. It's not just going to be like every other one out there, and along the way we took the opportunity to visit other facilities. We went to visit the old Springhill Rink and I know that when it did collapse it was a loss, but in other ways it was a blessing. We visited the Old Barn in East Hants and I have no reflection on the member for Hants East, but I know I was pleased and I know people in the community were pleased when that particular facility was replaced. We visited facilities across this province and we came up with the schemes as volunteers, what we wanted, and to Mike Ardenne's credit, to Rennie and Danny Smith's credit, to the Lions Club members' credit for the community, that I am fortunate enough to now serve as their MLA. We finally had a sod turning hosted by Denise Doyle, the chairman of the board of directors at the time, as we celebrated the beginning of a new era in what was at the time called the riding of Halifax-St. Margaret's.

I can remember that was 1988. The Premier at the time was the honourable Senator John Buchanan and at the time, as the President of the Lions Club, my job was to make sure that he had a safe place to park his vehicle that evening. That was the job that Lions Club members had. We were in the parking lot making sure that the facility was going to be

[Page 9174]

properly opened. Gravel, no big deal, and there was Senator John Buchanan recognizing the fact that our community had come together, a community from Prospect Village to Terence Bay, around the loop, all the way down to Hubbards and of course through the fast growing suburban area of Beechville, Lakeside and Timberlea.

Senator Buchanan at the time - a man who never forgets a name, never forgets a face; in fact, I saw him at a recent event in the community and he of course pointed out at the time - he referred to me as young man and I always love it when the Senator does that to me - in 1998, young man, I told you at the time that you should have built a bigger facility, and to this day, Senator Buchanan recognizes that fact when we now have a better more expensive, bigger facility. Senator Buchanan knew, because of the growth in the community and the need for facilities, that we would have to eventually address the issue of another expansion to the St. Margaret's Centre. When the St. Margaret's Centre was opened that evening, the community rejoiced, but immediately the young men and women of the community came to us as members of the time the Lions Club and they came to the MLA and said, when are we going to build on? Where do we go from here?

We have to have more facilities because more and more young people, young families are moving into the constituency of Halifax-St. Margaret's. At that time, the riding of Halifax-St. Margaret's, phenomenal as it was, covered from Hubbards to the city limits, I guess it would be Bayer's Lake now. It covered from the Terence Bay gut all the way to the boundary for the Town of Bedford. A huge area, geographically a huge area. And Lester Hubley - because of the wonderful opportunity he gave us to build that facility on land that he at the time was in ownership of. It was a wonderful gift to our community and the leadership that has resulted of course, led by Mr. Hubley and other members of the St. Margaret's Lions Club, the St. Margaret's Skating Club, the Junior B hockey teams over the years. The support we've received indicates that's how you build a facility, you build a facility because of the people in your community that are involved, if I may say, from the grassroots up or from the ice surface up. It wasn't perfect when it opened, it wasn't the greatest facility at the time, but over the years we've made our improvements. We've added the stands, we made improvements in the community centre and along the way we even had the parking lot paved. It didn't all happen overnight like that, that's how you put together a facility.

Now, the second part of this legacy turns to the fact the member opposite brought it to the members' attention that we have recently, in the community that I represent, had the opportunity to have an expanded St. Margaret's Centre. The St. Margaret's Centre has been expanded because of the volunteer effort again of numerous people from my community. In particular, I want to recognize Tim Hill. Tim Hill has spent day after day and night after night of his own personal time and, as many members opposite and of this side of the House are aware, Tim Hill is a busy man in his professional life. Under Tim Hill's leadership, the current board of directors approached me as the MLA for the community and they also at the time approached the MLA for Chester-St. Margaret's, Mr. Chataway. John and I were completely

[Page 9175]

supportive of the project and we went to the various levels of government and the various levels of government responded.

I know that the member from Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville has been an attendant to the events in the facility and we appreciate the support that he and his department and that particular government have given to that facility and to that project. Then of course, the federal government is involved and it was at that important time that we had the recognition that the federal Member of Parliament actually knew where the arena was for a change and showed up at the event. That was of some significance for the community.

It was a celebration, there was no doubt but it was a celebration because on that particular day again, when we look back - how quickly it was just 16 years prior - and here we are again with an expanded facility. Why has it happened? Why did that facility first get built in 1988 and expanded 16 years later? It got built and expanded because of the volunteer groups in the community. It wasn't necessary for Mr. Lawrence as the MLA at the time, myself as the MLA, or the member for Chester-St. Margaret's, Mr. Chataway, to come forward and introduce a bill.

That wasn't how it got done, because that isn't the way we build such recreational facilities in this province. That isn't the way that we are going to continue to build these sort of facilities. We are not going to do that in this example because I believe this is an example of how not to have an open line of communication between a municipal level of government and the provincial level of government - by introducing this particular piece of legislation on the floor of this House. As I've said before, it is a dangerous precedent. It is a dangerous precedent that I don't believe we should follow or personally pay any attention too.

Now there is an old-timers hockey player that I play against quite regularly who's intrigued with this particular project. He's intrigued with the project because he is the nominated candidate for the NDP in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and let me tell you, on or off the ice, he's someone to contend with and that is none other than Mr. Percy Paris. Now Mr. Percy Paris, based upon his athletic accomplishments, based upon the family, of course, and his long-time involvement in athletics, is very much supportive of recreational facilities, recreational facilities that will be the pleasure of the communities that he represents, whether it's the community of Bedford or the community that he will soon represent as the MLA for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank.

Mr. Paris asks us to bring forward this concern, is this the way we build facilities in this province now? Is this how we're going to do it? So that means that when he's the MLA for that area and I need a facility, then what I do is I stand, I get the support of the House, I bring forward a piece of legislation. Is that the way it's going to be done? Let me tell you, when Mr. Paris becomes a member of this caucus, he will be advised and I know he's appreciative of the fact that it isn't how you build up a working relationship between municipal government, municipal councillors and yourself as the provincial MLA.

[Page 9176]

Mr. Speaker, I have other comments that I would like to bring to members attention. I think it's important that we recognize as we proceed with this debate, that all of us in our turn should have our say on this particular piece of legislation.

I know there are members opposite, and I know there are members of the Third Party, the Liberal Party, excuse me, the Liberal Party. I can't resist calling it that. I take that back, the member for Clare. The member for Clare perhaps is going to join the debate here. But I know there are members opposite who are saying, why is this Rocky Lake commons ice rink of such importance to the Legislature of Nova Scotia? Why is it of such consequence in the middle of all the other things that we, as provincial legislators, are dealing with?

The first reaction, of course, should be, this is an issue for municipal council. This is an issue that should be discussed around that table, based upon the Burke/Oliver report, based upon how things are done at the municipal level of government, based upon the fabulous way of handling things at the HRM, the staff report. Yet here we are today in this House, the provincial Legislature, ahead of a staff report which is forthcoming on Tuesday of next week, we are taking the time of the House to discuss this particular piece of legislation brought forward by the member for the area; again I must correct myself, not for the area where the arena is being built, but in a neighbouring community. The member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank has brought forward this piece of legislation to the House of Assembly of Nova Scotia in advance of the particular event that will be happening Tuesday of next week.

Now, I want you to know, Mr. Speaker, that there are members opposite, and some of them have fabulous talents, of course, who spoke at length when they were in Opposition on such matters, who stood in their place and had their say. I see some of them opposite and I dare say that if I persist, I might hear from one or two of them. I know that there are some old-timer hockey players over there, not that they're old-timers, but I do know that the member for the beautiful Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, of course, is always looking for more facilities for his community. I know the member for Pictou East, when he is in his place, presses for needs in his community. I've had the opportunity to be in Westville where my grandparents were from and, let me tell you, we can never have enough recreation for people of all ages, whether it's in Westville, whether it's in Stewiacke, whether it's in whatever part of Musquodoboit Valley.

So I'm looking forward to hearing from members opposite. I'm looking forward to seeing them stand in their place because here's the word that's going to come out, the word is going to come out as you return, if for some unforeseen reason this piece of legislation proceeds, we are going to hear, no, not we - our facility is looking pretty good for the next decade I would hope - but those members opposite are going to hear, if that member can bring forth that piece of legislation and get what he wants, then we want you to do the same for us. We want you to stand in your place and we want you to introduce the fact that we need an ice rink, or we need a tennis court, or we need whatever type of recreational facilities in our community because this particular precedent has been allowed to go ahead.

[Page 9177]

Be prepared, members opposite. Other members opposite are going to be looking and saying I have a point there. All of a sudden I'm going to be going to the Leader at the time - whoever the new Premier is, for the short time that he will be the Premier - and they will be saying to him, I want to enter it as a bill like the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank introduced. How come I can't go ahead and introduce that? How come I can't go ahead and do that? How come I can't take the time of the provincial Legislature, in advance of the municipal council of the day, saying, we want this particular status because we have to have this facility fast-tracked?

Is that the example we want to follow? Is that the example? If that's the case, the member for Yarmouth, and the wonderful new facility the member for Yarmouth has in his community - he never had to go to this extreme to bring something forward. Other parts of our province are now going to look at this example and say, so that's how you do it. That's how you make sure that your facility gets fast-tracked and gets built because you come with a bill and you bring it into the Legislature. You put the municipal council into a spot where they're waiting for what your leadership is going to be.

That isn't how we build recreation facilities in this province. That isn't how we built the St. Margaret's Centre. That isn't how we expanded the St. Margaret's Centre and that's not how this facility should be allowed to proceed. I know people from Bedford will react to my comments and say, you're against the community of Bedford. Give me a break. I mean I had the wonderful opportunity to be the principal of C.P. Allen High School. I'm fully supportive of further recreational facilities whether they're in Sackville, heaven forbid that they had to travel to Sackville, or come to St. Margarets, all the way over the Hammonds Plains Road. There is no doubt there is a need for more recreational facilities in that growing community. The LeBrun Centre does need expansion. It doesn't need replacement because it has been a wonderful facility for many long years.

[4:45 p.m.]

Let me tell you, we have to look very carefully at how we build these facilities. Now people in the communities will say, look, let's just get beyond that. Let's just build it. Let's just get it done. Let's just make sure it's there. We can think about, worry about those things later. The problem is, and to the people of Bedford in particular or to the people of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, who are supportive of having a facility built into . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I'm wondering if the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect would entertain a question at this particular time.

[Page 9178]

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable member entertain a question?

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I have precious moments left. I know the member opposite would have a good point, but perhaps later on in the debate, in the hour that member could so effectively use, he could stand in his place. So at this time, I would not entertain a question.

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I'm not sure, but through you, I wonder if you could check, because I don't think you're allowed to have a Canadian flag hanging upside down in the Nova Scotia Legislature. I'm not right sure, but I think one of those flags is hanging upside down. I really think you should check that out for us. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: That's not a point of order.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect, please continue with your history lesson.

HON. CHRISTOPHER D'ENTREMONT: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, more a comment. The member opposite did allude to the rink in Yarmouth, and the member for Yarmouth, but of course it also serves the citizens of Argyle.

MR. SPEAKER: That's not a point of order, and before this gets totally out of hand, I want to continue with the history lesson from the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. ESTABROOKS: To the member opposite, I don't see any Canadian flags upside down. I'm glad to see the member is going to have the opportunity later to speak about the importance of this issue. I know it's of some significance as we recognize what is happening here. I'm sorry that my flag tie distracted the member, but during your quick intervention - it was much like Bill No. 68, they would stand - I have a new tie on, and let me tell you it's of some significance that the member opposite doesn't just pay attention to my tie, but that he pays attention to the comments that I'm making.

I know that member opposite, previous to his time in this House, served on municipal council. I am wondering what would have been the reaction at the time if the MLA for the area had said, I'm taking forward this bill, I'm taking it to the House, and I want you to do this, this and this at the HRM Council, although it wasn't HRM, I believe, at the time. Was it? (Interruptions) County council. We'll call it the good old days when somebody on HRM listened to us folk in the county. I wonder if the member opposite would have felt, well, you're putting me in a pretty tough spot, you're putting me in a pretty tight situation here. I have a piece of legislation from the MLA from my area in front of the House, but now I have a situation where I'm the councillor for the area, and I'm turning it over to staff. I'm turning

[Page 9179]

it over to staff, saying, can you help me with this, because I have to know where we're going with this particular thing.

It seems to me that when we look at precedents like that, any councillor worth his salt would say, that's not how we do things. That's not how we do things. Would I put my fellow Lions Club member, who is involved in the building of the St. Margaret's Centre, the first St. Margaret's Centre, would I put the councillor for the area, Gary Meade, in that spot? No, I would not. I would not put in that spot. Would I put Councillor Rankin in that spot? I wouldn't put him in that spot. I would be able to sit down and talk to them both and say, this is where we're going with that, and here's the reason, and the timing of the presentation when the staff report comes back.

We have been waiting and sitting and looking at this thing for far too long. The people of Bedford are frustrated with the fact, they're frustrated with how this thing has been done. You know, if they're frustrated with how it's being done, if they're frustrated with whatever level, they should turn to the member for the neighbouring community and say, this isn't the way we're supposed to build facilities in communities across this province. They could, at one time, call the member for their community where the facility is being built, that number which just coincidentally happened to be right to his constituency office. The Minister of Finance's office had his number listed as who to call for information on this particular thing.

I want to point out to the people of Bedford, I want to point out because the facility - the fact that we need more facilities in the community of Bedford is not a question here, that's not the issue. I know the members opposite, I can read it in the Bedford-Sackville News probably, because when my friend, the member for Sackville-Cobequid, stands in his place in a few moments - and I assume he's going to have the opportunity to talk about facilities in his community, the neighbouring community - it will be an opportunity where we will say to him that it is not a matter of not being opposed to recreational facilities, that's not the issue at all, that's not the matter of the recreational facilities, we need more recreational facilities in the growing communities that many of us represent, but it's the way this is being done, it's the way we're going about this.

That is, of course, a huge concern for the members of this caucus, the member from Eastern Passage has a concern about it, because every Saturday morning he has to travel to an arena outside of his community that he represents, a fast growing community like Eastern Passage. It could be a concern for the member from Whitney Pier, it could be a concern for the member for Sackville-Cobequid when he has to look at the fact when his children could be involved in perhaps the facilities of other ice surfaces, that he'll have to travel to adjoining communities.

[Page 9180]

It's not the issue of recreation, Mr. Speaker, it's the issue of how it's being done. Why is the business of this House, the provincial House of Assembly, being taken up with a piece of legislation that rightly belongs just over here at the Parade Square where Mr. Kelly will continue to be for the next number of years, that's, after all, where this particular piece of legislation should be.

They are the drivers of this particular facility, they are the ones with the aye or nay on it, they are the ones where we should be looking at what we have in the way of facilities, they are the ones who brought forward the Burke/Oliver Report. I know that members opposite, members of my caucus, I'm sure that my member, the member for Cape Breton Nova, if he wanted a copy of the Burke/Oliver Report that I could make it available to him, but it's really of no consequence to that particular member, it's no consequence at all. After all, it deals with recreational facilities in the HRM, and if it deals with recreational facilities in the HRM, and the member opposite brings this forward, the member from Bedford knows this. They often rely upon the fact of what was said in the Burke/Oliver report, rightfully so. The Burke/Oliver report was done for the HRM Council, and if that report on which the basis for this facility is, is the Burke/Oliver Report, then that's fine, but leave it with municipal council.

To bring it in front of this House, to make it a dangerous precedent that other members of this House are going to look at, that will be an issue that all members would say and other members opposite - and I know the member for Shelburne could suddenly receive a request for a particular facility in his area. I'm looking for the fact that maybe the member for Tatamagouche will say I have to have a new facility placed there and the idea would be, and members from Tatamagouche or of course the Shelburne area or any other area of this province would say then you follow the example of the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and you bring forth a piece of legislation in front of the House of Assembly that says that we can move ahead with a facility such as they are going to propose for that particular community on Duke Street.

That's the issue at stake here. I know members opposite won't be allowed to rise and stand in their place. I know members opposite will say that the Rocky Lake Commons Ice Rinks Act is not the way to go when it comes to building recreational facilities. They will sit in their spot, they will not stand in their place, and of course they will be in a situation where they could see this bill talked out for many hours in this House. It's important that we all recognize there's a way to do things, and there's a way not to do things. This is not the way to proceed; when it comes to recreational facilities in this House, this is not the way to do it at all.

Mr. Speaker, if I can turn to a particular community that, I know, has been long patient when it comes to recreational facilities. I want members opposite to be aware and I know the members from my caucus are aware of the more rural part of my constituency that's along the Prospect Road. Now, when Exhibition Park was built, just to refresh the memory of members opposite, when it was built there was the possibility that we were going to get an ice surface

[Page 9181]

there. That did not happen and that stung our community. It stung our community because of the fact that many people along the Prospect Road continued to travel to Spryfield, Fairview - the nearest arena for them. Yet those people along that particular road - and I know the member for Chester-St. Margaret's is aware of the need and demand as you come down through East and West Dover, McGraths Cove, Blind Bay, Bayside and Shad Bay - all rural communities that will be turning to that particular member for Chester-St. Margaret's perhaps and saying, listen, the Rocky Lake Commons Rink Act, what happened to that? We would like to have some kind of recreation facility of whatever description in our community. If the member for that particular constituency can go forward with a piece of legislation in the neighbouring riding, why can't we do the same?

That is the level of frustration that I can tell I'll share with the member for Chester-St. Margaret's because the growth we have in our community will soon be outdistanced by the St. Margaret's Centre and it will be an opportunity for all of us to work together if it comes to having another facility. The community that I am fortunate enough to represent - and many of them, of course, once were in the constituency of Timberlea-Prospect - we won't be going in here with this sort of bill. We'll go out and do it ourselves. We will have our Lions Club involved. We will have our volunteers involved. We will have the community involved. We will put things in place. We'll approach the appropriate level of government and we will make sure when it does proceed, it will proceed in an orderly fashion that will not trample on the rights of the House of Assembly, as a provincial jurisdiction in this province, and not a municipal issue in which we are waiting, waiting and waiting for HRM staff to come forward with a report that will give the details that are necessary for a decision that really rests across here at the Parade Square and does not rest in this historic . . .

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member on a point of order? The member for Timberlea-Prospect has the floor and contrary to the belief of other members, I think it's a lovely tie.

MR. ESTABROOKS: I've never worn this tie, mainly because it reminds me of a certain party that believes in these colours. So that upside-down Canadian flag will never be shown again in this House, let me assure you.

The back door approach that's happened here. The back door approach of building recreational facilities, the back door approach is not the way we do things in this province. It's not how we have co-operated with our municipal councillors. When we look at the back door way of doing things, that isn't the example I want to follow.

I know the volunteers in the communities along the Prospect Road - whether it's Whites Lake or Prospect or Terence Bay, up through Hatchett Lake and Goodwood - the volunteers are involved. The volunteers are doing their thing. The volunteers are relying upon the Burke/Oliver report and when the recreation facility comes forward - and when we get that recreation facility and when it's built - we will have done it the correct way. I should say, they

[Page 9182]

will have done it the correct way. Those volunteers will be the ones who will be recognized and thanked. It won't be turned into a political football where an MLA will be out there saying, this is what I did for, not his community, but for the adjoining constituency. This is what I accomplished. There's no "I" in team, let me assure you. This isn't how we should have a working relationship with municipal council.

It seems to me that I know other members of this House are looking forward to speaking on this particular bill. It's a bill we cannot support, it's a bill we feel it's a dangerous precedent, it's a bill that I know will frustrate the people of the community realizing that if that MLA is going to bring that piece of legislation in this form to this House, we are going to make sure that member receives a history lesson. I hope he's taking notes because we have many more lessons yet to come. Thank you.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, it's nice to be able to join in this debate and to talk about some of the issues that seem to be concerning people. I do want to go back for a minute and talk - I heard the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect talking - about volunteers. This project we're talking about today encompasses some ice surfaces in the area known as Duke Street in Bedford; they have been going at this project for a number of years. That project started and they went to HRM Council in 2002, and the honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect will remember in the infrastructure list there was $2.5 million put in there, $1 million for an ice surface in Tantallon and one for an ice surface in Bedford and things proceeded along from that area and the project was designated at the time, it was on the infrastructure list, it was Project No. 29. So the people of Bedford said we're not going to wait for that. In Tantallon and down Timberlea area, they went a different process. They started to go and they moved through it.

[5:00 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, I guess the reason that bill is here is because the directors and the volunteers of Rocky Lake Development asked it to come in here. If HRM wants to build a rink, let them go ahead and do it, but the people of Bedford are not prepared to sit around and wait while they do it.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Would the minister, the member for Bedford, entertain a question?

MR. SPEAKER: Would the honourable minister entertain a question?

MR. CHRISTIE: By all means, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Thank you.

[Page 9183]

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, an important piece of legislation, I'm wondering why the member for Bedford did not introduce it.

MR. CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I was just getting to that. This rink is going to be a regional rink. Is was always envisaged as that. The group from Bedford, the Rocky Lake Development, looked at the Burke/Oliver report, they talked to people in the area. For example, one of the things that that area is not going to encompass is a swimming pool. The reason is because there is one just down the road over in the Sackville area and we said to ourselves and we said to HRM that we are not going to try to compete in the area. The reason is that the Waverley-Fall River area has been coming to Bedford to play minor hockey for years.

Mr. Speaker, that group has been working. Now the honourable member says this isn't the place to do it. Well, I happen to represent the people of Bedford and when they asked me, they asked the member for Waverley-Fall-River-Beaver Bank to bring something to this House, then I'm going to do it. I'm going to ask the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank to do it, and I'm happy to convene a meeting out in Bedford where we can explain to them, anyone who has concerns, why they are concerned about it, why it is setting a precedent, why they are so concerned about it. I'm happy to call that meeting and invite those members to come and explain to the community of Bedford what their concerns are.

Mr. Speaker, the concerns of the community are that they want to move forward, they want to move and get on with the rinks. We can go to the Waverley Legion, we can go to the Bedford Legion, we can go to the rec centre. We can go to any of those places and the members can come and express their concerns as to why they think this is inappropriate for us to bring bills in on behalf of the people of Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank, the people from Bedford.

Mr. Speaker, the question here is, it is setting a precedent? Well, maybe their question really is this, are there any other rinks around here, in this area, that are not tax-exempt? Well the answer is no. The ice surfaces down in Tantallon, the ice surfaces in Sackville, the ice surface in Cole Harbour are all tax-exempt. We're only talking here about the fact this rink will probably be tax-exempt in a period of time, but the Rocky Lake Development Group said they would like to get that established first and get moving on it, and if it sets a precedent, if other rinks come in to do that, ultimately the question is, will HRM own it at the end? Well, what the people in Bedford have said is we're going to build this facility, we can't wait for HRM to do it. We want to take the personal initiative ourselves. We want to take the initiative to do it ourselves and we want to move on with it. Ultimately HRM will own it and when they do it becomes naturally tax exempt, and that's what all the rinks in here are.

[Page 9184]

Mr. Speaker, if other places come in to bring rinks in to do it, why wouldn't we do it? Ultimately rinks and recreational facilities across this province are tax-exempt. I just can't accept the view that we are setting a precedent. The Rocky Lake Group is asking us to get this going, to have the bill passed here. It becomes tax exempt and then we've picked up a few months and started to go.

Mr. Speaker, this development as I mentioned, has been a long time in the making. It's proposed to be close to C.P. Allen High School but however there have been some discussions around that C.P. Allen might become a junior high and it might move. Those plans will all unfold as they should and they will all move along. I think that the principle here, and the principle that the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank brought this bill forward, is so we show that it's a regional complex. That's what it's always been suggested. That's what the Burke/Oliver report said, it had to be regional. Mr. Speaker, I can say to you that I am informed that the people from the Lockview High School team, the people from the Lockview facility have endorsed this plan because they know the need for recreational facilities. They know the need for rinks. They know they need to have these areas. So whether it's located here or here it doesn't really matter because they know the need for the rinks.

Mr. Speaker, as we move along and as we talk about whether we should support this bill or not, if there is a facility going to be built in Digby, what difference would it make if it came into this House? The only question here are all the rink and recreational facilities. The member for Sackville says bring a bill in. Well the member for Sackville, the facilities up there are tax exempt. They're all tax exempt and they're all of these things. They all brought in, they're all tax exempt as are the other ones in Cole Harbour and other areas. So we're arguing a moot point here. The argument isn't whether they're going to be tax exempt, the only question is they will be.

Mr. Speaker, as we move along as I say, what we were asked to do by the Rocky Lake Development Committee was to move this forward so that they could get tax exemption status relatively early. Now remember this was brought in last Spring and the original proposal was to have a private developer build the rink. The private developer was going to put the rink up there and the private developer was going to own and operate the rink. That went to HRM Council and that was debated there and HRM Council had some concerns. We have since changed that as the member from Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank indicated that it will be done by a group of volunteers, it will be done in fundraising, those volunteer hours will continue to mount up as they continue to add to them and they will make that proposal through to HRM. It's already been to HRM Council, the chairman of Rocky Lake went to HRM Council and they might not vote on the thing for another six months.

[Page 9185]

That is the point. Why would we wait six or eight months when the community is ready to start going now? That's the point, that's why it's here. That's why the residents of Bedford, the residents of Waverley-Fall River and the residents of Rockingham areas have asked us to come here because they just know that they don't need to wait to build that extra time.

Mr. Speaker, that's why this bill is here and that's why we're asking the House to move this bill forward because it's brought by a volunteer group so that they can get started early. That's the issue here.

Now the member talked about how you do it the regular way. That could be. That could be that you do it the regular way, you wait until the municipal council makes a decision, you get money from the provincial government, you get money from the federal government and you go fundraise. Mr. Speaker, the community is happy to do that but the community is not prepared to sit around and wait for another two years.

The LeBrun Centre was built in the late 1960s and it was done by the community. The community fundraised, the community developed it and then of course it was turned over to HRM when they become incorporated. The community continues to do that all the time. The community is saying let's get started on these facilities. Now the facilities are not only rinks and other complexes, what they're simply looking to do is get a tax exemption on this so that they can start forward and they know it's completed. Ultimately, at the end of the day, these rinks and facilities will be owned by HRM because they're the ones that take care of recreational facilities. The only question in front of us here is, do we wait for six or eight months, do we wait for 10 months, and the community simply says, let's get started now. So the honourable member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank brings this to the table and supported by the people of Bedford, we bring it to this Legislature now.

Mr. Speaker, I do not apologize in any way, shape or form for bringing something here on behalf of the community. I don't believe that there is anything wrong with having the people of Bedford or Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank bring something to this House, if I think it's going to be a precedent. I don't believe if somebody in Truro wants to build a new rink, that I'm going to have any problem with it, I'm not going to probably have a problem with doing that, because that's the municipality. Why would we argue about that?

Mr. Speaker, I can say one thing, I can say that the councillor for the area has talked to the members of the NDP, Glen Goucher has talked to them. He has indicated his support for this. He has called them and indicated his support to them. So the councillor for the area has indicated and said that a staff report can come out, sure, it can come out. It can come out and then they'll wait for the grants committee to meet and talk about all of this. The community wants to move now. That's why it's here and that's why we're debating this.

[Page 9186]

Mr. Speaker, I'm interested, as I hear somebody say do it the regular way.

AN HON. MEMBER: The right way.

MR. CHRISTIE: Well, the regular way, the right way, whatever it is, there is a process that you go through. You design the rink and build it, then you go to the provincial government, you go to the municipality, you go to the federal government. As they move along, your process moves along and everything moves along. What I don't understand is why people are so concerned about something that's just slightly changing that process. It does not change the process, it's simply saying the tax exemption is going to start now instead of some other time. The whole fundraising component, the whole designing component is going to be the same. It's not going to change because that funding is the way funding happened, all across this province, it happens all across this land, and I repeat, I do not know of any rinks in this province that are not tax exempt.

Now, if we set a precedent, and if there's going to be a rink in Springhill, ultimately it's going to be tax exempt. The issue is not what's going to happen. We seem to be arguing about the fact that a group has said to us - the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank and to me - will you bring this forward so we can get this process started earlier. Mr. Speaker, that seems to be the issue. I make no apologies for bringing this bill forward on behalf of our residents. I support it and I bring it supported from Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. I'm happy to have the member for Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank to show our regional co-operation to bring it forward. I'm happy to be involved with all of that, to bring it forward, and I presume that if members on this side of the House don't support it, they will tell me. I know that we're bringing this forward because it provides the community with some of the issues and some of the substance to start moving forward. As I say, the community has been working at this for a long time and they're ready to move forward.

Mr. Speaker, by agreement with the Government House Leader, I will now adjourn debate to come back another day.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn debate on Bill No. 172. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

MR. SPEAKER: 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.

[Page 9187]

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

[The motion is carried.]

[5:14 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Deputy Speaker, Ms. Diana Whalen in the Chair.]

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, please. [We have reached the moment of interruption. The subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Cape Breton Centre.

Therefore be it resolved that this House insist National Gypsum go back to the bargaining table for meaningful negotiations with Local 721B of the International Union of Operating Engineers to get a collective agreement which gives workers the dignity they deserve.]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for East Hants.

NAT'L. GYPSUM: IUOE LOCAL 721B - NEGOTIATE

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Madam Speaker, I'm glad to have the opportunity to speak this evening and certainly to shed some light on the plate of some of my constituents and certainly some constituents for the member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. Actually, I know in the Burnside facility there are probably members for the Dartmouth area or Halifax that have constituents who are also involved in this strike. I want to say at the outset that in the 21st Century we kind of would think that the issue of labour relations would have taken us further than we've gotten to this point with this strike and actually in other strikes in this province and in this country.

I think by and large quite often there are people who will attack unions. If unionized workers have to go on strike they just about always put all the blame on the workers. It is this archaic mentality that doesn't really believe that workers in this day and age should have some decent rights when it comes to their contribution to the welfare of a company that their efforts have allowed a company to make large profits. Even though there may be no profit sharing mechanism within that company for the employees. Then we definitely believe that at least

[Page 9188]

through a collective bargaining process that the company would see to it that their time with the company and actually their time after the company, in other words, when they retire, they would be treated fairly and be able to live out their years with some measure of security at least as much as can be determined through settlements on pensions and wages.

It seems blatantly unfair that, from the information that the union has provided here, it looks like this company actually bargained not in good faith, but they planned for a strike. They hired replacement workers ahead of the strike vote or ahead of the strike anyway. When the company is sitting at the table one day but at the same time knowing full well that they're not going to give and they're hiring replacement workers with the notion in mind that they're going to force the union into a strike then you can only assume that they're not bargaining in good faith and that they have a plan to break the union.

In the 21st Century, you would think we have come somewhat further than that. I know for the members that I've talked to it's really - to my knowledge, this is the first time that workers at this company have ever gone on strike. I think that when they get pushed to a point of actually laying on the line their assets, their income, their plans for the immediate future not to mention just the long term. You remove a paycheque from somebody- I live in a pretty fragile house of cards I think too, I think that I wouldn't want my paycheque removed for too long before things would start to collapse. So when you do that in August with the notion that December is only a few short months away, and Christmas is a few short months away, and you have obligations that we all have, with bills, issues are so important that you're willing to stand up and fight for what you believe in because, to this point, nobody else has done that. For year after year after year, for contract negotiation after contract negotiation, these workers actually could not get what was rightfully theirs, that they would have some security in knowing that if they stayed with this company, worked hard for this company, they would be remunerated in an appropriate way by the company.

Last year they had a 25 per cent increase in output that these workers did, and who benefited from that? You might say, well, you know, they may have benefited because they got overtime. Well, I'm not sure that anybody remembers the debate in this House on the Labour Standards Act and trying to get appropriate overtime for workers, what an uphill battle that was. For these workers, it doesn't look as though they have any right to even refuse.

I mean, if they're wore out and get called back, that they're going to be disciplined if they don't go. So, here are people who really don't seem to have a right to refuse - actually this is the type of thing that you would think would demoralize your workforce. If you're called upon to work, if you thought you had worked enough, but yet they didn't have any lack of production. Actually they increased production up to 25 per cent. Well, that's a lot. That's a lot without increasing the workforce by 25 per cent.

[Page 9189]

So I think that the company would be well advised to take a look at its workforce and be thankful that it has a workforce that actually gives its all for that company. Somebody will say, well, they get their paycheque, that's all anybody deserves. Well, no, we stopped having children die in chimneys years and years ago. In this world there are jurisdictions where there's child labour, no labour laws that protect workers, and in this country it has been a hard-fought battle by labour to get some security for workers in this country. They've made great gains, but there's still a long way to go. If we believe in the collective bargaining process, then we believe that whatever agreement you get, then you live by it. Well, they've lived by it, but they haven't gotten any particularly great agreements.

I won't read from this, but there's an interesting chapter in this book called Workers and the State in Twentieth Century Nova Scotia. It's the Windsor gypsum strike. I want to say that anybody who gets a chance to read this would get some notion of the approach by companies to their workers, actually not just to their workers, but to the communities of those workers. This is the same notion that companies from away, and, in this case, from the United States, both cases from the United States, seemed to have felt no responsibility beyond a paycheque to workers, no significant responsibility to the community.

One of the major issues here is pensions. Pension plan - a member with over 30 years service now has a pension entitlement of approximately $6,600 per year or $550 per month. This person must work until age 65.

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria-The Lakes

MR. GERALD SAMPSON: Madam Speaker, listening to the previous member speak, I'm kind of in awe to wonder is it 2005, or is it 1905. It appears that this was a predetermined strike orchestrated by the company when their decisions were already made before anybody got to the bargaining table.

This is an issue of importance to the industry and to Nova Scotians. Primary industries have always been the backbone of the economy of Nova Scotia. We're getting into the technical world and things like that, but fishing, farming, mining, the lumber industry - they've always been there and they are an important cog in the wheel of the whole economy engine of Nova Scotia and collective bargaining is a process which must be respected. It's a little late in history to turn a blind eye to this.

We respect the employees and support them in this process. My own personal feeling is any one of those workers up there in the gallery - given different circumstances - they could be down here and I could be up there, with my take on life or my philosophy on life. The person who sweeps the floor is just as important as the person who sits at the oak desk, in the corner office as the top dog of the company. As fellow citizens, we all put our pants on one leg at a time and to me the caste system went out 1,000 years ago.

[Page 9190]

I hear the 25 per cent increase in production and I wonder. It takes me back to my sister-in-law, Evelyn Sampson, who cautioned me one time - because I do get caught up sometimes and go far and beyond the call of duty and work excessive hours and things like that - she reminded me that a lot of times the reward for the winning horse, is more work. It's odd to think that the harder you try to please somebody, the more you don't seem to be respected.

You've heard me in this House, Madam Speaker, ask the Department of Transportation and Public Works to do early tenders for job satisfaction for families. This strike, as well as other strikes that I will refer to, affects not only the workers, but their families. I wonder if dad is going to get this strike settled before Christmas. I wonder if we're going to be able to buy certain things. Kids are going to school apprehensive because they know there's upset at home. I've said to my family for years - I was in the sales business - I said, I can't fight with customers on the road and fight with my family at home. Home has to be satisfying and a comfort place for me to come. You couldn't battle customers on the road and battle at home also. And a strike, that's what it is causing, and that's what it causes.

Madam Speaker, I was involved with the CN Marine strike a while back there, when I was an auxiliary police officer and that strike, I'd like to know what it cost. The RCMP were involved. The police from North Sydney were involved. All the auxiliary constables were involved. The biggest upset of all were families who were trying to get on those ferries to go to Newfoundland and were sitting around in their vehicles, in a parking lot - trying to feed babies, trying to look after their families and having to walk long distances across parking lots to use washroom facilities. Nobody wins. I had a family member who worked at a local hospital, involved in a strike for six weeks. This time of the year in cold, wet, damp weather and it was mostly women, standing out there on those picket lines and when the contract was settled, they went back for less than what they had anticipated. It just takes such a long time to gain what you've lost that nobody wins.

[6:15 p.m.]

A large company probably can use the so-called losses that they'll incur in production as an income tax deduction against loss. The money they save, I'm sure, will probably go to Christmas bonuses for the management that are left there.

You've heard me talk about the four-letter word, fair. It's gone from the English language. If you think or talk fairness then I guess you're not a good business person. You're a successful business person if you tighten the screws on the people that make the profit for you, keep them downtrodden and do not respect them. But I know from experience, when I'm happy on the job, I'm 1,000 per cent productive. When I'm unhappy, I can be the worst cuss to deal with and I ain't doing nothing for anyone simply because you're just turned off, the fur's up on your back and you just become very obstinate.

[Page 9191]

I'd like to tell these gentlemen and the lady up there in the gallery, and to you, Madam Speaker, that wounds heal but scars remain forever. These people have families, they have children. Way down the road, sometime when their kids are in college, they'll say, what's your name? Oh, yeah, you worked for my dad, or my father was your boss, or my uncle remembers the strike when such and such, and that division will surface in years to come through your children.

You've heard that Cape Breton song, We Rise Again. We rise again through our children. These scars will rise again because it will never be the same. You have guys and gals that have been giving good service and all of a sudden they're out in the cold - what did we do wrong? How do you resolve that when you go back to work?

I don't know. As I said, I know that businesses don't operate without clean washrooms, without swept floors, without our wastepaper baskets being cleaned out, without our desks being looked after. How could we function if we didn't have that? How important is that compared to us here in a suit, shirt and tie and speaking for these people? Given a different set of circumstances - as I said at the beginning - I could be up there, they could be down here. I could be the person that comes into my office every night and cleans out the wastepaper basket and tidies things up. The bottom line is, we're all human beings and we're all supposed to be neighbours and we're all Nova Scotians.

I would like to see the honourable minister do his utmost in his capacity to resolve this problem. He probably doesn't have the authority to interfere with the company, but I'm sure a letter or a call from him asking the company to bargain in good faith, to come back to the table and make a decent offer and end this strike. Nobody wants to be out on strike, nobody wins.

The problem that seems to exist and - with no intent mentioned, I suppose other companies can go on strike, but I must mention that down in my riding, Little Narrows Gypsum has been there for a long, long time. They do excellent production and they have an excellent corporate citizen name in the community. I was a councillor for 12 years in Victoria County and warden for three and I have only heard praise and respect for that company. I know these big ships sail up past my house and since they've dredged the entrance to the Great Bras d'Or, the larger ships can come in. They go up one day - and I'm sure these things must be 15,000 to 20,000 tons or more. I know the Algoport is 670-feet long. It travels up past my door in the morning at high tide and comes down the very next day, completely loaded. So somebody's doing good work, like these people were doing. There's good production and the business goes on.

So that's what I would like to see the minister do, use these people and do his best to settle the strike. And with that, Madam Speaker, I will take my seat.

[Page 9192]

MADAM SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Environment and Labour.

HON. KERRY MORASH: Madam Speaker, it's a pleasure for me to stand this evening, and I think it's worth mentioning that I certainly appreciate the comments from the members opposite. It is a very serious issue that we are discussing this evening and I would like to make sure that the members are aware that I asked our conciliator to bring the parties back to the bargaining table, and hopefully that will occur as soon as is possible and is practical, and that we may be able to facilitate in getting the parties back to the table to negotiate a contract, which is certainly what everybody is intending for them to do.

I met with the people who are up in the gallery today. John Peterson was there along with the rest of the individuals. I mentioned to them that my comments may not take 10 minutes. I did have a good discussion with them. I believe I better understand what their concerns and their issues are, and I hope that they appreciate that I know a bit about where they're coming from and some of the hardships certainly that they're going through while they're on strike at this very difficult time for them.

We've tried to address the issue to get people back to the table. That's what we're aiming for and I'm optimistic that will take place. I guess at this point in time I would like to just mention a few things with regard to the bargaining process and the Trade Union Act, certainly something that's there that we live by and live with. The fundamental premise in bargaining is that the parties have the right to develop their own settlement and I think anybody who has been involved with, or on the outside of negotiations of any kind, appreciates that that's usually not an easy process - I guess you might even liken it a bit to making rules and regulations or laws in this place. The results aren't too bad, but the process you go through to get there is not really something that you particularly want to watch and be part of. So our goal is that they will be able to come up with a contract that's doable and useable and fair to the parties involved.

Each party has the duty to make every reasonable effort to achieve a collective agreement. We certainly seem to be at an impasse now. We want to encourage both parties to get back to the table, roll up their sleeves, and close the doors behind them - I think, as was mentioned to me earlier, maybe even knock a few heads together - and get this thing ironed out.

Any strike that goes on has gone on too long, certainly for the people who are involved, and we would like to ensure that this gets settled in a speedy fashion and as quickly as possible. If the parties can't reach an agreement, there are some limited options that are open to me, as the minister, and to the department. One is to appoint a mediator, that is an option. If the mediation fails, the only other option, which has been mentioned here, is an industrial inquiry commission and that certainly is another option. Those are options that we will look at and review within the department, but at this time we are moving forward with

[Page 9193]

a conciliator in hopes that that will be the right mechanism at this point in time to get everyone together.

Options such as mediation or industrial inquiry commissions shouldn't displace the duty or responsibility of the parties to work towards a settlement, and I certainly know, in talking with the individuals who are here today, that they're willing to work, and to work hard, to develop and ensure that they have a collective agreement. It's best certainly when parties can negotiate and I guess if the conciliator assists with that and we can achieve a collective agreement, that really is the goal that we have.

The collective bargaining process anticipates the escalation of pressures upon the parties. Any seasoned negotiator will tell you that, as I mentioned earlier, there's no such thing as easy negotiations, none that I've ever heard of or been involved with in my lifetime.

We want to make sure that parties reconsider their positions rather than face any prolonged labour dispute. I think it's fair to say that in this type of situation there are no winners at the current time. The winners are only recognized when everybody is back to work and things are back to normal. Right now we have companies that are certainly feeling the hardship and we have employees that are feeling the hardship, and that's not something that I want to see take place any longer than it absolutely has to.

We have a pretty good track record in Nova Scotia, something that I'm quite proud of within the department. We've helped parties achieve collective agreements in 93 per cent of the cases. I don't mean it to sound cold and callous that I put a number on the success, but I believe it is important when you're looking at measuring the calibre of the people that we engage and get involved in this, to know that we do have a good success rate which means we have the experience and the personalities that can work in these very difficult situations. I can't really even imagine what a conciliator does on a regular basis, but they certainly would be challenged with regard to dealing with both parties and working both sides towards the middle or some sort of ground in the middle that would facilitate them signing an agreement.

Our average is pretty high with regard to Canada. That gives me some hope, and I guess some light on the horizon that we'll be able to work with the parties and get them together and get a desired result.

What we've done is try to get people back together. Both sides are entrenched at this point in time - I think that's the word typically used. I think we need to get the parties back together. We need to give them the dignity of the collective bargaining process and that's something that is missing right now with the circumstances that we're in.

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I will sit down in just a few seconds and share my time with anybody on the other side who would like to make a comment. I do appreciate the comments that were made here this evening. I have been listening to those, and staff in the department have been monitoring the discussions here this evening. We will look at the options that are available, but at this point in time I'm optimistic that a conciliator can get the parties back together and we can come up with a result, a signed collective agreement which is what everybody in this House and those in the gallery are looking forward to. Madam Speaker, thank you very much.

MADAM SPEAKER: Are there any other speakers?

The honourable member for Halifax Fairview.

MR. GRAHAM STEELE: There's only a minute and a half left, but I did want to say this - there are few things that are harder on the communities that we represent than when people decide to make that most difficult decision they can make, which is to withdraw their labour. When I think about strikes, I don't think about competing economic forces, I think about families. I think about these people whose families, whose neighbours, whose friends, or communities also go on strike when they do.

This is a particularly difficult strike to deal with because it involves our natural resources, a natural resource which for decades has been shipped out of Nova Scotia, not being processed here, and it is particularly hard to take for those people who are on strike when they see replacement workers crossing the picket line, taking their jobs while they are fighting for decent working conditions and a fair wage. It is high time that this government came to grips with the fact that the worst part of our labour relations regime is the lack of any means of dealing with replacement workers.

This government can do more than simply refer to its legal powers to appoint mediators. We do have some highly skilled mediators in the Department of Labour. This government needs to use its moral suasion, its power to say to National Gypsum that this strike is no longer acceptable and it must stop now. Thank you.

MADAM SPEAKER: The time allotted for the late debate has expired. I thank all the honourable members for their participation.

[6:30 p.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Charles Parker in the Chair.]

[7:08 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened with Deputy Speaker Mr. James DeWolfe in the Chair.]

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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. 203 - Involuntary Psychiatric Treatment Act.

Bill No. 232 - Optometry Act.

Bill No. 235 - Dispensing Opticians Act.

Bill No. 243 - Emergency Measures Act/Public Service Act.

Bill No. 251 - Public Service Act.

Bill No. 256 - Municipal Government Act.

Bill No. 258 - Building Code Act.

Bill No. 260 - Public Safety Protection Act.

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

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move that the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at the hour of 9:00 a.m. The House will sit from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.; 12:00 p.m. (Interruptions) I did that once before.

Mr. Speaker, the order of business will be Public Bills for Third Reading, Public Bills for Second Reading, Committee of the Whole House on Bills, and I think if we have any Private and Local Bills, we'll be doing those as well.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is to adjourn until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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[The motion is carried.]

The House is adjourned.

[The House rose at 7:09 p.m.]

[Page 9197]

NOTICES OF MOTION UNDER RULE 32(3)

RESOLUTION NO. 4933

By: Mr. Stephen McNeil (Annapolis)

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

Whereas Joe Saunders of Chester has a long history of community involvement in Chester including a vision for the community by being the driving force behind the Shoreham Senior Citizens Complex in Chester village; and

Whereas Mr. Saunders is a lifelong Liberal, who supported his Party in almost every capacity including being the Liberal candidate for Lunenburg East in 1974; and

Whereas Mr. Saunders is the manager of Coldwell Banker Chester Realty Office and continues to support his community and is dedicated to public service;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of the Legislature for the Province of Nova Scotia commend Mr. Joe Saunders for his dedication to community involvement, his vision for a better Nova Scotia and his continued support of the democratic process.

RESOLUTION NO. 4934

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas the 2005 Canadian Offshore Resources Exhibition and Conference was held in Halifax from October 4th to October 7th, and highlighted how multinational and local companies are doing business together internationally and locally; and

Whereas hundreds of delegates from here and around the world attended the event to learn how to develop the big picture and convert energy into opportunity; and

Whereas the Department of Energy is pleased to support this product that highlights our province's strong energy industry by providing opportunity for local businesses to grow and expand into international markets and partnerships;

[Page 9198]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank those who attended the CORE 2005 conference for their interest in our region, commend those Nova Scotia organizations who took part in this year's conference, and congratulate the Offshore Technology Association of Nova Scotia for another successful and spectacular event.

RESOLUTION NO. 4935

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas the former train station in Sydney Mines celebrated its 100th Birthday this past Summer; and

Whereas the train station, which was taken over seven years ago, now houses the Sydney Mines Heritage Museum; and

Whereas to mark the occasion, many special events took place, including the unveiling of a plaque to mark the designation of the building as a heritage museum, not to mention the interior of the station was revamped to give the museum a completely new look;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in extending congratulations to the Board of Directors and volunteers of the Sydney Mines Heritage Museum on the success of this undertaking.

RESOLUTION NO. 4936

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas Natasha Harrietha, a Grade 12 student from Sydney Mines was nominated by Dr. Brian Joseph, a member of the Harvard Club of Atlantic Canada for a prestigious Harvard Book prize; and

Whereas Dr. Joseph, who is also the official representative of the Alumni of Harvard in the four Atlantic Provinces, presented Natasha with the prize at Memorial Composite High School, Sydney Mines in memory of respected high school teacher the late Ron "Bomber" Andrea; and

[Page 9199]

Whereas Natasha will have her name published in the Harvard Alumni Newsletter and will likely attract some attention from U.S. college recruiters;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending congratulations to Natasha Harrietha on this prestigious award and wish her continued success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4937

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas a five-year-old North Sydney boy, Matthew Sawchuck, has appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show; and

Whereas Ms. Degeneres became interested in Matthew after viewing a tape submitted by his parents for a segment the show was doing on smarter-than-average kids; and

Whereas Matthew and his parents Lynette and Michael spent some time in L.A., California while taping the talk show segment;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Matthew and his parents on this special life experience.

RESOLUTION NO. 4938

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas on Wednesday, May 18, 2005 McDonald's restaurants across Canada celebrated McHappy Day 2005; and

Whereas local community leaders and celebrities worked alongside McDonald's crew; and

Whereas the fundraising day helps to support Canadian children in need;

[Page 9200]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in sending best wishes to Wayne and Gail Kenney, owner/operator of McDonald's for a successful McHappy Day.

RESOLUTION NO. 4939

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas the Northside Youth Health Centre held an Open House to celebrate their new location on Friday, September 24th, at the Memorial Composite High School in Sydney Mines; and

Whereas Kim Lake, RN, Secretary Nancy Devoe, Youth Health Centre Manager Mary Beth LeBlanc, Dr. Stephanie Langley and Dr. Joan Salah help students with health issues;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in extending congratulations to these individuals who care for the health and well-being of our youth.

RESOLUTION NO. 4940

By: Hon. Cecil Clarke (Energy)

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

Whereas the Sydney Mines Legion Breton Branch 008 hosted, for the first time in its 78-year history, the provincial convention from May 20 to 26, 2005; and

Whereas more than 400 delegates and their spouses from as far away as Nunavut, Northwest Territories were in attendance; and

Whereas the convention which was in the planning stages for the past five years included our veterans in many of their scheduled events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House join me in congratulating Breton Branch 008 Royal Canadian Legion in Sydney Mines on the success of this undertaking and wish them well in all future endeavours.

[Page 9201]

RESOLUTION NO. 4941

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 Pictou Academy student, Michelle Fulmore, received honourable mention at the Canada-Wide Science Fair held in Vancouver in May for her project on memory and music; and

Whereas more than 10,000 Nova Scotia secondary students take part in school-based science fairs annually with more than 1,000 advancing to regional science fairs; and

Whereas science projects support the critical work of teachers in allowing students to practise fundamental math and literacy skills while also showing the creativity of Nova Scotia students;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House commend Michelle Fulmore of Pictou Academy for her honourable mention at the Canada-Wide Science Fair which, incidentally, will be held in Truro in 2007, while thanking all science teachers in Pictou County, along with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, for allowing students to explore their scientific creativity.

RESOLUTION NO. 4942

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 West Pictou Consolidated student, Olivia MacNeill, took home a bronze medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair held in Vancouver in May for her project on absorbent sorbents; and

Whereas science projects support the critical work of teachers in allowing students to practise fundamental math and literacy skills while also showing the creativity of Nova Scotia students; and

Whereas more than 10,000 Nova Scotia secondary students take part in school-based science fairs annually with more than 1,000 advancing to regional science fairs;

[Page 9202]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate West Pictou Consolidated's Olivia MacNeill for capturing a bronze medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair which, incidentally, will be held in Truro in 2007, while thanking all science teachers in Pictou County, along with the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, for allowing students to explore their scientific creativity.

RESOLUTION NO. 4943

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas filmmaker, Jason Young, of Sheffield Mills, has been nominated for two Gemini Awards with his groundbreaking National Film Board documentary, Animals; and

Whereas Jason Young examines the ethics of eating meat in the documentary-style film; and

Whereas Animals also won the Rex Tasker Award for Best Documentary Film at the 2003 Atlantic Film Festival and the Best Canadian Documentary Award at the recent Planet-in-Focus International Environmental Film Festival in Toronto;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Jason Young on the success of his documentary, Animals, and wish him luck on his recent nominations.

RESOLUTION NO. 4944

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas 14-year-old pianist, Lucas Porter of Port Williams, is a busy young man, giving a concert this past July at Denton Hall that included a performance of the Greig Concerto; and

Whereas last month Lucas performed a concert at the Canadian Pavilion at the 2005 Expo in Tokyo; and

[Page 9203]

Whereas this November Lucas Porter will perform with Halifax's Chebucto Orchestra;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House wish Lucas Porter continued success in his musical career and commend him on his passion and dedication.

RESOLUTION NO. 4945

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas the Kentville Mosquito Wildcats capped off a banner season by winning the provincial Mosquito A baseball title last month in Cape Breton; and

Whereas the Wildcats entered the tournament as the Bluenose League champions led by head coach, Lyle Boylen; and

Whereas the Wildcats are not strangers to winning - they won silver medals at last year's provincial championships;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the Kentville Mosquito Wildcats on their recent wins and wish them continued future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4946

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas Mason Foote of Centreville came home from the Canadian Legion National Track and Field Championships in Edmonton this past Summer with a bronze medal; and

Whereas 16-year-old Mason Foote is a member of the Annapolis Valley Running Club and won a bronze medal in the U-17 boys' triple jump with a leap of 13.14 metres and was fourth in the 100 metres, establishing personal best times in each event; and

Whereas Foote's coach, Dave Morse, says he is especially pleased with Foote's performance in the triple jump, an event in which Foote only began to compete last year;

[Page 9204]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mason Foote, his coach, Dave Morse, the entire Annapolis Valley Running Club participants and coaching staff on their fantastic participation at this year's National Track and Field Championships, and wish them continued future success.

RESOLUTION NO. 4947

By: Mr. Mark Parent (Kings North)

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

Whereas 16-year-old Alex Tufts of Kentville plays baseball for the Kentville Midget Wildcats and is also a member of the Nova Scotia Youth Selects; and

Whereas Alex Tufts was just one of three Nova Scotians picked to attend the 2005 Mizuno Junior Elite Baseball Camp held in Toronto at Rogers Stadium on September 30th to October 2nd; and

Whereas 45 young elite players were chosen from across Canada to train with instructional staff from the Toronto Blue Jays, Canadian Olympic baseball coaches, and former Jays players;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Alex Tufts for being invited to attend the Junior Elite Baseball Camp and wish him continued success in his baseball career.

RESOLUTION NO. 4948

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Melissa Wark of Springhill was a recipient of the Cumberland Health Care Careers bursaries for the 2005-06 academic year; and

Whereas Melissa will begin her third year of study at Dalhousie University for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing; and

[Page 9205]

Whereas Melissa's family is proud of her accomplishments as is her community and this province;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Melissa Wark on receiving this bursary and wish her all the best in her future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4949

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Doug Curry of Wentworth was recently presented the prestigious Hockey Nova Scotia Canada Award of Merit for his 35 years of service to minor hockey in Cumberland County; and

Whereas Doug was presented the award during the Hockey Nova Scotia Minor Hockey Council annual general meeting in Halifax; and

Whereas Doug's family, friends and community are proud of his accomplishments and they are thrilled that Doug was recognized with this award which has only been presented 34 times in the last 18 years;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Doug Curry on this prestigious award and wish him all the best in future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4950

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Chris Gooding of Springhill started out as a paper courier over 15 years ago at The Record, the local Springhill, Parrsboro and area newspaper where today he is the editor; and

Whereas growing up in Springhill, Chris attended Springhill High School until Grade 11, completed high school at Amherst Regional, studied business and music at Mount Allison University, and is a graduate of Holland College's Journalism program in Charlottetown, P.E.I.; and

[Page 9206]

Whereas Chris returned to Springhill over two years ago with his wife and children with a personal promise that he would never turn down the opportunity to work as a journalist in his hometown of Springhill which led him to the position of editor;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Chris Gooding on this outstanding achievement and wish him continued success in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4951

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas HS Terris in Springhill has made a difference in the lives of special needs people at the GOVRC; and

Whereas with the help of the ING Insurance Co., Dominion Canada and a substantial donation from Royal Sun Alliance, along with a silent auction and barbeque conducted by staff of H. S. Terris brought in over $700 to go towards the GOVRC in Springhill; and

Whereas Nichole Metcalfe of HS Terris presented the GOVRC's James Hunter and Joanne Hunter with the proceeds of these events;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the staff of HS Terris on this effort which will certainly help so many in need, and wish them all the best in all future endeavours.

RESOLUTION NO. 4952

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Norman and Angela Wade have filled an Oxford building and its shelves with glassware and collectibles of all descriptions when they opened their new antiques and collectibles store; and

Whereas Norman and Angela began collecting antiques when they lived in the area about 20 years ago with the idea to retire to Oxford at an early age and open their own antique store; and

[Page 9207]

Whereas the Wades named their store Days Gone By Antiques that specializes in glassware with pieces and sets of every description from all over the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Norman and Angela Wade on the opening of their new business and wish them success in the future.

RESOLUTION NO. 4953

By: Hon. Murray Scott (Speaker)

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

Whereas Megan Scopie of River Hebert was a recipient of the Cumberland Health Care Careers bursaries for the 2005-06 academic year; and

Whereas Megan is entering the two-year Medical Laboratory Science program at the Community College in Saint John, New Brunswick; and

Whereas Megan's family is proud of her accomplishments along with her community and province;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate Megan Scopie on receiving this bursary and wish her all the luck in her future endeavours.