The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Thur., June 1, 2000

First Session

THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2000

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Educ. - Sambro-Ketch Hbr.: Funding - Inadequate, Mr. H. Epstein 6942
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2508, Preston MLA - Constituents: Needs Represent -
Forcefully, Mr. Manning MacDonald 6942
Res. 2509, Health: Brain Injury Month (June) - Recognize,
(By Mr. J. Holm) Mr. Robert Chisholm 6943
Vote - Affirmative 6943
Res. 2510, Educ. - Island Consol. Sch.: French Trip (Paris-May 2000) -
Congrats., Hon. G. Balser 6944
Vote - Affirmative 6944
Res. 2511, Health: Cuts - Condemn, Mr. R. MacLellan 6944
Res. 2512, Premier - Blue Book: Promises - Remember,
(By Mr. K. Deveaux) Mr. Robert Chisholm 6945
Res. 2513, Yar. - Central School: SEEDS Fdn. (Edmonton) Award -
Dedication Applaud, (By Hon. G. Balser) Mr. R. Hurlburt 6946
Res. 2514, Health - Dr. Paul Steinhauer (Child Psychiatry), Death of:
Devotion - Recognize, Dr. J. Smith 6946
Vote - Affirmative 6947
Res. 2515, Econ. Dev. - New Media (Cdn.) Awards: Industry
Advocate (2000) - Steven Comeau (Hfx.) Congrats., Mr. J. Holm 6947
Vote - Affirmative 6948
Res. 2516, Environ. (Can.) - Aurora Crew (14 Wing Greenwood):
Oil Slick Observation - Honoured Congrats., Mr. J. Carey 6948
Res. 2517, Nat. Res.: Forestry Industry - Abandonment,
Mr. K. MacAskill 6949
Res. 2518, Educ. - Plan: Absence - Obvious, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6949
Res. 2519, Health - Haemochromatosis Soc. (Cdn.): Efforts - Thank,
Hon. J. Muir 6950
Res. 2520, Sports - Rich. Co.: Health Lifestyles - Opportunity Commend,
Mr. M. Samson 6951
Vote - Affirmative 6951
Res. 2521, Health - IWK-Grace Hosp.: Nutrition Prog. - Alternative,
Mr. D. Dexter 6951
Res. 2522, NDP (N.S.) - Trade Union Movement: Pawns Use - Stop,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 6952
Res. 2523, Educ. - Cole Hbr. HS: Peace - Maintenance, Mr. K. Deveaux 6953
Res. 2524, Culture - L'pool Internat. Theatre Festival (2000):
Les Araignees du Boui Boui - Success Congrats., Mr. W. Gaudet 6953
Vote - Affirmative 6954
Res. 2525, Environ. - Orangedale: Water Quality -
Reports Interpretation, (By Mr. W. Estabrooks) Mr. F. Corbett 6954
Res. 2526, Sysco - Steelworkers: Frustration Creation - Shameful,
Mr. P. MacEwan 6955
Res. 2527, Environ. - Water Tests: Free - Restore, Mr. H. Epstein 6955
Res. 2528, Health - Info. Leaks: Muzzle - Wear (Min.), Mr. D. Wilson 6956
Res. 2529, PC Backbench MLAs - Silence: Constituents -
Unhappy Certain, Mr. J. Pye 6957
Res. 2530, Gov't. (N.S.) - Studies: Frivolous - Stop, Mr. D. Downe 6958
Res. 2531, Fin. - Reports (Quarterly): Release - Immediately,
Mr. J. Holm 6959
Res. 2532, Gov't. (N.S.) - Plans: Future - Reveal (Pre-House Closure),
Mr. B. Boudreau 6959
Res. 2533, Commun. Serv. - Child Poverty (17/08/99 on): Deficit -
Address, Mr. John MacDonell 6960
Res. 2534, Health - Digby Gen. Hosp.: Fate - Reveal,
Dr. J. Smith 6960
Res. 2535, Educ. - Cuts: Classroom Impact - Reality Check,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6961
Res. 2536, Justice - Family Violence: Approach - Condemn,
Mr. M. Samson 6962
Res. 2537, Health - Quality: Maintenance - Future Reveal, Mr. D. Dexter 6963
Res. 2538, Sysco - Record (Lib.:PC): Contrast Real - Same Myth (NDP),
Mr. P. MacEwan 6963
Res. 2539, Educ. - Schools: Wells Testing - Responsibility,
Mr. K. Deveaux 6964
Res. 2540, Culture - Gaelic: Triskele (Mabou) - Success Wish,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 6965
Vote - Affirmative 6965
Res. 2541, Tourism - Maps: Pictou Town - Identify, Mr. D. Wilson 6965
Res. 2542, Environ. - Water Supply: Protect - Tests Responsibility
Resume, Mr. W. Estabrooks 6966
Res. 2543, Econ. Dev. - APEC (Conf. WTCC [01/06/00]):
Internet Entrepreneurs - Best Wishes Extend, Mr. W. Gaudet 6967
Vote - Affirmative 6967
Res. 2544, Justice - Victims' Assistance Fund: Fin. Summary -
Provide, Mr. H. Epstein 6967
Res. 2545, Kenneth & Barbara Isles: Golden Wedding Anniv. -
Congrats., Mr. John MacDonell 6968
Vote - Affirmative 6969
Res. 2546, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Withdraw - Figs. Rectify,
Mr. J. Pye 6969
Res. 2547, Educ. - Brookside, Ridgecliff & Tantallon Schools:
Trips-Fund-raising - Congrats., Mr. W. Estabrooks 6970
Vote - Affirmative 6970
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 847, Econ. Dev. - C.B.: Economic Crisis - Ignored, Mr. R. MacLellan 6971
No. 848, Health - IWK-Grace Hosp.: Nutrition Prog. (Maritimes) -
Withdrawal (N.S.), Mr. D. Dexter 6972
No. 849, Health - C.B. Reg. Hosp.: ICU Cuts - Knowledge (Min.),
Mr. D. Wilson 6974
No. 850, Health - IWK-Grace Hosp.: Cuts - Child/Adolesc.
Mental Health Prog. (Transport.), Mr. Robert Chisholm 6975
No. 851, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Privatization: Costs - Set-up,
Mr. P. MacEwan 6976
No. 852, Health - Cuts: Paramedics - Training, Mr. D. Dexter 6977
No. 853, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Privatization: CBRM -
Contract Reversion, Mr. B. Boudreau 6979
No. 854, Educ. - Schools: Water Monitoring - Regs. Adequacy,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 6980
No. 855, Health - Atl. Hts. Rest Home (Lockeport): Seniors -
Admittance Policy, Dr. J. Smith 6981
No. 856, Environ. - Stellarton Strip Mine: Regs. - Violation,
Mr. John MacDonell 6982
No. 857, Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Equipment Rate Charges:
Increase - Confirm, Mr. R. MacKinnon 6983
No. 858, Devco - Assets Sale: Bill (HoC) - Action (Gov't. [N.S.]),
Mr. Robert Chisholm 6985
No. 859, Justice - Employment Equity: Guidelines - Review,
Mr. R. MacLellan 6987
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 11:45 A.M. 6988
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 6:00 P.M. 6988
ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5):
Educ. - Cole Hbr. Dist. HS: Peace - Maintenance:
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6989
Mr. D. Dexter 6990
Hon. J. Purves 6991
Mr. W. Gaudet 6993
Hon. J. Muir 6995
HOUSE RESOLVED INTO CWH ON BILLS AT 6:30 P.M. 6996
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 12:01 A.M. 6996
CWH REPORTS 6996
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Fri., June 2nd at 8:00 a.m. 6997

[Page 6941]

HALIFAX, THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2000

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

First Session

10:00 A.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Brooke Taylor, Mr. Wayne Gaudet, Mr. Kevin Deveaux

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education explain to parents, teachers and the students at Cole Harbour District High School how she intends to maintain the peace at this school without the school safety officer.

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

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

6941

[Page 6942]

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I am presenting this petition that arises from the district of Halifax Atlantic. It is a petition titled Petition for Adequate Funding. It arises from the Sambro-Ketch Harbour community. The operative words are, "We, the undersigned supporters of the present and future students in the Halifax Regional School Board, by signing this petition, express our rejection of the inadequate funding proposed by the Department of Education for public schooling for the academic year 2000-2001 and urge that action and planning be taken to raise funding to levels provided to children in the rest of Canada." The petition has been signed by 152 residents of that area and I have affixed my signature in support of this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2508

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

Whereas the member for Preston has been silent in the needs of children in his riding by putting politics ahead of education; and

Whereas on Tuesday the member for Preston was captured on CBC television grazing in the dandelions outside this House; and

Whereas government members have once again succeeded in leaving a less than favourable impression of themselves;

Therefore be it resolved that the member for Preston be more forceful at representing the needs of his constituents rather than wasting his time sleeping at the statue.

[Page 6943]

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 2509

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party, the member for Halifax Atlantic, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas today, June 1st, marks the beginning of Brain Injury Month; and

Whereas there are more than 550 brain-injured survivors, including those who have had an aneurysm, brain tumour and brain injuries and hundreds more each year who suffer strokes; and

Whereas the people who treat and care for those with brain injuries, including health professionals, friends and family members, deserve recognition and support;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize June as Brain Injury Month and extend our support to those who have suffered brain injuries, as well as their friends, families and other caregivers.

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 6944]

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2510

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

Whereas 13 high school students from Islands Consolidated School and their French teacher recently completed a trip to Paris from May 20th to May 25th which was their millennium project; and

Whereas this group of students and their chaperon educator, Michelle Longley and her husband Christopher, worked for two years to raise the $9,000 needed for this excursion; and

Whereas this group was actively supported in their efforts by their parents, the staff and students of Islands Consolidated School, their home communities, the NSTU and the Ladies Auxiliary of the Legion Freeport Branch;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House extend their congratulations to all participants in their endeavour and applaud their efforts to enhance the core French educational opportunities.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2511

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

Whereas one year ago today, the previous Liberal Government introduced a budget which included a commitment to a much-needed investment in health care; and

[Page 6945]

Whereas this strategic investment in health care was applauded by every health care organization in Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the Tories rejected the comprehensive Liberal plan to hire more nurses, broaden home care and invest in medical information technology;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government be condemned for gutting health care after promising to heal the system for a mere $56 million.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2512

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party, the member for Halifax Atlantic, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Premier would have this House and all Nova Scotians believe that he only made one promise in this past summer election campaign; and

Whereas that simply is not true, the Premier made 243 promises; and

Whereas fiscal responsibility is not even mentioned in the Tory blue book until Chapter 6, after Health Care, after Jobs and the Economy, after Tourism, and after Education;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier go back in time and remember all those other promises he made to Nova Scotians, like putting more money into health and education, and stop trying to rewrite history.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 6946]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2513

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the member for Yarmouth, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Central School in Yarmouth was recently recognized as one of the most environmentally conscious schools in Canada; and

Whereas the SEEDS (Society, Environment and Energy Development) Foundation, of Edmonton, awarded the Yarmouth elementary school jade green status, recognizing the completion of 250 environment-related projects; and

Whereas for almost a decade, students and teachers at the Central School dedicated themselves to the completion of these projects, including the 250th project, an Earth Day book, prepared at the Primary level;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature applaud the hard work and dedication of the students and faculty of Central School in Yarmouth for helping to raise awareness about the environment, and congratulate them on this significant accomplishment.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2514

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

Whereas Dr. Paul Steinhauer, Canada's leader in child psychiatry and a children's champion, passed away last weekend of complications resulting from surgery for cancer; and

[Page 6947]

Whereas Dr. Steinhauer was widely considered the country's most effective and passionate advocate for troubled and vulnerable children, and as a foster parent lived what he advocated for the importance of bonds of attachment for children; and

Whereas Dr. Steinhauer influenced government to see children as whole people and not segments of bureaucratic services, and had the respect of mental health professionals from coast to coast;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize the passing of Dr. Paul Steinhauer, the tireless devotion he demonstrated to troubled youth, the contributions he made to the field of child psychiatry, and the influence he had on government policy for children.

Mr. Speaker, I realize this is a long resolution, but this gentleman was one of a kind for Canada and his passing is noted with regret by many people across this country.

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 Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 2515

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

Whereas the first annual Canadian New Media Awards were awarded last week in Toronto to recognize individuals and companies' accomplishments in the new media; and

Whereas Steven Comeau, President of the Halifax-based Collideascope Digital Production, was presented with the Industry Advocate of the Year award; and

Whereas this prestigious award is given to the individual who is recognized for having done the most to encourage the new media industry in all of Canada;

[Page 6948]

Therefore be it resolved this House congratulate Nova Scotia's Mr. Steven Comeau on winning the first ever awarded Industry Advocate of the Year award, and extends its best wishes to him and his company for future success.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2516

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

Whereas an Aurora crew from 14 Wing Greenwood has been honoured by Environment Canada for their expedient work, after spotting a large oil slick behind the ship, Polar Duke in March of this year; and

Whereas the 11 member crew made several fly passes after spotting the slick, while also photographing the Polar Duke from several angles; and

Whereas the 14 Wing crew also gathered other information, including the ship's identification, location and the direction it was going;

Therefore be it resolved that the Nova Scotia Legislature congratulate the 11 members of 14 Wing crew for their astute observation, in collecting the necessary data, to ensure the owners of this ship were penalized for their wreckless care of our environment.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Victoria.

[Page 6949]

[10:15 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2517

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

Whereas one year ago today the previous Liberal Government introduced a budget which made a commitment to the silviculture industry; and

Whereas at that time the Opposition Tories said that a $4 million investment in silviculture was not enough and that the industry deserved more; and

Whereas since assuming power the Tories have cut funding for silviculture, Christmas tree specialists, reforestation and made other massive reductions in Natural Resources;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government should be ashamed of their abandonment of the forest industry and should live up to their commitments made one year ago today.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 2518

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

Whereas the Premier talks constantly about finding efficiencies in the education system; and

Whereas as a direct result of these so-called efficiencies we have now seen the lay-off of educational program assistants, librarians, English as a second language teachers, janitors and secretaries; and

[Page 6950]

Whereas the Premier would have us all believe that those much valued people were just frills in the education system;

Therefore be it resolved that the Premier, along with the Minister of Education, obviously has no plan for education in this province other than to CUT, CUT, CUT.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2519

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

Whereas May 25th to May 31st was Haemochromatosis Awareness Week in Canada; and

Whereas hereditary haemochromatosis is one of the most common genetic disorders and the only hereditary disorder in which all complications are preventable by early diagnosis and treatment; and

Whereas the Canadian Haemochromatosis Society's goal is to increase awareness of the importance of early screening for and diagnosis of haemochromatosis;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House take the opportunity to thank the members of the Canadian Haemochromatosis Society for their ongoing efforts to raise awareness of this disorder.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Richmond.

[Page 6951]

RESOLUTION NO. 2520

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

Whereas three Richmond County organizations have received grants from the Recreation Facility Program funded by the Nova Scotia Sport and Recreation Commission; and

Whereas the Richmond Arena Association, the Bonnie Brae Senior Citizens Club and the Isle Madame Day Care Association received funding for recreation facility development; and

Whereas these recreation facilities provide physical activity opportunities especially for children and youth who are encouraged to develop lifelong fitness habits;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister responsible for Sport and Recreation as well as her staff be commended for ensuring that all residents of Richmond County have the opportunity to lead healthy lifestyles.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2521

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 Minister of Health made a classic understatement yesterday in this House when discussing the loss of a program for providing sick children of needy families with a special formula, he said, "I admit it doesn't sound very good."; and

[Page 6952]

Whereas the Minister of Health says the business plan of the IWK-Grace is just a proposal and nothing more; and

Whereas in the proposal by the IWK-Grace this program is cancelled as of June 30th;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health explain to this House what parents of those children who desperately need this formula and cannot afford it are to do until he makes up his mind about the business plan of the IWK-Grace.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2522

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

Whereas both Opposition Parties have consistently raised the issue of funding cuts in education that affect all shareholders, including teachers' aides; and

Whereas this vital issue has been raised by members of the Liberal caucus on at least 40 separate occasions through questions and resolutions in the House of Assembly; and

Whereas Barbara Kowalski, local CUPE representative, has provided members of her local only the NDP copies of Hansard on this issue in a deliberate attempt to lead her membership to believe that only the NDP are fighting for the teachers' aides;

Therefore be it resolved that the leadership within the trade union movement stop using its membership as pawns for an NDP agenda.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

[Page 6953]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2523

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

Whereas Cole Harbour District High School has been deeply troubled in the past with racial intolerance; and

Whereas due to budget cuts this school will lose its safety officer of four years, who many credit with having helped keep the peace at the school; and

Whereas the safety officer, Sonny Wicks, is responsible for defusing potential incidents, patrols the grounds and makes sure strangers are kept away, mediates conflicts between students and acts as a go-between when difficulties arise between students and adults;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education explain to parents, teachers, and the students at Cole Harbour High how she intends to maintain the peace at the school without the safety officer.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2524

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

Whereas the theatrical troupe Les Araignees du Boui Boui from Baie Ste. Marie recently performed Tristan and Isolde at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival; and

Whereas the festival attracted theatrical troupes from France, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, the United States, Venezuela, Denmark, and Canada; and

[Page 6954]

Whereas Les Araignees du Boui Boui won five out of nine prizes awarded at the festival;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate and extend best wishes to Les Araignees du Boui Boui on their excellent accomplishment at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2525

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Cape Breton Centre, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the community of Orangedale is concerned about its water quality; and

Whereas the volunteer board running the water treatment system states that they don't understand the reports sent to them by water testing facilities or the Department of the Environment; and

Whereas this system was implemented by the former Liberal Government and perpetuated by the present Tory Government;

Therefore be it resolved that the Acting Minister of Environment explain to the people of Orangedale why they have not received the proper training to understand these reports and how the government expects volunteers to run such a vital water system.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

[Page 6955]

RESOLUTION NO. 2526

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

Whereas the record of this government as regards supporting Sydney Steel and its workers is unsatisfactory and has caused much grief among those concerned and their families; and

Whereas the failure of this government to be upfront with Sysco workers as regards adequate and fair pensions is unsatisfactory and has compounded the grief it has caused those concerned and their families; and

Whereas the failure of this government to be truthful, especially as regards the false sale announcement of December 31st, 1999, has made a mockery of a serious situation, failing to inspire confidence as to why they should be believed on anything they have said since;

Therefore be it resolved that the frustration, grief, anxiety, and mental anguish this government has created among Sydney steelworkers and their families is absolutely shameful, demonstrating why this crew is totally unfit to assume the responsibilities of government.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 2527

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

Whereas in 1996 the Harris Tories in Ontario privatized and downloaded the testing of water supplies; and

Whereas in 1997 the Filmon Tories in Manitoba followed suit, privatizing the lab that for decades had protected public health through free water tests; and

Whereas in 1998 the MacLellan Liberals in Nova Scotia got on the bandwagon, downloading and privatizing the water tests that protect municipal, school, and residential drinking water;

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia should join the new Manitoba Government in moving immediately to reconsider a restoration of free water tests and an efficient provincial unit to test water supplies.

[Page 6956]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2528

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

Whereas yesterday during Question Period, the Minister of Health confirmed that two ICU beds would close at the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex; and

Whereas the minister also confirmed that four ICU beds would close at the Northside General in North Sydney; and

Whereas surprisingly enough, this was the first time that the minister actually knew what was going on in the hospital before officials did;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health be forced to wear a muzzle, for fear of leaking relevant information on the state of our health care across this province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

[Page 6957]

RESOLUTION NO. 2529

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

Whereas during this session of the House, Tory backbenchers have been attempting to master the fine art of clapping, just like baby seals; and

Whereas maybe next session they will master the art of speaking, speaking on behalf of their constituents and not just toeing the Tory Party line; and

Whereas the Minister of Finance perhaps did us all a favour when he pulled the member for Eastern Shore out of a scrum by starting the trend of Tory backbenchers being seen and not heard;

Therefore be it resolved that while we, as members of this House, might want to thank the Minister of Finance for this, we are sure constituents of backbenchers affected by this savage Tory budget will not be quite so happy by their silence.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour on an introduction.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce to the House, Patrick Atherton. Mr. Atherton is in the House this morning to observe some of what goes on here. He is a member of my firm in Dartmouth. He had the misfortune to be the official agent, I think, for a Liberal candidate in the last election, but we don't hold that against him where we work. We are fair minded about these things.

AN HON. MEMBER: You have a Tory over there, haven't you?

MR. DEXTER: One or two. So I would like to welcome him here to the House this morning. (Applause)

[Page 6958]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2530

MR. DONALD DOWNE: I, too, welcome the member in the east gallery. I don't know if the member for Cole Harbour is getting his draw from the corporation of the company while he is in here. I hope not. (Interruption)

AN HON. MEMBER: What does the farm pay?

MR. DOWNE: I have a sensitive issue here.

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

Whereas the Hamm Government is paying PricewaterhouseCoopers $153,000 to study whether or not the sale of alcohol in this province should be privatized; and

Whereas the same government spent $89,000 on a KMPG report to determine the advantages of P3 schools; and

Whereas this government has also spent $40,000 to confirm that the blue route at Highway No. 104 Bypass was the safest route;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government stop wasting its time on these frivolous studies when they could be throwing their money at saving this province's health care system.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

[Page 6959]

RESOLUTION NO. 2531

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

Whereas the provincial government is required to release quarterly reports on the finances of this province; and

Whereas this financial report is three weeks past due; and

Whereas members of this House would like to see that report before the House rises;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Finance immediately release the quarterly financial report on the state of Nova Scotia's finances.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

[10:30 a.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2532

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

Whereas the Tory Government promised to be open and accountable to the people of Nova Scotia; and

Whereas yesterday the Minister of Health admitted that ICU beds would close at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and the Northside General Hospital; and

Whereas for weeks, Nova Scotians have heard only rumours and have been forced to ferret out this government's budget;

[Page 6960]

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government reveal its full plans before this House rises so all Nova Scotians are aware of what lies ahead.

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 Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2533

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

Whereas every day in the Province of Nova Scotia six more children are born into poverty; and

Whereas since August 17th, this Tory Government's first full day in office, 1,712 children have been born into poverty; and

Whereas this heartless Tory Government would prefer to talk about only one kind of a deficit, a budget deficit;

Therefore be it resolved that this Tory Government start waking up to the health, education and social deficits faced by the 1,712 children born into poverty under this Tory Regime.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2534

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

[Page 6961]

Whereas the residents of Digby County are worried that they will lose vital health services when their hospital is downgraded to a community health clinic; and

Whereas the people of Digby will take to the streets a second time this Saturday because they have not been able to get the truth from their MLA or his Tory Government; and

Whereas the downgrading of Digby General will put enormous strain on hospitals in Yarmouth and Kentville, which are both over 100 kilometres away;

Therefore be it resolved that the Health Minister reveal the fate of Digby General, and other small hospitals, so people can begin to make travel plans in order to receive adequate health care.

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 Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 2535

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

Whereas this Tory Government would have us believe that school boards inflate their budgets and do not tell the truth about their finances; and

Whereas if you believed the Minister of Education the school boards were out of control, spending money on such unnecessary items as educational program assistants, school books and school maintenance; and

Whereas if you believed the Minister of Education school boards are full of bad administrators with cushy jobs;

Therefore be it resolved that it is time for a reality check for the Minister of Education - it is time to wake up and see that your devastating budget will directly affect children in the classroom.

[Page 6962]

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2536

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

Whereas during Tuesday's Question Period the Minister of Justice said that his department is working, ". . . toward educating people as to the dangers of family violence."; and

Whereas in its budget, the Tory Government cut the Family Violence Prevention Initiative which coordinated education programs to deal with abuse; and

Whereas the Tory Government cut funding to the Tearmann Society for Abused Women in Pictou;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Justice be condemned for his ad hoc approach of trying to deal with the issues once the damage has already been done and that he immediately reinstate funding to the Family Violence Prevention Initiative.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

[Page 6963]

RESOLUTION NO. 2537

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

Whereas Cathy Thomas, a nurse at the Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Middleton, sent a letter to her Tory MLA expressing her concerns about the funding cuts to the health system, which the member for Annapolis did not respond to; and

Whereas in her e-mail, which I will table, she states, "in the letter I told him his community voted for him and I would hope that he would fight for the people who he supposedly represents. I also went on to say that during the election campaign the Tories said they would make health care their #1 priority. Did this mean #1 priority to cut?"; and

Whereas in regard to the loss of $80 million in acute care she writes, "to sacrifice any of our acute services would be totally unacceptable for the ageing population which reside here";

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health and the member for Annapolis explain to Cathy, and nurses like her, how the quality of health care in this province will be maintained while this government is cutting the heart out of it.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

MR. FRANK CHIPMAN: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order, I would like to table the two documents of the replies made to the person in question that he is referring to. The replies were done and the dates are on them. I would like to table them, please. (Interruptions) (Applause)

MR. SPEAKER: It is not a point of order but a discrepancy between two members. (Interruptions) Order, please. (Interruptions) Order, please.

The honourable member for Cape Breton Nova.

RESOLUTION NO. 2538

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

[Page 6964]

Whereas when the Liberals were in power, admittedly there were concerns over the operations of the Sydney steel plant but at no time were they over the basic issue of survival; and

Whereas when the Liberals were in power, there was a guarantee from the Minister of Economic Development that the steel plant would never be closed so long as he was a minister; and

Whereas the Tories openly campaigned on the platform of closing Sydney Steel if they got in and everything they have done since getting in shows that they meant what they said;

Therefore be it resolved that the contrast between the Liberal record on Sydney Steel and the Tory record demonstrates the complete falsehood of the NDP myth that there is no difference between the Liberals and the Tories.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 2539

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

Whereas unless a school is a P3 school, the Province of Nova Scotia owns the school and its land; and

Whereas the Environment Act states that the owner of a well is responsible for testing the water quality of that well; and

Whereas wells at non-P3 schools are on the school property and thus are owned by the province, and the department responsible for these schools is the Department of Finance;

Therefore be it resolved that newness to the job is no longer an excuse for ignorance, Minister of Education, and you are responsible for testing wells at schools and you must undertake to test those wells immediately.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

[Page 6965]

RESOLUTION NO. 2540

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

Whereas Derrick and Melody Cameron of Mabou have started a group called Triskele; and

Whereas this group will be offering workshops this summer to guide people in their understanding of Cape Breton's Gaelic culture; and

Whereas these performances feature Melody and Derrick on fiddle and guitar, along with fiddler and step-dancer Blair MacDonald, Gaelic singer Colin Watson, and piano players Joel Chiasson, Allan Dewar and Joey Beaton;

Therefore be it resolved that this House wish Triskele all the best with their presentation which is meant to be educational and entertaining.

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 East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2541

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

Whereas the Town of Pictou has been wiped off the annual provincial road map; and

Whereas for the residents of Pictou County it is obviously not in their best interest to have a home-grown Premier; and

[Page 6966]

Whereas it is obvious that the Minister of Tourism and Culture did not fiddle with his region of the map;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Tourism and Culture stop dancing around the issue and immediately take steps to ensure that Pictou is not wiped off the face of the Earth forever.

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 Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 2542

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

Whereas the safety of our drinking water is of paramount importance to all Nova Scotians; and

Whereas, as witnessed in Ontario, downloading the testing of water systems onto the municipalities does not work; and

Whereas to avoid a similar situation in Nova Scotia the Department of the Environment must be responsible for protecting our water supply;

Therefore be it resolved that the Acting Minister of the Environment act immediately to protect our water supply by taking responsibility for testing water back from the municipalities and place it in the hands of the Department of the Environment where it rightfully belongs.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6967]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Clare.

RESOLUTION NO. 2543

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

Whereas the Connected Community Conference will take place today at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax; and

Whereas the keynote speaker at the conference is John Roth, President and CEO of Nortel Networks, a global leader in communications, data, wireless and wireline solutions for the Internet; and

Whereas the conference, sponsored by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, will explore the Internet revolution and opportunities for young Internet entrepreneurs;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend best wishes to APEC and the regions' young Internet entrepreneurs for a successful and rewarding day of deliberations.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 2544

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

[Page 6968]

Whereas domestic abuse continues to be an ongoing problem in this province and unfortunately is a life and death situation for too many women; and

Whereas eight programs that were funded out of the Victims' Assistance fund, and were integral to victims' services programs in Nova Scotia, have been cut by this government; and

Whereas to date no summary of the disbursement of monies in this fund as mandated in legislation is available;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Justice act before this House rises and produce this summary, and move quickly to better protect victimized women in our society.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Hants East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2545

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

Whereas matrimony is the most revered of commitments; and

Whereas this commitment, when honoured for many years, gets and deserves recognition from family, friends, and the public at large; and

Whereas Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth and Barbara Isles are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this Saturday, June 3, 2000;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Isles on their fealty to one another and to their upholding of one of life's more challenging and rewarding commitments.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

[Page 6969]

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. 2546

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 Minister of Education looked around a chair cushion and found another $88,500 in additional funding for APSEA; and

Whereas it now appears that any parent of a child in the education system need only appear at this House and the Minister of Education will quickly find a few more dollars to bail herself out; and

Whereas the Education budget of this province is now incorrect by over $33 million dollars, which is all revised and not reflected in the Department of Education's bottom line;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education withdraw her budget and come back to this House with the correct figures.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

[Page 6970]

RESOLUTION NO. 2547

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

Whereas students from Brookside, Tantallon and Ridgecliff schools have throughout the school year raised funds for their respective school trips; and

Whereas these students are now travelling to destinations with their teachers throughout Eastern Canada; and

Whereas student travel is a wonderful way for young people to learn more about our great country;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the students of Ridgecliff, Tantallon and Brookside on their fund-raising, with wishes of safe travel on their school trips.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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.

Order, please. Before we go to Orders of the Day it seems that, particularly in the last two Question Periods, the questions and the answers asked and given are becoming extremely long, and it is infringing on the members' time who would like to ask questions as well. So I would like to ask questioners, and as well the responders, to shorten up a bit to allow time to those other members.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 10:44 a.m. and will end at 11:44 a.m.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

[Page 6971]

ECON. DEV. - C.B.: ECONOMIC CRISIS - IGNORED

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Premier. The economic situation in Cape Breton is continuing to deteriorate rapidly. There are approximately 117,000 people in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality. The effective unemployment rate is about 30 per cent. That is before even a downsizing of Sydney Steel to about 200 people and before the closure of the mines at Devco. Now, this is a crisis. The Premier and the government have to recognize this, yet they have not done anything or acknowledged this crisis. Why has the Premier continued to ignore the deepening economic problems of Cape Breton?

[10:45 p.m.]

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I do recognize the seriousness of the employment issues in industrial Cape Breton, in particular, and it is very troublesome for the huge number of unemployed people in Cape Breton because their alternatives are not great. We have participated in an announcement in Cape Breton that will result in 900 new jobs, but that is only scratching the surface because we do know that with the downsizing of the coal industry and changes at Sysco, a number of jobs simply won't be there for Cape Bretoners and they are good-paying jobs.

We are continuing, as the previous government, to look for initiatives that will result in higher employment rates in Cape Breton. It is not a problem that began nine months ago, it began a number of decades ago, and this government is committed to working with agencies in Cape Breton, including the alliance, to provide new employment . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party, your first supplementary.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, with all due respect to the Premier, while it may be troubling to him, can he for a minute imagine how it is to the people of Cape Breton? We are facing a complete economic collapse and this government has done nothing. They have allowed the federal government to short-change the miners. They have said absolutely nothing, never for a minute sticking up for the miners or their families. Why does the Premier not realize that the short-changing of the miners and their families is going to be borne by the Province of Nova Scotia in additional costs and services that will have to be provided by the Department of Community Services? Why can't he see that?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, all members on this side of the House see the problem. What I would hope that I would have coming from across the way is something more substantial than suggesting whether or not the government sees the problem. Perhaps coming from across the way, it would be helpful for some positive suggestions to alleviate the chronic unemployment in industrial Cape Breton.

[Page 6972]

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, I don't believe members on that side of the House know the depth of the problem. I really don't and I say that respectfully and maybe it would be difficult for them to believe how bad it is. They would have to be there. They would have to really understand and feel for what these people are going through. I will tell you it is not pretty and it is getting worse.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. MACLELLAN: The Premier is acknowledging he has no idea on how to fix this, no idea in the world.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. MACLELLAN: Members on this side of the House will cooperate, but why won't the Premier and the government start an initiative to try to correct this situation and stop this tragedy and this travesty that it is committing on the people of Cape Breton?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, this government is committed to working with the alliance that has been formed for economic development in industrial Cape Breton through our Department of Economic Development and other agencies working towards implementing that economic development plan that was generated in Cape Breton. We have participated in a 900 job announcement. We have made available through the Devco economic development package an additional $12 million to supplement the money that has been made available through the federal government. This government is determined to rebuild an economy in Cape Breton, but it is determined to rebuild an economy that is sustainable . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

HEALTH - IWK-GRACE HOSP.:

NUTRITION PROG. (MARITIMES) - WITHDRAWAL (N.S.)

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, yesterday we revealed that the Pediatric Nutrition Support Program at the IWK-Grace Hospital is on the chopping block. The government is literally taking food from the mouths of children, and not just any children, but poor, sick children. Fortunately, the Governments of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island will continue to support the program, so the sick kids from those provinces have nothing to worry about. It just seems a little ironic that sick kids from Nova Scotia, where the IWK-Grace is located, can no longer count on this support. I want to ask the minister, how can you justify a situation where sick kids from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island get help that is denied to sick kids in Nova Scotia?

[Page 6973]

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the suggestion that the honourable member refers to, about the cessation of that program, was part of a business plan submitted by the IWK-Grace. That certainly has not yet been approved, we are still reviewing those plans. It is put forward for approval. The other thing is that I know this makes great press for the honourable member, with its sensationalism, but I think it is important to realize what the statements of the people at the hospital were, that they are looking for alternate solutions to that problem.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, yesterday that Minister of Health had the nerve to suggest that the Pediatric Nutrition Support Program was part of a five star health plan. Apparently this government believes that feeding poor, sick children is a luxury. This is a government whose Minister of Finance felt he deserved to stay, at taxpayers' expense, in a luxury five star hotel in New York, a hotel that was more highly rated than the Waldorf Astoria.

Mr. Speaker, shame on them, shame on them. I am going to give the Minister of Health another chance to show that the government hasn't completely lost its moral compass. Will the minister commit today that he will give the IWK-Grace enough money to fund the Pediatric Nutrition Support Program, or is he ready to go down in history as the meanest Minister of Health this province has ever had?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I could say that my reference, to the five star, was simply that we were trying to put forth the message - one that we have been putting forth since we became government - that we have to ensure that services are there in the future, as well as for today. That is what my message was in that particular comment. This proposal came from the hospital. The hospital is considering other alternatives, indeed, the communication from the hospital reveals that they are looking for other sources of funding. There has been no final decision made on that yet.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, they are hitting seniors with increased Pharmacare costs; they are slashing services in the classroom, especially to the most needy students; they have already cut social assistance rates to the poor; just when you think they can't go any lower, they do. Because of this government and its heartless budget cuts, the IWK-Grace is cutting formula for sick, poor children. I don't remember them promising any of this in the last election. My question is to the Premier is, just how low will this government go?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what the government is determined to do is to work out, with all of the health care institutions of this province, a reasonable solution to the budgetary reality that we have imposed upon them. We are looking for reasonable solutions, and the Department of Health is committed to working with those institutions to do just that, to bring reasonable solutions forward that result in Nova Scotians, including those 170 youngsters, being adequately looked after.

[Page 6974]

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

HEALTH - C.B. REG. HOSP.: ICU CUTS - KNOWLEDGE (MIN.)

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. In a rare moment of openness the Minister of Health has indicated six ICU beds will be closed at the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex in Sydney, and in North Sydney. We still don't know if Glace Bay beds are threatened but hopefully the minister will be open and honest once again today. What is surprising is that that could be the first time the Health Minister was actually aware of what was going on in Nova Scotia hospitals. When our staff contacted officials at the Cape Breton regional hospital yesterday, they were unaware of such cuts. Could the minister indicate to this House why he knows about cuts to the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex before officials at the hospital?

HON. JAMES MUIR: No.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, it seems like the minister is revealing hospital plans before the hospital is ready to implement their plan, possibly before that plan has been approved; and the mixed messages coming from him are either designed to confuse, manipulate and deceive or perhaps this minister doesn't have a clue as to what is happening to the health care system in this province. Could the minister indicate whether he has approved the business plan for the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex and will he reveal the details prior to the closure of the Legislature?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I believe I answered that question for the honourable member yesterday.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, there are people in my area, and all Nova Scotians, who want to know what this government is doing to the health care system. The minister hasn't answered a thing. Will he please explain what will happen, then, to the Glace Bay hospital as a result of his budget and whether there will be ICU closures as a result of his budget and whether there will be ICU closures either temporary or permanent that are in the works?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, just to repeat what I had said yesterday, that the regional health board, because of staffing issues - and this happened right across the province, and I am not so sure why the honourable member would think that that particular portion of the province would be different than any other - there are temporary bed closures (Interruptions)

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

MR. MUIR: Back at the first part of May, we had asked all of the regional health boards and also the non-designated institutions - if they were planning temporary closures to let us know what they were and indeed we did receive that the intent was - and things didn't

[Page 6975]

change - Northside, as the honourable member mentioned yesterday, also the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex in Sydney. It is also intended, Mr. Speaker, that if staffing issues don't change, then it is likely that there may be five ICU beds closed at the Glace Bay hospital temporarily this summer.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

HEALTH - IWK-GRACE HOSP.: CUTS -

CHILD/ADOLESC. MENTAL HEALTH PROG. (TRANSPORT.)

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, this government would like us to believe that when they carry out their reasonable solutions, as the Premier talks about, which really means cutting and slashing at health care, that there are no consequences. Well, I am going to tell the Minister of Health about another consequence of the cuts at the IWK-Grace. The IWK-Grace will be eliminating, because of these cuts, the transportation allowance - listen now - given to children to attend the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Day Treatment Program. I want to ask the Minister of Health, can he explain what the use of having such an essential program is if they can't even afford to send the children to that program? Will he explain this consequence of one of his reasonable cuts?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, to repeat, we are undergoing a business-planning process with the non-designated institutions as well as with the regional health boards. Business plans have been submitted. Department staff are reviewing them. Business plans have not been finalized. Again, I would remind the honourable member, and I appreciate the seriousness of the question that this is a choice made by the IWK-Grace and has been submitted to us, what we asked them to do was to prioritize things, including all administrative things and this was something . . .

[11:00 a.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the IWK-Grace are making choices because this government and this minister are cutting off their ability to deliver programs. That is what is happening here. We are talking about children who use this program, they suffer from behavioural disorders, depression and severe acting-out behaviours. Families who can't afford transportation, they were given subsidies for bus fare to make sure that their children would attend. Mr. Minister, yesterday you cut funds for milk for sick kids, today you are cutting bus fare for children with mental disabilities. I want to ask you to justify these heartless decisions and explain to Nova Scotians how low you and your Premier are prepared to go.

[Page 6976]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I know that he doesn't understand the fiscal situation of this province and I know that the Premier yesterday tabled notes from a round table public forum conducted by the New Democratic Party which said that the number one concern of Nova Scotians, according to the material which we generated at their own meeting - now they want to disregard that - is we have some fiscal problems in the province. Health happens to spend more than 42 per cent of the program money in this province and if we were going to resource fiscal sanity to the province, health has to be a portion of that.

Mr. Speaker, if we want health care services in the future, we have to assess where we are today and make reasoned choices about what are our core services and what things may be able to be funded alternatively. Again, this is a case which was proposed by the IWK-Grace . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: I will tell the minister what I don't understand. I don't understand how he and his Premier can expect us to believe that it is reasonable, on the one hand, for John Chisholm to be making tens of millions of dollars off coal resources and, on the other hand, to cut services to sick children and to children with mental disabilities. You tell me how I am supposed to understand that and how Nova Scotians are supposed to accept what you are doing to their health care system? Explain that. (Applause)

MR. MUIR: What we are attempting to do is to put in place processes and procedures that will enable Nova Scotians to have a quality and accessible, sustainable and affordable health care system now and in the future. All Nova Scotians. (Applause)

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

TRANSPORT. & PUB. WKS. - PRIVATIZATION: COSTS - SET-UP

MR. PAUL MACEWAN: M. le Président, je vous pose un question au Ministre des Transports et des Travaux publics. I just wanted to catch the attention of the House. A question to the Minister of Transportation and Public Works with respect to privatization. There are already indications that transportation is inflating its costs of operations and equipment as a set-up to justify privatization just as the government has inflated the public debt so as to justify its cuts. We had the hour of truth on CJLS radio over the weekend with the member for Yarmouth briefing those who listened as to the consultants that were studying the department with a view to recommending privatization. The minister himself has said he would set up four pilot projects beginning next year to see if the department can save money through privatization. The minister also said he wouldn't guarantee that there wouldn't be any lay-offs as a result of these pilot projects. Would the minister please inform the House in these matters so we can be brought up to date?

[Page 6977]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I lost count of the number of questions that were contained in that one question. However, I can assure the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova that we are not inflating the cost of the provincial debt, and we are not inflating the costs of providing service to Nova Scotians within the Department of Transportation.

MR. MACEWAN: Mr. Speaker, I regret to report that the minister has been more forthcoming with the press than he has been with the House. I have a very large article here which I wish to table entitled "Transportation eyes privatizing some services" - take another copy over to Mr. Russell so he can see what he told the press compared to what he is telling the House - it is all there. I can't read the article, it is far too long, but the Department of Transportation has plans to privatize many divisions and departments within his structure. I wonder, could the minister tell the House, as he told the press, what he intends to do and specifically how many divisions does he intend to privatize?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I haven't got time to read this either. However, I can assure the honourable member that we will not be privatizing any areas unless it saves the Department of Transportation at least 5 per cent of the costs of providing services through the public sector. Secondly, the four areas that will be put out to tender have not as yet been identified, so I can't help the honourable member in that respect.

MR. MACEWAN: Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask the minister, could he indicate how the employees concerned are to be treated? I hope they are not treated the way the Sydney Steel workers are being treated. In any event, can he guarantee that any displaced employees will be hired by the new private operators at a departmental rate of pay or, if employees are laid off, can he guarantee that they will receive the same severance package as the government has granted to the civil servants?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, to answer the last question first - and there were, again, several questions in the honourable member's question - any employees who would be displaced by privatization or alternate service delivery would indeed be offered a severance package very similar to the one that is being offered at the present time; in fact, probably identical. I would, however, assure the House that the experience in other provinces that have gone to privatization has been that in the vast majority, in excess of 85 per cent of the employees have been picked up by the private sector because, obviously, there is only one source of training at the present time for people to drive the very large plows that the province has for wintertime operations, et cetera.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

HEALTH - CUTS: PARAMEDICS - TRAINING

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, paramedics in this province will soon have to travel to P.E.I. to be trained because of health care cuts. The QE II has cancelled all future

[Page 6978]

paramedic training programs because emergency health services will no longer guarantee full funding; several instructors will lose their job as a result. So I want to ask the Minister of Health, why is he driving paramedics out of this province by pulling out of paramedic training?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we are not pulling out of paramedics continuing education. The honourable member is right, the QE II intends to, at least their plan right now is to not offer that program after the end of this fiscal year. The training will continue up until the end of March 2001, and the class that is in there will obviously have the opportunity to graduate. They are looking for alternatives at the present time. I am sure that we do have some time to look for these because there are people who are being trained in the P.E.I. program coming to work in Nova Scotia, as well as others returning from the United States to come back home although it is not, obviously, . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, we saw the same kind of problem with the medical laboratory technologists when their training program was eliminated. Students now go to New Brunswick and they have no obligation to return to Nova Scotia to practice. Nova Scotia now faces a worrisome shortage of technologists. This government now wants to send paramedic students to P.E.I., a program that charges about $10,000 in tuition. The Minister of Health is asking students to leave their homes, leave their families, pay for additional accommodation and pay more in tuition. So I want to ask the Minister of Health, why are you setting this province up for a shortage of paramedics?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, we are not setting this province up for a shortage of paramedics. As I indicated, there are people who are being trained on P.E.I. who are coming to Nova Scotia. There are also people being trained in the United States who are returning back to Nova Scotia. The arbitration award, which was made last summer, has made it pretty attractive to be a paramedic here in Nova Scotia, and we are not facing a shortage of paramedics. We are going to have at least two years to try to work out an alternative solution to this.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, several years ago Emergency Health Services signed a contract with Emergency Medical Care stating that within seven years they would have a P3 paramedic, the highest level, on every ambulance. How does the Minister of Health intend to meet this goal when he is making it impossible for paramedics to receive even the minimum training requirement in their own province?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the Department of Health is not making it impossible for these types of things. This was a decision by the Queen Elizabeth II and I am very confident that we have other agencies in this province that will pick up that training. It is another type

[Page 6979]

of misinformation, an attempt to fear-monger by the honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

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

TRANSPORT. & PUB. WKS. - PRIVATIZATION:

CBRM - CONTRACT REVERSION

MR. BRIAN BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. Cape Breton Regional Municipality has a contract with the province to maintain J-class roads in the CBRM. Over the weekend I met with highway workers from my riding. It is my understanding in discussion with municipal representatives in the CBRM that the Department of Transportation and Public Works is negotiating, through its area manager with the CBRM, to return this contract back to the CBRM as part of their privatization plan. My question is, why is the department negotiating with municipalities, particularly the CBRM, before the privatization committee has reached any conclusions?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I have no knowledge of the subject matter of the honourable member's question so I will have to take it under advisement. Quite frankly, I don't know if I can have that information by the end of this Question Period or not, but I will endeavour to do so.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, there are approximately 152 highway workers in the Sydney office and there are 56 workers who are from my constituency. My next question is, will the minister guarantee that these DOT workers will have jobs under any privatization plan in place in the CBRM?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, it is not possible at this time to guarantee anybody's position because we don't know where the areas to be privatized will be. When that is determined, we can speak more authoritatively with regard to workers in a specific location.

MR. BOUDREAU: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the fact the minister is unaware of this negotiation, however, I can assure him that this negotiation is real and it is foregoing. The concern these workers have, of course, is for their jobs and it is creating a lot of stress. Many of their wives have even made phone calls to me indicating their concern, and the stress level is starting to increase. Will the minister provide, when he checks with his department officials, that this negotiation is in process, will he guarantee the workers will have a place at the table during this negotiation process with the CBRM?

[Page 6980]

[11:15 a.m.]

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, when I determine exactly what the purpose and the direction of the negotiations are, I presume I can probably answer the honourable member's questions with regard to personnel.

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

EDUC. - SCHOOLS: WATER MONITORING - REGS. ADEQUACY

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: My question, through you, is to the minister responsible for schools, I believe we would call her the Minister of Education. Yesterday in this House, the Minister of Education indicated she had no idea who was responsible for ensuring the safety of drinking water in schools and that this safety is properly maintained. We know school boards have had this task downloaded on to them. Where schools are using on-site wells, the testing is not regulated. I would like to ask the minister responsible for schools, why has your department not seen to it that adequate regulations are in place for the monitoring of school drinking water?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, first of all, I would like to assure members of this House and all Nova Scotians that the water in the schools is safe. The water in the schools is tested by a number of departments, and those regulations now - of course, in light of the disaster in Ontario - are being reviewed. I have information about each school board, which I would like to table, which tells how the procedure is carried out within that school board area.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I would like to go to the Acting Minister of the Environment. Schools can't be treated like other well owners. They are a public water source, and the quality and monitoring of this source must be regulated. The Minister of the Environment knows that labs are not required to report test results to his department when they come from schools' on-site wells, even if there is a problem. I want to ask the Acting Minister of the Environment, why won't you play it safe and assume immediate responsibility for monitoring the safety of water from on-site wells in schools in this province?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, again, as my colleague, the Minister of Education, answered with respect to the member earlier, water in school wells is safe. The Department of the Environment is working with school boards to establish the guidelines to make sure that testing occurs. We intend to make sure that a protocol is established that guarantees the safety of water in schools.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, both ministers have used the word guarantee. I don't want that word to come back and bite either of them in an exposed place that is going to hurt. My concern comes back again, and I want to come back to the Minister of Education

[Page 6981]

on this, if I may. I want to ask the minister who is responsible for schools, from curriculum to wells, since your colleague, the Minister of the Environment won't do it, will you accept responsibility for safe drinking water in the schools using on-site wells across this province?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, as I am sure the member opposite, who knows so much about education and schools, is well aware, the responsibility for carrying out health and safety inspection in the schools is up to the individual school boards. In the event that a school board is not carrying out those responsibilities, it is the duty of the Department of Education to take over that school board.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - ATL. HTS. REST HOME (LOCKEPORT):

SENIORS - ADMITTANCE POLICY

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. On March 1st the Tory Government transferred all services for seniors from the Department of Community Services to the Department of Health. There has been confusion and concern among the operators and the residents since then. Faye McKenzie runs the Atlantic Heights Rest Home, a licensed 13 bed facility in Lockeport, and she was never properly informed about the policy change. Now there is an 87 year old woman who wants to be admitted to that facility and there are places available. To the minister, this senior has decided that she wants to live at the Atlantic Heights Rest Home, so why is the minister dictating where seniors can and cannot live?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that question. Indeed, the Department of Health did assume responsibilities for seniors on April 1st. The situation is that if people are going to go into basically a registered or licensed facility, then they must be assessed by departmental officials to see if they meet the criteria for admission.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, the promise to communicate has not been kept, certainly as it applies to the placement of seniors. Faye McKenzie was promised yesterday by her MLA, the member for Shelburne, that either someone from the Department of Health or the Department of Community Services would get back to her by phone by 5:00 p.m. As of this morning she was still waiting for that call. Mr. Minister, why has there been no call, and why is the minister not providing residential care homes with the proper information on the policy within the Department of Health?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there are two questions there and I will try to answer them both. First of all, I must say if Faye McKenzie was expecting a phone call, there are any number of reasons why the call was not returned by 5:00 p.m. last night, as the honourable member would well know. That does not mean that the call won't be made. I am sure there is a good explanation for it. Secondly, it is known and has been an established policy of the

[Page 6982]

Department of Health that we are moving towards making improvements and streamlining, I guess we can say, to the delivery of long-term care services in the provinces and also trying to make it more cost efficient. The fact is that there are policies and procedures put in place, and people are not being admitted to those homes unless they are assessed.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, it is no surprise that nursing home owner and Tory bag man Brian MacLeod is in charge of the committee that overlooks that new policy that decides where seniors are placed. This is putting a financial burden on the small homes, which depend on a mix of seniors and non-seniors to fill their spaces. My question to the minister, does the minister even care that the financial situation of these homes is threatened by these new rules?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, thinking about that long and hard, I am not really sure how the financial condition of those small homes would be changed or threatened by those rules. If the people didn't need to be in continuing care, perhaps there is another living option for them.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

ENVIRON. - STELLARTON STRIP MINE: REGS. - VIOLATION

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, my question will be to the Acting Minister of the Environment. Serious allegations have been made to our office about environmental regulations at the Stellarton strip mine in the Premier's riding, and I am not referring to the variations on the permit around the continuous miner I mentioned yesterday. It has been alleged to us that the mine operator is burying oil filters, dumping oil on the ground and spraying oil on coal to make it burn better. My question to the minister - and we are not the only ones hearing these allegations - what is the minister doing to find out whether these violations are in fact occurring in the Stellarton strip mine?

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, these are very serious allegations, albeit the first time I have heard the allegations, and I can assure the honourable member that I will be bring them to the attention of the appropriate Department of the Environment inspectors to ensure that they are investigated.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable minister for his response. Environmental inspection of the Stellarton strip mine is handled by the department's Pictou County office. It has come to our attention, and the minister well knows, that the practice in this office and in the other Environment offices across the province is to give advance notice of inspections. At the Stellarton strip mine, the advance notice allows the mine inspectors to settle any dust and stop any unsafe practices that are in violation of the environmental permit. My question to the minister is, why do the Department of the Environment inspectors give advance notice of inspections and when will the minister lay down the law and stop the practice of giving advance notice?

[Page 6983]

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that the routine practice of the Department of the Environment is not to give advance notice. In fact, the occasions when advance notice is given is in situations where they want to make sure that they have an opportunity to speak with someone at the site and they want to make sure before they arrive that that person is, in fact, there.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: That is not the indication we got during estimates; and they can speak to somebody after they get there if it is necessary. Mr. Speaker, environmental inspections of the Stellarton strip mine is handled by one particular inspector in the Pictou County office. All inspections and all inquiries go through that one inspector. Many citizens of the area believe there is a conflict of interest because the inspector's son was hired to work at the mine. Not only that, but the inspector worked actively in the last election on behalf of the Tory member for Pictou East. My question to the minister is, why is John Chisholm not only getting a free ride on royalties, but also getting a free ride when it comes to the environment? (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I guess I am a little disappointed in the honourable member, because what the honourable member is doing is suggesting that in some way the Department of the Environment is not living up to its mandate to investigate. I assure the honourable member that is not the case. In point of fact, the Department of the Environment and this government takes its duty to inspect mines very seriously. We have had tragedies in this province and we are determined to prevent them. People in Nova Scotia have the right to support any political Party they choose, whether it is that political Party or this political Party. (Interruptions)

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

TRANSPORT. & PUB. WKS. - EQUIPMENT RATE CHARGES:

INCREASE - CONFIRM

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Transportation and Public Works. The department has a policy referred to as a charge-back rate policy for equipment that is owned by the department. Essentially they charge on an hourly rate back to themselves and they set this money aside in a separate account, the equivalent of what would be charged by the private sector. That money is generally used for repair and maintenance. Can the minister please confirm if the hourly charge-back rate for the department's equipment has increased over the previous fiscal year?

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I believe for some equipment it has. The question is not completely unexpected. I did get a briefing note. I didn't get a briefing this morning on this very subject so I presume that some information has gone out to the various

[Page 6984]

locations around the province. Some equipment is charged out by the hour to the user, other equipment is charged on a yearly rate. I believe that there have been some discussions with regard to bringing the rates down to a common rate, in other words instead of having two different rates for the same piece of equipment, that we would have a common rate. I do have a briefing note that is several pages thick, I haven't read it, as I say, I just got it when I came into the House.

[11:30 a.m.]

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on an earlier day the minister confirmed that he commissioned a consultant to look into the operations of the department with a view to the eventual decision concerning privatization. I can certainly confirm that in at least one district, and possibly two districts in the province, the rate has increased quite substantially. In fact, in the Cape Breton District, which includes all of Cape Breton Island and a part of Guysborough area, the charge-back rate for a tandem, for example, has increased by 50 per cent. It was $25 an hour and now it is $37 an hour.

My question to the minister is, is the purpose of such a substantial increase to convince the consultant that privatization would be less expensive than having the trucks continue to work as part of the department?

MR. RUSSELL: Again, Mr. Speaker, I wish that I had read this when I first got it when I came into the House today but I didn't. No, it is not the intention to inflate the costs but, however, it has been a belief in the department that summer equipment has been charged at too low a rate and winter equipment at too a high rate. There is a plan in place to bring those costs together. In other words, at the present time, some of the rates do not reflect the actual costs to the department of supplying that equipment.

I also believe that the rate is a common one across the province, but I can't swear to that. However, I will get more information back to the member today.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, the common rate that the minister refers to is the recommended rate from Miller Lake, and that is the Central Division as the minister well knows. That rate is not universal across the province. However, the fact of the matter is, the rates that are being charged in the various regions across the province are consistent with the rates (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has the floor. Question, please.

MR. MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, the rates that are charged back to the department equipment (Laughter) Mr. Speaker, if I could have some order.

[Page 6985]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Cape Breton West has the floor. Question, please.

MR. MACKINNON: If the member for Sackville-Cobequid would like to take the floor (Interruptions)

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

MR. MACKINNON: The fee that is being charged in the various regions and the charge back to the department is consistent with the rate that is being charged by the private sector. So essentially there is no difference. Why is the department artificially inflating the charge-back fee by as much as 50 per cent before the consultant even starts to do an analysis of the department?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, that isn't factual at all. There is no intention to inflate the operating costs of the Department of Transportation, to artificially inflate those costs in order to make privatization look better. If we go to alternate service delivery, the objective is to save money to put on the roads, so we get more asphalt on the roads, so we get better secondary road conditions across this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party.

DEVCO - ASSETS SALE: BILL (HoC) - ACTION (GOV'T. [N.S.])

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, through you to the Premier. Cape Bretoners are continuing to feel the sting of government in action; the Liberal Government in Ottawa is using its majority to ram the Devco bill through the House of Commons. The Commons committee refused to travel to Cape Breton; they gave witnesses less than 48 hours' notice to come to Ottawa and testify; and 75 per cent of the Liberal members neglected to even show up for the final hearings. I want to ask the Premier - Cape Bretoners have had enough of being kicked around by uncaring government - what are you doing, what is your government doing to ensure that Cape Bretoners get a fair deal on Devco?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is aware that, on a number of issues, Nova Scotians have not perhaps had their fair share of opportunities with Ottawa. This government, prior to becoming government, realized that if we were to have a coal industry in Cape Breton, then obviously privatization was the only route to go. I supported that in Opposition, and I still support it. I have talked personally with the Prime Minister; I have had conversations, and my minister had conversations with the federal minister; and I have had continuing, repeated conversations with the senator who is our member in the federal Cabinet. This government has continually brought forward the issue of the Devco miners and the Devco solution with the federal government.

[Page 6986]

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, the former Premier had all kinds of chitty-chats with the Prime Minister and the minister responsible, and look where that got us. Since being elected this government has waffled on Sysco; they prevented Opposition debate on Sysco just yesterday. They cut funding from UCCB; they have left highways in disrepair; they have damaged the tourism industry; and they failed to assist the plight of Devco families to get a fair settlement. I want to ask the Premier, what is he doing to ensure that Devco workers don't fall victim to the whims of this insensitive federal Liberal Government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite well knows that the issue has gone to arbitration, and the member well knows that when it is in arbitration this government or that Opposition can do nothing to influence the process. What the member opposite would like the people of Cape Breton to understand is that somehow, by asking this question, he is helping the people of Cape Breton and the Devco miners. In reality, it is before arbitration; that is a recognized process and that member, if anybody in this place, should understand it is something that we cannot influence.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I will tell you what I understand. I understand that this government and this Premier are doing as little for Cape Breton as that government did and that Premier did. There are all kinds of reasons about why their hands are tied. Whether it is Devco or whether it is Sysco, this government is doing as little as that government did. I want to ask this Premier, the Liberal Government (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. The honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party has the floor.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: The Liberals are a little touchy about what they haven't done for Cape Breton.

I want to ask the Premier, what is he going to do to deal with the fallout once the Liberal Government rams Bill C-11 through the House of Commons? What is he going to do for those Devco workers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it would appear that the member opposite is determined to ask a question that might be conceived in Cape Breton to be helping someone; in reality, it will help no one. Now if the member opposite can ask a question that someone on the government benches could answer, then we are prepared to answer it. If it is the intention of the member simply to say something, then he has achieved that but nothing else. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

[Page 6987]

JUSTICE - EMPLOYMENT EQUITY: GUIDELINES - REVIEW

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, last fall the Premier and the Minister of Justice seemed very confused about where the report on the Ruck Commission on designing employment equity guidelines (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order. The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party has the floor.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, last fall the Premier and Minister of Justice seemed very confused about where the report on the Ruck Commission, dealing with designing employment equity guidelines for large law firms doing business with the province, stood. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Order, please. No one can hear the speaker who has the floor now. I would ask the House to be quiet while the honourable Leader of the Liberal Party has the floor. (Interruptions)

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party has the floor.

MR. MACLELLAN: Members of the other Parties don't want to hear about this subject, it is obvious. The government and the NDP do not care about what the Ruck Commission is doing about designing employment equity guidelines for law firms doing business with the province. (Interruptions) This government didn't know where it stood last fall. They are continually deep sixing the information from this commission. Why is this Premier and this government forbidding information on this commission to come forward to the people of Nova Scotia? (Interruptions)

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I believe the question was directed in my direction, and I will redirect it to the Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the honourable member's question. In point of fact, no one is hindering or obstructing that process. The committee has been meeting regularly for many months now. They are in deliberations. I think those deliberations have been going on weekly, certainly bi-weekly, since then. The committee is doing what the committee is doing which is to consider the subject, and we await the report.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, I don't think anyone frankly believes the Minister of Justice. This has been 18 months since this review has been ongoing. Last November 3rd, the Premier said perhaps as early as two weeks' time he would have a report from this committee. This is seven months later, and what is happening? This information is being stopped from coming out. I want to know why. I want to know why, from the Minister of Justice, this information is not coming out?

[Page 6988]

MR. BAKER: The answer is you can talk to Mr. Ruck of the committee. We are not obstructing it.

MR. MACLELLAN: The reason why is that this government is allowing big Tory back-room people to stifle this government's . . .

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, before we move into committee, I would like to respond to a question from the honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes. I said that I would provide him with information, I have that information, and I will provide it to him.

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

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.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[11:45 a.m. The House resolved itself into a CWH on Bills with Deputy Speaker Mr. Wayne Gaudet in the Chair.]

[6:00 p.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott, resumed the Chair.]

MR. 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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour:

"Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education explain to parents, teachers and the students at Cole Harbour District High School how she intends to maintain the peace at this school without the school safety officer."

[Page 6989]

ADJOURNMENT

MOTION UNDER RULE 5(5)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

EDUC. - COLE HBR. DIST. HS: PEACE - MAINTENANCE

MS. MAUREEN MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. This resolution says, "Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education explain to parents, teachers and the students at Cole Harbour District High School how she intends to maintain the peace at this school without the school safety officer."

Mr. Speaker, I think that most members of this House will recognize that Cole Harbour District High School is a high school that has confronted some difficulties in the past and has had, perhaps on some level, the unfair distinction of being seen to be a school that is very troubled. I know that the teaching staff there and parents and students have worked extraordinarily hard to deal with a multitude of problems that they have had to confront. In 1995-96, a lot of conflict occurred between people who go to that school and people who are on the grounds at the school. It received a lot of national attention and prominence in the national media.

The result of that I think, Mr. Speaker, was the Halifax Regional School Board commissioned a report that has become known as the Frank report. Dr. Blye Frank at Mount Saint Vincent University did an external review of Cole Harbour District High School. This report, which we have in our Legislative Library, is an excellent examination of what occurred there, with a list of recommendations for how to address the very complex problems that led to the conflict and the fighting among students and people from that community who went onto the grounds of the school.

One of the recommendations coming out of the Frank report was the need for safety in that school and the introduction of some security and safety measures. To that end, two persons were hired to provide security in the school. If I am not mistaken, Mr. Speaker, at least one of those persons who was hired, in fact, came from one of the communities serviced by Cole Harbour District High School and has, as a result of being in that school for some time, won the respect and admiration of parents, students and teachers, and is seen to be a valuable part of the working and learning environment at Cole Harbour District High School and as contributing to the ongoing process of trying to generate a stable, safe and positive learning environment for the young people who are in this school.

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Unfortunately, because of the Education budget and the cuts that have been imposed on the Halifax Regional School Board, they had to make some very tough decisions about where they were going to find $11.5 million to balance their budgets and to meet the requirements that have been imposed on them by the Department of Education and by the Hamm Government. Part of what this government has done is they have required that when the cuts are imposed, that the cuts occur in other parts of the program in schools rather than in the direct face-to-face contact between children and teachers.

A whole variety of other areas are being affected as we know, Mr. Speaker: program assistants are being affected, library technicians are being affected, cleaning staff, but in this particular school the safety officers are being laid off and this is absolutely unbelievable. It is thrusting this school into the past, into a situation where, once again, the very valuable role that these people have been performing, no longer will there be anybody there to perform this important role.

I would like to read a little bit from the Frank report, because this report makes very clear what some of the challenges are for the personnel at the Cole Harbour District High School. The mission statement of the Cole Harbour District High School is that this is, "a caring school which values the diversity of its students coming from distinct communities, is to ensure that our learners become confident self-directed and cooperative with skills that will enable them to maximize their potential in our ever-changing society. Building upon the strengths and uniqueness of each student, this mission will be accomplished in partnership with our community by providing varied and challenging experiences in safe learning environments." That is a key for learning in our schools.

Not so long ago, I had an opportunity to read a speech by the Secretary of Education in the Clinton Administration, where he laid out what all of the research is demonstrating is very important for a good learning environment, and parents and students and teachers know is imperative for a good learning environment, that safety in schools is one of the primary requirements for a proper learning environment.

This government has eroded, through their Education budget, the importance of having a safe learning environment at Cole Harbour District High School. This may seem like a minor point, but it certainly isn't. I know my colleague, the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour will be able to add to that.

MR. SPEAKER: I would ask the honourable member to table a copy of the document you referred to, please.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, I realize there are just a couple of minutes left. This school is in my riding, both these schools, Cole Harbour District High School and

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Auburn Drive High School. Both of them have lost their security officers. I want to just remind the Minister of Education that during estimates I raised with her the whole question of what it is that you do in consideration of high schools - or any school for that matter, because there are other schools that are similarly affected - that are in special situations, where they are, because of their circumstance, because of their history, placed in a situation that is different from all of the others.

Cole Harbour District High School and Auburn Drive High School are two institutions that I think fall in that category. When I raised it with the minister, in the gallery were students from Auburn Drive High School and their Principal, Don Buck, I certainly relayed to the minister the comments and the feelings of the Principal of Cole Harbour District High School, Jim de la Mothe.

At that time, I said to the minister that although I am raising it in estimates for the purpose of informing her, I am also raising it because I am issuing a warning - a warning to the Minister of Education and a warning to the people in her department - that if you strip that school all of the supports that keep it a safe learning environment then there are going to be difficulties, there is going to be trouble, and students are going to suffer. We are going see, yet again, a disruption in that school. I reminded her that this is not fair to the children in those institutions, it is not fair to the staff or the students, and it is not what the people of Cole Harbour expect, certainly, for all of the communities that have students attending there. I again remind the minister that this is a special circumstance, and I ask that in her remarks she address that fact to the satisfaction of all concerned.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Education.

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, it is with mixed feelings that I take part in debate on this resolution, sponsored by the member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour. This does provide an opportunity to outline some of the successes that have taken place at Cole Harbour District High School, but at the same time I am a bit concerned about the wording of the resolution. The member asks how I intend to maintain the peace at this school following the elimination of the school safety officer. The easy answer would be to say that the safety at any school is the responsibility of the local school board. The Education Act clearly states that school boards have overall responsibility for ensuring a safe learning environment.

Codes of conduct are now in place at most schools, behaviour standards continue to be developed by school principals with teachers and students and parents working together. As a government we are committed to have a new province-wide code of conduct in place in time for the return to school in the fall and a committee with school board officials, teachers, parents and students is meeting this month to discuss this very issue.

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Having said that, I would like to go back to what I find disturbing about the member's resolution because I think this resolution does some disservice to the students, staff and parents and communities who have worked so hard to overcome the problems at this school.

Perhaps the time has come to allow Cole Harbour District High School to stand on the tremendous foundation the students and staff have built over the past few years. It is my understanding none of the measures imposed on the school some three years ago was meant to be permanent. The employment of the safety officer at the school was a key recommendation of the Blye Frank report, but it is important to note that Professor Frank suggested that the position be a temporary one; perhaps one year or two years and we are now into year three.

The Halifax Regional School Board has had to make difficult decisions and it has decided that perhaps Cole Harbour District High School can do without that position, which had nothing to do with the person occupying the position. From all reports, he has done a wonderful job and he is very well loved by the community, but it may be time to move on. Cole Harbour District High School has transformed itself into one of the most successful schools in the country. We should be celebrating its successes, not focusing on its past difficulties.

The member appears to suggest that the elimination of the safety officer will automatically throw the school into chaos and I don't share that pessimistic attitude. Some of the successes at Cole Harbour High School include its newspaper, The Cav Chronicle; it has received many accolades here in Nova Scotia and across the country. It has won awards from the Conference Board of Canada and the Nova Scoria Human Rights Commission. The paper's motto is "Building bridges among cultures and communities." and the newspaper has been very helpful in efforts to build a more positive attitude at the school. The paper has been so successful that its staff have been asked by the school board to conduct workshops for other high schools in the area. This is tremendous testimony to the hard work by Mike Whitehouse, Cole Harbour District High School's improvement officer, as well as the 35 students and staff who put the newspaper out.

As well, the school has recently received permission from the CRTC to launch a community radio station which will broadcast as CHCN on 106.9 stereo. Cole Harbour District High School is the first Nova Scotia school to receive this designation. There were 50 volunteers were working on that, were working to help fund that radio station and 50 volunteers from five communities worked on this project. To help prepare for the launch, the school board, through continuing education, offered a radio course this past year.

In February, the Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, visited Cole Harbour High School and her visit was prompted by the success the school has had in overcoming its past problems and she congratulated the school on its initiatives to promote peace and non-violence. Last month, Cole Harbour District High School hosted the League of Peaceful

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Schools Conference which attracted delegates from all over the province. The highlight was the presentation of a League of Peaceful Schools flag to the students and staff at Cole Harbour District High School, only the fourth high school to receive such an honour. The Peace Award was also presented to the Cole Harbour District High School peer mediators for their work on successes in the area of mediation, and together both of these awards are a tribute to all the students and staff who have worked very hard to make the school a place for safe and effective learning.

[6:15 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, earlier this year, students and staff at Cole Harbour were only too willing to share their school with students from nearby Graham Creighton Junior High School when that school was closed because of maintenance problems. There have been no safety issues, and the schools, as difficult as sharing schools is, got along very well together. As well, in March, 20 students, along with two teachers from Cole Harbour District High School participated in an exchange visit with a school in Dawson City, Yukon. Cole Harbour District High School was chosen because of its commitments to sharing values and principles across linguistic, cultural, and geographic borders.

There is much more that could be said about the tremendous accomplishments at Cole Harbour District High School, Mr. Speaker, but I would like mainly to say that perhaps it is time to stop dwelling on past difficulties at the school, and begin to look ahead.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise and speak on this resolution, "Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education explain to parents, teachers and the students at Cole Harbour District High School how she intends to maintain the peace at this school without the school safety officer."

Mr. Speaker, I remember hearing about the racial fights through the media. These unfortunate incidents that took place at Cole Harbour District High School even made the national news back in 1989 and 1997. As I recall, a lot of these fights involved outsiders coming on the school grounds. As a former principal in a junior high school I can certainly understand the trouble caused by outsiders coming on the school grounds during regular school hours. School administrators, teaching staff, have enough responsibilities, to look after the regular operations of the school and to look after the safety of the students without having to worry about outsiders visiting the school grounds in the run of the day.

Unfortunately at our school, at Clare District Junior High School, we did encounter some conflicts involving outsiders and also involving the police. The police had to be called in to help us resolve some of these conflicts. These conflicts were always reported back throughout our communities that our school served. Every time parents would call up the

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office of the school and certainly they would be calling individual teachers to express their concerns. Unfortunately, at our school, we did not have the presence of a safety officer to help us deal with these outsiders coming on the school grounds.

Cole Harbour District High School was fortunate to have the services of a safety officer. The safety officer was appointed, as the honourable member for Halifax Needham earlier indicated, as a result of a recommendation by Professor Blye Frank who was hired to put a plan together to combat racial intolerance at the school. Safety officer Sonny Wicks was hired and has been at the school for four years. Parents have a lot of faith in Sonny Wicks. Today they credit him with creating an atmosphere of peace and tolerance in their school. Students have looked up to Sonny and confide in him as well. Principal Jim de la Mothe says Wicks has been instrumental in bringing about a positive culture change at their school. Wicks has defused many potential incidents at the school. Wicks has stopped strangers from coming on the school grounds and has acted as a go-between when difficulties arise between students and outsiders.

But, Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, this success story is coming to an end. As a result of this Tory Government's devastating Education budget, the Halifax Regional School Board needs to cut $11.5 million this year. The other night when the Halifax Regional School Board met, it approved many cuts that will have a direct impact on students and on their schools come this September.

Mr. Speaker, allow me to go back and review some of the events that have led to Mr. Sonny Wicks losing his job as safety officer at Cole Harbour District High School. On Tuesday, April 11th, this Tory Government introduced a budget that was devastating to public education in Nova Scotia. The Minister of Education directed school boards throughout the province to cut $20 million in teachers' salaries; in addition, $7.3 million in other specified areas. So that is a $27.3 million cut in public education. Furthermore, school boards did indicate and they tried to tell the Minister of Education that they needed an additional $26 million in funding to maintain the existing system. The Minister of Education failed to acknowledge that school boards needed that funding to cover salary increases, to cover higher fuel costs and to cover pre-existing deficits.

Mr. Speaker, with this $27.3 million plus the $26 million needed to maintain the public education system in Nova Scotia, in total the impact of the cuts on the public education system this year, when this budget was tabled in this House on April 11th, totalled $53.3 million. Well, I honestly believe that this Tory Government and all the members on that side of the House, along with the Minister of Education, did not know, and I honestly believe that, they did not know the real impact of their budget on the public education system. So what happened?

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Well, I am not going to go over all the events, Mr. Speaker, but we had throughout this province, in all of our communities, people came out in support of the students, the teachers, the teaching support staff, of all the school support staff in regard to what this Tory Government was proposing to do. We knew that many teachers would be losing their jobs. We knew that many support staff jobs would be lost, secretaries, bus drivers, teachers' aides, librarians, library technicians, clerks, janitors, cafeteria workers and, yes, safety officers at schools, but even further than that, all these cuts that were proposed by this Tory Government and by this Minister of Education were done without any consultation.

Last October the minister promised to meet with the Education Funding Formula Review Work Group, which includes all the school boards, to discuss this budget but, unfortunately, these meetings were never held. School boards were left with this major hit, a major impact of a $53.3 million hit. So the Minister of Finance came to the rescue of the Minister of Education, and I am glad he did. I am glad the Minister of Education did invite the school boards, finally understanding what these cuts would mean to public education throughout this province.

Unfortunately, these meetings should have taken place before the budget was drafted, but this Tory Government did not understand what kind of negative impact this budget was going to have on public education. Sure enough, after people rallied throughout this province . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The honourable member's time has expired.

The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise for a few minutes this evening to talk about education in this province. As some members know, I have a background in education and have maintained an interest in it, even though it is passing in light of the other responsibilities that I now have. I want to say that I believe the steps that our Minister of Education has taken via this new legislation and the other steps she has taken are things that are needed to put Nova Scotia back on a stable footing in education.

For the past six years, under the previous government, education just kind of happened, kind of like Topsy, not much direction, very little forethought. This was a government that went so far as to close down the Nova Scotia Teachers College, without any thought at all. I just can't tell you (Interruptions) A move that was condemned roundly and widely by anybody who knew anything about education in this province, the people who taught in public schools, the people who taught teachers, the people who knew teachers.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say, too, that the honourable member for Cape Breton Nova, he knows, and as a matter of fact I do remember, if I am not mistaken, about the only letter I received from a member of the Liberal Party was from the honourable member for Cape

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Breton Nova - and I want to tell him I very much appreciated that - that it was probably not really appropriate to shut down the Nova Scotia Teachers College. He was an alumnus of that institution, and he has served in this House for 30, 35 years. (Interruptions)

Mr. Speaker, I want to say as well that there are a number of things that also happened under this Liberal Government that had to do with education that really didn't do much for the system. The former Minister of Education assured me last year that he would review the training programs that were in place for teachers in this province. As you know, although there is absolutely no legislative basis for it, that government, when they were in power, mandated, basically, a two year sequential program for pre-service teacher education, and it had to be a sequential program. The integrated program, which was recommended by the committee and was put together six years ago to talk about teacher certification, did recommend that although two years of teacher education was a good thing, they didn't have to be sequential.

I also want to say that I am pleased, I have been informed that finally, after six years or seven years of neglect by that bunch over there, our Minister of Education is going to bring that proposed legislation to the floor of this House. There will be some needed action on that. Essentially, we have an illegal teacher education program in this province - maybe not illegal, but one which has never been endorsed by anybody, it just kind of happened, like Topsy. It needs to be re-examined, and I am pleased that the honourable Minister of Education is finally going to do that. I know that the members on the opposite side, including the member for Hants East, support that initiative. For that reason, he will be voting yes on the Education Bill, there is no question about that.

Mr. Speaker, I know, as well, that there are other . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The time has expired for the late debate. I would like to thank the members for taking part this evening.

The House will now resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

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

[12:01 a.m. CWH on Bills rose and the House reconvened. Mr. Speaker, Hon. Murray Scott resumed the Chair.]

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

THE CLERK: That the committee has met and made progress and begs leave to sit again.

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MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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 8:00 a.m. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m. The order of business will be second reading of Bill No. 34 and we will continue until 8:00 p.m. or until Bill No. 34 is through Committee of the Whole House on Bills.

MR. SPEAKER: Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The House will rise until 8:00 a.m. tomorrow.

[The House rose at 12:02 a.m.]