The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Wed., May 31, 2000

First Session

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2000

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
Speaker's Ruling on Previous Point of Order:
Adjournment Motion, General (Rule 42): (Point of Order by
Mr. J. Holm Page 6841)
Ruling: No Point of Order 6854
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Leon Thompson: TANS - Compensate,
Mr. John MacDonell 6855
Transport & Pub. Wks. - Peggy's Cove: Helicopter Operation -
Oppose, Mr. W. Estabrooks 6856
PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Private and Local Bills Committee, Mrs. M. Baillie 6856
TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS:
Anl. Rept. of the Superintendent of Pensions, Hon. N. LeBlanc 6856
STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS:
Nat. Res. - Laurention Sub-basin: Boundary Dispute (Nfld.) -
Arbitration Under Way, The Premier 6857
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2445, Allan Graham Manuel (Former Dep. Min. [Fin.]), Death of:
Sympathies - Convey, Hon. N. LeBlanc 6860
Vote - Affirmative 6861
Res. 2446, Lbr. - MacLean Forestry Ltd. & Sacks Excavating:
Hfx. Lateral - Safety Record Congrats., Hon. A. MacIsaac 6861
Vote - Affirmative 6861
Res. 2447, Tourism: Awareness Month (June 2000) - Congrats.,
Hon. Rodney MacDonald 6862
Vote - Affirmative 6862
Res. 2448, Culture - Black Loyalists: Contributions - Remember,
Hon. J. Purves 6862
Vote - Affirmative 6863
Res. 2449, Health: World No Tobacco Day (31/05/00) - Recognize,
Hon. J. Muir 6863
Vote - Affirmative 6864
Res. 2450, Health - Medical Soc. (N.S.): Annual Awards -
Dr. David B. Fraser & Dr. Ross Langley Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 6864
Vote - Affirmative 6865
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 2451, Health - Medical Soc. (N.S.): President -
Dr. Louise Cloutier Congrats., Mr. Robert Chisholm 6865
Vote - Affirmative 6866
Res. 2452, Hfx. Chebucto MLA - Comments: Care - Take,
Mr. M. Samson 6866
Res. 2453, Culture - New Glasgow Tartan: Symbolism - Recognize,
The Premier 6866
Vote - Affirmative 6867
Res. 2454, Gov't. (N.S.) - Women: Status (2nd Class) - Explain,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 6867
Res. 2455, NDP (N.S.): Personal Attacks - Condemn,
Mr. Manning MacDonald 6868
Res. 2456, Beta Sigma Phi - Founder's Day: Anniv. 69th - Congrats.,
Mrs. M. Baillie 6869
Vote - Affirmative 6869
Res. 2457, Educ. - Hfx. Reg. Sch. Bd.: Cuts - Special Needs Explain,
Ms. Maureen MacDonald 6869
Res. 2458, NDP (N.S.) - MLAs: Rts. & Privileges - Respect,
Mr. D. Downe 6870
Res. 2459, Royal Cdn. Sea Cadet Corps (258 Amherst) - Youth Dev.:
Contribution - Recognize, Hon. E. Fage 6871
Vote - Affirmative 6871
Res. 2460, Health - Long-Term Care: Nurses Requirement -
Views (Premier) Problem, Mr. D. Dexter 6872
Res. 2461, Hfx. Chebucto MLA - Mistakes:
Caucus (NDP [N.S.]) Look - Remind, Mr. D. Wilson 6872
Res. 2462, Culture - Internat. Fiesta (Chester): Denise Peterson-Rafuse &
Organizers Congrats., (By Hon. P. Christie) Hon. J. Chataway 6873
Vote - Affirmative 6874
Res. 2463, Environ. - Kings Co.: Water Quality - Ensure,
Mr. W. Estabrooks ^Res. 2464, Sports - Donald (A.B.) MacIsaac Educ. Fdn. Award: 6874
Willie Joe Sofan (C.B. West Eagles) - Congrats., Hon. A. MacIsaac 6875
Vote - Affirmative 6875
Res. 2465, Educ. - Col.-East Hants Reg. Library: Anniv. 50th -
Congrats., Hon. J. Muir 6875
Vote - Affirmative 6876
Res. 2466, Royal Cdn. Air Cadet (No. 292) Hfx. Kiwanis Sq. -
Internat. Air Cadet Exchange Program 2000: Deep Grewal -
Selection Congrats., Ms. M. McGrath 6876
Vote - Affirmative 6877
Res. 2467, Transport. (Can.) - Infrastructure (Can.): Investment
Strategy - Negotiate, Mr. B. Taylor 6877
Res. 2468, Tourism - Shel. Co.: Lobster Festival - Best Wishes Extend,
Mr. C. O'Donnell 6878
Vote - Affirmative 6878
Res. 2469, Anna. Royal FD Bob Emin (Firefighter): Service (50 yrs.) -
Congrats., Mr. F. Chipman 6879
Vote - Affirmative 6879
Res. 2470, Health - Medical Soc. (N.S.): Dr. R. Bruce Miller
(New Glasgow) - Distinguished Serv. Award Congrats.,
The Premier 6879
Vote - Affirmative 6880
Res. 2471, Sports - Ice Skating: Lindsay Cameron & Shawn Fequet
(Pictou Co.) - Awards (Bursaries) Congrats., Mr. J. DeWolfe 6880
Vote - Affirmative 6881
Res. 2472, Educ. - Digby RHS: Internat. Envirothon 2000 Comp. -
Reps. (N.S.) Congrats., Hon. G. Balser 6881
Vote - Affirmative 6882
Res. 2473, Sports - Canoeing (Can. Jr. Team): Members (N.S. [5]) -
Congrats., Mr. T. Olive 6882
Vote - Affirmative 6882
Res. 2474, Econ. Dev. - C.D. Hemeon & Son Ltd. (L'pool Pharmacy):
Anniv. 50th - Congrats., Mr. K. Morash 6883
Vote - Affirmative 6883
Res. 2475, Kentville - Website: Innovation - Congrats., Mr. M. Parent 6883
Vote - Affirmative 6884
Res. 2476, Culture - Music: Fender East Coast Guitarist (2000) -
Carson Downey (N. Preston) Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 6884
Vote - Affirmative 6885
Res. 2477, Agric. - Anna. V. Apple Blossom Festival 2000:
Princesses (W. Kings Co.) - Congrats., Mr. J. Carey 6885
Vote - Affirmative 6885
Res. 2478, Hill Times (Can.) - Poll (Up-and-Comer MP): Victory -
Peter MacKay, MP (PC [N.S.]) Congrats., Hon. A. MacIsaac 6886
Res. 2479, Culture - Inverness Publications Ltd.: Biographies (Inv.) -
Congrats., Hon. Rodney MacDonald 6886
Vote - Affirmative 6887
Res. 2480, Tourism - Taste of N.S. Special Award (1999):
Glady Bourgeois & Pictou Lodge Resort - Congrats.,
Mrs. M. Baillie 6887
Res. 2481, EMO - Commun. (E. Shore): E. Shore Amateur Radio
Club Work/Sable Offshore Energy-Support - Recognize,
(By Mr. D. Hendsbee) Mr. W. Dooks 6888
Vote - Affirmative 6889
Res. 2482, Agric. - Anna. V. Apple Blossom Festival 2000:
Organizers - Congrats., Mr. D. Morse 6889
Vote - Affirmative 6889
Res. 2483, Educ. - Riverview School: Time Capsule (1987) -
Unique Gift Recognize, Mr. Ronald Chisholm 6889
Vote - Affirmative 6890
Res. 2484, Bill & Kaye Wiswell (Bedford/Sackville): Golden Wedding
Anniv. - Congrats., Hon. P. Christie 6890
Vote - Affirmative 6891
Res. 2485, NDP (N.S.) - Dollars (Ex-Prov.) Addiction: Rehab -
Check-in, Mr. R. Hurlburt 6891
Res. 2486, Health - Breast Cancer: Dragon Boat Festival Fund-raiser
(Pictou) - Dedication Recognize, Mr. J. DeWolfe 6892
Vote - Affirmative 6892
Res. 2487, Sports - Hockey (Hfx. Mooseheads): Darrell Jarrett
(Sackville) - Success Congrats., Mr. B. Barnet 6892
Vote - Affirmative 6893
Res. 2488, Health - E. Preston Day Care Ctr.: IWK Partnership -
Congrats., Mr. D. Hendsbee 6893
Vote - Affirmative 6894
Res. 2489, Econ. Dev. - Hfx. Shipyard: Contract (40 Jobs) -
Gov't. (Can.) Thank, Ms. M. McGrath 6894
Res. 2490, Econ. Dev. - Medic Delivery Serv. Ltd. (Dart.):
Anniv. 10th - Congrats., Mr. T. Olive 6895
Vote - Affirmative 6895
Res. 2491, Tourism - Tall Ship Millennium Challenge: Hillary Drummond
(Kings Co.) - Congrats., Mr. M. Parent 6896
Vote - Affirmative 6896
Res. 2492, Lions Club Speak Out - Rebecca McCarthy (L'pool):
Performances - Congrats., Mr. K. Morash 6896
Vote - Affirmative 6897
Res. 2493, HRDC - EI: Benefits - Address, Mr. J. Carey 6897
Res. 2494, Girl Guides & Pathfinders (1st Digby Neck) - England &
Iceland Trip (2000): Fund-Raising - Congrats., Hon. G. Balser 6898
Vote - Affirmative 6899
Res. 2495, Sports - Boxing (Female): IFBA Jr. Lwt. Champ -
Doris Hackl (Pugwash R.) Congrats., Hon. E. Fage 6899
Vote - Affirmative 6899
Res. 2496, Agric. - Apple Blossom Festival: Queen Annapolisa (68th) -
Jennifer Lynn Porter (Hantsport) Congrats., Hon. R. Russell 6900
Vote - Affirmative 6900
Res. 2497, House of Assembly - Time Usage: Costs - Consider,
Mr. D. Morse ^Res. 2498, Econ. Dev. - Yar. Dev. Corp.: Waterfront Dev. - 6900
Commitment Recognize, Mr. R. Hurlburt 6901
Vote - Affirmative 6902
Res. 2499, Sports - Trans Can. Trail Relay 2000: Guys. Co. Trails
Assoc. - Support Congrats., Mr. Ronald Chisholm 6902
Vote - Affirmative 6902
Res. 2500, Sports - Trans Can. Trail Relay 2000: Musquodoboit
Trailways Assoc. - Support Congrats., (By Mr. B. Taylor)
Mr. W. Dooks 6903
Vote - Affirmative 6903
Res. 2501, Educ. - Wendy's Restaurant (Mgt.-Maritimes) Scholarship:
Robert Freeman Woolnough (Middleton RHS) - Congrats.,
Mr. F. Chipman 6903
Vote - Affirmative 6904
Res. 2502, Sports - Hockey (Hfx. Mooseheads Fan of Year):
Sue Moore - Congrats., Mr. B. Barnet 6904
Vote - Affirmative 6905
Res. 2503, DFO - Aquaculture: Policies - Improve, Mr. B. Taylor 6905
Res. 2504, Educ. - NS WIN (Work Web Site): Efforts - Support,
Mr. W. Langille 6906
Res. 2505, Environ. - RRFB: Entrepreneur Award -
Tom MacMillan Congrats., Hon. Rodney MacDonald 6906
Vote - Affirmative 6907
Res. 2506, Sports - Lawn Bowling (Bedford Club): Anniv. 10th -
Congrats., Hon. P. Christie 6907
Vote - Affirmative 6908
Res. 2507, Hfx. Chebucto MLA - Stone Throwing: Proverb -
Remember, Mr. M. Samson 6908
ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS:
No. 828, Educ. - Lay-offs: Election Promise - Reconcile,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 6909
No. 829, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Special Needs - Impact,
Mr. R. MacLellan 6910
No. 830, Health - IWK-Grace: Nutrition Program - Elimination,
Mr. D. Dexter 6912
No. 831, Educ. - Budget (2000-01): Cuts - Teachers' Aides,
Mr. W. Gaudet 6913
No. 832, Tourism - Maps: Pictou Town - Omitted, Mr. F. Corbett 6914
No. 833, Health - Roseway Hosp. (Shel.): Beds - Removal,
Mr. R. MacLellan 6915
No. 834, Educ. - Schools: Water Monitoring - Regs.,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 6916
No. 835, Health - C.B. Reg. Hosp.: ICU Shutdown - Confirm,
Mr. D. Wilson 6918
No. 836, Health - Special Care Homes: Emergency Plans - Reviews,
Mr. D. Dexter 6919
No. 837, Health - Budget (2000-01): Cuts - QE II, Dr. J. Smith 6920
No. 838, Justice - Domestic Violence: Lori Maxwell (Truro) -
Death Review, Mr. H. Epstein 6921
No. 839, Nat. Res. - Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle: Infestation -
Action Plan, Mr. K. MacAskill 6923
No. 840, Nat. Res. - Stellarton Strip Mine: Coal - Royalties,
Mr. John MacDonell 6924
No. 841, Sysco - Steelworkers: Protection - Promise (Premier),
Mr. Manning MacDonald 6926
No. 842, Nat. Res.: Stellarton Strip Mine - Employment,
Mr. John MacDonell 6927
No. 843, Econ. Dev. - Cuts: Venture Capital - Access Assure,
Mr. M. Samson 6929
No. 844, Commun. Serv. - Seniors: Budget (2000-01) - Impact,
Mr. J. Pye 6930
No. 845, Tourism: VICs - Cuts, Mr. D. Downe 6932
No. 846, Commun. Serv. - Single Mothers: Education - University,
Mr. K. Deveaux 6933
OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS:
MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS:
Res. 2198, Speaker (Hon. Murray Scott): Ruling (18/05/00) -
Questioned, Mr. J. Holm 6934
Mr. J. Holm 6934
Hon. R. Russell 6936
Adjournment of debate moved 6938
HOUSE RECESSED AT 5:13 P.M. 6938
HOUSE RECONVENED AT 5:23 P.M. 6938
Adjournment of debate motion in order 6938
Vote - Affirmative 6939
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Thur., June 1st at 10:00 a.m. 6940

[Page 6853]

HALIFAX, WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2000

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

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

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Before we begin the daily routine, the subject for this evening's late debate was submitted by the honourable member for Sackville-Beaver Bank:

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House understand, support and believe that the $900 million spent each year on servicing the debt would be better spent on essential programs like education, health care and social services.

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

Order, please.

In response to a point of order that was raised on Tuesday, May 30th, the member for Sackville-Cobequid rose on a point of order to the effect that a motion to adjourn the House is always in order and, as such, he was thus in order in moving adjournment of the House. The member rose under the item of business, Notices of Motion, during the daily routine.

The member relied on the wording of Rule 42 in support of his contention. I might point out that the wording of Rule 42 at first blush appears to be quite clear. However, upon closer inspection, it does not distinguish between adjournment of the House or adjournment of debate.

6853

[Page 6854]

In the parliamentary text by Bourinot, at Page 322 of Bourinot's 4th Edition, a rule of the federal House of Commons with exact wording of our Rule 42 with the noted exception of consideration of emergency debates, as in our Rule 43, was considered. Bourinot in his learned treatise clearly speaks of the use of the rule only when a matter is under debate. Thus, the consideration by Bourinot relates squarely to the use of the rule in adjourning debate, not adjourning the House.

Therefore, it is the Chair's ruling that Rule 42 cannot be relied on as supporting adjournment of the House. It goes without saying that at the time the member moved to adjourn the House, there was no debate being considered by the House. In fact, the House was involved with the daily routine.

Moving on then, even if Rule 42 is not an authority for supporting the adjournment of the House during the daily routine, can the member still move adjournment of the House during the daily routine? Sir Erskine May, 20th Edition, Page 364 states by that by convention and practice, no adjournment of the House can be made other than by government during the daily routine. I note that there are no express rules of our House in respect to this matter nor does there appear to be any convention or practice supporting such an adjournment motion.

I therefore rule that the member has no point of order.

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, for greater clarity, you are saying that during a daily routine, there can be no motion for adjournment but however there can be a motion for adjournment during normal debate on a resolution or a bill?

MR. SPEAKER: No. There cannot be a motion for adjournment during the daily routine other than by the government.

MR. JOHN HOLM: I am sorry, Mr. Speaker, to get some clarification on what you are saying, because I think . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I have read the ruling and I have given the grounds in support of it.

MR. JOHN HOLM: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I am not going to get into, at this moment, disputing your ruling but you were answering a question for the Government House Leader and I, quite honestly, haven't got the foggiest notion what you said to the Government House Leader in the way of a response. I think that it is extremely important, as we are breaking new ground, that we not be, necessarily, seen to be making new rules and new precedents on the fly but that there be a clear understanding of what it is you are actually saying to us.

[Page 6855]

MR. SPEAKER: I only made a decision on the point of order that was raised yesterday and there is a copy of it for all the members who wish to review it.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, did you answer the question for the Government House Leader? He asked a question a moment ago and that is what I am asking about. I am not asking about your ruling, I am trying to find out what your response was to the Government House Leader.

MR. SPEAKER: I said no. He asked me a question and I said no.

MR. RUSSELL MACKINNON: Mr. Speaker, on a point of order. I certainly appreciate you bringing your ruling, but I too, like the honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid, we really need some clarification, because if it is going to be a motion during the daily routine that can or cannot be raised, we need some clarification on that; what the terms of reference are; and certainly, we would submit, if possible, further clarification on exactly what the directive was to the Government House Leader. We refer to Rule 2, Page 1, where it clearly states that, "In all cases not herein provided for, the question shall be decided by the Speaker and, in making such decision, the Speaker shall be guided. Firstly - the usages and precedents of this House." and then fast forward on to Rule 42. So, we really do need some clarification on your comment.

MR. SPEAKER: In my ruling, it clearly states that in Erskine May, Page 364, it states that by convention and practice, no adjournment of the House can be made other than by government during the daily routine.

AN HON. MEMBER: Only the government.

MR. SPEAKER: Only the government. During the daily routine.

We will begin the daily routine.

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to table two letters in the form of a petition. As to your instructions, I have directed that they be in care of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, they are to the attention of the honourable Minister of Transportation from Leon Thompson, and the operative clause reads, "I expect a level playing field and modest compensation from TANS for wrongful expulsion." I have affixed my signature in support of his cause.

[Page 6856]

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition of 131 names, from the people along the Peggy's Cove Road, in the vicinity of Peggy's Cove. The operative phrase being, "The undersigned do not want a Helicopter operation in our communities." I have affixed my name to this petition.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Pictou West.

MRS. MURIEL BAILLIE: Mr. Speaker, as Chair of the Committee on Private and Local Bills, I am directed to report that the committee has met and considered the following bills:

Bill No. 50 - Bluenose Club Act.

Bill No. 52 - Nova Scotia Association of Realtors Act.

Bill No. 53 - Hilden Cemetery Act.

and the committee recommends these bills to the favourable consideration of the House, each without amendment.

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

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

HON. NEIL LEBLANC: Mr. Speaker, in accordance with the provision of the Pension Benefits Act, I beg leave to table the annual report of the Superintendent of Pensions for the fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.

MR. SPEAKER: The report is tabled.

[Page 6857]

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

HON. JOHN HAMM (The Premier): Mr. Speaker, I rise today to report to all members that an arbitration process to settle our boundary dispute with Newfoundland is finally under way. The area in dispute includes more than 37,000 square kilometres of potentially rich oil and gas reserves on the Laurentian Sub-basin, off the coast of Cape Breton. The line defining provincial jurisdiction on the sub-basin was drawn back in 1964. I am confident that the arbitration established in Ottawa today will confirm the existing line. The process is an expeditious one, which should result in exploration on this very promising part of our offshore beginning soon.

[2:15 p.m.]

The process established by the federal government is a very reasonable one. After extensive consultations with both the Government of Nova Scotia and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the federal government has established a three-member panel of experts to resolve the dispute, initiated by Newfoundland. Both provinces agreed to the appointment of each of the tribunal members. Those chosen are well qualified in international law and maritime boundary issues.

We expect the panel to begin work quickly and render a decision in a timely fashion, possibly late this year or early next. The terms of reference, as advocated by Nova Scotia, stipulate that the panel will determine first, if the existing boundary line in the Laurentian Sub-basin has been established by agreement. It is totally appropriate that the panel address this question first. A timetable of seven months has been set for this phase of the hearings. An affirmative decision on this first question would confirm the line, and confirm Nova Scotia's consistent position. It would settle the matter once and for all, allowing exploration to begin next year. That would be a very positive outcome for Nova Scotians, for the offshore industry, and particularly for Cape Breton, the closest mainland point for offshore activity on the sub-basin.

Should the tribunal members decide the existing line, established some 35 years ago, has not already been agreed to, they have an additional 11 months to determine where it should lie. Even in this case, a decision will be rendered within 18 months of the tribunal beginning its work.

Mr. Speaker, the Government of Nova Scotia is interested in the development of a new industry, one that holds great promise of opportunity, jobs and prosperity for Nova Scotians. That being the case, we are prepared to allow oil and gas activity to proceed under an interim arrangement while the arbitration is under way. That has been the position of this government

[Page 6858]

from the outset, and the federal government is now prepared to consider a joint proposal from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland to that end.

Mr. Speaker, the Province of Nova Scotia is ready for the legal challenge that arbitration presents. Our legal team, under the able leadership of Yves Fortier, is ready. This House has approved the expenditure of $1 million to cover the costs in this matter. Given the potential revenues and economic benefits that will come to Nova Scotia as a result of future exploration and development in the area, we believe this is a reasonable price to defend the legitimate interests of Nova Scotians. (Applause)

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to respond to the Premier's statement. I also must say that I welcome there finally being at least some sign of progress in getting started. I can remember standing in this House, it feels like it was a lifetime ago, when I, as the Energy Critic for the New Democratic caucus, and the Premier, then as the Leader of the Third Party in this House, was extremely critical of the former government for the delays in trying to get this dispute between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland resolved over the Laurentian Sub-basin.

Mr. Speaker, there is no question in my mind, quite honestly, and there is keen interest from the oil and gas industry to get involved in the exploration on the offshore, that we are potentially kissing-off literally thousands of jobs and millions of dollars until this matter is resolved, and they will not be waiting for us.

Mr. Speaker, you are very familiar with St. Pierre et Miquelon and the very narrow corridor that runs through this territory. You, and I know the Premier and other members of this House, also will be aware that there is already ongoing exploration on the St. Pierre et Miquelon corridor. They can drill down through that corridor and they can also go diagonally from that corridor. Oil and gas in the sub-basins do not stick by territorial lines; they will flow. So the longer it takes for us to resolve the issue the greater the potential that the actual development will be taking place in the territory that is owned by France, and we will all lose out. So it is extremely important that we get on with this and get on with it fast.

I also have to say, Mr. Speaker, yes, indeed, it is a costly one, but I also say to the Premier, who got some pretty positive headlines in The Chronicle-Herald for his remarks down in Houston when he talked about getting tough with the oil companies because Nova Scotians aren't getting their fair share content in the development and the exploration, we didn't get any kind of standards in terms of any percentage of Nova Scotia content that the government was demanding that would be coming to Nova Scotians. None of that; we did get headlines, but we got nothing in terms of anything definitive and what is expected, nor did we hear about any rules and regulations that have been crafted to ensure that we get it.

[Page 6859]

We as a province, and businesses within this province, have not been getting our fair share. We have lost out in terms of royalties and we are losing out in having Nova Scotians employed in both the exploration and the production in our offshore. I hope as we are developing the sub-basin, the sad record that we have had in our other offshore will not continue. This is extremely important to the entire province, but it is crucially important to the Island of Cape Breton, where the unemployment rate is extremely high, especially in industrial Cape Breton. There are tremendous potentials if the basin holds even a fraction of what is projected to be out there.

Think about the petrochemical industries and all the other industries that could be developed in industrial Cape Breton. We must be, if we are going to have any kind of economic strategy for this economically depressed area, very diligent, we must be very aggressive going after and protecting our rights and ensuring that the jobs and most of the economic benefits are going to actually flow to industrial Cape Breton.

I look forward to a satisfactory result from the arbitration ruling. I am a little impatient that it could take up to one and one-half years before we find out what the end result is going to be, but I am optimistic based on all the information that is available, that we do have a very solid case and, even though there is going to be a little bit of an unwanted delay, I remain hopeful that Nova Scotia, and particularly Cape Breton, will start to get their fair share of the jobs that should accrue to us from our resource. Thank you.

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

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, I welcome this announcement today, and as I have said to the Premier before not to be hesitant about pushing forward to get this done. This has been a long time in coming and I welcome the announcement made by the Premier today. It is well-nigh time. I feel that the points that have been agreed to are good - the three Party panel, the judging of the existing line first followed, if that is not agreed to, by 18 months to determine the new line. I think those are good points, those are fair. I think that is what we have always wanted in Nova Scotia.

The other question of course is to allow us to do some exploration, seismic and exploration pending the decision of the arbitration. I welcome that; in fact, when I was Premier, I wrote a letter requiring that and requesting it. I join the Premier in congratulating the team headed by Yves Fortier. And why not? We, as the former government, appointed them. (Applause) Not only did we appoint them, but we appointed the consultants and the others and we did some other things which we don't want to mention, which I feel will give Nova Scotia a very definite advantage.

I want to say to this government, who have maligned the Civil Service, that we have had a tremendous result from the Petroleum Directorate here. We have had a lot of hard work, where they have worked weekends, nights, understaffed department as it has always

[Page 6860]

been, a department that was maligned because people said they didn't have the expertise that was needed. Well, they have and we have seen the results today as we have seen in the royalty regime, and I think they are to be commended.

I want to say one more thing to this government. The Deputy Minister of the Petroleum Directorate has worked for years, worked hard on weekends and evenings, to get the royalty regime and to make sure that we have the arrangement that we have today, Mr. Speaker. A class job. A first rate piece of work. Yet, when she was maligned in the press, not one person in those front benches came to her defence. Not one. They are prepared to take the credit for the work that she has done but not one of them defended her in the unjust criticism that she had to endure. A classy bunch.

The Premier and the others are like the children who came upon an overturned ice cream truck, they didn't bring about the benefits but I am sure they will enjoy the results. Thank you very much. (Applause)

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Finance.

RESOLUTION NO. 2445

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

Whereas Allan Graham Manuel was the epitome of a dedicated civil servant, having served the people and the Province of Nova Scotia with distinction for 24 years, including 12 years as Provincial Controller and 7 years as Deputy Minister of Finance; and

Whereas Mr. Manuel was devoted to the betterment of his profession and his community and, most of all, to his family; and

Whereas Allan Manuel passed away Saturday, May 27th, following a courageous battle with cancer;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House, on behalf of the people of Nova Scotia, convey our deepest sympathies to the Manuel family for their loss.

I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6861]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Labour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2446

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

Whereas R. MacLean Forestry Limited of Antigonish and their prime subcontractor, Sacks Excavating of Shubenacadie First Nation, successfully completed the clearing portion of the Halifax lateral; and

Whereas this Atlantic clearing contractor employed approximately 130 people, 90 per cent of whom were Atlantic Canadians; and

Whereas MacLean Forestry completed this project with an impeccable safety record of more than 40,000 man-hours logged without any first aid injuries, medical aid injuries or lost time injuries;

Therefore be it resolved that this House extend its congratulations to MacLean Forestry Limited of Antigonish and Sacks Excavating of Shubenacadie for this noteworthy accomplishment and demonstration of Nova Scotian skill and dedication to safety.

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 Minister of Tourism and Culture.

[Page 6862]

RESOLUTION NO. 2447

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

Whereas June is Tourism Awareness Month and provides an excellent opportunity for all Nova Scotians to recognize and celebrate the significance of this industry to both our economy and quality of life; and

Whereas in Nova Scotia the industry's economic impact has climbed to more than $1.25 billion and employs some 36,000 Nova Scotians with over one-half of these jobs occurring in rural areas of the province; and

Whereas the spirit of partnership that thrives in this sector will serve us well as we continue working together to realize tourism's potential for Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House join me in acknowledging June as Tourism Awareness Month and encouraging people to explore the many tourism opportunities in their own community so that we can all become stronger ambassadors for this beautiful province.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Education.

RESOLUTION NO. 2448

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

Whereas the powerful Remembering Black Loyalist, Black Communities exhibit is currently featured at the Black Cultural Centre in Dartmouth; and

[Page 6863]

Whereas the exhibit marks the first public exposure of historical and archeological research about the Black Loyalists of Birchtown, Shelburne County, and the Tracadie area of Antigonish and Guysborough Counties; and

Whereas this is an important historical project coordinated by the Departments of Education, Tourism and Culture, the Black Cultural Centre and our federal partners;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this Legislature recognize the strengths and struggles and significant contributions made by the more than 2,700 Black Loyalists who landed in Nova Scotia in the late 18th Century.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

[2:30 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2449

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

Whereas the declaration of today, May 31st, as World No Tobacco Day 2000, reminds Nova Scotians about the risks associated with smoking and the importance of reducing smoking rates in this province; and

Whereas today also marks the last day of the International Quit and Win contest, the contest created to encourage individuals to quit smoking, which was a great success in Nova Scotia with more than 400 entries; and

[Page 6864]

Whereas next month Nova Scotia will be hosting an international Tobacco Control Best Practices workshop where experts in the field of tobacco control will share their invaluable experiences, learnings and research findings to assist Nova Scotia in defining a provincial tobacco control strategy;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House recognize today as World No Tobacco Day and take this opportunity to remind Nova Scotians about the risks associated with smoking and the importance of reducing smoking rates in this province.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2450

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

Whereas on May 27th I had the opportunity to attend the Medical Society of Nova Scotia's annual awards ceremony; and

Whereas at this awards ceremony, two members from the society received the Canadian Medical Association's Senior Membership Award which honours individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of medicine by making significant contributions to the community and to the profession; and

Whereas the individuals who received this prestigious award were Dr. David B. Fraser, who is well known for his work in radiology, and Dr. Ross Langley, a former employee of the Department of Health who now continues as a Professor of Medicine at Dalhousie University and Senior Physician at the QE II;

[Page 6865]

Therefore be it resolved that this House take the opportunity to recognize and congratulate both Dr. Fraser and Dr. Langley for their exceptional contributions to the health care community and profession.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 2451

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

Whereas Dr. Louise Cloutier has been elected President of the Nova Scotia Medical Society; and

Whereas Dr. Louise Cloutier is a dedicated family doctor as well as committed to her community; and

Whereas in her new role as President of the Nova Scotia Medical Society, Dr. Cloutier will be a strong voice for doctors and their concerns;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Dr. Louise Cloutier on her election as President of the Nova Scotia Medical Society.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

[Page 6866]

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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2452

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

Whereas yesterday the socialist member for Halifax Chebucto displayed the ultimate in cowardice by mocking an accident involving a member of this House; and

Whereas the NDP have constantly displayed that there is no level they won't sink to in making personal attacks against fellow members of this House; and

Whereas only during the last election did Nova Scotians learn that the holier-than-thou socialist Leader of the NDP kept hidden throughout his entire political career a previous criminal conviction;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House remind the member for Halifax Chebucto and the entire socialist caucus that they should heed to the old saying, clean up your own backyard before commenting on the lot of others.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2453

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

Whereas the Town of New Glasgow has just recently unveiled its new tartan, of which the tie I am wearing is an example; and

[Page 6867]

Whereas the red symbolizes the ultimate sacrifice given by former residents in times of conflict and the blue represents the East River, the lifeblood of our community; and

Whereas green is the unofficial colour of the town, representing the rolling hills which surround New Glasgow, and white is a symbol of a new beginning as we enter a new millennium;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the thoughtful symbolism behind the colours chosen for the New Glasgow tartan, and congratulate the town for promoting its heritage and highlighting its beauty through its own tartan, which can be spotlighted through so many venues.

AN HON. MEMBER: Mr. Speaker, we need the tie as part of the motion.

MR. SPEAKER: I would remind the Premier there are no props.

THE PREMIER: 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 Leader of the New Democratic Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 2454

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

Whereas this Tory Government has closed the Well Woman Centre, eight victim services programs for women and the Family Violence Prevention Initiative; and

Whereas social assistance to families has been reduced, women are being forced into mediation sessions with their abusers and older women are being forced to pay more for Pharmacare; and

[Page 6868]

Whereas this Tory Government is continuing the reprehensible tradition of making women's situations even worse;

Therefore be it resolved that this government explain to women, the women in their own caucus, the women who voted for them and the rest of the women of this province, why they have been relegated to second-class citizen status.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2455

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

Whereas in a blatant personal attack, the member for Dartmouth North condemned the member for Dartmouth South regarding his personal finances; and

Whereas this type of behaviour is an example of how the NDP will not hesitate to hit below the belt and stoop to personal attacks; and

Whereas the NDP continue to demonstrate that they will do anything in their quest for power;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House condemn the NDP for resorting to personal attacks when they are incapable of debating the real issues: health, education and economic justice.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6869]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2456

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

Whereas local members of Beta Sigma Phi gathered recently to celebrate the 69th Anniversary of Founder's Day; and

Whereas during the banquet held at the Heather Hotel, Eleanor Marks was presented the president's gavel; and

Whereas Eleanor Marks was also the recipient of a 20 year perfect attendance pin, as well as the coveted Girl of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the hard work and dedication of Eleanor Marks, President of the Laureate Kappa Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, and extend our congratulations to her on her recent honours.

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 Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 2457

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

[Page 6870]

Whereas the Halifax Regional School Board says the education system requires 530 educational program assistants within the HRM; and

Whereas because of educational funding cuts they will only have 428, fully 102 less than required; and

Whereas school boards were already underfunded before the budget came in, and now even more so;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education explain to parents, especially special-needs children's parents, why she feels their children don't deserve an education.

Mr. Speaker, I seek 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 Lunenburg West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2458

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

Whereas members of the Opposition have continually asked Tory backbenchers to get up and speak on issues; and

Whereas the member for Dartmouth South had the guts to accept that challenge; and

Whereas the NDP resorted to personal attacks against that same member;

Therefore be it resolved that the NDP show some respect for the rights and privileges of all members, and recognize that personal attacks are the last refuge of a scoundrel.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[Page 6871]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

RESOLUTION NO. 2459

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

Whereas the programs offered by the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets provide youth across Canada with the opportunity to develop skills in communication, teamwork and discipline; and

Whereas at the annual inspection of the 258 Amherst Sea Cadets Corps, outstanding cadets were acknowledged for their leadership, teamwork and personal skill development; and

Whereas this year Sara Routledge received the Endeavour Award, Lillian Hayman received the Most Improved Cadet Award, Ian Smith received the Best First Year Cadet Award, Michelle Cormier received the Proficiency Award, and Bradley Landry received the Cadet of the Year Award;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize Squadron 258 Amherst Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps for their contribution to youth development, and recognize the aforementioned individuals for their outstanding achievements and personal accomplishments.

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 6872]

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 2460

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

Whereas one registered nurse per shift for 63 seniors is not just inadequate but also reprehensible; and

Whereas the Premier feels this is wonderful care and he hopes that all Nova Scotians can benefit from such care; and

Whereas just like 50 students per classroom was unacceptable, 63 patients per one nurse is also unacceptable;

Therefore be it resolved that if the Premier, who himself is a doctor, thinks this is wonderful care for seniors, then we have an even bigger problem in health care than any of us ever imagined.

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. 2461

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 the member for Halifax Chebucto talked about everything from car accidents to his sanitary habits in a washroom; and

Whereas that same member decided to fire an unwarranted, misguided, verbal barrage at one of the members of this House; and

[Page 6873]

Whereas the socialist member of the no-down-payment Party thinks it is funny to single out some people's misfortunes;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House remind the member for Halifax Chebucto that he need look no further than his own caucus for people who have made mistakes.

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 Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2462

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Chester-St. Margaret's, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas Chester is world renowned for its artisans and the craftwork they produce; and

Whereas a delegation of Mexican officials attending a trade conference in Halifax last year saw first-hand the unique work done in Chester; and

Whereas in exchange for working with Chester artisans, the Mexican delegation offered to share their artistic, culinary and musical cultures, resulting in the International Fiesta event taking place in Chester this week;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate Chester resident Denise Peterson-Rafuse and the organizers of the International Fiesta and wish them much success in their first cultural exchange with Mexico.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 6874]

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. 2463

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

Whereas in Nova Scotia, no licence is required to move toxic material; and

Whereas a private operator of a compost facility is now being ordered to move contaminated human waste away from a water supply area; and

Whereas instead of the Department of the Environment taking over remediation of this site, the operator will do this without supervision from the Department of the Environment;

Therefore be it resolved that the Acting Minister of the Environment act immediately to have his department take over removing toxic contaminants and ensure that water quality in Kings County is not further endangered.

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 Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

[Page 6875]

[2:45 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 2464

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

Whereas Willie Joe Sofan of the Cape Breton West Eagles is the first recipient of the recently established Donald (A.B.) MacIsaac Education Foundation Award; and

Whereas the foundation was organized through a trust fund created by a number of A.B.'s former players, and the award is based on academic performance, community involvement, dedication and financial need; and

Whereas A.B., in a remarkable career spanning more than two decades, coached midget-and-junior-hockey-aged players from Antigonish, Guysborough, Richmond, Inverness - and I might point out the honourable Minister of Tourism was one of those players - and Pictou Counties;

Therefore be it resolved that we congratulate Willie Joe Sofan, praise the former players for giving back to a game and an individual who helped them in life, and thank Donald (A.B.) MacIsaac for his contribution to hockey in Nova Scotia.

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 Minister of Health.

RESOLUTION NO. 2465

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

[Page 6876]

Whereas the Colchester-East Hants Regional Library's 50th Anniversary is on July 1, 2000, and the event will be celebrated with a series of receptions throughout the region; and

Whereas during these 50 years the Colchester-East Hants Regional Library has provided exemplary service to the residents of Truro, the village of Bible Hill and the municipalities of Colchester County and East Hants; and

Whereas in addition to the main facility in Truro, it has branches in Stewiacke, Tatamagouche, Noel, Great Village and Elmsdale, and also provides an excellent bookmobile service;

Therefore be it resolved that all members congratulate the board and staff of the Colchester-East Hants Regional Library for 50 years of outstanding library service and wish them continued success in the future.

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 Halifax Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 2466

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

Whereas Deep Grewal, a flight sergeant with No. 292 Halifax Kiwanis Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, has been selected to participate in the 2000 International Air Cadet Exchange Program; and

Whereas of the 25,185 air cadets currently enrolled nationally, only 70 have been selected to participate in this program this year, which was founded in 1946 by Canada and Great Britain, recognizing cadets who have rendered exemplary service to their squadron over a number of years; and

[Page 6877]

Whereas Sergeant Grewal will be part of a contingent of four Canadian air cadets in an exchange with the Aerospace Association of the Philippines;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Deep Grewal on being selected for this prestigious program, and wish him well as he joins his fellow cadets in the Philippines in an exchange of knowledge, goodwill and friendship.

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 Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2467

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

Whereas Canada is the only G-7 country without a national transportation infrastructure program; and

Whereas the United States Government recently announced $360 billion, in Canadian funds, over the next six years to be used for transportation; and

Whereas the federal budget tabled in February failed to provide any specific long-term financial commitment to improving Canada's deteriorating transportation infrastructure;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly urge the federal government to show leadership, and negotiate with provincial and territorial governments a national investment strategy dedicated to transportation infrastructure.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver.

[Page 6878]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Shelburne

RESOLUTION NO. 2468

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

Whereas the 14th annual Shelburne County Lobster Festival kicks off tomorrow evening with opening ceremonies scheduled for the Sandy Point Lighthouse Community Centre; and

Whereas Shelburne County is the lobster capital of Canada; and

Whereas lobster landings in Shelburne County for 1999 totalled $74.3 million;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs extend their best wishes to the lobster festival committee for their excellent work in providing a list of events second to none, and wish them continuing success.

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 Annapolis.

[Page 6879]

RESOLUTION NO. 2469

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

Whereas volunteer firefighters are the lifeblood of so many rural communities across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the service they provide is one of dedication and commitment, as shown recently in Annapolis Royal when veteran firefighter Bob Emin was recognized by his peers for his 50 years of service; and

Whereas a surprise reception recognizing Bob for all his effort also saw him presented with the golden firefighter's helmet, symbolic of 50 years of service in firefighting;

Therefore be it resolved that all MLAs join with Bob's fellow Annapolis Royal firefighters, regional and country fire department associations, and his family in both thanking Bob for his years of service and wishing him success in the future.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 2470

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

Whereas Dr. R. Bruce Miller was one of five physicians who received the Distinguished Service Award from the Medical Society of Nova Scotia during the society's annual conference last weekend; and

[Page 6880]

Whereas while a native of New Brunswick, Dr. Miller received his MD from Dalhousie University in 1949 and spent 31 years at the radiology department at the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow, retiring in 1989; and

Whereas not only did he devote a lifetime to his work in radiology, Dr. Miller also served as secretary and then president of the medical staff, served on numerous committees, has been a strong, lifelong member of the Medical Society, served as president of the provincial Association of Radiologists, not to mention his numerous roles and community efforts outside of medicine;

Therefore be it resolved that this House applaud Dr. Miller for this honour and for his invaluable role in our health system for so many years.

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 Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2471

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

Whereas two individual skaters from the East Pictou Silver Blades were each recently awarded $500 bursaries at the annual Nova Scotia awards banquet in Truro; and

Whereas the recipients were 13 year old Lindsay Cameron and 12 year old Shawn Fequet both of MacPherson's Mills in Pictou County; and

Whereas Lindsay was awarded with the 1983 Skate Canada Bursary Award while Shawn was the winner of the Lynne Fontaine Memorial Award;

[Page 6881]

Therefore be it resolved that this House of Assembly recognize the tremendous hard work put forth by both Lindsay and Shawn for their dedication to the sport of skating as they train year-round to become the very best they can be.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2472

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

Whereas Digby Regional High School's triple winners - 1998, 1999 and 2000 - are now preparing for the International Envirothon 2000 against regional winners from across the United States and Canada; and

Whereas Digby Regional High School, coached by staff advisors Greg Turner and Anne Littlewood, includes team members Diane Kung, Nicole Oliver, Katherine Dugas, Erin Balser and Adam Durkee; and

Whereas this represents the third consecutive year in which the Digby Regional High School team has won the opportunity to represent Nova Scotia in international competition;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House offer their congratulations and best wishes to the Digby Regional High School team as they prepare to represent Nova Scotia at the Acadia University-hosted International Envirothon 2000 competition.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6882]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2473

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

Whereas the Canadian Canoe Association announced last week that 5 of the 12 athletes named to the national junior team will come from the Halifax Regional Municipality; and

Whereas these athletes include Pamela Doyle, Jamie Lynn McCarthy, Sean Gibson and Andrew Russell, all of Dartmouth, as well as Mark deJonge of Halifax; and

Whereas their predominance on the national team reconfirms the excellence of Nova Scotian athletes in this sport;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate these and other members of the national junior team and wish them well as they represent Canada in competition with teams from around the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Queens.

[Page 6883]

RESOLUTION NO. 2474

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

Whereas the Hemeon family of Liverpool, Queens County, has been providing pharmaceutical services to the residents of South Queens for 50 years; and

Whereas this family has demonstrated a keen awareness of the importance of both civic and professional responsibility, serving at various times on the Nova Scotia Pharmaceutical Society, the Liverpool Town Council, and the local school board, as well as participating in numerous career days, health fairs and drug information days; and

Whereas C.D. Hemeon and Son Ltd. continues to be a family-owned and operated business committed to quality service for its faithful clientele;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Robin Hemeon, his family and staff on 50 years in business, and wish them as much success in the decades to come as they have enjoyed in decades past.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2475

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

Whereas the Town of Kentville website has received more than 23,000 hits from Internet users since its launch one year ago, prompting follow-up e-mail messages and enquiries from across North America; and

[Page 6884]

Whereas this website serves as an effective tool for economic development and provides an easy means by which residents can stay informed of community affairs; and

Whereas the town has since upgraded the capability of the website with the addition of a web cam, broadcasting such events as the Apple Blossom Parade to viewers across the Internet, and generating almost 1,000 new hits within a one week period;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the mayor, council and staff of the Town of Kentville on this important innovation, and thank those whose technical support and creativity made it possible.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2476

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

Whereas North Preston resident Carson Downey has gained a well-earned reputation as a guitar virtuoso and as a rhythm and blues, rock and soul musician; and

Whereas he and his band will display their talent Saturday, June 3rd in Halifax, and again on July 24th at the Parade of Sail celebration in Dartmouth, and on his newly released debut CD entitled, All the Way; and

Whereas Mr. Downey was recently named the Fender East Coast Guitarist of the Year;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Mr. Downey on the honour bestowed on him and wish him well in his pursuits in a career in music.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 6885]

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. 2477

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

Whereas the 68th Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival Pageant saw two young women from western Kings County being chosen as first and second ladies in waiting; and

Whereas Princess Aylesford, Roslyn Bower, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ken Bower, was named second lady in waiting to Queen Annapolisa of Hantsport; and

Whereas Princess Berwick, Nicole Lee, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carl Lee, was named first lady in waiting at the pageant ceremonies in Wolfville this past Friday evening;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs applaud the selection of Princess Berwick, Nicole Lee and Princess Aylesford, Roslyn Bower for being chosen first and second ladies in waiting in the 2000 Queen Annapolisa Apple Blossom Festival Pageant.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs.

[Page 6886]

RESOLUTION NO. 2478

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

Whereas the Hill Times, Canada's only independent government newspaper, carried out their third annual all-politics poll; and

Whereas all Members of Parliament were surveyed, and 100 Ottawa correspondents were polled and asked 23 questions, in an effort to determine the 1999 winner of the category, Your Favourite Up-and-Comer Politician; and

Whereas Peter MacKay, for the second consecutive year, scored a landslide victory, burying Reformer Rahin Jaffer, and Liberals George Baker, Jane Stewart and Paul Martin;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Peter MacKay, described by the Hill Times as being smart, smooth talking and self-assured, for his victory and wish this Nova Scotian, a potential Prime Minister-in-waiting, continued success.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver.

[3:00 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture.

RESOLUTION NO. 2479

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

Whereas Inverness Publications Limited will be publishing a collection of biographies of Inverness County individuals who have impacted our lives in politics, music, education, culture, sports, social justice and other professions; and

[Page 6887]

Whereas these individuals include former Deputy Prime Minister Allan J. MacEachen, Dr. Rev. Moses Coady and 1912 World Wrestling Champion, "Judique Dan" MacDonald; and

Whereas this publication is expected to hit newsstands this summer;

Therefore be it resolved that members of the Legislature congratulate Inverness Publications Limited for their interest in highlighting the people who have shaped Inverness County, our province and our country.

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 member for Pictou West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2480

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

Whereas Gladys Bourgeois and Pictou Lodge Resort were recently honoured for outstanding service and hospitality with the 1999 Taste of Nova Scotia Special Merit Award; and

Whereas the Taste of Nova Scotia awards recognize dining excellence at member restaurants that meet standards for food, service and hospitality and use 40 per cent to 60 per cent Nova Scotian products in their food preparation; and

Whereas Ms. Bourgeois was nominated for the award by some of the lodge's dining guests, in particular a couple from New York who were treated to Gladys' outstanding service and a taste of her homemade strawberry jam, commenting that she was one of the finest waitresses they met on their trip to Nova Scotia;

[Page 6888]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize Ms. Bourgeois and the Pictou Lodge Resort for their friendly service and commitment to excellence, contributing to Nova Scotia's reputation as being one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice was too long.

[The notice was tabled.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2481

MR. DAVID HENDSBEE: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Eastern Shore, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas the Eastern Shore Amateur Radio Club provides a valuable communications link in times of emergency; and

Whereas in recent years the radio club has raised thousands of dollars to set up three repeater stations along the Eastern Shore necessary to pick up and transmit ham radio signals; and

Whereas recently Sable Offshore Energy Inc. donated $8,500 toward the construction of a fourth repeater station, providing a stable communications infrastructure in support of emergency services such as the RCMP and Emergency Measures Organization;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank the members of the Eastern Shore Amateur Radio Club for their hard work and dedication to ensuring public safety, and further thank Sable Offshore Energy Inc. for their generous contribution to this important communications network.

Mr. Speaker, I 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.

[Page 6889]

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Kings South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2482

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

Whereas the Apple Blossom Festival has been a tradition in the Annapolis Valley for the past 68 years; and

Whereas part of this year's festivities was an interdenominational church service conducted by Queen Annapolisa, Jennifer Porter; Princess New Minas, Cheryl Brown; and Baptist Pastor Terry Atkinson of New Minas; and

Whereas Rev. Atkinson wove an intricate message into his sermon, drawing upon biblical references and encouraging everyone to make the most of their everyday lives;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate all involved with the organization of this year's Apple Blossom Festival for including a spiritual component in their program, and thank Pastor Terry Atkinson for his inspirational words and encouragement, a fitting conclusion to the week-long celebration.

Mr. Speaker, I 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 Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 2483

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

[Page 6890]

Whereas this past Saturday a group of 300 people gathered at Riverview School to open a 13 year old time capsule; and

Whereas 27 of those in attendance were the students who compiled the capsule in 1987 when they were in Grade Primary; and

Whereas former students from as far away as Toronto were on hand to see the many items included in the time capsule, including video tapes of their Christmas concerts, letters to Santa Claus, drawings, newspaper articles, brochures of new 1987 model cars, catalogues, as well as other small gifts and memorabilia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the time capsule as a unique gift from the Class of 2000, celebrating the start of the new millennium and wish these students well as they endeavour to graduate high school and seize the opportunities that await them in the 21st Century.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2484

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

Whereas Bill Wiswell and Kaye Small Wiswell have been lifelong residents of Bedford and now the Sackville area; and

Whereas Mr. and Mrs. Wiswell were married June 3, 1950, and are now celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary;

[Page 6891]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations, along with the Wiswell family, to Bill and Kaye Wiswell on reaching this milestone of marriage.

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 Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2485

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

Whereas the Leader of the NDP used Monday night's committee debate to criticize the influence of Ontario organizers on a Nova Scotia political Party; and

Whereas the only political Party that is addicted to out-of-province dollars, organizers and advice is the Nova Scotia NDP; and

Whereas the NDP addiction to come-from-aways has potentially cost NDP candidates their seats;

Therefore be it resolved that the retiring Leader of the NDP follow the advice of his promising member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage and check his Party into the rehab for their addiction to the big bucks and big dreams of their out-of-province union friends.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

[Page 6892]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Pictou East.

RESOLUTION NO. 2486

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

Whereas a major fund-raiser for the Women Alike Breast Cancer Support Group of Pictou County was held Saturday at the Hector Exhibit Centre; and

Whereas the theme for the fund-raiser was the Dragon Boat Festival, which included demonstrations, entertainment and displays; and

Whereas this Dragon Boat Festival fund-raiser proved to be an overwhelming success in so many ways beyond fund-raising, including raising awareness of the disease, as well as an opportunity for the breast cancer survivors to increase their physical and emotional strengths;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs recognize the dedication and hard work exemplified by RN Joanne Cumminger and organizers Shirley Murray and Marilyn Carruthers for their dedicated work in making this past weekend such a great success.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for 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-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 2487

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

[Page 6893]

Whereas first year Halifax Moosehead player Darrell Jarrett recently completed what some might consider a Cinderella season; and

Whereas Darrell joined the Moosehead this year as a walk-on player, impressing coaches in training camp with his determined work ethic and strong physical play; and

Whereas this 18 year old, a graduate of Sackville Minor Hockey and a former member of the Sackville Blazers, was a key contributor to the Halifax Mooseheads throughout the season and on their march to the Memorial Cup;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Darrell Jarrett on an excellent season with the Mooseheads and recognize him not as a Cinderella story but rather as a role model for others, whose success was the product of his hard work and determination.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Preston.

RESOLUTION NO. 2488

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

Whereas the East Preston Day Care Centre entered into a partnership with the IWK-Grace Health Centre on May 8th of this year; and

Whereas the partnership will champion improved health for children, women and families in East Preston and surrounding communities through the identification of health care needs, the promotion of good health, the prevention of illness and injury, and the delivery of health services; and

[Page 6894]

Whereas the Executive Director of the East Preston Day Care Centre, Joyce Ross, entered this agreement saying, "We are proud to be affiliated with the quality care provided by the IWK Grace and look forward to enhancing our current programs through this very beneficial relationship";

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate those responsible for this innovative partnership, and thank them for their commitment to the highest quality health care for the residents of East Preston and area.

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 Bedford Basin.

RESOLUTION NO. 2489

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

Whereas the federal government has awarded Halifax Shipyard a contract worth more than $500,000 to dry dock and repair and repair a Department of National Defence auxiliary vessel; and

Whereas the contract means 40 much-needed jobs will be maintained; and

Whereas despite the urging of the Council of Maritime Premiers, the Marine Workers' Federation and others, the federal Liberal Government sporadically awards such contracts rather than address the problems of Canada's shipbuilding industry by developing a comprehensive policy;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House thank the federal government for granting a reprieve to 40 hard-working shipyard workers, and urge them to develop a national shipbuilding policy that will address the difficulties faced in Nova Scotia's shipyards.

[Page 6895]

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2490

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

Whereas Peter and Bonnie Caldarozzi, the owners and operators of Medic Delivery Services Ltd. In Dartmouth, are celebrating their 10th Anniversary in business this year; and

Whereas Medic Delivery Services has grown over those 10 years from a company consisting of one vehicle, one pager and one employee, to become the largest locally owned courier and transport company in metro Halifax, employing 35 drivers, 12 office staff and a fleet of vehicles; and

Whereas Medic Delivery Services has also expanded from the niche market of medical product deliveries to excel as a general delivery provider throughout Nova Scotia;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Peter and Bonnie Caldarozzi, together with their employees, on 10 years of success, and wish them continued growth in the years ahead.

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.

[Page 6896]

The honourable member for Kings North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2491

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

Whereas Hillary Drummond of Northville, Kings County, is one of only 500 Canadian between the ages of 15 and 25 selected to participate in the Tall Ship Millennium Challenge this year; and

Whereas Hillary will sail on a Tall Ship between Norfolk, Virginia, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for one week at the end of June; and

Whereas this experience gives Hillary an opportunity to represent her country to thousands of sailors gathered from around the world, and to share her exploits with young Canadians upon her return;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to Hillary Drummond for this honour and wish her the very best as she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime.

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 Queens.

RESOLUTION NO. 2492

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

[Page 6897]

Whereas Rebecca McCarthy of Liverpool, Queens County, competed in the Lions Club Speak Out earlier this month, placing first amid a field of strong contenders from across Nova Scotia; and

Whereas this is the third time in a row that Rebecca has achieved a first place finish in a public speaking contest; and

Whereas Rebecca has advanced to the Atlantic level competition in Saint John's, Newfoundland;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate Rebecca on her outstanding performances and wish her every success as she represents her community to new audiences in the weeks, months, and years to come.

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 Kings West.

RESOLUTION NO. 2493

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

Whereas the percentage of unemployed people eligible for EI benefits in Kings County has fallen dramatically in recent years from 77 per cent in 1989 to 44 per cent in recent years; and

Whereas the federal internal government forecasts show the EI surplus growing to at least $43 billion by 2003; and

Whereas the federal government has borrowed more than $25 billion in surplus revenues from EI benefits, but has yet to indicate when those funds will be put back;

[Page 6898]

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly insist the federal government immediately address the issue of insurance benefits by urging Ottawa to take remedial action so those individuals truly in need of EI benefits receive them.

[3:15 p.m.]

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 Minister of Economic Development.

RESOLUTION NO. 2494

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

Whereas the 1st Digby Neck Girl Guides and Pathfinders have worked for over two years to raise the funds for their millennium project dream trip to England and Iceland; and

Whereas they have finally met their funding goal as of Saturday, May 27th, with a successful high tea fund-raiser in the community of Sandy Cove; and

Whereas they will be visiting Pax Lodge, one of four international guiding centres, and Baden-Powell House, the world scouting centre, both in England; and in Iceland they will be the guests of the Icelandic Boy and Girl Scout Association in Reykjavik;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate the 1st Digby Neck Guides and Pathfinders and their four leaders on their phenomenal efforts and wish them bon voyage as they will be departing on July 3, 2000.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6899]

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Marketing.

RESOLUTION NO. 2495

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

Whereas the International Female Boxing Association held its world championships in Kenner, Louisiana, on April 28, 2000; and

Whereas Doris Hackl of Pugwash River defeated Chevelle Hallback for the IFBA junior lightweight title and in the past three years has climbed the ranks from amateur to professional and has managed to remain undefeated in 21 bouts since the start of her career; and

Whereas Doris is now ranked third with the International Women's Boxing Federation and the International Female Boxing Association and first with the Women's Boxing Page and, as well, has been recognized by Sport Nova Scotia for excellence in amateur sports;

Therefore be it resolved that the House recognize Doris for her accomplishments and wish her continued success in her training program and future title defences.

Mr. Speaker, I respectfully request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Transportation and Public Works.

[Page 6900]

RESOLUTION NO. 2496

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

Whereas Queen Annapolisa the 68th was chosen this past Friday evening at Acadia University; and

Whereas she is 19 year old Jennifer Lynn Porter, the representative for the Town of Hantsport, in this year's Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival Pageant; and

Whereas Jennifer just completed her first year of university at Acadia where she is studying to become a dietitian;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs from all sides of this House of Assembly, through this resolution, send our congratulations to Jennifer and wish her continued success in both her studies and duties as Queen Annapolisa the 68th.

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 South.

RESOLUTION NO. 2497

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

Whereas yesterday this House had the great pleasure of welcoming Grade 7 students from the Evangeline Middle School; and

Whereas this bright group of young people had many questions about the operation of this House, including the cost; and

[Page 6901]

Whereas Linda Smith-Blackett, a teaching assistant fearful for her job, pointed out the $1,125 wasted in the frivolous NDP recorded vote on a good will resolution yesterday was money that could have funded considerable educational assistants' time;

Therefore be it resolved that all Parties and all members of this House consider Linda Smith-Blackett's observation when making use of this House's valuable time.

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 Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 2498

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

Whereas the Killam Brothers Building on Yarmouth's waterfront, built in 1835 to serve the merchant marine, will once again become a centre for commercial activity; and

Whereas the Yarmouth Development Corporation Ltd. is transforming this historic building into a tourist centre for craft-related and waterfront activities; and

Whereas the restored building will house information services and a booking kiosk for waterfront activities, retail craft outlets, an expansion of the existing Shipping Office Museum, and a future expansion of the building will include a terrace for harbour viewing and will provide a venue for the craft fairs and special events;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize the hard work and commitment of the Yarmouth Development Corporation to the development of Yarmouth's waterfront, and wish them all the best with this important project.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 6902]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Guysborough-Port Hawkesbury.

RESOLUTION NO. 2499

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

Whereas this week the Trans Canada Trail Relay Team travelled through Guysborough County en route to its final stop in Ottawa on September 9th; and

Whereas on Monday, Venus Cove Park and the Mulgrave Memorial Education Centre were the hub of Relay 2000 activities with a full day "Trailabration"; and

Whereas yesterday, the relay team received a warm send-off with a Relay 2000 pancake breakfast at the Guysborough Fire Hall;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their appreciation to the many volunteers and organizers of this special event and further thank the Guysborough County Trails Association, without whose hard work and determination this would not have been possible.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

[Page 6903]

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2500

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, on behalf of the honourable member for Eastern Shore, I hereby give notice that on a future day I shall move the adoption of the following resolution:

Whereas communities along the Eastern Shore are busy preparing to celebrate the arrival of the Trans Canada Trail Relay Team on June 8th; and

Whereas members of the local community and visitors are invited to join with the relay team as they journey along the picturesque and beautiful and challenging Musquodoboit Trailway system; and

Whereas an exciting schedule of events is planned, including the official opening of the Caboose Trail Information Centre Museum in beautiful Musquodoboit Harbour;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their warm wishes and appreciation to the Musquodoboit Trailways Association, volunteers, organizers, participants and the Trans Canada Trail Relay Team for the spirit and enthusiasm they bring to this unique celebration of Canadian pride.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Annapolis.

RESOLUTION NO. 2501

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

[Page 6904]

Whereas Robert Freeman Woolnough of Middleton Regional High School was recently selected the number one male student in the Maritime Provinces and was the recipient of a $6,000 scholarship from Wendy's Restaurant; and

Whereas 12 male and 12 female students from across the Maritimes are selected to go to Halifax annually based on their scholastic marks, as well as their contributions to school activities, both at the school and in their local community; and

Whereas schools in which the 11 other male and 12 female students attend also receive $1,000 on behalf of the student's participation;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs recognize Middleton Regional High School student Robert Freeman Woolnough for his outstanding achievement, while also recognizing Wendy's Restaurant management in the Maritimes for their generous scholarship support.

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-Beaver Bank.

RESOLUTION NO. 2502

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

Whereas over the short six year history of the Halifax Mooseheads, they have developed a reputation as having the best fans in the country; and

Whereas Sue Moore has become a fixture at Mooseheads games, rallying both the fans in the stands and the players on the ice with her loud cheers and her many colourful homemade signs; and

Whereas Sue, known as The Sign Lady, was selected by the Mooseheads as their Fan of the Year for 1999-2000;

[Page 6905]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize and thank the many fans whose support has contributed to another successful season for the Halifax Mooseheads, especially Sue Moore whose diehard support has earned her the distinction of Fan of the Year for 1999-2000.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 2503

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

Whereas in some manner or another, 17 different federal government departments regulate aquaculture across Canada; and

Whereas this week, at an aquaculture conference in Moncton, delegates from across the world heard that federal laws and regulations governing aquaculture are in such a mess that it is hindering and impeding the industry; and

Whereas it is so bad for Ottawa that current fisheries legislation governing aquaculture in Canada actually predates the aquaculture industry;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House of Assembly urge the federal Minister of Fisheries to immediately begin acting upon a report that is expected to be given to him within a month, concerning improved federal aquaculture policies for Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

[Page 6906]

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester North.

RESOLUTION NO. 2504

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

Whereas it is important for the province's labour force to know quickly and accurately about available work and educational opportunities to get them ready for such work; and

Whereas on Monday, the government launched, in Bible Hill, a website which will provide an ordered and reliable source of work information for Nova Scotians; and

Whereas the creation of this website will make it easier for those seeking jobs to secure them, and also connect Nova Scotians to education and training institutions as well as student aid and career counselling;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House of Assembly support the government's efforts to make employment opportunities and the upgrading of one's education a less complex process for all Nova Scotians.

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 Minister of Tourism.

RESOLUTION NO. 2505

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

[Page 6907]

Whereas Tom MacMillan of Inverness received the Nova Scotia Resource Recovery Fund Board's entrepreneur award during the Atlantic Canada Environmental Business and Municipal Expo 2000; and

Whereas Tom has been involved in recycling and waste diversion since 1998, when he helped start the Blue Bag Program in Halifax; and

Whereas in 1998, Tom began Northeastern Resource Recovery Ltd., which handles blue bags from 20 Nova Scotian municipalities, employing 22 people, and continues to expand his operation, soon to employ another 12 individuals in Sydney;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this Legislature congratulate Tom MacMillan on his award, and for reminding us the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in rural Nova Scotia.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 2506

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

Whereas on June 3, 1990, the Lions Club and people of the Town of Bedford helped a group of citizens build a community Lawn Bowling Club; and

Whereas this club has been an active and important facility for many members of the community of Bedford, hosting community meetings and lawn bowling competitions; and

Whereas on June 3, 2000, the Bedford Lawn Bowling Club will be celebrating their 10th Anniversary;

[Page 6908]

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations to the members of the Bedford Lawn Bowling Club, and wish them all the 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 Richmond.

RESOLUTION NO. 2507

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

Whereas yesterday, the socialist member from Halifax Chebucto displayed the ultimate in cowardice by mocking an accident involving a member of this House; and

Whereas the NDP seem to have quickly forgotten their former socialist colleague from Cape Breton East, who continued to sit as a member of this House after being disbarred by the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society for mishandling trust accounts; and

Whereas even the almighty socialist Leader, he being the one without fault, presented himself to Nova Scotians asking to be Premier during two elections, while keeping hidden his own previous criminal conviction;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House remind the member for Halifax Chebucto and the entire socialist caucus that they should heed the old saying, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to take a look at that resolution.

[The notice is tabled.]

[Page 6909]

ORDERS OF THE DAY

ORAL QUESTIONS PUT BY MEMBERS

MR. SPEAKER: Question Period will begin at 3:29 p.m. and end at 4:59 p.m.

The honourable member for the New Democratic Party.

EDUC. - LAY-OFFS: ELECTION PROMISE - RECONCILE

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I am going to direct my question through you to the Premier. I want to table an urgent and confidential message that was sent yesterday to school principals in the Halifax region. This memo says that today and tomorrow, the board will issue lay-off notices to all student support workers, all library assistants from number two on the seniority list, all education program assistants hired since 1996, plus all education program assistants affected by a reduction in allocation to a school, and it says this lay-off will come as a surprise. I want to ask the Premier, how does he reconcile this massive loss of classroom staff with his promise to make education a priority?

[3:30 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, what this government is doing is asking school boards to look for every efficiency that is in the system and to do that without damaging the classroom environment for our young people. The severity of the action that we have had to take to provide fiscal sanity to this province has resulted in this government having to make tough decisions, and we are looking for school boards and their cooperation to provide the same kind of fiscal responsibility that this government demonstrates. It will require as well for them to make tough decisions, but we expect them to make the right decisions.

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Well, Mr. Speaker, what the Premier recommended needed to be done when he was seeking election was that the Halifax Regional School Board needed extra money and he promised extra money to that board. He said parents should not have to pay for lunchtime supervision. He said he would not make promises he could not keep. Today, parents in suburban and rural areas of metro need this Premier to keep his promises. I want to ask the Premier, how can he impose these deep cuts to elementary schools that serve our province's greatest concentration of young families, families who deserve a good education for their kids, how can you do that?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, for weeks now we have had questions from members opposite and, in particular, the Leader of the New Democratic Party who would lead you to believe that this government should not be fiscally responsible because that is what, on a daily basis, certainly in Question Period, that member and that caucus are suggesting that government should do.

[Page 6910]

I would like to point out to members of the House - and I will be prepared to table this document - I have here a document entitled What We Heard, which is a summary of NDP pre-budget round tables, January and February, 2000. This is the question that was asked at those six round tables throughout Nova Scotia, "What is the one thing government must do over the next 4 years?" I am quoting from the NDP document, and the answer was, and this was received from Nova Scotians at the NDP round table meetings, "Balancing the budget and getting the provincial government financial house in order were the most frequently heard responses to this question."

MR. ROBERT CHISHOLM: Mr. Speaker, I can understand the Premier getting somewhat exercised because I keep reminding him, as do Nova Scotians, about what he promised in the election and he cannot stomach it because that is not what he is doing right now.

Mr. Speaker, the memo that I have tabled says these cuts may mean numerous lay-offs even in schools that thought they were safe, because they had been allocated more positions. The education of every child in the former Halifax County and Bedford is at stake here. Now if that is not essential, I don't know what is. I want to ask the Premier, when there are other better choices that he could have made, and that he promised during the election campaign, why has the Premier targetted these children? Why?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, again, the Leader of the NDP seems to forget what was in What We Heard because, on Page 3 of that document, it says, in answer to a question that was put in those public forums, "What is the one thing that the government must not do" - must not do - "over the next four years?" I quote from Page 3 of that document, "Restating the obvious, most did not want government to allow the debt and deficit to continue to accumulate." That is what Nova Scotians told the NDP . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

EDUC. - BUDGET (2000-01): SPECIAL NEEDS - IMPACT

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: My question is to the Premier. I don't think anyone, certainly no one in this Party is advocating that the Premier or the government not be fiscally responsible. However, the Premier has to realize, and I am sure he does, that where you cut to such an extent, you do more damage and the financial burden on the province is greater in the long term for the cuts that you have made. I want to mention one area first of all, and that is special needs students; where we lose these teachers and people who work with special needs students in the classrooms to the extent that special needs students don't get the attention they need and the regular teachers suffer drastic burn-out.

[Page 6911]

I want to ask the Premier, how does he think it is going to be fiscally responsible in the long term, by denying the people most vulnerable, our special needs students, the care that they should have?

THE PREMIER: Members opposite know that in Nova Scotia we have about 22,000 students in our school system with special needs and they do need, because they have special needs, special attention. This government is committed, each year of its mandate, to spend more on education, but we must make every decision that we make, not only based on what it does today, but what it does tomorrow. This year, despite the economies that we are looking for in the system, despite all of the things that we are doing and for which members opposite like to criticize the government, despite that, we are going to have to borrow $268 million to cover what it is we are doing this year.

To increase that amount would not help any student and I repeat, any student in the Province of Nova Scotia because we will be utterly providing them with no future.

MR. MACLELLAN: The Premier, I think, is missing the point. He says that you have to look at the long term as well as the short term and I could not agree more. That is why the care we give to special needs students is going to reflect in our society for years to come. These young people only have a certain period of time when they will be attending school. That is when we have to show the care and give the instruction that is needed by them.

I will go on to another area and that is literacy. We have made great strides in literacy with young people and with adults as well. How are we going to keep up the progress we have made in literacy which is going to reflect in the success of our society if we can keep up the standard, how are we going to keep that up when we are making cutbacks the way we are in education today?

THE PREMIER: I do thank the member opposite for the question. I will refer it to the Minister of Education because she will be able to relate the programs that are in the budget that relate to childhood literacy.

HON. JANE PURVES: I am sure every member of this House knows that literacy is a problem in Canada and Nova Scotia particularly, in spite of years and billions and billions of dollars in public education. It is a priority for this government. We are investing new money in literacy programs, one of which called Reading Recovery is well-known and quite expensive, but a program that works with young children. It identifies them when they are very young and helps them on one-to-one situations so they achieve levels that take them through school with great success. We are providing more money for that this year.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, our needs in literacy go much deeper than the Minister of Education would have us believe. We have to focus on that. At the Halifax Regional School Board last night they announced they will eliminate 15 support workers who

[Page 6912]

work with children at risk to keep them in the education system. Now without these 15 support workers, in all likelihood, these young people will leave school. They will be a burden and have to receive funding from Community Services. We as a province will not get the enrichment of their participation in the future the way we should. How can the Premier say that this is a financial benefit to the province of Nova Scotia?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it was only recently that members opposite sat in the seats where we sit. They know the challenges of dealing with problems and we would all love to be part of the solution. This government will be part of that solution. It is going to take us a little time. We first have to do something that governments for a long time in this province have not addressed, and that is balancing revenues and expenditure. Only when we do that, can we not only do well by the people we serve today, but also do well for the people who follow after we are long gone.

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

HEALTH - IWK-GRACE: NUTRITION PROGRAM - ELIMINATION

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, every day we are hearing more evidence of the hardships that the disastrous Tory budget is inflicting on families, but today is a particularly sad day. The IWK-Grace Health Centre has eliminated the pediatric nutrition support program which provided low-income families with formula they could take home to feed their ill children. These children suffered from serious illnesses such as cancer, kidney failure, heart and brain disease. Unable to keep normal food down, they needed this formula to maintain their nutrition. Now they will no longer be able to get. My question to the Minister of Health is this, why are you taking food directly from the mouths of sick children?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for that question. I think the honourable member knows that the document to which he refers is a sort of an iffy thing, a proposal. Certainly the IWK-Grace submitted that as part of their business plan. That business plan has not yet been approved.

MR. DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, this program supported 170 families in Nova Scotia. Those families are being notified of this change. Without the nutritional support formula, these children won't be able to eat properly, and they will end up back in hospital. Malnourished by this time, the children will not be able to withstand the impact of treatments, such as chemotherapy. I want to ask the Minister of Health, you claim this budget is about making the health care system sustainable. How is depriving extremely ill children from nutrition sustainable, let alone humane?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I go back to the document to which the honourable member refers. I believe it says this, without this program what other sources of funding are available for your patient population. The fact that this program was proposed to be discontinued, to

[Page 6913]

be quite frank, doesn't sound that good, but it is not (Interruption) It is part of the business plan that was submitted and is still under review by the department.

MR. DEXTER: Well, Mr. Speaker, I would like to follow up on what the minister just said. The Minister has consistently hidden behind the actions of hospital administrators trying to say that he is not aware of where the cuts are being made. So it is time for the minister to take responsibility for the actions that are being taken in his name. My final question for the minister is, what will you do to make sure this program will not have to be cut?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, obviously, as the honourable member knows, it is a proposal put forth by the IWK-Grace, not by the Department of Health. Like the other business plans, they are being reviewed at this present time and we will make a decision in due course.

[3:45 p.m.]

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Clare.

EDUC. - BUDGET (2000-01): CUTS - TEACHERS' AIDES

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Education. Last night, the Halifax Regional School Board cut spending by $11.5 million. The superintendent of the board said the cuts would severely reduce the quality of education in the municipality's 147 schools. Nova Scotia already has the highest drop-out rate in the country and imagine what will happen once these cuts are implemented. One of the results of this cut is the reduction of 60 teachers' education assistants. These assistants are necessary in order to assist children with special needs. My question to the minister is, how will those children who need the services of these assistants receive an appropriate education next fall?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the Halifax Regional School Board has had to make some difficult decisions. The question of the teachers' assistants and other support staff and other cuts the board has had to make, there is no doubt there will be an effect on the school system. This is no secret. However, the board and the principals know their students. They are used to dealing with them and they will make the best possible choices for all the children in the system.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, the assistant superintendent of the board has said there will be enough assistants to provide support for students needing personal care and medically fragile students but the crisis could be just around the corner if the need increases. My question to the minister is, what is the minister prepared to do to prevent this imminent crisis from occurring when school opens in September?

[Page 6914]

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite will recall, earlier this spring, that there were many discussions with school boards and the department. School boards were given more money and school boards said, though the choices would be difficult, they would be manageable. That is what we are expecting school boards to do, to manage in difficult times, the same way the rest of us have to.

MR. GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, along with the cuts in special education, the Halifax Regional School Board will be operating a two-tiered education system; 36 teachers will be transferred from the former county and Bedford schools to city schools. This will certainly cause some problems. For example, the elimination of all library services except for high school and the elimination of English as a second language in the former county and Bedford schools. My question to the minister is, what action is the minister prepared to take to correct this inequity?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, the inequity of the application of supplementary funding in the HRM is a problem that the board and the HRM council are dealing with and are going to have to deal with in order to avoid this so-called two-tiered education system in the HRM. It is a problem and there is some hope yet that the HRM council is prepared to deal with it in a fair and equitable manner.

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

TOURISM - MAPS: PICTOU TOWN - OMITTED

MR. FRANK CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Tourism and Culture. When a place earns renown for itself, we often say we put it on the map and usually governments like to take credit for that, putting places on the map. It is very rare that government takes a place off the map but that seems to have been done by this government. This year, the year 2000 map for Nova Scotia is less than helpful for anybody trying to get to the Town of Pictou. Pictou isn't on the map and, indeed, Highway No. 106 is listed as Highway No. 104. I am asking the minister, why won't you swallow your pride and go back and print new maps that are accurate?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, we will definitely put Pictou on the map, there is no doubt about that, in the next four years. We will do it right away. It is an unfortunate situation. It was missed in the printing and we are looking at options now to deal with it. We will deal with it. We have had communications with the local regional tourism association as well as our VICs. This situation will be dealt with, I can assure the member, and I will apprise the House in what way we will be doing so in the next day or two.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, a map picked up as of 2:00 p.m. today certainly didn't have any corrections on it as of yet. If the Hector or the tall ships or the Bluenose were relying on this government's maps to find the Town of Pictou, they would be going around

[Page 6915]

in circles. We are fast approaching the peak tourist season for this province and the longer we hesitate, the more cost there is going to be. I am asking the minister today to provide this House with what concrete steps he will take immediately to rectify this situation.

MR. RODNEY MACDONALD: Again, Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the honourable member for the question. I know he may have had trouble hearing me but we are looking at options. As soon as we determine the option, I will be glad to take it to the House and, again, Pictou is a very important place and we look at things like the cruise ships coming in this summer, the Hector this fall. We have a lot of opportunities in Pictou and we are going to capture those with our strong marketing this year in Tourism and our strong development funds. We are going to make a difference.

MR. CORBETT: Mr. Speaker, it is easy to tell that that minister takes most of his playing engagements in the County of Inverness and not in the County of Pictou, if he follows his own maps. As we are all aware, this very Premier is from Pictou County and he told us all he had a plan for Nova Scotia. Well, he doesn't even have a map to follow that plan. My last question is to the Premier. If the government wants to fix the maps, will he compensate the Town of Pictou and the tourism-related businesses who suffer from this terrible mistake implemented by your government?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I do thank the member opposite for the question because Pictou is a very important part of the tourism infrastructure of the Province of Nova Scotia. We can't talk too often about what is going to happen there, about the lobster festival, the exhibition, the launching of the Hector. The best thing that can happen to the Town of Pictou is that we keep talking about this issue because it is a lot of free publicity, and the Town of Pictou is really benefiting from all of this.

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

HEALTH - ROSEWAY HOSP. (SHEL.): BEDS - REMOVAL

MR. RUSSELL MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. In spite of the minister's gag order on hospitals, information is starting to filter out about the devastation in health care throughout the province. In the Roseway Hospital in Shelburne, we find out that seven beds have been closed. In fact, they have not only been closed, they have been removed from the rooms. If this is a temporary shutdown as the government will probably tell us, why does the minister feel the need to have these beds removed from the rooms?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I think, perhaps, for summer cleaning. I wasn't aware that the beds had been removed from the rooms, but I will endeavour to find out about that and provide an answer to the honourable member.

[Page 6916]

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, they have been removed from the rooms, and the site manager of Roseway has said that the closure of the beds, "would be evaluated on a monthly basis". It is not going to do any good for the minister to say that this is just a temporary shutdown for the summer. Why would you need to evaluate the situation on a monthly basis, if that was the case? The minister and the government are using this to close beds permanently. I want to ask the minister, why is he using the summer shutdown as a screen to really hide the permanent closure of beds in the Province of Nova Scotia, such as is happening in Shelburne at Roseway Hospital?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there is no attempt at any screen. These are temporary, summertime bed closures. As the honourable member knows, and certainly his colleague sitting at his right hand could tell him, closing hospital beds temporarily, such as at other times of the year, is not unusual; there is March Break, Christmas time, whenever. Physicians and other hospital staff do take vacations, and sometimes the staff is not available. I can simply say that summertime, temporary closures are not unusual and that is the case at the Roseway Hospital.

MR. MACLELLAN: Mr. Speaker, is it the usual, I ask the minister, to remove beds from a room to store them somewhere else? Why would anybody do that for a summer break? I am telling you, the same thing is happening at the Cape Breton Regional; 3B, which is a day surgery floor, is now being closed a month before usual for the summer season. Nobody in Cape Breton is going to the beaches just yet. Why is this happening now? Can the minister give us a hint? Can he tell us why this area is being closed now? Once again . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please.

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, there have been plans to close a number of beds temporarily right across the province this summer, and the prime reasons for that are the necessity for staff vacations, and also a lessening of demand in the summertime. The Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex is no different than that. Obviously if those beds are being closed, they are being closed temporarily and will become available. I think the important thing people have to understand is that the service is still available, and that is the important thing, and not the number of beds that are open or closed.

[4:00 p.m.]

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

EDUC. - SCHOOLS: WATER MONITORING - REGS.

MR. WILLIAM ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, my question through you is to the Minister of Education. Yesterday the Minister of the Environment was quick to tell this House that a tragedy like Walkerton could not happen here. It doesn't matter that the

[Page 6917]

Department of the Environment no longer does the testing, he said, because municipalities can do it just as well. Well, municipalities aren't the only ones who provide public water. Many children drink water at schools throughout this province that comes from on-site wells. But the government stopped testing these wells last year. Yet there are no regulations that cover monitoring school water that our children drink. So I want to ask the Minister of Education, how can your government be so quick to say Nova Scotia is immune from a tragedy when you don't even know how the schools monitor their own drinking water?

HON. JANE PURVES: Mr. Speaker, I would refer that question to the Minister of the Environment, who is the one most familiar with environmental regulations. (Interruption) Oh, he's not here. (Interruption) Well, it is the Department of the Environment which is in charge of standards of application. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. (Interruption) Order, please.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Mr. Speaker, I wish to clarify this for the Minister of Education. I am aware that there was another commitment by the Minister of the Environment, but this is an education issue that affects many schools throughout Nova Scotia that have on-site wells. The concern that comes back is that the Department of the Environment no longer does the testing, and we no longer even have to report back to the Department of the Environment. This minister is responsible for schools in this province. This government dropped the responsibility for water testing and now it has no idea about the quality of drinking water at schools that use on-site wells.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. ESTABROOKS: I want to ask the minister, why is your government taking no responsibility for the safety of our children's drinking water?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, as Minister of Education I am responsible for education in this province; this government, through the Ministry of the Environment, is responsible for safe drinking water. I will have to get back to the honourable member regarding the subject of testing school water once I have consulted with the Department of the Environment.

MR. ESTABROOKS: Allow me to make this clear, Mr. Speaker. The Environment Act stipulates that the owners of wells are responsible to make sure that there is safe drinking water. These are schools that are serviced by on-site wells and these wells in many cases have not been tested and we are not sure whether these children in these schools that use on-site wells, which is the majority of schools in this province incidentally, . . .

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

[Page 6918]

MR. ESTABROOKS: . . . so I want to ask the minister, will you do your part to ensure that we do not have a repeat in any way of that unfortunate tragedy in Ontario by lobbying your colleague, the Minister of the Environment, to resume full responsibility for testing water in schools that are supplied by on-site wells?

MISS PURVES: Mr. Speaker, to the best of my knowledge the responsibility for testing well water is that of the owner of the well. The Department of Education to the best of my knowledge owns no wells but, yes, I will commit to the member opposite that I will get back to him after discussing this matter with my colleague in the Department of the Environment.

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

HEALTH - C.B. REG. HOSP.: ICU SHUTDOWN - CONFIRM

MR. DAVID WILSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. The Cape Breton Regional Hospital has shut down a day surgery, a floor, 3B, one month earlier than normal. It is backing up services throughout the hospital, putting intense pressure on staff and patients. What is even more alarming is rumours that are spreading throughout the entire Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex that intensive care units in Glace Bay and North Sydney will be shut down for at least two weeks this summer; obviously this would put increased pressure on the entire complex. My question for the minister is, could the minister confirm whether ICUs will be subject to shutdown this summer at the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for the question. The answer is that the Cape Breton regional facility is expected to shut down two ICU beds for 10 weeks and, in the facility in the Northside, four of the ICU beds will be closed down temporarily.

MR. WILSON: Mr. Speaker, I am glad to have that confirmed because we had been dealing with rumours; of course that is what we are dealing with on a daily basis with this government because we have never had full disclosure and an open government. My question is, will the minister reveal the impact of his budget on the Cape Breton Regional Health Care Complex before this House rises and the minister has a chance to go into hiding, and will the minister please tell us why those intensive care units are closing for that period of time?

MR. MUIR: I respect the question from the honourable member and I know at least one of them is a matter of concern to him. However, I think it probably would be better to clarify that. It doesn't mean that the units are closing; in the case of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney, there are two beds closing. I can tell you that if we have 11 beds in that unit in my hospital in Truro, then obviously there are considerably more than that in the one in the complex in Sydney.

[Page 6919]

MR. WILSON: I think the issue here is keeping hospital beds, intensive care units, open and not closing beds in those units. That does a service to no one. I think the agenda here is that we will all know what will happen when this House rises. The minister is going to retreat to his Hollis Street bunker and not come out until the full carnage is finally over. For the sake of decency, will the minister please reveal to all Nova Scotians what this slash and burn agenda is going to mean to health care before this House rises.

MR. MUIR: We have made it abundantly clear for the last 10 months that what we intend to do is to have a health care system which is sustainable, accessible, provides quality and is affordable and assures that people in the future will have health care as well as those today.

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

HEALTH - SPECIAL CARE HOMES:

EMERGENCY PLANS - REVIEWS

MR. DARRELL DEXTER: Mr. Speaker, nursing homes are being forced to place their clients at risk in cases of emergency because they can't find anyone who is qualified to review their emergency plans. The Homes for Special Care Act requires nursing homes to have such plans reviewed and to exercise them every three years. Nursing homes say that they are in an awkward position to retain their licences - they must exercise their plans, but they can't find anyone who is qualified to oversee the exercises. I want to ask the Minister of Health, who is mandated to conduct such reviews?

HON. JAMES MUIR: Long-term care facilities in this province have certain standards that they must meet. People from the Department of Health are charged with seeing that those standards are met and if the standards are not met, then directives for corrective action are given.

MR. DEXTER: Perhaps the minister didn't understand the question. Nursing homes don't know where to go for help. Both the EMO and the municipal units are telling them that they don't have a legislated responsibility to conduct reviews and that neither have the resources to conduct them. I would like to table letters from the Hants County Residence for Senior Citizens and the EMO that sets out the exchange. There are in excess of 1,000 regulated facilities. The most the EMO can do on their budget is 12 a year. This is not a new issue, but nursing homes can't wait any longer and I want to ask the minister why is he continuing to place seniors at risk?

MR. MUIR: I will have to take a look at the documents that the honourable member has tabled. I don't think I have seen them. I can say that this government is not intending to put anybody at risk and indeed the actions that we have taken in renewing the health care system are ones to ensure that Nova Scotians are not at risk in the future.

[Page 6920]

MR. DEXTER: Persons living in these homes are mostly seniors in frail condition. They believe that the homes they are living in are meeting safety standards. It is this minister's responsibility to make sure such homes are meeting these standards. So, will the Minister of Health give seniors and their families his assurance here today that he will take immediate action on this issue and avoid any tragedies that could result if nothing is done?

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I want to assure the honourable member, other members of this House and, indeed, all Nova Scotians, particularly those who are residents in long-term care facilities or seniors' facilities, that we are very much concerned with the safety and well-being of the residents. We will do what needs to be done to see that their health and welfare is protected.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

HEALTH - BUDGET (2000-01): CUTS - QE II

DR. JAMES SMITH: Mr. Speaker, my question is to the Minister of Health. We are hearing, throughout this afternoon's Question Period, about all the massive cuts and the impacts throughout all the hospital facilities throughout Nova Scotia. We look at the QE II and the elimination of such positions as Director of Physiotherapy, as an example. Now, for instance, physiotherapy falls under the Director of Clinical Services, Social Work, Psychology and Occupational Therapy, for an example.

My question to the minister, how does the minister expect two directors to assume the work of four while, at the same time, assuming responsibility for additional clinical services, how can the minister expect that? That is a result of his government's cut to the QE II hospital.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, the decisions made by the management of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre to reduce some positions is one which was, I believe, done after considerable thought and, also, looking at what the result of these changes would be. Again, I remind the honourable member, and he well knows, simply because there has been some reduction in the number of positions, it does not mean that the service will not be delivered.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, how can he say that clinical services for patient care will not deteriorate? We had four managers in physiotherapy, social work, pharmacy and occupational therapy who have been cut. Now the two directors of those clinical services cannot even depend on the skilled managers, so you have that whole system breaking down. How will the minister guarantee that longer wait times and the reduction in quality of patient care will not result from those massive cuts?

[Page 6921]

MR. MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am not so sure the term, massive cuts, accurately describes the reductions in staff that have taken place at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre. As he knows, the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre is managed under a board and it also has very competent administration there. I am sure that those services will be continued in a way which is satisfactory.

DR. SMITH: Mr. Speaker, $29 million is a massive cut for the QE II. Since it will be forced to close beds, they have already changed the role of the beds. Physiotherapy that I mentioned earlier, the physiotherapist, the director, those positions become more important. It is the physiotherapist who makes the decision and offers the care to keep people more mobile, to render them mobile, to effect early discharge. The whole system just keeps breaking down when the physiotherapist isn't there, either as a managerial director or in direct patient care.

To the minister, how does he expect to maintain adequate physiotherapy services when a skilled director is being cut in favour of a director with no physiotherapy experience?

MR. MUIR: With all respect, Mr. Speaker, to the individual who occupied that position, that was a decision made by the hospital. What we requested of all health care institutions was, when they were reducing their budgets, to take a look at administration and try and protect patient care. I would say, from what the honourable member has described, the decision, if they did away with the administrative position, it was probably to try to protect the person who was actually delivering the physiotherapy service.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

JUSTICE - DOMESTIC VIOLENCE:

LORI MAXWELL (TRURO) - DEATH REVIEW

MR. HOWARD EPSTEIN: My question, Mr. Speaker, is for the Premier. In February of this year, 31 year old Lori Maxwell of Truro was murdered by her common-law husband, Bruce George. In the aftermath of this preventable crime, the local police revealed that they had been called in to mediate no less then 18 instances of domestic violence between that couple.

Justice department staff committed to delivering an inclusive kind of review of the circumstances leading up to the death of Lori Maxwell by the end of the May. Well, today is the last day of May and Justice officials are saying that they need more time. I ask the Premier, what assurances will you give that the report into Ms. Maxwell's death will in fact be made public before this House rises?

[Page 6922]

[4:15 p.m.]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite is aware the Minister of Justice is not here today to respond to that question, but it does make reference to what I believe was a commitment of the minister. It is my understanding the minister will be here tomorrow, and I would suggest that the member opposite direct that question to the minister.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, for Lori Maxwell's family and for all abused women in Nova Scotia, failing to address the central question is really too little and it is too late. In the now infamous blue book, the Tories committed to provide, ". . . core funding for organizations which deliver preventative and rehabilitative programs in areas such as prevention of family violence . . ." Could the Premier please explain to this House how cutting funding from the eight victim support service projects across Nova Scotia will help to achieve that stated objective?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, it is my recollection that in answer to previous questions, the Minister of Justice did provide reassurance to the House that victim services will be available here in Nova Scotia, that the funding, which comes through our fine system, will be directed to those particular services. All I can do is provide an echo of the reassurance that was previously given by the Minister of Justice, that these victims will in fact be served.

MR. EPSTEIN: Mr. Speaker, I don't know what the Premier is talking about, because the funds to those services have in fact been cut. The government seems to want to stop at nothing to avoid objective examination of its activities. There is another example, last week Richard Allen Lee of Halifax was charged in the death of his girlfriend, Lisa Marie McNeil, and just days before this brutal act, Mr. Lee was placed under his second court order to stay away from Ms. McNeil. Will the Premier tell this House how many more women will have to die these brutal, preventable deaths before the government undertakes a public inquiry designed to strengthen victim protection services?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I share the chagrin that we all have when we see the actions of some citizens of the province. It makes you wonder what is happening to our society. Government has a responsibility to react to these kinds of situations. I would suggest that this government will provide the support services that will help victims of these particularly violent actions that are propagated by members of society. On the other hand, I believe that we will be able to provide the kinds of supports that government should be providing. It is a sad commentary of our times that we are dealing with these kinds of actions that are being performed by members of our society.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Victoria.

[Page 6923]

NAT. RES. - BROWN SPRUCE LONGHORN BEETLE:

INFESTATION - ACTION PLAN

MR. KENNETH MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, my question today is for the Minister of Natural Resources. The minister seems very willing to follow the lead of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in regard to the brown spruce longhorn beetle crisis. However, this is a problem that the Nova Scotia forest industry is very worried about. Mr. Speaker, I hope the province is not taking a wait and see approach to this crisis. So my question to the minister is, what emergency contingency plan does Nova Scotia have if this beetle is found to have spread to adjacent tree stands?

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honourable member for his question. I think, first and foremost, it is important to point out to the honourable member that the species is exotic. It has been identified and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is the lead agency. We are cooperating with them and with HRM fully, to ensure that we can contain, hopefully eliminate, this terrible pest at the Point Pleasant Park site. We continue to monitor, to see if there are infestations in any other spot.

I have to say emphatically to the honourable member, it is pretty hard to eradicate it if you have not found it yet.

MR. MACASKILL: I won't thank the minister for his answer. Mr. Speaker, New York is spending $10 million to combat the Asian longhorn beetle, which is a cousin of the brown spruce longhorn. Now I know that everyone in this House knows that we are not competing with New York in terms of resources and revenue. We could never match what has been spent in New York but they are certainly taking this threat very seriously and that is the point I want to make to the minister. My question, is the Province of Nova Scotia prepared to pay whatever is necessary to save our woodlands from this beetle, the same as it would from forest fires?

MR. FAGE: Again, I thank the honourable member for his question. Certainly if the pest is identified in the arboreal forests of the Province of Nova Scotia, then we have to address it with the proper resources that it requires. We are dealing with a situation, though, where the pest has been found only within the bounds of Point Pleasant Park and, as long as that is the only spot we are dealing with, we will be dealing with a situation that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, as the lead agency, is responsible for financially.

I might point out to the honourable member that it was a significant cost to fight the last pest, the gypsy moth that was involved here in Nova Scotia. If prompt action by the department at that time had dealt with an exotic species, that cost may not have been attributed to the Province of Nova Scotia.

[Page 6924]

MR. MACASKILL: Mr. Speaker, I sincerely believe that the minister is serious and concerned about the crisis and, being familiar with the staff that is over there, I am sure they are concerned too. Forestry producers in Quebec received emergency funding from the federal government after the devastating ice storm two years ago. My question to the minister would be, has the minister begun preliminary negotiations with Ottawa for emergency funds in case the beetle is found in other parts of our province?

MR. FAGE: Mr. Speaker, as the honourable member would know, being the minister responsible during the gypsy moth infestation, when an exotic insect is identified, it is a federal responsibility to eradicate it during the first year, if you move forward. Unfortunately, in the previous instance, those steps were not taken by the previous government. What we are doing is cooperating fully and ensuring that this pest, if it can be arrested - and we very much hope so, at Point Pleasant Park - that it is eradicated there. We are doing everything we can to monitor and detect to see if it is in any other part of Nova Scotia. The resources will be committed if it is detected. The important thing here is to assert the proper authority and ensure that the pest is eliminated.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

NAT. RES. - STELLARTON STRIP MINE:
COAL - ROYALTIES

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I will be directing my question to the Premier. Last week the Premier tried to defend the indefensible by saying that a coal royalty of 25 cents per ton for coal was okay by him. At a time when his government is raising Pharmacare costs for seniors, at a time when his government is cutting a feeding program for very sick children, at a time when his government is cutting program assistance for special needs students, he thinks it is okay for John Chisholm to make millions every year from our non-renewable resources, while Nova Scotians get around $50,000. My question to the Premier is, when is this government going to get off the backs of the sick, the elderly and the poor and start making John Chisholm pay a fair royalty for our coal?

THE PREMIER: I thank the member opposite for the question. I must remind the member opposite - because when this line of questioning started, it was apparent from the beginning that those asking the questions didn't know the amount of money that was being paid to the province by Pioneer Coal - the amount of money being paid is 27.6 cents per metric ton plus $1.50 per metric ton, and that adds up to $1.76.7 per metric ton. Now that is the highest royalty being paid per ton in the province.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, what the Premier is talking about is strip mining coal from Crown land. That is where you pay the extra. On the other operations that Mr. Chisholm operates, he only pays the 27 cents. Even with the extra $1.00-whatever, that is still too low. I have checked into the royalty rates of other coal-producing provinces.

[Page 6925]

Alberta charges more than double Nova Scotia's rate for some grades of coal. For other grades both B.C. and Alberta charge 13 per cent of net profit.

MR. SPEAKER: Question, please.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: If we charge 13 per cent of John Chisholm's net profit, and using very conservative assumptions, we should have received $3.6 million. My question to the Premier is, if Tory heaven Alberta can charge a decent coal royalty, why is your government refusing to even consider changing a coal royalty that was set decades ago?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I apologize to the member opposite. I thought he was asking his question about the operation in Stellarton. I did give him the numbers that were relative to that particular situation. The member is quite right. The royalty for coal was set many years ago and was set at a time when almost all of the coal in the province was being delivered by underground mining. The coal industry in Nova Scotia, I don't have to remind members opposite, has fallen upon hard times. I believe that while the situation has to be reviewed, it has to be reviewed in the context that in Cape Breton, in particular, we are trying to encourage a privatized industry. We do not want to discourage a privatized coal industry in Cape Breton by making an unrealistic assessment or unrealistic royalty for coal extraction in Cape Breton.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, it is interesting that the Premier has suddenly discovered a deep concern for the welfare of Cape Breton workers. This will be hard to believe, but I made a mistake last week. I said that John Chisholm gave $27,000 to the Tory Party in the last election, and I was wrong. The fact is that he gave over $35,000 to the Tory Party and its candidates in the last election, both personally and through a web of companies. My final question to the Premier is, why is John Chisholm getting a free ride when it comes to coal royalties?

THE PREMIER: I thank the member opposite for providing me with the information, because I believe in fielding the question last week, I had indicated that this member of the House has not looked at Party donations either to the provincial Party or for his own particular election fund, nor the election fund of any member of this caucus. So the information you are bringing forward is new information to this particular member on this side of the House. I believe that that information is irrelevant and has not in any way been part of the decision-making process of this government.

[4:30 p.m.]

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

[Page 6926]

SYSCO - STEELWORKERS: PROTECTION -
PROMISE (PREMIER)

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, I will be directing my question to the Premier. On December 31, 1999, a day that will be long remembered in Cape Breton, in keeping an election promise, the Premier stated at a public relations exercise in Sydney, announcing the sale of Sysco - a sale to a phantom group which, of course, fell apart 12 days later and we never did meet the new owners, if they existed at all - that he could not protect Sydney Steel, but he would protect the workers. Steelworkers are nervous. Families are nervous. The community is facing much uncertainty and, as we speak, there are no more than 70 people left cleaning up prior to a complete closure of the plant. I would ask the Premier, what did he mean by, looking after the workers?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I do agree with the member opposite that steelworkers are living in uncertainty and they want this thing resolved. What they told me on Saturday when they came to visit me in New Glasgow, they said their number one priority, and this was unanimous, all of the steelworkers who travelled from Cape Breton, this is the message they delivered - they want jobs, they want jobs. It has been the intention of this government to sell the mill, if at all possible, and we are moving towards that because that is our number one priority. As the steelworkers said to me on Saturday, it is their number one priority - sell the mill, and we will do that if it is at all possible.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the Premier is quite correct. They want jobs. That is obvious. Every one of them want jobs. The community wants jobs, but what did this government do about that? They let all the customers go. There were no marketing attempts to keep any customers. How in the name of heaven can you sell a steel plant when you have told all your customers to go elsewhere and do their business?

Mr. Speaker, what we are seeing here is more rhetoric, and no action from this Premier. The Premier has not paid any attention to the pleas of steelworkers for justice, nor to the devastated economy in Cape Breton. His only intent is doing what he said he was going to do during the election, destroy the Sydney Steel plant by whatever means, and he has employed headhunters to do that. If I am upset about that, I certainly apologize to this House because I am upset about the constant rhetoric and misinformation this Premier is bringing to this House.

My supplementary question to the Premier is, Mr. Premier, will you meet with steelworkers in Sydney and tell them exactly what your intentions are with regard to Sydney Steel, at the Steelworkers Hall in Sydney?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I had an opportunity on Saturday after I met with the large group who travelled from Cape Breton to New Glasgow, I sat down for a meeting that lasted just shy of two hours in my office with three representatives of the steel industry in Cape Breton, and I repeated to them my commitments to steelworkers, my commitment to

[Page 6927]

sell the plant. I indicated to them that this government has not changed its commitment to steelworkers, and it will deliver on its commitments.

MR. MANNING MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, the steelworkers should not have to go to New Glasgow. The Premier should go to Sydney and meet with Sydney Steel workers.

It is obvious to me that a closure is more likely than a sale. What we have learned from this Premier and this government is that they have liquidators on the plant, not marketing people, that they have no intentions of trying to recover business from Canadian National or anybody else. The Premier is going to commit to his promise to close that plant or give it away to somebody else to close it. My supplementary question to the Premier is, given, as we speak here today, Mr. Premier, Sydney Steel is still owned by the people of Nova Scotia and the government and Sysco workers are government employees and should be treated as such, will the Premier live up to his commitment to the workers, once and for all, and not abandon them before a sale or a closure is completed?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can reassure members opposite that the process for the resolution of the difficulties of Sysco that go back over 30 years are soon to be resolved. I believe what the member opposite is asking is for some direct information. I will refer that to the minister responsible for Sysco. (Interruptions)

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, to the member opposite, he made comment about the effectiveness of Ernst & Young. I will say that that organization has worldwide contacts, expertise in the steel industry and, in fact, one of the criticisms of past attempts to sell is that we have gone outside the province to look for expertise beyond the province. In fact, Ernst & Young, I believe, has done a very effective job. (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Hants East.

NAT. RES.: STELLARTON STRIP MINE - EMPLOYMENT

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, the Premier has said, and he repeated it during the last election, that he got into politics to try to do something about unemployment in Pictou County. Last week, the Minister of Natural Resources tried to defend the indefensible by saying that the atrociously low coal royalties paid by John Chisholm were justified by the jobs he created. The problem is that Mr. John Chisholm promised 50 jobs when he started but, right now, the Stellarton strip mine, which is in the Premier's riding, employs exactly nine people. My question to the Premier is, what steps are you taking to educate your Natural Resources Minister about the true employment situation at the Stellarton strip mine?

[Page 6928]

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite suggests that there are nine men, at present, working on site. I don't have information on that. I do know, because I know personally a number of people who work in the operation and have worked there for some period of time, many since the operation began, they are very happy with their employment. So the strip mine has done one of the things that we intended for it to do and that is to provide employment in our community which, despite the fact that we have some cornerstone industries, still has very significant unemployment. Those jobs are very important in Pictou County.

Also important, Mr. Speaker, is the coal that they are delivering to the generating plant, which is low sulphur coal, which allows a mix of coal with Cape Breton coal and allows it to be burned in such a way so that it is environmentally acceptable. So it is a good mix. We need that coal in Trenton and we need the jobs.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I can tell the Premier knows the Stellarton strip mine has a total staff complement of 45, but all except nine are laid off and they don't know when they will be recalled. That is partly because Pioneer is about to bring in a continuous mining machine on site. Use of this continuous miner is contrary to the environmental permit, but the Minister of the Environment is apparently prepared to make an exception. Use of a continuous miner is also potentially dangerous to the workers who have to service it, but the Minister of Labour, apparently, doesn't care.

My question to the Premier is, do you support the use of a continuous miner at the Stellarton strip mine and what steps are you taking to ensure that it won't be used until all environmental and safety issues have been addressed?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can assure the member opposite that all conditions of permitting and all conditions that relate to the environment will be adhered to but I will refer the question to the Minister of Natural Resources, for a more complete answer.

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I thank the honorable member for his question. The honourable member fully realizes and knows that if the machine is placed in use, that full compliance by Labour, full compliance by Environment, as well as other assessments, will be completed and approved before such a machine would be allowed to mine coal. Thank you.

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I want to table a copy of the coal lease for that company and I want to inform the Premier that the $1.50 he mentioned earlier is only for up to a limit of $2 million which will be reached relatively soon, in five years out of a 20 year contract, letting 15 years of paying only the 27 cents royalty. So the idea that Mr. Chisholm is being charged 25 cents per ton to protect jobs is laughable; actually it is John Chisholm, the biggest single Tory financial backer, who is laughing all the way to the bank. He claimed he delivered 50 jobs and he actually delivered nine.

[Page 6929]

My final question to the Premier is, why is John Chisholm getting a free ride when it comes to jobs?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the amount of money that the $1.50 has been providing to the coffers of Nova Scotia is roughly $330,000 a year. My understanding is that recent production on an annualized basis at the strip mine is something in the order of 210,000 to 220,000 tons. That is greater than the production in the early years, so the $2 million ceiling will not be reached this year and probably not next year; it will all depend on production.

I am not aware, and I have not seen the financial books of Pioneer Coal. Perhaps the honourable member opposite has because he seems to be prepared to make some very definitive statements about the profit margin of the company. I don't have that information.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Richmond

ECON. DEV. - CUTS: VENTURE CAPITAL - ACCESS ASSURE

MR. MICHEL SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Economic Development. As the minister is no doubt aware, NovaKnowledge has issued its 2000 report card. It gives a mixed review of Nova Scotia's level of innovation and productivity. It was pleasing to see that, in 1998, investment in new technology was growing faster than any other province in Canada, reaching 9 per cent of the GDP. One of the more alarming features of the report though is that venture investment is only half of what it should be for the size of our economy.

My question to the minister is, given the massive cuts to economic development, what will the minister's department do to ensure Nova Scotia businesses will have access to venture capital?

HON. GORDON BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the member opposite for the question. Certainly the issue of how best we can support businesses with access to venture capital is one of some concern to the department. We did undertake a mission to New York, which allowed us to engage in conversations around that very issue. In addition to that, we undertook to partake of the Atlantic Trade Mission, where venture capital financing was very much part of the discussion.

In terms of our economic development strategy, we have indicated that the IT sector be one of strategic advantage to the province. We are working with industry practitioners to ensure there will be access to venture capital. The issue is not so much where the money will come from but, rather, how to prepare companies here to access it.

[Page 6930]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, certainly we are pleased to see that the minister is moving on this and having some discussions, but the bottom line is there will have to be some dollars brought to the table so we don't lose business opportunities here in this province.

The bottom line of this 2000 report is that we have been making progress in the Province of Nova Scotia but, unfortunately, with the cuts to economic development this government has demonstrated zero faith in Nova Scotians. Instead of building on past success - my question is - why is the minister's department giving up on economic development in rural Nova Scotia?

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, I assure the member opposite that nothing could be further from the truth. The whole purpose behind developing an economic strategy for the province is to ensure we do have the programs available to rural Nova Scotia, to all Nova Scotia, and we have, in fact, very strategic advantages around the Silicon Island initiative, and there are also the initiatives that are undertaken by TARA, so we have not abandoned rural Nova Scotia.

[4:45 p.m.]

MR. SAMSON: Mr. Speaker, I think it is clear that Nova Scotians listening to that are coming to the conclusion that there is one statement by the minister and it is, show me the money. He has absolutely all these fine ideas and no money to back it up. The evidence is clear. From 1993 to 1999 the Nova Scotia economy was getting better. We still have a long way to go, especially in my area and the rest of rural Nova Scotia. The two biggest hindrances to continued growth in Richmond is a lack of venture investment and a socialist MP by the name of Michelle Dockrill. My final supplementary to the minister is, why won't his department step up to the plate (Interruption) and ensure that Nova Scotia businesses have access to capital in rural Nova Scotia, now?

MR. BALSER: Mr. Speaker, there are over 1,000 initiatives within the department at any given time. Many of them are located in rural Nova Scotia. There are a number of programs available, whether it is the payroll tax rebate, financing through the BDC or, in fact, access to opportunities to have strategic partnering. Certainly there are a number of ways in which we do support businesses right straight across this province.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Dartmouth North.

COMMUN. SERV. - SENIORS: BUDGET (2000-01) - IMPACT

MR. JERRY PYE: Mr. Speaker, my question will be directed to the Premier. One of the casualties of this budget are seniors. They have been hit hard by the increases in Pharmacare which the Minister of Health appears unconcerned with. Another hit, which will be felt by the seniors, is the cuts to the direct assistance program. This program provided low

[Page 6931]

income persons, who weren't on social assistance, with an annual payment of $90 to $125 to help offset costs. Seniors who use this program are now ineligible for assistance because it is reserved for families with children only. My question to the Premier is, are the poor seniors no longer worthy of government assistance?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite asks a question that is very serious because we have made commitments to our seniors. But I would remind the member opposite of two points that I think provide an answer to his question. The first point is, and I believe the members opposite realize, that government has to make choices. I think also members opposite know because on a regular basis, in fact on a daily basis, we are being reminded of the issue of child poverty in this province. There has been a daily resolution in this House on that issue. So we have made it a choice, and the choice is to make the direct assistance program apply to families with children. We feel that is a direct way we can help children living in poverty. (Interruptions)

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I would like to remind the Premier that in fact the child poverty is the single most important entity in the Province of Nova Scotia. But I would also like to remind the Premier that national child benefits should be given to every one of those individuals who are in poverty. That does not shirk the responsibility of that Premier and his government from helping very poor seniors in this province. In 1998 there were 11,341 single applicants who applied for this assistance. These statistics are not broken down by age, but calls to the NDP caucus office from seniors, indicated that they have benefited from this program. I want to thank the Liberals because they have benefited from this program. The Premier may say that $90 to $125 will not make a big difference, but for seniors on fixed income, this money gives them the chance to buy more nutritional food. In fact, it works out to another litre of milk a week.

My question to the Premier is, over 60 per cent of rural seniors in Nova Scotia live under the poverty line. Why is your government making it harder for those rural seniors to live?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, the member opposite brings a very serious issue and places it clearly on the lap of this government. We will be addressing all of these issues. We have made those commitments to Nova Scotians, but we can't do it all at once; we can't do it unless we are prepared to be responsible and address fiscal reality; we can't do it if the only solution we have is to borrow more money to solve today's problems with tomorrow's money. That won't work. It hasn't worked for 30 years, and it won't work today.

MR. PYE: Mr. Speaker, I would say if the Premier during this campaign has been so vociferous in his action towards this particular issue, he probably would not be the Premier today. The government's blue book made a commitment to help all seniors to have a better quality of life. Clearly, low income seniors are not a part of this vision. My final

[Page 6932]

supplementary to the Premier is, when will you stop penalizing poor seniors and ensure that they have access to the direct assistance program dollars that they so desperately need?

THE PREMIER: Mr. Speaker, I can say to the member opposite that this government would be much more comfortable if, in fact, it could address all of the issues that concern seniors today. I believe that most Nova Scotians - perhaps not members opposite - were listening to what it is that we said during the election. Nova Scotians said to us, as we said to them, we have to get things under control, we have to get things stabilized. I believe that the majority of seniors understand that they will participate, as will all Nova Scotians, in the solution that will ultimately make things better for all Nova Scotians of all ages.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member for Lunenburg West.

TOURISM: VICs - CUTS

MR. DONALD DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Tourism. Creating economic opportunity, creating jobs, growing the economy is a key issue in this province, and yet on May 17th, the Board of Directors of the Antigonish-Eastern Shore Tourism Association met to discuss the 57 per cent Provincial Employment Program funding cut for the visitors' information centre. The association passed a resolution saying that they strongly oppose the 57 per cent cut and they found it unacceptable. My question to the Minister of Tourism is, how can the minister justify this massive cut to the tourism infrastructure in the Province of Nova Scotia?

HON. RODNEY MACDONALD: Mr. Speaker, as I have said on many occasions, standing up here in my place, we did take a reduction through the PEP program, which goes from my department to the regional tourism associations, which looks after the community VICs. We do have a financial situation to deal with in the province, and we have asked regional tourism associations to do their part. For the most part, regional tourism associations have taken the ball in their hands and have done many creative things. They should be commended for it.

MR. DOWNE: Mr. Speaker, the local communities are taking hold of it because this government has dropped it. They dropped the opportunity of creating economic wealth in the Province of Nova Scotia and, more importantly, in rural Nova Scotia. Rural VICs are run by tourism associations across this province. The tourism infrastructure is key to those VICs continuing to operate, whether it is in Antigonish or in Bridgewater, and those have been massively cut. My question to the minister is, how does he expect to continue to grow the tourism industry in rural Nova Scotia by spending millions of dollars to attract visitors, only to have them see, on the side of the building, I am sorry, we are closed for business, Nova Scotia is closed for tourism this year?

[Page 6933]

MR. RODNEY MACDONALD: I thank the honourable member for the question. I will talk a little bit about visitor information centres. I will talk about the one in Port Hastings which is the gateway to Cape Breton which a lot of my honourable colleagues know about. I will tell them about the VIC coming into Amherst which is run by the province as well. I note that the Amherst one and I acknowledge the previous government did some work on that, we have extended the season of both these VICs by three and one-half months, much longer than the previous government.

MR. DOWNE: This is a minister who is saying to those who are coming to visit this beautiful province, come and visit, only to find when they get into the province, they have no idea what is going on in the province and they have no access to VICs. Last week, 2,000 people from around the world visited in Digby County, part of the merchant navy - in celebration of their efforts during the war - 2,000 from around the world and the Department of Tourism was not even there to show them opportunities in the Province of Nova Scotia.

My question to the Premier of this province is, why did the Premier bother to separate Tourism from Economic Development when so far all we have seen is its demise and the determination by this government to undermine tourism in the future of this province?

THE PREMIER: The reason that we made a decision to provide a separate Minister of Tourism is because this government believes that one of the sectors of our economy that is capable of great growth, that deserves close attention, is tourism; no disrespect to a member opposite who was dealing with a very busy portfolio which had Economic Development combined with Tourism, which did not allow a minister to provide the kind of attention that I believe that tourism requires. That is why this government appointed a separate Minister of Tourism.

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

COMMUN. SERV. - SINGLE MOTHERS: EDUCATION - UNIVERSITY

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, my question is for the Minister of Community Services. There are a lot of single mothers in this province who are very keen on obviously getting off welfare and moving to work. Part of that process in this day and age is getting a university education. In particular, it used to be if you were a single mother on family benefits, you had the ability to get four years of family benefits while you took student loans and went to school.

Since this minister and this government have come in, what we have seen is a change. Now, single mothers who want to go to university are limited to two years of assistance and they are not even sure if they can get that from their caseworker. My question to this Minister of Community Services is, what are you doing with regard to helping mothers move from welfare to work instead of putting up more roadblocks in their way?

[Page 6934]

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: To the honourable member, he raises a question that has been considered and debated for quite a while. One of the initiatives that we have been taking is to get people so they are going back into the workforce and that requires training, skill building and our income support group is working as diligently as they can to help all those people. The member will also know that those people that he has spoken to who have been on family benefits and are seeking their education will know they have a wider range now of initiatives for Pharmacare and for back to work . . .

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

OPPOSITION MEMBERS' BUSINESS

MOTIONS OTHER THAN GOVERNMENT MOTIONS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable New Democratic Party House Leader.

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Resolution No. 2198.

Res. No. 2198, Speaker (Hon. Murray Scott): Ruling (18/05/00) - Questioned - notice given May 19/2000 - (Mr. J. Holm)

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

MR. JOHN HOLM: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I say this because it is officially your position and the resolution that is brought forward is one that is dealing with the Speaker and I am just trying to differentiate between yourself and Mr. Speaker and I will refer to you from here on simply as Mr. Speaker.

When I say that, the resolution that I brought forward on May 19th has to do with a decision or ruling that was made by our regular Speaker about a matter that occurred in this House the day before. It is not the kind of issue that one likes to bring forward to this House, but I felt that it would be irresponsible not to raise this matter at this point in time because it is extremely important that all members of this House have confidence in the way that this Chamber is operated and in the decisions that the Speaker has made.

[5:00 p.m.]

I believe, however, Mr. Speaker, on May 18th that an error was made. I believe that the error was made because I believe, quite honestly, the fundamental principles of freedom of speech had not been protected. I want to talk about the resolution and I will just preface that first. It says:

[Page 6935]

"Whereas contrary to Rule 9(1) of our rules, the Speaker cited no rule or authority when he asked the member for Dartmouth North to withdraw a question asking the Premier to investigate Conservative MLAs' use of discretionary funds that have allegedly been misused; and

Whereas this ignored the authoritative statement that, 'by far, the most important right accorded to members of the House is the exercise of freedom of speech in parliamentary proceedings.'; and

Whereas there is no rule, authority, precedent or practice requiring documentation of questions or statements in this House;

Therefore be it resolved that this House questions the Speaker's May 18, 2000, ruling and affirms members freedom of speech to question Cabinet Ministers about any alleged or perceived misconduct by the government of the day and, in particular, urge the Speaker not to enter into disputes about facts between two members because that is not a point of order."

Mr. Speaker, whether you liked or disliked the question is irrelevant. The member for Dartmouth North asked the Premier to investigate some allegations. The member did not make any assertions or allegations against the members. He asked that certain things be investigated, but whether you agree or whether you disagree with that question, again, is not the issue. The issue is - and you will understand this because you have been in the role of the Opposition - the job of the Opposition is not just to be nice to the government, it is a role of the Opposition to ask hard questions and to hold the government accountable . . .

AN HON. MEMBER: And to get information.

MR. HOLM: . . . and to get information. The member for Sackville-Beaver Bank had every right, and we all do it, to rise on a point of order and, Mr. Speaker, I can also understand why the member for Sackville-Beaver Bank may not have liked the question but, again, that is not the issue.

Mr. Speaker, the Speaker at the time on the point of order, the following day, I believe entered into what was really a dispute between two members and saying that he did not like a question, as he has before on other matters, said because something was not nice, and sided against the member for Dartmouth North, telling him to withdraw the question. Our rules quite clearly state under Rule 9(1), that if the Speaker, when he is making a rule or an order, that the Speaker, " . . . shall decide questions of order; in explaining a point of order or practice, he shall state the Rule or authority applicable to the case."

Any review of Hansard will show that when the Speaker made his ruling, he did neither of those. That was why the other day, for example, when I had raised a point of order with the Speaker over a matter I brought forward, and that was a motion to adjourn, I rose on a

[Page 6936]

point of order and I asked - and the Speaker this time obliged when he gave his ruling today - that the rule or authority that gives the Speaker the ability to do that be quoted. I did not like the Speaker's ruling. I don't agree with the ruling that he gave today but that is fine, that is my disagreement. He had a rule and he had an authority to back it up. When he asked the member for Dartmouth North to withdraw those questions and, Mr. Speaker, then to remove him from the House, he did not do that, and that is in violation of our rules.

I refer to the House of Commons Procedures and Practices which are guiding principles or rules that we turn to. I want to refer to Page 71. It says, "By far, the most important right accorded to Members of the House is the exercise of freedom of speech in parliamentary proceedings." It has been described as, " . . . a fundamental right without which they would be hampered in the performance of their duties."

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable member has one minute left.

MR. HOLM: Yes. Thank you. "It permits them to speak in the House without inhibition, to refer to any matter or express any opinion as they see fit, to say what they feel needs to be said in the furtherance of the national interest," - and here it would be provincial - "and the aspirations of their constituents."

With more time I could quote more precedents or more statements from the rule book, Mr. Speaker. My point is - and I am not looking for any kinds of actions - what I am looking for is an assurance that we will not only have fairness, but that we will have a perception of fairness from those who are occupying the Chair, to all members of the majority and the minority in this House.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, it is never the happiest occasion to arise on a motion of censure or criticism of the Speaker of the House. Unfortunately in this House, it has been my unfortunate experience I think on three or four occasions now - that many - to either be part of a censure motion or to actually speak on one.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid quoted something from the House of Commons Procedures and Practices, and I would like to read my version of it. He also has a version. Because, Mr. Speaker, as you well know, the Speaker's job is to adjudicate in a Court of Law. This is actually a Court of Law, and the Speaker in effect is a judge. The judge makes decisions which the plaintiff or the accused may not agree with, but however they have to accept it as a rational explanation.

MR. HOLM: And this is a Court of Appeal.

[Page 6937]

MR. RUSSELL: This is a Court of Appeal as well, that is quite correct.

Mr. Speaker, if I can just read this very rapidly because I haven't too much time, but, "When in the Chair, the Speaker embodies the power and authority of the office, strengthened by rule and precedent. He or she must at all times show, and be seen to show, the impartiality required to sustain the trust and good will of the House. The actions of the Speaker are not to be criticized in debate or by any means except by way of a substantive motion."

Mr. Speaker, actually in this House we adopted that rule back I think in about 1984. On April 16, 1992, and the honourable Leader of the New Democratic Party may remember that day quite well, because when the House opened and we opened the doors to the galleries, Ms. Alexa MacDonough walked in with the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto and she said, "Mr. Speaker, I have the honour and the duty to advise you and members of the House that Robert Lawrence Chisholm, member for the electoral district of Halifax Atlantic, has taken the oath, signed the roll and claims a right to take his seat." That is all very, very nice. I said, "Let the honourable member take his seat." Then the honourable member for Halifax Chebucto jumped to her feet and said, "Mr. Speaker, I wish to raise a question of privilege about the impartiality of the Speaker. The first principle of parliamentary law is, 'To protect a minority and restrain the improvidence or tyranny of a majority'", and so on and so on.

Mr. Speaker, unfortunately, in any occupation, and speakership is certainly an occupation, there is no such thing as Speakership 101, you learn it as you go. At times the Speaker is going to make decisions that we disagree with, but I don't think that is a reason for censure. To ask for an explanation is perfectly all right; however, there are times when the Speaker makes a judgement that is not contained in some rule or some precedent.

Going back to the case . . .

MR. HOLM: Wrong.

MR. RUSSELL: It is not wrong. Going back to the case in question, Mr. Speaker, the honourable Speaker in the House on - it wasn't March 5, 1981, that is for sure - was speaking to the member for Dartmouth North, and he said to that honourable member, "The honourable member does not have to agree with what I have asked for, but he has shown disrespect for the Chair." - and he did - "I am naming the honourable member for Dartmouth North and I would ask Mr. Pye to remove himself from the Chamber. Would the Sergeant-at-Arms remove the honourable member . . ."

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That is the correct procedure in this House, and I would suggest it is one that we change at our peril. I find that this notice of motion that we have is scandalous, irresponsible and unsubstantiated against the Speaker.

[Page 6938]

MR. HOLM: How do you really feel?

MR. RUSSELL: I really feel upset. (Laughter)

Mr. Speaker, I would go so far and be so bold as to suggest, actually, that that notice of motion is out of order. It is not a censure motion, it is a motion that simply - if I remember correctly, the resolution portion of Resolution No. 2198 - says ". . . and, in particular, urge the Speaker . . ." Before that I should mention it is questioning the ruling and affirming the member's freedom of speech, et cetera, and then gets down to the nitty-gritty and says, ". . . in particular, urge the Speaker not to enter into disputes about facts between two members because that is not a point of order."

Mr. Speaker, every person in this House knows that that is not a point of order, and that includes the Speaker, obviously. That cannot be the basis for a resolution against the Speaker. I would suggest to you, Mr. Speaker, that the resolution itself is frivolous and should not have been accepted in this House.

Mr. Speaker, I am going to now move that the debate be adjourned on Resolution No. 2198.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. I would like to seek some counsel on that motion. Consequently, we will take a five minute recess.

[5:13 p.m. The House recessed.]

[5:23 p.m. The House reconvened.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Honourable members, the motion is in order and the motion is that debate on Resolution No. 2198 now be adjourned.

MR. SPEAKER: A recorded vote has been called for.

Is it agreed that we will ring the bells at the pleasure of the Whips?

It is agreed.

[ 5:24 p.m. ]

[ The Division bells were rung. ]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. There was a motion to adjourn debate on Resolution No. 2198. A recorded vote was called for.

[Page 6939]

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[6:25 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Christie

Mr. Russell

Dr. Hamm

Mr. Muir

Miss Purves

Mr. Balser

Mr. Parent

Ms. McGrath

Mr. Ronald Chisholm

Mr. Olive

Mr. Rodney MacDonald

Mr. MacIsaac

Mr. DeWolfe

Mr. Taylor

Mr. Dooks

Mr. Langille

Mr. Morse

Mr. Hendsbee

Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Carey

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Holm

Mr. Estabrooks

THE CLERK: For, 25. Against, 0.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

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 10:00 a.m. The House will sit from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 a.m. The order of business will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills. (Interruptions)

[Page 6940]

MR. JOHN HOLM: Mr. Speaker, I wonder, if the Government House Leader would like to tell us the intended hours for Friday?

MR. RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, yes, I certainly would. We will sit from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, or until such time as we finish Bill No. 34.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is that the House do now adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.

[The House rose at 6:27 p.m.]