The Nova Scotia Legislature

The House resumed on:
September 21, 2017.

Hansard -- Mon. Nov. 27, 2000

First Session

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2000

TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE
PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS:
Transport. & Pub. Wks. - Musquodoboit: Roads - White Line,
Mr. B. Taylor 9371
GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3570, Election (Cdn.): Vote - Encourage, The Premier 9372
Vote - Affirmative 9372
Res. 3571, Fish. - Lobster Fishermen (Areas 33 & 34): Contribution -
Recognize, Hon. E. Fage 9373
Vote - Affirmative 9373
NOTICES OF MOTION:
Res. 3572, Health - Lillian Fraser Mem. Hosp.: Cuts - Min. Reconsider,
Mr. John MacDonell 9373
Res. 3573, Health - Reforms (Wrong-headed): Min. - Cease, Dr. J. Smith 9374
Res. 3574, Fish. - Lobster Season: Dumping Day - Recognize,
Mr. R. Hurlburt 9375
Vote - Affirmative 9375
Res. 3575, Health - Seniors: Broken Promises - Min./Premier Explain,
Mr. J. Holm 9375
Res. 3576, Elections (Cdn.): Vote - Encourage, Mr. W. Gaudet 9376
Vote - Affirmative 9377
Res. 3577, Pictou Co. Christmas Fund - Telethon: Volunteers -
Congrats., Mr. J. DeWolfe 9377
Vote - Affirmative 9377
Res. 3578, Educ.: Halifax West HS - Replace, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9377
Res. 3579, NDP: Cape Breton - Fears, Mr. Manning MacDonald 9378
Res. 3580, Milley, Reg - Hfx. Int. Airport Auth.: Pres./CEO -
Appt. Congrats., Mr. B. Taylor 9379
Vote - Affirmative 9379
Res. 3581, Cole Harbour Boys & Girls Club - The B.O.X.: Operation
Congrats., Mr. K. Deveaux 9380
Vote - Affirmative 9380
Res. 3582, Boularderie - Hist. Soc.: Development - Congrats.,
Mr. K. MacAskill 9380
Vote - Affirmative 9381
Res. 3583, Lenihan, Joan (Deceased) - Baseball Hall of Fame:
Induction - Family Congrats., Hon. P. Christie 9381
Vote - Affirmative 9382
Res. 3584, Health - Cuts: Publication (NDP Leader) - Acknowledge,
Mr. D. Dexter 9382
Res. 3585, Atl. Acad. - Police Science Prog.: Graduates - Congrats.,
Mr. D. Wilson 9383
Vote - Affirmative 9383
Res. 3586, Christmas Daddies - Timberlea-Prospect MLA/
St. Margarets Bay Lions/Residents: Generosity - Congrats.,
Mr. Robert Chisholm 9383
Vote - Affirmative 9384
Res. 3587, Cape Breton Wellness Centre - Website: Participants -
Congrats., Mr. B. Boudreau 9384
Vote - Affirmative 9385
Res. 3588, Educ. - Sir John A. Macdonald HS: Min. - Tour,
Mr. W. Estabrooks 9385
Res. 3589, Environ. - Min.: Premier - Availability Ensure, Mr. W. Gaudet 9386
Res. 3590, Premier - Chief of Staff: Salary Hold - Congrats.,
Mr. H. Epstein 9386
Res. 3591, Environ. - Larsen Packers: Protective Measures -
Undertake, Mr. R. MacKinnon 9387
Res. 3592, Health - Lillian Fraser Mem. Hosp.: Acute Care Beds -
Return, Mr. John MacDonell 9388
Res. 3593, Fish. - Lobster Season: Participants - Best Wishes Extend,
Mr. R. MacKinnon 9388
Vote - Affirmative 9389
Res. 3594, Gov't. (N.S.) - Policies: Electoral Effects - Explain,
Mr. J. Holm 9389
Res. 3595, Women - Health: Action - Support, Ms. Maureen MacDonald 9390
Res. 3596, Educ. - Caldwell Rd. Elem. Sch.: Flag Pole - Installation,
Mr. K. Deveaux 9390
Vote - Affirmative 9391
Res. 3597, Health - Lillian Fraser Mem. Hosp.: Chief of Staff
(Dr. Michael Glasgow) - Replacement, Mr. D. Dexter 9391
Res. 3598, Norris, Joe (Deceased): Art - Recognize, Mr. W. Estabrooks 9392
Vote - Affirmative 9392
Res. 3599, WCB - Widows Compensation: Gov'ts. (N.S. & N.B.) -
Actions Denounce, Mr. H. Epstein 9392
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS:
PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING:
No. 62, Employment Support and Income Assistance Act 9393
Mr. K. Deveaux 9393
Mr. W. Gaudet 9398
Hon. P. Christie 9401
Vote - Affirmative 9402
No. 61, Electronic Commerce Act 9403
No. 63, Labour Standards Code 9403
No. 64, Dairy Industry Act 9404
Hon. E. Fage 9404
Mr. John MacDonell 9404
Hon. E. Fage 9404
Vote - Affirmative 9404
No. 66, Consumers Protection Act/Mortgage Brokers' and
Lenders' Registration Act 9404
No. 69, Denturists Act 9405
No. 71, Psychologists Act 9405
No. 72, Dental Act 9406
ADJOURNMENT, House rose to meet again on Tue., Nov. 28th at 12:00 p.m. 9406

[Page 9371]

HALIFAX, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2000

Fifty-eighth General Assembly

First Session

2:00 P.M.

SPEAKER

Hon. Murray Scott

DEPUTY SPEAKERS

Mr. Brooke Taylor, Mr. Kevin Deveaux, Mr. David Wilson

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

PRESENTING AND READING PETITIONS

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

MR. BROOKE TAYLOR: Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to table a petition on behalf of Musquodoboit Valley, Halifax County and area citizens. The petition's prayer states that, "We the undersigned would like to impress upon the Department of Transportation & Government of Nova Scotia the importance of painting a white line on the outer edge of the the new pavement from Middle Musquodoboit to Upper Musquodoboit. This would address our concern for poor visibility during inclement weather (example heavy rain and land fog that is prevalent in the Musquodoboit Valley)" I have affixed my name to those petitions.

MR. SPEAKER: The petition is tabled.

PRESENTING REPORTS OF COMMITTEES

9371

[Page 9372]

TABLING REPORTS, REGULATIONS AND OTHER PAPERS

STATEMENTS BY MINISTERS

GOVERNMENT NOTICES OF MOTION

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Premier.

RESOLUTION NO. 3570

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

Whereas Canadians will vote today to elect representatives in 301 ridings across this great country of ours; and

Whereas while members hold varying views on who they feel will best represent the interest of Canadians for the next term of government, we all share the view that everyone should exercise their right to vote; and

Whereas the privilege of voting in elections is the cornerstone upon which Canada built a strong and enduring democracy, thanks in no small part to the sacrifices made by our veterans;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this Legislature ensure that their vote is cast in today's election and encourage all Nova Scotians to exercise and take this right seriously as they go to the polls.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

[Page 9373]

RESOLUTION NO. 3571

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

Whereas today, November 27th, is the first day of fall lobster season in Areas 33 and 34 in western Nova Scotia; and

Whereas the fall lobster season contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the coastal communities in western Nova Scotia; and

Whereas commercial fishing during this time of year is a very demanding and dangerous occupation;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the contributions our Areas 33 and 34 lobster fishermen make to the economy of this province and wish them a successful and safe upcoming season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS

NOTICES OF MOTION

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

RESOLUTION NO. 3572

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

Whereas it became apparent that evidence-based decisions are not being made when it comes to the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital in Tatamagouche; and

[Page 9374]

Whereas administrators for the hospital are only interested in achieving an arbitrary fiscal target, rather than listening to doctors and nurses who say patients are suffering; and

Whereas Tatamagouche residents are being transferred to Pugwash, New Glasgow and Truro, over-burdening those hospitals, when patients could and should be treated in their own community;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health reconsider the ill-advised cuts at the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital and review the evidence-based experiences of doctors, nurses and community members in Tatamagouche.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Dartmouth East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3573

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

Whereas since day one the Health Minister has refused to listen to the concerns of doctors, nurses, patients and communities; and

Whereas Dr. Michael Glasgow quit as Chief of Staff of the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital in Tatamagouche because of the unreasonable cuts of this Tory Government; and

Whereas it is now clear that no proper consultation has ever taken place between the Minister of Health and health care providers;

Therefore be it resolved that the Health Minister had better put the brakes on his wrong-headed reforms and start listening to health care providers to prevent more health professionals from following the lead of Dr. Glasgow.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 9375]

The honourable member for Yarmouth.

RESOLUTION NO. 3574

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

Whereas today, November 27th, is a special day in southwestern Nova Scotia; and

Whereas today, known locally as Dumping Day, marks the opening of the lobster fishery in southwestern Nova Scotia, one of the province's most lucrative fisheries; and

Whereas it is unfortunate that a federal election was called for on a day so important to the people of this region;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House recognize today as Dumping Day and offer our best wishes to the hard-working men and women involved in the lobster fishery for a safe and prosperous season.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 3575

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

Whereas the elderly are becoming the victims of heartless Tory health care cuts; and

Whereas confused and upset seniors are being transferred from the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital in Tatamagouche, to hospitals in Truro, Pugwash and New Glasgow, when they could be treated in their own community; and

[Page 9376]

Whereas seniors are being sacrificed for the sake of the Tories' arbitrary fiscal priorities;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health and the Premier explain why they have turned their backs on seniors, by providing neither the long-term care nor the extra hospital beds that the Conservatives promised.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

RESOLUTION NO. 3576

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

Whereas voters throughout Canada will go to the polls today to elect their representatives in Ottawa; and

Whereas voting in elections is both a privilege and a right in democracies such as Canada; and

Whereas Canada is a role model for other western democracies throughout the world;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House encourage all Nova Scotians to support the democratic tradition of Canada by voting in today's election.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

[Page 9377]

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. 3577

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

Whereas the Pictou County Christmas Fund held their 26th annual telethon this Sunday at the DeCoste Entertainment Centre in Pictou; and

Whereas Chairman Jack MacIsacc a friend and former member of this House, reports that the $45,000 goal was surpassed by more than $7,000, thanks to the efforts of volunteers, local artists and talent such as the Pictou County Oldtime Fiddlers; and

Whereas Pictou County residents have always opened their hearts and wallets to the Pictou County Christmas Fund, raising over $1 million in the past 26 years;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House congratulate the many volunteers and the people of Pictou County for generously making the 26th Annual Pictou County Christmas Fund a resounding success again this year.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

RESOLUTION NO. 3578

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

[Page 9378]

Whereas the parents' group known as the Halifax West High School Feeder School Group deserves credit for their vigorous, well-informed and non-partisan advocacy for a safe learning environment for their children; and

Whereas the Feeder School Group has shown that Halifax West High School cannot be saved for a reasonable cost; and

Whereas time is of the essence for making a decision about building a new school;

Therefore be it resolved that this House urges the government to approve, without delay, the building of a new high school to replace Halifax West High School.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton South.

RESOLUTION NO. 3579

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

Whereas the member for Halifax Chebucto somehow believes Liberal MLAs from Cape Breton fear the Leader of the NDP; and

Whereas the reason the Leader of the NDP is in the library is because the current member for Cape Breton The Lakes sent her packing in the last general election; and

Whereas it is doubtful NDP Leader Helen MacDonald will ever see inside this Chamber by winning a by-election because she can't even win her own home riding;

Therefore be it resolved that the only political fear being expressed in Cape Breton is by NDP members who know their Leader can't win a by-election in Cape Breton North or her own riding of Cape Breton The Lakes.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

[Page 9379]

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.

RESOLUTION NO. 3580

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

Whereas Reg Milley was recently named the new President and Chief Executive Officer for the Halifax International Airport Authority; and

Whereas Mr. Milley brings a vast amount of experience from the business world to his new position, including a time when he headed the Gander Development Corporation in Newfoundland; and

Whereas Reg Milley was selected after numerous candidates from across the country and around the world expressed their interest in becoming president and CEO;

Therefore be it resolved that MLAs extend congratulations to Mr. Milley on his appointment and to all members of the Halifax International Airport Authority for doing a great job.

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 Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

[Page 9380]

RESOLUTION NO. 3581

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

Whereas the parents of Cole Harbour have been seeking a safe location at which their children can hang out; and

Whereas the Cole Harbour Boys and Girls Club have opened a youth drop-in centre on Cole Harbour Road; and

Whereas the centre, known as the B.O.X., has allowed youth to take part in the operation of the centre;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Cole Harbour Boys and Girls Club on the successful operation of the B.O.X. and for providing a much-needed youth centre in Cole Harbour.

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 Victoria.

[2:15 p.m.]

RESOLUTION NO. 3582

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

Whereas thanks to a program sponsored by the federal Liberal Government, the people of Boularderie are developing a historical society for their area; and

[Page 9381]

Whereas as part of this project, a booklet and video are being created about the history of Boularderie; and

Whereas research for the project includes interviews with many senior citizens in the area, as well as an investigation into school and church records;

Therefore be it resolved that the people of Boularderie be congratulated for taking pride in their history and wish all the workers and volunteers best of luck as they explore their common heritage.

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 Minister of Community Services.

RESOLUTION NO. 3583

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

Whereas Joan Lenihan was a baseball icon in the community of Bedford for many years, serving as an administrator for both Baseball Nova Scotia and Bedford Minor Baseball; and

Whereas on May 7, 1999, Joan Lenihan passed away and to honour her legacy the community of Bedford this summer renamed Range Park to The Joan Lenihan Memorial Park; and

Whereas this past Saturday night, November 25, 2000, at the Baseball Nova Scotia Annual Meeting in Amherst, Joan Lenihan was entered into the Baseball Nova Scotia's Hall of Fame under the Builder's Category;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House extend their congratulations and warmest wishes to the family of the late Joan Lenihan on this great honour.

[Page 9382]

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3584

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

Whereas the Liberal caucus home page features a Bridgewater Bulletin column on hospital cutbacks by Vernon Oickle; and

Whereas the featured excerpt says "here it is the middle of November and we still don't know how these cuts will be implemented . . . How can anyone deal with future reductions without knowing the current state of affairs?"; and

Whereas this excellent column says further, "Someone, somewhere, must know what cuts we're facing here. If so, it is time to share the details. The public has a right to know.";

Therefore be it resolved that Liberal MLAs should have the good grace to acknowledge that the details about the cuts in acute care have now been shared with the public, despite government secrecy, in the report released last week by NDP Leader Helen MacDonald.

Mr. Speaker, I would request waiver.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

[Page 9383]

The honourable member for Cape Breton East.

RESOLUTION NO. 3585

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

Whereas 24 cadets representing the three Atlantic Provinces graduated from the Atlantic Academy's Police Science Program Cadet Squad No. 75; and

Whereas the graduation took place on November 16, 2000, at the Nova Scotia Highlanders, Coriano Building, Victoria Park, Sydney; and

Whereas the 32 week police science cadet program prepares candidates for work as police constables and in other related fields of law enforcement and security;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate all graduates on their outstanding accomplishments and wish them success in their future endeavours.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Atlantic.

RESOLUTION NO. 3586

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

Whereas the MLA for Timberlea-Prospect spent 12 hours this Saturday past on a ladder to raise funds for the St. Margaret's Bay Lions for the Christmas Daddies Campaign; and

[Page 9384]

Whereas Santa Claus and Lions members accompanied the MLA for these 12 hours, and we feel sorry for them - sorry, no, that wasn't in there (Laughter); and

Whereas $2,322 was raised through donations - I think by Santa Claus and the Lions to get off - no sorry;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the St. Margaret's Bay Lions, their MLA, and area residents for their generosity and good humour.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Cape Breton The Lakes.

RESOLUTION NO. 3587

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

Whereas the Cape Breton Wellness Centre located at UCCB launched its new visual identity, information brochure and website; and

Whereas last week, Health Canada, the Nova Scotia Department of Health, University College of Cape Breton and several community partners were on hand to celebrate the launch; and

Whereas these new initiatives will help Cape Bretoners become more knowledgeable about health, its determinants and the importance of active living;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House congratulate all those involved in making this worthwhile project a reality and recognize the importance of the Wellness Centre to all Cape Bretoners.

Mr. Speaker, I request waiver of notice.

[Page 9385]

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. 3588

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

Whereas today Sir John A. Macdonald High School in my riding is closed because it is flooded from bursting pipes, a typical problem faced by aging buildings; and

Whereas students at this school, who should be learning at their desks, will instead be sitting at home; and

Whereas this type of situation is an ongoing problem at Sir John A. Macdonald High School and one that desperately needs to be addressed;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Education commit to tour Sir John A. Macdonald High School, view the damage and take immediate action to bring this high school up to the standard expected by students, parents, teachers and the growing community.

Mr. Speaker, I ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader of the Liberal Party.

[Page 9386]

RESOLUTION NO. 3589

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

Whereas the revolving door at the minister's office in the Department of Environment has led to so much confusion that the acting minister doesn't even know who he is; and

Whereas Question Period has taken on the appearance of a slapstick comedy act where ministers look more like keystone kops than members of the government; and

Whereas unfortunately this lack of concern for the environment is not funny and demonstrates a blatant disregard for accountability and democracy;

Therefore be it resolved that the members of this House urge the Premier to, at the very least, ensure there is a minister available for Environment and that he hurry up and appoint a full-time minister instead of treating environmental issues like a joke.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 3590

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

Whereas the new Deputy Minister of Health tops the provincial pay scale at $180,000- plus plus plus; and

Whereas the new Deputy Minister of Education also blew the lid off the pay scale, coming in at $127,000-plus plus plus; and

[Page 9387]

Whereas the formidable Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs apparently couldn't stand to see someone earning more than herself, and subsequently demanded and got the same pay as the new Deputy Minister of Education, less cab fare;

Therefore be it resolved that this House congratulate the Premier for recently holding the line on his Chief of Staff's salary and keeping it down to $105,000, plus very generous severance arrangements, plus very generous car allowance.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3591

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

Whereas Larsen's Meat Packers of Berwick are presently processing meat generally processed by Hub Meat Packers of New Brunswick; and

Whereas additional activity at the Berwick plant is creating serious air quality problems as well as uncontrolled disposal of animal wastes; and

Whereas the Nova Scotia Department of Environment has been silent on this problem and its implications;

Therefore be it resolved that one of Nova Scotia's six Ministers of Environment provide some leadership and ensure protective measures are undertaken to protect all stakeholders affected by this problem.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable Leader in the House of the New Democratic Party.

[Page 9388]

RESOLUTION NO. 3592

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

Whereas the Minister of Health claimed that transfers from communities that suffered acute care bed closures would be a rare occurrence; and

Whereas over two days at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital, five patients had to be transferred due to a lack of beds; and

Whereas this is costing the province more than if it had kept the five acute care beds open at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital and each transfer costs $500 for the ambulance;

Therefore be it resolved that the evidence is now in that Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital needs its five acute care beds back and it is time for the Minister of Health to fulfil his commitment and bring back the acute care beds at Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cape Breton West.

RESOLUTION NO. 3593

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

Whereas the fall lobster fishery opens today in Nova Scotia in the southwestern part of the province; and

Whereas some 6,000 fishermen and 1,743 boats are expected to be on the water today; and

Whereas the fishery has been a way of life for many a Nova Scotian throughout our province's history;

Therefore be it resolved that members of this House wish those involved in the fall catch, our best wishes for a safe and lucrative season.

Mr. Speaker I would ask for waiver of notice.

[Page 9389]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Sackville-Cobequid.

RESOLUTION NO. 3594

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

Whereas Conservative hopes to gain an Atlantic seat are highest in the P.E.I. seat, Cardigan, held until now by Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay; and

Whereas Conservative Premiers have been trying to boost their Party's fortunes in the face of the significant drop of support since 1997; and

Whereas P.E.I. Premier Pat Binns delayed the opening of that Legislature until Friday, November 24th to ensure that he did not get in the way of the federal Tory campaign;

Therefore be it resolved that Nova Scotia Tories should explain just why they thought it was so electorally helpful for them to gain power to seize family homes, hide economic development deals, admit that they closed 152 hospital beds and trash the Environment Act.

Mr. Speaker I request waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Halifax Needham.

[Page 9390]

RESOLUTION NO. 3595

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

Whereas Atlantic Canadian women have been excluded from the bulk of health research to date; and

Whereas women suffer from higher rates of environmental illness, stress and asthma; and

Whereas Atlantic Canada has the highest rates of female cancer deaths in Canada;

Therefore be it resolved that all members of this House support a call to action for women's health in Atlantic Canada.

Mr. Speaker, I seek waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear a No.

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Cole Harbour-Eastern Passage.

RESOLUTION NO. 3596

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

Whereas Caldwell Road Elementary School has a proud history of teaching students about Canada and being a Canadian; and

Whereas Rob Spicer, Principal at Caldwell Road Elementary School, has worked hard to install a flagpole at the school, which is to be dedicated on December 7th; and

Whereas the School Advisory Council and the Parent-Teacher Organization for the school were very active in erecting the new flagpole;

[Page 9391]

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the efforts of Rob Spicer, Glen Chamberlain and the School Advisory Council, and Shawn Gilbert and the PTO for their efforts in creating good citizens at the Caldwell Road Elementary School.

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 Dartmouth-Cole Harbour.

RESOLUTION NO. 3597

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

Whereas Tatamagouche has suffered another blow to health care with the resignation of Dr. Michael Glasgow as Medical Director of the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital; and

Whereas Dr. Glasgow states, "I was frustrated by the kinds of decisions that are being made where we're shuttling patients back and forth like cattle."; and

Whereas the Lillian Fraser Memorial Hospital has been particularly hard hit with the number of beds decreasing from 15 to 10;

Therefore be it resolved that the Minister of Health explain to the people of Tatamagouche how he intends to fill Dr. Glasgow's position when doctors are hard to find and the Tories are driving them out of this province.

Mr. Speaker, I would ask for waiver of notice.

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

Is it agreed?

I hear several Noes.

[Page 9392]

The notice is tabled.

The honourable member for Timberlea-Prospect.

RESOLUTION NO. 3598

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

Whereas to see a sunset over a fishing village is to enter the world of Joe Norris; and

Whereas the artwork of the late Joe Norris of Lower Prospect has been recognized by an Art Gallery of Nova Scotia exhibition; and

Whereas the book, Joe Norris: Painted Visions of Nova Scotia has been published to celebrate this artist;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize the art of Joe Norris and encourage all Nova Scotians to visit the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to enjoy the unique work of Joe.

I ask for waiver of notice, Mr. Speaker.

[2:30 p.m.]

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

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

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

The motion is carried.

The honourable member for Halifax Chebucto.

RESOLUTION NO. 3599

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

[Page 9393]

Whereas the Conservative Government of New Brunswick has offered to pay a settlement of $80,000 to widows who unjustly lost their workers' compensation survivor benefits when they remarried; and

Whereas the Conservative Government of New Brunswick hid until Friday an actuarial report that it had held for a year, showing that each widow was, in fact, entitled to $137,000; and

Whereas the Conservative Government of New Brunswick tried to ram approval for the compensation package through the Legislature on Friday, the same day it released the report;

Therefore be it resolved that this House recognize, and denounce, the decision of Conservative Governments in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to simultaneously hide information, ram legislation through the Legislature without proper consideration, and withhold from widows the money that is rightfully theirs.

MR. SPEAKER: The notice is tabled.

ORDERS OF THE DAY

GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

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

PUBLIC BILLS FOR THIRD READING

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 62.

Bill No. 62 - Employment Support and Income Assistance Act.

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

MR. KEVIN DEVEAUX: Mr. Speaker, I just want to say a few words and wrap up as we are on third reading of Bill No. 62. As the Community Services Critic for my Party, I have put on the record, in second reading, a long list of the problems that our Party have had with this bill; in Committee of the Whole House on Bills though it is not on the record. Our Party spent a lot of time trying to obtain some form of small change, not to make this bill I

[Page 9394]

would even say work but somehow improve it and, at the same time, to try to clarify what this government's true intention was with regard to Bill No. 62.

As I said in Committee of the Whole House on Bills - and I will say it again for the record - there was a lot of rhetoric from this government long before this House opened about social services reform. Our Party has always believed that the welfare system must be reformed; we don't have a doubt about that. We, as well, believe that the poverty must be broken and that we must move to get people over that welfare wall. We heard these small words from the minister and from the Premier, but the problem is at Committee of the Whole House on Bills, Mr. Speaker, when given the chance to do this in a way that set people up for success and not for failure, the government at every turn rejected the amendments that would help to improve people's chances of success.

Whether it was designation of residences so people wouldn't lose their homes; whether it was telephones so people could have the basic necessities to ensure they were able to actually find work and weren't being set up for failure; whether it was just putting the word "adequate" in the legislation with regard to assistance, a basic level of assistance, all these amendments were rejected and many others by this government. That is where we clearly saw where their agenda was.

This government, its rhetoric seemed to be in the right place but its intent never was, and clearly never will be with regard to Bill No. 62. If this legislation passes this House, if the backbenchers decide that they are going to support the government on this, then they should be very leery as to what this means.

You know, Mr. Speaker, a few days or a week before this House came in, the Minister of Community Services held three press conferences in an attempt to try and spin - for lack of a better word - their presentation of what they were doing, and how this was positive, how this was going to help people, first with the integrated child tax benefit, then with the social assistance rates and special needs rates and then with the bill itself, but within hours of each, the sort of house of cards that they tried to build began to fall apart. We began to see exactly where this government was going and the people - and I think one of the most, in my mind, in the last month on Bill No. 62 was the second press conference in the Red Room on the rates.

Most of the caucus was there and some Cabinet Ministers, and the minister came in and tried to give this great presentation about how good this would be for people, and within 10 minutes of the press conference starting the people who were directly impacted by social assistance cuts took charge. They stood up, they started asking questions. I remember the minister; the minister and I have had many debates across this floor and I can say that in many ways we probably have some respect for each other, but I remember that day and I remember seeing the look on his face when people from NAPO and individuals who are directly impacted by this were posing questions he couldn't answer.

[Page 9395]

It stands out in my mind and probably always will, because that was when I began to see that this government's true agenda was not one of trying to help people, it was never one of trying to help people succeed, it is about short-term attempts to pad statistics, for lack of a better word. It is an attempt by this government to get people off welfare by hook or by crook. They are not concerned about what happens on the other end. They are not hoping they can get long-term full employment, or at least not doing anything to that end. They are not providing them with enough money for childcare; they are not providing the childcare spaces needed; they are not providing them with the technical aids if they have a disability; they are not providing them with legitimate transportation costs where necessary; they are not providing them with the employment supports, the job training or the job opportunities that are so desperately needed for people to truly succeed in moving from welfare to work, for breaking that poverty cycle.

In the last couple of weeks we saw the Premier himself, and other ministers talking about what I would call dividing and conquering. They are the working poor and the non-working poor. We have, and in the Premier's comments at a $50 a plate luncheon for the Metropolitan Halifax Chamber of Commerce, comments that clearly show that he was trying to pit the working poor against the non-working poor. That is a problem in my mind, because breaking the poverty cycle is not just about trying to pit people against each other, it is about trying to do truly positive things to help them and that takes time. As I have said before in this House in the past month, that won't take a year or two years, it will take 10 years or 20 years. It takes a vision and a plan to ensure that that happens. The government has had none of that. The government has not tried to put forward a plan, a vision. They are more concerned about trying to just pad the statistics, get people off welfare so in the next election they can say they have had some success.

I must say, considering this was the real piece of social policy legislation that has come from this government in the 15 months they have been in power, this is the first one with their mark on it, their signature. It is their legislation, something they can say, and I don't doubt they were hoping to leave this House after this session saying, if it passes, look what we were able to do. Well, we have been able to expose what they are doing and we have been able to expose exactly what this government is, heartless, sometimes incompetent and not necessarily trustworthy.

Now those are harsh words but let's look at what this government has done on Bill No. 62 and let's reflect why those are important. On the issue of competence we have seen this government, when pushed to explain why they weren't designating houses, fumble the ball several times, the Premier wasn't sure what it was about, the minister tried to clarify and then a day later retracted and then a week later tried to save things at the end of the Committee of the Whole House on Bills with an amendment that never does do what he says it will do. Then we saw that famous vote in the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, where they first voted for the telephone and then retracted it. These are clear examples of this

[Page 9396]

government not really knowing what is in its own legislation, not understanding the impact they are going to have on people's lives.

With regard to trustworthiness, well, the government came forward with legislation that was vacuous, almost no detail at all, and they told people to trust us. As this Party ferreted out, and many people who are involved in the system ferreted out problems like designation of the house, like the telephone, like the lack of the word adequate, like the ability for this to be used to provide workfare, it was clear, Mr. Speaker, this government couldn't be trusted. They were hiding things and the people of Nova Scotia have seen that. They knew that before. They knew that from the Education Act. They knew that from last fall, but this is the first one where this government can say this is our first big piece of social policy legislation and they carried it on. That trust that was broken before is clearly fractured now.

In regard to the heartlessness, well, where do I begin? This legislation will set people up for failure. It will prevent them from truly succeeding and that is what is so mean-spirited about this. If the government was serious, if the government's rhetoric was true, they would do so much more. They could do so much more. I am not talking about major reform although I think that is necessary, but if this government does not agree with that, we could at least see some reforms that would help move it in the right direction, some things that would guarantee people the ability to get the training, to have the supports, to have the real job opportunities. All we are seeing in this legislation is an opportunity to move people from welfare to work quickly so that the welfare rolls are reduced. That is all this is about.

Let history show, whether it is 5 years or 50 years from now, if someone looks back at this legislation, that this was the beginning of the end for a government that clearly did not know what it was doing and when it tried to put forward some form of agenda, it did it in a way that was fumbling, was bumbling and was heartless. It is a bizarre combination of heartless incompetence, but that is what this legislation proves. It was a rough-edged agenda, but they are never truly able to fully comprehend or lead on and that is the problem.

This legislation, Mr. Speaker, has done so much towards damaging the reputation, not of the Cabinet Ministers, even though they are the ones who in the end were approving this in Cabinet, but to those backbenchers back there. You are going to have to go back to your constituencies, as I am sure you have been, and explain this and, more problematic, in the next three years or two years before the next election, from time to time when people come forward with major problems, when they are being cut off, when the appeal system isn't working, when their houses are not being designated, when caseworkers are overworked and people are not getting the employment supports or the job training they need to succeed, you are going to have to defend this legislation, you, the backbenchers. Those backbenchers are going to have to explain to the residents, the people who voted for them, why this was good.

[Page 9397]

This isn't just those who are the non-working poor. You are also going to have to explain why you have not raised the minimum wage. You are also going to have to explain why you have not provided things like child care to ensure that the working poor have the opportunity to succeed. To those in the middle class, (Interruption) think of the middle class, at least these backbenchers should, the ones who are one paycheque away from welfare, the ones for whom the EI system is no longer there as a safety net to catch them, the ones for whom this system may be taking their homes and damming them to a future much worse than the present. The social safety net, this is like the final net in the social safety net fabric, this is the one that catches those that nothing else catches. When workers' compensation fails, when CPP isn't there, when EI isn't there, this is what is there for them and now this one has large holes in it as well.

It is this government that has done it and it is these backbenchers, Mr. Speaker, who will have to defend that. They better hope that there is not a major recession or a worsening of a recession between now and the next election because there are going to be a lot of people who are not going to be caught by the EI safety net. They are going to be looking for help from this legislation and it isn't going to be there and that is what is so wrong with this legislation. That is what is so wrong with what this government is doing. It is so short-sighted. It is so myopic. It is only looking at an area like Halifax where things are going well, but it is not looking at the rest of the province where there are no jobs or there are very few.

This legislation, Mr. Speaker, is only about politics. It is not about helping people. It is not about all of us working together to create success for all Nova Scotians, to create prosperity for all Nova Scotians. It is about dividing, it is about conquering, it is about dividing the working poor and the non-working poor. It is about dividing the poor who are deserving and the poor who are non-deserving and it is hoping that the middle class sees this as a problem that does not affect them. Well, it does and it will and the backbenchers are the ones who will pay the price in the next election. Let that judgement be made when you pass this legislation.

[2:45 p.m.]

Mr. Speaker, may I say, in conclusion, that this is legislation that is short-sighted, that is heartless, that hides so well - I will take the words of the Minister of Economic Development - ill-conceived (Interruptions) Thank you, that is very good. Maybe the Minister of Economic Development will now be voting against it. We can only hope. He told me to say the word ill-conceived, so I will take it. Thank you, Minister of Economic Development. He says it is well-conceived, so I will agree with him.

The problem is reform is something we all support, we always wanted, we believed it was necessary, but reform that created success, reform that broke the poverty cycle, reform that allowed people to move from welfare to work to get over that wall. We all agreed with that. We were eager to see what this government would bring forward. We have now seen

[Page 9398]

what they have brought forward. They have hidden so much. They have not provided us with details, and when details were exposed, they were unwilling, except at the last moment, to make changes and those were only half-hearted at best.

Mr. Speaker, that is what this is about. Heartlessness, incompetence and untrustworthiness. That is how you will be judged when you guys have to defend this over the next three years.

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

MR. WAYNE GAUDET: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have another opportunity to speak on Bill No. 62, An Act to Encourage the Attainment of Independence and Self-sufficiency through Employment Support and Income Assistance. As our Liberal caucus has said from the beginning, when Bill No. 62 was introduced, this is a bad piece of legislation. I am going to tell you why this is not a good piece of legislation.

First, there are very few details in this bill. With the lack of details and the lack of regulations, it certainly would be counter-productive to propose any amendments on this bill. From my experience in this House, when you amend a bill, after the bill leaves second reading, the bill goes to the Law Amendments Committee, or when the bill comes back from the Law Amendments Committee to the Committee of the Whole House on Bills, when you propose amendments, in effect, you are showing support for that piece of legislation. As my caucus colleagues have said in the debate on this bill, our Liberal caucus is not in support of Bill No. 62.

There are many unanswered questions with this bill, as many speakers have pointed out during the debate on this bill. Maybe if the minister had tabled the regulations with this bill, many questions would certainly have been answered, and probably many questions would have been raised, at the same time. I believe Nova Scotians are probably asking themselves questions, why will the regulations on Bill No. 62 only be made available in January 2001? Personally I can't understand why the Minister of Community Services would not provide us with a copy of the regulations to go with this bill as this bill is being debated in the House.

I think we have to, maybe, look back to three years ago, give or take, when the Mike Harris Government in Ontario introduced Bill No. 142, the Social Assistance Reform Act. Those were certainly interesting times. I think this Tory Government may have been told by the Harris Government not to table the regulations. I am sure this government did consult with the Mike Harris Government in Ontario before that bill was tabled in this House. That consultation that did probably take place between this government and the Mike Harris Government, I am sure a lot of those tips and points were probably raised in those discussions while those consultations did take place. I honestly don't know why the regulations were not tabled when this bill was tabled in the House.

[Page 9399]

Mr. Speaker, the fact that the Minister of Community Services chose not to table them worries me, I guess you have to wonder if he has anything to hide. We are being told that the regulations are not ready. I hope that is the truth, that the regulations are not ready at this time, and that is why they are not being tabled. I hope that is the case. Unfortunately time will probably tell. Again, I hope this Tory Government is sincere throughout this whole exercise about helping people. I don't think there is anyone in this House who would argue or disagree that encouraging the attainment of independence and self-sufficiency through employment support is not a positive step. Many people have said this time and time again.

Mr. Speaker, many Nova Scotians have concerns with regard to this piece of legislation. They have concerns about the requirement to develop an employment plan. There has been very little information released about these employment plans, and that has surfaced here on the floor of this House on many occasions about questions that were raised in regard to these employment plans. Concerns of not defining the difference between a meaningful job and just any job. So what qualifies as a job under these changes? Well, I guess we are going to have to wait to see what the regulations have to say. Concerns to those clients who live in areas of the province with high rates of unemployment. The bill does not address the problem faced by people in areas of high unemployment, such as Cape Breton, and many communities throughout rural Nova Scotia. I am thinking of at home in Digby County.

Concerns to those clients and, more importantly, to children where the parent is unable to access adequate childcare. We know that a lot of people on Community Services benefits are single moms with children. In order to allow them to return to work, we need to provide adequate childcare. So again, questions were raised around what kind of services, what kind of level of childcare will be provided.

Concerns to those individuals in rural areas who do not have access to transportation. I think already, on many occasions, this has been brought up. When you look at the level of transportation available to Halifax versus rural Nova Scotia, again, many concerns have been expressed around what kind of transportation services will be made available to many people across Nova Scotia.

Concerns in regard to education and training programs available to help those individuals to get the skills needed in order to get meaningful employment. I think many times throughout this debate, many points were raised. Are we just trying to provide these individuals with very low-paying jobs. I think in order to provide meaningful jobs, we need to certainly help provide programs, provide training, provide educational programs to those individuals to help them to certainly get the skills needed in order to get meaningful jobs. What happens to clients who are disabled and will require a workplace that is accessible? Again, that has raised many discussions in this House.

[Page 9400]

I guess one of the biggest concerns that was raised on this bill was in regard to providing telephones to individuals who are currently receiving benefits from Community Services. When you look at Bill No. 62, Clause 1(3), we talked about basic needs including food, clothing, shelter, fuel, utilities and personal requirements. Throughout this whole debate we have learned that a telephone is not considered a basic need. It is considered to be a special need. I have some individuals at home who have approached me in the past in regard to Community Services providing them with telephones. Again, some have been fortunate, depending on what case they did bring forward to Community Services in order to allow them to have a telephone, but at the same time, some individuals have not been fortunate enough to convince Community Services to provide them with telephones.

Many discussions revolved around providing telephones or telephones being considered as one of the basic needs of these individuals. Unfortunately, even today, this government is not looking at providing telephones to these individuals, as it is not considered to be one of the basic needs. So, again, I hope the regulations will clarify. It is hard for individuals to be home waiting, looking for work and not having access to a telephone.

Bill No. 62 leaves too many unanswered questions. Bill No. 62 is primarily focused on getting people back to work. What about those who cannot work or who have little chance of finding a meaningful job? These changes to social assistance are so centred on getting people back to work that they ignore those who truly depend on social assistance. Bill No. 62 is too job specific. The Tories are creating a program, but it is so work-centred that it will no longer address the needs of those who must depend on social assistance through no fault of their own.

We cannot expect everyone on social assistance to achieve this goal set by this Tory Government. Has the Tory Government set any goals, any targets for getting people off social assistance? How many people with disabilities will be impacted? How many children will be impacted by this piece of legislation? I truly believe that Nova Scotians do not want to see children lose in this Tory Government welfare exercise, and I am sure everyone will be watching very closely.

In closing, the Tories are giving up responsibilities for those in need just like they did in Ontario - the Mike Harris Tory Government. The truth is we will not know the full impact until the regulations are brought forward. How mean-spirited the regulations will be, will be the true indicator of just how serious this government is in their motives behind Bill No. 62. Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Speaker.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. If I recognize the honourable Minister of Community Services it will be to close debate on third reading of Bill No. 62.

The honourable Minister of Community Services.

[Page 9401]

HON. PETER CHRISTIE: Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to close debate on Bill No. 62. I think we have all agreed in this House that this is a significant piece of legislation and is a significant change for assistance in this province.

[3:00 p.m.]

One of the things that has been raised throughout this whole discussion is the regulations. Indeed, we have indicated from the start that regulations will follow the legislation after it is passed. One of the things I would be remiss in doing, Mr. Speaker, is if I didn't extend thanks to all the staff of Community Services, all the people who have helped throughout this, and, indeed, all the stakeholders' groups that made submissions to us. I did have the opportunity to table those a week ago.

Some of the things that have been raised and the concerns are people on disability, special needs, people getting assistance back to work, and we have addressed all of those. Those will be addressed in the regulations. Mr. Speaker, the thrust of this legislation is to help all low-income Nova Scotians. Throughout this debate, I have not heard anybody indicate that they are not in favour of the integrated child benefit that came forward when we introduced these benefits. I think that speaks to the intent of this legislation as to where it is going.

Mr. Speaker, in closing debate on this, I want to say that this has been a long-time coming. There was a lot of discussion. It has been a number of years in coming forward, but we feel this will be a success. We feel it will be something to help the people of Nova Scotia, and to make Nova Scotia a better place in the future. I am very proud and pleased to be able to move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 62. Is the House ready for the question?

A recorded vote is being called for.

Ring the bells. Call in the members.

[3:02 p.m.]

[The Division bells were rung.]

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please. Are the Whips satisfied?

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for a third reading of Bill No. 62, the Employment Support and Income Assistance Act. The recorded vote was called for. The Clerk will call the roll. All those in favour say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

[Page 9402]

[The Clerk calls the roll.]

[3:55 p.m.]

YEAS NAYS

Mr. Christie Mr. MacAskill

Mr. Baker Dr. Smith

Mr. Russell Mr. Gaudet

Dr. Hamm Mr. Manning MacDonald

Mr. LeBlanc Mr. Holm

Mr. Muir Mr. John MacDonell

Mr. Fage Ms. Maureen MacDonald

Mr. Balser Mr. Deveaux

Mr. Parent Mr. Pye

Ms. McGrath Mr. Epstein

Mr. Ronald Chisholm Mr. Estabrooks

Mr. Olive Mr. Robert Chisholm

Mr. MacIsaac Mr. Dexter

Mr. DeWolfe Mr. MacKinnon

Mr. Taylor Mr. Boudreau

Mr. Dooks Mr. Wilson

Mr. Langille

Mr. Morse

Mr. Hendsbee

Mrs. Baillie

Mr. Carey

Mr. Morash

Mr. Chipman

Mr. Barnet

Mr. O'Donnell

Mr. Hurlburt

THE CLERK: For, 26. Against, 16

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 9403]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 61, the Electronic Commerce Act.

Bill No. 61 - Electronic Commerce Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Justice.

HON. MICHAEL BAKER: Mr. Speaker, I am just going to rise very briefly to speak to the Electronic Commerce Act. I think this is a bill that will certainly assist in modernizing the law in Nova Scotia, and I would also mention to honourable members that I will be discussing with the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations the issues raised earlier by the member for Halifax Chebucto. With that, I move third reading.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 61. Would all those in favour of the motion, please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 63.

Bill No. 63 - Labour Standards Code.

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

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now read for a third time.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 63. Would all those in favour of the motion, please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 64.

[Page 9404]

Bill No. 64 - Dairy Industry Act.

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

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I move that this bill be now read for a third time.

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

MR. JOHN MACDONELL: Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. We certainly are supportive of this bill and the impact it has on the dairy farmers. We see this as a good thing. I do want to encourage the minister to discuss with the producers the concern that was raised by this caucus around the issuing of fees to the producers, especially those in association with the Natural Product Marketing Council. I think that they have concerns there, and if you would be willing to have some discussion with them, I think they would really appreciate it. Otherwise, we would be supportive of this legislation.

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

HON. ERNEST FAGE: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 64.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 64. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 66.

Bill No. 66 - Consumers Protection Act/Mortgage Brokers' and Lenders' Registration Act.

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

HON. ANGUS MACISAAC: Mr. Speaker, I move third reading of Bill No. 66.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 66. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

[Page 9405]

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 69.

Bill No. 69 - Denturists Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 69.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 69. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 71.

Bill No. 71 - Psychologists Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 71.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 71. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

[Page 9406]

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, would you please call Bill No. 72.

Bill No. 72 - Dental Act.

MR. SPEAKER: The honourable Minister of Health.

HON. JAMES MUIR: Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to move third reading of Bill No. 72.

MR. SPEAKER: The motion is for third reading of Bill No. 72. Would all those in favour of the motion please say Aye. Contrary minded, Nay.

The motion is carried.

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

The honourable Government House Leader.

HON. RONALD RUSSELL: Mr. Speaker, I move the House do now rise to meet again on the morrow at 12:00 p.m. The House will sit until 8:00 p.m. The order of business will be Committee of the Whole House on Bills. We will be starting with the Sydney Steel Corporation Sale Act, Bill No. 70. Then we will be working our way through the rest of the bills.

There is a motion to adjourn.

Is it agreed?

It is agreed.

The motion is carried.

We stand adjourned until tomorrow at 12:00 p.m.

[The House rose at 4:08 p.m.]